2012 NFL Draft: Robert Griffin III and 7 Players Rising Up Draft Boards

Kevin Van PeltCorrespondent IFebruary 28, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: Robert Griffin III and 7 Players Rising Up Draft Boards

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    The NFL draft is less than two months away and players are constantly moving up and down draft boards. This weekend's combine has helped many players and their position for the highly anticipated draft. No player might have helped their status more than quarterback Robert Griffin III.

    Let's take a look at Griffin and other players are rising up on draft boards across the country.

1. Robert Griffin III

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    Already a top prospect, Griffin had nowhere to go but down at the combine. It turns out that he was still able to move up.

    Griffin had an excellent combine which was highlighted by his 40-yard dash. He ran an average of 4.41 and showed why teams should consider him for the second pick in the draft.

    The St. Louis Rams have said that they will trade the No. 2 pick. It is clear at this point that it will be a battle between teams for getting that pick and taking the Baylor quarterback.

    Ever since the end of last year's college football season, Griffin has been on the rise and it still has not stopped. Now he is the clear pick at No. 2 and his stock is still rising.

2. Michael Floyd

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    Michael Floyd has great physical skill and will be a great fit to any team that drafts him. Going into the combine, teams had questions about his lack of speed, not to mention his off-field issues.

    After his 4.47 40-yard dash, he disproved that theory. This time has raised eyes of many teams and has moved his draft status. Floyd has proven that he is the second-best receiver in the draft behind Justin Blackmon.

    He was originally projected to go around the 19th pick to the Chicago Bears, now he status has risen and could be taken before then.

3. Dontari Poe

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    The great combine from Griffin has overshadowed the excellent workout by Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe. Poe was a potential first-round pick before the combine and has moved his stock up considerably to a potential top 20 pick.

    Poe had a record-breaking performance with his 44 reps at the bench. This may not be a surprise considering he is 346 pounds. The most surprising thing Poe did was run a 4.87 40 time. He proved that he is capable of playing in and 3-4 or a 4-3 style defense and has what it takes to be a great NFL player.

4. Ryan Tannehill

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    Everyone knows who the top two quarterbacks are in this year's draft. However, many people might not realize who the third quarterback is in the draft.

    That quarterback is Ryan Tannehill.

    He was not at the combine and we will have to wait until his pro day to see him throw. However, this has not stopped him from moving up the draft boards. It has been reported that the Washington Redskins have interest in the Texas A&M quarterback. If Tannehill can have a good pro day, he has a good chance to be picked with the sixth overall pick.

5. Danny Coale

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    Danny Coale has flown under the radar at this year's combine. He stood out to the scouts through his impressive route-running. He ran 10 different routes and ran them with extreme precision.

    Along with his excellent route-running, he had almost no drops. Coale proved he has good hands and is a smart football player. He has a good speed which he proved running a low 4.4 40-yard dash.

    Coale is still not close to being a first-round pick; however, he has moved himself up quietly to as high as a second round pick.

6. LaMichael James

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    Oregon running back LaMichael James ran a 4.37 in his 40-yard dash. His speed is something that NFL teams will look at when making their picks. Teams now try to wait on running backs in later rounds as teams think they can still find quality late in rounds.

    However, with his great combine, James has improved on his draft status and teams cannot wait too long to pick him. His speed is hard to pass on as James has the ability to be a versatile back who can catch passes out of the backfield. His stock has risen to a low second-round pick with the potential to be a pick at the end of the first.  

7. Kirk Cousins

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    Kirk Cousins shown great accuracy and power with all of his throws this weekend. He showed why he has the potential to be a late first-round pick. He showed great footwork and good mechanics in his throwing motion.

    Teams still need to be careful with Cousins as he has some trouble with his decision-making on the field. He has had troubles throwing interceptions and almost seems rattled under pressure. However, Cousins has shown that he has the ability to throw the ball with authority.

    If teams want a quarterback they can develop, Cousins is a good choice. His potential outweighs his problems and the combine proved that.

8. Mychal Kendricks

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    Mychal Kendricks was already an impressive player to scouts with his ability to play multiple positions. At the combine, he showed why he will be a great pick at linebacker.

    He ran a great 40-yard dash at 4.47 seconds and showed great form in his drills. He kept his center of gravity low and had great quickness. He also showed great power in his workouts and proved that he can be a hard-hitting linebacker in the NFL.

    His draft status has moved up to a potential first-round pick. Although, he will most likely be an early second-round pick.