2012 NFL Draft Grades: Power Ranking All 32 Team Drafts Through 3 Rounds
We've made it through the first three rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft, in what has to be one of the fastest drafts in recent memory.
The big story of Thursday and Friday: An explosion of trades enabled by a rookie wage scale that makes it financially sensible for teams to move up to get the players they like.
About halfway through the draft, we've seen plenty of surprises, reaches and reasons to be excited about the upcoming season for fans across the league.
Here are the ranks for each team's draft picks through the first three rounds.
32) Oakland Raiders
Third Round: Tony Bergstrom, G, Utah
What went right: The Oakland Raiders got about as much value as they could with the final pick of the third round with Utah guard Tony Bergstrom. He can fit in several spots on the team's offensive line.
What went wrong: Raiders fans can't be thrilled in the multiple trades (including the move for Carson Palmer) that led to the loss of several of their draft picks. Very bare-bones draft so far.
31) New Orleans Saints
Third Round: Akiem Hicks, DT, Regina
What went right: By far, the New Orleans Saints got the best Canadian college prospect in this year's draft class.
What went wrong: Lost much of their early draft due to trades and the league's punishment for its bounty program.
30) Seattle Seahawks
First Round: Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia
Second Round: Bobby Wagner, ILB, Utah State
Third Round: Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin
What went right: Bruce Irvin's rise to a first-round draft pick may become the feel-good story of the weekend. Movie rights to his life story may go quickly.
What went wrong: All of their picks feel like reaches. Players like Irvin and Wagner may work out fine, but it feels like they may have been available later in the draft. Russell Wilson seems like an unnecessary luxury at a position the Seahawks already had covered (and then some).
29) San Francisco 49ers
First Round: A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois
Second Round: LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
What went right: The San Francisco 49ers were looking for a wide receiver, and they may have some value in Jenkins (although they could have traded down and still got him).
What went wrong: Both picks can be described as reaches. Selection of LaMichael James creates an unenviable logjam of rushers in the Niners backfield.
28) Kansas City Chiefs
First Round: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
Second Round: Jeff Allen, G, Illinois
Third Round: Donald Stephenson, OT, Oklahoma
What went right: The Kansas City Chiefs drafted for need positions, but may have gone for the wrong guys.
What went wrong: All of their picks seem like reaches, with all three picks not appearing to be immediate difference makers.
27) Jacksonville Jaguars
First Round: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Second Round: Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
Third Round: Bryan Anger, P, California
What went right: Justin Blackmon will not only add a much-needed first receiver talent to the Jacksonville Jaguars, but will help the team evaluate the future of quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who floundered badly in Year 1. Bryan Anger wins the contest for best name in the draft.
What went wrong: Anger will need to impress early to justify such a high selection.
26) Miami Dolphins
First Round: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Second Round: Jonathan Martin, G, Stanford
Third Round: Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami
Third Round: Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri
What went right: The Dolphins have their quarterback of the future in Ryan Tannehill. Jonathan Martin may be a good value with their second-round pick.
What went wrong: That future may not be too bright. Dolphins may have needed to add some skill-position talent to help their new quarterback.
25) Arizona Cardinals
First Round: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Third Round: Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma
What went wrong: The Cardinals aren't sure who will throw the ball to either Fitzgerald or Floyd, or how that quarterback will be protected from opposing defenses.
24) Denver Broncos
Second Round: Derek Wolfe, DE, Cincinnati
Second Round: Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
Third Round: Ronnie Hillman, RB, SDSU
What went right: He may not be the most well-known pick of the first round, but Wolfe has built a reputation for having a stellar motor. Osweiler may be in the best position for a rookie quarterback in this draft class, getting to learn behind and with legends Peyton Manning and John Elway.
What went wrong: Osweiler may be a bit of a project, and Manning's injury concerns mean he could be thrown in at some point this season. Even with his positive qualities, Wolfe may not be the best value.
23) Detroit Lions
First Round: Riley Reiff, T, Iowa
Second Round: Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma
Third Round: Dwight Bentley, CB, La Lafayette
What went right: Riley Reiff is a solid first-round selection, pairing great talent with one of their biggest needs (especially given the limited future of Jeff Backus).
What went wrong: Detroit fans may be confused with the pick of Broyles in the second round. They had bigger needs in the secondary and at the running-back position.
22) Carolina Panthers
First Round: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
Second Round: Amini Silatolu, G, Midwestern State
What went right: Kuechly may be the best linebacker of this class, with a real nose for the ball. He will start immediately.
What went wrong: Linebacker wasn't exactly a need position for the Panthers, who would likely be better served with an aggressive pass rusher on the defensive line.
21) Houston Texans
First Round: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
Third Round: DeVier Posey, WR, Ohio State
Third Round: Brandon Brooks, OG, Miami (OH)
What went right: The Houston Texans got some value for their selection of Brooks, whose size is similar to first-round pick Dontari Poe.
What went wrong: Mercilus may be a bit of a reach in the first round, while Posey doesn't seem like a guy that can be an immediate contributor in Houston.
20) Cleveland Browns
First Round: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
First Round: Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
Second Round: Mitchell Schwartz, T, California
Third Round: John Hughes, DT, Cincinnati
What went right: Trent Richardson was the top rusher of this draft class, and he fills an immediate need for the Cleveland Browns.
What went wrong: Brandon Weeden can easily be considered a reach, and puts the franchise in an uncomfortable position with current starter Colt McCoy (whom they promised they wouldn't grab a quarterback in the first round).
19) Atlanta Falcons
Second Round: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Third Round: Lamar Holmes, OT, Southern Mississippi
What went right: It's tough to argue with adding offensive line talent to a team that should feel very secure with its skill-position talent on offense. Konz was considered by many (myself included) as a first-round talent.
What went wrong: It's not a very sexy pick set to start the draft. The defense could have also used some consideration.
18) Buffalo Bills
First Round: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Second Round: Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia
Third Round: T.J. Graham, WR, NC State
What went wrong: The Bills may have wanted to add a wide receiver earlier in the draft to work across from Stevie Johnson.
17) New York Jets
First Round: Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
Second Round: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Third Round: Demario Davis, OLB, Arkansas State
What went right: Hill and Davis are huge values as they're scooped well into the second and third rounds, respectively.
What went wrong: For a team that could use some defensive-line production immediately, Coples may be too much of a project as he readies for his rookie season. He'll have a lot of work to do to justify his selection.
16) Chicago Bears
First Round: Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State
Second Round: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
Third Round: Brandon Hardin, S, Oregon St
What went right: Jeffery may be the steal of the draft after he fell deep into the second round. Jay Cutler has to be licking his chops as he contemplates throwing to him and new signee Brandon Marshall.
What went wrong: McClellin may be a bit undersized as the Bears may consider him for a spot on the defensive line.
15) Green Bay Packers
First Round: Nick Perry, OLB, University of South California
Second Round: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
Second Round: Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt
What went right: Defense was the big question mark for the Green Bay Packers in 2011, and the team went all in with their first three picks to shore up their defensive unit. All three should start soon.
What went wrong: Some people have argued Courtney Upshaw may have been the better linebacker pick for the Packers in the first round.
14) Pittsburgh Steelers
First Round: David DeCastro, G, Stanford
Second Round: Mike Adams, T, Ohio State
Third Round: Sean Spence, OLB, Miami (Fla.)
What went right: It may not be the sexiest pick around, but DeCastro and Adams should be regular contributors in the near future in Pittsburgh. DeCastro has been compared to Alan Faneca.
What went wrong: Spence may be a little undersized, and it will require some creativity to make him useful on a regular basis.
13) Tennessee Titans
First Round: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Second Round: Zach Brown, OLB, UNC
Third Round: Mike Martin, DT, Michigan
What went right: Wright will be an immediate boost to an offense that needed skill-position talent in 2011. Starting quarterback Jake Locker and/or Matt Hasselbeck will be very happy to have him.
What went wrong: The words "allergic to contact" are not ones you want to hear with any prospect, especially one taken in the second round like Brown.
12) Philadelphia Eagles
First Round: Fletcher Cox, DE, Mississippi State
Second Round: Mychal Kendricks, ILB, California
Second Round: Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall
Third Round: Nick Foles, QB, Arizona
What went right: Fletcher Cox and Vinny Curry are great picks, and bring a lot of talent to the table.
What went wrong: The Eagles really didn't need additional help on the defensive line, and instead needed more help in its linebacker corps and offensive line. Foles will be an interesting project, as his pocket passing style doesn't really work in the porous offensive line that frequently maximized the rushing ability of current starter Michael Vick.
11) San Diego Chargers
First Round: Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina
Second Round: Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut
Third Round: Brandon Taylor, S, LSU
What went right: Everybody wins when you get handshakes like the one between Ingram and Commissioner Roger Goodell (RG1?). Ingram and Reyes are value picks that should contribute immediately.
What went wrong: The Chargers may have wanted to look for some skill position players to replace players like Mike Tolbert and Vincent Jackson, who were lost in free agency.
10) New York Giants
First Round: David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
Second Round: Rueben Randle, WR, LSU
Third Round: Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech
What went right: All three picks can be immediate contributors to a championship roster. That's great value. Also, their drafting of multiple Virginia Tech players brings back memories of the 2000s Atlanta Falcons.
What went wrong: David Wilson may be an immediate contributor, but going for a running back that early in the draft may have been a bit of a reach, even with their need at the position.
9) Baltimore Ravens
Second Round: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
Second Round: Kelechi Osemele, G, Iowa State
Third Round: Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple
What went right: The Baltimore Ravens have three immediate contributors in Upshaw, Osemele and Pierce. Great value for all three picks.
What went wrong: Running back may not be a major need position, but Pierce's talent may override that concern.
8) Minnesota Vikings
First Round: Matt Kalil, T, University of Southern California
First Round: Harrison Smith, SS, Notre Dame
Third Round: Josh Robinson, CB, UCF
What went right: Vikings added some extra picks by trading down one spot with the Cleveland Browns, and still got the man they wanted in Kalil in the first round. Harrison Smith fills a need in the secondary.
What went wrong: They may have wanted to add some more wide-receiver help for quarterback Christian Ponder, but there's still value at the position in the later rounds.
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
First Round: Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
First Round: Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
Second Round: Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska
What went right: Mark Barron and Doug Martin should be immediate contributors in 2012, and they come in need positions.
What went wrong: Missing out on Morris Claiborne by trading down could be a moment the Buccaneers come to regret.
6) Washington Redskins
First Round: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Third Round: Josh LeRibeus, G, Southern Methodist
What went right: The Washington Redskins got the man they wanted in Robert Griffin III. He's the real deal.
What went wrong: The 'Skins paid a pretty penny to go after him, and in doing so missed out on filling other needs. With that said, you can't miss with a player of Griffin's talent.
5) Cincinnati Bengals
First Round: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
First Round: Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin
Second Round: Devon Still, DT, Penn State
Third Round: Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
Third Round: Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
What went right: So many excellent picks in this group. Almost everybody in this group will start almost immediately. Sanu will fit in nicely in the wide receiver corps with A.J. Green.
What went wrong: The Bengals could have traded down in the first round and probably still got Kirkpatrick. A minor concern for otherwise a solid set of picks.
4) Dallas Cowboys
First Round: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Third Round: Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise State
What went right: May have put together the steal of the draft in moving up in the first round to grab LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. The Cowboys secondary, a weakness in 2011, becomes a major strength with Claiborne and new free-agent signing Brandon Carr.
What went wrong: Crawford may be a bit of a raw prospect to grab in the third round. They also ruined every mock draft writer's picks by jumping up so high.
3) Indianapolis Colts
First Round: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Second Round: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
Third Round: Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
Third Round: T.Y. Hilton, WR, FIU
What went right: The Indianapolis Colts have their passer of the future with Andrew Luck. His potential in the NFL is limitless. Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen are great talents, even if their selections seem redundant on first look.
What went wrong: The Colts could desperately use some defensive help. These picks don't do that.
2) New England Patriots
First Round: Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
First Round: Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
Second Round: Tavon Wilson, SS, Illinois
Third Round: Jake Bequette, DE, Arkansas
What went right: Tremendous 1-2 punch in the first round with Jones and Hightower. After years of trading back for additional picks, the New England Patriots moved up aggressively and came away with two stellar players who can start immediately.
What went wrong: Tavon Wilson may be a reach, with some scouting reports having him go as late as the sixth or seventh round.
1) St. Louis Rams
First Round: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Second Round: Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State
Second Round: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Second Round: Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati
Third Round: Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana
What went right: Great value from top to bottom so far. Tremendous second round with the selections of the aptly named Quick, Jenkins and Pead.
What went wrong: Jenkins may be a big risk based on his past character issues. However, the risk is worth it given his immense talent.
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