2012 NFL Mock Draft: Identifying the Biggest Risks in the First Round

Zach KruseSenior Analyst IJanuary 13, 2012

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 18:  Janoris Jenkins #1 of the Florida Gators fights to bring down Tauren Poole #28 of the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Florida won 31-17.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

In our 2012 NFL mock draft, we highlight the three riskiest prospects that are scheduled to go in the first round: 

1.  Indianapolis Colts—Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

2.  St. Louis Rams—Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

3.  Minnesota Vikings—Matt Kalil, OT, USC

4.  Cleveland Browns—Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

5.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers—Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

6.  Washington Redskins—Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

7.  Jacksonville Jaguars—Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa 

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 10: Michael Floyd #3 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish tries for extra yards after a second quarter reception over the tackle of Courtney Avery #5 of the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on September 10, 2010 in Ann Arbor,
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

8.  Carolina Panthers—Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

There are a couple of red flags currently on Floyd that could hurt his stock in April. The first is obviously the drunk driving ticket he received last summer. Teams are really going to dig into that violation at the combine.

However, Floyd also has to worry about past injury issues (injuries in each of his first three seasons) and a lack of top-end speed. While he is supremely talented, Floyd doesn't come without risks.   

9.  Miami Dolphins—Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

10.  Buffalo Bills—Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama

11.  Kansas City Chiefs—Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

12.  Seattle Seahawks—Devon Still, DT, Penn State

13.  Arizona Cardinals—Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford 

14.  Dallas Cowboys—Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

15.  Philadelphia Eagles—Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College 

16.  New York Jets—Ronnell Lewis, LB, Oklahoma

17.  Cincinnati Bengals—Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois

18.  San Diego Chargers—David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

19.  Chicago Bears—Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

Jenkins had his share of legal troubles at the University of Florida. A year away from the top level of college football has to be concerning, too. NFL teams will be grilling him come the combine about the former. Any more red flags could see Jenkins fall out of the first round. 

20.  Tennessee Titans—Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

21.  Cincinnati Bengals—Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

22.  Cleveland Browns—Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State  

23.  Detroit Lions—Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

24.  Pittsburgh Steelers—Cordy Glenn, OL, Georgia

25.  Denver Broncos—Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

26.  New York Giants—Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama

27.  Houston Texans—Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis

TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 09:  Linebacker Vontaze Burfict #7 of the Arizona State Sun Devils during the college football game against the Missouri Tigers at Sun Devil Stadium on September 9, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Tigers 37-30 in
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

28.  Baltimore Ravens—Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State

The size and talent that Burfict possesses is what every NFL GM wants in a middle linebacker, regardless of scheme. However, it's the lack of awareness upstairs that will get Burfict in trouble at the next level.

The film from him this season isn't exactly overwhelming enough to ignore some of the mental worries. He needs to land in a good situation to thrive.  

29.  New England Patriots—Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

30.  San Francisco 49ers—Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

31.  New England Patriots—Mark Barron, S, Alabama

32.  Green Bay Packers—Nick Perry, OLB, USC