NFL Draft 2012: Teams Whose Draft Blunders Will Cost Them Shot at Playoffs
After days and months of scouting prospects, building big boards and mocking certain players to certain teams, the 2012 NFL draft is in the books. Now comes the review process.
Here are a handful of teams that may have cost themselves a shot at the playoffs this season with poor drafts:
The Broncos' brass went all-in on quarterback Peyton Manning this offseason, but their ensuing draft here doesn't reflect the kind of win-now shelf life they currently possess with Manning under center.
Denver traded down twice from the first round and then took Cincinnati defensive tackle Derek Wolfe with its first pick. He should be a starter at a position that is razor thin. But after that, where's the impact?
Quarterback Brock Osweiler is nothing more than a project quarterback. Fifth-rounder Philip Blake could compete for a starting spot at center, and Ronnie Hillman should get carries. But overall, the Broncos should have found themselves more players that can help them win immediately next season.
The Seahawks should still be a team that competes for a playoff spot next season, but their 2012 draft won't be a big reason why.
Defensive end Bruce Irvin may only play 15-20 snaps a game as a situational pass-rusher, and linebacker Bobby Wagner is a raw player that may need time to have a real impact in the starting lineup. Most would consider both picks reaches.
I will give GM John Schneider credit for taking Russell Wilson in the third round, however. If nothing else, throwing Wilson into the quarterback mix in Seattle helps increase the chance Schneider finds a franchise-type player at the position.
However, the top and bottom ends of the Seahawks' draft may have little influence on whether Seattle takes the next step in 2012.
New Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie wasn't given much in terms of draft capital to work with, so there's an excuse in Oakland for a lackluster draft. But the picks he did make were underwhelming.
It's clear to me that McKenzie is intent on flushing the Raiders' roster, even if that means a couple of tough years along the way. He's going to do it his own way.
However, the players he took in the middle rounds of this draft shouldn't be big factors in the Raiders' 2012 season. Oakland could fall near the bottom of the AFC West next season.
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