Despite the two most prolific passing offenses being bounced from the playoffs within 24 hours of each other last weekend, the NFL is still widely considered a pass-heavy league. You only have to look at some of the passing statistics from 2011 to fully realize that.
And as more and more teams adjust to the new era of the NFL, three positions are going to (or already have) become more important during draft time: quarterbacks (duh), left tackles and wide receivers. Someone has to be on the receiving end of the 600-plus passes that a few offenses are calling a year, right?
With that in mind, could there potentially be a run on receivers especially early in the 2012 NFL draft? I think there could be three guys that hear their name called within the top 10 in April:
1. Indianapolis Colts—Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
2. St. Louis Rams—Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
At this point in the process, no receiver compares to the skill set Blackmon offers. He's Terrell Owens without the emotional baggage and distraction. Look for the Rams to try trading down from No. 2 but still picking Blackmon in the top five.
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
Unless the Redskins trade up to get Robert Griffin, it's likely the two sure-fire quarterback prospects will be gone at No. 6. Washington could reach for a guy like Ryan Tannehill, or they may try to get a free agent quarterback (Matt Flynn?) and then take an elite receiver with their first pick. With a good 40-yard dash time, Jeffery has the potential to be taken in the top 10 come April.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars—Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
8. Carolina Panthers—Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
The Panthers did well in re-stocking an offense to work around the many talents of Cam Newton. But with Steve Smith a year older and no No. 2 receiver on the roster, Carolina could push their offense to another level by taking an impact receiver like Floyd. He needs to run a good time to get into the top 10, but the overall skill set is certainly there.
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—Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
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
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. Houston Texans—Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis
27. New England Patriots—Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
28. Green Bay Packers—Nick Perry, OLB USC
29. New York Giants—Dont'a Hightower, LB Alabama
30. Baltimore Ravens—Vontaze Burfict, LB Arizona State
31. San Francisco 49ers—Mohamed Sanu, WR Rutgers
32. New England Patriots—Mark Barron, S, Alabama