First Round Grades and Updated Team Needs

With the first round of the draft completed, here are my initial grades for each of the first 32 picks. In addition, I’ve included the updated team needs for each team. This should provide a good indication of where the teams are likely to go in next couple of days.

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck QB, Stanford

GRADE: A

You can’t give anything less than an A to Indy. Taking the best QB prospect since Peyton Manning to replace Peyton Manning.

Remaining Needs: WR, G/C, NT, CB, TE, LB

2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III QB, Baylor

GRADE: A

The Redskins deserve an A for recognizing that there are only two franchise QBs in this draft and going after the last one.

Remaining Needs: RT, CB, S, ILB, G/C

3. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson RB, Alabama

GRADE: B+

This would have been an A if they hadn’t traded up. Giving up 4th, 5th, and 7th round picks to move up one spot is just bad business. Even if a team was trying to jump them for Richardson, they lost too much to justify it. That said, Richardson is a great fit and should be productive for the Browns.

Remaining Needs: WR, RT, QB, DB

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Post Free Agency Mock

Now that most big-name free agents have new homes here’s a mock to show how teams’ needs have shifted. I’ll address specific signings more in the comments for each team.

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck QB, Stanford

Indianapolis might as well start negotiating its contract with Luck at this point.

2. Washington Redskins (from Rams): Robert Griffin III QB, Baylor

Did anyone think Dan Snyder would lose a bidding war? To those who think they gave up too much, you’re wrong.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil OT, USC

Almost as sure about this pick as I am that Luck will be a Colt. Minnesota can’t pass on Kalil.

4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson RB, Alabama

This is where things get tricky. After botching the trade for RG3 they need to restock just about every position on offense. Losing Peyton Hillis makes runningback a bigger need than receiver, as incredible as that sounds, and Richardson is a far better prospect than Justin Blackmon.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne CB, LSU

Another easy pick, Richardson to Tampa has been a common pick lately but with him gone they’ll sprint to the podium to grab Claiborne. Signing Eric Wright isn’t enough to solve their issues at corner and Claiborne is already a better cover corner than Patrick Peterson, who went 5th overall last year.

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Knowing the 2012 Guard Prospects

Editors Note: This is a great, great post by a new author of mine. If you have any questions for him, let him know in the comments. 

The Guards position is becoming more and more important in today’s NFL.Some of the best rushing teams and best O-lines in league history have had elite guard. A guy like Carl Nicks, or Ben Grubbs can instantly improve the play and toughness of the offensive line. Below is a ranking and analysis of the top guard prospects of the 2012 draft class. This post will also include projected draft position and links to their play. Many of these players have potential to be impact players in the NFL. Without further delay here are the top ten offensive guard prospects of the 2012 NFL Draft.

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Why David DeCastro will fall out of the top 12

I have been wondering a lot about David Decastro’s draft stock so I did some research. Here is when the first guard was taken in the draft since 2000

2011 – 23rd
2010 – 17th
2009 – 51st
2008 – 39th
2007 – 29th
2006 – 23rd
2005 – 32nd
2004 – 46th
2003 – 33nd
2002 – 30th (that was us, Simmons)
2001 – 17th (Hutchinson, now a FA)
2000 – 37th

After the jump see some analysis of this

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One Round NFL Mock Draft

Round 1

1. Indianapolis (2-14) – Team Needs: QB, OG, SS, OC, 2CB, WR, NT, TE, DE, LB, RB – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

The Colts taking Andrew Luck seems like a foregone conclusion. Luck is the consensus number 1 prospect in this draft and has all the tools to be the next star QB in this league. He compares to Cam Newton in terms of athleticism and size and to Drew Brees in terms of accuracy and skill.

2. St. Louis (2-14) – 2OT, 2WR, 2OLB, FS, CB, DT, OC, RB, FB – Matt Kalil, OT, USC

In this mock draft there are no trades so the Rams will have to “settle” for the best OT prospect in a couple years. Kalil is so good that he kept last year’s No. 9 pick to the right side of USC’s offensive line. Kalil is good at everything but has to add some strength to make sure he can stand up to a bull rush.

After the jump see the rest of this mock draft

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Analyzing the Guard Class

This year’s offensive guard class is loaded with good players from top to bottom and has possibly the best guard prospect in the past ten years to top it off. After the jump see all you need to know about this fantastic class of guards.

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2 Round Mock

Finally got a 2 Round Mock done. I sprinkled in a few trades but this is more conservative than my last. Enjoy.

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck QB, Stanford

Pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point.

TRADE: St. Louis Rams trade #2 pick to Washington for their 1st, 2nd and conditional 2013 2nd round pick.

2. Washington Redskins (from Rams): Robert Griffin III QB, Baylor

This is one of the more predictable trades I can remember as Washington moves up to get RG3. The 2013 pick will become a 1st round pick if RG3 leads them to the playoffs.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil OT, USC

The Vikings couldn’t be happier to see someone trade up for RG3 because then it means they get Kalil. He fills a big need and will protect Christian Ponder for the next 10 years.

4. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon WR, Oklahoma State

I’m going on the record now, the worst thing the Browns could possibly do is to trade up for Robert Griffin. He will just be another talented young QB with no weapons to work with that will FAIL MISERABLY. Taking an elite receiver like Blackmon will actually give whoever their QB is a chance.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne CB, LSU

Tampa is in a good situation here since its unlikely any defensive players are taken in the top 4. Claiborne fills the biggest need for the Bucs and is the top talent available who’s not Trent Richardson.

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4 Round NFL Mock Draft

I never mock trades but in this scenario I am going to mock one. The Redskins are going to give up their 1st, 2nd, and 4th round picks to move up from #6 to #2. Also note that this was written on 1/21, before the Championship games were played so the order of the draft reflects that. The final four picks were determined by Regular season record.  Note – because the order is wrong at the end I decided to forgo explanations for the final three rounds and just get this published.

Round 1

1.    Indianapolis (2-14) – Team Needs: QB, OG, OC, 2CB, WR, SS, TE, DE, LB, RB – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford – Is an explanation really needed here?

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ezsteeler First Mock Draft with trades

Hello everyone, I’ve been invited to be a part of this team and I’m excited to get started. I haven’t done a mock with trades in a while, but with so much movement expected in this year’s draft I thought it would be appropriate. I hope you appreciate it and as always constructive feedback is welcomed. Enjoy!

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck QB, Stanford

Not much explanation needed here. The Colts will take Luck, no questions asked.

TRADE: Rams trade #2 pick to Redskins for 2012 1st, 2nd, 4th and 2013 1st and 3rd.

2. Washington Redskins (via Rams): Robert Griffin III QB, Baylor

This could be one of the most predictable trades in quite some time. Washington will go after for RG3, and I don’t see another team wiling to outbid them.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil OT, USC

The Vikings need to put weapons around Christian Ponder immediately. They would have to seriously consider Blackmon here, but ultimately a franchise LT like Kalil is too valuable. If they can find a #1 receiver they will have a good group in place on offense.

4. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon WR, Oklahoma State

Cleveland is rumored to want RG3 as well, but they are in too good a position to trade out of. Any of the top prospects on offense would fit for them, so they can sit tight and wait for whoever comes. Blackmon would be a great target forColt McCoy (or whoever they have at QB) and would push Greg Little down to #2, which is where he belongs. If Blackmon is gone, they can take Richardson since they will be losing Peyton Hillis in the offseason.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne CB, LSU

Tampa is also in a good position since its unlikely any defensive players will be taken in the top 4 (barring a trade). That means they can take Claiborne who fills their biggest need. Claiborne isn’t as freakishly athletic as Patrick Peterson, but is probably an even better cover corner.

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Ranking the 2012 Draft Prospects by Position – Offensive Guards

Today I will continue ranking the 2012 NFL Draft prospects. This post will look at the guards of the 2012 NFL Draft. I am also pleased to announce that within the next week, I will introduce two new writers to the site. They are both very, very knowledgeable and will provide the site with some different types of posts.

1. David DeCastro, Stanford – DeCastro is the best guard prospect to come around in a long time and he has the potential to be a top 3 or 4 guard in the NFL. He should likely be a top 15 draft pick.

2. Peter Konz, Wisconsin – While Konz is the #1 center prospect, he is also the #2 guard prospect in the class. He has great feet, is very strong, and has all the intangibles. He should be a first round draft pick, and possibly top 20.

3. Cordy Glenn, Georgia – Glenn has all the tools to be a great guard but he needs to work on finishing blocks and playing to the whistle. He still has tons of talent and that should keep him in the first two rounds of the draft.

4. Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin – What Zeitler lacks in athleticism, he makes up for in toughness and dedication. He is an excellent pass blocker and is good at pulling. He seems like a 2nd to 3rd round draft pick at this time.

5. Brandon Washington, Miami – Washington has tons of athleticism, finishes blocks, plays to the whistle, and is loaded with potential. He decided to leave Miami and enter the draft and it makes sense. He should be a 2nd to 3rd round draft pick in April.

After the jump, see the rest of the guard prospects

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