2012 NFL Mock Draft: Combine Freaks Who Will Power into Top 10

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Combine Freaks Who Will Power into Top 10
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With the college football season over, the NFL combine is next up for the prospects of the 2012 NFL draft.

And as we've seen every year in the NFL draft, there are always a handful of prospects who skyrocket up draft boards based on their measurables, such as speed, power and athleticism.

This year will be no different.

Here is my latest 2012 NFL mock draft, complete with combine freaks who will power into the Top 10 (in italics).

 

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Andrew Luck has everything you could want from a quarterback prospect: arm strength, accuracy, pocket poise, strong decision-making and mobility out of the pocket.

Colts owner Jim Irsay apparently believes the same, as he's expected to draft Luck No. 1 overall, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.

2. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, St. Louis Rams

Justin Blackmon has the strength and ability after the catch to be a difference-maker for young quarterback Sam Bradford, and he showed he can rise to the occasion in the Fiesta Bowl against Stanford.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder struggled this season, but he also needs more protection and time in the pocket.

Matt Kalil, one of the best offensive tackle prospects in years, would be a great addition on the line.

4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

Trent Richardson is certainly not the fastest running back in the class, but his acceleration, speed, strength and uncanny change of direction will also be measured at the combine.

Richardson will be one of the biggest combine freaks because of his combination of abilities, and he's looking like an elite prospect regardless.

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

Not only is Morris Claiborne a better cover cornerback than former teammate Patrick Peterson, he's lightning-quick and a strong player for his size, making him effective in press coverage and man-to-man down the sidelines.

Claiborne's speed will be highlighted at the combine, making him an even better prospect in the eyes of NFL scouts.

6. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

Robert Griffin III is not only possibly the fastest quarterback in the class, his arm strength, accuracy, pocket poise and improved decision-making make him an elite quarterback prospect.

Griffin has the speed to make a difference outside of the pocket, and the Redskins will recognize this at the combine as they try to find someone other than Rex Grossman and John Beck.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

Alshon Jeffery is not only physically imposing at 6'4", 229 pounds, he has good acceleration which helps him squeeze through holes in the defense or simply bounce off defenders.

Jeffery doesn't have elite speed, but he uses his size, strength and acceleration to instantly create separation.

Quarterback Blaine Gabbert would be delighted to have Jeffery as a weapon.

8. Carolina Panthers: Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina

A lot of people have Zach Brown out of the Top 10 at this point, which is hard for me to believe considering he's the most complete linebacker in the draft class.

Brown is good against the run, excellent in coverage and can also rush the passer. But, on top of this, he blazes down the field and is arguably the fastest outside linebacker in the class (FYI, he was a track star at North Carolina, too).

The Panthers would love to add a defensive playmaker who can help in a variety of areas.

9. Miami Dolphins: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

With Luck and Griffin off the board, the Dolphins would instead turn to the offensive line to give whoever is under center more protection.

Reiff has risen throughout the year due to his athleticism, strength and technique.

10. Buffalo Bills: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama

The Bills desperately need a pass-rusher off the edge and Courtney Upshaw—with his strength, burst and athleticism—would be the perfect fit. Love this kid's swim move, by the way.

11. Kansas City Chiefs: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

Jonathan Martin is an elite run-blocker, and his tenacity and athleticism will allow him to compete in the NFL while he gets his pass-blocking ironed out. He has shown that defenders can get around him at times on the edge.

Martin would spell Barry Richardson in KC.

12. Seattle Seahawks: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC

Nick Perry's strength, power and length allowed him to collect 9.5 sacks for USC this season. Some believe he's a better outside linebacker prospect than Upshaw.

The Seahawks need an edge rusher, whether it be at defensive end or outside linebacker, and Perry has the versatility to be both.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia

Levi Brown needs to be replaced in Arizona, and Cordy Glenn has the athleticism, strength and frame to be a starting offensive tackle in the NFL.

14. Dallas Cowboys: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

The Cowboys need help in their secondary, and Dre Kirkpatrick has the strength, physicality and ability against the run to be a complete cornerback in the NFL.

Kirkpatrick's performance in the BCS Championship Game drew rave reviews and will be hard to ignore for NFL teams.

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Michael Floyd isn't the fastest receiver, but his burst, strength and leaping ability should make him a great addition for the Eagles, who are likely done with enigmatic receiver DeSean Jackson.

16. New York Jets: Mark Barron, S, Alabama

It's hard to tell if Jim Leonhard will come back completely healthy next season. Regardless, the Jets need to find their safety of the future and Mark Barron has the athleticism, instincts and big-play ability to be a legitimate first-rounder.

17. Cincinnati Bengals (via OAK): Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (FL)

I love Miller's game. He's quick, explosive, has good vision and is a dual-threat as a receiver out of the backfield.

Miller will greatly help out the Bengals' passing game and he's a legit replacement for Cedric Benson down the line.

18. Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

Melvin Ingram's combination of strength, speed and versatility make him a future starter at defensive end or outside linebacker, and the Chargers have been looking for a dynamic pass-rusher at OLB for years.

19. Chicago Bears: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

Mike Adams has strong technique and has great length and athleticism. He's shot up draft boards this season and he would spell J'Marcus Webb in Chicago.

20. Tennessee Titans: David DeCastro, G, Stanford

David DeCastro doesn't have great athleticism, but he has everything else, including solid footwork, technique and the frame to project well at the next level.

He also has a vital component of every shutdown offensive lineman: a mean streak.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

A tough, strong, physical player, Stephon Gilmore also has the instincts that will allow him to close in on his targets quickly and precisely.

Gilmore would line up opposite Leon Hall in Cincinnati and potentially create a dynamic combo.

22. Cleveland Browns (via ATL): Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

Kendall Wright has elite speed, which should make him a favorite at the NFL combine. Beyond that, however, he has the fluidity and burst to gain separation in a hurry.

Combine that with Wright's competitive drive and you have a player quarterback Colt McCoy is going to love.

23. Detroit Lions: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

Alfonzo Dennard's height is not ideal for the NFL, but he makes up for it with outstanding strength and leaping ability. There is also very little wasted movement when he changes direction.

The Lions need help in the secondary after they were exposed by the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis

Dontari Poe's size and strength project him as a difference-maker at the nose tackle position in the NFL.

The Steelers need a replacement for 34-year-old Casey Hampton and Poe would help free up blockers for the Steelers' defense.

25. Denver Broncos: Devon Still, DE/DT, Penn State

Devon Still's combination of strength and burst projects him as a first-round defensive tackle, and the Broncos need help against the run in the interior, as well as someone who can free up blockers for their emerging young defense.

26. New York Giants: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

Despite being undersized for a middle linebacker, Luke Kuechly has outstanding instincts and tackling ability, which should help him make up for his lack of size.

The Giants need help stuffing the run and Kuechly would be a nice piece that could create problems for opposing offenses.

27. Houston Texans: Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

The Texans had trouble scoring a lot of points with star receiver Andre Johnson ailing this season, and that is in part to do with their lack of receiving options beyond him.

Mohamed Sanu's height, strength, fearlessness and competitive nature projects him to surprise in the NFL, which should only make the Texans' overall offense even better.

28. San Francisco 49ers: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

With Sanu taken, I expect the 49ers to address their secondary and add depth with one of the most talented cornerbacks in the class, Janoris Jenkins.

Jenkins certainly comes with character concerns, but if he stay focused under rising head coach Jim Harbaugh, he has the speed, toughness, cover skills and ball skills that could make him a star on the 49ers' dominant defense.

29. Baltimore Ravens: Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State

Vontaze Burfict has all the measurables to be an elite linebacker in the NFL, including strength and range, but he needs to keep the personal fouls under control. He's a violent player, which can get him into trouble sometimes.

Alongside Ray Lewis, he'll learn from one of the best and potentially succeed the future Hall of Famer.

30. New England Patriots (via NO): Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama

Dont'a Hightower has the speed and strength to be an inside or outside linebacker.

In this case, I expect the Patriots to shift to a 3-4 in the offseason and use him as an outside linebacker, where he should have no problem competing right away after being part of Alabama's championship squad this season.

31. New England Patriots: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

With Dan Koppen 32 years old and coming off a fractured ankle, it's imperative for the Patriots to find the next protector of Tom Brady.

Konz has great strength and is rarely caught off guard as a pass-blocker or a run-blocker. He's a complete center and should do just fine in the NFL.

32. Green Bay Packers: Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska

Jared Crick is not the most athletic player, but he makes up for it with a non-stop motor, strength and quick hands, similar to J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans.

The Packers have a clear need at defensive end, and a hard-worker like Crick would be a standout addition to the line.

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