FOX Sports Exclusive
Best and worst draft decision-makers
Top 5 draft minds
TOP 25 DRAFT PROSPECTS
The No. 1 pick often has to do with team needs instead of talent. All mock drafts aside, Scout.com's Chris Steuber ranks his |
Bottom 5 draft minds
Under reviewThere are some major new decision-makers this season. And they are in critical spots. It will be fascinating to see how well Detroit, St. Louis, Kansas City, Cleveland, Denver and Tampa Bay perform this year. If there are no trades, the first three picks will be made by new front offices. DETROIT LIONS
Few know what to expect from CEO Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew in Detroit after seven years of Matt Millen. They did pull off a very good trade (two first-round picks) with the Cowboys last season for receiver Roy Williams, but they don't sound excited about having the first overall pick and being forced to pay probably $37 million in guaranteed money to that selection, particularly if it's Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford. The Rams and Chiefs are in a pickle because offensive tackles Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe aren't considered in the class of former All-Pros like Jonathan Ogden and Orlando Pace.
Yes, GM Billy Devaney had major influence with the Rams last year, but now the three-decade-old influence of top executives Jay Zygmunt and John Shaw is gone in St. Louis. Yes, Shaw still checks in with Devaney and Kevin Demoff, but he no longer will be making key draft selections. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Scott Pioli, who used to work in New England with Belichick, now makes the decisions and you can bet he doesn't view anybody worthy of $35 million with the No. 3 overall pick. Pioli doesn't seem to be leaning on his holdover scouts from the Carl Peterson era. Like Belichick, Pioli hasn't been expansive with the local media everything is top secret. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Like Pioli in K.C., mum's the word in Cleveland with former Jets coach Eric Mangini and new GM George Kokinis running their first draft together. The new Browns braintrust has the local fan base upset with talk of potentially trading fan favorite Brady Quinn and receiver Braylon Edwards. Mangini, like Pioli, also is a Belichick disciple. DENVER BRONCOS
With the exception of last year and the pick of the since-departed Jay Cutler, Mike Shanahan struggled with the draft in Denver. Now, the game's youngest head coach, Josh McDaniels, and former Falcons contract negotiator-evaluator Brian Xanders, 38, are teaming up to make the Broncos' personnel decisions. Neither man has ever had this much power and it should be interesting to see what they do this weekend. They already lost the biggest personnel battle of the year with Cutler, but they are armed with the 12th and 18th overall picks in the first round. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Finally, the Tampa Bay Bucs, who have had Rich McKay, Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen coordinating their front office for so many years, turn to Mark Dominik, the former director of pro personnel, and young coach Raheem Morris (five months older than McDaniels) to find a new beginning. It's another sign of youth getting their opportunity. Like Denver, Tampa Bay ownership is trying something totally out of character, considering this franchise has always gravitated toward stars in high places.