Re-Picking the 2012 NFL Draft

Dont'a Hightower 2012 NFL draft

Would Dont’a Hightower still be a New England Patriot? (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The 2012 NFL Draft isn’t even seven months old, but with the NFL season halfway over some teams are already second guessing their selections.

As always some rookies have greatly exceeded expectations, while some have struggled to adjust to the NFL game. If the draft was re-done today, halfway through the current season how would the draft look?

* I am using the order that the teams actually picked in, so if a team traded up or down to make their selection the order reflects the final order.

1) Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Luck has shown everything expected of a number one pick. While Griffin started off fast Luck has been the more consistent player and he has the Colts in the playoff hunt with a 6-3 record. (Actual Pick: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford)

2) Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Griffin is off to a great start showing impressive accuracy on down field passes and escapability. His long term durability is going to be a question unless he learns how to protect himself, but he has become the face of the franchise. (Actual Pick: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor)

3) Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
While Doug Martin has better stats, Richardson has more potential and hasn’t been the centerpiece of the Browns offense. Richardson is playing in a much tougher division and of a worse offense, yet still has very good results. (Acutal Pick: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama)

4) Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil, OT, USC
The top four stays exactly the same. Kalil has provided some badly needed stability to a porous Vikings offensive line. He has shown the athleticism and agility to be an elite left tackle within a few seasons. (Actual Pick: Matt Kalil, OT, USC)

5) Jacksonville Jaguars – Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
The Jaguars have the worst pass rush in the NFL recording only 10.0 sacks in nine games. They haven’t done much to address the horrendous pass rush. Jones is second among rookies in sacks with 6.0, but has shown the ability to make an impact in all phases of the game. He rarely comes off the field and is one of the favorites for defensive rookie of the year. (Actual Pick: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State)

6) Dallas Cowboys – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Another season and it looks like another mediocre outcome for the Cowboys. It’s clear the Cowboys are going to have to find their QB of the future and if the draft was re-done the Cowboys would have their shot at Tannehill who has exceeded all expectations so far and looks like a rising star. (Actual Pick: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M)

7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
Martin ends up with the same team, but a lot richer. It took him a little while to breakout, but he has been one of the two or three best running backs in the NFL the last month. Martin is an every down RB with the ability to make an impact in both the running and passing game. (Actual Pick: Mark Barron, S, Alabama)

8) Miami Dolphins – Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin
Wilson has shown all the same skills that he did while in college despite being undersized; leadership, quick delivery, down-field accuracy and the ability to perform in big situations. Wilson would likely have similar success to Tannehill if they switched spots. (Actual Pick: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M)

9) Carolina Panther – Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt
Hayward has been the best rookie defensive back in the NFL. Hayward has great ball skills and always finds a way to make a big play. The Panthers secondary is in desperate need of another CB and Hayward would step right in and start. (Actual Pick: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College)

10) Buffalo Bills -Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
The Buffalo Bills front seven was supposed to be greatly improved, but the real problem has been the struggles of the linebackers. While Kuechly has made some rookie mistakes he is a tackling machine and is getting better with each game. Currently he is 3rd in the NFL in tackles and has a shot of leading the NFL in tackles as a rookie. (Actual Pick: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina)

11) Kansas City Chiefs – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Kansas City has really missed CB Brandon Carr and while Claiborne has struggled at times his long term potential is still greater than any other defensive back in this draft class. (Actual Pick: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis)

12) Philadelphia Eagles – Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State
Prior to the draft I was extremely high on Wagner and through the Eagles were a perfect fit for him. Wagner has been one of the best rookies in the NFL, starting from day one. His athleticism and playmaking ability would fit in perfectly with the Eagles struggling defense. (Actual Pick: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State)

13) Arizona Cardinals – Cordy Glenn, OT, Georgia
The Cardinals passed on filling a major need area for a luxury piece in WR Michael Floyd. Glenn hasn’t been perfect, but he has started from day one and would immediately be the best offensive tackle on the Cardinals roster. (Actual Pick: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame)

14) St. Louis Rams – Mark Barron, S, Alabama
The Rams safety position is a major area of need and needs to be addressed. While Barron has been up and down during the season he has shown all the potential that made him a top ten pick. (Actual Pick: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU)

15) Seattle Seahawks– Bruce Irvin, DE, West Virginia
Seattle shocked everyone by making Irvin a top 15 pick, but halfway through his rookie season it looks like they got it right. Irvin has 7.0 sacks and has shown the ability to be an excellent speed rusher. He may never be more than a situational player, but he can really get after the QB and that is exceptionally valuable in the NFL. (Acutal Pick: Bruce Irvin, DE, West Virginia)

16) New York Jets – Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska
The Jets wanted to get younger and faster at the linebacker position and did that by drafting Demario Davis in the second round. David has been one of the best rookie defenders, consistently making plays all over the field. He would provide smarts, leadership and speed to the Jets aging defense. (Actual Pick: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina)

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6 Responses to “Re-Picking the 2012 NFL Draft”

  1. Pete says:

    Pats had a great draft. Two startes with All-Pro potential, and maybe two more starters (Dennard/Wilson) as well as a core special teams player. You also need to include Francis and Bolden who could also be starters down the road. If Bequette ever turns out to be a Cunningham then this draft is a slam dunk.

    Next year we add a touch of youth to the OL, another in the secondary and if we can just find a #2 WR in the draft then the PATs are going to havethe core to see us throughthe end of Brady’s carrer.

  2. robert says:

    Morris Claiborne was the 6th pick not Ryan Tannehill

  3. Chris Royal says:

    Demario Davis was a 3rd round pick

  4. D.S.T. says:

    Basically, the Pats got a really good set of draft picks. They got a top-5 guy, a top 20 guy, Wilson is worth the 2nd rounder, Dennard was worth a fifth, Ebner was worth a sixth, the only question mark is Bequette.

    Patriots drafting the past three years has been absolutely stellar.

  5. Chris from Bolivia says:

    John Schneider, Seahawks GM, deserves a lot of credit for thinking “outside the box” and going for ultra-talented players with huge upside. By the way, Pete Carroll just today went on the record saying that Bruce Irving, DE, has been playing well against the snaps, which he wasn’t quite expecting this early. He is also being groomed to back-up Chris Clemos (7 sacks so far), so his playing time is slim, but his learning curve is helped by a player very similar to him in size, build, and speed. Even though Bruce might catch a cheetah in the Savanaah!

    • Mike Loyko says:

      Certainly. I don’t think Irvin will ever be anything more than a situational rusher, but that has value. Wagner looks like a stud.

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