Jimmy Johnson previews the NFL Draft

Renowned for his unique ability to assess draft talent and make
key trades during the extensive NFL Draft process, FOX NFL Sunday
analyst Jimmy Johnson breaks down the mentality teams need to have
and evaluates some of the higher profile names in this year’s
pool.

Johnson on a team’s general approach when looking at their
picks and the talent available
: “This was my favorite
time of year, because this is when you build your football team.
Every draft is a great draft if you take the right players. For
years, teams approached the draft with the mentality of ‘we
are going to draft the best player available.’ Over the last
10 years, teams have started to look at who’s the best player
available that fits their need. Obviously, a team has to have a
franchise quarterback, and after that you start filling in. If you
can sign an outstanding offensive tackle, someone who has the feet
and the reach, he can be a cornerstone for you for 10 years.

“It’s easier to find running backs and receivers in
the second and third round. The shelf life of a running back is so
short that not only is it a risk drafting one early, but you might
not have him very long. They have the shortest career of any
position on the board. It was only 2006 when LaDainian Tomlinson
was the hottest thing in the league. The Emmitt Smiths of the world
are a rarity.”

Sam Bradford: “He is a big, physical, good looking
player that can move. He is the prototype quarterback. You have to
be a little concerned about the shoulder injury and if it is going
to happen again, but he has the intelligence that I like. You want
him to lead your franchise. That’s why if the Rams look at
him and think ‘he’s our guy and we believe in
him,’ then you don’t even listen to another offer, you
just get him signed. He’s a guy who will be able to fit into
your offensive style right off the bat.”

Jimmy Clausen: “He is an accurate passer and has a
good touch on the deep ball. I like him. I just don’t know
that he has the physical ability of Sam Bradford, but if you need a
quarterback he is probably one of the two guys who can come in and
play for you now.”

Tim Tebow: “He’s still a work in progress. It is
going to be difficult for him to jump in and perform without
sitting, watching and practicing. He is a talent, but has to go to
the right team that uses him the right way. Tebow’s
development is going to be a two or three-year project. A team
could use him in other areas before he becomes a starting
quarterback, but you first have to consider your current
quarterback. Is he going to be comfortable going to the sideline
while you develop Tebow? There are a lot of teams where that is not
going to happen. I would take a chance on him in the second round.
His intangibles are off the charts, and if I am in the middle of
the second round and he fits our style of play, I think he is worth
the pick.”