Bang for the Buck

Da'Quan Bowers was drafted 51st overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Most people have experienced it. You go to the store only to buy something that you had no intention of getting but you couldn’t pass it up because it was such a great deal.

Three of this year’s shoppers in the NFL draft came across a product that they weren’t looking for and just couldn’t let them get away.

Talent over need is one of the toughest decisions when drafting players but when that talent comes at a greatly discounted price even Homer Simpson knows that it should be a no-brainer to take the talent.

The New England patriots are known for being smarter than everyone. No denying it. Savvy draft day trading, making the diamond in the roughs seem like an everyday occurrence and pretty much everything else in between.

With franchise quarterback Mr. Tom Bundchen-Brady locked up in New England for the next while, the Patriots still went out on day two of the draft and grabbed projected first round pick Ryan Mallett.

Talk about value.

Ryan Mallett has all the physical tools to one day become a franchise quarterback and at 74th overall the Patriots decided that this guy could become Tom Brady’s successor.

Why not?

This has all the makings of another steal by the New England Patriots. There may be as many questions as there are positives surrounding Mallett including inaccuracy, character and possible drug abuse. However, picking up a quarterback, who has the skills to be a franchise quarterback, in the middle of the 3rd round doesn’t come with much risk. It’s not as if the Patriots have to worry about draft picks anyways.

Considering five other quarterbacks were drafted ahead of Mallett, a player who some had as the third best quarterback in this year’s draft, he should be a steal at 74 no matter what situation he is placed in. I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that the Patriots pulled off something that could make us bow down to the great Bill Belichick once again.

Almost every New York Giants fan at Radio City Music Hall was cheering when their team selected cornerback Prince Amukamara with the 19th overall pick.

A lot of mocks had an offensive tackle going to the Giants at 19 but when Amukamara slipped to them they couldn’t pass on him.

With a defence that finished ninth in the NFL last season, there was no desperation to find an impact defensive player. Protecting Eli Manning was supposed to be priority number one. In fact, probably the only guy who isn’t praising the pick is Eli Manning because this potential shut-down corner isn’t going to be protecting his blind side anytime soon.

Nevertheless, the New York Giants were right to not let the newly dubbed “Fresh Prince of New York” slip past them. Shut down corners don’t come around every day at the number 19 slot.

Needed or not, the teams in front of the Giants should regret their decision not to pick the Prince.

I think I would be writing this even if this next fellow was drafted late in the first round. Now, there is almost no doubt that at 51st overall, Da’Quan Bowers represents the best no-brainer value in the 2011 draft.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had already drafted a defensive end with their 20th overall pick in round one but when they sat at 51 with Bowers on the board they couldn’t say no. Once again, how can you blame them?

Bowers led the nation in sacks with 15 last year and fell mightily on every team’s draft board because of right knee issues. I still don’t understand why 32 teams passed on him at least once, some twice. In early mocks Bowers was projected as a potential number one overall pick yet knee surgery sets him back 50 picks.

I can’t comment nor do I have any knowledge on the extent of Da’Quan Bowers’ knee problems. That shouldn’t matter though when you can pick up a possibly dominating pass-rusher with a late first or early second round pick.

It doesn’t matter who you are drafting, there are no sure things. However, it is a sure thing that without the knee problem Bowers has the potential to become one of the league’s premier defensive ends.

It’s as hard as Aroldis Chapman’s fastball to be able to find a player in the second round that could have the type impact that Bowers might possess. For the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans to pass on Bowers in favour of alternative defensive ends in the second round is beyond me.

Tampa Bay might strike out on Bowers but at least they will do it swinging for the fences.

Like any draft there are bound to be disappointments. Mallett, Amukamara and Bowers may very well end up disappointing their respective teams but with the value that these three players offer there should be no reason to regret the choice to draft them.

Related: Naughty or Nice?

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