NFL Draft 2015 Losers

The 2015 NFL Draft is officially in the books so let’s get into initial thoughts as all 32 teams looked to add pieces to improve their rosters and ultimately put their franchise in position to compete this season and in the future. It’s hard to call a team’s draft class out before their draft picks play a down in the NFL but here are two teams that left me scratching my head.

Loser: Indianapolis Colts

1st Round – WR Phillip Dorsett
3rd Round – CB D’Juon Smith
3rd Round – DE Henry Anderson
4th Round – SS Clayton Geathers
5th Round – NT David Parry
6th Round – RB Josh Robinson
6th Round – LB Amarlo Herrera
7th Round – OT Denzell Goode

It’s hard to call the Indianapolis Colts losers as I like the majority of the players they selected. However, the reason they make this list is due to the high regard I have for this team and the potential they have in reaching the Super Bowl. The Colts had an excellent off-season with the addition of Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, and Trent Cole. These additions led me to believe that they were the team to beat in the AFC if they just built on this momentum through the draft by getting tougher on the offensive line and solidifying the run defense. The Colts have been battered and beaten to a pulp by the New England Patriots the last two seasons in the playoffs, routinely getting dominated in the trenches and out rushed 411 to 152 yards. With that being said, the Colts opted to select with their first overall pick the speedster wide receiver out of Miami, Phillip Dorsett. I agree that it Dorsett’s arrival in Indy will be quite a conundrum for opposing defensive coordinators with fellow speedster T.Y. Hilton on the other side of the field but to select a position that you are already strong at (Hilton, Johnson, Donte Moncrief) and pass up on an offensive lineman, middle linebacker, or defensive lineman was a big mistake by the Colts in my estimation. The Colts’ next pick came at the top of third round selecting cornerback D’Juon Smith after trading out of the second round. Smith brings toughness to the team on the perimeter but is nothing more than a fourth CB for a team who has bigger needs in the trenches and the linebacker position. The Colts’ best pick came with their second pick in the third round defensive end Henry Anderson, who is a tough player with the ability to stuff the run with his relentless motor and strength at the point of attack. They then decided to double up on Stanford defensive lineman by selecting Anderson’s running mate nose tackle David Parry in the fifth round. In the sixth round the Colts finally selected an inside linebacker drafting Amarlo Herrera. Although the Colts addressed their run defensive needs later in the draft, I am not confident this will be good enough to get it done in the playoffs when the weather gets colder and teams follow the Patriots’ blueprint of attacking the Colts via the ground.

Loser: Carolina Panthers

1st Round – LB Shaq Thompson
2nd Round – WR Devin Funchess
4th Round – OT Daryl Williams
5th Round – LB David Mayo
5th Round – RB Cameron Artis-Payne

The Carolina Panthers ended up selecting just five players in the draft as they moved up in the second and fourth rounds to acquire Devin Funchess and Daryl Williams. The Panthers’ biggest need coming into the draft was protecting the face of the franchise quarterback Cam Newton but failed to address this need until the fourth round. Instead the Panthers seemed to panic after offensive tackle D.J. Humphries was selected one pick before them in the first round and opted to go with a “luxury pick” drafting linebacker Shaq Thompson. Although Thompson is a very instinctive player he does not have a natural position and in my opinion was a reach for the Panthers as Thompson received a second round grade from CPGM. In the second round the Panthers still had a glaring need on the offensive line but traded up to address another need, the wide receiver position. With the top 8 receivers off the board and Dorial Green-Beckham drafted the pick before, the Panthers’ second panic move of the draft came when they shipped their third and sixth round picks to the Rams to move up 16 spots to take Devin Funchess. I like the idea of having two 6’5 receivers (Kelvin Benjamin) at Newton’s disposal but to this point the Panthers still had not addressed the offensive line and was now without a third round pick to do so. You all know the saying “all bad things come in three” well the Panthers third and final panic move came in the fourth round as they traded up yet again, this time shipping out a 4th, 6th, and 7th to move up 22 spots to finally draft their offensive lineman. Even though I like the selection of Williams from Oklahoma as he is big, powerful, road grader tackle that can play on the right side, the Panthers mortgaged their entire draft to grab Funchess and Williams. GM Dave Gettleman did a great job last season drafting later round guys who played pivotal roles for the franchise but by trading up so much this year it didn’t give him an opportunity to maximize the draft and find those same valuable picks late. Side Note – Cam Newton will more than likely start the season with the “blindside” Michael Oher on the blindside, no bueno.