Immediate impressions really don't mean shit, but what the hell else are we gonna talk about today? Here's how I feel after watching 3 days of the draft. Keep in mind guys like Lancane and CoachChaz are far more serious about this than I am - these are just my feelings on the matter. Grades are based on what I felt we accomplished with the pick and how I think they rate compared to the players available around them at the time.
2) Wolfe: We got the DT we wanted, with several choices available, and I have no problem with him. I liked him better than Still, not as much as Worthy, but he's a viable second rounder. If we feel like he wouldn't have been there later (or that we HAD TO TAKE OSWEILER) then we needed him at this pick. Great motor, very strong, collapses a pocket, and will make the job of a pass-blocking RB very painful when Doom is coming from one side, Von from the other, and Wolfe right up the middle seam.
Motor is one of my key indicators on a DT and Wolfe has it. I look at him like a Kyle Vanden Bosch mentality - not the fastest guy but he will outwork you to the ball, and has nasty intensity. For our first real DT prospect in what feels like 40 years in the desert, I'll take him. I still wanted another run-stuffer, because that's not what Wolfe is best at, but if we figure we can score enough to take running out of the game early then I hope we can make do with Ty Warren for a season, I guess.
2) Osweiler: I have nothing nice to say about Osweiler. I hope that 4 years from now he's ready to take the reins from Manning, but 2nd round picks are only allowed to sign 4 year contracts now, so we'll owe him a fortune after a few snaps if we believe in him. I'm thinking of Matt Cassel and getting annoyed again. This is why I didn't want to draft a QBOTF this year. Anyway... I hope he's the right guy and not a nepotism pick, and that I'll be thrilled with this pick sometime in 2015. He won't do anything useful for us before then, most likely, so it's a no-value pick til then.
Grade: Incomplete. It's an F if looking at the current value of a raw backup to a QB with a serious injury concern - he shouldn't be our #2 guy, so we spent a 2nd round pick on a #3 roster position, which is horrible. Of course, it's an A if he can Aaron-Rodgers it later. Completely faith-based value, so to me it feels like we traded our 2nd rounder this year for some future pick.
3) Hillman: Felt like a panic pick to me, exactly like a McDaniels draft pick. LaMichael James came off the board faster than we wanted, just as may have happened with the Muscle Hamster, and in order not to get caught without addressing that position of "receiving RB/ 20 touch game-breaker" we jumped up and reached on Hillman. He's a smooth runner and his vision's good. I didn't like what I saw of him against faster defenses, I didn't think he had the extra gear that guys in his position need to display, I think he needs to work on catching passes and taking care of the ball...
He needs work. I don't like moving up for RBs who aren't 3-down guys and need work on the very skills we drafted them for. I hope to be pleasantly surprised by Knowshon's replacement, and at least he's not a first-rounder like No-Show was, but the pick doesn't thrill me. Now having said that, I expect him to turn into Marshall Faulk and give me the finger for a decade. I'll happily accept that.
Grade: C-. I'd have given a C+ for the player, but the trade up was an unnecessary expense IMO, and after all that effort to acquire very little by trading down twice, we spent most of it to get Hillman.
4) Bolden: In the fourth, Bolden is great. He's a smooth accelerator (I laughed when I heard that on a preview, but it's exactly how I'd described him to someone else, dude just starts rolling upfield at increasing speed), love his hips, and IF his knee is right, I'm glad to have him. Finally, a pick I can really appreciate. He could start for us in a year or so if circumstances go his way. Lots of upside.
4) Blake: Hardworking backup G/C who can hopefully push Beadles for a starting spot. He's big enough to play either position, and he's a good pick for the slot. We desperately needed OL depth - we had very little last year. A non-sexy but useful pick, and the draft is about addressing needs, not getting the sexiest guys around.
5) Jackson: The Broncos really want pash-rushing D-linemen. I'm okay with that. Jackson's a rotational guy who could play inside on 3rd and long, outside to rush the passer earlier. Versatile. Yes, that can also be code for "not exceptional anywhere" but it's the 5th round. He's not the run-stopper we need, but I guess Joe Mays can stop all inside runners, right? He's raw, but could be a much better player in 2 years time, and most DL are 2-3 year projects in my book. Tons of upside.
6) Trevathan: I actually like him quite a bit, but I'm partial to UK linebackers, my boy Woodyard chief among em. Hard worker, good tackler, reads plays well and HAS to because he's not real fleet-of-foot or explosive, and he's certainly not big. Nice backup / ST guy, and we can always use LBs.
Draft rating: B- / C+. Not especially feeling it. Glad to had a DT in the fold, and I like Bolden, but it feels to me like this:
- Pass-rushing DT
- backup outside CB with with #2 potential
- backup OG/C
- project DT/DE with good upside
- situational pass-catching RB, hopeful future starter
- Special teamer / backup LB
- traded 2nd round pick for hopeful 2015 starting QB (Osweiler)
Looking around at other (non-Raiders) teams, do you really feel like we smoked this draft? Would you take our draft over Cincy's, or Philly's, or Pittsburgh's, or...
Osweiler's dragging the grade down for me, since he's not Aaron Rodgers IMO and we could have had ANY of these players at that slot: DE Curry, OT Osmele, RB James or WR Randle, all of whom would help us far more in the Peyton Manning era than Osweiler. If we'd drafted a QB later I wouldn't be bothered as much, but 2nd rounders should be able to start now, and we are not a stacked team like GB was when they took Rodgers. It hurts the grade I give em - it won't some other people's.
We added players to both lines, which is good. I've been begging for more trench warriors. We added a much-needed corner and an attempt at a pass-catching runner. We did not add WR help, so those guys had better be ready to go. Our LBs are our LBs, with an extra backup thrown in. No workhorse RB.
Not a sexy draft, but a draft for depth. Okay. But with some of the great talents in this draft I would have liked to feel like we came away with at least one of em. Drafting a bunch of pro players will be a good outcome for this draft.
On a team neeeding impact guys, I guess I need to hope that Wolfe and Bolden bring the wood. And I need for Xanders and his staff's evaluation of some of these other guys to be more correct than my amateur first impressions. Hillman by himself could swing this draft to being very good if he can play a lot and make an impact, and Osweiler in a few years could make it great when he hops off the bench and leads us to the Super Bowl, Brady-style.
But for now, it's a bit of a yawner. I'm not throwing anything. It doesn't piss me off. It doesn't really move me in any significant way. Bring on training camp.