Which teams were the biggest losers in this year's NFL draft?
Credit: Getty Images
Kendall Wright may have been a good pick, but he wasn't a 'need' pick for Tennessee (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images).
WFAA Sports Bloggers
Posted on May 4, 2012 at 10:28 AM
Friday, May 4 at 10:28 AM
KEVIN TURNER: I think Seattle really reached at #15 with Linebacker Bruce Irvin, who is essentially a 3rd down-only type of player. I think he could easily have fallen into the 2nd round if he's a guy that they really targeted. Seattle isn't my big loser though. My big losers are the New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders simply because they didn't have a pick until the third round. Thanks a lot, bountygate and Carson Palmer.
MIKE MARSHALL: Atlanta Falcons -- Why? Well, this has nothing to do with their first pick of Peter Konz, who is largely regarded as the best center in the draft, or the rest of the players they chose that I have no idea about (except Jonathan Massaquoi from Troy who I do know a lot about). The Falcons make the loser list simply because they gave up this year’s 1st to jump up and take Julio Jones last year. In addition to that, they have no idea how to consistently get Julio Jones the ball.
It was a bold move for a project player who happens to be an absolute freak. If the Falcons didn’t jump up 20 picks to snag Julio Jones they could likely have had some combination of Jimmy Smith/Gabe Carimi/Jonathan Baldwin/Brooks Reed/Torrey Smith and David Decastro/Nick Perry/Riley Reiff/Stephen Hill. I am never in favor of losing first round picks. This is not an attack on moving up to grab a star player. It’s an attack on trading away first round picks. The Falcons weren’t as close as they assumed they were and now have more uncertainties that could have been addressed via the draft.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Mark Barron could end up being the league's best safety. I’m not smart enough to give you a correct assessment on how a player from the best defense in college football translates to Sundays. My problem with the Mark Barron pick is I’m pretty certain it was a panic pick. The Bucs assumed they could slide a few spots back and still pick Morris Claiborne with the 7th pick.
When the Cowboys buzzed the tower and leapt into the sixth pick the Bucs should have fallen back out of the top ten where they still could have taken Mark Barron. Possibly to the Seahawks pick at number 12 or the Eagles at 15. They would have at the very least added another 2nd round pick to a very young team that’s fooling itself if it thinks serious competition is close.
Oakland Raiders -- Not having a 1st or 2nd round pick is not a huge deal for a team that’s loaded at every position and really couldn’t find room for any other talented young players. The Raiders are not that team.
Seattle Seahawks -- Does anybody really have a handle on what exactly the hell Pete Carroll’s doing? I didn’t think so. He’s been watching Moneyball too much. I’m not going to pretend to know a whole lot about the players they drafted, but from everybody I’ve spoken with or listened to it appears like their 1st and 3rd round picks were at least a round too early.
I’m fully in favor of reaching for a player that you believe in more than others...within the round. Drafting a player a good 32 picks before anybody else would is just ignoring value. Bruce Irvin and Russell Wilson may turn out to be incredible NFL players and make us all look stupid, but Carroll simply could have had them in the 2nd and 4th round. I suppose it’s the lack of awareness that annoys me with pinpointing a player and sticking to him no matter what the expected draft position may be.
MIKE PIELLUCCI: I really didn’t get what San Francisco was doing. WR was very much a 'beauty in the eye of the beholder' position in this draft, so AJ Jenkins wasn’t the worst idea in the 1st round, but he’s raw and the Niners are in win now-mode. Meanwhile, LaMichael James is electric but Candlestick Park’s slow turf will mitigate some of that speed. And then there’s the matter of carries, which will be tough to come by in an already-crowded backfield rotation featuring Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, and newly-signed Brandon Jenkins. Their one clear need area – offensive line – didn’t get enough help in 3rd rounder Joe Looney, and a team that could have stood to have added a corner to the mix didn’t pick one at all.
The New York Jets needed immediate production at receiver and running back but opted for a huge project in Stephen Hill at the former and didn’t address the latter until the 5th round, while they didn’t bring in any competition whatsoever for RT Wayne Hunter, possibly the worst starter at his position in the league.
Tennessee recorded the second-fewest sacks of any team in the league last year; naturally, their recourse was to ignore a cadre of pass rushers on the board to draft a luxury pick in WR Kendall Wright, then later pick a run-stuffing tackle in Michigan’s Mike Martin.