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2012 NFL Draft: Round One Pick by Pick Analysis

The categories for each selection will be one of the following four:

Agree - nothing more needs to be said and nothing more is written (includes the value given up to get a player via a trade).

Can't argue, but ... - the pick makes sense, there are no negative marks for the selection, however, I might have done something different and I'll explain what that was.

Disagree, here's why ... - I see some merit in the pick but I definitely would have done something different and I'll explain what that was.

Mistake - most often this will be because I would have gone in a totally different direction and, in my opinion, the team will regret their selection in the long run. A mistake listing is not a negative mark on the player drafted. That player could have an excellent NFL career. It's just that I feel the NFL team will regret passing on another player, or not drafting a player at a different position.

Please note that this analysis is being done pick by pick not after-the-fact so at the time of this analysis, I have no knowledge of what a team did after their selection.

1 IND Luck, Andrew QB Stanford
2 WAS Griffin III, Robert QB Baylor
3 CLE Richardson, Trent RB Alabama
Can't argue, but they gave up a lot to move up one spot; let's hope they were truly bidding against Tampa Bay and not just themselves or a team not interested in Richardson.
4) MIN Kalil, Matt OT USC
5 JAC Blackmon, Justin WR Oklahoma St.
6 DAL Claiborne, Morris CB LSU
7 TB Barron, Mark SS Alabama
Can't argue, but this is the first time I'm using a category as a conditional pick; the Bucs may have out-thought themselves losing out on Claiborne.  However Barron was a solid choice.  This goes to agree if they come out with a good runner and corner; stays where it is if they get one of those; and becomes disagree if they lose out on both positions on day two.
8 MIA Tannehill, Ryan QB Texas A&M
9 CAR Kuechly, Luke ILB Boston College
Disagree, here's why; the Panthers needed help on their defensive line and with DT Cox, DE Coples and others available, Kuechly, a very good player and one worthy of this spot in the draft was a luxury.  With Beason and Davis on hand (I know, coming off injuries) and players like David and Kendricks available on day two, the Panthers may have been better off going DL here and LB later.
10 BUF Gilmore, Stephon CB South Carolina
Can't argue, but they badly need a left tackle; let's see if they get one on day two.
11 KC Poe, Dontari DT Memphis
12 PHI Cox, Fletcher DT Mississippi St.
13 ARI Floyd, Michael WR Notre Dame
Disagree, here's why; this team badly needs to upgrade its offensive line and doesn't currently have a second round pick.  I would have gone Reiff.
14 STL Brockers, Michael DT LSU
Can't argue, but they better grab one of the talented receivers who will be available for them on day two with one of their now three second round picks. 
15 SEA Irvin, Bruce DE West Virginia
Mistake, Irvin doesn't have the size to be an every down defensive lineman (will be a liability against the run), and is a projection as a conversion to linebacker.  Currently, he is a pass rush specialist and 15 is too high for a part time player.  He could work out in the long run, but I look at probability for success as a major factor in selecting a player and Ingram was a better choice here.  Even players such as Coples and Perry, who come with some risk, have better projections as starters who can rush the passes than Irvin does.
16 NYJ Coples, Quinton DE North Carolina
Can't argue, but how do they plan to use him?  Is he Suggs or Pryce from the hey-days of the Ravens?  As Suggs, I think Ingram may have been a better fit.  Knowing Ryan, he could be a Suggs/Pryce hybrid. 
17 CIN Kirkpatrick, Dre CB Alabama
18 SD Ingram, Melvin OLB South Carolina
19 CHI McClellin, Shea DE Boise St.
Can't argue, but I need a bit more information on their plans for him.  As a full time DE, I like it; as a SAM linebacker/DE hybrid, not so much.
20 TEN Wright, Kendall WR Baylor
Mistake, I did not have as high a grade on Wright as some of the other draft analysts.  I would have gone OG DeCastro to help open more holes for Johnson.
21 NE Jones, Chandler DE Syracuse
Mistake, on many levels.  I am not as high on Jones as others, his so-so college production  match his workout numbers.  I do not see high probability of breakout on his resume.  He will be solid, but not great.  At defensive end I like Perry, Curry and Upshaw more than Jones.  So on another level, they gave up a lot to get a player I had a lower grade on than one who would, most likely, be available for them at their original spot.
22 CLE Weeden, Brandon QB Oklahoma St.
23 DET Reiff, Riley OT Iowa
24 PIT DeCastro, David G Stanford
25 NE Hightower, Dont'a ILB Alabama
Mistake, again on many levels. This is a team whose drafts I usually love.  Not this year.  Hightower is another player who others had a better grade on than me.  But that's not the worst.  If they didn't trade up for Jones they would have been able to grab Perry here and keep the third and fifth round picks they used in the prior trade, and have just used their fourth to ensure they got Perry.
26 HOU Mercilus, Whitney OLB Illinois
Disagree, here's why; with Barwin and Reed was Mercilus needed?  I would have drafted Stephen Hill to give the Texans a player teams would have to respect opposite Johnson.
27 CIN Zeitler, Kevin G Wisconsin
Can't argue, but I had a higher grade on Glenn.
28 GB Perry, Nick OLB USC
29 MIN Smith, Harrison FS Notre Dame
30 49ers Jenkins, A.J. WR Illinois
Mistake, this draft has tremendous depth at receiver and the 49ers signed Moss and Manningham and have Crabtree.  I understand Moss-insurance, but not in round one and not with Jenkins.  I had a second round grade on Jenkins and there were others with higher grades still available at receiver.  I think Zeitler being off the board surprosed them, but Glenn still being on the board should have pleasantly surprised them and he should have been the pick.  If they didn't want the big guard, then Silatolu could have been the pick.
31 TB Martin, Doug RB Boise St.
32 NYG Wilson, David RB Virginia Tech


A football magazine in book form.


(use link above)

  • Schedule
  • Depth Chart
  • Season Outlook Write-Up with 2012 Team Offensive & Defensive Rankings
  • Write-Up on Nine Players for Fantasy Football; Each Classified as a Sleeper, Break-Out, Star, or Caution
  • List of Draft Picks (includes top undrafted college street free agents)
  • Workout Numbers for All Players on the Above List (includes the free agents)
  • Notations for Senior Bowl/East West Shrine Game Players That Popped
  • Draft Report Card Write-Up with Grade and Draft Value Index Score
  • College Stats and Write-Ups for Players Drafted or Signed on Jay’s Annual List of Players Who Will Have a Better NFL Career Than Many Selected Higher Than Them in the Draft
  • Team Draft Tendency Chart by Workout Drill for the 2012 and 2013 Drafts
Note - Throughout the team pages are bonus graphs and charts comparing teams’ draft workout strategies, teams’ draft value indices, and fantasy football production comparisons between 2011 and 2012

includes Jay Goldberg's in-depth team by team draft report cards