The Senior Bowl is over and the scouts, as well as the personnel from every NFL team, have had a chance to look at the best college prospects headed into the 2012 draft in “real’ time. As is always the case some hurt their draft stock, while others improved their standing — 2012 NFL mock draft time.
For now though the harshest judgement will be reserved for after the combine when these NFL hopefuls get poked, prodded, measured, and judged as they attempt to score a higher draft grade — which equals a larger pay check in the NFL.
The biggest story line in the league currently is the status and future of four-time MVP quarterback Peyton Manning, who missed th entire 2011 season after under going neck surgery in the spring last year.
Manning’s health is somewhat of a question mark, and the Colts — under the new management of GM Ryan Grigson — may have to cut him given that he is set to make a $28 million dollar roster bonus this March.
Peyton may have already played his last down in an Indianapolis uniform as the Colts hold the first overall pick after their 2-14 season, and the consensus is they will use that pick to select Stanford QB Andrew Luck.
Rumor has it that Irsay and Grigson have already made the decision to re-build without Manning on the roster, so it looks like just a matter of time until he is released into free agency.
The New Orleans Saints have no first round pick in this years draft after swapping it to get back into last years draft to select Alabama running back Mark Ingram with the 28th pick.
Last year in the draft there was an amazing run on quarterbacks in the first round — Cam Newton (1), Jake Locker (8), Blaine Gabbert (10), Christian Ponder (12) — all were off the board in the blink of an eye.
Will the same thing happen this year? It’s always possible, but for sure Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Ryan Tannehill won’t make it through the first round.
Other quarterbacks such as Nick Foles and Brock Osweiler are on the cusp of a first round selection depending on just how bad certain teams may want these young prospects on their rosters given the string of recent successes with “plug-and-play” rookies.
2012 is a bad year for safeties it seems as there is really only one pure safety prospect that currently carries a first round grade, and that’s Alabama strong safety Mark Barron.
It will be interesting to see how teams play this, and if there will be a run on corner’s, as they show up in abundance with first round designations this year.
As the league shifts continually to more passing and less running defenses are responding by running much more nickel and dime formations to defend the pass.
Three, four, five, and even six good corners are almost a necessity in today’s NFL, and they come at a premium.
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