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Early 2012 Mock NFL Draft: Six SEC Players In Round One

andrew luck

We’ve updated our NFL mock draft order for 2012. We based our order on preseason power rankings. We’ll update again once the NFL season begins, and factor in team needs at that time. This mock does not take needs into account.


1. Buffalo, Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Yes, he was extremely nuts to give up all that money that comes with being the #1 pick. And yes, that’s unprecedented, a #1 overall staying in school. We’ll never know why, we just know he’s going to be the first pick next year. As of now.

Luck as a NFL prospect, possibly the #1 NFL Draft prospect,- his strong arm, excellent read-and-recognitions, quickness and mobility, poise and intelligence on the field or his excellent standing off of it.

In preparation for his match-up with Luck and his Stanford teammates this week, Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly discussed what impresses him most about the redshirt quarterback.

“He was hitting the wide field, go route, intermediate, and the thing that really got my attention is his ability to run. I think he had a 50 something yard run for a touchdown. So his ability, his escapability, I didn’t know what it was. I now know what it is. The guy is extremely athletic, as well, and he can run. So he brings a big dimension to the table and not just throwing the football,” Kelly said.

2. Cincinnati Bengals, Matt Kalil, OT, USC


3. Minnesota Vikings, Matt Barkley, QB, USC

For bikini photos of the USC Song Girls (their cheerleaders) swim charity event go here


4. Carolina, Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

5. Tennessee, Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy’s NFL Draft stock is about as high as anyone in the Spartans, or even anyone in the Big Ten. He also has a tattoo that entails everything that makes college football such an awesome game. Go here to see it. Take a closer look and notice the tattoo’s homage to the rivalry with Michigan. What an affront it is to the Wolverines, love it!

For more on Worthy go here

6. Washington, Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

7. Oakland, Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

8. Denver, Donte Paige-Moss, DE/OLB, North Carolina

9. Arizona, Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama


10. San Francisco, Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame

When he was a freshman, the 6-2, 245 lb LB posted the third-most tackles ever by an Irish rookie; and ranked fourth on ND with 63 stops in 2009. His 2010 season was even better

His defensive coordinator Bob Diaco described him thusly:

“He’s definitely in the top cut of maturity. He’s just a mature person with a big heart. Always in service, in service to the student body, his teammates, his coaches, helping out his buddies. So when you factor that with his tangible skill set on the field, that’s really a special blend.”

Go here for more about Teo

Teo yesterday at ND Media Day

on the differences in defense from last year to this year…

“I think you are going to see a completely different team. We will be more seasoned and confident. We have become more comfortable. The more comfortable we get the smoother things will be.”

on the play of the linebackers so far in practice…

“It has been good. The competition has been there. Every day, we are critiquing ourselves and the coaches are critiquing us. There are a lot of linebackers, so that puts in place a competitive environment where every day you know you could lose your starting spot if someone else outperforms you. No place is guaranteed to anyone on the team. It makes the team that much better.”

on the advice he gives to new players…

“The best advice I could give anyone is to be humble. Second is to always remember where you came from and whom you represent. Third is to be coachable. As a freshman you don’t know what is going on. You are in a totally different environment. College football is a completely different game than high school. You have to be able to accept criticism from both the coaches and other players in order to make yourself a better player and person.”

11. Jacksonville, Jared Crick, DE/DT, Nebraska Cornhuskers

12. Seattle, Vontaze Burflict, ILB, Arizona State

13. Miami, Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

14. Cleveland Browns, Cliff Harris, CB/PR, Oregon

For the definitive collection of Hot Oregon Cheerleader pictures go here


15. Dallas, Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

16. Kansas City, Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

17. Cleveland Browns, Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College

18. Detroit Lions, Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa Hawkeyes

19. Tampa Bay, Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

20. Houston, Andrew Datko, OT, Florida State

21. St. Louis Rams, Mike Brewster, OL, Ohio State Buckeyes

Brewster is a 6-5, 293 senior from Orlando, FL with three years of starting experience. He was a NFL ready talent in 2011, but the best at the position don’t often get picked until the third round at the earliest. Therefore “Brewster’s Millions” (yeah, you knew it was coming, an ’80s pop culture reference, I just couldn’t past that up) must wait to 2012. And I think he made the right decision in putting the NFL off until after his senior season.

For more on Brewster go here

22. Indianapolis Colts, Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State Buckeyes

23. San Diego, Baker Steinkuhler, DE/DT, Nebraska

24. Chicago Bears, Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina

25. NY Jets, Devier Posey, WR, Ohio State Buckeyes

Posey may not have the same GQ wardrobe or late ’90s boy band good looks of Sanzenbacher, but he does have a ton of NFL potential. Scouts love his ideal size, speed and ball skills for a professional receiver.

For more on Posey go here

26. NY Giants, Marcus Forston, DT, Miam

27. Pittsburgh, Andre Branch, DE, Clemson

28.Philadelphia, Devin Taylor, DE/OLB, South Carolina

29. Baltimore, Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

30. New England Patriots, Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

31. Green Bay Packers, Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

With three alcohol related legal offenses during his time in South Bend, you know character concerns will be front and center. Of course no story about Michael Floyd is complete without mentioning that the true key to his realization of that enormous potential is staying healthy. Floyd led all FBS wideouts in the nation with a 29.09 yards per catch average and he was tied for the national lead in receiving TDs when he suffered a broken collarbone against Michigan State in ’09.

But last year he only missed one game, and when you look at his stats, ND records and size, you see what makes him a blue-chip prospect.

Floyd yesterday at Notre Dame Media Day

on putting everything behind him…

“The past is the past. I’ve moved on to the future, so I’m not even thinking about what happened anymore. I just have to make sure that the decisions I make are good because they are going to follow me forever.”

on if things seem as though they are back to normal now…

“It does. This time of year, I can just focus on schoolwork and football now. It helps me move on from the past. It feels good to know that I can put that behind me now and focus on school and football.

on his goals for this up coming season…

“I’m just trying to make myself an all-around better receiver. My goal is to be the best receiver in the country, so I have to work hard every day to make sure that I have the best possibility for that. I am a guy that likes to be pushed. If you are not being pushed, then you won’t perform to the best of your ability.”

on how he can be better this season…

“When our quarterback is in trouble, I need to get out of my routes faster, and I need to work on my blocking downfield, which is something you can always get better at. It isn’t all about catching the ball and running routes – you have to be able to do the little things that help the team win.”

on the records he could potentially break this year…

“I don’t even know what they are. I never look at things like that. Whatever happens, happens. I am just trying to win games for Notre Dame and this team.”

michael floyd

32. New England Patriots, Jeff Allen, OL, Illinois Fighting Illini

Allen, is yet another in a great line of OLs to come from Champaign to the NFL (Tony Pashos, David Diehl, Jon Asomoah, Brad Hopkins). The Illini switch guards and tackles given the play call. SO there is no true right/left guards and tackles. This versatility will serve him well for the next level.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports 

He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. You can follow him on Twitter

Our Overtime section is a collection of columns, opinions and posts from outside parties.  The views expressed on this page do not reflect those of

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