Best Values: Each year, there are players that slide for whatever
reason(s). Here's a look at some of the players that should turn out to be solid
1) Rashad Jennings/RB/Jacksonville Jaguars/Seventh Round - They cut veteran RB Fred Taylor and need to find out who will be Maurice Jones-Drew's backup. Jennings should have been selected much earlier and he has excellent size and ability. It's amazing that he dropped as far as he did considering it was expected that he would go off the board in rounds 3-4. And don't forget he performed well during Senior Bowl week practices.
2) Javon Ringer/RB/Michigan St./Tennessee Titans/Fifth Round - This one was a big surprise considering how well he performed in his Senior season in 2008 (1637 rushing yards). Ringer adds solid speed and elusiveness to Tennessee's ground game. Former second-round pick Chris Henry seemingly looks like a long-shot to make the team.
3) Jeremy Maclin/WR/Philadelphia Eagles/First Round (19th) - Once he got past the Oakland Raiders at No. 7, it became less of a surprise that Maclin fell as far as he did. Still, he's an outstanding return specialist who will improve their speed at the slot receiver position. It will be interesting to see how they use him this season. This team has tremendous speed at the receiver.
4) Everette Brown/DE/Carolina Panthers/Second Round - Many believed he had clear first-round talent, but scouts questioned whether he's a fit for the 3-4 or 4-3. Still, Brown got lucky in that he wound up with a team with a major need for help at defensive end. Not only should he compete for playing time right away, he could start opposite Julius Peppers and they gave up their first-round pick next year in order to trade up to get him.
5) Rey Maualuga/LB/Cincinnati Bengals/Second Round - The fact that he dropped so far might be due in part that scouts saw him as a two-down linebacker. This was a common complaint in regard to high-touted LBs such as Dan Connor and Paul Posluszny in recent drafts and why they fell farther than expected . However, a source notes Posluszny wound up playing in over 97 percent of the defensive snaps last season for the Buffalo Bills.
Maualuga will bring a certain level of badly needed physicality to the Bengal defense next season.
Riskiest Moves: Look no further than the selection of WR Percy Harvin by the Minnesota Vikings with the 22nd overall selection in the first round.
Since head coach Brad Childress was hired, the team has mostly stayed away from drafting players with a bad history of off-the-field issues. Harvin's checkered past has been well-documented over the past few weeks, but the team is willing to take a huge risk with the talented player. It's a high risk, high reward selection to say the least. And the Vikings weren't alone in their interest. Harvin said during a post-draft interview that the New England Patriots worked him out this past Friday and he believed the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans were seriously interested in him.
One player that went much higher than expected was WR Darrius Heyward-Bey with the seventh selection overall in the first round by the Oakland Raiders. It's not that he wasn't supposed to be selected in the first round, but many scouts around the league felt he would go off the board during the second half of the round. But when you consider the owner makes the calls on draft day, never be surprised with what happens with the Raiders. This is the same team that selected a kicker in the first round of the 2000 draft.
Players That Got Traded: The Cleveland Browns and New York Jets
completed a trade on Saturday where DE Kenyon Coleman, QB Brett Ratliff, and S
Abram Elam got moved.
Coleman will challenge for a starting job right away and at worst, he'll a third end for the Browns. The strong-armed Ratliff will man the third spot on the quarterback depth chart and Elam should take over at strong safety.
The other player trade that got completed turned out to be a surprise. The New England Patriots traded starting CB Ellis Hobbs to the Philadelphia Eagles for two fifth-round picks.
Hobbs, who is on the final year of his deal, was in a crowded spot at cornerback with the Patriots. New England, before Hobbs was traded, had seven CBs on their roster, including second-round pick Darius Butler.
Hobbs joins a team that is going through a contractual issue with one of their starting cornerbacks. Sheldon Brown wants his contract renegotiated, but the team has said they won't be doing that and won't be trading him. However, with Hobbs, a proven starter in the fold, it's hard to see how this will shake out other than Brown being moved.
Starter Asante Samuel and nickel back Joselio Hanson are signed long-term and Brown is signed through 2012. While Hobbs is on the final year of his deal, players traded on the final year of their contract are usually extended for at least a few more seasons before too long.
Players That Stayed: No other teams showed serious interest in Braylon Edwards besides the New York Giants, so it's looking strong that he'll remain with the team for the final season on his contract. Cleveland simply was asking too much in compensation in return for Edwards.
The Arizona Cardinals talked to plenty of teams about Anquan Boldin, but in the end, teams weren't willing to give up a high-round selection for the talented receiver who's had a long history of injuries.
Tony Scheffler has been rumored to be on the trading block for several weeks and the Denver Broncos selected a tight end in the second round. So it's still possible that Scheffler gets dealt before training camp starts.