2012 NFL Draft Grades: Biggest Steals in This Year's Draft
The 2012 NFL draft is in the books, and when reviewing what happened in this year's event, it's hard not to notice some of the ridiculous bargains a few teams got.
There were five players who inexplicably lasted much longer than they should have, and five lucky teams snatched them up. The following are the five biggest steals from this year's draft.
18. San Diego Chargers: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
Ingram was in a dead-heat with LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne as the best defensive player on my board, and somehow he dropped to the Chargers at 18.
Not only is Ingram a ridiculous athlete who can do it all on the defensive side of the ball, he is also a relentless pass-rusher, something San Diego was in desperate need of.
On top of that, Ingram is a high-character kid who will do whatever it takes to win. This was an absolute score for the Chargers at No. 18.
The Packers saw that Worthy was somehow still on the board at No. 51 and traded up to get him. At 6'2" and 309 pounds, Worthy will fit perfectly at one of the defensive end spots in Green Bay's 3-4 defense.
Worthy is a nonstop-motor guy who can penetrate and disrupt things in the backfield. I had him with a late first-round grade and fully expected him to come off the board within the first 25 picks. Landing him at 51 was a coup for the Packers.
55. Atlanta Falcons: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Anyone who watched Konz play in college would be understandably shocked that he lasted this long. At 6'5" and 314 pounds, he has elite size, strength and quickness for the position.
But what separates Konz from others at his position is his outstanding instincts and his ability to read defenses and diagnose plays.
Konz is an elite talent at center and projects as a future Pro Bowler. I, along with many other experts, didn't see him lasting past the mid to late 20s, yet the Falcons scored him at 55. He will be a leader along the offensive front and will make quarterback Matt Ryan's life a whole lot easier from day one.
109. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alameda Ta'amu, DT, Washington
After Dontari Poe, Ta'amu was the best pure nose tackle on the board. I had him with an early second-round grade and figured a 3-4 team would scoop him up early to ensure it didn't miss out on a guy of his talent level.
At 6'2" and 348 pounds, Ta'amu is incredibly quick for his size and is an outstanding run-stuffer already. He still has work to do as a pass-rusher, but his toughness, stamina and dedication to improving are all evident.
With Casey Hampton nearing the end of his career, the Steelers had to be thrilled that Ta'amu fell so far and they were able to grab him. He has the potential to be an extremely important piece of the team's defense.
112. Arizona Cardinals: Bobby Massie, OT, Mississippi
I really can't believe Massie fell into the middle of the fourth round. Some had him going as high as No. 32 to the New York Giants, so his drop was inexplicable.
At 6'6" and 316 pounds, Massie has excellent size and speed for the position. He is also incredibly durable, having appeared in every game of his collegiate career and finishing on a 29-game starting streak.
While he is likely ticketed to begin his career at right tackle, Massie will eventually be able to shift to the left side if needed. He is already a very good pass-blocker and should improve in that area as well as in the running game.
Massie left school early because of financial concerns, but had he stayed in college an extra year he would have almost certainly been a top-20 pick. The Cardinals got a steal at a position of need here.
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