I have seen everything over the past week. I've heard people praising the draft, while others show their disdain with threatening posts like they will stop buying tickets or they are going to cancel their NFL Sunday Ticket because our FO has no clue. Before I go on, I assure you, our FO does have a clue (but that doesn't always lead a team to the promise land)
As in almost every argument, there is a grey area. There are two sides to every story, and this case is no different. From one side, you see this draft, and you see a smart approach. On the other hand, you look at our draft and you scratch your head and ask yourself "What are these guys thinking?" This draft showed that we did a suitable job at addressing most of our needs, while not taking big risks. In other words, we got what we needed. Nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes, that approach is alright. Sometimes, that is exactly what a team needs. Teams that have been plagued by bad drafts look at that approach with open arms and greet it with warm fortitude. However, this team has drafted like that before. We have gone the smart route by drafting Jake Long over Matt Ryan. We have had more drafts where we drafted for a need, and even drafted multiple players at a position of need. Those drafts in the past have yielded some favorable results, and it has helped this team see the light from the cellar.
There is an adage that states "You have to risk it to get the biscuit." While we have seen some talent brought in, we haven't really risked anything in order to better this team. The FO hasn't taken a guy based on a gut feeling or based on him having the ability to do great things, they have focused on stats, measurables, and specific criteria. Basically, they have used inside the box thinking to add talent to this team. While we have spent money on guys like Dandby and put some risk into Brandon Marshall, that is as far as our risk has gone.
It's kind of like the phrase "it isn't what you say, it is how you say it." This FO has shown that they can smartly pick players that can contribute, but they haven't really shown us that they have the ability to truly risk their future on the future of a risky, but necessary pick; that risky, necessary pick being a franchise quarterback.
We have seen them invest time into Chad Henne, and even put some weapons around him. Who knows what the future will be with a new offensive scheme. The likely truth is that we have seen enough from Chad Henne to know that he just doesn't have the edginess, the bite, and the bark to be relied on to be our franchise quarterback. I am confident to say that we will definitely score some more points next year with a new offense, but unless Chad Henne leaves us with no doubt that he can indeed play quarterback at a high level, we really need to take the initiative to truly invest into a quarterback.
The downfall of this FO won't be that they were dumb or couldn't evaluate talent, but the fact that they just couldn't put themselves and their jobs on the line to try to propel this franchise into greatness. With that being said, I do like our draft this year, but I don't love it. I'm not really sure that there was any quarterback in this draft class that would have even been regarded as a franchise quarterback down the road. Next year there are some great quarterbacks expected to come out, and whether this current regime is here or not at this time next season, we need to take a good, hard look at quarterbacks in the 2012 draft class. I hope that one year down the road, I can look back at the NFL Draft weekend with a grin on my face because we did what it took to get a franchise quarterback that could eventually lead us to a Super Bowl.