Written by: Matthew Blunk
The first round of the 2012 NFL Draft is in the books, and by that I do mean the record books. As I'm sure you all know, it was the fastest first round in the "modern draft era," a fact that - well, no one really cares about. But hey, it's a cute little intro to this particular article, so let's go with it.
The expedient round one opened uneventfully enough. The Indianapolis Colts made Andrew Luck the no. 1 overall pick, the Washington Redskins took Robert Griffin 3.0, the Minnesota Vikings finally managed to trade the third pick (to the Cleveland Browns, who took Trent Richardson). But then, a few picks later, the Dallas Cowboys swooped in with a trade-up and took Morris Claiborne from the fingertips of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Cowboys made a savvy move with the trade, bringing in a potential shutdown corner to a defense sorely needing one. Up next, the Buccaneers made Mark Barron the greatest consolation prize in consolation prize history. So how do the Miami Dolphins, at pick no. 8 overall, follow these events up?
Ryan freaking Tannehill.
No offense to the Texas A&M quarterback, but he had no business getting picked that soon. Indeed, the first round was entertaining and exciting for most football fans. But this is an article for skeptics and pessimists, those jaded enough to know that not every pick is going to make Pro Bowls, win Super Bowls, make it on the cover of Time Magazine, and walk on water. It's also for those who know a reach when they see one. Let's take a look at five of the worst picks of 2012's first round...
Dontari Poe, Memphis
Pick #11 - Kansas City Chiefs
Poe made it on to my list of prospects to avoid. He is a workout warrior, a guy with awesome measurables who looks the part - without the game tape. Poe underachieved at Memphis. He underachieved at Memphis. That really shouldn't be possible. If Poe couldn't dominate the competition he faced in Conference USA, how will he fare in the NFL? Scott Pioli and Romeo Crennel are betting heavily on his Combine showing, and simply ignoring his game tape.
Bruce Irvin, West Virginia
Pick #15 - Seattle Seahawks
While John Schneider, Pete Carroll, and the Seahawks hit on Earl Thomas last season, they may have missed on James Carpenter. It's obviously too early to tell if any of these picks will pan out (in fact, this article is based mostly on draft position as opposed to "bustability"), but the Carpenter pick was curious, especially when you consider that Gabe Carimi was still on the board for Seattle. Taking Irvin is a reach here. It's lazy to assume that the Seahawks could have just magically traded back and selected Irvin later on, but that's not always an option. But Melvin Ingram, Chandler Jones, and Whitney Mercilus were still on the board. The 'Hawks reached once again.
Quinton Coples, North Carolina
Pick #16 - New York Jets
Are the Jets planning on using Coples as a rush-linebacker or down lineman? He could feasibly fit into either role, though his strong suit is getting after quarterbacks. That said, Coples was taken too early. He has plenty of physical ability, but he struggles to keep focus and has motor problems. He really just seems like a bigger, longer (uncut?) Vernon Gholston. Every Jets fan has now closed their browser upon reading Gholston's cursed name. A couple years from now, Coples' may very well have that same effect.
A. J. Jenkins, Illinois
Pick #30 - San Francisco 49ers
Jenkins is fast. He ran a 4.3 forty time, I get that. But teams picking at the bottom of the first round seem to take liberties (and why shouldn't they; they're typically the better teams in the league), and this pick has that feel to it. The 49ers signed Mario Manningham and Randy Moss in free agency before the draft and re-signed Ted Ginn. With Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams also in the fold, where does that put Jenkins? I'm sure he will get every opportunity to get playing time, but couldn't San Francisco have used this pick on more of a need position (before you wise guys refer to my 49ers team needs, consider that I wrote that before the Manningham/Moss signings. I promise)?
Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
Pick #8 - Miami Dolphins
You probably think I'm picking on the guy at this point. Well, for the record, I didn't write this piece. Look, Tannehill might prove
the universe planet Earth America the football world me wrong and
develop into a Pro Bowler. It could happen. Anything could happen. But,
there's no doubt the Dolphins reached on him. Offensive coordinator Mike
Sherman likely vouched for him, and really, what else could Miami have
done? They needed a quarterback in the worst way possible, and had an
opportunity to acquire a young one with decent tools. But it's a bad
pick at eighth overall. He is not pro-ready and does not have elite
skills. The Dolphins don't have the receivers, running game, nor
offensive line to support Tannehill like he needs them to right now. So
expect him to familiarize himself with the bench in 2012 as the Dolphins
attempt to recall how to run an NFL franchise.
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