The 2012 NFL Draft is here and the smoke-screens are up. There are teams rumored to be taking from wide receiver to tackle to guard. No one really knows what the teams are thinking.
Confusion can lead a team to make a bad pick. Other times a bad pick is made because things like actual football are ignored to draft a player who has the hype machine going for him.
Sometimes a team should just use common sense. For example, the Jaguars are desperate for a No. 1 wide receiver and have the seventh pick in the draft. The best wide receiver in the draft class will be available—and they should draft him.
Let's look at LSU's Michael Brockers, an example of a player who can make an immediate impact. He is the best run-stopping defensive tackle in the draft. He commands double-teams immediately.
Last year's NFL stats are very telling. The teams that ranked at the bottom in run defense have four of the first five picks in the 2012 draft (until St. Louis traded out sending pick No. 2 to Washington). Coincidence, maybe, but I'm skeptical. Indianapolis ranked 29th against the run, Cleveland was 30th, St. Louis was 31st and Tampa Bay was dead last, 32nd overall.
Carolina is another team that could really use a player like Brockers. The team has solid defensive ends that can get to the quarterback, but they lack someone who eats space inside to give their defensive ends a chance to be one-on-one with a lineman. Carolina was 25th against the run in 2011.
Is there a correlation between winning football games in the NFL and stopping the run? You can argue both ways but in 2011 it was absolutely the case. The numbers speak for themselves.
What better way to improve your team than taking a player that can stop the run now? He will take a team's run defense and significantly improve it. He will give the players around him a chance to be successful because of his ability to command more than one lineman.
It looks as if the key to winning games is making offenses one-dimensional by stopping the run. If that's the case, Brockers has to be in play starting with the Cleveland Browns at pick-four.
If I were in either of those teams' draft rooms I would be pounding on the desk for Brockers.