2012 Draft Rankings: Skill Positions (QB, RB, WR, TE)
Heading into the final stretch of draft prep, I’ve assessed and ranked players at cornerback, defensive tackle, interior line, edge-rusher, and offensive tackle. I had a lot of surprises in all of those rankings. My skill position rankings deviate from the norm a bit as well, but not nearly to the degree of other positions. I think the reason is draftniks already have a solid understanding of many of the draft’s top quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends, and thus rankings remain pretty uniform. Plus, it is simply easier to assess a running back than an offensive guard.
- The round listed after each prospect’s name is the grade I have provided him, NOT where I think he will get selected. I view players with two rounds listed as on the border of each.
- Players with the *** designation are higher than consensus rankings, while those with ^^^ after their names are lower than the consensus.
1. Robert Griffin III, Baylor (First Round) ***
2. Andrew Luck, Stanford (First Round)
3. Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M (First/Second Round)
4. Kirk Cousins, Michigan State (Second Round) ***
5. Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State (ThirdRound) ^^^
6. Nick Foles, Arizona (Third Round)
7. Russell Wilson, Wisconsin (Third Round)
8. BJ Coleman, UT-Chattanooga (Fourth Round)
9. Brock Osweiler, Arizona State (Fifth Round) ^^^
2. Doug Martin, Boise State (First Round)
4. Lamar Miller, Miami (Second Round)
5. LaMichael James (Second Round)
6. Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati (Second Round) ***
7. Chris Rainey, Florida (Second/Third Round) ***
8. Chris Polk, Washington (Third Round)
9. Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State (Third /Fourth Round)
10. Cyrus Gray, Texas A&M (Fourth Round)
11. Bernard Pierce, Temple (Fourth/Fifth Round) ^^^
12. Robert Turbin, Utah State (Fifth Round)
13. Tauren Poole, Tennessee (Fifth Round)
14. Vick Ballard, Mississippi State (Sixth Round)
1. Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State (First Round)
2. Michael Floyd, Notre Dame (First Round)
3. Kendall Wright, Baylor (First/Second Round)
4. Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers (Second Round) ***
5. Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech (Second Round)
6. Brian Quick, Appalacian State (Second Round) ***
7. Reuben Randle, LSU (Second Round)
8. A.J. Jenkins, Illinois (Second Round) ***
9. Marvin McNutt, Iowa (Second/Third Round) ***
10. Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina (Third Round) ^^^
11. Chris Givens, Wake Forest (Third Round) ***
12. Nick Toon, Wisconsin (Third Round)
13. TY Hilton, Florida International (Third/Fourth Round)
14. Marvin Jones, Cal (Fourth Round)
15. Jarius Wright, Arkansas (Fifth Round)
16. Juron Criner, Arizona (Fourth Round)
17. Joe Adams, Arkansas (Fifth Round)
3. Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette (Second Round) ***
4. Orson Charles, Georgia (Second/Third Round)
5. Michael Egnew, Missouri (Fourth Round)
6. Deangelo Peterson, LSU (Fourth Round)
7. Chase Ford, Miami (Fifth Round)
A few thoughts. . .
- Yes, I have RGIII ahead of Andrew Luck. The two will be at the top of my overall rankings, but I think Griffin’s legs give him an added dimension Luck doesn’t possess. Luck is a phenomenal quarterback, but the idea he’s a once-in-a-decade type prospect is unwarranted to me.
- I’m not big on Brandon Weeden. NFL ready? Perhaps. Old as dirt? You bet. I’m also low on Brock Osweiler, who I think is barely draft-worthy.
- I originally had David Wilson ahead of Doug Martin in my running back rankings, but I think Martin has enough burst to warrant being No. 2. He’s a far better all-around player than Wilson. He reminds me a ton of Emmitt.
- I really like Chris Rainey. In terms of speed/quickness combo, he’s perhaps the best the NFL has ever seen. I know he’s smaller than middle school MJD, but he can be utilized in a number of ways. He’ll at least be a dominant returner.
- Temple’s Bernard Pierce doesn’t have the change-of-direction I like to see in running backs. He’s a good inside runner, but I don’t think he should be selected before day three.
- Mohamed Sanu could end up being the top receiver from this draft class. He reminds me a lot of Hakeem Nicks. He can do it all: block, separate, catch, and go over the middle.
- I’m also high on Brian Quick, A.J. Jenkins, Marvin McNutt, and Chris Givens. Jenkins in particular is an intriguing prospect simply because of his height/weight combo. Alshon Jeffery might be talented, but the work ethic concerns are too great for me.
- I’ve already talked about how much I like Coby Fleener. He’ll be a top five receiving tight end within three years. The tight end class isn’t deep, but Dwayne Allen and Ladarius Green will both offer great value in the second or third rounds.
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