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The Bro Guide to the 2012 NFL Rookies: AFC Edition

Like a tireless teacher with a house full of cats, we continue grading each team's draft picks until we have thoroughly gotten our spring football fix. On to the AFC draft picks, led by Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson, and Justin Blackmon. Plenty of trades to go around too, led by the usual suspects like the Patriots, Jets, Browns, and

 
AFC East
 

Jets: B - The Jets failed to improve their declining offensive line, missing out on countless available tackles but had a very nice defensive draft. After missing out on Bruce Irvin, they grabbed NC DE Quinton Coples and Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill, a much needed, super fast and big target. Pass rusher Demario Davis is a steal in the third round. Baylor RB Terrance Ganaway could end up the next Mike Tolbert.

 

Patriots: A – The Pats' defense was rough last year and Bill Belichick made sure to work on weaknesses in the draft. With two acquired first-rounders, the Pats grabbed Chandler Jones, a phenomenal pass rusher, and Dont'a Hightower, possibly the best inside linebacker in the draft. In later rounds they snatched up three good looking defensive backs and another pass rusher.

 

Dolphins: C+ - Ryan Tannehill is a major reach at this spot, with plenty of other similar quarterbacks like Kellen Moore and Craig Keenum going undrafted. Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin is a very nice pick and Miami DE Olivier Vernon looks solid. Their best pick may be Miami RB Lamar Miller, a steal in the fourth round.

 

Bills: B- - The Bills grabbed two offensive linemen who are ready to start in Cordy Glenn (Georgia) and Zerbie Sanders (FSU), much needed help for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Stephon Gilmore and Ron Brooks are solid cover corners who should help immensely but NC State wideout T.J. Graham may have been a reach in round 3.

 
AFC North
 

Steelers: A – As usual, the Steelers had a great draft. In the first two rounds, they grabbed two start-ready lineman in Stanford guard David DeCastro and Ohio St. tackle Mike Adams. They followed up with very solid looking Miami LB Sean Spence and immovable Washington DT Alameda Ta'amu.

 

Ravens: B – Despite trading out of the first round, the Ravens grabbed first-round talent in the second with Courtney Upshaw, a top linebacker out of Bama. Iowa St. tackle Kelechi Osemele and Delaware guard Gino Gradkowski will immediately help the O-Line and Temple RB Bernard Pierce is a great pick.

 

Browns: C+ - The Browns usually make some curious moves and this year was no different. Trading up for Trent Richardson was a good move, he is arguably the best player in the draft. Oklahoma St. QB Brandon Weeden doesn't seem like a good fit at 29-years-old, especially in the first round, and third-rounder John Hughes seems like a major overreach. Cal tackle Mitchell Schwartz looks like a solid choice though.

 

Cincinnati: A – With two acquired first-rounders, the Bengals drafted incredibly talented Bama CB Dre Kirkpatrick and immediate starter Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler. Second-round Penn St. tackle Devon Still could very well be the next Haloti Ngata and Clemson DT Brandon Thompson is another good line choice. Mohamed Sanu, the Rutgers wideout, is a steal in the third-round.

 
AFC South
 

Texans: B – Houston made several good looking draft choices, starting with pure pass rusher Illinois' Whitney Mercilus and fourth-rounder Nebraska DT Jared Crick is a steal. The Texans found help for their O-Line in Miami (OH) guard Brandon Brooks and Georgia center Ben Jones. Ohio St. wideout DeVier Posey and Michigan St. receiver Keshawn Martin don't strike me as great receivers though.

 

Jaguars: C- - Moving up to get Justin Blackmon, easily the best receiver in the draft, was a good move and Clemson DE Andre Branch looks great but they came up nearly empty-handed with the rest of their picks. Worst, a team with so many needs, chose Cal punter (PUNTER!) Bryan Anger in the third-round.

 

Titans: C – Robert Griffin's Baylor receiver Kendall Wright looks like a very solid first-rounder and NC pass rusher Zach Brown looks good but not much else. Maybe Michigan DT Mike Martin becomes a good explosive lineman, maybe.

 

Colts: A – Andrew Luck is the consensus pick for franchise QB and giving him Stanford teammate TE Coby Fleener is another great move. Picking another great tight end in Dwayne Allen out of Clemson shows that they are going for the Pats-style offense. FIU receiver T.Y. Hilton is another very good target and returner and Bama DT Josh Chapman is a steal in the fifth-round.

 
AFC West
 

Chargers: B- - SC pass rusher Melvin Ingram is a terrific first-rounder and UConn DT Kendall Reyes is an immediate starter. LSU safety Brandon Taylor looks good and comes out of a good system and Louisiana-Lafayette tight end Ladarius Green is a great complement to Antonio Gates.

 

Raiders: D – Trading away all those picks for Carson Palmer seems like a lousy move, Oakland didn't have a pick until #95. Their top pick, Utah lineman Tony Bergstrom looks like he fits the Raiders mold but not much else. Their best pick came in the fifth-round in Arizona receiver Juron Criner, a 6'3”, 225 lb. wideout.

 

Broncos: C – Cincy DT Derek Wolfe looks like a solid big bodied tackle and Arizona St. corner Omar Bolden is a very nice pick if he's healthy. Everyone else seems like a development project, particularly Arizona St. QB Brock Osweiler who will have plenty of time behind Peyton Manning.

 

Chiefs: B+ - Memphis DT Dontari Poe is a great, great tackle. Illinois O-tackle Jeff Allen is another instant starter, not to mention Oklahoma tackle Donald Stephenson. Devon Wylie is a little guy who is often compared to Wes Welker. Fifth-rounder CB DeQuan Menzie is a total steal.