With the draft over and all wrapped up, we thought it would be a good idea to get back on the phone with our buddy Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's NFL Matchup, and talk about the NFL by division. Who did themselves the most favors in the draft, and who came up short when addressing their roster deficits?
We started off with the NFC West, which seems appropriate, as Greg recently wrote a post on that very division for the NFL Films blog. Specifically, Greg talked about how draft strategies reveal how teams think of themselves from a personnel perspective. With that in mind, we asked Greg what he thought the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, and Seattle Seahawks did to bolster up their teams.
Arizona Cardinals first-round pick Michael Floyd: "I like Floyd, and if I had to rate receivers in this draft, he would have been my #1 by a slight amount over Justin Blackmon. I think he can win more on the outside than Blackmon can. I think he's deceptive with his speed and acceleration. I think he's one of those guys -- and this is rarely talked about -- he had the ability to stretch out with the ball in the air. And that's a critical thing. It's not a function of 40 time."
St. Louis Rams second-round cornerback Janoris Jenkins: "I'm talking just film now, but I thought he was the best press-man corner in this draft. I can tell you that there are a lot of people who felt that way. He fell in the draft for other reasons, but he is a terrific player. When I went back to 2010 when he was at Florida and watched him against Alshon Jeffrey, Julio Jones, and A.J. Green, he more than held him own against all of those guys."
San Francisco 49ers first-round receiver A.J. Jenkins: "When he was drafted and I went back and looked at my notes, I wasn't surprised [that he was taken in the first round.] To me, he's a complete receiver. You saw him run short routes, intermediate routes, vertical routes ... you saw him make catches in traffic, and there was quickness and fluidity to his movement."
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin, and the myth of the 'three-down defender': "Irvin the player? Maybe he'll end up being terrible. None of us know that. What we do know is when you watch the guy on film, he was the most purely explosive pass rusher in the draft. He rushed the quarterback like [he was] a running back. Now, even if he isn't an every-down player ... I made the comparison to Aldon Smith. With the exception of a few snaps, Aldon Smith only played in the 49ers sub-package last year, and he was the seventh player chosen [in 2011]."
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