Day One: Winners and Losers

Who won? Who lost? Everyone else is stuck in the middle and football experts around the country are still trying to piece things together after a crazy first day. Check out "morning after" impressions here.

Biggest Winner: Cleveland

Any time you can get a franchise left tackle and a franchise quarterback in the same round, you do it.  They traded away an awful lot of their future and a good deal of their present to get Brady Quinn at 22nd overall, but they do have an awful lot of pieces already in place and seemed to be one or two key guys (like a QB and an LT, for example) away from becoming a serious contender.

Kudos to Romeo Crennel and Phil Savage for a great first day.

Other Winners:

Oakland:

By working the phones and taking full advantage of the fact that they held the #1 pick, the Raiders were able to draft five quality guys on the first day and keep five selections for the second day.  Ja Marcus Russell is the quarterback of the future and has the kind of arm strength that Oakland desires.  Quentin Moses and Zach Miller will contribute right away.  Mario Henderson is an interesting project with great size (6'6", 302) who is raw and may still be a couple of years away.

The one questionable pick is Johnnie Lee Higgins, who doesn't seem to fit the mold as far as Raiders receivers are concerned.  He's small, but not fast.  More of a possession receiver.  Interesting pick.

Dallas:

They win based more on the sizeable cache of picks that they got from the Browns, but they also drafted smart and got quality and value with their two selections.  Anthony Spencer is a prototypical 3-4 end-turned-linebacker, and Boston College's James Marten has just as much potential as any left tackle outside of the top three. 

By playing it smart and acquiring picks for the present and the future, Dallas tabbed a couple of key players on the first day and put themselves in excellent position for the second day with seven selections in rounds 4-7.

Indianapolis:

They chose wisely, strengthened themselves at a number of key positions, and came out of the first day with a nice haul of talented prospects that will help them defend their title.

Nothing fancy, just a good, solid draft.

Biggest Loser: New England

I understand that the almighty brain trust of Bill Bellicheck and Scott Pioli must not be questioned when it comes to the draft.  But, to come out of the first day with only one selection (Brandon Meriweather at 24, who Scout had rated 65th overall) must be troubling for Patriots fans.

Then again, they can cry themselves to sleep on a pillow that is stuffed with three Lombardi Trophies, so what do I know.

Washington:

Same reason as New England.  One choice on Day One and it was a safety.  They avoid the "Biggest Loser" tag because LaRon Landry is a guaranteed playmaker that will compliment Sean Taylor well and... we've kind of come to expect this type of behavior from the Redskins come draft time.

Jacksonville, Kansas City, and Baltimore:

It's actually difficult to find losers thus far, because every team seems to have, for the most part, gotten good value out of their selections and taken quality players at positions of need.

These three teams just didn't seem to do as well as the rest of the league.  Not necessarily losers, just not necessarily good enough to get lumped in the middle with everyone else.


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