2012 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1, from Andrew Luck (No. 1) to Lavonte David (No. 32)

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1, from Andrew Luck (No. 1) to Lavonte David (No. 32)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Cam Newton: No 1 Overall Pick in the 2011 NFL Draft

In one week the 32 teams that comprise the NFL will meet in New York to choose from the best athletes college football has to offer. These athletes will come from schools both big and small. They will have played in AQ conferences within the FBS, as well as little-known FCS schools somewhere in the shadow of Big State U.

Those chosen early on Day 1 will be heading to teams that have struggled and hence will get the opportunity to make an immediate impact. Of course, with that opportunity comes the increased possibility of failure. It is the double-edged sword of collegiate success.

It is true for the teams, as well. For more than two months, analysts and strategists have been locked in rooms with coaching staffs and executives. Draft boards have been tacked to walls. They have been filled and erased, only to be filled again. Each team has developed a strategy, scrapped it and then reached into the waste bin, uncrumpled it and brought it back to life.

The build up to the 2012 NFL draft seems to be bigger than ever. It's as if it has taken on a life of its own. What was once relegated to page 2 of your local sports section is now a four-day event filled with almost as much pomp and circumstance as the Super Bowl.

In fact, in terms of overall media coverage, it may be bigger. The Super Bowl has only two weeks of buildup. This years draft buzz and media coverage has been building since the Monday after the Giants were crowned Super Bowl champions.

The draft, once purely the domain of the most fervent fan, is now a worldwide spectacle that has become almost as entertaining as the regular season. In fact, the advent of fantasy football and the subsequent drafts that go along with it, gives the draft as much appeal to some fans as the game itself.

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