There were a lot of shockers in the first round. Teams reaching, players falling and some scary combinations made. Trades, up and down. Teams giving up a lot, others seemingly not giving up enough. Make the jump to find out my thoughts on last night's circus of a draft.
- Tennessee Titans: Last year, Jake Locker would have been a consensus number 1 overall pick. After a poor senior campaign however, Locker's stock dropped like a rock. With Blaine Gabbert, Nick Fairley and Robert Quinn still on the board, Locker seemed to be the last prospect anybody would have thought the Titans would take at 8. He's a mobile QB who's accuracy has been called into question a lot over the past few months. With Tennessee's O-Line and Chris Johnson, however, Locker won't need to be spectacular to win next year. He just can't poop the bed.
- Minnesota Vikings: By the time the college season was over, Ponder was a third round pick at best. Before last night, it seemed like someone was going to have to jump back into the first to grab him. So, when Minnesota was on the clock with top prospects Prince Amukamara, Anthony Castonzo, Nick Fairley and Robert Quinn still on the board, Ponder was an even bigger shock than Locker. Easily the best West Coast offense QB in the draft, and with a great offensive supporting cast, one has to wonder how high the ceiling on this kid is.
- New England Patriots: Anthony Castonzo, Gabe Carimi, Derrek Sherrod. All still on the board at 17. All rated higher than Nate Solder. Yet, the Pats chose to take Solder at 17. Mayock has called him a bender. He stands up too tall and keeps his hands low. Gets bullrushed far too easily. But, will be blocking along one of the best in the league, for one of the best in the league. I'm sure the FO knows where they want to play him and how.
- Blaine Gabbert: Looked at as a top 5 pick, the Jaguars seemingly got a steal when they moved up from 10 to take him. Washington not taking Gabbert was a surprise. Will sit behind Garrard for a year before taking over.
- Robert Quinn: Even after the injury concerns, Quinn was still looked at as a top 10 pick. The Rams got a steal at 14. Should start right away, and could push former first-round pick Chris Long out of the starting lineup.
- Prince Amukamara: Mike Mayock had him ranked 9th overall coming into the draft. With an early run on quarterbacks, however, Amukamara started to drop. The free-fall finally ended at 19, where the Giants got a playmaker to add to their defensive backfield.
- Cameron Jordan/Mark Ingram: Both guys were supposed to go in the top 15. New Orleans gets the OROY and DROY at the back end of the first. Terrific value, they will both start right away.
- Da'Quan Bowers: Once talked about as a number 1 overall pick, Bowers dropped out of the first round altogether due to injury concerns.
Atlanta Falcons give up 2 first rounders, 1 second rounder and 2 fourth rounders to take Julio Jones. Cleveland stocks up, gaining 5 picks from the Falcons. The Falcons get a game-changer to pair with Roddy White. Cleveland would trade this year's first-rounder again.
- Jacksonville Jaguars trade 1st and 2nd rounders to take Blaine Gabbert. Jacksonville gets their QB of the future in Gabbert. Redskins took Ryan Kerrigan with the 16th overall pick.
- Cleveland Browns trade 27th overall pick and a third-round pick to select Phil Taylor. Taylor is a big body in the middle, and should fill the hole made by the departure of Shaun Rogers. The Kansas City Chiefs took Jonathon Baldwin with the 27th overall pick.
New Orleans Saints trade 56th overall this year and 32nd overall next year to select Mark Ingram. Easily the biggest steal of the day, Mark Ingram goes to an offense where he will be able to run wild. With our offensive line and Drew Brees, Ingram will rarely see a stacked box, and should have some nice holes to hit.
Scary Combos Made
- Detroit Lions defensive line. With last years 2nd overall pick Ndamukong Suh, the Lions had one of the best defensive tackles in the league. Now they add Nick Fairley to that. Williams Wall 2.0, now in Detroit.
Atlanta Falcons receiving corps. Roddy White was already a top 10-15 receiver in the league. Julio Jones is a game-changer. If our defensive backfield wasn't so good, I'd be even more worried than I already am.
- New Orleans Saints offense. Already one of the top offenses in the league, the Saints added the missing piece last night- a big, bruising back. Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, Mark Ingram, Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham. I would not want to be a defensive coordinator playing against the Saints next year.
Overall, last night was ridiculous. I stopped paying attention to my mock by the 10th pick, and even Mike Mayock was surprised at a few of the picks.
So, where does Bowers go? Who moves up too far to take a bad prospect? With 6 rounds to go, this is turning into one of the most exciting drafts I've ever seen.