2012 NFL Draft: 5 Biggest Reaches That Could Happen in the First Round

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2012 NFL Draft: 5 Biggest Reaches That Could Happen in the First Round
Bob Levey/Getty Images

With the 2011 NFL season officially in the books, it might seem silly to look ahead towards next season at the beginning of February.  At the same time, though, the offseason in the NFL is arguably as exciting and intriguing as the regular season, especially for teams looking to rebuild or merely reload after falling short on the field.  Every team has needs and the roadmap to this offseason, outlined by Sports Illustrated's Jeff Diamond, is just one example of how teams could approach this critical time.

Fueling part of this excitement is all of the buzz surrounding the NFL Draft coming up in April. As we already have plenty of mock drafts floating around, and many of us will continue to tweak them over the coming weeks before the big day.

Perhaps what makes the Draft so entertaining is the amount of time and effort put into the preparation by the teams, pundits and diehard fans. It's become an industry unto itself, that borders on science...that is until someone makes a move that defies logic/convention.

Each year at least two to three teams reach for players in the first round that experts graded as lower round talents, and in doing so creates a frenzy of speculation.

"Do they know something we don't?"
"Why would you draft him, when he would have been available with your next pick?"
"Couldn't they have traded down for him?"

In essence it's a chess game that will take years to figure out, but for today let's focus on a few players that may cause us to pause, snicker and perhaps cry if and when they are selected a bit too early according to our better senses...

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