Tag Archive: Draft

Season Review: The last few seasons have been an up-and-down affair for Miami.  A year after winning a single game, they made the playoffs.  Last year was something of a disappointment, as they struggled to keep up with the sheer firepower of the Jets and Patriots.  In one of the more bizarre twists of any NFL season, their lone home win came against the Titans, while they came close to defeating some very good teams, both home and on the road.  The up and down season ended with questions about if Tony Sparano would return, which he will, but only after the Dolphins lost out on Jim Harbaugh.  If this team can hold it together, they are pices away.  Otherwise, they have the potential to make a return to the top of the draft.

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Draft Needs: #14 Overall, St Louis Rams

Season Review: Back-to-back former #1 overall teams have now broken out of the top ten.  Like Detroit in front of them, St Louis grabbed the franchise quarterback and is now set up for future success.  There was very little that was flashy about the Rams 2010 season- convincing wins were followed by even more convincing losses, but they showed promise for the future.  Sam Bradford shined, putting to bed injury worries and criticism for staying in school.  It all came down to a must-win game against Seattle for a playoff spot and a non-losing record, but they fell short.  Next year promises to be better, especially if they can grab players as talented as they have the last couple years.

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Draft Needs: #13 Overall, Detroit Lions

Season Review: Unlike their NFC North counterparts picking ahead of them, the Lions had an incredibly successful season- they are steadily climbing up from picking first overall two years ago after finishing 0-16.  More importantly, they are getting out from the shadow of the Matt Millen disaster, and assembling a strong team.  Detroit put up strong showing in nearly every game, weathering injuries to Matt Stafford as best they could.  They were robbed right from the start by a horrible rule that would have given them a victory over Chicago, and you have to think the whole season changed because of that non-touchdown (possibly making Green Bay the division winners and knocking Chicago out of the playoffs entirely).  At the end of it all, a 6-10 finish is great progress for the Lions, and a solid draft will go a long way for them.

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Draft Needs: #12 Overall, Minnisota Vikings

Many of the Vikings woes last year can be placed on Favres shoulders.

Season Review: While for many of the teams picking in the top half of the draft, 2010 opened with a lot of hope, the Vikings didn’t make it to week one before cruel, crushing reality set in.  Brett Favre was supposed to repeat his magical 2009 performance, and the team as a whole was expected to get over the crippling interception Favre gift-wrapped to Tracy Porter in the NFC Title game.

As it turns out, getting that far would have been a miracle.  Those expectations began to wither as Favre spent yet another offseason creating drama, away from camps and his teammates.  Other Vikings followed suit, and training camp became a joke as entitlement dominated part of the locker room and alienated the rest, all while Brad Childress stood around and did… nothing.

Then Favre- predictably- came back, and the regular season started and… nothing.  Their only two wins in the first eight week of the season came against equally woeful Detroit and Dallas.  The offense was anemic and the defense porous.  While they were still alive in the playoff race fairly late in the season, and commentators and analysts tried to spin the possibility of a winning streak to close the season, anyone watch knew- it was over.  2011 begins with a new coach, (hopefully) the conclusion of the StarCaps legal battle, the possible retirement of cornerstones of the team, and finally- the end of Brett Favre.

Needs: The biggest is obviously Quarterback.  Their options on the roster are Travaris Jackson, Joe Webb, Patrick Ramsey and Rhett Bromar.  None of those names screams ‘starting NFL quarterback’.  However, they could also be severely depleted along the defensive line- the ‘Williams Wall’ is likely breaking up through a combination of free agency, suspension and retirement, and while Jared Allen and Ray Edwards are certainly a great pair of defensive ends, their production will drop without the Williams clogging up the middle.

However, if you enter the draft in desperate need of a quarterback, you take a quarterback.  Their options at #12 are likely Cam Newton (of Auburn, but you knew that), or Blaine Gabbert of Missouri.  It depends what new head coach Leslie Frazier wants to do, but with receivers Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin, not to mention a receiving tight end in Visanthe Shiancoe, and an established running game with Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, they have no need of a scrambling quarterback.  They need someone who can stand in the pocket and evade pressure well enough to get the ball downfield.  Gabbert can do that.  He is somewhat raw, so there will be a transition period for him- but at least there will be a real reason for optimism after 2011.

Welcome to First & Fifteens Draft needs series: For the teams outside the top 10, I am just going to preview their needs and who they might take, and drop the ‘what they will do’ part of it.  The draft is to fluid to predict who they will take- and lots of people try.  So what I will give you is a preview of team needs and what players should fill those needs.  I hope you enjoy!  On to the Texans:

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Season Review: As previously mentioned, I love the Washington Redskins.  Which, of course, means I hate Dan Snyder.  Actually, I don’t think hate even begins to cover it.  I hate mushrooms, lite beer and  people who drive to slow in the left lane.  Dan Snyder I want locked in a room with a TV that shows nothing but the last year of Redskins games on a loop.  The way that man- and I use the term loosely- has screwed every facet of this franchise is amazing.  I honestly believe Snyder is a huge Giants, Eagles or Cowboys fan and the only way he can help that team is by destroying a division rival.  So the season review is: There was a new coach who used to be good.  He sucks.  Overpriced free agents did not work out.  The ‘Skins are picking in the top 10.

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Season Review: As a Redskins fan, this gives me great pleasure to write: The Cowboys bombed. After a season started with widespread expectations of the first home-team Super Bowl, it quickly became apparent that even a playoff berth was questionable.  A dismal start to the season lead to Wade Phillips mid-season firing, and he was replaced by Jason Garrett.  My question is, why has no one questioned the fact that a Jason Garrett coordinated offense was inept, but when he made the move to head coach, it was suddenly dynamic?  MY money is on Garrett sabotaging the team badly enough to get Phillips canned, safe in the knowledge that he could run it effectively once he was promoted.  God, I hate the Cowboys.

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With a huge amount of underclassmen entering the NFL Draft this year, the Senior Bowl is of paramount importance for these seniors.  They need to answer questions, and show why they should be taken ahead of their junior counterparts.  Some did just that, making a name for themselves.  A few raised questions, and a few shot themselves in the foot.  Here’s what I noticed, and why. Continue reading

Season Review: Competing in the AFC South is a tall order in any season, and perhaps even more so given the parity in it this past season.  The Colts fell back to Earth in a lot of ways, and still ended up with the division crown.  The Jags had an unexpected strong season, and the Texans were expected to finally get over the hump and into the playoffs, but the worst pass defense in the NFL (there is a thank-you card from the Seahawks secondary) doomed them.  So where did that leave the Titans?  Nowhere, as it turned out.  off-field turbulence as much as on-field performance- or lack thereof- torpedoed this team.  Things finally came to a head with perpetual question mark Vince Young towards the end of the season, resulting in an ultimatum for owner Bud Adams- Coach or Quarterback?  He chose wisely, in my opinion, keeping Fisher, but even more than when he drafted Young, cutting him loose wil determine what happens to this team in years to come.  They brought in Randy Moss towards the end of last season to compliment rising star Kenny Britt, because, you know, Cortland Finnegan and Vince Young weren’t trouble enough.  Oh, and they played some football, too.  They didn’t do very good.

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Draft Needs: #7 Overall San Fransisco 49ers

Season Review: They, like their NFC West bretheren picking directly ahead of them, chewed through quarterbacks and had a disappointing season.  Worse yet, it was a season that began with expectations of winning the division, and making a deep playoff run.  Instead, after opening the season getting blown out by eventual division champ Seattle, they lost the next six games- including providing one half of #1 overall Carolina’s win total for the year.  It was ugly.  Somehow, they were alive in the playoff race until St Louis dropped them in week 16.  Singaltary was fired, and Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh replaced him.

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