The 2012 NFL draft is quickly approaching and we are getting to a point where most teams have their boards already set. The early days of free agency have also enabled us to decipher where most franchises are going to go in the first couple rounds of the draft.
While there is something to say about value, the NFL is still a need-based league. Some of these needs have been fielded through free agency.
As the calendar hits April, you are going to see a lot more in-depth articles focusing on the draft, mostly here on Bleacher Report. This will hopefully give you a better understanding of the draft and where your favorite teams might go.
In the spirit of being as informative as possible, this article is going to focus on 50 players that I personally believe are going to have the biggest impacts next season. They are not necessarily ranked according to my big board. Instead, this list is solely going to focus on instant-impact performers at key positions on the football field.
Might struggle early transitioning to the NFL
As much as I see tremendous upside in the young receiver, it has to be concluded that he is a risk at this point. Alshon Jeffery is going to struggle getting off the line against press coverage and doesn't catch the ball too cleanly.
Those are two things that should worry NFL scouts heading into April.
However, he also has a great amount of upside. This is a player that was extremely productive in college against top-tier competition. While Jeffery doesn't run NFL-ready routes as of right now, he does have the ability to hit his stride and track the ball on the outside.
It is going to be a learning curve and that leads me to believe that we are going to see some first-year struggles from the South Carolina alum.
Alfonzo Dennard is one of the most physical corners in the entire draft. He is great in the press scheme, consistently throwing receivers off of their routes.
This physicality can get the Nebraska product in trouble at times. He will get beat over the top on occasion, which plays right into what teams are going to attempt to do against him early in his career.
Much stronger in press coverage than playing off zone. This means that Dennard is probably more of a scheme-specific player at this point.
Young corners that have the tendency to get too physical at the line tend to struggle early in their careers. I don't see this changing in regards to Dennard. What he will bring is a tremendous amount of raw athleticism and an ability to track the ball on the outside.
Should be a strong first-year player in the slot, coming down with four or five interceptions.
I have heard individuals compare the Stanford product to Rob Gronkowski. That is getting a little carried away at this point.
Coby Fleener was extremely productive catching passes from one of the best pro prospects in the modern history of the game. He acted as the safety valve for Andrew Luck and stretched the field a great deal between the hashes.
At 6'5" and 245 pounds, he has ideal size to be a go-to guy for an offense. In this I do see a comparison to Gronkowski and some of the best tight ends in the National Football League.
Expect some team to take a chance on Fleener in either the late first or early second round. Depending on what situation he goes to, I can easily see 60 or more catches in his rookie season.
LaMichael James is never going to be an every-down back in the NFL. What the former Oregon back will bring is a nice change of pace for an offense in need of it.
I envision him having a Darren Sproles-like impact at the next level. James should have a seamless transition from college to the NFL as a scat back.
It isn't out of the realm of possibility that he could put up 1,000 total yards from scrimmage as a rookie. That is tremendous value for a player I don't have going until the late second or early third round.
One of the most underrated defensive players in the entire draft, Mike Martin has a solid foundation upon which to stand when he enters the NFL next season. He is strong at the point of contact, pushes offensive linemen into the backfield and can take up double-teams with the best of them.
Martin isn't a scheme-specific player either. He can play defensive end in the 3-4 defense and move inside in the 4-3 defense. This means that he has more value than some of the other second-tier defensive linemen in the draft.
Expect an immediate impact as a likely second- or third-round pick.
Remember, this is all about how I project prospects to perform as rookies. This isn't about how I view them in the long run.
With that in mind, it makes sense to understand that I do have Stephen Hill as a top-30 prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft.
He ran an extremely limited route tree for Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech. This only furthers the idea that Hill will have a much greater learning curve than some of the other receivers in the draft.
Once Hill does get stronger in terms of route running and gaining separation, he translates to be a 1,000-yard receiver at the next level.
It just wont be in his first season.
One of my biggest sleepers in the entire draft, Ladarius Green just keeps on jumping up my board. In doing so, he seems to be destined to make an immediate impact in the NFL.
At 6'6" and nearly 240 pounds, Green has the build and size to be a dominating force between the hashes. What impressed me more than a stellar performance in regards to the position-specific drills at the combine was that he ran an outstanding 4.5 40-yard dash.
Expect him to get some play in the second round, as teams are always looking for this type of talent at tight end. If Green goes to an offense with an established veteran, he could be one of the breakout stars of this rookie class in 2012.
Don't sleep on him.
While many people conclude that Chandler Jones is strictly a 4-3 defensive end prospect, I just don't see it that way. He does seem to have the athleticism and build to play outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme.
Either way, Jones is going to be a stud at the next level.
Injury concerns—mainly an issue with his leg in 2011—will keep teams from reaching for the former Syracuse standout. If Jones can stay healthy, he will have an immediate impact in the NFL.
This is a player with a tremendous wingspan, an ability to get to the quarterback on a consistent basis and multiple pro-ready pass-rush moves.
Going to a team like the New England Patriots or San Diego Chargers would do wonders for Jones. If that happens, you are looking at a player that can accumulate six to eight sacks as a rookie.
Not bad for a late second- or early third-round pick.
Kevin Zeitler is probably the second-best natural guard prospect in the draft, which means he will definitely get a look in the early second round.
What I like most about the Wisconsin product is the fact that he succeeded in a pro-style blocking scheme in college. This means that Zeitler is going to have a smaller learning curve than most offensive line prospects entering the draft.
He already has the fundamentals down and possesses extremely good lower-body movement. He also has the ability to be a solid pulling guard, which helps out running backs on sweeps.
If Zeitler is given an opportunity to start immediately, he is going to have a dramatic impact as a rookie.
The one thing that Luke Kuechly will provide immediately is an ability to bring down the ball-carrier at or right past the line of scrimmage. This is one of the primary strengths of the former Boston College linebacker.
He will struggle to an extent in pass defense and doesn't have the ability to get into the offensive backfield on a consistent basis.
This is one of the reasons that I view Kuechly as more of a marginal prospect at this point. His ceiling isn't incredibly high.
With that said, he should make a rather seamless transition from college to the pros.
Having Nick Perry ranked this low might surprise a bunch of people. There is one primary reason for this: I am not too high on the former Southern California defensive end.
He has nowhere near the ceiling of other top of the line pass-rushers and seems to be scheme-specific. Perry doesn't show the field awareness or have the talent to translate to outside linebacker in the 3-4.
This is going to limit Perry early in his career until he builds some more strength to that underwhelming frame.
With that said, you can expect eight to 10 sacks when all is said and done. He just will not produce at that level early in his career.
Running backs tend to have the easiest transition from the college game to the pros. This is one of the reasons that you will find a lot of them on this list.
Despite playing against less-than-stellar competition at Utah State, Robert Turbin has the look of a steal heading into April.
He runs extremely low to the ground with great balance in the pads and is hard to bring down on initial contact. This is going to help the young running back early in his career as he gets acclimated to the speed of the NFL.
Turbin already possesses pro-ready footwork and has tremendous field vision for such a young player. He will not hesitate following blockers when a hole doesn't open up initially after touching the ball. This is something that few young running backs fully understand.
Depending on where Turbin goes, he could be counted on as a really nice complementary back as a rookie.
Brandon Boykin improved every single season at Georgia. While this can be said for most prospects heading into the draft this season, it was much more evident in regards to him than most of the other corners here.
He struggled with technique a great deal early in his career in Athens. This caused Boykin to move from playing press coverage to utilizing his athleticism in zone coverage. I envision him struggling early by giving too much cushion to receivers on the intermediate routes.
Once that gets fixed, watch out.
As it is, Boykin should be an really good slot guy as a rookie. His stock wont go much higher than the mid-second round due to the fact that he struggles in press, further limiting teams that will take a look at the talented corner.
There is a possibility that Marvin Jones actually sneaks into the late first round. He was handicapped a great deal by less-than-stellar quarterback play at California. This disabled our ability to acquire a better understanding of his talents.
Once the Senior Bowl and combine took place, we were able to fully comprehend just how good of a player Jones could be in the National Football League.
He already runs tight routes, catches the ball fluidly on the outside and has the ability to gain separation at the line against press coverage.
Physicality at the NFL level could be an issue for Jones moving forward. At 6'1" and under 200 pounds, he doesn't have an ideal frame to be a dominating receiver.
You could be looking at a Torrey Smith-type impact as a rookie, which isn't too bad at all.
Strictly a defensive end prospect in my book, Andre Branch is already getting some play in the late first round by some scouts. He is solid against the run, uses that frame to force offensive linemen into the backfield and possesses a solid slap move at the point of contact.
In short, Branch already has an NFL skill set. While his ceiling might not be as high as a Quinton Coples, the Clemson product is already a damn good player.
I have had the pleasure of watching Harrison Smith play every Saturday over the course his career in South Bend. He really is an under-the-radar performer in the defensive secondary.
This is a player that anchored a pretty solid Notre Dame secondary in 2011. He isn't going to be a great cover guy at the next level. Instead, Smith's game is in the box against the run.
His upside is limited by a lack of athleticism, which means that Smith will probably have to wait until the second round to hear his name called.
Jamell Fleming was one of the standouts of the Senior Bowl and continued that success with a rather solid performance at the combine.
The former Oklahoma corner has fluid hips and technique on the outside. He rarely gets turned around when in man coverage, which is something that most young corners tend to struggle with.
You are looking at a late first-round pick that will be able to make an immediate impact in the NFL. A team like the New England Patriots would benefit a great deal from Fleming in 2012.
It has been an up-and-down postseason for the former Huskie running back. Chris Polk struggled a great deal at the Senior Bowl, but was able to make up for that with an extremely solid Washington Pro Day.
The talent has always been there for the former wide receiver. He runs really well downhill and can break off a long run after initial contact. Arm tackles really aren't going to bring Polk down too often.
My primary concern in watching the Senior Bowl was that Polk looked slow and didn't exhibit great field vision. However, he dropped 12 pounds since Mobile and ran a much better 40 at the pro day in Seattle.
I absolutely love what Lamar Miller brings to the table in the running game. He can get to the edge relatively quickly, barely goes down on initial contact and possesses a strong ability to block in the offensive backfield.
He will need to add some bulk to that frame and become more of a running back than a runner. This means that the former Miami player needs to start understanding the nuances of the position better, knowing when to run downhill or follow blockers when a hole doesn't open up.
I have consistently had Miller slotted going to the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round. This hasn't changed. If that happens, you can expect the young running back to have an immediate impact.
I am looking at something to the tune of 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Kendall Reyes isn't going to show flashes of brilliance on the football field. Instead, he is going to be a solid cog along the defensive line for the next decade. This is a player that has the ability to stop the run on the inside, uses a strong physique to bull-rush opposing offensive linemen and plays with a non-stop motor.
He will struggle early with consistency. Reyes doesn't have great pad level and plays a little too high at times. This somewhat neutralizes the tremendous strength that he possesses.
Will be a rotational player immediately, moving to more of an every-down role in short order.
Don't let the fact that Vinny Curry played at Marshall fool you. This is a player that has all the measurements to be a damn good pass-rushing outside linebacker in the right scheme.
At 6'3" and 266 pounds, Curry already has the size to play in the National Football League. In reality, he really doesn't need to add much more bulk to that impressive frame.
Considering that he was the best player on a marginal Marshall defense, Curry found himself double-teamed a great deal of the time. When this happened, he struggled to consistently put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
If Curry goes to a team like the Green Bay Packers, who have a stud outside linebacker, he will pay immediate dividends. If he is asked to be the primary pass-rusher, Curry will struggle as a rookie.
In terms of athletic ability Quinton Coples has everything you look for in a pass-rushing defensive end. He stands at 6'5", weighs over 280 pounds and has a really strong first step at the line.
It is these measurements that are going to force some team to reach for him in the top half of Round 1.
The North Carolina product is way too inconsistent to be counted on as a rookie. He gets lost in the game, cannot take on stronger blockers and only has one strong pass-rush move.
In short, it is going to be a major learning curve for Coples from college to the NFL. He also has a tremendous "bust" factor.
Nowhere near the upside of some of the best pass-rushers in the draft, Whitney Mercilus will get be outshined when the draft comes calling in April.
One of the primary things that I look at in regards to this position in the draft is activity with the hands. The Illinois products does a good job keeping blockers off-balance by utilizing a great slap technique. This works really good with the pro-ready swim move that he already possesses.
You also have to look at the fact that Mercilus goes 100 percent all the time. He plays with an unmatched effort and usually comes out on top because of it.
He doesn't have the upside that others players at this position have. Instead, Mercilus does tend to struggle in regards to the overall aspect of the game. He can be run at relatively easily, struggles when dropping back into coverage and needs to become more instinctive at point of contact.
In reality, Mercilus is a good bet to be a pass-rush specialist, consistently putting up double-digit sacks. At this point I don't view him as an every-down player.
Yet another player on this list that was hurt by horrendous quarterback play. It was really hard gauging the talent level of Rueben Randle in watching tape of him at LSU. Instead, we had to take a look at the combine and delve further into game tape in order to get a better understanding of the young receiver.
At 6'4", Randle possesses the build that you look for in a No. 1 receiver at the next level. He has tremendous hands, making catches look relatively easy.
While LSU is known for a pro-style defense, the same cannot be said for their offense. Consequently, Randle has a limited route tree. He wasn't asked to run many routes that are going to be part of his routine at the next level. This could further hinder his growth process early in his career.
Dre' Kirkpatrick is as physical as they come. He is dominant in press coverage and isn't afraid to get in the receiver's face. Considering that he was playing against top-tier competition in the SEC, Kirkpatrick seems to be a sure bet to make an immediate impact.
My primary concern with the former Alabama standout is technique. He seems to get turned around on the outside, possesses stiff hips and doesn't track the ball all too well.
These are three things that could lead to some early struggles in the NFL.
Additionally, teams that run zone defenses the majority of the time are not going to take a look at him. This could cause his draft stock to plummet big time in April.
Kirkpatrick is going to need to be coached up in training camp in order to make an instant impact. If he goes to a team like the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers or Green Bay Packers, don't expect this to be a major issue in 2012.
It is becoming apparent to me that Brian Quick possesses first-round talent. In fact, I have him currently rated ahead of Alshon Jeffery on my big board.
He uses every bit of that 6'3" frame to dominate opposing corners at the line of scrimmage, making it nearly impossible to play press against him. Quick consistently gains separation at the line, runs tight routes and possesses great hands.
Like what I have mentioned with other receivers, Quick ran a limited route tree in a run-happy offense at Appalachian State.
With that said, he is going to be an immediate impact player in the National Football League. One of the brightest prospects in the entire draft.
Brandon Thompson isn't going to woo you with his athletic ability. Instead, the former Clemson defensive tackle is going to play a role similar to the one we see with Aubrayo Franklin in New Orleans.
He uses tremendous strength to take on double-teams up the middle, which frees up pass-rushers on the outside. Thompson is one of the primary reasons that Andre Branch has so much success at Clemson.
Thompson will not force the issue in the offensive backfield and seems to be more of a nose tackle prospect at this point. He will not be able to put consistent pressure on the quarterback or play on the outside at the next level.
A pedestrian performance at the combine really hurt Jonathan Martin's draft stock. I originally had him pegged as a top-12 pick, but now I am not too sure.
He struggled a great deal in the position-specific drill in Indianapolis. While I am not a proponent of using that venue as the primary judgement of a prospect's ability, he did struggle.
One thing that cannot be taken away from Martin is the fact that he was asked to protect the blind side of Andrew Luck for the last three seasons and usually came up aces. You just cannot teach an ability to protect the quarterback and this is something the former Stanford All-American has.
Devon Still is going to be an intimidating presence in the NFL for a long time. He possesses a tremendous amount of strength at initial contact and has the ability to consistently take on double-teams.
Players like this are undervalued a great deal in the draft, but they provide something that defenses desperately need.
In short, Still will make everyone along the front seven of the defense better just by his mere presence on the field.
I am not one that buys into the idea that Kendall Wright was a product of Robert Griffin III at Baylor. That really doesn't hold much ground to me. Instead, it could be concluded that the wide receiver made his quarterback's job that much easier on the outside.
There are a few different factors that go into scouting Wright. First, he is sub-six feet, which isn't a great sign for his ability to succeed at the next level.
With that said, he gets a tremendous amount of separation at the line and doesn't struggle against press coverage. It is this release that enables Wright to gain that extra step against defenders on the outside.
He has soft hands, runs tight routes and can bring down the ball in traffic when asked to.
No matter where Wright goes in the second half of the first round, he is going to be a steal.
If it wasn't for injury concerns, Dont'a Hightower might be considered a top-10 pick in terms of value. He is great going sideline to sideline and can cut off the edges for opposing running backs.
What impresses me the most about the former Alabama linebacker is the fact that he was tremendous in run support in college. This is something that a bunch of different teams are going to be looking at in April.
If Hightower goes to a team like the Philadelphia Eagles, you can expect him to put up triple-digit tackles and anchor an improved run defense.
There was no player that I was surprised with more at the combine. Cordy Glenn showed great athleticism and versatility in the generic skills in Indianapolis and dominated the position-specific drills as well.
He is an overpowering force at the line of scrimmage, consistently dominating opposing defensive players. Glenn plays with a low pad level, which enables him to maintain balance at the point of contact.
While there has been some talk about Glenn playing tackle in the NFL, I think he translates better as a guard.
Either way, he is going to have an immediate impact as a starter in 2012.
Flexibility is something that teams look at a great deal when it comes to the draft. Fletcher Cox has the ability to play both on the inside and on the outside. He is stout against the run and can push the pocket.
The former Mississippi State standout also has the ability to put pressure on the quarterback from the outside, which makes him an extremely versatile player.
These factors are going to enable him to go in the first round and make an impact as a rookie.
The only thing that has caused Jenkins stock to stay leveled out in the middle to end of the first round is character concerns. On the football field, he has the look of a true shutdown corner.
While size might be an issue going up against taller receivers on the outside, Jenkins has tremendous hops and an ability to track the ball from the quarterback immediately.
Jenkins plays with fluid hips, doesn't get turned around a great deal and is dominating in press coverage. There is no reason to believe that he wont be a solid starter right out of the gate.
You cannot ask much more than that from a first-round corner prospect.
If you select a safety in the first round, you better be prepared to insert him into the starting lineup immediately. Mark Barron is the consensus No. 1 safety in the 2012 NFL Draft.
While the Alabama product might struggle against the pass early in his career, he will be stout against the run in the box.
The technique issues in regards to coverage can be fixed with some seasoning and coaching.
Expect Barron to be a starter out of the gate in 2012.
I understand that this might be a little low to have Justin Blackmon and I expect to get some slack for it. With that said, the All-American receiver is going to struggle to an extent early in his career.
He isn't great going up against press coverage on the outside and gets thrown off his routes far too often.
What I do like about Blackmon is the fact that he has the build to dominate in the red zone and makes a lot of plays in traffic.
He might not have the best stats of the rookie receivers in this draft class, but Blackmon has a tremendous amount of upside.
If you look at the center position as it relates to the NFL, you will understand why I have Peter Konz so high on this list.
Whenever a center is drafted in the first round, you expect immediate impact. This will be no different for the No. 1 player at that position in the 2012 draft.
Konz consistently dominated interior linemen in the Big Ten throughout his career and already has the nuances down to have immediate success in the NFL.
Look for a team like the Detroit Lions to pick up the talented center and slot him in as their starter for the next decade.
This is how good of a prospect I view Konz to be.
Stephon Gilmore is going to have the highest impact of any corner in the draft as a rookie outside of Morris Claiborne. There are multiple reasons for this.
First, has the size and technique to make an instant impact. He is solid in both man and press coverage, which enables the South Carolina product to play on the outside and in the slot as a rookie.
Second, Gilmore will make an instant impact on special teams as a return man. This part of his game cannot be taken lightly.
In terms of instant impact, Doug Martin is going to be one of the best offensive rookies in 2012. He runs extremely low to the ground, is hard to bring down on initial contact and has above-average field awareness.
This is a player that I think compares favorably to Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens.
He has great second-level speed and accelerates through the holes with the best of them. Martin is also going to be effective in the passing game, further expanding his skill set in the NFL.
There is no reason to believe that the former Boise State standout cant go for over 1,200 total yards and double-digit touchdowns as a rookie.
Michael Floyd is now my No. 1 wide receiver in the entire 2012 NFL Draft. Before anyone attacks me for this, you have to remember that I had him as a top-10 pick prior to an amazing combine performance.
It now seems that other "experts" have taken to this idea.
Floyd will not struggle against press coverage like some of the other receivers in the draft. Instead, he has the ability to impose his will against smaller corners at the line. He will be an immediate red-zone threat on corner fades and possesses soft hands.
If Floyd goes to a team like the St. Louis Rams, who need a No. 1 receiver, you can expect him to put up 70 receptions and over 1,000 yards as a rookie.
Nowhere near the upside of some of the other tackles in the draft, but Riley Reiff is already a damn good pass-protector at this stage of his career.
The former Iowa standout played extremely well in their pro-style blocking scheme and was consistently good against top-tier competition in the Big Ten.
He has the footwork to be a starter in the NFL immediately and gains leverage against opposing defenders with great lower-body strength. Reiff doesn't get too high at the point of contact either.
This is a player that you can slot in as a starting tackle from day one and not have to worry about that position for years.
Yes, I still believe that Courtney Upshaw possesses the necessary talent to be a top-10 pick in April's draft. He has multiple pro-ready pass-rush moves as well as a great swim technique on the outside.
While playing with great talent at Alabama might have caused Upshaw to look better than he is, the linebacker can be that imposing force that teams are looking for.
Additionally, he isn't a scheme-specific player.
Talk about versatility. Melvin Ingram can play both the defensive end and tackle positions in the 4-3 scheme, while being able to drop back as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense.
This is something you just don't see too often in the draft.
He already looks really good dropping back into coverage and locates the ball extremely well between the hashes. Ingram also possesses the best combination of raw ability and seasoned technique of any pass-rusher in the draft.
With that said, the former South Carolina product tends to struggle with play recognition and isn't good going up against bigger blockers. Those two factors lead me to believe that he will drop to an extent in April.
Either way, you are looking at an immediate double-digit sack guy.
Brute strength is how I have come to define the many talents of Dontari Poe. He absolutely manhandles opposing offensive linemen at the point of contact. I haven't seen a defensive tackle this dominating since Haloti Ngata entered the league a few years back.
This is how good I project Poe to be at the next level.
He shows natural bend at the line of scrimmage and is surprisingly quick for someone that weighs 350 pounds. You are talking about a rare combination of speed and strength that we have rarely seen before.
Poe will make an immediate impact as a cog along the interior of the defensive line. What makes him even more valuable is the fact that the Memphis product can play in both the 4-3 and 3-4 schemes.
David DeCastro is the best guard prospect to enter the NFL draft in two decades. There is absolutely no glaring weakness that comes to mind when looking at the All-American.
He is strong enough to manhandle defensive tackles between the hashes and athletic enough to be a lead blocker that springs running backs on screens. The Stanford product can pull to both sidelines, rarely is called for a holding penalty and plays with mean streak.
He also picks up different defensive packages in the blink of the eye and will not get fooled with blitzes or stunts at the line.
In short, DeCastro is as sure of a bet that you will get in the NFL Draft. He will be a perennial Pro Bowl performer from day one.
When looking at possible franchise offensive tackles, you have to take into account fundamentals more than anything else. Initially this allows you to eliminate a great deal of prospects.
In terms of fundamentals, Matt Kalil is as strong as you will ever see. He play with a sound patience in the blocking game, possessing tremendous pad level and upper body strength. The All-American will not get caught playing too high or find himself off-balance too much.
One chink in the proverbial armor is his weight. Kalil stands at less than 300 pounds and could add 10 pounds to that impressive frame.
Morris Claiborne is probably one of the best all-around cornerback prospects to enter the draft since Darrelle Revis in 2007.
He will not get turned around on the outside and has the ability to run with any burners in single coverage. Claiborne tracks the ball well, reads the quarterback's eyes a great deal and has tremendously fluid hips.
In reality, Claiborne is already a better cover guy than his former teammate and 2011 first-round pick Patrick Peterson.
That says something.
I flirted with putting Trent Richardson at No. 2 on this list, but just couldn't bypass the two players ahead of him.
There is absolutely no reason to believe that Richardson cannot match the production that we saw from Adrian Peterson during his 1,300-yard rookie campaign in 2007.
The Alabama product has the size, speed, field awareness and strength to be a top-three running back at the next level.
He can get to that second gear before defenders even have an opportunity to adjust and can throw them to the ground with a strong stiff arm.
There isn't one glaring weakness that I see in his game.
All the fundamentals that you look for in a franchise quarterback here. Robert Griffin III came out of nowhere with Baylor in 2011, but showed us all why he is going to be a Pro Bowl performer at the next level.
He has a quick release that goes more over the top than what you would think from such a young quarterback. This enables Griffin III to get the ball past the line of scrimmage and find seems between the hashes.
Despite having a rocket arm, Griffin III knows exactly when to lay the ball in there. He is extremely accurate on the intermediate routes, possesses an uncanny ability to give the receiver an opportunity for yards after the catch and sees over the top of the defense great.
He stands a 6'2", ran an amazing 4.41 40-yard dash and can be an effective weapon on the run outside the hashes.
You also couldn't get a better character individual. Griffin III seems that have his head on straight and is nothing like what you would think from someone that was the best at what he did.
The former Baylor star is going to be a great addition to the Washington D.C. and surrounding Maryland areas. He is by far one of the best character individuals that I have seen enter the draft in a long time.
Andrew Luck is the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning entered the league in 1998. He made everything look so easy in college that is was a sight to behold.
You are talking about a player that possesses a rare combination of accuracy and touch, while being able to understand when to use each.
Luck is a combination of Manning's arm strength and the accuracy of Aaron Rodgers.
His performance at the combine only furthered the idea that Luck is going to be an perennial All-Pro performer at the next level. He ran an extremely fast 40-yard dash, succeeded in the generic drills and aced the interviews.
Luck's footwork is perfect in the pocket and is accurate on the move to both sides of the field. He doesn't get the ball batted down at the line due to veteran-like over-the-top throwing motion. You will not see Luck struggle when facing pressure up the middle either. Instead, he simply releases the ball quickly and hits the receivers in stride.
In the end, you can expect Luck to be one of the reasons why the Indianapolis Colts improve dramatically during his rookie season.