A Scout’s Take: 15 Thoughts on the 2012 NFL Draft

11) I absolutely love the depth at the WR positon in this years draft especially the prospects who will be drafted in the mid-rounds. I can’t remember another year where I have given this many WR prospects a draftable grade. Going off my rankings I will have somewhere between 40-45 prospects with a chance to be drafted. This will likely effect how teams draft WR early on in the draft. Knowing that they will be able to get talented WRs later in the draft teams at the top of the draft may opt to go after premium positions like QB, CB, OT, Pass Rush causing some of the top WRs to slide.

This year you could have a WR like Illinois’ AJ Jenkins fall to as low as the 5th-6th round when in years past he might have been a 3rd round pick. I believe we will also see a lot of different opinions on many of the WRs in the draft. A player like Juron Criner may have a second round grade on one teams board and another may view him as a 5th round pick. This stuff happens each year, but I think more so this year with the receivers. This will only make for an exciting and interesting draft.

12) The draft is always important for every NFL team, but no team may need a better draft than the New York Jets. I love listening to Rex Ryan every year after the draft talk about how “Kyle Wilson is the best CB in the draft” or how Kendrick Ellis is going to be a stud. But the reality is they have gotten very little impact from their draft picks in recent years.

Wilkerson and Kerley made nice impacts this year, but I view them as no more than role players. Picking in the mid teens and having major holes to fill they need to hit on their picks. The Jets will likely face cap issues for the foreseeable future thanks to doling out big deals in FA. If they aren’t able to improve their team through the draft it will likely be a quick fall. Pass rush has been a big problem as has the offensive line. I would expect the Jets to try and improve both early on. I also think it’s time Rex stops talking up his players in the media and gives it to them straight, but that post is for another day.

13) Living in the Boston area I have had the pleasure of watching Luke Kuechly play every game he has played in his college career. It’s been an absolute pleasure to watch a player play the game the way he does. Kuechly had the unenviable task of filling the shoes of reigning ACC defensive player of the year Mark Herzlich who was taking the 2009 season off to undergo cancer treatment. From his first game against Northeastern his freshman year it was obvious he was going to be a player.

His instincts on the field are second to none and the way he plays hard in every situation is something to be admired. Having the opportunity to stand on the BC sideline during the year, I got to see the kind of leader Kuechly is up close. Only a junior, Kuechly could be seen and heard coaching up not only the younger players but even some of the seniors. He is a player who knows what everyone else is supposed to do on each play. As impressive as he is on the field he is equally impressive off the field. Kuechly is an extremely smart and quiet kid. He shies away from the spotlight and doesn’t draw attention to himself. I have absolutely no doubt that Kuechly will be very successful in the NFL.

14) I have to say I was extremely disappointed and puzzled to see that Boston College CB Donnie Fletcher was not invited to the combine. Like Kuechly, he is a player I have seen play at length. I also got the chance to scout him all week against the top players in the country at the Senior Bowl. It seems Fletcher has gotten the short end of the stick here. He was badly misused at Boston College as a strickly off zone CB. He proved to be one of the most physical CB in Mobile and can attack the run. I know for a fact that he has drawn a lot of interest from a number of NFL teams. Fletcher shouldn’t let this get him down. 10% of the players drafted each year don’t get a combine invite and Fletcher will be part of that 10% this year.

15) Each year the current draft gets compared talent wise to years past. I often get asked how this draft compares to others. I am much higher on this years draft class than last years. I think last year we saw a significant drop off in talent somewhere in the middle of round two. This saw some teams (Patriots) trade out of some of the rounds because value wasn’t there. Just from doing mocks and comprehensive positional rankings this draft appears to be much deeper. I think teams will be able to find impactful players all the way through round 3 and into the beginning of round 4. This is just my take on it, so take it for what it’s worth.

This turned out a lot longer than anticipated, but I had fun doing it. I will be posting one of these every Thursday or Friday leading up to the draft.

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9 Responses to “A Scout’s Take: 15 Thoughts on the 2012 NFL Draft”

  1. HDHorvath says:

    u do an great job. research and insight sound superb and your writing is excellent. keep up the good work! Go Pats. Thx

  2. ObserverCollege says:

    You’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid on the two Eagles. Kuechly didn’t “accomplish” anything. He was a MAC-level safety who FRANK SPAZIANI turned into an award winning linebacker. Spaziani schooled Nick Saban on the Awards Banquet Circuit–beating out TWO of Saban’s 5-star proteges for the Lombardi, Butkus and Nagurski awards. That’s the mark of a great coach–he’ll take his’n and beat yours’n, and take yours’n and beat his’n. Kuechly was merely the vessel for Spaziani’s confirmation as the best BC coach in 15 years.

    Too bad the rest of former coach Jagodzinski’s recruits can’t seem to listen. People like this author keep telling Fletcher he’s a bump-and-run corner, so he gets a big head and doesn’t listen to a coach trying to protect him in a soft zone. Unlike Kuechly, who at least was smart enough to realize Coach Spaziani had schemed a Heisman campaign if he did everything correctly (although the Lombardi et al isn’t bad). If Fletcher had actually listened to his Head Coach, he’d have been a first-team All-American playing classic soft 2-deep zone. Instead, Fletcher sits home on Combine weekend wondering where it all went wrong.

  3. TD says:

    If there is quality and depth in this draft at DLine & WR, why the hell should BB use those 1st rounders at the end of the round?

    It may shake out that guys available in most of the 2nd round are as good of football players as anyone available at end of round 1.

    I say trade both 1st rounders for extra 2nd rounders and/or 1st/2nd rounders next year. More than likely BB can get DL’s, DB’s and a WR in rounds 2-3 that would be there at the end of round 1.

    I would expect BB to get a #2 and/or #3 WR in free agency. We also need some return guys, mostly kickoff returners.

  4. Jim R says:

    Looks like a lot of quality wr’s and Corners can be had after round 3 . That being the case. first 3 rounds DT, DE,OL and LB. You have to figure they will address WR and Safety in FA. They will not keep all 5 picks. Trade up, down and all around to get some extra goodies for next year.

  5. TD says:

    A Guard going top 10? A team could be looking at what N.O. got in 1997, Chris who?

    If this draft is indeed deeper, then I would expect BB to deal both first rounders if possible for more second and third round picks. I’m sure last year he really wanted to deal the first pick in round two.

    Nice to see the Jets get burned by the strategy of getting top priced mercenaries and trading most of their draft picks in order to move into higher spots start backfiring. For those pulling their hair out over BB’s picks, investigate the hit ratio of draft picks for the Jets.

  6. MJP says:

    Awesome job man, I agree on a lot of these issues. One topic I’ve been hung up on is Michael Brockers being the #1 overall DT. It should be noted that I have only seen him in a few games and I’ve only been able to dig up two other full games of his.

    Point being that I don’t see it with Brockers, at least not to the degree that most people do. He gets pushed around a lot, he doesn’t stand up to double teams like he should, he doesn’t rush the passer like he should and I would bet most of his TFL’s were not of his singular doing…I believe that Defense created most of the hype around him.

    I do see his physical attributes being utilized when he stunts or pushes the pocket to get his hands into passing lanes but that’s about it, there’s nothing really dynamic about his game right now that would inspire me to use anything more than say the 25th pick on him…(he looks more like Tyson Jackson than Richard Seymour).

  7. Rick says:

    lol cool face at number 8!

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