2012 NFL Draft: The 20 Best Available Players Going into Day 2
After a Day 1 filled with trades and some surprise picks, we find ourselves looking ahead to Day 2 perplexed about some players still left on the board. Though we can do mock drafts and project as much as we want, draft day is always full of surprises.
So which players should you be keeping an eye on as Day 2 begins? Here are the best available players.
The tackle from Stanford was projected to be a mid-to-late first-round pick. Martin, who spent his college career protecting Andrew Luck's blindside, is considered the third-best tackle in the draft behind Matt Kalil and Riley Reiff.
He can expect to hear his name called early Friday night, with the Rams and Bills looking to address their offensive-line issues.
Cordy Glenn was another college tackle who had a mid-to-late first-round grade.
I was surprised teams like Cincinnati, Baltimore and San Francisco didn't look to take Glenn, who may have to move inside and play guard in the NFL, at the end of the first round. But there are plenty of teams at the top of the second round who are glad they passed on him.
The second Stanford player on this list is considered the best tight end in the draft thanks to his big frame and sure hands. With his 6'6" frame, 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash and surprising agility for a player his size, Fleener is a nightmare to cover.
With Indianapolis holding the second pick of the second round, a Luck and Fleener reunion may well be in the cards.
Lavonte David was a tackling machine last year. He had six games with 10 or more tackles, including 14 solo tackles against Michigan. In fact, in David's two years at Nebraska, he never recorded fewer than five tackles in a game.
A natural fit as an outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme, David should attract a lot of interest at the start of the second round.
Entering the draft, Lamar Miller was considered a borderline first-round pick. With running backs Doug Martin of Boise State and David Wilson of Virginia Tech going at the end of the first round, Miller should be the first option at that position on Day 2 of the draft.
He comes from a factory of running backs in Miami and should attract interest from teams in need of a home run-hitting back.
Standing at 6'6" and 330 pounds, Osemele is a man-mountain of a prospect better who is better suited to playing guard than tackle in the NFL. As a run blocker, he uses his 35-inch arms and superior strength to maul defenders out of the way. But he needs work in pass protection.
There are still a surprising number of offensive linemen left on the board. But the potential of Osemele might be enough to make him a second-round pick.
Alshon Jeffery started out the draft process as one of the highest-rated receivers, but gradually slipped down big boards and out of the first round. Playing with an unstable quarterback situation at South Carolina didn't help his draft prospects, but he still showed flashes of elite potential.
With St. Louis holding three early second-round picks, Jeffrey might find his name called early Friday night
If it weren't for all the off-the-field issues and character concerns, there is no doubt Janoris Jenkins would be a top-15 pick. However, as good as Jenkins may be on the field, he's a handful off it. Anyone looking for a high-risk, high-reward prospect should look no further than Jenkins.
Konz is the consensus best center in the draft and arguably the best interior lineman available. Though it was a surprise to see his Wisconsin teammate Kevin Zeitler being picked ahead of him, Konz still has a good chance of being selected early in the second round. Indianapolis and Baltimore both need interior linemen.
The Penn State defensive tackle finds himself out of the first round. But with Denver holding the fourth pick in the second round and needing help on the defensive line, Still's wait may not be too long.
The consensus All-American is a solid player who can contribute from Day 1.
Teams will love the athleticism of outside linebacker Zach Brown, who ran track at North Carolina and set the school record in the indoor 60-meter dash. Brown is an intriguing prospect with raw ability who could be valuable in the right system.
He recorded 5.5 sacks last year and is also a solid special-teams player.
Vinny Curry has the potential to be a pass-rushing menace in the NFL. The Marshall product had 10 sacks in his final year for the Thundering Herd and has an amazing burst off the line.
For this reason, he is better suited as a 3-4 linebacker than a 4-3 defensive end. He has the same raw ability and athleticism seen in Jason Pierre-Paul two years ago. Given the right tutelage, he could become just as dominant.
Rueben Randle is a tall, fast receiver who could catch the eye of a team looking for a vertical threat. He finished last season with 53 catches for 917 yards and eight touchdowns. But these numbers easily could have been higher had LSU been able to get consistent play from its quarterbacks.
Randle has the all-around skills to be a good NFL receiver. He's someone St. Louis, Cleveland, Buffalo or Miami may target.
Jamell Fleming may be one of the most underrated players in the draft. He has the ability to lock down a receiver in one-on-one coverage, break on a play in zone coverage and is an excellent tackler.
Fleming's instincts are rare to find. Given his range and reactions, he could be moved to safety. Though Oklahoma defensive backs haven't made the biggest of impacts in the NFL, Fleming could break the trend.
Of all the players on this list, Courtney Upshaw should feel the most unfortunate not to have been selected in the first round. As a key part of one of the greatest college defenses of all time, many believed that Upshaw was a first-round pick.
He could play at a 3-4 outside linebacker or a 4-3 defensive end and has the power and hand technique to get to the quarterback.
In terms of what is left on the board, he may be the safest pick.
With an NFL tight end becoming more of a receiver than a blocker, Dwayne Allen is certain to attract interest in Day 2 of the draft.
He won the Mackey Award as the nation's best college tight end, finishing ahead of Stanford's Coby Fleener. But his slow 4.89-second 40-yard dash and his average blocking skills have made him a less appealing prospect.
Keep an eye on Atlanta when it makes its first pick in the second round. Allen could be the Falcons' answer to Jimmy Graham of the Saints.
Clemson's Andre Branch is a talented pass-rusher who would be rated much higher if he were a better defender against the run. Branch has the size to play in both a 4-3 and a 3-4 scheme. His superior athletic ability enables him to beat blockers, making him a potential lethal force for whichever team drafts him.
Because he played in Georgia Tech's triple-option offense, Hill's role was limited, but that hasn't stopped Denver's Demaryius Thomas from performing well in the NFL.
Hill is raw but has great speed and size. He could be the next great receiver from Georgia Tech.
The second round has plenty of offensive-line talent and could provide a team with a starting left tackle. If you had to draw up an NFL left tackle, Adams would fit the mold.
But the 6'7", 320-pound giant has baggage, whether that be injuries or his suspension during the Ohio State tattoo scandal. If he can stay healthy and out of trouble, he has the potential to be a great pick in the second round.
Jerel Worthy is your prototypical 4-3 rotational run-stuffer. He had nine games with at least one tackle- for-a-loss last year. The best word to describe Worthy would be disruptive. He can wreck havoc on the line of scrimmage as a three-technique.
Denver and Carolina are expected to take a serious look at the Michigan State product at the top of the second round.
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