The first round of the NFL draft is now complete and this years draft provided the first real football news not related to the lockout this offseason. These are the first players being added to any team and one of the most important parts of every offseason. These young players can determine a teams future. I’ll take a look at the five best and worst picks from the first round.
Five Best Picks:
#13 Detroit Lions- Nick Fairley
The Lions benefitted from Fairley’s fall in the draft to their spot at #13. Teaming Nick Fairley up with Ndamukong Suh gives the Lions a dominating young defensive line that will scare opponents.
#19 New York Giants- Prince Amukamara
Giants fans got what they wanted with their first round draft pick. Fans were chanting “we want Prince” and got him. He joins one of the strongest and deepest secondaries in the NFL now teaming up with Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas for the Giants defense.
#22 Indianapolis Colts- Anthony Castonzo
A perfect fit for the Colts. All the draft experts praised this pick and was a necessary pick for the Colts. He should be ready to play immediately and will be required to protect Peyton Manning’s blindside. The Colts have needed an upgrade to the offensive line and Castonzo should provide exactly that.
#24 New Orleans Saints- Cameron Jordan
Jordan gives the Saints great value at this point in the draft. He provides a solid pass rusher and was projected to go significantly higher. A great value pick for the Saints.
#30 New York Jets- Muhammed Wilkerson
An excellent pick for the Jets at the end of the first round. Their biggest challenge has been the pass rush and Wilkerson should be a major player for Rex Ryan’s defense immediately.
Five Worst Picks:
#7 San Francisco 49ers- Aldon Smith
A reach for the niners at the #7 pick. Their biggest need is clearly at QB and they had their choice of anyone but Cam Newton at their pick. It’s a major surprise to 49ers fans that the team didn’t choose a Quarterback but hopefully Smith will turn into a solid pass rusher for the team.
#8 Tennessee Titans- Jake Locker
Many were shocked the Titans used the #8 pick on Locker. While there was expected to be a run on Quarterbacks, this seemed awful high for Locker who was largely expected to go anywhere from the late 20’s to the second round. The Titans have to hope he becomes a long term answer at QB with a pick this high.
#12 Minnesota Vikings- Christian Ponder
Ponder at 12 was an even larger surprise than Locker. Locker was seen as the top prospect before last season arrived but Ponder was a shock this early in the draft. The Vikings clearly went with their big need rather than taking anything near the best player available at this pick. A trade down would have made much more sense if Ponder was their guy.
#23 Philadelphia Eagles- Danny Watkins
A risk in the first round taking a 26 year old rookie offensive lineman. The eagles had many more needs and could have certainly upgraded several positions on the defensive side of the ball. Watkins is going to have to play immediately due to his age in relation to other rookies.
#25 Seattle Seahawks- James Carpenter
Carpenter was a surprise at this pick because many felt their were more talented Offensive Tackles on the board and because the Seahawks had Andy Dalton fall in their laps at #25 and passed on him.