General managers preparing for the 2013 NFL Draft have last April’s results ringing in their ears. For some it’s a beautiful sound; for some it’s already springing anxiety amongst the fan base. While it typically takes at least three or four years to determine the true value of a team’s draft class, the accelerated desire for results makes immediate impact increasingly critical.
Below are the top teams in terms of how much their 2012 draft class returned specifically last season — four of which made the 2012 playoffs.
Seattle Seahawks: Finding your franchise quarterback outside the first two rounds? Heresy! John Schneider‘s snagging of Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year candidates in quarterback Russell Wilson (third round) and linebacker Bobby Wagner (second) is the stuff of GM legend, while edge rusher Bruce Irvin (first), tailback Robert Turbin (fourth) and guard J.R. Sweezy also played very valuable roles.
Indianapolis Colts: I’m not praising GM Ryan Grigson for taking Andrew Luck first overall; I could’ve trained a monkey to do that. What’s impressive is his work in rounds three through five in tight end Dwayne Allen (third), T.Y. Hilton (third) and running back Vick Ballard (fifth) each providing immediate impact. Jury’s out on tight end Coby Fleener (second).
Washington Redskins: GM Bruce Allen, Mike Shanahan and Co. traded a king’s ransom for Robert Griffin III. Regardless of whether they keep him healthy it’s a stroke of initiative and brilliance. Quarterback Kirk Cousins (fourth) and tailback Alfred Morris (sixth) have already delivered on pick value.
Baltimore Ravens: I played my best Ozzie Newsome in Rant Sports’ upcoming mock draft, which left me with some pretty huge shoes to fill after last year’s output. Linebacker Courtney Upshaw (second) was crucial while Terrell Suggs recovered; Offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele and tailback Bernard Pierce played out of their minds during the playoff run.
More NFL Draft at Rant Sports: I analyzed which teams got the most and least out of their draft classes from 2011 (most, least), 2010 (most, least) and 2009 (most, least), along with the kings of the draft over that span.