The 2012 NFL draft is finally here. The hype built up over the last few months has reached its apex. The agonizing wait will finally end when the first round kicks off Thursday.
Day 1 of the NFL draft is the one that receives the most attention, and rightfully so. The best players are available and can drastically alter the fortunes of every NFL franchise.
However, it’s the second round and beyond that truly shape each team’s future.
The first round receives the majority of the media hoopla, but the second and third rounds are where teams find talented players who contribute for years to come. Think about guys like Maurice Jones-Drew, Drew Brees and Mike Singletary.
Some second- and third-round selections may not be immediate starters, but they provide critical depth. Others will start for their respective teams for a long time.
While first-round selections have a high propensity to bust because of the ridiculous media hype surrounding their careers, second- and third-rounders are given time to develop before immediately being labeled a successes or failures.
So while the majority of mock drafts focus mostly on the first round, let’s take a look at the players who could quietly change the landscape of the NFL without the first-round hype.
Here are complete second- and third-round projections for the 2012 NFL draft: