Round 1: Winners and questions

Pittsburgh, Minnesota and New England had some of the best draft nights

Originally Published: April 27, 2012
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider
Matt KalilJerry Lai/US PresswireThe Vikings got their new left tackle and also hit a big need late in Round 1.

More Kiper NFL draft content:

Second-round mock | Round 1 winners and question marks | Best available on Day 2

NEW YORK -- There was a lot more to like than question throughout Round 1. As I've said before, the cost certainty surrounding these picks simply makes them all easier to trade, and I certainly expected some moves early on. What surprised me some was how many teams picked what I considered their biggest need. I think the ease of trading makes teams feel a little more nimble, and while you'll always hear them say, "He was the best player available" about their pick, it's clear teams believe they can get the best of both. They can move around, while also targeting the top names on their board.

The trading was wild -- and we certainly knew it would blow up the mock. (Can we really mock in this environment?) Overall, 27 of the 32 guys I had pegged as Round 1 picks yesterday landed there, and I'm a little surprised that Coby Fleener and Cordy Glenn are still around. Each year, I have a pool of about 40 guys who could easily be first-round picks, and there was really only one guy who was outside of that pool among first-rounders this year. With that said, let's take a look at some highlights. I made little comments on more teams in each section, as well.


Three I liked


Pittsburgh Steelers
The picks: David DeCastro at No. 24
Summary: Nothing sexy about this, but the value is off the charts. For instance, the first six guys on my Big Board make up the first six picks in the draft. Only two guys in my top 10 didn't get drafted in the top 10. Melvin Ingram fell to No. 18, and DeCastro falls all the way to No. 24. Again, nothing thrilling -- no nifty trade to swoop in and get top value, but look at the interior of that offensive line now. Maurkice Pouncey and DeCastro are both studs, and I had guard as a key need for Pittsburgh.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst