Yesterday was a horrible day for the top of the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
But it’s not like the news had been that good otherwise for the players at the top of that selection meeting.
With the benching of second-overall pick Robert Griffin III in Washington and the release of former Browns No. 3 overall pick Trent Richardson in Oakland, the fate of that draft drew new attention.
But looking back at the top 10, Griffin and Richardson were far from the only mistakes.
The Colts again stumbled into the right call, having Andrew Luck fall into their laps with the first pick the way Peyton Manning did in 1998.
But after that, the draft was a bit of a mess.
The fourth pick was underwhelming Vikings tackle Matt Kalil, but he’s at least still employed. The same can’t be said for No. 5 Justin Blackmon, still suspended for multiple substance abuse violations, with the Jaguars not expecting to ever get anything from him.
The Cowboys moved all the way up to No. 6 to take cornerback Morris Claiborne, and he’s only playing a significant role now because of the injury to Orlando Scandrick.
The seventh pick, safety Mark Barron, has already been moved once. The Buccaneers traded him to the Rams for fourth- and sixth-round picks, cutting bait on a guy who never seemed to quite fit what they were trying to do.
Things turned up after that, with the Dolphins, Panthers and Bills finding cornerstone pieces in quarterback Ryan Tannehill, linebacker Luke Kuechly and cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
But the misses on what should have been can’t-miss picks above them are glaring, and yesterday’s moves only underscored how much of a guessing game the draft can truly be.