The Football Educator’s guest blogger Randy Schwimmer continues his look at the best and worst picks of each division’s 2012 NFL Draft efforts.
AFC South Division 2012 NFL Draft Round Up:
The AFC South Division had a few ups and downs last season. For one, the Houston Texans surprised a lot of people by having the number one defense in the league. Most importantly, they made it to the playoffs for the first time in the franchise’s existence and won the first game. The Colts, however, took a nose dive without the Sherriff there leading as their field general. Here we go.
2012 NFL Draft – Best Pick: Round 1 Pick 1, Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: This one was easy. Andrew Luck is considered by many analysts, including myself, to be the best quarterback prospect to come out of the NCAA since his predecessor, Peyton Manning. This was really a no brainer for Jim Irsay and the entire Colts organization. Manning was due a 28 million dollar salary bonus in the beginning of March. At which time the Colts had already sealed up the number one overall pick and Andrew Luck. There have been multiple reports that say that if the trade deadline last season was a few weeks later than it was, Bill Polian would have made the claim for Kyle Orton when Denver released him, and they would have won a few more games in the process. Therefore it would have made it to where they would have lost out on the chance to get Andrew Luck and Manning would still be wearing blue and white. None of that happened and now the Sherriff is in Denver and the Colts get the best replacement possible for the only four time league MVP. (Soon to be only five time! J)
2012 NFL Draft - Worst Pick: Round 3 Pick 64, Dwayne Allen, TE, Georgia: While I am a big fan of Dwayne Allen, this pick should have been used on defense. The smarter move here would have been to re-sign Dallas Clark for cheap and give Andrew Luck a savvy veteran for the young guns to learn the ropes from. The Colts had already picked up Andrew Luck’s favorite target at Stanford in Coby Fleener in the top of the second round. With a small defense that is switching over to a base 34 defense, they needed all the weapons they could get to make the front seven of the new D stronger. While I do like Allen, the Colts made the wrong choice here.
2012 NFL Draft - Best Pick: Round 2 Pick 38, Andre Branch, DE, Clemson: The Jaguars are always in need of pass rushers. They have recently struck out on the likes of Derrick Harvey, so they played it safe and waited til the second round to get a pass rusher to help their weak pass rush. Branch projected by many analysts to be a stand up 34 outside linebacker, yet he spent his time at Clemson running as a D-end in the base 43 that the Tigers run. Branch is fast off the line and has a great nose for the opposing QB. Pairing him with Jeremy Mincey should be fun to watch. If you do not know who Mincey is, don’t feel bad, he’s one of the “under the radar” defensive ends whose performance has become increasingly better over the past two years. He was a great re-sign by the Jags.
2012 NFL Draft - Worst Pick: Round 1 Pick 5, Justin Blackmon, WR, OK State: From the beginning of the draft process I have said I was not a fan of Blackmon. I don’t particularly care for his attitude, size, speed, or his character. There must be something in the wide receivers’ water cooler at Oklahoma State… causing rookie players to enter the NFL with over the top egocentric behavior and delusions that they’re above everyone, and everything. When Dez Bryant came out of college, he had missed a year from allegedly talking to Deion Sanders and then lying about the meeting to the NCAA Board. Then you have Blackmon who was suspended for one game in 2010 because of a DUI arrest, and again about a week ago for another DUI arrest. This time he was charged with aggravated DUI with a blood alcohol level of more than triple the legal limit. Considering he’s just starting out as a rookie in the NFL and he’s already literally blowing away his chances of actually playing, not a smart move on his part. This kind of reckless behavior does not start your career off on the right foot. Blackmon just gave all of the doubters more ammunition to criticize him. I wish the Jaguar fans luck with this one.
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