This draft made a true mockery out of the mockers. However, it wasn’t devoid of good lessons to be learned. I learned today that we know nothing about what’s going to happen, period. We get so caught up with big names from big schools that sometimes we forget that football is game that’s played with great technique and isn’t limited to players in top schools. The scouting process is so in-depth that we forget a vast number or prospects and particular attributes to scout. I’m not saying we’re always wrong but I’m saying that we need to be inspired to work harder to bring you guys an even better draft analysis.
The draft this year offered some great “value” and some teams handled it better than others. Just because a team didn’t have a draft full of big names doesn’t mean it didn’t have a good draft. It’s about scheme fit; the best athletes can go to a scheme where they don’t fit properly and be completely unproductive.
With all that being said I’m going to list for you guys my 2012 NFL Draft winners and losers and try and give you the best reasons why.
17 Overall: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
27 Overall: Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin
53 Overall: Devin Still, DT, Penn State
83 Overall: Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
93 Overall: Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
116 Overall: Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
156 Overall: Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa
166 Overall: Marvin Jones, WR, California
167 Overall: George Iloka, FS, Boise St.
191 Overall: Dan Herron, RB, Ohio St.
The Bengals did a great just by identifying needs while maintaining a BPA philosophy. Kirkpatrick is a really good corner prospect that is physical and has that swagger that seems to be synonymous with the Bengals defense. To round out the first round the Bengals grabbed offensive line help by drafting Kevin Zeitler. Zeitler is an immediate starter who demonstrates a great understanding of the guard position. The Bengals were able to address line with value picks in Devin Still and Brandon Thompson, who both fell due to minor concerns. Sanu, Charles, Jones are all offensive weapons that make this team very dangerous and offer great value for where they were drafted.
Overall the Bengals really helped themselves and have truly developed one of the best young teams in the league. I don’t see a single pick here that doesn’t appeal to what they do as an offense and could be very dangerous in the near future.
Overall 24: David DeCastro, G, Stanford
Overall 56: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio St.
Overall 86: Sean Spence, LB, Miami
Overall 109: Alameda Ta’Amu, DT, Washington
Overall 159: Chris Rainey, RB, Florida
Overall 231: Toney Clemons, WR, Colorado
Overall 240: David Paulson, TE, Oregon
Overall 246: Terrence Frederick, CB, Texas A&M
Overall 248: Kelvin Beachum, T, SMU
Take out everything passed 159 and you still a pretty dang good draft. If you’re the Steelers you love having David DeCastro, a top 13 player and best guard prospect in 10 years, dropping to you at 24. The Steelers wanted to upgrade defense and offensive line and were able to do the latter with 2 first round talents by nabbing Mike Adams at the end of the second. Add Alameda Ta’Amu who had a 2nd-3rd round grade and is just a massive DT you have a really good draft. Another pick I really like here is Chris Rainey who is a game breaker who could be a home run threat out of the back field.
Overall 1: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Overall 34: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
Overall 64: Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
Overall 92: T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida International
Overall 136: Josh Chapman, DT, Alabama
Overall 170: Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi St.
Overall 206: LaVon Brazil, WR, Ohio
Overall 208: Justin Anderson, T, Georgia
Overall 214: Tim Fugger, DE, Vanderbilt
Overall 253: Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois
Just by adding Luck the Colts won, this is the best quarterback prospect in years. Let me end one debate, Luck is the clear cut choice here. Now add a new franchise QB and give him his favorite college weapon and couple him with the best overall tight end in the league. The Colts did everything they did to change the dynamic of their offense while helping Andrew Luck. I love the first 3 picks but love the pick of Josh Chapman the most. Chapman is a big stout interior defensive lineman who can serve as the anchor of that defense for years.
Overall 6: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Overall 81: Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise St.
Overall 113: Kyle Wilber, OLB, Wake Forrest
Overall 135: Matt Johnson, SS, Eastern Washington
Overall 152: Danny Coale, WR, Virginia Tech
Overall 186: James Hanna, TE, Oklahoma
Overall 222: Caleb McSurdy, ILB, Montana
I swear I’m not doing this because I’m a Cowboys fan and I need to feel better about myself. The Cowboys didn’t take the sexy picks but they took picks they liked. Most players were team captains and have a good body of work. They have great potential and could evolve into serious players. Crawford and Wilber most notible have the talent to be starters and Matt Johnson might have been a better prospect if he didn’t suffer a torn bicep. James Hanna is a freakish athlete who will be used as a dynamic receiving tight end in the slot position. Danny Coale isn’t a great receiver but his skill set is there and he could be a very productive slot receiver.
I’m a firm believer that if you can get 1 elite player you’ve won the draft. The Cowboys were able to move up 8 spots to grab CB Morris Claiborne who was listed as the 2-4 best prospect in the draft. The Cowboys sure up a need with an elite, Pro-Bowl caliber athlete and address their depth with all their other picks. The depth they have for next year could easily be bred to be starters in the near future. Smart scheme fits who aren’t big names but fit really well.
Overall 12: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi St.
Overall 46: Mychal Kendricks, ILB, California
Overall 59: Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall
Overall 88: Nick Foles, QB, Arizona
Overall 123: Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia
Overall 153: Dennis Kelly, OT, Purdue
Overall 194: Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa
Overall 200: Brandon Washington, OG, Miami
Overall 229: Bryce Brown, RB, Kansas St.
The Eagles were able to move up 3 spots to grab their number 1 target in Fletcher Cox. Cox is a versatile lineman who can get after the passer and really has some great potential. The Eagles had their problems last year against the run but having prospects like Kendricks and Curry fall to them make them instantly better. The biggest value is CB Brandon Boykin to fell through the 4th because of an injury he was recovering from. Boykin is a quality cornerback who is physical and versatile. The Eagles were able to milk value out of this draft and have really completed building a championship contender.
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