Now I normally avoid draft talk, I hate judging players till they play, so I generally avoid the posts around this time because fans are picking favorites and if someone says something that insults the draft, or goes against the popular mentality at the time, well, it's just not pretty.
So instead, I'm going to create a post that is helpful for me to get some thoughts out, and is also hassle free because the members keep it going.
In this post, I'm going to review each position, and look at which draftees have the greatest chance of success in the long run of the NFL. Take QB for example, I believe that despite Cam Newton being the best QB in this draft, he's in such a bad situation that his growth will be stunted by starting far too early in Carolina, and will never live up to the #1 pick. Someone in a better position to succeed would be Mallet in NE, if he can learn under Brady for a few years, he's set in a great organization to succeed. I will then include a varying number of players who I think "are screwed."
Now it's important to note, this isn't a measure of talent, but that was taken into account, but a average QB will succeed better on a great team more easily then an above average QB will succeed on a terrible team. This is a combination of the quarterback's talent, the scheme he's in, the coaching on that team, and the talent on that team.
So here goes my rankings, it will be for the top 5, and bottom few, of each position every two or three days. We'll start with the QB's.
Top Situations of Success Listing:
1. Blaine Gabbert, Jax: He is in a great situation, with David Garrard already a respected leader on the team, and Del Rio saying that he feels that if he can stick with Garrard for a few more seasons, and when the time comes, Gabbert will take over. Along with the great offensive system in Jacksonville, MJD and a solid offensive line and receivers, Gabbert will be walking onto the field better prepared with a solid cast around him. Gabbert will start in the NFL, and he will have a much better chance of success because of his situation.
2. Ryan Mallet, NE: Now Mallet is one of my least favorite QB's in this draft, but he is on a team that wins, with an incredible amount of talent around him, a future Hall of Fame QB in front of him, and a coach that will beat the trouble maker out of him. Mallet is in the perfect place to overcome his issues, work on his leadership, master the finer things of passing the football, and learning BB's masterful offensive scheme. Mallet may not be a great QB now, but he's on the right track because of where he was taken. Now he could be #1, but the issue might be that if Brady has a career as long as Favre's, which is likely, Mallet may not get the chance to have a long career, but if he ever starts a game as a Pat, Cassel has shown even an average QB can be great in that system, because it really sets you up to succeed.
3. Ricky Stanzi, KC: Here's a guy coming into a team that has possibly the best running tandem in football, they just upgraded at WR and have a solid offensive line. He's got a decent vet in front of him, who still has yet to truly prove himself. Cassel has at least another season, but I don't see him being the long term solution there, and in two or three seasons, with Cassel having moved on, Stanzi will have mastered the pretty impressive offensive system that has been installed there recently. If they can build that defense up a bit more next draft, their offense is young enough that Stanzi is set for a long career.
4. Colin Kaepernick, SF: Alex Smith is reportedly their man going forward, and if that is the case, Colin is set. The 49ners have a very underrated offense, with Gore, Davis, Crabtree, Morgan and Ginn Jr. behind a stout offensive line. Add in the best defense in the NFC West, and Kaepernick is set to take the reins of a great team in two to three years. That new coach of theirs also seems to have a way with QB's, so he should be able to work out any kinks that Colin has as well.
5. Andy Dalton, Cin: Dalton will be at #5 if Palmer stays, because he can do what Palmer did, and sit a year and learn for a vet. Dalton has an incredible work ethic, inspiring personality, and is incredibly smart. Now if he can stick through a tough year or two behind Palmer, he's going to be set. The Bengal's have issues on offense, but they have some great young WR's, a good young TE and some up and coming offensive lineman. If the Bengals can build around him, get a good RB to replace Benson, and add some more offensive lineman, I like Dalton succeeding in that system.
Guys Who Are Screwed:
Cam Newton, Car: While he is possibly the best QB in this draft, Carolina isn't built to win now or later. Newton, while a slightly better QB then Jimmy Clausen, will suffer the same fate, failure. He may put up numbers closer to Vince Young, but he won't have the wins to even remotely qualify him as worthy of a #1 pick. Newton will likely struggle and fail, but it will hardly be his fault, the Panthers offense is just so terrible, he will be stunted in terms of progression because he will be rushed into action.
Jake Locker, Tenn: Locker is one of my favorite QB's in this draft because his work ethic is one of the greatest I've seen in recent years, he's got fire, he's smart, and has dedication to the game. And had he been allowed to develop for a while, he'd have likely had a great career as he overcomes his accuracy issues, but because he went to the Titans, he's screwed. He may get to sit behind Kerry Collins for a game or two, but those fans won't let him sit for long, he will start too early, and he will struggle. He is the anti-Vince Young, I believe that myself and so it seems do many analysts, but his work ethic and leadership won't make up for a poor offensive line, shallow talent at WR and TE, and a hollow defense. He's lucky he has Chris Johnson, but that's about all he has going for him.
So fellow MHR members, lets hear who you think is set to succeed and who is, well, not set to succeed.