2012 NFL Draft: Biggest Question for Each Team Heading into the DraftApril 23, 2012
2012 NFL Draft: Biggest Question for Each Team Heading into the Draft
It's certainly hard to believe but the 2012 NFL draft is a few days away.
The draft is a time when championships are won—believe it or not. The draft is where franchises can build a foundation with youthful talent heading into the future.
It is an extremely critical time for NFL teams, and entering the draft all 32 of those teams have some pretty major questions that need to be answered.
In that spirit, here are the biggest questions for each team heading into the draft.
Will Ray Rice hold out for a long period of time?
If Ray Rice plans on holding out for all of the summer workouts and into training camp, then the Baltimore Ravens will have to look for other options at the running back position.
Either way, right now—aside from Rice—Baltimore's running back corps isn't all that talented and could use some help via the draft this upcoming week.
Who is going to start opposite of A.J. Green?
With Jerome Simpson recently being arrested for a marijuana-related incident, the Cincinnati Bengals don't have any wide receiver on their roster that's talented enough to pick up the No. 2 wide receiver role.
If were the Bengals, I'd take a look at someone like Kendall Wright in the later end of the first round this upcoming Thursday.
How are the Cleveland Browns going to score in 2012?
Not with guys like Robert Griffin III or Matt Flynn—but the Cleveland Browns need to find a way to score points in 2012.
The Browns need to embrace the fact that Colt McCoy will be the team's starter this season and they need to surround him with talent so their offense doesn't fail miserably.
Will Mike Wallace hold out for the 2012 season?
As of right now, this certainly appears to be a strong possibility, as ESPN has reported that Mike Wallace is "mulling" over holding out.
With that being said, the Steelers might want to look at adding some depth at the wide receiver position during this year's draft.
Who is going to start at left tackle in 2012 for the Chicago Bears?
It sure as hell better not be J'Marcus Webb, as he is nothing but a lost cause at the left tackle position.
The Bears will have to look to find a new starting left tackle in this year's draft this week.
Who's going to play strong safety in 2012 for the Detroit Lions?
If you ask me, I'd definitely recommend taking a look at Alabama's Mark Barron to be the Detroit Lions' starting safety this upcoming season.
This past season for the Lions, strong safety Amari Spievey was terrible all season and the team definitely needs an upgrade at this position.
Green Bay Packers
Who's going to help out Clay Matthews in the pass-rushing department?
I'll tell you one thing, Clay Matthews may be one of the NFL's elite outside linebackers but he can't do it alone for the Green Bay Packers.
As of right now, I have the Green Bay Packers being one of the best teams in football in 2012, but they're going to have to improve their pass rush if they want to make a deep playoff run.
Is Matt Kalil the real deal?
He sure as hell better be, since I have him going third overall to the Minnesota Vikings.
I truly believe that the Vikings will take Kalil, as they need to find a left tackle for the future to protect the blind side of their franchise quarterback, Christian Ponder.
Will the Houston Texans draft a wide receiver to start opposite of Andre Johnson?
Let's face it Texans fans, we realize that Andre Johnson is one of the great wide receivers in the NFL today, but he simply cannot do it on his own.
Just look at how T.J. Yates stared down Johnson in their playoff loss against the Baltimore Ravens—it's because he had no one else to throw to.
Houston needs to change that.
Is Andrew Luck as good as he's hyped to be?
If I'm an Indianapolis Colts fan right now, I am praying that Andrew Luck is not a bust—if he is, well then this may be one of the greatest debacles in the history of mankind, not just the history of the NFL or even organized sports for that matter.
Is it time to give up on Blaine Gabbert?
I know this is something that a lot of people are wondering right now, but I have to say no.
Why? Because look at how poorly built the Jacksonville Jaguars are—Gabbert has no talent surrounding him whatsoever.
Heading into the 2012 draft, the Jags need to do something to add some offensive firepower to jump-start their pedestrian passing attack.
Will Jake Locker beat out Matt Hasselbeck?
This is something that everyone involved with the Tennessee Titans is wondering right now.
To be honest with you, I hope he does because I thought Locker was one of the more NFL-ready quarterbacks from last year's draft—but we'll just have to wait and see if he can beat out Hasselbeck this training camp.
Who will be the Atlanta Falcons' starting left tackle in 2012?
All I have to say is that Sam Baker and Will Svitek are not the answers at left tackle for the Atlanta Falcons. Changes have to be made.
However, it's certainly going to be difficult for the Falcons as they do not have a first-round pick in this year's draft.
Who is going to start next to Sione Fua on the Carolina Panthers defensive line?
Not Terrell McClain.
I realize that McClain was a rookie this past season, but he did not impress me one bit as he was consistently abused against the run.
The Panthers need to spend a first- or second-round pick on a beastly defensive tackle that is stout against the run and can cause some penetration.
New Orleans Saints
How much will bountygate effect the New Orleans Saints in 2012?
Forget about the draft, free agency or any of that.
The New Orleans Saints have a bigger problem than that and that's known as bountygate.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft a cornerback in the first round?
In this year's draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the fifth overall pick and could go with either cornerback Morris Claiborne out of LSU or running back Trent Richardson out of Alabama.
This is a tough decision for the Bucs, but I'd go with Claiborne as Tampa Bay really needs some young blood at that position with Ronde Barber aging by the second.
Is Ryan Fitzpatrick a franchise quarterback?
With the money that the Buffalo Bills spent on Ryan Fitzpatrick last season, I hope he is.
However, the Bills may want to take a look at a quarterback like Ryan Tannehill as he certainly could go in the top 10 of this year's draft.
Who's going to be the Miami Dolphins' No. 1 wide receiver in 2012?
It's not going to be Brandon Marshall—he was traded to the Chicago Bears.
As the Dolphins hold the No. 8 overall pick in this year's draft, Miami could very well take a look at guys like Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd—but in my opinion, I see them going with quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
New England Patriots
How will the New England Patriots fix their secondary?
The New England Patriots had one of the worst secondaries in the history of the NFL this past season, and there are so many needs in the back-end of their defense, we'll just have to wait and see if Bill Belichick decides to add any pieces.
But with the Patriots, predicting their draft is almost impossible.
New York Jets
Who is going to be the New York Jets' No. 2 wide receiver opposite of Santonio Holmes?
Mark Sanchez needs to find someone to throw to besides Santonio Holmes, as Plaxico Burress is as good as gone.
If the Jets want to give Sanchez the chance to continue developing as a passer, then they're going to have to find someone to take pressure off of Holmes as the go-to receiver.
Who will be the Dallas Cowboys' starting center in 2012?
It better not be Phil Costa, as he was one of the worst centers that I saw all of last season.
Did you see how many botched snaps there were between Costa and Tony Romo? That has to change.
New York Giants
Who will be the New York Giants' starting left guard in 2012?
If you happened to see any of the New York Giants' playoff games in 2011, you would have noticed that Eli Manning was always on his back. He took a beating.
At left guard, David Diehl, Mitch Petrus and Kevin Boothe are not the answers and a change must be made.
Who will be the Philadelphia Eagles' starting left tackle in 2012?
Not Jason Peters, as he suffered a torn Achilles back in March and should be out for at least a year.
With that being said, the Eagles will have to look for a replacement and could very well do so with their No. 15 overall pick.
Can Robert Griffin III develop into an NFL starting quarterback?
He better—the Washington Redskins traded an arm and a leg to be able to take him with the No. 2 overall pick.
If you ask me, I do believe that RG3 will develop not only into an NFL starting quarterback, but also an elite player.
How can the Denver Broncos improve their offensive line in 2012?
With Peyton Manning at quarterback for the Denver Broncos, their No. 1 priority needs to be protecting their newly acquired franchise quarterback.
Kansas City Chiefs
Can Matt Cassel bounce back in 2012?
2011 was a very rough season for Matt Cassel and the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs need to decide if Cassel is the guy for the future, but they will look for some competition this training camp with the signing of Brady Quinn.
What are the Oakland Raiders going to do in the 2012 draft?
Not very much—considering that they don't have a pick until the third round after the Carson Palmer trade from a year ago.
San Diego Chargers
Will the San Diego Chargers draft a cornerback in the first round of this year's draft?
I actually believe that the Chargers will look to add a cornerback in this year's draft and I also believe that they'll look to add one in the first round, simply because Quentin Jammer isn't getting any younger.
I'd like to think that someone like Janoris Jenkins or Stephon Gilmore would be on San Diego's radar.
Can Levi Brown be a reliable option at left tackle?
No. No. No.
I have no idea why the Arizona Cardinals re-signed Levi Brown.
The Cardinals need to replace him immediately.
San Francisco 49ers
Can the San Francisco 49ers improve their offensive line?
I sure hope so, because their offensive line was terrible a year ago, with Alex Smith consistently being under pressure.
The San Francisco 49ers don't have many holes, but one of them is their entire offensive line, as their protection against the pass rush was putrid in 2011.
Who's going to pressure the quarterback aside from Chris Clemons?
With the No. 12 overall pick in this year's draft, the Seattle Seahawks should take a look at adding a pass-rusher, someone like Melvin Ingram or Courtney Upshaw.
However, I do see the Seahawks going with a defensive player at No. 12, and I see them taking Boston College inside linebacker Luke Kuechly.
St. Louis Rams
Who will be the St. Louis Rams' No. 1 wide receiver in 2012?
Could it be Justin Blackmon?
It's certainly expected by many that Blackmon will go No. 6 overall to the Rams—but it's not a safe bet, as I believe that Michael Floyd is a much better prospect than Blackmon—and that taking Blackmon that high would be somewhat of a wasted selection.