2012 NFL Draft: 5 Surprise Prospects Who Will Have Monster Rookie Seasons

Matt SteinCorrespondent IIApril 20, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: 5 Surprise Prospects Who Will Have Monster Rookie Seasons

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    The 2012 NFL draft is less than a week away, and this year's class of prospects is one of the deepest and most talented in recent years. 

    We all know that players like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Trent Richardson are supposed to have incredible rookie seasons. However, there will also be some prospects who will come on strong and surprise people as they have huge seasons.

    Today, we will look at which five prospects of the draft will surprise people the most on their way to monster rookie seasons.

Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

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    2012 Projected Season Stats: 3,296 yards, 26 Passing TDs, 16 INTs, 6 Rushing TDs

    Ryan Tannehill.

    You either love him or you hate him. There is no middle ground. There is no gray area.

    Personally, I love the athleticism and overall skills that he brings to the field. While Tannehill is raw and inexperienced at the quarterback position, you have to love his poise in the pocket. 

    He isn't afraid to stick in there and take a hit and can make any throw necessary in the NFL. If he gets drafted by the Miami Dolphins, he will have the running back weapons to him transition into the league. 

    Look for Tannehill to be an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate by season's end.

Juron Criner, WR, Arizona

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    2012 Projected Season Stats: 56 Receptions, 983 Yards, 9 TDs

    Juron Criner stands at 6'4", but despite his height and size, he possesses a quick first step and is great at changing directions.

    Though he is a polished route-runner, the impact I see him having as a rookie in the NFL is in the red zone. Criner's size and ability to win jump balls will make him lethal near the goal line.

    He may not be the No. 1 receiver for any team as a rookie, but as a second or third option near the end zone, Criner will have himself a mighty fine rookie season.

Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise State

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    2012 Projected Season Stats: 52 Tackles, 8 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles

    While Tyrone Crawford may not be the most polished defensive end available in this year's draft, he has an extremely high ceiling and has shown the ability to improve at a rapid pace.

    Crawford reminds me a lot of J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans. No one thought Watt was going to have the type of rookie season that he did in 2011, and the sames goes for Crawford in 2012. 

    While he isn't overly athletic or explosive, he has a non-stop motor and is an intelligent pass rusher. He will instantly make an impact on games and tally enough sacks to be considered one of the biggest steals on draft day.

Micah Pellerin, CB, Hampton

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    2012 Projected Season Stats: 39 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 5 INTs

    I you haven't heard of Micah Pellerin from Hampton University, you will soon enough.

    As a small-school prospect, Pellerin doesn't get much love from the media, but he has good size, an extremely polished game and the ability to make plays on the ball.

    It's that ability to force turnovers that will get Pellerin on the field as a rookie. It won't be as a starter, but as a nickel cornerback, that Pellerin will make a name for himself in the NFL. 

Aaron Henry, FS, Wisconsin

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    2012 Projected Season Stats: 78 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 4 INTs, 2 Defensive TDs

    While Aaron Henry may not be as well known as Mark Barron or Markelle Martin, I truly believe he could end up being the best safety in this draft.

    There simply isn't anything lacking in Henry's game. He is very natural in coverage with the ability to make plays on the ball. He can also play against the run and displays a nice pop to his game when hitting.

    The only knock on Henry is that he has difficulty understanding the game. What makes me believe that he can figure it out quickly with proper training is that Henry was a member of the Big Ten All-Academic Team.

    Once he spends all his time on learning his position, he should excel.