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2011 NFL Draft: First Round Reactions

The first round of the draft is for starts. The second and third round are for starters.  Only 20 Pro Bowl players have been taken in the 2nd round since 2004. Only 7 went in the third round. 62 went in the first round over that span. So, let's keep everything that happens tonight in perspective, please.

  • Most interesting thing about who Indy picked: I've heard almost no one suggest any other player.  I suppose one guy I saw on Twitter wanted Ingram (which would have caused many of us to jump off the nearest bridge).  But in general, this is a pick that cannot be second guessed.  There just wasn't a better player or a better fit out there. I wanted defense, but there was no one worth of the pick. After Paea fell out of the first, it's impossible to argue Indy should have taken him at 22 (though I hope they get him tonight).  Castonzo may or may not be a 10 year starter and perennial All-Pro, but can we all agree with our future selves that this guy was the unquestioned right selection at the time?  If he doesn't work out, it's not because Polian is an idiot.
  • Here's the problem with all the QBs going in the first round: none of them are very good.  They were all 2nd round talent or later and only looked good because they were measured against each other.  Without a Bradford to compare them to, teams figured, "Hey this guy isn't any worse than the guy who went first or second, so he must be a steal." The problem is that Newton had ZERO business being the first overall pick, so that knocked the value for the other QBs clean out of whack.
  • The AFC South did not catch up to Indy.  Even if Locker and Gabbert turn out to be good NFL starters (and I don't believe they will), they won't be credible in 2011.  As for Houston drafting an end, they've been 'Manning-proofing' for years without success.  They took an end, and Indy took a tackle. We'll see who wins that matchup.
  • The Panthers are going to be bad for many, many years. Hee hee.
  • The Jags may love Gabbert, but trading up to get a QB and then putting him on a team with a coach in the last year of his contract seems risky.  The Jags overachieved (their point differential was awful) and there's almost no chance they improve in 2011.  They are a 6 win team, and Del Rio is going to get fired, which means they waste a year of Gabbert's development.  Next year, he'll have to learn an entirely new system.  This may work out in the long run (3-5 years from now), but it won't help them take the division in 2011.
  • The Titans inspire no confidence at all now that Fisher is gone.  I love it.
  • If it seems like all I care about is the present, it's because that is all I care about in the NFL. The NFL is a 'win now' league. Three years is an eternity.  Five years is an eon.  Teams can be turned around or plunged under in a heart-beat. It's hard to build for the future in a league where the shelf life for most players is around 5 years.
  • The Giants getting Prince late was a coup.
  • For all that talk about how the Pats were going to dominate the draft all they got was a tackle who isn't as good as the one the Colts took 5 picks later.  Trading picks is only worth it if you use the picks on good players. New England traded Richard Seymour for Solder. That seems like an awful deal.
  • For all the talk about how the lockout has poisoned the fans, I'm not seeing it.  No fan has been harmed in any way by the lockout.  Fans are grumpy, but once the draft started, everyone was back on board.  It was a wild night.  I don't think anything close to lasting damage has been done, and unless games are lost, no one will even remember this in 3 years.


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