Players: 1st Dan Williams-NT-Tennessee, 2nd Daryl Washington-LB-TCU, 3rd Andre Roberts-WR- Citadel, 4th O’Brien Schofield-DE-Wisconsin, 5th John Skelton-QB-Fordham, 6th Jorrick Calvin-CB-Troy, 7th Jim Dray-TE-Stanford
Thoughts: With a combination of luck, patience, and preparation the Cardinals had an excellent draft. They were able to sit tight at 26 while top fifteen talent Dan Williams fell into their lap. Williams was the only legitimate NT prospect in the draft and one of the Cardinals’ primary needs heading in to the draft, so it was a home run on need and value. The Cardinals also filled a need at LB, when they traded up in the second round to grab TCU LB Darryl Washington. He offers the Cardinals a good opportunity to fill the void at ILB, in the 3-4 defense, left by Karlos Dansby. The Cardinals also found good value in their third round pick of small school receiver Andre Roberts, who will get an immediate shot to replace Steve Breaston on punt returns and get into the mix as a fourth receiver. The steal of the draft, however, could come in their fourth round selection of O’Brien Schofield. He was a rising prospect who many had graded in the first round, until he suffered a knee injury at the Senior Bowl. He probably will not play this year, but if he can come back from the injury he could be a pass rushing stud in 2011. The Cardinals also filled a need in taking strong armed quarterback John Skelton in the fifth round. He is a year or two from contributing, but an intriguing prospect. Overall the Cardinals found three immediate contributors, and perhaps a fourth for 2011, once Schofield rehabs from his injury.
San Francisco 49ers
Players: 1st Anthony Davis-OT-Rutgers, 1st Mike Iupati-OG-Idaho, 2nd Taylor Mays-FS-USC, 3rd Navorro Bowman-LB-Penn State, 6th Anthony Dixon-RB-Mississippi State, 6th Nate Byham-TE-Pittsburgh, 6th Kyle Williams-WR-Arizona State, 7th Phillip Adams-DB-South Carolina State
Thoughts: The 49ers filled their major need by drafting two offensive lineman in the first round, Anthony Davis and Iupati. Although the team probably overpaid by trading up to get Davis, as he likely would have been on the board for their original pick. The team’s running game faltered last season and their first round picks are part of an effort to improve the running game. Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati will likely start early in the season and anchor the 49ers offensive line for years to come. The 49ers other glaring need was at the safety position. To fill that need they grabbed athletic Taylor Mays in the 2nd round. The team also addressed depth at other areas of need by drafting solid prospects through the remainder of their draft. Anthony Dixon could spell Frank Gore and pick up some short yardage carries. Also, we really like Kyle Williams’ 4.3/40 speed. He could make an immediate contribution to the return game. The 49ers likely have three opening day starters in Davis, Iupati, and Mays.
Players: 1st Russell Okung-OT-Oklahoma State, 1st Earl Thomas-SS-Texas, 2nd Golden Tate-WR-Notre Dame, 4th Walter Thurmond-CB-Oregon, 4th E.J. Wilson-DE-North Carolina, 5th Kam Chancellor-FS-Virginia Tech, 6th Anthony McCoy-TE-USC, 7th Dexter Davis-DE-Arizona State, 7th Jameson Konz-WR-Kent State
Thoughts: Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks probably had the best draft day of any team in the league. With two first round picks, the team filled two huge needs selecting offensive lineman Russell Okung and talented safety Earl Thomas. The team pursued Brandon Marshall prior to the draft, but fell short because they lacked the ammunition to complete the deal. The team, however, found a potential starting receiver in their second round pick, Golden Tate. The team also found excellent value in the sixth round in Carroll’s old TE pupil Anthony McCoy. The first three picks will play on day one. The Seahawks added an exclamation point to their draft with the draft day trades for LenDale White and Leon Washington, which cost the team next to nothing. Both veteran running backs will benefit from a change of scenery and will contribute to the Seahawks benign running game, which also means Julius Jones and Justin Forsett could be on the way out.
St. Louis Rams
Players: 1st Sam Bradford-QB-Oklahoma, 2nd Rodger Saffold-OT-Indiana, 3rd Jerome Murphy-CB-South Florida, 4th Mardy Gilyard-WR-Cincinnati, 5th Michael Hoomanawanui-TE-Illinois, 5th Hall Davis-DE-Louisiana-Lafayette, 6th Fendi Onobun-DE-Arizona, 6th Eugene Sims-DE-West Texas A&M, 7th Marquis Johnson-DB-Alabama, 7th George Selvie-DE-South Florida, 7th Josh Hull-LB-Penn State
Thoughts: Heading into the draft, the Rams were a team with many needs. Fortunately, with their selections they satisfied many of those needs. Their picks were highlighted by grabbing Sam Bradford, the best quarterback prospect in the draft. The team also solidified their offensive line by selecting, in the second round, Roger Saffold, a prospect who many teams put a first round grade on. The additions of Jerome Murphy and Mardy Gilyard, in the third and fourth rounds respectively, were excellent value picks. Gilyard has a ton of potential and was an excellent value pick in the fourth round. I suspect the first four picks will turn out to be solid contributors to the Rams in this upcoming season. In the remainder of the draft, the team did a good job of filling depth at need positions. The true test for this draft in the years to come will be the success or failure of Bradford. If Bradford lives up to his potential, this Ram’s draft will be the move that led to the Ram’s turnaround.
Topics: 2010 NFL Draft, Alabama, Andre Roberts, Anthony Davis, Anthony Dixon, Anthony McCoy, Arizon State, Arizona, Arizona Cardinals NFC West, Cincinnati, Citadel, Dan Williams, Daryl Washington, Dexter Davis, E.J. Wilson, Earl Thomas, Eugene Sims, Fendi Onobun, Fordham, George Selvie, Golden Tate, Hall Davis, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Jerome Murphy, Jim Dray, John Skelton, Jorrick Calvin, Josh Hull, Julius Jones, Justin Forestt, Kam Chancellor, Karlos Dansby, Kent State, Kyle Williams, Louisiana-Lafayette, Mardy Gilyard, Marquis Johnson, Michael Hoomanawanui, Mike Iupati, Mississippi State, Nate Byham, Navorro Bowman, NFL, North Carolina, Notre Dame, O'Brien Schofield, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State, Pete Carroll, Phillip Adams, Pittsburgh, Rodger Saffold, Russell Okung, Rutgers, Sam Bradford, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, South Carolina State, South Florida, St. Louis Rams, Stanford, Steve Breaston, Taylor Mays, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Troy, USC, Virginia Tech, Walter Thurmond, West Texas A&M, Wisconsin