1 THE COLTS LOOK OUT FOR NO. 1
After trading for tackle Winston Justice, re-signing wideout Reggie Wayne, signing center Samson Satele and drafting Andrew Luck, the Colts were expected to focus on defense in the bulk of the draft. Not so. Only two of Indy's 10 picks were defensive players—fifth-round DT Josh Chapman and seventh-round DE Tim Fugger. Maybe new coach Chuck Pagano, a respected defensive coordinator who is switching to a 3--4, knows something the rest of us don't, but the formula seems curious for a team that needs big help on that side of the ball.
2 JEFF FISHER WALKS THE HIGH WIRE
The impact of the blockbuster March deal involving the No. 2 pick was tempered by several puzzling moves the Rams and their first-year coach made last week. By sitting at 6, St. Louis allowed the Jaguars to move up and select WR Justin Blackmon, whom the Rams coveted. Then, after trading down to 14, the Rams lost out on highly rated DT Fletcher Cox when Philly traded up to 12 to get him. Finally, St. Louis used a second- and a third-rounder on corners who'd dropped down on other teams' draft boards because of checkered pasts: Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson.
May 7, 2012
3 BOISE STATE: A FOOTBALL FACTORY?
Two Boise players were drafted in the first round—DE/LB Shea McClellin (below, far right) to the Bears at 19; RB Doug Martin (with ball) to the Bucs at 31—and six overall. That's more than Florida (2), Texas (3) and Florida State (4), none of which had players drafted in the first three rounds. Still, the biggest stunner out of Boise was that QB Kellen Moore went unselected. (He signed with the Lions as a free agent.) Scouts had concerns about Moore's height and arm strength, but you'd think a 50--3 mark as a starter would earn him a late-round flyer.
4 MIKE BROWN RESTORES THE ROAR
Special things are happening in Cincinnati, where the Bengals followed up on an outstanding 2011 draft (wideout A.J. Green; QB Andy Dalton) with an equally impressive haul this year. Physical cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (17th overall) will fit perfectly in coordinator Mike Zimmer's scheme, run-blocker Kevin Zeitler (27th) will start at guard, Devon Still (53rd) provides depth on the defensive line, and Mohamed Sanu (83rd) could be a solid complement to Green. Look for the Bengals to make back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since the 1981 and '82 seasons.
5 THE COMMISH GETS HUGGY
Something needs to be done about those on-stage greetings. What was once a perfunctory handshake between player and commissioner has evolved into a full wrap-around embrace lasting longer than a Tim Tebow overtime. Nothing wrong with showing goodwill, but it did get a little uncomfortable. So let's come up with something new, maybe a dap or a shoulder bump. Otherwise, next thing you know Hallmark will be sponsoring the first round.