2012 NFL Draft Analysis: Round 1 Recap
NFL Draft: Round 1
The first round of the draft is officially over. It went fast and furious. 29 of the 32 teams took part in day one with 27 of them making one or more selections. There were many trades that took place in the first round as it had been reported that there were a lot of teams in the top 10 looking to move back. That turned out to be an accurate report, which is hard to gauge with all of the disinformation and misinformation that takes place right before the draft. Because of all of the movement, which continued until the end of the draft, everybody's and I mean everybody's board turned out to be way off with the exception of the first four selections. Even those picks went in a different order than expected. It was a day of surprises, so let's get to the action.
You mine as well have slept through the first pick in the draft. No surprise here. Despite all of the nonsense about the Colts claiming they hadn't decided and were not necessarily going to choose Luck was proven false. They have been waiting to choose Luck since they intentionally tanked it mid way through last season. They did just that, picked Andrew Luck from Standford. Only problem is, he may not turn out to be what they expect. Call it a gut feeling, but he will be no Peyton.
You could have continued your nap through the first two picks, as there were no shockers here. The Washington Redskins selected Robert Griffin III. He is probably the best quarterback in this draft, but only time will tell whether he can thrive in Washington under Mike Shanahan.
The Browns were expected to select Trent Richardson come draft day, but not at the #3 spot. Action started early as they swapped spots with the Vikings along with sending a fourth, fifth, and seventh round selection to Minnesota to ensure they got their guy. The price was steep, but well worth it. The Browns just selected the best player in the draft and an instant NFL star. Richardson is the best back to come out of college in a long time. Browns fans should be jumping for joy, something they have had no reason to do under team President Mike Holmgren in his tenure. Now they do!
No shocker here expect for the fact that the Vikings still got their guy and made out like bandits. Only problem is they gave up a chance to have the best running back combo in NFL history and a sure fire star. They are trying to protect Ponder, but the only problem is he isn't that good. Kalil will be a solid NFL player, but the Vikings will still struggle.
The Jags joined into the trading frenzy that took place early and often by making the 3rd trade in the first 5 selections. To acquire the pick, they gave up the #7 selection and a third rounder (101st overall). With the selection they took WR Justin Blackmon out of Oklahoma State. With the pick they get a potential game breaker at the wide receiver position. Now, they have a deep threat to take some pressure off of an already potent run game. The only problem is they still have to so-so quarterbacks who will struggle getting him the ball.
Dallas took the trading baton and ran with it. They continued the ridiculous number of trades in the top 10 of this years draft by giving up the #14 selection and a second round pick to the Rams, who already have acquired a boat load of picks for the #2 selection, to move to the sixth spot. There they selected CB Morris Claiborne. He will be a solid corner for the Cowboys, and with the acquisition of Brandon Carr this off season, the Cowboy's defensive back field just got a lot better!
After trading down to the #7 spot, the Bucs surprised many by taking safety Mark Barron. Barron is the best safety in the draft, but was not expected to go this high. So much for everyone's draft boards. Tampa gets an instant NFL starter.
No shocker here. The Dolphins reached on this pick for a position of need. For a team that lost their top receiver, missed out on Manning, and ended up with David Garrard, their off season just got a little worse. This guy will be a bust in the NFL. Great job Miami, you win the prize for the worst off season besides the Saints!
The Panthers were not pegged to select any specific player. They went for the safe pick here, LB Luke Kuechley. They will not get a game breaker, but they will get a Jerod Mayo -100 + tackler -type player here. Kuechely is NFL ready and will help an defense that leaked like a sieve last season. Now they need to continue to get help on that side of the ball and let Newton run that explosive offense. Then they can compete in 2012.
The Bills really upgraded their defense this off season. First they acquired game breaker Mario Williams and solid back up Mark Anderson. Now they have acquired the second best corner in Stephon Gilmore who was in this year's draft. Their defense will be a lot scarier in 2012, so will the Bills.
The Chiefs really didn't shock anyone when they selected DT Dontari Poe. The only problem is, he isn't that good. He may have had a great work out, but so did players like Jim Druckenmiller and Kyle Boller. When you watch the tape, there is a reason he didn't show up. Chiefs just wasted a high draft choice.
The Eagles who acquired this pick via trade during the draft were the 5th team to trade to acquire a pick in the first 12 selections. It hasn't been researched, but that has to be a record. With that pick they got probably the second best defensive tackle in the draft in Fletcher Cox.
The Cardinals selected WR Michael Floyd. With the pick, they may have gotten the best pro ready receiver in the draft. He will make Kevin Kolb look a lot better as he can play at all of the receiver positions on the field. Teamed up with Larry Fitzgerald they will once again have weapons like they did when they sported Boldin and Fitzgerald at the positions.
Not only did they get a mountain of selections in this year's and next year's draft, but they also acquired the best DT in the draft. They selected Michael Brockers and instantly acquired a Richard Seymour type player who will be with them for years to come.
The Seahawks shocked everybody by taking a guy that wasn't even projected as a first round selection. They get the Raiders award for this year's draft. They selected DE Bruce Irvin. Who?
The Jets got lucky in the first round of the 2012 draft as an explosive player like Coples was not taken earlier. The Jets had to be ecstatic that Coples fell that far to them. They instantly have upgraded a defense that was mediocre at best. Coples is an explosive pass rusher and will help them on the edge.
The Bengals got a solid corner in this year's draft via the Raiders for a player they couldn't have used anyway. Good deal. Bengals continued their solid off season. They selected CB Dre Kirkpatrick.
The Chargers ended up with a solid defensive end in Melvin Ingram with the 18th pick. He will help upgrade their defense that needed help.
Chicago selected defensive end / linebacker Shea McClellin. The Bears got another piece to an already good defense. Now they have a player that can help disrupt the pocket and take some pressure off of Brian Urlacher.
One of the speediest receivers in the draft ended up in Tennesse with the selection of Kendall Wright. His size might be a concern, but his skills sure aren't. Now they just need a good quarterback to throw him the ball.
Bill Belichick proved once again that you can't peg the Pats on draft day. He did something that he has only done twice in his 12 year tenure as head coach, move up in the draft, and it was way back in 2003 that he did it in the first round. The other time was in the second round in 2010. Considering the last player the Patriots moved up to get was Rob Gronkowski, Pats fans have to have high expectations for DE Chandler Jones, who is much needed along their defensive line. The Patriots gave up the 27th selection and their 3rd round selection to the Bengals for the rights to the 21st pick, a high price, but they must be high on this kid.
The Browns followed a sure fire winning pick up with a suspect one. They selected QB Brandon Weeden who will compete with Colt McCoy for the starting gig. They did answer a question with the selection by showing they are not confident McCoy is their quarterback of the future.
Detroit selected OT Riley Reiff. The Lions have to be ecstatic that a top tackle fell that far to them. Now they have a solid tackle to help protect their potent quarterback.
The Steelers probably got the guard in the draft by selecting David DeCastro out of Stanford. They will need him to as the Steelers had one terrible off season and were in serious jeopardy of being able to keep Big Ben upright. Now they have some help.
Wait! Bill Belichick wasn't done with his bag of tricks yet. He again shocked by trading up from the 31st to the 25th pick. This means the Patriots did something they have done only once in the first round under Belichick...twice in one day! The Patriots traded their fourth round selection along with the 31st pick to Denver for the rights to the 25th pick. With the selection they took the can't miss linebacker Dont'a Hightower. Hightower was projected to go in the middle of the first round, but slid due to other team's needs and some bad draft selections. The only question is who will move over, Mayo or Hightower?
The Texans stayed put and selected a defensive end with the 26th pick. They took Whitney Mercilus from Illinois. They just added to an already potent defense.
With the pick the Bengals acquired from the Patriots they selected G Kevin Zeitler. He will help protect Andy Dalton and help make their line much better in 2012. This was a good move by the Bengals who have already had a great off season and are continuing it through the draft.
The Packers drafted a position of need, defense. Now they get a solid player in Nick Perry who is in the mold of Willie McGinnest. Perry will help take pressure off of Clay Mathews and both will shine in 2012.
The trading frenzy continued late as multiple teams traded in a record breaking first round. Since the Patriots selected the player the Ravens wanted to replace Ray Lewis in Hightower, they decided to trade out of the first round altogether. The Vikings gave up their high second and fourth round selections to get back into the first round, where they selected FS Harrison Smith. Smith is a hard hitter and will help the Vikings defense immediately.
The 49ers continued their attempts to upgrade their wide receiving corp this off season by selecting WR A.J. Jenkins out of Illinois. Sort of an odd selection considering they already signed two veteran receivers in Moss and Manningham. Of course they need to get more talented and younger at the position for the future, but the only problem is they still have a severely mediocre quarterback who may struggle getting them the ball to begin with.
The Bucs rounded out the trading frenzy that was the first round of the NFL draft by trading back into it. For the 31st overall selection the Bucs gave up their second round pick (36th overall) and their fourth round selection (101st overall), which they had acquired in an earlier draft day trade to the Denver Broncos who had their sights set on moving out of the first round after their target player, Dre Kirkpatrick was already off the board. With the pick Tampa selected RB Doug Martin.
The Giants were one of the few teams that stayed put in the first round. With their selection, they tried to get younger at a position of need, running back. They did just that with the acquisition after the loss of Brandon Jacobs to the 49ers and an aging and oft injured Ahmad Bradshaw.
What a crazy day it was. There were 11 trades within the fist round that took place either before the draft began or while teams were on the clock. It was a day of unexpected picks and expected ones. There was a lot of movement and oohs and aahs. It was truly a first round to remember. Next up, day two. Will it be as exciting and action packed as day one? Probably not, but then again who thought all of this would happen on day one.
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