Grading the NFC

April 28, 2008|By KEN MURRAY

NORTH

Packers: B

Pick to watch -- It will be inter esting to see whether QB Brian Brohm can push Aaron Rodgers.

Bottom line -- Ted Thompson filled lots of needs but didn't get the offensive tackle he needed.

Bears: B

Pick to watch -- LT Chris Wil liams will pass protect well, but his run-blocking needs work.

Bottom line -- The Bears filled several holes, but the lack of a quar terback indicates they still think Rex Grossman can play.

Vikings: C

Pick to watch -- QB John David Booty was cheap in the fifth round, but he might get a shot if Tarvaris Jackson fails.

Bottom line -- Their draft was getting DE Jared Allen in a trade last week. Anything else was gravy.

Lions: C

Pick to watch -- Undersized LB Jordan Dizon has the speed and toughness to upgrade the defense.

Bottom line -- If the Lions hit on the two third-round defensive line men, it's a good draft. If not, another bust.

EAST

Giants: C

Pick to watch -- The Giants stopped the fall of WR Mario Man ningham in the third round. He might be a steal down there, even with his speed and character issues.

Bottom line -- GM Jerry Reese had a marvelous draft a year ago. This year, he strengthened his secondary.

Cowboys: A

Pick to watch -- Felix Jones gives Dallas a big-play dimension at run ning back, and he knows about shar ing carries.

Bottom line -- The Cowboys went for offense early and even with the Adam "Pacman" Jones trade, added talent at cornerback in Mike Jenkins.

Eagles: B

Pick to watch -- WR DeSean Jackson is only 5 feet 9, but if his playmaking translates to the NFL, the Eagles get a very good player.

Bottom line -- Andy Reid moved all over the board creating competi tion and took a pick for the future when he grabbed CB Jack Ikegwuo nu, who needs to rehabilitate a seri ous knee injury, in the fourth round.

Redskins: B

Pick to watch -- Getting WR De vin Thomas in the second round was a great value pick.

Bottom line -- QB Jason Camp bell finally has some big receivers in Thomas and Malcolm Kelly.

SOUTH

Buccaneers: C

Pick to watch -- Aqib Talib fills a major hole at cornerback with the departure of Brian Kelly.

Bottom line -- DT Dre Moore of Maryland could be a major find for the defense.

Saints: B

Pick to watch -- The Saints made a key trade up to No. 7 and got DT Se drick Ellis, who should be a force up front.

Bottom line -- Coming back with CB Tracy Porter in the second round filled their second-biggest need. If El lis and Porter play, it's a solid draft.

Panthers: B+

Pick to watch -- RB Jonathan Stewart should solve the team's problem in the running game.

Bottom line -- The Panthers had a deft draft to satisfy their prime needs on both sides of the ball.

Falcons: B

Pick to watch -- The question is: How soon will they put QB Matt Ryan behind center and that shaky offen sive line?

Bottom line -- GM Thomas Dimi troff and coach Mike Smith needed lots of bodies. It's a long way back to being competitive.

WEST

Seahawks: C+

Pick to watch -- TE John Carlson gives QB Matt Hasselbeck another weapon in the passing game, upgrad ing the position instantly.

Bottom line -- Two picks on the defensive line will be important in improving the defense.

Rams: B

Pick to watch -- DE Chris Long could easily have been the first pick in the draft.

Bottom line -- The Rams went for speed at several positions. They need more help to contend.

Cardinals: B+

Pick to watch -- CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie answers a press-coverage need.

Bottom line -- The top defensive picks appear to be strong players. They didn't find the running back they need, though.

49ers: C

Pick to watch -- DT Kentwan Balmer gives Mike Nolan some flexi bility in his 3-4 and 4-3 schemes.

Bottom line -- It's a critical draft for Nolan after a disappointing 2007 season.

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