NFL Draft Tracker 2012: Latest Picks Through Round 1

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Trent Richardson (R) from Alabama holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected #3 overall by the Cleveland Browns 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 first round of the NFL draft is in full swing, and the story has been all of the trades in the first round.

Five trades in the top 10 has never happened before in the NFL draft. With the new slotting system, trading picks is now a much easier practice, and multiple teams took full advantage.

A few other fun facts:

For the first time since 2005, the first five picks were selected on the offensive side of the ball. The first six picks all were early entrants, that’s never happened before.  

Follow along for instant reaction after every first-round pick. 

1. Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Whoa, what a shocker. Who would have guessed that the best quarterback prospect to come around since Peyton Manning would be selected with the top pick?

The selection that everybody already knew was happening…well, it happened. Can he live up to the sky-high expectations?

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2. Washington Redskins- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Robert Griffin III from Baylor holds up a jersey as he stands after Griffin was selected #2 overall by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City.
Al Bello/Getty Images

He rocked the burgundy tie, with the Redskin colored socks. He knew exactly where he was going.

This was the second obvious pick and the point of the draft where every mocker out there patted themselves on the back for going 2-for-2.

3. Cleveland Browns (via Minnesota)- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

The Browns traded their fourth overall pick, along with a pick in the fourth, fifth and seventh round to ensure they get their man, and now the expectations are sky-high for Richardson.

With the way the Browns offense is currently constructed, 20-to-25 touches right off the bat is a very realistic possibility. Fantasy players take note.

4. Minnesota Vikings (via Cleveland)- Matt Kalil, OT, USC

The Vikings were able to snag more picks and still get their guy. Kalil is the best tackle in the draft and has the ability to be a mainstay on the O-Line for the next decade.

Some thought Morris Claiborne was the better pick in a division with such great QBs (Rodgers, Cutler, Stafford), but end up going with the sure thing.

Good pick.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Tampa Bay)- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

The Jaguars had absolutely zero playmakers at receiver last year and trading up to land the best one in the draft was a very necessary move.

With Laurent Robinson and Blackmon, Blaine Gabbert has no excuses heading into the new season.

But did they surrender too much for a receiver in a draft that has plenty of them? This tweet from CBS Sports’ Brandon Williams may scare Jag fans:

Jaguars 1st Round WRs: Matt Jones, Reggie Williams, R. Jay Soward. Anyone see a trend? #bust

— Brandon C. Williams (@BCWilliams71) April 27, 2012

6. Dallas Cowboys (via Tampa Bay)- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

One of the worst secondary’s in the league has re-tooled in a hurry.

They swapped the No. 14 overall pick and threw in their second round selection (45) to get the undisputed best defensive player on the board.

Claiborne, along with Brandon Carr and Brodney Pool have instantly made the Dallas secondary 10X better than it was in 2011.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via Jacksonville)- Mark Barron, S, Alabama

The Bucs picked up an extra third round pick, dropping back two spots and still got one of the best defensive players in the draft.

While he may not have the upside of Claiborne, there is no question he can be a star safety in this league for years.

But is drafting a safety so high worth it?

8. Miami Dolphins- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Ryan Tannehill from Texas A&M holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected #8 overall by the Miami Dolphins in the first round of during the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music
Al Bello/Getty Images

Biggest reach of the draft?

After entering college as a wide receiver, he has magically transformed into the third best QB in the draft.

There are a lot of questionable traits to pick apart on Tannehill, but the Dolphins had to get a quarterback and Tannehill is the best available.

Although they could have traded back five picks and still landed their man.

9. Carolina Panthers- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

Not sure I’m a fan of this.

Sure he’s a tackle machine, but his upside is not nearly as high as some of the other defensive players on the board.

Then again, with a healthy Jon Beason, the middle of the defense is suddenly a strength after being a glaring weakness a year ago.

10. Buffalo Bills- Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

Gilmore shot up the draft board in the last month after acing the combine and Gamecocks Pro Day. His ability to step-in and start right away had to be a huge factor for the Bills, who aren’t very far away from competing in a mediocre AFC East.

11. Kansas City Chiefs- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

The All-Star of the combine was relatively unknown until February, but as ESPN’s Chris Mortensen tells us, it was his physical tools that sold the Chiefs:

Kansas City selected Memphis DT Dontari Poe (6'3 1/2 346lb) ran 4.87 40 yard dash at combine and bench pressed 225 pounds 44 times.

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) April 27, 2012

Considering he played for Memphis, his production should have been higher to warrant taking him over Fletcher Cox. Speaking of Cox…

12. Philadelphia Eagles (via Seattle)- Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

The Eagles threw Seattle the 15th pick and their fourth (114) and sixth round (172) picks to jump up five spots to land Cox, who I thought was a much better prospect than Poe.

He was a member of the All-SEC first team, as he seemingly improved each and every game in 2011. With long arms, great upper body strength and 4.7 speed, this is a great move by Philly, who is trying to win now.

13. Arizona Cardinals- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

The Cardinals may have the best receiver combo in the league now.

Floyd is bigger and faster than Blackmon and he’s the best pure route-runner in the draft. Pairing him up with Larry Fitzgerald give them an incredibly dangerous passing game…if only Kevin Kolb wasn’t their QB.

14. St. Louis Rams (via Dallas)- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 05:  Michael Brockers #90 and Sam Montgomery #99 of the LSU Tigers react after the Alabama Crimson Tide missed their field goal in overtime at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. C
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Rams now have the most picks in the draft, and clearly are looking to add quantity over quality.

With a guy like Brockers, they are taking a sizable risk that doesn’t make a ton of sense to me.

While Brockers has the potential to be great, it’s going to take time and the Rams don’t have time. They needed an instant impact player in Round 1 and failed to get one.

15. Seattle Seahawks (via Philadelphia)- Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia

Biggest reach of Round 1 thus far.

Irvin wasn’t graded as a first round pick in virtually every scout’s big board, and he only played two years with the Mountaineers. Character red flags are all over the place for a guy that dropped out of high school after having to spend two weeks in jail.

He is a strong pass rusher that lacks discipline. Plus this isn’t a huge position of need for Seattle.

Don’t get what Pete Carroll is thinking at all.

16. New York Jets- Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

The Jets need more pass rushers, and they get the best available in Coples.

While I certainly have doubts about his senior season stats (7.5 sacks, 2.0 against James Madison), he has plenty of potential to become an elite pass rusher with the right coaching staff.

His effort is certainly a big question mark, but if there was ever a coach to light a fire under him…it would be Rex Ryan.

A big boom/bust pick here.

17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland)- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

The Bengals had so many different options here, and addressing their biggest need was the safe move.

Kirkpatrick may not have the talent of Janoris Jenkins, but it seems that the Bengals are looking to shed their thug image and didn’t want to take the risk.

Can he defend Mike Wallace and Anquan Boldin one-on-one with such a small frame (6’3’’, 192 pounds)? Time to hit the weight room.

18. San Diego Chargers- Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 10:  Aaron Murray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs is hit by Melvin Ingram #6 and another defender of the South Carolina Gamecocks at Sanford Stadium on September 10, 2011 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Ingram was a potential top-10 pick because of his versatility and big play potential.

But there are question marks as to where he’ll play and his short arms concern teams looking for Ingram to be a strong pass rusher. Besides, can you weigh 264 pounds and bowl over 330 pound tackles?

19. Chicago Bears- Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State

One of the most cerebral players in the draft, this is a sound pick for the Bears. Learning under Brian Urlacher will make the athletic McClellin a shoe-in for NFL success.

20. Tennessee Titans- Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

I’m shocked the Titans went offense here.

With so many needs on that side of the ball, they end up getting the most productive receiver in the draft.

But how much of his production can be attributed to RGIII?

21. New England Patriots (via Cincinnati)- Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse

After missing the first five games of the season, Jones came on incredibly strong at the end of the year. He is a terrific pass rusher that should help the Pats and their horrendous pass defense in a hurry.

22. Cleveland Browns (via Atlanta)- Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02:  Brandon Weeden #3 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys throws a pass during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against the Stanford Cardinal on January 2, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Browns draft a QB that is three years younger than their current starter, setting up one of the juiciest QB battles in training camp.

While I think they reached to get him, Weeden has the ability to be a sound starter for the next 5-to-7 years.

23. Detroit Lions- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

Can’t be mad with this pick.

It was a position of need for a team with a fragile QB and Reiff was expected to be off the board by pick 13…not 23.

Great value pick here.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers- David DeCastro, G, Stanford

Speaking of value, things couldn’t have worked out better for the Steelers. They needed to shore up the O-Line desperately and DeCastro is going to be a starter for the next 7-to-10 years.

Pittsburgh kills the draft once again in Round 1.

25. New England Patriots (via Denver)- Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama

The Patriots love hybrid linebackers with blazing speed and Hightower certainly fits the bill. Three picks in a row that are home runs.

26. Houston Texans- Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois

Is he a one-year wonder?

After a lackluster three years, he exploded onto the scene during his senior season.

With the loss of the incredible pass-rusher Mario Williams, the Texans need Mercilus to produce immediately.

27. Cincinnati Bengals (via New England)- Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin

The Bengals love huge hogs on the offensive line and at 6’3’’ and 322 pounds, Zeitler certainly is one.

Zeitler is able to boost that he didn’t allow a single sack in his entire college career.


Considering this was a position of need, love this pick.

28. Green Bay Packers- Nick Perry, DE, USC

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 22: Nick Perry #8 of the University of Southern California Trojans brings down Tyler Eifert #80 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on October 22, 2011 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Ima
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

After getting absolutely shredded in the passing game, the Packers had to get a pass rusher here, and get the best available in Perry.

This is a great choice that should help them right away.  

29. Minnesota Vikings (via Baltimore)- Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame

The Vikings traded their second round (35) and fourth round (98) picks to land Smith.

A four year starter, Smith is capable of starting right away for a team that desperately needed some new blood at the position. He has great vision and is a solid tackler.

Smith is an important part of the team right away.

30. San Francisco 49ers- AJ Jenkins, WR, Illinois


With Alshon Jeffery and Stephen Hill still on the board, the 49ers shock everybody by selecting Jenkins.

While he had 1,276 yards and eight TDs his senior round, it’s a bit of a stretch with some of the other talents on the board.

He has a 4.3 40, but isn’t very explosive out of cuts and didn’t have a great average per catch (14.2). Questionable pick, but not an awful one by any means.  

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via Denver)- Doug Martin, RB, Boise State

Denver receives the 36th and 101st picks from the Bucs for 31 and 126 so Tampa Bay could draft the second-rated running back on the board.

Martin had a standout collegiate career and is able to run between the tackles while also having the speed to turn the corner.

Martin becomes the second player from Boise State drafted in Round 1, previously having two in the history of the school.

32. New York Giants- David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech

Two running backs close out the first round, but I think Lamar Miller is the better pick.

Regardless, with the loss of Brandon Jacobs it was a position of need and now they have a strong two-headed running attack alongside Ahmad Bradshaw to improve the 32nd ranked rushing offense from a year ago.