By Tony Pauline
April 28, 2012

The book is closed on the 2012 NFL draft after 253 players were selected in seven rounds over the past three days. As is the case every year, there were a lot of head-scratching moments. Highly-rated prospects slipped through the cracks while several players were chosen much earlier than their talents warranted. Here's a look at the steals and reaches from the past three days ...

Fletcher Cox/DL/Philadelphia/Pick No. 12 -- The Eagles' desire to acquire Cox was well documented before the draft. The fact they gave little away to move up three slots and choose him makes this a huge coup for the organization.

Cordy Glenn/T/Buffalo/Pick No. 41 -- The Bills are in desperate need of offensive line help, specifically at tackle. Glenn, who can play as many as four spots on the offensive line, was graded as a first-round choice and will fight for a starting spot in 2012.

Stephen Hill/WR/NY Jets/Pick No. 43 -- Hill was the vertical pass-catching threat in the Yellow Jackets' option running attack. He turned in an immense combine workout and has been receiving first-round consideration since February. Hill is rough around the edges, yet the type of receiver the Jets offense desperately needs.

Zach Brown/OLB/Tennessee/Pick No. 52 -- Brown was given high grades entering the 2011 season, then played well as a senior. Character issues pushed him out of the initial frame, yet Brown is a three-down linebacker with a complete game. He could quickly break into the Titans' starting lineup.

Vinny Curry/DE/Philadelphia/Pick No. 59 -- Curry was one of the best pass rushers in this year's draft. A poor combine performance pushed him out of the draft's top 45 choices, yet he's a perfect fit for the Eagles, who prefer their defensive ends small, yet quick and relentless.

Rueben Randle/WR/NY Giants/Pick No. 63 -- Randle received first-round consideration, yet slipped through the cracks after several teams reached for lesser-ranked wide outs. He's a great value who should quickly replace free agent departure Mario Manningham.

Brandon Brooks/OL/Houston/Pick No. 76 -- Brooks, a combine snub, was second-round talent the Texans picked up in the middle of Round 3. He will immediately compete for a starting job on the right side of Houston's offensive line.

Brandon Boykin/CB/Philadelphia/Pick No. 123 -- After trading away Asante Samuel earlier this week, the Eagles hoped to draft a cornerback who could defend slot receivers. They ended up choosing one of the best in Round 4. Boykin is a polished cover man with terrific ball skills. He also brings the element of return specialist. Once graded as a top 40 choice, Boykin slid after suffering an injury during the Senior Bowl.

Jared Crick/DL/Houston/Pick No. 126 -- Houston goes back-to-back as they steal Crick in Round 4. Considered a potential first-round choice entering the season, he played just three games in 2011 before tearing a pectoral muscle. He adds to the collection of talented two-gap defensive ends Houston is stockpiling.

Marvin Jones/WR/Cincinnati/Pick No. 166 -- Jones capped off a terrific college career with outstanding performances at the Senior Bowl and combine. Scouts were not enamored with Jones' size, allowing the Bengals to swipe him up in Round 5. Cincinnati continues to pluck quality receivers out of the late frames.

George Iloka/S/Cincinnati/Pick No. 167 -- The Bengals will be mentioned as having one of the best draft's of 2012 and snatching falling talents such as Iloka is one of the reasons. Iloka combines linebacker size with defensive back athleticism to impose his will on receivers who come across the middle. He was third-round talent the Bengals scooped up in Round 6.

Bruce Irvin/LB/Seattle/Pick No. 15 -- Several teams considered draft Irvin in Round 1, yet any way you cut it, he was a reach in the middle of the frame. Irvin is a terrific athlete, yet a prospect who needs a lot of work before he'll be NFL ready.

David Wilson/RB/NY Giants/Pick No. 32 -- Wilson is an explosive ballcarrier who picks up big chunks of yardage from the line of scrimmage. He's not a physical ball carrier and has an undeveloped game. The Giants selected him at least a half round earlier than his talents warranted.

Brian Quick/WR/St Louis/Pick No. 33 -- Quick offers a lot of upside and could eventually develop into a second receiver for an NFL roster. Yet the first pick of Round 2 was much too early for his services, considering the other receivers still on the board.

Tavon Wilson/DB/New England/Pick No. 48 -- Few teams, if any, considered Wilson draftable, never mind assigning him a second-round grade. Wilson is a nice prospect, yet does not stand out in any single area.

Ronnie Hillman/RB/Denver/Pick No. 67 -- Hillman projects as a rotational runner at the next level, yet there were almost a half dozen higher rated ball carriers available when the Broncos selected him in the third round.

Josh LeRibus/G/Washington/Pick No. 71 -- LeRibus turned in a solid campaign last year after sitting on the sidelines in 2010. He's a bit one-dimensional and passing up Brandon Brooks in favor of LeRibus could haunt the Redskins.

Russell Wilson/QB/Seattle/Pick No. 75 -- The Seahawks made another questionable decision, tabbing Wilson in the third frame. Wilson is destined to sit behind newly-signed Matt Flynn and will struggle to see the field at any point over the next three years.

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)