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2011 NFL Draft: Process Points Grades

Process points…are kind of a big deal.  When grading the 2011 NFL Draft, that is.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with process points, they function as a way to grade a draft instantly and objectively without worrying about what players will eventually become or whether my pre-draft grades were accurate.  Process points give points for the first two rounds of the NFL draft, and reward teams for playing the market well through trades and draft picks.  The draft is an event where each team can only better themselves, and while each team has to be able to actually better themselves just to keep up with other teams, points are not subtracted away from teams for making reaches.

The worst thing you can do with a draft pick is waste it, so if a pick is totally wasted in the first round, a team gets a zero.  If it’s not optimally used, it will get some compensation between 0 and the max.  For the first 16 picks, a team can receive up to five points for a draft choice, in the next 16 picks of the round, 4 points is the maximum.  For the second round, teams are either awarded three points for a sound pick, or get zero points for missing the market entirely.  All trades are either given two points if they were perceived to be overall beneficial, or zero points if they were not perceived to be beneficial.

The average number of process points given out in this draft was 6.78 points/team (down about a half point from last draft), with 7 points representing the median value.  Not coincidentally for a well-designed measure of draft-day aptitude, a team that picked in the lower half of the first round and the second round, and made no trades but hit on both picks would get precisely 7 points.

Process points is as much a measure of opportunity of aptitude, so the one team that scored 0 points in process points was the Carolina Panthers, who picked Cam Newton at no. 1 for reasons I deemed to be “non-football” reasons, then didn’t pick again.  Process points is unconcerned with a teams ability to capitalize on the later player-development based rounds.  Teams that draft well will do better because they draft well, but they won’t outproduce the teams that can develop their own talent.

Without further delay, lets get to the two teams that played the draft the best — before the other 30.  Oh look, wouldn’t you know that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Format is <Rank. Team Name (score)>.

1. Washington Redskins (15): Process points is all about trying to strip personal biases from grading the draft: I may not like Jake Locker for example, but the Titans are still going to get a reasonable mark on drafting him because they didn’t have a quarterback and identified him as a guy to solve that need, and took him at value.  So one of my toughest decisions came in the second round with the Washington Redskins drafting DT Jarvis Jenkins about a round ahead of his value.  I made the decision that, historically, I would have granted points to teams filling a need with a reasonable grab if there was no reason to suspect that said team overbought the market.  In this case, I didn’t see a more dominant run defender come off the board in the next round or so, so that mitigates the reach.

Washington is the first team, and probably the only team ever, to finish in the top five in process points heading into the draft without a pick in either the third or fourth round.  That’s a major disadvantage to the system, and by all accounts, the Redskins won the draft.  The only thing I dinged them for a little bit is losing their gamble that Robert Quinn would make it to no. 16 after the trade down with Jacksonville.  I feel Ryan Kerrigan fits their system better, but didn’t offer the full points because if I would have given 5 points for taking Quinn at 10, Kerrigan gets 4 points at no. 16.

2. Denver Broncos (13): It may be a referendum on the process points system that the Denver Broncos, of all teams, now sit at the top of the three-year listings.  This means one of two things if the system works: either the Broncos cannot properly evaluate talent under Brian Xanders, or a rebound is coming much sooner than people think this team is capable of.  By 2012, Denver should have one of the stronger linebacking corps in the AFC, and it is around that point that they will have to rebuild their defensive front and secondary.  This was a defensive heavy draft, so we will see if the offense that Josh McDaniels built is strong enough to develop and endure beyond his reach, but the Broncos should be loaded with young talent by this time next year.

3. Detroit Lions (11): It may be time to point out that the post-Millen Detroit Lions traded Roy Williams to the Dallas Cowboys, and on the strength of that trade, have rebuilt the franchise into a young, talented playoff contender.  You’ll realize I’m hardly alone in my assessment that the Lions, as currently constructed, are ready to contend in the NFC, but they themselves drafted this year like a team that thinks it’s getting close.  Mikel LeShoure was my number one rated running back.  The Lions sold the middle portion of the draft to get him as their second running back.  It capped their process points total for this draft at 11, and essentially concluded a draft where most of the help they received came on the offensive end.  The Lions drafted to their strengths, instead of their weaknesses, continuing a trend started in 2009 when the team took Matthew Stafford and Brandon Pettigrew in the first round to add to the worst defense that anyone had ever seen in 2008.  The strength of a playoff run will come on the backs of the offensive talent.  As it should be.

4. San Francisco 49ers (10): I think the consensus on the Aldon Smith pick was that it was a slight reach by the 49ers, but there are two things to consider here.  Primarily, the lynchpin of the Niners entire draft was QB Colin Kaepernick.  But they never sold the farm to get him.  But secondarily, the majority of NFL GMs had exactly five players on their boards rated in the elite class, and as I’ll discuss in the Falcons grade, a team just came up from 26th to get a player with a “win now” grade.  What was left in that class was, debate-ably, Nick Fairley, who wouldn’t go until pick 13.  Aldon Smith was one of the BPAs at the time the 49ers took him, and that wasn’t a very valuable pick they had: anyone going upward to 7 would have been targeting Jake Locker or Blaine Gabbert.  The niners absolutely needed an edge rusher and still got their quarterback at 35th overall with a perfectly timed trade, occuring only after Andy Dalton was drafted by the Bengals.  Nerves of steel in this war room, I’ll tell you that.

T5. Kansas City Chiefs (9): This was an interesting calculation.  Jon Baldwin is a system receiver, and in the current Kansas City offense with Matt Cassel throwing the football and Dwayne Bowe playing a single side receiver, Baldwin is a no. 1 type, and worthy of a first rounder.  The Chiefs, knowing there was limited competition for the player, traded down five picks with the Browns, then got Baldwin anyway.  Beyond that, Rodney Hudson filled a major need on the interior for the Chiefs, and was a huge steal at the point he was taken.  This analysis also ignores my favorite pick of the Chiefs draft: LB Justin Houston in the third round. In the past, I’ve dinged Scott Pioli for doing nonsensical things: he ultimately built a Chiefs team last year that rode a weak schedule to a division title and wore down just when it needed to be peaking.  But he and his team did a good job in this draft.

T5. New England Patriots (9): This is one of the lower grades I’ve given the Patriots, who managed to reload for next year’s draft fairly effectively, but came away with little certainty after the first two rounds.  They scored right away with a trade to New Orleans for next year’s first rounder.  But the Nate Solder pick couldn’t get the full complement of points, as he’s a long term projection in development, and the Patriots had enough short-term assets to do better than that.  Solder was the second tackle taken.  I felt the second round, usually the money round for the Patriots, was a bit of a disaster.  Ras-I Dowling profiles as a nickelback on the Patriots over the life of his rookie contract, and that was perhaps the most valuable pick in the draft the Pats used on him: 33rd overall.  Then they came together and took Shane Vereen in the second round.  The Pats got full points on that because they just barely beat a run on RBs, getting their choice of the litter (and adding Stevan Ridley later).  Vereen also profiles to help the Pats win as a rookie.  About half the Pats process points came from trades.  This grade has more to do with the Pats being pick-loaded every year than doing a good job on draft day.  Hey, whatever works, right?

**A quick point I wanted to make about the last two teams: after three seasons of Pioli in KC instead of New England, the Patriots rate as the best team in terms of drafting over the last three years, and the Chiefs are smack dab in the middle of the pack at no. 16 in 2009-11 process points.  That’s not definitive, as Pioli left all his resources behind in New England when he took the KC job, but it’s interesting that looking at everything he’s done in KC and what NE has done since, it appears Kansas City has a fairly average front office, and New England remains the model.  It’s also worth saying that the primary driver of the 2010 Chiefs playoff run was not anything Pioli did, but the final Herm Edwards/Carl Peterson draft in 2008: Glenn Dorsey, Branden Albert, Brandon Flowers, Jamaal Charles, and Brandon Carr were all 2008 draft picks by the Chiefs.

T7. Arizona Cardinals (8): Arizona passed on a quarterback to draft Patrick Peterson, which speaking long-term, is the right move.  The Cardinals were dreadful last year at the QB position, but that’s not a reason to take a second rate QB over an elite player at another position, and Peterson topped by board.  I struggled more with the Ryan Williams pick, because he’s stylistically similar to Beanie Wells, and only makes sense if the Cardinals aren’t actually planning on increasing Wells’ workload this year, because he’s prone to injury and fumbling and ultimately, they do not trust him.  That’s a tough thing to admit about the 2009 first rounder, but the Cards need to be able to run the ball.

T7. Cincinnati Bengals (8): Cincinnati passed on a quarterback to draft A.J. Green, which speaking long-term, is the right move.  The Bengals entered the draft with a gaping hole at the quarterback position, and weren’t desperate to fill it, and are rewarded as such with an above average process point rating.  The big thing about Andy Dalton was that the Bengals intelligently didn’t go up to get him despite the high grade they had on him.  Dalton is a year to year guy: he’ll need to be evaluated after the year to see if he’s developing NFL attributes.  He did it in college, so it wouldn’t shock me if he did become the Bengals franchise QB.

T7. New Orleans Saints (8): I think too many analysts are ignoring the obscene price tag the Saints paid the Patriots for the ability to draft Mark Ingram.  They could have just taken Ingram at 24th overall and not traded anything away.  I’ll say this: the Saints took Cameron Jordan with that pick, and he had fallen unexpectedly far, and when Gregg Williams picks a defensive lineman in the first round, you know he’s the real deal.  But he’s not really an edge rusher in the truest sense.  And Ingram at no. 28 isn’t somehow better for the Saints than Mikel Leshoure was for the Lions a whole round later.  But the Lions have already paid off that bill.  The Saints paid as much as the Lions did in 2011 picks and will still be paying in 2012.

T10. Baltimore Ravens (7): Jimmy Smith is the kind of player that a team like the Ravens gets late because of the strong team infrastructure that already exists.  He fills a big need for them, and other teams who have the same need shy away because they don’t buy into him as a professional.  I did consider giving the Ravens two points for their ‘failed’ trade with the Bears, but it’s not fair to assume they would have still landed Smith, and since Smith got all the points possible, that would have been double counting.  Torrey Smith in the second round is a boon, and should develop faster than Titus Young with the Lions.

T10. Green Bay Packers (7): I’ve come to realize that Process Points hold a bias against the teams that play in the super bowl the prior year based on draft position.  Negotiating a trade down costs a team points on the back end, no matter how well they draft.  It didn’t specifically hurt this year, as the Pack got full points possible on Derrick Sherrod and Randall Cobb, but it could be remedied in the future.  I’d also like to say that, anecdotally, the Packers had a really good draft, top five amongst all teams this year.  The performance of their defense in the regular season enabled them such a luxury as to draft an offensive tackle and receiver to this offense.

T10. Indianapolis Colts (7): I really liked the Colts draft, but the trade up in the second round by the Colts to get Ben Ijilana didn’t prove obviously necessary to land their man.  So the Colts get just three process points in that round, added to the four they get from the first round for addressing their offensive tackle need with Anthony Castanzo to protect Peyton Manning as it becomes more and more critical to keep the aging Manning from taking hits.

T10. Jacksonville Jaguars (7): The only variable in the Jaguars draft grade is their trade up for Blaine Gabbert.  The million dollar question, of course, is whether the Jaguars will get more long term value out of Gabbert than they would have gotten from the two defensive players they likely would have taken with their first and second round picks.  Chances are that, for a quarterback starved team like Jacksonville, they probably will get more use out of Gabbert than out of two players on the defensive end of the ball.  The trade up cost them their second round pick, but in this case, it was warranted by the market, so the Jaguars get points for a successful trade up.

T10. New York Giants (7): The Giants, I felt, did better in the middle rounds than they did in the first two rounds.  They got good value on their first round pick, Prince Amukamara, who profiles as a second corner on the Giants, to be the player that Aaron Ross wasn’t.  But Amukamara is never going to be an impact corner; his value will be obtained over long stretches of good plays.  Marvin Austin on the other chance can make a much stronger chance to make an impact for the Giants.  The two problems with this draft, for me, is no help on offense for Eli Manning, and that Austin goes into a DT rotation where one has yet to emerge as dominant.

T10. Pittsburgh Steelers (7): The Steelers drafted on the lines in the first two rounds, a luxury they were afforded by the fact that they have plenty of impact players already on both sides of the football.  Both Cameron Heyward and Marcus Gilbert are good value picks, but one may wonder if the Steelers couldn’t have done better grabbing the offensive player (Derrick Sherrod) in the first round and hitting up the defense in the second round.

T10. San Diego Chargers (7): The Chargers spent their entire early draft on defense, which didn’t make great sense to me given the makeup of their team.  Corey Liuget gives the Chargers great scheme versatility and an impact player on the defensive line, a really good first round pick.  But Marcus Gilchrist was a bad reach in round two, and while I’m sure the Chargers have a better idea about where he will play than I do, I can’t see him breaking their lineup anytime soon.  They traded up for the athletic Jonas Mouton, who will be depth amongst the linebackers in year one.  Mouton and Liuget give the team flexibility to play either a 4-3 or 3-4 in future seasons, but the Chargers added no help to an offense that took a step back in 2010 (even if their quarterback, Philip Rivers, played as well as ever).

T10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7): Tampa Bay had the dominant draft everyone felt Detroit had, and in particular, I like the way that Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers complement each other.  There was an element of luck here as well, because when the Bucs opted (narrowly) for Clayborn over Bowers in the first round, it couldn’t have been apparent that they would have another shot at Bowers, and not have to trade up for him as well.  In the short term, I’m more worried about Clayborn because I don’t know how much of his sack production is a mirage against weak competition, but I can assure you that Clayborn and Bowers make the Tampa Bay run defense far better, which was the team’s biggest weakness last season.

T10. Tennessee Titans (7): I didn’t give the Tennessee Titans full points for their selection of Jake Locker because, by all accounts, they made a pretty huge reach to take him when they did.  It’s not beyond fathomable that Tennessee could have taken Nick Fairley and made a play for Locker using their second round pick.  But two things are clear here: Tennessee didn’t want to gamble with their quarterback situation by putting it on what would be left, and they identified edge rushing, not interior line play, as the needy defensive area.  So by picking Akeem Ayers in the second round (Ayers is the draft’s poor man’s Von Miller), the Titans upgraded the defense with an impact player, and didn’t have to risk their QB situation to do it.  Locker likely won’t be accurate enough to be the Titans franchise QB, but Herm Edwards made a good point: this team won games with Vince Young and Kerry Collins.  Clearly the infrastructure to sustain winning with Locker is in place.

T19. Houston Texans (6): The JJ Watt pick was a bit stunning, and the Brooks Reed second round selection was far less stunning, but the Texans made the same fundamental mistake on both picks: they overdrafted non-impact players projecting them to a 3-4 front.  I gave the Texans nothing for Brooks Reed, and gave them a little for Watt because his selection at least shows a purpose to improve the defense through scheme, since hoarding talent on the front seven never worked.  Watt also got a point because he can be a three down lineman for the Texans, coming off the interior in pass rushing situations where Mario Williams’ hand is down.  I think this defensive switch will work for the Texans because Williams will be a movable piece matchup nightmare for offenses, not because Watt or Brooks Reed were good selections.  And Brandon Harris was a shrewd trade up and flat steal for the Texans in their secondary, accounting for more than 80% of the Texans’ process points for this draft.

T19. Minnesota Vikings (6): This was probably the best Vikings draft in recent memory top to bottom, but process points looks at only the first two rounds, and also sees the Christian Ponder pick as the Vikings misreading the market.  No quarterbacks were taken between Ponder at pick 12 and Andy Dalton at pick 35.  The Vikings, essentially because of their need at the QB position, ended up handing Nick Fairley to a division rival instead of adding him themselves.  Ponder does get a good percentage of the process points because the Vikings’ quick trigger was understandable given that Jake Locker went way earlier than projected and the Jags had just traded up ahead of the Vikings to get Blaine Gabbert.  Understandable does not always mean correct.  Kyle Rudolph was just a really good pick for the Vikings to pair a talented TE with a QB like Ponder.  It’s all about building to your offensive strengths in the NFL, and Rudolph does it all.  It will always be a little dicey for Rudolph playing his home games on the artificial surface of the Metrodome, but still, full process points to the Vikings for stopping his slide.

T21. Atlanta Falcons (5): The Falcons traded up to no. 6 for Julio Jones, which is a move that Process Points likes a lot more than I do.  Process points sees Julio Jones as an opportunity to grab an elite offensive player, and the trade up to no. 6 as a bare bones necessity to acquire that level of talent.  The Falcons received two points for the aggressive trade up, a trade that could not have waited any longer and brought the Falcons any immediate impact offensive help (beyond this trade, you’re looking at sitting tight at 26 and taking either Mark Ingram or Kyle Rudolph or Torrey Smith or Jon Baldwin).  Now, in my evaluation, Jones’ college career at Alabama could not have dictated him as a first round pick: he just didn’t get his offense in the end zone enough, up to and including his breakout 2010 season.  And that’s the player that the Falcons are getting at no. 6: not a gamebreaker or a touchdown scorer.  However, I don’t believe Jones at no. 6 is a measurably worse pick than the 2004 selection of Larry Fitzgerald at no. 3 overall to the Cardinals, and Jones actually has a better chance to succeed in Atlanta than Fitzgerald, who made a pretty good career for himself, after being taken by the hapless Cardinals.  I would not have done this trade.  The Falcons gave up way too much to get Julio Jones.  But as part of the larger idea of a team building process, the trade is at least defensible and process points treats it as such.  If Jones isn’t a pro bowler in Atlanta, this is the fault of the Falcons for overvaluing him in the draft.

T21. Buffalo Bills (5): Process points on the other hand takes the alternative perspective on the Bills draft, which as it lauds the Broncos for nabbing Von Miller at no. 2 despite outside assessments that he’s not a “scheme fit” (and that Dareus somehow was?), it looks at the Bills roster and wonders why that team, as currently constructed would select Marcell Dareus for it’s defensive line when both A.J. Green and Patrick Peterson (and speaking for process points over my player evaluations, Julio Jones as well) still on the board.  Dareus was my highest rated defensive lineman, and will produce surprising results as a pass rusher.  But I think, to take a defensive lineman in the top three, the results of such a pass rusher cannot be surprisingly effective, you actually need to be selecting a player who will be expected to cause problems for quarterbacks for the next five to seven years.  Dareus is a good all around player with few, if any, weaknesses, but will he be a better defensive lineman or a good complement for Kyle Williams?  And who is going to rush off the edge for the Bills? I don’t think Dareus makes the Bills defense better as much as he makes it deeper up front.  And the Bills need, absolutely need, impact players.  Dareus might be that, but he also will likely never be heard from again in Buffalo.  I liked the Aaron Williams pick in the second round for the Bills, but even he really needs to look better for the Bills in a couple years than Ras-I Dowling looks for the Patriots.  If not, the Bills wasted a golden opportunity to make gains in the AFC East with a top five draft pick.

T21. Chicago Bears (5): I took the unprecedented step of subtracting two points from the Bears total for the combination of misreading the market to make a poor trade up for Gabe Carimi, then actually failing to call the trade into the league office, benefiting in the process by way of being able to trade up in the second round for Stephen Paea.  The Bears received full points for Carimi and Paea however as they work to rebuild their lines and try to get some future value on a Tommie Harris trade.

T21. Cleveland Browns (5): Cleveland made a really good trade down netting two process points, but more importantly a first round pick in 2012.  But then their draft was really perplexing.  Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard are excellent pieces in a 3-4 front, which the Browns are not playing.  In a 4-3 front, Taylor is an overdraft.  Sheard is a decent pass rushing prospect whose development pretty much holds the key to this draft for the Browns.  Greg Little is a baffling pick at the end of the second round, the only piece of offensive help the Browns grabbed for Colt McCoy, but one who doesn’t have the polished route running ability necessary to help the Browns offense.  If Sheard develops into a QB killer, all is forgiven.

T21. Dallas Cowboys (5): The Cowboys screwed the pooch on the Tyron Smith pick, passing up an opportunity to trade down to no. 16 and draft Smith, while ensuring that the Washington Redskins would be unable to draft Blaine Gabbert.  The Cowboys in their hubris didn’t feel the Jags second round pick was worth the trouble of a trade down.  So then Washington took the same offer Jacksonville offered Dallas, and went on to top the list of process points.  They have the Dallas Cowboys to thank for making their draft.  The Cowboys got their guy, Smith, and Bruce Carter was a nice pickup in the second round, so this is all pretty nice drafting by the Cowboys, but they trail the Giants and Redskins in process points because they didn’t trade down.

T21. Miami Dolphins (5): The Dolphins are a mess right now, a mess that is starting to trend in the wrong direction after a couple of very sound Bill Parcells drafts.  Their picks on the defensive line of Phillip Merling and Jared Odrick have yet to displace Parcells pickups Tony McDaniel, Randy Starks, and Paul Soliai.  They tried to address the other line in the first round by picking Mike Pouncey to be their starting Center, seemingly an overdraft of a guy named Pouncey, who goes a couple of picks earlier in this draft than Maurkice went to the Steelers last year.  The Dolphins didn’t have their second round pick because they traded (foolishly) for Brandon Marshall, but aggressively dealt upwards in this draft to get Daniel Thomas, filling their other big offensive hole created by contract expirations: running back.  That trade wouldn’t have been necessary if not for the Marshall deal, one that I don’t believe a good organization would have made.

T21. St. Louis Rams (5): Robert Quinn figures to be the missing piece in the Rams defense, as they prepare themselves to not only make the playoffs, but win once they are there.  They got the full five points for that selection.  Quinn should slot in at right defensive end as a rookie.  But the selection in the second round of Lance Kendricks at TE seems foolish.  There are few pet peeves that get to me quicker than coaches who come in to a new situation and need to draft new tight end projects to replace the tight end projects taken in the last draft by the prior coach.  Wisconsin TEs have a long history of success in the NFL, so perhaps Lance Kendricks will continue that trend, but it seems like a meaningless use of a second round pick, compounded by the fact that the Rams spent the next two rounds drafting slot receiver types when they already have Danny Amendola in that specific role.  Sam Bradford needs help throwing outside the numbers, not inside them, because that’s typically where the big plays occur, and the only help will come in the form of Donnie Avery returning from injury, not from anything St. Louis did in this draft.

T28. New York Jets (4): New York has a troubling trend of averaging fewer than five picks per draft over the last three years, something that will eventually catch up to them.  But considering that the Jets almost completely rebuilt their defensive front in this draft with Muhammad Wilkerson and Kenrick Ellis, its hard to complain about this specific draft.  It’s the code of process that dictates that the Jets simply can’t win over the long haul trading second round picks for mediocre veteran talent such as Antonio Cromartie.  Let me demonstrate this point by showing the total amount of young offensive talent drafted by the Jets since taking Mark Sanchez fifth overall in 2009: a backup QB (Greg McElroy), two rookie WRs (Jeremy Kerley, Scottie McKnight), four RBs (Shonn Greene, John Connor, Joe McKnight, Bilal Powell), and two LGs (Matt Slausen, Vladimir Ducasse).  Best player amongst the bunch: either Greene or Kerley.

T28. Seattle Seahawks (4): The Seahawks had a really horrible situation on their offensive line, where the team’s starters at C, RT, and guard were all on their way out, and they had to make some picks on the offensive line just to field a team in 2011.  So that lead to the Seahawks drafting James Carpenter and John Moffitt in the first three rounds.  The team also traded out of the second round to try to recoup the pick they lost trading for Charlie Whitehurst.  In other terms, the Seahawks, at best, managed to maintain the status quo from last year without actually improving, just replacing expiring contracts with young talent.  At worst, these guys the Seahawks drafted can’t actually block.  If the Seahawks make a splash this offseason, it will be in free agency, and at the quarterback position.

T30.  Oakland Raiders (3): The only Raiders pick that counted here was the selection of Stefan Wisnewski to be the team’s starting center in 2011.  The Raiders had a similar problem to the Seahawks: an obscene amount of expiring contracts and no level of certainty to replace them thanks to no CBA.  The quality of the Raiders draft will be determined by the outcome of the two picks they obtained from New England at the cost of their second round pick in 2012.   They were going to address their secondary anyway, and did with DeMarcus Van Dyk and Chimdi Chekwa at corner.  But the Raiders will rely on LSU OT Joseph Barksdale and Eastern Washington RB Taiwan Jones to be worth the price that they paid for them, a second rounder in next year’s draft.  Barksdale could start for the Raiders in 2011, out of necessity, if nothing else.

T30.  Philadelphia Eagles (3): The Eagles low rank in this draft, and by process points in general, remains fascinating.  Can we use process points to conclude that time might be running out on the Eagles as a power in the NFC East?  Danny Watkins as a first round pick is troublesome for a few reasons, none of which reflects much on Watkins as a player.  But Watkins is 26.   It also means that all the mid round picks the Eagles have spent on offensive lineman over the past six years or so failed to yield a quality starter at the position, and Watkins needs to start for them from day one.  The Eagles aren’t going to be able to keep pace with the rest of the NFC making those kind of need picks.  Then in the second round, Jaiquawn Jarrett from Temple should give the Eagles a developmental replacement for the aging, contract-expiring Quintin Mikell.  That’s a good pick and all, but the Eagles typically dominate the draft from the 2nd-4th round, and there just wasn’t much there this year for the Eagles, especially after spending their first round pick on a 26 year old guard.

32.  Carolina Panthers (0): The Panthers got zero process points for picking Cam Newton, and fall to one of the three worst drafting teams over the past three years.  The big thing on Newton was that the Panthers took him knowing they had no second round pick, and the league’s most dreadful passing offense last year, and a quarterback in Jimmy Clausen that badly needed help from this draft to develop.  They chose to start over with Newton, a fine decision in a vacuum, but football isn’t played in a vacuum.  This move, best I can tell, was designed to by GM Marty Hurney more time as GM of the Panthers, time that no doubt he doesn’t deserve.  If he doesn’t make this move, he’s not going to get the chance to develop Jimmy Clausen as Panthers QB, someone else will replace him and make that decision.  This draft pick was more about a power struggle than building a winning football team, and deserves no process points.

*****

Here are the cumulative leaders for process points from 2009 through the 2011 NFL Drafts, first and second rounds:

Rank Team Point Total
1) Patriots 41
2) Broncos 41
3) Lions 35
4) Browns 32
5) Seahawks 29
6) 49ers 29
7) Dolphins 25
8. Redskins 24
9) Ravens 23
10) Bengals 23
11) Bills 22
12) Texans 22
13) Buccaneers 22
14) Cardinals 22
15) Packers 22
16) Chiefs 21
17) Rams 20
18) Saints 19
19) Giants 18
20) Steelers 17
21) Colts 17
22) Eagles 17
23) Cowboys 16
24) Falcons 16
25) Jaguars 16
26) Titans 16
27) Raiders 16
28) Jets 15
29) Vikings 14
30) Panthers 13
31) Chargers 11
32) Bears 7
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