This year's NFL draft is not a deep one in terms of talent. But there are gems here, and winners and losers among the drafters.
RAIDERS: Of all the offensive skill position players in the draft, there was only one "sure thing": RB Darren McFadden. I was downright giddy when my Raiders got him. There is the argument the Raiders didn't need another running back, with Justin Fargas, Michael Bush, and Dominic Rhodes already there. But McFadden is a special back, the kind who makes your offensive line better just because he is so good. And fast.
FALCONS: My hometown Falcons did well, getting the top quarterback in the draft, Matt Ryan, and an offensive lineman for him, Sam Baker. Add in linebacker Curtis Lofton, and things look good for the future of this franchise. However, cornerback Chevis Jackson is a little slow and small for his position.
DOLPHINS: Say what you will, but when you go 1-15, there are offensive line problems. Adding the top offensive lineman in the draft, Jake Long, makes perfect sense. And let's not forget quarterback Chad Henne and two defensive linemen, Phillip Merling and Kendall Langford.
BEARS: There were a lot of needs on the Bears, and they filled a few of them. Tackle Chris Williams, running back Matt Forte, and wide receiver Earl Bennett, may all end up starting right away, considering the lack of quality ahead of them.
COLTS: Even without a first round pick, the Colts got some quality prospects in center Mike Pollak and linebacker (although I think he'd make a better safety) Philip Wheeler. Especially Wheeler, who has a good motor.
JETS: Even though tight end Dustin Keller has some question marks (great receiver, so-so blocking skills), the Jets definitely got a good one in defensive lineman Vernon Gholston.
PACKERS: Like the Colts, no first round picks here, but they got some quality prospects anyway. Getting quarterback Brian Brohm in the second round was a steal.
PATRIOTS: When I see two linebackers going to a team coached by Bill Belichick, I know I am looking at two potential all-pros. Belichick spends more time with his linebackers than any other position, and his defenses show it. Even though the Pats linebackers were all studs last year, they are also OLD. Adding youth to this experienced corps of linebackers makes the Patriots scary.
In addition, the Pats picked up a super-speedy corner in Terrence Wheatley. Expect to hear his name a lot over the next few years.
STEELERS: Even though running back Rashard Mendenhall is the big name of the Steelers draft, I like the guys they got in the second and third rounds better: WR Limas Sweed and DE Bruce Davis. Davis may end up getting switched to linebacker and will be a project because of it, but he has a good motor and attitude. Sweed is another solid prospect.
RAVENS: Think the Ravens learned from the mistake of letting quarterback Derek Anderson go? They went and drafted an Anderson clone in Delaware quarterback Joe Flacco. That said, Delaware quarterbacks have rarely excelled in the NFL, with Rich Gannon being the only exception, and it took Gannon many years to become an outstanding quarterback. In spite of the fact the scouts have become enamored with him, and I personally wish him well as a Delaware grad myself, I predict Flacco becomes a journeyman quarterback who may or may not find success in the NFL. If he does, it will take longer than the Ravens want to wait, and it will be with another team (similar to Rich Gannon).
The rest of the Ravens draft has question marks, although Tom Zbikowski might turn out to be a quality safety.
BROWNS: No picks until the fourth round? It is not like this team doesn't need help.
CHIEFS: I am putting the Chiefs in the losers category for now, only because they got a lot of players with question marks. Even their top pick, defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey, was probably the most questionable among the top 10 picks in the draft.
As for the other five players the Chiefs got in the first three rounds, the scouts are calling them "quality" picks, but I still see "wait and see" picks.
What I saw of the rest of the NFL was a bunch of question marks in this draft, which was the weakest draft I have seen in many years.