In the wake of Andrew Luck’s shocking retirement on Saturday, people on social media were discussing the 2012 NFL Draft and how the top five selections have shaken out in the seven years since.
That draft class was very highly touted coming into the event and some pegged it as an all-time great draft class.
Luck was the best prospect of this class and in a re-draft, he’d be the top selection once again. When he was on the field, he was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL but injuries derailed his career and forced him in early retirement.
Griffin exploded on to the football scene in 2011 with his Heisman Trophy season and backed that up with a monster rookie season in 2012. Much like Luck, injuries hampered his potential and despite the chances to resurrect his career, Griffin has been limited to a backup role with the Ravens.
Trent Richardson was looked at as a can’t miss prospect when the Browns swapped picks with the Vikings to take him third overall. He had a productive rookie season in Cleveland before the Browns shipped him to Indianapolis early in the 2013 season. A lack of vision and burst as a running back limited Richardson from becoming a special running back and was out of the NFL by 2015. He made a resurgence in the short-lived AAF where he led the league with 12 touchdowns before operations were suspended.
Blackmon was the biggest disappointment of this draft class. After a productive college career at Oklahoma State, the Jacksonville Jaguars traded up to give Blaine Gabbert a go-to target in the passing game. A productive rookie season left Jaguars fans hopeful but Blackmon hasn’t seen the field or been heard of since 2013 due to troubles off the field and an indefinite suspension from the NFL.
Despite the lackluster top five, the draft still produced many talented players who are still making an impact across the NFL.
- Luke Kuechly, LB, Panthers (8th overall pick): Five-Time All-Pro, 2012 Defensive Rookie of the Year, 2013 Defensive Player of the Year
- Stephon Gilmore, CB, Patriots (10th overall pick by Bills): 2018 All-Pro, Super Bowl Champion
- Fletcher Cox, DT, Eagles (12th overall pick): Four-Time All-Pro, Super Bowl Champion
- Chandler Jones, LB, Cardinals (21st overall pick by Patriots): 2017 All-Pro, Super Bowl Champion, 77 career sacks
- Bobby Wagner, LB, Seahawks (47th overall pick): Five-Time All-Pro, Super Bowl Champion, 916 tackles
Not to mention the quarterbacks that weren’t first-round selections. In a draft that featured Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden as first-round selections, Russell Wilson and Nick Foles were third-round selections and led their teams to Super Bowl championships while Kirk Cousins was the Redskins fourth-round pick after selecting Griffin and he’s gone on to have a very productive career and was the first quarterback to secure a fully-guaranteed contract when he signed with Minnesota last season.