Sean Jensen breaks down the first round
BY SEAN JENSEN email@example.com April 27, 2012 12:46AM
The Browns wanted Alabama running back Trent Richardson so much they gave up three picks to move up one spot. | Jason DeCrow~AP
Updated: April 27, 2012 7:27AM
1) Indianapolis Colts, QB Andrew Luck – The worst kept secret in the NFL is revealed, as the Colts give Luck the impossible task of replacing Peyton Manning.
2) Washington Redskins, QB Robert Griffin III – The Redskins aggressively moved up to take the Heisman Trophy winner, who they believe can be the franchise player for years to come.
3) Cleveland Browns (from Minnesota Vikings), RB Trent Richardson – The Browns apparently wanted Richardson really badly, even though legendary running back Jim Brown thinks the Alabama back is “ordinary.”
4) Minnesota Vikings (from Browns), OT Matt Kahlil – Vikings are savvy, picking up three extra choices and still landing the player they ultimately wanted.
5) Jacksonville Jaguars (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers), WR Justin Blackmon – Desperate for a playmaker, the Jaguars jump up two spots and take Blackmon, who will give quarterback Blaine Gabbert a legitimate weapon.
6) Dallas Cowboys (from Redskins through St. Louis Rams), CB Morris Claiborne – The Cowboys with one of the more surprising – and bold – moves, jumping up to snatch the top-rated cornerback in the draft.
7) Buccaneers (from Jaguars), S Mark Barron – The Bucs traded down, collected extra picks, and still landed one of the players widely projected to make a very smooth transition to the NFL.
8) Miami Dolphins, QB Ryan Tannehill – The quarterback desperate Dolphins finally can’t be spurned; Tannehill has no choice, if he wants to play in the NFL.
9) Carolina Panthers, LB Luke Kuechly – Another very safe pick, a player who is projected to make an immediate impact in the NFL.
10) Buffalo Bills, CB Stephon Gilmore – The Bills had multiple needs, including offensive tackle, but they selected the second-best cornerback in Gilmore.
11) Kansas City Chiefs, DT Dontari Poe – Perhaps the most puzzling high pick, but Poe possesses freakish athleticsm, and the Chiefs are counting on Romeo Crennel to be able to help turn him into a player.
12) Philadelphia Eagles (from Seattle Seahawks) – The Eagles get aggressive, moving up to select defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and shore up its porous defensive line.
13) Arizona Cardinals, WR Michael Floyd – Larry Fitzgerald gets his wish, with the Cardinals taking the talented Notre Dame receiver to bolster the offense.
14) Rams (from Cowboys), DT Michael Brockers – The Rams continue to wheel and deal and collect picks, but they also secure a very talented player.
15) Seahawks (from Eagles), DE Bruce Irvin – Serious character concerns on Irvin, but the Seahawks obviously are comfortable and tantalized by his athleticism.
16) New York Jets, DE Quinton Coples – In terms of athleticism, he’s been compared to Julius Peppers, but he’s had many, many questions about his consistency.
17) Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland Raiders), CB Dre Kirkpatrick – The Bengals make a safe pick by selecting the Alabama corner who would have been a solid fit for the Bears.
18) San Diego Chargers, DE Melvin Ingram – Considered the most gifted pass rusher in this year’s draft, but he’s 6 foot 1, and he’s got short arms.
19) BEARS, DE Shea McClellin – Bears had a chance to move back, but McClellin was one of the seven players they targeted, and they weren’t going to pass on him.
20) Tennessee Titans, WR Kendall Wright – The four-year starter at Baylor heads to the Titans, a team that could use a versatile playmaker to complement running back Chris Johnson.
21) New England Patriots (from Bengals), DE Chandler Jones – The Patriots strike, moving up to snatch one of the more intriguing players of the first round.
22) Browns (from Atlanta Falcons), QB Brandon Weeden – The Browns make Weeden, 28, the oldest player ever selected in the first round.
23) Detroit Lions, OT Riley Reiff – Projected to go perhaps 10 spots higher, the Lions got serious value in getting the Iowa tackle in this spot.
24) Pittsburgh Steelers, G David DeCastro – Considered a can’t miss prospect, DeCastro also slipped further than some expected, largely due to his position.
25) Patriots (from Denver Broncos), LB Dont’a Hightower – Patriots mix it up again, this time moving up to secure Alabama standout linebacker Hightower.
26) Houston Texans, DE Whitney Mercilus – The Bears pass on the former Illinois defensive end at 19, but he’ll get a chance to fill the void left by Mario Williams in Houston.
27) Bengals (from New Orleans Saints through Patriots), G Kevin Zeitler – Wisconsin knows how to produce offensive linemen, and Zeitler has been a standout for the Badgers.
28) Green Bay Packers – DE Nick Perry – Packers were thrilled the last time they tapped into USC for an outside linebacker, since they landed perennial Pro Bowler Clay Matthews.
29) Vikings (from Baltimore Ravens), S Harrison Smith – Vikings take another venture into the first round, moving up to select the former Notre Dame safety.
30) San Francisco 49ers, WR A.J. Jenkins – A very, very surprising pick, since the Illinois receiver wasn’t projected as a first-round pick.
31) Buccaneers (from Patriots through Broncos), RB Doug Martin – One of the keys to one of the most exciting offenses in college will get plenty of chances with the Bucs.
32) New York Giants, RB David Wilson – Explosive back who has a tendency to pass on safe plays and try for home runs.