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2012 NFL Draft Day 1 Recap

By Walt - @walterfootball
April 27, 2012

2012 NFL Draft Day 1 Random Thoughts:

1. My mind is spinning from all of those trades. There were eight in the first round. Expect this every year until further notice because of the new CBA salary structure. Teams used to be scared of moving in the top 10 because of all the guaranteed money that had to be used on unknown commodities. That is no longer the case.

2. Speaking of trades, the Jaguars have been smitten with Justin Blackmon throughout this entire draft process, so their move up for him didn't surprise. But what would they have done if they stood pat at No. 7? I've been told by a reliable source that they would have selected Melvin Ingram. So, for all of you who had Ingram in your mocks at No. 7, you can curse this new draft process for ruining your mock. Though you have to admit, it was pretty fun.

3. Another instance in which a popular mock pick was ruined: The Steelers reportedly wanted to take Dont'a Hightower, but were just too intrigued by David DeCastro, who was still somehow on the board. It's amazing how smart organizations like the Steelers can constantly benefit from inept franchises. DeCastro should have been chosen at No. 11, or the early teens at the latest. It doesn't matter that he's a guard; he's going to be the top player at his position over the next decade. Steeler fans have to be thrilled right now.

4. One such inept franchise is Seattle. What the hell is Pete Carroll doing? James Carpenter was a horrific reach at No. 25 last year, but Bruce Irvin was a billion times worse. He's just an athlete playing football, and he can only do one thing on the field. Plus, he was arrested for robbery earlier in his life and recently was arrested again for ruining public property. There's no way he should have gone in the top four rounds. Check out my 2012 NFL Draft Grades because I gave Seattle the worst grade in the history of this Web site.

Oh, and check out this related e-mail I received: "Next year, remember Pete Carroll and John Schneider likes exceptional speed and/or height. They are like Al Davis."

Maybe they aren't like Al Davis. Maybe they ARE Al Davis. No, wait. They definitely are Al Davis. The man has found a new host body. Bruce... Irvin... is a... great... playa...

5. Speaking of the Seahawks, the next time I hear Michael Lombardi reporting that a surprise prospect is getting into a helicopter, I'll remember to mock that player to Seattle. What the hell was the helicopter for, anyway? Were they scared that Irvin was going to rob a cab driver and then spray paint his vehicle?

6. St. Louis is another NFC West team that screwed up. The Rams could have drafted Morris Claiborne at No. 6. They could have jumped ahead of Arizona after moving down to No. 14 to obtain Michael Floyd. Instead, they wound up with Michael Brockers, an extremely raw run-stuffer with little playing experience. Ugh. They do know they have this guy named Sam Bradford, and that he only has Steve Smith and Danny Amendola to throw to, right?

I like the idea of moving down and getting extra picks, but you have to draft talent at some point.

7. What is it with teams west of the Mississippi? I don't quite understand the Broncos' strategy. Trading down is nice, but Peyton Manning's skills are eroding. He wants to win now. Shouldn't Denver have traded up instead of down to secure a skilled player who can help them right away? But what do I know? I'm a buffoon, according to Woody Paige.

8. My 2012 NFL Mock Draft results were frustrating. I think I did better than some major publications on the Huddle Report, but I would have gotten 10-11 picks correct if I had just stuck with my Tuesday version. On the bright side, I went a perfect 32-for-32 in my 2012 NFL Not Draft. Oh, and I also find it amusing that Emmitt Smith had five picks correct.

9. I'd like to apologize for the Web site being slow Thursday evening. My Web host explained the problem to me. I didn't quite understand what he was saying, but he assured me the problem would be fixed going forward.

10. I've posted my 2012 NFL Draft Trade Grades as well as my 2012 NFL Mock Re-Draft for Rounds 2 and 3. I hit on five Round 2 selections last year, so re-mocking isn't a total crapshoot. Or maybe I'm just a buffoon who got lucky.

2012 NFL Draft Top Players Available in Round 2:

Here are the top 2012 NFL Draft Prospects still available per the consensus draft board:

21. Cordy Glenn, G/OT, Georgia
26. Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
28. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
29. Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
31. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
33. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
34. Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
35. Devon Still, DT, Penn State
36. Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
37. Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska
38. Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut
39. Amini Silatolu, G/OT, Midwestern State
41. Rueben Randle, WR, LSU
46. Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall
47. Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss
48. Mychal Kendricks, ILB, California
49. Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
50. Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati

2012 NFL Draft Biggest Round 1 Reaches:

Here were the worst players drafted in Round 1, per the consensus draft board:

64. A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois (49ers)
61. Bruce Irvin, DE/OLB, West Virginia (Seahawks)
45. Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State (Browns)
43. David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech (Giants)
42. Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin (Bengals)

I've received word that Jenkins was a target of Jacksonville's - in the THIRD round. It's also worth noting that except for the Giants, these teams have a combined two playoff victories in the past four years.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Draft Story:

By Charlie Campbell - @draftcampbell was present at One Buc Place to see the drama unfold as Tampa Bay made two surprising picks. The Bucs traded down from the fifth pick to the seventh. That cost them a shot at LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. After missing out on the six prospects that were considered elite, the Bucs took another highly coveted prospect in Alabama safety Mark Barron. General manager Mark Dominik said that Barron was in consideration at the fifth pick.

"He was in mind at five. It's something that coach and I spent a lot of time going over on the phone prior to the draft. All I try to do is call around to every general manager in the National Football League and try to figure out and anticipate what trades could happen and what we could do. I certainly spent some time on the phone with Gene Smith prior to the draft to see if there was a possibility. We targeted Mark Barron at five, but felt that there was a chance to move back a bit and still get the guy we wanted. We were actually a little nervous when the Dallas Cowboys traded to six, but we're very excited and we're excited for our guy and that we was there, and we're happy to get a fourth-round pick that we think is going to be another very valuable member to this football team in this draft class. But to answer your question at five, we're excited about our value with Mark Barron."

Barron broke out in 2009 with a dynamite sophomore season, making seven interceptions, 76 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss and 11 passes broken up. He had 75 tackles, three interceptions, two sacks and a forced fumble as a junior. Barron had some coverage lapses in 2010 that knocked his stock down some, but he built it back up by playing extremely well as a senior. Barron had 68 tackles (43 solo) with five passes broken up, five tackles for a loss and two interceptions in 2011.

Dominik said the Bucs did not plan or attempt to move up in the draft for running back Trent Richardson, even though that was a popular rumor. New Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano said that Barron is a perfect scheme fit.

"We spent a heck of a lot of time talking about a lot of prospects. My being in those meetings for the first time as a head coach, I can't tell you how impressed I am with the personnel people and how hard they work and the information they gather. I am really excited about this player. I think he fits into what we do defensively perfectly. You couldn't draw it up better. As Mark said, we spent hours and hours watching tape and making sure. But I can tell you the first video I watched of Mark Barron, I thought I had selected his best game. This guy he plays at a high level, even though he plays in arguably the best football conference in the land. I thought he was a dominant player at his position. I can't tell you how excited I am to get him down here. I was talking to him on the phone. He's fired up. He said, coach, can you send me a playbook. I told him he's going to be down here tomorrow and I'll get you a playbook. I promise you. That's the kind of guy he is. He lives it, he loves it, he studies it. I can't wait to coach him."

The Bucs came back to grab another first-rounder with running back Doug Martin. The New York Giants were expected to take Martin with the final pick, but Tampa Bay moved up in a trade with the Denver Broncos. Dominik talked about landing Martin and how he adds to the roster.

"We're excited upstairs. There was a guy that we targeted that we had a lot of interest in. There were a couple of reasons we made that trade for Doug Martin. Number one is who he is. He' a great young man and a team leader at Boise State, running a fantastic football program. He was voted team captain and is a productive football player, a guy that can play all three downs for us and work with LeGarrette Blount, and I'll let coach deal with all that stuff. He's a guy that we really think complements Blount. As for us again, we talk about guys that great strength. He's got good explosion numbers, he catches the ball really well, and when you watch him on tape, that's all the exciting things about it. "For us, as an organization there were also a couple of reasons I thought the trade made sense. One, we wanted to get a back in this year's draft and we thought he was a very complete back. Number two, we decided to move up to the second round into the first round. To do that, not only do you get a four-year deal on a contract, but you end up with a five-year deal on a first round pick. That's important to me because that's extra value that you get that sometimes isn't seen. The other thing is we just took the fourth we acquired when we made the trade for Mark Barron, moving from the top of the fourth to the bottom of the fourth, so we didn't lose a fourth-round pick, we just moved down in the fourth. I felt like that was good value too so we could continue to have more selections in this draft. We obviously have five more selections to go and a lot of work ahead of us and an excited two more days to go."

Dominik said that in the Bucs opinion, Martin is comparable to the draft's top back, Trent Richardson.

"I think that they're close, but Richardson's a special back. We feel very good about Doug Martin, so I'm not surprised he's the second running back off the board. Obviously we made him the second running back off the board, but I also think he was garnering that grade. I think if you talk to scouts around the National Football League, I think if you talk to the coaches at Boise State and I think if you talk to his teammates you'll understand why no one is really surprised he's a first-round running back in the National Football League."

Schiano said that he believes Martin is similar to his former Rutgers running back Ray Rice.

"I do see some of it. I do. I see a guy that's an incredible competitor and runs hard and plays hard. So there's probably some of that. We all have our guys that we coached that you like."

Tampa Bay turned out to be one of the most active teams in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and they added two players that they believe will establish a new identity on offense and defense.

Leave a comment

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Paul 01-14-2013 10:57 pm (total posts: 1)
45     11

So, do you want to regrade Seattle's draft (the worst draft grade ever??). Irvin, Wagner, Wilson, Turbin, Sweezy, and Lane all had an inpact; two of them may be the offensive and defensive ROY. Maybe you need to re-evaluate your knowledge of the game of football and leave the assessing of football players to the experts?
dylan 04-29-2012 08:45 am (total posts: 1)
22     35

edgerrin james was a bad pick? really?
Spenser 04-28-2012 09:14 pm (total posts: 1)
24     82

everyone get off Walt's back. Jenkins and Irvin were bad picks because they could've been had later in the draft. the only way its a good pick is if he turns out to be a Pro Bowler. I dont care how many teams say they had those players high on their boards. you can say anythign after the fact. Walt, good job with the site and keep up the good work man.
I PUT INTERNET ACRONYMS IN ALL CAPS 04-28-2012 01:53 am (total posts: 1)
28     23

I love everyone bashing Walt here. The bottom line is that predicting the draft is as much of a crap shoot as the draft itself. The only thing we can somewhat objectively grade on is prospects taken relative to their projected pick. Bruce Irvin and AJ Jenkins were not dumb picks because they could flop; they were dumb picks because they likely would have been available later--meaning the teams could have traded down and gotten an extra pick or two out of the deal.

An example: I'm a Colts fan, so let's consider the Colts taking Edgerrin James over Ricky Williams in 1999. Obviously Edge was the right choice, but it was a bad pick because the Colts could have been the trade partner with the Saints who traded ALL of their picks to move up to get Ricky Williams. The result? The Colts get Edge, Tory Holt, or Champ Bailey plus a whole slew of extra picks.
Chris 04-27-2012 06:36 pm (total posts: 1)
137     55

I love how people are so quick to dismiss a player because they overlooked them. It's not like Bruce Irvin was a projected 4th round pick. Most mocks had him in the 2nd or 3rd and some even in the 1st.

They drafted one of the best pass rushers in the draft (who is physically identical to Von Miller, with even better combine results), and he gets a bad grade because as a kid he grew up in a bad situation and the national media forgot about him? When someone has grown up with a past like him, then you can start to judge him.

It's also hilarious how much people are ignorate towards team needs. What was one of the Seahawks strengths last year? Run defense. Weakness? Pass rush. Seems like a good fit for what they need.

And its not like Pete Carroll/John Schneider is a bad evaluator of defensive talent. 5th round pick Chancellor? Pro Bowl. 5th round pick Sherman? All-pro consideration. 4th round pick KJ Wright? Damn solid LB. CFL Brandon Browner? Pro Bowl with one bad game against the Steelers. Chris Clemons? A guy who was on the outs in Philly? 20 sacks in 2 years. They even got a 9 sack season out of RAHEEM BROCK for crying out loud.

If it was true that other teams wanted him in the first, and he was their highest rated DE (they did have their pick), I wouldn't call it the worst pick ever.

But then again I don't write for an ESTEEMED sports website so what do I know...
Matt 04-27-2012 04:54 pm (total posts: 1)
65     30

Strong words in regards to Irvin. You better hope he sucks, or you're going to look really stupid.

This is why I avoid making definitive, unequivocal statements on the future successes or failures of 21-24 year olds.
DIRTYRED 04-27-2012 04:22 pm (total posts: 1)
36     82

J Crenshaw 04-27-2012 03:12 pm (total posts: 1)
78     82

Probably the worst blog ive ever read ROFL... The Jets were going to take him at 16, Ravens later, SF Later, in the first round.

He was arrested for robbing a DRUG HOUSE... While he was homeless living on the streets as a teenager.

You sir know little to nothing about Football and this is why you are a blogger and not working for the NFL
Funk 04-27-2012 03:11 pm (total posts: 1)
43     27

I agree Irvin is an athletic freak and might be an Aldon Smith-type player, but I think the reach is the big argument here...Could SEA have waited to Rd 2 and still gotten him? Probably.

What it comes down to is whether you believe in which Draft system you are believe in: BPA, Value, or your own Draft Board. Obviously, Carroll is a Draft Board guy. Irvin was on it, and they were not going to pass no matter where they were.
Godd 04-27-2012 02:36 pm (total posts: 1)
144     423

Bruce Irvin is a FREAK!!! The Seahawks EXPECT Double-Digit Sacks(at least) from him this season! He's gonna be an Aldon Smith-extraordinaire! 7 teams said they'd take this guy in the 1st and even had a promise in the 20's..WHY you ask? because he's a FREAK!!! 14.5 sacks rookie year...chalk it up!!!
John L 04-27-2012 02:30 pm (total posts: 1)
42     33

Walt, I have to say that I do enjoy your draft coverage, but your section on "biggest draft reaches" seems to be very simplistic and doesn't address some fundamental drafting principals.
I think everyone will agree that Bruce Irvin was a reach at 15. According to the concensus big board, he was drafted 46 places too soon. For me, I would grade it by the draft value chart, which most people know about, (and if you look at the trades from last night, it still holds up).
Pick 15 is worth 1050 and 61 is 292, so he was over drafted by 728 points. (This is the equivalent of the 25th overall pick).
Now, I'm not a Giants fan, but by selecting David Wilson at 32, (590 points) and comparing that to the 43rd position on the trade value chart, (470) there is only a difference of 120 points. This is equivalent to a bottom third rounder, (95th overall).
Players at the end of the first round are not reaches in comparison to the higher picks because there is very little difference between them and the picks at the top of the 2nd round.
I would argue that Mark Barron and Stephon Gilmore are bigger reaches if you apply the same principal. Barron was picked 7th, (1500) and he was rated at what? 15. That's 450 trade points difference, 3 times higher than the Wilson pick.
Rock 04-27-2012 02:28 pm (total posts: 1)
359     460

Walt's been losing a lot of credibility lately. Pro Football Talk and Michael Lomabardi both said other teams have Irvin graded in the Top 15. If you actually did youre research you'd find out the kid was in a misfit system and he had very little coaching. Yeah its a reach, but I also remember you crushing the Tyson Alualu pick (which actually turned out to be a solid pick) and praising the Aaron Curry pick and we all saw how that turned out. And was is this talk about the "inept Seahawks", This team was vying for a playoff spot in week 16 and is a Top 10 ranked defense with mostly late round guys. You're analysis has and credibility has fallen and Charlie has been much more accurate and creative in mocks.
-- 04-27-2012 02:08 pm (total posts: 1)
65     35

LOL you give niners bad grade for taking jenkins at 30, then you say that Jags had 3rd round grade on him. I look at your mock and see you put aj jenkins going to the JAGS AT 38.
This is so funny.
P52 will tackle you 04-27-2012 02:04 pm (total posts: 1)
37     30

@ Jack Sprat
Of course it wasn't all the draft class, the biggest factor was the progression of Alex Smith, that's obvious. But the draft was not a small part of it. The change that turned the defense from above average in 2010 to elite in 2011 was the pass rush. In 2010 their dbs looked awful because opposing qbs had all day to throw; getting better pressure made the secondary better, which elevated them to elite status. You think the team sack leader didn't have anything to do with that? Plus Chris Culliver played over half of the snaps on D late in the season and in the playoffs and played well, Kendall Hunter carried a lot of the load while Gore was hobbled by injuries, and Bruce Miller also had an impact on the run game. That's great one-year impact for a draft class.
My point was that they did a great job on draft day last year (especially when you add in a potential franchise qb in Kaepernick and a likely starter this year in Daniel Kilgore), including hitting on several picks that were labeled as reaches by the consensus. That should give them some amnesty from Millen-level criticism for taking a guy that some (emphasis on some) analysts considered a reach.
glor 04-27-2012 01:59 pm (total posts: 1)
46     161

Dude, you are such an idiot, do you bother doing any research before your spew out this crap?

Seattle didn't put Bruce Irvin in a Helicopter, some other team did. Seattle has had no contact with the kid since the combine.
Also, charges were dropped on the public proper deal, so again, so take another valium.

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