2012 NFL Draft: Most Dynamic Offensive Players Available
Scouting will be the deciding factor in how a NFL team chooses in the upcoming draft, but having a little luck (not Andrew) doesn’t hurt either.
Talent evaluators are spanning the globe looking to find that one player who could completely change the fortunes of a franchise. Inside each team’s war room, names of college-eligible players are strategically placed on a board to decide who has the potential to become the cornerstone pick for the future.
Here are the most dynamic offensive players in this year’s draft.
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
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Andrew Luck is a virtual lock to be the first player chosen in this year’s NFL draft.
There’s no better field general available on the draftboard. Once he gains full understanding of his team’s playbook, coaches will become more comfortable in allowing Luck to call his own plays on the field.
Mechanically, he has a compact, over-the-top release and can make all of the necessary throws. Luck is a big, tough quarterback that is still nimble enough to avoid the pass rush and get the ball down the field.
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
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Heisman Trophy winner QB Robert Griffin III was the most dynamic player in college football last season.
His leadership skills helped elevate Baylor to the upper echelon in the Big 12 Conference. Some describe him as a system quarterback, but his speed and pinpoint accuracy when rolling out of the pocket will make RG3 an immediate success in the offensive-friendly NFL.
His passing release point isn’t ideal and is susceptible to having the ball battered down at the line of scrimmage. Quarterback coaches will try to speed up his release to alleviate this problem. His arm strength should improve over time in the NFL as RG3 learns to properly transfer weight on certain throws.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
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It’s quite remarkable that Ryan Tannehill began his collegiate career at the wide receiver position.
The Texas A&M coaching staff decided to move him to the quarterback position because of his ideal height—6'4", 219 lbs.—to easily make plays over the line of scrimmage.
Tannehill has a strong arm that can make all of the throws at the pro level. His athleticism will help to move the pocket under pressure or acquire a first down with his legs.
Tannehill does lack experience in reading defenses, but it could become one of his strengths over time.
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
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Trent Richardson is one of the most powerful running backs in college football today, despite his small stature of 5'10", 224 lbs.
He doesn’t have world-class speed, but he does have enough to outrun defenders once he turns the corner to the outside.
Richardson’s best asset is his ability to break arm tackles, as he can easily overpower oncoming defenders. You rarely see him being taken down by a single opposing player. Coaches loves that Richardson keeps his legs moving upon impact.
David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
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David Wilson may not be big at just 5'10", 205 lbs., but he’s a hard target for defenders to get a solid hit on.
He’s a very fast runner, and Wilson has no problem accelerating to the outside or hitting the hole strong to exploit a weak defensive front. His incredible balance and low center of gravity allows Wilson to be an effective every-down back.
During his entire collegiate career, Wilson has shown to be a reliable receiver out of the backfield, too. He especially excelled on screen passes, as Wilson allows his blockers to set up a seam for him to accelerate through.
LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
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When it’s all said and done, LaMichael James could be considered the fastest player to have ever played in the NFL.
It seems like he could score a touchdown every time James touches the ball. His hesitation moves coming off tackle is very hard to defend, and opposing teams must be aware that James will change direction at a moment’s notice.
His small 5-foot-9, 185-lbs.frame might not allow him to become an every down back in the NFL, but he will have to quickly gain experience to become an effective third-down receiver.
Scouts still question James ability to consistently catch the football, as well.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
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Justin Blackmon loved using his size advantage—6'1", 207 lbs.—over the small DBs in college football, as he excels at running the slant and deep go patterns for touchdowns.
He doesn’t have ideal game-breaking speed, but he will surprise you when chasing down throws late in games.
Blackmon has great hands and will make the tough catch while surrounded by multiple defenders near the sidelines. The one knock against him is his inconsistency to catch passes over the middle.
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
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Michael Floyd has the look and feel of a prototypical NFL receiver, as he has the size—6'3", 227 lbs.—and speed to make plays in the open field. He will need to run crisper pass routes on Sundays, as Floyd tends to round off his cuts over the middle in heavy traffic.
Early in Floyd’s pro career, you can expect to see him get plenty of action in the red zone. Teams will try to utilize his physique to out-muscle opponents in the end zone.
Mohamed, WR, Sanu Rutgers
Mohamed Sanu has the ideal size for any NFL team looking for a possession receiver in the upcoming draft. He has no fear going over the middle to make a big catch.
Coaches love the way Sanu shields the corner with his tall body in order to make a catch. Also, he does a great job in jump-ball scenarios because of his big, strong hands that plunk the ball out of the air.
Sanu’s concentration level goes up when trying to make a clutch reception with multiple defenders surrounding him.
Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
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Quietly, Dwayne Allen is emerging as the best all-around tight end prospect in this year’s NFL draft.
He is a very good receiver that could eventually turn into a primary target in some team’s passing attack. No one talks about his excellent blocking skills, as Allen has lined up in the backfield on obvious running situations.
His concentration level tends to drift, as he drops relatively easy throws on occasion.