Wednesday, May 2, 2012

2012 NFL Drafts Biggest Winners, Losers

Well, I don't fell like going through every single team's draft and grading out how I felt they did in the recent draft. We won't know how any of these players fair until they start playing anyway, so obviously, my winners and losers are the teams who I felt either picked the best prospects, or missed the best prospects, and unfortunately for the Silver and Black fans, they fall into the bad category in this one. This doesn't account for any un-drafted signings, just what each team did with it's draft selections.

Biggest Winners:

Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals, In my opinion, dominated this draft by nabbing some of the best prospects at each position. They ended up getting 5 guys who projected into the first round in various mock drafts, from their first pick, Dre Kirkpatrick through guys like DT Devon Still, WR Mohammed Sanu, G Kevin Zietler and DT Brandon Washington. They also added a sound run blocking tight end in Orson Charles, who was a top-5 tight end on most boards. Just an all around good draft when you get a potential shut-down corner, starting wideout, guard and two stud DT's. They did well with their other selections as well.

Luck Goes #1 to Indy
Indianapolis Colts: They got their franchise QB, and got him two good tight-ends, as he's shown a knack for using them quite often. They even were able to get his buddy in from Stanford, Coby Fleener, with whom he connected for 10 TD's last season with. He'll take Dallas Clark's old spot, but provide more athleticism and speed to beat LB's and Safeties in coverage. They also got a good blocking TE in Dwayne Allen, a guy who can also catch the ball but makes it a priority to knock defenders down. For these picks alone, they have to be considered one of the top-5 winners of this years draft. They have a whole new makeup on offense now.

New Enlgand Patriots: Now, this hurts to admit cause this is not a team that needed to improve like they did in this draft. They took an ordinary, beatable defense and have really made it over. They took two front-7 players in Dont'a Hightower and Chandler Jones, that have the chance to wreck havoc on opposing QB's. They also helped out their thin secondary by adding a solid CB in the later rounds in Alfonzo Dennard, a guy I was hoping the Raiders or 49ers would select. It wouldn't surprise me if all three of these guys are starting for them come September and not only that, but producing!

St. Louis Rams: They didn't need RGIII, and it paid off dearly because of it. Instead, they turned that #2 into a whole bunch of picks, with which they landed a ton of value and potential. Michael Brockers should start immediately at DT for them, and could contribute 8-10 sacks as early as his rookie season, that's how good he is at penetrating the line from the DT spot. Then they got the uber-talented, built and fast Brian Quick, who has been gaining favorable comparisons to Terrell Owens. The pick that really sealed it though was grabbing Janoris Jenkins with one of those picks they got from Washington. They ended up with 3 first round talents with those guys. Isaih Pead is also highly thought of, so much so that some NFL people believe he'll start to take over RB duties for STL. and take time away from Stephen Jackson starting now. I don't know about all that talk, but at least he'll give them a nice C.O.P. back that will take the load of Jack and give the Rams a Ben Tate-type back to rotate with their pro-bowler. All around good draft for St. Louis as they seemed to get everything, they even got good value at corner (Trumaine Robinson) and LB (Aaron Brown) late in the draft.

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles are another team that had some gaping holes on their D that they addressed. They added the best pure D-lineman in the draft in Fletcher Cox, and then got stout ILB Michael Kyndricks and another D-lineman in end and pass-rush specialist Vinny Curry who was 6th in the nation in sacks last season. They also added a corner that's no slouch in Brandon Boykin and finally, they added potential heir apparent to Mike Vick in Arizona's Nick Foles. I almost forgot, they also got Miami G Brandon Washington, a big-time talent who just needs the right coaching to keep his motor running at all times. I think the Bengals were far and away the best in the AFC in terms of draft choices, and the Eagles have to get the NFC's honor.

Honorable Mention: Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers

Biggest Losers:

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks had a top-10 pick, and surprised the whole nation by selecting LB Bruce Irvin, a D-2 Linebacker who, granted dominated for his respective school, was a projected mid-round choice. They passed up more sure bets at spots they could have used help (O-line especially) than any other team. There other picks were even worse, as they took ILB Bobby Wagner and QB Russell Wilson way higher than they were thought to be going. Wilson really boggles my mind because the Seahawks need a QB of the future, and there were some nice ones out there when they chose the 5'11" Wilson in round 3! As solid and as good of value Cinci and Philly's drafts were, Seattle's was the complete opposite.

New Orleans Saints: Seattle's draft was bad, but nobody has been struggling like the New Orleans Saints of late, and it carried over into their drafting. They didn't have a first rounder, trading it last year to ensure they got the so far un-productive Mark Ingram, so they were behind the 8-ball to start with, sorta like the Raiders. I think the best player NO drafted was WR Nick Toon, who they got in the 3rd round, but their first pick of the draft was a reach in DT Akeim Hicks. He could end up being a hog, or he could end up being cut bu opening week, that's how up uncertain their 2nd rounder is. Toon, I expect, will thrive with Drew Brees throwing to him and should make in impact right off the bat, the only pick they can say that about.

6'8" Brock Osweiler
Denver Broncos: The Broncos didn't get one single player I think will ever be a good starter at the NFL level. Their draft is average at best, and that has them as a clear loser. Brock Osweiler is the only bright prospect that could turn into something special, because of his size and rocket right-arm, but Derek Wolfe is not a star player, he was good in college, but is too slow and small to dominate the NFL, and they passed up a lot of talent at pick 36 in order to pick him. I also think the QB would have been there for them just 10 picks later in the next round, and they could have gotten two studs in the 2nd like, for instance, Janoris Jenkins and WR Rueben Randle, a stud Corner and a stud WR that Peyton Manning could have turned into a pro-bowler. Had they gone that route, then gotten their QB in round 3, they would have gotten some real value in round 2. Instead, they have an average D-End and a project QB.

Oakland Raiders: Last But not least in our list of the Draft's losers is are our very own Oakland Raiders. Yes, it sucks to admit if your a Raider fan, but face it, they weren't in any great shape for this draft after the Carson Palmer deal. That was their draft, and unfortunately, much of next years as well. They ended up with a very ordinary lineman in Tony Bergstrom with the last pick in the third round, but I think they could have gotten more talent with that pick. I did like the Juron Criner selection, but the Raiders are already stock-piled with upside wideouts that just need work and Criner will be just another face in the crowd. Weak draft for them, you'd think they would have taken a chance on a QB or something and hoped to hit gold late in the draft, but they just went mostly with lineman and linebackers. Needless to say, they won't be getting much help from this years draft class.

That's really it as far as losers in my mind. Every other team got at least one player that I think can turn into an NFL superstar, or at least has to tools to do so. The Falcons were almost on the list, as they to were without a first rounder, but they came up with one a guy many thought to be a top-10 pick in Peter Konz in round 2, so you have to give them that.

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