Well, we can't say this years version of the NFL Draft (according to the Jolly Roger--possibly the last draft ever), was too dull. It was more a problem with the broadcast I was forced to watch due to having Time Warner Cable (no NFL Network).
There were certainly some surprises (Atlanta Falcons) and some head scratchers (Minnesota Vikings) and despite their being an alleged moratorium on transactions, quite a few trades.
With that in mind let's look and see how things went and offer our opinion (for what its worth--we don't claim to be experts):
First--The Broadcast: As we mentioned earlier, due to our cable company, we were forced to watch our friends at the 4-letter (ESPN). It wasn't good. From the blowhard inaneness of Chris Berman to the happy gushings of Jon Gruden and Mel Kiper's hair, it wasn't fun. Sure, technically it was great, there productions always are.
But we have a hard time digesting Berman at pretty much anything. His act and hipness went away in the early '90's, yet he gets carted out for all the high profile events. Time to change. There are plenty of guys (see: Tirico, Mike) who are much better suited to carry/shepherd this type of coverage.
As for Gruden, we love him on games and enjoy the pre-draft stuff with the QB's, but was there a player he didn't gush and rave about last night? Did anyone make a bad pick in his eyes? Well, at least when he remembered which team was picking anyway. We won't get into Kiper, we've never understood the fascination with him and probably never will.
1. Carolina: Cam Newton QB. We get this and don't dispute it. It's a total "All-in" scenario. Newton could be a star with the right people around him, we just wonder if the Panthers are that team. He's going to have to learn awfully fast. Grade: A-
2. Denver: Von Miller LB. A no-brainer. At least he should be. If he plays half as well as he tested in workouts, he'll be a beast. And right now there is no "D" in Denver. Grade: A
3. Buffalo: Marcel Darius DT. The supposed best D-line guy out there. At times dominated while at Alabama. Again, a need pick by the Bills who many thought might draft a QB. Can you say "Smokescreen?". Grade: B+
4. Cincinnati: A.J Green WR. We are pretty sure this is another no-brainer. We covered Green, we've spoken to him. We know him. He should be a star...if the Bengals can find someone to get the ball to him. All the hype about him being a freak...is true. Grade: A
5. Arizona: Patrick Peterson CB. Another freak. Some questioned this pick based on need, but if Peterson is as good as he was at LSU, he'll make a great pro. Grade: B
6. Atlanta: Via Trade w/Cleveland. Julio Jones WR. Possibly the best athlete in the draft. Not so sure about football player though. The Falcons gave up a lot to get him as a compliment to Roddy White. He better be good...and healthy. Grade: B-
7. San Francisco: Aldon Smith DE. There were a lot of better players out there for a team with a lot of holes. Smith underachieved in College, though the 'Niners do need defensive help. Grade: C
8. Tennessee: Jake Locker QB. Good, not great QB. Offensive Coordinator Chris Palmer apparently swore by Locker which is why he went here. Not convinced he's a franchise QB, but I don't think any of this years QB's with the possible exception of Newton are. Grade: C-
9. Dallas: Tyron Smith OT. We guess they felt they needed line help. They project Smith as a LT, even though he wasn't an LT at USC. Lots of needs for Cowboys, particularly on D. Not a horrible pick, but a question mark. Grade: C
10. Jacksonville: Blaine Gabbert QB. Another question mark. We don't think Gabbert will be nearly as good as most everyone else does. He wasn't at Missouri. David Garrard isn't great, but Gabbert isn't an upgrade. The Jags need "D" help...badly and Gabbert doesn't play "D". Grade: D
11. Houston: J.J Watt DE. There were better defensive guys out there, but we guess the Texans liked the work ethic. Yeah, they need defensive help, badly. This is a "Jury still out" pick. Grade: C+
12. Minnesota: Christian Ponder QB. Huh? We say that, but we also think he's a better prospect than Gabbert, if he stays healthy. We know the Vikes need a QB after selling their soul for Brett Favre the past 2 years. Maybe they know something nobody else does. Grade: C
13. Detroit: Nick Fairley DT. Yikes! How'd he fall this far? Fairley and Ndamukong Suh on the same front. Scary. Really scary. We like this pick. A lot. Grade: A
14. St.Louis: Robert Quinn DE. Not a bad choice here. The Rams D was pretty good, they should be better with Quinn, a guy who had to sit out last year because of contact with an agent. Grade: B
15. Miami: Michael Pouncey G/C. Not sure about this one either. Was less impressed by the "Other" Pouncey twin. He really struggled replacing his brother at Center last year at UF. Though we do realize the 'Fins need "O" line help. Grade: B-
16. Washington: Ryan Kerrigan DE. They traded down to get this pick. And yes, they need help just about everywhere so a DE makes some sense. Kerrigan was really productive in college. And they got an extra pick by trading down too. Not bad. Grade: B+
17. New England: Nate Solder OT. A need pick in some respects because we think Belichick wants to rebuild the "O" line despite them being really good last year. They needed some defense help though, which makes this a bit of a question. Grade: C+
18. San Diego: Cory Liuget DE. Hmmmm. The Chargers had a pretty good "D" line last year. There were some better players available. We don't get this, but we don't have to. Grade: C-
19. NY Giants: Prince Amukamara CB. Wonder how shocked they were to see the Prince sitting here at this pick? You can never have enough "D" and the Giants didn't have a huge, glaring need. Grade: B
20. Tampa Bay: Adrian Clayborn DE. They are going to be really good, really soon. They needed a stout "D" lineman and got one with Clayborn. Grade: A-
21. Cleveland: Phil Taylor DT. They traded down with Atlanta and got this and 4 other picks for it. Taylor will help on D, but that isn't where the Browns need help. We'll see what else they have in store, jury is out on this one. Grade: B-
22. Indianapolis: Anthony Castonzo OT. A need pick. The aging "O" line showed some cracks last season and for the Colts its all about protecting Peyton. They need "D" as well, but you can't argue with this pick. Grade: B
23. Philadelphia: Danny Watkins OL. Interesting. Not so sure about this one. The Eagles had some other needs they could have addressed here. Grade: C+
24. New Orleans: Cameron Jordan DE. A need because they had pass rush issues last year. In light of what they did 4 picks later, not a bad move. Grade: B
25. Seattle: James Carpenter T: Hmmm. Don't get this one. Seahawks do need help on this side of the ball, but there were better picks here for a team with holes. Grade: C
26. Kansas City: Jonathan Baldwin WR. Good pick. They need a playmaker to compliment Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles. This is another up and coming team. Grade: B
27. Baltimore: Jimmy Smith CB. OK. We don't know how he climbed the draft boards, but he did. This is a need area for the Ravens. There were some other needs they could have filled here though. Grade: B-
28. New Orleans: Mark Ingram RB. Lucky bastards. Thought he would've been gone by this pick. Emmitt Smith clone who should solve the Saints RB issue for years to come. Grade: A+
29. Chicago: Gabe Carimi OT. A good need pick...maybe. Wisconsin players don't seem to excel in the pros. But the Bears need help at this position. Grade: B+
30. New York Jets: Muhammed Wilkierson DT. Good pick for this team. The Jets are going to be real, real physical and this guy will help that. Grade: B
31. Pittsburgh: Cameron Heyward DE. Again a good pick for this system. Great athlete who should fit in really well in Dick LeBeau's defense. Yikes. Grade: A-
32. Green Bay: Derrick Sherrod OT. A need pick because the Pack struggled running the ball. Not much to say, but the Pack did what they needed to in this slot. Grade: B+