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2011 Draft--Julio Trade--My take


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OK, we have all heard the noise. Some say we used 5 picks, others say we gave up 4. I say it is a totally mute and utterly meaningless stat. Here is how I see it.

Drafts are not evaluated by what you didn't get (picks you don't make). That are evaluated by the value added to the team. For sake of argument, I'm going to assume we only have 3 things going for us out of this draft.

1)Julio Jones--Obviously an upgrade. We have a guy who is penciled in a WR2 before training camp starts. He's justified that confidence and has looked good in preseason games.

2)The punter--I don't even know his name. However, I do know how much the guy in Tampa would have cost us to keep here. The kid we have looks good. It both concerns me and impresses me that he seems to have more tackles than anyone on our special teams. The guy is a kicker who goes after ball carries. It is refreshing. Most importantly, we cleared a lot of cap room in this exchange. This is one of many moves that helped us keep the OL sound and go after Edwards.

3)Rodgers--This guy is a role player, but he will see game time every week. We were able to release Norwood and replace him for late round draft pick money. He may not be as fast as Norwood, but he does a lot of things. I think Sproles when I look at this guy. He can't be less durable that Norwood, and he may be a better blocker even if he is small. I can see him bleeding out of the backfield on many a 3rd and long.

Even if Matthews, Jackson, and Dent never contribute (highly unlikely), we have received excellent value from this draft. It isn't just the players. It is also the flexibility it allows you in resigning and aquiring free agents.

Draft picks come and go in cycles for the best front offices. Two years down the road we will be totally stocked and it will swing the other way. We will have more quality depth than we can sign under the cap and will be trading older, but still valuable, veterans for more draft picks.

Bottom line. We were in a position of strength coming into the draft. We used the strength to address a known weakness and gain cap space in a few key positions.

If you get three guys who can come in a play out of every draft class, you will do extremely well overtime. If you draft 7 guys, your cutting 2 or 3 of them most seasons anyway. If you aren't, then that means you have a lot of holes to fill and not much hope of being competitive anyway.

I, for one, feel like we added a lot of value through the 2011 draft. We will have a verdict by week 17 for sure. I'm feeling very confident.

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