2012 NFL Draft: Bold Predictions for All 7 Rounds

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2012

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - SEPTEMBER 02:  Mohamed Sanu #6 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights runs the ball against the Norfolk State Spartans at Rutgers Stadium on September 2, 2010 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The Scarlet Knights beat the Spartans 31 - 0.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

If there is one thing that is certain about the NFL draft, it is that something unpredictable will happen every year. No one could say they saw Tyson Alualu going 10th overall to Jacksonville in 2010 or James Carpenter going in the first round last year to the Seahawks.

Then you have teams that make ill-advised trades, such as the Raiders giving up their second-round pick in 2012 for third- and fourth-round picks in 2011, or the trade that a desperate Mike Ditka made, giving up the Saints' entire draft for Ricky Williams in 1999.

Let's take a look at what surprises may be awaiting us in each of the seven rounds of the 2012 NFL draft.


First Round

With three teams having two first-round picks, the possibility of a team trading up to get a player they really want is a good possibility. I look for the Bengals to make a trade to ensure they get David DeCastro. The Bengals' top three guards are all free agents this offseason and may not be brought back. If they can give up their pick at 17 and throw in a third rounder to get the Stanford star, they will jump at the chance.

The player I see coming off the board way earlier than anyone expects is Mohamed Sanu. Sanu is probably the safest pick at WR though he doesn't offer quite the upside of, say, Justin Blackmon.

I see Sanu going as early as No. 9 to Carolina, but no later than No. 16 to the Jets. 


Second Round

After taking Matt Kalil with their first pick, the Vikings spend another pick on the offensive line and take Kelechi Osemele from Iowa State to solidify the interior of the line. Taking two offensive linemen will give Christian Ponder more time in the pocket and will make Adrian Peterson even more of a threat.

The Eagles picked up a second-round pick in trading Kevin Kolb to the Cardinals, and are in need of a backup to Michael Vick to develop. With one of their picks in the second round, I think the Eagles will take Nick Foles from Arizona to be the heir to Vick.


Third Round

After going for offensive line help in the first round, it is time for the Bears to give Jay Cutler help at wide receiver. Chicago has two third-round picks and could make a statement by using both of them on WRs. With Devin Hester on the team, the Bears will go for two bigger receivers such as Brian Quick of Appalachian State and Nick Toon from Wisconsin, who falls to them due to concerns over an injured foot.


Fourth Round

The Raiders traded almost all their 2012 draft picks away and are left with only a fifth- and sixth-round pick. Always desperate to find that one player who can change their fortunes, the Raiders give up a 2013 third rounder and fifth rounder to take West Virginia's Keith Tandy. Losing Nnamdi Asomugha was a blow to the defense, and Oakland needs to find a replacement.


Fifth Round

This is the round where a couple of players suffering from major draft-day slides down the board finally come off the board.

Although they probably will use a higher pick at corner, the Bengals really need two corners, as Pacman Jones is not worth having on the field and Leon Hall is coming back from a torn Achilles tendon. Cliff Harris will hear his name called and gives Cincinnati an exciting playmaker at corner and in the return game.

Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles put up amazing numbers in his career, but suffered a torn ACL in November and could be available here. Arizona will not waste a minute in snapping up Broyles to help take some pressure off of Larry Fitzgerald.


Sixth Round

Looking for more help for their defensive front, the Jets select Jaye Howard out of Florida. Howard would be a good fit to play end in New York's 3-4 scheme.

I have seen some mock drafts putting Trent Richardson in Kansas City. I don't see it. Jamaal Charles will be back to start the season and the Chiefs have a few other holes to fill in the first round.

At this point though, the Chiefs get a running back to share some of the carries with Charles and take Lennon Creer from Louisiana Tech.


Seventh Round

Taking Justin Blackmon in the first round leaves Colt McCoy as the starting QB for another year. In the seventh round, the Browns go for a backup and developmental QB, taking Kellen Moore.