Written By: Ryan Goudy
The 2012 Draft is a looking like a big “What If” draft. What if Robert Griffin III didn’t have the knee injury that derailed his entire career? Would he have ended up being one of the better players in this draft? What could Justin Blackmon’s career have looked like if he was able to stay on the field? Could David Wilson have filled the void the Giants have had a running back if he didn’t have his neck injury?
While there were some big hits in this draft, it is filled with a lot of players who didn’t work out. With knowing what we know now, how could this draft have turned out?
1. Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck, QB
When Luck has been on the field he has been one of the better quarterbacks in the league. Keeping him upright has been the only real issue. The Colts did what you have to do with the Number 1 Pick and got themselves a franchise QB.
Actual Pick- Andrew Luck, QB
2. Washington Redskins- Robert Griffin III, QB
RGIII exploded onto the scene with an amazing rookie campaign. Unfortunately, Griffin was injured in the playoffs. A knee injury that derailed the career of Griffin. They made the right pick, it just ended very poorly.
Actual Pick- Robert Griffin III, QB
3. Cleveland Browns- Russell Wilson, QB
Being able to look back and say that Wilson shouldn’t have slid to the third round seems obvious. If he was taller this could have been the actual selection. The Browns instead drafted Trent Richardson. After a decent rookie year, they were able to trade him to the Colts a recoup a 1st Round pick.
Actual Pick- Trent Richardson, RB
4. Minnesota Vikings- Kirk Cousins, QB
It makes sense that if they could go back, the Vikings would have drafted the quarterback they just signed. This would have been before they drafted Teddy Bridgewater also so this pick could have happened. Matt Kalil is no longer with the team, and though he was a Pro Bowler, he never lived up to the high standard of being the Number 4 selection.
Actual Pick- Matt Kalil, OT
5. Jacksonville Jaguars- Alshon Jeffery, WR
In this redraft, the Jags could go a couple of ways. The two players they would be deciding between would be Alshon and Nick Foles. I think that they would go Jeffery, because he is a game changer and a number 1 receiver. Cleary, they missed on Blackmon, as he has been suspended for most of his NFL tenure.
Actual Pick- Justin Blackmon, WR
6. Dallas Cowboys- Luke Kuechly, LB
The Cowboys have been long in need of a reliable LB. Luke Kuechly is the best linebacker in football. Josh Norman is also under consideration, but I think that Kuechly is just too good to pass up.
Actual Pick- Morris Claiborne, CB
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Harrison Smith, S
The Buccaneers get one of the better players in the draft, and fix the safety issue that Barron was supposed to fill. Barron didn’t fit into the scheme well, but has come into his own in Los Angeles. Smith is arguably one of the best safeties in the league and would be a good fit.
Actual Pick- Mark Barron, S
8. Miami Dolphins- Nick Foles, QB
Tannehill never really developed into the quarterback that they thought he could be. Foles has had a bit of an up and down career. He burst onto the scene with Philadelphia, faltered a bit in St. Louis, then recovered to lead Philadelphia to the Super Bowl. I think that he would be the selection here.
Actual Pick- Ryan Tannehill, QB
9. Carolina Panthers- Josh Norman, CB
The Panthers ended up selecting Norman later in the draft and was a game changer for them. He would be a solid pick at this spot.
Actual Pick- Luke Kuechly, LB
10. Buffalo Bills- Chandler Jones, Edge
While I don’t think that Stephon Gilmore was a bad pick, I think that Jones has been the better player at a more premium position. He is a great pass rusher, and that is something that the Bills could use.
Actual Pick- Stephon Gilmore, CB
11. Kansas City Chiefs- Fletcher Cox, DT
Cox is a stud player and solidifies the line. He goes one slot higher than his original draft spot, and could have probably gone higher than this.
Actual Pick- Dontari Poe, DT
12. Philadelphia Eagles- Dontari Poe, DT
Poe and Cox flip positions and both are productive players. Poe wasn’t as productive last season, and doesn’t bring as much as a pass rusher thus the flip between the two.
Actual Pick- Fletcher Cox, DT
13. Arizona Cardinals- Melvin Ingram, Edge
The Cardinals get a player that has really been productive over the last two seasons coming off the edge. Ingram would fill a need and be a terror with the No Fly Zone behind him.
Actual Pick- Michael Floyd, WR
14. St. Louis (Los Angeles) Rams- Lavonte David, LB
David has been a great linebacker in the NFL and a tackling machine. Stick him in the middle of this defense and it would be a good match.
Actual Pick- Michael Brockers, DT
15. Seattle Seahawks- Bruce Irvin, Edge
When he was on the field for the Seahawks, Irvin was a menace. He showed his ability to consistently get to the quarterback. He fit their defense to a T and was made to rush the passer.
Actual Pick- Bruce Irvin, Edge
16. New York Jets- Olivier Vernon, Edge
The Jets get a good pass rusher. Vernon is skilled and turned out to be a much better player than Coples who never really developed like one thought he would.
Actual Pick- Quinton Coples, Edge
17. Cincinnati Bengals- Janoris Jenkins, CB
Jenkins would have been one of the top players picked if off the field wasn’t a problem. He has been able to stay on the field and be a very productive corner.
Actual Pick- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB
18. San Diego Chargers- Bobby Wagner, LB
Wagner was a shining star in this draft class. With the way that the Chargers have built their defense, having Wagner in place would be a perfect fit.
Actual Pick- Melvin Ingram, Edge
19. Chicago Bears- Stephon Gilmore, CB
Gilmore has been a productive player in the league, and would be a good player to slot in the defense. He is a good player and would fill the need exactly.
Actual Pick- Shea McClellin, Edge
20. Tennessee Titans- TY Hilton, WR
Hilton is one of the better receivers that has come out of this class. He would be a good fit and slide into a team that needs a playmaker.
Actual Pick- Kendall Wright, WR
21. New England Patriots- Kelechi Osemele, G
Osemele is stud guard. He is a great run blocker, and has been an All Pro. He would solidify the interior of the offensive line.
Actual Pick- Chandler Jones, Edge
22. Cleveland Browns- Casey Hayward, CB
Hayward has been a Pro Bowl performer. For a team that has needed secondary help for a while, Hayward would have been a nice get.
Actual Pick- Brandon Weeden, QB
23. Detroit Lions- Cordy Glenn, OT
Reiff was a good selection; however, Glenn has been the more consistent player. He has been big time run blocker in Buffalo and has been solid in pass protection.
Actual Pick- Riley Reiff, OT
24. Pittsburgh Steelers- David DeCastro, G
DeCastro was made to be a Steeler. This was the perfect selection.
Actual Pick- David DeCastro, G
25. New England Patriots- Dont’a Hightower, LB
Hightower has been a great player. He is the perfect fit for this team. Hightower has been a leader and will continue to be an anchor.
26. Houston Texans- Whitney Mercilus, Edge
Mercilus was a big player last year that the Texans missed. When he came in he was specifically a pass rush specialist. He has made a more complete player now.
Actual Pick- Whitney Mercilus, Edge
27. Cincinnati Bengals- Kevin Zeitler, G
Zeitler has been a plug and play right guard since he was rookie. This late in the first round that is all you can ask for.
Actual Pick- Kevin Zeitler, G
28. Green Bay Packers- Nick Perry, Edge
Perry has continued to progress to become more than just a pass rush specialist. He still is much more comfortable at that, and is good at doing so.
Actual Pick- Nick Perry, Edge
29. Minnesota Vikings- Matt Kalil, OT
Kalil slid down the draft, but still ends up being selected by the Vikings. He has played better deeper into his career but still has slid to 29th in this redraft.
Actual Pick- Harrison Smith, S
30. San Francisco 49ers- Casey Hayward, CB
Hayward has been a good corner, and was a much better player than the actual pick of AJ Jenkins. Receiver is a need, but there isn’t one here that they would have taken.
Actual Pick- AJ Jenkins, WR
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Doug Martin, RB
Martin has been inconsistent to say the least, but I like him better than Lamar Miller. I think that this was the right pick.
Actual Pick- Doug Martin, RB
32. New York Giants- Lamar Miller, RB
Miller has been a productive 3 down back. He is a good player that fits into zone schemes well. He has under produced in Houston, but would have been a good selection here.
Actual Pick- David Wilson, RB