NFL draft first-round winners and losers

April, 27, 2012
4/27/12
10:21
AM ET
Roger Goodell, Trent RichardsonJames Lang/US PresswireRoger Goodell and the Browns make reviewing the first round of the NFL draft an easy exercise.
The first round of the 2012 NFL draft is over. It’s time to declare winners and losers.

Granted, it’s impossible to know how teams fared at this point. Four years from now? Maybe. So let’s promise to meet back here exactly four years from now for another write-up. Watches synchronized!

Until then, here are some completely unfair evaluations.

Winners

1. Roger Goodell – The truly great ones improve in some area every year, and Goodell clearly spent the offseason working on his bro-hugs, high-fiving and hugging it out on stage with every selection. After Thursday night’s impressive performance, there’s not a college frat in the nation that wouldn’t happily welcome The Suspension King (“The Suspension King” being his pledge name).

2. Bram Stoker’s Dracula / Princess Leia hair – Want to raise your draft stock? Grow your hair out and then wrap it around and/or stack it on the top of your head in a pretty design! It was the must-have hairdo of the top of the draft.

3. Carolina Panthers – With Cam Newton handling the offense, Carolina addressed its defense by taking Boston College’s Luke Kuechly, the top-ranked inside linebacker, with the ninth pick. Granted, the Panthers could have drafted a sandwich and they’d still look like winners compared to their neighbors, the Bobcats.

Losers

1. Robert Griffin III – Griffin III’s draft socks were a huge disappointment. He surprised and delighted America with caped Superman socks at the Heisman ceremony, but with the eyes of America on him again at the NFL draft ... he couldn’t do any better than socks in Redskins colors? Socks without capes or any nontraditional sock accessories of any kind? You can find socks similar to what Griffin wore at every Walmart in the D.C. metro area. The Redskins have to be concerned that RG3 can’t perform under pressure.

2. SEC – Nine of the first 18 picks were players from SEC schools. There’s no way the conference will be able to replace all that talent. It’s on the way down. Unless, of course, it somehow was able to dominate recruiting over the past decade and instantlywill restock. Oh.

3. Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson likely will be a fine NFL running back. But it was decided a few years ago now that picking running backs high doesn’t make sense. Maybe Mike Holmgren was out of the NFL the year that memo was sent out. But, again, Richardson probably will have a good, long career. Let’s move on to Cleveland’s second first-round pick and examine this list:

Ages of some quarterbacks at the end of the 2012 season

30 – Ben Roethlisberger

29 – Brandon Weeden, Derek Anderson

28 – Brady Quinn

27 – Joe Flacco, JaMarcus Russell

26 – Colt McCoy

25 – Andy Dalton

So by the time the Browns meet the Steelers in Week 12, their rookie quarterback will be one year younger than Pittsburgh’s nine-year veteran with two Super Bowl rings. (By the way, congratulations to the Steelers on apparently having a young quarterback again!) Weeden will also be the same age or older than every failed Browns starter since 2007, and at least two years older than every other starter in the AFC North. Oh, and he’s two years older than JaMarcus Russell, too.

“But he really tore it up at Oklahoma State last year!”

Colt McCoy recently had some great seasons in the same conference, no? It seems the Browns simply got too caught up in the Jamie Moyer hysteria and decided they needed an inspirational oldster of their own.

Oh, Browns. A Losers category wouldn’t be complete without you. Thanks for always doing your part to make our jobs easier.

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