Five things we learned about teams during and after draft weekend ...
When the Jets traded into the tail end of the first round, I thought for certain they were headed for a quarterback. However with the extra pick, the Jets selected tight end
Keller has very good pass receiving skills and can challenge a defense down the field, but who is going throw him the ball? The Jets will start training camp with an open competition between
Now, I know that Clemens is a young quarterback and half a season of starting is not enough to evaluate his long-range skills. But based on the tape I watched last season, he did not demonstrate the arm strength and body to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. The Meadowlands is a very difficult place to throw the ball because of the constant wind that prevails inside the stadium. Clemens' arm is not strong enough to cut down the wind. When the slick defensive minds (like
The Jets are rebuilding their line in free agency and seem to have addressed the tight end need in this draft, but until they fix the quarterback position they will struggle to beat the Patriots. It might be wise for the Jets to call Tampa Bay and make an offer for
What happens when your team leads the NFL in field-goal attempts and still makes the playoffs? You draft a home run hitter who can get the ball into the end zone and help you score points.
With Johnson in the backfield, the Titans have a player who can take a 5-yard gain and turn it into a 40-yard touchdown.
Young works best out of the spread attack, much like he did while he played at Texas. Spreading the formation forces the defense to spread out and this will allow seams for Johnson to exploit. Young needs to have a versatile back around him, who has wide receiver skills, but running back power. Trying to get a wide receiver may have been the popular idea for the Titans before the draft, but getting a multi-dimensional runner was the best move.
Jacksonville had a very good team last year and made great progress in its quest to beat the Colts for the AFC South title. The one element the defense lacked was the lack of athleticism of its ends. Based on the Jags' actions this draft weekend, I believe they have closed the gap even more on the Colts.
Being bold and trading multiple picks to acquire Florida defensive end
Manning is very difficult to sack. In fact, when you're preparing to play the Colts, sacking Manning is not your main objective. What bothers and disrupts the Colts offense is quick pressure. You have to try to get the ball out of Manning's hand a split second before he wants to throw it. He's too smart, too crafty and too aware to be bothered by blitzes. You need very fast defensive ends who can get off the ball with quickness and have the ability to run with great speed. Harvey and Groves have these types of skills.
Having a great position-specific draft to go along with the addition of
Buffalo has been quiet but productive in the offseason. It made a trade adding
But what really makes the Bills' potential off the charts is the return of linebacker
You better believe the Patriots are paying attention. The Bills are healthy, they have added size to their defense and they keep adding players who impact the kicking game. With all the attention being paid to the Miami Dolphins' new regime and the Jets' spending in free agency, I think the Bills have flown under the hype radar in the AFC East and are in position to challenge for a playoff spot in 2008.
This is pretty obvious from the 2008 draft results.
Ryan could not have gone to a better team. He gets a head coach who is a former defensive coordinator who will know how to protect his young quarterback. Look for the Falcons to play the games close to the vest on offense, running the ball and trying to win with their defense and kicking game. Ryan will not be asked to win games right away; the emphasis will be on allowing him to learn and grow into the offense.
Flacco is one lucky guy. He joins a team dominated by defense and gets an offensive coordinator in
Henne is the chosen one in Miami. Getting picked by