2012 NFL Draft: Impressions from the second and third rounds

– The story of the second day wasn’t Janoris Jenkins coming off the board or even Ruben Randle slipping to the bottom of the second round. No, the headliner was the Jaguars taking a freaking punter in the third round. Bryan Anger might wind up being the greatest punter in the history of the NFL but you don’t take a punter in the third round…ever. If I squint hard enough I can envision a team taking a highly skilled specialist in the fourth, but the first three rounds are where teams have to find starters on offense and defense. Much of the good press the Jaguars received for leapfrogging the Rams to land Justin Blackmon in the first round was erased the moment Anger’s name was announced in the third. (No offense, Bryan.)

– One of the more underrated storylines from Day 2 was the Bengals selection of Rutgers’ receiver Mohamed Sanu in the third round. Sanu was the victim of a cruel prank the night before, when someone acting like the Bengals called to tell him that he had been drafted by Cincinnati. Sanu had to wait until the third round, but the real Bengals finally did call to give him the great news. It was a nice ending to a screwed up story.

Ruben Randle is a perfect fit for the Giants. Mario Manningham was excellent at pressuring defenses by running the seam in New York’s offense the past few seasons. I envision Randle fitting into a similar role as Manningham and thus, serving as Eli Manning’s new vertical threat in the slot. Hopefully falling all the way to the bottom of the second round will motivate the former Tiger to prove teams wrong for passing on him.

– The Packers are having an excellent draft but what else is new for Ted Thompson? Landing an explosive pass rusher like Nick Perry in the first was huge, but I liked Thompson’s strategy in the second round even more. He traded up for Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy, who was inconsistent in college but who also has first-round talent, and for Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward, who was an instinctive, productive player in college. Teams have to find potential starters in the first three rounds and once again, Thompson has done that.

– The risk could be well worth the reward for the Rams when it comes to Janoris Jenkins. Everyone knows about his off-field issues so there’s no use going into them again. The bottom line is that if he flies right off the field, he could be a hell of a playmaker for a team that has been in desperate need for playmakers the past few years. I also liked the team’s selection of Brian Quick at No. 33 and Trumaine Johnson is another player with first-round talent that slipped. The questionable pick was running back Isaiah Pead in the second. The Rams had an opportunity to snag an outside linebacker at that slot and decided to draft Steven Jackson’s compliment instead. Nothing against Pead, but the running back position could have been addressed later in the draft.

– Ozzie Newsome once again did well on draft day. Trading back and still landing a first-round talent in Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw was excellent. Upshaw fits extremely well into Baltimore’s defensive system and he’ll look great playing alongside Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed in that defense.

– The Bills got great value in Georgia offensive lineman Cordy Glenn, who is projected as a guard at the next level but who also has experience as a tackle. Many thought Glenn would go in the first round so for him to slip all the way to No. 41 was surprising. Buffalo did well.

– He’s raw and it may take him a couple of years to develop but Amini Silatolu is an intriguing football player. He’ll kick inside to guard after playing tackle at Midwestern State and while he’s raw, he’s got the size and power to dominate at the next level. Well done, Ron Rivera.

Brock Osweiler is a project but he wound up in a great situation. Who better to show him the ropes for a few years than Peyton Manning, who is also a tall, lengthy quarterback with a laser-rocket arm.

– The most questionable pick in the second round was Detroit’s selection of Oklahoma receiver Ryan Broyles. He tore his ACL late in the season at Oklahoma and projects as a slot player at the next level. So why the Lions felt the need to take him with the No. 54 overall pick is beyond me. Not only would Broyles likely be there in the third or even the fourth, the Lions could have found safer slot options, such as Arkansas’ Jarius Wright.

– At first glance I questioned why the Colts would go back-to-back tight ends in Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen with their selections in the second and third rounds. But Fleener isn’t a very good blocker and you can definitely get both players on the field at the same time. Plus, the Colts are just looking for weapons at this point to give to Andrew Luck, so the selections make sense.

– The more I see of Arkansas defensive end Jake Bequette the more I like. He’s got great size and quickness, has excellent pass-rushing tools and is a “high motor guy.” Bill Belichick continues to find gems.

– Count me among those that like Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill. The Jets will get him up to speed on their route tree – I’m not worried about the fact that he played in the Wishbone while in college. He has great size and speed, he can catch the ball and he can block. That’s all I need to know.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Top 5 Small-School 2012 NFL Draft Prospects

Here are my top 5 small-school prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft.

1. Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Jenkins is technically a small-school prospect because he finished his collegiate career at North Alabama. But he’s a former Florida Gator that was booted from the team last April following his arrest on misdemeanor marijuana charges. Assuming he can stay out of trouble off the field, Jenkins is a solid cover corner with the ability to play in multiple schemes. At 5-foot-10 and 182 pounds, he doesn’t have the best size but receivers will have a tough time separating from Jenkins once he gets a feel for the pro game. Even despite his off-field problems, he should go somewhere in the first round.

2. Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State
Silatolu continues to draw more and more attention as the draft nears. About a month ago he was projected to go in the late second or early third, but now he’s being projected as an early second or late first-round pick. Like most small-school prospects, Silatolu has some technique flaws to his game that need to be ironed out. But he has the size (6’3”, 324 pounds), the explosion, and the foot quickness to be a quality starting guard at the next level. I love the guard class in this year’s draft and Silatolu has as much upside as any other prospect.

3. Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina
Norman has some character concerns that will drop him into the third or fourth round, but the kid doesn’t lack confidence and he was a playmaker in college. He had a very good performance at the East-West Shrine game and just like Jenkins, is scheme-versatile. He takes too many risks at times and he ran in the 4.5-range at his Pro Day, but that was also reportedly on wet grass. Again, there are character concerns but Norman has the talent to be a steal in the middle rounds.

4. Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State
Quick is a natural athlete for a big man (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), and he has some upside to his game. He’ll never be a receiver that separates because he doesn’t have great speed, but he’s highly coordinated despite not picking up the game until his senior year in high school. He’s a former prep basketball star so a team might fall in love with him in the second round. I think he’s a better value in the third, but there’s no question he’s an intriguing athlete that would be a fit for any team because of his route running ability.

5. Trumaine Johnson, DB, Montana
Yet another corner with some character concerns attached to his name (although he was reportedly arrested for trying to break up a fight, so I’m not sure if he’s really a concern or just a victim of some bad luck), Johnson has great size at 6-foot-2 and 204 pounds, and could turn out to be a very good press corner at the next level. What’s most attractive about Johnson is that some list him as a cornerback, while others see him as a free safety. His ability to play either position at the next level will only make him more attractive on draft day and could be a great fit for scheme-versatile teams like the Bears, Vikings or Falcons. He’ll go somewhere in the second or third round.

Related Posts