2012 NFL Draft: Highlighting the Best and Worst Picks of Round 1
After a trade-filled first round of the NFL draft, some teams greatly improved while others could have just stayed home.
It is difficult to judge a draft without perspective, but a few front offices made moves out of panic instead of reason.
These teams made the biggest mark on the first day of the draft for better or worse.
No. 6 Dallas Cowboys: Morris Claiborne, Cornerback
There was a drop-off of elite talent following Claiborne, so the Cowboys made sure they got one of the top players available.
He is a great cornerback that can help right away and has the size to shut down some of the bigger receivers around the league. He is easily worth the extra second-round pick it cost to trade up.
No. 18 San Diego Chargers: Melvin Ingram, Defensive End
At first glance this pick does not make sense due to a lack of need. However, it is better to take a great prospect and find room for him later.
The Chargers got great value with this pick as Ingram is one of the best players in the entire draft. He is a solid pass-rusher and can be a complete defensive end or linebacker within a few years.
No. 24 Pittsburgh Steelers: David DeCastro, Guard
The Steelers do not follow the traditional rules of value during the draft. When the front office sees a good player, it gets him.
That is the case with DeCastro, who could be a Pro Bowl lineman as soon as next season. Teams continued to pass on the interior linemen, but he will instantly improve the running game in Pittsburgh.
No. 11 Kansas City Chiefs: Dontari Poe, Defensive Tackle
Poe earned this spot with his unbelievable combine performance, not on-the-field showing. Too often teams make the mistake of drafting workout warriors instead of football players.
There is too much risk in this pick for someone who did not perform that well in Conference USA, especially with the proven Fletcher Cox sitting on the board.
No. 15 Seattle Seahawks: Bruce Irvin, Outside Linebacker
It is usually not a good sign when the NFL invites dozens of players to attend the draft, but the No. 15 pick is not one of them.
Irvin is a very raw prospect that might be a decent third-down pass-rush specialist, but not much more. He could have been taken in the middle of the second round.
No. 22 Cleveland Browns: Brandon Weeden, Quarterback
Weeden is a solid prospect that could start a few games this season for the Browns, but the Cleveland front office did not have a smart day one.
First, it played into Minnesota's hand and traded four picks to get Trent Richardson, who could have fallen to the team anyway.
Then, the Browns drafted a quarterback instead of another playmaker when a lot were available.
Cleveland has the rights to the No. 37 overall pick—which team is making a move for a quarterback before that point?
The Browns got the players they wanted, but did a poor job of getting them.
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