I put a high value on teams that did not trade up and sacrifice their future, or throw a ton of money at big names, unless they had to. I believe the key to this draft was recognizing it was devoid of a lot of great players, but ran deep with good ones. I don't pretend to know if these players will bust or not, so I evaluate it based on value, position, historical odds, and where these teams have left themselves for the future. There are too many teams with great drafts one year, then no draft picks the next year. Meanwhile, teams like New England, Pittsburgh, and the NY Giants rarely trade up and sacrifice their future, but focus on value, not overpaying, and keeping their picks for the future to strike when the iron is hot. Top Six Best Drafts 6. (tie) Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks. The Texans have quitely put together a ferocious front seven. Adding to their strength, they picked up Brian Cushing and Connor Barwin without having to trade up. Patience was key in this draft, and getting Barwin in the mid second round was a great pickup. Along with Demeco Ryans and Mario Williams, the Texans are focusing on building an elite defense, realizing their offense is only a playmaker or two from making them a serious contender. The Seahawks did not try to get cute and drafted the most solid, sure thing in the draft in Aaron Curry. They also picked up a solid center in Max Unger, who dropped to round 2. They get high grades for passing on a risky franchise quarterback in Sanchez, who has played about 12 games. Make no mistake, the Seahawks will soon need a new quarterback, but they will wait until the time is right. 5. Miami Dolphins. The Phins took some risky picks, but when in doubt, go with Parcells. While Vontae Davis has been labeled a prima donna, Parcells is a guy who has seen it all and wouldn't pick a guy he can't control. Despite our laughing at Joey Porter and his ****iness, we weren't laughing last year when he sacked Cassel about 34 times. As I say below, there are some players with character problems that should not be drafted by certain teams, but the Phins are an organizaton ruled by the iron fist of Parcells. The Phins also picked up Pat White in the second round, another guy who Parcells values because of his unique skill set that was unmatched in the draft. Looks like we are in for more of that darn Wildcat formation, but this time it could be more lethal and unpredictable. If something is working, why not stick to it? At worst, the Dolphins have a solid second-third string quarterback who can come in at wide receiver and maybe return kicks. Sean Smith is another guy with a great upside; with Brady returning, Parcells knows he needs a great secondary and he may have hit the jackpot with two of the top rated corners in the draft relatively cheap. 4. Cleveland Browns. You may want to read the entry on the New York Jets, who were the willing trade partner with their old snitch Eric Mangini. But Mangini made a shrewd decision in evaluating a poor draft with inflated salaries, and somehow trading out of the top five while still picking at #21, getting some more picks, and even getting his choice of former Jets he wants, all of whom were really cheap and who he knows better than anyone. Mangini also made a shrewd decision; he drafted Robiskie and Massaquoi, two receivers who could be solid starters. The odds tell us that one of these guys will be good, while Heyward-Bey, Harvin, Crabtree, and and Maclin will probably result in one, if not two, busts. In other words, Mangini will probably get a solid receiver with much less risk, as these guys are cheap while the aforementioned "stars" will cripple their franchises with huge contracts, and a few of them with huge egos. Chalk up the "W" to Mangini here, despite the pundits dancing around the Jets and their big name pick. 3. Jacksonville Jaguars. Holy shnikees!!! Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton? The Jags just drafted two top-of-the-line tackles, who are both unlikely to bust. What do you do with a guy like Britton, who has dropped a bit due to concerns about his left tackle skills? Put him at right tackle, since you just drafted Montroe, a stud left tackle. For most teams, building a unit, such as linebackers, secondary, etc., takes a few years of shrewd drafting and free agency. The Jags built a strong offensive line with these two bookends, in one day. 2. New York Giants. Just like the David Tyree catch (sorry Pats fans), this was just sheer great fortune and readiness to seize an opportunity. Jerry Reese and co. were ready to snatch up a bunch of gems that fell into their laps. Hakeem Nicks, Clint Sintim, and William Beatty were all mentioned as first rounders. Ramses Barden is a great pickup that I wish the Pats had considered... he should be a great red zone threat with his size. Imagine two Randy Moss-type specimens with the ball on the two yard line? The Giants had another great draft without mortgaging their future like most other teams. The rich get richer, which is the modern day NFL, despite attempts to even things out. 1. New England Patriots. I feel the Patriots had the best draft of any team... they addressed all of their concerns (which they felt worthy of drafting, which was not OLB), and somehow stockpiled up two more second rounders for next season. That will give them a staggering 8 first day selections over two years, while most teams have four, and others have less. While they may not have the most immediate impact and star-power, that clearly hasn't been the key to success in the NFL. Part of the draft's challenge is to evaluate salaries, position, and value. The Patriots clearly saw this is a weak draft with a lot of guys that could go anywhere from 20 to 55, so their positioning was perfect to catch most of the guys they wanted, and cheap. Next season they will again be in prime position. Stockpiling picks allows them flexibility to trade up or down, especially with a roster capable of winning 14 games every year. One thing the Patriots did well this year was pick up a bunch of players early in free agency, so they are not desperate like other teams come draft day... so for those of you still fuming about the Cassel trade, consider their comfortable position yesterday which they would not have had with Cassel tying up all that money. The Patriots are like the mean creditors that make their money off of struggling, desperate debtors. In some cases, like yesterday, they charge a REALLY high rate of return, one that is unreasonable (a third for a next year's second), yet they always seem to find that desperate Johnny who just needs those new rims so badly. They traded #23 (later turned into Clay Matthews Jr at 26) for #41, and a third, which they parlayed into a second rounder next year. In other words, Clay Matthews Jr for two Darius Butler type players. Butler could have gone at #23, but they were patient and essentially got two for one. There's a reason why they win so many games, and it starts with the draft.