The Day After the Draft: Day #1

April 29, 2011 at 8:44 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

With the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select Cam Newton, quarterback, Auburn.

Well, Day 1 of the NFL Draft is in the books.  There were surprises, reaches, drops, and trades.  It was a lot of fun, let’s talk about it.

I don’t think anyone was surprised that Cam Newton went #1 overall.  Sure there was some speculation about Marcell Dareus (#3 to Buffalo), Von Miller (#2 to Denver), or maybe even A.J. Green (#4 to Cincy).  But, we all knew, that was a bunch of malarkey.  It was always Cam Newton.  I’m not a huge fan of Newton, but in the win-now society we live in, I guess it was the pick that Carolina fans wanted the most.

Arizona got the best player in the draft in Patrick Peterson.  One problem: they didn’t need a corner.  Ken Whisenhunt’s strategy in the draft is to get the best available player, which I think will lead to his firing in a few seasons.  But Arizona got a great player, so yay for them.

Atlanta traded the farm, so they could get a big threat on the other side of Roddy White, in the form of Julio Jones.

Atlanta went a little crazy to try to pick up Julio Jones at #6 overall.  They gave up their 1st, 2nd, and 4th round pick from this year, and next year’s 1st and 4th round pick, just to get Julio Jones.  I don’t like Jones to begin with, so I think that Cleveland definitely got the better end of this deal, and they’ll be able to get a ton of players in exchange for one injury-prone, drop-heavy receiver.  A sucker is born every minute, I guess.

I thought for certain that Blaine Gabbert would go #7 to San Francisco, but they surprised us by possibly reaching on Aldon Smith.  Then, when Tennessee picked, I was very surprised to see Jake Locker, not Gabbert, taken #8 to Tennessee.  For most of the month leading up to the draft, I had Gabbert going #1 to Carolina, and I didn’t think he’d drop this much.

After that, it went safe pick, crazy pick for a little bit.  Dallas couldn’t get a deal before the buzzer, so they took the offensive tackle, Tyron Smith.  Then, Jacksonville traded up to nab Blaine Gabbert.  At first, I was harsh of this pick, but upon reflection, now Gabbert can Aaron Rodgers it, and sit behind the experienced quarterback for a few years, so I like this move.  Houston, disappointed they couldn’t move up for Patrick Peterson, had to “settle” for J.J. Watt, who I think will have a fantastic NFL career.  Then, things got weird.

Who predicted Christian Ponder going to Minnesota with the #12 overall pick. Anyone?

The shocker of this draft so far, was Minnesota picking up Florida State QB Christian Ponder.  I had Ponder in the middle to late second round, and the sixth quarterback overall.  The Vikings must have some plans with Ponder, because if they’re willing to reach this far on Ponder, they must know something about him the rest of us mere mortals don’t.

Detroit kind of surprised us by stopping Nick Fairley’s free-fall.  I thought that defensive line was one of their strengths, and that they should’ve worried about their other problems.  But, then I thought.  Nick Fairley + Ndamukong Suh + Kyle Vanden Bosch + the Chicago Bears weak offensive line = Jay Cutler’s destruction.  Oh crap.

Was anyone else hoping that Nick Fairley would go up to accept his jersey, and just tackle Roger Goodell? Anyone?

The next pick that caught my attention (besides a slight reach for Nate Solder to New England at #17) was the New York Giants at #19 going with Prince Amukamara.  I thought for certain that this would be where either Mark Ingram or Anthony Costanzo would get picked up to sure up the Giants fumbly running game, but I guess you can never have enough corners.

Let's give a special mention to Chicago GM Jerry Angelo, who apparently has a drafting staff entirely consisting of monkeys.

After Cleveland moved up slightly to nab Phil Taylor (it’s not like they didn’t have plenty of picks to work with after the Julio Jones deal), and a perplexing pick on the part of Seattle (seriously, who the hell is James Carpenter?) Chicago did something kind of hilariously dumb.  You see, Baltimore originally had the 26th pick, but they had worked out a deal with the Bears to trade first round picks, so that Chicago could land Gabe Carimi, and Baltimore would also get a fourth round pick.  But, then Bears GM Jerry Angelo told two staff members to make the call to the NFL about the trade, and both staffers thought the other one did.  While all of this was going on, the 10 minutes allotted to the Ravens expired, and Kansas City was then officially on the clock.  By the time the Ravens actually got their pick in, Kansas City had already made their pick, and New England was already working on a trade of their own for the next pick that would give the Saints their pick, so that New Orleans could get Mark Ingram.  So, the Ravens just scrapped the trade.  Kansas City got Jon Baldwin.  Baltimore dropped one pick, but still got Jimmy Smith.  New Orleans got Ingram, and Chicago got Carimi.  Everyone involved left happy.

And that’s the first round.  My round two and three coverage will be up tomorrow, but unfortunately, it won’t go up until Day 3 picks have already begun.  Oh well.

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