KLEE: NFL draft winners ... and losers

By Paul Klee Updated: April 26, 2013 at 12:00 am • Published: April 26, 2013 0

The NFL draft was Thursday-Saturday. Denver columnist Paul Klee, who was at Broncos headquarters during the draft, breaks down some of the winners and losers:

Winners
Rich get richer
There's a reason we see the same teams in the playoff hunt year after year. They draft well. The 49ers, Packers, Steelers and Vikings were among the contenders who reloaded by adding gifted players to their gifted rosters. The Patriots did it again by trading down and adding more picks. Some things never change: The best got better.

Alabama football
Last year at the NBA draft, Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari joked the green room should be called the “blue room.” Let’s change the NFL version to the “crimson room.” Tide coach Nick Saban watched Alabama players go with Nos. 10-11-12 in the first round. How’s that for a recruiting boost?

Roger Goodell’s NFL
How big has the draft become? Here’s a local example: The media parking lot at Dove Valley was as full on Thursday night as it was on the days leading into the Broncos-Ravens playoff game. On a national scale, Thursday’s prime-time TV coverage drew an estimated 20 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Losers
QBs and RBs
Something I never expected to say: Florida State’s E.J. Manuel was the only quarterback selected in the first round of the draft. That, one year after super-QBs Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III headlined the draft at Nos. 1 and 2. There were zero running backs drafted in the first round — the first time that’s happened since 1963.

Buffet lines
Eight of the top 20 picks were offensive linemen. Together, they totaled 2,502 pounds. That’s bad news for the team chefs and good news for their quarterbacks. In an odd twist, six of those O-linemen are on Denver’s schedule next season. Hey, rookies: Let us introduce you to Von Miller and Derek Wolfe.

Tim Tebow
His first mistake was stepping onto a plane to New York. After the Jets drafted a quarterback, Geno Smith, in the second round, it became official with Tebow: The big city chewed him up and spit him out. And that’s from a Tebow advocate. Credit the Broncos, who got two draft picks simply for giving the Jets their ... fourth-string quarterback.

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