Winner 1. Cleveland Browns
Many Cleveland fans may have had looks of confusion and fear on their faces when they first saw that the Browns traded away their number six pick. However, there can be little doubt that the Browns got away with a steal in the† 2011 National Football League draft. Trading away the number six pick this year for five picks was a very impressive and gutsy move. In addition, defensive tackle Phil Taylor should have an immediate impact on the Browns’ defensive line.
Loser 1. Carolina Panthers
Once upon a time there was a flashy, fast, mobile, National Championship quarterback who got drafted way too early in the NFL draft. His name was Vince Young. Apparently the Panthers like how Young’s career has worked out because they just drafted a younger version of him in the form of Cameron Newton. I am not convinced Newton’s career in the NFL is going to live up to his flashy persona.†† After all, getting by a University of Alabama linebacker and getting by Ray Lewis are two very different things.
Winner 2. Detroit Lions
If you are an offensive player in the NFC North and you are not planning on wearing a Lions jersey next year, you might want to start praying that the NFL lockout never ends.
The combination of Nick Fairley and 2010 Defensive Rookie of the Year Ndamukong Suh should give the Lions one of the most devastating defenses in the NFL. Given Fairley’s National Championship performace quarterbacks should be running scared.
Loser 2.† Minnesota Vikings
Did anyone else feel their jaw hit the floor when the Minnesota Vikings announced that they were taking Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder in the first round of the draft?
This pick was the definition of a reach. Ponder was destined to sit on the board for a very long time and the idea that he was deserving of the number 12 overall pick is absolutely ludicrous.
Winner 3. St. Louis Rams
Last year’s number one pick Sam Bradford needs help and fortunately for him, the St. Louis Rams decided that the draft was the perfect opportunity to give him the offensive weapons he needs to put this team deep into the playoffs.
Tight end Lance Kendricks and wide receiver Austin Pettis should serve as excellent complements to Bradford’s skill as a passer.
Loser 3. Tennessee Titans
Jake Locker at the number eight spot? Somebody was desperate to replace Vince Young.