The Fillability Index: NFC West

Cold, Hard Football Facts for May 07, 2006



Below is the Fillability Index grade for each NFC West team's 2006 draft. Read more about the Fillability Index to find out why it's a superior form of post-draft analysis.
 
 
ARIZONA (2005 record, 5-11)
Fillability grade: D
Total O
Score O
Rush O
Pass O
Total D
Score D
Rush D
Pass D
8
17
32
1
8
26
10
12
 
Leave it to the worst franchise in football history – one playoff win every 43 years – to f* up a potentially promising 2005 season and a prime 2006 draft-day position.
 
Instead of filling its many weaknesses, Arizona committed the Cardinals sin of drafting to accentuate its strengths. The Cardinals excelled in just one phase of the game last year: it's passing attack. In fact, Arizona boasted the No. 1 passing game in football, averaging 277.3 yards per game – 22 YPG more than No. 2 New England. This is not to say the Cardinals were proficient passing the ball. Their quarterbacks tossed 21 TDs and 21 INTs and the team certainly needs a franchise quarterback. But they have drafted heavily in the passing game in recent years – receivers Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald and Bryant Johnson were all high selections since 2003.
 
But this year, four of Arizona's seven picks, including its top two picks, went toward offense. Three of those picks were direct participants in the passing game: quarterback Matt Leinart, tight end Leonard Pope and receiver Todd Watkins.
 
None of those players will help a defense that ranked No. 26 in scoring last year. Arizona apparently does not care: It's first defensive player was drafted in the fourth round with the No. 107 overall pick.
 
Arizona's 2006 picks
Round 1 (pick 10) – QB Matt Leinart, 6-5, 224, USC
Round 2 (41) – G Taitusi Lutui, 6-4, 333, USC
Round 3 (72) – TE Leonard Pope, 608, 257, Georgia
Round 4 (107) – DT Gabriel Watson, 6-3, 340, Michigan
Round 5 (142) – OLB Brandon Johnson, 6-5, 227, Louisville
Round 6 (177) – DT Jon Lewis, 6-1, 310, Virginia Tech
Round 7 (218) – WR Todd Watkins, 6-2, 201, Brigham Young
 
SAN FRANCISCO (4-12)
Fillability grade: D
Total O
Score O
Rush O
Pass O
Total D
Score D
Rush D
Pass D
32
30
17
32
32
30
18
32
 
The only thing that would have made San Francisco's 2006 draft a success is if the grassroots effort of fans to depose impotent owner John York had succeeded.
 
It has not – at least not yet. York is still in power. But here's hoping.
 
Other than that, San Francisco's biggest need was at wide receiver and along the offensive line. In the fashion typical of ineffectual management, the 49ers went overboard in one area – three of their nine picks were wide receivers if you include Penn State's Michael Robinson, who actually played quarterback last year and may project as a running back. Their No. 1 selection was tight end Vernon Davis, who is expected to be a top pass catcher at the position. Devoting 44 percent of your picks to guys who could primarily catch passes is simply unacceptable on a team that has holes to fill at virtually every position on the field.
 
The 49ers may have filled their holes at wide receiver. But they dug new holes for themselves in the process.
 
A team with the worst offenses in football failed to select a single offensive lineman. However, at least San Francisco made a limp-wristed effort befitting the city by addressing the league's worst pass defense with a pair of safeties taken in the late rounds.
 
San Francisco's 2006 picks
Round 1 (6) – TE Vernon Davis, 6-3, 256, Maryland
Round 1 (222) – OLB Manny Lawson, 6-5, 240, N.C. State
Round 3 (84) – WR Brandon Williams, 5-9, 180, Wisconsin
Round 4 (100) – RB/WR Michael Robinson, 6-1, 226, Penn State
Round 5 (140) – DE Parys Haralson, 6-0, 248, Tennessee
Round 6 (175) – WR Delanie Walker, 6-1, 241, Central Missouri State
Round 6 (192) – S Marcus Hudson, 6-1, 193, N.C. State
Round 6 (197) – DE Melvin Oliver, 6-3, 279, LSU
Round 7 (254) – S Vickiel Vaughn, 6-3, 208, Arkansas
 
SEATTLE (13-3)
Fillability grade: B-
Total O
Score O
Rush O
Pass O
Total D
Score D
Rush D
Pass D
2
1
3
13
17
7
5
25
 
The Seahawks were strong across the board in 2005, as you might expect from a conference champion. They attempted to fill their one obvious hole, pass defense, by selecting cornerback Kelly Jennings with their first pick, the 31st overall. Seattle also went defense with its second pick, pass-rush specialist Darry Tapp, a 250-pound defensive end. Perhaps not the best move for a team with a limited number of early picks, as Seattle led the league last year with 50 sacks.
 
Seattle's 2006 picks
Round 1 (31) – CB Kelly Jennings, 5-11, 179, Miami (Fla.)
Round 2 (63) – DE Darryl Tapp, 6-1, 251, Virginia Tech
Round 4 (128) – G Rob Sims, 6-3, 320, Ohio State
Round 5 (163) – FB David Kirtman, 6-0, 232, USC
Round 7 (239) – P Ryan Plackemeier, 6-3, 252, Wake Forest
Round 7 (249) – WR Ben Obomanu, 6-1, 206, Auburn
 
ST. LOUIS (6-10)  
Fillability grade: B
Total O
Score O
Rush O
Pass O
Total D
Score D
Rush D
Pass D
9
11
22
4
30
30
28
23
 
St. Louis's No. 1 need was to shore up a rush defense that was among the very worst in football last year. It certainly made the effort, devoting four of its 10 picks to front-seven defenders. However, all four came in the third round or later. The Rams waited until their third pick to grab a run-stopper, after many of the top-name defensive lineman and linebackers had been taken off the board.
 
St. Louis's 2006 picks
Round 1 (15) – CB Tye Hill, 5-9, 186, Clemson
Round 2 (46) – TE Joe Klopfenstein, 6-6, 256, Colorado
Round 3 (68) – DT Claude Wroten, 6-2, 303, LSU
Round 3 (77) – OLB Jon Alston, 6-1, 224, Stanford
Round 3 (93) – TE Dominique Byrd, 6-2, 256, USC
Round 4 (113) – DE Victor Adeyanju, 6-4, 275, Indiana
Round 5 (144) – WR Marques Hagans, 5-9, 201, Virginia
Round 7 (221) – ILB Tim McGarigle, 6-0, 241, Northwestern
Round 7 (242) – G Mark Setterstrom, 6-4, 315, Minnesota
Round 7 (243) – G Tony Palmer, 6-2, 330, Missouri
 
***
 

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