Saturday, April 26, 2008

The NFC West - Day One

by: Chris Sullivan/Michael Steffes

So, how did our division do? Its obviously a little early to say, but two things are clear... some teams made some picks that LOOK like they should be very good. The Rams had to grab Long and they did, they will be better because of it. However, they also grabbed Avery... what?! They get the award for best and worst pick of the day. Craftiest pick of the day I'll give to our boys trading to snag Carlson... Lets hope it was worth losing the third!

Below is a draft of our picks and the ESPN grade and ranks for each.

Pick # Player Team Scouts Grade Position Rank Overall Rank
2 Chris Long St Louis 98 1 1
16 Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Arizona 93 3 19
28 Lawrence Jackson Seattle 88 5 33
29 Kentwan Balmer San Fran 93 3 20
33 Donnie Avery St Louis 68 14 109
38 John Carlson Seattle 83 3 54
39 Chilo Rachel San Fran 81 2 65
50 Calais Campbell Arizona 86 7 48

To See Michael's Analysis on the division

To me I think the Cardinals did a very good job strengthening their defense. Their coverage and front should be better. However both of those players have boom or bust potential.

The Niners added to their lines which is always a smart strategy. I had previously been hard on them for not addressing their line up until now. However, the did have one of the historically worst offenses in history and did very little to put energy into that. I guess the feeling is that if Gore does better, that and the addition of Mike Martz should be enough to jump start things.

The Rams added to key positions, but I wonder if they got marketably better. Long will obviously be a core player on their defense for years to come. I agree with Chris though, Avery was out of the blue. While he has speed, he was rarely playing against anything resembling a pro level corner. He will be interesting to watch.

I really like what the Hawks did. However, as is pretty standard with the Hawks, day two is where Tim Ruskell will make his money. Both Jackson and Carlson are as sure of bets as you can find to become starters, but Ruskell will have to find another starter or two late to make this a great draft. Good thing there are a bunch of good players at need positions still on the board. Look for the Hawks to try and do a little maneuvering tomorrow. As reader Realsp pointed out to me, the extra 7th, which would be a throw away pick to most teams actually helps the Hawks because they can use it to fill a hole on special teams with a kicker or long snapper and ensure they get some quality competition at those spots in camp.