2012 NFL Draft - 20 Best Players Available
Miami RB Lamar Miller
Miami RB Lamar Miller
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 28, 2012


After the second round, who are the best players still on the board going into Day Three?



2012 NFL Draft

Best Available Players


2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas CityOakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay    

Round-By-Round Picks & Analysis Round 1 | Round 2
Round 3 | Round 4 | Round 5 | Round 6 | Round 7 

What's Next? The Second Guesses, Next Picks & What's Needed
AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West
NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West 

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1. RB Lamar Miller, Miami (Jr.) 5-11, 212
CFN Overall Ranking: 30


Fast, fast, fast, he was expected to be a 4.4 speedster before the offseason workouts, and then he ripped off a 4.36 in a workout to cement his place as one of the fastest of all the top backs. With good size, the right frame, and excellent athleticism, he looks the part of a franchise back. It’s all there, including the quickness to be a devastating kickoff returner if he’s looking to find a role right away outside of the offense. While he was a good collegian, he was underutilized and could be just scratching the surface and could be a whale of a value at some point in the middle of the second round. Can he stay healthy? Part of the reason he didn’t get the ball enough was because he couldn’t handle the load. He won’t power over anyone and he doesn’t play nearly as fast or as quick as he times. Even so, all the tools are there to become a terrific piece of a puzzle, especially if he’s a part of a good rotation.
CFN Projection: Second Round

2. TE Orson Charles, Georgia (Jr.) 6-3, 251
CFN Overall Ranking: 32


Like a wide receiver playing tight end, Charles is a nice route runner with great hands. He has the potential to be a go-to target who can make midrange plays to go along with moving the chains, and he’s just good enough of a blocker to not be a liability. Rocked up, he looks the part with a strong, muscular frame, but he doesn’t really do too much for the ground game. He’ll fight to make a block, and he cranked out 35 reps on the bench at the Combine, but he’s not going to flatten his man. His worth is as a target and with a little bit of route-running refinement and work he can be a featured playmaker in an attack who can take the heat off a No. 1 target. The speed is there and the strength is in place, and now it’s just up to the quarterback to get him the ball.
CFN Projection: Second Round

3. QB Kirk Cousins, Michigan State 6-3, 214
CFN Overall Ranking: 35

A rock-solid prospect with a low ceiling but no bust potential, he has the right height, a great head, and all the intangibles to be a leader of an offense for a long, long time. A good conductor who knows what everyone is supposed to do, and good at making the right read, he’ll be ready right out of the box with a solid throwing motion that won’t need much tweaking. Vocal, he’s comfortable at being the spokesman for the team with the right blend of attaboy and vinegar to motivate the troops. The problem is that he might be Chad Pennington – great in the locker room and limited on the field. Not a power pitcher, he’s more of a finesse thrower and doesn’t throw the best of balls. Ultra-accurate in drills, he can play and he has starting ability, but there’s a limited upside. He’ll be a piece of the puzzle rather than the reason a team succeeds.
CFN Projection: Second Round

4. CB Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska 5-10, 204
CFN Overall Ranking: 44


He's dropping because of off-the-field issues. While he’s not the athlete that former Husker and first round pick Prince Amukamara is, he moves well and has the size to potentially move over to safety if he doesn’t work out at corner. Thick and tough, he beats up receivers and he’s not afraid to mix it up – just ask Alshon Jeffery. He’s able to make up for his lack of elite speed by getting a jam on receivers and he’s able to make up for his okay height with tremendous leaping ability. There are no problems staying with the better receivers, even though he doesn’t quite have the raw skills teams would like in a No. 1 coverman. Banged up throughout his career, his style doesn’t necessarily translate well to the next level in terms of a long shelf life. Eventually, he might flourish as a fifth defensive back or a free safety, but he’ll be good to start out as a No. 2 corner against the bigger targets.
CFN Projection:
Second Round

5. S Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State (FS) 6-1, 207
CFN Overall Ranking: 52


Very, very strong, he put up 19 reps and the Combine and translates the weight room strength to the field. Big and with decent range, he’s a highlight reel hitter who could be an intimidating force in just about any defensive system. When he gets a bead on a receiver or a ball-carrier, it’s over. However, he tends to try too hard to go for the kill shot rather than simply come up with the run of the mill tackle and he needs to get it in his head that the routine is okay. While he’s not elite in pass coverage, he’s athletic enough to get by and makes up for most of his mistakes by coming up with the big plays at the key times. A great guy and a good leader, he has the potential to be a nice part of any secondary, even though he won’t necessarily be a star.
CFN Projection: Third Round

6. S George loka, Boise State (FS) 6-4, 225
CFN Overall Ranking: 56


Very tall, he’s an interesting prospect mainly because of his skill set. He might not have run well in post-season workouts, but he’s extremely quick for his size and he’s football fast with the ability to always be around the ball. In the pros, though, he’ll have to be more of an impact player and has to show he can take advantage of every opportunity. While he’ll have big problems against speed receivers, he’ll be fine against the bigger, slower targets and tight ends; he’s the good prospect for the new wave of New England Patriot-style offense. However, he’s not the best tackler and is merely average against the run with too many whiffs. With his athleticism and his potential, some defensive coordinator will be very, very excited to get him.
CFN Projection: Third Round

7. WR Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M 6-4, 223
CFN Overall Ranking: 58

If there’s a wide receiver out of central casting, it’s Fuller with tremendous size, bulk, and decent speed for a 6-4 target. Very strong and very experienced, he’s ready out of the box to contribute with the ability to fight for the ball and go get anything that has come his way. However, there’s something missing. In a great passing offense with an NFL quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, he was fine but not quite productive enough. The hands are questionable and inconsistent and he doesn’t quite use his wheels and size quite like he should. Always a bit dinged up, there was always something a bit off last year and he didn’t play up to expectations. He’ll be a mid-round draft pick, but there’s reasonable hope to put it all together and become a very, very good pro.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

8. OT James Brown, Troy (OG) 6-3, 306
CFN Overall Ranking: 62
 
Extremely versatile and productive, he can play any of four positions but will be first tried out at left tackle. Athletic, he moves well and shuffles fine, and he could be ready to do far more with the potential to bulk up at least 15 pounds. In the right system, and with a little work, he could be a dominant guard, but he could prove to be too valuable on the outside as long as he wants to do the little things to make it happen. While he’s good on the field, his workouts weren’t anything special and there might be a hard limit on what he can become talent-wise, but he’s coachable and he’ll do whatever is needed to find a spot. Can he be a killer? He’ll be a starter, but considering his lack of explosion he has to make up for it by ramping up the intensity.
CFN Projection: Third Round

9. OLB Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma (Jr.) 6-2, 253
CFN Overall Ranking: 63

Part end, part linebacker, he bulked up in a big way to get up to 253 pounds to show he could possibly fit a variety of systems, but he’s maxed out on his frame. Ridiculously strong, he put up 36 reps on the bench and showed he has the raw tools to potentially be a rock against the run. He’s a big hitter who’s excellent at coming up with a big stop, and he doesn’t miss a tackle. While he’s still an unfinished product and isn’t the greatest of athletes, there’s little bust potential as long as he can jack up the intensity level a few notches. He might not be a pure pass rusher and he’ll be far better against the run than the pass, but he’s quick enough to get by and he’ll be a rock when his job is to see ball, hit ball.
CFN Projection: Second Round

10. ILB Audie Cole, NC State 6-4, 246
CFN Overall Ranking: 65


A great tackler with a nice frame and the potential to add more weight, he had a good college career and might be just scratching the surface on what he can do. Versatile at the collegiate level, he worked a bit both on the outside and in, but he was far better inside and proved in offseason workouts that he’s destined to hang out in the middle of someone’s defense. Slow, he hovered around the 4.8 mark in the 40 and came up with a mediocre 19 reps on the bench. On the football field, though, he plays strong, doesn’t miss a tackle, and is as tough and competitive as they come. The lack of quickness will be a problem, but he could be used in a variety of spots as a backup if he doesn’t stick as a starting inside defender. More of a football player than a workout warrior, he could be a steal.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

11. OT Zebrie Sanders, Florida State 6-6, 320
CFN Overall Ranking: 69


Big, tall, and long with a terrific frame, he has added on weight over the offseason and still carries it without a problem. While he could be a right tackle at the next level, with his tools and skills he could eventually become a terrific left tackle with a little bit of tweaking and work. Great at sealing things off and redirecting the speed rushers, he does just enough to keep defenders away. The problem is the lack of athleticism to go along with issues against the power defenders. He’ll battle, but the fight gets taken to him way too often and he doesn’t drive his man into the ground. The offseason workouts were a disaster with a way-too-slow appearance in the short drills at the Combine. His stock was higher at the end of the season than it is now, but he’s a smart player who’ll find a role on someone’s line.
CFN Projection: Third Round

12. DT Josh Chapman, Alabama 6-1, 316
CFN Overall Ranking: 70


Most of the top tackles in the draft can do several things and work in a variety of defenses. Chapman is a nose tackle – and that’s about it. That’s not a bad thing, though, with tremendous size and the build to sit in the middle of the line and not get budged. A tremendous run stopper, he’s tough and holds up well. But again, this is it. He’s not a pass rusher and he’s not going to move too much. While he’ll work, battle, and will always give an honest day’s effort, he’s mostly going to be a brick who everyone works around. Proven, he’s the type of player who can sit on someone’s defensive front and not be noticed by anyone other than the offensive interior that can’t generate a push.
CFN Projection: Third Round

13. TE Deangelo Peterson, LSU 6-3, 243
CFN Overall Ranking: 71


Is he just scratching the surface? He’s a great receiver who wasn’t used enough in an offense that couldn’t seem to throw the forward pass on a consistent basis. A phenomenal recruit, he has all the talent and all the skills to potentially be a much, much better pro once he’s finally utilized the right way. Even after bulking up a bit he’s still a strong athlete who runs well and can stretch the field enough to be a dangerous go-to target. This is as big as he’s going to get, but he’s one of the best blockers among the top tight end prospects. There are still a few question marks about whether or not he can actually be a consistent playmaker, but again, blame that on the LSU quarterbacks. He could be one of the mid-round steals of the draft.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

14. OG Senio Kelemete, Washington 6-3, 307
CFN Overall Ranking: 72


Yes, being under 310 pounds is too small now to be a star NFL guard, but he’s versatile enough to work at right tackle if needed as well as at either guard spot. He played left tackle in college and moves well for a guard prospect, and he’s tough enough to overcome his lack of bulk. However, he’s about maxed out after beefing up to get over 300. The 20 reps on the bench in Indy were a massive disappointment, and he needs a lot of refinement as a guard – he’ll catch too much instead of blast – but there’s a world of upside. It might take a year in an NFL strength program, but he should be fine with a little bit of work. He won’t be special without the raw athleticism or the girth, but he’ll work to become a player.
CFN Projection: Third Round

15. WR Chris Givens, Wake Forest (Jr.) 6-1, 198
CFN Overall Ranking: 74

In a draft class that’s missing blazing speed up top, Givens brings the heat with sub-4.4 wheels that translates to the field. A good route runner and not just a deep threat, he’s not afraid to block and he has no problems going across the middle even though he doesn’t quite have the body for it. While his bread will be buttered at the next level as a possible home run hitter, it would be nice if he could find the weight room and decide to put in the work to potentially be a go-to target. The bust potential is huge and he has to prove he wants to become great. Outside of his speed he doesn’t have elite tools and he’ll likely spend his career as a one-trick pony who works as a No. 3 receiver.
CFN Projection: Third Round

16. RB Chris Polk, Washington (Jr.) 5-11, 215
CFN Overall Ranking: 75  

CFN Analysis: A good college player, he dropped some weight to be quicker and it showed this offseason. Known more for being a strong and powerful back, he showed enough speed in workouts to go along with 24 reps on the bench in Indy to be a complete back. Of all the top backs outside of Trent Richardson, Polk might be the best workhorse with the right toughness, smarts, and work ethic to want to be great. There isn’t anything fancy about his game with the vision and decisiveness to see hole, hit hole, and crank out big plays when he gets the chance. With a ton of tread worn off the tires, the big question mark will be whether or not he can hold up with a running style that almost ensures a short but productive career.
CFN Projection: Second Round

17. OLB Nigel Bradham, Florida State 6-2, 241
CFN Overall Ranking: 76

Bradham looks the part, like most Florida State linebackers do. Rocked up, there’s no room to add any more good weight to add to an almost-perfect physique, so this is it. He might get to 245 pounds, but he’s never going to be a huge option for the end. While he jumped well at the Combine and he flies off the ball, he’s not particularly fast. Coming up with the intimidating kill shot from time to time isn’t a problem, but he doesn’t do it on a regular basis and he’ll miss some shots. He is what he is as far as potential, and that’s not a bad thing. Intensity and want-to aren’t a problem, and he has the right attitude to the point of being overaggressive; he’ll do what’s needed to be in the league for a long time.
CFN Projection: Third Round

18. TE Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette 6-6, 238
CFN Overall Ranking: 78


Purely a receiving tight end, he’s a blossoming wide receiver who’ll be put in an H-Back hybrid role. Really, really, REALLY fast, he’s a sub-4.5 runner and he knows how to use his size and his athleticism to destroy his man. While he’s not going to huge anyone just because he’s too lanky, he’s going to do everything asked of him and he’s going to bust his tail to make sure he works with the coaching staff. As long as everyone knows what he’s going to be, and as long as there aren’t expectations for big blocks for the ground game, he could be a terrific target who’ll exploit one-on-one coverage. Some offensive coordinator will be ecstatic in the middle of the draft to get the Ragin’ Cajun.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

19. OG Lucas Nix, Pitt 6-5, 317
CFN Overall Ranking: 79


A good-sized blocker who got bigger, bulking up even more this offseason, he’s large, but he can move. Versatile enough to be kicked out to right tackle in a pinch, he’s a good athlete who pulls like a much lighter blocker. Physical, he has no problem fighting and he’ll deliver the big hit for the big run. Not enough of a pass blocker to be a regular tackle - he’s a guard even though he looks like he should be playing on the outside – but the biggest concern is his durability after suffering a torn pectoral muscle and with an ongoing foot problem. While he might not be a perfect prospect, he has the right attitude and the right temperament to be a strong, reliable fixture for a long, long time.
CFN Projection: Third Round

20. OLB Keenan Robinson, Texas 6-3, 240
CFN Overall Ranking: 80


A superstar prospect for a Texas program that gets nothing but superstar prospects, Robinson put together a nice career. While he’s not fast by the stopwatch, he moves well on the field with smooth moves and nice athleticism. With his size, and strength – cranking out 27 reps on the bench – he looks the part and can do it all. He’s good against the run and terrific against the pass, however, he’s not going to beat anyone up and he’s far better when he gets to run around than when he has to deal with a smashmouth attack. A good-character guy and a natural leader, he’s the type of person every coach wants, but he doesn’t quite have the game to fit every system.
CFN Projection: Third Round