The Tuna's Big Board - 2012 edition



Anybody watch ESPN's Draft Confidential special with Parcells and Polian last night? Just like last year, they dressed up the set as a draft war room, including a big board that presumably the Tuna himself filled in. And even though both he and Polian have somewhat of a mixed track record in terms of their draft success, they undoubtedly think the way many current NFL execs/coaches do. There were enough close-ups of the board while I was watching that I figured I'd be able to recreate it for you guys. So, armed with my plasma, my Tivo pause button, and a pad and pencil, that's what I set out to do.

The results were interesting, to say the least.

Let's start with overall. According to Bill's Big Board, there are 31 first round talents for 32 picks (14 on offense, 17 on defense). That seems incredibly high to me, since most analysts and insiders will generally claim that you rarely have more than 15-20 players with first round grades in any given draft. So either the two Bills are smoking something, or this is a very deep draft.

There's no easy way to recreate the board on this website, so I'm just going to summarize the board by position. Let's start with the Defense (players are listed in order of how they were set on the board, and the board only listed grades through round 5).

Defensive Tackles/Nose Tackles

1st round grades: Michael Brockers (top), Devon Still (top), Fletcher Cox (mid), Jerel Worthy (mid), Dontari Poe (end)

2nd round grades: Brandon Thompson (top), Josh Chapman (top third), Jared Crick (end), Derek Wolfe (end)

3rd round grades: Kendall Reyes, Billy Winn, Alameda Ta'amu (all kind of grouped mid-round)

4th round grades: Marcus Forston (mid-round)

5th round grades: none

I guess the big surprise here is that 5 DTs or NTs are given 1st round grades, and that Wolfe is late 2nd. Maybe he will be around at #45 when we pick.

Defensive Ends

1st round grades: Quinton Coples (top), Courtney Upshaw (mid), Melvin Ingram (end), Whitney Mercilus (end)

2nd round grades: Nick Perry, Vinny Curry, Chandler Jones, Andre Branch (evenly distributed throughout round)

3rd round grades: Donte Paige-Moss (mid-round)

4th round grades: none

5th round grades: none

No big surprises here.

Outside Linebackers

1st round grades: none (but Parcells did say that some teams would list Ingram and Upshaw as OLBs)

2nd round grades: Ronnell Lewis (top), Zach Brown (mid), Travis Lewis (end)

3rd round grades: Bruce Irvin (top), Tank Carder (top), Lavonte David (end), Nigel Bradham (end)

4th round grades: Sean Spence (top)

5th round grades: Shea McLellin (top), Terrell Manning (mid), Demario Davis (end)

This is where it gets interesting. Carder and Bradham are listed as ILBs in many places, so this shows how some teams see players in different positions. But the shocker is McLellin given a 5th round grade. I haven't seen anyone else with him that low.

Inside Linebackers

1st round grades: Luke Kuechly (top), Dont'a Hightower (end)

2nd round grades: Vontaze Burfict (top third)

3rd round grades: Bobby Wagner (top), Adrien Cole (end)

4th round grades: Mychal Kendricks (bottom third)

5th round grades: none

He has Burfict higher than most, and Cole way higher.


1st round grades: Mark Barron (top third)

2nd round grades: Harrison Smith (top), Trumain Johnson (bottom third)

3rd round grades: Markelle Martin (top)

4th round grades: Antonio Allen (top third)

5th round grades: Brandon Taylor (top), George Iloka (bottom third)

Two notables here: Trumaine Johnson is being projected as a safety, and Iloka is really low.


1st round grades: Morris Claiborne (top), Stephon Gilmore, Dre Kirkpatrick, Janoris Jenkins, Chase Minnifield (all grouped mid-to-late round)

2nd round grades: Alfonzo Dennard (top third), Jayron Housley (bottom third)

3rd round grades: Casey Hayward, Brandon Boykin, Coryell Judie, Jamell Fleming (spaced evenly throughout)

4th round grades: Josh Robinson (top), Cliff Harris (bottom third)

5th round grades: none

Interesting that 5 corners got 1st round grades, and he has Minnifield higher than most. In the show, Parcells commented that this is a passing league now, and even more so in college, and that you have to take what the colleges give you, and right now the college game is churning out a lot of talented WRs and DBs.

Moving over to the other side of the ball, I'll start with the line positions first.

Offensive Guard

1st round grades: David DeCastro (top third), Kevin Zeitler (end)

2nd round grades: Cordy Glenn (top), Kelechi Osemele (middle)

3rd round grades: Amini Silatolu, Brandon Brooks (top)

4th round grades: Lucas Nix (top)

5th round grades: James Brown (mid)

To me, this is interesting, because Bill doesn't feel the Guard is as deep as many people do. To me the only argument against drafting DeCastro is that you should be able to get a really good guard in the 2nd or 3rd, but Parcells isn't as high on the guard class as people like Bunting are. Of course, we all know how terrible Bill's OL picks were in Dallas... ;)


1st round grades: Peter Konz (end)

2nd round grades: none

3rd round grades: Michael Brewster (end)

4th round grades: David Molk (end)

5th round grades: Phillip Blake (top third), Garth Gerhard (end)

To me, this is really shocking. Ben Jones nowhere to be found. On the show, Parcells pointed out that this was one of the weakest center classes that he has seen.

Offensive Tackle

1st round grades: Matt Kalil (top), Riley Reiff (mid), Jonathan Martin (end)

2nd round grades: Mike Adams, Jeff Allen (mid)

3rd round grades: Mitchell Schwartz (top), Zebrie Sanders, Lamar Holmes (both end of round)

4th round grades: Nate Potter (top)

5th round grades: Bobby Massie

Bunting has Allen listed as a guard, but Parcells seemed to like him.

Tight End/Fullback

1st round grades: Coby Fleener (end)

2nd ground grades: Dwayne Allen (mid)

3rd round grades: Orson Charles (mid)

4th round grades: Ladarius Green (mid)

5th round grades: Michael Egnew (top), Bradie Ewing (mid), Rhett Ellison (end)

Although he grouped FBs with TEs, Ewing is the only FB that he gave a grade to.


1st round grades: Andrew Luck (top), Robert Griffin (top), Ryan Tannehill (bottom third)

2nd round grades: Brock Osweiler (end), Kirk Cousins (end)

3rd round grades: Brandon Weeden (mid)

4th round grades: none

5th round grades: none

No surprises here

Running Back

1st round grades: Trent Richardson (top)

2nd round grades: Lamar Miller (top), David Wilson (mid), Doug Martin (end)

3rd round grades: Isaiah Pead (top), LaMichael James (mid), Bernard Pierce (end)

4th round grades: Chris Polk (top)

5th round grades: none

No surprises here

Wide Receiver

1st round grades: Juston Blackmon (top), Michael Floyd (end), Stephen Hill (end)

2nd round grades: Kendall Wright, Sammie Streeter, Alshon Jeffrey, Rueben Randle, Juron Criner, Ryan Broyles (there were so many names here there was no delineation to where in the round they were ranked)

3rd round grades: Mohamed Sanu (top), Jeff Fuller (mid), Dwight Jones (end), DaVier Posey (end)

4th round grades: none

5th round grades: Brian Quick (top)

I don't know that there are a lot of surprises here, but he clearly thinks that the WR class is strong.

There you have it. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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