Although the 2012 NFL draft seems far away, it is never to early to speculate which positions will be the strongest and weakest.
These ratings are assuming that all of the underclassmen eligible for the draft will forgo the rest of their college career and enter the NFL draft. These positions are subject to change as more information is known about these underclassmen.
Andrew Luck, Landry Jones and Matt Barkley all have the potential to be drafted in the top 10 of the 2012 NFL draft. Luck is almost guaranteed to be the first overall pick no matter which team winds up with the No. 1 overall draft pick.
Now all three of these quarterbacks could opt to stay in college for another year, but I do not see this happening. Advice for Luck: Go to the NFL and take the money.
These three quarterbacks make the quarterback position easily one of the strongest positions in this draft.
I think that it is safe to say that there is no Eric Berry in this draft. Mark Barron is considered by many to be the best safety in this draft class, and while he is a great college player, I do not see him being anything special at the next level.
No safety will be drafted remotely close to the top 10. Expect the first one to come off the board in the second half of the first round, making this position arguably the worst in the 2012 draft.
Heisman front-runner Trent Richardson and preseason Heisman candidate LaMichael James are two running backs who could be very good running backs in the NFL. Richardson is a physical freak and will be one of the strongest running backs in the NFL. James, on the other hand, has world class speed and could be the next Chris Johnson.
Last draft, the first running back was taken 28th overall, but both Richardson and James will be chosen before this. These two backs make the running back position mid-tier in respect to strongest positions in this draft.
Justin Blackmon, Alshon Jeffery, Michael Floyd and Ryan Broyles should all off the draft board in the first round. These four players make the receiver position one of the strongest of the draft.
Jeffery has the great size for the NFL. Blackmon is the best all around receiver in this class. Floyd and Broyles are also extremely talented recievers. As an NFL fan, I am excited to see what these receivers can do in the NFL.
The depth at this position makes it another strong position in this draft.
Vontaze Burfict is really the only linebacker, including outside and inside, who has a legitimate chance of being an impact rookie in the NFL. He is simply a mean dude.
There are some other talented linebackers, but he is the only one that will probably get drafted in the top 10. There just isn't much depth at this position. This resembles last year's draft when Von Miller was picked second overall, but the next linebacker wasn't selected until the second round.
Take my word for it, the defensive line—yes, both tackles and ends—are extremely weak in this draft. There is no Mario Williams in this draft class.
The cornerback position is arguably the deepest position of the 2012 draft. Dre Kirkpatrick out of Alabama, Morris Claiborne of LSU, Stephon Gilmore of South Carolina, Jayron Hosley of Vriginia Tech, Alfonzo Dennard of Nebraska and Janoris Jenkins of North Alabama all have first-round talent.
The depth here is incredible considering that only three cornerbacks went in the first round in the 2011 draft. The cornerback position is as strong as they get in the 2012 draft.