2012 NFL Draft Grades

by Prez Ro, Matteson, IL

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The 2012 NFL Draft is in the books and one long and eventful weekend.  It's time now to break down the draft and see who did a good job, and well, who didn't do so well.


CAROLINA - Good with Luke Kuechly at No. 9. Versatile offensive lineman Amini Silatolu (40) ought to carve out a nice role, too, and it’s hard to argue with any of Carolina’s other picks. Getting WR Joe Adams (103) and CB Josh Norman (143) in the mid-rounds can’t be overlooked.

CINCINNATI - Bengals landed several potential starters including CB Dre Kirkpatrick (17) and G Kevin Zeitler (27).

INDIANAPOLIS - I would like to have seen an earlier WR pick, but getting the electric T.Y. Hilton (92) and a pair of tight ends (Coby Fleener at 34 and Dwayne Allen at 64) gives Andrew Luck some nice weapons.

MINNESOTA - Nice pickup for OT Matt Kalil at number 4... he's ready to play yesterday! In addition, subsequent pickups of S Harrison Smith (29), CB Josh Robinson (66) and WR Jarius Wright (118) just add to that belief. Now it's up to coach Frazier to get them ready for a tough conference battle.

PHILADELPHIA -  The Eagles trade up for DT Fletcher Cox at 12, then added solid pieces in LB Mychal Kendricks (46), DE Vinny Curry (59), CB Brandon Boykin (123), WR Marvin McNutt (194) and G/T Brandon Washington (200).

PITTSBURGH - It was raining immediate starters for the Steelers - G David DeCastro (24), T Mike Adams (56) and NT Alameda Ta’amu (109) all fell into their lap.

SAN DIEGO - I’m not sure how DE/OLB Melvin Ingram fell to 18, but the Chargers will reap the benefits for years. Then they snagged DT Kendall Reyes (49) and S Brandon Taylor (73) are perfect puzzle pieces at positions of need too.


ARIZONA - Larry Fitzgerald badly needed some help at wide receiver, and the Cardinals hope that Michael Floyd will provide it. Not having a second-round pick hurt the final product, but CB Jamell Fleming (No. 80 overall) is a decent fit and Bobby Massie was a steal at 112

BALTIMORE - Ravens traded down and still landed DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw (35), who may develop into the next feared defender in Baltimore. Guard Kelechi Osemele (60) and running back Bernard Pierce (84) filled needs well.

BUFFALO - Staying put and nabbing CB Stephon Gilmore at No. 10 could pay off big time, as could jumping on G/T Cordy Glenn at 41. On head scratcher was WR T.J. Graham (69).

DALLAS - Cowboy fans seem to be of the belief that the move for CB Morris Claiborne (6) made - which could be a sensational move, but after that... slow draft.

DETROIT - The Lions just go for the best player on the baord - PERIOD... so they picked Ryan Broyles, a receiver coming off a knee injury, at 54 followed by CB Dwight Bentley (85) and Oklahoma linebacker Travis Lewis (223). There might proved to be the steals of the draft.

GREEN BAY - The Packers had eight picks and used them all on defense: Worthy, CB Casey Heyward (62), Nick Perry (29), etc... but this is a franchise that deserves the benefit of the doubt.

NEW ENGLAND - How do they keep doing this - year in and year out.... Patriots started with four picks (two first, two seconds), traded up twice in the first, then traded down enough to add four picks after Round 2. The results? A mixed bag, with DE Chandler Jones (21) and LB Dont’a Hightower (25) possible moments of brilliance, and S Tavon Wilson (48) potentially a total flub. Nonetheless, their track record helps them... PERIOD!

NEW YORK GIANTS - Fixer - uppers? RB David Wilson (32), WR Rueben Randle (63), CB Jayron Hosley (94) and OT Brandon Mosley (131)... hard to second-guess a championship team especially when undrafted Cruz is such a stud!

ST. LOUIS - Rams are ready to play defense right now with picks like DT Michael Brockers (14), CB Janoris Jenkins (39), RB Isaiah Pead (50) and DB Trumaine Johnson (65), then two possible sleepers in Brian Quick (33) or Chris Givens (96).

TAMPA BAY - The Bucs answered their aging defensive needs with safety Mark Barron (7) fills a huge need at safety, LB Lavonte David (58), and CB Keith Tandy (174)... and a steal of running back Doug Martin (31).


ATLANTA - Without a first-round pick because of the move up for Julio Jones last year, the Falcons struck gold when Peter Konz fell to them at 55. It was mostly downhill from there

CHICAGO - Shea McClellin is developing into the pass-rusher Chicago needs? Will Alshon Jefferey stay in shape? Is Brandon Hardin healthy?

CLEVELAND - Browns went all-in to get Trent Richardson at No. 3. Heck, I don’t even really mind reaching for QB Brandon Weeden at 22. I’m not sure what happened after that, though, as the Browns took OT Mitchell Schwartz when they needed a receiver, then tanked picks on DT John Hughes (87) and WR Travis Benjamin (100).

HOUSTON - University of Illinois' Whitney Mercilus gives Houston another excellent pass-rusher after Mario Williams’ departure — and the very good — G Brandon Brooks (76) and DE/DT Jared Crick (126) could both be huge for the Texans.

JACKSONVILLE - Jags moved up to get Blaine Gabbert a star wide receiver in Justin Blackmon (6) and Jacksonville pounced on DE Andre Branch (38) — and then, BAM!, punter.

KANSAS CITY - The Chiefs did better late than early in our opinion nabbing RB Cyrus Gray (182) and sure-handed WR Junior Hemingway (238). DT Dontari Poe (11) might be a great one, but anyone who watched him on tape saw a lethargic competitor.

MIAMI - Do you believe in number 8 picked Ryan Tannehill?

SEATTLE - In short, this was a WTH moment... the Seahawks went all in and picked Bruce Irvin at 15, then LB Bobby Wagner (47) and RB Robert Turbin (106), and concluded with QB Russell Wilson (74).

WASHINGTON - Skins are building for the future - PERIOD! First pick QBs Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins in Round 4... Josh LeRibeus (71), Adam Gettis (141) and Tom Compton (193) form a collection of options.


DENVER - Outside of Peyton Manning, whew, it looks like its going to be a tough season... There top pick was DT Derek Wolfe followed by Brock Osweiler.

NEW ORLEANS - It’s hard to do much without a pick in Round 1 or 2 … thus, they received what they received: DT Akiem Hicks’ (89) transition from Canadian college ball to the NFL and WR Nick Toon’s (122).

NEW YORK JETS - We like to call this... WTH picks? The Jets did a Vegas style draft rolling the dice on DE Quinton Coples out of North Carolina, WR Stephen Hill (43) and Jordan White (244). In short, on paper it doesn't seem like they addressed their issues at offensive tackle.

OAKLAND - First draft with out Hall of Famer Al Davis near the controls... the Raiders couldn't move up and didn’t have a pick until the third round. They didn't do bad landing offensive lineman in Tony Bergstrom (95) and finding underrated WR Juron Criner at 168, but many people in their conference have gotten better.

SAN FRANCISCO - The 49ers made WR A.J. Jenkins a shocking pick at 29, then grabbed LaMichael James at 61 — James has home-run potential, but the 49ers already have a crowded backfield with similar players. Questions on play time?

TENNESSEE - Not sure how I feel about their picks... kinda like a gumbo style draft... throw it all in and hopefully it taste good... their picks include WR Kendall Wright (20) and DT Mike Martin (82).

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