First of all, I have to say that enjoyed my first draft fellas. It was filled with some intense moments, a few surprises and overall a good time. This draft showed that the 2008 WR and QB classes appear to be much weaker than in years past. This is the one reason why so much emphasis was placed on the solid class of running backs that were taken in the first round. You have to wonder though, just how many of these guys are going to really pan out? Could this be a repeat of the RB Class of 2005 that Kev made mention to? I'd say every individual in the league would hope not.
With all of this in mind, I thought I would offer my two cents on which teams I think may have set themselves up for considerable improvement both short and long term:
Was the Thugs selection of Ryan Grant at #4 the steal of the draft?
Starting the night with only two RBs on their roster, the Thugs finished the night by adding a second sure-thing starter in Grant, an on-the-brink back in Bradshaw and a future back in Torain. Combining these backs with his already solid group of WRs, all Bobby will be concerned with is "who" to start at QB. Geez, that sounds familiar... In the end, IF two of these three pan out over the next couple of seasons, this could be the draft we look back on as the beginning of the Thugs' dominance.
Even though this team had nowhere to go but up, Jon made some quality decisions that should seriously help his ball club out. Stewart is many people's favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award in the NFL, so who's to think he can't win that award in the YFFL too? He's running behind a great O-Line and the team is determined to regain their backfield dominance once again. Picking up Keller to take advantage of the "Favre Factor" and the supposed future of the Dolphins in Henne, Jon may have put the 'Tangs back on the map.
In conversations leading up to the draft, it was uncertain exactly "who" he had his heart set on taking with his first pick. When Aceto called in the #3 overall pick in the 2008 YFFL draft, he certainly let the air out of some of the owner's hopes that Chris Johnson would be available for them. This speedster could be at the very least part of a 1-2 punch with LenDale White that puts up some solid numbers this season. It is the seasons beyond this that he may be a top 10 RB. THEN, with an already solid backfield of Maroney and Jones-Drew, Aceto was able to take Slaton, who can be allowed to mature on his bench and secure his place in the Houston backfield before even worrying about forcing him into his starting lineup.
A Word of Warning to the Rest of the League
Commissioner Jon has already brought this to your attention, but after acquiring arguably the "final piece" of the puzzle in Anquan Boldin, the Chickens are primed for a title run in 2008. As if they were not already groomed for 2008 success, they may have improved their chance that much more by filling the WR2 hole. Only a case of the injury bug will keep this team from winning both this year and next. With the drafting of a back that I never thought would be available at the #11 spot in Felix Jones, this team just keeps reloading. I'm sure there are a lot of unhappy owners out there who love to hate the Chickens and will now be forced to see continued success for years to come!