Millions of children grow up dream of becoming a professional athlete. For a select few, those dreams eventually become a reality. For NFL fans, the chance so many dreams fulfilled during the NFL Draft is a great opportunity for all. Here's what happened in the NFC:
The Philadelphia Eagles drafted T. Lane Johnson for the number four overall pick in the draft. Chip Kelly made a splash during his first draft as the Eagles head coach by selecting former USC QB Matt Barkley. While many do not know how this will fit, Kelly may be looking to redesign his offense to fit as an NFL scheme.
The Dallas Cowboys made a nice second round selection by taking TE Gavin Escobar. He has great hands and will give Tony Romo another big- time option and down-field threat. The Cowboys then went on to draft CB B. W. Webb and RB Joseph Randle. They had a respectable draft but all of the pressure will be on Romo for next season.
The St. Louis Rams may have produced one of the best drafts in their franchise's history, as they reeled in some potential game changers across the board. Starting out with a speedy playmaker by the name of Tavon Austin, who will be a threat to take it to the house any time he touches the ball. Then the Rams drafted very wisely by reaching into the rich and proven talent tool from the SEC, as they selected Alec Ogletree, Barrett Jones, and Zac Stacy. Jones and Ogletree should prove to be handfuls in the trenches, since Jones has proven that he can literally play anywhere on the offensive line. The team also filled a hole at the safety position by selecting T.J McDonald in round three. He should be able to see the filed pretty soon.
The Washington Redskins filled obvious needs in their defensive backfield by going after David Amerson and former Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo. They also found a potential gem in the third round by getting a sure-handed TE Jordan Reed, which will greatly assist Robert Griffin III. While this may not be the most exciting class the Redskins have put together, it is certainly one that can push their team to the next level.
The New York Giants selected former Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib in the fourth round, even though he probably won't see the field due to Eli Manning. However, Nassib could be used as great leverage as a future trade if the Giants choose to go that route. The Giants also chose DE Damontre Moore, OL Justin Pugh, and DT Johnathan Hankins. The Giants did not need to do much to improve an already-talented roster, but they did fill some specific needs.
The San Francisco 49ers added a great draft class to an already talented roster that nearly won the Super Bowl last year. They got Marcus Lattimore in the fourth round, a guy who would have been picked in the first round if it were not for reoccurring leg injuries suffered in college. They also added some big-time talent to the defense by adding DE Tank Carradine, highly coveted safety Eric Reid, and big time pass rusher Cory Lemonier. The San Francisco 49ers got an A+ from FeedCrossing, considering this team is going to be great for years to come.
The Arizona Cardinals got some much needed help up front by snaring offensive guard Jonathan Cooper -- and they filled some obvious gaps on the defensive side of the ball. Kevin Minter, Alex Okafor and Tyrann Mathieu should be able to greatly improve that Cardinal defense next year. They also added some offensive sparks to the team as well by adding RB Stephan Taylor and playmaker Andre Ellington. It was a great draft for the Cardinals. Expect them to make some noise pretty soon.
The Seattle Seahawks did not have a first round pick due to the acquisition of Percy Harvin, but they did get some very good talent to add to an already talented roster. RB Christine Michael is a first round talent and has the potential to be great from day one. CB Tharold Simon brings off the field trouble, but a load of talent as well. They also could have potentially landed a gem in the 5th round by getting nose tackle Jesse Williams out of Alabama. This was a solid draft for the Seahawks, considering they will be a favorite going in to next year.
The Atlanta Falcons addressed their deficiencies in pass defense by drafting Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford. They also got a solid pass rusher in Malliciah Goodman to potentially help replace Jon Abraham’s void, as well as a potential back up QB in Sean Renfree for a steal in the seventh round. It was a good draft for the Falcons since they had a clear goal in mind -- and then certainly achieved it.
All is good in Title Town U.S.A -- and the rich just keep getting richer. The tradition-wealthy Green Bay Packers had yet another quality draft and stocked their backfield by adding not one but two quality running backs. In the second round they selected Eddie Lacy, the latest great Alabama running back, and in the fourth round they got Jonathan Franklin. Both should push one another for quality minutes and both should make Aaron Rodgers’s job that much easier. The Packers also selected defensive end Datone Jones and offensive lineman David Baktiari. Both these selections should make Packer fans very happy for a very bright future.
For the Carolina Panthers, there was an obvious need for help in the defensive line, and that is exactly what they addressed. They drafted a quality pair of defensive tackles in round one and two by going with Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short. They also got a solid linebacker in A.J Klein, and they added an explosive running back in former Oregon Duck, Kenjon Barner, who will be thrown into an already crowded backfield next year. While they made a nice first round selection in getting a good DT, FeedCrossing gives them a poor overall grade because they didn't address several needs across the board.
The Tampa Bay Bucs traded away several of their picks by acquiring Darrelle Revis, possibly the best corner in all of football. However, they still made some high quality picks with the guys they did select. Tampa Bay likely pleased a hungry fan base and proved they are headed in the right direction. They got a solid cover corner to go along with Revis by snatching up Jonathan Banks in the second round, and got a quality future QB in Sean Glennon the following round.
The New Orleans Saints had a pretty nice draft. They drafted Kenny Vaccaro, Terron Armstead, and John Jenkins. The Saints also added yet another weapon for their future Hall of Famer, Drew Brees, in former Oklahoma WR Kenny Still.
The Chicago Bears made a bold selection for their first round pick in drafting Kyle Long, even though many did not see him fitting there. The Bears went on to select Cornelius Washington in the sixth round. Chicago has a very solid foundation going in to this coming season and things are looking bright in the Windy City.
The Detroit Lions drafted a potential beast in Ziggy Ansah. Although he has not been playing football very long, he has the physical gifts to flat out dominate the NFL. The Lions also got a steal in the second round by drafting guard Larry Warford, who has the size and skills to start from day one. CB Darius Slay also got selected and could help a struggling Lions’ defense.
The Minnesota Vikings addressed the defensive side of the ball as they made two impact selections. Shari Floyd and Xavier Rhodes should be able to give the Vikings a major boost on defense. WR Cordarrelle Patterson could provide an instant boost to the special teams play in Minnesota and eventually become an explosive receiver as well.
The NFL draft has rapidly become an obsession for NFL fans who desperately want their team to become elite. Every smart fan realizes that future Super Bowl champions are all put together on draft day. By not making the right selections, the Lombardi Trophy will never materialize.