2012 NFL Draft: 17-32 10/15
Round 1, Picks 17-32, Draft Blog, NFL Draft Page
17. Washington Redskins- OT Reily Reiff, Iowa-
I know some people will say ‘what about a quarterback’, well the top ones are all gone, and no one else is worth a pick nearly this high. Other’s might question adding another tackle, but without a doubt the weakest part of the Redskins is their offensive line. Trent Williams has yet to live up to his top 5 pick status (and may need to kick over to RT), while Jamaal Brown looks like a shell of his former self. The Redskins need to shore up this unit, otherwise it won’t matter who their quarterback is. Another option could be ILB, with McIntosh a free agent and Fletcher on the downside of his career. Trading back is also an option, but Reiff should be on the Skins short list for this pick.
18. New York Giants– ILB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame.-
The Giants could go in a number of different directions with this pick, but I think they go with the best player available who happens to be Manti Te’o. New York does have a need at linebacker, making this pick a perfect fit. Te’o would be a great addition to put at LB and he could either play in the middle or outside. He’s a big time hitter and should have plenty of operating room with that top defensive line in front of him.
19. New York Jets–OLB Brandon Jenkins, FSU-
Jets could miss the playoffs unless Mark Sanchez really steps up this season, and if that is the case I’d look at two main culprits (outside of Sanchez). The offensive line and their rush linebackers. While they could go after an offensive lineman, they have more depth and talent there than at OLB. Both Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas are good pass rushers, but neither is great, and both are starting to get up there in age. Adding a young pass rush specialist like Jenkins could be huge for the Jets and give them the sack artist to go along with the rest of that elite defense.
20. Oakland Raiders– G David DeCastro, Stanford–
The Raiders could go in any number of directions with this pick, but since they’ve traded away so many of their other draft picks, they need to hit a home run with this pick (assuming they keep it). DeCastro would fit the bill as he is the best interior lineman in the class, and would be a day one starter for Oakland. With Cooper Carlisle the weak link along the Raiders line, DeCastro also fits a major need for Oakland.
21. San Francisco 49ers- DE Billy Winn, Boise State-
The 49ers don’t have a major need at defensive end, but it is an area they could improve. Winn is shooting up draft boards and looks to be a prototypical 3-4 end. He will make that formidable 49ers defense even better. While the 49ers could look towards the offensive side of the ball it wouldn’t surprise me to see them continue to build up that defense.
22. Buffalo Bills OT Andrew Datko, FSU-
The Bills have to draft an offensive tackle if they want this years success to turn into a trend. They have a good young team they are building, but now they need to protect them. Datko should be able to start immediately and compares favorably to Castonzo from this past draft.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- CB Stephen Gilmore, South Carolina-
Between Barber’s likely retirement and legal troubles for Talib, adding a 1st round corner sounds like a very wise decision for the Buccaneers. Gilmore is a physical corner, and very advanced for his age. He should be a year a year one starter for them.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers- ILB Luke Kuechly, Boston College-
Pittsburgh’s James Farrior still plays at an extremely high level, but he is likely winding down his career in the next year or so. Adding Kuechly, keeps the Steelers defense in tact, and will continue to make them a formidable force to stop any offense.
25. San Diego Chargers- DT Josh Chapman, Alabama-
The Chargers front three is suspect even after the addition of Corey Liguet. Chapman gives SD another big man, and one who is capable of helping out at NT, their weakest position. Chapman has the versatility to play anywhere on the line and should be a great addition for the Chargers.
26. Dallas Cowboys- OLB Donte Paige-Moss, UNC-
The Anthony Spencer experiment hasn’t worked out too well, and the Cowboys could use a top notch bookend to Ware. Paige-Moss could be that guy as he has excellent pass rushing skills, and is just scratching the surface of his talent.
27. Detroit Lions- CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama-
The former Florida star, has absolutely dominated the Division II level. He is an elite playmaker every time he touches the ball, and displays good ball skills. He looks to be a real ball hawk going forward, and fits in perfectly for Detroit.
28. Houston Texans- DT Alameda Ta’amu, Washington-
I really like what the Texans have done this offseason and I think this new defense will take them pretty far. They will still need some help though going forward and I think their primary need will be at NT. Ta’amu is a fantastic run defender and profiles to be a starting NT in the NFL. He’d be a great pickup here late in round 1, and should start right away.
29. New England Patriots (via New Orleans) OLB Bruce Irvin, WVU-
The Patriots likely won’t keep both picks, but if they do they should look to add an OLB pass rusher. It looks like they will run more of a hybrid defense, but Irvin could even play OLB in the 4-3 giving them some versatility.
30. New England Patriots-DE Jared Crick, Nebraska-
The Patriots aren’t likely to keep both picks, but if they do they are likely to add a defensive player. Crick profiles best as a 5-tech DE, but he can help out in other formations as well. Crick was likely a top 15 pick, but a recent injury should knock him down to the end of the round. This is a good value pick for New England if they choose to make it.
31. Baltimore Ravens- ILB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama-
With Ray Lewis getting up there in age, and R. McClain a free agent, the Ravens would be wise to address their ILB needs with this pick. Now they do have some other big name free agents to worry about, but if their defense isn’t right this team won’t win. This has to be their top priority, and Upshaw is a smart, active LB who can be the guy in Baltimore.
32. Green Bay Packers- CB Chase Minnifield, UVA-
Charles Woodson is in the twilight of his illustrious career, and the Packers shouldn’t be left unprepared for when he is done. Minnifield continues a strong tradition of UVA corners and would be a nice addition to the Packers defense. His father was a Hall of Fame corner in this league in the 80’s, playing on the same defense as Clay Matthew’s Jr.’s father.