Thursday, April 26, 2012

2012 LIVE Draft Blog

Welcome to the 2012 LIVE NFL draft blog.  Starting around 8pm, I will be live-blogging the 1st round of the 2012 NFL draft.  Watching the draft with me will be Colin Donlevy, Chris Ott and Brad Duppstadt.  Possible appearances by my cousin JJ, and an eventual appearance by my girlfriend Kait are also likely.

Feel free to send in questions or make comments via Facebook, Twitter or right here on the blog.

6:42pm:  Heading out to pick up wings.  The Colts are on the clock. Who will they take?????

7:28pm:  First trade - Browns send the 4th overall pick, along with 4th, 5th and 7th rounders to the Vikings for the 3rd overall pick.  Browns will reportedly draft Alabama RB Trent Richardson.  Probably afraid of recent rumors that the Bucs wanted to move up to #3 and get him.

7:34pm:  Who is going to help Janoris Jenkins carry his kids out?

7:45pm:  Great night of TV.  Flipping back and forth between Rangers/Senators game 7 and the draft preview show.  Also, what does it say about me that I'll be more disappointed tonight if Joshua Ledet gets voted off American Idol than if the Lions draft a total bust in round 1?

8:07pm:  And were off - Andrew Luck, the #1 pick of the 2012 NFL draft.  Also, the biggest dork ever to be drafted #1.  This guy makes Peyton Manning look like a badass thug.

8:21pm:  Ok, now the draft starts after Luck-RGIII-Richardson.  I'm surveying the room, asking who each of us thinks our team will draft and who we want our teams to draft.  Colin wants the Seahawks to pick Michael Floyd but thinks they will get Luke Kuechly.  Ott wants the Jets to take Michael Floyd but thinks they will get Mark Barron.  I want the Lions to get Stephon Gilmore but think they will end up trading down and taking Jonathan Martin.  Waiting on the Vikings here...if they pass on Kalil, I could see the Bills moving up....

8:33pm:  Wow, I wasn't kidding about the draft starting now.  After the Vikings trade #3 to the Browns, they take Kalil at 4.  Then the Jags trade up to 5 to take Blackmon.  Now the Cowboys are up to 6!  Who are they after?  Claiborne - or do they want Barron that badly?  The PICK IS IN....

8:38pm:  Colin:  "How do they get the names on those jerseys so fast?"  Ott:  "They must have some Vietnamese girl back there - Schefter tweets her the name and she starts sewing away!"

8:51pm:  Just got a text from Lawlor that I agree with - Tannehill is in the lead for hottest GF so far.  I know one happy guy if Carolina passes on Michael Floyd and the Bills take him...Michael Lynch. 

8:56pm:  SPOILER ALERT!  Important update!  Joshua Ledet and Phillip Phillips are safe on Idol. Whew!  Ok, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

9:05pm:  So Michael Floyd still on the board for Colin and the Seahawks...but they trade the pick to the Eagles!  This has gotta be Fletcher Cox or Chandler Jones.

9:26pm:  Quick update - the Eagles take Fletcher Cox and the Cardinals take Michael Floyd to pair with Larry Fitzgerald.  Could be an awesome know, if they had someone to throw the ball to them.  Also, unreal action going on in the Rangers-Senators game.  Rangers up 2-1 with less than3 minutes left.

9:42pm:  So the Seahawks take Bruce Irvin. Colin's reaction- "who?!?"  Not a good sign. Then the Jets take Quinton Coples - who was projected as a top 10 pick early on in the process.  We'll see if Rex Ryan can get his motor working.  The Coples pick might have been the first correct pick from my mock draft since RGIII at #2...

9:59pm:  Wing update - since JJ and Brad didn't make it over, Kait has to eat about 45 buffalo ranch wings from Aroogas.  Think she can do it?  As for the draft, the Bengals take Dre Kirkpatrick (who I wanted to slip to the Lions), the Chargers took Melvin Ingram and the Bears took Shea McClellin.  Oh, and Phillip Humber gave up 9 runs tonight in his first start after the perfect game.  Hopefully I'm playing fantasy baseball against the guy who picked Humber up after that perfect game.

10:14pm:  Great draft to have a need on the o-line!  DeCastro and Reiff still around, when most mocks had them in the top 15.  I'm hoping for Reiff here for the Lions!

10:22pm:  Good/bad situation there.  The Lions get Reiff - the 2nd best OT in the draft at a great value spot.  But the Steelers get DeCastro, the best guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson. Oh well.  And who would have thought the Pats would trade UP twice, to nab Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower?  Smart moves. 

10:41pm:  Semi-boring end of the draft.  Although as I type that, the Vikings trade up with the Ravens.  My guess is they are going after Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech here. 

11:08pm:  And thats a wrap.  We finish the 1st round out with a flurry of trades.  The Vikings take Harrison Smith, S. Notre Dame.  The 49ers take AJ Jenkins, WR, Illinois. The Broncos trade out of #31, and the Bucs move in to take RB Doug Martin, Boise St.  And the Giants close it out with RB David Martin.

Final thoughts:  Lots of trades early and overall a super fast 1st round.  The Lions got great value with Reiff at #23 and I can go to bed happy.  Hope for the Lions to make a move tomorrow to get either CB Janoris Jenkins or Trumaine Johnson.  Good night ya'll.

2012 NFL 1st Round Mock Draft

The 2012 NFL Draft kicks off tonight with the 1st round live on ESPN.  For anyone who is a fan of the NFL (pretty much everyone), this is a huge night.  We all get to see who might be the next future star for our team, or who might be the next bust.  As a Lions fan, I have suffered through my fair share of draft busts over the years.  It's still pretty incredible to think that from 2002 through 2008, the Lions had a 1st round pick every year that was inside the top 20, and yet only hit a homerun on ONE of those picks:  2007 - Calvin Johnson.  Everyone loves a good laugh, right?  Check this out:

2002:  #3 overall pick - QB Joey Harrington.  BUST

2003:  #2 overall pick - WR Charles Rogers.  BUST

2004:  #7 overall pick - WR Roy Williams.  Solid pick - had his best years with Detroit.
2004:  #30 overall pick - RB Kevin Jones.  Solid pick - again, best years with Detroit.

2005:  #10 overall pick - WR Mike Williams.  BUST

2006:  #9 overall pick - LB Ernie Simms.  DECENT pick - but #9 is high for an average LB.

2007:  #2 overall pick - WR Calvin Johnson.  AWESOME pick.  However, he just "won" the contest to become the cover player for Madden this year, which means he'll tear his ACL in training camp.

2008:  #17 overall pick - OL Gosder Cherilus.  WHO?  Exactly.  In all fairness, he did start 15 games last year.

So while the draft is certainly exciting, as you can see from the rundown above, having a high 1st round pick does NOT mean you are going to get a stud that will instantly (or ever) make your team better.

Below is MY 2012 NFL Mock Draft based on what I've read from the NFL "experts" and also what I know about each team, their needs and where they are picking in the 1st round.  It's only a 1-round mock, because mocking more than the 1st round is just flat out impossible.  Also, I expect their to be a lot of trades in the 1st round this year.  However, those are hard to predict, so I'll just note where I think a team MIGHT trade.

Check back on the blog later tonight, around 8pm to be exact, because I'll be LIVE blogging the 1st round along with my buddy, Colin Donlevy.  You can be sure there few insightful comments, and lots and lots of arguing. 

1.  Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford.

Easiest pick on the board.  The Colts have publicly stated they will draft Luck, so no real surprises here.  Although, I can't help but to think how cool it would be if they threw everyone a curve ball and took RGIII.

2.  Washington Redskins (from St. Louis) - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor.

Actually, this pick might be easier.  Washington traded the farm to move up to the #2 spot this year, and it wasn't to draft Devon Still (DC!!!!!). 

3.  Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, OT, USC.

The Vikings will either take Kalil, or Morris Claiborne here and I'm going Kalil, who will protect young QB Christian Ponder for years to come.  Rumor has it they are trying to move down in the draft.  If they can do it, it would be smart because they have needs at OL, CB and WR, and moving down could allow them to get some picks and still get one of Claiborne, Kalil or Justin Blackmon. 

4.  Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama.

If I'm Cleveland, I rush to the podium to make this pick.  Richardson is a stud, and Cleveland badly needs star power on offense.  This could be a GREAT draft for the Browns, with 2 1st round picks and an early 2nd. 

5.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU.

Another no-brainer here as the Bucs need help in coverage, and Claiborne is the top cover CB in the draft.  If Claiborne is already off the board, then I'd burn up the phones to try and move down.

6.  St. Louis Rams (from Washington) - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.

St. Louis makes out like bandits in the trade with Washington.  They were not going to take a QB at #2, because they have faith in Sam Bradford.  And they still get the highest rated WR, one who most think will be a true #1 in the NFL.  WR is the Rams biggest need, as Bradford has never had a true #1 WR to throw to.

7.  Jacksonville Jaguars - Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina.

I think the Jags will do everything in their power to move off this pick.  They have a lot of needs, but cannot get great value by picking 7th.  If they are stuck, I think they'll take Gilmore.  He's been flying up draft boards lately and is probably the 2nd best CB in the draft.  However, I like Mel Kiper's prediction of the Eagles trading up here to grab DT Fletcher Cox. 

8.  Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannenhill, QB, Texas A&M.

Some say this is too high for Tannenhill, others say the Dolphins will have to trade up to get him.  I just don't see anyone else leap frogging them to pick a QB who was a WR for his first 2 years at A&M and is a bit of a project.  But he fits well with the Dolphins, and was coached by new Dolphins OC Mike Sherman while at A&M. 

9.  Carolina Panthers - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi St.

Obviously if the Eagles trade up and get Cox at #7, the Panthers can't take him here.  But if he's available, I think he's too good to pass up for them.  They could also reach a bit for Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College or Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame.  Both would also be good picks.

10.  Buffalo Bills - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame.

Many early mocks had the Bills taking an OT.  But the Bills made a splash in the offseason by signing Mario Williams, and I think they need to continue that here by taking an exciting WR in Floyd.  He will team with Stevie Johnson to form a nice 1-2 punch for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and will help the Bills keep pace with the high scoring offense of the Patriots. 

11.  Kansas City Chiefs - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa.

Boring pick, but the Chiefs need an LT and Reiff projects to be a good one.  The Big Ten always cranks out top notch O-lineman.   

12.  Seattle Seahawks - Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina.

Quick:  when was the last time 2 players from South Carolina went in the top 12 of the NFL draft?  Yeah...I have no clue either.  The Seahawks need a pass rusher, and Ingram might be the best one in the draft.  I could also see the Seahawks trading down, as there is not a ton of value at this spot for them.

13.  Arizona Cardinals - Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College.

The Cardinals could go in a lot of directions.  If Floyd is here, they could pair him with Fitzgerald for the foreseeable future and really help out Kevin Kolb.  But Kuechly is the best pure LB in this draft, and he can do it all - he's a tackling machine and he's big and fast enough to drop into coverage and stick with the stud TEs of the NFL.

14.  Dallas Cowboys - Mark Barron, S, Alabama.

I think this is a no-brainer if Barron is still around.  ESPN's Adam Schefter thinks he'll be gone (eat sh*t Schefter).  I saw an earlier mock that had the Patriots trading their 2 1st rounders to move up to Seattle's spot and grab Barron.  Watch for something like that.

15.  Philadelphia Eagles - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis.

The Eagles would love to get their hands on Cox (hmm, that didn't sound right) or Kuechly, but if they can't, Poe isn't a bad consolation prize.  Poe was the workout wonder of the combine, greatly improving his draft stock even though his stats from college were weak.  But the Eagles need help up the middle on D and Poe is HUGE.

16.  New York Jets - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina.

Coples was a top 10 pick as recently as a couple months ago, but there are some questions about his motor.  I think Rex Ryan can fix those problems, as he seems to be a good motivator.  Coples is the type of player who could thrive in Ryan's system. 

17.  Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) - David DeCastro, G, Stanford.

The Bengals will be thrilled if DeCastro is still on the board.  They have a huge need at guard and some say DeCastro is the best guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson.  Hutch is the same guy who made a fat, slow Shaun Alexander the best RB in football for a few years. 

18.  San Diego Chargers - Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse.

The Chargers need pass-rushers, and Jones is a stud in that department.  Jones is long and athletic - traits that a DE needs to be a top-end pass-rusher. 

19.  Chicago Bears - Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia.

O-line is the Bears biggest need, and Glenn is good value here.  If both Glenn and Reiff are gone, I could see the Bears going with a pass-rusher to put opposite of Peppers.  But here, they'll take Glenn and work on giving Cutler more time to find his new, shiny, wife-beating weapon, Brandon Marshall.

20.  Tennessee Titans - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama.

This pains me, because I'd love for him to fall to the Lions.  But after the Titans lost CB Cortland Finnegan in the offseason, I think this fills a glaring hole.  Easy pick.

21.  Cincinnati Bengals - Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama.

Ok, this is a pure gut call here.  No one else has Jenkins this high, but I've heard rumors he's moving up, and I think the Bengals have a huge need a CB.  Jenkins might be the best pure cover CB in the draft, but character concerns (aka he's a pot-head) have caused him to drop.  The Bengals like to take risks (see: Pacman Jones) and I could see them pulling the trigger here. 

22.  Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta) - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech.

Combine Richardson and Hill, and the Browns have greatly improved the offensive weapons around QB Colt McCoy.  If the Browns aren't getting a difference maker at QB in this draft, might as well try to surround your current QB with great weapons.  Plus, I still see the Browns grabbing QB Brandon Weeden either in the 2nd round, or by trading back into the late 1st. 

23.  Detroit Lions - Jonthan Martin, OT, Stanford

The Lions would be crazy not to pick a CB or OT here.  These have been their biggest needs dating back to alst year's draft, when they decided to go "best available" instead of filling needs.  It worked out just fine, since they made the playoffs.  But now is the time to solidfy both the O-line and defensive backfield and win a playoff game or three. 

24.  Pittsburgh Steelers - Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama.

This seems to be a consensus pick if Hightower is still around.  The Steelers love big LBs, and they like their young players to play a backup role early and learn from the veterans.  Perfect fit here. 

25.  Denver Broncos - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU.

Another easy pick if he's on the board.  The Broncos love him, and he fills a big need as a disruptive defensive tackle. 

26.  Houston Texans - Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois.

The Texans lost Mario Williams, and Mercilus would help fill that void.  He's a stud pass-rusher and I've seen him go as high as the top 15 in other mocks.  So great value here. 

27.  New England Patriots (from New Orleans) - Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama.

We all know the Patriots love to trade down and stockpile picks.  But I think it's about time they get some young, difference-makers on defense.  Upshaw fits a huge need for the Pats and will immediately help their poor pass-rush (seems to be the buzz word this year, doesn't it?). 

28.  Green Bay Packers - Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise St.

The Packers had the worst pass-rush in the NFL last year and McClellin will immediately help remedy that.  He has been a fast riser on draft boards and if the Patriots don't take him, I think the Packers will. 

29.  Baltimore Ravens - Peter Konz, OC, Wisconsin.

Konz fills a need but is a boring pick.  I could see the Ravens going with a WR here like Kendall Wright from Baylore.  But Konz is a safe pick who should step in right away and help solidify the OL.  If Hightower falls here, he could also be the pick to succeed Ray Lewis.

30.  San Francisco 49ers - Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin.

Fills a huge need - not much else to say here.  Though I could see them taking a luxury pick like a WR, or possibly Coby Fleener, the TE from Stanford. 

31.  New England Patriots - Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame

Again I'd be shocked if the Pats make both of their 1st round picks, but if they do, Smith fills a need and is a riser on draft boards.  The Patriots top two needs are D-line and DBs, so they fill both of those here with their two 1st round picks. 

32.  New York Giants - Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford.

The Giants have good depth at most key positions.  They could beef up the O-line here, but I think Fleener is a top 20 talent in this draft who will fall simply because of the position he plays.  He could be in the Gronkowski/Graham mold of pass-catching TEs sooner rather than later. 

Enjoy the draft and check back later for the live-draft blog!