I just don't understand NFL coaches and general managers. Honestly, I don't.
Anyone who has read my blogs in the past will know that I strongly believe you build a football team from the lines out, that a team with a bad offensive line cannot prosper no matter how good their qb, backs and receivers are, that a team with a weak D-line cannot win even if they have good 'backers and dbs.
So I simply cannot fathom that the entire first round of this year's NFL draft has come and gone and only four offensive linemen were selected. What are these guys thinking? Especially the coaches and GMs of teams that have crappy offensive fronts?
Ryan Fitzpatrick is getting killed on a daily basis in Buffalo and the Bills take a cornerback in the first round. Jay Cutler eats turf at an amazing rate in Chicago and the Bears pick a linebacker. Okay, maybe Stephon Gilmore and Shea McClellin might be great players (who are these guys anyway?) but you're not doing your offense and your fans any favours if you don't find a way to protect your most valuable asset: your qb.
Matt Kalil went at number four to Minny and that's a great pick: Kalil is NFL ready and should anchor the Vikes' offensive line for years to come. He'll help to open holes for Adrian Peterson and, more importantly, he'll keep Christian Ponder from getting battered into an early retirement.
It wasn't until 19 picks later, however, that another offensive lineman got picked. Detroit must have been thrilled to see Riley Reiff fall to them so low in the first round. What a great pick for the Lions, their already explosive offense and their young quarterback.
Then came the Steelers who wasted no time in grabbing guard David DeCastro to shore up their aging O-line and, three picks later, Cincinatti taking Kevin Zeitler to give Andy Dalton even more time to pick secondaries apart.
Even still, just FOUR O-linemen in the first 32 picks? Huh? I can't think of many teams that DON'T need help up front and yet they all seemed to go for the glamour pick rather than the pick that will help them the most to win.
And how do you explain the suprising free fall of EVERY defensive linemen in the first round. Despite the strength of this draft when it comes to defensive ends and tackles, it wasn't until Kansas City took Dontari Poe at 11 that the first defensive lineman came off the board.
I won't comment on how the Chiefs' choice of Poe over Cox and Brockers came as a bit of a surprise, considering questions in the weeks leading up to the draft over Poe's ability to translate his freakish combine performance into actual success on the field. I'll just say that the Jets must have been dancing in their war room when they realised that every single highly touted defensive end/pass rusher was still available when they came to their pick at 16.
Best picks (in my opinion) of the first round, outside the no-surprise top two: Kalil to the Vikings, Barron to the Bucs, Cox to the Eagles, Floyd to the Cards, DeCastro and Zeitler, of course, and Mercilus to the Texans.
Worst Picks: Richardson to Cleveland (running backs are NOT top 10 picks, no matter who they are), Gilmore to the Bills at number 10 (he's pretty good but not worthy of being picked this soon), Poe to KC (mark my words, this guy will flop and flop badly) and Irvin to Seattle at 15 (who? at 15? Are you kidding me?).