How Every Team's First-Round NFL Draft Pick Will Fare in 2012
Justin Blackmon wins Offensive Rookie of the Year?
Think again because he is stuck in Jacksonville with no quarterback.
The 2012 NFL draft included Andrew Luck, one of the top quarterback prospects of all time. Players like him are expected to come in and immediately make an impact on their teams.
Check out how each first-round draft pick is going to do in his rookie season.
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Andrew Luck, QB
Luck is one of the best quarterback prospects in NFL draft history. He has all the skills and has an extremely high football IQ.
Luck will show why he was so hyped up by the media. He will have a solid year and lead the Colts to a couple more wins than they had last year.
However, we will not see the best of Luck in 2012 because of his very weak supporting cast. The Indianapolis Colts will struggle, similar to Peyton Manning's rookie season with them.
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Robert Griffin III, QB
In 2012 get ready to see some blazing speed from RG3.
The Washington Redskins have a legitimate quarterback prospect for the first time in years.
RG3 will deal with the normal rookie struggles as a quarterback, but expect him to lead the Redskins to two more wins than they had last year.
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Trent Richardson, RB
Richardson gives the Cleveland Browns their only legitimate offensive threat. He has amazing power and speed. Richardson is going to be getting his number called on a lot because the Browns have no one else.
Richardson is my pick for the Offensive Rookie of the Year award because he will be getting at least 20 touches per game.
Brandon Weeden, QB
Weeden is most likely going to beat out Colt McCoy and be the starter for the Browns in 2012.
Weeden is going to struggle a ton though because he has absolutely no receivers to throw to. I would say be patient with Weeden, but he is already 28 years old, so there is not a lot of time to let him develop.
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Matt Kalil, OL
No one is happier about this draft pick than Christian Ponder. He dealt with a ton of pressure last year because the Minnesota Vikings offensive line was horrible.
Adding Kalil gives them a legitimate left tackle, and he will immediately help the Vikings improve their passing and running games.
Harrison Smith, S
Smith gives the Vikings secondary a much-needed boost. Smith will not wow anyone as a rookie, but he should definitely have a positive impact on this weak defense.
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Justin Blackmon, WR
Had Blackmon gone to the St. Louis Rams, he would have had an A.J.-Green-like rookie season.
However, Blackmon is stuck in Jacksonville with Blaine Gabbert—one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL, who does not have the ability to get the ball in Blackmon's hands.
It is a shame because Blackmon is a very talented player and is a lot better than he will show in 2012.
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Morris Claiborne, CB
There is a reason the Dallas Cowboys traded up to grab Claiborne.
When you have a weak secondary and you add the best cornerback in the draft, your team is going to improve.
Claiborne will be the Cowboys' top cornerback and make a name for himself in the NFL in 2012.
He and Brandon Carr will make one of the top cornerback duos in the NFL, and the Cowboys should be back in the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Mark Barron, S
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had one of the worst secondaries in the NFL last season, so the addition of Barron was ideal.
Barron is a hard-hitting, play-making safety. He will have an immediate impact on this defense, especially with his toughness.
Doug Martin, RB
Martin will be splitting time with LeGarrette Blount in the backfield. While Blount is one-dimensional, Martin is much more versatile and can play all three downs.
With his ability to catch passes out of the backfield, I expect Martin to have a decent rookie season. Martin will eventually become the full-time starter for the Bucs, whether it is later in the 2012 season or at the start of the 2013 season.
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Ryan Tannehill, QB
Miami Dolphins fans thinking Tannehill is going to turn this team around should think again.
Tannehill may only play in garbage time this year. He is way too inexperienced and not ready to be an NFL starter.
The Dolphins made the wrong move going with Tannehill in the first round.
He has great athleticism and had a great combine. However, he showed at the college level that he could not win the big games and only started 19 times.
The Dolphins should have waited another year to find their quarterback of the future and let Matt Moore be the starter for one more season.
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Luke Kuechly, LB
Kuechly is a flat-out great football player. He is not one of those guys that will need a year or two to get adjusted to the league.
With the return of linebackers Jon Beason and Thomas Davis, along with the addition of Kuechly, the Carolina Panthers will have a significantly improved defense.
Kuechly will make a huge impact on the defense, and the Panthers should finish with a winning record in 2012.
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Stephon Gilmore, CB
Gilmore is not as NFL-ready as Morris Claiborne. He has great physical tools, but he needs to improve his route reading.
Considering he will most likely be the Buffalo Bills' top cornerback, Gilmore is going to struggle in 2012. He will improve throughout the season, but this year is going to be more about learning the Bills defensive system and improving his instincts.
Kansas City Chiefs
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Dontari Poe, DL
Poe will not be much of a factor in the upcoming season.
Despite being a freakish athlete, Poe was very inconsistent at Memphis.
He still has a lot to learn because if he had trouble against teams in Conference USA, just imagine what NFL teams can do to him.
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Fletcher Cox, DL
After adding Nnamdi Asomugha last offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles defense was supposed to be elite.
However, the Eagles forgot that you need to have an interior defensive presence. This led to the Eagles defense being a huge disappointment.
Cox should come in and significantly improve the Eagles defense right away. He provides a physical presence on the defensive line in front of linebacker DeMeco Ryans.
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Michael Floyd, WR
Floyd landed in a perfect situation when he was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals.
Not only will he be mentored by Larry Fitzgerald, but he is also going to get a ton of looks. Opposing defenses are going to be focused on shutting down Fitzgerald, so that will free up space for Floyd.
If Kevin Kolb can stay healthy and be the player he was in Philadelphia, then Floyd will take the Cardinals passing game to the next level.
St. Louis Rams
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Michael Brockers, DL
The St. Louis Rams had an atrocious run defense in 2011, so the addition of Brockers will have an immediate impact.
He is a big and athletic defensive lineman that is great against the run. I would not expect him to have much of a pass-rushing presence in his rookie season because he is still very raw in that aspect of his game.
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Bruce Irvin, OLB/DE
The most surprising draft pick of the first round will be a situation-type player in his rookie season.
Irvin has phenomenal speed and will be used in certain packages, such as 3rd-and-long situations.
Irvin is a freakish athlete, and the Seattle Seahawks are going to try to develop him into an every-down player in 2012.
New York Jets
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Quinton Coples, DL
Coples biggest problem is his work ethic, and that is not good—especially as a rookie in the NFL. Playing for a coach like Rex Ryan, Coples is going to have to give 100 percent every single day.
Coples will add some depth to the New York Jets defensive line, but I would not expect him to be that much of a factor in 2012.
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Dre Kirkpatrick, CB
Kirkpatrick will start off the year as the third cornerback for the Cincinnati Bengals, behind Leon Hall and Nate Clements.
Kirkpatrick should learn a lot from these two veteran cornerbacks, and he will be a very solid number-three cornerback. 2012 will be a huge development season for Kirkpatrick, so he should become a full-time starter in 2013.
Kevin Zeitler, OL
Zeitler will come in and be a starter for the Bengals on Day 1.
He is a great run blocker and should definitely help out their running game. The Bengals like to run the ball a lot, and Zeitler is going to be a key factor for their production in 2012.
San Diego Chargers
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Melvin Ingram, OLB/DE
Ingram provides the San Diego Chargers with another great pass-rushing presence. They have Antwan Barnes and recently signed Jarrett Johnson, who is a great run defender.
I expect Ingram to be used as an outside linebacker and defensive end in 2012. He will make a huge impact for the Chargers defense, especially on third downs.
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Shea McClellin, OLB/DE
In 2012, McClellin will provide more depth to the Chicago Bears pass rush.
McClellin will not be a starter in the Bears' 4-3 defense; however, he will have an impact in certain blitzing packages.
The addition of McClellin should help the Bears' other pass-rushers, especially Julius Peppers.
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Kendall Wright, WR
If Kenny Britt has completely recovered from his knee injury, then the Tennessee Titans should have a very solid three-wide-receiver set.
Wright has great play-making ability and should be a solid number-three option—though he still has a lot of work to do in terms of his route running and ball skills.
If all goes well for Wright, he will develop into a Torrey-Smith-like wide receiver.
New England Patriots
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Chandler Jones, OLB/DE
Jones is a project player and will not see that much time on the field in 2012. He is a tremendous athlete and will provide depth to the New England Patriots pass rush.
Patriots fans will have to wait another year or two for Jones to make a huge impact on defense.
Dont'a Hightower, LB
The Patriots got a steal in Hightower, with the 25th pick in the draft.
Hightower is going to come in and significantly improve the Patriots' weak defense. He is a great linebacker and is versatile. Hightower is great against the run and also has the ability to rush the quarterback.
He is going to be the face of the Patriots defense in the future and is my favorite to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
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Riley Reiff, OL
Reiff is going to have to wait another year to become a starter for the Detroit Lions.
Veteran Jeff Backus is still with the Lions and will be mentoring Reiff this season. This will be very valuable to Reiff and will significantly improve his game.
Expect 2013 to be Reiff's breakout season.
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David DeCastro, OL
DeCastro may have the most impact of any rookie this season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted him to become an immediate starter, and DeCastro will significantly improve their offensive line.
He is built for the AFC North and should quickly become one of the better guards in the NFL.
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Whitney Mercilus, OLB/DE
The Houston Texans defense is going to miss Mario Williams. They still have Brian Cushing and J.J. Watt, but Williams is one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL.
Mercilus has big shoes to fill.
In 2012, Mercilus will be more of a situational pass-rusher for the Texans and will provide them with depth. He will certainly help fill the void of Williams; however, I would expect the Texans defense to take a step back.
Green Bay Packers
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Nick Perry, DL
Perry is going to be an immediate starter for the Green Bay Packers, and they desperately need him to make a sudden impact. The Packers brought in Perry to provide their defense with a pass-rusher besides Clay Matthews.
Perry should have a solid rookie season and improve the Packers pass rush.
San Francisco 49ers
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A.J. Jenkins, WR
Jenkins will not make much of an impact in his rookie season because the San Francisco 49ers have a ton of wide receivers.
Jenkins will be stuck behind Mario Manningham, Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree. He will have to compete with Ted Ginn for the number-four-receiver spot, and even then he will still not see the field that much.
Jenkins was taken to be the 49ers receiver of the future, so be patient with him for a couple of seasons.
New York Giants
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David Wilson, RB
With the loss of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw's questionable health, the New York Giants were in need of a running back.
Wilson will be a complimentary back to Bradshaw and should get five to 10 touches per game.
Wilson will not have a huge impact on the Giants offense, but he should have a couple of games in which he shows flashes of his great speed.