Here’s the second half of TheFootballEducator.com Guest Blogger Randy Schwimmer’s take on the AFC North’s performance in the 2012 NFL Draft. Schwimmer covered the Cincinnati Bengals & Cleveland Browns in an earlier post.
2012 NFL Draft – Best Pick: Round 2 Pick 35, Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama: Upshaw is from Alabama, enough said. Alabama is notorious for generating an abundance of first-rate players into the NFL. Therefore, it would make sense that the Baltimore Ravens chose Upshaw, as they are one of the best teams (if not the best) at acquiring great players in the draft. This is due to the fact that Ozzie Newsome is one hell of a player evaluator. When Baltimore traded out of the first round, they knew who they wanted, and that he would most likely be there when they picked at 35. However, it was somewhat of a gamble with the Indianapolis Colts picking one spot before them and switching to a 34 base defense. Fortunately, they got their man and I’m sure they are elated to have him, especially considering the injury Terrell Suggs suffered shortly after the draft.
2012 NFL Draft – Worst Pick: Round 6 Pick 198, Tommy Streeter, WR, The U: Picking a ‘worst pick’ for the Ravens was a tough one for me because, as I said before, I really think the Baltimore Ravens’ draft selections are among the best in the league. However, because I have to pick one, I analyzed each of Baltimore’s draft picks this year. At first, I considered Gino Gradkowski, mostly because the Ravens had already taken Kelechi Osemele in the second round. However, I think it’s a great idea in terms of stacking up their line of scrimmage for the two times per year they play against the Steelers’ and the Bengals’ defense. Therefore, I decided to go with Streeter for Baltimore’s ‘worst pick’ and not because he’s bad player, but because he should have stayed in school for another year. In terms of value, Streeter is too raw to be worth this draft pick for the Ravens when it could have been used on many other crucial needs for the team. Hopefully, Ozzie has a plan for him, but watch, he will probably end up being the next Brandon Marshall. Who knows?
2012 NFL Draft – Best Pick: Round 1 Pick 24, David DeCastro, OG, Stanford: As I mentioned in my “Exceptional Rookies” article, DeCastro might be my favorite pick in the entire draft. Just as I predict Andrew Luck will end up being the “slam dunk stud” at QB, I also predict DeCastro has the potential to be the “career-long stud” at guard. It is not often a MAULER MAN BEAST of a human being emerges from the draft, and just so happens to play guard. DeCastro is a manimal (half man / half animal). If offensive linemen had their stats analyzed, DeCastro would excel in each area. While his main strength is run blocking (which should bode well for the Steelers offensive style), he also excels at protecting the QB. I am pretty sure that Ben Roethlisberger baked a cake for Kevin Colbert when Roger Goodell read ‘David DeCastro’ and ‘The Steelers’ in the same sentence on April 26th.
2012 NFL Draft – Worst Pick: Round 5 Pick 159, Chris Rainey, RB/WR/KR, Florida: Rainey might be nimble and quick, but his clear disadvantage is his size at 5’9″ 175lbs. These are not ideal measurables for a back in the Steelers offensive systems. For example, in terms of running backs in the Steelers’ offense, Jerome Bettis and Rashard Mendenhall both had something Rainey doesn’t… SIZE. Playing in the AFC North puts Rainey at risk for getting demolished, if not hurt, on one of his first offensive plays. I don’t envision him thriving in that kind of system, especially when having to face Haloti Ngata twice a year. Rainey’s 175lbs running into Ngata’s 330lb wall, seems like a death sentence. Good thing they have paramedics on site.
As always, please feel free to comment on your thoughts and opinions. Thank you for reading.
Follow me on Twitter @randyschwimmer7.