2012 NFL Draft Picks By Team: Vikings
Thinking back to the 2011 NFL Draft and OT Tyron Smith, the reason he played right tackle for Southern Cal is because of this guy right here: Matt Kalil. At 6'7" and 295 lbs, Kalil enjoys the height and girth that NFL scouts salivate over when you hear the term "prototypical left tackle." The list of skills he does well heavily outweighs his shortcomings.
Kalil is excellent in run blocking: stays low, great drive blocker, gets his hands in position quickly, hand-punches defensive linemen where he wants them to go. When it comes to playing hard and with a nasty attitude, he brings it every game and every play. As a pass blocker, he moves very well laterally. Quick feet. Can eat up a bull rush with his ability to stay at home, keep his butt behind him and low in order to hold his ground.
The number one offensive line prospect is definitely Kalil. Kalil has a long family history of offensive linemen: his brother Ryan was a second round pick by Carolina in 2007. His father Frank played offensive line in the USFL back in the day. The only knock on Kalil is that he doesn't have that high-ceiling athleticism like his former teammate Smith and he'll need to add a little bit of muscle... [Read More
Notre Dame Fighting Irish strong safety Harrison Smith is a thick, muscular built safety with adequate height and speed. Smith is playing his best when he's playing downhill toward the line of scrimmage. He does not have the athleticism to compete at free safety, but he's the prototypical eighth man in the box who can play like an extra linebacker.
Smith has previous experience as a linebacker. This gives him the good, instinctive feel to make reads along the line. He isn't very fluid when backing up in open space, but his football IQ carries him. Not particularly quick, but plays and reacts faster than the average player.
Above average talent playing off-man coverage. He has enough range to cover the deep half and plays better as a support player rather than someone who will make a lot of big plays. Smith is a sound tackler who looks to wrap up and drive through the ball carrier. Keeps his feet moving, focuses on the hips and aggressively makes contact.
Smith is one of the better safety prospects in this class.... [Read More
Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson is already considered one of the top prospects for the 2012 NFL Draft even though he's only a junior. What he lacks in size, he makes up for with a great ability to run with a receiver and react to the ball. Shows a good, but not great lower half, and plays too tight in his hips. He wastes some motion in his backpedal, but his quick feet make up for it.
As a tackler, he needs work. Robinson tends to tackle too high and needs to break down and wrap. He's also not physical enough to get off blocks on the edge.
Since Robinson did well to shut down A.J. Green in UCF's bowl game last year, his stock is a little overvalued. He needs to work harder at maintaining inside leverage since he'll often get beat on a receiver's cut to the inside.
The bottom line is that he is a reactive corner and not an instinctual one. In order to take his game to the next level, he'll have to learn the finer nuances of the position since he relies too heavily on his speed and athleticism.... [Read More
Wright was a four-year force at Arkansas and he saved his best campaign for last. The wide receiver caught 19 passes as a freshman, 41 as a sophomore, and 42 as a junior. In his first three seasons with the Razorbacks he made 12 touchdown catches, including 10 total in 2009 and 2010. If some is good, though, more is even better. As a senior, Wright erupted for 1117 yards and 12 touchdowns on 66 receptions. Against future SEC foe Texas A&M, Wright went off for 281 yards and two scores on 13 catches. He helped lead Arkansas to an 11-2 record (11-0 against everyone other than Alabama and LSU).
The Warren, AR native stands at 5'10'' and 180 pounds. What makes him an incredible player, of course, is his speed. Wright consistently runs in the 4.3s of the 40-yard dash and he has been clocked as fast as 4.28 from that distance. He could really tear it up at the combine and impress NFL scouts. Wright will also be able to contribute on special teams, but he needs to add some bulk to his frame without sacrificing speed. Otherwise he will not be able to contend with cornerbacks when they get physical with him at the line of scrimmage. Wright should go off the board in the fourth or fifth ro... [Read More
Southern Cal fullback prospect Rhett Ellison isn't likely to take too many carries away from Adrian Peterson but he will likely fulfill his role as a premiere special teams player. Ellison embraces his role as a figurative 11th man. He blocks, holds, works on coverage teams and everything in-between. He was a team captain for the Trojans in his final season.
A true locker room guy and hard worker in the weight room. Ellison played tight end in college and will likely be used on occasion as a No. 2 TE, he's a better fit as a fullback and occasional H-back. Ellison only had one career carry but has decent hands as a receiver.
Minnesota probably reached a bit here in a player that amounts to a special teams guy. He's not a big-play threat and will need some practice on the small fundamentals of being a fullback. When he does get his hands on someone, he plays to the whistle with a chip on his shoulder.
The Vikings special teams struggled at times last year and Ellison is someone who immediately will have an impact in that regard only.... [Read More
Childs was once thought of as a future first-round draft choice in the NFL, but his career at Arkansas never took off. His best years--and they were productive--came as a sophomore and junior. In 2009 he caught 48 passes for 897 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2010 he made 46 receptions for 659 yards and six scores. Near the end of his junior campaign (which was already stalled by an ankle injury), Childs suffered a torn ACL and he was never the same. As a senior he played in just nine games and had 21 catches for 240 yards and no touchdowns.
When healthy, Childs is a serious talent. The Warren, AR native has great size at 6'3'' and 217 pounds. As his statistics from the two healthy campaigns suggest, he is a real red-zone force. Childs generally runs in the 4.5s of the 40-yard dash and he has been clocked as fast as 4.45 from that distance. He has good hands and an ability to make plays after the catch. The problem is that Childs does not have elite speed and the injury history will not help him in that department. Childs is not a lock to get drafted, but he has to be worth the risk based on his potential and he could help himself at the combine.... [Read More
Notre Dame defensive back Robert Blanton has been a steady and productive player throughout his career. Blanton played corner in high school and safety in college so he should have no problems doing everything coaches ask of him. In the NFL, he'll likely make his lising as a nickel cornerback and perhaps backup the free safety position. With some grooming, there is some starting potential as well.
Blanton can best play the pass in off zone coverage and is aggressive enough to provide help against the run game. He has a lot of experience playing the slot and coaches may try to put him up against a bigger tight ends. Although he lacks top end speed, Blanton is a high football IQ player that makes up for a lack of athleticism with smart play and good size.
He's not a natural cornerback and gets too upright during his backpedal. He also can't handle single man coverage. Blanton isn't strong enough for bump and run coverage and would need over the top help. As long as teams are patient with him, they'll have added a good depth player.... [Read More
Cole is one of the more experienced players in college football. The N.C. State linebacker redshirted in 2007, played mostly on special teams as a freshman in 2008, and he has been a force for the Wolfpack ever since. Cole led the team in tackles as a sophomore and tied for the lead in tackles last year (along with 10.5 tackles for loss). Through 11 games this season he has 89 tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss (both second on the team). Cole also has 3.5 sacks, four pass breakups, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
A great athlete, Cole played quarterback, safety, and linebacker at high school in Monroe, Michigan. He has great size at 6'4'' (sometimes listed at 6'5'') and 239 pounds. Cole generally runs around a 4.8 in the 40-yard dash and he has been clocked as fast as 4.72 from that distance. Scouts would like for that number to improve a little bit at the combine, but either way Cole should be able to fit in both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes at the next level. He is solid against both the run and the pass, but he will want to improve his pass-rushing ability. Look for Cole to be a third-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft.... [Read More