After a torrid weekend filled with trades, excitement and disappointment, the 2012 NFL Draft is finally behind us, and once again a bunch of people my age are about to make millions of dollars right out of college because they can play football. I played football in high school. How about throwing a few thousand my way, Roger Goodell? While I eagerly await Mr. Goodell’s reply, let’s look back on the draft and see if we can’t find something interesting to talk about.
First off, what was with all of the trades in the opening round? Even the New England Patriots got in on the action. They’ve been known to make trades in the draft, but rarely do they ever trade up. Bill Belichick likes turning one pick into multiple picks. This year they traded up not only once, but twice in the first round. They never trade up, let alone use both of their first round picks; they are usually more than happy to trade one away.
However, the selections of Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower prove that the Patriots are finally serious about getting younger and better up front. Jones, Hightower and third round pick Jake Bequette could all start as rookies, and seventh rounder Alfonzo Dennard may be the best value pick of the draft, as he was projected as a second or third round pick before he had a run-in with the law. Overall, the Patriots had an excellent draft, with the only potential flaw being their selection of safety Tavon Wilson in the second round. Wilson, though an experienced player, was projected as a seventh rounder or even an undrafted free agent. Either the Patriots saw something no one else did, or they are missing something very important.
Meanwhile, the Colts also had an excellent draft. After snagging Andrew Luck with their first pick, they proceeded to find him
plenty of weapons, exactly what a rookie QB needs to succeed in the NFL. They drafted possibly the two best tight ends in the draft, and one of them probably ranks as the smartest pick in the draft. That pick was used in the second round on Stanford tight end Coby Fleener. By acquiring Fleener, they allow Luck to work with someone he already knows and trusts, which should help Luck settle in as quarterback faster than he would have otherwise. They also managed to find an anchor for their defense in the fourth round when they grabbed Alabama defensive tackle Josh Chapman. He should help shore up a very porous defense.
Then, on the other end of the spectrum, we have the pitiable Jacksonville Jaguars. Getting Andre Branch in the second round was a great move, but other than that, they made few good calls. Justin Blackmon is a solid receiver, but he has questionable hands, size and speed. He was definitely a first rounder, but there was no need to move up for him. Then, in the third round, they decided they might as well take a punter. No one will ever know why.
Seahawks fans are likely also disappointed in their team’s draft. Using the No. 15 overall pick on West Virginia defensive end Bruce Irvin was a huge reach. They also made a questionable call when they took Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson in the third round. He will provide competition for Matt Flynn and could even win the job, but if he did, the contract that Seattle gave to Flynn would go to waste. They did not bring Flynn in to sit, and Wilson would also be wasted on the bench. If they wanted a backup, they should have waited until the later rounds.
There you have it: the most interesting storylines from this year’s draft. Fans of other teams will find their own teams’ drafts interesting as well, but the truth is that nobody cares what you think, Jets fans. Have fun adding another clown to your circus of a locker room, assholes.