Cam Newton went #1 as expected and the pressure is immediately on for him to shake the stigma of #1 overall QBs.
My hope that Andy Dalton would end up on a team where he would have time to learn and grow didn’t happen as he went to the Bengals, which was one of the worst possible situations for him. Carson Palmer never lived up to the hype but was still an above average starter. Dalton now has to step up immediately and deliver. And if Palmer catches on somewhere and has success the pressure will be even greater.
Ryan Mallet actually ended up in the situation I hoped Dalton would, getting drafted in the 3rd round by New England. Mallet gets to sit behind the greatest QB of the last 151 years and won’t have pressure after being drafted in the 3rd round.
The good news for Dalton is that AJ Green didn’t make it out of the top 5 and will be his primary target in Cincinnati.
Mark Ingram was indeed the only running back to go in the first round, meaning it was the first time since 1986 that only one RB was taken in the first round. I was surprised he ended up with the New Orleans Saints who traded up to get two first round picks. Ingram will start on a good team with a couple of other decent backs so I expect him to develop pretty well.
The first round defensive line picks were as insane as advertised, with 11 of possible 14 going in the first round, with 7 going in the first 18 picks. Only Da’Quan Bowers, Marvin Austin and Muhammad Wilkerson not going on the first day.
The Big Ten’s was as advertised as well, with nothing but linemen going in the first round2.
Eight Offensive skill players ended up being drafted in the first round. I said it would be less than 10 with 7 “almost sure things.” Kyle Rudolph was the only sure thing that didn’t make it. I missed Christian Ponder3 and Jonathan Baldwin, whom I had no idea was a potential first rounder.
I thought some crazy things would happen since free agency hadn’t happened yet. I predicted the Bengals and Cardinals would somehow be involved in those things. The Bengals went right along the straight and narrow and took Green with their first pick and Dalton with their second. The Cardinals went safe and took Patrick Peterson, who many think is the surest thing in this draft.
It looks like The Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings took the Crazy Awards by drafting two QBs most people had going late first/early second round in Jake Locker and Christian Ponder respectively. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock had said that Locker was on the Titans radar, but it still shocked most since Blaine Gabbert was still on the board and many felt he was the safest QB pick.
Speaking of Mayock, his theory that 8 QBs would go in the first two or three rounds was slightly off, as 4 went in the first round, 2 in the second, 1 in the third and 1 in the 5th. Mallet falling to the third, and behind Ponder and Colin Kaepernick seemed to be a real shocker. It was also surprising that Ricky Stanzi didn’t go until the 5th. He doesn’t project as an All-Pro, but when you consider teams with QB needs like the Broncos, Bills, Seahawks and Cardinals didn’t even draft QBs, it’s surprisingly.
I predicted 5 QBs would go in the first 40 picks, and ended up being a little off as 6 went in the first 36. From what I can tell, that was the most even in the first 36 picks since 1983. The much talked about 1999 class had 5 QBs go in the top 12, but the 6th (Shaun King) didn’t go until 50th. That 1983 class of course, is rather famous: John Elway, Todd Blackledge, Jim Kelly, Ton Eason, Ken O’Brien and Dan Marino. If you are scoring at home, that’s three Hall of Famers, another Super Bowl starting QB, a two-time Pro Bowler and one hell of a college color man.