Let’s take a look at who drafted who in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft and whether it was a good pick.
Disclaimer: this is just instant reaction by a football writer.
1) Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
No-brainer here for the Colts. I don’t know if he can be Peyton Manning, but he’ll come close.
2) Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
The price was steep for this pick, but if RGIII is as good as they and I think he will be it’s absolutely worth it.
3) Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Richardson is a special player, but they gave up picks to move up one spot, and for a running back. Still, this will pay dividends in a touch division like the AFC North.
4) Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Easy pick for the Vikings as they get a franchise left tackle to protect Ponder. Not to mention, they pick up some more picks from the Browns in the trade down.
5) Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
They moved up for him, but they’ve needed a receiver for about a decade. They get another weapon for Gabbert and pair him with newly signed Laurent Robinson. Good move.
6) Dallas Cowboys: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
It was an aggressive move that will pay off big as they get a shutdown corner. Their duo with him and Brandon Carr will completely revamp their constantly struggling secondary.
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mark Barron, S, Alabama
A bit high for a safety, but Barron is an extremely good player that addresses the Bucs’ biggest need.
8) Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
The Dolphins finally draft a QB in the first round. I think he’s going to be very good. Will he be a franchise QB, though? Time will tell.
9) Carolina Panthers: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
The Panthers get one of the cleanest, and best, players in the draft. Drawing comparisons to Brian Urlacher, Kuechly is a good tackler with ridiculous coverage skills. Great pick.
10) Buffalo Bills: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
I think Gilmore is a good player, but I’m not infatuated with him like the Bills were. I actually thought Kirkpatrick would’ve been a better pick.
11) Kansas City Chiefs: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
This is a classic case of a boom-or-bust pick. His size is there, as are the combine numbers. The production wasn’t, and neither is the effort. I don’t see a reason in spending the 11th pick on anyone but a surefire prospect.
12) Philadelphia Eagles: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
Although they traded up, this will be well worth it. Jim Washburn is going to turn this guy into a monster as a DT in the wide-9.
13) Arizona Cardinals: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Larry Fitzgerald finally gets an opposite receiver years after Anquan Boldin left him. If Kevin Kolb can’t put it together with his receiving core, then they made a HUGE financial mistake.
14) St. Louis Rams: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Brockers is really raw, but this is a typical Jeff Fisher pick. He might develop into a great DT, and they also got more picks. They’re in great position going into the last two days.
5) Seattle Seahawks: Bruce Irvin, DE/OLB, West Virginia
I don’t mind this pick as much as everyone else has. The off-field concerns are obviously alarming, but he was a beast at West Virginia coming off the edge. He may be able to have an Aldon Smith-type impact for the Seahawks this year.
16) New York Jets: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Another boom-or-bust pick that I believe has the potential to be one of the best defensive ends in the league. He’s going to be a weird fit for Rex Ryan’s defense, though, and I’m not sure if it will work out.
17) Cincinnati Bengals: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
They now have a logjam at cornerback, but it’s hard to pass on a talent like Kirkpatrick. This is a very good value pick.
18) San Diego Chargers: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
A very good player falls into a very good situation. Ingram is a perfect fit in the Chargers’ 3-4 defense. He will shine in San Diego.
19) Chicago Bears: Shea McLellin, OLB, Boise State
He’s a good football player, but where will he play. The Bears want him to play Sam in their 4-3, while he seems to be better as a 3-4 pass rushing linebacker. We’ll see how it works out.
20) Tennessee Titans: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
I wanted DeCastro badly, but in no way was I disappointed with the Titans realizing they have become a pass-first team and drafting an explosive home run hitter that may end up being the best receiver out of this draft.
21) New England Patriots: Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse
Bill Belichick will turn this kid loose in his 3-4 defense, as he will rack up double digit sacks. Maybe starting this year.
22) Cleveland Browns: Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
They were bummed not to get Kendall Wright, so end up settling for a 28-year old rookie QB. I don’t even think he’s any better than Colt McCoy. They should have gotten another weapon to help McCoy come along. Just doesn’t make much sense.
23) Detroit Lions: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Just a great value pick at a position of need for the Lions. There are concerns about his short arms, but it hasn’t stopped him from being an anchor on the offensive line, and I don’t think it will.
24) Pittsburgh Steelers: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
Classic Steelers having a tailor-made player fall to their laps. A mean, hard-nosed football player of the Steeler variety, he will start from day one up until the next decade.
25) New England Patriots: Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama
As we’ve come to expect, another good pick by the Patriots. Hightower is a hard hitting linebacker that can play inside, as well as rush the passer when needed.
26) Houston Texans: Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
This isn’t that much of a position of need for the Texans, although they did lose Mario Williams. Mercilus has the makings of a one year college wonder, and it’ll be interesting to see if his huge year was a fluke. He seems to lack some explosiveness.
27) Cincinnati Bengals: Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin
The Bengals trade down, and still get the offensive line help that they needed in Zeitler, a nasty, tough guard.
28) Green Bay Packers: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
There’s been rumblings that Perry is a bit soft, and we’ll find out soon enough if it’s true given the relentlessness of the NFL.
29) Minnesota Vikings: Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame
In an incredibly pass heavy NFC North the Vikings needed help in their secondary. They got it in a somewhat under-the-radar safety.
30) San Francisco 49ers: A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois
One of the real surprise picks of the first round. Jenkins was very productive this last year, and has shown flashes of being a very good receiver. But can he consistently keep it up? Seemed like a 2nd rounder to me.
31) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
A tough runner with good pass catching ability, Martin is a good pick for the Buccaneers. They did trade up to get Martin, though.
32) New York Giants: David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
The rich get richer. I think the Giants really nailed this pick, giving them a great 1-2 punch with Ahmad Bradshaw. Wilson has all the makings of a very good NFL running back.
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