The NFL draft was less than one week ago; however, NFL teams are already working on signing their new picks to rookie contracts. The NFL draft isn’t about drafting the best players available; instead, it is about drafting the players that fit the needs of your team and have the best chance to contribute the overall success of the franchise. As always, NFL critics and fans have begun categorizing teams as “draft winners” and “draft losers”, which has either led to peace of mind or unease for every NFL GM. Realistically, it is hard to tell which of these players will actually make it on to their drafting teams and will actually start on opening day; however there are some obvious choices. Let’s take a look at who got the best fit for their teams.
- The Houston Texans
It’s been proven year after year and NFL teams are finally catching on – defense wins championships. Last season, the dismantling of the Denver Broncos by the Seattle Seahawks changed the priority list for NFL teams, resulting in teams taking a defense-first approach. Houston got the memo. Though the team is in dire need of a starting quarterback, they chose to go after an active and experienced NFL player, and instead, draft new defensive players. Enter DE Jadeveon Clowney. A few months back, Clowney was regarded by Skip Bayless as being the best player in all of football. Though this seems a bit extreme, Clowney is great. You can expect him to start alongside JJ Watt on opening day, and create the most intimidating duo in the NFL. This pick solidifies the Texans pass-rush as possibly the best in the league, and will give them a solid defensive foundation for years.
Sure, Johnny “Football” Manziel was hyped to be the best quarterback in the NFL draft, but the Jaguars decided to pick based on team needs rather than hype. With the third pick in the draft, they selected QB Blake Bortles, who was regarded as the best pocket-passer available. Jacksonville is moving away from the ground-and-pound and has instead chosen to move towards a traditional offense. This means that they will likely pass the ball on 2/3 plays, and have Bortles play in the pocket. This is the biggest step Jasonville has made in their rebuilding process, and you can expect Bortles to be playing in the Jacksonville pocket for years.
- The Detroit Lions
The Lions are one of the most complete teams in the league, and they just became more complete by drafting TE Eric Ebron. On a team that includes QB Matt Stafford, WR Calvin Johnson, WR Golden Tate, RB Reggie Bush, and TE Brandon Pettigrew, Ebron is the missing offensive piece. At 6’5 and as one of the fastest rookie tight ends, Ebron will be the goal line TE for the Lions, and will also play in the two tight end set with Pettigrew. Look for him to be a top-10 tight end for the 2014 NFL season.
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