NFL Draft Projections: Courtney Upshaw and the Biggest Playmakers Left

John NizinskiAnalyst IIIApril 27, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Linebacker Courtney Upshaw of Alabama takes part in a drill during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The first round of the 2012 NFL draft is over and there are still players left that can make significant impact in the NFL

As we saw in the first round, teams are willing to sacrifice draft picks in order to move up and grab talented players. 

There are still some playmakers left on the board that teams could trade up to acquire.


Stephen Hill, St. Louis Rams, pick No. 33

The best wide receiver still available is Stephen Hill. He has big-play potential but needs to develop more. The Rams are in desperate need of a wide receiver. They have three picks in the second round of the draft and could use their first one on Hill.


Courtney Upshaw, New York Jets, pick No. 34

Upshaw is among the top pass-rushers in this draft class. He is going to be able to get to the quarterback and make plays for teams that need that. Upshaw should be taken within the first three picks of the second round.

The Jets have a surplus of draft picks and GM Mike Tannenbaum is notorious for moving up in the draft. They could trade some of their extra picks to the Colts in order to take Upshaw with pick No. 34. The Colts are rebuilding and may be more interested in acquiring some extra picks.


Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts, pick No. 47

The Colts drafted Andrew Luck to be their franchise quarterback in the first round. They will need to surround Luck with talent if they want him to succeed quickly. The Colts will draft tight end Coby Fleener, who was Luck's tight end and favorite target in college.

Tight ends are beginning to be used more often in the offensive scheme. Many didn't expect Fleener to get out of the first round, but he will continue to drop because of the lack of depth at the tight end position in the draft. The Colts will trade down and take Fleener with pick No. 47.


Janoris Jenkins, New England Patriots, pick No. 48

Going on talent and skill alone, Janoris Jenkins would have been picked early in the first round. However, his legal and character issues have caused his stock to drop. Jenkins was dismissed from the University of Florida because of a marijuana arrest.

He is ready to be a playmaker right away, but the only thing holding him back is his checkered past. The Patriots showed they were willing to bring in players with questionable characters when they brought in Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco. They will do that again by taking a chance on Jenkins in the second round.