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Delmas is a physical safety and another guy that fits the mentality that Schwartz is trying to bring to the Motor City. He was the top-ranked safety on most boards, and the Lions fill a need with his selection. Plus, as a local guy who played at Western Michigan, the Lions gain a little bit of favor with the always ruthless Lions faithful who are desperate for anything heartwarming.
The Pats like Chung's combination of athleticism and intelligence, and they felt the need for a safety since Rodney Harrison is no longer in the fold. Chung is capable of competing for playing time immediately in a New England secondary that is constantly trying to upgrade. At a minimum, Chung will be a key contributor on special teams.
Laurinaitis is exactly the type of football player the Rams and new coach Steve Spagnuolo are trying to bring to St. Louis. He is smart, coachable and obsessed with getting better. What he lacks in natural athleticism he more than makes up for with intelligence and toughness. He should start right away for the Rams.
Cleveland takes the son of a former Browns coach by grabbing a physical receiver in Brian Robiskie. Though not blessed with outstanding natural speed, Robiskie is smart, tough and technically sound. This is a safe pick in that Robiskie is thought to be ready to play right away, yet never reach NFL stardom. The Browns needed another option at receiver given the uncertain status of both Braylon Edwards and Donte Stallworth.
The Broncos give up too much in a first round pick in 2010 to get Alphonso Smith from Wake Forest. Smith is neither big nor fast, but he is consistently in the right place at the right time, and his college production is outstanding. He figures to compete for the nickelback role behind Champ Bailey and Andre Goodman as a rookie, and maybe take over for Bailey when his Hall of Fame career comes to an end.
Maualuga is a vicious tackler who is a perfect fit for what Marvin Lewis is looking to do defensively in terms of intimidating the opposition with violence. Maualuga fell to this point because many believe he is not a three-down linebacker and will have to come out on passing downs, but the Bengals are happy to get him at this spot. He also had off-field issues early in his career as a Trojan that scared off some teams, enabling the punishing tackler to last this long. Look for Maualuga to play with an enormous chip on his shoulder and make a difference as a rookie in the Queen City.
The Jags surprisingly get tackles in both the first and second round by selecting the physical junior from Arizona. Britton is equally adept at both left and right tackle, and figures to be a right tackle in Jacksonville who eventually replaces Tony Pashos -- if Pashos is not traded in the near future. Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio is making a statement as to where he thinks games are won and lost by getting the tenacious Britton.
The Pats prepare for potentially losing Vince Wilfork in free agency by getting a huge run-stuffer in Boston College defensive tackle Ron Brace. Brace is one of the only players in this draft thought to be able to man the noseguard position in a 3-4 defense. He will not give them much in the pass-rush, but he will be able to hold his ground against double teams, which is exactly what the Patriots want from that position.
Butler was a player Belichik had his eyes on for months and feels fortunate to get at No. 41. Butler is not as physical as many people would like, but he is an outstanding cover guy who was able to do a number of things for Connecticut, including taking snaps on the offensive side of the ball. Like Patrick Chung, who was taken before him, Butler has the ability to compete for playing time right away in a Patriots secondary that is perpetually trying to improve its production on the back end of the defense.
Jairus Byrd was not considered by many to be worthy of a first-day pick. The Bills continue to shy away from the left tackle spot, even though Connecticut's William Beatty is still on the board. Byrd has good size, but he is slow and not thought to be able to play great man-to-man coverage in the NFL. Seems like a good fit for a team that primarily plays zone, but the Bills felt compelled to get a young replacement for Jabari Greer, who left for New Orleans via free agency.
The Panthers move up to make their first selection of the draft once they realize that a proficient pass rusher like Everette Brown is still on the board. Brown represents fantastic value at this spot, given that many thought he might go in the first fifteen selections. Brown gives the Panthers a viable pass-rushing option on the other side of Julius Peppers, which is something Carolina was sorely lacking. Brown's speed and ability to turn the corner should pay dividends for Carolina right away.
The team that sprung the Wildcat offense on the National Football League gets the ultimate Wildcat in West Virginia's multi-talented quarterback Pat White. The presence of Chad Henne in Miami means White is unlikely to get a long look as a full-time quarterback -- he?s much more likely to be moved to receiver in the near term with his own packages out of the Wildcat. White has the arm to make most NFL throws, but his greatest asset is his athleticism and ability to make plays in space.
The Giants continue to attempt to improve their linebacking corps by taking the likely eventual replacement for Danny Clark in Sintim. Sintim was thought to be a great fit in a 3-4 defense, which is what he played for Al Groh at Virginia, but he will play the strongside spot in the Giants' 4-3 defense. He is a solid selection who should make a contribution situationally and on special teams as a rookie.
The Texans take another projected outside linebacker in Barwin, who could potentially put his hand down as a rush linebacker on obvious passing downs. Barwin is an interesting prospect because he is an outstanding natural athlete who played tight end during the first part of his career with the Cincinnati Bearcats. The combination of Barwin and Cushing gives the Texans a number of options on the defensive side of the ball, which is exactly where Houston needed the help.
The Raiders strike again by taking another player much higher than anybody anticipated. Mitchell was a solid performer for the Ohio Bobcats in the MAC, but there are better players still available and the Raiders appear to have no rhyme or reason with their selections. Mitchell will attempt to give the Raiders an upgrade over Michael Huff, who has been a huge disappointment for the Silver and Black.
The Broncos follow their foes in Oakland by taking a relatively unknown defensive back in McBath. With three free agent signings in the secondary and the additions of two defensive backs in the second round, the Broncos are making a point to get rid of everyone not named Champ Bailey in their back four. McBath is much less touted than Alphonso Smith, and he is a surprising pick given that players like D.J. Moore are still on the board.
The Seahawks bring in a relatively local player in Oregon's Max Unger, a versatile player who played both left tackle and center for the Ducks. Unger is likely to play inside in the NFL while providing depth for an offensive line that was decimated by injury in 2008. His ability to play more than one position is the major value that he provides, and he was a consistent performer in the Pac-10. His value dropped after struggling at the Senior Bowl.
The Browns take another receiver in the second round, again setting the stage to trade Braylon Edwards at some point if they get a worthy offer. Massaquoi was a productive receiver in the ultra-competitive SEC, and he was rising up the charts as of late. Massaquoi gives the Browns a pair of young players who are not divas at receiver, and both will come in hungry to prove themselves.
The Bills trade back up into the second round in order to get the top-ranked guard in this year's draft. Levitre is not a physical specimen, so he likely will not play left tackle in the NFL like he did for the Beavers. The Bills get their second interior offensive linemen; they are clearly looking to upgrade after releasing Derrick Dockery and declining to re-sign Melvin Fowler or Duke Preston. Levitre is a technician capable of starting at left guard as a rookie.
Vekuine is considered by some to be the most relentless performer available in this year's draft. He has a non-stop motor that allows him to be super-productive even though he may not be the most gifted athlete at that position. He should immediately improve the Browns paltry pass-rush and also be a demon on special teams.
The Eagles get a steal by picking the most elusive running back available in this draft in Pennsylvania native LeSean McCoy. McCoy carried a Pitt Panther program back to respectability, even though opposing defenses knew he was the only real threat. The Eagles come out of the draft looking golden by getting solid players at every position of need. McCoy will be a fantastic complement to Brian Westbrook; he can do everything that will be needed in Andy Reid's West Coast offense.
The Vikings follow the Eagles with another tremendous value by getting the right tackle some people thought they would take at No. 24. Loadhold will compete with Ryan Cook to man the right tackle spot, and he could potentially allow the Vikings to slide Cook back to his college position and compete with John Sullivan at center. Loadhold is a mountain of a man who is not athletic enough to play the left tackle position in pro football.
The Falcons continue to address the defensive side of the ball by getting a physical defender who will likely be a special teams? contributor from the word go. Some people question Moore's ability to make plays in space, but he is a physical defender who allows the Falcons to get younger in the secondary. Next pick for the Falcons should be a linebacker.
The Colts get the big defensive tackle they so desperately need to help fortify the interior of a defense that got run over at times during the 2008 season. Moala has the physical ability to be a very good starter in the NFL, but his performance at USC was up and down. The Colts hope they can get Moala to play to the best of his abilities on a consistent basis and take up double teams in Larry Coyer's new defense.
The rich get richer as the Ravens select an overaged prospect who is a perfect fit for their defense. Kruger is both strong and fast while displaying the intensity it takes to play alongside Ray Lewis. Kruger will become a stud in Baltimore, just like Justin Bannan and Kelly Gregg. Ozzie Newsome and company get it done again in Baltimore with their selection of Kruger.
The Patriots take a player not expected to go on the first day in the rugged Vollmer. The Pats' history with offensive linemen in the draft gives them the benefit of the doubt, as Vollmer will compete to be the starting right tackle in New England. The Pats only draft linemen who are mentally and physically tough, and Vollmer is both of those things.
The Panthers gets the defensive back they need after releasing Ken Lucas in a cost-cutting maneuver. Players from Troy like Osi Umenyiora, DeMarcus Ware and Leodis McKelvin and have also panned out, so a track record is there. Look for Martin to be a nickelback in Year 1 and contribute on special teams.
The Giants get tremendous value with William Beatty even though he is not a position of need. Kareem McKenzie's health means the Giants have to start looking ahead to the long term, and Beatty has the pass protection skills to play right away without embarrassing himself. Giants GM Jerry Reese shows he knows the value of getting good football players and stockpiling depth in the trenches.
Bill Parcells loves big players, and no corner comes bigger that former Utah Ute Sean Smith. Smith has a unique combination of size and speed, and he could slide over to safety if he lacks the agility to play corner in the NFL. At a minimum, he should be a force on the Dolphins special teams units. He?ll also give the Dolphins some positional flexibility because of his ability to play both safety and corner.
The Titans take the first step toward replacing Albert Haynesworth by getting a talented player in Marks. Marks is an inconsistent performer that Jeff Fisher thinks will be able to excel in a one-gap penetrating scheme. The Titans would be happy if they get from Marks what they got from Jason Jones last year.
A fourth player from Connecticut gets taken on Day 1 of the draft, and he gives the Cardinals another pass rusher. Brown is stronger at the point of attack than people realize, and he still has room to improve as a run defender. His numbers in the Big East speak for themselves, and Ken Whisenhunt gets a player in the Pittsburgh Steeler outside linebacker mold.
The Broncos finish up the second round by trading with the Steelers in order to take Quinn. He was behind Jared Cook and Cornelius Ingram on most draft boards, but Quinn's selection enables the Broncos to potentially trade Tony Schreffler and team Quinn with Daniel Graham. Josh McDaniels is following the New England model of stockpiling players at tight end to provide versatility.
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