2012 NFL Draft Predictions: 6 Players That Could Sneak into the First Round

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2012 NFL Draft Predictions: 6 Players That Could Sneak into the First Round
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

One of the incredible phenomenons of the NFL draft is that it is one of the most analyzed and scrutinized events on the sports calendar, yet it still remains utterly unpredictable.

It seems that every NFL writer and expert has their own mock drafts, some updated on a weekly basis.  While most experts have their variations on draft positions, the players projected to go in the first round generally are pretty similar from mock draft to mock draft.

However, despite all the analysis and general consensus, every year some players sneak up into the first round unexpectedly.

Whether it's an impressive performance at a pro day or a team making a reach for a need, any number of factors could boost a player's draft status from early second-rounder into first-round territory. 

This slideshow takes a look at six players who could make that leap into the first round.

Because there are so many mock drafts available online, there are some simple ground rules to make players eligible for this slideshow.

Mel Kiper's March 7 mock draft was used as a first reference along with the top four mock drafts from NFL.com.  In order for a player to be considered for this slideshow, he couldn't have been listed as a first-round pick in more than one of those drafts.

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