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The Jeff Falconio Blog

Early Analysis Of The NFL Draft

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The newest member of the Green Bay Packers is offensive tackle Derek Sherrod of Mississippi State and while everything is based on future projections Packers fans should be happy with this pick.  Sherrod is versatile, able to play both tackle and guard, and brings immediate depth to the offensive line.  As a bonus, Sherrod can contribute right away but won't need to start and thus can take time to develop.

 

A few other thoughts on the first round:

 

How good does the NFC South look right now?  Atlanta, in the boldest move of the night, traded up to get Julio Jones and in doing so the Falcons get a guy who can start Week 1.  Ryan, Turner, White & Jones.  Pretty solid offense.  New Orleans picks up two first round selections and both guys should contribute early.  The window is opening for Tampa Bay as the Bucs shore up what was still a porous defensive line.

 

That being said it feels like Carolina will need a lot more than Cam Newton to compete in that tough division.  It should be noted that the Packers face the NFC South this year.

 

Quarterback is a need for the Vikings but was it necessary to take Christian Ponder so high?  I would rate quarterbacks in terms of NFL-readiness this way: Locker, Ponder, Gabbert, Mallett, Newton.  However, Ponder could've been taken later in the first round or perhaps even in the second round.

 

There's no doubt Detroit is getting better and Nick Fairley is a value pick but the Lions won't be able to take that next step until they address the offensive line and do a better job of protecting Matthew Stafford.

 

Speaking of protection, people around here may not like it but Chicago's pick of Gabe Carimi was a great selection.  It is both a value and a need pick and if the Bears can keep Jay Cutler upright they will compete for a division title again.

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