2012 NFL Draft: Chris Polk and Top Potential Second-Round Steals

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJanuary 17, 2012

SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 05:  Running back Chris Polk #1 of the Washington Huskies rushes against Terrell Turner #45 of the Oregon Ducks on November 5, 2011 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Ducks defeated the Huskies 34-17. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Your best chance to nab a future NFL star is in the first round of the draft, but teams have proven time and time again that the rounds after that can prove to be rewarding as well.

Make no mistake about it—there are superstars awaiting after the first round. Teams just need to find them.

Here are three players who could land in the second round that would be steals in the end.


3. Brandon Thompson, DT,  Clemson

Especially after LSU star defensive tackle Michael Brockers declared, there's a chance Clemson DT Brandon Thompson could fall into the second round behind Penn State's Devon Still and Michigan State's Jerel Worthy.

Whoever is looking for a defensive tackle in the early second round would be happy to snatch him up.

Thompson has good size at 6'2", 310 pounds, and his explosiveness makes him a nuisance in the middle. He hasn't racked up a lot of stats at Clemson, but he's made life much easier on his fellow defenders getting double-teamed all the time.


2. Fletcher Cox, DE/DT, Mississippi State

With Fletcher Cox's combination of burst, upper body strength and size, he projects as a legitimate first-rounder to me.

The only problem is there are a slew of defensive ends and some impressive defensive tackles that could oust him from the first round.

However, Cox's determination on the field has me projecting him as a steal in the second round and a potential difference-maker in the NFL. He also appears to just be scratching the surface of his potential.


1. Chris Polk, RB, Washington

When Washington running back Chris Polk declared, everything changed. It depends on which way the Green Bay Packers go, but they could legitimately pick him in the first round.

Polk is a good athlete and a very tough player. More importantly, his quickness allows him to dodge defenders and burst through holes.

Plus, Polk is a threat as a receiver out of the backfield, as evidenced by his 332 receiving yards and four touchdowns through the air this season at Washington. Given the current pass-heavy NFL, that makes him even more valuable.

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