Now, I love football. And I have draft predictions! Now, I know the draft has already started, but “I have been at the Marshall admitted student weekend”:http://wadearmstrong.com/archives/000416.html and haven’t seen any of the news. So I’m in the dark as to draft picks at this point.
I love football, but I really only care about two teams: Baltimore and Denver. OK, I care about Indianapolis too, but only that they lose. So here is my analysis of Baltimore and Denver picks.
Denver first. Denver has three main needs: corners, wide receivers and a tight end. Denver could also use a good run-stuffing lineman, but, unless they get a real upgrade to their secondary, they’re stopping the run by allowing the pass. A lot of draft projections have Denver taking a running back, maybe Stephen Jackson, with their first-rounder, but Shanahan has a real history of finding value in running backs taken in the 3rd and 4th rounds, and I’d expect him to do the same this year, especially after picking up Garrison Hearst and with an RB he likes and a halfback who once rushed for over 1,000 yards in a season already on the team.
I’d expect Denver to take a tight end in the second round, get a real strong player who can learn from Shannon Sharpe like Todd Heap did in Baltimore a few years ago. There are a couple of good corners who are fair value for a late first-round pick. This draft is so deep at wide receiver that Denver will likely pick up a second or third receiver in the second or third round.
Baltimore has a big hole at receiver, and no first-round pick to fill it with. Ozzie Newsome has a great history of finding real value wherever he picks, and there are many good receivers who will be available in the second round (P.K. Sam is a great example often connected with the team). But the Ravens have also been clear that they expect to be in the Super Bowl in the next two to three years, and that takes a primary receiver, not a good #2. Expect Newsome to package the supplemental fifth-rounder the Ravens got with their second-rounder to move up into the first half of the draft and take one of the top three receivers, then pick up a lineman in the third round.
Now I’m going to switch on ESPN and see how awful an NFL GM I’d make.