2012 NFL Draft Re-Do (01/19/2015)

By Matt Richner
2012 NFL Draft Re-Do.

One of the best parts of every NFL Draft is having the opportunity to look at the hits and misses of prior years. It is said you can't judge a draft until after three or four years later.

Let's take a look back at the 2012 NFL Draft, which also happened to be the first draft Prediction Machine first projected and analyzed. Take a look at our ranking back then and see how we did.

Below are the picks each team had in the first round, and how it should have been played out if each team had a chance to do it all over again.

1) Indianapolis Colts

Pick: Andrew Luck

Do-over: Same

Comment: The only thing the Colts would have changed is turning in their card a few seconds earlier. Luck has been nothing short of incredible for his three seasons in Indianapolis, leading the team to a playoff appearance in each of his three seasons. While he was the consensus top pick, few projected that he would have this much success so early in his career.

2) Washington Redskins

Pick: Robert Griffin III

Do-over: Russell Wilson

Comment: Not only did Washington give up a bounty of draft picks to move up and select RGIII, they are now stuck with an injury-prone quarterback who has lost his confidence. Wilson would have been a considerable upgrade and the leader the Redskins were hoping RGII would be. This draft pick will haunt the Redskins for years to come as they gave up valuable depth and draft picks all for RGIII.

3) Cleveland Browns

Pick: Trent Richardson

Do-over: Luke Kuechly

Comment: Richardson never materialized into the star running back the Browns were hoping for. After a decent rookie season, he has regressed to the point of being a liability and was finally shipped off to the Colts for a first round pick early in his second season. Kuechly is one of the game's best and brightest stars who is capable of being the leader that the Browns sorely need on their defense.

4) Minnesota Vikings

Pick: Matt Kalil

Do-over: Lavonte David

Comment: Kalil was viewed as a can't-miss prospect at the left tackle position and while he has shown glimpses of success, Kalil regressed this past season. David is a tackling machine and a first team NFL All-Pro. He is a new breed of lighting quick linebackers that are starting to make their mark in the NFL.

5) Jacksonville Jaguars

Pick: Justin Blackmon

Do-over: Matt Kalil

Comment: Blackmon has spent more time being suspended than on the football field. Kalil is still catching up to the speed of the NFL but he is a good, young left tackle. Seeing as the Jags have spent a considerable amount of resources upgrading their offensive line the past few years with little success, they could have taken Kalil and gotten off on the right foot three years ago.

6) Dallas Cowboys

Pick: Morris Claiborne

Do-Over: Bobby Wagner

Comment: An unheralded draft pick three years ago, Wagner has transformed the Seahawks' defense into one of most dominant defenses in NFL history. Claiborne has failed to live up to the hype that was expected from the former LSU standout. The Cowboys have had a need for a quality linebacker for the past few seasons and Wagner would be an instant upgrade to that defense.

7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pick: Mark Barron

Do-over: T.Y. Hilton

Comment: Seeing as the Bucs have already shipped Mark Barron to St. Louis, it would be reasonable to assume they were not happy with Barron's play. Hilton is one of the game's most exciting and explosive players at wide receiver. I'm sure the Bucs would love a lineup of Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, and T.Y. Hilton at the wide receiver position.

8) Miami Dolphins

Pick: Ryan Tannehill

Do-over: Alfred Morris

Comment: Tannehill took a giant step forward this past season when the new offensive coordinator, Bill Lazor, brought some of the up-tempo Eagles offense with him down to South Beach. It still remains to be seen if Tannehill can be a consistent leader and productive quarterback for an extended period. Miami has been searching for a quality running game; they swung and missed with Lamar Miller in the later rounds. Alfred Morris would have given them a stable tailback who could take some of the pressure off a young quarterback.

9) Carolina Panthers

Pick: Luke Kuechly

Do-over: Harrison Smith

Comment: The Panthers got this pick right the first time. Unfortunately, in this exercise, Kuechly isn't available. Instead, the best secondary player from this draft is open. Smith is a quality free safety capable of coming down into the box and attacking the run. The Panthers have been searching for saftey help during the past few seasons and Smith would fill that void.

10) Buffalo Bills

Pick: Stephon Gilmore

Do-Over: Alshon Jeffery

Comment: The Bills don't have an offense and Jeffery is a mammoth target for any of the rotational quarterbacks. Gilmore wasn't a bad selection, but Jeffery has shown he is more than capable of taking over a game.

11) Kansas City Chiefs

Pick: Dontari Poe

Re-do: Same

Comment: I wasn't a huge fan of Poe three years ago; coming out of Memphis, he was nothing more than a glorified workout performer. He struggled during his rookie season, but has come on strong these past two years. He is beginning to round into a top flight performer and someone the Chiefs can build around for years to come.

12: Philadelphia Eagles

Pick: Fletcher Cox

Do-Over: Same

Comment: Some might look at Cox's production and not see the impact that he has, but the Eagles' defense is dependent on Cox occupying multiple blockers and pressuring the middle of the pocket. The players around him understand his value and the Eagles were able to get an excellent player at this spot.

13: Arizona Cardinals

Pick: Michael Floyd

Do-over: Nick Foles

Comment: The Cardinals have been searching for a quarterback since Kurt Warner left. Foles, while not the picture of health, has been productive when he has played. Floyd has been consistent but he has failed to live up to the expectation of being the next great NFL wide receiver. In 48 career games, he is averaging just 3.2 receptions per game. Playing opposite Larry Fitzgerald, you would think his numbers would be higher.

14) St. Louis Rams

Pick: Michael Brockers

Do-over: Casey Hayward

Comment: Brockers has been a quality rotational player along the Rams' stout defensive line. He, along with Quinn, Long, and Donald, form one of the toughest, most imposing defensive lines in the NFL. Hayward, on the other hand, is one the game's toughest corners in the NFL when healthy. He led all rookies in INT, and is second in this draft class with nine career interceptions.

15) Seattle Seahawks

Pick: Bruce Irvin

Do-over: Chandler Jones

Comment: In a surprise pick, the Hawks went after the athletic outside linebacker, Bruce Irvin, to play the strong side linebacker role who can get after the quarterback. Jones leads all players in this draft class with 23.5 sacks. With his versatility and athletic ability, he would be another piece to an already formidable Seahawks defense.

16) New York Jets

Pick: Quinton Coples

Do-over: Vinny Curry

Comment: Coples is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential. This past season, Curry was a monster coming off the edge, finishing with nine sacks on the season. The Jets have been searching for someone who can consistently rush the passer during the past few seasons.

17) Cincinnati Bengals

Pick: Dre Kirkpatrick

Do-over: Janoris Jenkins

Comment: Kirkpatrick is just another former Alabama player who has yet to live up to their expectations. Jenkins fell into the second round due to his off-field behavior. He has been a standout performer for the Rams. While he might not be in the caliber of a Richard Sherman or Patrick Peterson, he is capable of shutting down an opponent's top wide receiver.

18) San Diego Chargers

Pick: Melvin Ingram

Do-over: David DeCastro

Comment: Ingram has been hampered by injuries throughout his career. Castro has been bit by the injury bug himself, but when he has played, he has dominated. A big, bruising physical guard would give the Chargers much needed stablilty along the interior portion of their offensive line.

19) Chicago Bears

Pick: Shea McClellin

Do-over: Kendall Wright

Comment: The Bears have moved McClellin around the field to find the right spot for him, but have had little success. With only 7.5 sacks on his resume, McClellin has the makings of a draft bust. Wright leads this draft class with 215 career receptions. He has been able to produce with limited production from his quarterbacks on the Titans.

20) Tennessee Titans

Pick: Kendall Wright

Do-over: Doug Martin

Comment: The Titans finally got a pick right. It seems that it has been years since they have been able to nail a first round pick. Wright has been a consistent and productive wideout who has lived up to the hype of being a first round selection. With Wright going one pick earlier, the Titans are left to select Doug Martin. With over 2,400 career rushing yards, second in this draft class behind Alfred Morris, Martin would have provided the Titans with stability in the backfield as they try to groom and develop their young quarterbacks.

21) New England Patriots

Pick: Chandler Jones

Do-over: Coby Fleener

Comment: Jones has been nothing but spectacular for the Patriots. He is a versatile defensive lineman who can wreak havoc in an opponent's backfield. With Jones having been selected by the Seahawks, the Patriots are left to select the pass catching tight end, Coby Fleener. The Patriots had one of the most dynamic offenses in NFL history when they were able to line up Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez together. With Hernandez out of the league due to legal issues, Fleener (who has 129 receptions and 14 touchdowns in his career) would have been a great replacement. A pass catching tight end that can stretch defenses is what the Patriots had and Fleener fits the mold.

22) Cleveland Browns

Pick: Brandon Weeden

Do-over: Michael Floyd

Comment: I wasn't a fan of the Weeden selection back in 2012 and still am not a fan of it today. He was old, unpolished and in need of a lot of development. Floyd, teamed up with an active Josh Gordon, would have given the Browns a decent one-two punch at wideout. The Browns had the opportunities to select two quality players in this draft and struck out on both of them.

23) Detroit Lions

Pick: Riley Reiff

Do-over: Dont'a Hightower

Comment: Reiff has been plagued by injuries since coming into the league. Hightower is a tackling machine and mainstay in the Patriots defense. With 163 career tackles and 11 sacks, he has been a dynamic force as a middle linebacker for the Patriots. The Lions have been searching for someone with Hightower's abilities for a number of years.

24) Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: David DeCastro

Do-over: Mychal Kendricks

Comment: Castro is just starting to round into form and has been a success when healthy. Kendricks is one of the leaders for the Eagles' defense. He is a smart player who has good instincts and always seems to be around the football. He would be a perfect fit in the Steelers scheme with the freedom to roam and the ability to track down ball carriers.

25) New England Patriots

Pick: Dont'a Hightower

Do-over: Bruce Irvin

Comment: With Hightower going to the Lions a few picks earlier, the Patriots are left with Bruce Irvin. A beast coming off the edge, Irvin has 16. 5 sacks for his career to go along with 3 INT. The schemes and packages that Head Coach Bill Belichick could design with Irvin and Jamie Collins at the linebacker positions would cause opposing coaches to have nightmares.

26) Houston Texans

Pick: Whitney Mercilus

Do-over: Olivier Vernon

Comment: Both players have the benefit of playing opposite of one of the top NFL sack leaders in Cameron Wake and J.J. Watt. While Mercilus has been productive, he is also a liability in coverage and has shown the consistency in rushing the quarterback. Vernon, a third round pick in 2012, has been a great situational pass rusher off the edge for the Dolphins.

27) Cincinnati Bengals

Pick: Kevin Zeitler

Do-over: Same

Comment: Zeitler has been a consistent starter for the Bengals and has improved each season. In his rookie season he allowed 4.5 sacks, while last season he only allowed 2.5 sacks. Injuries have limited Zeitler to just 12 games each of the past two seasons. The Bengals are just hoping he can stay healthy because when he is active, they have one of the more consistent and productive offensive lines in the NFL.

28) Green Bay Packers

Pick: Nick Perry

Do-over: Brandon Boykin

Comment: Perry has had a lackluster performance to start his career. He was drafted to provide an outside pass rusher opposite of Clay Matthews. Perry has only recorded nine sacks in three seasons. Boykin is one of the NFL's best nickel corners. He has recorded seven interceptions so far in his career.

29) Minnesota Vikings

Pick: Harrison Smith

Do-over: Rueben Randle

Comment: The Vikings struck gold in the selection of Harrison Smith; trading back up to select him in the first round turned out to be a quality move for the Vikings' front office. In Randle, the Vikings get a sure- handed receiver who had over 70 receptions this past season. The Vikings have been trying to find their next long term answer at quarterback for a number of years and look to have found it in Teddy Bridgewater. Rueben Randle, Greg Jennings, and Kyle Rudolph would have given the Vikings a nice stable of quality pass catchers for their young quarterback.

30) San Francisco 49ers

Pick: A.J. Jenkins

Do-over: Quinton Coples

Comment: In one of the biggest draft busts of this entire draft class, Jenkins has only started three games. He has been traded and still has yet to record a touchdown. Jenkins had the lowest yards-per-reception total in that entire draft class with 7.6, a full three yards lower than the next lowest player. He was a player who should have been selected in the 7th round as a project player, not a first rounder. In Coples, the 49ers get a decent outside pass rusher who can play the run. He might not impress you with his production, but he is a quality player who should continue to get better.

31) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pick: Doug Martin

Do-over: Riley Reiff

Comment: The Bucs were able to snag themselves one of the top draft picks in Doug Martin. Unfortunately, he is not available in this exercise. Riley Reiff, who has battled through injuries during his first couple of seasons, has started to show some promise. He made 15 starts in 2014, allowed only three sacks and wasn't called for holding or any false starts on the season. If he can maintain his health, he could develop into a solid tackle in the NFL.

32) New York Giants

Pick: David Wilson

Do-Over: Vontaze Burfict

Comment: Not sure what the Giants ever saw in Wilson; he had a fumbling problem in college with 11 career fumbles and the highest fumble rate of any running back in the 2012 class at 2.9 percent. He is out of the league due to health issues. Vontaze Burfict went undrafted out of Arizona State, where he gathered more personal foul penalties than sacks. In his first two seasons in the NFL, Burfict led the Bengals in tackles. He still might have a few screws loose, but he is one heck of a linebacker. The Giants have been looking for depth and consistency from the linebacker core and Burfict would have been the perfect answer to their problems.