Draft grades: Broncos, Lions, Bucs take honors; 'Boys, Jags fall flat
Good luck with that.
The truth is that nobody knows who's going to succeed or fail -- not us, not the draft "experts" on TV and certainly not the GMs making the decisions on draft day.
So here's what we do: We take a very detailed look at each team's statistical deficiencies before the draft. And then we determine which teams did the best job of addressing those needs. Some teams attack these deficiencies quite aggressively. Those teams usually improve the next year. Other teams stick their heads in the statistical sands, apparently trying to wish away the problems that plagued them last season (yes, we're talking about you, Jacksonville). These teams typically suffer the same fate the following year. It's all quite predictable, actually.
We can tell fairly accurately which teams did a good job of addressing their statistical needs in a given draft. As for which players are going to fail or succeed? Well, that's anyone's guess.
The defense looks improved; but not sure RB Ryan Williams and TE Robert Housler aid the offense if QB is a weakness again in 2011.
A lot of bold but high-risk moves mortgaged on the back of seven draft picks. Big needs on defense generally unaddressed.
If it all pans out, the Ravens have taken a good team and made it a better one.
Nowhere to go but up for the team that ranked dead last across the board last year in our Quality Stats.
Hard to judge. If Newton works out, it's an A+ draft. But right now it's a high-risk, high-reward venture.
Two solid needs-based moves high in the draft.
Dalton saves it from being a terrible draft, but only if he lives up to the expectations we have for him.
Would have liked more resources dedicated to offensive line. Otherwise, potential to be a nice draft class.
It should have been a big day for defense. Instead, the Cowboys will likely take the field next year with a same old collection of big, but underachieving names on defense.
John Elway's first draft has the potential to be a great one that addressed all the team's most glaring needs.
For the first time in years, if not decades, the future is bright in Detroit.
The Packers quickly addressed their biggest need while adding 10 young draft picks to compete for spots on an already talented roster.
The Colts will be better on the OL in 2011, but it won't matter when the DL is getting gashed for 200 yards on the ground every other week.
They responded to this need by drafting QB-OL-WR with their first three picks and then devoting their final two picks (fourth and fifth rounds) to second-tier DBs. The Jaguars could have drafted Johnny Unitas, John Hannah and Jerry Rice, but even those guys wouldn't win paired with that defense.
Overall, good solid selections that largely addressed most of their needs.
Overall, Miami addressed its most pressing needs early.
The Vikings struggled badly in pass protection last year, too, but didn't draft O-line until the sixth round.
Six of seven picks went to shore up an offense that led the NFL in scoring last year, while the struggling defense was largely ignored.
Very good potential draft class.
Amukamara could single-handedly turn it into an A-caliber class.
The Jets look like a better team today than they were Thursday morning. And, not to be glib or insensitive, enhance their reputation as tough guys in the old Raiders mold not afraid to take chances on bad eggs.
First four picks went to OL and DB, addressing the team's two biggest statistical needs.
A kicker? In the fourth round?
Slow and steady draft class.
Not sure what direction San Diego will take with these picks.
The Seahawks did the best they could, given the many holes they have to fill.
The Rams might be dominant on defense, but Sam Bradford might still struggle to find a groove behind a pretty poor OL.
Bucs fans should be excited about the future.
Still plenty of question marks and work to do.
Washington, like Seattle, might have done as much as it could with so many needs at hand. But they do have one potential gamebreaker in their pocket.