2012 NFL Draft Position Rankings: College Football's New Best Of The Best

Danny Flynn@FlynnceptionSenior Analyst IJanuary 19, 2011

2012 NFL Draft Position Rankings: College Football's New Best Of The Best

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    Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor
    Ohio State QB Terrelle PryorKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Waving goodbye is never easy.

    Parting ways with the people we've grown accustomed to over time is something that always seems to present a challenge for us humans. 

    For sports fans, and in this case college football fans, saying goodbye just happens to be an annual right of passage. 

    After each and every season, the sport of college football loses most of its star power to the professional ranks, and each summer we are presented with the task of finding out which up and coming players are worthy of carrying the torch.

    This year, we wave goodbye to many great young athletes who spent the last four months filling our Saturdays with thrills. 

    A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson, Cam Newton, Mark Ingram—the list of big superstar names who are exiting the college game is way too long as usual.

    Now that the season has concluded, all of them will be leaving us for the bright and shiny pastures of the National Football League. 

    So now, once again, it's time to find the new names that will fill our Saturdays with excitement in 2011. 

    While many eligible underclassmen made the decision to jump ship early for the millions the NFL has to offer, there were some stellar, established stars such as Stanford QB Andrew Luck, Oregon RB LaMichael James and Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd, just to name a few, who made the decision to stick on the college circuit for one more year. 

    Let's take a very preliminary look at some of the top NFL prospects that the college game will have to offer next season. 

Quarterbacks

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    Stanford QB Andrew Luck
    Stanford QB Andrew LuckStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Top 10 Seniors
    1. Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State

    2. Nick Foles, Arizona

    3. Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State

    4. Kirk Cousins, Michigan State

    5. Kellen Moore, Boise State

    6. Dominique Davis, East Carolina

    7. Ryan Lindley, San Diego State

    8. John Brantley, Florida

    9. Jordan Jefferson, LSU

    10. Steven Threet, Arizona State

    Top Five Underclassmen
    1. Andrew Luck, Stanford
    2. Matt Barkley, USC
    3. Landry Jones, Oklahoma
    4. Geno Smith, West Virginia
    5. Darron Thomas, Oregon

Running Backs

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    Arkansas RB Knile Davis
    Arkansas RB Knile DavisKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Top 10 Seniors
    1. Cyrus Gray, Texas A&M

    2. Brandon Bolden, Ole Miss

    3. Doug Martin, Boise State

    4. Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati

    5. Montel Harris, Boston College

    6. Vick Ballard, Mississippi State

    7. Boom Herron, Ohio State

    8. Marc Tyler, USC

    9. Jeff Demps, Florida

    10. Bobby Rainey, Western Kentucky

    Top Five Underclassmen
    1. Knile Davis, Arkansas
    2. LaMichael James, Oregon
    3. Trent Richardson, Alabama
    4. Chris Polk, Washington
    5. Bryce Brown, Kansas State

Wide Receivers

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    Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd
    Notre Dame WR Michael FloydNick Laham/Getty Images

    Top 10 Seniors
    1. Michael Floyd, Notre Dame

    2. Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma

    3. Greg Childs, Arkansas

    4. Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M

    5. Kendall Wright, Baylor

    6. Juron Criner, Arizona

    7. DeVier Posey, Ohio State

    8. Chris Owusu, Stanford

    9. Jarrett Boykin, Virginia Tech

    10. Marquis Maze, Alabama

    Top Five Underclassmen
    1. Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
    2. Erik Highsmith, North Carolina
    3. Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina
    4. Rueben Randle, LSU
    5. Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers

Tight Ends

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    Ohio State TE Jake Stoneburner
    Ohio State TE Jake StoneburnerJamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Top 10 Seniors
    1. Michael Egnew, Missouri

    2. Ladarius Green, Louisiana Lafayette 

    3. George Bryan, North Carolina State

    4. Deangelo Peterson, LSU

    5. Coby Fleener, Stanford

    6. David Paulson, Oregon

    7. Kevin Koger, Michigan

    8. Anthony Miller, Cal

    9. Brian Linthicum, Michigan State

    10. Ryan Deehan, Colorado

    Top Five Underclassmen
    1. Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State
    2. Dwayne Allen, Clemson
    3. Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn
    4. D.C. Jefferson, Rutgers
    5. Ryan Griffin, UCONN

Offensive Tackles

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    Stanford OT Jonathan Martin
    Stanford OT Jonathan MartinMike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Top 10 Seniors
    1. Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State

    2. Nate Potter, Boise State

    3. Al Netter, Northwestern

    4. Mike Adams, Ohio State

    5. Levy Adcock, Oklahoma State

    6. Matt Reynolds, BYU

    7. Andrew Datko, Florida State

    8. Bradley Sowell, Ole Miss

    9. Anthony Parker, Western Michigan

    10. Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech

    Top Five Underclassmen
    1. Jonathan Martin, Stanford
    2. Matt Kalil, USC
    3. Tanner Hawkinson, Kansas
    4. Riley Reiff, Iowa
    5. D.J. Fluker, Alabama

Interior Offensive Lineman

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    Ohio State C Mike Brewster
    Ohio State C Mike BrewsterJamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Top 10 Seniors
    1. Mike Brewster, Ohio State

    2. Ryan Miller, Colorado

    3. Ken Plue, Purdue

    4. Jermarcus Hardrick, Nebraska

    5. Rokevious Watkins, South Carolina

    6. Joel Foreman, Michigan State

    7. Chris Jacobson, Pitt

    8. William Vlachos, Alabama

    9. Trevor Robinson, Notre Dame

    10. Cordy Glenn, Georgia

    Top Five Underclassmen
    1. Barrett Jones, Alabama
    2. David DeCastro, Stanford
    3. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
    4. Peter Konz, Wisconsin
    5. Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech

Defensive Tackles

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    Nebraska DT Jared Crick
    Nebraska DT Jared CrickEric Francis/Getty Images

    Top 10 Seniors
    1. Jared Crick, Nebraska

    2. Tydreke Powell, North Carolina

    3. Alameda Ta'amu, Washington

    4. Jaye Howard, Florida

    5. Billy Winn, Boise State

    6. Mike Martin, Michigan

    7. Mike Daniels, Iowa

    8. Travian Robertson, South Carolina

    9. Kheeston Randall, Texas

    10. Josh Chapman, Alabama

    Top Five Underclassmen
    1. Jerel Worthy, Michigan State
    2. Kawann Short, Purdue
    3. Marcus Forston, Miami
    4. Jacobbi McDaniel, Florida State
    5. Jamarkus McFarland, Oklahoma 

Defensive Ends

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    North Carolina DT Quinton Coples
    North Carolina DT Quinton CoplesScott Halleran/Getty Images

    Top 10 Seniors
    1. Quinton Coples, North Carolina

    2. Bruce Irvin, West Virginia

    3. Adrian Robinson, Temple

    4. Jake Bequette, Arkansas

    5. Vince Browne, Northwestern

    6. Armond Armstead, USC

    7. Shea McClellin, Boise State

    8. Adewale Ojomo, Miami

    9. Kendall Reyes, UCONN

    10. Frank Alexander, Oklahoma

    Top Five Underclassmen
    1. Brandon Jenkins, Florida State
    2. Devin Taylor, South Carolina
    3. Donte Paige-Moss, North Carolina
    4. Cameron Meredith, Nebraska
    5. Kapron Lewis-Moore, Notre Dame

Outside Linebackers

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    Oklahoma LB Travis Lewis
    Oklahoma LB Travis LewisRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    Top 10 Seniors
    1. Travis Lewis, Oklahoma

    2. Zach Brown, North Carolina

    3. Emmanuel Acho, Texas

    4. Nigel Bradham, Florida State

    5. Lavonte David, Nebraska

    6. Keenan Robinson, Texas

    7. Sean Spence, Miami

    8. Audie Cole, North Carolina state

    9. Danny Trevathan, Kentucky

    10. Greg Williams, Pitt

    Top Five Underclassmen
    1. Demetrius Hartsfield, Maryland
    2. Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma
    3. Nico Johnson, Alabama
    4. Cornelius Washington, Georgia
    5. Michael Mauti, Penn State

Inside Linebackers

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    Alabama LB Courtney Upshaw
    Alabama LB Courtney UpshawMike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Top 10 Seniors
    1. Courtney Upshaw, Alabama

    2. Garrick Williams, Texas A&M

    3. D.J. Holt, Cal

    4. Tank Carder, TCU

    5. Korey Williams, Southern Miss

    6. Jerry Franklin, Arkansas

    7. James Michael-Johnson, Nevada

    8. Derek Earls, Arizona

    9. Chris Marve, Vanderbilt

    10. Will Ebner, Missouri

    Top Five Underclassmen
    1. Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
    2. Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State
    3. Shayne Skov, Stanford
    4. Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
    5. Devon Kennard, USC

Cornerbacks

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    Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard
    Nebraska CB Alfonzo DennardSam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Top 10 Seniors
    1. Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska

    2. Janoris Jenkins, Florida

    3. Omar Bolden, Arizona State

    4. Coryell Judie, Texas A&M

    5. Chase Minnifield, Virginia

    6. Shaun Prater, Iowa

    7. Brandon Boykin, Georgia

    8. Tashaun Gipson, Wyoming

    9. Keith Tandy, West Virginia

    10. Donnie Fletcher, Boston College

    Top Five Underclassmen
    1. Josh Robinson, Central Florida
    2. Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
    3. Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech
    4. Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama
    5. Cliff Harris, Oregon

Safeties

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    Alabama S Mark Barron
    Alabama S Mark BarronKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Top 10 Seniors
    1. Mark Barron, Alabama

    2. Delano Howell, Stanford

    3. Kenny Tate, Maryland

    4. Lance Mitchell, Oregon State

    5. George Iloka, Boise State

    6. Brandon Taylor, LSU

    7. Charles Mitchell, Mississippi State

    8. Aaron Henry, Wisconsin

    9. Harrison Smith, Notre Dame

    10. Sean Cattouse, Cal

    Top Five Underclassmen
    1. Janzen Jackson, Tennessee
    2. DeVonte Holloman, South Carolina
    3. Robert Lester, Alabama
    4. Vaughn Telemaque, Miami
    5. Jon Lejiste, South Florida