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The 2012 NFL Draft is creeping up on us with the countdown officially set at 7 days.  With that in mind, we wanted to collaborate with our avid, informed reader’s on NFL’s Future to put together a mock draft.

The mock draft will be a pick a day with the final tally culminating at 6:00 a.m. EST the following day.  After the pick is in, that player will be off the board and the next selection will be up before 9:00 a.m. EST.  At the end we will put the mock together in anticipation of April 26th.

Thus far Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Matt Kalil, Trent Richardson, Morris Claiborne, Justin Blackmon, Melvin Ingram, Ryan Tannehill, Fletcher Cox, Michael Floyd, David DeCastro, Luke Kuechly, Riley Reiff, Dontari Poe, Michael Brockers, Courtney Upshaw, Stephon Gilmore, Mark Barron, Kendall Wright, Quinton Coples, Cordy Glenn, Stephen Hill, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Dont’a Hightower are off the board and the Denver Broncos are up.  So get voting:

2012 NFL Draft : Final Tight End Rankings

Posted by Brad On April - 18 - 2012

"Coby Fleener"The 2012 NFL Draft is quickly coming upon us.  With less than ten days until  Andrew Luck’s name is called by Roger Goodell, we will be offering our position-by-position rankings with final grades on most of the draftable prospects.

Today we look at the tight ends in the 2012 NFL Draft:

1. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

Height: 6060  Weight: 247

Fleener is a big target that will make his living in the NFL as a pass catcher.  In the mold of a Jimmy Graham, Fleener won’t and shouldn’t be counted on to block in-line.  Fleener was Andrew Luck’s top target at Palo Alto and they may have an opportunity to play together in the NFL with Indy picking atop round two.

2012 NFL Draft projection:  1-2

Final Grade: 6.1

2. Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson

Height: 6031  Weight: 255

Dwayne Allen added some nice balance to the high octane Clemson offense in 2011.  Allen made a living working down the seam on linebackers.  He will need to become a more crafty route runner in the NFL as he lacks the explosion/long speed to win one-on-one matchups with most linebackers.

2012 NFL Draft projection:  2

Final Grade: 5.9 Read the rest of this entry » «2012 NFL Draft : Final Tight End Rankings»

2012 NFL Draft – April 18th Rising and Falling

Posted by Brad On April - 18 - 2012
"Brock Osweiler"

Is Osweiler worthy of a second round pick? Some think higher than that.

We are quickly approaching the one week countdown until Christmas in April.  With that comes a whole bunch of rumors swirling about various media circles.  Here’s a look at today’s goings-on in the NFL Draft world.

From Russ Lande of The Sporting News:

Arizona St. QB Brock Osweiler might be picking up some late steam following his pro day workout.  Lande offers the following tidbit, “According to sources, Brandt’s statement might not be so far-fetched. A number of NFL sources told us their teams have very high grades on Osweiler and would be shocked if he was not drafted by the end of the second round.”

Brandt’s statement refers to Gil Brandt’s post-pro day comment that Osweiler vaulted himself into round one with his workout.

Lande offers readers the possibility that NFL personnel don’t view Iowa OT Riley Reiff in the same esteem as mock drafters.

“Teams question whether he has the athleticism to be effective pass blocking at left tackle. These concerns will likely place Reiff toward the bottom of the first round or possibly the top of the second round.”

Chalk me up as a believer on this one.  I have long said that Reiff was vastly overrated and could fall into the second round based on talent.  The positional value of tackle probably pushes Reiff up the draft board on April 26th but I don’t expect him to go in the top 10 when it’s all said and done.  For the record, I do disagree with the athleticism part of the assessment.  For me, Reiff didn’t have the power to play with bigger DE’s.   Read the rest of this entry » «2012 NFL Draft – April 18th Rising and Falling»

2012 NFL Draft : Final Wide Receiver Rankings

Posted by Brad On April - 18 - 2012
"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Justin Blackmon"

Blackmon still topping our WR rankings

The 2012 NFL Draft is quickly coming upon us.  With less than ten days until Andrew Luck’s name is called by Roger Goodell, we will be offering our position-by-position rankings with final grades on most of the draftable prospects.

Today we look at the wide receivers in the 2012 NFL Draft:

1. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

Height: 6007  Weight: 207

Blackmon’s getting challenged late in the process by Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd.  I still give the edge to Blackmon because of strength that he plays with.  In all honesty I thought Blackmon was 6’3 and 225-230 pounds based on the tape.  When he checked in under 6’1 and just above 200 pounds, I was shocked.  He’s a better prospect than Michael Crabtree but not in the A.J. Green/Julio Jones territory.  Somewhere between 8-12 appears to be his sweet spot.

2012 NFL Draft projection:  Top 10

Final Grade: 6.8

2. Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Height: 6030  Weight:220

Floyd’s off-the-field discrepancies appear to be a thing of the past.  He interviewed well with teams and is picking up some steam, even passing Blackmon on many boards.  He is 1B at this point for me at the position.  He does everything pretty well but lacks concentration at times and I don’t see him playing at his timed speed.  That said, he’s the best blocking receiver in this draft, he can run after the catch, and high points the ball as well as any receiver in college football.

2012 NFL Draft projection:  Top 15

Final Grade: 6.7

3. Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

Height: 5102  Weight: 188

Kendall Wright disappointed with his 40 time at the Combine raising some questions about this 5’10” receiver.  On tape he plays like a 4.4 guy and should be a mid-first round pick.  If Wright slips past pick 17, he becomes a terrific value.  He’s a vertical threat that showed consistent hands during the 2011 season and one of the main reasons we all know the name Robert Griffin III at this point.

2012 NFL Draft projection:  Top 15

Final Grade: 6.6

4. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

Height:  6036  Weight:  215

Stephen Hill fell from the sky in 2011.  He wasn’t on any draft radars during the preseason partially due to the program he played at.  Georgia Tech shouldn’t be the hotbed of receiving talent that it has been over the last six years but producing Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas helps.  Hill could be the next in line.  He will need to learn the intricacies of playing receiver at the next level but certainly has the physical tools to develop into a good one.

2012 NFL Draft projection:  Round one

Final Grade: 6.1 Read the rest of this entry » «2012 NFL Draft : Final Wide Receiver Rankings»

Some Fiery Draft Music

Posted by Jeff Risdon On April - 18 - 2012

"Deep Purple, Smoke on the Water"Smoke on the Water: Deep Purple’s classic has been adopted by the purple-clad Minnesota Vikings, who are trying to convince teams to trade up to their lofty draft slot. GM Rick Speilman has set the Grand Hotel on fire in hopes of convincing some team to rise up and give him multiple picks in order for the Vikings to slide back a few spots.

Even though Speilman got an unexpected assist from Colts owner Jim Irsay trumpeting his admiration of Ryan Tannehill, I don’t think the Vikings trade talks are anything more than a purple haze. Part of the problem is that the teams that are within feasible trading range for the #3 overall pick are not in the position to have extra picks to spare in a trade. Sure, the Rams and Browns both have extra picks, but they need those picks to help add overall talent to their own challenged rosters. Miami might truly and desperately want Ryan Tannehill, but moving from #8 to #3 is going to cost them, at minimum, both their 3rd round picks and a pre-Saturday pick next year too. That’s asking a lot for a team with a whole lot of needs.

I don’t blame Speilman and the Vikings for trying to drum up interest. But their “leaking” that they might take Justin Blackmon is a classic smokescreen that has no fire. They do have interest in Morris Claiborne, and that could potentially scare the Buccaneers at #5 enough to pull the old David Coverdale-for-Ian Gillen swap. That move didn’t exactly work out too well for Deep Purple, and I don’t see the prospects for that sort of deal working out very well for the NFL’s one eyed, one horned flying purple people eaters either. Read the rest of this entry » «Some Fiery Draft Music»

The 2012 NFL Draft is creeping up on us with the countdown officially set at 8 days.  With that in mind, we wanted to collaborate with our avid, informed reader’s on NFL’s Future to put together a mock draft.

The mock draft will be a pick a day with the final tally culminating at 6:00 a.m. EST the following day.  After the pick is in, that player will be off the board and the next selection will be up before 9:00 a.m. EST.  At the end we will put the mock together in anticipation of April 26th.

Thus far Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Matt Kalil, Trent Richardson, Morris Claiborne, Justin Blackmon, Melvin Ingram, Ryan Tannehill, Fletcher Cox, Michael Floyd, David DeCastro, Luke Kuechly, Riley Reiff, Dontari Poe, Michael Brockers, Courtney Upshaw, Stephon Gilmore, Mark Barron, Kendall Wright, Quinton Coples, Cordy Glenn, Stephen Hill, and Dre Kirkpatrick are off the board and the Pittsburgh Steelers are up.  So get voting:

2012 NFL Draft : Final Running Back Rankings

Posted by Brad On April - 17 - 2012

"David Wilson, RB from Virginia Tech"The 2012 NFL Draft is quickly coming upon us.  With less than ten days until  Andrew Luck’s name is called by Roger Goodell, we will be offering our position-by-position rankings with final grades on most of the draftable prospects.

Today we look at the running backs in the 2012 NFL Draft:

1. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

Height: 5094  Weight: 228

Trent Richardson is a special player and received the highest grade of any running back in my six years of evaluating players.  It’s hard to find a hole in his game as he has the combination of size, power, speed to make him a dangerous threat running the ball.  Combine that with his ability to block and catch the ball out of the backfield and you have a 7.4 grade.  TR will go no lower than No. 5 in this draft and should go No. 4 to the Cleveland Browns

2012 NFL Draft Projection:  Floor at No. 5 with Tampa Bay

Final Grade: 7.4

2. Doug Martin, RB, Boise State

Height: 5090  Weight: 223

I gave Martin a round 2-3 grade in preseason but he moves up a whole round after a stellar senior season.  Martin is as complete as any back not named Trent Richardson in this draft.  With a thick lower body and punishing running style he looks to be an every down back in the NFL.  He has drawn favorable comparisons to Ray Rice and could excel in Greg Schiano’s system as a top of round two guy.

2012 NFL Draft Projection:  1-2

Final Grade: 6.3 Read the rest of this entry » «2012 NFL Draft : Final Running Back Rankings»

NFL’s Future Reader’s Mock Draft : Detroit Lions

Posted by Brad On April - 17 - 2012

The 2012 NFL Draft is creeping up on us with the countdown officially set at 9 days.  With that in mind, we wanted to collaborate with our avid, informed reader’s on NFL’s Future to put together a mock draft.

The mock draft will be a pick a day with the final tally culminating at 6:00 a.m. EST the following day.  After the pick is in, that player will be off the board and the next selection will be up before 9:00 a.m. EST.  At the end we will put the mock together in anticipation of April 26th.

Thus far Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Matt Kalil, Trent Richardson, Morris Claiborne, Justin Blackmon, Melvin Ingram, Ryan Tannehill, Fletcher Cox, Michael Floyd, David DeCastro, Luke Kuechly, Riley Reiff, Dontari Poe, Michael Brockers, Courtney Upshaw, Stephon Gilmore, Mark Barron, Kendall Wright, Quinton Coples, Cordy Glenn, and Stephen Hill are off the board and the Detroit Lions are up.  So get voting:

2012 NFL Mock Draft : Inching Closer to April 26th

Posted by Brad On April - 17 - 2012

"2012 NFL Mock Draft"1.  Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

I would expect negotiations to begin any minute between the Colts and Andrew Luck.  At some point reality sets in that they aren’t gaming anyone and that Luck has been the pick since the day they secured the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

2.  Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

The Redskins traded the farm for Griffin and rightfully so.  He’s a special talent that is capable of beating teams in an assortment of ways.  Griffin’s game transitions to today’s NFL very well and due to that he has people buzzing about higher upside than Luck.  It really is splitting hairs…all I know is that both are going to be very good NFL QB’s.

3.  Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil, OT, Minnesota Vikings

I just can’t wrap my head around the Vikings passing on a franchise LT given their need.  Sure, Justin Blackmon or Morris Claiborne are needed but not at the expense of securing a blindside protector for Christian Ponder.

4.  Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

I really think this organization goes with an offensive playmaker with this pick and he won’t be named Justin Blackmon.  The only deal breaker will be if Heckert/Shurmur/Chilly fall in love with Ryan Tannehill.  This city doesn’t have the patience to wait on Tannehill’s development and the Heckert/Holmgren tandem know they won’t be around to see him develop.  Hence, the Richardson pick.

5.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

This pick gets interesting if Richardson and Claiborne are on the board.  With TR going one spot ahead of them the decision becomes very easy.  The Bucs signed Eric Wright to a deal but he’s not the answer especially if Aqib Talib is suspended.  Ronde Barber is minutes away from retirement and this may be his last rodeo.  Claiborne gives the Bucs a legit No. 1 corner to pair with Wright/Talib for the long haul.

6.  St. Louis Rams – Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi St.

Remembering this is a mock draft which is a projection of what the team will do, not what I would do, I give you Fletcher Cox.  I have Cox rated ahead of Blackmon on my big board but I can’t see how the Rams pass on a pass catcher for Sam Bradford.  There is a lot of smoke with this fire and it seems Cox is the frontrunner if the Rams stay put at No. 6. Read the rest of this entry » «2012 NFL Mock Draft : Inching Closer to April 26th»

2012 NFL Draft: Final Quarterback Rankings

Posted by Brad On April - 16 - 2012
"Russell Wilson"

Wilson is capturing our attention, we’ll see if he does the same for NFL scouts

The 2012 NFL Draft is quickly coming upon us.  With less than two weeks to go until Andrew Luck’s name is called by Roger Goodell, we will be offering our position-by-position rankings with final grades on most of the draftable prospects.

Today we look at the quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL Draft:

1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Height: 6034  Weight: 234

Luck has all the tools to be a great one.  With over a year as the top dog in this class many have tried to pick apart his game to no avail.  The reality is that Luck is/was/will be the best quarterback in this class.  He’s Indy bound.

2012 NFL Draft Projection:   No. 1

Final Grade: 7.5

2. Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor

Height: 6023  Weight: 223

Griffin wasn’t even a factor in the preseason draft rankings on most sites, except ours…admittingly had him as a second round pick.  That said, Griffin has elevated to the sure-fire second pick in this draft and is considered 1B in the 2012 class behind Andrew Luck.  In most years, Griffin would be the No. 1 pick but not with the Stanford signal caller sitting atop this draft.

2012 NFL Draft Projection:  No. 2 pick

Final Grade: 7.4 Read the rest of this entry » «2012 NFL Draft: Final Quarterback Rankings»