2012 Draft Predictions: Why the AFC Will Dominate Draft Day

Dan SnyderCorrespondent IApril 9, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at the podium during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Day one of the NFL Draft is always very exciting.

Every year there are guys who skyrocket up boards and some who plummet down rounds. There are big trades to be had along with sorrow and satisfaction for some fans. 

But this year, the glory of the first day will belong to the AFC. 

For one thing, the AFC has 18 of the 32 available picks in the first round. The Browns scored a first rounder from the Falcons in last year's Julio Jones trade, while the Patriots acquired the Saints' first-round pick after New Orleans jumped back into round one last season to take Mark Ingram.

Along with the Browns and Patriots, the AFC's Bengals also have two first-round selections. The Raiders are the AFC's only team without a first-round pick, which might actually bode well for the conference.  

The AFC's ability and willingness to trade back into the first round is another reason the conference should crush round one.

AFC teams are in more desperate need for quarterbacks than NFC teams, so a trade back into the end of the first round is more likely to come from an AFC team.

The Dolphins, Browns, Chiefs, Colts and Broncos have all expressed interest in some of the highly touted quarterbacks in this year's draft.

It's all but guaranteed that the Colts will take Andrew Luck with the first pick and many think that either the Browns, Dolphins or Chiefs will end up with Ryan Tannehill. But for the teams left out, a trade back into the first round might be all they have.

Finally, over the last five years, the AFC has seemed to just draft better in round one. Even with the Raiders dragging the curve down, AFC teams have drafted 20 pro bowlers in the first round since 2007. The NFC has taken 17.

It will be interesting to see which conference does better come that Friday night in April, but looking at it now, the AFC has all the tools to crush its opposing foe.