2012 NFL Draft: 8 Prospects Who Will Face Most Pressure Immediatly in the NFL

Jeffrey SchmidtCorrespondent IIIOctober 19, 2011

2012 NFL Draft: 8 Prospects Who Will Face Most Pressure Immediatly in the NFL

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    The NFL draft is still several months away, but it is easy to pinpoint the prospects who will withstand the most pressure heading into their rookie seasons.

    Quarterbacks who are drafted in the first round always carry the most pressure to the next level, because these players can determine a team's success or failure like no other position on the field.

    All prospects carry a certain amount of expectations as they make their way into the NFL, but here are eight who will have to withstand the most immediate pressure heading into the 2012 season.

Alshon Jeffery

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    Position Rank: First

    Projected Draft Position: Top Five

    Potential Teams to Draft Jeffery: St. Louis, Denver, Jacksonville, Minnesota  

    Alshon Jeffery is a rare talent at the wide receiver position. His combination of strength, ball skills, vision and height will make him a dangerous deep threat and target in the NFL.

    Jeffery will encounter a tremendous amount of pressure because he will be going to a team that has few if any dangerous targets from the wide receiver position.

Matt Kalil

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    Position Rank: First

    Projected Draft Position: Top Five

    Potential Teams to Draft Kalil: Indianapolis, Chicago (Trade), Minnesota, Kansas City 

    Matt Kalil is the most versatile prospect from the trenches in this upcoming draft. The tackle has been asked to switch sides based on which is the strong or weakside of the line which is not as easy as one may think. 

    Kalil will experience large amounts of pressure because he will be responsible for protecting a franchise quarterback over a 16-game season.

Andrew Luck

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    Position Rank: First

    Projected Draft Position: Top Pick

    Potential Teams to Draft Luck: Miami, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Seattle, Denver, etc.  

    Andrew Luck has been called the best prospect since John Elway.

    Luck is much deserving of the high praise, but the tribute will also bring vast amounts of pressure to perform at an extremely high level.

    The early success of rookie quarterbacks Cam Newton and Andy Dalton will only add more pressure—if that is even possible.

Landry Jones

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    Position Rank: Second

    Projected Draft Position: Top 10

    Potential Teams to Draft Jones: Miami, Seattle, Denver, Kansas City, Washington  

    Landry Jones is clearly the second best quarterback in this year's draft.

    Jones has exceptional physical skills, and he possesses the arm strength to accomplish all the necessary NFL throws.

    He has also shown the ability to provide an accurate football, but accuracy is still his main area that needs improvement.

    Jones is a potential top five pick, which always brings a significant amount of pressure.

Jonathan Martin

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    Position Rank: Second

    Projected Draft Position: Top 10

    Potential Teams to Draft Martin: Indianapolis, Chicago (Trade), Minnesota, Kansas City, Arizona 

    Jonathan Martin is just steps behind Matt Kalil for the top tackle spot. Kalil's versatility ultimately gives him the edge.

    Martin has proven to be talented at both pass- and run-blocking, but pass-blocking is currently his stronger suit.

    Martin will be looked upon to contribute early to a struggling franchise, which brings a vast amount of pressure.

Trent Richardson

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    Position Rank: First

    Projected Draft Position: Top 10

    Potential Teams to Draft Richardson: Cincinnati, Denver, Cleveland, Seattle  

    Trent Richardson has distinguished himself as the best running back in the country after he tore apart the Ole Miss defense this week.

    Richardson should be a top 10 pick in this year's NFL draft because he is the definition of an every-down back and I could see a number of teams trading up to acquire him.

    Richardson will face large amounts of pressure because he will be asked to be the workhorse back for whichever team drafts him.

Quinton Coples

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    Position Rank: First

    Projected Draft Position: Top 15

    Potential Teams to Draft Coples: Jacksonville, Carolina, Tennessee

    Quinton Coples has explosive power that rocks offensive linemen back on their heels. He can produce some vicious hits when he gets some momentum and looks to be a top pick in this year's draft.

    Coples is my top-ranked defensive end, which means that I have him going somewhere in the top 15.

    Many believe that Coples is severely overrated, which will only add more pressure for him to perform early.

Morris Claiborne

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    Position Rank: First

    Projected Draft Position: Top 10

    Potential Teams to Draft Claiborne: Denver, Indianapolis, Carolina, Kansas City 

    Morris Claiborne is always around the football and his physical style of play has allowed him to create a number of turnovers. These attributes are what defensive coordinators drool over because Claiborne's experience has come against top-level SEC competition.

    Claiborne will have to fill a similar role to what his former teammate Patrick Peterson has filled so far in Arizona, which is a lot for a rookie to handle.