2012 NFL Draft

Rounds 1-3 Winners: Indianapolis Colts

Obviously the Indianapolis Colts hit a home run with the selection of Andrew Luck. But their Day 2 selections took this draft class to a new level.

Coby Fleener was a no-brainer in the 2nd round. While I didn’t have a high 2nd-round grade on him, his value to the Colts exceeds his value to any other team due to his connection to Andrew Luck. Every young quarterback needs a security blanket, and Fleener will be that guy.

The selection of Dwayne Allen may seem redundant, but Fleener and Allen are actually very different players. Fleener is essentially an oversized wide receiver, while Allen is more of the traditional tight end. I expect the Colts to use Fleener in the slot frequently, much the same way the Packers have used Jermichael Finley in recent years. Allen, on the other hand, will be used more as a blocker and a short-yardage receiver.

In the 3rd round, T.Y. Hilton adds a new dimension to the offense. He has the speed to consistently stretch the field and, even if he’s only targeted a few times per game, his presence on the field will affect how defenses line up.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Colts Comments Off

Rounds 1-3 Winners: Cincinnati Bengals

I haven’t loved every pick made by the Cincinnati Bengals, but the class as a whole is a phenomenal haul for one of the up-and-coming teams in the league.

Dre Kirkpatrick gives the Bengals a very deep secondary, and he should compete for a starting job. It wasn’t necessarily a glaring need, but the value made it the right choice.

Kevin Zeitler was a reach in my opinion, but he will step into a starting role and help solidify the offensive line. He’s a power run blocker, which is the type of team the Bengals appear to be morphing into with the combination of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Bernard Scott at running back.

The additions of Devon Still and Brandon Thompson give the Bengals an extremely deep group at defensive tackle, which should allow them to use a rotation to keep every fresh. The Steelers, Ravens and even the Browns all feature power-running offenses, which the Bengals are now equipped to stop.

Mohamed Sanu was hurt by poor quarterback play at Rutgers, and his best football is ahead of him. He’s exactly the type of possession receiver the Bengals needed to pair with A.J. Green.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Bengals Comments Off

Cleveland Browns select John Hughes, Grade WTF

The Cleveland Browns may have been better off selecting the late, great filmmaker John Hughes, rather than the defensive tackle.

I did not have a draftable grade on John Hughes and, to be honest, did not even bother scouting him in depth. I saw him while studying teammate Derek Wolfe and absolutely nothing about his game stood out. I assumed Hughes would be picked up as a free agent after the draft.

In Cleveland he will strictly be a backup to Taylor and Rubin and is a longshot to ever make a significant impact at the next level.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Browns 2 Comments

Seattle Seahawks select Russell Wilson, Grade B

The Seattle Seahawks needed to come away with a quarterback to develop at some point in this draft, and Russell Wilson is a solid choice. However, the 3rd round is a little too early to take a guy who projects as a career backup.

I love Wilson’s leadership and his intangibles, but he lacks the physical tools to be an elite starter at the next level. I do think he will have a long career and be an excellent backup and spot starter, but Seahawks fans should keep a realistic mindset about this selection. Wilson is not the future franchise quarterback. More realistically, he’s the next Seneca Wallace.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Seahawks Comments Off

Denver Broncos select Brock Osweiler, Grade C+

Despite making the playoffs in 2012 and adding Peyton Manning, the Denver Broncos are still a few pieces away from being legitimate contenders. So I find it odd that they drafted a guy who won’t see the field in any meaningful capacity until 2013 at the earliest.

Brock Osweiler is purely a developmental prospect, and wasn’t worth a 2nd-round selection in my opinion. I like a lot of his tools, but the Broncos coaching staff will likely need to re-work his throwing motion over the course of the next couple years. How quickly he develops may also hinge on how much Peyton Manning embraces the task of tutoring him.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Broncos Comments Off

Cincinnati Bengals select Devon Still, Grade A

The Cincinnati Bengals got an excellent value here with Devon Still, and added some much needed depth to the defensive line.

I wasn’t as high on Still as some, but in the late 2nd round he was well worth the pick and should play a significant role as part of the Bengals defensive line rotation. He’ll fit nicely with Geno Atkins and Domato Peko.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Bengals Comments Off

Tennessee Titans select Zach Brown, Grade B

The Tennessee Titans clearly fell in love with Zach Brown’s athleticism. There’s no denying the fact that he can fly around the field, but he isn’t an true impact player in any aspect of the game at this stage in his career. I did give him a late 2nd-round grade based on his athleticism and potential, however, so I will still give the pick a solid B.

What I don’t like about this pick, however, is the fact that Lavonte David was still on the board. David doesn’t quite have Brown’s upside, but is far and away the better football player at this point in time.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Titans 1 Comment

Green Bay Packers select Jerel Worthy, Grade A+

This is a perfect pick for the Green Bay Packers. Jerel Worthy would be a nose tackle for some teams, but the Packers like oversized defensive ends, where Worthy will likely play in their 3-4 defense. He actually compares favorably to Ryan Pickett, who has done a nice job in Green Bay over the past few  years.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Packers Comments Off

San Diego Chargers select Kendall Reyes, Grade B

The San Diego Chargers had other positions of need, but they got a decent value here with Kendall Reyes.

Reyes fits nicely at defensive end in their 3-4 defense, but I didn’t view the position as a glaring weakness. Reyes will have to complete with two other young defensive ends, Corey Luigit and Vaughn Martin, for playing time and may have a hard time cracking the 1st-team unit.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Chargers Comments Off

New England Patriots select Tavon Wilson, Grade F

This is the biggest reach of the draft and the worst 2nd round pick since the Raiders reach for Mike Mitchell in 2009.

The New England Patriots do a great job managing the draft with trades, but every so often Bill Belichick gets too cute and tries to out-smart everyone else, but only ends up out-smarting himself. Wilson is a special teams player who lacks the basic skills to start in the NFL. I don’t see any possible way this selection proves to be worthwhile for the Patriots.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Patriots 1 Comment