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