Draft: Pick-by-pick analysis
The formality at the top of the draft became official at 8:06 p.m. ET,
when the Colts named Andrew Luck of Stanford the first overall pick of
the 2012 NFL Draft. Four minutes later, Robert Griffin III was selected
No. 2 by the Redskins.
With that, the anticlimactic stage of the draft came to an abrupt halt.
Trades were made for six of the top seven picks, including the predraft
deal by Washington.
1. Indianapolis Colts: QB Andrew Luck, Stanford -- The centerpiece to a
foundation largely to be constructed in this draft, Luck is compared to
his predecessor, Peyton Manning, who quickly became the pillar of the
Colts' franchise the last time Indy drafted a quarterback first overall
2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis): QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor
-- Coach Mike Shanahan called Griffin the ideal fit for the West Coast
offense, and pundits compare the Heisman winner to Aaron Rodgers and
3. Cleveland Browns (draft-day trade with Minnesota): RB Trent Richardson, Alabama -- Team president Mike Holmgren missed out on RG3
when the Redskins outbid Cleveland for the No. 2 pick in March and
decided not to roll the dice that his other coveted target wouldn't be
available at No. 4, pulling the trigger on a draft-day deal Thursday
afternoon to move up one spot. The Browns didn't settle the QB
questions, but are starved for a difference-maker. Richardson runs big
but is also elusive and was effective facing eight-man fronts at
4. Minnesota Vikings (draft-day trade with Cleveland): OT Matt Kalil,
Southern Cal -- Minnesota surrendered 50 sacks last season, meaning
improved protection for 2011 first-round pick Christian Ponder was
essential. Ponder has had three straight injury-shortened seasons
including his rookie year.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (draft-day trade with Tampa Bay): WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State -- As the Vikings before them, the Jaguars
made a move that should greatly benefit their second-year quarterback
(Blaine Gabbert). Blackmon, a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner, had 40
career touchdowns and gives the Jaguars their first legitimate No. 1
receiver since Jimmy Smith.
6. Dallas Cowboys (draft-day trade with St. Louis): CB Morris Claiborne, LSU -- The Cowboys spent $50 million to land free agent
cornerback Brandon Carr and then parted with their top two picks in
2012 to land Claiborne, a smooth, athletic lead cornerback who can also
spark the return game.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (draft-day trade with Jacksonville): SS Mark Barron, Alabama -- Barron is a tough, in-the-box safety but also
snagged 12 interceptions in his career with the Crimson Tide and was
charged with calling the team's defense. He should shore up the
Buccaneers' shaky defense in more ways than one.
8. Miami Dolphins: QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M -- The Dolphins
last drafted a quarterback in the first round way back in 1983, and the
guy named Marino wasn't the headliner in the fabled QB Class -- he was
the fifth passer picked that year. Tannehill has only 19 career starts
but played for Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, which
should make him a candidate to compete with incumbent QB Matt Moore as
9. Carolina Panthers: LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College -- A tackle
machine, Kuechly and outside linebacker Jon Beason should stabilize the
Panthers' run defense and both can cover downfield.
10. Buffalo Bills: CB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina -- After spending
heavily to build a potentially dominant defensive line, Gilmore brings
a physical presence and excellent athleticism to blanket outside
receivers and received a high competitive grade.
11. Kansas City Chiefs: NT Dontari Poe, Memphis -- A 346-pound dancing
bear of a defensive lineman, Poe has freakish athletic ability for his
size, but wasn't a major factor in the Tigers' defense. Head coach
Romeo Crennel can draw a lot out of him, but the Chiefs have missed on
talented defensive linemen before.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (draft-day trade with Seattle): DT Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State -- Cox runs like a tight end but has defensive
end size, the kind of penetrating one-gap tackle coach Andy Reid covets
between speed edge rushers Jason Babin and Trent Cole.
13. Arizona Cardinals: WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame -- A workout
partner with fellow Minnesota native Larry Fitzgerald, Floyd now pairs
with the perennial Pro Bowl lead receiver to bring a solid second
option to a suddenly explosive Cardinals' offense.
14. St. Louis Rams (draft-day trade with Dallas): DT Michael Brockers,
LSU -- In February, the Rams were slated to pick second overall. Two
deals later, the Rams landed a defensive tackle with the developmental
upside to prove one of the real steals of the draft.
15. Seattle Seahawks (draft-day trade with Philadelphia): DE Bruce Irvin, West Virginia -- A lightning-quick but undersized defensive
end/outside linebacker hybrid, Irvin had off-field problems in
Morgantown but is a pressure-package player who can make the most
difference on third downs.
16. New York Jets: DE Quenton Coples, North Carolina -- Coples played
defensive tackle and defensive end for the Tar Heels. He passes the
eyeball test, but at 6-6, 280, he's chided for inconsistent effort and
doesn't dominate as much as expected based on his natural skills.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland): CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama --
The Bengals' collection of cornerbacks is only average, and
Kirkpatrick's size and long arms could make him a left cornerback
starter immediately despite questions about his deep speed and lean
18. San Diego Chargers: -- OLB Melvin Ingram, South Carolina -- Ingram
is super-athletic with 19 sacks the last two seasons, but wasn't a
fulltime starter in his college career. With only 32 sacks, the
Chargers were pliable in the secondary, giving up 29 TD passes and too
many big plays. Pass rush was a need, in part, because the No. 16 pick
in 2009, Larry English, has been dogged by injuries.
19. Chicago Bears: LB-DE Shea McClellin, Boise State -- A fast-rising,
athletic pass rusher compared to Clay Matthews, he could be used at
strong-side linebacker and rush the passer in the Bears' nickel package
opposite Julius Peppers.
20. Tennessee Titans: WR Kendall Wright, Baylor -- A reliable
route-runner and return threat, Wright is explosive and can be groomed
to become Jake Locker's favorite target opposite Kenny Britt.
21. New England Patriots (draft-day trade with Cincinnati): DE Chandler Jones, Syracuse -- The most explosive edge rusher on the roster in more
than a decade, Jones is the younger brother of UFC star Jon "Bones"
Jones and should help turn around a woeful pass defense in New England.
22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta): QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
-- As promised to incumbent Colt McCoy, competition will be in training
camp in the form of 28-year-old Weeden, a former minor league baseball
player who played in a similar-style offense at OSU. His age and
shoulder issues could be lingering concerns.
23. Detroit Lions: OT Riley Reiff, Iowa -- Right tackle remains a
lingering concern and left tackle Jeff Backus is closer to 40 than 30.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: OG David DeCastro, Stanford -- The top-ranked
interior lineman in the draft, DeCastro is more skilled coming out of
college than Alan Faneca, a longtime fan favorite at left guard.
25. New England Patriots (draft-day trade with Denver): ILB Dont'a Hightower, Alabama -- Thumper with pass-rush skills, Hightower had a
strong endorsement from Bill Belichick pal Nick Saban. He adds
versatility to New England's scheme-flexible front seven.
26. Houston Texans: DE Whitney Mercilus, Illinois -- A 3-4 linebacker
convert candidate with enormous shoes to fill after the free-agent loss
of Mario Williams. Mercilus led the nation in sacks as a junior.
27. Cincinnati Bengals (draft-day trade with New England): OG Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin -- A strong interior blocker and fine fit in the
Bengals' run-heavy offense.
28. Green Bay Packers: OLB Nick Perry, Southern Cal -- Perry is one of
the best all-around athletes in the draft. If he hones those skills and
polishes his pass-rush technique, he could become the sackmaster the
Packers need opposite Clay Matthews.
29. Minnesota Vikings (draft-day trade with Baltimore): FS Harrison Smith, Notre Dame -- A converted safety with range to get to the
sideline in Leslie Frazier's two-deep defense.
30. San Francisco 49ers: WR A.J. Jenkins, Illinois -- His 4.37
straight-line speed jumps off the page, and Jenkins is comparable to
2011 Ravens' first-round Torrey Smith, a sprinter with upside who paid
immediate dividends for Baltimore last season.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (draft-day trade with Denver): RB Doug Martin,
Boise State -- A bowling-ball runner with receiving skills, Martin is
comparable to Ray Rice, who was Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano's
workhorse at Rutgers.
32. New York Giants: RB David Wilson, Virginia Tech -- Track speed and
rare explosiveness should make Wilson a welcome weapon with Brandon Jacobs moved on and Ahmad Bradshaw fighting chronic foot issues.
Draft-day trade summary:
--The Browns acquired the No. 3 pick from the Vikings in exchange for
the No. 4 pick and picks in the fourth (118), fifth (139) and seventh
--The Jaguars acquired the No. 5 pick from the Buccaneers in exchange
for the seventh overall pick and the Jaguars' fourth-round pick (101).
--The Cowboys acquired the No. 6 pick from the St. Louis Rams for the
14th overall pick and their 2012 second-round pick (45).
--The Eagles acquired the 12th overall pick from the Seahawks in
exchange for the No. 15 selection, a fourth-round picks (114) and a
--The Patriots acquired the 21st overall pick from the Bengals in
exchange for the No. 27 pick and a third-round pick (93).
--The Patriots acquired the 25th overall pick from the Broncos for the
No. 31 pick and a fourth-round selection (126).
--The Vikings acquired the 29th overall pick from the Ravens for the
35th overall pick and a third-rounder (98).
--The Buccaneers acquired the 31st overall pick from the Broncos in
exchange for the 36th overall pick and a third-round selection (101)
NFL Draft: Analyzing Round One
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