THE IMPORTANCE OF the punting game is regularly overshadowed by what takes place on offense and…
NFL Post-Draft Insider 1.0
Baltimore Ravens - Had the team not traded up for Joe Flacco, a league source notes Baltimore would have selected Chad Henne with their second-round selection (No. 55 from Seattle). It's believed they would have passed on Brian Brohm who was not seen as a good fit for their passing game. Carolina Panthers - As noted last week, Carolina was looking for help on their offensive line and the tackle they were targeting was Jeff Otah. Carolina was looking for a physical tackle who fit the profile for their power rushing scheme and the coaches felt Otah was the best match. Cincinnati Bengals - As suggested last week, the team wanted to select Keith Rivers with their first-round pick who would replace WLB Landon Johnson. But as a league source suggests, Rivers is a good blitzer so he could play with his hand down in passing situations. Cleveland Browns - The team drafted raw but Paul Hubbard in the sixth round who turned out to be the only receiver Cleveland selected in the draft. But that shouldn't be a considered a sign that the coaches are comfortable third-year WR Travis Wilson. A league source with another team notes Cleveland offered Wilson to the Minnesota Vikings for WR Troy Williamson before ultimately was dealt to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Green Bay Packers - We noted prior to the draft more than once that the team was seriously considering selecting a quarterback with one of their first day selections. Green Bay spent extra time last week, sources say, calling several coaches of Joe Flacco, Chad Henne, and Brian Brohm. The University of Louisville signal caller was seen as the best fit for the West Coast offense that Green Bay runs which is why they ultimately selected Brohm one pick ahead of Henne. New England Patriots - As Scout.com also noted last week, there were surprisingly a several teams that had given QB Kevin O'Connell as a high as a third-round grade. One of those teams turned out of be New England. The strong-armed passer was thought to be a fifth or sixth-round pick earlier this year but a strong NFL combine showing plus several strong private workouts bolstered his draft stock. The odd man out could be fourth-year signal caller Matt Cassel who is on the final year of his contract. According to a team source, second-year QB Matt Gutierrez outperformed Cassel for the most part in practices last year so since the team will only keep three quarterbacks on the roster, Cassel could be moved before the start of the regular season. Philadelphia Eagles - While many local reports had the team selecting a left tackle or trading up for one in the first round, a league source notes RG Shawn Andrews is seen as the long-term replacement for Tra Thomas--not Winston Justice. The team did have interest in Jeff Otah but the coaches believe Andrews could be an Pro Bowl left tackle for many years. Justice may be move to the right tackle this season. Philadelphia, it's believed, had a first-round grade for DeSean Jackson who they gambled would still be available when they selected in the second round. Jackson is expected to handle punt returns this season in addition to be used in a change of pace receiver role. St. Louis Rams - While some analysts criticized the selection of Donnie Avery as their second-round pick, Avery had been targeted for several weeks by St. Louis. The coaches felt Avery was more suited to initially play the slot than the other receivers that were selected behind him. He also was seen as having the most upside by the coaching staff.
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