NFP Day 2 notes: Bears make nice moves
You have to love the second day of the draft, where prospects from all walks of life come off the board with the same goal: making an NFL roster. Here are some of our initial impressions from Day 2 of the draft.
We love what the Chicago Bears did. DT Jarron Gilbert is an ideal three-technique guy who can explode off the ball and penetrate into the backfield. Though CB D.J. Moore fell because of his lack of speed, he will likely end up developing into a starter for Chicago in the coming years.
The Kansas City Chiefs’ third-round pick, DE Alex Magee, was an interesting choice because they also drafted DE Tyson Jackson with the third overall pick. Magee, like Jackson, is best suited to play the five-technique defensive end spot, so where does that leave 2008 first-round pick DL Glenn Dorsey? We don’t think Dorsey is a good fit in the Chiefs’ new hybrid 3-4 scheme.
We love the Miami Dolphins’ pick of WR Patrick Turner in the third round. Miami needed a big, physical possession-type wideout, and Turner will be a complement to WR Ted Ginn Jr. at the next level. Turner needs a burner across from him to open up the field, but I can see him doing a nice job working the middle and picking up key first downs for Miami in the future.
In our opinion, the Pittsburgh Steelers got the draft’s top vertical threat, WR Mike Wallace. Pittsburgh lost WR Nate Washington this offseason via free agency, and we see Wallace filling a similar role in the Steelers’ offense.
The Seattle Seahawks lost their sultan of slot this offseason, WR Bobby Engram, but they may have found a replacement in the form of fellow Penn State wideout Deon Butler. Butler has been flying up draft boards the past month and is a guy who I think has the makings of a top slot receiver at the next level.
The Dallas Cowboys had a wealth of picks on the second day and got one of the most intriguing quarterbacks in the draft, Texas A&M’s Stephen McGee. He may be a year of two away, but McGee has all the tools and could have a career similar to that of current Cowboys QB Tony Romo.
We absolutely love what the Jacksonville Jaguars did throughout the draft by rebuilding their offensive line. However, the guy who could have the biggest impact next season is WR Mike Thomas. He, like Deon Butler, has the makings of a big time slot receiver. Thomas knows how to beat press and can consistently gain initial separation underneath.
The one sleeper we’ve been touting for weeks is Western Ontario product DT Vaughn Martin. Martin is a massive interior defensive lineman who possesses rare athleticism for a guy his size. He needs some time to mature but could be the heir apparent to NT Jamal Williams in the San Diego Chargers’ 3-4 defense.
We still can’t believe TE Shawn Nelson lasted all the way until the fourth round, but he may be the biggest value pick in the entire draft. Nelson is exactly what the Buffalo Bills need in the passing game. He has an ability to make plays down the seam and create mismatches all over the field. I expect him to become an impact tight end at the next level.
The Indianapolis Colts did a nice job finding fits for their schemes on both sides of the ball with their second-day picks. Indianapolis needed to add more girth inside on defense, and DT Terrance Taylor is a guy who is tough to move off the ball. And WR Austin Collie isn’t a great athlete, but he’s a smart, gifted route runner who will be an ideal fit in the Colts’ precision offense.
One point that has gone virtually unnoticed is the fact that the Cleveland Browns traded for QB Brett Ratliff (as part of the deal that allowed the New York Jets to acquire Mark Sanchez at No. 5) on day one of the draft. Ratliff not only knows head coach Eric Mangini but also the Cleveland offense, and I think he has all the tools to develop into an NFL starting quarterback. In what was one of the weakest quarterback draft classes in years, did the Browns secretly get their franchise quarterback in the 2009 draft? For the record, I would take Ratliff over QB Josh Freeman any day.
Offensive linemen Jamon Meredith (Green Bay Packers) and Duke Robinson (Panthers) went back to back in the fifth round after sitting around a lot longer than most thought they would. Both prospects were considered second/third-round picks, but we think they’re good fits in their new offenses and have the ability to mature into starters during the early parts of their careers.
Broncos sixth-round pick QB Tom Brandstater will grab all the headlines and instantly draw unrealistic Tom Brady comparisons. However, if we had to put money on a late-round QB to find his way in the NFL, it’s Mike Teel to Seattle. The Rutgers product is an ideal fit in the Seahawks’ west coast offense and should be able to sit back, learn and develop under current QB Matt Hasselbeck. A great fit for both Teel and the Seahawks in the sixth round.
On film study alone, we considered the Browns’ sixth round pick, CB Coye Francies, a top-10 corner in the draft. However, his character concerns and slower than anticipated 40 time knocked him down some draft boards this weekend. Now, if he can leave the past behind him, we think Francies has the length, closing speed and footwork to mature into a starting corner in the near future.
Finally, speaking of character concerns, if you really think the Bengals are changing their viewpoint on the value of a prospect’s character, look no further than this draft. Not only are there slight concerns with their first two picks, OT Andre Smith and ILB Rey Maualuga, but their sixth-round pick, RB Bernard Scott, has a track record second to none. Scott was kicked off his high school football team and was also dismissed from Central Arkansas for hitting a coach. We’re not saying this is a bad draft class for the Bengals, just pointing out the lack of stock they still put into character.
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