Analyzing 1st round of NFL draft

By Ron Green Jr.

McClatchy Newspapers

Published: Thursday, April 26 2012 11:41 p.m. MDT

A pick-by-pick look at the first round of the 2012 NFL draft:

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Now that Peyton Manning has exited Indianapolis, the keys to the kingdom belong to Luck, who seems to have just about everything a team could want in a quarterback.

2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

In his Heisman Trophy-winning senior year, Griffin showed his uncommon blend of skills coupled with his almost infectious energy on the field.

3. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

The Browns so wanted Richardson that they swapped draft positions with the Vikings and gave up three picks to do it.

4. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, Southern Cal

The Vikings got their man in Kalil, considered the best offensive line prospect in the draft.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

The Jaguars wanted Blackmon badly enough that they traded up to make sure they got the player considered to be the best downfield receiving threat available.

6. Dallas Cowboys: Morris Claiborne, DB, LSU

The Cowboys traded up to get who they wanted — a superior defensive back prospect who can instantly upgrade their secondary.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mark Barron, SS, Alabama

The Bucs took a big step to upgrade its defensive secondary in drafting Barron.

8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

The Dolpins reunited Tannehill with his former head coach in College Station, Tex., Mike Sherman who is the new offensive coordinator.

9. Carolina Panthers: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

The Panthers drafted one of the most talented players on the board.

10. Buffalo Bills: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

Gilmore rocketed up draft charts in the evaluation period.

11. Kansas City Chiefs: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

Poe was an intriguing prospect for several teams looking for defensive help up front, especially after he impressed scouts with his performance at the combine.

12. Philadelphia Eagles: Fletcher Cox, DE, Mississippi St.

The Eagles moved up to draft Cox.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

The Cardinals found someone to take some of the defensive attention away from superstar receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

14. St. Louis Rams: Michael Brockers, DT LSU

Looking for a player to build around in the middle of the defense, new coach Jeff Fisher can start with Brockers.

15. Seattle Seahawks: Bruce Irvin, DE, West Virginia

Some analysts felt Irvin was the best pure pass rusher in the draft but there were some character concerns.

16 New York Jets: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

There was plenty of smoke around Coples and the Panthers prior to the draft before the Panthers settled on Luke Kuechly.

17. Cincinnati Bengals: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

It quickly got tougher to throw on the Bengals with their addition of Kirkpatrick.

18. San Diego Chargers: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

The Chargers may have plans to make Ingram an outside linebacker but he has shown the athletic ability to play where needed.

19. Chicago Bears: Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State

McClellin played multiple roles for the Broncos with his production increasing each year.

20. Tennessee Titans: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

The Titans were looking for a downfield threat and they found one in Wright.

21. New England Patriots: Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse

Considered a third-round pick when he decided to leave Syracuse, Jones made perhaps the biggest jump before the draft.

22. Cleveland Browns: Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma St.

The Browns hope they've found an answer at quarterback in Weeden, who produced big numbers at Oklahoma State.

23. Detroit Lions: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

Offensive tackles aren't sexy on draft night but they come in handy when the season gets going.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

The Steelers have a way to finding what they need through the draft and DeCastro seems to fit their style as a rugged, effective interior lineman.

25. New England Patriots: Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama

The fourth player picked off Alabama's smothering defense, Hightower made an impressive move up draft charts despite a sluggish start last season.

26. Houston Texans: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois

After losing Mario Williams from a superior defensive unit, the Texans moved to re-fortify themselves by drafting a powerful defensive end.

27. Cincinnati Bengals: Kevin Zietler, OG, Wisconsin

Needing help along the offensive front, the Bengals took one of the pieces from Wisconsin's massive offensive line in Zietler.

28. Green Bay Packers: Nick Perry, DE, Southern Cal

The Packers knew they had holes to fill on a defense that was at the bottom of the league rankings last year and they started about it by drafting Perry.

29. Baltimore Ravens: Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame

A team known for its defense put another important piece on its roster in drafting Smith.

30. San Francisco 49ers: A.J Jenkins, WR, Illinois

Jenkins turned a breakout 2011 season into a draft spot at the end of the first round.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Doug Martin, RB, Boise State

Looking for running back help, the Bucs traded up to get in position to draft Martin.

32. N.Y. Giants: David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech

He can break big runs but he can also go quiet at times.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS