- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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WHO WERE the winners last weekend? Who were the losers? Dr. Z presents his top five in each category, plus one team for which the final ruling may take a while.
BRONCOS Mike Shanahan ought to be jailed for theft. First he moved up in the first round to get Jay Cutler, rated the No. 1 QB by some scouts. Then he made another terrific trade, sending a second-round choice to the Packers for veteran wideout Javon Walker, who caught 89 balls two years ago and is only 27. Add second-round pick Tony Scheffler, whose 4.54 was second only to the amazing Vernon Davis among TEs at the combine, and fourth-rounder Brandon Marshall, a cocky 6'4 1/2", 229-pound WR, and Denver has the makings of an offensive monster.
JETS When New York went for the best offensive lineman, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, instead of QB Matt Leinart, there were more cheers in Radio City Music Hall than boos. One fan in the balcony pointed to his head. Smart! Adding the best center on the board, Nick Mangold, with its second choice in the first round showed that the club is serious about protecting its QB, whoever it might be.
CARDINALS They got lucky and landed Leinart. Then they added G Deuce Lutui, who some people felt was the heart of the Southern Cal O-line, and a huge (6'7 1/2", 258 pounds), athletically gifted TE, Leonard Pope.
49ERS I like the pure athleticism of their top three picks: TE Davis, whose 4.38 at the combine someday will be inscribed on a monument; DE- LB Manny Lawson, only slightly slower at 4.43; and tiny (5'9 1/2", 179 pounds) WR Brandon Williams, who'll make old Niners fans misty-eyed with memories of Freddie Solomon.
DROPPED THE BALL
TEXANS Couldn't pull the trigger on the Bush contract, then laid it off on an overwhelming urge to fortify the defense with DE Mario Williams. Right. Now tell us about the sea captain and the mermaid.
BILLS Nothing against the top pick, S Donte Whitner, but when your offense finished 28th and your passing attack 29th, and your first five picks were all for defense, I'd say it's a case of misplaced aggression.