How Good Is The 12th Pick?

by Joe on February 28, 2012

The Seahawks lost the coin toss with the Kansas City Chiefs a few days back and now have the 12th pick in the upcoming NFL draft. I don’t really think picking 11th or 12th will make that much difference especially since the Chiefs and Seahawks have different needs.

But how good is the 12th pick? What kind of players have come out of that draft slot? Well, I was curious so I did some looking at past drafts and here are the last 10 players taken with the #12 pick.

2002 – Wendell Bryant – Arizona Cardinals – Played 3 years, suspended for the 2005 season for substance abuse. 39 tackles and 1.5 sacks for his career.

2003 – Jimmy Kennedy – St. Louis Rams – 129 tackles, 8.5 sacks in 9 years. Suspended 4 games for PEDs last season with the Giants.

2004 – Jonathan Vilma – New York Jets – 826 tackles, 11 INTs. Played with the Jets and Saints. 3 time Pro Bowl selection. AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

2005 – Shawne Merriman – San Diego Chargers – Worst sack dance ever, 44.5 sacks, suspended for steroids and never the same since.

2006 – Haloti Ngata – Baltimore Ravens – 311 tackles, 17 sacks in 6 seasons. Very good numbers for a D-tackle. By far the best #12 pick in the last decade.

2007 – Marshawn Lynch – Buffalo Bills – 4,502 yards, 35 TDs. Did OK in Buffalo but really didn’t break out until the playoff game against New Orleans.

2008 – Ryan Clady – Denver Broncos – 2 time Pro Bowl, 2 times All Pro. One of the best young left tackles in the game.

2009 – Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos – 1,905 yards in 3 years. Only 179 yards last year. Very disappointing.

2010 – Ryan Matthews – San Diego Chargers – Disappointing rookie year with only 678 yards but 1091 last year.

2011 – Christian Ponder – Minnesota Vikings – 1,853 yards, 13 TDs, 13 INTs in 11 games.

So out of that group you have Haloti Ngata who is a stud, Ryan Clady who is very good, Jonathan Vilma who has put together a nice career, a few good years by Shawne Merriman, some unknowns in Matthews and Ponder, and Marshawn Lynch who is very good but not great. You also have some big busts in Bryant, Kennedy, and Moreno.

The number 12 pick can produce some very good talent. Picking top 10 you really should expect whoever you draft to be a stud. You are pretty much guaranteed to get one of the top two players at any position but once you get past the top 10 you might get left with some bigger question marks. I fully expect whoever the Seahawks draft at #12 to be an opening day starter and be a big contributor but it is the part of the first round where you get a few more question marks.

Assuming the Seahawks are looking for a pass rusher there is a good chance that Quinton Coples, Melvin Ingram, and Courtney Upshaw will all be off the board by #12. One of them could be left but if they are gone do we take a chance on the next D-end? Do we take Trent Richardson? It is always risky taking a RB early in the draft since there is so much talent that comes late at that position. There aren’t any QBs worth a #12 pick either.

I can’t wait to see what the Seahawks do with this pick and this is one of the reasons being a GM would be a very tough job.

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