Monday, May 2, 2011

NFL Draft Winners and Losers

Were the Panthers winners at this year's draft?

As is the case in all things life, there are winners and losers.  Here are the winners and losers from the NFL Draft:

Cam Newton:  Newton went from being questioned about his pro potential to being the #1 pick in four months.  His measurables and stout pro day made him tens of millions of dollars.

Teams drafting from picks 20-30 in the First Round:  As I watched teams reach for quarterbacks in the early/mid first round, I knew it meant there would be some great defensive talent left at the end of the first round.  The Buccaneers (Adrian Clayborn), Ravens (Jimmy Smith), and Saints (Cameron Jordan) all landed elite defensive talent that went well after slot.

New Orleans Saints:  Speaking of the Saints, they were not only able to land Jordan, but traded up to draft Mark Ingram as well, effectively ending Reggie Bush's stay in New Orleans.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  The Bucs drafted two bookend pass rushers with questionable medical history (Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers) but the upside for the two to make an immediate impact is tremendous.  They also drafted TE sleeper Luke Stocker.  To say the Bucs will be tough and physical is quite the understatement.  They may be my sleeper pick to reach the Super Bowl next year.

Detroit Lions:  It must have felt like Christmas morning in the Lions war room when Nick Fairley fell to them at 13.  Teaming him with Suh and VandenBosch may give Detroit the best defensive line even this season.  Michael Leshoure and Titus Young will be impact player shortly as well.  Now, if they could just keep Matt Stafford healthy, they could make the playoffs THIS YEAR.

Ryan Mallett:  Did  Mallett lose a lot of money falling to the 3rd round?  Yes, but he is very fortunate to go to New England.  He will be coached very well and is under no pressure as he learns the NFL game from one of the all-time greats.  He may never start a game for the Pats, but he could be traded to another team as soon as he is ready to start, a la Matt Schaub.  If his reputation of having character flaws is true, he is in the perfect organization to break him of his bad habits.  Kudos once again to Bill Belichick for making another high-value selection.


Carolina Panthers:  The Panthers felt the pressure to take Cam Newton in a draft that lacked a true franchise quarterback (thanks, Andrew Luck!), and it's a gamble that appears to be a much higher risk than potential reward. 

Carson Palmer:  Marvin Lewis and company let Palmer know their thoughts regarding his future as they rebuilt the cornerstones of the offense in the draft.  A.J. Green, Andy Dalton and Clint Boling are pieces drafted to rebuild the Bengals offense of the future, sans Palmer, and Ochocinco if we're lucky.  Rumor has it now that Palmer may be on his way to Seattle when the lockout ends.

Seattle Seahawks:  Speaking of the Seahawks, Pete Carroll reached big time for 1st round pick James Carpenter, as many had him graded 2nd or even 3rd round.  None of their other picks stirred much interest either.

Justin Houston:  Many mock drafts had Houston as a late 1st or early 2nd round pick, but he slipped to #70 when he tested positive for marijuana at the combine.  I hope he enjoys the hippie lettuce, because it cost him a few million dollars.

Who were your winners and losers from the draft?


  1. If this transcript of Cam Newton's appearance on Gruden's QB Camp segment on ESPN is any indication - the Panther's may be draft losers this year (and losers on the field for years to come).

  2. No kidding, Vince. I didn't watch the original airing, but when I heard the talk about the show, the rerun was must see TV for me. The Panthers will be the losers and Cam will walk away with a fat wallet. But he's had one of those for a while now, right?