Best player: Of course Andrew Luck and RG3 are rare talents that only come along every decade or so, but outside of those two players, I believe Trent Richardson has the chance to be a truly special player in the NFL. He’s arguably the best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson. He runs with power, speed, and agility. He’s also a receiving threat out of the backfield. The team that ends up with Richardson will reap the benefits.
Biggest bust: Obviously depending on where they are selected, I believe Ryan Tannehill and Dontar’i Powe have the highest probabilities of being deemed “busts.” While Tannehill does have the potential to become a productive quarterback at the next level, he needs a few years to ride the pine and develop more as a quarterback. Powe is what we call a “combine warrior.” He performed unbelievably well at the combine, but his production in college was lacking. He could be the next Vince Wilfork, or the next Vernon Gholston.
Sleeper: As an avid Notre Dame fan, I watched most of the Irish’s game this past season, and while Michael Floyd is obviously a first round pick, a player I think could be a very solid contributor at the next level outside the first round is safety Harrison Smith. Smith has ideal size for the safety position and has good instincts. He’s a high character guy and was the captain of the Irish defense for 3 years.
Chiefs pick: If Kansas City doesn’t trade down, I think the pick at 11 will be David DeCastro. DeCastro is possibly the best guard prospect since Steve Hutchinson, and with the addition of DeCastro, the Chiefs could have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. With a healthy Jamaal Charles and a determined Peyton Hillis, the Chiefs would be well on their way to leading the league in rushing as they did in their playoff season of 2010.
Bust player: Ryan Tannehill from Texas A&M has by far the most bust potential. First, Tannehill has only started QB for only 19 games. Tannehill ran a pro-style, West Coast offense under Mike Sherman, a former NFL head coach. Tannehill has mobility, he was athletic enough to play wide receiver during his first two seasons at Texas A&M. However, Tannehill’s lack of experience as a starting quarterback could make it difficult for him to have instant impact. Teams are going to jump on the bandwagon of Tannehill because of the need for a franchise quarterback. He is not the answer!
Sleeper: Janoris Jenkins is the best at man coverage of all cornerbacks in this draft class. While he may not be the best corner, he will surprise people if he can stay on the field. After being labeled as a pothead at the University of Florida, Jenkins has had to battle to gain a good reputation. While he has yet to gain a good reputation, he is an elite corner. If drafted by the right team, Jenkins can have the same effect Joe Haden had with the Cleveland Browns.
Chiefs Pick: Luke Kuechly, Line backer from Boston College. Kuechly is the best linebacker in this draft class. He has extremely great instincts that help stuffing the run. At Boston College, he managed to record over 200 tackles his senior season. With one of the Chief’s needs being inside linebacker, Kuechly can step in and contribute immediately. He would an outstanding fit in the Chiefs system because of his great flow to the ball.
Bust Player: Dontari Poe has the biggest but potential of and player in the 2012 NFL draft. Dontari has bust potential because he didn’t dominate in a weak C-USA conference. Also, Dontari before the combine was considered a fringe first round pick and after the combine he was considered a top ten pick. Dontari dominated the combine measuring at 350 and running his 40 yard dash in the 4.9’s and showed amazing athleticism for a man his size. Another concerning part of Dontari’s game is his hot and cold motor he shows on the field. Dontari will often flash brilliance one play and then for the next ten plays he will disappear. However, Dontari has the highest upside of any player in the draft, but with high reward also comes high risk.
Sleeper Pick: My sleeper of this draft is Beau Reliford a tight end from Florida State. Beau is a former basketball player who actually came to Florida State on a duel sport scholarship. Beau is a big measuring in 6’5’’ 256 pounds and is incredibly athletic. Beau shows a good burst off the line of scrimmage and is a good pass catcher. The only problem with Beau is he isn’t a very good blocker. However, Beau shows great potential as a blocker with a big frame and is strong, but sometimes he plays soft and gets dominated at the point of attack. If Beau is able to become a good in-line blocker he could become one of the better tight ends in the NFL which isn’t bad for a 5th or 6th round draft pick.
Chiefs Pick: In my eyes the Chiefs should play it safe and draft David DeCastro. David is the best guard prospect in the last 10 years. David projects as a starting NFL guard who will be a pro bowler for many years to come. If the Chiefs draft DeCastro, the interior of their line will be set for the next 10 years. Also, David fills a position of need and should immediately start in front of Ryan Lilja. He will help to Chiefs to regain their potent running attack from 2010.
2012 NFL Mock Draft
2. Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III. The next best quarterback in the draft and Heisman winner.
3. Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil. They get the best left tackle to come out in the last couple of years.
4. Cleveland Browns – Ryan Tannehill. They reach for a potential franchise quarterback.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne. Tampa bay gets the best cover corner in the draft.
6. Saint Louis Rams – Justin Blackmon. The Rams add another young wide receiver for their quarterback of the future, Sam Bradford.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Quinton Coples. The Jaguars add another young defensive end to their young defense.
8. Miami Dolphins – Michael Floyd. Miami replaces Brandon Marshall with a potential all-pro wide receiver.
9. Carolina Panthers – Dontari Poe. The Panthers draft an ultra athletic defensive tackle in hope he becomes the next Haloti Ngata.
10. Buffalo Bills – Riley Reiff. The Bills finally fill their need at left tackle.
11. Kansas City Chiefs – David DeCastro. The Chiefs draft the best guard since Steve Hutchinson.
12. Seattle Seahawks – Luke Kuechly. The Seahawks draft the best linebacker in this year’s draft.
13. Arizona Cardinals – Mike Adams. Arizona picks up a boom or bust prospect at offensive tackle hoping he turns into a franchise left tackle.
14. Dallas Cowboys – Mark Barron. The cowboys add another young player to there secondary and hope he can start at safety as a rookie.
15. Philadelphia Eagles – Michael Brockers. The eagles add the best run-stuffing defensive tackle in the draft.
16. New York Jets – Melvin Ingram. The jets added a much needed pass rusher for their defense.
17. Cincinnati Bengals – Trent Richardson. This is the best pick of the day the Bengals pick up the 4th most talented player at 17 and fills a need a running back.
18. San Diego Chargers – Courtney Upshaw. The Chargers add a great outside lineman who will be a good starter for the next 10 years.
19. Chicago Bears – Jonathon Martin. The bears add another offensive lineman who could be a potential left tackle.
20. Tennessee Titans – Cordy Glenn. The Titans want to run the ball better so they pick a lineman who can play guard or tackle and his attribute is run blocking.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Dre Kirkpatrick. The Bengals add another corner back who could move to safety in the future.
22. Cleveland Browns – Fletcher Cox. The Browns a great 3 gap defensive tackle to play next to Phil Taylor.
23. Detroit Lions – Jenoris Jenkins. The lions add possibly the best cover corner in entire draft, but he comes with a lot of off the field issues.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Donta Hightower. The Steelers add an inside linebacker to replace James Farrior.
25. Denver Broncos – Kendall Wright. The Broncos add a slot receiver who will be dangerous when catching passes form Peyton Manning.
26. Houston Texans – Stephen Hill. The Texans draft a boom or bust type prospect at wide receiver who could be a great complement to Andre Johnson in a couple of years.
27. New England Patriots – Chandler Jones. The Patriots add a lesser known defensive end, but he could be a star for the Patriots.
28. Green Bay Packers – Whitney Mercilus. The Packers add an outside linebacker to try to help take pressure off Clay Mathews.
29. Baltimore Ravens – Peter Konz. The Ravens add the best center in the entire draft and with Matt Birk close to ending his career the pick couldn’t make more since.
30. San Francisco 49ers – Andre branch. The 49ers add another outside linebacker to their already great defense.
31. New England Patriots – Stephon Gilmore. The Patriots add a cornerback to their struggling secondary.
32. New York Giants – Lamar Miller. The Giants replace bruising Brandon Jacobs with the ultra-quick Lamar Miller.