As far as the 2012 NFL draft is concerned, the first two picks were politics as usual.
Everyone knew Andrew Luck was going to the Indianapolis Colts and Robert Griffin III was going to the Washington Redskins. The Redskins basically traded the house for RG3, as they shipped the Rams their 2013, and 2014 first-rounder’s as well as the No.6 and No. 39 in 2012, for the talented gunslinger.
Things didn’t slow down at pick No. 3. The Cleveland Browns traded their No. 4 pick in exchange for the third pick, and they also shipped their fourth, fifth and seventh-round picks to the Minnesota Vikings. This was an obvious move for the Vikings and the Browns got their running back as a replacement for Peyton Hillis in Trent Richardson.
This was a win for both teams as the Browns got their player and the Vikings got a stable of picks, plus the fourth pick overall.
At No. 5, the Jacksonville Jaguars opted to get some help for Blaine Gabbert, and drafted Justin Blackmon, the talented wide receiver out of Oklahoma State. In most mock drafts and predictions, many thought Blackmon would go to the St. Louis Rams, so this was a bit of a shock.
At No. 6, Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys pulled a trademark move and jumped up eight spots to draft Morris Claiborne out of LSU. This was an excellent pick for the Cowboys, particularly with the recent parting with former CB Terrence Newman.
At No. 7, another Alabama player was drafted when Mark Barron, the best safety in the draft, was taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
At No. 8, the Miami Dolphins made one of the worst picks in the draft when they selected Ryan Tannehill, quarterback out of Texas A&M. Not to knock this player, he is a great talent, and seems to be equally great as a person; but as a top 10 player he is a reach here at this spot.
For the ninth pick the Carolina Panthers selected linebacker Luke Kuechly out of Boston College. This kid is an animal and will be all over the field for the Panthers in the 2012 season. He had over 100 tackles in each of the last two seasons, and will be an immediate contributor in Carolina.
At No. 10, the Buffalo Bills selected Stephon Gilmore out of South Carolina. This guy was a stud in the SEC, and was a lock-down corner. He is also a great tackler as well.
At No. 11, the Kansas City Chiefs got the stud of the NFL Combine; defensive tackle Dontari Poe out of Memphis. At 6’5” and 350 pounds, this guy is a load and will thrive in the middle of any defense. He also turned heads with his surprising athleticism, when he ran a sub five second 40-yard dash(mind you the guy is three biscuits away from 400 pounds).
After this pick there was another trade, as the Philadelphia Eagles traded up three spots when they swapped picks with the Seattle Seahawks. The Eagles also gave Seattle a fourth and sixth-round pick as part of the deal so they could draft another defensive tackle, Fletcher Cox out of Mississippi State.
No. 13 the Arizona Cardinals got a steal when they drafted Michael Floyd out of Notre Dame. This receiver is a great talent, and he will take pressure off of Larry Fitzgerald. If Kevin Kolb can’t thrive this season with this pair of receivers he has problems.
At No. 14 the St. Louis Rams drafted Michael Brockers a monstrous defensive tackle out of LSU. He will definitely help that defensive front, and will likely start from day one.
No. 15 the Seattle Seahawks drafted Bruce Irvin out of West Virginia. This player is an absolute stud, particularly as an outside linebacker. He runs a sub 4.5 in the 40-yard dash, and will be ideal as a rush end and hybrid linebacker.
Who Had the best First Round?
At No. 17, the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Dre Kirkpatrick out of Alabama. He is another talented player from the Crimson Tide, and will have an immediate impact for the Bengals.
No. 18, the San Diego Charges drafted the talented defensive end out of South Carolina, Melvin Ingram.
The next pick the Chicago Bears drafted Shea McClellin out of Boise State.
At No. 20, the Tennessee Titans picked receiver Kendall Wright out of Baylor.
The Patriots moved up six spots in a trade with the Cincinnati Bengals in exchange for the No. 21 pick. They also sent their third-round pick for Chandler Jones, a talented defensive end out of Syracuse.
For No. 22 the Cleveland Browns drafted another offensive player when they picked quarterback Brandon Weeden from Oklahoma State.
At No. 23, tackle Riley Reiff went to the Detroit Lions.
No. 24, the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted the talented guard from Stanford, David DeCastro.
No. 25, linebacker Dont’a Hightower went to the New England Patriots, and will help their defense.
At No.26, the Houston Texans drafted Whitney Mercilus out of Illinois.
For the 27th pick the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Kevin Zeitler from Wisconsin.
No. 28, the Green Bay Packers drafted Nick Perry out of USC, and he will learn under former USC stud, Clay Mathews.
For this pick the Vikings made a trade with the Baltimore Ravens; sending a second and fourth-rounder for the 29th pick.At No. 29, the Minnesota Vikings they found a talented safety in Harrison Smith out of Notre Dame.
No. 30 the San Francisco 49ers drafted wide receiver A.J Jenkins out of Illinois.
At No. 31, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked Doug Martin out of Boise State.
The last pick of the draft from the Super Bowl champion New York Giants was David Wilson out of Virginia Tech.
Overall, this first-round didn't disappoint. There were trades with teams moving up and down, and all of the players taken have the chance to be great for their teams.