Good NFL teams build through the draft; that is a phrase commonly heard at this time of year. However, it can prove to be absolutely true. This year’s Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks, won the biggest prize of all having assembled an excellent young core through a succession of three or four strong drafts.
Admittedly, the Seahawks’ key players, such as QB Russell Wilson, CB Richard Sherman, were mid-round picks that no one expected to be as good as they are, and that sort of drafting is extremely difficult to replicate. All the updated NFL information would point towards the draft being the way to build a team, especially after teams such as the Miami Dolphins spending incredible amounts on free agents and making no impression on the playoffs out of the AFC East.
The Jets Challenging in the AFC East
In order to challenge in the East the Jets have brought in several experienced players, including quarterback Michael Vick, wide receiver Eric Decker, and running back Chris Johnson. In the draft they may choose to add to these weapons, especially to a receiving core that at times last year simply was not up to scratch.
Decker was part of the record breaking Denver offence in 2013, and although no one expects Manning-like numbers to be put up again, drafting a taller receiver to compliment him as Demaryius Thomas for the Broncos may be a sensible option. In a loaded receiver class, the Jets picking at number 18 could well find a future star at this position.
At The Top Of The Draft
So, with the teams picking in the top 3 this year, how could a good draft see them improved?
Houston: The Texans really shouldn’t be in this position, the team had more than enough talent to compete in the 2013 NFL season, yet seemed to completely crumble when the losses kept coming. A quarterback of the future would be welcome, but wouldn’t really be a value pick at number one overall. Instead, the Texans may choose the mega-talented defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who could be a once in a generation type of player.
St Louis: The Rams have the number 2 overall pick as a result of the RG3 trade with the Redskins, and will need it if they are to compete in the incredible NFC West. Some think QB Sam Bradford has had enough chances, and a QB such as Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles may be taken here, however, a more sensible approach may be to protect Bradford with an offensive lineman such as Greg Robinson, or give him an explosive weapon, such as WR Sammy Watkins.
Jacksonville: Although QB is a need for the Jags, we may see head coach Gus Bradley try to create a dominant defense as he did in Seattle. An excellent choice could be OLB Khalil Mack, who looks to have all the tools to be an elite player straight away.