Two Sneaky Good Drafts


Everyone is giving out draft grades at this time of year and the usual suspects are headlining (tomorrow I’ll have out a Consensus Draft Grade Board that’ll take into account 10 different sites grades for each team…so check out to see where your team fit).  And while you’re doing make sure you check back later today as unveil our second in depth draft grade in our 32 grades in 32 days series.

But there are two sneaky good drafts that I want to touch on before we go full-blown in-depth analysis.

The Buffalo Bills and the Indianapolis Colts.

The usual high grade drafts are the Giants, Lions, Buccaneers, Saints, etc. But these two drafts were two drafts that did, perhaps the best at addressing needs while obtaining value. I’m not a guy who talks about needs very often because I prescribe to the belief that injuries and the huge influx of new talent to teams every year makes needs a fluid issue. With that being said here’s what I liked about each draft.

The Buffalo Bills

The Bills have missed on many of their draft picks in the past decade, which is the biggest reason they haven’t been back to the playoffs. John McCargo, Aaron Maybin, J.P. Losman, Marshawn Lynch (what he did with the Bills) have all been busts or disappointments. Even their best first round picks like  Lee Evans and Donte Whitner haven’t been consistent pro-bowl level players.

The Bills NEEDED a draft that was heavy on palyers who are going to be contributors in the draft, and for the most part I think they did that well. Marcel Dareus, Kelvin Sheppard, Da’Norris Searcy, Chris White, and Michael Jasper are all players who can play vs the run. The Bills had a near historically poor run defense last year and they really, really upgraded that this off-season. I also think Johnny White and Chris Hairston were good value picks as well.

The Colts took a different route. The Colts only had 5 picks, but I think they made five great picks.

Unlike the Bills who really focused on adding talented run stoppers and size to their defense, the Colts decided that they were going to fix the running game and to give Peyton Manning an easier path to the promised land.

I didn’t love Castanzo and Ijalana for every team, but I think they are perfect fits for the Colts system. And then they got great value with Drake Nevis in the 3rd round, another great fit for their system. They also decided to grab a talented running back in case Addai leaves and they got a bruiser in Delone Carter at good value. The Chris L. Rucker pick surprised me a bit because he’s tall and I think has “character issues” or previous run ins with trouble and the Colts usually shy away from those kinds of players.

Some teams get all the publicity for good drafts leaving some smart, positive value drafts undervalued. The Bills and Colts are two drafts this year they don’t appear sexy at first glance, but could really make a difference to the perspective teams next year.

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