But even with a year of prep work, these teams still won't know what they've got for another two to four years. That doesn't mean we shouldn't jump to some early conclusions, though. Here are the Day 1 winners.
10. Patriots: Nate Solder wasn't the popular pick in New England due to the defensive talent on the board at No. 17, but the Patriots landed their left tackle of the future. Because of his need to develop, it doesn't shut the door on Matt Light's return, either. And of course, they also added a 2012 first-rounder.
9. Colts: Indy needed to improve its offensive line in a bad way, and it got the most NFL-ready tackle in the class in Boston College's Anthony Castonzo.
8. Jake Locker: The Washington quarterback's stock has definitely risen in recent weeks, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who thought he'd be the second quarterback off the board. Locker is now the future in Tennessee.
7. Browns: The Browns could have gotten a very good player at No. 6, but they got a huge haul in a trade with the Falcons, landing a late first-rounder Thursday and again in 2012, a second-rounder this year and two fourth-rounders. Then the Browns traded up to No. 21 to take Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor.
6. Bills: After failing horribly in 2010, the Bills got off to a great start in 2011. They benefited by the slight fall of Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus, who could play across the line in Buffalo's different looks. Dareus and Kyle Williams will be a dangerous pair of defensive tackles in four-man fronts.
5. Saints: They had two big needs at defensive line and running back, and they answered both with Cal defensive end Cam Jordan and Alabama running back Mark Ingram at Nos. 24 and 28, respectively. The Saints had to trade a 2012 first-rounder for Ingram, but they're a no-doubt Super Bowl contender who can afford to take those risks.
4. Christian Ponder: The Florida State quarterback probably woke up Thursday morning wondering if he'd get taken in the top 40 or 50. And then the Vikings panicked and took him 12th.
3. Giants: Sometimes, teams just stumble upon a great draft pick. Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara could have gone as high as No. 7, and it was almost inconceivable to think he'd fall below the Texans at No. 11. Then, there he was at No. 19. That's going to help the team that was ranked 19th in the NFL in passing touchdowns allowed.
2. Lions: Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley teaming together at defensive tackle? Good luck to the interior offensive linemen in the NFC North. Even with Fairley's concerns and Detroit's bigger needs on the offensive line and in the secondary, this was a no-brainer of a pick.
1. Rams: St. Louis head coach Steve Spagnuolo has made a living by turning front-seven pass rushers into stars, and he got a stud in Robert Quinn, who will be a superstar in that system. Quinn adds a new element to a defense that definitely needed help.