As I sit here typing this, parked in front of my local sports bar's biggest TV screen - causing a commotion and uproar like only the most diehard of football fans can - I feel like an outcast. I'm engulfed in a sea of "Black N' Gold," and I stick out like a sore thumb in my Steven Jackson alternate jersey and upward turned Rams cap My eyes have been fixed on my computer which is locked on Turf Show Times. This is my version of writing at Starbucks, and this rocks! I could not be any happier. No amount of ridicule or empty beer bottles bouncing off of the back of my head could shatter these high spirits. Trepidation and hassle come with the territory of picking high in the NFL Draft, but hope and enthusiasm trump all.
The lives of 32 young men have now been forever changed, but for a very select few - six in this year's case - expectations and promise reach a much higher level. These are the guys who are chosen to save or rejuvenate a franchise. If they don't pan out, it spells chaos. If they do... well... possibly the Super Bowl. That's the dream, right? Such is how the NFL Draft goes. Here are the fans' takes on their respective teams' selections.
With the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford.
Wow, what a surprise! Seriously though, it took whopping two minutes for Goodell to walk back on stage when he never even should have left it. Luck has been the first overall pick in this draft for months. It's now official. Best of luck to the Colts whose future now rests on one man's shoulders.
Stampede Blue's initial reaction:
Jim Irsay confirmed it. Ryan Grigson confirmed it. Andrew Luck was always going to be #1 and no one should be surprised. Arguably the most sound quarterback prospect since John Elway, Luck has it all: intelligence, athleticism, extreme accuracy, a big frame, a highly underrated, powerful arm, and the media chops to bring it full circle. There are just too many positives to list. You can’t replace one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in Peyton Manning, but you can fill his glaring absence with a product that is capable of achieving success that Indianapolis fans now expect. That’s what Andrew Luck brings to your franchise and that’s why he's Mr. No. 1. Sorry, Griffiniacs. Your guy is pretty good too.
Do I need to tell you how the fans reacted to this one? No, it'd be a waste of our time.
With the second pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor.
Exactly as you would expect - exactly like the first pick - there was not a quibble to be heard in Radio City Music Hall. If there was a single "boo" to account for, it was easily drowned out by the chants of "RG3..RG3..RG3." Shanahan has now landed his latest franchise quarterback and 'Skin fans could not be any more satisfied. They will do or die by the arm of my early favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
The Heisman Trophy winner in 2011, Griffin electrified college football last season, throwing for 4,293 yards with 37 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. Even better, he completed 72.4 percent of his passes. His accuracy and his arm strength would be good enough reasons to draft him high, but his agility and his athleticism which can stretch plays out make him a potential can't miss prospect.
The fan approval poll is currently sitting at 96 percent "Approve" with over 400 votes. Duh. Washington DC is buzzing.
With the third pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama.
The Browns were desperate to land the best offensive skill player left on the board; so much so that they assured themselves his services before the clocks even began ticking. I was disappointed when realization hit that Richardson would not become a St. Louis Ram. He will become the stalwart of Cleveland's offense, giving QB Colt McCoy a talented centerpiece to lean on. Yes, the Browns' offense is now led by one player, and he will be the one taking the hand-offs. I have to think Mike Holmgren sees his newest play-maker as his new version of Shaun Alexander.
As reported earlier, the Browns swapped first-round picks with the Minnesota Vikings less than an hour before the draft started. Several teams were reportedly trying to move in front of the Browns to take Richardson as well, but Cleveland wasn't going to lose another player they thought was theirs. It did not cost them a lot either: just a fourth, fifth, and seventh rounder.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer (reported by 92.3 The Fan) says the Browns were so excited to announce the pick that they handed their card in even before the Redskins turned in theirs for the quarterback who will remain unnamed.
Fan reactions vary greatly, as you would probably expect for a team that takes a running back third overall in this day and age. Many love it; others, such as the very first person to comment, say simply, "(Expletive) this pick."
I would be fine with this pick if we could just stay pat. I know that 4th and 5th rounders aren’t insane value, but we still gave up value when I thought it was already a bit of a reach. I feel almost as bad as when we lost RG3 now that we "lost" Blackmon.
I’ve been warming to Richardson. I hope we address other needs later… Without a credible passing game defenses will key on the run and there is almost no one (except Jim Brown) can run successfully under those circumstances. But anyway… WELCOME Trent to the Cleveland Browns!
First comment – long time viewer – This is the best pick for us for sure even though it will divide us …I think we will all be happy in the fall
With the fourth pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select Matt Kalil, OT, USC.
The Vikings were obviously comfortable to move back one spot. Cleveland had no interest in taking Matt Kalil and they were eager to hand away a few late round picks. Minnesota got who they were expected to all along and added value in the process.
The Vikings are obviously hoping that Kalil will take a similar career path to the last offensive tackle that the Vikings drafted from USC in the top five picks of a draft, that being Ron Yary. The Vikings took Yary with the #1 overall pick in the 1968 NFL Draft, and he now has a bust in Canton, Ohio in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
This really was the best pick for this football team. If 2012 is going to be the year of determining whether or not Christian Ponder is the quarterback of the future for this football team, the Vikings need to put him in a position to succeed. Drafting Kalil. . .the only tackle in this draft ready to immediately start at left tackle, in my opinion. . .is a sign that they're going to do just that.
Welcome to Minnesota, Matt Kalil. Christian Ponder might be the only person in Minnesota happier to see you here than we are.
With the fifth pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State.
I'm not going to lie - the football gods answered my prayers with this one. I didn't want Blackmon (sorry RG31...), but Jacksonville REALLY did. You wouldn't know it by looking at what they gave up, though. Jumping up two picks into the top five and only giving up a fourth and seventh rounder is a great deal. Blaine Gabbert has a new No. 1 target who should make an impact immediately.
Fan reactions are interesting. They wanted a play-maker on offense, but they still seem concerned.
Okay – we’ve got a big, physical receiver with good numbers from a dominant major college program. WR has now undergone a major upgrade. I would expect the Jags to go after that reputedly deep draft on the defensive side of the ball with the next couple of picks, and then maybe another splash in free agency. I’m just glad we didn’t draft some NAIA Division 3 waterboy this year.
With the sixth pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU.
Originally, I wasn't going to include this selection because it would already be covered here in another thread. Then the proverbial scat hit the fan. The draft's "top six" went in the draft's top six when Dallas traded with the Rams to take Claiborne. Jerry Jones did what Jerry Jones does and went for the best that he could. I approve for many reasons.
The Cowboys went bold and made a move for a guy they really wanted, and they only gave up their 2nd round pick to move up eight spots in the first round, all the way to #6. That's a great deal. Long ago, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said he was only looking at defensive backs, and he was true to his word. The Cowboys got the best corner in the draft, and they have now upgraded a weak secondary into what should be a strength with the addition of Claiborne and Brandon Carr.
Because this came out of absolute nowhere, here is the best comment that I can share with you.
Otherwise, though, Cowboy fans should be very happy to land the best defensive play-maker in this year's draft.
I hope everyone is happy with how everything has begun to play out. This year will sure be interesting...