COLUMN: Post NFL Draft analysis

OFF THE MARK COLUMN
By: 
Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

     If you are craving some resemblance of a summer sports season like I am, I used the NFL draft to fill some of that void over the weekend. Of course, I follow the draft religiously every year anyway.

     My post draft analysis will consist mainly of my interests, the Green Bay Packers and for Hawkeyes that were drafted.

     First off, I would like to grade the Packers draft this year. In my opinion, they get a C-minus. Round one they traded down a few spots to grab the possible future replacement for Aaron Rodgers.

     I have no problems with who they drafted, Jordan Love; he seems like a capable signal caller down the road. Like many Packer fans, the window of opportunity for winning another Super Bowl is narrowing with Rodgers in charge. He probably has 4-5 good years left in him.

     So, many fans and many NFL draft experts expected the organization to go out and get Rodgers some weapons, most notably a wide receiver. This draft saw a record-tying 36 receivers selected. Green Bay did not take one.

     Packers brass didn’t feel like the receiver pool was as deep as everyone else out there. That would explain their lack of desire to select one in the mid rounds. I thought for sure they would take one with their first pick.

     The second round Green Bay selected a running back, another puzzler. They have two pretty good ones now. I think this pick was more about what may or may not happen down the road with Aaron Jones, whose contract I believe comes up at the end of the upcoming season.

     Pick three was a TE, which was a need. I’m just not sure why they passed on Mackey award winner, Harrison Bryant of Florida Atlantic and instead selected the TE out of Cincinnati.

     The remaining draft was a few offensive linemen and a couple of defenders. Again, they never addressed another need, pass rushers and run stoppers. The 49ers exposed that need in the NFC championship game.

     As far as the Hawkeyes go, I feel there were not too many surprises. OL Tristan Wirfs was the first to be selected, pick number 13 to Tampa Bay. All he has to do now is protect future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.

     Most experts predicted Wirfs to the Cardinals at pick number 10.

     The next Hawk to be selected was DL A.J. Epenesa to the Buffalo Bills with pick number 54 in the second round. The Bills probably got a steal here at that pick. Epenesa was predicted to also go in round one.

     As far as surprises go, maybe the Broncos taking CB Michael Ojemudia with pick number 77 in round three was surprising. Ojemudia was thought to be a fourth or fifth round pick.

     And then Geno Stone dropping to the seventh round might have also been a head scratcher. Stone was also thought to be picked around rounds 4-5. Stone was selected by the Baltimore Ravens who many experts think had the best draft.

     The last Hawk to be picked was Nate Stanley, to Minnesota in round seven. I was happy to see Stanley be picked, I think his better days are ahead of him. It will remain to be seen if Nate has what it takes to become an eventual starting NFL quarterback.

     Last but not least, I always like to mention Mr. Irrelevant, the last pick in the draft. This year that distinction goes to Tae Crowder, a linebacker from Georgia, going to the Giants. If case you are wondering, he was pick number 255.

 

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