2012 NFL Draft: 10 Best Highlights from This Year's Prospects

Nick KostoraContributor IIIApril 25, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: 10 Best Highlights from This Year's Prospects

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    There has been no shortage of amazing plays from the 2012 NFL draft prospects over the course of their collegiate campaigns.

    From mesmerizing returns to one-handed catches and unbelievable last-second victories, the players of the class of 2012 have left their mark on the world of college football in a way that their skills are likely to never be forgotten.

    As their NFL careers are set to begin, it is fun to look at some of the plays that put these players on the map.

    These are the 10 best highlights from the 2012 NFL draft class.

Honorable Mention: Michael Floyd Catch vs. Pitt

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    Michael Floyd is an elite wide receiver out of Notre Dame, and on this play against the Pitt Panthers, he showcases some true skill.

    The fact that he bobbles the catch at first is slightly alarming, but Floyd then has the concentration, focus and hand-eye coordination to reel in the pass.

    Even better is the fact that he had the wherewithal to make his way up field once he had full possession.

10. Ryan Tannehill 65-Yard Scamper vs. Oklahoma State

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    Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill enters the 2012 NFL draft as a possible boom-or-bust selection, but it is hard to doubt his athleticism after watching this highlight.

    On this play against the Oklahoma State Cowboys, Tannehill scrambles for 65 yards and a score.

    He took off right up the middle and was in the end zone before the Cowboys even knew what was happening.

9. Stephen Hill One-Handed Catch vs. North Carolina

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    Stephen Hill had the misfortune of playing in an offense that was not built for wide receivers at Georgia Tech.

    However, when he did get passes thrown his way, he sure made the most of the opportunity.

    Hill is a true physical specimen, and on this play against the North Carolina Tar Heels, he makes an amazing one-handed catch along the sideline.

    Plays like this are making him an intriguing prospect heading into the NFL draft.

8. Brandon Boykin Punt Return in Outback Bowl

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    Brandon Boykin may not be considered a first or even second-round talent in the upcoming draft, but his return ability will surely make NFL scouts take notice.

    On this play against Michigan State in the Outback Bowl, Boykin displays all the attributes necessary of an elite special teams weapon at the next level.

    He has great lateral quickness, top-end speed and knows where the gaps are on the field.

7. Kirk Cousins Hail Mary Pass to Beat Wisconsin

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    This Hail Mary pass by Kirk Cousins may not be the best example of his personal ability, as wide receiver Keith Nichol does most of the heavy lifting on the play.

    Yet, it would be a detriment to the magnitude of this highlight to not include it.

    Michigan State needed this completion to beat Wisconsin and cement its position atop the Big Ten conference.

    The pass fell just short of the end zone, and after Nichol caught it, most viewers remained uncertain of whether or not he crossed the plain.

    It is one of the most exciting and controversial highlights of 2011, if nothing else.

6. Juron Criner Over-the-Back Catch vs. UCLA

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    This highlight features two prospective draftees out of Arizona in quarterback Nick Foles and wide receiver Juron Criner.

    While the pass from Foles was okay, it was the exceptional catch by Criner that makes the highlight.

    The UCLA defender actually has relatively good positioning on Criner in the back of the end zone, but Criner uses this to his advantage, as he catches the ball right over the defender's back and crafts an amazing touchdown.

5. Andrew Luck One-Handed Catch vs. UCLA

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    Is there anything Andrew Luck cannot do?

    Known for being one of the best collegiate quarterbacks in recent memory, on this play he decides to show off his athletic range.

    The Stanford signal-caller leaks out for a pass against UCLA (who seems to be the victim of far too many highlights on this list) and makes a surprising one-handed catch against the sideline.

    He even managed to drag one foot in bounds to secure the reception.

4. Trent Richardson 76-Yard Run Against Ole Miss

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    Power, speed and versatility.

    Trent Richardson encompasses all three of these key ingredients to an elite NFL running back and displayed each of them on this play against Ole Miss.

    After taking the handoff, Richardson makes multiple defenders miss in the backfield before making a long run downfield and juking out some more Rebels on his way to six points.

3. Alshon Jeffery Amazing Hail Mary Catch in the Capital One Bowl

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    There is no denying the pass catching abilities of South Carolina wideout Alshon Jeffery.

    Amidst all the turmoil of the Stephen Garcia era and the transition to Connor Shaw at quarterback, Jeffery was always there to shoulder the offensive load when need be.

    On this play against Nebraska in the Captial One Bowl, Jeffery makes a leaping grab on a Hail Mary pass to give the Gamecocks a halftime lead.

    Even more impressive is the fact that he embarrassed fellow draft prospect, Cornhusker cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, in the process.

2. Robert Griffin Deflected Pass to Kendall Wright Against Oklahoma

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    This play may not be one of Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III's all-time favorites, but if nothing else it shows that he can get lucky at times.

    Griffin actually throws a solid pass to a Baylor receiver before it is tipped and falls into the arms of standout Kendall Wright.

    Wright then shows great instincts and recovery skills, as he makes the necessary adjustments to catch the ball against Oklahoma and get to the end zone.

    Plus, Wright shows his blazing speed during the run.

1. Joe Adams Punt Return Against Tennessee

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    Joe Adams is projected as a third- or fourth-round prospect.

    This highlight makes him look like the greatest player in college football history.

    He eludes seemingly the entire Tennessee Volunteers defense on the punt return and subsequent touchdown.

    Adams' ability to reverse field, break tackles and make defenders miss is truly remarkable.

    Few individual efforts in football history are more remarkable than this, and Adams easily locks up the best highlight of this year's NFL draft class.