NFL Draft DVD 2012
1. Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: In a move that had been predicted for months and known for a week, the Colts enlist Peyton Manning's successor. Some regard Luck as the best quarterback prospect since Manning in 1998, others go back to John Elway in 1983. Indianapolis fans can only hope Luck comes within a horseshoe's throw of the standard Manning set during his 14-year tenure, one that produced four MVPs, two Super Bowl appearances and one championship. The big question now is, who will new Indianapolis GM Ryan Grigson draft to support Luck after the team's offseason roster purge?
2. Redskins (from Rams) - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: RGIII is the first franchise quarterback in the nation's capital since Joe Theismann in the 1980s, maybe even since Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen was in his prime in the '60s. The 'Skins took pride in winning three Super Bowls with three different signal callers in the first Joe Gibbs era. But that's clearly not a championship formula now. Seven of the past 11 Super Bowls have been won by QBs who own multiple rings (Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger); Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers accounted for three other Lombardi Trophies. The lone outlier: Brad Johnson - ironically a former Redskin - who often rode shotgun to the Buccaneers defense in 2002.
3. Browns (from Vikings) - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: Cleveland paid handsomely (four picks, including the No. 4 selection) an hour ago to move up one spot for the assurance they'd get Richardson, regarded by many experts as the best non-quarterback prospect in the draft. Going this high is a huge endorsement of his ability - he set a school record with 21 TDs last season - given the relative devaluation of workhorse tailbacks at the NFL level in recent years; no back has been drafted this early since Reggie Bush went second overall to the Saints in 2006. Richardson will be counted on to grind out yards when the Lake Erie winds blow in December while immediately becoming the guy who takes pressure off third-year QB Colt McCoy. He also fills a need after Cleveland let Peyton Hillis leave in free agency.
4. Vikings (from Browns) - Matt Kalil, T, USC: Minnesota picked up three extra selections and still gets the guy many draftniks thought they would take all along. Kalil will be expected to immediately become second-year QB Christian Ponder's blind side sentinel, a good thing given Ponder's injury-pocked history. Last year's left tackle, Charlie Johnson, should shift to guard, clearly a better fit for his skill set. Kalil will be tested early and often in the NFC North as he tries to fend off Grade A pass rushers like Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews III, Cliff Avril and Ndamukong Suh.
5. Jaguars (from Buccaneers) - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State: This draft was said to have six blue-chip prospects in many quarters, and Jacksonville trades up two spots (surrendering a fourth-rounder) to get one. The Jags take Blackmon, the reigning Biletnikoff winner, who's caught 232 passes over the past two seasons. Mike Thomas was Jacksonville's leading wideout in 2011 with a mere 44 receptions. Second-year QB Blaine Gabbert suddenly has a much more formidable set of targets that also includes free agent pickups Laurent Robinson and Lee Evans.
6. Cowboys (from Redskins via Rams) - Morris Claiborne, CB LSU: Many experts thought Alabama S Mark Barron was the apple of Dallas' eye. Instead they send St. Louis a second-round pick to jump up eight spots to get Claiborne, widely rated as this draft's top defensive player. A converted wideout, Claiborne has topshelf ball skills and gives the Cowboys a suddenly stout set of corners after Brandon Carr was signed to a huge free agent deal with former Pro Bowler Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick in reserve. In a division full of teams that can field potent three-receiver sets, this looks like a savvy move by Jerry Jones and Co.
7. Buccaneers (from Jaguars) - Mark Barron, S, Alabama: Barron's been rising up draft boards for weeks despite coming off hernia surgery. He solidifies a defense that allowed the most points in the NFL in 2011, a big reason Tampa Bay ended the season on a 10-game skid. He enters a division that will test his coverage skills with Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan sure to try him out deep. However no one questions Barron's instincts or ability to move into the box and shut down opposing run games.
8. Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M: The former Aggies wideout becomes Miami's first Round 1 quarterback selection since Dan Marino in 1983. Though some question Tannehill's NFL-readiness after he made just 19 starts in college, he may be going to the ideal spot for a developmental prospect. Veterans Matt Moore and/or David Garrard can start for the Fish in 2011 while teaching the rookie. New head coach Joe Philbin helped turn Aaron Rodgers into an MVP and Matt Flynn into an NFL-caliber starter while in Green Bay. And heck, maybe Tannehill can even catch a few balls after WR Brandon Marshall was shipped out last month.
9. Panthers - Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College: Carolina begins bolstering a defense that was ravaged by injuries last year. Kuechly is a middle linebacker by trade but could play the weak side assuming incumbent Panthers MLB Jon Beason returns after tearing his Achilles' tendon in the 2011 regular-season opener. Kuechly boasts 4.5 speed in the 40 and thrives in pass coverage, a good trait to have in the NFC South.
10. Bills - Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina: Some scouts like Gilmore, who has 40 SEC starts to his credit and has also steadily been rising throughout the predraft process, as much as Claiborne. He joins an aging group of Buffalo corners, though they should get more support in 2012 from a front four that now ranks among the league's best with the free agent additions of DEs Mario Williams and Mark Anderson.
11. Chiefs - Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis: Poe fills a gaping hole in the middle of the K.C. defense with his athletic, 346-pound frame. Despite playing against lesser competition at Memphis, Poe has a chance to harness his vast potential under the tutelage of Romeo Crennel. Poe likely takes over for aging vet Kelly Gregg and improves the talent core of what may be one of the league's most underrated rosters.
12. Eagles (from Seahawks) - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State: Cox is athletic, relentless and just what the doctor ordered for Philadelphia's preferred Wide-9 defensive set, which was often gashed up the middle last season with DEs Trent Cole and Jason Babin set wide before they launched themselves at quarterbacks. Cox has the look of an every-down player who can not only help plug running lanes but also has the motor to bag some sacks, too. Philadelphia gives up a fourth- and sixth-rounder to move up the three spots for Cox.
13. Cardinals - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame: Arizona bypasses the chance to improve an O-line that allowed 54 sacks in 2011 to pair Floyd with Larry Fitzgerald. The last time Fitzgerald had a wingman this good (Anquan Boldin), the Cards were perched atop the NFC West . though it certainly helped to have QB Kurt Warner, too. Regardless, Floyd should take some heat off Fitzgerald and provide a nice fallback target to QB Kevin Kolb (or John Skelton). Bonus: Floyd's downfield blocking prowess is good news for RBs Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams. Floyd did have some alcohol-related problems in South Bend, but the Cardinals are rarely deterred by such off-field questions when it comes to draft day, and Floyd may be just as good as Blackmon in the final analysis.
14. Rams (from Cowboys) - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU: After trading down twice (St. Louis originally owned the No. 2 choice), St. Louis beefs up its defensive interior with the raw but hugely promising Brockers. At 6-6, 322 pounds, Brockers is a formidable presence who should disrupt the pocket and/or draw double teams away from pass rushing DEs Chris Long and Robert Quinn. The Rams now have three choices in the second round and perhaps that's when they'll start enlisting offensive support for QB Sam Bradford and RB Steven Jackson.
15. Seahawks (from Eagles) - Bruce Irvin, DE, West Virginia: The first real shocker of the night, Irvin is a bona fide pass rusher and clearly fills a sore spot for Seattle GM John Schneider, who's never afraid to defy "conventional draft wisdom" . remember he surprised many by tabbing RT James Carpenter in Round 1 a year ago. Irvin had legal run-ins at West Virginia and even prior to his arrival in Morgantown, so Schneider is banking that coach Pete Carroll can get Irvin on the straight narrow . and also on the shortest path to opposing quarterbacks; DE Chris Clemons had 11 sacks for Seattle last year while the remainder of the D-line had just 10 sacks.
16. Jets - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina: He may be the most physically gifted pass rusher in the draft and offers an athletically imposing 6-6, 284-pound frame that offers easy comparisons to former Tar Heel Julius Peppers. However scouts say Coples was much better playing inside in 2010 than he was at end in 2011, and he admits to performing poorly in his senior year. If Rex Ryan can extract the most from Coples' vast abilities, the next question is where to play him. Does he play end on the team's three-man front - DE Muhammad Wilkerson was the top choice in 2011 - or can he be effective enough in occasional zone pass coverage to play outside linebacker where New York seems to need more help? Whatever the answer, the Jets seem to have landed a needed edge rusher . but the same was said when they took flameout Vernon Gholston four years ago.
17. Bengals (from Raiders) - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama: This is the pick Cincinnati obtained from Oakland for QB Carson Palmer last year, and the choice makes sense. The Bengals had an excellent corner tandem for years with Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall. But Joseph went on to flourish in Houston last season while Hall was felled by an Achilles' tear last November. Kirkpatrick should start from Day 1 alongside Hall (assuming he's recovered), allowing graybeards Terence Newman and Nate Clements to play selective snaps along with presumed nickel man Pacman Jones.
18. Chargers - Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina: San Diego has been trying to improve its pass rush ever since Shawne Merriman's decline began in 2008. Ingram has a non-stop motor, though his smallish size (6-2, 264 pounds) and short arms were red flags to some. Now he joins a trio of pass rushers that got 11 unexpected sacks from Antwan Barnes in 2011, but little from aging Shaun Phillips (3.5) or rarely healthy Larry English (2). Very possibly a pick made with the knowledge that the Bolts must bury Peyton Manning to reclaim the AFC West this season.
19. Bears - Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State: Interesting choice since McClellin was presumed to best fit teams like the Packers, Patriots and Jets who favor 3-4 defensive alignments. An instinctive hustler with good speed, Chicago must decide whether to rush the 6-3, 260-pounder from the line opposite Julius Peppers or use him as a SAM linebacker alongside MLB Brian Urlacher and WLB Lance Briggs. (Note: Outside of the three quarterbacks, only four offensive players have come off the board so far while 11 defenders have been chosen.)
20. Titans - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor: Robert Griffin III's main target in Waco may one day be Jake Locker's security blanket in Nashville. Wright had 108 catches for 1,663 yards and 14 TDs last year while snaring passes from RGIII. At 5-10 and 196 pounds, he may be destined early on for a slot role with Kenny Britt and Nate Washington lining up outside. A selection who should help Matt Hasselbeck and/or Locker while also making defenses pay for stacking the line against RB Chris Johnson.
21. Patriots (from Bengals) - Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse: New England gave up a third rounder to move up six spots for Jones, who has one brother (Arthur) who plays for the Ravens and another (Jon "Bones" Jones) who's a UFC light heavyweight champ. Chandler Jones may need some time to reach his full potential, but he'll also likely be counted on early for a defensive line that lost 20 sacks this offseason as DEs Andre Carter and Mark Anderson are no longer on the roster.
22. Browns (from Falcons) - Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State: Clearly Cleveland wasn't scared by his age (28) after he played minor league baseball in the Yankees system but may have been more concerned Weeden wouldn't last until they select next at pick No. 37. Given his advanced years, no reason to believe Weeden won't immediately battle Colt McCoy for the starting job in a city that hasn't had a love affair with its quarterback since Bernie Kosar left. Weeden passed for more than 9,000 yards and 71 TDs his final two years in Stillwater, and his strong right arm might well cut through the lakeside wind better than McCoy's.
23. Lions - Riley Reiff, T, Iowa: The knock on Reiff has been his 33-inch arms, short for a tackle, though they're longer than Browns all-pro Joe Thomas'. Reiff could immediately push Detroit RT Gosder Cherilus for snaps and could eventually succeed Jeff Backus on QB Matthew Stafford's blind side. A former tight end, Reiff has good feet and should keep Stafford upright for years to come.
24. Steelers - David DeCastro, G, Stanford: Folks in the Steel City will love DeCastro. Not only does he solidify an often suspect O-line, he plays with a nasty demeanor and should elicit memories of longtime all-pro Alan Faneca. Even though RB Rashard Mendenhall is coming off an ACL tear, Pittsburgh's running game just got better. DeCastro and C Maurkice Pouncey should be a formidable interior duo for the next decade and receive a lot of thank-you dinners from QB Ben Roethlisbeger along the way.
25. Patriots (from Broncos) - Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama: The fourth Crimson Tide player picked tonight, Hightower's versatility is a perfect fit in New England, which gave up a fourth rounder to Denver to move up six spots for him. Hightower has some pass rush skills, but the 265-pounder really shines with the thunderous hits he delivers from his standard inside linebacker spot. He'll keep the Patriots scheme-versatile, so expect an ongoing mixture of 4-3 and 3-4 looks from a defense that was suspect in 2011 but has gotten much better in the last hour.
26. Texans - Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois: Mario Who? Mercilus steps into the void left by Mario Williams' free agent departure and should join OLBs Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed in chasing down quarterbacks. Mercilus had 16 sacks and forced nine fumbles in 2011, though he'll have to shake whispers that he could be a one-year wonder after failing to do much prior to his junior year.
27. Bengals (from Saints via Patriots) - Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin: Cincinnati plugs a gap after losing G Nate Livings in free agency and likely bidding adieu to veteran G Bobbie Williams. Good news for new RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, though QB Andy Dalton might've cast his vote for another outside receiver to pair with A.J. Green . though with the Round 3 pick the Bengals added tonight, that concern may be addressed tomorrow. Zeitler comes from a long line of Badgers blockers and should step into a starting job immediately.
28. Packers - Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC: No surprise that Green Bay goes for the edge presence to line up opposite OLB Clay Matthews III, who garnered plenty of double teams on his way to a career-low six sacks in 2011. Perry should either lighten the attention on Matthews or collect a lot of sacks against one-on-one blocking for a unit that struggled mightily in 2011 while surrendering the most yards in the NFL.
29. Vikings (from Ravens) - Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame: The Vikings were burned for a league-worst 34 TD passes in 2011. Enter Smith, who may have just become the best safety on the roster, as a back line defender who should be able to prevent some of those bombs, though they'll continue to rain down in a division loaded with masterful quarterbacks. Baltimore picks up Round 2 and Round 4 picks from Minnesota while backing out of the first round.
30. 49ers - A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois: With no obvious need, we have to assume Jenkins was atop San Francisco's board even though he's a player who could seemingly have been obtained later in the draft with Rueben Randle, Stephen Hill, Alshon Jeffery and other more highly rated wideout prospects still available. But far be it from us to question the recent sterling draft record of Niners GM Trent Baalke. With Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham and Randy Moss likely to get most of the snaps in 2012, Jenkins should have the luxury of developing at his own pace in Jim Harbaugh's offense.
31. Buccaneers (from Patriots via Broncos) - Doug Martin, RB, Boise State: The Bucs missed out on Trent Richardson at the top of the round, but they may have still procured a player who could supplant one-dimensional LeGarrette Blount in the backfield. Martin runs with burst, catches the ball well and blocks while Blount struggles noticeably in all of those categories. Martin, who's drawn comparisons to Ray Rice - a man whom new Bucs coach Greg Schiano had at Rutgers - may well be the multi-faceted complement QB Josh Freeman needs while Blount assumes a sledgehammer/change-of-pace role. Given Schiano's penchant to keep the ball on the ground, Martin and Blount should both get plenty of touches anyway. Denver gets Tampa's second-round pick and a fourth on its way out of Round 1 after doing two deals tonight.
32. Giants - David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech: GM Jerry Reese opts to bolster his backfield ahead of his transitioning O-line or battered tight end group. Wilson could find himself in a prominent role for the champs right off the bat given the offseason departure of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw's ongoing issues with his foot. Wilson ran for 1,709 yards in 2011 and caught 22 passes, so he's capable of being a three-down player, good news if Bradshaw continues to miss significant chunks of time.
33. Rams - Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State: The Rams forgo better-known names like Stephen Hill and Rueben Randle for the big-bodied but more raw Quick (6-4, 220 pounds). At least QB Sam Bradford has his first downfield weapon from this draft.
34. Colts - Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford: Makes perfect sense to pair QB Andrew Luck with his go-to target from their time together with the Cardinal. Fleener's nothing special as a blocker, but he should step right into the pass-catching role vacated by departed Colts TEs Dallas Clark and Jacob Tamme.
35. Ravens (from Vikings) - Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama: Ravens GM and 'Bama alum Ozzie Newsome saves free-falling Upshaw - once considered a potential Top 10 pick - who can clearly play the game effectively even if he is a bit of a 'tweener at 6-2, 272 pounds. The pick makes sense after Baltimore let OLB Jarret Johnson walk. Yet Upshaw could be an even more formidable force opposite 2011 defensive MVP Terrell Suggs. Upshaw is the fifth Tide player selected in the draft's top 35 spots.
36. Broncos (from Buccaneers) - Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati: Denver does the expected with its first pick of this draft, though goes somewhat outside the box by taking Wolfe, a lineman who's more of a penetrator than a gap plugger. Regardless, he plugs a gap on the depth chart given the free-agent defection of DT Brodrick Bunkley and the apparent reluctance to re-sign Marcus Thomas. Wolfe need only beat out vets Justin Bannan and Ty Warren for snaps.
37. Browns - Mitchell Schwartz, T, California: Sensible pick. Cleveland cut RT Tony Pashos in March, so Schwartz steps into an open job. Not only that, he dovetails with the team's previous selections, providing protection for QB Brandon Weeden and holes for RB Trent Richardson. And who better to learn the NFL ropes from than all-pro LT Joe Thomas.
38. Jaguars - Andre Branch, DE, Clemson: Jacksonville has been seeking a reliable pass rusher ever since the day DE Tony Brackens left town nearly a decade ago. Branch should form a nice tandem with improving Jeremy Mincey on a sneaky good defense.
39. Rams (from Redskins) - Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama: No fear from coach Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead. Jenkins has first-round cover skills - maybe the best in this year's draft - but first-rate off-field problems (including marijuana charges) that led to his demise at the University of Florida. Yet assuming Jenkins has straightened himself out, the Rams have solved a spot that was a consistent problem in 2011 with the ability to pair the rookie with recently signed Cortland Finnegan.
40. Panthers - Amini Silatolu, G, Midwestern State: Highly touted though he comes out of a relatively unknown program, Silatolu should immediately take over for departed Travelle Wharton and make plenty of space to run for QB Cam Newton and RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.
41. Bills - Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia: Many prognosticated that he would go in the first round, so Buffalo gets good value for an O-line that needed help. Glenn played left tackle for the Dawgs and could get a shot to replace former LT Demetress Bell. But his 6-6, 345-pound frame may work better at right tackle or guard.
42. Dolphins - Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford: No one seems to question his talent - he clearly has the feet and balance to be a left tackle, which is why he looked like a first-round prospect - just his physicality. Miami needed blocking help, and you almost wonder if Martin one day winds up on QB Ryan Tannehill's blind side with current LT Jake Long moving to the right side.
43. Jets (from Seahawks) - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech: The latest intriguing wideout prospect from the Yellow Jackets (Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas), the Jets move up four slots to get the big (6-4, 215 pounds) and speedy (4.36 speed) Hill. He'll need polish, but he should also effectively stretch the field (something Plaxico Burress couldn't do in 2o11) without a lick of coaching. That means more room to operate underneath for WR Santonio Holmes and it should take a safety out of the box for a team that wants to run the ball.
44. Chiefs - Jeff Allen, OL, Illinois: Kansas City's been seeking youth and size for a line that already got better this offseason with the addition of RT Eric Winston. LG Ryan Lilja is on the small side and C Casey Wiegmann may be done at age 38. Possible lineup: LT Branden Albert, LG Allen, C Rodney Hudson, RG Jon Asamoah (also a former Illini) and RT Winston.
45. Bears (from Cowboys via Rams) - Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina: A big target (6-3, 216 pounds) . maybe too big since he was in the 230- or 240-pound range for the Gamecocks in 2011. Regardless, he should fit in nicely alongside new lead dog Brandon Marshall in Chicago while providing an enormous target for QB Jay Cutler. This may not portend good news for Johnny Knox, who suffered a scary back injury last season.
46. Eagles - Mychal Kendricks, LB, California: Philadelphia continues revamping its linebacking corps having already obtained MLB DeMeco Ryans from the Texans this offseason. Kendricks could push for a job alongside Ryans at a spot where the team struggled noticeably in 2011. At 5-11, 240, Kendricks isn't huge, but he flashed a sub-4.5 40 time at the combine which might mean he's pegged for the weak side.
47. Seahawks (from Jets) - Bobby Wagner, OLB, Utah State: Seattle didn't have much invested in its linebacking corps - Barrett Ruud and Leroy Hill are there on one-year deals - but has done so now. Wagner's athleticism should work well behind an underrated front four that should give him plenty of room to find the ball.
48. Patriots (from Raiders) - Tavon Wilson, S, Illinois: This may seem to be a bit of a reach, but remember, New England currently has just one more pick left in this entire draft. Clearly Bill Belichick's scouts see something in Wilson, and the team spent much of 2011 experimenting at safety with Devin McCourty now a candidate to move there, too.
49. Chargers - Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut: Two-time team captain and high-effort player should translate to a defensive end in the Bolts' three-man front, perhaps eventually pairing with last year's first rounder, Corey Liuget. Both should learn at the knee of vet Luis Castillo for one more season.
50. Rams (from Bears) - Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati: Veteran RB Steven Jackson needed a backup, so why not enlist a player who can bring a burst as a changeup runner? Pead caught 87 passes for the Bearcats and also returns kicks, quite a versatile package for a team in need of players with wiggle.
51. Packers (from Cardinals via Eagles) - Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State: Green Bay popped up eight spots for what looks like a value pick as Worthy was ranked as a borderline first rounder in some quarters. The Packers needed help at end in their three-man front after losing Cullen Jenkins to free agency a year ago and watching Mike Neal struggle with injuries and now a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. A defense that struggled in 2011 suddenly looks better with Worthy and first-round pass rusher Nick Perry.
52. Titans - Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina: Tennessee goes for the athletic prospect. Brown has off-the-charts speed at his position but hasn't successfully translated that into production on the field. seems people say that about a lot of UNC draft picks. The Titans are pretty well set at backer, so Brown should get some pressure-free time to prove his mettle.
53. Bengals - Devon Still, DT, Penn State: He's taken quite a tumble after an underwhelming combine and predraft run-up. But expect fiery Cincy DC Mike Zimmer to extract every ounce of talent out of Still as he joins a defense that quietly ranked seventh last year. He should take departed Jonathan Fanene's spot in the rotation off the bat.
54. Lions - Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma: He's coming back from a torn ACL but still caught 303 passes over the past three seasons for the Sooners, including 131 in 2010. He could eventually be the slot man in Detroit between WRs Calvin Johnson and Titus Young, though Young and Broyles are both on the smallish side. Regardless, with starter Nate Burleson still in the picture, Broyles looks like a long-term investment at this juncture whose main mission in 2012 might be rounding into optimal health.
55. Falcons - Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin: Cerebral player could step right in at guard on a line that struggled to keep QB Matt Ryan on his feet in 2011. Konz would also be the logical heir to veteran C Todd McClure long-term.
56. Steelers - Mike Adams, T, Ohio State: Suspensions at OSU and a positive drug test at the combine did nothing to help Adams' draft stock, but Pittsburgh gets a good player at this spot. Starting five in 2012 could be LT Marcus Gilbert, rookie LG David DeCastro, C Maurkice Pouncey, RG Doug Legursky, RT Adams with oft-injured vet Willie Colon in the mix. That could be the best O-line group in the Steel City in quite some time.
57. Broncos - Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State: This 6-7 prospect has some promising skills and a big arm but must battle perception that too-tall quarterbacks don't succeed in the NFL . thank you, Dan McGwire. Osweiler won't play any time soon as he becomes a pupil of QB Peyton Manning and exec John Elway. But if Manning's neck or desire waver at any point, Osweiler could join the lineup sooner than you think.
58. Buccaneers (from Texans) - Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska: After putting S Mark Barron on the back end yesterday, David joins the second level Friday and could immediately swipe the job left vacated by departed Geno Hayes. David isn't big (6-1, 233 pounds), but he'll find ballcarriers and should bring more pop than even more diminutive Hayes did.
This is the point where the Saints owned the 59th pick, but it was stripped by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in light of the team's bounty scandal.
59. Eagles (from Packers) - Vinny Curry DE, Marshall: Philly grabs another relentless pass rusher - Curry and Trent Cole should get along just fine - to add to their front four. Curry doesn't have eye-popping measurables, but he's known for eye-popping hits on quarterbacks.
60. Ravens - Kelechi Osemele, OL, Iowa State: Stout run blocker looks like he'll play inside at the pro level, and that works perfectly for the Ravens, who failed to re-sign G Ben Grubbs during free agency.
61. 49ers - LaMichael James, RB, Oregon: Jim Harbaugh knows him all too well from his time in the Pac-10/Pac-12. Think of James as Darren Sproles - he can run, catch and return and is a perfect component to supplement Frank Gore and/or Kendall Hunter. The kind of game-breaker the Niners can really use.
62. Packers (from Patriots) - Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt: He joins a secondary that wasn't nearly as effective in 2011 while surrendering the most passing yards in the NFL. This could be a sign that Charles Woodson's transition to safety could hit high gear - especially with Nick Collins no longer in the picture - with Hayward joining Tramon Williams and Sam Shields as the long-term trio in the corner rotation.
63. Giants - Rueben Randle, WR, LSU: The consolation prize for Randle, the last player invited to the draft to be picked, is the opportunity to join the champs. GM Jerry Reese, as always, picks the man who obviously seems to be the best available player. Aside from that, Randle could quickly vie for playing time given the free agent exit of Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham. Randle could also allow WR Victor Cruz to line up in the slot in three-wide sets. The rich get richer.
64. Colts - Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson: That's back-to-back tight ends for Indy, which took Coby Fleener in Round 2. Allen is a far better blocker than Fleener and brings a physical element to the offense, which suddenly looks like Stanford's TE-centric attack.
65. Rams - Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana: That's back-to-back corners for St. Louis, which took Janoris Jenkins in Round 2. Every team values nickelbacks in today's pass-happy NFL as nickels often see more snaps than many starting linebackers. Johnson is big (6-2, 204 pounds) and talented, meaning scrappy Cortland Finnegan might defend the slot in sub packages.
66. Vikings - Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida: Minnesota's secondary gets another upgrade after welcoming S Harrison Smith in Round 1. The Vikes gave up an NFL-high 34 TD passes in 2011, and Robinson should get on the field straight away given the advancing age of Antoine Winfield and the legal woes of Chris Cook, who spent most of 2011 exiled by coach Leslie Frazier.
67. Broncos (from Browns) - Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State: A weapon for Peyton Manning in the screen game and an insurance policy for veteran Willis McGahee and oft-injured Knowshon Moreno, who's also had conditioning issues when healthy.
68. Texans (from Buccaneers) - DeVier Posey, WR, Ohio State: Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones have never established themselves as truly dangerous threats opposite WR Andre Johnson. Maybe the 6-2, 211-pound Posey gets his shot.
69. Bills (from Redskins) - T.J. Graham, WR, N.C. State: Vertical threat could help open the field horizontally for WR Stevie Johnson, RB Fred Jackson and TE Scott Chandler.
70. Jaguars - Bryan Anger, P, California: It's been a problem spot in Jacksonville with veteran Matt Turk notably leaving the team in "anger" himself last season. Last punter drafted this highly was Chiefs' Dustin Colquitt in 2005, though he comes from punting royalty.
71. Redskins (from Bills) - Josh LeRibeus, G, SMU: He can move, which is a must in Mike Shanahan's zone-blocking system. Washington has long lacked depth on the O-line, so this is a plus, especially with Kory Lichtensteiger coming off reconstructive knee surgery.
72. Dolphins - Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami (Fla.): First 'Cane off the board, which is a shocker. Miami needs pass rush and D-linemen - Phillip Merling was waived this week - especially with more four-man fronts expected to be utilized this season.
73. Chargers (from Panthers via Bears and Dolphins) - Brandon Taylor, S, LSU: Should get a shot to play next to FS Eric Weddle and potentially solve a spot that's been in flux for this team over the years.
74. Chiefs - Donald Stephenson, T, Oklahoma: Should provide depth in 2012. If he develops nicely in apprentice role, he could push to play in 2013 given LT Branden Albert is currently ticketed for free agency next year.
75. Seahawks - Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin: He's somewhat akin to a short (5-11, 204 pounds) Cam Newton after shining for the Badgers in 2011 with 33 TD passes. His athleticism could get him on the field in non-quarterbacking roles early, but Wilson may quickly push up the depth chart past Josh Portis and maybe even Tarvaris Jackson, who's unsigned beyond 2012.
76. Texans (from Eagles) - Brandon Brooks, G, Miami (Ohio): With an enormous body (6-5, 346 pounds), Brooks was rated a second-round prospect by some scouts. Houston jettisoned the right side of its O-line this offseason (RT Eric Winston and RG Mike Brisiel), so Brooks enters a situation where he could challenge for a role instantly.
77. Jets - Demario Davis, LB, Arkansas State: New York has a lot of aging linebackers - Bart Scott, Bryan Thomas, Calvin Pace - so Davis looks like a developmental project who provides depth and special teams play at the outset.
78. Dolphins (from Chargers) - Michael Egnew, Missouri: A better athlete than veteran Anthony Fasano, Egnew could forge an early bond with fellow rookie Ryan Tannehill as they try to fight up the depth chart.
79. Bears - Brandon Hardin, S, Oregon State: Chicago has had a revolving door at safety in recent years. Hardin, who played some corner for the Beavers, could help there and on special teams, an area the Bears put a premium on.
80. Cardinals - Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma: With Richard Marshall moving on, Fleming could get into the rotational mix since star-on-the-rise Patrick Peterson and inconsistent vet William Gay seem to currently be the only sure things on the roster at corner right now.
81. Cowboys - Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise State: He should crack the rotation on a three-man front that currently boasts several journeyman-type ends in Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher and Kenyon Coleman, all at least 29 years of age.
82. Titans - Mike Martin, DT, Michigan: Former wrestler is a load who should cause mayhem in the pits. Tennessee loves to stack its defensive line, and this is an addition that could pay off handsomely down the line.
83. Bengals - Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers: Ironically, he got a crank call Thursday saying he was a first-round pick for the Bengals. He goes to Cincinnati two rounds later but, thankfully for him, he joins a lineup where he could make an instant impact. Sanu's a bigger, possession type who should theoretically mesh perfectly with elite deep threat A.J. Green and slot man Jordan Shipley, who comes off a knee injury. Throw in TE Jermaine Gresham, and QB Andy Dalton should be able to effectively attack all quadrants of the field.
84. Ravens (from Falcons) - Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple: Baltimore definitely needs depth behind Ray Rice, but don't expect Pierce to see the ball much any time soon barring an injury or holdout.
85. Lions - Dwight Bentley, Louisiana-Lafayette: Detroit needed corner help after losing Eric Wright to the Bucs. Bentley probably isn't a guy who can make the jump from small school to NFL starter right away, but he could challenge for a role in sub packages.
86. Steelers - Sean Spence, OLB, Miami (Fla.): At 5-11, 231 pounds, he's likely ticketed for an inside role in Pittsburgh's signature 3-4 front. Though Larry Foote will probably take over for James Farrior for now, Spence could work his way onto the field in short order.
87. Browns (from Broncos) - John Hughes, DT, Cincinnati: No time for a Breakfast Club joke with picks flying off the board here . Hughes will have to fight to get on the field with Phil Taylor and Ahtyba Rubin entrenched in front of him.
88. Eagles (from Texans) - Nick Foles, QB, Arizona: A big guy (6-5, 243 pounds), his stock has been up and down over the last year. But he goes to a place where he could get up to the No. 2 job fairly quickly if he blossoms under Andy Reid and manages to bypass retread Trent Edwards and unproven Mike Kafka.
89. Saints - Akiem Hicks, DT, Regina (Canada): New Orleans goes north of the border for its first pick of this draft and enlists needed help for its defensive front after departed Shaun Rogers and aging Aubrayo Franklin failed to make a major impact in 2011 next to Sedrick Ellis.
90. Patriots (from Packers) - Jake Bequette, DE, Arkansas: New England's mission to improve last year's sieve-like defense continues by grabbing a Hog.
91. Falcons (from Ravens) - Lamar Holmes, T, Southern Mississippi: Some more heft added to a front five that struggled in 2011. Could be good news for RB Michael Turner, though we'll see if Holmes is nimble enough to play outside.
92. Colts (from 49ers) - T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida International: Small but speedy player, he could quickly find himself in the slot between WRs Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie on this new-look offense.
93. Bengals (from Patriots) - Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson: Cincinnati continues fortifying its defensive front with another highly regarded Bayou Bengal who could pair with fellow frosh Devon Still as long-range interior anchors in a division that usually requires teams to stop the run in order to succeed.
94. Giants - Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech: He's tiny (5-10, 178 pounds) but could be their dime back behind Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas and Prince Amukamara . perhaps his role will expand if Thomas' rebuilt knee is slow to respond. Hosley could also provide a boost in the return game, not one of the G-Men's strengths.
95. Raiders - Tony Bergstrom, OL, Utah: Oakland's first pick of the draft - and the first of the Reggie McKenzie era - Bergstrom looks like his first job will be to provide depth before he challenges for a bigger role.
The draft has resumed with the Rams taking another wideout, Wake Forest's Chris Givens, 96th overall. He joins second rounder Brian Quick as another potential weapon to fill out the offensive attack around QB Sam Bradford and RB Steven Jackson in 2012.
The Dolphins jump up to pick No. 97 to take Miami (Fla.) RB Lamar Miller, a player with some burst and production but some rough edges in his game that might have been smoothed with an extra year at Coral Gables had he stayed. He joins a crowded backfield along with Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas and Steve Slaton.
Delaware G Gino Gradkowski heads to the Ravens with the 98th selection. And, yes, he's the younger (not little) brother of Bengals backup QB Bruce Gradkowski. Gradkowski the younger could get a shot at the job left open by Ben Grubbs.
The Texans continue reloading their offensive line by tabbing Georgia C Ben Jones with the 99th pick. Jones has a reputation as a heady, dedicated if not overly athletic player whom many had rated as the draft's No. 2 center behind Wisconsin's Peter Konz.
This is a bit surprising: The Redskins grab fairly highly regarded Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins at No. 102. Cousins' intangibles are off the chart, and his physical skills are pretty good, too, even if consistency was sometimes an issue and the arm is average. He is a smart, three-year team captain and played in a pro-style offense for the Spartans. Yet barring a Heath Shuler/Gus Frerotte inversion circa 1994, Cousins is surely destined to sit behind Robert Griffin III in D.C. This pick could say plenty about how the 'Skins feel about their other QBs, Rex Grossman and John Beck. NFL Network reported later Saturday that Washington will cut Beck.
The Seahawks take Utah State RB Robert Turbin at pick 106. The WAC offensive player of the year and a man who's overcome numerous family tragedies, he showed well at the combine. Turbin boasts a sculpted, get-out-of-my-way physique (5-10, 222 pounds) coupled with surprising burst. He may not exactly change the pace in relief of Marshawn Lynch, but Turbin might make some seismic runs himself in the Pacific Northwest.
At 108, the Broncos take C Philip Blake, who snapped to Robert Griffin III at Baylor. Might he bush C J.D. Walton or G Zane Beadles in front of Peyton Manning in 2012?
Hand-in-glove fit as the Steelers go up to 109 to get Washington NT Alameda Ta'amu, who's 6-3, 348 pounds. Pittsburgh often gives its defensive linemen a year to basically redshirt in Dick LeBeau's defense. Ta'amu would need that time for professional seasoning, but he could also be the perfect replacement for Casey Hampton in 2013.
With Antonio Gates possibly slowing down, the Chargers get a nice tight end prospect with Louisiana-Lafayette's Ladarius Green at No. 110.
The Cardinals, who gave up 54 sacks in 2011, snap up Ole Miss T Bobby Massie with the 112th selection. He could immediately step into a starting role on the right side of Arizona's front five.
Georgia TE Orson Charles goes 116th to the Bengals, giving them a nice pairing along with incumbent Jermaine Gresham. Charles is a good receiving prospect - Gresham is the better blocker - who might've been drafted earlier if not for a predraft DUI charge.
At 117, the 49ers pick up Wake Forest G Joe Looney and might let him compete for their open right guard job.
The Saints grab Wisconsin WR Nick Toon with selection No. 122 and, yes, he is the son of former Jets Pro Bowler Al Toon. Nick has good hands and decent talent even if he doesn't project to be nearly as special as his dad. If he can stay healthy, he could get a crack at replacing Robert Meachem in an offense where QB Drew Brees spreads the ball far and wide.
The Bills continue getting younger at corner by grabbing LSU's Ron Brooks at 124 after they took Stephon Gilmore in Round 1. Vets Terrence McGee, Drayton Florence and Leodis McKelvin remain on the roster, but apparently you can never have enough cover guys to stop the like of Tom Brady.
Thumping LB Ronnell Lewis of Oklahoma goes to the Lions at No. 125. At 6-2, 253 pounds, he could be groomed for the SAM job but may focus on special teams in 2012.
Nebraska DE Jared Crick is now a Texan at the 126th spot. Looks like a really nice value pick given Crick's All-American pedigree, which was only tarnished by injuries. He could eventually bookend J.J. Watt in Houston's three-man front.
USC TE/FB Rhett Ellison goes to the Vikings with the 128th pick . giving Minnesota a very crowded depth chart along with Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson.
Auburn T Brandon Mosley joins the Giants at 131. With the team parting ways with longtime RT Kareem McKenzie, Mosley has a job to eyeball, though it wouldn't be a surprise to see Will Beatty and David Diehl as the starting tackles in 2012.
The Vikings get 6-3, 219-pound Arkansas WR Greg Childs at 134, perhaps putting possession man Michael Jenkins on notice.
The Colts and Broncos kick off the fifth round by picking a pair of SEC defensive tackles. Indianapolis takes Alabama's Josh Chapman at 136, and new HC Chuck Pagano will likely drop him into the rotation of his recrafted, super-sized three-man front line. Denver gets more needed help for its D-line with Tennessee's Malik Jackson with the 137th selection.
The Panthers stay fairly local at 143, grabbing big-bodied Coastal CB Josh Norman (6-0, 197). Given the team's issues in pass defense, he could get an early shot on sub packages and will surely be a special teamer if he sticks.
The Bills take battle-tested RT Zebrie Sanders - who had a second-round grade from some scouts - from Florida State at 144. After getting Cordy Glenn yesterday, the Buffalo O-line suddenly seems to be in much better shape assuming Sanders develops into an NFL-caliber starter.
At 146, CB De'Quan Menzie becomes the seventh Alabama picked after being taken by the Chiefs, who lost Brandon Carr in free agency last month.
The Steelers' seeming strong draft continues as they pick up Florida speedster Chris Rainey at 159. With Rashard Mendenhall just three months removed from an ACL reconstruction, there could be some carries available in Pittsburgh. Rainey (5-8, 180) is no bellcow, but he brings a home-run threat to the offense and could hit a few behind what looks like a suddenly imposing O-line. Rainey also upgrades the return game.
The first kicker comes off the board as Aggies alum Gary Kubiak and the Texans draft Texas A&M's Randy Bullock 161st to replace Neil Rackers.
At 163, the Packers re-acquire their original pick from the Patriots in order to get N.C. State CB Terrell Manning. New England's bounty of picks had dwindled to four late Thursday, but now the Pats are back up to seven choices.
At 164, Atlanta gets Troy DE Jonathan Massaquoi . and remember, Troy has a good history of producing pass rushers (Osi Umenyiora, DeMarcus Ware).
The 49ers may have bolstered their pass rush by nabbing speedy Notre Dame OLB Darius Fleming with pick No. 165.
The Bengals are having a very nice draft which continues as they land a potential steal with Cal WR Marvin Jones 166th overall. He joins A.J. Green, Jordan Shipley and Mohamed Sanu in what looks like an upgraded wideout group. With the next pick, Cincy grabbed Boise State's George Iloka, potentially the No. 1 free safety in the draft, though it's a thin group. He could line up next to Reggie Nelson or move into some kind of a rover role.
This wouldn't be an Al Davis pick as the Raiders at No. 168 pick 6-3, 224-pound WR Juron Criner of Arizona, a big target for QB Carson Palmer if not necessarily a swift one.
The Rams kick off the sixth round by taking Missouri Western K Greg Zuerlein at 171. St. Louis K Josh Brown will be a free agent next year.
The Vikings take Georgia K Blair Walsh at 175. Minnesota's Ryan Longwell, who will be 38, is set to enter his 16th season and has been reliable most of his career. Longwell is currently signed through 2014.
The Niners take Michigan State FS Trent Robinson at 180. He's probably an investment and provides immediate depth now that Reggie Smith and Madieu Williams have moved on. Pro Bowler Dashon Goldson is also handcuffed by the franchise tag right now.
At 181, Seattle adds to its stable of enormous defensive backs, picking 6-1, 218-pound Winston Guy from Kentucky.
With pick 183, the Dolphins get 6-1, 211-pound Michigan State WR B.J. Cunningham. This is a team that has Brian Hartline and Davone Bess presently atop its depth chart, so there is playing to be had at wideout in South Florida.
At 185, the Cardinals add another quarterback prospect by picking up San Diego State's Ryan Lindley.
The Cowboys grab Oklahoma TE James Hanna with pick 186. He needs some polish, but he's got some explosion and could vie for snaps in two-tight sets now that Martellus Bennett has joined the Giants. If Hanna develops, he could be a viable successor to Jason Witten in a few years.
The Titans pick up some safety depth with the addition of Oklahoma State's Markelle Martin at 190. He should sit behind franchise-tagged Michael Griffin and Jordan Babineaux at the outset. Martin was regarded as a fringe third rounder by some.
At 191, the Bengals draft Ohio State RB Dan Herron. Cincy QB Andy Dalton tells USA TODAY that he expects the team to use a running-back-by-committee approach in 2012 as Herron joins a group that includes recently signed BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard.
The Ravens take a flier on Miami (Fla.) WR Tommy Streeter at 198. Streeter goes 6-5, 219 pounds and has 4.4 speed. If he harnesses his inconsistent talents, QB Joe Flacco will have another deep threat to pair with Torrey Smith while Anquan Boldin works underneath.
With picks 202 and 203, the Jets take back-to-back players from Baylor. First they add 240-pound RB Terrance Ganaway, who could bring some more pop to Rex Ryan's precious ground attack. Then they grab G Robert T. Griffin - yes, RTG not RGIII - who might push LG Matt Slauson in New York or perhaps one day replace longtime Jets RG Brandon Moore.
Texas OLB Emmanuel Acho, brother of Cardinals OLB Sam Acho, becomes a Brown at spot 204 and joins an up-and-coming defense that needs linebacker depth. Cleveland snares Boise State DT Billy Winn with the subsequent choice.
The Colts take Vanderbilt DE Tim Fugger at 214.
At 224, the Patriots take a chance on Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard, who might have second-round skills given his movement skills and physical play. However he was recently charged with assault of a police officer outside a bar, never a smart move but especially not in the predraft process.
The Chargers take Michigan C David Molk, one of the strongest players on the board, at 226, possibly as the long-term answer once Nick Hardwick is done.
The 49ers get Virginia pass rusher Cam Johnson at 237, another high-ceiling player - he seemed a good bet to go on Day 2 of the draft - to incorporate into what is arguably the NFL's top defense.
The Packers make a nice pickup at 241 by landing Florida State T Andrew Datko. With Chad Clifton released earlier this week, Datko could stick on the bottom of the depth chart or practice squad behind Bryan Bulaga, Derek Sherrod and Marshall Newhouse.
The Jets continue replenishing their safety position by taking South Carolina's Antonio Allen (6-2, 210), who looked like a mid-round pickup entering the draft.
'Bama TE Brad Smelley goes to the Browns at 247.
And we've reached pick No. 253 - "Mr. Irrelevant" - to wrap up the 2012 NFL draft. And the Colts sandwich No. 1 pick Andrew Luck with Northern Illinois QB Chandler Harnish, the 37th Mr. Irrelevant.
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