- Round 1: QB Ryan Tannehill
- Round 2: RB C.J. Spiller
- Round 3: LB Bobby Wagner
- Round 4: RB Ray Rice
- Round 5: LT Will Beatty
- Round 6: WR Wes Welker
- Round 7: CB Kareem Jackson
- Round 8: C Brian De la Puente, Center
- Round 9: OT/OG Kelechi Osemele
- Round 10: DT Kevin Williams
- Round 11: DT Jay Ratliff
- Round 12: DE Justin Tuck
- Round 13: CB Greg Toler
- Round 14: S Dwight Lowery
- Round 15: G Gabe Carimi
- Round 16: G Chris Snee
- Round 17:
- Round 18:
- Round 19:
- Round 20:
- Round 21:
- Round 22:
Round 1, Pick 19: Ryan Tannehill, Quarterback -As many have said (and likely many more will say), this is a tough spot to be in. The nature of the NFL demands a certain level of quarterback play, but the no-brainers have been off the board for some time. Moreover, the nature of this draft exercise means that there aren’t going to be a lot of surprises. I draft between Aaron Schatz and Josh Liskiewitz—two talent evaluators that I greatly respect. No one is falling to me in this round or any other.
To make matters even worse, the non-quarterbacks I may have thought about with this pick are already gone—J.J. Watt, Von Miller, Calvin Johnson.
There simply aren’t a lot of players that impact the game in the way a quarterback does, and the chance of getting anyone near as talented at the quarterback position in later rounds just doesn’t look good with the depth and talent among my fellow GMs. That means we’re not talking about being stuck with the Daltons and Ponders of the world…we’re talking Gabberts and Cassels
So, I’m happy to select Ryan Tannehill who has all the physical tools to play quarterback at the pro level (including vastly underrated mobility and arm strength), is only 24, and was hamstrung his rookie season by poor talent around him. Other available quarterbacks have shown more in the NFL so far, but I believe Tannehill will be the better quarterback moving forward—especially for my team.
My job, for the next 20 rounds or so is to put more talent around him than Jeff Ireland has…I’m pretty sure I’m up to the task.
Round 2, Pick 46: C.J. Spiller, Running Back
I didn’t walk up to the podium to make this pick, I ran. Sadly, I can’t run anywhere near as fast as C.J. Spiller can, but I guess that’s why he’s the pick and I’m not. I didn’t take Spiller to be a running back as much as I took him to be a multi-faceted weapon for my first pick—Ryan Tannehill.
When thinking about weapons, I took Percy Harvin off my board because I’m staying away from pairing divas with my young quarterback. (He’s off the board anyway.) I really wanted Rob Gronkowski, but he’s long gone as well. Julio Jones would’ve been very tempting, but he was the first pick of round two.
Without tipping my hand for later, there were two or three versatile, dangerous weapons that I’ve hemmed and hawed about over the last 24 hours. I settled on Spiller because I’m confident I can get even more out of him (in terms of dynamic offensive play) than Chan Gailey ever did and he should be a valuable security blanket for Tannehill if things get dicey.
Oh, yeah, he can run the ball too…
Round 3, Pick 78: Bobby Wagner, Linebacker
There were only a couple of defenders that I tagged to build my defense around when this project started and all but a few of them were off the board when round three rolled around. While I had a strong temptation to continue building on the offensive side of the ball, I didn’t want to chance having Wagner and the others gone before my round four pick.
In his rookie season, Wagner showed that he could more than handle the rigors of the middle linebacker position—both against the run and the pass. While the latter is known to be fellow rookie Luke Kuechly’s specialty, in my opinion, Wagner was even better in space in 2012. I also continue to be impressed every time I watch the Seahawks at Wagner’s almost uncanny ability to know when best to take on blocks and when to slip them.
Most importantly, I want a linebacker who can create havoc and I think that’s Wagner’s specialty. One moment he’s roaming around in a zone. The next, he’s dialed up on a blitz and coming right for the same passer he batted a ball from seconds earlier.
Honestly, I would have been happy with any of the three phenomenal rookie middle linebackers from the 2012 draft class, but Wagner has been my personal favorite and I couldn’t be more pleased to have him on Team @Schottey.
Round 4, Pick 113: Ray Rice, Running Back
When this exercise started, did I think I was going to build my team around Ryan Tannehill and two running backs? In the words of Chris Tucker from Rush Hour, “Aww hell no!” Yet, when the board fell to me with Tannehill as the last young QB prospect I was comfortable building around, I had to take extra steps toward making sure he has the support he needs to succeed. Then, Ray Rice tumbled far further than I thought he would. He was nearly my choice when I took Spiller because of his ability to carry a large workload as well as his talents out of the backfield in the passing game.
While my team’s defense certainly needs some work, I’m comfortable with the depth left at a number of defensive positions and couldn’t pass up Rice another time. Using him as my primary back out of the backfield jives with my earlier comment that Spiller would be used in a variety of ways and considered more of an offensive “weapon” rather than simply a runner. The two can spend lots of time on the field together with either one able to head out to the slot and run a complex route tree once they’re out there (at least compared to other backs).
This pick doesn’t define my team, but it gives opposing defensive coordinators a lot to think about. It changes the way they need to prepare for us, and anytime you can take a defense out of it’s comfort zone, it’s a step in the right direction.
After the Tannehill pick, I said that my goal was to put more talent around the young quarterback than Jeff Ireland has. While I’m not going to claim “mission accomplished” just yet, this is toward that end. Now, I’ll just have to make sure my offensive coordinator is a heck of a lot more inventive than Chan Gailey was when it comes to getting Spiller on the field and splitting his time with another back.
Round 5, Pick 143: Will Beatty, Left Tackle
OK, so I’ve had three players at or near the top of my board for a while: First was Lavonte David who may hold a special spot in my heart, and I may have had plenty of angst passing him up yet again. Thankfully for me (and for Tannehill), David is now on Team Mean Jene and I didn’t have to make that decision.
The second player shall remain nameless because I don’t want to tip any picks.
The third player, however, can simply be called “best offensive tackle available.” Whereas I loved the depth at tackle in previous rounds and didn’t take a Joe Thomas or Ryan Clady-type because there were so many quality guys out there, the herd thinned out considerably in the last go-around.
I sincerely thought I’d have a chance at D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Jake Long or Jared Veldheer, but I’m awfully glad I got William Beatty who I feel belongs solidly in that “tier.” After him, all the other tackles on my board were either 1) Young with plenty of question marks 2) right tackles only 3) old. I get to breathe a sigh of relief because I not only got a guy I’m more-than-happy with protecting Tannehill’s blindside, but I also didn’t have to leave a player I love on the board to do so.
Round 6, Pick 179: Wes Welker, Wide Receiver
My goal all along has been to give Ryan Tannehill the help he needed at being a franchise QB. So, with Welker still on the board, I needed to reel him in. Welker is a stark departure from my youth movement and I’ve passed on “BPAs” to go with younger players. However, Welker’s game have never been about elite speed, so I’m not worried about him declining very quickly. Moreover, I’m glad to provide my offense with a steady veteran presence.
Round 7, Pick 206: Kareem Jackson, Cornerback
While I’m being offensive-minded, I also want to do more than simply pay lip service to the defense. With the addition of Jackson—who was fantastic in 2012—I’m confident my defense is headed in the right direction even if it isn’t getting all the attention.
Round 8, Pick 243: Brian De la Puente, Center
Round 9, Pick 270: Kelechi Osemele, Offensive Tackle
Round 10, Pick 306: Kevin Williams, Defensive Tackle
Round 11, Pick, 333: Jay Ratliff, Defensive Tackle
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