I will admit you have to give the Giants credit for getting as many needs filled as possible. GM Jerry Reese knew he would need not one, but two receivers in this draft. In Hakeem Nicks(Rd1-29th overall), they get a natural talent at the position who runs pass routes well, has excellent speed, both before and after the catch. The one knock on Nicks is that he is only 6′ 3/4″ and some would have thought they would have gotten a taller receiver. Wait, they also got a tall receiver in the third round in Ramses Barden. The tallest receiver in this draft at 6’5-1/2″ and 230 pounds, Barden is big enough to fill Plaxico Burress’ shoes. he may not have the speed, but he has the body and the hands to play the jump ball game in the back of the endzone.
Barden also runs good pass patterns and will help stretch the defenses. 2nd round selection Clint Sintim is an LB from Virginia who will help with depth on the defense. The other #2 selection OT William Beatty, will help the depth on an aging offensive line. 4th round choice TE Travis Beckum of Wisconsin will make the team simply because he will cost less then at least one of Kevin Boss’s back ups. 5th round choice Rhett Bomar was a stand out QB at Oklaholma, but was dismissed for rules violations and finished his last two years at Sam Houston State. RB Andre Brown, and CB’s DeAndre Wright, and Stoney Woodson will at least get into camp. Grade: B
The rest of the NFC:
Eagles: 7 Picks. Although Philly adds three quality starters in Maclin (Rd1), RB LeSean McCoy (Rd2), and TE Cornelius Ingram (Rd3), but little else after that. These three will contribute, and Maclin will be a star in the NFL like his new teammate DeSean Jackson. Ingram needs to improve run blocking. Grade B-
Cowboys: 12 picks. A half grade off for trading out of round 2 when they already gave up round one choice. LB Jason Williams, OT Robert Brewster, and QB Stephen McGee address needed depth. Large group of picks give camp roster extra bodies, but how much else? Grade D+
Redskins: 5 Picks. After DE Brian Orapko (Rd1) Washington didn’t do all that well with only 2 picks in the first 3+ rounds. FB Eddie williams is already a” Bubble” player. CB Kevin Barnes, and LB’s Cody Glenn and Robert Henson are reserves at best. Grade: C
Bears: 9 Picks. This group could have even been better if there was a choice in the first two rounds. 6 of the 9 picks should contribute though, and the WR trio of Juaquin Iglesias, Johnny Knox, and Derek Kinder give the receivers depth for new QB Jay Cutler. DT Jarron Gilbert has upside potential as a pass rusher. Grade: B-
Lions: 10 Picks. Give Detroit credit for getting the Stafford deal done, even if they paid a bit over what he’s really worth. TE Brandon Pettigrew was the best of a weak class at his position, but could play a crossover role as an end/ receiver. Louis Delmas is a quality safety, but he was the only DB they selected. Grade: B+
Packers: 8 Picks. Six of this group will make the Packers roster this year. BJ Raji (Rd1) should be a force for years to come on the inside of defensive line. LB Clay Matthews is also a quality prospect, and FB Quinn Johnson will contribute. The offensive line will be helped by T.J Lang and Jamon Meredith. The only down side is the lack of a higher rated DB prospect. Grade: A-
Vikings: 5 Picks. The whole ball of wax here is Percy Harvin. “If” is the biggest two letter word in the universe and it applies to Harvin here. OT Phil Loadholt will be a contributor and could quietly be a draft steal, but there isn’t much else to get excited about here.
Grade: C+ if Harvin gets strait, otherwise, a C
Falcons: 8 Picks. First round pick DT Peria Jerry can play, but can he stay healthy? Atlanta needed defensive help just about everywhere, and they addressed that in this draft, taking only one offensive player in OT Garrett Reynolds. DE Lawrence Sidbury of FCS national champion Richmond university is a gift in round 4.
Panthers: 7 Picks: Everette Brown could have been a low first or high second round selection in a different year. He will eventually develop into Julius Peppers’ replacement. CB’s Sherrod Martin and Captain Munnerlyn should provide added reinforcements to the defensive backfield. RB Mike Goodson and FB Tony Fiammetta will take some pressure of the passing game. No selections in the top 50 picks did hurt though. Grade: C+
Saints: 4 Picks (but made deals prior to this for Shockey and Vilma).
CB Malcom Jenkins will have almost an instant impact on the defensive secondary.
Punter Tom Morestead will most likely make the team. The other two picks, S Chip Vaughn and LB Stanley Arnoux will be solid reserves. The lack of early selections hurts here. Grade: B-
Buccaneers: 6 Picks: Coach Morris will have his very own QB of the future in Josh Freeman. DL’s Roy Miller and Kyle Moore are good selections. WR Sammie Stroughter will pay off down the road, but nothing will come of this class for 2009.
Cardinals: 8 Picks. Just have to love what the Cards did in this draft. Chris Wells’ anguish is Arizona’s gain here. OL’s Herman Johnson and Trevor Canfield will add depth, although Johnson was touted as the best Guard in the class. his size might force his move outside to tackle. S Rashard Johnson and CD Greg Toler will also help the Cards pass defense. Grade: B
Rams: 7 Picks. OT Jason Smith & LB James Laurinaitis fill glaring needs right off the bat. QB Keith Null(6th Rd) could become the 3rd QB. sadly, the Rams didn’t go for a receiver until the 5th round, but got Hakeem NIcks’ teammate Brooks Foster of North Carolina, a steady possession receiver, who might be able to develop some moves. Grade: B
49ers: 7 Picks. We can’t say enough about Michael Crabtree, even if he can’t do the Deion Sanders dance too well. He may wind up to be the lone starter in 2009 from this draft class, But they needed to get help for whomever the starting QB is. Grade B-
Seahawks: 7 Picks. When no one wanted to trade up to the 4th spot, the ‘Hawks devided to reinforce their pass rush with Aaron Curry(Rd1). OC Max Unger in round 2 is also an instant starter. the rest of the picks are all contributors in some way this season. WR Deion Butler and TE Cam Morrah are great value picks. Grade: B+