Rob Long: The ‘Experts’ Aren’t Always Right, Look At The 2012 Draft

I took a look at the 2012 National Football League Draft. Then, I went to some of the websites to see what the experts had to say. Sites do their “winners and losers” of the NFL Draft. You’d think five seasons removed from the draft would be enough time to judge right?

The Washington Redskins were called winners by several experts for drafting Robert Griffin III. RGIII was called the “franchise quarterback that the Washington Redskins needed.” Another site called Kirk Cousins a loser in the draft because he was drafted by the Redskins and had no chance of starting for the team.

Fast forward to 2017…Cousins has been a solid starter for the team and Griffin, after a Rookie of the Year season, is now entering the “bust” zip code.

I read Brandon Weeden was a winner of the draft because he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns and while they have a quarterback, Colt McCoy, Weeden had a solid chance to earn a job with the team. While McCoy didn’t pan out, neither did Weeden. He had a shot a few years later with the Dallas Cowboys and did not get it done there either.

The San Diego Chargers were considered to be winners after the 2012 draft. They selected Melvin Ingram, Kendall Reyes and Brandon Taylor in the first three rounds and they’ve had three losing seasons since 2012. That draft did not have a positive impact on the franchise so not a winner.

In 2012 the talk among the experts was that the Seattle Seahawks were losers for the 2012 draft because of Bobby Wagner, Bruce Irvin and Russell Wilson. In fact, one site compared Irvin to former draft bust Aaron Maybin. Wagner has been solid in Seattle, Irvin was successful with the Seahawks and now he’s in Oakland and Wilson has started since his rookie year.

My point is, the NFL Draft is tough to evaluate before these young men even play.

I wanted the Baltimore Ravens to draft an offensive stud. They did not. That’s disappointing but can I call it a bad draft? No, I cannot do that. If the draft produces productive starters on the defensive side of the ball, it was successful.

If the offense continues to struggle in 2017, they’ll go into the 2018 draft with the same needs. That’s my opinion. Doesn’t mean it’s right.

There are three words in my business that elude people. “I DON’T KNOW.” It seems we reach to give answers even when there is no way of knowing the real answer. It’s okay to say the wrong thing and act as if you did not say it later on. Was the 2017 draft good for the Baltimore Ravens? I don’t know. I scratched my head after the Marlon Humphrey pick in the first round.

The Alabama corner back was not who I saw them taking in the first round. It did not seem to be a pick a team that missed the playoffs would make. O.J. Howard was sitting there and he seemed to be a lock. The Ravens passed and I was disappointed.

Now, the Baltimore Ravens have made a statement that defense was important to them. Will that work? I don’t know, I can only hope. Will it help them win immediately? I don’t think so, but I don’t know. I can’t even say I have the utmost confidence in the people making the decisions because they haven’t made good ones lately. I can just sit back and see how this draft will impact this franchise.

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