As exciting as the annual NFL Draft is, it isn't just about handing out jerseys, posing for pictures, and giving big bro hugs to the commish.
|Photo by: Jerry Lai|
And here they are.
1. Minnesota Vikings - After letting rumors fly that they were open to trade the 3rd overall pick, the Vikings closed a deal with the Cleveland Browns that added a 4th, 5th, and 7th-round selection to their 2012 draft class, and they only had to drop back one lousy spot to accomplish it. The move allowed them to add picks and still draft the guy they were planning on taking in the first place, offensive tackle Matt Kalil from USC. They also later traded back into the round to grab safety Harrison Smith out of Notre Dame, which filled another team need.
2. Cleveland Browns - While some might question the intelligence in drafting a running back at #4 (Trent Richardson) and an older quarterback at #22 (28-year-old Brandon Weeden), the picks showed that Cleveland has a new philosophy -- win now. Risky? Of course. However, in a loaded division with the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, the Browns had to be bold to put themselves in a position to do anything of importance over the next five seasons.
3. New England Patriots - New England landed Chandler Jones out of Syracuse with pick #21, a solid pass rusher with incredible versatility that will be able to play defensive end or outside linebacker. Then, with the 25th overall selection, they nabbed Nick Saban-educated linebacker Dont'a Hightower, an extremely solid player that will be able to adapt to whatever coach Bill Belichick needs him to do. In short, a team that was only one play away from winning the Super Bowl last season, just got even better.
1. Miami Dolphins - Miami attempted to give their fans hope by taking Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill with the 8th overall pick, but they were basically forced into the selection because they whiffed on both Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn in free agency. The organization had to try and find a face for the franchise, but too bad for them it's Tannehill, who had all of 19 career starts at the college level. He's a project to say the least, at a time where the Dolphins don't have luxury of letting him sit for several seasons.
2. Seattle Seahawks - For the second straight year, Seattle reached with their first round selection. With pick #15, the Seahawks took West Virginia linebacker Bruce Irvin, a guy who in all likelihood would have still been available in the third round. Irvin has the talent to be a decent pass rusher in the NFL, but he has a long way to go in run defense and pass coverage. The people in Seattle's war room are probably the only one's who think this was a wise decision.
3. New York Jets - The Jets continued their string of strange personnel moves (Tim Tebow anyone?) with the selection of defensive end Quinton Coples at #16. Coples talent is undeniable, but he has a tendency to disappear for long stretches, which is par for the course in New York. What makes this pick even more questionable, is that All-American defensive end Melvin Ingram from South Carolina was still available at the time. He'll undoubtedly be a beast in this league, while Coples could turn out to be a complete bust.