NFL Draft: Round 1 - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly...

Al Bello

We all knew this draft would be a tough one to figure out. We're fans, so our level of team need understanding only goes so far... When Miami traded with the Oakland Raiders to move up to #3 overall, I got the inkling this draft might shift gears. When they took DE/OLB Dion Jordan, I shrugged a bit. Then came picks like E.J. Manuel to Buffalo at #16 after a trade with the Rams so they could get Tavon Austin at #8. Barkevious Mingo being taken at #6 by Cleveland had me wondering too.

Up was down in some ways during this draft. Highly touted defensive tackles - previously rated in the Top 10 prospects - were left hanging into picks in the 20s. Wide Receivers stayed off the board the entire night with the exception of Austin, Hopkins and Paterson, who went late to the Vikings at #29. Offensive linemen ruled this draft, which really was the only thing that held constant among pundits.

The worst pick of the night goes to Dallas, who traded with the San Francisco 49ers. At #31, the took a center - Travis Frederick - many rated as a third round prospect at best. They left Matt Elam on the board, and the Cowboys really needed a safety. By the way, the Ravens snatch up Elam at #32...

This draft will have fans shaking their heads a bit, but teams also came out smelling like a rose too. Hats off to the New England Patriots. They waged a trade war, and won hands down. Patriots received a 2nd (52nd), 3rd (83rd), 4th (102nd), and 7th (229th) for the Vikings 29th overall pick. The Vikings themselves hadn't done badly up to the point they traded away all those picks, landing Shariff Floyd and Cordarrelle Patterson

As far as the St. Louis Rams' selections tonight, I'm definitely on board with the move up to take Tavon Austin. The team needs a play-maker, and they drafted the best of the 2013 class. To do it, they exchanged first round picks with Buffalo (#16 for #8), and threw in a 2nd Rd (#46), exchanged #3rd rounders (#78 for the Bills #71), and a 7th rd pick (#222). Look at the value here in picks, then look back up at what New England got for the #29 choice... Eeeek!

Where I don't agree, is the team's #30 pick of Alec Ogletree. I'm just not a fan of the Georgia star outside linebacker. With some extremely talented players at wide receiver still on the board - Justin Hunter, Keenan Allen, Robert Woods - and the Rams not having a second round selection, this pick will go down in my memory as a missed opportunity. Yes, the team has other needs than wide receiver, and I've been campaigning for the Rams to finally draft an outside linebacker the team has desperately missed. We all have favorite players, but Ogletree isn't one of mine. Enough said, and may I eat my words after the 2013 season.

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