Early impact from Round 1

Doug Martin, Morris Claiborne, Bruce Irvin among early-impact players

Originally Published: April 30, 2012
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider
Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin IIIGetty ImagesAndrew Luck and Robert Griffin III should have an immediate impact on their respective teams.

More Kiper NFL draft content:

Draft Grades | Impact players: Round 1 | Rounds 2 and 3 | Rounds 4-7

When doing the NFL draft grades every year, I try not to put too much emphasis on what kind of immediate impact a player will have. Impact isn't as based on player evaluation and has a lot more to do with personnel. Obviously, when teams fill big needs, you're likelier to see impact with those picks, and I make needs a part of the analysis. But maximizing value is key for me.

If the Colts had selected Andrew Luck with Peyton Manning set to be on the roster for one more year, the pick would still have been a good one, even if Luck didn't throw a pass in 2012.

Last year, 17 of the 32 first-round picks started or played in at least 15 games. There was major impact. Let's take a look at the first round and players I believe can have an early impact on their teams (I'll get to Rounds 2-3 and 4-7 over the next two days).

Offense

Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck


To see the other players Mel thinks could have an impact this year from Round 1, plus to get access to all of Insider's NFL coverage, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst