2012 NFL Draft Grades: Rebuilding Teams That Had Best Drafts

Kevin W. Ryan@@kevry88Contributor IIIMay 1, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Andrew Luck (R) from Stanford holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after Luck was selected #1 overall by the Indianapolis Colts 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

The NFL draft always favors the weakest teams the previous season. However, that does not always guarantee an instant turnaround. 

The Ryan Leaf's of the world lead the class of first round draft busts, something that is always a fear in drafting players. 

Back in 2005, the San Francisco 49ers selected Alex Smith first overall and sunk an entire 5-year contract into him before he made the playoffs - further proving that the first pick does not always yield success as a franchise. 

With that in mind, here are the weakest teams from 2011 that rebuilt best from the draft...

St. Louis Rams

Draft Grade: B 

Last year St. Louis was the worst team in the NFC, so "rebuilding" was clearly a must.  

The Rams drafted Michael Brockers with their first round pick. He will serve as the final piece to a defensive line that features Chris Long, Robert Quinn and Kendall Langford - a roster that is sure to finish better than second to last in run defense in 2012. 

Brockers is a high risk because he only started one full season in college. It will simply take more time for him to completely develop as a puss rusher at the NFL level, but a solid draft selection overall.   

The Rams also selected a receiver with both size and speed in Brian Quick: a 6'4", 220-pound wide receiver from Appalachian State. Quick can use his unique size along with his 4.55 40-yard dash speed to make big plays downfield. 

The Rams drafted Quick to overpower NFL cornerbacks. His size and strength combination is the perfect fit for the job. 

Other Picks: Janoris Jenkins (CB); Isaiah Pead (RB); Trumaine Johnson (CB); Chris Givens (WR); Rokevious Watkins (OL); Greg Zuerlein (K); Aaron Brown (OLB); Daryl Richardson (RB) 

Washington Redskins

Draft Grade: A+

After trading up to draft Robert Griffin III, the Redskins loaded their draft with much needed offensive lineman. Following the Griffin pick, the Skins took linemen Josh LeRibeus, Adam Gettis, and Tom Compton - all fighting for a chance to block for RGIII.  

However, the most bizarre pick came in round four when the Skins selected quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins was one of the best quarterbacks going into the draft behind Luck and RGIII, so drafting him in the fourth round cannot hurt at all. 

Much of the talk among "experts" is that Cousins will try to create a 'quarterback controversy' in Washington. What these "experts" fail to realize is that every season a team loses their starting QB to injury. Once that happens, teams will scrounge the league's depth charts for possible starting quarterbacks - Kirk Cousins topping the list.

If the Skins can trade Cousins, similar to Carson Palmer and the Raiders trading far too much in a failed effort to make the playoffs, it will only help them in the long run. 

Other Picks: Keenan Robinson (OLB); Alfred Morris (RB); Richard Crawford (CB); Jordan Bernstine (CB)

Indianapolis Colts 

Draft Grade: A+

Of course, drafting Andrew Luck No. 1 overall is a huge improvement for the Colts. However the second and third picks the Colts made in Tight End's Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen could be some of the smartest picks made in the entire draft.

Fleener hails from Stanford, so the chemistry with their new franchise QB should be everlasting in Indianapolis. Both Allen and Fleener are loaded with strength, and with Luck's love for the TE position they will be seeing the ball very often. 

Other Picks: T.Y. Hilton (WR); Josh Chapman (DT); Vick Ballard (RB); LaVon Brazill (WR); Justin Anderson (OL); Tim Fugger (DE); Chandler Harnish (QB)