Perhaps the only thing more impressive about the NFL draft than the amount of time it takes to complete all seven rounds is the amount of grades produced in the aftermath of each selection. The draft’s winners and losers are decided before any pick plays a down of professional football.
For all the immediate evaluation that is done, it is impossible to fairly assess a draft class without data and the gift of time. Starting with 2010, 110 Sports is going back and grading every NFL draft of the past decade on a team-by-team basis.
These grades are based first and foremost on production. Other factors were taken into consideration, but the primary goal is figuring out how successful teams were at identifying talent.
We wrap up the 2012 NFL Draft re-grade with the NFC West.
*All stats courtesy of pro-football-reference.com and accurate through the end of the 2019 season.
Picks: WR Michael Floyd (13th overall), DB Jamell Fleming (80), OT Bobby Massie (112), OG Senio Kelemete (151), DB Justin Bethel (177), QB Ryan Lindley (185), OT Nate Potter (221)
Best pick: Bobby Massie
The seven-year veteran has twice as many starts (102) as anyone else in this group. In 2012, 2014 and 2018, he played every snap of every regular season game. Last season marked the first time since 2013 Massie was not on the field for more than 900 offensive snaps. He has made at least 10 starts each of the last six years.
Worst pick: Jamell Fleming
Fleming made three starts and played in 15 games for Arizona as a rookie. The team released him after Week 1 of the 2013 season. Fleming spent another three seasons with the Jaguars, Ravens and Chiefs, never making it onto Baltimore’s active roster. He played in 46 games in his career, including all 16 contests in 2015, which would be his final season.
Floyd put up three seasons with at least 800 yards and five touchdowns before his production decreased dramatically. He finished his 102-game career with just under 4,000 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns. Bethel has 126 appearances in eight seasons as a special teamer. The other player who was active last season is Kelemete, who’s made 37 starts as a rotational piece on the offensive line. It’s a solid class hurt by the first two picks underperforming.
Los Angeles Rams (then the St. Louis Rams)
Picks: DT Michael Brockers (14), WR Brian Quick (33), DB Janoris Jenkins (39), RB Isaiah Pead (50), DB Trumaine Johnson (65), WR Chris Givens (96), OG Rokevious Watkins (150), K Greg Zuerlein (171), LB Aaron Brown (209), RB Daryl Richardson (252)
Best pick: Jenoris Jenkins
Since 2012, one defensive player has scored more touchdowns (8) than anyone else. His name? You guessed it, Jenoris Jenkins. Half of those came in the 15 games he played as a rookie. Jenkins — who made the Pro Bowl in 2016 — is also tied for fifth in interceptions over the last eight seasons. He has recorded more than 60 tackles five times and started 112 of the 115 games he’s appeared in.
Worst pick: Isaiah Pead
The only year Pead did not see the field multiple times in his five-year career was 2014, when he tore his ACL in a preseason game. He averaged less than one rushing attempt (27) per appearance (30) though. Pead’s best season was his rookie campaign. He played in 15 games and rushed for 54 yards. Pead accumulated exactly 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in his career. Is that not the most obscure fun fact you’ve ever heard?
The combined career numbers for Brockers, Jenkins and Johnson are as follows: 340 games played, 310 starts, 46 interceptions and 25 sacks. Zuerlein went 38-for-40 on field goals and was named a First Team All-Pro for his efforts in 2017. He has appeared in 119 contests. Quick and Givens both ended their careers with over 100 catches and 1,500 receiving yards. The only knock on the class is that it doesn’t blow you away for five picks in the top 50 and six in the top 100.
San Francisco 49ers
Picks: WR A.J. Jenkins (30), RB LaMichael James (61), OG Joe Looney (117), LB Darius Fleming (165), DB Trent Robinson (180), OT Jason Slowey (199), DE Cam Johnson (237)
Best pick: Joe Looney
Looney started more games in 2018 than any other player taken by San Francisco has started in their career. He was on the field for all 1,076 of the Cowboys’ offensive snaps that season. No one comes close to matching his longevity or productivity. Looney appeared in every game last season while the others haven’t played since at least 2016.
Worst pick: A.J. Jenkins
Jenkins was a healthy scratch 13 times during his rookie season and dropped the only pass that was thrown to him. The 49ers traded him to Kansas City for Jonathan Baldwin in an exchange of first-round wideouts. He appeared in every game in 2013 and caught eight passes for 130 yards. Jenkins played in another nine games the following season before getting released. He was with the Cowboys for the 2015 preseason but failed to make the team.
Jenkins was in the NFL for all of three seasons and second-rounder James played 10 fewer games than he did. Looney is the only one with more than 38 appearances or nine starts and he’s only started more than six games once. San Francisco drafted offensive skill position players in the first two rounds and neither of them scored a touchdown in the NFL. Yikes.
Picks: LB/DE Bruce Irvin (15), LB Bobby Wagner (47), QB Russell Wilson (75), RB Robert Turbin (106), DT Jaye Howard (114), LB Korey Toomer (154), DB Jeremy Lane (172), DB Winston Guy (181), OG J.R. Sweezy (225), DE Greg Scruggs (232)
Best pick: Russell Wilson
The Seahawks have finished over .500 all eight seasons Wilson’s been in the NFL and he’s started every one of those games. They have won at least 10 games every year except 2017, which is when Wilson led the NFL with 34 touchdown passes. He has never thrown more than 11 interceptions in a season. For comparison, Tom Brady once had six straight seasons with at least 12 picks. The six Pro Bowls and two Super Bowl appearances help Wilson’s cause too.
Worst pick: Robert Turbin
It’s grossly unfair that the eight-year veteran taken in the fourth round is even in this discussion but here we are. Turbin has not rushed for more than 350 yards in a season since 2012. The only year he found the end zone more than twice — including receiving touchdowns — was 2016. Howard, Toomer and Lane have four times as many starts as Turbin.
Two probable Hall of Famers, a guy with 90 starts and 52 sacks, an offensive lineman with 104 career appearances and 94 starts and five other players who have played in more than 35 games. That list includes everyone Seattle drafted except for Scruggs. Even he played in 18 games over five seasons. This has to be the greatest three-year stretch of drafts by a team in the history of sports.
Click here to see the entire draft grades series.
Photo by WEBN-TV / Flickr