Draft countdown: Pick No. 12

Posted April 16, 2011 @ 1:30 p.m.
Posted By Alex Mayster

Overview: The 12th pick in the draft has been mostly hit or miss over the past decade. It has produced stars such as Bears QB Jay Cutler and Saints MLB Jonathan Vilma, as well as some busts who are no longer in the league. PFW found a healthy mix of talented athletes and disappointing players have been chosen with the No. 12 pick, held by the Vikings this year, over the past 10 years:

2010: Chargers select Fresno State RB Ryan Mathews
Mathews didn't make the type of impact many expected of him during his rookie campaign, but he did show signs that he can be a productive back in the NFL. Mathews finished with 678 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games.

2009: Broncos select Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno
Moreno fell just short of the 1.000-yard mark his first year in the NFL, finishing with 947 rushing yards. Health issues got in the way last season, but Moreno finished strong and completed the season with a 4.3-yard rushing average.

2008: Broncos select Boise State OT Ryan Clady
The Broncos found the cornerstone left tackle every team is looking for when they drafted Clady in 2008. The 6-6, 325-pounder hasn't missed a start in his NFL career and was an All-Pro in '09.

2007: Bills select California RB Marshawn Lynch
Lynch rushed for more than 1,000 yards each of his first two seasons in the league, but hasn't been the same player since. He had some off-field issues in Buffalo and was shipped to Seattle last season, where he rushed for 573 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games.

2006: Ravens select Oregon DT Haloti Ngata
Ngata has become one of the top defensive linemen in the NFL. The two-time Pro Bowler has the ability to collapse a pocket, plays hard on every snap and has the ability to take over a game.

2005: Chargers select Maryland OLB Shawne Merriman
Merriman made an immediate impact, recording 10 sacks as a rookie and 17 sacks the following year. However, nagging knee problems have prevented him from playing at the same level and he was eventually released by San Diego last season and picked up by the Bills.

2004: Jets select Miami (Fla.) MLB Jonathan Vilma
It didn't take long for Vilma to leave his mark. After making 105 tackles and being named Defensive Rookie of the Year in '04, Vilma led the league with 173 tackles in 2005. He has become one of the NFL's premier linebackers since moving to New Orleans via trade in March '08.

2003: Rams select Penn State DT Jimmy Kennedy
Kennedy has never been a star in the NFL while playing for four different teams throughout his pro career. His best season came with the Rams in '06 when he started every game and totaled 39 tackles and one sack.

2002: Cardinals select Wisconsin DT Wendell Bryant
Bryant lasted three years in the NFL. In a 29-game career that included nine starts, Bryant had 28 tackles and 1½ sacks. He tried out for the Bills in an attempted comeback in '09, but nothing ever came of it.

2001: Rams select Miami (Fla.) DT Damione Lewis
Lewis has never recorded more than 43 tackles in a season, but he has done enough to stick around the league for 10 NFL seasons. He has played for the Rams, Panthers and Texans in his career, compiling 23½ sacks.