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NFL: Path To The Draft

Posted by in NFL General on April 2nd, 2010 | Comment »

National Football League executives are focused on the upcoming league draft beginning on April 22nd. It is fully documented how one poor selection in the top round has the potential to setback a franchise for years, and this year, the most pressure will be on the St. Louis Rams, who own the first overall pick after finishing the 2009-10 season with the worst record in football.

The Rams have a variety of areas where they could use an upgrade on both sides of the ball, which makes the decision at the top that much more difficult. NFL observers have called for the selection of Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford to become the face of the franchise in St. Louis with the top selection, however Bradford missed all of last season with injuries, and his narrow frame and short stature could limit him in his transition to the league. The Rams may be much better off selecting a sure thing with the number one pick, which either of the top defensive tackles available in the draft are just that. Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh is a massive hard-working interior lineman that can collapse the pocket, and never quits, while Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy has Pro Bowl-caliber and may be a better all-around defensive tackle than Suh for team’s looking for someone who can get after the quarterback.

The Detroit Lions own the second pick in the draft, and with a franchise quarterback already in place in Matt Stafford, head coach Jim Schwartz, a former defensive line coach with the Tennessee Titans, could select whichever of the defensive tackles are available to shore up their defensive interior. Should the Lions decide to make a move to help protect Stafford, Oklahoma State’s Russell Okung is the top offensive line prospect available.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers also have a new franchise quarterback in Josh Johnson, and could decide to draft Okung should he slip past the Rams and Lions. Oklahoma’s Trent Williams and Iowa’s Brian Bulaga are also available at the position, although Williams has gained a reputation for his poor conditioning, and Bulaga’s short arms may make him better suited to play guard. Both Suh and McCoy fit Tampa Bay’s under scheme in the 4-3, and could go south if they are still available.

Washington Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan is an offensive genius, and has already said he will give incumbent quarterback Jason Campbell a chance to prove his self. With the team switching to the 3-4 under new coordinator Jim Haslett, the Redskins may opt to go defense with the fourth overall pick.

Rounding out the top-five will be the Kansas City Chiefs, who like the Rams have a lot of areas where they could use significant help. The Chiefs struggled mightily in their transition to the “3-4” a season ago, and with Romeo Crennel now on board, will likely look to continue the transition by adding a playmaker to their defense.

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