NFL Draft: Winners & losers from Oklahoma
The NFL Draft first round is in, with a decent Oklahoma tint thanks to Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden. That historic connection is still producing. Anyway, the winners and losers from the first round:
Brandon Weeden: Winner. A first-round draft pick carries a lot of weight within an organization. Draft a guy in the third round, and no one really cares if he never gets a shot. Draft a guy in the first round, and he absolutely gets a shot. The Browns picked Weeden at No. 22, and forget what anyone says. The Browns did NOT pick Weeden to compete with Colt McCoy. The Browns picked Weeden to beat out Colt McCoy. You don’t draft a 28-year-old quarterback in the first round unless you’re completely confident he will be your quarterback. It’s hard to imagine a bigger winner in the first round of the draft.
Justin Blackmon: Loser. Hard to imagine a worse situation than Jacksonville for a rookie receiver. No established quarterback — rookie Blaine Gabbert was a virtual disaster as a 2011 rookie. A new coach who seems to be a retread — Mike Mularkey. A team that went 5-11 in 2011, with losses of 32-3, 38-14 and 41-14. Not even geographic security. Minnesota seems to have moved to the top of the Los Angeles derby, but Jacksonville has lost its zeal for the NFL, and the Jags are mentioned as possibly moving.
Sam Bradford: Loser. The Rams started out the process with the No. 2 pick and kept trading down, including from No. 6 to No. 14 on Thursday night. Then at 14, the Rams took LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers, who I’m sure is a fine player but won’t be able to protect Bradford. Slingin’ Sammy B. doesn’t have go-to receivers and gets little protection up front, but the Rams didn’t take a passcatcher or an offensive lineman. Do the Rams have a life insurance policy on its franchise quarterback?
Rob Ryan: Winner. The Cowboy defensive coordinator had a good night. A very good night. Dallas traded up to get LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. The Cowboys a few weeks ago signed free-agent cornerback Brandon Carr. Suddenly, that Dallas defense looks promising.
Zac Taylor: Loser. The former Norman High and Nebraska quarterback now is the assistant quarterbacks coach for the Dolphins, where his father-in-law, Mike Sherman, is the new offensive coordinator. Assistant QB coach usually is a pleasant slot, not a lot of scrutiny. But Miami drafted Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill, an absolute project, to be its quarterback. Sherman and Taylor coached Tannehill at A&M. Their NFL futures rest solely on Tannehill’s progression.
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