NFL Draft 2012 Results: Winners and Losers of Round 1

Jacob Betzner@@JacobBetznerCorrespondent IIApril 27, 2012

David DeCastro is arguably the steal of the draft thus far.
David DeCastro is arguably the steal of the draft thus far.Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Let the analysis begin.  After the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, several teams addressed needs, several teams added arguably the best player left on the draft board, and several teams got filthy lucky.

Winners: Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers picked offensive guard David DeCastro with the 24th overall pick in the draft.  Many analysts slated the Stanford product to go before the 15th pick.

Considered one of the best offensive linemen available in recent history, DeCastro's named topped the "Best Still Available" list after the Buffalo Bills' 10th overall pick and remained there until Pittsburgh's turn to pick.

DeCastro addresses a definite need for the Black and Gold, joining a relatively weak (save center Maurkice Pouncey) offensive line trusted with the task of protecting one of the NFL's premiere passers.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers were willing to trade up in the draft for the 6'5", 316 lb. lineman, but were pleasantly surprised when he fell to the 24th pick.

DeCastro's skill, drive and ability are unquestioned, and there's no reason to believe he won't develop into a big time pass blocker for the Steelers.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans' recent draft history isn't necessarily a blueprint for how to pick players on draft day, but they still managed a winning season in 2011.

The Titans picked a very good receiver in Kendall Wright.  The Baylor product was a four-year starter for the Bears set several records for the university, including most receptions in a season with 78.

Quickness, shiftiness and an ability to get open are Wright's strengths.  Titans' quarterback Matt Hasslebeck lacked a definite go-to receiver last season in Nashville, but with continued development, Wright could be that wide out.

Hard working and not flashy, Wright should quietly become one of the league's best receivers in a few years.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals drafted two future Pro Bowlers last season in wide receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton.  This year they drafted to upgrade their defense and invested in a little protection for their young quarterback.

Dre Kirkpatrick can be a very good defensive back in the NFL if his recent run in with the law proves to be his last significant run in with the law.  Analysts compared the speedy back with decent hands to the New York Jets' Antonio Cromrartie, which is pretty high praise for the Alabama product.

On the offensive side of the ball, guard Kevin Zeitler out of the University of Wisconsin adds a little more size and skill to an already decent Bengals' offensive line.  Cincinnati is (and should be) committed to protecting Andy Dalton, and the drafting of Zeitler, a top pass protector, should help the cause.

The Cincinnati Bengals hope Kirkpatrick is ready to be a professional.
The Cincinnati Bengals hope Kirkpatrick is ready to be a professional.Al Bello/Getty Images

Losers: Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins

Seattle Seahawks

Maybe the Seattle Seahawks see something in Bruce Irvin almost nobody else does.  The defensive back out West Virginia University played two seasons for the Mountaineers, after an interesting story that includes dropping out of high school, some time in juvenile jail and a stint in junior college. 

Projected by many as a second-round pick, the Seahawks took Irvin with he 15th overall selection.  Known primarily as a pass rusher, Irvin is considered a one-trick-pony by many and needs time to develop his game before transitioning to the NFL.

Seattle is taking a definite risk by drafting the back with the 15th overall pick, but the reward could be enormous if it works out for them.  However, Irvin has a lot to prove before then.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns made a draft day trade with the Minnesota Vikings to move up one spot to select running back Trent Richardson out of the University of Alabama.  In doing so, the Browns also sent a fourth, fifth and seventh round pick to the Vikings.

If the Vikings really wanted Trent Richardson, wouldn't they have just taken him?  Had they not, he would have still been around for the very next pick that belonged to the Browns, and Cleveland would still have three later round picks.

The Brownies always find a way to make things interesting for their organization, and definitely made a questionable choice in their pursuit of Richardson, a running back who former Browns superstar running back Jim Brown referred to as "ordinary."

Cleveland also selected 28-year-old, yes, 28-year-old, quarterback Brandon Weeden with the 22nd pick in the overall draft.  Weeden could be "the guy" for the Browns, as he had a solid career with the Oklahoma State Cowboys, but 28 years old?  Ben Roethlisberger, a quarterback Weeden will play against at least twice next season, is only two years older yet has seven more years of NFL experience.

Cleveland's newly tooled offense has the potential to make some big plays, but in true Browns' fashion, the factory of sadness is likely to continue.

Miami Dolphins (Potentially)

Need a franchise quarterback?  Why not pick a relatively unproven one-year starter?

The Miami Dolphins picked Texas A&M quarterback with the eighth overall pick in the draft.  Tannehill earned the starting quarterback position for the Aggies after playing parts of three seasons as a receiver.

He has good size, good speed and good strength, but there are too many questions surrounding the quarterback.  He only started one full season in the NCAA and led his team to a 7-6 record.  If the Dolphins believe Tannehill is ready to start in the NFL without letting him develop for a year, they might want to see a doctor and get checked for heat stroke from spending too much time on the sunny Miami beaches.  Ironically, his gorgeous wife will probably be soaking up the sun on those same shores.

Tannehill could one day be a legitimate NFL quarterback, but not now, not without more development.

Like the famous Toby Keith song, "I Love This Bar" says, "we've got winner, we've got losers," and we've definitely got both so far in the 2012 NFL Draft.


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