A look back at the 2012 Draft

While many draft analysts try and grade each teams draft right within a few days of the annual event, it has always been said that the true indicator of each draft is roughly three years later. That said, the players taken in the first round of the 2012 Draft have now had three complete seasons in the league. How have they done? 1 – Andrew Luck – Indianapolis – Luck has done everything expected of him. He has shown improvement every year and now can be talked about as one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. With only three years of experience, his best football is in front of him. 2 – Robert Griffin III – Washington – While it may be too early to say RGIII is a bust, he is getting close to that category. After a strong rookie year, he has gone downhill. How RGIII plays in 2015 will determine his future in Washington and the NFL. 3 – Trent Richardson – Cleveland – After little more than one season, Cleveland traded Richardson to Indianapolis for a first round pick. Getting the first in return at least saved the day for the Browns as Richardson has done nothing and is a bust. 4 – Matt Kalil – Minnesota – Kalil started out strong but his play has leveled off. To be honest, he has to be labeled a disappointment 5 – Justin Blackmon – Jacksonville – Blackmon has been off the field with suspensions more than he has played. It looks as if he will never play another down in the NFL. Bust! 6 – Morris Claiborne – Dallas – Claiborne has not played up to expectations. He lost his starting job in Dallas last year, and shortly after, he suffered a knee injury and was placed on injured reserve. Not a bust yet, but darn close. 7 – Mark Barron – Tampa Bay – When Lovie Smith became head coach in Tampa Bay last year he didn’t feel Barron was a good fit for his defensive scheme. Smith traded Barron to St. Louis early in the 2014 season. While the Rams like what Barron has done, he has to be labeled a disappointment. 8 – Ryan Tannehill – Miami – Tannehill’s play has been up and down in Miami, but he came on strong the last part of the season. The jury is still out as to whether or not Tannehill was drafted higher than he should have been. We need one more year to get a complete answer. 9 – Luke Kuechly – Carolina – after Andrew Luck, Kuechly just may be the best player in the first round. He is already an All-Pro. Great pick! 10 – Stephon Gilmore – Buffalo – Gilmore has played well for Buffalo. He has had some injury issues, but overall, he was a very good pick. 11 – Dontari Poe – Kansas City – The Chiefs were second guessed a lot for this pick when it was made. The second guessers were wrong, Poe is a great inside player. 12 – Fletcher Cox – Philadelphia – Going into the draft many felt Cox was the best interior defensive linemen in the draft. While he hasn’t been that, he has been a very solid player. Good pick! 13 – Michael Floyd – Arizona - Coming into the league, Floyd had to play second fiddle to Larry Fitzgerald. Floyd is starting to come into his own and led the Cardinals in receiving yards a year ago. A solid pick. 14 – Michael Brockers – St. Louis – The Rams have more good young talent on their defensive line than any other team in the NFL. Brockers is an important part of that line. Solid pick. 15 – Bruce Irvin – Seattle – Irvin was drafted to be a pass rusher. While he does that on passing downs, he is now a linebacker and is a strong part of the Seattle defense. Solid pick. 16 – Quinton Coples – New York Jets – While Coples has shown flashes of top play, he hasn’t been consistent. To date, he has to be labeled a bit of a disappointment. 17 – Dre Kirkpatrick – Cincinnati – When a player is drafted in the middle of the first round and isn’t a solid starter by his third year he has to be labeled a disappointment. 18 – Melvin Ingram – San Diego – When Ingram has been healthy, he has been a good player. The problem is, he has missed too much time due to injury. 19 – Shea McClellin – Chicago - McClellin was drafted to be a pass rusher, he hasn’t been that. He was moved to Sam linebacker a year ago and still did little. A bust. 20 – Kendall Wright – Tennessee – With 215 receptions in three years, Wright has been a consistent performer. A good but not a great pick. 21 – Chandler Jones – New England – Jones is one of the top young players on the Super Bowl Champs. His best football is still in front of him. Solid pick. 22 – Brandon Weeden – Cleveland – The Browns had two first round picks in the 2012 first round. The Browns have gotten rid of both players and neither player is a starter for their new teams. Bust. 23 – Riley Reiff – Detroit – The Lions took some heat for this pick, but Reiff has been a solid starter. Good pick. 24 – David DeCastro – Pittsburgh – His rookie year was ruined by an ACL injury, but since his recovery he has become one of the better run blocking guards in the NFL. 25 – Dont’a Hightower – New England – Like Jones above, Hightower is a top young defensive player on the Super Bowl Champs. Very solid pick. 26 – Whitney Mercilus – Houston – Mercilus made the transition from college defensive end to a standup OLB in a 3-4 in the NFL. While he hasn’t been great, he has been a consistent performer. 27 – Kevin Zeitler – Cincinnati – Zeitler has been a solid starter at guard for the Bengals. While he has had some injury issues, he has to be graded as a solid pick. 28 – Nick Perry – Green Bay – While Perry has flashed, he still is a backup and a role player for the Pack. After being drafted in the first round, that has to be a disappointment. 29 – Harrison Smith – Minnesota – Smith isn’t flashy, just a very solid starter who keeps getting better. Has to be considered a very good pick. He should have been in the Pro Bowl after his strong 2014 season. 30 – A.J. Jenkins – San Francisco – The 49ers traded Jenkins during his second season because he was so disappointing. He has done little in Kansas City. Bust! 31 – Doug Martin – Tampa Bay – He had a great rookie year, but ever since, injuries have taken their toll. May not get back to what he once was. 32 – David Wilson – New York Giants – Never lived up to expectations. Injuries played a role in that. Wilson was waived just this week. Bust! Looking back, the first round of the 2012 Draft doesn’t come close to comparing to the 2011 first round. As a whole. the 2012 first round was a disappointment, with some good, but very few great players. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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