|Luck, obviously, was one of the biggest winners of the NFL draft. (US Presswire)|
Now that the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft -- and what a slow, predictable first round it was – is complete, we owe it to ourselves to review what actually happened. With 10,000 trades (approximately) and a whirlwind of activity, let's sit down for a second, take a deep breath and try to figure out what happened. Because even though an NFL game wasn't played Thursday night, there always must be winners and losers.
Colts/Redskins: This is obvious and oh-so-very easy and, really, perhaps the only truly predictable occurrence Thursday. The Colts selected Stanford's Andrew Luck No. 1, and the Redskins grabbed Baylor's Robert Griffin III at No. 2. And just like that, Indianapolis got its franchise quarterback to replace Peyton Manning and Washington got its franchise quarterback to replace … I don't know … Mark Rypien? Both franchises got wonderful players, and both cities got wonderful citizens. Neither squad could have done any better.
Rick Spielman: When Spielman was first named Vikings general manager, I was skeptical. After all, he had made some solid moves in his player personnel role in Minnesota, but during his short time in Miami, the team was rather unproductive. But he made some wonderful moves Thursday, convincing the Browns to trade up one spot to No. 3 and grabbing a fourth-, a fifth- and seventh-rounder from Cleveland for his trouble. Then, he got the guy he wanted anyway in Matt Kalil. Then, with pick No. 30, Spielman got the last high-level safety in the field in Harrison Smith. A productive day for Minnesota that sets up what could be an awfully productive 2012 draft.
Bruce Irvin: Even Irvin, the outside linebacker from West Virginia, was surprised he was picked by Seattle at No. 15. He later said he was expecting to go late in the first round -- many draft observers had him as a second-round selection -- but the Seahawks made an awfully Pete Carroll-like move, picking Irvin to play opposite Chris Clemons. There are plenty of red flags on Irvin -- he apparently busted up a Jimmy John's restaurant the day after his pro day -- and he's inconsistent on the field. But Carroll obviously liked something in him, and that made Irvin a big-time winner. Not bad for a guy who didn't finish high school.
Steelers: Pittsburgh didn't have to do anything, and the guy who will fit in nicely with the team fell directly into a Steelers uniform. That'd be Stanford guard David DeCastro. Draft analysis Rob Rang had him ranked as the sixth-best prospect overall -- though there was no chance a guard would go that high -- but now that he's in Pittsburgh and playing next to Maurkice Pouncey, that will be a tough wall for a defender to penetrate.
|McCoy now will have to battle for the starting quarterback role. (Getty Images)|
Mock drafters: With five of the first six teams originally slated to pick in the first round swapping spots and 19 trades overall in the first round, it would have been virtually impossible to mock draft the first round with any kind of success. If I was mock drafter, I would have thrown away my sheet after the first five picks. Somehow, the NFL figured out how to make the draft exciting, so really, this is a win for most observers.
Colt McCoy: The third-year quarterback must have been so excited when he found out the Browns had selected Alabama running back Trent Richardson with the No. 3 pick. “Finally,” I can imagine McCoy saying to himself, “they've given me a big-time offensive weapon. Finally, some of the offensive burden will be taken off me.” Except later in the night, the Browns, at No. 22, selected Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden. Sure, that immediately set off jokes about how old Weeden is (he's 28), but don't think Weeden also won't be the favorite to win the Browns starting job in the fall. A great day quickly turned into a horrid day for McCoy.
LeGarrette Blount: When the Browns grabbed Trent Richardson and prevented the Buccaneers from doing so -- thoughreally, we don't know how serious Tampa Bay was in trading up to Minnesota's No.3 in order to take the Alabama star -- Blount must have been pleased. But then the Buccaneers traded up to No. 31 and grabbed running back Doug Martin. Not only will Martin look to take away Blount's reps, Martin is from Boise State. And we all know the kind of trouble Blount had with Boise State in his college career.
Broncos fans: After their hearts were ripped from the chests (in the form of Denver trading away Tim Tebow), Broncos fans had to watch as the team traded down twice in the first round and didn't make a selection on Thursday. “Well, we didn't get any better yet,” John Elway said afterward, “but we will tomorrow. I can understand the fans being a little bit disappointed. They want to get excited and see who's going to be the next Denver Bronco.” And how will those fans ever get over this lack of a day? Oh yeah, Peyton Manning is still the starting quarterback.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.