It takes a few years to truly evaluate a draft, but that’s nofun. Here’s an initial look at the two-day NFL draft and how theteams fared.
The big winners
First-round pick Roy Williams of Texas will team with CharlesRogers and Tai Streets to form a strong receiving corps. VirginiaTech running back Kevin Jones of Cardinal O’Hara should start fromDay One, and second-round pick Teddy Lehman of Oklahoma shouldchallenge for a starting linebacker spot.
The Pats didn’t need to draft a running back after adding CoreyDillon from Cincinnati last week, so New England fortified itsdefensive line with Miami’s Vince Wilfork and LSU’s Marquise Hill.Georgia’s Ben Watson was the second-best tight end in thedraft.
The Titans traded out of the first round, but got three No. 2s andtwo No. 3s and addressed defensive-line needs with three of theirfirst four picks, including a strong value pick of Maryland’s RandyStarks at No. 71 in the third round. Points are subtracted for notselecting a running back the first day.
New York Giants
Eli Manning could be a franchise quarterback for more than adecade. Second-round guard Chris Snee of Boston College will help abelow-average offensive line.
The Raiders got cornerstone offensive lineman Robert Gallery ofIowa. The sleeper could be speedster receiver Carlos Francis ofTexas Tech, a fourth-round pick.
First pick Larry Fitzgerald, a graduate of Valley Forge MilitaryAcademy, is a future Pro Bowl receiver. Second-round linebackerKarlos Dansby (Auburn) and third-round defensive end DarnellDockett (Florida State) should press for immediate playingtime.
The biggest gambles
The Bills traded a No. 1 next year for quarterback J.P. Losman ofTulane after drafting injury-plagued wide receiver Lee Evans ofWisconsin.
The Cowboys traded out of the first round and settled forsecond-round running back Julius Jones of Notre Dame. Getting a2005 No. 1 pick from Buffalo could be valuable.
Nobody truly knows how first-round offensive lineman Shawn Andrewswill fare. However, the Eagles don’t have a strong recent trackrecord with first-day picks from Arkansas (Quinton Caver and BobbieWilliams).
The Packers drafted for depth at cornerback with the first twopicks. Third-round corner Joey Thomas of Montana State could beamong the draft’s pleasant surprises.
The Colts’ most pressing needs could be linebacker, wherethird-rounder Gilbert Gardner (Purdue) and fourth-rounder KendyllPope (Florida State) could help.
The Jaguars didn’t address their defensive-line needs on the firstday, but first-round wide receiver Reggie Williams of Washingtonshould be a solid pro.
The Chiefs traded out of the first round and used threesecond-round picks to add depth.
The Ravens desperately needed a receiver, but left the first daywithout one. Sunday’s trade for Jacksonville wide receiver KevinJohnson gives them a boost.
Suddenly, receiver is a team strength after the Bucs nabbed LSU’sMichael Clayton at No. 15. Defensive-line concerns weren’taddressed the first day.
Running back Steven Jackson of Oregon State is the eventualreplacement for Marshall Faulk. Second-round defensive end TonyHargrove of Georgia Tech could see immediate playing time.