As always, expect the unexpected on draft day

2012 NFL Draft: Surprise Risers and Faller

Below is the top 5 players to keep an eye on on the first 2 days of the NFL Draft. As always expect a few players to unexpectedly slide and a few lesser known names to come off the board earlier than expected come draft day.

1. Quinton Coples Defensive End, North Carolina

Talent says-top 5
Where he may end up-second round.

Quinton Coples is a physical freak, he has the frame, speed, strength, and the elite talent to be a top 5 pick in most drafts. However, his production and tape don’t always match his athleticism. While he was a dominant defensive tackle in 2010, Coples showed a lack of interest playing defensive end. He was generally unproductive and easily blocked as he skated trough his senior year which begs the question, “What kind of motor does Coples have?”

Teams will need to decide whether or not they are willing to take a chance on Coples, and if I were a GM I wouldn’t take a chance on him until round 2.

2. Bobbie Massie Offensive Tackle, Mississippi

Talent says – late second round
Where he may end up- pick 32 to the Giants

The offensive tackle class this year is very muddled after the Matt Kalil. Riley Reiff’s arm length have lead scouts to move him to guard. Mike Adams has an inconsistent motor, and some have even said he looks lazy at times. Jonathan Martin’s 20 bench reps would have put him in a tie for the 10th lowest by an offensive lineman this year according to the NFL Scouting Combine.

So while Massie has his flaws, his nasty disposition and ability to contribute in the run game could give a team a reason to go after him in round one.  The Giants probably won’t get another shot at a starting quality OT when they pick again, so if they decide that OT is a need pick 32 is when they need to address it.

3. Peter Konz Interior Offensive Lineman, Wisconsin

Talent says- top 20 picks
Where he may end up- out of the top 40 picks

Konz is a great athlete at his position. When you watch his film, he pulls from center with ease and he is very good at locating targets while he is moving. That in addition to his great frame and ability to lead a run heavy offense suggests to me that he can be a top 12 center in the next year or so.

His ankle injury is probably the thing that concerns me most. In the interior OL, you need someone who can provide continuity and someone who can pound out those tough yards against the big DTs. Both of those things hinge on his ankles staying strong. Another issue is that he is ideally a center (although he could play LG/RG) and unless your last name is Pouncey, it is hard to be a first round center.

I think he will be a steal anywhere after pick number 19. There is a strong chance that teams take above average talent at flashy positions before they would take Konz. If he somehow gets paired up with the team that took David Decastro or his former teammate Kevin Zeitler watch out. Konz has shown just how deadly he can be with a good OG next to him.

4. Luke Kuechly Linebacker, Boston College

Talent says- picks 20-40
Where he may end up- top 12 picks

Let me start by saying Kuechly was the most productive linebacker in the nation last year. In fact, he averaged just less than 16 tackles per game! However, college production doesn’t make you a star in the NFL. Look no further than Tim Tebow or a plethora of other past Heisman winners.

I do think Kuechly will be a very good starter, but those crowning him the next Ray Lewis or Brian Urlacher need to step back a take a breath. He deserves to be in consideration around pick number twelve, but given the position he plays and the fact that he does not take on blocks well it isn’t hard to see why he may end up slipping to the second round.

All in all, Kuechly’s best chance for being taken in the top 20 is if the Philadelphia Eagles think that he can play an OLB spot. Other than that, I think the prime candidates in round one are the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens.  The Buccaneers would also be strong candidates in round 2.

5. Nick Perry Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, USC

Talent says- Picks 28-36
Where he may end up- Top 12 picks.

Most people who see mock drafts around the Internet are surprised when I have Nick Perry mocked to Seattle but don’t overlook it. The Seahawks could use a defensive piece like Perry opposite Chris Clemons, who has excelled in Pete Carroll’s system. With Red Bryant, Nick Perry, Chris Clemons, and new addition Jason Jones the Seahawks could have the most underrated defense in the league.

That is if Seattle gets a chance to pick him. Miami could also take Perry who would ease the transition from the 3-4 to the 4-3. In fact, if the Dolphins wanted to use both fronts Perry could play on two feet or with his hand in the dirt.

In the pass happy NFL you have to have players who can get to the QB so don’t be surprised to see a team pull the trigger early on Nick Perry if they think he can be that guy.

About Will Lomas

Grew up in a town in Tennessee named Dyersburg, and played ball there. When I realized I was too small to play college ball, I found my passion in breaking down game film, analyzing athletes, and finding the little things that decides whether a player is good, bad, or great.