2012 NFL Draft Picks By Team: Browns
Not too surprisingly, Alabama did not lose a step despite the departure of Mark Ingram to the NFL. Everyone already knew that Richardson was the real deal. Even playing behind Ingram, Richardson had 751 yards and eight touchdowns on 145 carries as a freshman and he went for 700 yards and six scores on 112 carries as a sophomore.
Finally the feature back in Tuscaloosa as a junior, Richardson rushed 283 times for 1679 yards (5.9 average) and 21 touchdowns as he led the Crimson Tide to the National Championship. A decent receiver out of the backfield (although he can improve in that department and his hands could get better), the Pensacola, FL native also made 29 receptions for 338 yards and three more scores. He had 68 receptions for his career.
Richardson stands at just 5'11'', but he is a load to bring down at 224 pounds (not entirely unlike Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jaguars, although obviously not quite that short). He generally runs around a 4.50 in the 40-yard dash and has been clocked as fast as 4.42 from that distance. He did not run at the combine due to minor knee surgery, but hopefully that won't detract any suitors. Richardson has especially impressive breakaway spee... [Read More
Brandon Weeden is 28 years old, but that's not to say he has no future in the NFL. In fact, Weeden has a good chance of being the fourth quarterback taken in the draft behind the trio of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin and Ryan Tannehill.
As the leader of Oklahoma State's dynamic offense, he'll need to transition from a spread offense to a pro-style offense. Weeden can make all the big throws, but sometimes requires a lot of space to set his feet, wind up and deliver the football. He displays a solid pocket awareness in being able to slide laterally and make the pass. Accuracy is not an issue; he shows nice touch on short and intermediate routes. Weeden does well to keep his eyes moving through progressions and not locking onto where he wants to throw the ball.
Like many other college QBs, he will have to learn to deal with pressure up the middle by staying patient with his feet and make good throws with a shorter delivery. Weeden's mobility is limited and he is average at throwing the ball when on the move.... [Read More
Cal offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz was a four-year starter with the Golden Bears. He's a tall prospect with good length and ideal frame. Like most players entering the draft, his strengths come as a run blocker.
Schwartz is clean and smooth getting out of his three point stance. He can slide down the line in zone blocking schemes and shows a nice coordination in his feet. Lacks a natural bend and will have to worry about shorter defenders getting underneath his pad level. When getting up into the second level, he is easily thrown off balance. Plays tough until the whistle and is always looking to finish his man every play. Great competitor.
Pass blocking inconsistencies keep Schwartz from being a first or second round player. He may develop into a left tackle later in his career, he's a project that will need to be groomed at the right spot. His fundamentals aren't there yet. He plays upright which makes him susceptible to bull rushers or pushed out of the play. A lot of these small details can be ironed out through coaching, but these tweaks take time and repetition. He's athletic enough to get out to seal the edge against speed rushers though.
Looking forward, Schwa... [Read More
Cincinnati Bearcats defensive tackle John Hughes excels as a run defender and has limited upside as a interior pass rusher. Hughes plays with a very nice pad level that helps him overtake ground in the trenches and gain position.
When double-teamed, he can hold his ground and not get pancaked. Doesn't have very long arms, but uses leverage to his advantage at all times. Plays a very cerebral game from play to play. Hughes plays with a chip on his shoulder and would be an ideal fit in rotation that only keeps him on the field on first down and other run situations.
If he adds bulk to his lower half, he could improve his explosion off the line which is inconsistent at times. Cleveland needed help for its run defense and Hughes is a smart fit in that regard. The only issue is if they expect him to contribute on all three downs, which is asking a lot of him since he's not ready for that role just yet.
Hughes is a depth addition for now. He will fill in for Phil Taylor or Ahtyba Rubin when either player needs a break.... [Read More
James-Michael Johnson is an undersized inside linebacker with a stocky, well-built frame. Has a great knack for generating positive contact. He takes guys on and explodes into them trying to outwork them. As a tackler, he's not perfect in his technique, but he looks to bring the thump. Opens up his arms, wraps and brings them down. Johnson has average arm length, yet he does well to initiate contact with his hands and does okay to place them.
Like a running back, he makes himself skinny when blitzing through creases in the line. He's not the type to take a blocker one on one if he doesn't need to and he's looking to penetrate the play with a decent short area burst.
Still needs work in coverage. He has some extra motion in his feet and can get caught taking a step and give up separation. Average ball skills. Irregular pad level causes poor change of direction quickness; although he is quick and instinctive, so after being coached up, coverage could become "plus."
Johnson has good pursuit angles and has active hands to pry for the ball. Consistently gets a jump on ball carrier.... [Read More
Ryan Miller was a highly-touted five-star recruit when he began his collegiate career at Colorado. Unfortunately, he was never able to live up to those expectations (although he was good, but never great).
His frame is built for offensive tackle, although he mostly played guard for the Buffaloes. Since he is so tall, he does well to keep his pads down but it is very tough for him to get leverage. Miller can be bull-rushed versus the pass and does well to hold his ground versus the run. He shows a nice mean streak, uses his hands well in tight spaces, and sometimes can push defenders back off the line. For his size, he moves well in open spaces and can pull the line. In the end, his time at guard may benefit him in the long term. Miller feels like a natural fit at right tackle.
His limitations are more pronounced when pass-blocking. Miller has long arms, but doesn't have a great punch to move defenders. He slides nicely with above-average footwork. Although, he needs to improve using his hands to dictate the action and keep defenders engaged at the point of attack. A sub-par Senior Bowl performance really hurt his draft stock in January and he will need a strong combine to car... [Read More
The Texas Longhorns have been putting defenders in the NFL for years and they'll continue that long tradition with linebacker Emmanuel Acho. His potential scheme versatility can push him higher on draft boards, but he lacks the ideal size and athleticism to demand higher consideration.
With a long frame, it looks as though Acho could still be growing into his body. Defenses that like to have their linebackers sit back in zone coverage will greatly appreciate his ability to tackle in open spaces and flow to the ball with ease. Acho doesn't have great speed, but he takes good angles, makes good decisions and is sound in his assignments. Moving forward, he's going to need to bulk up, especially if he wants to play inside.
When blitzing, his long arms help him fend off blockers well and create leverage. Since NFL offenses are working the middle of the field more often due to the league's rule changes, Acho's coverage skills make him an ideal strong-side linebacker who can also be used as a blitzer.... [Read More
Boise State Broncos defensive end Billy Winn should be one of the top prospects out of the Mountain West conference this year. Boise has been putting some athletes in the NFL in 2011 with receivers Titus Young and Austin Pettis and now they'll prove the Broncos can play some defense as well.
Winn looks to be a versatile defensive end prospect who can play anywhere except nose tackle. He's a very good three-technique with more than enough athleticism to seal the edge or rush that inside shoulder of the opposing guard. His quickness and burst at the snap can be very disruptive on run plays. This short range quickness allows him to get in the backfield on occasion.
With some adjustments, he could prove to be an effective nose tackle, but he is undersized for that position. While Winn is very strong in his lower half, he just doesn't have that elite upper body strength necessary to handle double teams on a regular basis. Outside of that, he does his best when he can initiate contact with his hands before the blocker can. When bull-rushing, he has to be able to stay inside his frame and drive through his body since he sometimes gets caught reaching and pushed out of the play.... [Read More
Smelley projects as a fullback at the next level after playing h-back for Alabama. He was used sparingly aside from blocking during his first three seasons in Tuscaloosa. In that time frame he caught 20 passes for 203 yards. As a senior starter in 2011, Smelley made 34 catches for 356 yards and four touchdowns as he helped the Crimson Tide win the BCS National Championship. He was also instrumental in blocking for Trent Richardson, who was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
The Tuscaloosa, AL native has good size at 6'2'' and 229 pounds. He is not going to overpower anyone, either running the ball or blocking for tailbacks. Still, Smelley is not afraid to get physical; he is a solid fundamental blocker. Smelley contributed on special teams (mainly kick coverage) throughout all four years of his college career and he can be expected to do the same in the NFL. His real value will come in making key catches out of the backfield in crucial short-yardage situations. Smelley does a great job of blocking and then freeing himself up in the open field like a tight end, and he has reliable hands. As a result, he should get drafted in April; expect it to be in the sixth or seventh round.... [Read More