2012 NFL Draft: 7 Players Who Will Be First-Round Surprises
Every year there are major surprises in the NFL Draft.
The surprises will continue in this year's draft. Some of these surprises will turn out to be genius, and others may have fans furious for years.
The surprises will differ from players sneaking into the first round, to players going much higher than expected.
Get ready for some big surprises at Radio City Music Hall.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle will be a steal late in the first round.
Randle is built to be a solid receiver with a 6'3" 210-pound frame. He also showed good speed with a 4.5 40-yard dash at the combine.
2011 was a breakout season for Randle. The receiver hauled in 53 catches for 917 yards and eight touchdowns.
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images
Boise State OLB/DE Shea McClellin has been a big "late-riser" into the first round.
McClellin can do it all. Just put on the tape, and he's a player to fall in love with.
As a three-year starter for Boise State, McClellin was one of the most consistent players on the team. At 6'3" and 260 pounds, McClellin can help at both defensive end or outside linebacker.
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Coming into the 2011 season, Jeffery was considered a lock for a top ten pick of this year's draft.
However, things have drastically changed for Jeffery. Teams are concerned with Jeffery's weight fluctuation and "bad attitude."
Jeffery slimmed down to 216 pounds for the combine, and then ran in the range of 4.4-4.5 in the 40-yard dash at his pro day. Staying at that weight will be huge for Jeffery.
His production has no question marks. Jeffery is the all-time leader in receiving yards at South Carolina with 3,042. Give him a good quarterback and he could be a steal in the late first round.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Harrison Smith was not considered a first-round pick by many people heading into the year.
However, Smith showed that he is the second best safety in the nation behind Mark Barron. Smith had solid production and he has a chiseled frame at 6'2" and 213 pounds.
What separated Smith from the other safeties was his performance at the combine. Smith showed great agility to go with his frame, by running a 4.57 40-yard dash, 6.63 three-cone drill and a 4.12 20-yard shuttle. Smith's three-cone drill was the best by any other safety at the combine.
Possible Teams: Detroit Lions, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots
Eric Francis/Getty Images
Lavonte David, a Nebraska outside linebacker, is another player that can make you fall in love—just watch his tape.
David is an undersized outside linebacker at just under 6'1" and 233 pounds. His size should not scare teams away, though.
In 2011, David had 112 tackles for Nebraska. He also showed solid speed with a 4.65 40-yard dash and good lateral movement with a 4.22 20-yard shuttle. His production will continue and he will be a steal late in the first round.
Possible Teams: Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Chandler Jones, a Syracuse defensive end, is another "late-riser" in this year's draft.
Jones is seen as a first round draft pick by most, but he makes the list for what he was once seen as. Jones was far from a first round draft pick before this season and now he can go very high.
The defensive end measures at 6'5" and 266 pounds and has athleticism built deep inside of him. UFC champion Jon Jones is Chandler's brother. It just shows that Jones is full of athleticism that a team will fall in love with.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore has seen his stock fly sky high recently.
Already being a future first-round pick, Gilmore makes the list because of how much his stock has increased. Gilmore was seen as an early second-round to late first-round pick, but now may even be a top ten pick.
According to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have the seventh pick in the draft, are very interested in Gilmore. "Like Tampa, Jacksonville has a major hole at cornerback, and I hear the Jags like Gilmore a ton, which would have to be the case for them to reach for him here."
Possible Teams: Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys