We are revisiting the 2010 Draft before it passes into folklore, and also to fill in the days until TC arrives. Our review includes fan appeal and seat-selling ability, as well as whether the pick was any good or not. Next up are the selections made in the 11th through 15th slots.
The #11 pick was Chicago’s spot, but owned by Denver via the Cutler trade from the previous year. Denver was not expected to draft an OT, nor was Miami in the 12th slot, but the 49ers, picking at #13, had the guy they were targeting, OT Anthony Davis, slip through the possible fingers of both the Raiders and the Bills, and decided to take no chances that this largess would now be rudely snatched away by some other team trading up into the 11th or 12th spot and taking their guy. Ergo, Trent Baalke jumped up and swapped picks with Denver, throwing in a 4th round pick for the two spot jump.
This was a no doubt good deal for Denver, which could still get the guy they wanted (if they wanted anybody), plus an additional 4th rounder. Whether this was a necessary move by the 49ers will never be known, as no other teams went “Aw shucks” after they made it. 4th round picks are a bit of a crap shoot. You can get a guy there, like Dashon Goldson, who can mature into a good player in two or three years, or you can get a guy who never gets off the special teams squad and is gone in 4 years or less. The 49ers have dealt away 4th round picks in two consecutive drafts, so it’s possible they do not think highly of this round. If they had picked there, according to Matt Barrows, it’s possible they would have chosen cornerback Trevard Lindley, who instead went to the Eagles. Just for fun, we’ll keep an eye on this guy’s career. Unless we forget to.
At any rate, this pick was a good one for the 49ers. RT was a known problem all last year and the four attempts to deal with it all failed. The first attempt was drafting Michael Oher, but Crabtree fell to them and they went for him instead. Then Adam Snyder, Marvel Smith, and Tony Pashos all took a crack at the job and failed — Smith and Pashos derailed by injuries, and Snyder by lack of talent.
For the fan factor, this pick was a raving success, silencing a year and a half of blogosphere screamers and hand-wringers. Even the chronic complainers didn’t grumble about the lost 4th rounder and proclaim it a vital necessity for the success of the franchise, like they had the previous year. 4th rounders become major contributors in their first year about as often as the Cubs win the World Series. There is no question Davis will become the starter this year. The only question is when.
Miami promptly traded the #12 pick to San Diego, and the Bolts eagerly grabbed RB Ryan Matthews. This was another good pick. San Diego had watched its vaunted running game fizzle out in 2009 as LaDanian Tomlinson ran out of gas and super sub Darren Sproles was not up to the every down task. Matthews is a work horse back and will please the fans and make an impact on the team in his first year.
At the #13 spot traded by the Niners to Denver, the Broncos spun down out of their pick again (guess they didn’t want anybody here, either), trading it to the Eagles, who selected DE Brandon Graham. This was a bad pick and indicative that the Eagles, in trading up to make it, don’t think of themselves as contenders this year and are restocking for the future, which is the only place this guy is going to see much action. The Eagles have two DEs now who produced 8 and 12.5 sacks last year. Not too shabby. Graham will not replace either one of these guys.
Their 2009 secondary, however, was as porous as the US/Mexico border and their running game as useless as lipstick on a porcupine. If they were going to trade up, why not get someone like safety Earl Thomas to replace the departed pro bowl safety Brian Dawkins? They could have stayed put and gotten either Kareem Jackson or Kyle Wilson, two pretty good CBs. Not sure how the fans in Philly reacted to this pick, but they are known to have a quick and nasty fuse, so there may have been some cow noise in Philly over this one.
The Seahawks must have breathed a sigh of relief when Philly did not take Earl Thomas. And when Seattle subsequently did take him, Taylor Mays did the opposite of sighing with relief, feeling his old coach had sold him down the river. At this point in time, Seattle needs any players who are good, and a highly touted one such as Thomas is a double win. The fans are happy and, due to the sorry state of the team, Thomas will start this year and contribute. Perhaps enough for the Hawks to stay out of last place in the NFC West. And perhaps not. It will be interesting to compare Eric Berry and Thomas this coming year. Berry was a bad pick at number #5, but this type of superior talent safety is a good pick at #14.
The Giants picked #15 and did what they always seem to do, picked a Dlineman, Jason Pierre-Paul. I’m sure Eli Manning would have preferred selecting WR Dez Bryant here, and that would have been a much better pick. But the fall out from the Plaxico Burress crazy WR syndrome kept the Giants, and a lot of other teams, from selecting Bryant, who out-diva-repped previous year’s champion, Michael Crabtree. And both those fellows lost a ton of money. Get a clue, diva prone guys. Strut after the draft, not before. However, clues are often overlooked in the world of young boys running wild with their own magnificence.
Pierre-Paul was not a consensus big time player. Some had his ceiling high, some had his bust factor high. He’ll play in New York, so whichever fate befalls him will not go unnoticed. Neither will the fact that the guy has three first names and no last one. This factoid is already being savored by the headline writers department at the New York Post. Advice to Jason: go talk to Ochocinco about a name change. Or just toss in a “Jones” at the end of your list.