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2012 NFL Draft Board Weekly Update for 11/06/2011

Every week I will have a Draft Board power rankings to give people an idea of where I have the prospect ranked from now leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft.  If I have more than one player graded in the same draft range I will use a potential grade as a tiebreaker.

If I have a prospect with a potential grade of below 85 projected in the first two rounds I believe that prospect will bust down the road.  Potential grades for each player can be listed in between 40 and 99.

This will be the second edition to the 2012 NFL Draft Board Weekly Update.  About 250 players get drafted each year.  For now I will just list the top 50 players on my draft board.  A player with a parenthesis like this ( ) is a player who’s potential grade I have already made my mind up about.  I will list current rankings and previous rankings with draft prospects.

1. Andrew Luck Quarterback Stanford Junior Redshirt Franchise Player (98 Potential Grade) Stanford’s Luck is hands down the best prospect in this draft.  He has nearly everything you look for in a franchise quarterback.  Andrew Luck has received the highest grade that I have ever given to an NFL Prospect.  I grade a quarterback on 6 categories and Luck received a 95 or higher in every category with a 99 grade in 3 of the 6 categories.

Andrew Luck has already stated that this will be his final year at Stanford and that he will go pro after this season.

The mechanics, footwork, and accuracy on Luck’s short and medium throws are practically money.  Luck displays nearly flawless pinpoint accuracy when making throws on short and medium passes.

Current Ranking 1st overall Previous Ranking 1st overall

2. Matt Kalil Left Tackle USC Junior Redshirt Top 5 Talent (95 Potential Grade) After Luck,  USC blindside blue chip left tackle Matt Kalil seems to be the clear cut #2 overall prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft.  Kalil beat out Tyron Smith for the left tackle job as a sophomore redshirt which has to be considered a pretty impressive feat considering the fact that Smith went 9th overall and was the first offensive tackle selected in 2011.

USC landed the top high school offensive tackle recruit in Arik Armstead.  This may opt Kalil to leave USC a year early.  Just imagine how sick USC’s offensive line will become with Kalil at left tackle and Armstead playing right tackle his first year.

Current Ranking 2nd overall Previous Ranking 2nd overall

3. Quinton Coples Right End North Carolina Senior Top 5 Talent (95 Potential Grade) When it Comes to the Senior prospects Quinton Coples is a man among boys.  Coples can play defensive end in a 4-3, defensive tackle if he bulks up, 3-4 end if he bulks up, or 3-4 outside linebacker if he drops some weight.  Coples is a versatile player.

Coples has convinced me that he can become an elite pass rushing sack artist and a run stuffing defensive lineman with the size of a defensive end.

Right now besides Luck there are only 2 players who look like potential candidates for Canton in this draft those players appear to be Matt Kalil and Quinton Coples.

Current Ranking 3rd overall Previous Ranking 3rd overall

4. Jonathan Martin Left Tackle Stanford  Junior Redshirt Top 5 Talent (94 Potential Grade) Stanford’s Jonathan Martin is a very underrated asset.  Martin reminds me a lot of Jonathan Odgen.  Worst case scenario your getting a Bob Whitfield type of left tackle.

Whitfield started for the Atlanta Falcons at left tackle.  He was one of the underrated assets who aided Atlanta in reaching Super Bowl 33.

Martin should also go pro even though no announcement has been made.  If Luck is going pro than I am inclined to believe that Martin will also go pro.

Current Ranking 4th overall Previous Ranking 4th overall

5. Matt Barkley Quarterback USC Junior Top 5 Talent (94 Potential Grade) Matt Barkley plays in a pro style offense for USC.  He really looked impressive against Stanford plus he managed to beat out Aaron Corp for a starting job as a true freshman prior to Matt Kalil beating out Matt Barkley for the starting quarterback job.

On a recent podcast with Dan Patrick Barkley told Patrick that his decision to stay or go pro would be based on  a “business decision” of what Barkley’s family believes is in his best interest long term.

USC is on bowl probation this year.  They will be eligible next season to be in a Bowl Game.   Just imagine how sick the Trojans could be in the PAC 12 if both Kalil and Barkley returned after this season.  Barkley went to a Bowl game as a true freshman under Pete Carroll without Kalil blocking for him as he had Charles Brown and Tyron Smith as bookends.   Barkley never played in a BCS Bowl Game for USC so that could play a factor into his ultimate decision.

The Trojans could make a run at the BCS title next season if both of their top 5 picks Matt Barkley and Matt Kalil returned.  USC’s game with Stanford lasted 3 overtimes so think of what USC could do if everyone returned in 2012.

When an underclassmen says they will make a business decision it usually indicates that they are leaning towards declaring at this point.

At this point I think Matt Kalil and Matt Barkley are both leaning on going pro.  At the same time I am not ruling out the chance that either prospect returns.

Matt Barkley had a monster game with 6 passing touchdowns against Colorado.  Matt Barkley played well against Stanford in a triple overtime contest and has cemented his status as the #2 quarterback selected baring an injury.

Current Ranking 5th overall Previous Ranking 5th overall

6. Morris Claiborne Cornerback LSU Junior Top 5 Talent (92 Potential Grade) Morris Claiborne had a critical interception against Alabama and did an outstanding job covering in this game.  For a while, most media outlets had Claiborne as the top corner ahead of Kirkpatrick.

I wasn’t ready to buy into the hype about how Claiborne is better than Kirkparick because I liked Kirkpatrick’s size as a corner better.  Both corners played well.  Claiborne made a pick and covered the entire game.  Kirkpatrick left the game with an injury.  Claiborne looks like the top cornerback prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Current Ranking 6th overall Previous Ranking 7th overall

7. Luke Kuechly Middle Linebacker Boston College Junior Top 5 Talent 90 Potential Grade Kuechly recorded 20 tackles against Florida State.  He’s recorded 100 tackles in 3 straight season.  His consistency at Boston College has translated.

People in the scouting community believe Kuechly could fall out of the top 20 with a poor combine.  Kuechly is a consistent run stuffer with great instincts and tackling ability.

If a team like the New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, or Pittsburgh Steelers lands Kuechly its simply highway robbery folks.  Kuechly is now the top middle linebacker in the 2012 NFL Draft in the wake of his performance against Florida State.

Current Ranking 7th overall Previous Ranking 12th overall

8. Justin Blackmon Wide Receiver Oklahoma State Junior Redshirt Top 5 Talent 87 Potential Grade Justin Blackmon has the elite mental intangibles that you look for in your ideal flanker receiver who can be used as a primary receiving target.  Blackmon has the mind boggling production at Oklahoma State to step into a starting receiver role right away.

The reason why I believe Blackmon is more of a secondary receiver playing the #2 receiver rather than a #1 primary receiver is because I feel like he could have better physical tools for a receiver.

You cannot question Blackmon’s intangibles.  He has the speed, route running, and hands, and production of a top 5 pick even if his physical ability and size at 6 foot 1 208 pounds isn’t what your looking for in a flanker receiver.

Sure Blackmon has mind boggling production.  In 2010 Blackmon had 111 receptions, 1,782 receiving yards, and 20 receiving touchdowns.  Blackmon could win back to back Biletnikoff Awards in 2010 and 2011.

At the end of the day though Blackmon’s 6 foot 1 height may limit his ability to make plays in the red zone due to the fact that he is undersized and this may limit his potential to a certain degree.

Blackmon turned down a chance to go pro as a sophomore redshirt so he should declare for the 2012 NFL Draft after this season.

Teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, and Carolina Panthers may feel the urge to give their young quarterbacks a flanker receiver to ensure his success.  The temptation to give your young signal caller a flanker to make the quarterback’s transition to the NFL easier will be too strong to ignore.  It could cause Blackmon to be a top 5 pick if one of these 3 teams wants to pursue a wide receiver in 2012.

Its downright scary to think of what Blackmon could accomplish if he was paired  next to a proven veteran and top 5 receiver like Andre Johnson,  Calvin Johnson, or Larry Fitzgerald, I could not even begin to fathom how obsolete an opposing secondary would become with Blackmon playing next to one of these receivers as a secondary target.

Arizona has to get a left tackle in 2012.  Its a code red situation on the offensive line because the pass blocking is such a dire need that must be addressed.  Arizona blew their lead to the Baltimore Ravens due to poor pass blocking.

If Kalil and Martin both get selected in the top 5 and Arizona is picking they have to consider trading down or reaching for Riley Reiff because the Cardinals gave up a 2nd round pick to get Kevin Kolb.

Its unlikely that the Texans or Lions get Blackmon.  I doubt either the Texans or Lions get Blackmon because their records are too good.  If Blackmon falls like Bryan Bulaga or Prince Amukamara then both Houston and Detroit should jump at the chance to draft him.

Blackmon has been consistent padding an impressive NFL resume so unless he screws up his workouts teams impressions on him are not going to change.  Blackmon may not be  a flanker in terms of potential.  Teams may see a flanker of the future who can become a quarterbacks best friend at wide receiver you look at Blackmon’s productivity along with the intangibles and your simply astonished.

I was down on Blackmon after he left the game with an injury last week.  Blackmon responded with his best game of the season practically silencing my impression on him as a prospect.  The great players who seperate themselves from the good ones respond after a subpar performance.

Blackmon had one of his best games in 2011 on Saturday against Baylor 2 weeks ago.  Blackmon had 13 receptions, 172 receiving yards, and 2 receiving touchdowns against the Baylor Bears.

After the Baylor game, Blacmon topped that performance with his game against Kansas State on Saturday.  Blackmon had 13 receptions for 205 receiving yards, and 2 receiving touchdowns.

Blackmon is stepping up in the clutch when it matters.  It would not shock me if Blackmon made a case to be a Heisman Finalist if he keeps producing like this down the stretch.  Oklahoma State would have to beat Oklahoma for Blackmon to have any chance at obtaining the Heisman hardware.

Blackmon has 87 receptions, 1039 receiving yards, and 12 receiving touchdowns so far in 2011.

Current Ranking 8th overall Previous Ranking 8th overall

9. Trent Richardson Running Back Alabama Junior Top 10 Talent (96 Potential Grade) Trent Richardson could end up being a top 5 pick when all is said and done.  Richardson is nearly a complete back.  His offensive line at Alabama is really good at run blocking.  Is his offensive line the main reason he is this successful?  That is the only remote question I have about Richardson when it comes to evaluating him.  Simply put, Richardson is ready to play on Sundays.  Richardson has 989 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns in 2011 while averaging 6.6 yards per carry.

LSU held Trent Richardson to 89 rushing yards.  Richardson still compensated for this with 80 receiving yards making some big plays at times.  You have to give LSU props for keeping Richardson in check holding him to under 100 rushing yards while keeping Richardson from scoring a touchdown.  This was Richardson’s first game of the year without a touchdown and 100 rushing yards in the same game.

Current Ranking 9th overall Previous Ranking 9th overall

10. Robert Griffin III Quarterback Baylor Junior Redshirt Top 10 Talent 93 Potential Grade Robert Griffin III had a monster game against a legit Missouri pass rush with Brad Madison and Jacqueis Smith throwing 3 touchdowns and no picks.  Robert Griffin III has been leading Baylor so you have to believe that Robert Griffin III is a top 10 talent.  Griffin had 406 passing yards against Missouri and has completed 74 percent of his passes on the year.

Robert Griffin III may return for his senior year.  If he does he could be the foreseeable frontrunner to be the #1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Current Ranking 10th overall Previous Ranking 16th overall

11. Vontaze Burfict Middle Linebacker Arizona State Junior Top 10 Talent (94 Potential Grade) Vontaze Burfict has immense potential.  He may be the complete middle linebacker to play a 4-3 and a 3-4 scheme.  The knocks on Burfict include his knack of making careless penalties and not playing as aggressive as he could.

Burfict can pass rush, sack the quarterback, stuff the run, play zone coverage, and make interceptions.

Burfict was a 5 star recruit out of high school and was the #1 middle linebacker recruit.  He’s going to be a highly sought after prospect.

Current Ranking 11th overall Previous Ranking 11th overall

12. Riley Reiff Left Tackle Iowa Junior Redshirt Top 10 Talent 93 Potential Grade Riley Reiff left the Iowa VS Penn State game with an injury before returning.  Reiff may be slightly undersized.  He displays incredible versatility.  He can play left tackle, right tackle, or move inside to left guard.  Reiff may gets injured now and then.  He is a tough competitor on an a top notch Iowa Hawkeyes offensive line.

Riley Reiff was fantastic pass blocking and run blocking in a home win against the Michigan Wolverines this week.  Reiff deserves to move up a few spots for his monster game on the offensive line.

Current Ranking 12th overall Previous Ranking 14th overall

13. Alshon Jeffery Wide Receiver South Carolina Junior Top 10 Talent (96 Potential Grade) Alshon Jeffery was a top 5 pick to enter the year.  The thing is he has yet to live up to the hype as a prospect so he could fall.

There were reports that listed Jeffery as 6 foot 4 237 pounds.  Those reports turned out to be misleading to a certain degree as Jeffery only weighs 229.  Jeffery has 33 receptions, 468 receiving yards and 5 receiving touchdowns in 2011.

Jeffery stated earlier that he will likely declare.  Spurrier will not try to talk Jeffery back into returning so I get the feeling Jeffery goes pro this season.  At the end of the day Jeffery’s draft stock gets dictated by his performance at the NFL Combine.

Last season Alshon Jeffery had a monster game torching Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.  Kirkpatrick left the LSU game with an injury and got torched at times in coverage against speedy receivers.  Dre Kirkpatrick also has a tendency to hit too hard at times.

Jeffery could solidify his top 10 status like Julio Jones or Michael Crabtree with a mind boggling NFL Combine.  A poor performance could make Jeffery a draft day slider like Dez Bryant or Jonathan Baldwin.

Alshon Jeffery’s last 2 games have been his worst of the year as Marcus Lattimore’s absence has been huge.  Jeffery was limited to 3 receptions for 17 receiving yards against Tennessee in South Carolina’s 14 to 3 win over Tennessee.

Jeffery also struggled against Arkansas this weekend as the Razorbacks limited him to 3 receptions for 19 receiving yards.

Current Ranking 13th overall Previous Ranking 10th overall

14. Dre Kirkpatrick Cornerback Alabama Junior Top 10 Talent (95 Potential Grade) Dre Kirkpatrick is a 6 foot 3 hard hitting cornerback.  The consensus is that Claiborne has emerged as the top corner even though Kirkpatrick was the top cornerback in the preseason.

At this point I am prompted to believe that Kirkpatrick will go pro.  Kirkpatrick left the LSU game with an injury courtesy of the honey badger Tyron Matthieu.

Kirkpatrick has gotten torched in coverage at times in 2011.  Kirkpatrick is still a top 10 talent.  He just has not convinced me he can be a top 10 talent.

Current Ranking 14th overall Previous Ranking 6th overall

15. Chris Polk Running Back Washington Junior Redshirt Top 10 Talent (90 Potential Grade) Chris Polk still has top 10 talent with his consistency this season.  Its hard to make a case that he is the #1 back though like I stated last week after watching him this week against Oregon.  Trent Richardson had 89 rushing yards against a top 5 run defense with  LSU  in the SEC.  Polk had only 80 rushing yards against Oregon’s run defense.

I love Polk’s consistency and believe he is a top 10 talent.  It became clearer last night though that Richardson is still the #1 back in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Current Ranking 15th overall Previous Ranking 13th overall

16. David DeCastro Right Guard Stanford Junior Redshirt 1st Round Talent (95 Potential Grade) DeCastro’s production has been simply mind boggling.  DeCastro may be a 6 foot 5 310 pound guard limited to a right guard role.  Still you have to love the way DeCastro has played.  Some people see DeCastro as a top 15 pick.

Current Ranking 16th overall Previous Ranking 20th overall

17. Cordy Glenn Left Guard Georgia Senior 1st Round Talent 95 Potential Grade Glenn plays left tackle at Georgia he can be utilized as a left guard or a right guard.  Glenn lacks the footwork to be a left tackle due to his massive 6 foot 5 348 pound frame.

Current Ranking 17th overall Previous Ranking 16th overall

18. Michael Brewster Center Senior Ohio State 1st Round Talent 92 Potential Grade The Buckeyes center has been very consistent he looks like he has better intangibles than either one of the Pouncey brothers.  Brewster is a natural center he isn’t as versatile as either Pouncey.  I like his intangibles better though.  That has to account for something.

Current Ranking 18th overall Previous Ranking 17th overall

19. Brandon Thompson Defensive Tackle Clemson Senior 1st Round Talent 93 Potential Grade Brandon Thompson has been very effective in run stuffing.  The 4-3 defensive tackle looks like the best defensive tackle for 2012 at this point when it comes to 4-3 defensive tackles.

There is always one defensive tackle that goes in the top 20 let alone the top 10.  Brandon Thompson is the top defensive tackle available in a weak draft class at defensive tackle.

Current Ranking 19th overall Previous Ranking 26th overall

20. Monte Teo Right Outside Linebacker Notre Dame Junior 1st Round Talent 90 Potential Grade Teo is a right outside linebacker in a 4-3 and can also play middle linebacker in the 3-4.  Teo is an excellent run stuffer who can be very consistent.

Current Ranking 20th overall Previous Ranking 17th overall

21. Stephon Gilmore Cornerback South Carolina Junior 1st Round Talent 97 Potential Grade Stephon Gilmore is one of the best coverage corners.  He can blitz and stuff the run too.  Gilmore ranked 3rd among corners.  Teams have thrown away from Gilmore in recent weeks due to his strong performance in 2010.  Gilmore should come off the board around this point.

Current Ranking 21st overall Previous Ranking 21st overall

22. Alfonzo Dennard Cornerback Nebraska Senior 1st Round Talent 93 Potential Grade Dennard could get drafted just below Prince Amukamara.  I like what I see with Dennard as a shutdown cornerback.  Dennard was excellent in coverage against Michigan State on Saturday.

Current Ranking 22nd overall Previous Ranking 22nd overall

23. Michael Floyd Wide Receiver Notre Dame Senior 1st Round Talent (90 Potential Grade) I like Floyd better in terms of potential than Blackmon because he has the physical tools in addition to the hands and jumping ability.  I feel like Floyd could be the 2nd best receiver in this draft in terms of potential.  The Notre Dame star receiver sends mixed signals when it comes to production though.

Floyd had 25 receptions, 313 receiving yards, and 2 receiving touchdowns in his first two games.  He now has 788 receiving yards on the season.  Half of Floyd’s production came in his first two games.

When Notre Dame travelled to Pittsburgh Floyd could not execute big plays which kept the Pitt Panthers in the ball game.  Pittsburgh had the 119th ranked pass defense.  Floyd who was averaging 10 receptions for 132 receiving yards in his first three games prior to the Fighting Irish brawl that Notre Dame encountered in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh limited Floyd to 4 receptions for 27 receiving yards.  Michael Floyd commanded double teams which allowed tight end Tyler Eifert to get open.

Floyd is 6 foot 4 223 pounds.  He has the ability to be a game changing flanker.  I just want to see more consistency out of him moving forward.

Current Ranking 23rd overall Previous Ranking 23rd overall

24. Brandon Jenkins Right End Florida State Junior 1st Round Talent 93 Potential Grade Jenkins could be slightly more durable and I’d like to see better intangibles.  He still offers a lot of versatility as a 4-3 defensive end or as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

Jenkins has regressed a bit in 2011 in terms of production.  He had 13.5 sacks as a sophomore.  No sack artists have emerged in 2011 so I think Jenkins still gets some first round consideration.

Current Ranking 24th overall Previous Ranking 24th overall

25. Courtney Upshaw 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Senior 1st Round Talent 90 Potential Grade Upshaw can be used as a pass rusher or he can play on the inside.  I think Upshaw would be more effective as a pass rusher on the outside though.

Upshaw has proven himself at Alabama.  Upshaw can pass rush, stuff the run, and blitz off the snap.  He is limited to a 3-4 scheme which may be the only potential downside with Upshaw.

Current Ranking 25th overall Previous Ranking 25th overall

26. Devon Still Defensive Tackle Penn State Senior Redshirt 1st Round Talent 93 Potential Grade The Penn State defensive tackle has emerged as one of the nations best run stuffers.  Devon Still has to be the top defensive tackle after Brandon Thompson at this point.

Current Ranking 26th overall Previous Ranking Not Ranked

27. Andre Branch Right End Clemson Senior Redshirt 1st Round Talent 90 Potential Grade Branch made DaQuan Bowers job as a sack artist a lot easier when he moved into that 4-3 right end role a year ago.  Teams often double team the right end.  I raved about how I believed Bowers was overrated last year.  One of the players who I believe is severly underrated is  Clemson’s Andre Branch.

Branch is 6 foot 5 270 pounds and he has 8.5 sacks in 2011 for Clemson.  Branch can lose 10 pounds plus move to a 3-4 also if necessary.

Current Ranking 27th overall Previous Ranking 27th overall

28. Melvin Ingram Right End South Carolina Senior Redshirt 1st Round Talent 90 Potential Grade Melvin Ingram has showcased his versatility as a pass rusher.  Ingram is listed higher than 28 in some mock drafts.  There is just so much talent in this draft that this would be the earliest I’d consider taking Ingram.  He could realistically go earlier than this based on how he has played in 2011.

Ingram can play 4-3 defensive end, 3-4 defensive end, 4-3 defensive tackle, or 3-4 outside linebacker.  You could say Ingram is a tweener because he has no true position. I disagree and believe that Ingram is more of a natural athlete with an uncertain defensive position on the front 7, because Ingram has really stepped up with 5.5 sacks and 8 tackles for a loss in 2011.

Current Ranking 28th overall Previous Ranking 28th overall

29. Zach Brown Right Outside Linebacker North Carolina Senior 91 Potential Grade Brown displays great, but not elite durability.  He may need 2 to 5 games to learn a 3-4 scheme.  Zach Brown is a 4-3 weak side linebacker.

Current Ranking 29th overall Previous Ranking 30th overall

30. Audie Cole Left Outside Linebacker North Carolina State Senior Redshirt 90 Potential Grade Audie Cole is a 4-3 left outside linebacker who can also play a 4-3 middle linebacker role.  Cole has entered the top 30 with North Carolina State’s 13 to 0 shutout win over in state rival North Carolina.

Current Ranking 30th overall Previous Ranking Not Ranked

31. Robert Lester Free Safety Alabama Junior Redshirt 1st Round Talent 93 Potential Grade The Alabama free safety is arguably the top free safety in the 2012 NFL Draft.  Lester reminds me of a center fielder type of free safety who can box in during zone coverage making big plays.

Lester could lean towards declaring since he has a shot to be a late first round pick if he declares.

Current Ranking 31st overall Previous Ranking 29th overall

32. Donta Hightower 3-4 Middle Linebacker Junior Redshirt 1st Round Talent 90 Potential Grade Hightower has displayed quality consistency at Alabama.  Hightower should be a late first round pick.  Hightower is an elite run stuffer with a complete game.  Hightower could have an immediate impact in the NFL.

Current Ranking 32nd overall Previous Ranking 32nd overall

33. Barrett Jones Left Tackle Alabama Junior 1st Round Talent 95 Potential Grade Jones will need a year to adjust to the NFL, but the potential is there.  He played right guard at Alabama last year before moving to left tackle this season.

Current Ranking 33rd overall Previous Ranking 33rd overall

34. DJ Fluker Right Tackle Alabama Sophomore Redshirt 1st Round Talent 95 Potential Grade Fluker plays next to Barrett Jones.  Fluker could be a beast at right tackle with the proper development.

Current Ranking 34th overall Previous Ranking 34th overall

35. Chase Minnifield Cornerback Virginia Senior Redshirt 1st Round Talent 92 Potential Grade Chase Minnifield is the son of Frank Minnifield.  He provides great, but not elite production which is why I have him falling to this spot.

The upside is there for Chase to be better than pro bowl Browns corner Frank Minnifield.  By the way the pro bowl cornerback Frank Minnifeld is the father of Virginia corneback Chase Minnfield.

Current Ranking 35th overall Previous Ranking 31st overall

36. Tyler Eifert Tight End Notre Dame Junior 1st Round Talent 96 Potential Grade There are reports that Tyler Eifert will return because some believe he is a sophomore redshirt. Eifert got injured as a true freshman, but he never pursued a medical redshirt so he is a Junior. Eifert has the ability to become a complete tight end if he opts to go pro after his junior reason.

Notre Dame developed John Carlson and Kyle Rudolph.  Eifert is the next Notre Dame tight end bound to go pro.

Current Ranking 36th overall Previous Ranking 37th overall

37. Mike Adams Left Tackle Ohio State Senior 1st Round Talent 89 Potential Grade The Buckeyes left tackle has had a significant impact with Ohio State since he returned from his suspension.

Current Ranking 37th overall Previous Ranking Not Ranked

38. Landry Jones Quarterback Oklahoma Junior Redshirt 1st Round Talent (81 Potential Grade) Jones has had an impressive outing against Kansas State.  He has thrown 9 picks in 8 games.  He threw 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions during his first two years as a starter.  I still believe that if someone among the 2012 quarterbacks becomes a draft bust that quarterback will be Landry Jones.  Landry’s supporting cast makes him look better than he actually is.

People are questioning my evaluation on Jones.  I watched film on Jones, wrote my scouting report, and generated my impression him as an NFL prospect that’s not changing.  I’m ready to stick to my impression and look smart if I’m right about Jones or go out on a limb looking like a fool assuming Jones proves me wrong.

Some people believe he can challenge Luck for the top pick.  There was a quarterback like that in 1998 who challenged Manning for the top pick.  That’s who Landry reminds me of.

Realistically, Landry Jones should get picked 30 picks higher than this.  I have him ranked 38th on my draft board because I believe he’s the 38th best player available in terms of long term potential.

Current Ranking 38th overall Previous Ranking 15th overall

39. Dontari Poe Nose Tackle Memphis Junior 2nd Round Talent 95 Potential Grade Dontari Poe is 6 foot 5 350 pounds.  Poe struggled against Central Florida which has prompted me to drop him from the first round to the 2nd round of the the 2012 NFL Draft.  Poe was a top 20 pick last week prior to the game against Central Florida.  Poe could reenter the top 25 discussion with a record setting combine.

Current Ranking 39th overall Previous Ranking 39th overall

40. Nico Johnson 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker Alabama Junior 2nd Round Talent 90 Potential Grade Nico Johnson is one of the top 3-4 outside linebacker.  Johnson can play on the outside or the inside at linebacker in a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme.

Current Ranking 40th overall Previous Ranking 40th overall

41. Chase Thomas 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Junior Redshirt 2nd Round Talent 91 Potential Grade Thomas is a pass rusher who can get to the quarterback or stuff the run.  He has the versatility to play on the right or the left side.

Current Ranking 41st overall Previous Ranking 41st overall

42. Mark Barron Strong Safety Alabama Senior Senior 2nd Round Talent 98 Potential Grade Mark Barron may have more potential than anyone on Alabama’s secondary.  He’s also the biggest project on secondary because he’s dropped passes in coverage and fumbled punt returns.

Current Ranking 42nd overall Previous Ranking 42nd overall

43. Montee Ball Running Back Wisconsin Junior 2nd Round Talent 96 Potential Grade Montee Ball is 5 foot 11 210 pounds.  He has had 18 rushing touchdowns in back to back seasons.  Ball had 18 rushing touchdowns in 2010 and 18 in 2011 combining for 36 rushing touchdowns over the last two seasons.  Ball is an underrated back who is starting to move up draft boards.

Ball has the size, power, and trucking ability to be an effective red zone rusher.

Current Ranking 43rd overall Previous Ranking 43rd overall

44. Kevin Zeitler Right Guard Wisconsin Senior 2nd Round Talent 94 Potential Grade Zietler is one of the nations most dominant pass blockers and run blockers.  The knock on Zeitler is that he plays on a very talented offensive line with an outstanding supporting cast.

Kevin Zeitler executed a monster pancake block against Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy who was a preseason top 10 overall pick.  Worthy’s poor 2011 performance has caused him to take a huge fall.

Current Ranking 44th overall Previous Ranking 44th overall

45. Mohammed Sanu Wide Receiver Rutgers Junior 2nd Round Talent 93 Potential Grade Sanu is one of the most complete receivers in college football.  Sanu provides good value at this point in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Sanu has 70 receptions for 731 receiving yards and 7 receiving touchdowns in 8 games.  Sanu is having a monster year for a 6 foot 2 215 pound wide receiver.

Current Ranking 45th overall Previous Ranking 45th overall

46. TJ McDonald Free Safety USC Junior 2nd Round Talent 90 Potential Grade TJ McDonald is one of the top safeties in the country.  McDonald should have an early impact with the Trojans.  McDonald is a two way safety who can play free safety or strong safety.

Current Ranking 46th overall Previous Ranking 46th overall

47. Jerry Franklin 3-4 Middle Linebacker Senior Redshirt 2nd Round Talent 90 Potential Grade Jerry Franklin can be used as a 3-4 right outside linebacker as a pass rusher or as a 3-4 middle linebacker.

Current Ranking 47th overall Previous Ranking 47th overall

48. Nigel Bradham Right Outside Linebacker Florida State Senior 2nd Round Talent 90 Potential Grade Bradham can play WILL, MIKE, or SAM role in a 4-3 defense.  Bradham is a 3 year project with Derrick Brooks like potential if he plays up to expectations in the NFL.

Current Ranking 48th overall Previous Ranking 48th overall

49. Peter Konz Center Wisconsin Junior Redshirt 2nd Round Talent 90 Potential Peter Konz could even emerge as a late first round talent in 2012 even though I expect Konz to return for his senior redshirt season.

Current Ranking 49th overall Previous Ranking 49th overall

50. Lamar Miller Running Back Miami FL Sophomore Redshirt 2nd Round Talent 90 Potential Grade Lamar Miller has been consistent.  The knocks on Miller include his cold streak the last 2 weeks along with a really strong run blocking offensive line which drop him to this spot.

Current Ranking 50th overall Previous Ranking 50th overall