2012 NFL Draft: 2 Crazy Predictions for Every Round
"With the 12th pick in the NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select Christian Ponder."
Picks like this are the reason the NFL Draft is so great. It's completely unpredictable. In fact, the only thing that is safe to assume in the draft is that something ridiculous will happen.
This year will be no different. The so-called experts will find their mocks shot to pieces by the end of the top ten, and some team will inevitably make a huge reach.
With this in mind, here are two crazy predictions for each round.
First Round—The Jaguars Will Select Kendall Wright
The Jaguars are one of the most unpredictable teams when it comes to the NFL Draft, but one thing they consistently value is character.
Generally, they also are more than willing to make a controversial choice at a position of need. That means a receiver will likely be the pick, and with Justin Blackmon gone, the Jaguars will have their choice of Michael Floyd or Kendall Wright.
In a stunning move, the Jaguars will go with Kendall Wright, who offers high character and deep speed.
The reason this is so shocking, though, is that Wright is generally considered a late first-round pick, but the Jaguars will take him seventh overall after becoming enamored with his play making ability.
Pay no heed to the Michael Floyd hype that has taken off in recent weeks. The Jaguars will stay true to their board and pick the player that most closely fits their mold in Kendall Wright.
First Round—Five Quarterbacks Will Go in the First Round
Currently, there are only three sure-fire first-round quarterbacks: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill.
Last year, there were only two, and four still went within the top-12 picks.
This year will be no different, with quarterbacks being pushed up the draft, and second and third-round prospects getting selected in the first round.
The two surprises will be Brandon Weeden and Brock Osweiler.
With Ryan Tannehill off the board by the Dolphins' pick, they will be in a bind. A trade down, though, could offer them the chance to select a quarterback and pick up a few picks. Brandon Weeden would be the pick in this case, as his talent is among the best in the entire draft. He is definitely the fourth-best quarterback prospect, and he's also a first-round talent.
After that, the Chiefs, who will probably miss out on a quarterback with their first round pick, will trade up and select Brock Osweiler, who has the arm strength and athletic ability that Matt Cassel lacks.
Few are projecting Weeden or Osweiler in the first round, but teams make drastic decisions to get their franchise quarterback, and these two quarterbacks will be the beneficiaries.
Second Round—The Bills Will Finally Take Their Quarterback of the Future
The Bills have long been reluctant to find a quarterback for the future, opting instead to take role players like C.J. Spiller in the first round.
While 2012 won't seem any different initially, the Bills will finally fall in love with a prospect at quarterback, making him their future franchise player.
Kirk Cousins will be that guy.
Playing at Michigan State, Cousins is accustomed to bad weather and strong winds, and he has shown the leadership ability that the Bills covet.
While Cousins lacks the elite physical skills that separate the top prospects, he has enough moxie and ability to convince a team he's a franchise quarterback.
With the Bills lacking a legitimate quarterback for so long, Cousins could finally be the player to make them invest in the future.
Second Round—Peter Konz Will Slide into the Second Half of the Second Round
Though he's the consensus top center in the draft, Peter Konz is a surprisingly divisive prospect. He is regularly mocked in the first round, but CBS Sports ranks him 36th overall, while the NFL Network's Bucky Brooks has him as the 35th best prospect.
The main issue with Konz on tape is his lack of power at the point of attack, something that showed in his measly 18 reps of the bench press at the NFL combine.
His lack of power will cost him on draft day to the point that he will fall from a likely first-round prospect to a mid-second-round prospect.
The Chicago Bears would be the team to stop his free fall. They desperately need help along the offensive line, and Konz would be able to team up with college teammate Gabe Carimi.
Third Round—The New York Jets Will Reach for Vontaze Burfict
After an offseason in which Burfict ran a 4.93 40-yard dash and turned off teams with his selfish demeanor, teams are rightfully shying away from the once highly sought after prospect.
The Jets do business differently than other teams, though, and they will like the brash and explosive demeanor that Burfict brings to the table.
While some teams might view his out-of-control play as a negative, the Jets feed on that kind of raw emotion, and Rex Ryan would greatly look forward to working with it.
If any team could make Burfict a stud, it's the Jets. To be fair, the Jets' locker room is already such a mess that one more headcase couldn't make a difference anyway.
Third Round—The Cincinnati Bengals Draft the Offensive Rookie of the Year
After a stellar draft in 2011, the Bengals are poised to move to elite status in the AFC. They just need to find a running game to supplement their young but talented passing game.
Enter Chris Polk.
Polk is a true featured-back, with excellent size, speed and power. Despite never having an elite surrounding cast, Polk was consistently able to find running room and churn out yardage.
Also a multi-dimensional talent with solid receiving ability, Polk would immediately step into the starting role for the Bengals and rush for well over 1,000 yards. That could be enough to put him into consideration for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Fourth Round—The Eagles Will Take Their Quarterback of the Future
The Eagles love to stir the pot on draft day, and they shouldn't disappoint in 2012. The Eagles are considered a hot candidate to trade up for a quarterback on draft day, but the price will probably be too high for them.
That shows, though, that the Eagles are definitely in the market for a quarterback.
Russell Wilson fits the athletic mold that the Eagles like their quarterbacks to fit, and he will definitely be available in the fourth round. He would make a lot of sense for the Eagles, as they could provide him a chance to learn behind Michael Vick.
Wilson is a winner with big time potential, so despite his size, he'd be a nice pick for the Eagles—but it would definitely be surprising.
Fourth Round—Receiver Who Was Suspended for Most of 2011 Will Be Picked
Generally, getting suspended for most of the previous season is enough to completely tank a prospect's draft stock.
DeVier Posey might be able to buck this trend though, as his athleticism and size has teams intrigued.
After a year of excellent production in 2010, Devier Posey was implicated in the Ohio State scandal and consequently missed most of 2011.
With a chance to finally prove himself, Posey looked thoroughly mediocre at the Senior Bowl, hurting his draft stock further.
Still, some team will take a chance on the talented wideout, simply because talent like his does not come around very often, especially in the fourth round.
Fifth Round—One of the Most Productive Tight Ends in the Draft Will Fall Here
Missouri's Michael Egnew may be one of the few tight ends in this year's draft that is known by casual NFL fans.
This is a result of his 90-catch junior season, a stellar number for sure.
After a down senior year, though, Egnew's stock has fallen. His nice size isn't enough to make up for his marginal athleticism, and he will fall as a result.
Egnew would be a nice fit with the Redskins, who will need a few more targets for Robert Griffin III and will also need to supplement Fred Davis, who is on thin ice after a drug suspension in 2011.
Fifth Round—Despite Major Character Issues, Cliff Harris Finally Selected
Cliff Harris can look like a first-round pick on tape, but he has an attitude that doesn't belong in the NFL.
The problem with Harris isn't that he made a mistake during the course of his college career. Rather, he simply hasn't learned from them, continuing to run into legal trouble. That raises major red flags, and despite his talent, he will fall because of his major character issues.
His free fall will stop here, though, where the Cincinnati Bengals will select him. The Bengals do not shy away from players with character concerns, and they desperately need to upgrade their secondary.
If Harris stays out of trouble, the Bengals could get themselves a steal here.
Sixth Round—Several Combine Stars Will Finally Be Selected
Unfortunately for players like Chris Owusu, James Hanna and Bruce Irvin, the combine isn't everything in grading draft prospects.
Stanford receiver Owusu blazed a 4.36 40-yard dash at the combine. Combined with a 40-inch vertical jump, Owusu is clearly one of the most explosive players in the draft, but his lack of production will cause him to fall into the sixth round.
Hanna, a tight end from Oklahoma, also rocked the combine with a 4.49 40-yard dash and a 36-inch vertical, but like Owusu, his lack of production will keep him from being drafted higher.
Finally, Irvin actually had excellent production in college as a pass-rusher at West Virginia. Despite his elite speed, showcased in his 4.43 40-yard dash. Unfortunately, he lacks the flexibility to be anything but a pass-rushing specialist in the NFL, and that hurts his stock.
All of these players have elite athleticism, but each could fall for a variety of reasons.
Sixth Round—The First Specialist Will Go off the Board, Then Two More
Usually, there is at least one specialist worth a mid-round pick in the NFL Draft, but this year there are no sure-fire candidates, meaning that specialists will fall in this year's draft.
The sixth round is where the run on specialists will start, beginning with California punter Bryan Anger, who is probably the top specialist available.
After Anger, Florida State punter Shawn Powell, with perhaps the biggest leg in the draft, will go off the board.
Finally, Texas A&M kicker Randy Bullock will be drafted, as his accuracy will be enough to entice a team to draft him in the sixth round.
Seventh Round—The Most Productive Receiver in the Draft Will Finally Be Picked
Jordan White literally had as many catches in 2011 as many higher-ranked prospects had in their career. With a whopping 140 catches in 2011, White had more catches than Stephen Hill, Rueben Randle and Tommy Streeter had in their entire careers.
Despite his monster production, White will fall to the seventh round. His lack of speed hurts him, and his marginal competition is also an issue.
Still, White's production is indicative of the talent that he possesses. He could make some team very happy in the seventh round.
Seventh Round—Two of the Most Decorated College QBs of All Time Will Be Picked
With a whopping 33,884 yards and 297 touchdowns between Case Keenum and Kellen Moore in their careers, the two have the stats and win totals of first-round picks.
Unfortunately, neither possess the requisite size, arm strength or athleticism to compete in the NFL. This will force both all the way to the seventh round, where teams will pick them up to compete as backup quarterbacks.
Sadly, these two prolific college quarterbacks simply don't look like they'll contribute at the next level. Considering the level they played at in college, this might be the biggest shock in the draft.
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