In this exercise we will be giving NFL teams the opportunity to re-do their 2012 1st Round selections. For purposes of clarity, we will pretend that all other factors surrounding each selection are exactly as they were at the time of the draft. So let’s have at it…
If you missed the first part, you can check it out here: 2012 NFL Draft Re-Do (Picks: 1-10)
Kansas City Chiefs (Round 1, Pick 11):
2016 Selection: Dontari Poe – Defensive Tackle, Memphis
2012 Selection: Dontari Poe – Defensive Tackle, Memphis
Dontari Poe catapulted up media draft boards after one of the all-time combine workouts. Viewing the selection of Poe as a reach at #12 overall, many draft analysts criticized then Chiefs’ General Manager Scott Pioli’s selection. Meanwhile Poe has blossomed into a pro-bowl nose tackle, anchoring a Chiefs’ defense that has carried the organization to the playoffs in recent years.
Philadelphia Eagles (Round 1, Pick 12):
2016 Selection: Josh Norman – Cornerback, Coastal Carolina
2012 Selection: Fletcher Cox – Defensive Tackle, Mississippi St.
The Eagles found a franchise cornerstone when the organization selected Fletcher Cox in 2012. While the front-seven of its defense has wreaked havoc on NFC East opponents’ offensive lines, the Eagles’ secondary has been nothing short of a disaster the past few years. Therefore the Eagles opt to select Josh Norman, the best available defensive back in this draft and arguably the preeminent cover corner in the NFL. Norman was not selected until the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers but 31 other teams certainly wish they would have selected him earlier.
Arizona Cardinals (Round 1, Pick 13):
2016 Selection: Chandler Jones – Defensive End, Syracuse
2012 Selection: Michael Floyd – Wide Receiver, Notre Dame
Times have certainly changed in Arizona. At the time of this pick, Ken Whisenhunt was the Head Coach and Kevin Kolb was their starting Quarterback. Michael Floyd was certainly a 1st round talent coming out of Notre Dame and his mentor, fellow Minnesota native (Arizona Cardinals WR) Larry Fitzgerald, was likely crucial in the organization’s decision making process. Although Floyd has been productive when healthy, the Cardinals instead opt to select pass rusher Chandler Jones. A highly versatile defensive end, Jones has amassed 36.0 sacks over the course of 55 games as a member of the New England Patriots. This offseason the Cardinals acquired Jones from the Patriots in an acquisition that saw the Patriots receive Arizona’s 2nd round selection in this year’s draft.
St. Louis Rams (Round 1, Pick 14):
2016 Selection: Matt Kalil – Offensive Tackle, University of Southern California
2012 Selection: Michael Brockers – Defensive Tackle, LSU
Brockers has been one of the more under-rated defensive tackles in the league, clogging offensive lineman allowing Aaron Donald, Chris Long and Robert Quinn to consistently get into the opponent’s backfield. That being said the Rams would certainly take an offensive tackle in this position, as the seasons following the 2012 Draft saw Quarterback Sam Bradford suffer one injury after another behind one of the league’s most porous offensive lines. The board has fallen nicely to the Rams, as Kalil becomes the first offensive lineman selected in this exercise. While never quite living up to the expectations that resulted in Kalil being selected by the Vikings with the #4 overall pick, Kalil has been a productive left-tackle starting all 64 games since being drafted.
Seattle Seahawks (Round 1, Pick 15):
2016 Selection: Lavonte David – Outside Linebacker, Nebraska
2012 Selection: Bruce Irvin – Outside Linebacker, West Virginia
Irvin’s selection by the Seahawks raised the eyebrows of many analysts, with Mel Kiper calling the selection “mind boggling”. Irvin has proven doubters wrong by overcoming multiple off-the-field red flags and concerns that he was simply a “one-dimensional” pass rusher. Although the selection of Irvin has made Seahawks’ General Manager John Schneider look very wise, in this scenario Seattle would undoubtedly choose Lavonte David with the 15th pick. Despite the statistical limitations of being an outside linebacker in a 4-3 defensive front, David was named First-Team All-Pro in 2013 and a Pro Bowler in 2015.
New York Jets (Round 1, Pick 16):
2016 Selection: Janoris Jenkins – Cornerback, North Alabama
2012 Selection: Quinton Coples – Defensive End, North Carolina
Following a promising start to his career as a defensive end on Rex Ryan’s defense, Coples never really lived up to his draft standing due in part to injuries and a transition to outside linebacker. Meanwhile the departure of Darrelle Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following the 2012 season left the Jets’ secondary in shambles for years to come. With the selection of Janoris Jenkins, the Jets would have been able to minimize the crater left when Revis was shipped away. Slipping to the 2nd round because of the off-the-field red flags that saw him kicked off of Urban Meyer’s Florida Gators team, Jenkins excelled as a cornerback for the Rams and was signed to a $62.5 million free agent contract by the New York Giants this off-season.
Cincinnati Bengals (Round 1, Pick 17):
2016 Selection: Vontaze Burfict – Inside Linebacker, Arizona St.
2012 Selection: Dre Kirkpatrick – Cornerback, Alabama
Dre Kirkpatrick has failed to live up to the potential that he flashed as part of Nick Saban’s Alabama secondary. Signed by the Bengals as an undrafted free agent after the 2012 Draft, Vontaze Burfict has become one of the most highly productive inside linebackers in the NFL. Burfict’s career has been nothing short of a roller coaster; a 5-star recruit out of high school (#1 ILB Nationally, #2 Overall in CA) Burfict was a sure-fire 1st round talent entering his junior year at Arizona St. Burfict entered the NFL combine as the #3 rated inside linebacker but a 5.09 40-Yard Dash, a failed drug test (at the combine) and blaming his coaching staff for his inconsistency all played a factor in all 32 teams passing on him multiple times in the draft. Although injuries have limited him the past two seasons, Burfict is a truly dynamic linebacker who is capable of single-handedly taking over a game, as he did in the playoffs against the Steelers.
San Diego Chargers (Round 1, Pick 18):
2016 Selection: David DeCastro – Offensive Guard, Stanford
2012 Selection: Melvin Ingram – Outside Linebacker, University of South Carolina
Injuries have played a part in Melvin Ingram not living up to expectations with the Chargers, as Ingram missed 19 games during the 2013 & 2014 seasons. Although a 10.5 sack performance this past season has Chargers fans optimistic, Ingram’s body of work thus far does not reconcile with his draft position. Offensively the Chargers have had a difficult time protecting Quarterback Philip Rivers, most notably the interior of their offensive line has been torn apart by AFC West opponents. A former lineman for Andrew Luck at Stanford, David DeCastro has become one of the elite offensive guards in the NFL, being named a First Team All-Pro this past season by the Associated Press.
Chicago Bears (Round 1, Pick 19):
2016 Selection: Dont’a Hightower – Inside Linebacker, Alabama
2012 Selection: Shea McClellin – Defensive End, Boise St.
Shea McClellin may have been in the running with Trent Richardson for the least productive selection in the 1st round of the 2012 NFL Draft; however, the Boise St. product has experienced somewhat of an awakening at Inside Linebacker in Vic Fangio’s 3-4 defensive scheme. That being said, Don’t’a Hightower has grown into a stalwart on Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots’ defense. Hightower was named a First Team All-Pro in 2014 by Pro Football Focus and was a key playmaker on the Patriots’ Super Bowl winning championship team two seasons ago.
Thanks for reading make sure to check back for the rest of Round 1, we still have RG3, Brock & Olivier Vernon on the board…