Last year, I evaluated who I thought had the best and worst drafts and I am going to do it again. In that year, I said Cleveland had the best draft. Although they didn't make the playoffs, they did finish the season 10-6; a major improvement. I also stated that Miami had the worst draft - no explanation needed.
Let's start with who I thought were the biggest winners in the draft.
Although it is going to sound like I am a homer, the Dallas Cowboys had a much improved draft compared to last season, when I blasted them as having one of the worst.
After losing running back Julius Jones to the Seattle Seahawks, the boys in blue needed something new, and they got it in Arkansas' Felix Jones. Mix in Marion Barber's strength with his speed, the possibility that this duo works out better than the duo of Barber and Julius Jones could be absolutely FAN-Tastic.
Plus they got some solid cornerbacks in Mike Jenkins of South Florida and Orlando Scandrick of Boise State. What keeps the Cowboys from having the best draft, in my opinion is that they did not pick up a wide receiver. I'm not sure how much fuel Terry Glenn has in his tank, but to continue putting their trust in him is somewhat of a risk. It looked like Limas Sweed was going to be their second first-round pick, but he went to the Pittsburgh Steelers who had a superstar caliber draft.
How could you not see what Pittsburgh has done? They practically got some of the freshest talent that ever stepped on a college football field.
Their pick was after the Cowboys at No. 23 overall and while the Cowboys opted for running back Felix Jones, the Steelers got a lot of promise in Rashard Mendenhall - another breakthrough running back from Illinois. They followed that up with Sweed, one of the Texas Longhorns' most talented wide receivers ever. Add that with a recovering Dennis Dixon from Oregon at quarterback, and we could be looking at some terrible towels spinning at full speed in the next few years. Although running back Willie Parker, receiver Hines Ward and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are neither decrepit or unhealthy, it helps to have this talent working behind them, with the potential to be back in the Super Bowl in no time.
Other teams that had great drafts include the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings. Each of which got something they needed - quarterbacks. The Falcons got Boston College prodigy Matt Ryan. Although some Atlanta natives were upset with that pick, they need to get over it. Michael Vick is in prison and he's not going to get a break from the Falcons when he gets out.
Baltimore took 6-foot-6 inch Joe Flacco of Delaware. This proves that you don't have to be a Division I star to stand out - just be really tall with a rocket launcher for an arm.
Minnesota has Tauvaris Jackson, which is why the Vikings selected USC's John David Booty. Although Jackson can still improve, Booty is the real deal. He has a quick mind and an accurate arm that could compliment a decent offense that could push the Vikings to the next level and make them playoff contenders in the near future.
The team I thought, as well as most everybody else, that had the best draft was the Kansas City Chiefs. They knew exactly what they wanted - defense, defense, and more defense.
Former potential No. 1 pick defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey of LSU slipped to No. 5 and Kansas City wasted no time in getting him. They also got another defensive tackler in Virginia's Branden Albert.
A couple of defensive backs at corner and safety in DaJuan Morgan and Brandon Carr add some depth in a defense that lacks star potential for the Chiefs.
Running back Larry Johnson did not have the year people had hoped for, and it hurt Kansas City greatly.
To help out is Jamaal Charles of Texas. After he had an outstanding second half, many saw Charles as a possible second, or even first-round pick. He slipped to third and the Chiefs added some potential greatness.
Of course, with every team that has a good draft, there is always one who failed miserably.
Candidates from this year's draft included the Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Derrick Harvey as a first-round pick?…Really)
The big winner - or should I say loser - are the Tennessee Titans Although they had a great season last year, which included a trip to the playoffs, the Titans needed some offensive help in receiving, running back and a back-up quarterback wouldn't hurt either.
Available running backs included Ray Rice from Rutgers, Mike Hart of Michigan, Kevin Smith from Central Florida and Charles.
Receivers Sweed, Mario Manningham of Michigan and Early Doucet of LSU were waiting to be picked.
Quarterbacks Chad Henne of Michigan, Brian Brohm of Louisville and Booty were up for the taking.
So who do the Titans choose as their first pick but…Chris Johnson of East Carolina? Although he can run, he is scrawny at under 200 pounds for a running back. Although this pick is not in Ted Ginn proportions, it's still an odd pick. Young needs strong receivers and backs and he got neither.
Lavelle Hawkins is also weak at receiver and Young's back up is Kerry Collins. Sure he's got other talent behind that, but how dependable are they?
The draft was a good one this year. Time will tell if I evaluated these teams correctly, but I'm pretty confident in my picks. Now, how do I start this apology letter to Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones for calling him the devil?
Juan Carlos Reyes is a sports reporter for the Record Star. Readers may contact him at 361-387-4511 or via email at email@example.com.