NFL 2009 draft (pt.1)
1) Detroit Lions – I could go on and on about stats, or overall gameplay, but I don’t want to dwell on those poor bastards any more than necessary. Condensed version: Shitty GM, lazy owners, angry fans, Shitty GM puts together crappiest team ever before finally fired, Crappiest Team Ever triumphs in shame.
What They Should Do: They should go after an offensive tackle, like Alabama T Andre Smith, or Michael Oher of Ole Miss. But that’s assuming they go all out to get Matt Cassel, and they honestly don’t have the money, due to the economy; they’re even freezing ticket prices for next season
What They’ll Actually Do: The Lions were so devastated at the QB position that they turned to an out-of-shape retiree (Daunte Culpepper) and a Canadian Football League retread (Dan Orlovsky). Neither made anyone forget about Bobby Layne. So I see the Lions using the No. 22 pick they got from Dallas for Roy Williams on their offensive line, and taking a QB, say Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford. A relatively risky pick, considering Detroit QB history, but a new regime is gonna be in place by then and new front offices usually pick QB’s if they can help it.
Lowest Point: Really, there was no end to the choices, so I picked one at random. Ladies and gentlemen, Detroit v. Chicago in Week 5:
2) St. Louis Rams – A strange team; sometimes they looked like a group of guys who just found learned how to play football, and sometimes they got hot and surprised a team before it could recover. Either way, they only ended up with two wins, so they pretty obviously need help. But if they have a half-decent draft, and they can avoid the rash of injuries they had last year, this team might improve to 5-6 wins next season.
What They Should Do: The Rams desparately need help on the offensive line. Orlando Pace is 34 and looks incapable of staying healthy for an entire season, and the rest of the line is unimpressive at best; Bulger was sacked 38 times this season. 38! At that point you might as well take a guard or someone off the line and put an extra WR in there. But if that’s not your thing, massive Alabama OT Andre Smith would be a pick that’s a team boost and competent. Imagine that.
What They’ll Actually Do: Take Smith. They don’t really have a choice here – their first-round pick last year was a defensive player, DE Chris Long, and it was their offense was just as bad as their defense this season, if not more so. They’re not gonna go out and get a new QB, no matter how bad Bulger looked; not after giving him a $60 million extension. So their best option is doing their best to make sure Bulger doesn’t end up as a smear on the field, and that means Smith.
Lowest Point: Maybe not the lowest point since it was Week 1, but this 38-3 ass-whoopin’ by Philly laid bare problems for the Rams that would persist throughout the season:
Kansas City Chiefs – Again, a strange team, although a bad one as well. After losing supposed QB-in-waiting Brodie Croyle and solid-if-unimpressive career backup Damon Huard, KC mayhave stumbled onto their QB of the future, Tyler Thigpen, who had the Chiefs playing hard, if not overly well, in the second half of the season.
What They Should Do: Defense, defense, defense. The Chiefs only registered 10 sacks this season, an NFL-record. To put that in perspective, 12 players had 10 or more sacks this year, and Cowboys LB Demarcus Ware had 20. They need a pass rusher, and arguable the best one that’s opted for the draft so far is Texas DE Brian Orokpo. With 10.5 sacks this year, Orokpo could allow DE Tamba Hali to move back to the left end, where he excelled in 2007.
What They’ll Actually Do: KC might opt instead for FSU DE Everette Brown, or LSU DE Tyson Jackson, but it’s actually really obvious that their pass rush is their number #1 priority.
Lowest Point: Again, not the absolute lowest point in the season, but this loss to the Raiders pretty much summed up the year for the Chiefs: flashes of competence, surrounded by stupid mistakes –
4) Cincinnati Bengals – Remember when I mentioned earlier that the Rams had given up 38 sacks this season? The Bengals have given up…50. 5-0. I don’t care if your QB is Carson Palmer or Joe Montana, nobody can stand up to that type of punishment. On top of that, their running backs are only averaging 3.5 yards a carry. Once again, a terrible team can trace many of its problems to the lack of talent on the offensive line. Anyone else sensing a pattern?
What They Should Do: Take an o-lineman. UV’s Eugene Monroe, or Michael Oher of Boise State, whoever, but for God’s sake when you give up 50 damn sacks the choice has already been made for you.
What They’ll Actually Do: It’s either pick an offensive lineman, or somehow trick another team into trading a pack of picks in exchange for St. Louis’ #4 pick.
Lowest Point: I choose Steelers WR Hines Ward planting Bengals LB Keith Rivers in the ground, laying a block on him so hard that it broke his jaw:
5) Seattle Seahawks – The ‘Hawks had myriad issues this season: QB Matt Hasselback suffered from lingering back problems, exacerbated from absorbing hits that a pourous offensive line was unable to stop. On the defensive side, Seattle fielded the worst pass defense in the league, allowing 259 yards per game through the air. All of these are legitimate areas of concern…
What They Should Do: …but the story of the year in Seattle had to be the receiver apocalypse. Injuries destroyed the WR unit, and someone like Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree would go a long way towards making life easier for the entire offense. Otherwise an elite player in the secondary, such as Ohio State CB Michael Jenkins, or Illinois CB Vontae Davis, would be a huge boon for an embarassingly bad defense.
What They’ll Actually Do: I honestly don’t see them looking at anything besides WR or CB/S, not this early in the draft.
Lowest Point: A Thanksgiving Day massacre, as the Cowboys used the turkey baster on the ‘Hawks to the tune of 34-9:
Crap. I originally planned to do the top 10 picks in my first ’09 draft post, but this took longer than I thought. I’ll give the next 5 spots in the next day or so; I know, I know, you’re on the edge of your seats. Just hang in there.