Thursday, April 26, 2012

2012 NFL Draft Day

2012 NFL Draft Updates
Well, after a long wait, it's finally here, as the Colts are just 3 hours away from going on the clock for pick one, although each of the first 3 teams should already know exactly who they're choosing. After that though, it should get interesting, so stick here as we have updates, surprise picks and, of course, the 49ers selection and thoughts on that choice when it happens, though they won't pick until later this evening. We'll do sort of a "bullet point" post as we periodically add notes here throughout the day, so be sure to check in for updates every hour once the draft starts at 5 PM

  • We have our first trade of the day, as the Cleveland Browns traded up a spot to most likely ensure they land their targeted running back, Trent Richardson. It's a little surprising, seeing that they dealt with the Vikings, who were certainly not going to take Richardson with Adrian Peterson on their roster, but the Browns likely did this deal so no other team seeking Richardson can move into that 3-spot. Draft time is still about 40 minutes away.      

Well, the draft is underway, and the first three picks are already in, to nobodies surprise, Luck goes 1 to Indy, Griffin to Washington and Trent Richardson to Cleveland. The Vikings now may trade back to get more picks as Tampa wants Morris Claiborne and may move up to get him. We're not going to be a draft tracker and bring every single pick, but we'll likely do so for the top-10. We'll see what the Vikes, Bucs and Rams do.                                           

The first round continues to be littered with trades left and right, as the Cowboys are the latest to move up, into the the 6th spot trading with St. Louis, and have just selected Cb Morris Claiborne. The 5th pick was no surprise, as Jacksonville Jaguars took a much needed WR, Justin Blackmon. Now that the top-6 picks have gone off the board, none of which were any surprises as these 6 were expected to go top-6 all along, but we may now start to see some surprises. The Bucs surprised with Mark Barron at 7, a guy expected to go mid-late first round, but he's the best safety in the draft and makes sense as far as a needs standpoint in Tampa. Now the Dolphins are locks to take Ryan Tannehill at 8, but after that, it's going to be guess work as I wouldn't have thought Barron would have made it to the top-10, so who knows how things will go the rest of the way.

  • Top ten are in and here are the notes on them below, again, not too many surprises, though I guess the two biggest in my opinion were Barron going 7 and Kuiechly 9. Best value in top-10 I think goes to Dallas as they got a difference making DB, who could single-handely improve their pass defense. Biggest reach IMP was Gillmore at 10.

1. Andrew Luck, QB- Colts: No surprise here.
2. RG III, QB- Redskins: No surprise here.
3. Trent Richardson, RB, Browns: They traded picks to move up 1 spot for Draft's top back.
4. Matt Kalil, T, Vikings: Kalil will open up holes for Peterson and provide protection for Ponder.
5. Justin Blackmon, WR- Jaguars: Again, not much of a surprise here as they need a #1 WR.
6. Morris Claiborne, CB- Cowboys: The 'Boys needed a DB, and traded up for the best in draft.
7. Mark Barron, S, Buccaneers: The Bucks loaded up on offense in FA, now shift focus to D.
8. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins: Could be Ryan Leaf 2.0 or Ben Roethlisber 2.0. Project pick.
9. Luke Kuecihly, LB, Panthers: The Panthers needed defensive help, and got a rock solid LB.
10.Stephon Gillmore, CB, Bills: The Bills needed defense too, though this could be a reach.

  • Now, since the top-10 picks are in, we'll slow up a little on the coverage and not note every single pick form here on out. There are still a ton of elite prospects available, including Chandler Jones, Michael Floyd, Riley Rieff, David DeCastro, Dre Kirkpatrick, Melvin Ingram and possibly the best available, Fletcher Cox (expected to go as high as top-7). I think the 49ers may be surprised at who ends up falling to them at this rate.

Picks 10-20 Update: Some of those expected top-10'ers are starting to come off the board left and right. Since our last update, Cox, Dontari Poe and Floyd have gone off the table. I think the Rams were a bit surprised, as I think they dealt back to 14 thinking they'd be able to land WR Michael Floyd. I think we're going to start seeing the premium offensive players drop off the board quick. 49ers divisional rivals, the Rams, went with DT Michael Brockers at 14, and at 15, Seattle went OLB pass-rusher Bruce Irvin (A guy the 49ers were supposedly eying at 30). So As get ready to hit round 2 and all the NFC west picks in besides San Francisco's, I think the 49ers are going to have their choice of some players they didn't think would fall to them at 30. We'll continue our tracker type follower like we did the top-10 once we get to pick 20, as the 49ers close in on their choice. So far, in the first 15 picks, best value is Claiborne at 6 and biggest reach is Irvin at 14 (though he also could be steal if he realizes his talent and avoids off-field troubles). At 16, one of my favorites, OLB-hybrid Quinton Coples went to the Jets, taking away one possible target for the 49ers. And in the spot the Raiders should have picked, had they not traded it to Cincinatti, the Bengals took Dre Kirkpatrick at 17, arguably the 2nd best corner in the draft behind Claiborne and another player I was hoping might stick around until SF picks at 30. There have been some very good value picks but non more so than Chargers' linebacker (pick 18) Melvin Ingram, expected to go as high as pick-7 in a lot of mocks.

  • Update: As the 49ers go on he clock, they have a plethora of choices to choose from: WR Stephen Hill, G Cordy Glenn, T Mike Adams, CB Janoris Jenkins, LB Courtney Upshaw and Stanford's T Jonathan Martin and TE Coby Fleener, would all fit and I'd be happy with any of the above. 
  • And the 2012 49ers First Round Draft Pick Goes to WR A.J. Jenkins?
20: Kendall Wright, WR, Titans: The speedy, dynamic Baylor WR should complement Kenny Britt well.
21: Chandler Jones, DE, Patriots: A potential top-10 pick will vastly improve a woeful D.
22. Brandon Weeden, QB, Browns: Cle. strategizing beautifully with first picks, need WR in Rd. 2?
23. Riley Rieff, T, Lions: Solid value pick here, should be key in protecting Stafford.
24: David DeCastro, G, Steelers: Great pick, I was hoping he'd go to SF as he's best G in draft.
25. Dont'a Hightower, LB, Patriots: Another defensive pick for NE, another explosive defensive piece.
26. Whitney Mercilus, DE, Texans: Odd pick here as they have a good D, but could have used help on O.
27. Kevin Zietler, G, Bengals: The Bengals add to their O-line and get a highly ranked one in Zietler.
28. Nick Perry, DE, Packers: As I mocked, they add to A.J. Hawk and Clay Matthews with a great LB.
29. Harrison Barnes, S, Ravens: Solid defender adds to a solid
30. A.J. Jenkins, WR, 49ers: I'm not sure about this pick here? Would have went with Hill!

There you have it, the 49ers went with an expected 2nd-3rd round receiver in A.J. Jenkins, which makes little sense to me seeing that they could have gotten him in the 2nd round. He's supposedly polished and a smooth route runner, but with their adds at wideout in free agency, I don't know why they just didn't go guard or defense? Still on the fence on this pick, but after a 3 hour wait, I'm as surprised as any about this pick!

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