2012 NFL Draft 1st Round Grades, Recaps and Reviews

If you happen to stumble upon this page during the draft tonight, make sure to bookmark and refresh. I will be giving my commentary on each pick as it happens. Enjoy the draft!

1. Indianapolis Colts - QB Andrew Luck, Stanford. Luck has been the first overall pick for the last two years. He has been a Colt since Week 17 ended. The team cut loose it's most important, best and popular player of all time. Luck is the new face of the franchise and one of the best quarterback prospects ever. It is hard to imagine him busting, but you never know. The Colts took one of the most talented quarterbacks to ever be drafted first overall with Jeff George, and he did not pan out. But Luck looks the part and was the only obvious choice. Grade: A+

2. Washington Redskins - QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor. Like the Colts pick, this was a no brainer. The Redskins absolutely did not give up too much to take RG3. The quarterback position is nearly as important as ESPN makes it out to be. The Skins haven't had anyone worth a crap since Joe Theisman. Like Luck, he could bust, but you can't look at it that way. Skins fans finally have something to be excited about. Grade: A+

3. Cleveland Browns - RB Trent Richardson, Alabama. I love the pick. Richardson has been going to the Browns in my mocks for months. Everyone wants to say that running backs aren't worth it anymore and should never go in the top five, but if you get a guy as good as Richardson, he is absolutely worth a top five pick. Teams go with committees because they can't find a guy good enough to do it all. Good to see Cleveland finally address offensive skill positions, but their grade gets knocked down a bit because they didn't do what it took to land Robert Griffin III, who would have been the most popular player in Cleveland sports. Grade: A-

4. Minnesota Vikings - OT Matt Kalil, USC. All day we heard nothing but interest in Morris Claiborne. I thought it was a smokescreen for the Bucs to trade up and take Claiborne, but apparently they didn't bite. Minnesota was able to move down a spot and still get their man. Left tackle is one of the most important positions on the field, especially when you are breaking in a young quarterback. No one wants their guy to end up like David Carr. Grade: A

5. Jacksonville Jaguars - WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma St. For the second straight year the Jaguars trade up to land offensive talent. I have been mocking receivers to the Jaguars for months because the GM's job hinges on the development of Blaine Gabbert. Blackmon does not have the size of pure talents of guys like AJ Green and Calvin Johnson, but he was amazingly productive in college and should be a solid number one wideout in the NFL, even though he may never be a Pro Bowler. Grade: A

6. Dallas Cowboys - CB Morris Claiborne, LSU. Jerry Jones was obviously unhappy with the Dallas secondary. Enter Brandon Carr, Brodney Pool and now Morris Claiborne. Claiborne is not as good as a Patrick Peterson but in a weak draft he is worth a top six pick. Dallas now has a great young duo with Mike Jenkins as nickle back. Grade: A

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - S Mark Barron, Alabama. Barron is a complete safety but is he the level of Eric Berry? Safeties taken this high usually don't pan out quite as well as you would hope. The Bucs will hope Barron becomes the focal point of the entire defense but I think they might have been better going after someone like Luke Kuechly. With Trent Richardson off the board, Tampa was in a tough spot. Grade: C

8. Miami Dolphins - QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M. Ahh well, I have tried to prepare myself for this pick for weeks but I still feel a little sick to my stomach. Best case scenario is the Dolphins now have a guy who can manage the game. I just don't see him as a big time guy. The Dolphins should have went elsewhere, but there really weren't any real options worth passing on a quarterback here. The mediocrity continues. Grade: D 

9. Carolina Panthers - MLB Luke Kuechly, Boston College. The Panthers love themselves some linebackers high. Dan Morgan, Jon Beason, Thomas Davis and now Luke Kuechly. I like Kuechly but I don't think he is a top ten pick. Carolina could have really used someone like Fletcher Cox, but they go with Kuechly, who they hope can stay healthy unlike pretty much every other linebacker they have drafted high. His upside is not that high but he should be a very productive linebacker who continues to pile up tackles at the NFL level. Grade: C+

10. Buffalo Bills - CB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina. I really like this pick. The Bills cornerbacks are pretty mediocre, and Gilmore's tape and measurables were both great. He has the prototypical speed and size to be a shut down number one corner. The Bills have really hit the southeast hard during the draft the last few years so this pick shouldn't be a huge surprise. Grade: B

 11. Kansas City Chiefs - NT Dontari Poe, Memphis. From a personnel standpoint, Poe is a perfect fit for Kansas City. They have a huge need for a run stuffing, monster nose tackle for their 3-4 defense. The worry is that Poe was a workout warrior who was a non factor in too many college games. Tyson Jackson finally has shown something after being a near bust, so maybe they can get the same out of Poe. It is a risky pick, but one that could pay huge dividends. Grade: C+

12. Philadelphia Eagles - DT Fletcher Cox, Mississippi St. People have been saying for the last couple of days the Eagles have wanted Fletcher Cox. Cox fell down the draft a bit so it is no surprise that Andy Reid and Co. moved up to nab him. Reid loves to have a plethora of defensive lineman at his disposal. Grade: A- 

13. Arizona Cardinals - WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame. I love this pick. They pass up on Riley Reiff and Melvin Ingram to take Floyd, a receiver who comes from a pro style college offense and should immediately step up as a great running mate for Larry Fitzgerald. Fitz needed help to take pressure off him and he now has it. It is all up to Kevin Kolb or John Skelton to get these guys the football. Two teams just ripped the Rams heart out by taking Cox and Floyd. Grade: A

 14. St. Louis Rams - DT Michael Brockers, LSU. The Rams now have a ton of picks coming up but Rams fans have to be pretty disappointed with how the first round played out. They chose to pass on Morris Claiborne and missed out on both Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd by one pick. They had to settle for Brockers. I really do not like this Brockers pick, he is a very raw and will need a few years to develop. I would have liked to see them "settle" on Riley Reiff or David DeCastro. Grade: D-

15. Seattle Seahawks - DE/OLB Bruce Irvin, West Virginia. Irvin is a good pass rusher who can come in for passing plays and try to get to the quarterback. But over Melvin Ingram? Last year the Seahawks reached big time for James Carpenter, and that turned out to be a bad pick. This pick looks even worse. Irvin has had off the field problems and looks like an Aaron Maybin part time player at best. The Seahawks don't understand how this draft thing works. Grade: F

16. New York Jets - DE/DT Quinton Coples, North Carolina. Coples had major desire issues that caused him to drop in the draft, but he gets to play for one of the most fiery and fierce defensive coaches in the NFL. If Rex Ryan can get the best out of Coples, he has a stud. Coples has the size to hold up against the run as a 3-4 end, but the unique ability to also get to the quarterback. He could be a Calias Campbell like end, but he has to show he wants it. Grade: B

17. Cincinnati Bengals - CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama. Great pick. Kirkpatrick has the size to play either cornerback or safety, and the Bengals have a need at both positions. He will probably need to be brought along slowly, but the Bengals have the (mediocre) depth to let him work his way up the depth chart. Cincinnati had to take him here because he wouldn't have lasted past the Titans at 20. Grade: B+

18. San Diego Chargers - DE/OLB Melvin Ingram, South Carolina. Bruce Irvin went before Melvin Ingram in the 2012 NFL Draft. Who on earth had that in their mock drafts? Ingram was a big time defensive play maker for the Gamecocks, lining up all over the place, intercepting passes, returning fumbles. The Chargers should get creative with him and use him in a variety of ways. They luck out by not having to gamble on Chandler Jones. Grade: A+

19. Chicago Bears - DE/OLB Shea McClellin, Boise St. I put McClellin in the top 20 in my mock draft earlier today. He is a rising player in this draft due to his motor and pass rushing ability. He can back up Julius Peppers and Israel Idoneje. With Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford in the division, the team can't have too many pass rushers. Clay Matthews he is probably not, though. Still, I can't say he is any better or worse then Chandler Jones or Whitney Mercilus. Grade:B-

20. Tennessee Titans - WR Kendall Wright, Baylor. I guess the Kendall Wright smear campaign that was going on last week didn't work. He lands about where people thought he would. This is a surprise pick by the Titans, who had bigger needs elsewhere, but he projects as a strong number two opposite Kenny Britt. If Chris Johnson can get back on track, Jake Locker will have quite a bit of talent to work with. Grade: B-

21. New England Patriots - DE/OLB Chandler Jones, Syracuse. I am tempted to give the Patriots an A+ for the simple fact they traded up AND went with a pass rusher. Jones is a late riser who can play at end or linebacker depending on what looks the Patriots give the opposition. New England has needed pass rushing help since the days of Willie McGinnest, so the fact that they finally went that direction deserves a strong grade. Grade: A

22. Cleveland Browns - QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma St. Mock drafts have been guessing recently that Weeden was going to go here, and here he is. They took a 28 year old quarterback in the first round, so chances are very high that he will be the starting quarterback for Cleveland in 2012. He represents a pretty big upgrade over noodle armed Colt McCoy. Age is the only reason he is not a top ten pick. Grade: B-

 23. Detroit Lions - OT Riley Reiff, Iowa. Who was the idiot that once had Reiff ranked ahead of Matt Kalil? Reiff will probably be limited to right tackle in the NFL due to his size and short arms, but he is a huge upgrade over Gosder Cherilus on the right side. A fantastic pick. Grade: A+

24. Pittsburgh Steelers - OG David DeCastro, Stanford. The Steelers were probably leaning towards Dont'a Hightower, but with DeCastro somehow still on the board, the Steelers took seconds to bring their card up front. Pittsburgh has Pouncey holding down the middle, but the rest of the line is full of major question marks. This is fantastic value and the Steelers do it again. They are the anti Seahawks, they know how to do this draft thing. Grade: A+

25. New England Patriots - MLB Dont'a Hightower, Alabama. I think of Hightower as a prototypical 3-4 middle linebacker. The Patriots have really worked at rebuilding that linebacker group with this draft. This is another guy they can use at a variety of spots to create mismatches. With Hightower, Brandon Spikes and Jarod Mayo, they have one of the best linebacking groups in the NFL. Grade: B 

26. Houston Texans - DE/OLB Whitney Mercilus, Illinois. Mercilus came out of nowhere to lead college football in sacks. He will be a backup who will initially be used to get to the quarterback on passing downs. I would have liked to see Houston go after offense, but like I have said in mock drafts, they probably don't want to wait for Stephen Hill to develop. Grade:B-

27. Cincinnati Bengals - OG Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin. The Bengals trade down and still fill a big need at offensive guard. Jacob Bell was recently signed but was one of the worst starters in the NFL last year. I think Cordy Glenn and Peter Konz are better players then Zeitler though. Grade: C+

28. Green Bay Packers - DE/OLB Nick Perry, USC. It is no secret that Green Bay's biggest need was a pass rusher to play across from Clay Matthews. With the pass rushers flying off the board, they reach a bit for Perry. They had to reach though, because Perry is one of the last true 3-4 outside linebackers who can get to the quarterback. Upshaw does not have the pass rushing skills that Perry has. Grade: B+

29. Minnesota Vikings - S Harrison Smith, Notre Dame. The Vikings passed on Morris Claiborne. With no cornerbacks worth taking at this pick, unless they wanted to gamble on Janoris Jenkins, they went with one of two safeties who are projected to be starters at the NFL level. They improve their woeful secondary with a guy who should be a solid starter. I don't see Pro Bowl potential here though. Still, Minnesota filled their two biggest needs in the first round tonight. Grade: B-

30. San Francisco 49ers - WR AJ Jenkins, Illinois. Jenkins was a late riser, but this is still a pretty surprising pick. He was thought to be a mid second round pick at best. The Niners must have wanted the readiness and immediate production of Jenkins over the immense potential but raw prospect in Stephen Hill. Grade: C-

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - RB Doug Martin, Boise St. This is a great pick for the Bucs. Martin is very good in the passing game, so the running back position won't be useless on third down. He can be the lightning to LeGarrette Blount's thunder. The Bucs have really improved on offense. Grade: A

32. New York Giants - RB David Wilson, Virginia Tech. I mocked Doug Martin to the Giants, and it looks like they probably really wanted him. I don't think Wilson is nearly the same prospect. He is smaller and has had some fumble problems. This draft is pretty weak with running backs after you get past Martin, Wilson and Lamar Miller, so maybe they thought they couldn't get lucky in the mid rounds. Still, with Cordy Glenn still available and a huge need at right tackle and guard, I thought he would be a much better pick. Grade: D+

Jonathan Carrano

Phasellus facilisis convallis metus, ut imperdiet augue auctor nec. Duis at velit id augue lobortis porta. Sed varius, enim accumsan aliquam tincidunt, tortor urna vulputate quam, eget finibus urna est in augue.

No comments: