JaMarcus Russell, former LSU quarterback and No. 1 pick, was a draft mistake that cost the Oakland Raiders franchise countless dollars, fans and ultimately, wins. He also cost some Raiders coaches and front office folk their jobs.
We know the Indianapolis Colts are going to pick Andrew Luck. The way they use their other picks are going to be a surprise.
While Indy's entire team was pretty bad in 2011, I think it would be a mistake to not surround Luck with talent at receiver and on the offensive line.
The Colts probably won't be contenders in 2012 anyway, save the defensive help for 2013 and make sure Luck doesn't get shell-shocked in his first year like David Carr.
In order to secure the rights to Robert Griffin III, the Washington Redskins had to give up a lot of future draft picks. Most teams would now sit back and take their lumps, content in watching RG3 play for their team.
Washington, however, just might make the mistake of mortgaging more of their future by trading back into the first couple of rounds this year.
Tampa Bay has a lot of holes to fill. However, if they eschew taking the best player available to fill short-term needs, they will be drafting in the top five again soon.
From Round 1 to Round 7, Tampa Bay should be looking for the most talent.
Justin Blackmon's stock has been taking a beating as of late, with some analysts—myself included—predicting a fall out of the top 10 for the talented receiver.
However, if the St. Louis Rams don't pick Blackmon, or even Michael Floyd, I think it will be a mistake. There is a glut of talented receivers in the 2012 NFL draft, but those two are the cream of the crop.
Like many teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars have a lot of holes to fill. Unlike many of those teams, however, the Jaguars have a young first-round pick at quarterback that was thrown to the wolves last year.
If the Jaguars don't give Blaine Gabbert some weapons that can contribute right away like Blackmon or Michael Floyd, they may lose Gabbert's confidence for good.
I know it is not a very popular opinion down in Miami, but the Dolphins are making a mistake if they don't get their hands on Ryan Tannehill.
With a new coach and a decent quarterback in Matt Moore, the Dolphins might not be picking in the top 10 next year, so pinning their hopes on Matt Barkley or Tyler Bray is not a very safe option.
Moore can guide the ship in 2012, with Tannehill taking over in 2013—right when the new-look Dolphins should be hitting their stride.
If Carolina takes Dontari Poe or Michael Brockers with this pick, I think they'll be making an error. Both are extremely gifted—Poe with his athleticism and Brockers with his frame—but neither have been impressive on tape.
Taking a prospect like Fletcher Cox, who has some production to go along with his upside, is a much better option.
I'm never sure what kind of mistake the Buffalo Bills are going to make. Will they draft a guy a round or two early like Donte Whitner or John McCargo? Will they take the best player available to the point of insanity like C.J. Spiller?
If the Bills place too much value on building their offensive line, they might miss out on some impact players for their defense or receiving corps.
Matt Flynn is used to having an abundance of receiving threats around him. If the Seattle Seahawks don't draft one of the highly-talented receivers in this draft, I think they will be doing him a disservice.
Blackmon, Floyd and Kendall Wright would all be great additions to Seattle's roster.
I've said for months that if Arizona doesn't draft an offensive lineman there should be a congressional investigation. However, if Kalil, David DeCastro, Riley Reiff and Cordy Glenn are all off the board, I think it will be a mistake if the Arizona Cardinals don't try and trade down.
Jonathan Martin and Mike Adams just aren't worth a top 15 pick.
Dallas needs to get their hands on Mark Barron in order to shore up their defensive secondary.
Seattle and the Jets also seem to be interested in his services, so the Dallas Cowboys may have to make a move with the Chiefs at No. 11 in order to seal the deal.
If they don't land Barron, it is a slippery slope with safeties in this draft.
If Ryan Tannehill somehow makes it past the Miami Dolphins, the Philadelphia Eagles should make a move and secure his rights by trading up. I wouldn't be surprised if they actually jumped ahead of Miami and traded with Jacksonville to get it done.
Michael Vick is going to be the quarterback this year, which would give Tannehill a year to continue his development. After that, I wouldn't be surprised to see Andy Reid and company part ways with Vick.
Unfortunately for the Jets, they have the exact same need as a team drafting two slots ahead of them: safety. The Jets' safeties were abused last year and adding the over-rated and often-injured LaRon Landry isn't guaranteed to pay dividends.
Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum has never been afraid to move up and get his guy. If he fails to do it this year, the Jets once-vaunted defense will again be a major liability.
The Oakland Raiders first pick, which happens to come in the third round, is a compensatory one, which thankfully can't be traded. Now under new management, I don't see Oakland committing the same draft mistakes as they did in the past by trading so many of their picks away.
With so few picks in the 2012 NFL draft, I can't see the Raiders really making a big mistake. I guess you could say that they have already been made.
Shawne Merriman isn't walking through that door.
If the San Diego Chargers fail to address their pass rush issues early in the draft, their defense will continue to fail to reach its potential.
Courtney Upshaw and Nick Perry will get some long looks.
If the Tennessee Titans want to upgrade the center position, Peter Konz is a great addition. However, it will be a mistake if they put all their eggs in the former Wisconsin player's basket.
Konz has a scary injury history. The Titans have been flirting with veteran center Dan Koppen and should sign him as a depth and leadership play if Konz is their guy.
With two first-round picks and a pretty solid returning roster, it is important that the Cincinnati Bengals take advantage of their situation.
The Bengals need to find a complementary piece to A.J. Green and add depth to their defensive backfield and offensive line. However, if the value isn't there, Cincinnati should either trade out of the pick or take the best player available. That is how you have sustained success in the NFL.
If the Atlanta Falcons want to have sustained success, they are going to have to upgrade their offensive line in the coming years. With no first-round pick, they might have to trade up to get a guy like Mike Adams or Jonathan Martin.
If they do spend more draft capital moving up, I think that would be a big mistake. They already lost a lot of picks in the Julio Jones trade.
After Kalil, Glenn and Reiff are off the board, I'm not a big fan of any of the remaining offensive tackles. Mike Adams, Jonathan Martin and Bobby Massie are all fine second-rounders, but each has a flaw or two that keeps me from assigning too high of a grade.
Keeping Matt Stafford healthy should be a priority, but adding a lineman just to add one is a recipe for a first-round disaster.
Like the Cardinals, the Pittsburgh Steelers really need to draft an offensive lineman. The need is so great that I would eschew my normal "best player available" mentality and adopt a "best lineman available" mentality.
A solid guy like Bobby Massie, while not being an elite first-round guy, would do wonders for the Steelers offense at the right tackle position.
If the Steelers look elsewhere in the draft again, Ben Roethlisberger might not be a happy camper in the pocket.
I took a lot heat recently for mocking a quarterback to the Denver Broncos in Round 2 of the 2012 NFL draft.
Yes, I understand that Peyton Manning is now in Denver. I also understand that Caleb Hanie is the current backup.
Are you willing to entrust a playoff-caliber team to Caleb Hanie if Manning goes down? If I'm the Broncos, I draft a future quarterback right now.
Andre Johnson needs a Robin to his Batman. What he doesn't need is for the Houston Texans to reach and take a raw prospect like Rueben Randle or Stephen Hill in the first round.
If Alshon Jeffery or Kendall Wright aren't available, trade down and pick from the loaded talent in the middle-round receivers group.
Like the Raiders, I think the New Orleans Saints have already made enough mistakes.
Without a first- or second-round pick in the 2012 NFL draft, the Saints are going to need to hit on at least one late-round pick in order to stay level with their 2011 performance.
Pass rush without defensive backs. Defensive backs without pass rush. The Green Bay Packers had both of those issues at times last year.
If the Packers don't make a pick addressing each of those concerns sometime during the draft, NFC North teams will capitalize on that mistake during 2012.
Jim Harbaugh seems like a smart guy. Hopefully he is smart enough to avoid drafting some of his former Stanford players only due to familiarity.
Don't get me wrong, I think Coby Fleener is a very good player and would be a good fit for the San Francisco 49ers. That said, if San Francisco has someone ranked similarly, hopefully the school ties don't break the tie.
Bill Belichick has made two picks in the first round only once in the five times that he has owned multiple picks in the opening frame of the NFL draft.
With two picks again this year, the New England Patriots need to add some dynamic talent to the defensive side of the football. If they trade out of the first round completely, Patriots fans and eventually coaches may regret it.
While the Patriots front office have done an amazing job in consistently extending the "championship window," players like Tom Brady just don't grow on trees. They need some talent now.
The New York Giants have an incredible front four, but if they aren't able to upgrade the coverage capabilities of their linebacking corps, repeating as NFL champions might be difficult.
Prospects like Zach Brown and Bobby Wagner should get long looks at the end of the first round.