I know it’s early for a mock draft. The college football calendar just turned to Week 3, and the NFL is about to wrap up Week 1 of its 16-game schedule. But conducting a mock draft this early allows analysts like myself to get a feel for NFL team needs as the season begins and to see how they change as the season progresses.
It also tests my skills as a prognosticator in September for a draft that takes place in April. It’s very possible that at least 30 percent of the players projected in my first attempt to predict the future are not even selected in the first round next April.
And, who is to say that all of the draft-eligible prospects listed in my mock draft actually declare for the annual spring spectacle?
Yes, a lot will change, and by no means is this a finished product—especially since the official draft order won’t be finalized until 2012.
Speaking of the draft order, the order in my mock draft is based on my vision of how the NFL season will play out. There are a few surprises, and I’m sure there will be some critical responses to where I see your favorite teams finishing.
I do foresee a team that doesn’t need a young quarterback ending up with the No. 1 overall pick, which would spark a lot of controversy considering Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is the potential (he’s only a junior) prized possession. If this were to occur and Luck declared for the draft, there would be a bidding war of astronomical proportions for that selection.
With that said, the pick is in…and with the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the…