- Round 1: CB Richard Sherman
- Round 2: DT Gerald McCoy
- Round 3: RB Trent Richardson
- Round 4: CB Brandon Browner
- Round 5: DT B.J. Raji
- Round 6: OT Andre Smith
- Round 7: C Alex Mack
- Round 8: TE Dwayne Allen
- Round 9: RB/WR Reggie Bush
- Round 10: QB Brock Osweiler
- Round 11: LB Donald Butler
- Round 12: S Corey Graham
- Round 13: OLB Demario Davis
- Round 14: WR Mohamed Sanu
- Round 15: DE Osi Umenyiora
- Round 16: OT Bryant McKinnie
- Round 17:
- Round 18:
- Round 19:
- Round 20:
- Round 21:
- Round 22:
Round 1, Pick 20: Richard Sherman, Cornerback
Drafting 20th overall, I knew it would be difficult to secure a “franchise” QB. As the draft unfolded yesterday I thought I might have a shot at either the most physically gifted player at any position in the league or the last of the top end QBs, and was all set to take Calvin Johnson or Ryan Tannehill – that is until Schatz and Schottey too them back-to-back with the 18th and 19th overall picks (schit). This left me with a much tougher decision, as I’m now left to choose from a variety of players from several different positions, with an assortment of factors to weigh against each other.
I could take Tony Romo, a QB I believe to be far better than the go-to scapegoat the media has made him out to be, but as Schatz pointed out, he’s 33(I also disqualified Romo’s Dallas teammate, DeMarcus Ware for age concerns; he’s 30). I could take CB Darrelle Revis, but as Schatz (again) pointed out, his injury status raises huge concerns considering we’re talking about a first round pick. I could take reigning MVP Adrian Peterson, but RBs typically have a shorter shelf-life than any other position and he turns 28 this month (and has his own injury history). I could take Aldon Smith, but his production last season tapered considerably once Justin Smith went down, and I don’t view him as a complete player just yet.
This left me with two players – Cincinnati WR A.J. Green, and Seattle CB Richard Sherman. In the end I went with Sherman, because I believe the mid-late round value at the WR position will be significantly higher than it will be CB. Sherman was not only tied for 2nd in 2012 with eight INTs, but maybe more importantly led the league with 24 PBUs. He also tacked on three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, bringing him to a total of 36 impact plays on the ball.
Yes, Green changes defensive gameplans with his total package ability at WR. But Sherman’s ability to not just take half the field away, but take the ball away as well, in my opinion justifies his selection at this stage.
Round 2, Pick 45: Gerald McCoy, Defensive Tackle
I had hoped to “corner” the market by taking Darrelle Revis with this pick, but McCoy is hardly just a consolation prize. After showing flashes his first two years in Tampa Bay only to see both season cut short due to injury, McCoy exploded in 2012. He was the clear leader of the league’s best run defense, and constantly wreaked havoc on the pass rush with his explosiveness off the ball.
The only real reservation I had with this pick is that Mccoy’s best fit is clearly at 3-tech, and thus I’ve already “limited” myself to drafting defenders that fit in a 43. Regardless, I feel McCoy is the #2 DT in the NFL (behind only Geno Atkins), and at this stage in the draft he was the most impactful player available because of his ability to dominate vs. both the run and pass.
Round 3, Pick 77: Trent Richardson, Running Back
When it comes to the draft, I am a huge proponent of waiting until day three or free agency to select RBs. Day one and two simply does not present great value at the position when factoring the long history of successful late round RBs as well as the limited shelf life of players at the position.
For this exercise, however, I’ve ignored my own draft principle for what I believe to be the best (young) RB talent in the NFL. Trent Richardson is an explosive, powerful back that has already proven he has the toughness to play through injuries and the complete skill set needed to simply take control of games by himself.
Also, because I was unable to land one of the top QBs in the first round, I felt it imperative I find an elite centerpiece to structure my entire offense around; Richardson is just such a talent.
Round 4, Pick 114: Brandon Browner, Cornerback
Once I drafted Richard Sherman in the first round, I knew I wanted to pair him with another top tier CB, so who better than his teammate in real life?
Having two big, physical and athletic corners capable of shutting down their individual matchups will take considerable stress off the front seven, and will allow me to run a very aggressive defense.
Hopefully Browner will keep his nose clean going forward after his recent four game suspension, but I believe his addition will allow the Sharkophants to run a physical and versatile defense.
Round 5, Pick 142: B.J. Raji, Defensive Tackle
In round five my strategy was simply: take the top available defensive lineman. However, I did not expect a player the caliber of B.J. Raji to still be on the board at this stage.
Raji, despite battling an ankle injury through parts of the season, recovered from a disappointing 2011 campaign and posted a strong, balanced 2012. With his size and strength at the POA he’s the perfect compliment next to the explosive Gerald McCoy, and the two of them combined should lead my squad to being one of the top run defenses in the league.
Despite having locked up a formidable 1-2 punch inside, don’t be surprised if I jump at another DT soon if the value is right – I believe strongly in taking the best players first and and creating individualized roles for them second, and if I can keep Raji fresh by having a steady rotation, he’ll be that much better for my team.
Round 6, Pick 180: Andre Smith, Offensive Tackle
Round 7, Pick 205: Alex Mack, Center
Round 8, Pick 244: Dwayne Allen, Tight End
Round 9, Pick 269: Reggie Bush, Running Back/Wide Receiver
Round 10, Pick 307: Brock Osweiler, Quarterback
Round 11, Pick 332: Donald Butler, Linebacker
The RSP Writers project is brought to you by the 2013 Rookie Scouting Portfolio. Learn more about the 2013 RSP Writers Project and check out the completed 2012 RSP Writers Project where we built teams under a realistic salary cap. You can try it yourself.