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Insider

First-round reaches, steals and winners

4/27/2012

Adam Schefter answers reader questions in his mailbag twice a week. Got a query of your own? Submit it here.


Q: Wow, what a Round 1 of the 2012 NFL draft. What do you think was the biggest surprise of the round?

-- Jeff (New York)

A: Easy, Jeff, Bruce Irvin going to Seattle. A few things about this. Some teams such as Seattle thought he was the best pass-rusher in the draft and loved him. But plenty were scared off, too. Irvin overcame so much to get to where he is, and he deserves a ton of credit. But he also has a background that led some teams to say he had a bust factor about him. And so this pick will be a home run or a strikeout. Seattle is convinced it will be a home run. But the Seahawks now have pulled off the most shocking first-round pick in two straight years: James Carpenter last year, Bruce Irvin this year.


Q: Adam, it seemed to me like the clear winners of Round 1 were the Minnesota Vikings and the New England Patriots. Do you think any other teams deserved the "winner" label?

-- Carly (California)

A: Those two teams did a great job jumping around the board, Carly, as did others such as Tampa Bay. Minnesota was able to get three picks back from Cleveland when no other team was willing to trade up to No. 3. Cleveland believes Tampa Bay would have traded up to No. 3, but it wasn't going to. The Bucs always were determined to trade back. Cleveland did what it had to do to procure the player it wanted. But Minnesota was a first-day winner because of it, getting Matt Kalil and three extra picks. New England had Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower as top players on their board, and the Patriots got both. Now New England is down to only two picks left in this draft, both Friday, but the Pats added two defensive starters. How many teams can say that?


Q: I thought the Kansas City Chiefs taking Dontari Poe seemed a little risky. They already have a bust similar to Poe in Tyson Jackson. What other moves seemed risky to you?

-- Trisha (Nebraska)

A: Trisha: All picks have risk, and so often the "experts" sit back and grade picks and drafts, but who knows until next season? So many times picks that have been panned shine, and picks that have been applauded crash. Not sure whether Poe will go boom or bust, but I think Kansas City would have felt a lot more at ease if Luke Kuechly and Mark Barron hadn't flown off the board as quickly as they did.


Q: Once again, Mel Kiper thinks the Seattle Seahawks reached and I have to agree with him. Isn't No. 15 way too high for Bruce Irvin? Was this the worst move of Round 1?

-- Quincy (Washington)

A: Quincy, as noted above, that was the most surprising move. I can tell you some teams loved him. If it makes you feel any better, he likely would have been the Jets' pick in Round 2, and San Francisco might have considered him in Round 1. So he had some big-time support. But he also comes with big-time questions.


Q: My Cleveland Browns seemed to have blown this golden opportunity. I like Trent Richardson, but why take Brandon Weeden at 22? Wouldn't he be there in the early second round? We need a WR!

-- Harry (Ohio)

A: Well, Harry, the grand plan was to take Kendall Wright at 22, but the Tennessee Titans grabbed him at 20, and so Cleveland wound up taking Weeden a bit earlier than it expected or hoped. And it did it on a day when the Browns told Colt McCoy that they wouldn't take a quarterback in Round 1. So much for that. The interesting part is the Browns didn't need to trade up for Richardson and they could have used those picks to trade up for Wright. But the truth of the matter is, if Richardson and Weeden work out and become the players Cleveland expects, all will work out well. If not, Browns fans will be even unhappier.