One Week Later, A Look Back at the Draft

The #1 Pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, Andrew Luck

The first round of the 2012 NFL Draft saw a staggering 19 trades made, making this one of the most unpredictable drafts to date. What information can we gather from the moves made? NFL Films’ Greg Cosell took a look at the choices made by a few teams who walked away more than happy with the picks they made:

Look at the Detroit Lions. This was a team that imploded defensively the last half of the 2011 season. The consensus was that side of the ball had to be the No. 1 focus early in the draft. Yet, the Lions selected OT Riley Reiff and WR Ryan Broyles with their first two picks. (To be fair, their next six picks were defensive players, but the later you get in the draft, the riskier the proposition.) My guess is the fan base in Detroit was puzzled, at the very least, and more likely downright angry …

In Philadelphia, defense was the focus of the draft. But let’s peel back the layers and look a little deeper. What kind of defensive players did the Eagles draft? That speaks to their NFL profile. They see the game through the prism of passing. You win by throwing on offense and defending the pass on defense. No team so defiantly adheres to those principles as does Philadelphia …

How about the Tampa Bay Bucs? They are the polar opposite of the Eagles. Their draft told you how they see the world, and therefore how they want their team to look and play in 2012. New head coach Greg Schiano is old school, a believer in the principles that have defined football, in one way or another, since time immemorial. The CliffsNotes version goes like this: You run the ball, you play physical defense, you limit mistakes and the result is an opportunity to win every game.

The Draft is an inexact science, guaranteed to flummox even those with the best track records of draft success. These three teams ended the event more than happy with the prospects they received. It will be another 3 to 4 years before we know fully whether or not their choices were the right ones.

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