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2011 Team By Team NFL Draft Winners & Losers

2011 Handicapping Review Of The 2011 NFL Draft

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The dust has settled. The 2011 NFL draft happened. A bunch of players actually showed up. Life will indeed continue for football fans. Interestingly enough, even though the lockout prevented any major roster-player deals from happening, the draft had no shortage of surprises this year.

Let’s look at the biggest winners and losers.


Cincinnati Bengals

Cincy showed last week that it wasn’t too proud to pull the plug on its current offensive pillars. Marvin Lewis is back as coach and he can no longer coexist with former stars Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco. After both players publicly declared that they’re done as  Bengals, Cincy went out and filled the void, grabbing the top-ranked wideout in the draft, A.J. Green, fourth overall to replace Ochocinco and snagging the underrated Andy Dalton to succeed Palmer under center.

Cleveland Browns

Like Mike Holmgren himself, the Browns’ draft was just plain meaty. Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard are big additions to the defensive line, as both graded out as first-round talents according to most scouts. Sure, the Browns didn’t get the surefire No. 1 receiver many people thought they needed for Colt McCoy, but Greg Little out of North Carolina certainly has the athleticism to be a good project.

Detroit Lions

While some detractors might argue the Lions should’ve addressed a new area of need after drafting Ndamukong Suh last season, I liked Detroit’s Nick Fairley pick. The Lions went with a “best available” strategy and now have two monsters up the middle with Suh and Fairley. Titus Young out of Boise State could also be a sneaky-good addition at receiver.

New England Patriots

Really, other 31 teams in the NFL? You let the New England Patriots draft Ryan Mallett, who still graded as a possible first-round quarterback, in the third round? Shame on you.


Houston Texans

Their offense is in good hands with Arian Foster, Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson. Their front seven has major playmakers in Mario Williams and Brian Cushing. But the Texans still never make the playoffs. The reason: their secondary. It’s awful. So Houston should’ve tripped over itself to draft a defensive back in the first round, right? The Texans could’ve gotten their man without even trading up for Patrick Peterson. Prince Amukamara was available at pick No. 11. Naturally, the Texans passed. SIGH.

Oakland Raiders

After one year in which the Raiders shook Al Davis’ madman philosophy and drafted normally (Rolando McClain), the Raiders were back to their kookie ways in 2011, drafting pretty much only according to 40-yard dash times. Demarcus Van Dyke in the third? Taiwan Jones in fourth? Vintage Raiders.

Washington Redskins

If I’m a Washington Redskins fan, I’m pretty unhappy right now. Washington had 12 draft picks and used 0.0 of those picks on a quarterback even though Donovan McNabb is supposedly finished with them and Rex Grossman is a free agent. The only explanation I can think of is that the Redskins already have a deal in place for when trades are permitted again. For example, maybe they would’ve acquired the Christian Ponder pick from Minnesota? Or am I just crazy?

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.