Just because the 2012 NFL Draft has passed us by doesn't mean the discussion is stopping. Jesse Bartolis from NFLMocks.com is back to answer my admittedly loaded questions.
1. Of the first round picks in this year's draft, which do you think is the most questionable from a scheme-fit standpoint?
I have two schematic fits I don't love.
The Bears selection of Shea McClellin was an odd pick for me. I think McClellin has a lot of different positions he could play, but 43 DE was not the position I thought he would fit best at. Are the Bears going to use him as a 43 SAM Linebacker? It's just an interesting pick. Considering there were players there I liked a lot more as pure defensive ends than McClellin.
The other one was Whitney Mercilus, when I watched him I thought his best position was 43 RDE. I just don't love him as a 34 OLB.
The Jets selection of Quinton Coples was a pick I'm not in love with. I understand what Coples can be, but if you were going to say prior to the draft what's one locker room Quinton Coples shouldn't go to--it'd probably be the Jets. Maybe that'll make Jets fans angry, or do they feel the same? I also don't think Coples best position is 34 DE or 34 OLB--I'm not 100 percent positive where they plan on playing him. I've heard conflicting reports, but that pick was odd to me--I still think RT was and Is still their biggest need. I would have strongly considered Riley Reiff there.
The Brandon Weeden pick is not one I love either. I know his age doesn't bother some people, but it does bother me. I think the poise people like and the physical maturity and his throwing power are in ways directly related to his age. And I also believe he still has a learning curve because the speed of the NFL is different, his offense will be much different, the throwing lanes are much different, the cornerbacks and pass rush are better. I wouldn't spend a first round pick on a 28-year-old rookie quarterback coming from a fast paced spread offense.
Just a question for Browns fans (I'm generally curious and don't have the right answer): What is your preferred combination of players: Ryan Tannehill and Julio Jones or Brandon Weeden, Phil Taylor, and Trent Richardson. Or Phil Taylor, Trent Richardson, Rueben Randle/other and player available there and moving ahead with Colt McCoy? (Editors note from a Browns fan: The third option)
And lastly I dislike the Harrison Smith pick. I just never thought he was a first-round talent. I think he'll be a decent starting safety in the N.F.L.--and I wouldn't spend a first round pick on him--and I definitely would not trade up to get him. He seems like a great guy and I hope he proves me wrong.
I'll answer your somewhat loaded question, Dan. I do think they all did well. We chatted about this already, but it is interesting to me that the Bengals (who are notoriously considered cheap) drafted all well known players from big name schools--We joked that we wondered if the Bengals were just looking at Internet Big Boards to make the picks, almost like they didn't bother having scouts this year--but I generally loved what they did.
The Eagles were terrific as well and got good system fits.
Then they moved up to get Doug Martin who is a nice player, but I really believe he would have been available when they picked. Also I think Doug Martin got really over-rated during the pre-draft process. I don't see him as the next Ray Rice--Ray Rice to me is much more explosive. I also question if he can create his own yardage. Solid player, but I have concerns about him and I think he would been available when they picked had they stayed put, but it's possible he might not have been and he might be more of a feature back than the other remaining running backs.
LaVonte David pick was a good pick. Najee Good was a pretty good pick. I really liked what they did day three as well. I just didn't think they did as well as the Eagles or Bengals because I did not love their first round.
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