April 26, 2012

Live Draft Grades: Round 1



2012 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1
(Thursday, April 26, 2012)



1. Andrew Luck*, QB, Stanford
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 234 lbs. | Class: Junior


Analysis: This pick was set midway through the 2011 season. Andrew Luck needs some weapons around him, but they can finally begin the post Peyton Manning era in Indianapolis.

Grade: A





2. Robert Griffin III*, QB, Baylor
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 223 lbs. | Class: Junior
(via St. Louis)


Analysis: The perfect fit for Mike Shanahan's offense, Robert Griffin III is a gamer. There is not much separation between him and Luck, and the Redskins finally have a franchise quarterback in place.

Grade: A





3. Trent Richardson*, RB, Alabama
Ht: 5-9 Wt: 228 lbs. | Class: Junior
(via Minnesota)


Analysis: I'm not a big fan of moving up one spot in the draft, but Cleveland got their guy. When you select the best player on the board and fill a need, that always earns an A grade from me.

Grade: A





4. Matt Kalil*, OT, Southern California
Ht: 6-7 Wt: 306 lbs. | Class: Junior
(via Cleveland)


Analysis: Now I am a little disappointed that I didn't stick with Kalil in my Mock Draft. This is absolutely the right move. Matt Kalil is an elite left tackle who will keep Christian Ponder upright for the next ten years.

Grade: A





5. Justin Blackmon*, WR, Oklahoma State
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 207 lbs. | Class: Junior
(via Tampa Bay)


Analysis: Great job by Gene Smith to trade up and get Justin Blackmon. Although not in the same class as A.J. Green or Julio Jones, Blackmon is a true number one receiver who will help Blaine Gabbert take that next step.

Grade: A





6. Morris Claiborne*, CB, Louisiana State
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 188 lbs. | Class: Junior
(via St. Louis)


Analysis: Giving Up a second round pick to take the best corner in the draft? I'm all in. Morris Claiborne helps bolster the secondary, and there is nothing wrong with that. Jerry Jones saw an opportunity, and he seized it!

Grade: A





7. Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 213 lbs. | Class: Senior
(via Jacksonville)


Analysis: Mark Barron is a solid prospect, and an impact player, but not worth a top 10 pick in my opinion. Still, Tampa didn't have too many options here, and need to upgrade the safety position, so not bad considering they missed out on Richardson and Claiborne.

Grade: C





8. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 221 lbs. | Class: Senior


Analysis: This pick was a given, but Ryan Tannehill is still a reach here. I won't punish Miami too much, however, as they needed to make this pick from a need and fan perspective.

Grade: B





9. Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 242 lbs. | Class: Senior


Analysis: Kuechly has been a strong option all along, but they may have been better served taking a defensive lineman. Still, although linebacker is not a huge need for them, Kuechly was arguably the best player on the board, and can be a leader on defense.

Grade: B





10. Stephon Gilmore*, CB, South Carolina
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 190 lbs. | Class: Junior


Analysis: Buffalo continues to bolster its defense. They needed a corner, and Gilmore is a play maker at the position, and could start right away (although he is a slight reach). Riley Reiff or Michael Floyd may have made a little more sense, but Gilmore is a fine pick.

Grade: B





11. Dontari Poe*, NT, Memphis
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 346 lbs. | Class: Junior


Analysis: A risk-reward type of prospect, Dontari Poe has great upside, but according to his tape he is a late first rounder at best. Still, Romeo Crennel can work with this athletic, big bodied nose tackle anchoring the middle of their defense, although David DeCastro would've been the better pick.

Grade: C





12. Fletcher Cox*, DT, Mississippi State
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 298 lbs. | Class: Junior
(via Seattle)


Analysis: Good move for the Eagles. They could use a defensive tackle, and Fletcher Cox is the best one in the draft. He is the best pass rushing defensive tackle, but is also good against the run. Although they had to trade up to get him, he may prove to be worth it.

Grade: A





13. Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 220 lbs. | Class: Senior


Analysis: Michael Floyd was arguably the best player on the board, and having him opposite Larry Fitzgerald is great. However, they did not select an offensive tackle, which should have been their top priority.

Grade: B





14. Michael Brockers**, DT, Louisiana State
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 322 lbs. | Class: Sophomore
(via Dallas)


Analysis: Michael Brockers did not have the major production in college, but he has great upside as a pass rusher, and is already an excellent run stopper. They missed out on two very good receivers, but they do fill a need here.

Grade: B





15. Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 245 lbs. | Class: Senior
(via Philadelphia)


Analysis: Quinton Coples, Melvin Ingram, Chandler Jones, and Nick Perry all on the board... and they take a late second-to early third round situational pass rusher with a lot of baggage. Way to screw this pick up.


Grade: F





16. Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 284 lbs. | Class: Senior


Analysis: Quinton Coples is a top ten talent, and is considered a steal here. I'm actually surprised the Jets didn't take Melvin Ingram, and they have a bigger need for a pass rushing linebacker. But still, Coples is a nice pick.


Grade: B





17. Dre Kirkpatrick*, CB, Alabama
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 186 lbs. | Class: Junior
(via Oakland)


Analysis: The best player on the board that fills a need, Kirkpatrick is a talented corner who should make an impact right away.


Grade: A





18. Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 264 lbs. | Class: Senior


Analysis: Melvin Ingram fell to them, so they had to capitalize. Yes, the Chargers need offensive line help, but Ingram is a versatile pass rusher who can make an immediate impact.

Grade: A





19. Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise State
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 260 lbs. | Class: Senior


Analysis: With Riley Reiff and David DeCastro still on the board, I still thought they would choose a pass rusher, but not Shea McClellin. This is about a round too high for McClellin, and although he is versatile, I don't think he is a great fit with Chicago. Neglecting Jay Cutler and passing on local prospect Whitney Mercilus hurts their grade.

Grade: C





20. Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 196 lbs. | Class: Senior


Analysis: Interesting pick. The Titans could use another pass rusher, and David DeCastro was still on the board. But hey, Kendall Wright gives Jake Locker another weapon in the passing game, and I like him a lot.

Grade: B





21. Chandler Jones*, DE, Syracuse
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 266 lbs. | Class: Junior
(via Cincinnati)


Analysis: The brother of Jon "Bones" Jones is still more of a second round prospect in my opinion, but New England liked him a lot, and traded up for him. Pass rushers are at a premium, and The Patriots did a good job of addressing a need.

Grade: B





22. Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 221 lbs. | Class: Senior
(via Atlanta)


Analysis: I do like Brandon Weeden, but selecting a 28 year old quarterback late in the first round, when you could have possibly gotten him in round 2, doesn't make much sense. They should be trying to surround Colt McCoy with talent, and unless Weeden starts right away and succeeds, this isn't such a great pick.

Grade: D





23. Riley Reiff*, OT, Iowa
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 313 lbs. | Class: Junior


Analysis: Excellent pick. I figured Reiff would fall to Detriot, and they actually took him. He is the second best tackle prospect in the draft, and a top 10 talent. Getting Matthew Stafford's future blindside protector here is a steal.

Grade: A





24. David DeCastro*, OG, Stanford
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 316 lbs. | Class: Junior


Analysis: Another excellent pick. David DeCastro is the best guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson, and should have been a top 10 pick. Dont'a Hightower was going to be the pick, but Pittsburgh didn't know DeCastro would fall to them.

Grade: A





25. Dont'a Hightower*, ILB, Alabama
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 265 lbs. | Class: Junior
(via Denver)


Analysis: Dont'a Hightower is a good prospect, but should New England really have traded up for him? I don't know. Linebacker is not a huge need for them, and I wonder how they will use him. He is arguably the best player on the board here, so I could understand it from that standpoint.

Grade: B





26. Whitney Mercilus*, DE/OLB, Illinois
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 254 lbs. | Class: Junior


Analysis: The Texans organization knows exactly what it's doing. They didn't reach for a receiver, and although Cordy Glenn and Jonathan Martin were still on the board, picking up the best pass rusher on the board makes sense. With Brooks Reed, Connor Barwin, and Whitney Mercilus, Houston has a great group off pass rushers.

Grade: A





27. Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 314 lbs. | Class: Senior
(via New Orleans)


Analysis: After trading down, I though Courtney Upshaw would be the pick. However the Bengals did a good job of filling a need by selecting a guard. Cordy Glenn is more versatile and a slightly better prospect, but Zeitler may be better in the long run, and can start right a way. Solid pick.

Grade: B





28. Nick Perry*, DE/OLB, Southern California
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 271 lbs. | Class: Junior


Analysis: Some people are not fans of Perry, but I am. He is a very talented pass rushing prospect who's best fit is defensive end in a 4-3, but he is capable of rushing the passer standing up. Adding a pass rusher opposite Clay Matthews was a great move makes perfect sense.

Grade: A





29. Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 213 lbs. | Class: Senior
(via Baltimore)


Analysis: I'm not a huge fan of Minnesota trading back into round one to select Harrison Smith, but he is an upgrade at the safety position. He does many things well, and is the second best safety in the draft. Solid pick for the Vikings.

Grade: B





30. A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 190 lbs. | Class: Senior


Analysis: A.J. Jenkins improved his stock over the past few weeks, and is a solid prospect. But with Peter Konz, Cordy Glenn, Coby Fleener, and Stephen Hill on the board, I'm disappointed in the 49ers. They could have solidified the interior of their offensive line or gotten a potential steal in Stephen Hill. Jenkins was more of a third round prospect though, so this is a bit surprising. Because of the lack of value, they get a low grade.

Grade: D





31. Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
Ht: 5-9 Wt: 223 lbs. | Class: Senior
(via New England)


Analysis: One of the best picks of round one. Tampa Bay traded back into the first round ahead of the Giants to get a three down back. Martin is a first round talent who along with LeGarrette Blount gives the Bucs a more successful running game.

Grade: A





32. David Wilson*, RB, Virginia Tech
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 206 lbs. | Class: Junior


Analysis: David Wilson is actually a slight reach here, considering Jonathan Martin, Cordy Glenn, Coby Fleener, and Stephen Hill were all still on the board. The Giants needed another running back, and the talented Wilson is a solid pick. This grade is only lower because there were several other prospects ahead of Wilson.

Grade: C