I will be doing a live blog of the NFL draft 2012 as the draft happens here, with focus on the Atlanta Falcons picks as well as players picked from the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and other local schools.
I invite you to follow along, comment and make your own predictions as the draft unfolds, or tweet me at @GaSportsCraze
First round facts:
There were eight trades involving 12 teams on draft night
The Cowboys made the biggest jump, moving from 14 to 6
1 – Indianapolis Colts, – Andrew Luck, QB – Stanford. Not like the Colts hadn’t made this one clear. It’s going to be a long year for the young man. As GM would you have taken Luck over RG3? Comment below.
2 – Washington Redskins, – Robert Griffin III, QB – Baylor. Another non-surprise. I love his skills and his football smarts. Redskins made a good move trading up for this pick.
3 – Cleveland Browns, – Trent Richardson, RB – Alabama. The Browns gave up two 4th round picks, a 5th round and a 7th round pick to move up one spot for Richardson. Hefty price to pay. Worth the risk?
4 – Minnesota Vikings, – Matt Kalil, OT – USC. Solid pick. Definitely best offensive lineman in the draft. Minnesota needed help up front.
5 – Jacksonville Jaguars, – Justin Blackmon, WR – Oklahoma St. Wow…Didn’t expect the Bucs to give that pick away. Thought they really were in love with the Claiborne idea. This is a little too high for Blackmon in my opinion. Jags need a QB to throw to him.
6 - Dallas Cowboys, – Morris Claiborne, CB – LSU. Dallas addressing a need for sure here. Gave up 2 picks to get him but given the fact that he was available at number 6 I think it’s a solid move by the Cowboys.
7 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, – Mark Barron, S – Alabama. Not sure he was this high on anyone’s draft board. Definitely addresses a need for the Bucs, but I can’t see wanting him over Claiborne.
8 – Miami Dolphins, – Ryan Tannehill, QB – Texas A&M. There are a lot of things I like about Tannehill, but he is a project that will take some development time. Not sure that’s the answer to the Dophins QB issue.
9 – Carolina Panthers, – Luke Kuechly, ILB – Boston College. This pick is a steal in my opinion. Kuechly doesn’t get the face time of some others in this draft playing for BC, but he’s a beast.
10 – Buffalo Bills, – Stephon Gilmore, CB – South Carolina. Bills took best player available, and someone they needed. Gilmore can impact right away for them.
11 – Kansas City Chiefs, – Dontari Poe, DT – Memphis. Poe was great in the combine, but given KCs offensive issues last year, I can’t say I agree with this pick. Especially leaving Lamichael James sitting there
12 – Philadelphia Eagles, – Fletcher Cox, DT – Mississippi State. Eagles make the trade and hit a gem with Cox. Speedy DT with unreal skills. Will make the trenches in Philly much more formidable.
13 – Arizona Cardinals, – Michael Floyd, WR – Notre Dame. Many had Floyd rated higher than Blackmon at the WR position. Cardinals got a player, but did it really fill a need for them? Comment and tell me.
14 – St. Louis Rams – Michael Brockers, DT – LSU. Good pick for the Rams. Brockers gives them some size and speed on that line, although I think they should have looked at OL first.
15 – Seattle Seahawks – Bruce Irvin, OLB/DE – West Virginia. Not an every down player, but great speed when he plays at the end position. Pass rush specialist will definitely benefit the Seahawks.
16 – New York Jets, – Quinton Coples, DE – North Carolina. And once again, the Jets pick against the grain. Ground and pound is at a stand still, so they pick a defensive end. Go figure.
17 – Cincinnati Bengals, – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB – Alabama. The third pick out of Alabama tonight. Bengals will get what they need out of Kirkpatrick. Great ball skills and closing speed.
18 – San Diego Chargers, – Melvin Ingram, DE – South Carolina. Best DE left on the board in my opinion. Gives the Chargers a good pass rush guy, as well as someone who can play the run even though he’s a bit undersized. He basically beat UGA on his own this season.
19 – Chicago Bears, – Shea McClellin, OLB – Boise State. Curious pick, but a good one. Really figured the Bears to look at OL or WR. Bears don’t normally take defensive players in first round.
20 – Tennessee Titans, – Kendall Wright, WR – Baylor. Wright can flat out fly, might be a good deep target for Locker. A bit small though. I’ll give that pick a B-
21 – New England Patriots, – Chandler Jones, DE – Syracuse. Pats traded up to get the player they wanted here. They wanted a pass rusher, and he’s a good one. Huge pick up for what was a weak New England defense last season.
22 – Cleveland Browns, – Brandon Weeden, QB – Okalhoma State. Wow…just…wow. The Browns take yet ANOTHER first round QB. Colt McCoy…polish your resume, or..not.
23 – Detroit Lions, – Riley Reiff, OT – Iowa, Protect your franchise QB, and give Megatron time to run his routes. Solid pick, Lions got a winner.
24 – Pittsburgh Steelers, – David DeCastro, OG, Stanford. DeCastro did a great job of opening up holes on that line in Stanford. Big, space eater who will be a big boost to the Steelers run game.
25 – New England Patriots, – Dont’a Hightower, LB – Alabama. The Patriots trade up once again in the first round and add another big piece to what will be a revamped defense. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Pats know how to draft.
26 – Houston Texans, – Whitney Mercilus, DE – Illinois. I figured the Texans to look for a WR or OG, although I know they wanted to at least try to put in replacement for Mario Williams. Decent pick. They have a number of needs.
27 – Cincinnati Bengals, – Kevin, Zeitler, OG – Wisconsin. Should be a big help to the Bengals run game. Ravens had their eye on him, so Bengals took care of a need and thwarted a divisional foe. Nice.
28 – Green Bay Packers, – Nick Perry, DE – USC. Packers needed to address defense, and they did. Perry can play DE or LB, and has great pass rush ability. Good pick.
29 – Minnesota Vikings, – Harrison Smith, S – Notre Dame. Vikings give up a 2nd and a 4th round pick to take a big step up in their secondary. Smith converted from OLB to safety. Should be a versatile player for the Vikings.
30 – San Francisco 49ers, – A.J. Jenkins, WR – Illinois. Not surprise pick as far as position, but I think Stephen Hill would have been a better fit.
31 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers, – Doug Martin, RB – Boise State. Tampa needed to add some depth in the running game. Was this the best RB available? I’m on the fence.
32 – New York Giants, – Davis Wilson, RB – Virginia Tech. This is the back I would have figured the Bucs to take. Speedy slashing type runner. Great catching passes out of the backfield too and can return kicks. Superb pick by the Giants.
Best first round: New England Patriots, who traded up twice – from 27/31 to 21/25 – to get two excellent defenders that they coveted and still managed to keep two 2nd round picks in their pocket.
Most questionable first round: Miami Dolphins taking quarterback Ryan Tannehill. With all the good quarterbacks on the board, the Dolphins went with a guy who was converted to QB after two years playing wide receiver. No doubt the relationship between Mike Sherman and Tannehill had something to do with it, but Miami needed a “win now” QB in my opinion rather than a project.
Best Players left on the board:
Courtney Upshaw, OLB – Alabama, Coby Fleener, TE – Stanford, Cordy Glenn, OT – Georgia
Be sure to follow on with my round 2-3 blog as well. Keep comments coming, and let me know how you think your team did in the first round.