The New England Patriots needed to upgrade their pass rush, and they definitely go someone capable of getting after the quarterback here. Chandler Jones is raw, and may not be a significant difference maker immediately, but he will develop into a quality starter for the Patriots.
Jones has the combination of size/athleticism to make him a perfect fit for the Patriots hybrid defense, and I have no doubt that Belichick will find a role to maximize Jones’ skills.
The Tennessee Titans didn’t fill a need with this selection, but it’s a great value pick. I had Kendall Wright in the top 10 on my draft board, so the Titans obviously did a nice job getting him at 20.
Wright is an explosive deep threat and will complement Kenny Britt well in Tennessee. Jake Locker has to be feeling great about this selection.
I’m not crazy about this pick for the Chicago Bears. Shea McClellin primarily played with his hand on the ground as a junior at Boise State and was less than impressive. As a senior they moved him around more and the really excelled in a hybrid end/linebacker role.
For this reason, I liked him as a 3-4 linebacker, but he’ll be playing a traditional end role in Chicago. As a true end, he’s probably more of a developmental prospect than I’d like to see in the top 10.
This was a dream scenario for the San Diego Chargers. They needed to add another pass rusher, but no one expected Melvin Ingram to be on the board at this point draft.
Ingram already has experience playing with his hand off the ground which should ease his transition into the Chargers 3-4 defense. His versatility could also allow the Chargers to get a little more creative on defensive if they have any interest in morphing into more of a hybrid defense, rather than the pure 3-4 which they have run in recent years.
I really like this pick for the Cincinnati Bengals. Dre Kirkpatrick has the ability to step into a starting role immediately, and gives the Bengals a very deep secondary.
He wasn’t as highly regarded around the league as most expected, but I had a solid 1st-round grade on him. He has the height to match up with the taller receivers in the league and can be valuable asset in the red zone for that reason.
I really though the New York Jets would take Melvin Ingram there, but Quinton Coples is a decent choice.
Personally, I would not have taken Coples in the 1st round due to concerns about his work ethic and overall effort. However, I can see Rex Ryan being exactly the type of coach Coples will respond to. It’s a risky move, but it fits the Jets strategy in recent years. They’re not afraid to gamble on high upside guys, and Coples can be an elite defensive end if he wants to be.
The one thing I don’t like about the pick, however, is the fact that he won’t solve their need for a pass rusher. He lacks the explosiveness to consistently get to the quarterback in the Jets defensive scheme. I like him much more as a 4-3 end, or even as a three-technique tackle.
Can I give a grade lower than F?
The Seattle Seahawks front office is nothing short of clueless when it comes to evaluating prospects. James Carpenter was a disaster of a 1st-round pick in 2011, and yet they found a way to top it here. Bruce Irvin can be a terror as a pass rusher, but he’s very raw and is not a three-down lineman at this stage in his career. Throw the character concerns on top of that, and you’ve got a guy with a huge bust factor. This pick could end up costing a number of people their job in Seattle.
This is a solid pick for the St. Louis Rams, but sort of disappointing. They really needed to add a playmaker on offense, so they better hope someone falls to them with the 33rd pick.
Michael Brockers has a ton of potential, but he’s a developmental prospect. He will probably play a minor role early in his career as they work with him to develop him into a more well-rounded lineman.
Very interesting pick by the Arizona Cardinals. In terms of value, Michael Floyd makes sense. He’s a solid mid-1st-round prospect and gives Kevin Kolb another legitimate target.
However, I’m not crazy about how he fits in Arizona. He’s not a guy who can stretch the field and Larry Fitzgerald doesn’t really do that at this stage in his career either. There is no doubt in my mind he’ll make an impact, so I still give it a solid B, but I probably would have addressed the offensive line or added a pass rusher with this selection. It sort of feels like a luxury pick for a team that can’t really afford one.
The Philadelphia Eagles have been in love with Fletcher Cox for awhile, and I’m actually a little surprised they waited this long before trading up.
I’m not as high on Cox as some, but I really like how he fits in Philly. He need to work on his performance against the run, but he’ll be used in a rotation early in his career with the Eagles, which will allow them to put him in situations that play to his strengths. He is going to make a significant impact as a rookie, even if he’s only plays roughly 2/3s of their defensive snaps.