2012 NFL Draft Round 1 Analysis

Posted on April 26, 2012

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Hey guys welcome to my first official NFL Draft analysis, as we take a look at today’s first round picks. I give my grade for the pick as well as a comment on the selection. Grades are based off talent of player, position drafted, as well as how they will fit with team.

Thursday 26 2012 Round 1

#-Player Name-Postion-Team Name

1. Andrew Luck- QB- Indianapolis Colts

Grade: A+
Comment: On talent and skills Colts could have gone either way with Luck or RGIII while I think RGIII has more of it factor. I believe Luck more suited to succeed Manning Era, and be new face of the franchise.

2. Robert Griffin III- QB- Washington Redskins (Traded Up)

Grade: A+
Comment: Redskins gave up the house to move up get Franchise QB and they did, RGIII super dynamic, great kid has all the tools and can make every throw will be in argument for best NFC East QB sooner than many think.

3. Trent Richardson- RB- Cleveland Browns (Traded Up)

Grade: A+
Comment: Browns made a great decision to use an extra picks and move up one spot to get best (non-quarterback) offensive player in draft. Made right decision in not going after quarterback but instead of giving QB Colt McCoy or future QB (see pick 22) a weapon to pair with WR Greg Little.

4. Matt Kalil- OT- Minnesota Vikings (Traded Back)

Grade: A-
Comment: With RB Adrian Peterson likely not to play until late in the season, teams really looking to attack second year QB Christian Ponder so grabbing Kalil to protect his blind side makes great sense even if Claiborne might have been better player.

5. Justin Blackmon- WR- Jacksonville Jaguars (Traded Up)

Grade: A-
Comment: Last years first round pick QB Blaine Gabbert looked dreadful last season. Blackmon will not only give him a big fast and sure handed target, he will relieve some of the offensive stress off RB MJD as well as block for him on the edge.

6. Morris Claiborne- CB- Dallas Cowboys (Traded Up)

Grade: A+
Comment: Easily one of if not the best draft day trade of the year moving up to get a superstar CB. Even if Claiborne was half the player he was in college he’d fix a great weakness on a strong cowboys defense but he’s a star in the making, a think Darrelle Revis with Ed Reed ball hawking skills.

7. Mark Barron- DB- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Traded Back)

Grade: A
Comment: The Bucs wanted Barron along didn’t want to have to try justifying picking him over Claiborne so they traded back and where still able to get their guy. Not sure if he will be CB or S but I do know wherever he plays will fly to the ball and a very good tackler and good ball skills with good range.

8. Ryan Tannehill- QB- Miami Dolphins

Grade: B+
Comment: I know many see this as a reach for a QB with limited experience, but the Dolphins need a QB to build around and with his college coach as his offensive coordinator to help ease his transition and continue his growth I think a very good pick. Especially since the Dolphins have Matt Moore to start the season as Tannehill developes.

9. Luke Kuechly- LB- Carolina Panathers

Grade: A-
Comment: The guy accumulated 532 tackles in three years at Boston College, to saying he is a tackling machine might be an understatement. He has good speed to the ball and will pair nicely with Jon Beason in the middle of Carolina’s defense.

10. Stephon Gilmore-CB- Buffalo Bills

Grade: A-
Comment: Thought Dre Kirkpatrick would be the next CB off the board after Claiborne but Gilmore is a great addition to the Bills. With their improved front four Gilmore should be able to rely on his height and speed to cover wideouts early on as he adjust to the NFL game.

11. Dontari Poe- DT- Kansas City Chiefs

Grade: B
Comment: This could be the steal of the draft or one of the biggest reach/bust picks in Chiefs history. He has great range and remarkable athletic ability for someone his size, but in college he played down to his competition and disappeared at times so if the Chiefs can get consistent play out of him could be a focal point on an already young and talented defense.

12. Fletcher Cox- DT- Philadelphia Eagles (Traded Up)

Grade: A-
Comment: Cox is a disruptive defender especially in the running game up the middle. If he is not getting to the running back behind or at the line of scrimmage he’ll likely be taking on multiple blockers freeing up new MLB DeMeco Ryans.

13. Michael Floyd- WR- Arizona Cardinals

Grade: A+
Comment: A poor man’s Larry Fitzgerald, but thats great for the Cardinals considering on the other side of him is Larry Fitzgerald. Arizona needs to figure out who it’s quaterback is going to be but really all they need is someone who can figure out who has one on one coverage Fitzgerald or Floyd cause they can both go get the ball. Great pick.

14. Michael Brockers-DT- St. Louis (Traded Back)

Grade: A
Comment: Would have loved to see the Rams go after Blackmon or Floyd but still love Brockers especially here at 14. He is a really good run stopper and is athletic enough to become a decent pass rusher from the DT position especiall considering he might see a lot of one on one matchups (a raretiy for DTs) with Chris Long coming off the edge.

15. Bruce Irvin- OLB/DE- Seattle Seahawks (Traded Back)

Grade: C+
Comment: Before Seahawk fans and West Virginia fans scream at me for the low-grade let me make it clear that I think Bruce Irvin is a talented pass rusher but by no means did I see him as mid-first round pick. I thought it would have been an understandable reach for late first round/early second round teams, that being said his terrific pass rushing ability will likely have teams either run at him or keep a tight end to double him on passing downs.

16. Quinton Coples- DE- New York Jets

Grade: B+
Comment: Biggest question marks/concerns on Coples was his motor, work ethic, and commitment. Those should not be an issue while with Jets as Rex will push and so will “backup QB/starter QB/punt protector” Tim Tebow. Coples is extremely versatile and effective when he’s focused maybe Jets are hoping the “Tebow effect can have him focus fulfill his potential.

17. Dre Kirkpatrick- CB- Cincinnati Bengals

Grade: B+
Comment: Kirkpatrick was a Bengal even before they drafted him, he is big, athletic, fast, and tough that s why they get a high B from me. However, just like the Bengals not a playmaker, will defend but cannot envision him creating a lot of turnovers.

18. Melvin Ingram- DE-San Diego Chargers

Grade: A-
Comment: A very good pick for the Chargers surprised that the Jets didn’t pick him at 16 probably even more versatile than Coples but will thrive in San Diego. Will focus on rushing the passer early on and will provide them with depth at OLB position great value at 18.

19. Shea McClellin- OLB- Chicago Bears

Grade: B
Comment: With his passing rushing ability will see more time as DE in the Bears 4-3 opposite DE Julius Peppers. He has great initial burst of the ball, is tough, strong and sets the edge well. Struggles getting off blocks but with Peppers and LB Brain Urlacher that shouldn’t be a concern for long.

20. Kendall Wright- WR- Tennesee Titans

Grade: B
Comment: initially was not high on this pick but if WR Kenny Britt can return to form after missing all of 2011 with a knee injury and WR Nate Washington can have another good year, Wright would be a nice slot receiver. He needs to improve his catching ability but with his speed and willingness to compete for balls can be mismatch at times verse nickel and dime DBs.

21. Chandler Jones- DE- New England Patriots (Traded Up)

Grade: A-
Comment: Jones is a decent pass rusher but for a team that got virtually nothing out of its DEs last year this is a great pick. He has tremendous potential and who better than to help him fulfill that potential then Bill Belichick.

22. Bradon Weeden- QB- Cleveland Browns

Grade: A
Comment: Luck and RGIII are more likely to be Hall of Fame and Pro Bowl quarterback but Brandon Weeden on a Cleveland Browns team that already had WR Greg Little and just drafted RB Trent Richardson are more likely to see the playoffs before either of them. Weeden is older but man this guy can throw the ball and play the quarterback position. Great value considering it’s the Browns second pick in the first round.

23. Riley Reiff- OT- Detriot Lions

Grade: A-
Comment: While many don’t see Reiff as the ideal LT because of his short arms and seeing him as starting RT. I love his toughness and his first step off the ball I do see him on the left side protecting QB Matthew Stafford’s blind side even with short arms kind of like up and coming Oakland Raiders LT Jared Veldheer.

24. David DeCastro- OG- Pittsburgh Steelers

Grade: A
Comment: A typical Steeler pick DeCastro is a smart, tough, strong lineman who is very good as a run blocker and will provide some stability along the line with C Maurkice Pouncey.

25. Dont’a Hightower- LB- New England Patriots (Traded Up)

Grade: B+
Comment: One of the safer picks in the draft Hightower will be a very good Patriot for a long time, he can line up in multiple spots and play in multiple formations. The Partriots knew their defense was their biggest weakness last year and instead of reaching on players who might become superstar defenders they go with a very solid player who will make tackles and have a productive 10+ yr career.

26. Houston Texans- DE- Whitney Mercilus

Grade: A-
Comment: This is one of my perfect fit picks of the draft, Mercilus is not the best DE in the draft but his skill set as a finesse pass rusher will blossom in Houston under Wade Phillps. Also after losing Mario Williams in free agency DE was a need, no one is expecting Mercilus to be Mario but he will be very good especially if he can improve against the run.

27. Kevin Zeitler- OG- Cincinnati Bengals (Traded Back)

Grade: A-
Comment: Zeitler solves a need for the Bengals as they lost both of last years OGs to free agency. He is a really tremendous run blocker and does good blocking at and getting to the second level, needs work in pass protection but it is safe to pencil him in as a starter for the 2012 season.

28. Nick Perry- DE/OLB- Green Bay Packers

Grade: B +
Comment: The Packers wanted to get someone who can rush the passer and was hoping they could also find someone to complement Clay Matthews so who better than fellow USC alum Nick Perry. Perry has good range and decent in coverage but doesn’t disrupt up to his ability.

29. Harrison Smith- S- Minnesota Vikings (Traded Up)

Grade: B+
Comment: Smith will be a great addition to the Vikings secondary as he can play in the box, is a strong tackler and can match-up well with TEs. His range isn’t ideal but he is as sure of a tackler in the secondary as there is in the draft.

30. A.J. Jenkins- WR- San Francisco 49ers

Grade: A-
Comment: Jenkins will be very good player for the 49ers as he is an explosive WR with good size and speed to stretch the field vertically. Most likely ending up as the #2 receiver opposite WR Michael Crabtree and moving Mario Manningham into the slot. Expect to see Jenkins learn under Randy Moss and if he becomes half the player Moss use to be this is a win for the Niners.

31. Doug Martin- RB- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Traded Up)

Grade: A+
Comment: Tampa missed out on RB Trent Richardson earlier in the round but got their lighting to RB LeGarrette Blount’s thunder.. Martin is a speedy back who is excellent in the passing game as receiver and blocker, he has great hands and runs good routes.

32. David Wilson- RB- New York Giants

Grade: B-
Comment: RB is a need for the Super Bowl Champions especially after losing Brandon Jacobs in free agency. I believe they really wanted Doug Martin would have been an excellent pick while Wilson seems more of a reach and more like a complementary back than future back look for the Giants to select another RB later in the draft.

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Posted in: NFL