AFC Draft Grades (2012)

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Of course, there is truly no telling how each and every draft class will pan out down the road, but the fun of the draft process is evaluating the finalized classes of each organization and grade them based on quality of picks, value of selections, ability to work up (or down) the draft, and fill needs. The NFL Draft is a three-day battle: in order to win the war — and have a strong draft — you must win the individual battles each day. There are a few teams who were able to do that, there are a few who were unable to do it, and there are many who fall in-between. Take it with a grain of salt, and have fun with it. Lets get to it…

 

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Buffalo Bills

Round 1 (10) – CB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina

Round 2 (41) – G/T Cordy Glenn, Georgia

Round 3 (69) – WR T.J. Graham, NC State

Round 4 (105) – LB Nigel Bradham, Florida State

Round 4 (124) – CB Ron Brooks, LSU

Round 5 (144) – OT Zebrie Sanders, Florida State

Round 5 (147) – LB Tank Carder, TCU

Round 6 (178) – OG Mark Asper, Oregon

Round 7 (251) – K John Potter, Western Michigan

____________________

Buffalo has placed a great emphasis on improving the defense this offseason. Adding All-Pro defensive end Mario Williams and pass rushing ace Mark Anderson will go hand in hand with the improvement of the secondary, and plugging in South Carolina corner Stephon Gilmore greatly bolsters the back-end. A boundary cornerback who can be moved around — true #1 CB potential. My 7th rated player, chosen at No. 10. The Bills believe they have a left tackle in the Marcus McNeill mold with Cordy Glenn. Regardless, he is a 1st round talent taken in the 2nd round who can be used at four OL positions. Best case scenario, 3rd round WR T.J. Graham can be a small, but agile straight line vertical threat, somewhat in the Lee Evans mold. Linebackers Nigel Bradham and Tank Carder are stylistically different — Bradham an athletic OLB-type, Carder a fleet footed, instinctual ILB-type. Both are potential starters, and good values for being picked on day three. LSU cornerback Ron Brooks is a speedy, laterally agile nickel-type who will help on special teams, and 5th round pick Zebrie Sanders has many deficiencies, but has the potential to perhaps outplay his round by being a capable NFL swing-tackle. Solid class at the top and potential starters all through the remainder of the crop.

Grade: B+

 

Miami Dolphins

Round 1 (8) – QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M

Round 2 (42) – OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford

Round 3 (72) – DE Olivier Vernon, Miami (FL)

Round 3 (78) – TE Michael Egnew, Missouri

Round 4 (97) – RB Lamar Miller, Miami (FL)

Round 5 (155) – LB Josh Kaddu, Oregon

Round 6 (183) – WR B.J. Cunningham, Michigan State

Round 7 (215) – DT Kheeston Randall, Texas

Round 7 (227) – WR Rishard Matthews, Nevada

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Starts at the top with the quarterback, and Miami was the best fit for Ryan Tannehill. Good situation for both parties, and provided he picks up on the offense as quickly as expected (and the team continues adding weapons for him moving forward), I believe he has a nice future ahead. 2nd round pick Jonathan Martin is a 1st round caliber player, but playing the nimble footed pass protector at right tackle against bulkier, stronger NFL left ends will be an interesting test — Miami desperately needed help on the right side. Defensive end Olivier Vernon is scratching the surface of his potential, but must continue developing. Picked more for his quality upside than ability to contribute immediately. Similar can be said for athletic 5th round linebacker Josh Kaddu, who should be a special teams contributor from day one. 3rd round TE Michael Egnew will have a tough transition, but can help on short, underneath routes. 4th round pick Lamar Miller, nicknamed “Quick 6,” has tremendous speed and was a fantastic value for the Phins. Late round WR B.J. Cunningham and especially 7th round DT Kheeston Randall could have gone earlier. Should have addressed wide receiver much earlier, but a good class with some potential day three steals.

Grade: B

 

New England Patriots

Round 1 (21) – DE Chandler Jones, Syracuse

Round 1 (25) – LB Dont’a Hightower, Alabama

Round 2 (48) – S Tavon Wilson, Illinois

Round 3 (90) – DE Jake Bequette, Arkansas

Round 6 (197) – DB Nate Ebner, Ohio State

Round 7 (224) – CB Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska

Round 7 (235) – WR Jeremy Ebert, Northwestern

____________________

New England, in totally uncharacteristic fashion, opted to trade up in the 1st round this year, not once, but twice. They did so in order to select two 3-down defenders who are very capable of getting to the quarterback from different spots. Chandler Jones is far from a finished product, but he has a high ceiling and a big, long athletic frame. Hightower is a very bulky, strong downhill thumping linebacker who was a leader on one of the best college defenses of all time at Alabama. A quality pass rusher who isn’t the physical specimen former teammate Rolando McClain was out of the draft, but possesses higher football IQ. On the other hand, 2nd round pick Tavon Wilson was a reach regardless of how some try to justify it — but if you believe in a player, you take him when you can. Still, poor value, but he should vie for playing time early-on and help on special teams. 3rd rounder Jake Bequette is a competent, smart defender who will also be in the pass rushing rotation from day one. A pair of special teamers in round 6 and 7 in Ebner and Ebert — Ebner being a former rugby player at Ohio State is an interesting addition to New England’s special teams core. On recommendation from Ohio State football coach, and former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel, the organization rolls the dice on the Buckeye rugger. Finally, saving Alfonzo Dennard from his draft fall could pay huge dividends for New England. Once considered a 1st round talent who fell due to a less than stellar combine and a pre-draft run in with the law, the faller is great value. Great job on day one, decent day two, but left with few picks on day three.

Grade: B-

 

New York Jets

Round 1 (16) – DE Quinton Coples, North Carolina

Round 2 (43) – WR Stephen Hill, Goergia Tech

Round 3 (77) – LB Demario Davis, Arkansas State

Round 6 (187) – S Josh Bush, Wake Forest

Round 6 (202) – RB Terrance Ganaway, Baylor

Round 6 (203) – OG Robert Griffin, Baylor

Round 7 (242) – S Antonio Allen, South Carolina

Round 7 (244) – WR Jordan White, Western Michigan

____________________

The Jets had multiple areas of need heading into the draft and for the most part, did a good job addressing those need spots. The team didn’t do much to bolster the pass rush from the outside linebacker position(s), but clearly project Quinton Coples to their vacant DE position well, opposite of 2011 1st round pick Muhammad Wilkerson. Interesting projection to say the least, we’ll see how it pans out — I, like many, viewed Coples solely as a 4-3 player only. Rounds 2 and 3 netted the Jets a pair of highly rated players. Stephen Hill fills a need opposite Santonio Holmes and should improve redzone efficiency. Davis improves the pass defense and overall quickness on defense. Both 6th round picks, S Josh Bush and RB Terrance Ganaway are nice fits and proper value where picked. Each should see some time on the field as rookies. 7th round selection S Antonio Allen is not without faults but, talent-wise, he should have gone earlier. Overall a solid haul, but we’ll have to see how Coples turns out, as the fate of this class revolves around him.

Grade: B-

 

Baltimore Ravens

Round 2 (35) – OLB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama

Round 2 (60) – OG Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State

Round 3 (84)  – RB Bernard Pierce, Temple

Round 4 (98) – OG Gino Gradkowski, Delaware

Round 4 (130) – S Christian Thompson, South Carolina State

Round 5 (169) – CB Asa Jackson, Cal Poly

Round 6 (198) – WR Tommy Streeter, Miami (FL)

Round 7 (236) – DT DeAngelo Tyson, Georgia

____________________

Top to bottom, Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome put together a strong class, yet again. You knew he’d wind up with one of the highly regarded Alabama defenders, being a native and alum of the state and school. The organization was able to move out of the 1st round and still not only get “their guy,” but also get a 1st round talent at a position of need in OLB Courtney Upshaw. Baltimore also lost some depth at guard with Ben Grubbs bolting in free agency, so the team managed to add talented, physical mauler in Kelechi Osemele. 4th round interior lineman Gino Gradkowski was a definite reach, but he has versatility and should provide a nice long-term project for the coaching staff, as will 4th round safety Christian Thompson, a nice size+speed prospect who gets physical downhill. 5th round corner Asa Jackson projects to be a capable slot-CB at the next level, and DeAngelo Tyson has quietly good movement skills and the necessary bulk to help in multiple spots along the DL. Above-average group of players for certain, but a handful from of this class isn’t capable of helping the Super Bowl contending Ravens for a year or two. Still, the team managed to consistently pluck talent.

Grade: B+

 

Cincinnati Bengals

Round 1 (17) – CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama

Round 1 (27) – OG Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin

Round 2 (53) – DT Devon Still, Penn State

Round 3 (83) – WR Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers

Round 3 (93) – DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson

Round 4 (116) – TE Orson Charles, Georgia

Round 5 (156) – CB Shaun Prater, Iowa

Round 5 (166) – WR Marvin Jones, California

Round 5 (167) – S George Iloka, Boise State

Round 6 (191) – RB Dan Herron, Ohio State

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Every draft starts at the top, and the Bengals were able to add two players — one on each side of the football — who should be plug & play starters for multiple years to come. CB Dre Kirkpatrick, a talented and physical boundary defender who can matchup with bigger receivers; OG Kevin Zeitler, a natural guard with polish and technique. Then from rounds 2-5 Cincinnati chose players who I graded a full round higher than what I where they were chosen — supreme value all around. 2nd rounder Devon Still and 3rd rounder Brandon Thompson are two stylistically different DTs that compliment each others game wonderfully. Devon Still a penetrating 3-tech, Thompson a bulky 4-3 nose tackle. Another 3rd round pick, Rutgers receiver Mo Sanu is a thickly built possession target who can play out wide, opposite A.J. Green early on, and 5th round receiver Marvin Jones has size and downfield speed. TE Orson Charles is a ‘joker’ / H-back target who has athleticism and short-area explosion to compliment Jermaine Gresham up the seam. A pair of 5th round DBs add quality depth, too: CB Shaun Prater has some polish and can be brought along slowly, and S George Iloka is a big bodied, in-the-box presence who, in time, can potentially match up well with big, fast NFL tight ends. The team’s final pick, 6th round runner Dan Herron was proper value where chosen, and he can be a capable rotational ‘back with some pop on contact. In my view, the top class of the 2012 NFL Draft, from start to finish.

Grade: A+

 

Cleveland Browns

Round 1 (3) – RB Trent Richardson, Alabama

Round 1 (22) – QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State

Round 2 (37) – OT Mitchell Schwartz, California

Round 3 (87) – DT John Hughes, Cincinnati

Round 4 (100) – WR Travis Benjamin, Miami (FL)

Round 4 (120) – LB James-Michael Johnson, Nevada

Round 5 (160) – OG Ryan Miller, Colorado

Round 6 (204) – LB Emmanuel Acho, Texas

Round 6 (205) – DT Billy Winn, Boise State

Round 7 (245) – CB Trevin Wade, Arizona

Round 7 (247) – TE Brad Smelley, Alabama

____________________

Teams with many picks can typically generate good grades on quantity alone, and the Browns had many selections. Due to the volume of selections, Cleveland, in my view, did the right thing to move up and ensure themselves the right to select their man in Trent Richardson at No. 3 — the new focal point of their offense. Cleveland had a hole at right tackle and selected perhaps the top pure right tackle in the class in Mitchell Schwartz, a good fit. Not a fan of the Hughes and Benjamin picks based solely on value and what was still available, but the team came back and made really nice selections from then on. Lots of potential starters and contributors, most notably OG Ryan Miller and DT Billy Winn — two very solid selections. An inside (James-Michael Johnson) and outside (Emmanuel Acho) ‘backer adds some much needed depth and special teams presence. I was never a proponent of anyone taking Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden in round 1; I felt it was an unnecessary reach at No. 22 overall. Couple that with the fact that the team really didn’t do much in the way of adding immediate help at wide receiver and I think the Browns underachieved this year. The back-end of the class is impressive, but I was disappointed with the team’s inability to manipulate the draft to their advantage on day two with so many picks in their pocket and so much talent still available. Made a lot of picks in a draft that a lot of people thought wasn’t full of talent like it would be in other years.

Grade: C+/B-

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

Round 1 (24) – OG David DeCastro, Stanford

Round 2 (56) – OT Mike Adams, Ohio State

Round 3 (86) – LB Sean Spence, Miami (FL)

Round 4 (109) – NT Alameda Ta’amu, Washington

Round 5 (159) – WR Chris Rainey, Florida

Round 7 (231) – WR Toney Clemons, Colorado

Round 7 (240) – TE David Paulson, Oregon

Round 7 (246) – CB Terrence Frederick, Texas A&M

Round 7 (248) – OG Kelvin Beachum, Southern Methodist

____________________

The Steelers quietly had a very solid draft. Very little movement up or down the board, so they didn’t receive a ton of buzz from pundits, but they were able to land multiple long-term starters without having to give up picks. The notable move they made was in round 4 to select big, athletic Washington nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu who could have gone much earlier if it weren’t for injury — potential day one starter, and if he develops better balance, he could be a force. In round 1, Pittsburgh had the draft’s top offensive guard fall to them, as David DeCastro should provide similar continuity and reliability from the LG spot to that of former Steeler great Alan Faneca. A round later, the Pittsburgh lucked out again, as a potential top 25 pick in left tackle Mike Adams slide into the team’s lap. Adams, a semi-troubled but highly talented player, has a very high ceiling if motivated. I don’t like the fit for LB Sean Spence in the middle of a 3-4 base front, but clearly someone the team projects to a spot down the road. Spence does have the ability to drop and cover. Versatile Chris Rainey will help out of the back-field, in the slot, and in the return game — it’ll be interesting to see if OC Todd Haley utilizes him better than he did Dexter McCluster in KC. 7th round CB Terrence Frederick and OG Kelvin Beachum were fantastic value picks and will make a good case to crack the final roster.

Grade: B+

 

Houston Texans

Round 1 (26) – OLB Whitney Mercilus, Illinois

Round 3 (68) – WR DeVier Posey, Ohio State

Round 3 (76) – OG Brandon Brooks, Miami (OH)

Round 4 (99) – C Ben Jones, Georgia

Round 4 (121) – WR Keshawn Martin, Michigan State

Round 4 (126) – DE Jared Crick, Nebraska

Round 5 (161) – K Randy Bullock, Texas A&M

Round 6 (195) – OT Nick Mondek, Purdue

____________________

I wasn’t thrilled with the Texans’ choice of receiver when they decided to address the position in round 3 with DeVier Posey given what was available. A decent projection prospect with size+speed appeal, but he’s raw and may not help much immediately. However, in round 1 Houston bolstered its pass rush with the addition of Whitney Mercilus — who should do wonders under the tutelage of DC Wade Phillips. Miami (OH) guard Brandon Brooks is big, strong, and athletic enough to help at either guard spot and perhaps occasionally even at right tackle. 4th round C Ben Jones adds some depth behind veteran snapper Chris Meyers and can work into a guard spot as well. The other pair of 4th round selections were some of my favorite in the draft: WR Keshawn Martin may wind up being better than DeVier Posey in both the short & long term, and DE Jared Crick is a long armed rusher with pass rush skills and movement with some similarities to J.J. Watt — ideal fit as a 3-4 DE in Houston. Randy Bullock, the hometown kicker, should provide some stability at the position most figured would be addressed on day three for the Texans. An above-average class with starting caliber players sprinkled in the mid-rounds.

Grade: B

 

Indianapolis Colts

Round 1 (1) – QB Andrew Luck, Stanford

Round 2 (34) – TE Coby Fleener, Stanford

Round 3 (64) – TE Dwayne Allen, Clemson

Round 3 (92) – WR T.Y. Hilton, Florida International

Round 5 (136) – NT Josh Chapman, Alabama

Round 5 (170) – RB Vick Ballard, Mississippi State

Round 6 (206) – WR LaVon Brazill, Ohio

Round 7 (208) – OG Justin Anderson, Georgia

Round 7 (214) – LB Tim Fugger, Vanderbilt

Round 7 (253) – QB Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois

____________________

Andrew Luck is the real deal, and building this draft, in addition to the team as a whole, was imperative — and in my view, they did a good job in that regard. Adding a familiar target for Luck in Coby Fleener who can move around, get up the seam, and make catches all over the field from the H-back/TE spot is a nice value pick. The team came back in round 3 and grabbed a more natural on-the-line ‘Y’ TE in Dwayne Allen, who has short-area explosion and pass catching ability. Next was FIU speedster T.Y. Hilton, who can catch + run very well and get down-field in a hurry. 5th round NT Josh Chapman was a fantastic selection and, if healthy, he can very easily be the starting in the middle of new head coach Chuck Pagano’s 3-4 DL. Another 5th rounder, RB Vick Ballard also provides more depth and his game translates well to the next level — he could push for carries fairly early on. 6th rounder LaVon Brazill is another player who, if healthy, can impact early. A sleeper from the 2012 class, Brazill runs routes well, can separate, and has reliable hands. I’d have preferred the team to address the receiver position a little earlier then the end of round 3, but they added targets all around for Andrew Luck. A nice class to build on moving forward.

Grade: B+

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Round 1 (5) – WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State

Round 2 (38) – DE Andre Branch, Clemson

Round 3 (70) – P Bryan Anger, California

Round 5 (142) – LB Brandon Marshall, Nevada

Round 6 (176) – CB Mike Harris, Florida State

Round 7 (228) – DT Jeris Pendleton, Ashland

____________________

The thing I liked about the Jaguars draft is right off the bat, they identified a primary need and were able to address it in a legitimate, impactful way. Parlaying 4th round pick to add the draft’s safest receiver, who possesses definite #1 WR capabilities is a minute price to pay. The team came back in round two to add a potential 1st round caliber player at another position of need in DE Andre Branch. I also quietly liked the selection of Florida State cornerback Mike Harris in round 6; a versatile player who should vie for time as a nickel-CB early on. 5th and 7th round defenders Brandon Marshall and Jeris Pendleton are projection players who are unlikely to help much on defense as rookies, and obviously you must very much question why a team that’s far from complete would pass on multiple value positional players in favor of a punter in the third round.

Grade: B-

 

Tennessee Titans

Round 1 (20) – WR Kendall Wright, Baylor

Round 2 (52) – LB Zach Brown, North Carolina

Round 3 (82) – DT Mike Martin, Michigan

Round 4 (115) – CB Coty Sensabaugh, Clemson

Round 5 (145) – TE Taylor Thompson, Southern Methodist

Round 6 (190) – S Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State

Round 7 (211) – DE Scott Soloman, Rice

____________________

Tennessee went off the board a but in round 1 to select Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright and add some more explosiveness to the offense for the long-haul. A nice compliment to a bigger, athletic Kenny Britt. Rounds 2 and 3 should provide the team with starters, as Zach Brown is a nice fit to shore up the WILL-LB spot long-term, and in time Mike Martin looks the part of a compact and strong squatty 4-3 NT who plays with leverage. Coty Sensabaugh adds more speed and matchup ability in the Tennessee secondary, and 6th round safety Markelle Martin has talent that very much outweighs his draft position. 5th round TE Taylor Thompson and 7th round DE Scott Soloman are quality projection players who could contribute down the road; especially Thompson. Titans could have been better served to add a rush end earlier, but they put together a nice class.

Grade: B+

 

Denver Broncos

Round 2 (36) – DT Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati

Round 2 (57) – QB Brock Osweiler, Arizona State

Round 3 (67) – RB Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State

Round 4 (101) – CB Omar Bolden, Arizona State

Round 4 (108) – C Philip Blake, Baylor

Round 5 (137) – DE Malik Jackson, Tennessee

Round 6 (188) – LB Danny Trevathan, Kentucky

___________________

I didn’t mind that the Broncos didn’t add more weapons for Peyton Manning early on, and I don’t mind in the least bit that they opted to choose their developmental, QB of the future hopeful. However, I was a little disappointed that they opted for DT Derek Wolfe over both Jerel Worthy and Devon Still at No. 36; Wolfe is a quality player, but doesn’t possess the same upside as those he was chosen before. Brock Osweiler is in a good situation and can be brought along slowly while learning from #18. While I do like both Ronnie Hillman and Omar Bolden, they were taken a touch high for my liking, and ahead of other players rated a little higher; although both are good fits. C Philip Blake is a solid, proper value fit and definitely looks the part of a future starter. 5th rounder Malik Jackson is a versatile player with the ability to play in rotation all along the defensive line. A decent overall class that lacks a few value selections and some more need players, but talent has certainly been added.

Grade: B-

 

Kansas City Chiefs

Round 1 (11) – DT Dontari Poe, Memphis

Round 2 (44) – G/T Jeff Allen, Illinois

Round 3 (74) – OT Donald Stephenson, Oklahoma

Round 4 (107) – WR Devon Wylie, Fresno State

Round 5 (146) – DB DeQuan Menzie, Alabama

Round 6 (182) – RB Cyrus Gray, Texas A&M

Round 7 (218) – DT Jerome Long, San Diego State

Round 7 (238) – WR Junior Hemingway, Michigan

____________________

Beginning at the top, I question whether or not Dontari Poe is a true 3-4 space eating NT, despite his dimensions suggesting he can be. Despite the lack of clarity, I still believe he is a very capable 3-4 DL and has a good future ahead of him if the coaching staff is patient and Poe has the drive to learn. Round 2 netted the Chiefs OG Jeff Allen, a college OT who has higher upside if kicked to the interior; good pick, albeit a touch early. 3rd round OT Donald Stephenson is an athletic blocker with good lateral quickness who will add depth as a swing-tackle. 4th round receiver Devon Wylie perhaps reminds GM Scott Pioli of Wes Welker; speedy+shifty slot-receiver with upper echelon route running skills. 5th round DB DeQuan Menzie is an intelligent football player with CB/S versatility and RB Cyrus Gray was a very nice value in the 6th. WR Junior Hemingway could prove to be a bit of a steal as a very late 7th round pick; size and natural talent should have ensured his name would be called a slight bit earlier.

Grade: B

 

Oakland Raiders

Round 3 (95) – OG Tony Bergstrom, Utah

Round 4 (129) – LB Miles Burris, San Diego State

Round 5 (158) – DE Jack Crawford, Penn State

Round 5 (168) – WR Juron Criner, Arizona

Round 6 (189) – DT Christo Bilukidi, Georgia State

Round 7 (230) – LB Nate Stupar, Penn State

____________________

The Raiders earlier selections consisted of compensatory picks, and overall the team had very little to work with after shipping out their day 1 and 2 picks. That being said, I feel the organization’s done a good job adding long-term starters along the OL with Stefan Wisniewski in last year’s draft and Mike Brisiel in free agency this year. Oakland continued to build up front by making Utah OG Tony Bergstrom its first pick in 2012; a polished player with good size and quickness who could perhaps contribute at tackle as well. LB Miles Burris is an interesting player who may need a little development time but can be a starter down the road. I really liked the 5th round pair the Raiders added: DE Jack Crawford is a little raw and inexperienced, but has a quietly high ceiling; WR Juron Criner would have been a proper third-round value selection and if he develops the ability to separate, he can be a very capable #2 receiver out-wide. 6th round DT Christo Bilukidi is an intriguing talent with a nice frame who will offer the coaching staff a nice project if he cracks the roster. 7th round linebacker Nate Stupar is intelligent and has notable NFL bloodlines; he will make the roster as a rookie if he can be a special team impact. Few picks, but some good values — but hard to give a high grade to a team without early picks.

Grade: B-

 

San Diego Chargers

Round 1 (18) – OLB Melvin Ingram, South Carolina

Round 2 (49) – DE Kendall Reyes, UConn

Round 3 (73) – S Brandon Taylor, LSU

Round 4 (110) – TE Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette

Round 5 (149) – OG Johnnie Troutman, Penn State

Round 7 (226) – C David Molk, Michigan

Round  7 (250) – RB Edwin Baker, Michigan State

____________________

The Chargers put together a strong class from start to finish. From the top, the team was able to catch a true talent at a position of need who shouldn’t have been made available in the late teens with Melvin Ingram — a disruptive pass rusher with leverage and a variety of rushing moves who can contribute immediately. Similar can be said of 2nd round pick Kendall Reyes, a nice fit as a 3-4 end who certainly surprised San Diego with his availability at No. 49 on the second day of the draft. The team made a small move in order to trade up for S Brandon Taylor, a player with some polish who can help out early on in a position of notable need. Round 4, the team opted to add one of the better players available in H-back/TE Ladarius Green, a good mover with natural hands; he should fit right into the teams spread-out passing offense. 5th round OG Johnnie Troutman could miss the 2012 season due to an injury the team knew about, which tells you just how much they liked him — Troutman is a big-bodied, athletic guard. Finally, in the 7th, the team select falling Michigan C David Molk, a squatty but strong interior blocker who could step in and help as a rookie. One of the last picks of the draft, RB Edwin Baker, is another intriguing pick who could surprise many who passed on him if he cracks the final roster — he possesses one-cut ability and would fit in well.

Grade: B

 

Follow me on Twitter: @NFLDraftUpdate

-DC

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