While the 2012 NFL Draft is packed with all kinds of talent, some of the players will stink as rookies. We’d call them fool’s gold.
Robert Griffin, as well as a few others, may be coming into this draft highly touted, but their first year of service will be nothing but a mess.
1. Indianapolis Colts (2-14): Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
With the history of success that Peyton Manning had in Indianapolis, it’s hard to believe that a kid with as much raw talent as Luck has can be anything but a star.
2. $$ Cleveland Browns (2-14): Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
The train wreck will start early in the 2012 draft with the Cleveland Browns trading up to the No. 2 spot and the St. Louis Rams moving down to No. 4 and getting another pick of some sort.
The second half of this wreck will be the Browns getting one of the more overrated quarterbacks coming out of college I have seen in a long time. And there is no more fitting team than the one Colt McCoy starts for.
Griffin will be what McCoy has become at the NFL level. Just look at how similar they are.
In Griffin’s senior year he threw for 4293 yard and added 37 touchdowns through the air and 10 more on the ground. In McCoy’s junior year, the Texas star had 3859 pass yards and 34 touchdowns through the air with 11 more on the ground.
They are the same player, but Griffin has more speed. He will not find much success in the NFL, especially in his first season.
3. Minnesota Vikings (3-13): Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Matt Kalil will give the Vikings the franchise left tackle they need to protect Christian Ponder for the next ten seasons at least. If Ponder lasts that long.
4. $$ St. Louis Rams (4-12): Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Not only will the Rams get an additional pick from Cleveland, they will get the best wide receiver in the draft. Sam Bradford will enjoy Justin Blackmon’s abilities.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12): Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
With Ronde Barber on his way out, Morris Claiborne has the size, speed and talent to carry the secondary for years to come.
6. Washington Redskins (5-11): Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Ryan Tannehill is one of the more underrated prospects in this process, and I would personally rather have him than Griffin.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11): Quinton Coples, DE/DT, UNC
Jacksonville needs to rebuild their defense and it starts with putting pressure on the QB. Quinton Coples will play a big part in that resurgence.
8. Carolina Panthers (6-10)*: Devon Still, DT, Penn State
The Panthers are also rebuilding their defense starting with the line, which means Devon Still will be the next project for Ron Rivera.
9. Miami Dolphins (6-10)*: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
With rumors of Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn on the team’s radar, the team desperately needs offensive linemen that can keep their QB upright.
10. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
The Buffalo Bills will draft a gem with Courtney Upshaw at No. 10 overall, but I don’t think he has a great season. There are too many issues with that defense.
Upshaw is a smaller player (6’2”) that played outside linebacker/defensive end in college. His size and speed almost guarantee that he will be an outside linebacker at the NFL level.
The biggest flaws I saw in Upshaw’s game were over pursuing at times and not shedding blocks fast enough. These didn’t happen a lot at Alabama, but these faults happened enough for an offensive lineman at the NFL level to exploit them.
With every tackle in the NFL being of a higher caliber, I think it will take him longer than some to get a hang of it. He is too talented not to get it eventually, though.
11. Seattle Seahawks (7-9)*: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
I’m convinced that no matter which team wins the coin toss for this pick, they will take tough running Trent Richardson. He will fit any team in the NFL that likes to gain yards.
12. Kansas City Chiefs (7-9)*: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
With Matt Cassel the quarterback of the future, the Chiefs taking Jonathan Martin would prove they were serious about improving the offensive line.
13. Arizona Cardinals (8-8): Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
With nothing but Stewart Bradley in the middle, linebacker Luke Kuechly is the perfect for the Cardinals aggressive defense.
14. Dallas Cowboys (8-7): David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
Tony Romo and the overrated Cowboys run offense will have no excuses this season after Jerry Jones takes ANOTHER offensive lineman. No more excuses.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (8-8): Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Philadelphia desperately needs a red zone target. They will find their man in Notre Dame star Michael Floyd.
16. New York Jets (8-8): Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
My favorite player in this draft, Melvin Ingram is a stud in almost every facet of the game. If Rex Ryan and the Jets get their hands on this kid, he could be Pro Bowl bound his rookie season.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (via OAK 8-8): Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Arrests do not scare Cincinnati. They will prove that once again when talent outweighs trouble and the Bengals take Dre Kirkpatrick.
18. San Diego Chargers (8-8): Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
Nick Perry is a solid player that will have a nice career, but I don’t see him making an impact big enough to save Norv Turner’s job.
19. Chicago Bears (8-8): Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
The Chicago Bears desperately need help on their offensive line and Peter Konz is a great fit. He will just struggle to get acclimated.
Konz is a young player that will be centering a line that is still in shambles. Not only will he face more pressure than he could ever imagine in the NFC North, he will be helping an offense go through a coordinator and mentality shift. That’s a lot.
When I watch Konz play, I think about Jeff Saturday of the Colts and how he plays the game. The problem is that walking right in and starting is never an easy thing to do; especially on a team that is rebuilding in a lot of areas.
Konz will be a star in the NFL, I just don’t think it happens his first season.
20. Tennessee Titans (9-7): Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
With the Titans philosophy of rebuilding starting in the trenches, they will snag Michael Brockers. While Brockers is raw, he could end up being the best defensive tackle out of this draft.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7): Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
This pick is easy; if the Bengals re-sign Cedric Benson this pick doesn’t happen. Say bye-bye Benson.
22. Cleveland Browns (via ATL 10-6): Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
If the Browns get RG III at No. 2, they will give him a toy to play with in wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
23. Detroit Lions (10-6): Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
While the defensive line remains dominant, the Lions’ secondary was torn apart and Detroit will take Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard. Ndamukong Suh loves him some Husker.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4): Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia
Cordy Glenn is an amazing talent and the Steelers will be dangerous if they get him and keep him healthy.
25. Denver Broncos (8-8): Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
John Fox loves to run his 4-3 style defense and Cox is the perfect defensive tackle to stuff in the middle. Say hello to run stopping.
26. Houston Texans (10-6): Mark Barron, S, Alabama
This will be another great selection by Wade Phillips if Mark Barron falls this far in the draft. Texans defense is flat out scary.
27. New England Patriots (via NO 13-3): Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
If the Super Bowl proved one thing, it’s that the Patriots defense needs some work. They will improve their pass rush with defensive end Andre Branch.
28. Green Bay Packers (15-1): Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
The Packers have to rebuild their defense fast and it starts in the trenches with stellar defensive tackle Jerel Worthy.
29. Baltimore Ravens (12-4): Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
With the help of Ray Lewis himself, the Ravens will build the next Ray Lewis: Dont’a Hightower.
30. San Francisco 49ers (13-3): Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Despite Alex Smith’s lack of arm strength and talent, there is a feeling that the 49ers will take a speedy wideout. Stellar plan.
31. New England Patriots (13-3): Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
While trouble in college may keep other teams at bay, New England isn’t afraid of red flags.
32. New York Giants (9-7): Zach Brown, OLB, UNC
After a Super Bowl win, it’s almost unfair that the Giants could get a guy as talented as Zach Brown this late in the draft.
*Order determined by coin flip at NFL Scouting Combine
$$ - Potential trade
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