The 2012 NFL Playoffs are well underway, and as the postseason progresses and more underclassmen make the decision to declare for the NFL Draft the picture is becoming clearer both in regards to who will be choosing where this April and which players might be available to them.
With that in mind, here's an updated look at how the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft might shake out, beginning with the first pick everyone knows is coming and with a couple of hypothetical trades thrown in just to shake things up a bit.
THE PICK: Andrew Luck - QB, Stanford
It's certainly a possibility that the Indianapolis Colts will blow things up and deal quarterback Peyton Manning, using the picks and players obtained in a megadeal to address other areas of need.
However, the wiser course of action would be to let Andrew Luck acclimate to the NFL slowly ala Aaron Rodgers with the Green Bay Packers, learning to ply his trade in the NFL from a future Hall of Famer.
THE PICK (After Hypothetical Trade): Robert Griffin III - QB, Baylor
With quarterbacks Matt Barkley of USC and Landry Jones of Oklahoma returning to school and Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M nursing a foot injury the 2012 Draft has gone from deep at the quarterback position to wafer-thin.
The Washington Redskins are desperate for a franchise quarterback and owner Daniel Snyder isn't averse to overpaying, so the Redskins will make the draft's first big splash by making the Rams an offer they can't refuse in order to acquire the second overall selection and Heisman Trophy winner in Griffin.
THE PICK: Matt Kalil - OT, USC
The Vikings badly need to upgrade their secondary, but after allowing 49 sacks in 2011 Minnesota will find it impossible to pass on Kalil.
Kalil did not allow a sack last season at Southern Cal and would be a significant upgrade over Charlie Johnson at left tackle for the Vikings.
THE PICK: Justin Blackmon - WR, Oklahoma State
With the two top quarterbacks off the board the Browns will look to add a playmaker for whoever lines up under center in Cleveland next season.
With Blackmon, a two-time winner of the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver, the Browns could get the number one wideout they so badly need.
THE PICK: Morris Claiborne - CB, LSU
Aqib Talib can't stay out of trouble and Ronde Barber will be 37 in April, so the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could use some help at cornerback.
Look for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to bolster their 21st ranked pass defense by adding the draft's best shutdown corner in Morris Claiborne, who was the 2011 Thorpe Award winner.
THE PICK: Riley Reiff - OT, Iowa
The St. Louis Rams gamble in trading back in the draft would pay off here.
Not only would the Rams be able to acquire some extra picks in the deal with the Washington Redskins but they'd also able to address an offensive line that allowed the most sacks in the NFL in 2011 by adding one the top available tackles in the draft in Reiff, a first team All Big-10 performer as a senior
THE PICK: Dre Kirkpatrick - CB, Alabama
The Jacksonville Jaguars secondary was ravaged by injuries in 2011, and with top cornerback Rashean Mathis the wrong side of 30 the Jags will begin an overhaul at the position by adding Kirkpatrick, who was a second-team All American as a junior at Alabama.
THE PICK: Devon Still - DT, Penn State
The Carolina Panthers have a number of needs on the defensive side of the ball, including up front.
Devon Still would provide the Panthers with the versatility to play either tackle in the 4-3 or shift to defensive end should Carolina choose to continue featuring more 3-4 looks on defense.
THE PICK: Jonathan Martin - OT, Stanford
Despite the temptation to reach for a potential franchise quarterback the Miami Dolphins will go the safe and steady route, selecting the All Pac-12 tackle from Stanford to strengthen their offensive front.
Martin would be an immediate upgrade over veteran Marc Columbo, who struggled mightily in 2011.
THE PICK: Courtney Upshaw - DE/OLB, Alabama
The Buffalo Bills ranked 27th in sacks in 2011, making improving their pass rush a priority in the offseason.
Some may consider the BCS National Championship Game MVP a reach here, but the Bills have been known to think outside the box on draft day.
THE PICK: Quinton Coples - DE, North Carolina
Quinton Coples was something of a disappointment as a senior in Chapel Hill, but the 6'6" 285 pounder is a talented player who could provide a nice compliment to Chris Clemons on the defensive front in the Emerald City.
THE PICK (After Hypothetical Trade): Trent Richardson - RB, Alabama
Fresh off a playoff loss to the Houston Texans in which the Cincinnati Bengals were totally unable to move the ball on the ground the Bengals will make the second trade of the first round.
The Bengals will swap their two first-rounders with the Chiefs, moving up to acquire the rights to draft the best available ballcarrier in Trent Richardson.
THE PICK: Zach Brown - LB, North Carolina
The Arizona Cardinals got precious little production from their outside linebackers in 2011, and the Cardinals will address that hole in their roster by adding Brown, who racked up 91 tackles and 5.5 sacks last season for the Tar Heels.
THE PICK: David DeCastro - OG, Stanford
As badly as the Dallas Cowboys need help in the defensive backfield they also have serious concerns on the interior of their offensive line.
With the consensus All American easily being the best player available at this point DeCastro would be a no-brainer selection for Jerry's Boys here.
THE PICK: Luke Kuechly - LB, Boston College
Saying that the Philadelphia Eagles need linebacker help is kind of saying the economy could use a little boost.
Kuechly, who won the Butkus and Nagurski Awards in 2011 while tallying 191 tackles at Boston College, would be an obvious fit here.
THE PICK: Michael Floyd - WR, Notre Dame
As the fallout grows from wide receiver Santonio Holmes allegedly "quitting" on the New York Jets so does the chance that the Jets may have to move on from their top wideout, which would make choosing his potential replacement a priority.
If that is indeed the case the 6'3" Floyd, who caught 100 passes for the Fighting Irish in 2011, would be the leading candidate to fill that void.
THE PICK: Nick Perry - DE/OLB, USC
Tamba Hali is the only dependable pass rusher the Kansas City Chiefs have, so the Chiefs are in dire need of an upgrade in that area.
By using the first of two first round choices acquired in the trade with the Cincinnati Bengals to select the versatile Perry, who logged 9.5 sacks for the Trojans in 2011, Kansas City will get that upgrade.
THE PICK: Whitney Mercilus - DE/OLB, Illinois
No player other than Antwan Barnes had more than four sacks for the San Diego Chargers in 2011, so while there are some questions as to whether Mercilus was a "one year wonder" the Chargers will roll the dice on the Illinois standout, who led the nation with 16 sacks last year.
THE PICK: Alfonzo Dennard - CB, Nebraska
Starting cornerback Tim Jennings was benched late in the season and is a free agent, so if the Chicago Bears are looking to upgrade their secondary in the draft their best bet likely lies with the 5'10" Dennard, who lacks ideal size but displays solid technique against both the run and pass.
THE PICK: Melvin Ingram - DE, South Carolina
The Tennessee Titans managed only 28 sacks in 2011, which ranked 31st in the National Football League and makes improving in that a category a must if the Titans are going to take the "next step" next season.
Ingram, a Walter Camp All American after notching 9.5 sacks a year ago, would certainly be a step in the right direction in that regard and is a nice value for the Titans in this spot.
THE PICK: Peter Konz - C, Wisconsin
Starter Casey Wiegmann is 38 years old and the Chiefs don't have a whole lot of depth behind him.
Kansas City would be well served to look to the future at the center position with their second first round selection by choosing the All Big-10 standout for the Badgers.
THE PICK: Lamar Miller - RB, Miami (Fla.)
With Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill still on the board the Browns might give him a long look in this spot.
However, it's very possible that Peyton Hillis has played his last down in Cleveland, so the Browns will continue their offensive overhaul by choosing Miller, who possesses an intriguing blend of power and explosiveness and could serve as the Browns tailback of the future.
THE PICK: Janoris Jenkins - CB, North Alabama
Choosing Jenkins here would be a risk for a Detroit Lions squad that already has discipline issues given his character concerns.
However if he can keep his head on straight Jenkins, who might have been a top 10 pick before his dismissal from the University of Florida, would be a much-needed shot in the arm for a Detroit secondary that was the Achilles' heel of their defense in 2011.
THE PICK: Dontari Poe - DT, Memphis
Starter Casey Hampton is 34 years old and looking at surgery after injuring his knee in the Pittsburgh Steelers playoff loss to the Denver Broncos.
Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe is a 350 pound beefeater cut from the same cloth as Hampton that could be the future at the nose tackle position for the Steelers.
THE PICK: Mark Barron - S, Alabama
The Denver Broncos have a glaring need at safety with it very possible that Brian Dawkins will never play again due to a neck injury.
Consensus All American Mark Barron would be an immediate upgrade at strong safety, a solid value late in the first round, and he continues the first round parade of former Crimson Tide stars to the NFL.
THE PICK: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Linebacker may be the New York Giants biggest position of need on defense, but it's also easier to address in free agency with such players as Barrett Ruud of the Tennessee Titans likely to hit the open market.
That would free up the G-Men to grab the best player available to address another need in their secondary, and in this case that would be the 2011 Hornung Award finalist from South Carolina.
THE PICK: Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
DeMeco Ryans seems ill-suited to play inside linebacker in Wade Phillips' 3-4 defense in Houston.
Not only would Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Dont'a Hightower be a ridiculous value this late in the first round but the consensus All American and Brian Cushing could form the foundation of a formidable defense in Houston for years to come.
THE PICK: Alshon Jeffery - WR, South Carolina
Usually this is where you would see the Patriots trade down and stockpile picks like a squirrel stockpiles acorns.
THE PICK: Vontaze Burfict - LB, Arizona State
Ray Lewis is still playing at a high level in the middle of the Baltimore Ravens defense, but the fact remains that Lewis will be 37 years old when the 2012 season begins.
Burfict was a million dollar talent with a ten cent head while at Arizona State, but with the likes of Lewis and fellow former Sun Devil Terrell Suggs to keep him in line Burfict could be the steal of the first round if he plays to his potential.
THE PICK: Kendall Wright - WR, Baylor
It's possible that the 49ers could look to add some offensive line depth here, as there are a number of qualified candidates available at this point.
However, the Braylon Edwards experiment in San Francisco was an utter failure and the 49ers offense could use a vertical threat.
That's a role that the speedster from Baylor would likely fill quite nicely.
THE PICK: Chase Minnifield - CB, Virginia
To say that the New England pass defense struggled in 2011 would be akin to saying that the Grand Canyon is a large hole. It's technically correct, but the description doesn't really do it justice.
Chase Minnifield was the 2011 Pop Warner National College Football Award Winner and has good speed and decent size at 6'0", 185 pounds.
Minnifield also carries with him quite the football pedigree, as his father Frank was a Pro Bowl cornerback with the Cleveland Browns in the 1980s.
THE PICK: Cordy Glenn - OG, Georgia
The Packers are a loaded roster picking at the back end of the round, so for them this pick is as much about choosing the best player available as it is filling a need.
Running back might also be a consideration here, but with Glenn the Packers get a bit of the best of both worlds.
Not only is the All-SEC guard arguably the best player left on the board, but Glenn would also immediately bolster the interior of a Green Bay offensive line that struggled at times this season.