The 2012 NFL Draft is a few days away. With speculation at an all-time high, Juiced Sports looks into the Juiced Crystal Ball for answers.
1. Let’s start with an easy one: Every team that has a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick will draft at least one wide receiver at some point in the three-day period. This isn’t the most stellar group of WRs ever, but it is one of the deepest. You can get a quality guy all the way up until, at least, the fifth round.
2. Quintin Coples is a going to be the biggest slider of the first round. Stephon Gilmore will be the fastest riser on Thursday. Not due to talent, but due to work ethic.
3. Minnesota will pass on Matt Kalil (either because they trade down or decide to draft Morris Claiborne, CB from LSU. Not a huge fan of that potential move because as I’ve stated before, I think Kalil is the best prospect at his position since Jonathan Ogden.
4. The Defensive Rookie of the Year will not be a first round pick in 2012. Depending on where they go, I would say Harrison Smith (safety) of Notre Dame or Ronell Lewis (pass rusher) of Oklahoma, could fit the bill.
5. There will be at least three trades within the first 12 picks (not counting the Skins-Rams deal for RG3). My guess is that the Rams, Browns, and Panthers will be involved.
6. After his recent assault arrest, Alfonzo Dennard of Nebraska, will get the LaGarrett Blount treatment and go undrafted. A short time ago, Dennard was considered a Top 25 pick. You throw bows, that’s how it goes. Not to mention, his obvious lack of speed. He’ll make a roster as a fourth safety, not as cornerback, like he played in college.
7. Oakland and new GM, Reggie Mackenzie, will deal with what they’ve been dealt. Mackenzie will trade back, at least twice, to acquire more youth. Mackenzie has made a lot of good decisions, considering Oakland’s cap issues and lack of draft picks.
8. Justin Blackmon will fall to the Jaguars and they’ll pass him up and trade back to draft Michael Floyd. There is simply not enough separation between the two players. Floyd is bigger but has character and injury issues. The Jags definitely want out of their current pick, which is by far the least enviable pick in the draft when you have as many needs as they do.
9. The Buffalo Bills will trade up to grab USC offensive tackle, Matt Kalil, if he falls past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at pick five. I think Minnesota would be wrong to pass on him but the Bills would reap the benefits.
10. One team will double dip on Miami Hurricanes (my guess: the New York Giants with Lamar Miller and Tommy Streeter). Miller would replace Brandon Jacobs, and while they have two completely different styles, Miller can move the chains and adds a play-making ability to the position. Streeter would replace Mario Manningham in the long run.
11. Mike Adam’s love for weed will not push the Ohio State offensive tackle out of the first two rounds. North Alabama cornerback, Janoris Jenkins’ similarities to Antonio Cromartie in the parenting department, will knock him out of the first round. Jenkins is a Top 10 talent but his off-the-field issues have to scare both teams and scouts. If you’re a team that digs giving out cash advances, be my guest.
12. Whoever gets drafted by the Minnesota Vikings will be renting. The Vikes are not long for Minnesota. The whole situation is deplorable. Vikings’ owner, Zigi Wulf, wants to stay, but the state government isn’t budging. They don’t realize what losing a professional football team does to your city and/or state. Maybe they should ask Baltimore, Cleveland and Houston how that goes.
13. Kansas City will take a quarterback in the first two rounds. Matt Cassel is a good player, but he isn’t a “franchise guy.” He’s the starter this season, but after that, anything goes.
14. Players with return ability will be over-drafted. FIU’s T.Y. Hilton and Florida’s Chris Rainey will be taken in the late-2nd/early 3rd round despite having 4th or 5th round ability at their “primary” positions. This is understandable considering the lack of quality special teams in the league at this time.
15. This is a big year for rotational defensive linemen. While the defensive end class isn’t stellar, plenty will be taken early by teams with an already full stable at the position. Best “rotational” defensive end in this draft is Virginia’s Cam Johnson.
16. With teams passing more than 50% a game, the need for quality cover guys is on the rise. The third round will see a large run on nickel and spot-starting corners. Best of the bunch: Dwight Bentley of Louisiana-Lafayette. Don’t let the small school fool you; this kid can play.
17. Alas, Vontaze Burfict of Arizona State, will be drafted…in the Canadian Football League. As many pundits have said, he’s not a very good player. His Combine and both Pro Days were considerably disastrous. The once-1st round pick is now likely a camp body. It’s probably 50-50 on if he will make an opening day roster.
18. The Tyson Alualu (high draft pick you’ve never heard of) Award will go to Amini Silatolu of Midwestern State. The mammoth offensive guard (6-4, 311) will be taken early in the 2nd day of the draft.
19. There will be at least three veteran player trades during draft weekend. The likely suspects are Denver running back Knowshon Moreno, Philadelphia cornerback Asante Samuel, and pretty much anyone on the Raiders.
20. While many fans love short-passers Russell Wilson of Wisconsin and Kellen Moore of Boise State, neither will be drafted before the 3rd round. Most people say they won’t get drafted because of there size, but if you watch them carefully, they both have major flaws that were protected by their offensive schemes. Wilson is likely a career back-up and spot starter. Moore is going to be wishing that NFL Europe still existed.
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