2012 NFL Draft: The Early A’s

With the NFL season dang near halfway over it’s time to take a quick look and see which teams have gotten the most value out of their 2012 Draft Classes and if grades were handed out today which ones would likely receive A’s.

The Colts made a great choice in taking Andrew Luck with the first pick.  He looks to be just as advertised and currently leads all rookie QB’s in passing.  The team also landed a trio of fine weapons for Mr. Luck.  The two tight ends, Coby Fleener, and Dwayne Allen, have proved assets in the passing game, and WR TY Hilton has been able to make some explosive plays.

They gave up a lot to get him, but so far RGIII looks to be worth it all.  He has thrown for 1,601 yards and rushed for 486.  He is a highlight waiting to happen and has already scored 13 TDs.  He appears to be a lock for offensive rookie of the year.  Griffin alone is enough for an A grade but the Skins also found a late round gem in RB Alfred Morris.  Morris is a tough one cut runner who is a perfect fit in Shannahan’s system.  He leads all rookies in rushing yards, and looks to be a main stay in what is usally a RB rotation from hell.

The Browns got a big time stud RB when they moved up to get Trent Richardson and as of now, no one is complaining about it.  Richardson has proven to be a dual threat back, rushing for nearly 350 yards, while adding nearly 200 through the air.  They also found themselves a fine QB in Brandon Weeden who is playing much better than many expected.  Weeden’s 1,783 passing yds is second for all rookies, and he’s accounted for 9 TDs.  The team also had some solid picks on defense in DTs John Hughes and Billy Winn.  They also appear to have landed a gem in the Supplemental Draft with WR Josh Gordon.  Gordon adds a much needed explosive element to the Browns offense and leads all rookie wideouts with 333 receiving yards.

The Vikings nailed both of their first round picks.  4th overall selection Matt Kalil has been very solid so far this season and hasn’t allowed a sack.  He’s also opened up some big holes in the running game and has immensely helped Adrian Peterson’s improbable comeback.  The Vikings traded up at the end of round one to grab Notre Dame safety Harison Smith and he has brought an a much needed shot of nastiness to the secondary.  He had a game winning pick 6 last week against Arizona, and has been playing at a high level all season long.  The Vikings also hit on 6th round kicker Blair Walsh.  Walsh had two clutch kicks in the team’s opening week victory over Jacksonville and has also been an assset on kickoffs where he rarely allows a ball to be returned.

The Bucs upgraded their defense in a big way by taking S Mark Barron with the 7th pick and then getting LB Lavonte David in the second round.  Barron has been an animal making 42 tackles and picking off one pass.  David has been no slouch either racking up a very impressive 49 tackles himself.  Both of these guys look to be mainstays on what should become a top defense once all these young players grow.  The Bucs also got a nice weapon on offense when they jumped back into the first round to get RB Doug Martin.  Martin isn’t flashy but is a tough runner who can pick up yardage after contact. He has rushed for over 400 yards and has caught 13 balls for 145 yards.

The Seahawks shocked the world when they took DE Bruce Irvin with the 12th overall pick and so far have been rewarded with 4.5 sacks and a forced fumble.  The team went defense again in round two and got tackling machine Bobby Wagner.  Wagner has put on a clinic this year by amassing 51 tackles which is second amongst all rookies.  The Seahawks then got their QB of the future with third round pick Russell Wilson.  Wilson has beaten some very good teams this year, and while his overall all statistics aren’t mind blowing, he has shown plenty of promise as a dual threat QB who is smart and accurate with the football.

Tennesse Titans
New England Patriots

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