I find it quite interesting when I read from naysayers (and believe me, there are plenty at ESPN, Sports Illustrated and even in the comment sections at the Mothership. Everybody seems to be down on the draft, or at least neutral, based on the first pick. Here is my own interpretation on this year's draft:
1. Frederick going on the first round: Some people argue that he was a second or third round talent and should have been available later on. I would dispute that notion in a couple of ways. Firstly, if we had taken a different player, there would have been a domino effect on how the draft could have transpired from that point on and there is no way draft boards would have stayed the same... every pick matters. Secondly, many teams were looking for help in their o-lines and the concensus was that Frederick was the best center in the draft. Now you have to ask yourself if the best center of the draft would have lasted until our next pick or not. I tend to believe it would not have happened given that the level of the next lineman was so much of a drop-off he was selected on the third round. It is likely someone would have snatched him prior to our first second day selection.
2. Why Escobar, Williams and Webb??? Those are not positions of need!! The easy answer is this: we lost Phillips, Jenkins and Ogletree. Some of their in-house potential replacements are projects that have yet to come into the spotlight in a consistant basis. Worst case scenatrio, Escobar pushes Hanna, Williams pushes our bevy of second year receivers and Webb pushes Scandrick. Best case scenario, they play a significant role and become the natural, lower cost replacements to some of the more experienced players. After all, the team is already facing the financial crunch now. The last thing they should be doing is negotiating new contracts in a position of need. It's best to have an alternative plan that allows Stephen Jones to walk away if the veteran is asking for too rich of a contract.
3. Production, production, production: Another interesting point here... except for Wilcox, who may be a bit of a project, the rest of the draftees were consistent performers for their teams, with no missed games due to injury. Yes, they may not have a flashy name, but we know them to perform every week. Consistency and productionwas, at least in my mind, the most important attribute for this particular draft. Most pundits and some GMs described this as one of the worst drafts in terms of talent. There were very few "superstars" to be drafted, so productivity should be the overriding element to look for. After all, good teams are not all about the superstar, but rather a couple big names sprinkled in a lineup full of intelligent, productive and disciplined performers.
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