The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

2012 Draft Rankings: Skill Positions (QB, RB, WR, TE)

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Jonathan Bales

Heading into the final stretch of draft prep, I’ve assessed and ranked players at cornerbackdefensive 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Quarterbacks

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)  ^^^

Running Backs

1. Trent Richardson, Alabama (First Round)

2. Doug Martin, Boise State (First Round)

3. David Wilson, Virginia Tech (First/Second 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)

Wide Receivers

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)

Tight Ends

1. Coby Fleener, Stanford (First Round) ***

2. Dwayne Allen, Clemson (First/Second 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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5 Responses to 2012 Draft Rankings: Skill Positions (QB, RB, WR, TE)

  1. john coleman says:

    JB- You are simply wrong on Luck and RGIII. While I think RGIII can be a solid QB, his legs WILL NOT be the factor that Michael Vicks are. He is fast , but not nearly as elusive as Vick. I also think you vastly underrate Lucks mobility and he has the size to take the hits. RGIII will be lucky to play the whole season without someone breaking him in half.

  2. Tim Truemper says:

    Jonathan–Thouhgt I might mention that A Luck did equally well with speed, agility, jumping drills that Cam Newton did. Perhaps RGIII is faster (heck, he’s a track star), but I don’t see the footwork and pocket presence of Luck that makes that a deciding factor.
    With that being said, I am intrigued about the TE from Temple (I read the TE ratings on Advanced Football/Fifth Down). What are your thoughts about him (depending on your time, of course.
    Thabnks for this terrifiic info by the way.

  3. JC–Just posted my scouting report on RGIII. I understand he doesn’t have Vick’s legs, but he can still make plays. Luck is certainly mobile enough to avoid trouble, but RGIII can make plays on the ground like a RB. I don’t think RGIII is one of the top rookie QB prospects of the past decade by any means, by my main point is I don’t think Luck is either.

  4. Tim–No question Luck has superior footwork as a passer, esp in the face of pressure. I watched Rodriguez for just a few min, so I can’t say conclusively how he might fit into Dallas. I know he has some pass-catching/blocking versatility, so he might be a late-round option.

  5. john coleman says:

    Wow! I am often one to go against the masses in regards to players, but I don’t think Luck is a miss. The only thing that keeps him from being offensive ROY is the fact that the Colts are terrible. But then again they were bad for several of Peyton’s early years. Just think about all the people who sang Polian’s praises. I was not one of them. In fact, if the Colts had have been in a real division the would have made only half the playoff games. So Luck will have his work cut out in his 1st season or two, but he has the tools.

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