Commentary

Kiper's Mel Bag: Best offseasons

The Lions and Jets are among teams with the best offseasons. Carolina? Not so much

Updated: May 20, 2010, 5:10 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesBoth Matthew Stafford and Chad Henne will have better arsenals of options in 2010.

Every year when I do my NFL draft grades, I'll hear from an endless stream of people. I have GMs that'll tell me I'm underestimating guys they took, coaches that tell me how they might use a player in a different role and fans that think I'm just too pessimistic. (There are people who agree, too, for the record.) This year, one area people complained about a little more was a case like the Washington Redskins, where they traded picks for Donovan McNabb. Why wasn't that a bigger part of the Redskins' draft grade, many asked? After all, surely McNabb will have a bigger impact than any player taken at No. 37 would have, right?

I agree, to an extent. On one hand, McNabb can truly help that team, and immediately. On the other, Washington held onto its No. 4 pick, didn't trade down, and if Trent Williams doesn't work out -- I'd be surprised if he didn't -- the team essentially got nothing from a deep draft. With the direction things are going -- for one, I'd expect the three-day draft format to open up the trade possibilities even more -- I may adjust how I deal out the grades with the dealing in mind. Perhaps it can't be overtly draft-specific, and must do more to factor in the whole offseason; the body of work as it relates to the draft.

With that in mind, here's a bone. Questions piled up on offseason winners and losers, and I have some thoughts.


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Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst