5 Teams That Flunked the 2012 NFL Draft
The ink on the cards turned in to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has barely dried, but that won't stop us from getting out our red and black pens and grading drafts. Here are five teams that flunked the test in Radio City Music Hall.
The Jaguars gave up an early fourth-round pick to move up for Justin Blackmon, who was overrated as the No. 1 wide receiver in the draft. He won't create enough separation in his routes to give Blaine Gabbert the go-to target he needs as an antsy QB in the pocket.
Second-round pick Andre Branch could be the missing piece for the defense, but not having a fourth-round pick made GM Gene Smith panic and pull the trigger on a punter in the early third round. The Jags then took a linebacker in the fifth, which is one of their strongest positions.
The 49ers had to wait a long time in the first round, and maybe it made Trent Baalke impatient. He took A.J. Jenkins, who projects as a solid No. 2 wide receiver, at No. 30. The problem is that nearly identical wide receivers like Chris Givens and Marvin Jones were available in the fourth and fifth rounds.
The right side of the offensive line wasn't addressed until the fourth round, and the 49ers also traded picks to get future picks when they are in the middle of a championship window.
Bruce Irvin became the first-round pick no one had in their mocks at No. 15. He's a pass-rush specialist who will only contribute on passing downs, which makes his choice over players who might be lesser pass-rushers but are able to contribute on every down and in all facets of the game very questionable.
The Seahawks traded down in the second, which caused them to miss on stud LB Mychal Kendricks and instead settle for athletic project LB Bobby Wagner. Russell Wilson was a nice third-round pick, although it shows some reluctance to commit to Matt Flynn. The Seahawks were lucky that the 49ers also didn't improve greatly in the draft.
The Saints failed on two accounts. Bountygate caused them to lose their second-round pick after they had traded away their first-round pick last year to move up for RB Mark Ingram. Then they spent their precious first pick (a third-rounder) on a boom-or-bust DL prospect, Akiem Hicks, who played his college ball in Canada. This draft won't get them any closer to another Super Bowl.
It's hard to hold this against current GM Reggie McKenzie, because the Raiders failed this draft before it even began. The previous regime gave away their first-round pick for Carson Palmer, their second-round pick for picks that turned into Taiwan Jones and Joseph Barksdale during last year's draft and their third-round pick for Terrelle Pryor in the supplemental draft.
McKenzie drafted some solid prospects like LB Miles Burris, DL Jack Crawford and WR Juron Criner, but when you don't select until the end of the second day, it's hard to make a big difference.
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