Josh Norris: Rotoworld/NFL.com
- Round 1: QB Joe Flacco
- Round 2: DL Muhammad Wilkerson
- Round 3: DE/OLB Chandler Jones
- Round 4: WR Michael Crabtree
- Round 5: LT Michael Roos
- Round 6: CB Alterraun Verner
- Round 7: RB LeSean McCoy
- Round 8: ILB Dont’a Hightower
- Round 9: C Eric Wood
- Round 10: RT Bryan Bulaga
- Round 11: WR Chris Givens
- Round 12: CB Josh Wilson
- Round 13: DE Billy Winn
- Round 14: DT Josh Chapman
- Round 15: LB Jon Beason
- Round 16: TE Jordan Cameron
- Round 17:
- Round 18:
- Round 19:
- Round 20:
- Round 21:
- Round 22:
Round 1, Pick 17: Joe Flacco, Quarterback
After sleeping on this pick, and having nightmares about possibly ending up with a QB that has not shown quality starting ability, Flacco appeared to be the correct selection. I did wrestle with taking a certain younger quarterback that I remain high on, but the way in which Flacco finished the season couldn’t be removed from my memory. Perhaps the lanky long-baller is just hitting his prime, I sure think so.
Round 2, Pick 49: Muhammad Wilkerson, Defensive Lineman
Flatly, I would have been pissed if Jay Cutler was remaining on the board, but seeing he is not I am confident in my first selection of Joe Flacco.
Wilkerson is a rising star that isn’t your typical 5-tech. In fact, the young lineman has played the 0, 3, 4, 5, and 6, so the same consistent hand strength, extension, and anchor at each spot. He isn’t a finished pass rusher right now, but I only expect that to develop in time. Why? Because of Wilkerson’s motor and improvement from year one to year two.
Backfield vision is something that is not prevalent enough in young players, but Wilkerson stacks, locates, and sheds at the line of scrimmage very well. As Alen Dumonjic once put it, “For offensive linemen, mo snaps means mo problems.”
Round 3, Pick: 80: Chandler Jones, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker
So prior to last year’s draft I considered Chandler Jones a third-round prospect. So taking him int he third-round here means I’m half correct, right?
Jones is an extremely long pass rusher with good bend to dip around or inside and get his opposition off balance. This season he incorporated stronger hands to maximize that length, and he was a nightmare for offensive tackles early in 2012. Sure, there are some health concerns because Jones’ game dipped after an ankle issue, but I expect a big jump forward in his development this season.
Some might question the scheme fit of Jones and Mo Wilkerson. Looking at their tape I absolutely think they can coexist. Wilkerson was used all along the defensive line and even played the end spot in a three and four man front, along with working inside as a 3 or 1. So, this gives me scheme fluidity, since Jones also rushed the passer from two and three point stances as a 7 and 9. Expect a hybrid 3-4 defense with Jones as a stand up rusher in some packages or a 4-3 under look with Mo as an end or tackle, depending on what the team is facing.
Round 4, Pick 112: Michael Crabtree, Wide Receiver
I wasn’t expecting to select a receiver this early, but I believe Crabtree is on his way to becoming one of the top players at his position. Sure, it took him some time to hit is stride, but few are better at picking up yards after the catch, and even after contact, from the receiver position.
Crabtree thrives on underneath routes from the slot, using strong hands and quick cuts after securing the ball to dominate that area. Don;t overlook his downfield ability as well, along with absorbing contact at the catch point. Joe Flacco had a great relationship with a somewhat similar, but older and slower, receiver on the Ravens’ route towards winning a Super Bowl
Round 5, Pick 145: Michael Roose, Left Tackle
I had my eye on a few options at left tackle, most of them younger, but I am very happy to land Roos. He is one example of compensating for the lack of arm length with good recovery skills. Keeping waist bending to a minimum helps with posture, as does recognizing blocking angles in an effort to not lunge. He’s not the best run blocker, but I hope to select a running back who can create on his own with explosive cuts.
Round 6, Pick 177: Alterraun Verner, Cornerback
Roos’ teammate, Alterraun Verner, has been overshadowed by Cortland Finnegan and Jason McCourty, but he is a capable starting corner in any scheme. With corners flying off the board I was looking for a cover man that is somewhat scheme diverse. I usually hate when corners give up cushion from the snap, but Verner hides it quite well with a lot of pre-play movement and quick feet to close.
I’ll get McCoy along with the next one.
Round 7, Pick 208: LeSean McCoy, Running Back
Round 8, Pick 241: Dont’a Hightower, Inside Linebacker
Round 9, Pick 272: Eric Wood, Center
Round 10, Pick 304: Bryan Bulaga, Right Tackle
Round 11, Pick 335: Chris Givens, Wide Receiver
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