First Round Winners & Losers
Grade
1. *Cameron Newton QB Auburn B
2. Von Miller LB Texas A&M; B+
3. *Marcell Dareus DE Alabama A
4. *A.J. Green WR Georgia B+
5. *Patrick Peterson CB LSU A
6. *Julio Jones WR Alabama C+
7. **Aldon Smith LB Missouri B+
8. Jake Locker QB Washington C-
9. *Tyron Smith OT USC B
10. *Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri A
11. *J.J. Watt DE Wisconsin B
12. Christian Ponder QB Florida St. F
13. *Nick Fairley DT Auburn A+
14. *Robert Quinn DE North Carolina A
15. Michael Pouncey OG Florida B
16. Ryan Kerrigan LB Purdue A-
17. Nate Solder OT Colorado C
18. *Corey Liuget DE Illinois C-
19. Prince Amukamara CB Nebraska A
20. Adrian Clayborn DE Iowa B+
21. Phil Taylor DT Baylor C
22. Anthony Castonzo OT Boston College A
23. Danny Watkins OG Baylor C
24. Cameron Jordan DE California A+
25. James Carpenter OT Alabama D-
26. *Jonathan Baldwin WR Pittsburgh B
27. Jimmy Smith CB Colorado A-
28. *Mark Ingram RB Alabama A+
29. Gabe Carimi OT Wisconsin A-
30. *Muhammad Wilkerson DE Temple B
31. Cameron Heyward DE Ohio St. B+
32. Derek Sherrod OT Mississippi St. A

First Round Winners:

Nick Fairley
Detroit Lions -- Suh and Fairley, Fairley and Suh, Suh and Fairley, Fairley and Suh. No matter how you phrase it, those three words strike fear into the minds of opposing teams in the NFC North. So much so that it may have sparked two picks at the end of round one. Chicago taking Gabe Carimi and Green Bay taking Derek Sherrod. Jim Schwartz was quoted as saying that getting Fairley was their �dream scenario� and we couldn't agree more. Fairley's best fit as a three technique under tackle which is where he'll line up for the Lions. He was completely dominant last season at Auburn, facing double teams every week. Now in Detroit, he should not face double teams with Ndamukong Suh next to him. That duo is going to be dynamite for the next decade. Fairley has gotten comparisons to Albert Haynesworth, but Detroit's head coach, Jim Schwartz, was the one who got the most out of Haynesworth back when Schwartz was the defensive coordinator in Tennessee. Some may be upset that the Lions did not address the secondary with this pick, but the best way to help out your secondary is to get a good pass rush and Detroit will have one of the best in the league.

Phil Taylor
Cleveland Browns -- I did not necessarily like or agree with their selection of Phil Taylor at #21, but I love the trade they made with Atlanta to move down. Cleveland is a team with needs all over the board and they got a great package of picks from Atlanta to fill many of those holes. I would have argued that Cleveland had the best day had they stayed at 27 and taken an impact receiver, but the team clearly wanted to get a nose tackle and Phil Taylor is the best of the crop this year. Cleveland gets a high grade from me though because of the players that they will eventually end up with out of the move they made yesterday. They received four extra picks within the first four rounds of the draft. If Cleveland turns the number six pick into four or five starters, that's a spectacular move.

Cameron Jordan
New Orleans Saints -- The team who came away with the best haul on day one was the New Orleans Saints. The Saints were able to land both Cameron Jordan and Mark Ingram. Cameron Jordan was a guy that we felt should have gone in the top 15 and the Saints were able to grab him at 24. They had a need at defensive end, filled that need, and were able to get good value. New Orleans gave up a lot, their second rounder this year and a first rounder next year, but there isn't a better team for Mark Ingram to go to. He's a pounder, a guy who can carry the ball 25-30 times in a game and wind the clock down. The Saints have not had a player like that since Deuce McCallister. The Saints offense has been so heavily favored toward the pass over the last couple years and they always seemed to perform better when they mixed it up run/pass and were more balanced. Ingram gives them the ability to be a complete offense. Teams already struggle to shut down Sean Payton's offense, this will only make it tougher.

Blaine Gabbert
Jacksonville Jaguars -- The Jaguars were able to trade up to pick #10 and get the draft's second best quarterback. Gabbert has franchise quarterback potential and lands in a perfect spot for him to succeed. There may not be a ton of weapons for him to throw to, but he has a great running back to take pressure off of him and an easy target for check down passes in Maurice Jones-Drew. Jacksonville has needed a quarterback for a couple of years, David Garrard is not the answer there, and this finally ends that era and gives Jaguars fans hope for the future.

Prince Amukamara
New York Giants -- For months we had the Giants taking an offensive lineman in the first round. But we never thought Prince Amukamara would fall to them. Prince has top ten talent and just as easily could have been taken in the top ten. The Giants landed the best player available at a position of need and should have one of the best defenses in the league again next year. Prince loves to play press coverage, something that the New York defense constantly asks their corners to do.

First Round Losers:

Christian Ponder
Minnesota Vikings -- I could spend all day talking about how badly Minnesota screwed up their pick, it was by far the worst selection in the first round. It's not surprising that Minnesota selected a quarterback; it is however, shocking that Minnesota did not take Nick Fairley and gift wrapped him to the Detroit Lions, an in-conference rival. Taking Christian Ponder would have been fine if Minnesota would have done it 15 picks later, but at 12, the Vikings are going to be forced to stick with him for three to four years. He's a second round talent who went this high because of the need for a quarterback in Minnesota. The Vikings had a need at defensive tackle and passed on a guy, Fairley, who would not have only filled that need, but also was the best player available. The Vikings are now going to have to put Christian Ponder under center with a porous offensive line and have to face the pass rushing tandem of Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh two times every season. If the Vikings were not fans of Fairley, then they could have fixed some of their offensive line woes by taking a guy like Michael Pouncey who projects to be an impact interior lineman and would end up blocking Fairley or Suh. Minnesota likely could have waited until the second round to take a quarterback with Andy Dalton, Ryan Mallett, and Colin Kaepernick all slipping out of the first round. It's no surprise that the draft's worst selection comes from the NFL's most dysfunctional organization.

Julio Jones
Atlanta Falcons -- The Falcons ended up getting the play maker that they desperately wanted by trading up to get Julio Jones. But the front office paid too steep of a price. The Falcons traded their first (27th overall), second (59th) and fourth-rounder (124th) and also their first and fourth round selections in 2012 to get to number six to take Jones. Atlanta will be a fun team to watch, the core of Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White and Julio Jones will score a ton of points, but that was never the problem. The reason the Falcons weren't in the Super Bowl last year was not because they lacked a go-to receiver, Roddy White led the NFL in receptions last year, what they lacked was a great defense. The Green Bay Packers scored 48 points on the Falcons defense in the playoffs last year. Now, the team barely has any picks left to improve in those areas. Atlanta may make a few moves in free agency to upgrade the defense, but depth is so important on the defensive side of the ball and Atlanta does not have the picks anymore to build depth in their front seven.

Nate Solder
New England Patriots -- Coming into the day, the Patriots had two picks, 17 and 28, and they came out of the day with Nate Solder. We have Solder ranked as our fifth offensive tackle and the Patriots took him over three other tackles that we have rated above him. He's an athletic tackle who fits their mold, but it was a bit of a reach. New England did a great job of landing more picks by trading 28 to New Orleans for 56 and a 2012 first, but the Patriots are going to have to use these picks at some point. Every year we see the Patriots trading down and acquiring better picks, but at some point they need to use them. Right now, New England is not the favorite in the AFC and may not even be the favorite in their own division, to have two picks in the first round and come out with Nate Solder has to be disappointing. The Patriots have needs all over the place, wide receiver, running back, defensive end, linebacker, etc. and they still have not addressed those needs.

Corey Liuget
San Diego Chargers -- We had Corey Liuget going off the board at 14 to St. Louis, so Liuget did provide some value when San Diego took him at 18. But the fit does not make much sense. Liuget is at his best as a penetrating defensive tackle who can be disruptive in the backfield. The Chargers will ask him to line up at defensive end and occupy blockers while the linebackers are flying into gaps, that plays against Liuget's strengths. As a player, he's a good value selection, but if San Diego wanted a 3-4 end Cameron Jordan was still on the board. Jordan played as a 3-4 end for the past two years at California.

James Carpenter
Seattle Seahawks -- The Seahawks need a quarterback in the worst way and they did not address that need. Instead, they took James Carpenter who may have been available in the second round had they waited for him. Pete Carroll had one of the best drafts last year, but I cannot get on board with this pick. There were better offensive linemen available and now Seattle will have to grab a quarterback on day two with Mallett, Dalton, and Kaepernick all likely off the board by the time the Seahawks are back on the clock.





(May 1) -- The NFL Draft is in the books and Sideline Scouting would like to thank our visitors for making this our most successful year to date. We hope you enjoyed our coverage. Sideline Scouting will be back next year and better than ever. We have some big changes planned that we hope will make your visits here even more enjoyable.


*Cameron Newton
QB, Auburn
Von Miller
LB, Texas A&M;
*Marcell Dareus
DE, Alabama
*A.J. Green
WR, Georgia
*Patrick Peterson
CB, LSU
View Mock Draft »