Now that the 2012 NFL Draft is officially a wrap, it is time for way too early analysis of these picks. There is only so much value to be found in analyzing the specific players, but if a team can address a variety of needs, they are at least on the right track. Some folks will strenuously disagree with the players taken, but as we have seen, every draft board is different.
I wrapped up my week in New York City by helping put together recap videos for each division. We put together dday one and day two videos that featured me talking about the division, and then we had a brief roundtable discussion of each team with grades. For the overall draft recap, due to the volume of picks involved, we went with just the roundtable, only drawn out a bit more. Check out the video below and then head past the jump for more thoughts on each NFC West team's draft.
I was really impressed with the Rams on day one as they were able to move down and pick up some picks while still getting a guy in Michael Brockers who could further solidify a defensive line that was already improving. He will be paired with Kendall Langford and should improve the middle of that defensive line.
Day two saw the Rams appear to roll the dice a bit more. They grabbed Brian Quick at the top of the second round, which surprised folks who had guys like Stephen Hill and Rueben Randle ahead of Quick. And yet, from an outside perspective, if they see something in Quick that makes him worth the pick, it addresses a need. Not the guy I would have taken, but they're not paying me to help them make decisions. They also added Chris Givens who has some vertical potential.
Janoris Jenkins qualifies as one of the more interesting picks of the second round. As I said in my day two video, Jenkins is a first round talent but a UDFA knucklehead. It's a roll of the dice, but it is hard to pass up such talent. The Rams really revamped their secondary over the last month, signing Cortland Finnegan in free agency and then drafting Jenkins in the second round and CB/S Trumaine Johnson in the third round.
They made some interesting moves to address the running game as well. Steven Jackson is a great running back, but he is also been utilized a ton and could use some better complementary options. They drafted Isaiah Pead in the second round and Daryl Richardson in the seventh round. Pead will bring a bit more of a speed option to the Rams backfield.
The Seahawks surprised some folks on day one with their decision to draft defensive end/outside lineback Bruce Irvin. However, with rumors out there that a couple other teams were interested, they may have felt forced to go early on him. Of course, the 49ers were listed as one rumored team, but then we heard they had AJ Jenkins written down in an envelope as early as the night before the draft. So, we definitely need to take these rumors with a grain of salt.
Bobby Wagner is a solid day two linebacker. He brings speed and athleticism, much like Irvin, and will push for playing time inside for the Seahawks. He is a bit shorter than is normally seen inside at the NFL level, but he is a tough tackler. They needed some help in the linebacker corps and Wagner could be a long time starter for them.
The most "interesting" pick of the Seahawks draft was probably Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson. If he was two or three inches taller he probably would have been a first round pick. Instead he slides into the third and gets into a situation that could be ideal for him. Matt Flynn is signed to a three-year deal and will get every opportunity to win the starting job. Wilson can push him, but otherwise can spend plenty of time learning the QB position at the NFL level.
The Seahawks took an interesting route with their draft as they selected eight defensive players and only two offensive players. They added Robert Turbin at running back and he should be a solid option behind Marshawn Lynch. I'm a little surprised they did not add a receiver in this draft as that still seems like a bit of a question mark even with the emergence of Doug Baldiwn. I suppose if Sidney Rice can stay healthy in 2012 it's a solid enough corps, but that still seems like a roll of the dice.
The Cardinals big name pick this year is Michael Floyd, who will work to complement Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals might have had some more pressing needs, but adding a potentially strong number two was a good idea, and Floyd should be that guy.
Arizona continued working over their offensive line as they added three tackles in the draft. Ole Miss tackle Bobby Massie is a guy many looked at as a sleeper option in the middle rounds. While Massie was not a significant standout in college, he will get plenty of opportunities to earn playing time thanks to an inconsistent Cardinals offensive line.
San Diego State QB Ryan Lindley was a particularly interesting pick in the sixth round. He is a developmental QB, but given the question marks surrounding Kevin Kolb and John Skelton, he could be an interesting long-term project. If he does not work out it's no big loss, but if they can turn him into a decent option, this could be a bit of a sleeper pick.
San Francisco 49ers
We'll have plenty more on the 49ers in the coming days, weeks and months. For now you can check out their 2012 draft class to refresh yourself before voting.
Which NFC West team had the best draft?
Arizona Cardinals (87 votes)
San Francisco 49ers (620 votes)
Seattle Seahawks (27 votes)
St. Louis Rams (448 votes)
1182 total votes