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Senior NFL Columnist

Grades: 2012 NFL Draft Round 1


CBSSports.com senior writer Pete Prisco analyzes each pick from Round 1 of the 2012 NFL Draft, grading each team on its draft-night selections. Refresh this page during the draft for the latest grades.

Complete coverage: 2012 NFL Draft tracker

Grades: Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6Round 7


CBSSports.com will grade each pick of Round 1 as it happens on Thursday. Check back for the latest grades.

Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com Senior Writer - Round 1
No. 1: Colts select: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford Grade
This is the easiest pick of the night. They get a franchise passer who just might be the next Peyton Manning.
No. 2: Redskins select: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor Grade
They made the big move up to get him and it's the right move for a quarterback-starved franchise. It was a big move up.
No. 3: Browns select: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama Grade
Why, Browns? Yes, he's a good player, but backs don't decide Super Bowls anymore. And you gave up picks?
No. 4: Vikings select: Matt Kalil, OT, Southern California Grade
Great move by Vikings. They get the best left tackle, one of the cleanest players in the draft, and get extra picks to trade down. Nice move, Minny.
No. 5: Jaguars select: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State Grade
I love the aggressive move up. The passing game has been horrible since Jimmy Smith retired. Now they have a real No. 1.
No. 6: Cowboys select: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU Grade
The Cowboys made an aggressive move to get a shutdown corner, the best in this draft. I love the move. Claiborne and Carr on the corners is a nasty combo. Giving up the second-round pick is steep.
No. 7: Buccaneers select: Mark Barron, SS, Alabama Grade
This is high for a safety, but this is a huge need for the Bucs. Their safeties were horrible last year.
No. 8: Dolphins select: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M Grade
They have to get a franchise passer. Is this the guy? We'll find out. But he has the tools.
No. 9: Panthers select: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College Grade
I love this kid as a player, but didn't the Panthers have other needs? What about corner? Even so, I like it.
No. 10: Bills select: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina Grade
This pick is perplexing. I like the player, but you can tell the Bills are trying to amp up that defense. Why not a tackle?
No. 11: Chiefs select: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis Grade
He's a big wide body for the middle of the KC defense, but he has to start making plays. He looks the part, but where are the numbers?
No. 12: Eagles select: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State Grade
The Eagles needed help inside for their defense, so the move up makes sense. Cox is a nice pickup for the Eagles, it cost them two picks. Solid.
No. 13: Cardinals select: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame Grade
I am not a big fan of Floyd. He doesn't run by anybody, but the good news is Larry Fitzgerald does. Fitzgerald, Floyd and Andre Roberts and Early Doucet are a nice group. Still don't like it.
No. 14: Rams select: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU Grade
They trade down and add picks and end up with a top-level tackle. Yes, he's raw. But he is perfect for Jeff Fisher's teams.
No. 15: Seahawks select: Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia Grade
That is such a Pete Carroll pick. He's always loved speedy ends dating back to USC. Irvin is explosive at times, but he was inconsistent. Ingram was a better choice.
No. 16: Jets select: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina Grade
I don't like this pick at all. Coples didn't play at all last year. He doesn't really fit in their defense. Why not Ingram?
No. 17: Bengals select: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama Grade
They have questions about Leon Hall coming off an injury, so I like this pick. He was once considered a potential top-10 pick. I like it.
No. 18: Chargers select: Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina Grade
Best pick of the first round. This kid will a pass-rush star in that defense. Teams that passed on this kid will regret it.
No. 19: Bears select: Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State Grade
He is a good football player, but he will have to play with his hand down in this defense. He has done that before, but some saw him as an outside rush linebacker.
No. 20: Titans select: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor Grade
They need a young weapon for Jake Locker. I love Wright. This will pay off big.
No. 21: Patriots select: Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse Grade
The Syracuse star was considered a bit of a late first-round sleeper, just the kind of player Belichick turns into a star in New England.
No. 22: Browns select: Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State Grade
I don't like this pick at all. Is he really that much better than McCoy? Plus, he's 28. Weird. Are the Browns better?
No. 23: Lions select: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa Grade
This is a good pick. They need to replace Jeff Backus. This kid fell and they landed a need pick.
No. 24: Steelers select: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford Grade
Think Alan Faneca. Kevin Colbert knows how to draft good football players. He's tough. Nasty. He fits. Love it.
No. 25: Patriots select: Dont´a Hightower, ILB, Alabama Grade
They traded back up to get this guy, but where does he play? Outside rusher? Inside? Not sure about this one.
No. 26: Texans select: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois Grade
When I watched him on tape, I didn't see explosive ability. Is he better than Brooks Reed and Connor Barwin?
No. 27: Bengals select: Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin Grade
Bengals trade down and get a feisty tough inside player. I like this move. Good move.
No. 28: Packers select: Nick Perry, DE, Southern California Grade
I know they needed pass rush help, but Perry looked a little soft at times to me. Ted Thompson usually gets it right, but we'll see on this one.
No. 29: Vikings select: Harrison Smith, SS, Notre Dame Grade
The Vikings were horrible on the back end of their defense. Teams killed that secondary. This is a good, solid pick.
No. 30: 49ers select: A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois Grade
This kid can run. He is frail, but he can run. Randy Moss isn't the answer. This is a surprise, but scouts really liked this kid. He can run.
No. 31: Buccaneers select: Doug Martin, RB, Boise State Grade
This is a really good move to trade back into the first round to get a top-level runner. Martin might not be Richardson, but the price here is right.
No. 32: Giants select: David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech Grade
Explosive runner who will add a speed dynamic to the Giants offense. This is a nice, sound move by Jerry Reese, a guy who makes a lot of them.

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.

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