We made it! And to think some of you (ok, myself included sometimes) doubted us. We've reached the final seven selections of the 2012 first round draft, and overall I'm pretty pleased with the selections that the assigned GM's have made for their franchises.
The bottom seven picks of the first round features the elite teams of the league last year. Houston, New England Green Bay, Baltimore, San Francisco, and the New York Giants... these are the teams the rest of the NFL is drafting, literally. All of the other teams are caught in the wake created by these squads and are trying to improve their rosters in order to take their places on the perch.
Let's head to the podium to hear from our assorted GM's.
|Picks 26 - 32
|Draft Pick||26||Draft Pick||30|
|Team Name||Houston Texans||Team Name||San Francisco 49ers|
|GM||KD (I Am Ironman!)||GM||MicThaRock!|
|Selection||(WR) Stephen Hill||Selection||(TE) Coby Fleener|
|Draft Pick||27||Draft Pick||31|
|Team Name||New England Patriots||Team Name||New England Patriots|
|Selection||(DE) Andre Branch||Selection||(DE) Devon Still|
|Draft Pick||28||Draft Pick||32|
|Team Name||Green Bay Packers||Team Name||New York Giants|
|Selection||(OLB) Courtney Upshaw||Selection||(DE) Chandler Jones|
|Team Name||Baltimore Ravens|
|Selection||(C) Peter Konz|
Follow the jump for the pick justifications and the full mock board, complete with team needs.
Selection: (WR) Stephen Hill
Justification: Can you imagine having to check both Andre Johnson and Stephen Hill, and still worry about Adrian Foster? Exactly. My man Ironman was a little late to respond, but did tell me this pick had his approval.
Selection: (DE) Andre Branch
Justification: When Andre Carter went down to injury last yr his presence was missed. The Patriots feel that Branch can develop into that type of impact player and can be an every down player in the 4-3 or 3-4.
Selection: (OLB) Courtney Upshaw
Justification: The Packers biggest needs are at DE and OLB in a 3-4 scheme as Green Bay was second to last in the NFC in sacking the quarterback. Furthermore, they were the absolute worst in the entire NFL in passing yards allowed. They desperately need an effective pass rusher. Courtney Upshaw gives them just that. Upshaw, who has been highly targeted by Jets' coach Rex Ryan at the 16 pick, is an outstanding edge rusher as who has great instincts and uses his hands extremely well. His ability to use his hands to slap away from the blocker allows him to disengage and quickly go on the attack. Plus, he is one of those guys that fall into the "in between position" categories as he can play both DE and OLB effectively.
His dynamic play provides Green Bay with some flexibility in how they approach the draft in later rounds. While his unimpressive combine results and the lack of a playing a definitive position has caused some to lose interest, he still is an effective pass rusher and great value at 28. Upshaw has the skillset to help give the cheeseheads something to cheer about.
Selection: (C) Peter Konz
Justification: They took Andre Gurode off our hands. Then they moved him to guard.
Selection: (TE) Coby Fleener
Justification: As a team that can afford to go BPA and not draft for need, we'll take this TE and pair him with Vernon Davis to create mismatches all over the field. We are doing our best to set up our QB and team for success. We did want to fill the hole at Guard but Cordy Glenn went earlier than expected.
Selection: (DE) Devon Still
Justification: Devon Still, Penn State is versatile enough to fit in at DE in the 3-4 or DT in the 4-3 and will get pressure on opposing QB`s.
GM: Invictus Xi
Selection: (DE) Chandler Jones
Justification: "The Giants have a pretty rigid way of drafting. They have a couple of golden rules. the first rule is to always, under every circumstance, draft for Best Player Available, and not reach for need. They do assign positional value, and they prefer DBs, WRs, and, of course, pass rushers over other positions. If you look at their history of selections under current GM, Jerry Reese has had these consistent tenets. The player is impressive from a height/weight/speed/strength point of view. The player is always from one of the major football conferences (Big East, Big 12, Big 10, SEC, Pac-12, ACC). The player doesn't have many red flags in terms of character concerns. Three players on my board met all of these criteria: Chandler Jones, Alshon Jeffery, and Harrison Smith.
I ultimately went with Jones because he has been thundering up draft boards, and with good reason. Mike Mayock and Michael Lombardi recently opined that Jones will be the 'best defensive player in the draft in 3 years'. He is maddeningly raw, but he's got everything else. The flaws in his game are that he gets a bit too upright when pass rushing, has an inconsistent first step, and doesn't have many pass rushing moves. However, when his first step is on, its dominant. He flashes rare strength for his size, has a great bullrush, and oh yeah, has almost 36" arms. Great short area quickness as well, and of course, who can forget his bloodlines, being the younger brother of Arthur Jones, DE of the Ravens, and Jon "Bones" Jones, light heavyweight MMA champion.
The Giants are team with weaknesses, no doubt. But the way they deal with their weaknesses is by overwhelming you with their strengths. With Osi Umenyiora potentially leaving in free agency after the upcoming year, the Giants will have reloaded at their position of biggest strength to have a new stable of passrushers that includes Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Chandler Jones. Scary."
|Pick||Team||Position Needs (by priority)||Assigned GM||Pick|
|1||Indianapolis||34DT, CB, QB, WR,ROT, OG, TE, LOT, OC, 34DE, 34OLB, FS, SS||KD||Luck, Andrew|
|2||Washington||QB, CB, ROT, OG, ILB, FS, SS||Dire Wolf||Griffin, Robert|
|3||Minnesota||LOT, SS, CB, WR, OG, 43OLB, ILB, FS||gasman8||Kalil, Matt|
|4||Cleveland||WR, ROT, RB, OG, 43OLB, CB, SS, TE, QB, 43DE||Tennessee_Jed||Claiborne, Morris|
|5||Tampa Bay||C, RB, CB, ROT, ILB, 43OLB, FS||BermyStar||Richardson, Trent|
|6||St. Louis||43DT, 43OLB, CB, WR, LOT, C, G, RB||Sean N||Blackmon, Justin|
|7||Jacksonville||CB, WR, ROT, 43DE, RB, QB||I don’t rent ima romoowner||Coples, Quinton|
|8||Miami||WR, QB, ROT, OG, TE, 43DE, FS, SS, CB, 43OLB, ILB,||KD||Reiff, Riley|
|9||Carolina||43DT, WR, OG, ROT, ILB, CB, 43OLB, FS, SS, RB||Tarheel Paul||Cox, Fletcher|
|10||Buffalo||43DE, 43OLB, LOT, WR, TE, ROT, CB||LeedsCowboys||Brockers, Michael|
|11||Kansas City||ROT, 34DT, QB, LOT, TE, CB||TK19||Poe, Dontari|
|12||Seattle||QB, 43DE, 43OLB, ILB, RB, OG||staubachfan||Ingram, Melvin|
|13||Arizona||LOT, OC, 34OLB, CB, OG, ROT, SILB, WR, FS, SS, QB||thebigham||Keuchly, Luke|
|14||Dallas||34ILB, 34DT, OG, ROT, LOT||Birddog26||DeCastro, David|
|15||Philadelphia||ILB, 43OLB, OG, RB, WR, ROT, OC, 43DT, CB, TE||JimmyK||Floyd, Michael|
|16||NY Jets||ROT, 34OLB, SS, FS, CB, WR, OG, 34DT, C, RB||Joe21||Mark Barron|
|17||Cincinnati||CB, RB, WR, OG, FS, 43OLB, 43DE, SS||blackgallagher||Stephon Gilmore|
|18||San Diego||ROT, OG, CB, SS, 34OLB, TE, WR, 34DT, 34DE, ILB||matt575||Don'ta Hightower|
|19||Chicago||LOT, 43DE, CB, TE, WR, 43OLB, OG, ILB, SS, RB||HookemUp||Jonathan Martin|
|20||Tennessee||43DE, CB, C, FS, SS, G, WR, TE, 43DT, 43OLB||KD||Mercilus, Whitney|
|21||Cincinnati||CB, RB, WR, OG, FS, 43OLB, 43DE, SS||KD||Glenn, Cordy|
|22||Cleveland||WR, ROT, RB, OG, 43OLB, CB, SS, TE, QB, 43DE||Tennessee-Jed||Tannehill, Ryan|
|23||Detroit||CB, LOT, OC, OG, ROT, FS, 43DE||accindental innuendo||Kirkpatrick, Dre|
|24||Pittsburgh||CB, 34DT, 34DE, 34OLB, ILB, FS, SS, C, OG||HarrisburgCowboyFan||McClellin, Shea|
|25||Denver||RB, 43DT, WR, QB, ILB, FS, SS, CB, 43DE||Allan Uy||Perry, Nick|
|26||Houston||WR, ROT, LOT, 34DT, 34OLB, FS, CB||KD||Hill, Stephen|
|27||New England||WR, OG, C, CB, 34DT, 43DT, 34OLB, 43OLB, FS||ziggy19||Branch, Andre|
|28||Green Bay||34OLB, FS, SS, CB, C, OG||DannyPhantom||Upshaw, Courtney|
|29||Baltimore||SILB, FS, OC, LOT, OG, 34OLB, SS, CB, 34DE, WR||KD||Konz, Peter|
|30||San Francisco||OG, ROT, WR, C, RB, 34DE, FS||MicThaRockl||Fleener, Coby|
|31||New England||WR, OG, C, CB, 34DT, 43DT, 34OLB, 43OLB, FS||ziggy19||Still, Devon|
|32||NY Giants||ILB, LOT, ROT, RB, CB, SS, 43DE, 43OLB||Invictus Xi||Jones, Chandler|