Monday, January 28, 2013
New grades from Kiper for 2012 draft
By Paul Kuharsky
Mel Kiper Jr. looked back on the 2012 NFL draft and his grades and offers a revised mark to every team in this Insider piece.
Let's look at what he said about the AFC South.
Summary: "Each of the first six players drafted by the Texans managed to contribute in at least some form in 2012, something you can't overlook for a team that went 12-4 and didn't need major personnel additions to get there. … We can't say there's a certain star anywhere in this draft, but the Texans added some immediate help and depth to what was already a pretty solid roster. If one of the wide receivers becomes something more, the draft will look better in the years to come."
Post-draft grade: B
New grade: B
My thoughts: They didn’t need immediate help at many spots, so first-year impression isn’t as significant as it is with the three other teams. There is lots of promise in the class, but we’ll have to wait on receiver DeVier Posey, who tore an Achilles in the playoff loss in New England.
Summary: "I don't know if [Andrew] Luck proved very good earlier than we expected -- he had the second-highest grade I've ever given a quarterback in 34 years -- but it was certainly true that he found some chemistry with all the rookie offensive additions. T.Y. Hilton, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen and even LaVon Brazill played significant roles in the passing game, and Vick Ballard proved he's a capable starter at running back. … [F]actor in all the rookie contributions and the historic leap in performance for a team that was 2-14 in 2011, and you have an incredibly successful weekend to look back on."
Post-draft grade: A-
New grade: A
My thoughts: A group that produced and is a big part of the foundation going forward. It gives Colts fans hope that Ryan Grigson will be able to repeat the winning formula. Can he do as well on defense as he did on offense?
Summary: "Regardless, until the QB situation becomes a positive in Jacksonville, the fact that Russell Wilson was taken by Seattle five picks later (than punter Bryan Anger) will be an ongoing punch line. That said, I can't revise history and say I was banging the desk calling for them to take Wilson. Jacksonville needed to upgrade its pass-catching situation first and then find some help in the pass rush. Justin Blackmon got off to a slow start, but the No. 5 overall pick finished the year leading all rookies in both catches (64) and receiving yards (865), and did that without any sparkling play at QB."
Post-draft grade: C
New grade: C+
My thoughts: No matter how good Anger is, new general manager David Caldwell has an extra hole to fill in a complete rebuild because Gene Smith made that pick. Caldwell would kill to need a punter as opposed to a right tackle, I guarantee it. They needed pass rush help badly and second-rounder Andre Branch provided nothing.
Summary: "…Zach Brown was a solid if unspectacular linebacker who ended up starting 12 games for the Titans. He figures to hold down the starting role heading into 2013. Mike Martin did a pretty good job as a rotational defensive tackle, and showed an ability to penetrate and aid the pass rush. This draft created some early roster help, but after a season looks light on upside. Better QB play might be the difference, as (Kendall) Wright still has a chance to be a major contributor at wide receiver as he develops."
Post-draft grade: C+
New grade: C
My thoughts: They got good contributions out of their top four guys, and they all look ready to take on more in their second seasons. I think this is a draft class that will make contributions for some time.