Notes From Lombardi: Day 1 Recap


Day one is over, and what an exciting day it was for NFL fans. Some teams got better, some gained more questions, and some left me wondering what tape I was watching. But with only two rounds finished, itís hard to be too negative about any team because thereís still a lot left to be done on Sunday. So Iíll focus on what I liked and save the bad for when the draft is over and thereís time for a complete evaluation.

You have to love what the Jets did today. The price to find a legitimate franchise quarterback is never too great, and the Jets finally found their man. They were aggressive, and now they can compete with the Dolphins and the Patriots for the AFC East title. Mark Sanchez is ready to be a great player, he can run their offense effectively, and he can be a player the Jets can build around. They still must address their wide receiver needs, but thatís for another day. Rejoice, Jet fans ó you finally have the trigger man who can make a difference. I tip my hat to Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum and his staff.

The Patriots are clearly a very smart team. In a poor draft, they moved around and got second-round picks that, for me, are like gold. No one can match Bill Belichickís ability to know the draft and make the right moves. He manages his team like a GM and never loses sight of the long-range plan. By having their team needs fit before the draft, the Patriots were able to use second-round picks on players who can help them in 2010 and eventually be starters.

I love Baltimore being able to get Michael Oher, a quality offensive tackle, picking near the bottom of the first round. This solves the Ravensí problems at right tackle and gives them an option at left tackle in case of any injuries.

The Cardinals wanted Donald Brown in the first round and had to settle for Beanie Wells, but for me, thatís not a settle. Beanie is one of the best backs in the draft and will make the Cardsí offense even more explosive. When playing a three wideout set, the key component is the back, and Wells will be very effective. I love the value.

Denver left me wondering. The Broncos traded away a first-round pick next year for a small corner in the second round. Alphonso Smith has cover skills and does have talent, but when the pass rush is not very strong, his skills as a playmaker arenít able to be highlighted.

Carolina does not seem to worry about the future. This is the second year the Panthers traded away a future first-round pick. This time they traded a one in 2010 for a second this year to be able to select Everette Brown, the defensive end from Florida State.

And with no big-time players being traded, Iím wondering what the Browns will now do with Braylon Edwards. Drafting two wide receivers in the second round opens up many discussions and possibilities. I wonder why the Giants would rather have Hakeem Nicks than make a move for Edwards.

Sunday will be exciting. We might see some players traded, and weíre likely to see teams moving around to make picks.

I just love draft weekend.