Dane Brugler: NFL Draft Scout
- Round 1: QB Aaron Rodgers
- Round 2: CB Brandon Flowers
- Round 3: OLB Lawrence Timmons
- Round 4: DE/OLB Brandon Graham
- Round 5: CB Stephon Gilmore
- Round 6: OT Anthony Castanzo
- Round 7: WR Kendall Wright
- Round 8: DE Ray McDonald
- Round 9: DT Jurrell Casey
- Round 10: G Louis Vasquez
- Round 11: OLB Brooks Reed
- Round 12: S Major Wright
- Round 13: DE Pernell McPhee
- Round 14: RB Ben Tate
- Round 15: CB Josh Norman
- Round 16: OT Donald Stephenson
- Round 17:
- Round 18:
- Round 19:
- Round 20:
- Round 21:
- Round 22:
Round 1, Pick 1: Aaron Rodgers, Quarterback
This pick came down to Aaron Rodgers vs. Andrew Luck for me. Luck is only 23 years old and should have been the ROY last season in my opinion, leading the Colts to the playoffs after a 2-14 season. He had 18 INTs and only 54.1% completions, but besides Reggie Wayne, he was throwing to mostly rookies.
It’s possible that seven years from now, I might wish I would have taken the younger Luck with this pick. But if I’m still the GM of my team in seven years then Rodgers was the right pick. I know for the next 5-6 years, I’ll sleep soundly knowing I have Rodgers as my QB and face of the franchise. The NFL will always be a win-now league and Rodgers gives me the best mix of winning now and in the near future.
Round 2, Pick 64: Brandon Flowers, Cornerback
Between my first pick (Aaron Rodgers) and my second pick, I saw 62 very good players come off the board. So by the time the 64thoverall pick rolled around, I was left with limited options from what I hoped would still be available. But the beauty of Rodgers is that he can carry the offense with B-list talent around him, he doesn’t need an elite supporting cast. With that said, I knew it wasn’t crucial to get a stud wide receiver (Brandon Marshall) or franchise left tackle (Eugene Monroe), leaning me towards the defensive side of the ball.
I wanted the foundation of my defense to either be an impact pass rusher or cover man and the best available option left on the board was cornerback Brandon Flowers. After Joe Haden went off the board (damn Will Brinson), the next top cornerback on my draft board was Flowers. It went somewhat overlooked because the Chiefs had just two wins, but Flowers, who just turned 27 last month, had a very good 2012 season and has put himself in position to be mentioned among the top defensive backs in the league.
Round 3, Pick 96: Lawrence Timmons, Outside Linebacker
I have a feeling I’ll be saying “the luxury of Aaron Rodgers…” a lot in my explanations. But the luxury of Aaron Rodgers is that I can focus on defense with these early picks and still find adequate offensive talent later. With my 3rd round pick, I wanted another leader on defense to pair with Brandon Flowers and I was a little surprised that Lawrence Timmons was still available. He is one of the most consistent and reliable linebackers in the NFL, showing the ability to be a playmaker against the run, rushing the passer and dropping in coverage. Although 2013 will be Timmons 7th in the NFL, he is only 26 years old and about to hit the prime of is career.
Round 4, Pick: 97: Brandon Graham, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker
With two picks back-to-back, I knew one needed to be a pass rusher, especially because pass rusher has been easily the most sought after position (non-QB) thus far in this draft. The 2010 NFL Draft produced some impressive pass rushers (Jason Pierre-Paul, Derrick Morgan, Carlos Dunlap, etc.), but Brandon Graham seems to have become the forgotten man from that class, although he was the top pass rusher drafted that year. After tearing his ACL as a rookie and minimal playing time in 2011 and the 1st half of 2012, many put the “bust” label on Graham. But he started to produce as last season progressed, earning more playing time and starting the final 6 games (26 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF in those half dozen starts). He has positional versatility to line up as a DE or OLB or a hybrid of both and at just 24 years old, is still coming into his own. This pick is assuming that he keeps that momentum going from late last season and continues to improve. I like his chances.
Round 5, Pick 161: Stephon Gilmore, Cornerback
Round 6, Pick 162: Anthony Costanzo, Left Tackle
Round 7, Pick 224: Kendall Wright, Wide Receiver
Round 8, Pick 225: Ray McDonald, Defensive End
Round 9, Pick 288: Jurrell Casey, Defensive Tackle
Round 10, Pick 289: Louis Vasquez, Guard
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