Well, NFL fans, the draft is over. The teams have their players, and now all we can do is sit back and wait for the season to start in September, while scooping up any small bit of news the offseason can offer us. The draft offers an interesting debate among fans and analysts because, while fans may be unhappy with their team’s draft, nobody will know how it turns out until the season begins.
While a big part of the pre-draft discussion focuses on quarterbacks, this year’s draft will keep that discussion going for a while longer. The Colts and Redskins took Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, respectively, with the No. 1 and 2 picks in last week’s draft, and clearly most of the spotlight will be on these two great athletes. Andrew Luck is the best quarterback to come out of the college ranks in years, and, while Griffin will have the better rookie year due to a better situation, Luck will have a better career in the end. The Redskins will have a record of 8-8 this year, winning four more games than the Colts, but Luck ends up with at least two Super Bowl rings before he retires.
Speaking of the Redskins, they shocked the world by picking Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins only three rounds after picking Griffin. They could have grabbed a player to help Griffin’s rise to stardom, but the analysts are overreacting to the Cousins pick. Cousins will serve as a solid backup to Griffin for a few years, while taking notes from “Sexy” Rexy Grossman, and eventually, he has the chance of becoming a solid starter in the NFL for another team.
The Browns also improved their stock by picking Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden with their second pick of the first round. Weeden will have an immediate impact on the Browns and send Colt McCoy back to the bench where he belongs. McCoy is the second most annoying quarterback in the league, behind “Sir Holyness” Timothy Tebow, and it is nice to see both of them riding pine, at least for now.
The Dolphins picked a quarterback in the first round for the first time since Dan Marino in 1983, when they selected former Texas A&M product Ryan Tannehill with the eighth pick in the draft. Miami will surely regret this pick, when Tannehill’s inexperience proves to cost him at the professional level. Tannehill’s on-field future looks similar to the career of JaMarcus Russell, except Tannehill likely has a solid future in broadcasting when his career ends after four embarrassing years in the NFL.
While it pains me to say it, the pick of the draft came from the Cowboys: LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne with the sixth overall selection. Claiborne will impact their defense immediately, and once again, Dallas has one of the best teams on paper before the season starts. Of course, they will blow it once December comes around, and this year will be the year they finally begin looking for a quarterback that can take them to a Super Bowl.
The biggest shock of the draft was Bill Belichick’s Patriots actually trading up twice to get the players they wanted. Generally, the Patriots are known for trading down and gaining more picks, but this year they felt they needed to go up to get a few players, and it should benefit them greatly. The Patriots picked up two solid defensive players in the first round, and this will help them improve their disastrous defense from last season.
Overall, it was an intriguing draft that saw many surprises and numerous future playmakers join their respective teams. Only time will tell how this draft impacts the league, but like every year, it will directly affect who wins the Super Bowl this year and who misses out. Fans of the draft will now have to patiently wait until next year, when commissioner Roger Goodell kicks off the ceremonies by stating, “With the first selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select Matt Barkley, quarterback, USC.”