Al Bello, Getty Images
The Jaguars refused to wait for Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon at No. 8 overall, aggressively moving up to secure the big-time target Blaine Gabbert needs. Blackmon wasn't universally viewed as a Pro Bowl-caliber prospect but there is no denying he fills a huge area of concern in an offense and fan base desperate for playmakers. The Jaguars made a similar gamble that could pay off big in the second round with Clemson pass rusher Andre Branch, a talented athlete who just needs to play with more consistency. Investing a third-round pick in a punter will certainly draw the "anger" of some but make no mistake, Cal's Bryan Anger was getting similar grades from a number of teams and fills an area of concern. Linebacker Brandon Marshall and cornerback Mike Harris were overshadowed throughout their respective careers but were also highly regarded in the scouting community.
SEE MORE GALLERIES
The Ravens deftly moved out of the first round after realizing one of the players they were targeting was going to slip into the second. Having lost outside linebacker Jarret Johnson to the Chargers though free agency and unable to wait any longer for former second-round pick Sergio Kindle to return to his playmaking ways, the Ravens nabbed one of the safest pass rushing OLBs in the draft in Courtney Upshaw (above) at No. 35 overall. Upshaw will erase any doubts about his ability to transition from Alabama to the NFL when he makes an immediate impact for Baltimore. Four-year Iowa State starter Kelechi Osemele won't be asked to remain at left tackle in the NFL and will move either to the right or compete with second-year pro Jah Reid to take over for another free agent defection Ben Grubbs (Saints) at left guard. Of the Ravens' later picks, watch out for Temple running back Bernard Pierce and Cal-Poly cornerback Asa Jackson to emerge as strong contributors in backup roles.
SEE MORE GALLERIES
Grading a draft immediately after it concludes is akin to giving your compliments to the chef before a meal is served. Sure, the food might sound good on the menu, but the true evaluation won't come until after the product has been tested. It will take at least three years before we can truly assess how the 32 NFL teams fared during the three-day draft. But readily apparent is that teams take different approaches, from going for the best available talent to focusing on team needs -- or some combination therein -- to gambling on character concerns and long-term potential. -- Rob Rang, Senior Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com (Reuters)