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Early Top 32 for the 2012 NFL Draft

Posted by Ozzy on May 11, 2011 – 10:14 pm in: 2012, NFL Draft

 

This is a very early ranking of a potential top 32 prospects for the upcoming 2012 NFL draft.   Much can change once the season starts clearly, but hypothetically, if certain players decide to come out this is how I think the player rankings could turn out.   Sure a linebacker going that high in the draft as a inside linebacker rarely happens, but in terms of prospect value, like many have pointed out next years draft is potentially stacked at linebacker, especially if you compare it to this years draft.  Running backs do not always go that high, but there are some very good ones in there potentially with LaMichael James, Kniles Davis and especially Trent Richardson, he could explode this year.

 

Luck is the clear cut #1, everyone knows that, but I think if Barkley finally plays up to his potential, he has everything one would be looking for in a quarterback.  All he has to do is back it up on the field with his performance.  Because he has the arm strength, and possible leadership qualities, he just has to be a little more gritty on the field and lead the football team and be more productive.  If he has that breakout year and plays up to his potential he could be an extremely high pick as well.

 

Many could argue Jeffery is a better receiver than AJ Green in terms of going after a jump ball, and if he works on his conditioning and his open field speed expect him to be just as high of a draft selection.  At safety there are a lot of good players as well with Moody, Iloka and Barron but just like this years draft, for whatever reason safeties fall like rocks at times.   But these prospects should not see that happen but I guess stranger things have occurred.

Top 32

1 Andrew Luck QB Stanford RS JR

2 Matt Barkley QB USC JR

3 Vontaze Burfict ILB Arizona State JR

4 Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina JR

5 Riley Reiff OT Iowa RS JR

6 Jared Crick DT Nebraska

7 Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina JR

8 Quenton Coples DE UNC

9 Matt Kalil OT USC RS JR

10 Manti Te’o ILB Notre Dame JR

11 Trent Richardson RB Alabama JR

12 Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame

13 Dont’a Hightower OLB Alabama

14 David DeCastro OG Stanford JR

15 Nick Foles QB Arizona

16 Luke Kuechly OLB Boston College JR

17 Cordy Glenn OG Georgia

18 Dwayne Allen TE Clemson RS JR

19 LaMichael James RB Oregon JR

20 Mike Martin DT Michigan

21 Jeff Fuller WR Texas A&M

22 Jerel Worthy DT Michigan State JR

23 Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State RS JR

24 Alfonzo Dennard CB Nebraska

25 Nick Moody SS Florida State JR

26 Devin Taylor DE South Carolina JR

27 Jonathan Martin OT Stanford

28 Greg Reid CB Florida State JR

29 Ryan Broyles WR Oklahoma RS

30 Bruce Irvin OLB West Virginia

31 George Iloka SS Boise State

32 Knile Davis RB Arkansas JR

 

Just missed the cut:

Mark Barron SS Alabama

Cliff Harris CB Oregon JR

Brandon Jenkins DE Florida State JR

Michael Mauti OLB Penn State JR

Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama JR

Donnie Fletcher CB Boston College

Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M

Rueben Randle WR LSU JR

Jacobbi McDaniel DT Florida State JR

Matt Reynolds OT BYU

Jeff Allen OT Illinois

Kheeston Randall DT Texas

 

 

The big time players that will get a lot of attention are the outside linebackers that can rush the passer.  I imagine a lot of teams will be interested in the services of Bruce Irvin, the standout pass rusher.  If Irvin plays up to his same level that he did this past season, he could be a easy 1st round draft pick.   Others are Donta Hightower, who had a down year as a junior but is still a beast off the edge and his strength provides an interesting option as a ¾ OLB that provides consistent push on the edge, or a inside linebacker in a ¾ defense.   At offensive tackle Reiff and Kalil both are underclassmen but both have a redshirted year, and both are outstanding pass protectors.  Great athletes, great feet and depending on who is drafting they could be very high selections.

 

It will be an interesting 2012 NFL draft, especially if the top underclassmen come out like most expect them too.  And if they do it will be the year of the linebacker that is for sure.  With potential stars like Burfict, Te’o, Kuechly, Hightower, Irvin or Mauti in the mix.  And that is not even including other possible star linebackers in Lavonte David, Tank Carder, Garrick Williams, Devon Kennard, Travis Lewis, Walter Stewart, Sean Spence, Audie Cole, Courtney Upshaw or Nigel Bradham .

 

Written my Jeremy Osborne (aka Ozzy)

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