As nearly everyone expected, Jay Cutler was the third QB taken in this year’s draft, but he has the potential to be a better player than both Leinart and Young because of his powerful right arm. Cutler has as strong an arm as any QB selected in recent years. He reminds me of Brett Favre at times the way his arm allows him to make plays most QB’s can’t make. He will be a great guy to have on deck in Denver behind Plummer. He will only get better as he set numerous school records at Vanderbilt playing with mediocre talent. Give this kid a good offensive line and a couple wide outs and he has the potential for an outstanding career.
The Ravens’ success has been built around a tough defense and after a down year, things should be looking back up with Haloti Ngata from the University of Oregon stepping into Baltimore’s offensive front and clogging up lead plays. He has been considered a top 10 pick from day 1 and the Ravens have to be thrilled to get him at 12. He should be a big asset for Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis as Ngata will keep down lineman from firing out and getting to him. With Ray Lewis more free to roam, the Ravens’ defense can get back to where they were a few seasons ago. The only knock on this guy is occasional laziness, but I think it stems from him wearing out and his conditioning should improve in the NFL.
Kamerion Wimbley was the second Florida State Seminole and second defensive end taken early on in the 2006 draft. He lacks bulk like some of the great defensive ends such as Reggie White, but the game is increasingly becoming one of speed, and I can see him using his speed off the line like Jason Taylor. He will need to get better at fundamental skills like using his hands to control blockers, and he will need to improve on stringing together a series of moves after his initial move is stopped. I don’t think he’ll have any problems with these things and would probably already have these skills if he wasn’t able to blow by defensive tackles at will in the ACC. The Browns need help on the defensive side of the ball and Wimbley should be a solid start.
The Philadelphia Eagles also went after a Seminole with the 14th pick selecting nose tackle Brodrick Bunkley to give them some push up the middle. His quickness will be a major asset as he will be able to push the pocket in passing situations, but he also has the size to clog up the middle and slow down the run. Add Bunkley to Mike Patterson and Darwin Walker, and the Eagles have themselves a solid front 3. I’m actually a little bit surprised that his college teammate leapfrogged him as he was figured to go in the top 12 and he is a more fundamental football player who already has great technique. The Eagles are glad he was still around. They’ll hope he can help them regain their defensive prowess which was tarnished last season.
The St. Louis Rams love speed on both sides of the ball and they got a corner back from Clemson in Tye Hill who can flat out fly. He ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the combine, but has a listed time of 4.25 seconds. He has the quickness to be a great cover corner in the league for years to come as he is able to react and recover exceptionally if he gets beat. His quickness also allows him to support the run effectively. His only downfall is that his hands are just so-so. He probably won’t be a big play interception guy, but as he develops, I think his speed could allow him to give fits to some of the best receivers in the league. Look for Mr. Hill to step right in and get lots of playing time. He will probably be playing every down before the season is over.
Jimmy Boyd is a documented member of the Professional Handicappers League. Read all of his articles at http://www.procappers.com/Jimmy_Boyd.htm