2012 NFL Mock Draft: Analyzing the Top Playmakers, Pre-Combine Addition
Just like money makes the world go 'round, playmakers push the NFL to keep rolling. These electrifying athletes make the plays we all sit in front of our televisions for. By speed or by power,
At pivotal moments, playmakers are the guys that separate teams from wins or losses. Without them, winning in the NFL is just about impossible.
On draft day, their names quickly get called. So, who are the 2012 NFL draft's future playmakers? Here is a breakdown of the five best playmakers entering the league in 2012.
1.) Robert Griffin QB, Baylor
Can a QB be one of the biggest playmakers avaliable? You had better believe they can. Robert Griffin III brings unlimited potential to every play. With Griffin at the helm, your team's offense could strike on any play.
The commonly coined "RGIII" brings a rare blend of running abiliy and passing skills. In Baylor's spread offense, Griffin was able to rake in a whopping 47 touchdowns last season. Thirty-seven came through the air, and 10 more on the ground. I don't have to explain how remarkable that is, the numbers speak for themselves.
Highlight reel plays seem to be routine for the Baylor Bear. In the NFL, Griffin is primed to drive defensive coordinators nuts with his ability to extend plays. Griffin has an inate ability to avoid pressure and find an open receiver down the field. In my days of evaluating QBs, Griffin ranks as one one of the most accurate deep ball throwers. His touch is un-rivaled in the 2012 QB class.
A surefire top selection in the draft, Griffin will soon be displaying his abilities on Sundays.
2. T.Y. Hilton WR/KR FIU
T.Y. Hilton may not be a household name, but he will be as soon as he hits the turf in the NFL. Hilton can strike from the slot, backfield or return game. He's fully expected to be a top-75 pick, and whichever team lands Hilton will be adding explosion.
At FIU, Hilton was moved around the field like a chess piece. It was obvious on tape that Hilton was the best play on the field at all times. Those are the types of athletes NFL scouts and decision makers look for. Whether it will be a jet sweep or a slant route, teams are going to work tirelessly to get the ball in Hilton's hands. I compare Hilton's versatility to guys like Dexter McCluster. Those types of talents of complete jack-in-the-boxes in the NFL; defense absolutely hate preparing for them as they are a personnel match up nightmare.
I like Hilton's value in the second round, but it's hard to narrow the amount of teams interested because of the wide scope of possibilities for the young player. The Denver Broncos would make a lot of sense for Hilton, but only April will tell where he will play.
3. Kendall Wright WR, Baylor
Another Baylor Bear? Absolutely. The Bears enjoyed having two rare playmakers on the roster during the 2011 season.
Kendall Wright was often the acrobatic receiving end of Baylor QB Robert Griffin III's deep passes. The connection was deadly all season long, resulting in 14 touchdowns and 1600 yards. Kendall Wright has a knack for getting behind coverages, and that translates well to the NFL. With some of the best hands and ball skills I've ever seen, Wright will instantly be an impact player. I haven't spoken to a single NFL person that isn't a Kendall Wright fan.
That being said, Wright is a one of the fastest risers in this class, and it's likely that he'll end up in the top-15. Justin Blackmon was thought to be the elite WR, but Wright isn't far behind. I expect for Wright to be a hot commodity in April.
4.) Justin Blackmon WR, Oklahoma State
Most might not think of a 4.5 or 4.6 WR as a playmaker, but Blackmon has the ability to take a slant route to the house on every single play.
I compare Blackmon to Terrel Owens or Anquan Boldin because of the raw strength he possesses. Few WRs can brings a sense of power to the field, and Blackmon is one of those rare few. He's a playmaker because of his consistent homerun ability.
Blackmon's talent to snag a ball and plant his foot is extraordinary. Even more fantastic is the pass catcher's production, catching a massive 252 balls over his career. Blackmon was overly productive in Oklahoma State's spread system. He'll be someone's #1 WR from day one.
Ideally, I think St. Louis would like to get their hands on him. That might be the best draft day marriage in 2012.
5.) Lamar Miller RB, Miami
When talking about the draft's best home run hitter, Lamar Miller's name is bound to come up.
There is no wasted movement in Miller's running style, as often times he'll pick a hole and hit it at full speed. Miller's explosion in phone booth-sized areas is so rare. Those players are ultra productive in the league because of that talent.
At Miami, Miller was a part of a rotation until 2011, when he was the full-time starter where he doubled his rushing yards total and finished with 1200 yards. Miller produced a 7.0 YPC in five games in 2011, because of his ability to pick the correct hole and take it all the way. Miller runs straight and strong, using sharp cuts to dodge defenders.
From what I've been hearing, Lamar Miller is going to end up as a first-round pick when all is said and done. That's saying something in today's modern NFL.
2012 NFL Mock Draft
1.) Indianapolis Colts—Andrew Luck QB, Stanford
2.) Washington Redskins (Trade w/St. Louis)—Robert Griffin III QB, Baylor
3.) Minnesota Vikings—Matt Kalil OT, USC
4.) Cleveland Browns—Morris Claiborne CB, LSU
5.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Trent Richardson RB, Alabama
6.) St. Louis Rams (Trade w/Washington)—Riley Reiff OT, Iowa
7.) Jacksonville Jaguars—Justin Blackmon WR, Oklahoma State
8.) Carolina Panthers—Micheal Brockers DT, LSU
9.) Miami Dolphins—Quinton Coples DE, UNC
10.) Buffalo Bills—Courtney Upshaw OLB, Alabama
11.) Kansas City Chiefs—Jonathon Martin OT, Stanford
12.) Seattle Seahawks—Ryan Tannehill QB, Texas A&M
13.) Arizona Cardinals—Cordy Glenn OT/OG, Georgia
14.) Dallas Cowboys—Dre Kirpatrick CB, Alabama
15.) Philadelphia Eagles—Luke Kuechly LB, Boston College
16.) New York Jets—Melvin Ingram OLB, South Carolina
17.) Cincinnati Bengals—Janoris Jenkins CB, North Alabama
18.) San Diego Chargers—Mike Adams OT, Ohio State
19.) Chicago Bears—Kendall Wright WR, Baylor
20.) Tennessee Titans—David DeCastro OG, Stanford
21.) Cincinnati Bengals—Devon Still DT, Penn State
22.) Cleveland Browns—Nick Perry DE, USC
23.) Detroit Lions—Brandon Boykin CB, Georgia
24.) Pittsburgh Steelers—Dontari Poe NT, Memphis
25.) Denver Broncos—Stephen Gilmore CB, South Carolina
26.) Houston Texans—Micheal Floyd WR, Notre Dame
27.) New England Patriots—Mercilus Whitney OLB, Illinois
28.) Green Bay Packers—Alphonso Dennard CB, Nebraska
29.) Baltimore Ravens—Vontaze Burfict LB, Arizona State
30.) San Fransisco 49ers—Jayron Housley CB, Virginia Tech
31.) New England Patriots—Ta'amu Alameda NT, Washington
32.) New York Giants—Fletcher Cox DT, Mississippi State