NBA Draft 2012: Surprising Players Who Will Crack 1st Round

Bob BajekAnalyst IIIApril 6, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17:  Kris Joseph #32 of the Syracuse Orange drives in the second half against the Kansas State Wildcats during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center on March 17, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Seeing where NBA Draft picks land is always interesting, but there will be a few surprising picks who will land in the first round.

Players like Portland's Nolan Smith played well in college, though they need some more polish and are currently second-round projections.

Here are some guys whose talent might sneak them into the first round.


Syracuse small forward Kris Joseph

Kris Joseph, a senior small forward from Syracuse, is a projected 34th pick in's mock draft.

Joseph has some seasoned experience playing for the Orange. He is a 6'7", 217-pound swingman who has some really good leaping abilities. He is a good rebounder and plays with energy around the rim.

Last year, Joseph had 13.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists as a senior.

Some weaknesses in his game include being labeled "raw" by scouts and having a limited jump shot.

The Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies have the No. 20 and 22 picks, and they are both looking for a small forward. The Celtics and Grizzlies might be intrigued by Joseph's potential if he develops his jump shot.

He is also the cousin of San Antonio Spurs rookie Corey Joseph.


Kentucky small forward Darius Miller

Another senior who makes this list in Darius Miller, who is projected as a 36th pick by

Miller is a solid baller who was overshadowed by Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and company as the Kentucky Wildcats stormed through college basketball this year.

A 6'7", 238-pound small forward, Miller has averaged 9.9 points and 10.9 points the past two years.He is a strong player who has some good fundamentals and can be a solid bench player.

Miller's vast playing and championship experience with Kentucky will make him appealing for a team to make a safe pick late in the first round.


Kansas point guard/shooting guard Tyshawn Taylor

Tyshawn Taylor had a very impressive NCAA Tournament run with the Kansas Jayhawks, leading them to the championship game.

The last three games of the tourney, Taylor played like a beast with averages of 17 points, 5.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.

The 6'3", 185-pound Taylor has played significant minutes throughout his four-year Jayhawk career and was a reliable starter.

A big question surrounding Taylor is if he can cut down on his turnovers. Taylor had 4.8 assists this season to 3.5 turnovers.

Teams who want someone who might contribute right away would take Taylor. Currently, Taylor is projected as a second-round pick.