NFL Draft Winners And Losers
The 2012 NFL Draft is over and it is time to figure out who the winners and losers are. I will get this out of the way and say the Jets, nor the Giants are winners or losers. So this article will show no biased talk. I will name the three biggest winners and the biggest loser of the draft on here. This draft was a bit deep in my opinion, so most teams should have made good picks, but there are teams that reach for players and make questionable picks. This draft was particularly deep at the WR position, with Oklahoma State superstar Justin Blackmon going fifth overall to Jacksonville and Notre Dame standout, Michael Floyd going 13th overall to Arizona. I like Floyd’s situation better, since Arizona has a slightly better QB and have all world WR, Larry Fitzgerald, already on the team.
To get back on track, here are my top three winners and loser from the draft. Feel free to leave a comment agreeing or disagreeing with my picks.
1.Cincinnati Bengals: They did a good job with their two first round picks, getting Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick, who was a needed selection and is a top 15 talent, and Wisconsin G Kevin Zeitler helps on the OL. They traded their 21st pick back to 27 with the Patriots, and I would’ve stayed at 21, with Stanford G David DeCastro still available and is highly regarded as arguably the best offensive lineman. They added two good DT’s in Devon Still and Brandon Thompson and got an underrated WR in Mohamed Sanu from Rutgers, who should compliment A.J. Green well. I like the pick of Georgia TE Orson Charles, who was a nice find in round four. I also really like getting Boise State safety George Iloka at the end of round five, he has great size at 6’4, 225. I can’t finish this review without mentioning that they signed hot head Arizona State ILB Vontaze Burfict as an undrafted free agent. Burfict was a top 15 talent during the college football season, but his stock fell severely after many off field problems and he appeared out of shape at the combine and his pro day and ruined his chance to be a first round pick. If Cincinnati can get him in shape and back to being the top 15 talent he is, they will have struck gold.
2.Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Signing G Carl Nicks and WR Vincent Jackson in free agency covered two holes before the draft started, so more picks for depth. Getting those two free agents and having the fifth overall pick can possibly turn this franchise around quickly, as long as fourth year QB Josh Freeman can progress. With Trent Richardson going third overall to Cleveland, they traded back two spots with Jacksonville and got a blue chip safety prospect, Mark Barron out of Alabama at seven. Adding someone to that secondary was their biggest need. Now they have an improved, but still not great, secondary. They traded back into the first round at pick 31, with Denver, who got that pick from New England, who got Denver’s 25th overall pick. With that 31st pick, Tampa took Boise State RB Doug Martin, who is a great pass blocking back and can run very well, he makes a good pair with LeGarrette Blount. Getting two linebackers with the next two picks was smart, and one of them was Nebraska’s Lavonte David, I like that pick a lot with David being a smart player and a hard hitter, with potential first round talent. With these draft additions, and the two big free agent additions, look for Tampa Bay to make a run in the NFC South and maybe sneak into the playoffs. It all hinges on Freeman getting better. If Freeman doesn’t progress, look for Tampa Bay to maybe look into a new QB in next years draft, with a deep QB class in 2013.
3.St.Louis Rams: Traded the #2 overall pick to Washington for the #6 overall pick and first round picks in 2013 and 2014, plus additional picks this year. Then traded the #6 overall pick to Dallas for the 14th overall pick and selected LSU DT Michael Brockers, who fits a big need. If developed correctly, he will be a strong force for the next 10-15 years. Adding Appalachian State WR Brian Quick to start the second round was a reach, but his size (6’4, 220 lbs) make you think possible number one WR, which St.Louis desperately needs. Good speed allows him to get behind defenders and create separation and make big plays. Although it’s a reach over other WR’s like Georgia Tech’s Stephen Hill and South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery, Quick can definitely end up being the best of the three and might be the most NFL ready right now. Quick was the first of FOUR second round selections. I LOVE the addition of CB Janoris Jenkins out of North Alabama. He fills a big need and is a top 10 talent if he can get rid of his baby mama issues and get his mind back on football entirely. It is a risky pick, but for how badly St.Louis needed a CB, I like the pick in round two for a possible top 10 talent. Maybe the Rams owner slips him a $500,000 bonus like Jets owner Woody Johnson did with CB Antonio Cromartie after he acquired him via trade with the Chargers back in 2010 since he had baby mama drama too. In round two I also really like the addition of Cincinnati RB Isaiah Pead, who I watched during the senior bowl and noticed he runs hard and doesn’t give up on any play, and can make catches in the backfield and extend plays with his legs. I can’t knock the addition of Montana CB Trumaine Johnson since CB is a need position and he showed good coverage skills and great ball skills (15 interceptions in four seasons at Montana). He also has great size for a CB (6’2, 204 lbs). I obviously think the Rams did a great job with their second round picks.
Honorable Mentions: Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions, and San Diego Chargers.
1.Seattle Seahawks: They made the most puzzling first round pick after they reached for West Virginia DE/OLB Bruce Irvin, who had a late second round projection by most draft experts. Then they reached again for Utah State LB Bobby Wagner in the second round. Both players can become solid players, but they were taken far too early. I only liked their fourth round pick where they took Utah State RB Robert Turbin. That’s where Turbin was projected to go and he rushed for 3,315 yards in his four seasons at Utah State, and rushed for 40 touchdowns. During the last two years, he rushed for 2,813 yards, and 32 touchdowns. He has gotten Marshawn Lynch comparisons and is now on the same team as Lynch. Not a bad mentor for Turbin. That’s the only good thing I can say for the Seahawks draft, who had the worst draft by many experts as well.
Honorable Mentions: Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, and Oakland Raiders (I know the Raiders didn’t have many picks to play with, but with the picks they had, I did not like any of the selections).