2012 NFL Draft: Andrew Luck and the Most NFL-Ready Prospects

TCorrespondent IIIMay 31, 2011

2012 NFL Draft: Andrew Luck and the Most NFL-Ready Prospects

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    MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 03:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal throws pass against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the 2011 Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Stanford won 40-12. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    For NFL draft fans, it is never too early to look ahead to see who may be a top pick in next year's draft.

    The name everyone is talking about is Stanford quarterback, Andrew Luck.

    However, there are many other NFL-ready prospects that could increase their draft stock in the 2011 college football season.

Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

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    MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 03:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal celebrates after he threw a 38-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the Virginai Tech Hokies during the 2011 Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2011 in Miam
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Luck is the top prospect by far heading into the 2011 season.

    The Stanford quarterback could have gone no. 1 in this year's draft easily, but opted to return to school.

    With coach Jim Harbaugh leaving for the 49ers and three offensive linemen graduating, Luck may have a difficult 2012.

    However, this should not affect his value going forward as he is a solid quarterback with plenty of potential at the next level.

    His size and accuracy make him an attractive option for any team at the top of the draft looking for a quarterback in 2012.

Matt Barkley, QB, USC

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    PASADENA, CA - DECEMBER 04:  Quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans drops back to pass against the UCLA Bruins during the first half at the Rose Bowl on December 4, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Barkley has a good enough arm to make at the next level.

    He is strong and accurate with the smarts to decipher an NFL playbook.

    Barkley has drawn comparisons to Ben Roethlisberger in terms of his ability to create plays outside of the pocket.

    Scouts have remarked that Barkley is only scratching the surface of his true talent and his best is yet to come.

Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

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    CHAPEL HILL, NC - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quinton Coples #90 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at Kenan Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Coples is an elite pass rusher who can provide a great rush from the outside as well as run support, and athleticism.

    Coples, at 6-foot-6, 255 pounds, has drawn comparisons to Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap.

    However, Coples faces the possibility of being suspended for the part—if not all of—the 2011 season for receiving improper benefits.

Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 16:  Dre Kirkpatrick #21 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Ole Miss Rebels at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Kirkpatrick is a hard-hitting corner with size to become a complete defensive back.

    He rarely gets beat off the line by a receiver under press coverage. 

    Kirkpatrick also plays the run well as a bump and run corner. However, against top receivers in the SEC, Kirkpatrick does not have a great track record.

    Alshon Jeffery of South Carolina was able to beat Kirkpatrick on a regular basis in 2010. 

    Kirkpatrick has all of the intangibles to be a top cornerback in the NFL.

Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

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    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 31:  Alshon Jeffery #1 of the South Carolina Gamecocks against Terrance Parks #4 of the Florida State Seminoles during the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl at Georgia Dome on December 31, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    At 6-foot-5, Jeffery has desirable size for an elite receiver. 

    The South Carolina receiver is slightly bigger than Detroit's Calvin Johnson.

    Jeffery is an excellent route-runner, who pays attention to his instincts against opposing cornerbacks.

    With over 1,500 yards receiving in 2010, Jeffery is a game-changing receiver with an extraordinary burst off the snap, leaving press coverage defenders reeling.

Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

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    DURHAM, NC - SEPTEMBER 18: Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide scores on a 45-yard touchdown run during third quarter action against the Duke Blue Devils at Wallace Wade Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Durham, North Carolina.  The Crimson Tid
    Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images

    As the backup to Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, Richardson made a name for himself with his powerful running style.

    Richardson, at 5-foot-11, is compact similar to the Jacksonville Jaguars' Maurice Jones-Drew. 

    He can also catch the ball out of the backfield when needed.

    Richardson runs with power, has great field-vision and elusiveness.

    As he is becoming the feature back in the Alabama offense, Richardson will have his chance to shine in 2011 and improve his stock.

    Richardson has a chance to be the top running back selected.