2012 NFL Draft 1st Round Instant Grades

1. Colts, Andrew Luck: A+

Good bye Peyton Manning and hello Andrew Luck.  The Colts make the only pick they could make and get themselves a franchise QB that they hope is as good as the last QB they drafted #1.

2. Redskins, Robert Griffin III: A+

With their last 1st round pick of this decade, the Skins get their franchise QB.  RG3 could become the best QB in this draft with his upside and will revive the Skins.

3. Browns, Trent Richardson: A

Running backs this early in the league now is very risky but Richardson is a beast.  The trade with Minnesota for 1 spot was not that big a deal if he is who they really wanted and they thought he would be gone.

4. Vikings, Matt Kalil: B

Solid pick for the Vikings but Claiborne would have helped  them much more in the pass happy NFC North

5. Jaguars, Justin Blackmon: A

Getting Blackmon for a 4th round pick is very good for Jax.  Gabbert will enjoy having him and Blackmon will be solid.  I just hope Jax will use him right.  He moves down the fantasy rookie rankings with this pick.

6. Cowboys, Morris Claiborne: A+

Dallas gives up a 2nd rd pick to get the best defensive player in this draft.  Claiborne will be a star and Rob Ryan will love him going man on man.

7. Buccaneers, Mark Barron: A

Tampa gets the guy who was rated #1 on more than a few draft boards at #7.  He gets the ball and will straight lay a ball carrier out.  He will show up on highlight reels are year with monster hits.

8. Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill: C

The Dolphins had to take him to get some spark and fan interest but I think it’s not a good pick.  He has the size but he is not the QB Miami needs.

9. Panthers, Luke Kuechly: B+

If he can stay healthy (Hard to do on Carolina’s D) he will average 150+ tackles a season.  The only reason I didn’t give it an A is because I still think it is early for a ILB.

10. Bills, Stephon Gilmore: A

A saw this guy play in person this season and he will be a shutdown corner.  He has great ball skills and if he can’t get it he makes sure the WR won’t.  Buffalo gets a great value here with him.

11. Cheifs, Dontari Poe: B+

It rarely works when you reach for a workout warrior but maybe Poe can show he is more than that.  He is better suited for a 4-3 but should be able to adapt to 3-4.  Romeo will try to get the best out of him and if he can’t no one can.

12. Eagles, Fletcher Cox: A

Inside pass rush stud who will make the DL very tough on QBs.  He has top 5 talent and will be a star.

13. Cardinals, Michael Floyd: A

Floyd will be a star in Arizona opposite Fitz.  Big, fast, physical.  He will be the next Bolden.

14. Rams, Michael Brookers: C

Rams had bigger needs at WR and Ol and they missed on the WR they wanted and panicked.  Should have went with Reiff or DeCastro.

15. Seahawks, Bruce Irvin: F

Speed rusher with upside but if Seattle wanted him they could have got him at #43.  Big time reach and a wasted pick.

16. Jets, Quentin Coples: D

Vernon Gholston?  If he turns it on for every play he can be great.  He won’t!

17. Bengals, Dre Kirkpatrick: C

He gets after the ball but is undersized.  They could have got him at #21 so I am not sure why they took him here.  Should have went with Wright.

18. Chargers, Melvin Ingram: A+

With all the guys getting drafted with half speed motors, Melvin Ingram is not one of them.  He is all work and gets after the ball.  Compares to Dwight Freeney.

19. Bears, Shea McClellin: C

He should be a good player but it doesn’t fit the needs they have.  They should have went with a OL or WR.

20. Titans, Kendall Wright: C

Wright and Britt together should help Locker develop and mature.  I just don’t think it fits a need for them.  They should have gone with pass rush help.

21. Patriots, Chandler Jones: B

A good team with very few needs and pass rush is one of them.  Not anymore.  Jones will get after it and make life hard on QBs in the AFC East.

22. Browns, Brandon Weeden: A+

He will be a starter for the next 8 years in this league.  He is going to be a star and will make Pro Bowls.  I love the pick.  Cleveland has had a great first rd.

23. Lions, Riley Reiff: B+

Lions get the first OL taken is this draft and they get a OT to protect Stafford.

24. Steelers, David DeCastro: A+

Steelers get the man.  DeCastro will be a All-Pro OL for the next decade.  Pair him with Pouncey and run behind them and you will do fine.

25. Patriots, Dont’a Hightower: A

The best drafting team in the NFL makes another move to get a tackling machine.  He will help all aspects of that D.  He could have gone in the top 15.

26. Texans, Whitney Mercilus: A

The Texans get a pass rusher to replace Mario Williams and he will get after the ball.  Great year last year but was he a 1 year wonder or was it a sign of things to come.  I think he will hit double digits in sacks this year.

27. Bengals, Kevin Zeitler: B

Versitle OL who can protect Dalton’s lap.  He will be a starter this year and is a very powerful road clearing guard.

28. Packers, Nick Perry: B

Paired with Matthews, the Packers have the best pass rush in the NFC North now.  Perry is solid and is a great value here.

29. Vikings, Harrison Smith: D

Barron was the only safety worth taking in the 1st round and the Vikings reached a bit.  Jenkins would have been a better fit.

30. 49ers, A.J. Jenkins: D

What is SF going to do with all their new WRs?  Alex Smith isn’t going to be able to throw to all of them.  Should have went with OL here and went after WR later.

31. Buccaneers, Doug Martin: A

They missed on Richardson and they get a very good RB with Martin.  TB had a great 1st round.  Doug, get to know Carl Nicks.  He will lead you to the end zone.

32. Giants, David Wilson: B

Love the pick and it fills a need.  Bradshaw is always hurt and Jacobs is gone so Wilson will be a great fit.  He is a very versatile back.

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