Florida NFL Teams Did Okay, Not Great

The two day meat market known as the NFL Draft is over with and every team in the pro game thinks it got better during those two days. And I suppose they are right. Unless you completely screw up and choose me in the first round you have improved your team to some degree.

But the key to success in the NFL is making the best of those opportunities and that did not happen with the three teams that call the Sunshine State home. Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Miami all picked up good players, but all should have done better with the resources they had.

Jacksonville Jaguars ----- The Jags got off to a great start trading down four spots to get an extra third round pick and still ended up with the player they needed most in Florida safety Reggie Nelson. He will start from day one and give the Jags a playmaker in the deep middle. After that it seemed that Jacksonville kept drafting guys one round too early. Hampton linebacker Justin Durant and UCF receiver Mike Williams were both guys I thought would be there on Sunday. The Jaguars did very well to grab Maryland punter Adam Podlesh in the fourth round to eliminate another weakness. Missouri pass rushing linebacker Brian Smith had 31.5 sacks in college and might have been a second rounder if not for a broken hip. It's the kind of high risk/high reward day two pick that can really pay off.

Miami Dolphins ----- It was one of those draft selections that make you wonder if someone was playing a practical joke. Ted Ginn Jr. is a helluva talent, but his injured foot (BCS Title Game) still has not improved and you pick him with the ninth pick? The Dolphins did grab BYU quarterback John Beck in round two but ask yourself this; would you rather have Ginn and Beck or Brady Quinn and Sidney Rice? That's a no brainer as far as I'm concerned. Offensive lineman Samson Satele is a strong blocker but will have to switch from center to guard. Lorenzo Booker is a third down back, which makes him a day two guy, not a third rounder. There were several defensive linemen (Ray MacDonald, Charles Johnson, Tank Tyler, and Jay Alford) who would have given much needed youth to the ‘Fins defense. They did make an interesting fourth round selection of huge Utah defensive tackle Paul Soliai.

Tampa Bay Bucs ----- I'll disclose my bias up front; I'm not a fan of Gaines Adams or any other underachieving, inconsistent ACC defensive linemen. Just as Houston will long regret passing on Reggie Bush among others to take Mario Williams I thin the Bucs will regret this pick. They would have traded down and gotten LeRon Landry or Jamaal Anderson both of whom will be better pros. Second round pick Sabby Piscitelli is more impressive in workouts than he is in games. He's a very big safety who might end up at weak side linebacker. Aaron Sears is a good offensive lineman, but he'll have to move inside to guard. Fourth round pick Tanard Jackson will be better than Piscitelli. Linebacker Quincy Black and tackle Greg Peterson will provide solid, youthful depth on defense. Still, they really could use an impact receiver and would have been better off with Sidney Rice or Dwayne Jarrett instead of Sears.

So those are my thoughts… what are yours?

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