The 2012 NFL Draft has finally wrapped up after a huge three day event. This year's draft not only broke the hearts of draftniks and fans alike by being one of wild nature, but it was also the highest rated draft in history. Here are my thoughts on a terrific NFL draft.
- Patriots love to mess with our heads. The Patriots showed us we really don't know them at all by trading up not once, but twice in the first round. They began by snatching highly rated DE Chandler Jones by moving up to 21st overall and quickly moved up the board again to 25th overall to grab arguably the second best linebacker in the draft, Dont'a Hightower. Both represent an immediate upgrade to that Patriots defence. Recent history had taught us that New England love to move back in the draft and compiling picks, but now we know if Belichick really likes a prospect he will, if necessary, trade up to get him. [caption id="attachment_15062" align="alignright" width="239" caption="The Eagles' patience paid off on Thursday night."][/caption] - The Eagles' patience pays off. It was no secret that the Eagles were targeting Fletcher Cox with their first pick, and many had expected them to move up as high as 7th overall to grab him. The Eagles remained cool and allowed Cox to fall to 12th overall before trading up with the Seahawks to grab him, a much cheaper trade than if they were to move into the top 10. Cox will easily upgrade that DL and provide some immediate support in their run-defence. In the second round Philadelphia picked speedy inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks. Kendricks is an instinctive LB and will probably be kicked to the outside. Like the Patriots, the Eagles quickly and efficiently upgraded their defence. - Seahawks have their own damn draft board. The Seahawks surprised everybody by reaching for pass-rush specialist defensive end Bruce Irvin. This move left many exclaiming the Seahawks as clear losers in the first round. Time will tell. While their pick of inside linebacker Bobby Wagner in the second round definitely filled a need and drew praise the 'Hawks then again left us puzzled by their selection of QB Russell Wilson. Clearly a strange draft for Seattle fans. - Defensive backs highly touted. The rise of Stephon Gilmore alone is proof of the need for quality pass-defense in the NFL today. But we should make mention of the Cowboys giving up their second round pick to snatch up Morris Claiborne after already spending $50 million on a new CB in free agency! The nation's top saftey, Mark Barron, was also snatched up in the top 10 at 8th overall. - Three RBs picked in 1st round a surprise. While everybody knew Alabama's Trent Richardson was going be picked up early in the draft, most had the rest of the RB group in the mid-to-late second round and beyond. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers surprised by trading back up into the first to grab Doug Martin 31st overall, forcing the Giants - in a rare need pick - had to settle for David Wilson with their 32nd overall. After an offseason spent proclaiming the dominance of the pass it's nice to see some runners sneak into the first round. - Trades! Trades everywhere! In case you didn't notice, the final first round board looked nothing like it did before the draft started. Starting with the Vikings at third overall, trades were plentiful. It's obvious that the new agreement and rookie wage scale was the main reason for all the moves as an early pick no longer breaks the bank, and teams were more than willing to give up draft selections to get their man. This was both wonderfully exciting for the viewer and extremely frustrating for the analyst whose mock board was mercilessly torn apart by all the moves. So it goes! [caption id="attachment_15063" align="alignleft" width="244" caption="The Giants were surprised Randle fell to them late in the 2nd round."][/caption] - The Vikings were pretty clever. The Vikings had in the days leading up to the draft generated - perhaps falsely - some interest in their third overall and Trent Richardson. They did such a great job that come draft day the Browns really had no choice but to move up one spot fearing the Jets or Buccs might swoop in and take their RB. It was a masterful move that earned the Vikings an extra fifth and sixth round pick, and only left them moving back one spot. They still got their man in Matt Kalil too. Nice. - Love the Giants' second round pick.The Giants got receiver Rueben Randle with their 63rd overall pick in the second round. This was a terrific stroke of luck for the NFL champions as not only did they get a first round prospect in Randle, but they now have a clear successor to Mario Manningham. Randle will make an immediate impact as the Giants' third receiver and this pick more than makes up for whatever reach you might think their grab of Wilson was. - Here my quiet achievers: Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts. - Here are my quiet under-achievers: New York Jets, Houston Texans, St Louis Rams. - Here are my quiet unknowns: Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers.