NFL Draft  


Draft should leave Rams smiling, Chiefs among worried teams


Now that the 2011 NFL Draft is over, and I've had a little time to digest what happened, here are the things that interested me most.

Smiling in St. Louis

If I am the Rams, I am happy right now -- happy that no team in the NFC West added a quarterback that could match the skill set of Sam Bradford. The Rams have the best quarterback in the division and will be the team to beat.

Chief concerns

I thought Kansas City had a strange draft. I know the Chiefs wanted Mike Pouncey and even tried to trade up to get him. In the end, they had to settle for wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin from Pitt. Baldwin has talent but might take some time to develop, and he carries a diva reputation. Picking Justin Houston was also strange. He had some off-the-field concerns, and his effort on the field is questionable.

Falcons' flop is Browns' boon

I did not like the trade by the Falcons to acquire Julio Jones. They paid a king's ransom to select Jones, and I am not confident he is the next Calvin Johnson. Jones has some issues, and I am not sure that Greg Little -- the receiver the Browns took at 59 with one of the picks acquired from the Falcons -- might have similar athletic skills.

The Falcons normally draft well, and trading that many picks plays away from their strength. Their defense is not perfect, and this team has more holes than just adding a wide receiver.

Conversely, the Browns had a good draft, one that added talent to their team. It's something they needed badly.

Mixed bag for Saints

I loved defensive lineman Cam Jordan. For the Saints to be able to select him at the bottom of the first round was great value. While most think the Mark Ingram pick was also solid, I am not one of them. I like Ingram, but for the Saints to deal a first-round pick next year to add another runner begs the question how much money can a team invest at running back?

Bowers' fall could be Bucs' gain
With the selection of Da'Quan Bowers in Round 2, the Bucs are back in the familiar position of having a draft slider help them build an emerging roster, says Steve Wyche. More ...

Questions aplenty for Bucs

The Bucs only had a good draft if -- and it is a HUGE if -- Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers can stay healthy. Bowers is a huge risk. Although his name makes it look like they had a great draft, if he cannot get on the field, how good is the pick? The Bucs had a questionable draft, not a great one.

Ravens might have to wait

Baltimore needed to add speed to its slow receiving corps. Both Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss will help -- but maybe not next season. Love the Jah Reid choice. He showed toughness and production on tape.

Giants get thumbs up

Even though I am not sold that Prince Amukamara is a shutdown corner, I liked the Giants' draft overall. Marvin Austin in the second round was a great value, and James Brewer has the skills to develop on the offensive line.

Texans attack holes on defense

The Texans went directly at their needs with each pick. I like J.J. Watt but thought Cam Jordan was a better inside rusher. The key for Houston will be if Brooks Reed can become the Texans' Clay Matthews.

Follow Michael Lombardi on Twitter @michaelombardi.



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