2012 NFL Draft: Ranking the 50 Best Offensive Prospects
I gave you my top 100 prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft last week. This week, I'm focusing on the offense, giving you my top 50.
As rules change and player safety is emphasized, the NFL is increasingly becoming an offensive league. Read on to find out what players will be helping your team reach the end zone in 2012.
1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Andrew Luck is the best offensive prospect to come out since Peyton Manning. Oddly enough, he will now replace him.
2. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Griffin's running game, which merely complements his fantastic arm, will add another element to any NFL offense.
3. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Richardson is a complete running back coming out. He can block, run and catch. He might be the best running back as a rookie.
4. Matt Kalil, OT, USC
The best tackle in the draft, Kalil has the pass-protection skills that NFL teams covet. Kalil is also a solid run-blocker who has few flaws to his game.
5. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Blackmon's solid hands, body control and ability to run after the catch will improve any NFL team's passing offense.
6. Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Floyd isn't a clean prospect due to multiple issues away from the football field, but if those are in the past, he will be an excellent receiver.
7. David DeCastro, OL, Stanford
DeCastro is an incredibly solid guard. He moves exceptionally well and has enough strength to get a push in the run game and anchor against the rush.
8. Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Few receivers are as smooth as Wright. If you are concerned about his explosiveness, watch his tape. He will be a steal anywhere after the first 16 picks.
9. Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Reiff can play inside and outside, both on the right side and left. He will be a solid starter for the next decade.
10. Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
After Richardson, Doug Martin is the most complete back in the 2012 NFL Draft. He runs well both inside and out, as well as contributing in the passing game, both as a receiver and a blocker.
11. Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
If Jeffery can keep himself in shape, he has the opportunity to be the best receiver in the 2012 NFL Draft class.
12. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Tannehill's ceiling is nearly as high as Luck's and Griffin's—he might just take an extra year to reach it.
13. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Martin has helped make things easier for Andrew Luck these last three years. I'm not convinced he plays left tackle, but he will be starting as a rookie.
14. Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Konz has had some serious health issues in the past, including blood clots in his lungs and multiple ankle injuries. If teams get past that, he is the best center in this draft.
15. Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin
Zeitler is perhaps the best run-blocking guard in the draft. He isn't as complete a guard as DeCastro, as his pass-blocking skills need some polish.
16. Kelechi Osemele, OL, Iowa State
Osemele was a fantastic LT at Iowa State, but will be playing on the right side or at guard in the NFL. He is a bit raw, but has incredible upside.
17. Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
Nineteen bench press repetitions at the NFL Scouting Combine were cause for concern. Combined with some soft play on tape, Adams ends up outside of the top 15 offensive players.
18. Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
Miller has the burst that Martin and Richardson don't. However, he isn't ready to block in the passing game, which will limit him as a rookie.
19. Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State
Quick is a small-school receiver that comes with a big-school grade. He has the size, speed and hands to be a menace down the field in the NFL.
20. Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
Weeden is easily the most NFL-ready quarterback after Luck and Griffin. He has a very low "floor," but he might already be playing at close to his ceiling.
21. Rueben Randle, WR, LSU
Randle is a deep threat that is pretty raw with his hands and route-running. With some polish, he will be a very effective receiver.
22. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
Fleener's speed and receiving ability make him the top tight end in the draft. He isn't a great blocker, but he isn't completely useless as a "Y".
23. David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
Like Lamar Miller, Wilson is a speedy back with home run-hitting potential. He is certainly not as polished as you'd like to see coming out of college, but Wilson could still make some contributions as a rookie.
24. Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
Allen is the second-best tight end in the draft class behind Fleener. He can throw a block or two while possessing some very good receiving skills.
25. Mitchell Schwartz, OL, Cal
Schwartz is an incredibly smart and versatile lineman. I like him best as a guard, but he could play some right tackle as well.
26. Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma
A devastating injury dropped Broyles' stock, but he should be ready to go come training camp. Broyles is a fantastic route-runner.
27. Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
Sanu may not have elite speed, but he is big threat underneath. Paired with a deep receiver, Sanu could be a great pick.
28. T.Y. Hilton, WR, FIU
Hilton is an electric slot receiver that has had some trouble staying healthy in his career. If he is durable, he has first-round talent.
29. Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas
Adams is a four-down player that can pump up a stadium with a deep catch or one of his trademark punt returns. Adams runs like he is being controlled by a joystick.
30. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Hill is incredibly fast, strong and tall. However, he is far from being an elite NFL receiver at this point. He does have the most room for growth out of all receivers in this draft.
31. Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple
Pierce is a powerful runner that has some quality speed to his game. Teams looking for an inside/outside runner will be happy with Pierce.
32. Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa
McNutt has good size and hands, but he doesn't always play as fast as his 4.4 combine time. McNutt will struggle to separate against press coverage.
33. Chris Polk, RB, Washington
Polk showed some work ethic issues showing up at the Senior Bowl a bit out of shape. He looked better at the combine and should be a day two pick.
34. Amini Silatolu, OL, Midwestern State
Silatolu was a man among boys at Midwestern State, tossing around defensive linemen with little issue. If those skills translate to the next level, he will be a fantastic guard.
35. Marvin Jones, WR, Cal
Jones runs good routes and exhibits excellent hands. His precise routes will endear him to whichever quarterback is throwing him passes next year.
36. Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas
Wright is a speedy receiver that can contribute on the outside or as a slot receiver. He isn't quite as versatile as his teammate Adams.
37. Matt McCants, OL, UAB
McCants is a little raw, but has the frame and athleticism to develop into a top-notch left tackle in the NFL within a year or two.
38. Bobby Massie, OT, Mississippi
Good feet and solid strength along with some positional scarcity may push Massie all the way into the top 50 picks.
39. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
James might not be a fantastic runner in the NFL, but he certainly has the ability to have a huge impact in the passing game.
40. Brandon Washington, OL, Miami
Washington is extremely athletic, but he really needs to develop his technique. His positional versatility (OT/OG) should boost his stock a little.
40. Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
Charles certainly hasn't helped himself this offseason, but in a very thin tight end class, Charles' stock will not fall too far.
41. Jeff Allen, OL, Illinois
If you can pass block in this league, teams will find a place for you. Allen might be a better left guard than tackle in the NFL.
42. B.J. Coleman, QB, UT-Chattanooga
Coleman can make all the throws, even if he is a bit erratic at times. As a developmental quarterback, I'm not sure there is a better one.
43. Brandon Brooks, OL, Miami (OH)
An enormous prospect with the ability to bend, Brooks was probably the biggest combine snub of 2012. I'd be shocked if he made it past the fourth round.
44. Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest
Givens has incredible speed, if he is a bit rough around the edges as a receiver. Look for him to be drafted as a vertical threat near the end of day two.
45. Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin
Toon isn't going to be a "separation" guy down the field, but he can really shine on crossing routes over the middle and jump balls.
46. Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
Osweiler is a born leader with the confidence and ability to lead an NFL team. With his arm and athleticism, he is bound to improve with NFL coaching and a decent offense to run.
47. Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State
Cousins doesn't face down pressure well, but he has all the intangibles and an NFL arm. He is a backup right now, with the ability to develop into an above-average starter.
48. Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State
Sanders' stock has slipped a bit as of late, but he is a smart lineman that has some upside at the next level. His college tape will get him drafted in the first four rounds.
49. Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati
Part of the second tier of running backs, Pead is a guy I really like. His shiftiness and speed will get him drafted at the start of day three at the latest.
50. Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
Turbin is a powerful runner with some versatility—he isn't just a "cloud of dust" power runner.
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