The first round of the 2012 NFL Draft is tonight.  Let's look back at the 2011 NFL season before a new season begins.

I love the beginning of this video.  Drew Brees says, "The journey starts tonight."  This statement was made before a game last season.  It can also be applied to the first round of the NFL Draft tonight.  I preach on "The Noe Show" regularly that evaluating personnel is the name of the game in the NFL.  With a hard salary cap in place, teams cannot simply outbid each other for the best players.  They have to evaluate talent properly.

Watching this video is interesting for a couple of reasons.  It's a great recap of the 2011 season.  It's also fun to watch the video with the NFL Draft in mind.  The video starts off with Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte making a run.  He was a 2nd-round pick in 2008.  Drew Brees broke Dan Marino's single-season passing record.  Brees was a 2nd-round pick in 2001. 

The defending champion New York Giants built the nucleus of their team through the NFL Draft.  Some of the players featured in this video made key contributions in Super Bowl XLVI.  Eli Manning was the first overall pick in 2004 by the San Diego Chargers.  He was eventually traded for Philip Rivers and draft picks.  Jason Pierre-Paul was the 15th overall pick in 2010.  David Diehl was a 5th-round pick in 2003.  The Giants have done a great job of evaluating talent properly.  They've got some jewelry to prove it.

Brian Noe is the Program Director at 104.5 The Team, ESPN Radio in Albany, NY.  Brian also hosts “The Noe Show” each weekday from 1-3pm ET on WTMM.