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Thread: Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

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    Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

    Here is my preliminary draft board for the 2012 draft. This is my rankings of all prospects, not merely those that the Rams could be intersted in (though, with the Rams' many needs, you could simply delete the QBs from the list to get my version of the Rams' draft board).


    1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
    If you asked me who the most overrated prospect is, I’d probably say Andrew Luck. He is also my No. 1 prospect. Let me explain. Considering the value of franchise QBs, Luck is clearly the best prospect in this draft. That said, the hyperbole that he is the best QB prospect in ten years (or more), which has been uttered by many, is over the top. Luck is not a perfect QB prospect. But, for a team in need of a QB, he is a no brainer.

    2. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
    College statistics can be misleading, particularly in certain conferences and certain systems, but Blackmon’s production cannot be overlooked. Forget the totals. Just look at the consistency. In his worst game this year, Blackmon had 8 receptions for 54 yards and a TD – and that was a game that he only played for one half due to injury. His worst performance in 2010: 8 receptions, 105 yards and a TD. This guy is a factor every time he steps on the field.

    3. Morris Clayborne, CB, LSU
    John Madden once said that, if he were starting a team from the ground up, after securing a QB, his next pick would be a CB. Clayborne has everything you want in a CB. Size, speed, tackling ability, coverage skills, and swagger. He will make whatever defense he is plugged into better.

    4. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
    With the number of top RBs who have been drafted outside the top 15 picks, the position is rarely one that is called at the top of the draft. That is, unless there is a prospect like Richardson. Size? Check. Speed? Check. Vision? Check. Toughness? Check. Receiving ability? Check. He’s the best RB prospect since Adrian Peterson.

    5. Matt Kalil, OT, USC
    Blind side protection continues to be a premium commodity in the NFL. Kalil is the clear cut top OT prospect in the draft. In fact, he could be the best OT prospect from the last two or three drafts (though its been a while since we’ve seen a truly elite OT come into the league). I would not be surprised to see Kalil taken as high as No. 2.

    6. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
    Martin is a bit behind Kalil, but is still a top prospect. His experience in a Pro style offense that (despite the presences of Andrew Luck) focused on the running game makes him an NFL-ready player who will jump right into a starting lineup.

    7. Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
    As is the case with RB, LBs should only go in the top 10 if they are truly special prospects. When I watch Te’o play, I see a lot of Patrick Willis and Ray Lewis. If that proves to be a fair comparison, nobody would argue with Te’o as a Top 10 pick.

    8. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
    Here’s the deal with Barkley. Some team is probably going to take him in the first 10 picks. He has a good chance of being a quality NFL starter. But… if he ends up with a career that looks a lot like Matt Leinart’s, I won’t be entirely shocked. In the right system, though, he’s worth the gamble.

    9. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
    It would almost be a sin not to include a defender from the Crimson Tide’s defense in the top 10. They are that good. Kirkpatrick is an anchor, providing shut-down coverage on a weekly basis. He’s not all that far behind Claiborne.

    10. Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
    I probably should just cut and paste my comments on Barkley. Good prospect (and no, he’s not on Sam Bradford’s level coming out of Oklahoma), but some question marks. In today’s league (and particularly with the rookie scale now in place) he’s worth the gamble.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -12-01-2011 at 06:12 PM.


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    Re: Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

    Nice list, I agree with many of those.

    I love the point you made about Blackmon being productive in even his worst games of the last two years. I don't think he's quite as talented as Dez Bryant as a prospect, but let's remember that Bryant fell for off-the-field concerns.

    I don't think I'm quite as high on Te'o as you are, but drawing on that Ray Lewis comparison, I do like the idea of him lining up in one of those tough AFC North defenses. Given what Te'o brings to the table, he may be best suited to a Steelers/Ravens 3-4 ILB role.

    As for the Luck hyperbole, I do understand those that think the hype is getting out of control, but when I actually look back at the last ten years of top QB prospects, I really don't see one that I could say definitively that I'd grade higher than Luck. Maybe Carson Palmer, I dunno.

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    Re: Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

    I love Blackmon. He's exactly what we've been missing since the great duo of Bruce and Holt. In my opinion I think Kirkpatrick is rated higher than Claiborne, plus he will most likely go back to school.

    But nice list overall. Something to look out for: Many QB's that will be drafted early, that could lead to us sliding back in the draft if someone wanted Landry Jones or Barkley at our spot.

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    Re: Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

    Man can't wait to have blackmon hopefully.. He's such a beast reminds me of Greg Jennings

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    Re: Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I love the point you made about Blackmon being productive in even his worst games of the last two years. I don't think he's quite as talented as Dez Bryant as a prospect, but let's remember that Bryant fell for off-the-field concerns.
    From a purely physical standpoint, I'd agree that Bryant rates higher. I think Blackmon may have the edge, though, in work ethic and consistency.

    I don't think I'm quite as high on Te'o as you are, but drawing on that Ray Lewis comparison, I do like the idea of him lining up in one of those tough AFC North defenses. Given what Te'o brings to the table, he may be best suited to a Steelers/Ravens 3-4 ILB role.
    Agreed. Unless the Rams hire a new coaching staff that installs a 3-4, I don't think he'll be on the Rams' list (though he might fit as a 4-3 SLB). A great fit for him on a team that could possibly end up with a top 15 selection is San Diego.

    As for the Luck hyperbole, I do understand those that think the hype is getting out of control, but when I actually look back at the last ten years of top QB prospects, I really don't see one that I could say definitively that I'd grade higher than Luck. Maybe Carson Palmer, I dunno.
    Higher than Luck? I agree. On par with Luck? I'd say that Bradford (but for the shoulder injury) and Palmer were comparable. Don't get me wrong... if the Rams didn't have Bradford, I'd want Luck.

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    Re: Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    In my opinion I think Kirkpatrick is rated higher than Claiborne
    Its definitely a toss-up. Kirkpatrick may ultimately get drafted higher due to his size (6'2, 190) advantage over Claiborne (6'0, 185).

    Both players would be on my "least likely to be busts" list.

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    Re: Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

    Really like that you have Claiborne that high, The guy is going to be a stud.
    I Think RG3 is higher than Barkely though. He has one of the best deep throws i have ever seen. The kid just makes plays.

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    Re: Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

    RG3 might actually be the 2nd QB drafted this year. He's no Vince Young. This guy is a great quarterback who happens to have the athleticism to make plays with his feet, not the other way around.


    Te'o is good, but I like Kuechly more as a prospect. It's like the Maualuga vs. Laurinaitis feud a while back. Although I do think Te'o is a better linebacker than Maualuga, Kuechly's instincts and football intelligence is off the scale; it rivals JLau's.


    Matt Kalil might have the best success as a rookie LT since Ryan Clady. To me, Jonathan Martin has the edge in run blocking, but Kalil beats him in everything else.


    If we did not have need for Blackmon, I'd jump on Trent Richardson immediately. This kid will be the next best RB. He might even be better than Adrian Peterson, although that's kind of a reach. Having him in the backfield would give us Jackson's replacement, and who else better to replace Jackson than Richardson?


    Landry Jones might fall. He's a good prospect, but there's some question marks. He might fall past the top 25.


    Morris Claiborne > Dre Kirkpatrick
    I love Kirk's physical skill-set, but Claiborne is a shut-down corner.

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    Re: Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

    Im going to be honest, RG3 will be better than Andrew Luck. Yes I said it. RG3 isn't your typical black (no racism) scrambling QB with excellent arm strength but questionable footwork and accuracy.

    He is a great decision maker, has unbelievable accuracy, a great arm, can make amazing plays on his feet, and has nice footwork. If I had the Colts pick, I'd trade down and take RG3.

    To tell you the truth I'd rather have RG3 than Sam Bradford..
    RockinRam likes this.

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    Re: Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

    Responding to some of the comments above...

    I like RG3 as a prospect (he'd probably be in my top 15 right now), but I believe his size may be an issue. He's listed at 6'2, 220, but I won't be surprised if he measures below that at the Combine.

    I like Kuechly as well, and he might actually be a better fit for the Rams than T'eo would be. T'eo, though, has more upside as an impact player, in my opinion.

    I would not discount Richardson as a possibility for the Rams. He very well might be the BPA when the Rams pick.

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    Re: Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

    I think Barkley will be a top 5 pick and Landry Jones will dissappear into no where.....Jones has a ton of concerns for NFL teams that don't want to wait to develop QBs anymore....

    I agree RGIII could be a good player but he is no Cam Newton.....

    So excited for this draft....it really is loaded....the Rams should do whatever they can to get an extra pick in the first 3 rounds of this draft....I think this can be a special draft full of HOF's and ProBowlers

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    Re: Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by richtree View Post
    I think Barkley will be a top 5 pick and Landry Jones will dissappear into no where.....Jones has a ton of concerns for NFL teams that don't want to wait to develop QBs anymore....

    I agree RGIII could be a good player but he is no Cam Newton.....

    So excited for this draft....it really is loaded....the Rams should do whatever they can to get an extra pick in the first 3 rounds of this draft....I think this can be a special draft full of HOF's and ProBowlers
    Hes no Cam Newton? What? Actually, you're right. Hes better than Newton. The only thing Newton had coming out of college was size, strength, and a strong arm, and obviously a good runner. Unlike Newton, RG3 can actually throw the ball, has more than 1 read on his plays, has unreal accuracy, especially on deep balls, and has good footwork. Newton may have been the most raw pick at #1 of all time.

    RG3 > Newton

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    Re: Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

    If Blackmon for some reason gets drafted ahead of us, and Trent Richardson is BPA, I'd love the pick.

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    Re: Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

    If RG3 lands on the right team, he might very well have a better career, or at least rookie year than Andrew Luck. I've seen this guy play in person, he is very impressive. He's also a VERY smart student. I have friends who go to Baylor, and they rave about this guy and his work ethic on and off the field.

    To me, RG3 > Newton. I am in no way putting down Newton, he has surprised me with his attitude and play on the field. I just think RG3 is one hell of a prospect.


    Landry Jones reminds me a better version of Ryan Mallet. This kid's stock will fluctuate, and I can see him going anywhere from Top 20 all the way to Top 40.


    Te'o probably does have a higher ceiling. He's not as polished, but he has a knack for the ball, and hits hard and solid. Kuechly is the type of linebacker that will do everything well with his smarts and technique, but will never be a Ray Lewis. He's the second coming of JLau, with maybe a few tweaks here or there.

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    Re: Av's Top Ten 2012 Draft Prospects

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    If RG3 lands on the right team, he might very well have a better career, or at least rookie year than Andrew Luck. I've seen this guy play in person, he is very impressive. He's also a VERY smart student. I have friends who go to Baylor, and they rave about this guy and his work ethic on and off the field.

    To me, RG3 > Newton. I am in no way putting down Newton, he has surprised me with his attitude and play on the field. I just think RG3 is one hell of a prospect.


    Landry Jones reminds me a better version of Ryan Mallet. This kid's stock will fluctuate, and I can see him going anywhere from Top 20 all the way to Top 40.


    Te'o probably does have a higher ceiling. He's not as polished, but he has a knack for the ball, and hits hard and solid. Kuechly is the type of linebacker that will do everything well with his smarts and technique, but will never be a Ray Lewis. He's the second coming of JLau, with maybe a few tweaks here or there.
    You're also right about his great work ethic and smarts. He has a 4.0 GPA. You can tell this kid is going to be special. It just sucks that we'll be missing out on him. Like I said earlier, RG3 > Bradford.

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