Team-by-team draft thoughts (cont.)
What I liked: The Broncos wanted to get younger and more physical on the interior of their offensive line and they did exactly that by drafting Zane Beadles, J.D. Walton, and Eric Olson.
What I didn't: Moving up to draft Tim Tebow. Even the NFL people that are high on him say he will be a two- or-three-year project, which makes this selection a luxury the Broncos really couldn't afford.
Moving forward: Josh McDaniels' team better get off to a fast start and sustain it this year; otherwise the fans and media will start calling for Tebow to play before he is ready. That could be a disaster for everyone involved and something Denver clearly wants to avoid.
What I liked: Taking Ndamukong Suh with the second overall pick. He was the best defensive player in college football in years and the best player in the draft and the Lions didn't overthink it, they just took him.
What I didn't: Moving back up into the first round to take Cal running back Jahvid Best. The Lions likely could have sat at their spot in the second round and still gotten Best, whose concussion last season is a concern, especially considering the new mandates surrounding head injuries in the NFL.
Moving forward: General manager Martin Mayhew and head coach Jim Schwartz continue to make a lot of solid moves and the city of Detroit has more reason for optimism with their football team than they have had in years.
What I liked: Sitting and waiting yet still getting a top-ten talent in Bryan Bulaga at a position of need at No. 23 overall. He'll contribute as a rookie and may even start at right tackle.
What I didn't: Not drafting any young, developmental cornerbacks. Al Harris and Charles Woodson have been so good for so long, but they can't play forever.
Moving forward: If the Packers defense hadn't let them down in the postseason they could have made a playoff run. Minor improvements on both sides of the ball will allow them to have that chance again this year.
What I liked: The Texans drafting players at their two biggest positions of need in the first and second round.
What I didn't: The players they took at those two positions of need. They must have had higher grades on Kareem Jackson and Ben Tate than they did on Kyle Wilson and Toby Gerhart but those four players' careers will now be compared in perpetuity.
Moving forward: The Texans took a step forward last year by having their first winning season. Whether or not they have done enough to take another step is up for debate at this point.
What I liked: Getting another outside pass rusher in TCU standout Jerry Hughes. His presence will allow Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to stay productive and healthy.
What I didn't: Failure to address the offensive line. If they were going to cut a player like Ryan Lilja, you'd think they would have better replacements in the pipeline.
Moving forward: Different season, same result. As long as Peyton Manning is standing, the Colts will win 12-plus games in the regular season and be in the mix.
What I liked: The amount of small-school prospects the Jags selected. G.M. Gene Smith appears to believe that players from the FCS division of college football are consistently undervalued, and I agree with him.
What I didn't: Would have liked to have seen the Jags move down a couple of slots and acquire an extra pick before selecting Tyson Alualu in the first round.
Moving forward: Smith's first draft a year ago was so good that anyone that would be prone to criticize him would be better served to wait and watch before they knock his draft picks this season.
What I liked: Drafting the premier playmaker on defense in the draft in Tennessee safety Eric Berry even though some thought that was too high to take a safety.
What I didn't: Not getting another option at quarterback in case Matt Cassel is not the long-term franchise player they thought he would be. They could have gotten Charlie Weis disciple Jimmy Clausen in the second round and arguably should have if Clausen is as good as Weis says he is.
Moving forward: The Chiefs had a stellar draft that should really help their overall roster and depth. Javier Arenas, Dexter McCluster, Jon Asamoah, and Tony Moeaki in particular all have an excellent opportunity to help the cause as rookies.
What I liked: Trading this year's second-round pick as well as next year's second in order to get a true difference-maker in Brandon Marshall from Denver. First-round pick Jared Odrick was the best pure 3-4 defensive end in the draft.
What I didn't: Offensive guard John Jerry was an underachiever in college and could be the latest in a long line of Parcells draft picks along the interior offensive line that have not panned out as hoped.
Moving forward: Marshall's ability to get on the same page early in the season with Chad Henne could be the difference between a playoff season or not in South Florida.
What I liked: Picking up the running back complement to Adrian Peterson in Gerhart that the Vikings had to have. Fourth-rounder Everson Griffen also has a chance to learn for a year and then replace Ray Edwards if Minnesota can't re-sign him.
What I didn't: Picking cornerback Chris Cook with their first pick. The Vikings should have found a way to move up a pick or two and get Wilson once he began to fall further than anticipated.
Moving forward: Now that the draft is over the Brett Favre watch will officially begin. Can he possibly play as well as he did last year?
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