- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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Analysis of the 2012 draft literally will continue for years, but I long ago accepted our psychological need for instant answers. It has become a tradition around here to review the immediate reaction of the country's foremost media draft analyst, which I consider to be a starting point for further discussion. So here are Mel Kiper Jr.'s 2012 draft grades, which require an Insider subscription to view fully but can be summarized forthwith:
Kiper snippet: "I'm really surprised they had six picks and didn't get a single offensive lineman."
Seifert comment: The Bears weren't joking before the draft when they said they were satisfied with the makeup of their offensive line, one that will include the return of Gabe Carimi and Chris Williams. Saturday, coach Lovie Smith said: "We as a coaching staff are going to try and put the players in a better position, adding Chris and Gabe to the mix. There's a period of time, as you might have forgotten, during the season, when we played pretty good ball on the offensive line." Kiper thinks that first-round defensive end Shea McClellin might have been overvalued at No. 19 and isn't a big fan of second-round receiver Alshon Jeffery, but I think the Bears improved both positions with those additions.
Kiper snippet: "The board broke pretty well for Detroit."
Seifert comment: Yes, few media analysts thought tackle Riley Reiff would be available at No. 23 overall. (Clearly they hadn't measured his arm length.) And it's true the Lions managed to snag three intriguing cornerbacks after making the surprise choice of receiver Ryan Broyles in the second round. But to me what stands out about the Lions' draft is that they are in position to address future needs rather than desperately flail at their current issues. Reiff might not be a starter until 2013 or 2014, and Broyles' knee rehabilitation means he might not have immediate impact, either. It's called roster maintenance, and the Lions haven't been in that position in a while.
Green Bay Packers
Kiper snippet: "The Packers simply had to add to the pass rush."
Seifert comment: There will be plenty of talk moving forward about first-round linebacker Nick Perry and some about fifth-round linebacker Terrell Manning, whom Kiper loves as a situational pass-rusher. But you wonder if they'll both be eclipsed by second-round defensive lineman Jerel Worthy, a first-round talent who should be highly motivated by his draft fall. He's got the ability and capacity to become a dominant force on the line, whether it's as a 3-4 end or as a tackle in the nickel. Worthy could turn this into a proverbial "A" draft.
Kiper snippet: "I don't think we'll look back and see a lot of star power here, but they got what they needed."
Seifert comment: General manager Rick Spielman did a good job convincing everyone he was considering several bad decisions, and thus has been widely praised for making what seemed to be the obvious ones. That's the case for both of his first round picks, left tackle Matt Kalil and safety Harrison Smith. And after passing on LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, Spielman at least added some speed to the position by drafting Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson. At the end of the weekend, Spielman used 10 draft picks and pushed two more into 2013. Quantity runs a close second to quality in the draft.
Analysis of the 2012 draft literally will continue for years, but I long ago accepted our psychological need for instant answers. It has become a tradition around here to review the immediate reaction of the country's foremost media draft analyst, which I consider to be a starting point for further discussion.