It may be a bit premature to try and determine the winners and losers from this year’s NFL Draft, but that doesn’t stop the pundits nor myself from doing just that. With a number of teams trying to build for the future and turn their franchise histories around, the draft is the best way to go about doing just that. There are always a few teams that tend to excel more than others during the process and contrastingly there are a few franchises that just don’t seem to have a clue. This particular piece is going to focus on the positives and dissect just which teams had the best three days during the draft process and why.
If building a sound roster begins in the trenches then its easy to see why the San Francisco 49ers are the biggest winners. Of course it’s always easier to stand out when a team has multiple first round picks, but they still have to be properly executed to be considered successful. The Niners moved up two spots with their first pick to nab a top five talent in Anthony Davis as a stalwart left tackle with the 11th pick and he could prove to be a steal if his work ethic is dialed in. With pick number 17 they went with the mauler out of Idaho in Mike Iupati who is arguably the safest pick in the draft with can’t miss size, strength, and a wealth of athleticism to go along with it. There were rumors that San Francisco’s Head Coach Mike Singletary loved Taylor Mays and it’s definite that he loved seeing him on the board in the middle of the 2nd round even more. These top three choices will likely be day one starters in the Bay Area and be fixtures on the Niners for years to come.
Now for something that doesn’t usually belong in the same sentence together by calling the Oakland Raiders winners in the draft. Oakland may have finally figured things out from their 1st round selection of the solid linebacker Rolando McClain to their great value in Bruce Campbell in the 4th round. Possibly the biggest reason for a positive feeling in Oakland is that Al Davis may have finally given up on Jamarcus Russell with the team acquiring Jason Campbell from the Washington Redskins. With a solid defense already intact, the Raiders may be poised to make some noise in the AFC West in 2010.
The final winner is the Seattle Seahawks who with their new Head Coach Pete Carroll at the helm got value after value in the first two rounds. Starting in round one where the consensus number one offensive tackle on the board Russell Okung just falls into their laps with the sixth choice and then at 14 a similar situation as safety Earl Thomas slides to their second first round selection. These values will be huge for the Seahawks as they try to find a Walter Jones replacement and a playmaking safety, but they also need a dynamic wide receiver. Enter Golden Tate who slipped to the end of the second round where Seattle was poised to pounce on him immediately. Couple these picks with the trades to acquire running backs Leon Washington from the New York Jets and LenDale White from the Tennessee Titans and Seahawks fans have to be excited for the upcoming season.
These were the winners of the draft, but keep checking back to see which teams were on the short end of things during the selection process.
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