How to assess
this draft? I give the first-round run of seven offensive tackles (above) an A,
but beyond that letter grades are out, groupings are in. These are the teams
that got me thinking.
NEED, AND WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?
Start with the finest and most dedicated LB, Keith Rivers. Third-rounder
Patrick Sims is a 310-pound DT who'll shore up the middle. WRs Jerome Simpson
and Andre Caldwell help cover the loss of Chris Henry and the moods of Chad
Breathtakingly fast RB Felix Jones will team with Marion Barber. Mike Jenkins,
a quality CB, will pair with Terence Newman. Martellus Bennett, an athletic TE,
will replace Anthony Fasano (traded to Miami). Tashard Choice, a serious
banger, provides still more backfield depth.
Talented S Kenny Phillips neatly fills the hole left by the departure of Gibril
Wilson. The off-season loss of two LBs is covered by an athletic pair of
245-pounders, Bryan Kehl and Jonathan Goff.
To beat the Colts, you have to get at Peyton Manning. The first two picks went
for edge rushers Derrick Harvey and Quentin Graves, though trading up 18 spots,
to No. 8, for Harvey was a bit of a reach.
Linebacking corps aging? Plug in top pick Jerod Mayo, 242 pounds, 4.54 in the
40. Mourning the loss of CBs Asante Samuel and Randall Gay? Here's
second-rounder Terrence Wheatley.
They wanted to trade up for their most pressing need, a big, quick defensive
lineman, notably Glenn Dorsey. Sorry, price was too high, so they took LB
Sedrick Ellis. Believe me, they will not regret it. Second-round CB Tracy
Porter (4.37) helps the secondary get speedier.
WAIT A MINUTE
Enemy offenses run over a Chicago D built for speed rushing. Rex Grossman loses
WRs Bernard Berrian and Muhsin Muhammad. So the first two picks are a smooth,
athletic T, Chris Williams, and a grind-it-out RB, Matt Forte. One QB among 12
picks would have helped.