Evan Silva

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2012 Draft: The Best Ten Left

Friday, April 27, 2012


Thursday’s first round included quite a few surprises. New 49ers receiver A.J. Jenkins, Seahawks pass rusher Bruce Irvin, Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, and even Giants running back David Wilson and Vikings safety Harrison Smith were not commonly “mocked” in the top 32.

The St. Louis Rams and Indianapolis Colts will kick off the second round Friday at Nos. 33 and 34, respectively. Here’s a look at the top-ten players left available to them.

1. North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins — Jenkins would have been a top-15 pick if not for severe off-the-field baggage, and he will likely go off the board early in round two. A shutdown corner in the SEC before “transferring” to Division II, Jenkins goes 5-foot-10, 193 and runs a 4.47. He is a playmaker on the ball, can cover outside and in the slot, and is a homerun threat on punt returns. The aforementioned Rams and Colts both visited with Jenkins before the draft.

2. LSU receiver Rueben Randle — Randle has prototype size at 6-foot-3, 212, and ran in the 4.3s at his Pro Day. While his production was limited in LSU’s run-first, passing-unfriendly offense, Randle was still voted first-team All-SEC by the conference’s coaches last season. Randle is a game breaker, averaging nearly 17 yards per career reception. Randle may be the favorite to be the 33rd pick after St. Louis was leapfrogged by Jacksonville for Justin Blackmon on Thursday night.

3. Stanford tight end Coby Fleener — 6-foot-6, 250-pound humans don’t often run in the 4.4s, but Fleener can and he will be a coveted prospect early on day two. Andrew Luck’s college go-to guy could be reunited with this year’s top pick if Indianapolis tabs Fleener to replace Jacob Tamme and Dallas Clark at No. 34. What Fleener lacks as a blocker he can make up for as a mismatch down the seam. He scored ten touchdowns last season, and averaged 19.6 yards per catch.

4. Alabama defensive end Courtney Upshaw — NFL teams soured on Upshaw because he lacks an elite pass-rushing “get off,” but he possesses a non-stop motor and shouldn’t get into the 40s on Friday. Upshaw paced the NCAA’s best defense last season in sacks, tackles for a loss, quarterback hurries, and forced fumbles. While he is a bit of a ‘tweener, Upshaw has a place in the league as an edge-setting run defender on early downs who will rush relentlessly at end in the nickel.

5. Georgia offensive lineman Cordy Glenn — Glenn lacks ideal pass-blocking technique as a “waist bender” at left tackle, but he should have a home at right tackle or guard in the NFL. Glenn moves incredibly well for 6-foot-6, 345-pound behemoth. A 50-game starter and 2011 first-team All-SEC pick, Glenn could join Randle on St. Louis’ radar at No. 33.

6. Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still — NFL scouts have openly questioned Still’s motor, and early-career medical flags may have added to teams’ concerns. But Still is a dominant defender when he’s on his game, and he was recognized for his performance with 2011 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year honors. Still seems likely to be drafted in the 30s.

7. Midwestern State guard Amini Silatolu — Google for cutups of Silatolu’s 2011 games, and you’ll see a small-school lineman who ragdolled his competition. Teams are concerned about Silatolu’s intelligence and ability to transition from low-level tackle to NFL guard, but he plays the game like 49ers guard Mike Iupati, and figures to be a high pick on Friday.

8. Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin — Martin is a bit on the soft side for a right tackle, and he’s not quite athletic enough to dominate on the left. But there’s still plenty to like about 6-foot-5, 312-pound prospect with 34-inch arms and 37 quality starts on Luck’s blind side. Martin was a second-team All American last season. He played in a pro-style offensive system at Stanford, and should have no trouble finding a home in the early to middle portion of round two.

9. Wisconsin guard/center Peter Konz — Konz had too many medical and strength questions for a team to deem him worthy of a first-day selection, but plenty of late first-round teams were high on him and Konz figures to be snatched up pretty quickly on Friday. Baltimore, Cincinnati, Dallas, and Tennessee all showed interest in Konz before the draft.

10. Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin — Boykin’s stock took a hit when he fractured a leg bone in the Senior Bowl game, but he is a very, very good prospect. He earned the 2011 Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player, covering the slot in coach Mark Richt’s pro-style scheme and scoring touchdowns both on offense and special teams. In his career, Boykin had five touchdowns as a return specialist, and he covers like Antoine Winfield on defense.

More strong prospects left on the board: Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill, Washington defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu, Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry, Clemson defensive end Andre Branch, Montana defensive back Trumaine Johnson, Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy, South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery, Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley, Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams, UConn defensive tackle Kendall Reyes.



Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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