Never in my life had I been so excited for an NFL draft than I was this past week, and I've religiously devoted my life to it for years. This was arguably the most highly anticipated first round in recent Rams history, possibly even more than 2010 when they selected QB Sam Bradford. Why? Much like two years ago, the Rams have officially broken ground on a brand new era, but this time is different. This time they will take chances, putting precedence on talent and upside. No longer will the product in the locker room atmosphere take the front seat over the product on the field. It's easy to shy away from risks, but it's hard to win in this league without taking them.
The draft is all about chance and unpredictability. If it wasn't, no one would watch. That is why fans will always walk away feeling either entirely satisfied or gloomily moribund. First we looked at reactions to picks one through six, where disappointment was almost no where to be found; however, that only paved the way for what happened next, which left many overwhelmed with disapproval.
After the jump, more fan reactions to their respective teams' first round picks...
With the seventh pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Mark Barron, SS, Alabama.
Tampa Bay all but sealed their fate when they traded down two spots with Jacksonville. Perhaps they thought that LSU's Morris Claiborne could somehow fall their way, but the Cowboys spurned their chances when they traded up to No. 6. The Buccaneers were then forced to settle for who many considered the second best defensive back in the draft, Mark Barron, who will now be forever known as "Red Barron." This may have been a reach, but the majority of fans seem satisfied.
Bucs Nation site manager Sander had this to say...
Eminence Front voiced the community's main quibble...
I’m mad at getting a trash pick and reaching for a safety. Dallas gave up a 2nd rounder for the pick after us and all we get is a 4th.
Thanks again, Les Snead.
With the eighth pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M.
This surprised absolutely no one, yet still preceded a kerfuffle of skepticism and criticism. What is Ryan Tannehill's true value? Would he have been an afterthought if he came out last year, possibly behind the likes of Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick and even Ryan Mallett? Is he franchise QB? Only time will tell, but this is the kind of move that either makes or breaks an organization. And, of course, divides a fanbase.
small balls is thinking big...
Mainly because they finally took a chance at greatness instead of just being safe.
while Dolphins#1 sees little in respect to an early impact...
nickzi, though, ultimately says what should be on every Dolphin fans' mind..
You now carry the hopes of the NFL’s most volatile and critical fanbase. No pressure, son.
Hopefully Tannehill will be given ample time to develop; however, I don't expect Miami to exercise patience if the losses pile up, no matter who is behind center.
With the ninth pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College.
Just about everyone predicted the Panthers to go defense, but the Kuechly pick was almost a head-scratcher. He will likely shift outside as Jon Beason, one of the better middle linebackers in the league, is coming back from injury. Fletcher Cox and Stephon Gilmore were widely believed to be the top-two on HC Ron Rivera's radar, yet he opted for college football's all-time leading tackler. Truly not a bad pick up. Panther fans are, and should be, ecstatic about Kuechly's addition.
Honestly, I don't need to include any reactions to this one. I could not find one well-formulated negative opinion. Defensive Rookie of the Year?
I will add, however, that there was a near unanimous take among fans for whom Carolina should have selected in the second round, 40th overall. Because they passed on CB Gilmore, many were adamant about taking who was arguably the most talented corner in the draft. Unfortunately, their dreams were broken at the very last moment, when the Rams snatched the falling Janoris Jenkins at 39. I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm not.
With the tenth pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina.
The Bills had more options to go in more directions than any team picking in the top ten. Their offensive line could use help and Michael Floyd would have been a perfect new toy for Ryan Fitzpatrick, but it was no shock when they opted to go defense. With Kuechly and Barron now off of the board, Gilmore made perfect sense. Buffalo now has a legitimate, young corner to help ward of the Patriots' high-flying attack.
Jack's Elsewhere likes both the fit and situation that their newest play-maker is walking into...
I’d say this pick is a wise one and can see the senior players in the back field grooming him for years to come. McGee could take him under his wing and really make a winner out of the kid, that’s indispensable.
I just got a mega deja vu from agage5. I swear I said and heard this exact thing hundreds of times over this past weekend, though in accordance to the Rams.
With the 11th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis.
I pretty much knew that Romeo Crennel would look to address his defense, but his first pick back as a head coach blew my mind. It's not that I don't think Poe has a high ceiling - a part of me just expected him to fall much, much further. As it turns out, that never had a chance of happening. Scott Pioli never ceases to flabbergast his fanbase and many were not hesitant to divulge their most recent displeasure.
I guess I trust Crennel and Pioli when it comes to talent evaluation but I’m just floored. Time to throw out everything we thought we knew about Scott Pioli’s draft philosophy.
I must note that many here in Western PA went silent when they heard Poe's name called. Some wanted him in a Steeler uniform in a very bad way.
With the 12th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State.
I wish I could have seen the reaction on Fisher's and Snead's faces when the Eagles leapfrogged them to select Cox. They obviously could not have been fully confident that he would have fallen quite this far, but I assume they were very excited to see him available with only Seattle and Arizona standing in their way. Then the Seahawks continued with their ways and once again impeded the Rams from taking the best DT on their board. (See Jason Jones)
Andy Reid got the man he wanted all along. I see no reason to be upset with this pick from an Eagles standpoint. They filled their biggest need with a top-notch day-one starter.
The fan approval poll currently has over 2,200 votes. Over 21-hundred of those voters - 94 percent - like the pick. Point proven.
With the 13th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals select Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame.
This undoubtedly enraged many in Rams Nation. After missing out on Justin Blackmon, fans then had to witness a division rival steal the next highest rated receiver in the draft. The Rams still lacked a No. 1 wide out. The Cardinals already had Larry Fitzgerald. Ouch..
With this pick, Arizona continues to draft based on best player available, not necessarily need. Fans are happy not to have reached for offensive line help, though DeCastro would also have made sense. They also need help across the board on defense. What surprises me is that very few fans made any comments about keeping the Rams at bay by taking the receiver from right under their feet. Maybe they aren't completely sold?
Revenge of the Birds writer Jesse Reynolds had this to say...
The main hope for Floyd in Arizona, aside from potentially developing into a future No. 1 receiver, is obviously to help divert attention away from Fitzgerald. Here is Airwave's take...
I just really hope we can work the cap out in the future if he turns out to be as good as he should be for the 13th pick. I can’t wait to see how much better our offense is with someone else who can help out Larry. It helps out everyone.
The O-line got better at the end of the season, let’s hope they can at least be reasonable. And getting someone to take pressure off Fitz was a need. He was just getting double teamed too much.
Now, Kolb and Skelton have no excuse to fail.
At one time I would have been terrified of an offense that features the down-field threat duo of Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, then the Rams added an equally scary corner back tandem in Finnegan and Jenkins. Bring it on. That's a match up that I can't wait to see.
With the 14th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select Michael Brockers, DT, LSU.
I'm sorry, could you repeat that? Is he switching to outside linebacker or becoming the largest receiver in league history? Neither - he's a defensive tackle. For the fifth time in six years, the St. Louis Rams have used their first round pick on a lineman. I can just hear the ticket sales racking up.
Seriously, though, this is a quality pick. Michael Brockers now becomes the final piece of the puzzle along the defensive line, giving the Rams what could soon become an elite unit in the NFL. He's not quite the prospect that Cox has recently been speculated to be, but he too was once projected to the Rams at six overall. They got him a full quarter of a round later.
Tempers flared and keyboards caught fire as many fans were disgusted with the first draft addition of the Fisher/Snead Era. However, the value there was too bright not to be seen in a good light.
Following an uproar of initial disappointment, our own 3k had this to say...
Have an ounce of perspective. It’s not Claiborne v. Brockers. It’s Claiborne v. Brockers+ whoever we take with the extra pick.
Josh Wehrle and I shared the same reaction...
He has an insane amount of upside, and he frees up Quinn, Long, Langford, and Laurinaitis to do their thing.
papapegasus gave a similar take...
Don’t rely on the tape alone. Sit back and watch some games. Full games. Brockers is a pretty dominating presence in the middle and can pressure well. Not my pick but a good tackle who will be there on third down.
sergey606 said simply...
Our Run D sucked last year.
our DLine is sick.
Now, before I get blasted for only including pro-Brockers commentary, I tried to keep this all rated PG. For the non-family friendly sides of the argument, I invite you to have your own look back at Thursday night's threads. You will have no trouble finding many unsatisfied opinions; just search for expletives and/or CAPS LOCK.
Still need to vent or have some love to share regarding the Rams first round? Share with us more of your reactions to Michael Brockers.