NFL Draft Results 2012: Bruce Irvin and Biggest Reaches of First Three Rounds

Mike Hoag@MikeHoagJrCorrespondent IIApril 28, 2012

NFL Draft Results 2012: Bruce Irvin and Biggest Reaches of First Three Rounds

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    The 2012 NFL Draft has had some of the biggest reaches in recent memory.

    By ignoring conventional wisdom and sticking to their respective draft boards, certain NFL teams continue to raise question marks on their ability to build a football team.

    Drafting may not be an exact science, but some of these front offices are off the scent completely.

    A reach is a pick that looks to be out of desperation to fill a need of the team.

    Then, there are picks like Bruce Irvin by the Seattle Seahawks.  Irvin’s rough history and character concerns pushed him nearly to Day 3 in most scouts and draftnik circles.

    The following reaches are picks these teams could have attained in later rounds.  Instead, they stuck to their guns and made some mind-boggling decisions. 

Bruce Irvin, OLB/DE, West Virginia

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    The Seattle Seahawks shocked Radio City when they selected Bruce Irvin with the 15th overall selection of the 2012 NFL Draft.

    Seattle believes Irvin will come in and immediately wreak havoc in opposing offenses' backfields.

    Both head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider raved that Irvin is the best pure pass rusher in the draft.

    “This is the kind of guy that puts fear in offensive tackles,” Pete Carroll said.

    Sure Pete, that may be so. But what happens if Irvin's past gets the best of him?

    The risk vs. reward of this pick is a question mark that Carroll and Schneider will have to hope ends up in their favor.

Tavon Wilson, DB, Illinois

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    The New England Patriots reached for Tavon Wilson when selecting him No. 48 overall.

    It's hard to question the drafting expertise of Bill Belichick, but this pick screams like another Brandon Meriweather debacle.

    Wilson's positives are outweighed by significant concerns about his inability to tackle, stick with his man in man-to-man coverage and succeed in press coverage.

    He'll likely project as a safety for the Patriots.

    He was rated as a sixth- to seventh-round prospect by CBS Sports.

Bryan Anger, P, California

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    The Jacksonville Jaguars made one of the biggest reaches in recent memory.  They drafted Bryan Anger, a punter, with the 70th overall selection of the 2012 NFL Draft.

    "Anger is first punter to go in the top 100 picks since 1995, when Todd Sauerbrun went in the second round to Chicago, 56th overall," said Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.

    The need for a solid punter (Jacksonville ranked 31st in net yards per punt in 2011) and the value of this pick do not even come close to a match.

    Surely, Anger may be an upgrade to what Jacksonville had, but how can they justify this selection?

    These are the types of picks the late Al Davis became famous for.

John Hughes, DT, Cincinnati

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    The Cleveland Browns picked John Hughes, a potential undrafted free agent, with the 87th overall selection of the 2012 NFL Draft.

    Hughes does project to be a rotational player along the improving Browns defensive line. This doesn't ease the pain for fans immediately.  Browns GM Tom Heckert reached for a depth player when there are significant holes in other parts of the football team.

    Several positions on the Browns roster are lacking in starting-quality players and have little to no depth.

    That makes this pick not just a reach for need but also an exercise in futility, as the Browns continue to ignore glaring holes in their secondary, linebacker corps and wide receiver group.

T.J. Graham, WR, NC State

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    The Buffalo Bills made a significant reach when they traded up to the 69th overall selection to draft North Carolina State wide receiver T.J. Graham.

    Graham has elite speed and a high yards-per-catch average. However, he doesn't have elite athleticism or size.

    The consensus projection for Graham was a sixth- to seventh-round pick.

    His polish is severely lacking. It's hard to imagine what was going on in the Buffalo Bills war room that made them consider Graham this early. Not only is the pick a reach, but the Bills moving up to get him makes it look even worse.

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