One of the first columns I put up for this site was my 2011 NFL Draft Awards where I handed out awards to the good, bad & just plain crazy decisions of the NFL Draft. At the time I said I hoped it would be an annual thing and the big guys haven’t kicked me off the site just yet so here I am with my second attempt at grading the draft without actually seeing these players take the field. As was the case last year the awards have been split into team and individual categories so we have a bit of variety.
The Arsenal FC Award
To start off the awards, we have one that football fans will surely get. English Premier League team Arsenal are renowned for having several holes in their team (especially on the defensive end) and continually refusing to plug said hole because they don’t see it as a problem.
2012 Award: Atlanta Falcons
This team needed plenty of help all around the field but only really addressed the offensive line due to a lack of picks. Peter Konz is a great pick but he won’t be able to help the defense stop the Saints offense twice a year. The corner position was completely neglected and will likely be a position where they struggle if the makeup stays the same.
The Nicholas Cage Award
New Award for 2012
2012 Award: Buffalo Bills
Buffalo had the luxury of being in a great position thanks to making a splash in free agency and shoring up their front seven on defense. First round pick Stephon Gilmore will add another body as the Bills look to become the Patriots biggest divisional threat and having a skilled cover corner will certainly help while Cordy Glenn, a projected first rounder fell to them in the second.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Award
2011 Winner: Cam Newton – QB – Panthers
Leo started off his career featuring in some movies that could best be described as festering piles of horse excrement (see: The Beach, Titanic, Romeo and Juliet etc) before turning it around to show us what skills he really has. The winner of this award is being sent into a crappy situation but if they get the time to build something then we might just see how good they really are.
2012 Award: Andrew Luck – QB – Colts
This Colts team will struggle to not have a top 10 pick next April and may not be the AFC South powerhouse their fans are used to seeing for a while yet but under the guidance of Andrew Luck, the long term future of the Colts team looks bright. Having that stability at quarterback will mean the Colts have a set direction for their franchise and they will know who to build around and how best to do so. He may produce a few stinkers early on but eventually he will get his chance to come through in a starring role once everything is in place.
The George Lazenby Award
2011 Winner: James Carpenter – OL – Seahawks
James Bond fans know that George Lazenby is/was the least popular actor to play the super spy on the big screen in large part due to the surrounding company. By all accounts he was a decent actor but because of the role he was cast into, he will never be as popular as he could have been.
2012 Award: Ryan Tannehill – QB – Dolphins
I’ve already had my say about why Tannehill going 8th overall is a massive mistake, top 10 picks are usually expected to start straight away unless a clearly better option is already in place. Ryan Tannehill certainly has plenty of talent but that needs plenty of development and refining before he is ready to be an NFL starter. If he went even late first round he would be in a much better position but fans will always judge him as a top 10 pick. If he doesn’t come in and light up the league straight away then things could get very ugly for him on South Beach.
The Brian Griese Award
New Award in 2012
This award is named in honour of Brian Griese who had the unenviable task of replacing John Elway as the team’s franchise quarterback. It’s an unlucky situation to find yourself in and all I can say to the guy who is in that position is good luck!
2012 Award: Andrew Luck
Peyton Manning made the Colts who they are today thanks to being an all time great at the position and also for his neck injury meaning the Colts got the first overall pick in the draft. Manning has been moved on and we have a regime change in place in Indianapolis. Andrew Luck is the new top dog in town and not only does he have the tag of “top overall pick” attached to his name, he also has “Peyton Manning’s successor” to deal with too. Good luck with that luck, I actually think you will pull it off.
The Big Award
The Big Bang Theory Award (Previously The Social Network Award)
2011 Winner: Detroit Lions
This award goes to the team that had the best draft & is named after a movie or tv show that is among my favourites to watch at the time, this year it’s the Big Bang Theory.
2012 Award: St Louis Rams
St Louis had their name pencilled in before the commissioner even got to the podium for the first time thanks to their trade with the Redskins. Their great job of addressing need secured this award with the acquisition of a solid defensive tackle, a couple of good receivers and possibly the best cover corner in the draft. They can’t be as unlucky with injuries this year and are going to be a tough team to play against.