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- Pokorny's NFL Draft 2005 Review

Chris Pokorny April 23, 2005
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

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With the first pick in the 2005 NFL draft the San Francisco 49'ers select quarterback Alex Smith. I think it was pretty clear that the 49'ers would select a quarterback and that they would not be trading down before the pick. The selection wasn't a surprise, but fans had to wonder if the team would go out and take Aaron Rodgers. The 49'ers didn't make any moves this off-season to fulfill their void at quarterback, so the pick makes sense. Based on what the 49'ers do later in the draft, we'll find out if the Smith will have some offensive weapons to have as well.

Next up were the Miami Dolphins. Taking a running back seemed to be a lock for the Dolphins, but with the rumors of Ricky Williams possibly coming back, you never can be sure. The Dolphins went ahead and made the safe choice by taking running back Ronnie Brown, who was considered the best back in the draft despite not starting for his team.

Picking third were the Cleveland Browns. There have been tons of rumors that the Browns would trade down with a team like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Minnesota Vikings. While on the clock, there was also a rumor that the Browns may have been interested in selecting Aaron Rodgers, and then trading him to the 49'ers for Alex Smith. That deal never came about, and the Browns took wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Edwards gives the Browns a nice group of receivers this year for new head coach Romeo Crennel to work with.

Fourth on the board were the Chicago Bears, who were thought to have been interested in Braylon Edwards as well. Due to their lackluster offense, the Bears decided to select running back Cedric Benson. Benson was the next best back on the board and will be an upgrade to the Bears offense.

Picking fifth in the draft were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not to my surprise, the team selected running back Carnell Williams, whom they have been coveting in the recent weeks. It does seem a bit surprising that three running backs went in the top five picks of the draft, so that means we likely won't be seeing any more backs going in round one.

So, with five picks in the book, it's been all offense so far. That makes sense, since all of the five teams above struggled offensively quite a bit last season.

Selecting six were the Tennessee Titans. I thought they would take either Mike Williams or a cornerback here, and they chose to go with cornerback Adam Jones. The Titans could pile on the points last year at times, but would still lose games after getting torn up by opposing offenses. A good pick for the Titans.

Picking seventh in the draft were the Minnesota Vikings, who were basically a lock to take a wide receiver after trading away Randy Moss earlier this off-season. I thought they would take Mike Williams or Braylon Edwards coming into the draft. With Edwards gone, they took wide receiver Troy Williamson. Not a bad choice at all. He has a lot of speed, but I think Williams may have been a little bit better of a choice.

Next up were the Arizona Cardinals at the eighth spot. They could have gone with Mike Williams, but then you would have to slip either Anquan Boldin or Larry Fitzgerald to the third slot. To avoid this, the Cardinals selected defensive back Antrel Rolle. Some people thought that Rolle may have been the best defensive back coming into this draft.

Before this draft started, I didn't see two quarterbacks going in the first round. I just wasn't sure if Rodgers or Smith would be the first guy picked. If Rodgers were to go in round one, I felt it would have had to be one of the teams above or one of the teams late in round one.

With the ninth pick, the Redskins took cornerback Carlos Rodgers. I think they would have prefered Rolle or Jones at cornerback, but it wasn't worth trading down to get them since Rodgers is not far behind them. I think Washington could have used another offensive weapon, but hopefully that's what they'll take later in this round.

With the tenth pick, I wasn't really sure what the Lions wanted. I was caught a little off guard when they took wide receiver Mike Williams, but the Lions now have a potentially very dangerous group of receivers. Two years ago, they took Charles Rodgers in round one. Last year, they took Roy Williams. Now with Mike Williams, the team has three explosive receivers. If Joey Harrington can't get the job done now, then he really deserves to leave.

Ten picks in the book and this draft is being dominated by offensive players and cornerbacks.

The Dallas Cowboys got defensive by selecting defensive end Demarcus Ware. I thought they would take Erasmus James here, but I guessed they favored Ware better. At this point, there wasn't anybody good enough offensively for the Cowboys to take, so the move seems fine.

At the twelfth pick in the draft, the San Diego Chargers took linebacker Shawne Merriman. I thought for sure that Derrick Johnson would be the first linebacker chosen in the draft, but I was wrong. The Chargers probably like Merriman better because he is better suited in a 3-4 defense than Johnson would be.

The Houston Texans were on the clock with the 13th pick in the draft, but then the first trade during the draft finally occurred when the New Orleans Saints traded up by swapping first round picks with the Texans. The Texans will now get the Saints third round draft choice in the year 2006. The Carolina Panthers were rumored to take Jamaal Brown, so the Saints had to act. The Saints selected offensive lineman Jamaal Brown with the 13th pick.

Next on the board are the Carolina Panthers at number fourteen. After the Saints worrying of them selecting Brown, I thought they would take Alex Barron. Instead, the Panthers took safety Thomas Davis. This came as a surprise, and you have to wonder if the Texans were just playing the Saints.

Selecting at number fifteen were the Kansas City Chiefs as they were looking to make more upgrades defensively. I think they got an absolute steal for the middle of the first round in linebacker Derrick Johnson. The Chiefs have already made a lot of upgrades defensively, and Johnson will only help.

Next are the Houston Texans, who had earlier swapped with the Texans down to the number sixteen position. Houston selected defensive tackle Travis Johnson, who is a solid player. The Texans hope that this defensive upgrade can get them over the hump for next season.

With the 17th pick in the draft, the Cincinnati Bengals took defensive end/linebacker David Pollack. The defensive linemen are starting to go now, so the Bengals needed to get their guy as soon as possible. I think they may have wanted Ware a little bit more, but Pollack can play two positions.

With the 18th pick, the Minnesota Vikings spent their second first round pick on defensive end Erasmus James. I'm surprised James fell this far down, and the Vikings should be pleased that they didn't even have to trade up to get him. James is another addition to the Vikings defense, which has been improved this off-season.

Next up were the St. Louis Rams who needed to upgrade their offensive line. Coming into the draft, Jamaal Brown and Alex Barron were the top two linemen. With Brown taken, the Rams went ahead and selected Alex Barron. On my board, I had Barron as the top offensive lineman in the draft.

Dallas came up next with the 20th pick, and they really made an effort to improve their defensive line by selecting defensive end Marcus Spears. Spears is the second defensive end taken by the team in this round, and the Cowboys have made it clear on what they want to improve on next season. If I were the Cowboys, I would have added another offensive weapon though.

Twenty picks in the books, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers has still not been selected.

With the 21st pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars threw a curveball and decided to be the team to take wide receiver Matt Jones. Jones played as a quarterback in college and has not yet proven himself as a receiver, so the Jaguars are just hoping this pick will pay off.

The Baltimore Ravens were next on the board and they selected wide receiver Mark Clayton with the 22nd pick, a move that I support. The team is finally going out and getting help offensively. Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton will be an enormous upgrade compared to what they've had the past few seasons.

The Seattle Seahawks are next on the board, but that doesn't last long. The Oakland Raiders have swapped with the Seahawks at the number 26 spot. Now the Raiders have decided to select cornerback Fabian Washington. I heard speculations before the draft that the Raiders wanted him, but I don't know if he was worth trading up three spots for, thus giving up their fourth round pick.

The next two teams are in need of quarterbacks for the future. First up is the Green Bay Packers at the number 24 spot, where they were able to select quarterback Aaron Rodgers. This is an excellent move for Green Bay. Favre still has a couple of years in him, and Rodgers can be groomed behind one of the games best quarterbacks.

With Rodgers gone, the Washington Redskins had to take quarterback Jason Campbell with the 25th pick. I think Patrick Ramsey will not be the answer for the Redskins, so I like the move of getting a quarterback who is prone to have a good future.

The Seahawks obviously moved down because whomever they wanted to take they felt would still be there, and I guess he was. The Seahawks selected center Chris Spencer with the 26th pick. I didn't expect Spencer to go in round one. The Seahawks had a few holes to fill, so I guess they are satisfied with what they chose.

Next up were the Atlanta Falcons who really needed to find a better target for Michael Vick to get the ball to. They have done that by selecting wide receiver Roddy White with the 27th pick. White should move right into the starting lineup along with Peerless Price.

Obviously the past few teams and next few teams made the playoffs, so they won't get as many high-profiled players. They are selecting more on need or players they were impressed by.

The San Diego Chargers were up with the 28th pick and selected defensive tackle Luis Castillo. The Chargers had a solid run defense last year, and I think they should have taken an offensive lineman instead. Either way works though.

The Indianapolis Colts still need a lot of help defensively in my opinion, and they made a step in that direction by taking cornerback Marlin Jackson. As long as they took a defensive player, I think it's a positive move for the Colts. How else would they beat the Patriots this season?

The Pittsburgh Steelers were the team most interested in pursuing a tight end, and they took the best one in draft in Heath Miller. Pittsburgh loves having smash mouth players, and that's exactly what Miller will give them. He'll be an extra target for Ben Roethlisberger to get the ball to.

The Philadelphia Eagles were interested in Matt Jones, and he would have been a nice fit in Philadelphia since they don't have a lot of needs. Since Jacksonville took Jones already, the Eagles selected defensive tackle Mike Patterson.

The New England Patriots were up next, having the final pick in the first round. Although the Patriots lost quite a few players to free agency, Bill Billicheck does a tremendous job with making decisions. So if he feels that offensive guard Logan Mankins was worthy of being picked, I support it too.

And that's it for the first round and this column. Not as many trades happened in the first rounds as I thought would occur, but most of the teams made some good choices. In my next column, I'll go more in depth on which teams were winners, losers, or had average drafts. Mini camp is just a little over a month away now, and I can't wait.

-Chris Pokorny
pokorny@pfcritics.com


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