NFL Draft: First-round head scratchers
CB Dee Milliner (9th to NYJ): I have no problem with Milliner as a player - he's a fine prospect and is commonly ranked as the top cornerback in this draft. However, the Jets have so many holes to fill, and relatively speaking, cornerback is not one of them. After Darrelle Revis' injury last season, second corner Antonio Cromartie stepped up in a huge way, locking down receivers in Revis-type fashion for the majority of the season. The Jets finished 2012 with the 2nd ranked pass defense and were ranked 9th in yards allowed per pass. Milliner is a fine player, but I don't feel that he fills a big enough need for a team with so many weak areas.
DT Sheldon Richardson (13th to NYJ): Sorry to beat up on you, Jets fans. I actually love Richardson as a player, and I'm fine with the Jets drafting a defensive tackle, but they went with the wrong tackle here. Richardson's ideal fit is in a 4-3 base defense as a defensive tackle, but the Jets employ a 3-4 scheme. In the 3-4, Richardson is best suited to play defensive end, but the Jets already have two promising young ends in Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples (their past two first-round picks). It looks like Richardson will play nose tackle, for which he is a bit undersized at about 294 pounds. Star Lotulelei - a 311 pound monster - profiles as a much better fit at the nose and was available when the Jets picked Richardson.
QB E.J. Manuel (16th to BUF): This may be a head scratcher to a lot of people, but it's not to me - I am a huge fan of Manuel. Could the Bills have traded back again (perhaps with the Falcons) and still have gotten their guy? Probably, but quarterbacks always get reached for on draft day. I firmly believe that Manuel has the highest upside of any quarterback in this draft, and while he will likely take some time to develop, he could very well turn out to be a great pick at this spot. I watched a lot of tape on this kid, because I genuinely enjoyed watching his style of play, and I really liked what I saw. A lot of people will peg this as a risky reach, but if the Bills had their sights set on this guy (which they did), I say he's worth the risk.