Taking a second look at 2012 NFL Draft's first round

Thursday February 7th, 2013

Russell Wilson, originally picked 75th overall, shocked most NFL observers with his rookie season.
Matt Slocum/AP

With the Super Bowl in the books, we can now stand clear enough to view the NFL's 2012 season through the prism of history, all 267 games worth (256 in the regular season and 11 in the playoffs). Before looking ahead to 2013, let's look back one last time at last April's NFL draft, this time with the advantage that only hindsight can offer.

Time for our annual redraft of the first round, and as always, it's an attempt to use what we know now to best determine what should have unfolded then. Rookie season production naturally carries more weight than mere projection or potential in this exercise, although we have our limits (no first-round kickers were selected, regardless of how valuable Blair Walsh, Greg Zuerlein and Justin Tucker proved to be. And fine rookie work, Kirk Cousins, but you're still not first-round material).

We didn't change picks just for the sake of change, which is why the very top portion of the round looks pretty similar. We don't fix what wasn't broken. But we did try to match teams with players who would have come in very handy due to the particular circumstances of 2012. And keep in mind we kept the first-round draft order just as it came off the board, trades and all. Why complicate things more than we have to?

As always, your results may vary....

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