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2012 NFL Draft Grades: Power Ranking All 32 Team Drafts Through 3 Rounds

Gordon BlockContributor IIIApril 28, 2012

2012 NFL Draft Grades: Power Ranking All 32 Team Drafts Through 3 Rounds

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    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    First Round: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

    Third Round: Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma

     

    What went right: The Arizona Cardinals got the best player available (and pleased franchise player Larry Fitzgerald) by going with Michael Floyd in the first round.

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Carolina Panthers

    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    First Round: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

    Second Round: Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia

    Third Round: T.J. Graham, WR, NC State

     

    What went right: Good value for all three of the Buffalo Bills picks. Gilmore will need to step up immediately as he enters a gauntlet of tough passers in the AFC, including division rival Tom Brady.  

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Philadelphia Eagles 

    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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

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    New England Patriots

    Picks:

    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

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    Picks:

    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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