Todd McShay 2012 NFL Mock Draft: Best Picks from Latest Mock
However, there are several players that find themselves on the outskirts of the top-10 who are capable of making immediate impacts. Based on drafting position and team need, these are the best five picks.
11. Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Kuechly (ILB, Boston College)
Kuechly is a merciless ball-hawk. In 2011, he accumulated 191 total tackles (a 15.92 per game average). He's either led or finished second in the ACC in solo and total tackles each of his three years at Boston College.
Kansas City already has one of the top linebacking corps in the NFL. Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson were Pro Bowlers last season, while Justin Houston finished second on the team in sacks during his rookie campaign.
With Kuechly lining up opposite of Johnson on the inside, the Chiefs could potentially have the most elite set of starting linebackers in the league.
12. Seattle Seahawks - Quinton Coples (DE, North Carolina)
With Coples anchoring the right side of the line, Seattle would have an intimidating pass-rushing tandem that would require offenses to consistently help via tight ends and running backs. He explodes off the line for a player with such a lengthy frame, and boasts the power to disrupt the backfield by bull-rushing.
The senior also creates opportunities for his offense. In 13 games last year, Coples forced three fumbles.
17. Cincinnati Bengals - David DeCastro (G, Stanford)
Guards aren't particularly valued as high draft picks. In general, left tackle is the only position on the offensive line that vanishes from the board regularly in the first round.
However, DeCastro is the personification of the word "reliable". Barring an injury, he has the talent to be a perennial All-Pro within his first couple of years in the league—comparisons to Pittsburgh's Maurkice Pouncey, who was a Pro Bowl selection in his rookie season, are already reverberating throughout scouting circles.
Which player will make the biggest impact in his first season?
25. Denver Broncos - Michael Brockers (DT, LSU)
Denver finished 22nd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per carry (4.1).
Brockers shines in the spotlight, having built a reputation for performing at his maximum potential when it matters most. In the SEC championship game against the Georgia Bulldogs, he accumulated six solo tackles, a pass deflection, two tackles for loss and forced one fumble.
If opposing backfields aren't capable of gashing the guts of Denver's defense, the AFC West champions should see more third-and-longs.
With Elvis Dumervil holding down the right end and a healthy Von Miller returning, Brockers should indirectly contribute to the Broncos' sack total increasing significantly.
26. Houston Texans - Kendall Wright (WR, Baylor)
If you did, you probably live in the vicinity of Houston, or you're a pathological liar.
The Texans top tight end, Owen Daniels, snatched 54 receptions last season. Kevin Walter had 39, while Jacoby Jones grabbed 31. Combined, the trio accounted for 124 total.
In 13 games last season, Kendall Wright caught 108 receptions (8.3 per game). He also averaged an eye-popping 128 yards per game.
Clearly, defenses' primary target would still be painted on the jersey of No. 80. However, they would be forced to respect Wright's game-breaking speed, which would also ease the pressure on All-Pro running back Arian Foster.
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