Ryan McCrystal

2010 Draft Grades: Jaguars

Wow, where do I even start with this…

I can honestly say that no 1st-round pick has ever shocked me as much as seeing Tyson Alualu go 10th overall. I’ve heard some people defend Gene Smith by saying only time will tell whether it was a bad pick. I disagree 100%. Only time will tell if Bradford was a bad pick for the Rams or Suh a bad pick for the Lions, etc. But Alualu was a bad for the Jaguars no matter what happens.

There’s simply no way that any other team had him graded as a top-20 pick. Some likely didn’t even have him graded as a 2nd-round pick. After the Jaguars selected Alualu 10th overall, both the 11th and 12th picks were promptly traded – further making the Jags look foolish. They easily could have traded with San Diego (who eventually traded up to No. 12) and taken Alualu in the late 1st round. Or at the very least, traded back to No. 13 with the 49ers (who traded up to No. 11) and at least gotten something in return.

Despite my criticisms of the pick, I do need to say this: I really like Tyson Alualu. I was fully prepared to praise someone for grabbing him in the early 2nd round, or even the late 1st (maybe the Colts or Saints). However, he does have his flaws. He’s a pass-rushing interior lineman, but may not have the size and strength to excel at the next level. As much as  like him, he just wasn’t worth a top-10 pick.

If the selection of Alualu wasn’t bad enough, they spent their next pick on another defensive tackle, D’Anthony Smith. I can understand adding one tackle, as it allowed them to release John Henderson, but two? Terrence Knighton was impressive as a rookie last year and I don’t see how Smith fits into their plans as anything more than a backup.

They finally added some pass rushers in the 5th round with Larry Hart and Austen Lane. Although I wonder if Hart will eventually be switched to strong-side linebacker. He’s slightly undersized and may not be a great fit for playing with his hand on the ground in the NFL. I love the selection of Lane, however. I think he can be groomed as the eventual replacement for Aaron Kampman.

Deji Karim could be a steal in the 6th round. I like him a lot, but the only problem is, he may be too similar to Maurice Jones-Drew. Both are small bowling ball-type running backs. For that reason, I think he’ll struggle to beat out Rashad Jennings as the backup job. They need someone who’s a change of pace from Jones-Drew, not a clone.

Scotty McGee was a questionable 6th-round pick. There were better return specialists on the board. I’m rarely surprised to see a name come off the board by the 6th round, but I was genuinely surprised to hear his name called at all on draft day. They did need a return specialist, however, so I can’t argue too much with taking a chance on one in that late in the draft.

This was a terrible draft from start to finish. Gene Smith, who put together a fairly impressive 2009 draft class, embarrassed himself with the selection of Tyson Alualu. If Alualu fails to pan out, he’ll be out of a job sooner rather than later. For a franchise that desperately needed to make a splash to excite the fan base, they failed miserably.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2010, Jaguars Comments Off

2010 Draft Grades: Texans

The Texans did a great job filling needs in this draft, but I think they reached a little too often to do so. They’re feeling the pressure to win now, which can sometimes lead to poor draft-day decisions.

I like Kareem Jackson, but he wasn’t worth a top-20 pick. They obviously looked at their starting cornerbacks (Brice McCain and Quin Glover) and panicked. With Ryan Mathews off the board, probably their only non-cornerback option in the 1st-round, they were dead-set on taking a corner. Unfortunately there just wasn’t anyone other than Haden worth a top-20 pick.

Their 2nd-round selection of Ben Tate also reeks of them locking in on one positions and insisting on filling it with that pick. They simply couldn’t enter 2010 with Steve Slaton as their starting running back. After missing out on Mathews in the 1st round, they had to address the need in the 2nd. Tate can be a nice compliment to Slaton but he wasn’t worth the 58th overall pick in the draft. They should have rolled the dice that Tate or a comparable running back would be available in the 3rd round.

Once again in the 3rd round they reached to fill a need. Their defensive tackles have all been career underacheivers, especially starters Amobi Okoye and Shaun Cody. I don’t disagree with addressing the need, but Earl Mitchell is too raw to have an instant impact. He has upside, but it will take some time to develop him into a starter. This just wasn’t a good fit for Mitchell. He’s the type of player that would have benefited from playing behind a proven veteran for a year or two.

In the 4th round they reached again, this time to add depth at linebacker. Darryl Sharpton is a versatile linebacker who can backup DeMeco Ryans on the inside or compete for playing time at the weak-side position. By the 4th round reaches don’t look as bad, but it doesn’t change the fact that there were better players on the board.

I love the selection if Garrett Graham in the 5th round. He is a very similar player to fellow Badger Owen Daniels. No one will be expecting Graham to see much playing time as a rookie, but he’ll provide insurance behind Daniels who missed nearly the entire 2009 season with an ACL injury.

Sherrick McManis has limited upside, but they needed to add more depth at cornerback. He’ll play special teams and be a 4th or 5th option at cornerback if the makes the roster.

I was surprised that the Texans waited until the 6th round to address their interior offensive line. Shelley Smith doesn’t have much upside, but he could see playing time as a rookie if for no other reason than the Texans don’t have many other options.

Trindon Holliday will be an interesting player to watch in 2010. Given his size (5’5″, 159 pounds), its hard to imagine him doing anything other than returning kicks and punts. But can he even win that job over Andre’ Davis and Jacoby Jones? I hope he does just for the entertainment factor of seeing the NFL’s version of Earl Boykins returning kicks.

I was absolutely shocked that Dorin Dickerson fell to the 7th round. The issue is obvious that he doesn’t have a true position. He’s too small to play tight end or wide receiver. He’s built like a running back, but has no experience there. But despite all that, he’s too athletic not to give a shot to play somewhere. Even if he plays a very limited role, plays can be designed for him to create mismatches. I think the Texans got themselves a steal, so long as they’re willing to work him into the game plan.

This was a make-or-break draft for the Texans. Either Jackson and Tate make an immediate impact and push the Texans over the top and into the playoffs, or Gary Kubiak will be pushed out the door. The Texans have been just on the outside of legitimately competing for a few years now and they’re starting to grow impatient with Kubiak’s inability to get them into the playoffs. You have to give them credit for takings risks, but if they don’t work out, the next regime will look at this draft as the reason why they’ve been set back 2-3 years.

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2010 Draft Grades: Colts

Simply put, I expect more from the Colts. They’ve been an elite franchise for a full decade now, and while Peyton Manning deserves a lot of credit for that, Bill Polian has been a key piece of that puzzle as well. But if this draft is any indication, the Colts are quickly headed in the wrong direction.

Jerry Hughes definitely had value in the late 1st round, so I can’t argue with the pick too much, but the Colts had other needs. Hughes will only be a backup to Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis early in his career. In time, he could certainly prove to be worth a late-1st-round pick, but I don’t see him playing a significant role in helping them win another Super Bowl in the next 2-3 years. At least not as long as Freeney and Mathis are around.

In the 2nd round the Colts reached way off the board for Pat Angerer. I love the way he plays the game, but he’s simply not a 2nd-round pick. To make matters worse, he doesn’t fill a need. He’ll likely begin his career on special teams and as a backup to Gary Brackett.

Kevin Thomas finally filled a need, but the Colts didn’t need another a mid-round cornerback on the roster. He’ll add to their depth, but ultimately he’ll just blend in with the mediocre play of Jacob Lacey, Jerraud Powers and Kelvin Hayden.

If Thomas and Angerer were reaches, I’m not sure what to call the selection of Jacques McClendon. They really didn’t need to add depth on the offensive line. What they needed was an upgrade at one or more of the positions on the line. McClendon won’t provide that; at least not immediately.

Brody Eldridge was yet another terrible reach. I wasn’t surprised to see them select a tight end, but there were plenty of others that would have been a better fit. They have a solid one-two punch with Clark (the pass-catcher) and Santi (the blocker). Eldrige will have a hard time making the roster. Even Gijon Robinson and Jacob Tamme have a leg up on him right now.

The Colts needed a defensive tackle, but they needed an upgrade, not more depth. Ricardo Mathews will struggle to earn playing time behind backups Fili Moala and Eric Foster, let alone starters Antonio Johnson and Daniel Muir.

Kavell Conner is vastly undersized, but he was productive in college. He’ll likely be given a chance to compete for playing time at strong-side linebacker. Its one of the weakest positions on the Colts defense, so he just may earn a roster spot. That said, this was a position that needed to be addressed earlier in the draft.

I think Ray Fisher was a great 7th-round pick. He’ll be buried on the cornerback depth chart, but he’s an explosive return specialist. He may turn out to be the only Colts rookie to make a significant impact as a rookie.

Overall, this was a very disappointing draft for the Colts. Even if some of their picks turn into quality players down the road, they needed to add some immediate help. The window of opportunity to win another Super Bowl with Peyton Manning is closing fast. He’s 34 years old and Colts should have done more to surround him with players that can help them win immediately. The offensive line struggled in the Super Bowl and was a weakness all season long. They should have added more than Jacques McClendon to help fix that issue. Additionally, they could have used an early-round cornerback or strong-side linebacker. If i didn’t like Jerry Hughes as much as I do, this draft would deserve a failing grade.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Colts, Draft Grades - 2010 4 Comments

2010 Draft Grades: Bengals

The selection of Jermaine Gresham came as no surprise to anyone, and it was one of the better picks of the 1st round. They’ve needed and tight end for years, and they’ve finally give Carson Palmer the weapon he deserves. He could be in position to have a huge rookie season if they decide to work him into their game plan from day one.

Talent-wise, Carlos Dunlap could be a steal in the 2nd round. But not in Cincinnati. When are the Bengals going to learn that you can’t continue to surround yourself with players with significant character concerns. When you put players like Dunlap in a locker room like the Bengals’, its a recipe for disaster.

I really like the selection of Jordan Shipley in the 3rd round. I think he’s a perfect compliment to Chad Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant. He should be an immediate contributor.

Brandon Ghee fell further than most expect and could be a late 3rd round steal. He won’t be asked to start, but will provide a huge upgrade to the depth in their secondary.

Geno Atkins may have been a slight reach in the 4th round, but they needed to improve the depth on their interior defensive line. I like his chance to be a contributor in the rotation from day one.

Roddrick Muckelroy is one of those players who’s production in college doesn’t match his physical skills. He doesn’t look like an NFL player, but its hard to ignore the fact that he played a significant role on one of the best defenses in college football. He may have been a reach, but should make an instant impact on special teams.

Otis Hudson was a reach, even in the 5th round. They needed to add depth to the offensive line, but they should have targeted a player who can make a more immediate impact. Hudson may not be ready to play as a rookie.

I was surprised that Dezmon Briscoe fell to the 6th round and even more surprised that he was taken after fellow Jayhawk receiver Kerry Meier. He could be a steal for the Bengals. He’s prototypical possession receiver and should be able to learn a lot from Ochocinco and Bryant. This was an ideal spot for him to land. There will be no pressure to perform early on and he can learn from two accomplished veterans.

Reggie Stephens will probably has a better chance to play as a rookie than Hudson. He can play guard or center and his versatility will make it easier for the Bengals to keep him on the roster. He has the size to be a dominant run blocker and should work his way into their rotation as a backup even though his ceiling is limited.

Overall this was a very solid draft for the Bengals. They’re ready to win now, and they gave Carson Palmer who weapons who can contribute immediately. I have very serious concerns about the selection of Carlos Dunlap, but that’s to be expected of the Bengals every April. A better 3rd day of the draft would have put them over the top, but this was still a good draft for Cincinnati for both the short and long term.

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2010 Draft Grades: Steelers

Its been assumed for months that the Steelers would address their interior line with their 1st-round pick, and that decision was made easier by the suspension of Ben Roethlisberger. Without their franchise quarterback, the Steelers will become more of a power running team and Maurkice Pouncey will be a key piece of the equation to make that work. He should start from day one at right guard and eventually move to center to replace Justin Hartwig.

I thought they reached a little for Jason Worilds. They needed to add depth at outside linebacker, but there were better players on the board in the 2nd round.

I also felt that Emmanuel Sanders was a reach. I’m wary of any receiver that comes from a June Jones offense. He’s undersized and just seems a little too similar to Mike Wallace. If the Steelers were going to add a receiver in this draft I would have liked to see them add a bigger possession receiver. Limas Sweed has been a huge disappointment and its time for the to move on and find someone else to fill that role.

I love the pick of Thaddeus Gibson in the 4th round. I gave him a 2nd-round grade and him rated ahead of Worilds. He’s more raw than Worilds but has a more upside, especially as a pass rusher. He likely won’t see much immediate playing time, but I love his chances of turning out to be the gem of this draft class for the Steelers.

Chris Scott is an unspectacular pick in the 5th round, but adds some necessary depth. He isn’t a future starter, but he can play guard and tackle and should have a long career as a backup for that reason.

Crezdon Butler fills an obvious need, but I was surprised that the Steelers didn’t grab a cornerback until the 5th round. They did trade for Bryant McFadden on draft day, but he isn’t the answer to their problems either.

Stevenson Sylvester was a tremendously productive college linebacker who will likely play inside in the Steelers 3-4 scheme. However, I don’t see him as anything more than a special teams contributor in the NFL. There were better players on the board at that spot.

I want to love the selection of Jonathan Dwyer, but I have reservations about declaring it a slam dunk pick. I graded Dwyer as a 2nd-round selection. I knew at the time that most had him graded lower that that, but I never envisioned a situation in which a player with his size and speed would fall to the 6th round. When a player with that much talent falls that far without an obvious explanation, I start to wonder if there’s something that only the teams who interviewed him are aware of.

I really like the selection of Antonio Brown. In fact, I had him rated a few spots higher than Emmanuel Sanders. They’re similar players, but Brown had much more value in the 6th round than Sanders in the 3rd.

Doug Worthington could also turn out to be a late-round steal for the Steelers. He’s a prototypical 3-4 defensive end. He has the size for the position and the athleticism to make some plays as well.

This was a solid draft for the Steelers, but they only landed one player who will contribute immediately (Pouncey). Their other picks are more developmental prospects who will be brought along slowly. Worilds and Gibson could be come cornerstones of their defense in a few years, but the Steelers really needed to land some players who can contribute now.

The biggest thing missing from this draft was an impact cornerback. There were plenty of guys on the board in the 2nd and 3rd round who could have added immediate depth to the position. Overall, this draft was filled with a few too many reaches and not enough players who projects as potential starters.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2010, Steelers Comments Off

2010 Draft Grades: Browns

The Browns had to be devastated to see Eric Berry come off the board at No. 5 to the Chiefs. It left them without an obvious pick in the 1st round.

Joe Haden was an acceptable option, but a team with so many holes should avoid adding to an area of relative strength early in the draft. Eric Wright and Sheldon Brown are a solid duo of starting corners and, compared to the rest of the team, represent one of the few strengths on the depth chart.

T.J. Ward was a huge reach in the early 2nd round. Since high school his career has been filled with injuries. When healthy, he’s shown the ability to be a future NFL starter, but there’s no reason to believe that he’ll suddenly be able to stay out of the trainers room. It looks as though the Browns reached to fill a position of need.

I have the same criticisms of Montario Hardesty as I do about Ward. When healthy, he looks great. But he just can’t stay on the field. During his career he’s suffered a torn ACL, an ankle sprain and a broken leg. There’s just no reason to believe a running back with a history of injuries will be able to withstand the pounding of the NFL over the course of a 16-game season.

In the 3rd round they finally got their quarterback. While I think Colt McCoy could be a steal in the 3rd round, I’m actually not crazy about the pick. The Browns obviously had no intention of drafting McCoy, and Mike Holmgren hasn’t even tried to deny that fact. They never thought he’d be on the board at No. 85. Based on that fact, I don’t like the selection. If they don’t view McCoy as a potential franchise quarterback [he wasn't even the top player on their board at No. 85] then why take him at all? All this does is potentially dissuade them from spending their 2011 1st-round pick on a true franchise quarterback [Jake Locker? Ryan Mallett? Andrew Luck?].

Shaun Lauvoa was a great pickup in the late 3rd round. The former left tackle has an excellent chance to replace Pork Chop Womack as the starting right guard.

Larry Asante is a potential steal in the 5th round. He’s an ideal strong safety and should be able to contribute immediately on special teams and as Abram Elam’s backup.

I absolutely love the selection of Carlton Mitchell. He’s very raw, but he was mentioned as a potential 3d-round pick entering the draft based on potential alone. He has all the tools necessary to develop into a true No. 1 receiver – a position which the Browns are currently lacking.

Clifton Geathers has a chance to be another late-round steal. He’s a prototypical 3-4 defensive end. Kenyon Coleman and Robaire Smith don’t exactly have a stranglehold on the starting jobs, so Geathers could have an outside shot at winning a starting job before the season is over. That’s a lofty expectation for a 6th-round pick, but I think its a reasonable goal for Geathers.

Overall this was a fairly uninspiring draft for the Browns. If Colt McCoy develops into a future star, we’ll look at this draft as the turning point of the franchise, but the odds are greater that he never plays a game for the Browns. As a 3rd-round pick they have virtually nothing invested in him. They passed over him an injury-prone running back and safety – not exactly giving off the impression that they view him as the answer to their quarterback problems.

Ultimately the most disappointing aspect of this draft is the fact that Browns may not have landed a single player who will be a regular starter in 2010. Even Haden will have to beat out either Wright or Brown. For a team with so many holes to fill, that’s the very definition of a disappointing draft.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Browns, Draft Grades - 2010 1 Comment

2010 Draft Grades: Ravens

The Ravens did a great job trading out of the 1st round and still managing to land a 1st-round talent in the 2nd round.

Sergio Kindle is a perfect fit at outside linebacker in Baltimore. While their defense is still based off the 3-4 scheme, they have been running more 4-3 sets lately and Kindle is a much better fit at outside linebacker in those formations than Jarrett Johnson. He’ll likely backup Johnson this upcoming season, but he should see significant playing time as part of the rotation.

Terrence Cody was a great pick in the late 2nd-round. He obviously doesn’t fill an immediate need, but he can be used in a rotation at nose tackle with 33-year-old Kelly Gregg. That combination will suit both players well and should improve what was already one of the best defensive lines in football.

I’m not crazy about the selection of Ed Dickson. He can contribute immediately as a receiver, but his blocking needs a lot of work. He just isn’t the complete package that the Ravens like at tight end. However, I think they got great value for Dennis Pitta in the 4th round. He’s much closer to a Todd Heap-type tight end and I like his chances of eventually replacing Heap better than Dickson’s. That said, I don’t like the fact that they grabbed two tight ends in spots where other contributors could have been added.

David Reed is an intriguing prospect, but I felt the reached a little bit in the 5th round. Fortunately he won’t be relied on this upcoming season. For the short term, the Ravens are set a receiver, allowing them to develop Reed without throwing him into the fire.

Arthur Jones was a great late 5th-round pick. Entering the 2009 season he was viewed as a potential 1st-round pick. However, he has a long history of knee injuries which scared off most teams. If he can stay healthy, he’ll be an instant contributor at defensive end for the Ravens. He’s a very nice addition to their rotation on the defensive line and well worth the risk in the 5th round.

Ramone Harewood is a developmental prospect and landed in the perfect place in Baltimore. He fits the mold of a typical Ravens tackle (6’7″, 360 pounds) and they’ll try to groom him for a starting job two to three years down the road. He may spend the 2010 season on the practice squad, but in the 6th round they could afford to grab a developmental prospect that won’t bring any immediate returns.

Overall, this was a very solid draft for the Ravens. For the most part, they got excellent value at each slot and a few players that can contribute immediately. The only downside is that they didn’t land any immediate difference makers. They have every reason to believe that they can be a Super Bowl contender in 2010, so it was surprising to see them fail to address more needs early one. They have a number of injury concerns at cornerback (Lardarius Webb, Dominique Foxworth) and adding some insurance at that position would have made sense.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2010, Ravens Comments Off

2010 Draft Grades: Bills

I guess this is what you get when you hire a 70-year-old first-time GM. Buddy Nix has been a well-respected scout for years, but he’s simply not suited to be the general manager in Buffalo.

C.J. Spiller was one of the worst picks of the 1st round. Entering the draft the Bills had needs at just about every position, including some positions that had great value in the top 10. Dan Williams and Anthony Davis would have made perfect sense. A case could have been made for Jimmy Clausen. Even Dez Bryant would have filled a need. The one position that they didn’t need to address was running back.

On top of that, I don’t view C.J. Spiller as a top-10 talent. I know many do, but I believe he’s too small to be an elite running back in the NFL. His defenders will point to Chris Johnson, but he’s the exception to the rule.

I give the Bills credit for realizing that Kyle Williams can’t play nose tackle and addressing that need in the 2nd round, but Torrell Troup? I like Troup, but he isn’t better than Terrence Cody, Cam Thomas or Linval Joseph. At best, he was the 4th-best nose tackle on the board. I gave him a 3rd-round grade, and even that was generous due to the fact that he plays a premium position.

As much as I disliked the first two picks, I love the selection of Alex Carrington. I think he’s a perfect fit at defensive end in their new 3-4 scheme. They really needed to address the defensive line and they did a great job recognizing that as a serious hole that needed to be filled.

I also like the selection of Marcus Easley in the 4th round. He came out of no where and put up huge numbers at Connecticut this past season. You should always be wary of one-year wonders, but in the 4th round he was well worth the risk. They need a No. 2 behind Lee Evans and Easley could potentially fill that role as early as this season.

Ed Wang had value in the 5th round, but its concerning that they didn’t address the offensive line until day three of the draft. He’s a career underachiever who may be put in a tough position in Buffalo if they ask him to start early on.

Arthur Moats and Danny Batten will both likely move to linebacker in Buffalo. They’re developmental prospects, but they should see time early on. The Bills needed to add depth at linebacker in order to make the transition to a 3-4 defense.

Levi Brown was a solid 7th-round pick. He’s a developmental prospect with some upside, but the Bills really needed to find someone earlier in the draft. The Bills just don’t have the veteran presence at quarterback for Brown to learn from. This was a less-than-ideal landing spot for him.

I love the pick of Kyle Calloway in the 7th round. I was surprised to see him fall this far. He doesn’t have a high ceiling, but he can certainly contribute and provide some much needed depth on their defensive line.

Overall, the Bills made some nice mid and late-round picks. However, they failed to find a franchise quarterback or a left tackle – the two positions that were far and away their biggest needs. This is the type of draft that simply destroys a franchise. The Bills are fading fast as an organization and they needed a solid draft to avoid joining the likes of the Raiders, Browns, Lions and Rams as the perennial bottom dwellers of the league. Based on their inability to address key areas of need, they all but guaranteed themselves of another top-10 selection in 2010.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Bills, Draft Grades - 2010 1 Comment

2010 Draft Grades: Jets

Considering what they had to work with, the Jets did alright for themselves. They added a few players that can contribute, but nothing special.

I really like Kyle Wilson but I just don’t see how he makes sense for the Jets as a 1st-round pick. They’re set at cornerback with Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis, making Wilson the likely nickel corner. He’s a perfect fit for that role, but why spend a 1st-round pick on that position? A pass rusher such as Jerry Hughes or Sergio Kindle would have made more sense.

I also have concerns about the selection of Vladimir Ducasse. I love him as a developmental prospect, but it appears as though the Jets are plugging him at left guard from day one. He was completely over-matched at the Senior Bowl and I just don’t see how he’ll be able to handle himself as a starter in the NFL as a rookie. His potential is unlimited, but I wouldn’t want to rely on him as a starter early in his career.

I think Joe McKnight is a perfect fit for the Jets in the 4th round. They clearly had concerns about Leon Washington’s health before trading him to Seattle and McKnight should be able to fill that role. I don’t think he’s as explosive as Washington, but he’ll still be able to fill his role in the Jets offense.

They may have reached for John Conner in the 5th round, but they view him as the eventual replacement for Tony Richardson at fullback. Richardson is 38, so a starting job could open up for Conner sooner rather than later.

I have very mixed feelings about the Jets draft as a whole. With just four picks they managed to get three players who will see significant playing time as rookies. However, I think took the best available player (Kyle Wilson) at a time when a slight reach for a need may have made more sense. And then they addressed needs later in the draft, putting them in a position where they’ll need to rely on rookies in 2010 when they may not be ready for the NFL.

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2010 Draft Grades: Dolphins

This was a typical Bill Parcells draft. Very few risks, and heavy on the defensive front seven.

I love the selection of Jared Odrick in the 1st round. 3-4 defensive ends don’t get much love in the NFL, but they’re a key piece to that defensive scheme. Odrick, who played tackle at Penn State, is a perfect fit. He’ll be able to fill the role that Chris Canty and Marcus Spears played for Parcells in Dallas. He should start immediately, likely bumping Phillip Merling from the starting lineup.

Koa Misi, a defensive end at Utah, will make the transition to linebacker in Miami. He’ll be given every opportunity to win a starting job opposite Cameron Wake from day one. He may have come off the board a little early, but I can’t object to the position which was addressed. It was a very serious need for Miami entering the draft.

John Jerry is another very solid 3rd round selection. He has the size to be a dominant run-blocking interior lineman. My only concern is that his lack of athleticism may hurt Miami’s ability to run the Wildcat to his side of the field. Their Wildcat packages recquires linemen to be able to move and Jerry’s size simply limited his mobility.

A.J. Edds is another typical Parcells selection. There’s absolutely nothing special about him, but he’s a hard worker and will be an excellent special teams player. He doesn’t have a very high ceiling, but the Dolphins will find a place for him to contribute.

When they first selected Nolan Carroll I wondered if they may move him to free safety. Their depth at cornerback is more than adequate and both starters are 2009 draft picks. However, the selection of Reshad Jones may have thrown that theory out the window. I was in the minority in my opinion of Jones, but I had him rated as an early 2nd-round pick. He’s a steal in the 5th round and Miami is a perfect fit. He could easily win the starting free safety job of Tyron Culver.

Chris McCoy and Austin Spitler are very similar players. Both have limited upside but will contribute immediately on special teams. I like both selections, but I do wonder if the Dolphins may have overloaded on linebackers. It will be difficult to keep them all on the roster.

Overall this was a very solid draft. They grabbed a number of players who can contribute immediate and nearly every pick filled a need. My only concern is that they failed to grab a true impact player. While all their picks should have a role, none of them looks like a true difference maker. This very much looks like the draft of  a team that feels they’re one or two pieces away from competing for a Super Bowl title. They put needs ahead of talent on their draft board. It could prove to be a smart move, but if they missed on two or three of their early-round selections, then this draft will come back to haunt them within the next few years.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Dolphins, Draft Grades - 2010 1 Comment