It typically takes three years to fully analyze a draft as to whether it worked or failed. The Vikings had what I view to be a very strong draft, but much of that will hinge on Percy Harvin being the guy Brad Childress believes he is, Phil Loadholt being able to transfer his skills to the NFL and guys like Asher Allen and Jasper Brinkley being able to make defensive contributions.
While time will be the ultimate judge, here are the other winners and losers of Draft Weekend 2009:
Detroit Lions – With three picks in the first 33, the Lions got three players viewed as the best at their respective positions – QB Matthew Stafford, TE Brandon Pettigrew and S Louis Delmas. With the free-agent additions they made, the always-defeated Lions look to be on the upswing.
Buffalo Bills – The Bills had four picks in the first two rounds and, while they didn't adequately replace OT Jason Peters, they helped the offensive line by getting center Eric Wood and guard Andy Levitre and defensive help with DE Aaron Maybin and DB Jairus Byrd.
Cincinnati Bengals – It's hard to imagine having the Bungles on this list, but they drafted pretty well. Andre Smith has the potential to be big at offensive tackle and LB Rey Maualuga, DE Michael Johnson and TE Chase Coffman were all good value picks where they went.
Tennessee Titans – The Titans didn't pick until No. 30, but came away with a No. 1 receiver (Kenny Britt), help on the defensive line with DT Sen'Derrick Marks and solid prospects in TE Jared Cook, DB Ryan Mouton, and OT Troy Kropog.
Atlanta Falcons – You knew the Falcons were looking to address defense with the draft, but who would have guessed using their first five picks on that side of the ball? They got help up front with DTs Peria Jerry and Lawrence Sidbury and defensive backs William Moore, Christopher Owens and William Middleton. The only surprise was that linebacker wasn't addressed earlier, since that was an area of loss during free agency.
Green Bay Packers – The team got a couple of solid defensive playmakers in B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews and were able to find a couple of tackle prospects (T.J. Lang and Jamon Meredith) deep into the second day.
Philadelphia Eagles – Donovan McNabb wanted additional weapons and the Eagles obliged, adding WR Jeremy Maclin, RB LeSean McCoy and TE Cornelius Ingram. The Eagles offense will have a much different look in 2009.
Oakland Raiders – Al Davis should be prevented from participating in the draft anymore. Darrius Heyward-Bey smacks of Troy Williamson and Michael Mitchell from Ohio was a safety many didn't have projected in the top 50 – not overall, at his position. The Raiders will have another top-10 pick next year for a reason.
New England Patriots – The Pats are always convinced they're the smartest guys in the room and proved it again by trading out of the first round and having four picks in the second round. While they got decent players in DBs Patrick Chung and Darius Butler, DT Ron Brace and OT Sebastian Vollmer, they didn't get any blue-chip type players who could make a big impact. They ended up with 12 draft picks, half of which likely won't make the team.
Carolina Panthers – Without a first-round pick, the Panthers mortgaged a first-rounder next year to get Everette Brown at No. 43 – the only real difference-maker they drafted. He's a good value at No. 43, but not at the price of a 2010 first rounder.
Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys got too cute with the trades, ending up with two or more players in each of the final five rounds but none in the first two. Their arrogance will bite them if none of these players pan out while division rivals have strengthened themselves.
New Orleans Saints – The Saints had only four picks and used one of them on a punter. Malcolm Jenkins may be all that comes out of this draft and there are questions about his skills as a No. 1 corner.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Bucs moved up to take Josh Freeman and, if he doesn't pan out, this draft will be a disaster.
Day-after draft winners and losers
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