2012 NFL Draft: What Will the Teams with High Draft Picks Do?
The beginning of the draft is already set, so let's take a look at what we can expect to see on April 26th, the opening day for the draft.
Read on to see the first 10 picks.
1. Indianapolis Colts
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Robert Griffin III made a late push to be in the conversation to be drafted first, but there is still no real question—the Colts will make Stanford's Andrew Luck their franchise player on draft day.
Luck is arguably the best college quarterback since John Elway, and there is no way the Colts can pass up on him and his talent.
2. St. Louis Rams
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Trade Pick to Washington Redskins
Washington Selects Robert Griffin III
The Redskins are in dire need of a franchise quarterback after Rex Grossman finished 29th in the league with a 72.4 passer rating. And Baylor's Robert Griffin III can be that franchise quarterback.
In order to ensure that they can draft him, they will have to offer a package of various draft picks, including this year's first- and second-round picks, along with others, to the St. Louis Rams.
Assuming the Rams make the trade, RG3 and his Heisman trophy should be headed to D.C.
3. Minnesota Vikings
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Left Tackle, USC
Rookie quarterback Christian Ponder didn't get much of a chance to prove himself last season because of his offensive line. The line was sixth-worst in sacks allowed and fourth-worst in allowing tackles for losses on the left side. So naturally, they need a left tackle.
Luckily, they will be in a perfect position to draft one of the best left tackles in recent memory, Matt Kalil. Kalil did a great job at USC while protecting Matt Barkley—he didn't allow a sack—and he should do well in Minnesota as well.
And it certainly helps that he won't have to face monster defensive end Jared Allen since Allen will be his teammate.
4. Cleveland Browns
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Running Back, Alabama
The Browns need a running back more than anything else—including quarterback. They finished 28th in the run this season, and there is a significant drop-off after the top two quarterbacks, so all signs point to the Browns drafting Alabama's Trent Richardson.
Richardson helped lead Alabama to their most recent championship victory and will prove to be a valuable weapon for the Browns. And if they really do feel the need to upgrade at quarterback, Jason Campbell and Matt Flynn are both free agents this offseason.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Morris Claiborne is the best defensive player in this year's draft, and the Bucs are in desperate need of help in the secondary.
Free agent Ronde Barber isn't getting any younger, and with cornerbacks playing such an integral role in their defense, it's time they got some youth on the field. Claiborne helped lead a stout LSU Tigers defense and won the 2011 Jim Thorpe award for the nation's top cornerback.
6. Washington Redskins
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Trade Pick to St. Louis Rams
St. Louis Selects Justin Blackmon
Assuming that the Rams trade down with the Redskins, this is where St. Louis will now be picking.
The Rams' two biggest holes are in the offensive line and at wide receiver, and with Matt Kalil gone, they will go with the best receiver in the college game—and a player they might have taken No. 2 overall—Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon.
Blackmon is a complete game-changer with his size, speed, quickness and great hands. If anyone can turn Sam Bradford back into the quarterback he was at Oklahoma, it's Blackmon.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
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Left Tackle, Iowa
Much like the Minnesota Vikings, the Jacksonville Jaguars are in need of help at every position but running back and quarterback. So, the Jags should target the best offensive lineman they can get in order to build up their offense that ranked last in passing yards.
Well, Iowa left tackle Riley Reiff is their man. Reiff can step in anywhere the Jags need him and immediately help. He has great footwork, awareness and size to go along with his ability to both pass and rush block.
8. Carolina Panthers
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The Panthers offense should be alright as long as they have Cam Newton lined up at quarterback, so that means they should focus on defense.
When they look at the board with the eighth pick in the draft, they should be very excited that Dre Kirkpatrick is still around. He's a great playmaker and clearly the best defensive player around at this point.
The 2011 All-American played an integral part in the Crimson Tide's championship this past season and would be able to make an immediate impact on the Carolina secondary.
9. Miami Dolphins
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Left Tackle, Stanford
He's not Robert Griffin III, but the Dolphins have to start with the basics: the offensive line.
Miami needs better protection from their offensive line, as that is the key to any great offense. So with the ninth pick in the draft, they should select Jonathan Martin (No. 55), the left tackle from Stanford.
Martin did a great job protecting Andrew Luck the past few seasons at Stanford and helped open up rushing lanes for the many running backs that the Cardinal use. He is very quick and athletic in the trenches. He would look great lined up anywhere on the Miami line, teamed up with current left tackle Jake Long.
10. Buffalo Bills
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Defensive Tackle, Penn State
The Buffalo Bills finished 28th in stopping the rush last season, so it's pretty clear that they need to pick up a defensive lineman early in the draft.
Penn State's Devon Still is a big defensive tackle who specializes in stopping the run and can move lineman with his hands and quick first step. Plus, he doesn't have the attitude issues that follow North Carolina's Quinton Couples. The All-American can really help out a Bills team that has a lot of potential.