2012 NFL Draft: 50 Bold Predictions with Under a Month to Go

Tony Santorsa@@TonySantorsaSenior Writer IIApril 6, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: 50 Bold Predictions with Under a Month to Go

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    Isn't hard to believe that the 2012 NFL draft is just a few weeks away? Thursday, April 26 is the draft's kickoff with the full first round—it's amazing how time flies.

    With that being said, we're going to take a look at my 50 bold predictions with under a month to go. 

    Will any of these predictions shock you? Well, just wait and see! 

Andrew Luck Will Struggle His First Year with the Indianapolis Colts

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    Andrew Luck may be the greatest quarterback prospect that we have ever seen come out of college, but that doesn't mean that he's going to turn around the entire Indianapolis Colts team in just one season.

    The Colts aren't a very good football team, and I believe that Luck is going to have his fair share of struggles during his rookie season. 

Andrew Luck Will Throw More Interceptions Than Touchdowns

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    To build on my previous prediction, I am going to be very specific and state that Andrew Luck will throw more interceptions than touchdowns.

    Why? Because the Colts aren't a very talented team, and Luck is going to struggle due to the lack of talent around him. 

Robert Griffin III Will Win Offensive Rookie of the Year

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    I am a huge believer in Robert Griffin III, and I see him doing wonders his rookie season—and I mean he will produce better numbers than what Cam Newton did this past season.

    RG3 will be the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

Robert Griffin III Will Throw More Touchdowns Than Andrew Luck

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    Is this going to be a mistake for the Indianapolis Colts? No. Andrew Luck is going to be a very good quarterback; just not right away.

    Robert Griffin III will produce better numbers than Luck, and more specifically, he will throw close to 20 touchdowns, if not more, while Luck fails to reach the 20-touchdown mark in 2012. 

Trent Richardson Will Be Drafted by the Cleveland Browns

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    The Cleveland Browns missed out on Robert Griffin III and Matt Flynn, which leads me to believe that they'll go out and acquire another source of offense in running back Trent Richardson.

    The Browns parted ways with Peyton Hillis, which immediately opens the door for Richardson. 

Trent Richardson Will Accumulate 1,000-Plus Yards in 2012

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    Trent Richardson is going to have a very successful rookie season with the Cleveland Browns.

    And by successful, I mean that he's going to be the bulk of Cleveland's offense and he will accumulate a whopping 1,000-plus rushing yards in his very first season in the NFL. 

Trent Richardson Will Score 10 Rushing Touchdowns in 2012

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    Fantasy owners, take note.

    Trent Richardson is going to be a very productive running back in 2012.

    The Cleveland Browns have zero offensive firepower, which leads me to believe that Richardson is going to do most of the scoring. In fact, he will score at least 10 rushing touchdowns during his rookie season in the NFL. 

Matt Kalil Will Go 3rd Overall to the Minnesota Vikings

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    The Minnesota Vikings have a quarterback in Christian Ponder; now it's time to give him the proper protection in a very productive left tackle, Matt Kalil.

    Kalil is going to be the real deal, and he will succeed with the Vikings during his rookie season. 

Matt Kalil Will Start Right Away for the Minnesota Vikings

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    As I stated before, Matt Kalil will be very successful with the Minnesota Vikings.

    More specifically, I believe that he will start right away and that he's going to have one impressive rookie season with the Vikings as the team's starting left tackle. 

Morris Claiborne's Wonderlic Score Will Not Affect His Value

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    Morris Claiborne may have scored a four in his Wonderlic test, but I do not believe that will affect his value one bit.

    Claiborne is a very talented player and is the 2012 draft's best available cornerback. But which team will take him? 

Morris Claiborne Will Be Drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    The team that will ignore Morris Claiborne's Wonderlic test will be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    The Buccaneers need help in their secondary, and Claiborne will certainly provide that.

    Claiborne has all the talent in the world to be an elite cornerback at the NFL level. 

Quinton Coples Will Go 7th Overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars

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    The Jacksonville Jaguars need a pass-rusher badly, and they'll look to pick up North Carolina's Quinton Coples.

    Coples is by far the most intriguing prospect available for a team that needs a pass-rush, like the Jaguars. But will he work out? 

Quinton Coples Will Be a Bust

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    I'm just not buying Quinton Coples—I never have.

    I don't see Coples playing well at the next level. I just simply believe he doesn't have what it takes and that he has "bust" written all over him. 

Justin Blackmon Will Be a St. Louis Ram

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    The St. Louis Rams were going to draft Justin Blackmon, no matter what. Whether if it was at the second-overall pick or if it's at No. 6—they were always going to draft him.

    St. Louis desperately needs a No. 1 wide receiver, and there's no doubt that he fills that void. 

Justin Blackmon Will Catch 10 Touchdowns in 2012

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    I am a huge believer in Justin Blackmon. I really believe he has what it takes to be great.

    Blackmon will fit in nicely with Sam Bradford, as he desperately needs a wide receiver to throw to. With that being said, Blackmon will account for most of St. Louis' passing game, and he'll end up with around 10 touchdowns in his rookie season. 

Fletcher Cox Will Be a Top-15 Selection

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    Fletcher Cox is one of the most disruptive interior forces along the defensive line that the 2012 NFL draft class has to offer.

    The Mississippi State product ranks very high on my draft board, and I see him easily being a top-15 selection—but to who? 

Fletcher Cox Will Go 9th Overall to the Carolina Panthers

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    Ron Rivera and the Carolina Panthers really need to find someone that can penetrate along the defensive line—Fletcher Cox is exactly what they need.

    Cox's only weakness is that he relies on his athleticism too much—but is that such a bad thing? 

Michael Floyd Will Be the Second Wide Receiver Selected

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    If you ask me, Michael Floyd is the most impressive wide receiver in the 2012 draft class.

    Why? Well, because he's such a large and powerful player, yet he's so athletic. It's almost like he's built like a tight end but he plays like a speedy wide receiver. 

The Buffalo Bills Will Draft Michael Floyd

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    The Buffalo Bills may have Stevie Johnson, but they still need to add some more wide receivers to their offense—so why not Michael Floyd?

    The Bills have pretty much gone all defense this offseason by signing guys like Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, so I have a feeling that Floyd will end up in Buffalo come draft day. 

Michael Floyd Will Record at Least 40 Receptions

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    I see Michael Floyd having one impressive rookie season with the Buffalo Bills.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick may not be the greatest quarterback in the NFL, but he's actually not that bad—he does have a pretty solid arm.

    With that being said, Fitzpatrick is going to find ways to get Floyd the ball, and I really see Floyd's rookie season being one to remember. 

David DeCastro Will Be Selected in the Top 15

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    Not very often do you see interior offensive linemen drafted in the early end of the first round—but you will this year.

    Stanford's David DeCastro is a once-in-a-decade offensive guard and is sure to dominant at the next level. But which team will be the one to draft him? 

The Dallas Cowboys Will Draft David DeCastro at No. 14

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    The Dallas Cowboys need to find an offensive guard for the future, and they will do so by drafting David DeCastro.

    DeCastro is the real deal. Trust me, Cowboy fans. 

Courtney Upshaw Will Go 16th Overall to the New York Jets

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    I am a huge Courtney Upshaw fan, and I see him fitting in perfectly with the New York Jets. 

    Upshaw is exactly what Rex Ryan and the Jets need. 

Courtney Upshaw Will Record 5-Plus Sacks with the Jets in 2012

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    Attention quarterbacks in the AFC East: Courtney Upshaw will be on the loose in Rex Ryan's defense in 2012.

    With that being said, I really see Upshaw flourishing as a Jet in Ryan's defense, and I think he'll produce around five sacks during his rookie season. 

Ryan Tannehill Will Be a 1st-Round Selection

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    If you ask me, Ryan Tannehill's stock is on the rise, and he will be selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft.

    But which team will draft him? He's certainly not ready to contribute in 2012, but he will develop into a pretty productive quarterback in a couple of seasons. Which team can afford doing that?

The Miami Dolphins Will Draft Ryan Tannehill

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    The Miami Dolphins have my David Garrard and Matt Moore, but they're not the quarterbacks of the future.

    Ryan Tannehill will be—I guarantee it. 

The Kansas City Chiefs Will Draft Luke Kuechly

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    Luke Kuechly is certainly the best available inside linebacker in the 2012 draft.

    The Kansas City Chiefs need help at this position, so why not draft the best available?

    Kuechly will be gone at 11th overall to the Chiefs. 

Luke Kuechly Will Be a Tackling Machine at the NFL Level

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    Luke Kuechly out of Boston College is really going to make an impact in the NFL.

    Kuechly was a tackling machine during his time in the ACC, and I see his game translating very well into the NFL, as he'll be a tackling machine with the Kansas City Chiefs. 

The Seattle Seahawks Will Draft Melvin Ingram

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    The Seattle Seahawks really need some help at pass-rush, and Melvin Ingram is going to be the best available.

    Ingram is well worth being selected at 12th overall. 

Melvin Ingram Will Be an Elite Pass-Rusher Years from Now

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    Out of all the pass-rushers in the 2012 NFL draft class, I believe that Melvin Ingram stands alone.

    I absolutely love this prospect, and there's just something about him that is making me think elite.

    I believe that Ingram will be an elite, dominant pass-rusher in his NFL career—but we'll just have to wait and see if I'm right. 

The Arizona Cardinals Will Draft Jonathan Martin

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    No matter what you say about Levi Brown, I will always think that he's a complete bust and should not be a starting left tackle.

    The Arizona Cardinals will gladly welcome Jonathan Martin to the desert with the 13th-overall pick. 

Levi Brown Will Be Benched in Favor of Jonathan Martin

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    As I said before, Levi Brown is one of the worst left tackles in the NFL today and needs to be benched.

    Jonathan Martin is simply too talented to be thrown at right tackle; he will be a left tackle by the end of the season with the Arizona Cardinals. 

The Philadelphia Eagles Will Draft Mark Barron

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    The Philadelphia Eagles could use some help in the back end of their secondary, which leads me to believe that they'll draft Mark Barron at No. 15.

    Barron is by far the most NFL-ready safety in the 2012 draft class and should do well at the next level after an outstanding career at Alabama. 

Mark Barron Will Emerge as an All-Pro Safety

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    There's just something about Mark Barron that I really like. It could be as simple as that he went to Alabama and played under Nick Saban, but I really do believe that he's going to be an All-Pro safety. 

    Barron is an extremely physical defender that is always looking to punish opposing players, and I really see him emerging as one of the NFL's best. 

The Cincinnati Bengals Will Draft Kendall Wright

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    Kendall Wright to the Cincinnati Bengals? You bet. 

    It makes perfect sense to me.

    Why? Read on to find out...

Kendall Wright Will Be Lethal in Cincinnati's Offense

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    Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Kendall Wright? That is sure to be one of the better offenses in 2012 and for many years to come.

    Wright will certainly stretch the field and will take a lot of the burden off of Green in Cinci's passing game. 

Cincinnati's Offense Will Be One of the NFL's Best in 2012

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    If the Cincinnati Bengals draft Kendall Wright, then they'll be one of the best offenses that the NFL has to offer in 2012.

    Andy Dalton will have two of the most athletic and young receivers in A.J. Green and Kendall Wright as well as one of the most underrated running backs, BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

    If Wright is available, the Bengals need to snag him right up. 

Whitney Mercilus Will Be Drafted by the San Diego Chargers

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    Whitney Mercilus is one of the most underrated pass-rushers in this year's draft, but I'm sure he'll end up being just fine at the NFL level.

    But where will he go?

    I have him slotted in at No. 18 to the San Diego Chargers. 

Nick Perry Will Record Five-Plus Sacks in 2012

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    Like Courtney Upshaw, I believe that Nick Perry will do the same in 2012 and rack up five-plus sacks.

    Perry is certainly a top pass-rusher in this year's draft class, and whichever team decides to take him, they're definitely going to be pleased. 

The Chicago Bears Will Draft Nick Perry

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    As I stated in the previous slide, I really see Nick Perry being a productive pass-rusher during his rookie season. But where would that be?

    As of right now, I am predicting that the Chicago Bears will lock Perry up at No. 19. 

Peter Konz Will Be 20th Overall to the Tennessee Titans

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    The Tennessee Titans need a center, so why not draft the best available?

    Peter Konz out of Wisconsin is by far the most talented center that the 2012 NFL draft has to offer, and it'd be silly in my opinion for the Titans to pass him up. 

Dre Kirkpatrick Will Fall out of the Top 20

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    Don't ask for any specifics—I'm just boldly predicting that Dre Kirkpatrick will fall out of the top 20.

    During this year's draft, I see teams going crazy for pass-rushers with the top picks in the first round, as there are so many studs that teams would love to get their hands on—which will open the door for some draft-day freefalls. 

The Cincinnati Bengals Will Draft Dre Kirkpatrick

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    The fall of Dre Kirkpatrick is over.

    He will end up going at No. 21 to the Cincinnati Bengals, and it is an absolute steal on the Bengals' part. 

Alshon Jeffery Will Be Selected by the Cleveland Browns

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    The Cleveland Browns need to produce offensive firepower somehow—and it starts with giving Colt McCoy receivers to throw to.

    Many have Alshon Jeffery falling out of the first round, but I have him sliding right in at No. 22 to the Cleveland Browns. 

The Cleveland Browns Offense Will Turn Around in 2012

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    As the Cleveland Browns missed out on Robert Griffin III and Matt Flynn, I actually believe that we're going to see quite the turnaround in 2012—that is, if the Browns follow what I predicted and draft Trent Richardson and Alshon Jeffery.

    I do believe in Colt McCoy, and I believe that he can succeed in this league, but it's just a matter of giving him talent to work with—and that's exactly what Richardson and Jeffery are: talented offensive weapons. 

Stephon Gilmore Will Be Selected by the Detroit Lions

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    The Detroit Lions badly need help at cornerback, and I am predicting that they will draft the best available at that position come No. 23. 

    With that being said, South Carolina's Stephon Gilmore is the best available. 

Dont'a Hightower Will Go 24th Overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers

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    The Pittsburgh Steelers are in a very tough position, as they don't have a ton of cap room. They have a few holes to fill, but adding depth to their linebacker corps would be nice.

    Alabama's Dont'a Hightower seems like the perfect fit, as he can play just about any linebacker position and should be very effective with the Steelers. 

Dontari Poe Will Fall in the 20s

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    I'm not buying Dontari Poe one bit—and that's why I'm saying that he's going to slip into the 20s of the first round. 

    But which team will end up taking him? 

The Denver Broncos Will Draft Dontari Poe

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    The Denver Broncos will be the team that snags Dontari Poe. 

    The Broncos' biggest need entering the 2012 NFL draft is by far the defensive line—they need to find an interior lineman that is very versatile, as they can rush the quarterback as well as stop the run.

    It certainly appears Poe can fill that void...or can he? 

Dontari Poe Will Be a Bust

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    Dontari Poe's stock skyrocketed following the NFL combine, as he shocked the entire football world with his extreme strength mixed in with his freakish athleticism—but is he just a workout warrior?

    You bet he is.

    Poe is going to be a bust. Mark my word—or just watch some of his game film, and you'll soon realize that he's nothing but an average prospect.