The League

Mark Maske
Staff Writer

Mark Maske

Writes the NFL News Feed blog

Jets Take Draft



Some draft-weekend winners and losers, taken from the draft grades that will appear in Monday's print edition...


Cincinnati... A-... The Bengals did extremely well by getting a big-time left tackle at sixth overall in Andre Smith, a first-round talent in LB Rey Maualuga in the second round and gifted DE Michael Johnson and solid TE Chase Coffman in the third round. The only possible argument is whether they perhaps should have taken Eugene Monroe over Smith at sixth.

Denver... A-... The Broncos still don't have a young QB to build around. But they did get a RB who could be an immediate offensive centerpiece on Knowshon Moreno and a solid defender in DE Robert Ayers, both in the first round, and a solid CB in the second round in Alphonso Smith.

Green Bay... A... The Packers significantly upgraded their defense with their two first-rounders, DT B.J. Raji and LB Clay Matthews, who's also a superb special-teams player.

N.Y. Jets... A... Not much quantity, but plenty of quality. They got QB Mark Sanchez and the price to trade up was reasonable. Adding RB Shonn Greene in the third round was a bonus.


Cleveland... C-... The Browns were in need of an impact player, especially on defense, but didn't get one after trading down repeatedly in the first round before taking C Alex Mack. They did well with their second-rounders, though, in WRs Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi and DE David Veikune.

N.Y. Giants... C-... The idea here should have been to replace Plaxico Burress. Really, that didn't mean drafting a WR. Look at the history of first-round WRs over the last 10 years or so: Plenty are taken. Relatively few become standout NFL pass-catchers. This is a Super Bowl-ready team in so many other areas and a trade for Anquan Boldin or Braylon Edwards should have been made. First-rounder Hakeem Nicks might be the answer. But recent draft history says there's a good chance he's not.

Oakland... D+... Plenty of disparaging things have been said and written about WR Darrius Heyward-Bey since he went seventh overall. That won't be repeated here. The Maryland product might become a very good WR in the NFL. He has the size and speed. But the idea of handing out these grades is to assess whether a team got the most that it could out of its picks and if the Raiders wanted Heyward-Bey, they didn't need to use the seventh choice to get him. And they didn't need to use a second-rounder to get S Mike Mitchell.

By Mark Maske  |  April 27, 2009; 10:03 AM ET  | Category:  Draft , Mark Maske Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Puh leese. The Jets.

First, the guy may be the greatest. And it's more likely base on history he won't be in the league in 4 years. I wish him well.

Shone Greene can't catch passes. Which limits him to offenses that don't throw to backs.

Green Bay's picks were reaches. I can't believe you'd even put them there.

I don't get the criticism of the Giants.

Let me ask you this, Mark... what would you say about a team that picks a 3-4 defensive end as a DE in a 4-3.

Also, you forgot the Cowboys which did worse than Oakland, if that's possible.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | April 27, 2009 7:27 PM

I believe the Washington Post did the worst in this draft by having Can La Jasona (JLC) cover the draft!

Please please Washington Post please we the sports lovers are sick and tired of the "trash journalism" spewed daily by this no good reporter. He belongs to the New York Post or National Enquirer.

Why can't we have Mark Maske, Sally Jenkins, Boswell, TK cover the Redskins more like in the past?

We know that Redskins FO makes a lot of mistakes, but it seem JLC is cashing in on the frustration of the Redskins nation.

Can we have competent reporters back?

Posted by: peaceful2008 | April 28, 2009 12:33 AM

Can't help noticing that 3 of the 4 teams getting an 'A' here had two picks in the first round. That would make success a little easier, huh?

By contrast, it seems the surest way to get called a 'Loser' by Mark is to fail to make a trade for Braylon Edwards. Don't fret, Cleveland and the Jints may still get together.

Here's a news flash: nobody in this draft was a viable replacement for Plax Burress. Didn't matter who got drafted; Plax has been arguably the most valuable WR in the NFC for a couple years now, at least until the emergence of Larry Fitzgerald.

As far as Oakland -- there's definitely something wrong there, and I'm just hoping it's not that somebody important has Alzheimer's. But if the Bidwills, the single most inept ownership group in modern NFL history, can get a team into the Super Bowl, then there's always hope.

How'd the Skins do? They filled one need -- the pass rush -- and not another (somebody to jump up and catch the ball in traffic in the end zone). Using the Belichick rule -- that only half these beefboys are going to amount to anything in the best of circumstances -- they'd get something between B and C.

But that's the problem with need drafts. You scramble to fill your holes, and something else springs a leak in training camp (remember Phil Daniels?)

Posted by: Samson151 | April 28, 2009 6:06 AM

Just out of curiousity, PEACEFUL2008, do you work in the Redskins front office?

Posted by: akminstral | April 28, 2009 8:36 AM

The statement about the safety the Raiders drafted is inaccurate. Bears GM Jerry Angelo said that his team would have taken Mitchell with the 49th pick had he been there. So how was he a reach at 47?

Speaking of the Bears, trading for Cutler using mostly draft picks from a weak year like this one, seems pretty darn smart. If teams are penalized for failing to make a player trade, the Bears should get a bump for having the guts to pull the trigger and get a top 5 quarterback.

Posted by: Mowry | April 28, 2009 10:03 AM

It was a strong move on their part and filled a big need they had, but I wouldn't say their draft was the best one since they put all into basically one player. Schonn Green is a great between the tackles runner who should complement Thomas Jones. I think Denver's draft was worse than you assessed because they already signed like half the free agent RBs that were available. Maybe they are going to lose the passing game all together and have 3 RBs in the backfield for every down and just go wildcat 24/7.

Posted by: ozpunk | April 28, 2009 1:00 PM

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