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Which Teams Benefited Most From 2010 NFL Draft?

Posted by RichieZ23 on April 24, 2010

Which teams benefited the most from the draft?

Let’s take a look at five teams who improved their teams either by filing multiple needs, or adding impact players.

5.)  New York Jets

Kyle Wilson (right) is a perfect fit to take the Jets defense to a higher level. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images North America)

What is amazing about the Jets even being on this list, is they only had four picks after various trades that brought in Mark Sanchez, Shonn Greene, and Antonio Cromartie amongst others.  While they only had four picks, every selection that New York made was a good one.  They drafted Boise State corner Kyle Wilson with their first pick, which is an absolutely perfect fit.  Wilson slides into the nickel, and with Antonio Cromartie along with Derrel Revis — the best corner in the game — Rex Ryan has the best trio of corners in the league.  Note to opposing offenses:  good luck.  Then in the second round they drafted tackle Vlad Ducasse, scat back Joe McKnight from USC in the fourth, and fullback John Connor in the fifth.  Connor fits the Rex Ryan type of player — a tough nosed fullback who will play a major rule in the power running game of the Jets for years.

Grade:  B

4.) Dallas Cowboys

Already one of the best teams in the league, Dallas moved up three spots in the first round and snagged Dez Bryant.  The supposed “character” issues that made Dez fall down the board are completely overrated.  Bryant gives the Cowboys a major boost as a punt returner, but also gives Dallas an explosive receiver from the slot, something they haven’t had in quite some time.  In the second round they again traded up getting Penn State linebacker Sean Lee.  Lee gives the Cowboys an immediate starter in the nickel defense, and a backup to groom at the “Mo” behind veteran Keith Brooking.  Lee has great technique and is a very smart linebacker after playing under Joe Paterno at Penn State.  Dallas also acquired a highly athletic, but fairly unknown player in Akwasi Owusu-Ansah out of tiny Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the fourth round.  Ansah ran the third fastest 40-time of all corners, but projects as a safety for the Dallas defense.  Owner Jerry Jones raved about the instincts of Ansah, who will contribute on special teams, and have an opportunity to start at free safety next season.  Dallas also drafted tackle Sam Young from Notre Dame in the sixth round, cornerback Jamar Wall from Texas Tech in the sixth, and nose tackle Sean Lissemore in the seventh who played for William & Mary.  The 6’4 298-pound Lessemore may be worth keeping an eye on, as he fits the quick and undersized nose tackle bill that Jay Ratliff has emerged in.  Ratliff was also a seventh round pick by Dallas in 2005.  As a huge Cowboys fan, I can say I am very pleased with this draft, something I could not say last year.

Grade: B+

3.)  San Francisco 49ers

The Niners did a great job of building one of the best offensive lines in football for Mike Singletary to run his power game with Frank Gore.  With two first round picks, San Francisco traded up and selected tackle Anthony Davis from Rutgers, and massive guard Mike Iupati out of Oregon.  Iupati has the tools to become one of the best guards in the game, and blocking for Frank Gore, he very well may become one.  Then in the second round San Fran selected the physical specimen Taylor Mays from USC.  Mays is 6’3 225 pounds and has great speed, but troubles in space and coverage dropped his stock down to the second round.  He will bring the lumber, but needs to drastically improve his pass coverage.  Another solid pick was drafting Penn State linebacker Navorrow Bowman in the third round.  Bowman played alongside Dallas linebacker Sean Lee at Penn State for one of the better linebacking corps in the nation.  The Niners also drafted running back Anthony Dixon from Mississippi State in the sixth round, tight end Nate Byham from Pitt in the sixth, wide receiver Kyle Williams from Arizona State in the sixth, and defensive back Phillip Adams from South Carolina State in the seventh round.

Grade: A

2.)  Seattle Seahawks

New head coach Pete Carroll had several holes to fill in the draft, and he did just that.  With two picks in the first round he snagged offensive tackle Russel Okung, who many had rated as the best tackle in the draft, then added Texas safety Earl Thomas.  The Seahawks get a defensive playmaker at safety, and a left tackle of the future in Okung.  They were not done adding talented players they added wide receiver Golden Tate from Notre Dame in the second round.  Tate is as NFL ready as any receiver coming in, as he played in a pro-style offense at Notre Dame under Charlie Weiss.  Carroll finally selected his first former player in the sixth round, taking former USC tight end Anthony McCoy.  Drafting McCoy in the sixth round is great value for Seattle, and with Carroll coaching McCoy at USC, he already knows more about him than any other coach in the NFL.  Look for McCoy to play a fairly significant role as the number-two tight end behind John Carlson.

Grade: A

1.) Detroit Lions

Ndamukong Suh will help the Detroit Lions defense as it looks to improve upon their league-worst ranking in 2009. Photo by Steve Sipple

It seems very odd putting the Detroit Lions atop a list for teams benefiting from the NFL Draft.  It wasn’t that long ago that it seemed that the Lions would simply draft the best receiver in the draft.  With the second pick in the draft they had a no-brainer pick and selected defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.  Suh will help Detroit try to shore up one of the worst defensive lines in the league, and putting him in the middle makes them immediately better.  The Lions then traded up into the end of the first round and selected Cal running back Jahvid Best.  Best is the perfect compliment to Kevin Jones, and gives the Lions their first big play threat at runningback since Barry Sanders.  He is the type of player that can turn a five-yard dump off into a 60-yard touchdown.  Then in the third round, Detroit selected Iowa corner Amari Spievey. Spievey was one of the nations best cover-corners in 2009 with Iowa, and will likely play the nickel corner role in Detroit, one of the harder positions to play on defense because unlike corners out wide, nickel backs do not have the sideline to use as they try to cover the receiver.  Overall Detroit did a very good job of continuing to build through the draft in their attempt to get out of the NFL basement and back into the playoffs.

Grade:  A+


3 Responses to “Which Teams Benefited Most From 2010 NFL Draft?”

  1. Kelly said

    New England, Arizona and Baltimore also had great drafts. I dont think New York deserves to be number 5.

  2. Josh Q said

    I agree for the most part. I think the Jets are a little higher rated. I cannot disagree with the other teams though. I really liked Seattle’s draft as well. Considering they got Lendale White and Leon Washington for pick trades, they improved almost every aspect needed. Now they just need to get a pass rush.

    I think Dez Bryant isn’t a character thing. That’s what analysts kept saying, but they are only guessing. I think the bigger factor for his fall is history. Maybe people are comparing him to Mike Williams (of USC), who was a possession receiver with speed questions (similar to Bryant) sat out a year, lost that development time and came into the league unconditioned and busted out. Bryant’s suspension was bogus, and the background questions are ridiculous. He’s not going to be a guy who gets suspended under the personal conduct policy. Maybe he just didn’t show the focus people would have liked to see for a player who wants to be a star (i.e combine, pro day, etc).

    I think history affected Claussen’s draft spot (coincidentally, given limited picks, I think Carolina did better than the Jets). People became worried that he was too similar to Brady Quinn (good mechanics and accuracy, limited mobility, less than ideal arm strength), and thus his draft stock fell.

    • RichieZ23 said

      Seattle getting Leon Washington was huge. Just absolutely huge. Dude is an absolute playmaker, and can turn dump offs into 12 yard gains with his wiggle. Not to mention what he brings to the kick-return game.

      Good call for realizing how bogus the character issues are with Bryant. He was out of shape for rookie mini-camp no doubt, but the thing that I keep hearing about Bryant is that he loves to play the game, and is a very hard worker. That combine and pro-day stuff, I dont pay much attention to that. It comes down to can you play football and do you want to get better, and to me, both of those are a definite yes.

      As far as Clausen, I don’t get it. I don’t know how he fell to the 2nd round. I agree with Kiper 100% when he says he’s going to be a star. Not to mention he goes to the best scenario out there. A run-first team, matched up with one of the best receivers in the league. Clausen is my ROY candidate, unless that is my former pet with Dallas Matt Moore beats him out. And to be honest, it wouldn’t shock me too much if he did.

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