Breaking down the good, the bad and the ugly from each NFL team’s draft class in 2010:
I’m not a huge Joe Haden fan, but from top to bottom, this was my favorite draft class of 2010. The Browns got a bunch of solid football players toward the top end who can come in and contribute immediately as well as two at the end of the draft (WR Carlton Mitchell and DE Clifton Geathers) who have only started to scratch the surface of their potential.
Maurkice Pouncey and Chris Scott should help shore up the O-line, Jason Worilds and Thaddeus Gibson are both explosive, quick-twitch pass rushers and RB Jonathan Dwyer in the sixth round is an absolute steal. A real gem of a class for Pittsburgh.
Not only did the Ravens add elite talent without having a first-round pick, they also filled some major needs while getting impressive value. DT Arthur Jones is a guy to keep an eye on, a good football player who has battled injuries but has the talent to make this class special.
New York Jets
Small but efficient was the idea behind the Jets’ 2010 class. They added two real standouts in CB Kyle Wilson and OT Vlad Ducasse in rounds one and two. Then they added the draft’s top lead blocker in John Conner in round five.
Considering they didn’t have a first-round pick, the Panthers have to be thrilled with their class. They added a potential franchise quarterback, a talented wideout to complement Steve Smith and some explosive pass rushers in the middle rounds. I also love the upside of sixth-round picks DE Greg Hardy and WR David Gettis.
New England Patriots
One of the real winners on draft weekend, adding two of the nation’s top tight end prospects, a potential starting-caliber corner and two Florida Gators who can add to their defensive front seven. Plus, late-round defensive linemen Brandon Deaderick and Kade Weston will add some much needed depth up front.
I love what the Lions were able to do in the first round, landing the draft’s best defensive tackle and getting Jahvid Best, the top running back. Add in fourth-round pick Jason Fox, who could mature into a solid left tackle, and the Lions added a small but talented group of guys to their roster.
New Orleans Saints
I’m not a big fan of first-round pick CB Patrick Robinson, but the Saints did a great job adding value, need and upside in rounds 2-7. If I liked Robinson a bit more, this might have been my favorite overall class.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Good things come in twos, and that’s exactly what the Bucs did, adding Gerald McCoy and Brian Price at defensive tackle and Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams at wideout. Williams is the real wild card of the group; he has the ability to be as good as any wide receiver in the draft if he gets his head straight.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs added big-time talents with their first two picks, FS Eric Berry and RB Dexter McCluster, as well as potential starters in the mid rounds in TE Tony Moeaki, OL Jon Asamoah and OLB Cameron Sheffield. A real good-looking class for K.C.
I’m not as high on this class as most, but any time you get the draft’s top offensive tackle while adding an NFL talent like RB Leon Washington, it’s a major win. Plus, keep an eye on CB Walter Thurmond III, TE Anthony McCoy and DE Dexter Davis, three guys overlooked on draft day who could end up being real gems.
A strong, good-looking group of prospects from top to bottom make the Broncos one of the real weekend winners. They got a nice crop of technically sound offensive linemen and some real value in the middle of the draft. This class, however, will ultimately depend on the success or failure of QB Tim Tebow.
The Cardinals got nice value in rounds one, two, four and five while adding a really intriguing cornerback in Jorrick Calvin in round six. It wouldn’t shock me at all if all seven guys in the class end up making this roster at some point.
The Dolphins went big all over with the addition of DL Jared Odrick, OL John Jerry and linebackers A.J. Edds and Koa Misi. All four should end up seeing starting time at some point next season, which is what you want to see from your draft class.
St. Louis Rams
As a whole, the draft has to be viewed as a success for the Rams. They got their franchise quarterback, added some impressive talent during the middle rounds and found some late-round gems who can make their roster.
The Jaguars not only added a lot of talent to their defensive front seven but also gave themselves plenty of versatility. Plus, RB Deji Karim is a perfect fit in the Jacksonville run game behind Maurice Jones-Drew.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers aren’t going to sell many jerseys with this draft class. However, they filled spots along the offensive and defensive lines while adding a ball-hawking safety in the process. Not too much to complain about.
I’m not as high on the Oakland draft as most, but I like LB Rolando McClain in round one and mid-round picks WR Jacoby Ford and CB Walter McFadden. However, the key to the class is, did they get their quarterback of the future? If the answer is yes, then the weekend was a success.
A deep class that offers some intriguing bodies on all levels. I wasn’t overly impressed with some of their mid-round picks, but getting guys like DE Brandon Graham and FS Nathaniel Allen early and values like DT Jeff Owens and DE Ricky Sapp late makes this group tough to pick on.
New York Giants
Talent and upside was the theme of the Giants’ first two picks. If DE Jason Pierre-Paul and DT Linval Joseph hit their ceilings, watch out -- this D-line could be scary. If not, it’s back to the drawing board. A real boom-or-bust class for New York.
The Bengals brought in a nice mixture of solid NFL-ready talent along with some high-upside prospects possessing intriguing long-term potential. If DE Carlos Dunlap pans out, he could end up being one of the real steals of the draft.
TCU standout Jerry Hughes was the prize of the class. And although there aren’t many big-time names in rounds 2-7, all seven guys fit their scheme and team personality to perfection.
It’s scary to think of RB Toby Gerhart joining Adrian Peterson in the Minnesota backfield, although the Vikings didn’t make much of a splash with any later-round picks.
The Bears didn’t have a ton to work with, but they got a solid safety prospect in Major Wright, who will likely come in and start from day one. Late-round OL J’Marcus Webb is a big, talented lineman who’s worth keeping an eye on.
San Francisco 49ers
Not a big fan of the Anthony Davis and Taylor Mays picks. But grabbing OG Mike Iupati in the first and TE Nate Byham and RB Anthony Dixon late gives this class some intriguing overall talent. Plus, keep an eye on third-round pick Navorro Bowman, who’s a boom-or-burst linebacker.
San Diego Chargers
RB Ryan Mathews is a good fit in the Chargers’ power run game, although I thought there were plenty of second-round backs who offered the same type of skill set. However, I like what they did late with DT Cam Thomas and QB Jonathan Crompton.
I love LB Sean Lee in the second and DB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah in the fourth. The real question is whether the Cowboys can get WR Dez Bryant to reach his full potential at the next level. That answer will determine the success of this class.
Besides DE Derrick Morgan and third-round linebacker Rennie Curran, there isn’t much for me to get excited about. I don’t think WR Damian Williams will ever be a legit starter on the outside, and the late-round DBs they brought in look more like career backups.
LB Sean Weatherspoon is going to be a solid NFL player, but that doesn’t justify him being the No. 19 overall pick in my opinion. However, I like what the Falcons did in rounds 3-7, which earned them a passing grade.
I love Alex Carrington in the third, Marcus Easley in the fourth and Danny Batten in the sixth, but who’s going to play quarterback and left tackle for this team? QB Levi Brown lacks the arm to spin the football through the winds of Buffalo, and OT Ed Wang is nowhere near NFL-ready.
Honestly, I thought there were better options on the board at pick four, and I don’t see Trent Williams being anywhere close to the top offensive tackle in the class. After that, it looks like the Redskins drafted a bunch of potential special teams guys, although there’s some intrigue in OL Selvish Capers in the Washington zone-blocking scheme.
I don’t want to sound too critical, but I thought the Texans reached for Kareem Jackson in the first and Ben Tate in the second. Then, adding two finesse guys to a defensive unit that needs more power/toughness really baffled me.
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