(RNN) - Four years from now, everyone will know who did the best in this year's NFL draft, which wrapped up Saturday after three days of prognostication.
Determining who did best today is not nearly as easy - but it's fun. What follows is an early assessment of six teams who made the most of their draft choices, and six teams that could have done better.
It's not fair to call them winners or losers at this point, but I'm going to do it anyway.
New England Patriots – Do the Patriots ever not win? Whatever New England does in its war room needs to be bottled and preserved in the Hall of Fame. Memo to the other 31 NFL teams: when New England calls, hang up, because the Pats will get the better end of any deal you make with them. You're only serving to make them better, and they don't need your help with that.
Bill Belichick likes to do two things: horde draft picks, and find players who give him an infinite number of options. Boosting the Patriots' faltering defense with pass rusher Chandler Jones, linebacker Dont'a Hightower and safety Tavon Wilson – even though he was a curious selection – gave New England exactly what it needed.
Don't question the Belichick method; you'll end up looking stupid.
Cleveland Browns – This may be the first time in a long time that Cleveland fans actually like what their team did.
While trading up one position to draft Trent Richardson was curious, the Browns had more draft picks than any other team at the time, and shedding a few to give their offense an immediate – and enormous – upgrade was not as bad a move as some might say. Had Minnesota moved from that spot and had someone else picked up Richardson, Cleveland would have been criticized for not making the move.
The choice of Brandon Weeden later in the first round was also a good selection. Weeden had been downgraded by a lot of teams because of his age, but he is probably more NFL-ready than Ryan Tannehill, who was taken 14 picks earlier (see losers below).
It might have been smarter for Cleveland to take a receiver and grab Weeden early in the second or late first, but you can't argue with the results. A couple of solid defenders late in the draft also helped.
Baltimore Ravens – I think Baltimore pulled a little bit of a coup when it traded out of the first round and took Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw early in the second. Many people didn't even think Upshaw would be available for the Ravens - and they traded down and still got him.
The Ravens then worked on adding depth in several places. Aside from Upshaw's pass rush ability, nothing stands out as exciting. But nothing about the Ravens has ever been truly exciting and they make it work.
St. Louis Rams – New coach Jeff Fisher is the quintessential "defensive guy," so when he takes a guy like big-bodied run stopper Michael Brockers, I don't question it. St. Louis had more pressing needs, but obviously Fisher saw something he had to have, and that should be a little scary to anyone who has to play against him.
But the most intriguing pick St. Louis made was cornerback Janoris Jenkins. No one questions if Jenkins will be a good player, but will he be available after a flurry of off-field issues? Fisher is no stranger to those, though, as another stellar cornerback of his from Tennessee was plagued with off-field trouble - the infamous Adam "Pacman" Jones.
If Jenkins works his issues out, the Rams will be set for a long time. And let's not forget St. Louis added first-round picks for 2013 and 2014 when it traded with the wide-eyed Washington Redskins for Robert Griffin III.
Minnesota Vikings – Whether Minnesota had another trade partner or fleeced Cleveland into giving up three draft picks for a one-spot upgrade is unknown, but Minnesota addressed two big areas of weakness early.
Dropping to fourth to get the player they would've taken third - and picking up extra picks in the process - was a brilliant move, and Matt Kalil will be a long-time starter on the offensive line.
The Vikings then traded up back into the first round to take Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith - one of the best defensive backs in the draft - and added cornerback Josh Robinson in the third round. None of those choices are particularly flashy, but they are all solid, reliable players who will be worth their selection.
Indianapolis Colts – Not only did Indianapolis take a younger Peyton Manning in Andrew Luck, it picked up a couple of guys for him to throw too, and one of them happens to be a guy he threw to at Stanford.
That's taking a guy who will already be comfortable in the NFL and giving him added comfort.
Running back Vick Ballard may surprise a few people with his ability, and defensive tackle Josh Chapman will help transition the Colts' defense to its new 3-4 format (Chapman was the anchor of that system while at Alabama). Chapman had been downgraded because he's coming off knee surgery, but he's been given a glowing endorsement by athletic injury guru James Andrews and Indianapolis was able to get him a lot later than he was worth.
Indianapolis bookended the draft by taking quarterback Chandler Harnish with the final selection. Harnish is a fitting Mr. Irrelevant because, like Peyton Manning's longtime back-up Jim Sorgi, he probably won't get many opportunities.
Seattle Seahawks – It seems like the only people who think highly of Seattle's selection of Bruce Irvin in the first round are the Seahawks and Irvin. The Seahawks took a guy in the middle of the first round who might have still been there in the third. That's what's known as a "dumb pick."
Any fantasy football owner can tell you not to draft somebody who will be available the next time your pick comes around, no matter how much you like him. Seattle passed over at least a half dozen other players who were worth selecting.
It was a classic fantasy football draft mistake. The guy they wanted was taken before they picked when the Panthers took Luke Kuechly so, instead of rethinking the pick, they stayed with the original plan, even though the plan was foiled (like if you're planning to reach and pick the best defense in your fantasy draft, but the guy in front of you decides to do the same thing so you pick another defense instead, which turns out to be an even bigger reach when you could have gotten a solid third wide receiver or running back, or a starting tight end).
But that isn't even the biggest issue. Seattle took Irvin over other players at his position with far better potential, such as Melvin Ingram, Quinton Coples, Shea McClellin, Chandler Jones, Dont'a Hightower, Whitney Mercillus, Nick Perry and Courtney Upshaw. Why are those players better options? Well, they don't have a police record (Irvin does) and none are considered risky (Irvin is). All were projected to be first-round selections, and Irvin was graded as the No. 50 player in the draft. That's a rating that puts him later in the second round than he was taken in the first.
Seattle does get a bump up in my mind by taking quarterback Russell Wilson, but nothing else they did was encouraging.
Kansas City Chiefs – Dontari Poe had 33 tackles last season while playing for Memphis. The anchor of the defensive line - the defensive tackle in the 3-4 defense the Chiefs run - managed less than three tackles a game at Memphis, a team that went 2-10.
Kansas City is banking that his lack of production is because he played a lot of different roles – that he's good at a lot of things, but not great at any. Well, when you take a guy at No. 11 overall, he better be great at something.
Poe wasn't the best player at his position in this year's draft. Both Fletcher Cox and Michael Brockers are better, and both were available when Poe was taken. In fact, St. Louis (see above winners) was ready to take Brockers at No. 6 had they not traded down. Poe is a huge risk to make based on scouting combine performance alone. Kansas City only had one sack from its defensive tackle position last season. Drafting Poe makes sense in that area, because he only had one for Memphis (that's against Conference USA competition, by the way).
Kansas City did upgrade its offensive line somewhat by taking Donald Stephenson, but he's got a lot of question marks, and some of them involve failed drug tests.
Oakland Raiders – So this might not be very fair because Oakland didn't have many draft picks, and none in the first two rounds. But when you can't select top notch players, you can't say you had a good draft.
Oakland sought help on both the offensive and defensive lines, and got some late-round additions to fill some holes, but trading all of those picks for a first-rounder and taking someone who will make an immediate impact might have worked out better.
Miami Dolphins – Miami is a team labeled a draft loser only because their one inspiring selection was overshadowed by his wife.
Ryan Tannehill was the player everybody knew the Dolphins were going to take, to add to the growing list of names in the quarterback revolving door Miami has become famous for. He was taken No. 8 overall and may take a couple of years to develop before he's able to play.
Players taken that high are usually expected to play in their first year. The selection of tackle Jonathan Martin was a solid choice, but not one that's going to get anybody in Miami too excited.
Tennessee Titans – It remains to be seen how much of an impact playing with RG3 had on Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright. If Wright is a legitimate star in his own right, Tennessee was right take him, but if he is a beneficiary of his teammate then Tennessee will be paying him a lot of money to do very little.
Everybody else the Titans selected fall into a similar category. If they can find their niche, they'll be fine. But if they can't fit in a role, they'll all be soon replaced.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Jacksonville took a punter in the third round instead of going after, oh I don't know, someone at a position that matters.
If you're going to draft a punter that high you ought to least get a good one, which they did in Bryan Anger, but it doesn't speak very highly of the confidence you have in your own team when getting a punter is a high enough priority to take him at pick No. 70.
I should retract the statement in the first sentence. By not going after help in the offensive line or secondary, Jacksonville did get a player who mattered, because obviously they will need him.
Now, to be fair, Jacksonville did have the good sense to draft wide receiver Justin Blackmon and defensive end Andre Branch. Both should prove to be great additions. But refer back to what I said about the Seahawks: don't take somebody if they'll be available when your next pick comes around. And in the case of a punter, wait until your last pick.
Again, any fantasy owner worth his salt knows you don't take a kicker ahead of, well, anybody else. The Jaguars could have gotten a good punter – maybe even Anger - in the fifth round, sixth round or seventh round, or at least found a decent one as a free agent.
If not for Anger, this draft could have been a win, and if he turns out to be a 15-year starter, then maybe in retrospect it will be. But for now the Jaguars will continue to wonder why it never works out for them and the reason will be because they took a punter in the third round.
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