2012 NFL Draft Grades: Players Who Will Prove Their Teams Are Draft-Day Winners

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Melvin Ingram of South Carolina holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected #18 overall by the San Diego Chargers in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

As with every NFL draft, the majority of people tend to agree on which teams won big and which ones failed, but nobody knows for sure until the players prove themselves on the field. 

It's still loads of fun to speculate, but it's also easy to tell which players will ensure that their new teams are in fact draft-day winners. 

The 2012 NFL draft was loaded with talent, but the harsh reality is that some won't ever amount to much, whereas others thrive and make the transition from college to pros look easy. 

With that said, here are a few players who will prove their new teams are draft-day winners.
(Side note: I'm focusing solely on the first round and choosing to exclude Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Trent Richardson, simply because it would be entirely too easy to pick them.) 


Melvin Ingram, San Diego 

Not only did the Chargers win big by selecting Ingram, they also got a major steal since he dropped to them at No. 18. 

A relentless defender who excels at getting to the backfield and disrupting plays, Ingram is going to waste no time making an impact in San Diego. 

The Chargers were tied for 23rd in the league in sacks a year ago, but the addition of Ingram will help them get after the opposing QBs much more. 

This was a splendid pick by San Diego, as Ingram will be hunting down Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer and Matt Cassel to help the Chargers win the AFC West. 


Michael Floyd, Arizona 

Teaming up with Larry Fitzgerald will instantly make Floyd a better player.

Not only will he get to learn from one of the best in the game today, opposing defenses won't be gearing solely toward him, something Floyd didn't get to experience all that much at the collegiate level since teams had to scheme against him so often. 

The Cardinals needed help on defense and the offensive line, but they played it smart by not passing on Floyd. 

After all, their offense is significantly better now because the wisely selected Floyd, which will help Kevin Kolb (or whoever ends up starting the majority of the year) lead Arizona to more wins. 


Nick Perry, Green Bay 

The Packers' main focus in the draft was to help the defense prosper, and they did exactly that with their first six picks. Green Bay waited until the seventh round to draft depth for the offense. 

With their first-round pick, the Packers add a tremendous boost to the pass rush, which will not only please the coaching staff and fans, but also Clay Matthews and the rest of the defensive front in Green Bay. 

Perry is an explosive defender off the edge, and he'll have little to no trouble bringing down the opposing QB in 2012. 

Since Green Bay tied for 27th in the league in sacks a year ago, the addition of Perry will vastly help the Packers be a better, more well-rounded team, which increases their chances of reaching the Super Bowl again. 



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