2012 NFL Draft: The 27 Most Explosive Players in This Year's Draft Class

Tony Santorsa@@TonySantorsaSenior Writer IIApril 17, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: The 27 Most Explosive Players in This Year's Draft Class

0 of 27

    When you think of explosive players in the NFL today, guys like Victor Cruz, Chris Johnson, Steve Smith and Cam Newton all come to mind.

    What does it mean to be explosive? Well, to sum it up rather simply, it means having the ability to score at any second—being able to turn a small gain into a large chunk of yardage.

    With that being said, let's take a look at some players who have plenty of potential and upside to be explosive at the next level.

    Here are the 27 most explosive players in the 2012 NFL draft.  

Robert Griffin III

1 of 27

    Forget Michael Vick—Robert Griffin III is the most dynamic and athletic quarterback to ever enter the NFL draft.

    RG3 is going to be something special—I guarantee it.

    The ceiling for RG3 is endless, and I truly believe that he can end up being a more productive quarterback than Andrew Luck simply because of his explosiveness and incredibly playmaking ability. 

Isaiah Pead

2 of 27

    Isaiah Pead ran a solid 4.47 40-yard dash time at this year's scouting combine and is certainly one of the more shifty runners in this year's draft.

    Pead isn't the fastest guy on the field, but accelerates very quickly after making moves to make opposing defenders miss. 

Russell Wilson

3 of 27

    The thing about Russell Wilson is that he probably won't make it as an NFL quarterback—he's not that great of a passer.

    However, Wilson is an explosive player thanks to his impressive 4.55 40-yard dash time, but I suppose that's only "explosive" for the quarterback position. 

Trent Richardson

4 of 27

    Trent Richardson is by far the top running back heading into the 2012 NFL draft.

    We all know Richardson is one of the most physical and well-rounded runners, but no one talks about his ability to break off long runs.

    Richardson plays very balanced, and when he has to be, he can be pretty damn explosive. 

Rueben Randle

5 of 27

    Wide receiver Rueben Randle was one of the biggest playmakers for LSU during his college days.

    The biggest concern with Randle is that he doesn't necessarily run the greatest routes and is very underdeveloped.

    Let's just say his route tree is running a fly, an out and an in—that's it. 

David Wilson

6 of 27

    There are two reasons why David Wilson is on this list.

    For one, he's a dynamic running back who can do a lot of things well. Secondly, he's one of the better returners heading into the 2012 draft.

    At any moment, Wilson can break off a run for a major chunk of yardage. 

Lamar Miller

7 of 27

    Out of all of the running backs in the 2012 draft class, Lamar Miller is arguably the fastest one, as he has the most impressive straight-line speed. He runs like a track star.

    Miller is a decent-sized runner who moves very well and fast, but his biggest problem is that he isn't very powerful. Still, that doesn't matter when you're talking about his explosiveness. 

Michael Floyd

8 of 27

    Michael Floyd may not be the fastest guy at the snap of the ball, and he may not be the fastest wide receiver when running downfield, but he's still explosive.

    How? Well, he's just so strong and powerful that he's almost impossible to bring down by a pencil-neck cornerback.

    At anytime when in open space, Floyd can turn a five-yard gain into a touchdown. 

Michael Calvin

9 of 27

    Michael Calvin isn't a top-tier wide receiver in this year's draft, but teams still might want to take a look at him due to his elite speed and explosiveness.

    Calvin is a speedster and has no problem running downfield, as he clocked in at 4.32 for the 40-yard dash. He certainly has the ability to beat defenders and be explosive. 

Kendall Wright

10 of 27

    If you ask me, Kendall Wright is the most explosive wide receiver in the 2012 draft class.

    Wright may have had a rather mediocre showing at the scouting combine—he ran a disappointing 4.61 in the 40-yard dash—but take a look at his game film. Film simply doesn't lie.

    Wright was Robert Griffin III's favorite wide receiver while at Baylor, as the duo connected many times for large chunks of yardage. 

Deante' Purvis

11 of 27

    Wait a second...who's Deante' Purvis?

    Well, he's one of the fastest running backs in this year's draft coming straight out of UNLV.

    Davis isn't really a high-profile prospect, but you can't deny his impressive 4.37 40-yard dash time at UNLV's pro day.

Stephen Hill

12 of 27

    Stephen Hill might not have been thrown to a whole lot while at Georgia Tech in its triple-option offense, but when he did get the ball, he turned it into a big play.

    Hill has blazing speed, as he clocked in at 4.36 and should be a very explosive wide receiver at the NFL level. 

Chris Rainey

13 of 27

    Let's just say this about Chris Rainey: He was an All-American track star in 2008.

    Rainey is a shifty runner with a lethal combination of moves that allows him to create space and then ultimately exploding through the hole that he creates.

    Rainey can pop a long run at any time. 

Michael Smith

14 of 27

    Ladies and gentlemen, Michael Smith is possibly the fastest running back in the 2012 draft class.

    The Utah State product ran a blazing 4.33 40-yard dash time, so we automatically have to put him on the list, am I right? 

Deonte Thompson

15 of 27

    Deonte Thompson might not have a future in the NFL, but he's one freak athlete.

    The Florida product ran a blazing 4.32 40-yard dash at the Gators' pro day. He's one of the more explosive wide receivers that this year's class has to offer. 

Jordan Jefferson

16 of 27

    I think we all saw Jordan Jefferson run wild while at LSU, but we probably won't see that happening at the NFL level.

    Jefferson certainly does have blazing speed for the quarterback position with his 4.65 40-yard dash time, but I do not see him playing a snap at quarterback at the professional level. 

Ronnie Hillman

17 of 27

    Not too many of you know who Ronnie Hillman is, but I'll just say he's quite the speedster. 

    At this year's scouting combine, Hillman ran a solid 4.45 40-yard dash time. He displayed great field vision at San Diego State, as he can hit the hole hard and explode right through it. 

Andrew Luck

18 of 27

    Andrew Luck may be fast, but he's not that fast. However, he is still explosive.

    Why? Because of his arm.

    At any time and any moment, Luck can use his once-in-a-decade arm to absolutely devastate an opposing defense. 

Justin Blackmon

19 of 27

    Justin Blackmon is the next great wide receiver.

    While at Oklahoma State, Blackmon proved that he's well-rounded in all areas of the game and is without a doubt one of the most effective playmakers in the 2012 draft class. 

Chris Owusu

20 of 27

    Chris Owusu was one of Andrew Luck's most lethal weapons at Stanford, and he'll look to take his game to the next level.

    While at Stanford, Owusu as one of the flashiest wide receivers on the field, as he was a solid deep threat with his blazing speed. At this year's scouting combine, Owusu posted a phenomenal 4.36 40-yard dash time. 

Doug Martin

21 of 27

    Heading into the 2012 draft, Doug Martin is one of my favorite running backs.

    Martin simply was the juice that pumped Boise State's offense a year ago.

    Martin is equipped with elite agility despite lacking straight-ahead speed, which he makes up for with impressive field vision. 

Travis Benjamin

22 of 27

    I guess you could say that Travis Benjamin is just a track star trying to play football. He's only 176 lbs but can fly down the field.

    The Miami product is one of the fastest wide receivers in the 2012 draft class, as he clocked in at 4.36 seconds for the 40-yard dash.

Chris Polk

23 of 27

    I am a huge fan of Chris Polk and his 4.57 40-yard dash time.

    Polk may not be the greatest outside runner, but when he runs in between the tackles, he is strong and explosive enough to keep on chugging through and break off a long run. 

Chris Givens

24 of 27

    Chris Givens is a freak of nature.

    Givens is very fast, has great control of his body and some of the most impressive leaping abilities in this year's draft class. 

    Givens ran a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash at the combine. While at Wake Forest, he was the team's most efficient wide receiver due to his playmaking ability. 

Dominique Davis

25 of 27

    I'm not too sure if Dominique Davis is going to make it in the NFL as a legitimate quarterback; he may be another one of those option quarterbacks who's great in college but can't get their game to translate at the NFL level.

    However, Davis has very impressive running abilities when compared to others at the quarterback position in this year's draft.

LaMichael James

26 of 27

    LaMichael James didn't have the most impressive 40-yard dash time at this year's scouting combine. After watching his game film, you can't deny that he's pretty explosive. 

    While playing in Chip Kelly's spread offensive attack at Oregon, James was a very shifty runner who broke off long runs multiple times a game. 

Mohamed Sanu

27 of 27

    I am a huge believer in Mohamed Sanu. I think he has the ability and potential to make it at the NFL level. 

    Sanu has an impressive quick burst at the snap of the ball and has no problem beating defenders at the line of scrimmage.