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2012 NFL Draft Predictions: Odds on Who Will Stay in the Green Room the Longest

Zayne GranthamContributor IIIMarch 23, 2012

2012 NFL Draft Predictions: Odds on Who Will Stay in the Green Room the Longest

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    The worst part of the draft for any prospect is waiting for your name to be called, especially if you are one of the select few to be in the green room.

    Most of the players picked to wait in this particular area are drafted early in Round 1, but we have seen some guys fall to the later part of the round.

    Aaron Rodgers was projected as a potential No. 1 overall pick, but fell to the Green Bay Packers at 24th overall. A few years later, Brady Quinn was looked upon as a top-10 caliber player, but fell to the Cleveland Browns at No. 22 overall.

    At this point, the list of players that have been invited to the green room this year has not been released. However, there is no doubt that some of these guys could end of falling.

    There is a ton of talent in the 2012 NFL draft, but, as every year, a guy may get passed up simply because of the position he plays.

    Safeties and centers are oftentimes not considered worthy of a top-10 pick and passed up until the middle of Round 1. We could see that this year.

    Teams will also pass up a really talented player because of the depth on their roster.

    Let's take a look at five guys who are likely to wait in the green room the longest at the 2012 NFL draft.

5. Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU: Long Shot

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    First of all, Morris Claiborne will not be in the green room very long. I have him going fifth overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    However, Claiborne is a rare talent at the cornerback position, and will likely be one of the top corners in the league three years from now. The fact that he plays a position that is typically undervalued will cause him to be skipped over by a few teams.

    Claiborne is talented enough for a team to justify taking him anywhere in the top five, but since teams would rather have a shut-down left tackle or game-changing running back instead, Claiborne will drop to the Buccaneers.

    A similar thing happened to Claiborne's former teammate, Patrick Peterson, in last year's draft. Many argued that Peterson was the most talented player out of everyone last year, but he fell to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 5.

    There is no doubt that the Bucs will be happy to have Claiborne, but he could easily go to any of the teams that pick before Tampa Bay.

4. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State: Long Shot

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    Justin Blackmon has a very similar case to that of Morris Claiborne.

    This is a player who will immediately improve whatever team drafts him, but he will also be passed up a couple of times early in the first round.

    I have Blackmon landing at No. 6 overall to the St. Louis Rams. This is a great fit for a receiver that is widely considered the best in the draft, but he has the talent worthy of a top-three pick.

    At 6'1" and 207 pounds, Blackmon is a big target who contains all of the tools needed in a starting wide receiver. He proved in college that he can play at a high level, and he is sure to impress at the professional level.

    However, despite Blackmon's impressive resume, he will wait longer in the green room than most other receivers of his caliber would have in the past.

3. Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College: Even Money

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    Luke Kuechly is one of the most talented players in the 2012 NFL draft, but he will not be drafted in the top 10.

    Kuechly is easily the best linebacker in this class, and he will become an instant leader and contributor for the team that drafts him. There is no doubt that analysts and scouts have noticed Kuechly's potential to be great at the next level.

    However, this young playmaker will have to wait for a while if he makes it to the green room.

    The teams that need a middle linebacker are not in the early part of the first round. That is a position that is typically undervalued. Most teams will not spend a high draft pick on a player like Kuechly, even if he has potential to be the next Brian Urlacher.

    The fact of the matter is that teams need other positions filled first. For that reason, Kuechly will more than likely fall to the Seattle Seahawks at 12th overall.

    That may not seem like much of a drop, but this is a player who could one day be the best inside backer in the league.

2. Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina: Sure Bet

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    Quinton Coples is widely considered the best defensive end in the 2012 NFL draft. However, I believe that he will fall out of the top 10.

    Before the Buffalo Bills signed Mario Williams, I had Coples going to Buffalo. Now that the Bills have found the edge rusher they desperately needed, I am not sure what happens to Coples.

    There are plenty of teams that would love to have Coples, but most of them will be in the middle of the first round.

    This is a player that is ranked as a top-10 prospect on most people's boards. Coples has even been mentioned as a top-five caliber player. However, there is little chance that he lands in the top 10 because of the needs that those teams have.

    Teams like Buffalo, Carolina and Jacksonville could all use some more defensive line help, but most of those teams are looking for some interior line help. Coples could very well see himself fall into the middle of the first round.

1. Mark Barron, S, Alabama: Sure Bet

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    For years safety has been an undervalued position at the NFL level. Mark Barron is going to be an outstanding playmaker at the next level, but teams will still pass him up because they do not value his position.

    Teams believe that they can find safeties in the later rounds and should not spend a top-10 pick on these players.

    However, the New York Jets will be happy to draft Barron at 16th overall in the 2012 NFL draft. Barron will literally have to wait for half of the first round to be over before he leaves the green room.

    That will undoubtedly seem like an eternity for a player that is going to be a great playmaker at the professional level.

    There is a chance that Barron could fall even further down the draft board if the Jets do not take him at No. 16. Either way, Barron is likely the player that will be waiting in the green room for the longest period of time.

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