2012 NFL Draft Results: 10 Biggest Winners and Losers from Round 1
This NFL draft was filled with surprises, but all in all, the majority of the players who we expected to be selected indeed were at some point.
Fans saw a ton of trades taking place early on, which really set the stage for the rest of the first round. But how did those trades turn out?
For Dallas, its trade turned out great, but the same cannot be said for a team like St. Louis.
Let's go ahead and break down the 10 biggest winners and losers from Round 1—Bleacher Report style!
Winner: Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys are one of the most talked-about teams in the NFL, and they were a popular topic of conversation again on Thursday night.
Dallas gave up the No. 14 overall pick and their second-rounder (No. 45) to move up eight spots in the first round and grab LSU standout cornerback Morris Claiborne.
Most mock drafts had Dallas going with Alabama safety Mark Barron with its original pick, but it was able to move up and grab Claiborne. He is hands down the top corner in this draft.
Dallas has been solid on offense, but its problem has always been in the secondary. The Cowboys finally addressed that problem in a big way Thursday night.
Loser: Seattle Seahawks
What in the world were the Seattle Seahawks thinking?
First off, the Seahawks made a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles to move down three spots and didn't get much of anything in return.
Had they kept their pick, the Seahawks could have drafted an elite DE/DT prospect in Fletcher Cox. Instead, they traded back and went with West Virgina's Bruce Irvin, who was slated by most experts to be a middle-round selection.
If the team wanted a defensive end, why did it pass on guys like Melvin Ingram and Quinton Coples, both of whom were rated much higher than Irvin?
This is the biggest brain fart of the draft.
Winner: Detroit Lions
When Stephon Gilmore and Dre Kirkpatrick were both selected within the first 17 picks of the draft, the Detroit Lions were focusing in on drafting an offensive lineman.
They were likely hoping that either Riley Reiff, Cordy Glenn or David DeCastro would fall to them at pick No. 23.
Well, it turned out that they had their pick of the three. They went with Reiff, who has the look and skill set of a dominant left tackle in the future.
Looking through mock drafts, there was no way the Lions believed that Reiff would fall to them. Sure enough he did, and sure enough, Detroit has its offensive tackle of the future.
Loser: St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams had the No. 6 pick in the draft and looked like they were in play to get their man in either Morris Claiborne or Justin Blackmon. But for some reason, the Rams made the choice to trade that pick with Dallas and move back to No. 14 in the draft.
Instead, the Rams took defensive tackle Michael Brockers, which wasn't exactly a high position of need for this team.
Had the Rams stayed with the No. 6 pick, they could have landed Claiborne, who was the top defensive back in this draft. That was certainly a spot of need for this team.
This move was beyond puzzling for a team that hit rock bottom last season.
Winner: San Diego Chargers
If you had told the San Diego Chargers that they would hold on to their No.18 pick and Melvin Ingram would fall to them, they probably would have laughed at that thought.
But sure enough, when the Chargers were on the clock, Ingram was still there and a no-brainer choice for a team that had been looking for an elite-level pass-rusher since Shawne Merriman left town.
Ingram was rated by many as the No. 1 defensive end in this year's draft class, so the fact that guys like Bruce Irvin and Quinton Coples were selected ahead of him truly came as a shock to many.
The Changers simply sat still, didn't make any trades and got a great value with Ingram at that No. 18 pick.
Loser: Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals entered this year's 2012 NFL draft with two first-round picks, No. 17 and 21.
They were in desperate need of a cornerback and they got their man in Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick with that No. 17 pick, which was solid. But what they did after that is what remains puzzling to many.
The Bengals traded down with New England, and moved to the 27th spot.
Had Cincinnati stayed at No. 21, it could have gotten former Stanford star David DeCastro, who is considered to be a once-in-a-decade talent at offensive guard. Instead, the Bengals ended up selecting Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler with the No. 27 spot, who received a second-round grade my most NFL draft experts.
This was a poor move by a good football team.
Winner: Minnesota Vikings
Right before the draft started, the Browns agreed to swap picks with Minnesota; the Vikings moved down to the fourth pick and the Browns moved up to the third pick. In return, the Vikings also received some late value picks from Cleveland.
With that selection, the Vikings got USC OT Matt Kalil, who many believed they were going to take anyway had they stayed at No. 3.
For some reason, Cleveland believed that the Vikings might snatch their man or make a trade, preventing the Browns from grabbing Trent Richardson. It turned out that both teams got their guys, and Minnesota added some late-round value as well.
Loser: Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins obviously saw something in Ryan Tannehill that they really liked. But it just seemed like this pick was more of a "need" pick than a "want" pick.
Many mock drafts predicted that the Dolphins would go with Tannehill with that No. 8 selection, so this didn't come as a shock. Still, it seemed like a reach.
Of course, Miami has problems at quarterback and it felt it needed to address them right away. But it seems to me like the Dolphins could have waited on a quarterback until later in the draft and gone with another offensive impact player here, such as Michael Floyd.
The team lost Brandon Marshall this offseason and now has one of the weakest wide receiver units in the NFL. It's nice to have a franchise quarterback, but you have to ask yourself: Who does he have to throw to now?
Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars were in a tough spot in this draft because at that No. 7 pick, they were likely going to miss out on Justin Blackmon. Needing a wide receiver, Michael Floyd seemed like a bit of a reach there.
So, Jacksonville went ahead and traded up two spots and got a guy in Blackmon who was hands down the top wide receiver in this draft.
The Jaguars offense was a mess last year with rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert under center. Now, by adding Blackmon, Gabbert gets an elite target, which will certainly help his development as a young quarterback in this league.
Justin Blackmon is an exceptional playmaker, and that's exactly what this offense needs.
Loser: San Francisco 49ers
It's tough to question the moves made by San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh after the successful season he had last year.
But really—A.J. Jenkins in the first round?
This is a team that had poor play from the wide receiver position last season, but it seemed like they addressed that need this offseason by going out and signing Randy Moss and Mario Manningham.
Instead, the 49ers drafted former Illinois wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, who had a second- or third-round grade by most NFL draft experts.
The correct pick here would have been Georgia's Cody Glenn, who had a first-round grade and filled a position of need for this team.