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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Projecting the Complete First Round

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Projecting the Complete First Round
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck

No time like the present to look ahead to the 2012 NFL draft, right?

Mr. Irrelevant, the annual nickname given to the last and final selection of the NFL draft, was just taken in the seventh and final round of the 2011 NFL draft.

Now, it’s time to start evaluating each team’s choices and look ahead to next year. Right off the top, it appears that while the 2012 NFL draft will have some excellent skill position players available—Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon and Oregon running back LaMichael James, to name a few—the first round, at least, is skewed more defensively.

But it doesn’t appear to be a particularly deep draft, either, at first look.

For the purpose of this 2012 Mock Draft, we’ll use the most recent NFL odds of getting to next year’s Super Bowl, which means the Carolina Panthers are on the clock with the first pick—again—in the 2012 Mock Draft.

Or are they?

Since it’s a mock draft, we’ve taken the liberty of conducting a mock trade to start things off. We’ve also taken the liberty of making a few assumptions, namely that a certain junior or two will be foregoing his senior year in order to make himself available for the 2012 draft.

With that in mind, we give you one man’s opinions and projections of next year’s first round of the draft. Let’s just hope the operative word here—“mock”—doesn’t come back to bite him in the you know what in about 12 months.

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