Recapping The Winners and Losers of This Year’s NFL Draft
Yahoo Sports writer Jason Cole identifies the Winners and Losers from NFL draft day:
• St. Louis Rams – On March 10, the Rams turned the No. 2 pick into one of the biggest hauls in NFL history by getting three first-rounders (the No. 6 overall pick this year, plus Washington’s first-round selections in 2013 and 2014) and a second-rounder this year (the No. 39 overall). On Thursday, the Rams took the No. 6 overall pick and traded it to Dallas for the No. 14 overall and the No. 45 overall. The Rams took defensive tackle Michael Brockers at No. 14 and cornerback Janoris Jenkins at No. 39 and then traded the No. 45 to Chicago for picks Nos. 50 and 150. The Rams ended up with running back Isaiah Pead and guard Rokevious Watkins with those picks. So far, the Rams have turned the rights to Griffin into Brockers, Jenkins, Pead and Watkins and still have two first-round picks left to use. Nice work.
Janoris Jenkins – Speaking of Jenkins, he was a big loser in one way: His off-field issues (two marijuana arrests and four children with three women) dropped him from a potential top-six pick to No. 39. That cost him roughly $3 million on his first contract. But Jenkins did land in a great spot. He has a chance to walk in and be a star right away for the Rams and coach Jeff Fisher should have a better understanding of how to deal with Jenkins after the “Pacman” Jones experience in Tennessee.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger – Roethlisberger has been sacked at least 40 times in five of the past six seasons. It would likely be all six for six if not for his four-game suspension to start 2010 (he was sacked 32 times in 12 games that year). The big problem for most of that stretch has been the offensive line’s absurdly awful play. The Steelers worked hard to address that by taking Stanford guard David DeCastro in the first round at No. 24 overall and then Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams in the second round.DeCastro was projected by some to go as high as No. 11 and Adams was projected as a first-round pick until it was revealed he tested positive for marijuana at the combine. Adams agreed to several stipulations with the Steelers since the combine after lying to the team about his drug use. If Adams gets his act together, he, DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert and Maurkice Pouncey could form the best line the Steelers have had in the Roethlisberger era.
New England coach Bill Belichick – After years of auditioning for “Hoarders” when it came to draft picks, Belichick finally spent some of his cache to get a couple of top defensive players in the first round. Belichick traded up twice in the first round to get former Syracuse defensive endChandler Jones and former Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower. Hightower can also line up at defensive end from time to time, which will help make up for the loss of backup defensive end Mark Anderson in free agency and the potential loss of veteran free-agent defensive end Andre Carter. The Patriots should have done something like this last year in the draft, but better late than never.
Indianapolis Colts tight end Coby Fleener – Even before the draft, Fleener was a big winner when he donated his formerly long hair to Locks of Love, an organization that donates hairpieces to disadvantaged children fighting diseases such as cancer that lead to hair loss. After the draft, Fleener was also a huge beneficiary, even if he didn’t go in the first round as he had hoped. Fleener was taken with the No. 2 pick of the second round and will be reunited with former Stanford teammate Andrew Luck. Couple that with the selection of fellow tight end Dwayne Allen of Clemson in the third round and Fleener has a serious chance to be the same type of big-play receiver he was in college.
San Diego Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram and commissioner Roger Goodell – Ingram and Goodell got together for the most fun handshake of the draft when Ingram was selected. The moment was full of personality and showed a lighter side of Goodell, who is not really the draconian monster of discipline that many people make him out to be.”