Insiders

Who Missed In The Draft: Part 2

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The NFL Draft is completely unpredictable and we won’t know who actually won or lost, or received a certain grade for another 2-3 years.

With that in mind, we do know that the draft is a time when teams can try to fill their needs, although most will try to carry the narrative that they’re a “best player available” drafting squad.

We’re going to look at a few teams who missed out on their biggest needs.

Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta has all the pieces in place at the skill positions to have an explosive offense.  Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman and Matt Ryan are more than capable of lighting up the scoreboard on a weekly basis.

Unfortunately for the Falcons, all of the good drafting on the offensive side of the ball has left some deficiencies on defense.

Even though Atlanta used their first-round pick last year on Vic Beasley, they still finished last in the NFL in sacks.

With the opportunity to select a productive collegiate pass rusher like Beasley’s former Clemson teammate Shaq Lawson, the Falcons opted to reach for Florida safety Keanu Neal.  The Falcons certainly had a need on the back end of their defense, but pass rush should always come first and they didn’t manage to grab a single defensive lineman in the entire draft.

The Falcons also have a major lack of depth on the offensive line and didn’t select one of the “big uglies” until the sixth round, when they chose San Jose State guard Wes Schweitzer.

Carolina Panthers

The defending NFC champs can do no wrong, right?  Despite finishing 15-1 and riding that momentum to their second Super Bowl appearance, the Panthers do not have the best roster in the NFL, or even the NFC for that matter.

With the loss of Josh Norman in delayed free agency, the team appeared to regress in the offseason.

A good draft could have rectified that, but Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman decided to pass on some cornerbacks early on in the draft and didn’t select one until the third round (77th overall) when he picked West Virginia defensive back Daryl Worley.

It’s understood that Norman was a late round pick and he blossomed into an All-Pro player.  To let him walk for another third round pick is a dangerous game of chicken that Gettleman is playing with the Carolina roster.

Two reasons that the Panthers lost the Super Bowl (to a team with virtually no offense) was that they couldn’t block Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, and they had nobody who could make plays in the passing game.

How did they rectify that?

By not drafting a single offensive lineman or wide receiver.  Gettleman will never be accused of being a needs drafter as the Panthers filled virtually no needs in the 2016 NFL Draft. Better hope Cam Newton saves the day again for another entire season.

 

 


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.