2012 NFL Mock Draft: The Latest Bold First Round Predictions

Tony Santorsa@@TonySantorsaSenior Writer IIFebruary 13, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft: The Latest Bold First Round Predictions

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    It's certainly hard to believe, but the 2012 NFL Draft is just two months away with the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine just a few weeks away—and Super Bowl XLVI was just a little over a week ago, with the New York Giants knocking off the New England Patriots.

    As we sit in the middle of February, all of our focus in the NFL world has now shifted straight towards the draft. 

    In that spirit, let's take a look at my bold prediction for the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, pre-scouting combine. 

Trent Richardson Will Not Go in the Top 10

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    Contrary to popular belief, I don't see Trent Richardson going in the top of the 2012 NFL Draft.

    In fact, I do see Richardson taking a fall, similar to Mark Ingram's last year when he was selected 28th overall by the New Orleans Saints. 

    Richardson may be more well-rounded than Ingram—he's just as powerful but is more elusive—but the age of the NFL that we're in right now uses dual-running back workloads, which certainly lowers Richardson's stock a bit. 

    I just don't see him being worth a top-10 selection. 

The New York Jets Will Draft Trent Richardson

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    As stated earlier, Trent Richardson will fall out of the top 10 and land right into the laps of Rex Ryan, Tony Sparano and the New York Jets.

    The Jets had one of the least effective rushing attacks this past season and with the hiring of Sparano as the team's offensive coordinator, they will look to return to their old ways of "grounding and pounding."

    With LaDainian Tomlinson scheduled to be a free agent, the drafting of Richardson will officially close the door of L.T. returning to New York. 

Robert Griffin III Will Go Second Overall After Andrew Luck

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    There's no secret that the Indianapolis Colts will be drafting Andrew Luck with the first overall pick, but where will Robert Griffin III fall?

    Well, the St. Louis Rams currently hold the second overall pick and I could see them being a huge player in the RG3 sweepstakes as they'll hold that pick for ransom. 

    As the Rams are already set for the future at quarterback with Sam Bradford, I could see them offering that pick to the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals or even the Seattle Seahawks—it will just be a matter of which ever team will cough up the most picks. 

    Who do you think it will be? 

The Washington Redskins Will Try to Trade Up for RG3 but Will Fail

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    I think that the majority can agree that the Washington Redskins will be a player for Robert Griffin III but they will fail. 

    I am predicting that it will become publicly known that Mike Shanahan and the Redskins will do everything in their power to trade up to No. 2 to draft RG3.

    They will simply not have the best offer as another team will just go one step further—a step that the 'Skins won't want to go as they simply run out of time. 

The Cleveland Browns Will End Up with Robert Griffin III

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    The Cleveland Browns may have the fourth overall pick and that's where many mock drafts have Robert Griffin III slotted in—but that's assuming no one trades up. 

    Well there will be trades, as I predicted, and the Browns will end up with RG3 anyways—but just with the second overall pick rather than No. 4. 

    I guess this means that it's the end of the line in Cleveland for Colt McCoy, right? 

The Washington Redskins Will Draft Ryan Tannehill

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    As the Washington Redskins swing and miss with Robert Griffin III, they'll snag Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill. 

    Tannehill may not be as NFL-ready as other quarterbacks, but he's definitely an intriguing prospect. Tannehill was converted from wide receiver to quarterback, which indicates that he's extremely athletic and from watching game film, I can confidently state that he can make all the NFL throws as his arm strength is up to par. 

The Carolina Panthers Will Draft Michael Floyd

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    Forget addressing the defensive side of the ball, the Carolina Panthers are going to add another weapon for Cam Newton to throw to and that's Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd .

    Floyd will be the future replacement to Steve Smith but will enter 2012 as the team's No. 2 wide receiver. 

    Newton should put up huge numbers with this duo. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Will Draft Justin Blackmon

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    This one is kind of out of nowhere, but imagine Josh Freeman throwing to Mike Williams, Kellen Winslow and Justin Blackmon—that's a pretty dangerous combination.

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers currently sit with the fifth overall pick and I'm going to say that they'll take Blackmon if he's available. 

Quinton Coples Will Not Be Drafted in the Top 15

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    I, like my colleague Matt Miller, believe that Quinton Coples will see a bit of a free fall as his stock will fall following the NFL Scouting Combine. 

    Coples is a pure pass-rusher and lacks any other skill—he can only be used to rush the quarterback—other than that he will struggle. 

    Coples spent 2010 as a defensive tackle and then made the switch to defensive end this past season at North Carolina—I just don't think franchises will take Coples' stock seriously as he's still converting to defensive end/outside linebacker. 

The New England Patriots Will Draft Janoris Jenkins

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    Janoris Jenkins may have his share of character issues—he was dismissed from the Florida Gators football team a year ago—but I feel that Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots will draft the North Alabama product with their 27th overall pick. 

    Jenkins is by far one of the most talented cornerbacks in this year's draft, but his character issues is what will keep him from going in the top 15. Belichick will see too much value in him to let him slip any further.