Every year after the NFL Draft we look back at the various mock draft boards and laugh mockingly at how wrong they were. The best experts in the country with the final mock drafts just days before the actual draft got nine of the first 32 picks right. That's an accuracy rate of just 28 percent under the best possible conditions. So, when you look at this 2012 NFL Mock Draft please don't believe it has any connection to reality.
What you can take from such an early look at the 2012 mock draft board is a peak at the college football players that at least two guys think will be important names one year from now. We know for sure that Andrew Luck will be at the top of the list. We likely would have been the top guy taken in the 2011 NFL Draft if he hadn't done the crazy thing and returned to school for another year. It is interesting to think that a guy who would make such a nutty decision could still be considered a top pick, but there you have it.
So, enjoy this peak at the 2012 NFL Draft and just remember that it means very little. Here's the top 10
1. San Francisco 49ers: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford. Even with Colin Kaepernick on board, it's tough to imagine Jim Harbaugh turning down any opportunity to reunite with his Stanford protege.
2. Carolina Panthers: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina. Even with their franchise quarterback in Cam Newton, this team is probably going to struggle. Coples is an athletic marvel, and the Panthers need a pass rush.
3. Washington Redskins: Matt Barkley, QB, USC. During ESPN's draft telecast this weekend, John Beck's name was floated as a possible starter. So yeah, the Redskins are taking a quarterback early next year.
4. Tennessee Titans: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina. Jake Locker is Tennessee's future. If it's going to be a pleasant future, he'll need more offensive weaponry. Jeffery is very gifted.
5. Buffalo Bills: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma. The Bills still don't have a long-term answer at quarterback; they have Ryan Fitzpatrick. Jones has done nothing but produce at Oklahoma, and has solid upside.
6. Arizona Cardinals: Matt Kalil, OT, USC. Quarterback will be a possibility, but Kalil is next year's top tackle prospect, and the Cardinals won't be able to ignore OT much longer.
7. Seattle Seahawks: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford. Seattle made their line a priority this year, and it will still be a priority next year. Martin would be a bookend for Russell Okung.
8. Cincinnati Bengals: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State. Geno Atkins is good, but may not be an every-down player. Worthy would team with fellow MSU product Domata Peko.
9. Denver Broncos: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama. Champ Bailey is getting no younger, and Kirkpatrick will enter the league polished and pro-ready, with huge upside.
10. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State. The Browns have a nice mix of young receivers, but maybe not a true No. 1. Blackmon torched the Big 12 as a sophomore.