Clowney goes No. 1 in hypothetical 2012 college football Mock Draft
As part of SI.com's quest to help you muddle through the seemingly endless days before actual football begins, we present another journey into the imagination. Last month, we examined
As he moves his personal effects into his office at Sun Belt Conference headquarters in New Orleans, recently hired commissioner Karl Benson discovers a yellow envelope on his desk. He opens the envelope and finds a series of shocking photos, each more depraved than the last. After the last photo is a note from outgoing Sun Belt commissioner Wright Waters.
Benson immediately copies the photos and mails them to the headquarters of the other 10 FBS conferences. He also sends copies to NCAA headquarters. On top of each stack of photos is a Post-It note. It contains one sentence.
A week later, the NCAA announces the schools have passed emergency legislation to restore competitive balance to college football's uppermost division. Every scholarship player currently enrolled will be immediately placed in a one-time-only redistribution draft. Schools will choose players until each has restocked its roster. The order will be based on Jeff Sagarin's computer rankings from the 2011 season -- worst to first.
This draft is obviously imaginary. (In real life, it would certainly inspire lawsuits from players and schools.) But it is an interesting exercise. This is not simply a list of the best players. As anyone who has watched the NFL draft can attest, teams don't always select the best available player; they choose based on specific needs. In this case, there will be no other players on a team's roster because everyone is in the draft. So the first-round picks probably will depend on the offensive and defensive scheme preferences of the coaches. Just as in the NFL draft, certain positions will command premium draft slots. Quarterbacks, offensive tackles, defensive linemen and cornerbacks will get preference over tailbacks, guards, centers and inside linebackers.
Also, players will retain their current eligibility status. So a coach who selects a senior does so knowing he only gets him for a year. A coach who selects a junior does so knowing that player could go to the NFL after a season. The catch is that, unlike in the NFL, coaches can select players who have already proven themselves at this level of play. So one year of guaranteed quality play may be too tough to pass up for some coaches.
Sound preposterous? It is. But it's July. The games don't kick off until Aug. 30, so enjoy a chance to think actual football thoughts for a few minutes.
As a freshman, Clowney racked up 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks despite barely knowing South Carolina's plays. Now bulked up and more accustomed to a college defense, Clowney should be good for almost twice as many snaps per game. Could he double those totals? If you're UTSA coach Larry Coker, and you're transitioning to the FBS, you can't afford to pass up that kind of potential. There are more proven defensive ends in the draft, but none of them guarantee at least two seasons in the program.
Jones only has one year to play, but so might other high-rated linemen such as Texas A&M tackles Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews. This high in the draft, a senior is probably just as valuable as a junior because an elite junior will likely turn pro after the 2012 season. In Jones, the Bobcats get a player who excelled at guard, won the Outland Trophy as a tackle and also proved this spring he can play center. Linemen take time to develop, but the Bobcats need someone who can contribute immediately. They can find projects in the later rounds.
Once again, it may seem unwise to take a senior here, but can anyone name a sophomore quarterback worth taking ahead of Barkley? (Remember, a junior such as Georgia's Aaron Murray can also turn pro after this season.) UMass coach Charley Molnar did great work at Central Michigan with Dan Lefevour. With Barkley, Molnar will have a nearly perfect skill set with which to work.
The Jaguars may have been left out of EA Sports'
Georgia State coach Bill Curry, an old offensive lineman, begins building with a cornerstone left tackle. He might get two seasons out of Joeckel, or he might only get one. It's worth the risk.
Zips coach Terry Bowden is no dummy. As he enters the pass-happy MAC, he grabs a quarterback who looks capable of starting on Sundays for a long time.
New Owls coach Carl Pelini establishes his team's defense-first mentality by taking the nation's most disruptive defender. In his first season on the field in Athens, Jones compiled 19.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks.
First-year Tigers coach Justin Fuente is installing a quick-tempo offense, so who better to pilot that offense than a guy who has been running a hurry-up at a high level since 2009? The addition of Jones shortens the learning curve for everyone.
Before he took over at Notre Dame and later established residence inside your television, new Lobos coach Bob Davie was recognized as a
We have our first reach into the freshman class. While the other players on this list have proven themselves against collegiate competition, none of them guarantee three years on the roster of their new program. Green-Beckham does. Curtis Johnson, the former New Orleans Saints receivers coach who took over the Green Wave in December, can't resist selecting a 6-foot-6, 220-pounder with sprinter's speed. If Green-Beckham is indeed the second coming of Calvin Johnson, the Green Wave will have a virtually unstoppable receiver for three years. Of course, if that hunch is wrong, then the Green Wave will have passed on a ton of proven talent.
In the NFL draft, the Honey Badger might fall because of the same coverage concerns that made former teammate Morris Claiborne an extremely valuable NFL pick. In a college draft, he's a steal at this point because of his ability to change the game on defense and special teams.
Just as in the NFL draft, coaches are leery of selecting a tailback too high because of durability concerns. But Ball is special, as evidenced by his 39 touchdowns (33 rushing, six receiving) in 2011. Put a decent line in front of Ball, and the entire offense will hum.
Blazers coach (and former Arkansas assistant) Garrick McGee takes a player intimately familiar with the offense UAB will run. Though Davis missed the 2011 season because of an ankle injury, McGee knows the details of Davis' rehabilitation and feels comfortable grabbing him this early. If Davis plays as he did in 2010, when he averaged 101.7 rushing yards per game, he'll torch Conference USA.
Montgomery will follow in the footsteps of Osi Umenyiora, who starred at Troy before heading to the NFL. Montgomery brings the necessary physical prerequisites (6-4, 245 pounds, nine sacks in 2011), but more importantly, he's a leader who will draw the best out of his teammates.
McElwain learned a few things working for Nick Saban. Among the lessons: If the defense wreaks havoc, the offense doesn't need to travel as far to score. In the 6-7, 275-pound Gholston, the Rams get a player strong enough to put his hand on the ground and fast enough to stand up. With Colorado State going to a 3-4, Gholston could fit into the hybrid Jack linebacker role Courtney Upshaw played at Alabama.
With the Vandals in a precarious position vis-à-vis their FBS status, they need to win now. This reboot gives them a chance, and Idaho coach Robb Akey knows a superior interior defensive lineman can impact every play. Hankins, a 317-pounder who can rush the passer and stop the run, is that kind of guy.
With Landry Jones off the board, Indiana coach (and former Oklahoma offensive coordinator) Kevin Wilson opts for another excellent up-tempo passer. Smith, who excelled in Dana Holgorsen's offense in 2011, will thrive in another Big 12-bred scheme.
Third-year Chippewas coach Dan Enos grabs one of the best receivers in the nation to use as the foundation of his offense. Watkins brings two years to the table, but if Enos doesn't win this year, he might not coach Watkins in 2013.
Buffalo coach Jeff Quinn, who honed his scheme working under Brian Kelly at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan and Cincinnati, gets the ideal quarterback for his offense. Murray is a polished passer, an excellent decision-maker and a better-than-average runner.
Aggies coach Dwayne Walker hasn't forgotten the way end Bruce Davis made quarterbacks miserable when Walker ran the UCLA defense. In Okafor, Walker grabs another elite pass rusher.
Why Lee and not Trojans teammate Robert Woods? Lee is a year younger, and possibly just as talented. Last year, Lee caught 73 passes for 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Mean Green coach Dan McCarney, an old D-line coach, was going to take a defensive lineman. So why not take one he recruited? As an assistant, McCarney helped land Floyd at Florida. At 305 pounds, Floyd is stout enough to play inside but quick enough to line up outside.
Amerson set an ACC record with 13 interceptions last season. Eagles coach Ron English, who worked a minor miracle last season by winning six games, grabs the junior to lock down the Sammy Watkinses of the new MAC. (We don't know how Amerson is against Watkins, who missed Clemson's 2011 loss to NC State because of a shoulder injury.)
People don't seem to truly appreciate the numbers Franklin put up in his first year as a starter. He threw for 2,865 yards and 21 touchdowns and ran for 981 yards and 15 touchdowns. Those aren't Cam Newton/Tim Tebow numbers, but those two are the dual-threat gold standards. Few current college quarterbacks can find the end zone as well as Franklin. In Kent State coach Darrell Hazell's offense, Franklin will carry as much of the load as he did at Missouri.
Mannion is this draft's version of a relatively unknown small-school player shooting up the NFL draft board. Playing on a bad team, the rocket-armed Mannion threw for 3,328 yards as a true freshman. Now, he'll be coached by David Cutcliffe -- the same guy who mentored the Manning brothers when they played in college. Cutcliffe was always going to select a pocket passer here, but with Barkley, Wilson and Murray gone, he can't grab a guaranteed success. So he takes the guy with at least two years to play and the highest upside.
Even though we've imagined a college football draft, we haven't imagined a change in the height/weight restrictions of the U.S. Armed Forces. So don't expect any of the service academies to start picking 320-pound linemen. If this were last year, the ideal service academy target would have been Robert Griffin III, an Army brat who would have been a lock for a nomination for admission. Because of the height/weight restrictions, Army will still have to run the option. Since most programs won't be in the market for option-ready players, Army can pick up offensive players in later rounds. Early on, it can stock up on defense. In Jeffcoat, the Black Knights get an elite speed rusher light enough to fit in at the academy. Jeffcoat, meanwhile, gets to skip his Plebe year.
The Buffaloes will emphasize the run, so they'll build around a player who plows over defenders like Ralphie on a rampage.
New Bulldogs coach Tim DeRuyter will need someone to man the middle of the line in his 3-4 defense. Williams,
Given his skill set and what he provides for his team, Te'o would be ranked much higher than No. 29 on a list of the best players in the country. But inside linebackers don't carry as much of a premium in a draft situation as quarterbacks, offensive tackles, defensive tackles, defensive ends, receivers and cornerbacks. So Randy Edsall is the lucky recipient of a smart, tough player who piled up 133 tackles as a junior. At this spot, Te'o is an absolute gem.
Woods racked up 111 catches for 1,292 yards as a sophomore. He'll catch plenty more passes in Ole Miss coach High Freeze's offense.
Hilltoppers coach Willie Taggart won seven games last year with a ground game led by Bobby Rainey. With Lattimore, Taggart gets another workhorse back. If Lattimore is fully recovered from the ACL tear that ended his 2011 season, he'll get the Hilltoppers to a bowl game.
Cardinals coach Pete Lembo went 6-6 in his first season in Muncie, which is pretty impressive considering the Cardinals won six games in the previous two seasons. Lembo runs a no-huddle offense, and in Boyd, he gets a player who thrived in Chad Morris' no-huddle at Clemson.
Falcons coach Dave Clawson's reputation as an offensive guru took a hit during his lone season as offensive coordinator at Tennessee (2008), but as we know now, there were plenty of other forces at play in Knoxville that season. Clawson will get another crack at working with elite talent, and his first choice is a big-armed Texan who grew into a leader during his first season as the starter in Fort Worth.
Sometimes, risky picks pay off big. It's pretty risky taking a sophomore tackle who didn't start a game as a freshman and whose chief highlights came as an extra fullback on short-yardage plays. Still, the Volunteers slid Dallas Thomas to guard this spring so the 6-6, 329-pound Richardson could take over at left tackle. If RedHawks coach Don Treadwell is correct here, he'll have at least two seasons with a future gazillionaire at one of the game's most critical positions.
You know Norm Chow is taking a quarterback here, and he can't believe his luck that Thomas -- who may go much higher than this in the 2013 or 2014 NFL draft -- fell to him here. Thomas threw for 3,013 yards with 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his first year as the starter in Blacksburg. Playing in Chow's offense, expect the 6-6, 262-pound Thomas to smash records.
Spartans coach Mike MacIntyre is an up-and-comer who came to San Jose State after an excellent stint as Duke's defensive coordinator. He takes a player who can lead his defense in tackles and set a tone for his teammates. Skov, who led Stanford in tackles in 2010, missed most of last season after suffering a knee injury. As in the NFL draft, Skov's arrest in February on suspicion of DUI would be taken into account. As in the NFL draft, it wouldn't keep Skov from getting chosen.
An explosive playmaker like Robinson only falls this far because he fills a fairly specific need. None of the offenses to this point have been run-first spreads, and with every player in the country available, it didn't make sense for those teams to take a quarterback who fits perfectly in a run-first spread. But Robinson could not have landed in a much better spot. First-year FIU offensive coordinator Tim Cramsey came from -- wait for it -- New Hampshire, where he learned at the foot of -- wait for it -- Chip Kelly. Remember imagining Kelly coaching Robinson in my alternate recent history of college football? This is the next best thing. Cramsey and Panthers coach Mario Cristobal pick Deerfield Beach, Fla., native Robinson after a serious discussion about taking Oregon sophomore tailback De'Anthony Thomas.
Pirates coach Ruffin McNeill switched to a 3-4 before the 2011 season, so he needs to build around either a stalwart nose tackle or a hybrid linebacker/defensive end. In the 260-pound Simon, he gets a relentless competitor who should be able to fill that hybrid role. Simon played as a hand-on-the-ground end in Ohio State's 4-3 last year, but he's quick enough and strong enough to play a variety of positions. New Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer called Simon's work ethic "Tebowish." That makes him a perfect building block, even if he'll only be around for a season.
Eifert might be the best player in the nation at his position, so why hasn't he been picked yet? Since every team is starting from scratch, they're choosing more traditional building-block positions. That makes Eifert a steal here. He can catch (803 receiving yards in 2011 even with Michael Floyd as the primary target), and his blocking has gotten better every year. He'll fit well into Mike Price's offense.
Jayhawks coach Charlie Weis is ticked to miss out on Eifert -- a player Weis recruited to Notre Dame -- but thrilled to land a quality pocket passer. Weis tells Bray to ignore the John Brantley film and just watch the Brady Quinn highlights to get an idea of what the future holds.
First-year Eagles offensive coordinator Doug Martin found success at Kent State with athletic quarterbacks Josh Cribbs and Julian Edelman. In Klein, he gets a proven commodity with the arm (1,918 passing yards, 57.3 percent completions in 2011) and the wheels (1,141 rushing yards, 27 rushing TDs) to excel in an offense built for a dual-threat quarterback.
Owls coach David Bailiff is a defensive guy whose tenure has been plagued by poor defense. Given the chance to start from scratch, Bailiff takes advantage of the knowledge that defenses get much better quickly with an elite pass rusher. Lemonier, playing with an inexperienced crew last season, led the Tigers with 9.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss and 15 hurries.
Jerry Kill is a program builder. He does not opt for immediate flash. He would not take a senior here. Kill selects one of Jimbo Fisher's
Thomas probably should have gone earlier, but, like Robinson, he is at his best in a very specific kind of offense. Oregon State doesn't necessarily run that offense, but coach Mike Riley knows how to utilize small, electric playmakers (see Rodgers, James and Rodgers, Jacquizz). And though he's about as low-key as they come, Riley can't resist the competitive urge to rub it in and take his rival's best player.
Of course Doug Marrone is taking an offensive lineman. In Warmack, he gets a shockingly athletic 320-pounder who can wipe out multiple defenders on the same play.
When recruiting against the elite in the SEC, Joker Phillips has the hardest time landing stud defensive linemen. So he takes one here. Werner goes before teammate Brandon Jenkins because Werner is a year younger.
As Missouri's offensive coordinator, Cowboys coach Dave Christensen was adept at molding the offense to fit the skills of his quarterback. He'll have no problem fine-tuning a scheme for Price, who threw for 3,063 yards and 33 touchdowns as a redshirt sophomore in 2011.
Surprised Mike Leach didn't take a quarterback here? Don't be. He can find plenty of heady, underrated quarterbacks in the later rounds to run his offense. Think back to Leach's best teams at Texas Tech. What made them special? A dominant receiver. Wes Welker and Michael Crabtree helped turn a good offense into a great one. Allen, who caught 98 passes for 1,343 yards and six touchdowns in 2011, could elevate Leach's offense in Pullman.
Ragin' Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth loves him some inside zone, and who better to hand off to than a 238-pounder with speed? Get the proper quarterback (South Carolina's Connor Shaw, for example) in a later round, and this could be a terrifying offense.
Robey's Culture Shock College Tour continues. The lockdown corner from tiny, citrus-industry dominated Frostproof, Fla., played his first two seasons in Los Angeles. Now he moves on to Logan, Utah.
The run on Trojans continues. No one has taken a safety yet, but McDonald is simply too good to pass up at this point.
Why would Broncos coach Bill Cubit want to keep his current quarterback with so many others available? Because Cubit has a really good quarterback. Surround Carder with AQ-conference linemen and skill players, and he'd be a household name. Last year, Carder threw for 3,873 yards and 31 touchdowns.
Bernard ran for 1,253 yards and 13 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman. Though he could leave for the NFL after his first season in Orlando, he also could spend three seasons with the Knights if he plays out his eligibility.
Paul Pasqualoni knows the havoc a light, fast defensive end can wreak. After all, Pasqualoni coached Dwight Freeney at Syracuse. Mingo is much taller, but like Freeney, speed off the edge is his specialty.
Meet the most devastating B-back the Midshipmen have employed. The dive play will never be the same.
On almost any other team, Johnson would have been a breakout star as a true freshman. At LSU, he split time with other excellent defensive lineman. For at least two seasons in Winston-Salem, Johnson will be the centerpiece of the defense.
Need to instill a championship attitude with new personnel? Do it with a versatile safety who brings two national title rings to his new team.
Last year's Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year has a guaranteed two seasons in Charlottesville, where coach Mike London is proving he can shine on the FBS level as well.
If not for his sudden transfer from Notre Dame making schools nervous, Lynch would have gone much higher. Would Lynch, who must sit out this season at USF because of transfer rules, be allowed to play right away? Like the NCAA, we're making up the rules as we go along here. So sure, let him play.
Panthers coach Paul Chryst, the former offensive coordinator at Wisconsin, grabs a lineman who knows his scheme. Frederick, who started all last season at guard, can pick up any new tweaks quickly. He chose his two majors so he can learn to design computer software and hardware. Given Frederick's cognitive skills, a few new line calls wouldn't pose a problem.
Last seen torching Clemson's defense for four touchdown catches in the Orange Bowl, Austin provides a versatile weapon for the Bobcats' no-huddle offense.
That sound you hear is Arizona's Rich Rodriguez slapping his forehead as the player he wanted at No. 65 goes to Jonesboro. In Miller, Red Wolves coach Gus Malzahn gets a talented thrower and runner with big-program experience. Hmm. What happened last time Malzahn got to coach a talented thrower and runner who also had big-program experience?
Metoyer would be a sophomore, but he didn't qualify academically in 2011 and had to go to prep school. During spring practice in Norman, Metoyer made an immediate impact. New Bruins offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone gets to draw plays for Metoyer for at least three seasons.
Just before Charlie Strong can select his own quarterback, Rodriguez snaps up Bridgewater to run his spread option offense. Bridgewater prefers to throw, but he is certainly athletic enough to run Rodriguez's offense.
After just missing on Bridgewater, Strong opts for a stalwart Mike linebacker. In Reddick, Strong gets a big, fast playmaker who should give the coach flashbacks to his days coaching Brandon Siler and Brandon Spikes at Florida.
Didn't expect to see two quarterbacks from the same school drafted, did you? The Belldozer's performance at the end of last season would intrigue every coach in need of an athletic quarterback. Chris Ault may have to get the marketing department in Reno to start printing "Pistoldozer" T-shirts.
The NFL draftniks love the 310-pound Short, who racked up 17 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in 2011 despite routinely facing double-teams.
An under-recruited linebacker who posts triple-digit tackles and also can return kicks and kick extra points? Sounds like Pat Fitzgerald's kind of player.
Tom O'Brien selects a mountain of a human to serve as the cornerstone of his new roster. (And in case you wonder why a lot of people think Alabama will win another national title this season, remember this is the third member of the Crimson Tide offensive line selected here.)
Like his fellow option coaches, Paul Johnson can shop for offensive players in the later rounds. Here, he picks up a perfect piece for coordinator Al Groh's 3-4. Thomas had 17.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks for the Cardinal last season.
Tim Beckman, who coached some great cornerbacks as an Ohio State assistant, grabs a tall, physical corner who can cover anyone.
Tar Heels coach Larry Fedora had expected to coach Giovani Bernard. Instead, he gets the other half of the Longhorns' tailback haul of 2011.
Former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville decides to gig Alabama fans one more time and winds up with a fantastic weakside linebacker in the process.
Al Golden decides to build from the inside out with the second of Texas A&M's twin towers.
June Jones wants a rocket-armed quarterback. He finds one in the player LSU fans jokingly refer to as "Mettensavior."
Derek Dooley knows he'll need top-notch defenders to make Tennessee competitive in the SEC again. Plus, the Volunteers are quite fond of dynamic safeties named Eric.
In Urban Meyer's offense, it all starts with the quarterback. With Miller tearing up the Sun Belt, Meyer needs a player perfectly suited to run his system. So why not take the quarterback he recruited at Florida? Driskel never played for Meyer, who resigned shortly before Driskel enrolled, but Meyer believed the 6-4, 232-pounder from Oviedo, Fla., was built to follow in the footsteps of Tim Tebow in Meyer's offense.
Another Hal Mumme-Leach disciple, Bulldogs coach Sonny Dykes grabs a 6-4 playmaker off Leach's own roster. Wilson caught 82 passes for 1,388 yards in 2011. Back in reality, he should post some off-the-charts numbers in Leach's offense.
The defending overlords of MACtion take a receiver who would have put up much bigger numbers last year had he not been playing alongside Jarius Wright and Joe Adams.
Temple coach Steve Addazio loves offensive linemen, so of course he's going with a left tackle here. Faulk was outstanding in his first season as LSU's left tackle, and he'll only get better.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz takes a tackle he knows will succeed in the Big Ten.
Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian, still smarting from watching his defense allow 67 points in the Alamo Bowl, allows first-year defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox to make the first pick. Wilcox opts for Adams, an All-Big Ten performer in 2011.
White, a junior college transfer, began preseason practice third on the depth chart and wound up the Utes' most important offensive player in 2011. He gained 1,519 yards on 316 carries. That workhorse mentality will play well in Ames.
Had Vanderbilt not improved so much in its first year under James Franklin, I probably could have managed to have (Vandy coach) James Franklin select (Missouri quarterback) James Franklin. Instead, Franklin gigs Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham by taking Jenkins, a 351-pound wall. Those who try to block Jenkins should not be lulled into a false sense of security by
Todd Graham decides pass rush will be the most important factor at this particular dream job. Jenkins is up to the task; he racked up 21.5 sacks the past two seasons.
First-year Rockets coach Matt Campbell goes with the position group he coached and picks Holmes, the whip-smart anchor of the Trojans' line. Depending on what Campbell needs, Holmes can also play guard.
With White gone, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham selects another ultra-dependable back. Burkhead ran for 1,357 yards last season.
Jeff Tedford could have some fun with Renner, who quietly led the ACC in passing efficiency last season. As a redshirt sophomore, Renner completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 3,086 yards.
When Hansen enters the NFL draft next year, the fact that he graduated high school in 2006 could be an issue because he'll have fewer years to play than his younger counterparts. But since he has only a finite amount of college eligibility, Hansen's age simply means he can provide perspective for some of his younger teammates. While the two-year mission break may be standard operating procedure at BYU, Hansen will be a graybeard for the Scarlet Nights.
Boyett has led the Ducks in tackles two of the past three seasons. Now he'll lead the Cougars in tackles.
Of course this happens. The Tigers' pick of Johnson, one of the linchpins of Alabama's defense, inspires a special edition of Paul Finebaum's radio show. Finebaum allows regular caller Legend (an Alabama fan) to embark on a 27-minute rant, goes to commercial, then takes a call from regular caller Tammy for the Auburn rebuttal. By the end of her call, Tammy lands herself on the watch lists of the FBI and the NSA.
The Tigers pick up a steal late in the first round in Shazier, a blazing fast 'backer whose 57 tackles in 2011 were the most by a true freshman at Ohio State since Andy Katzenmoyer in 1996.
The Bulldogs had hoped they could get their own player here, but Illinois grabbed Banks. Instead, Mississippi State takes an athlete who can play safety or cornerback and contribute to the return game.
The 6-4, 200-pounder is coming off an ACL tear, but if he's healthy, Hunter is one of the nation's most athletic big receivers.
Gators coach Will Muschamp recruited Edmond to Austin while serving as the Longhorns' defensive coordinator, but he never got to coach him. Now, Muschamp will have his chance to coach the 6-3, 255-pound freak of nature.
Nittany Lions coach Bill O'Brien will want a quarterback to build his offense around, and he gets a good one here. Scheelhaase completed 62.2 percent of his passes in 2011 and also ran for 624 yards. O'Brien, accustomed to working with Tom Brady, values accuracy.
Want to play some Beamer Ball? How about a 6-8, 275-pound Estonian who blocked four kicks last year? Hunt, who came in at No. 1 on CBSSports.com writer
Brian Kelly takes his own prize recruit from the 2012. Kiel may need time to learn, but Kelly considers him the future of the program.
Bo Pelini loves a high-volume tackler at linebacker, and he gets one in Brown. Last season, Brown led the Wildcats with 101 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for loss.
Alabama's Jones got moved to center after winning the Outland Trophy last year at left tackle because Tide coaches believe Kouandjio can give them just as much at the position. First-year Southern Miss coach Ellis Johnson knows the best teams are built on the line of scrimmage, and he secures his left tackle spot for at least two seasons.
Jimbo Fisher loves his signees, so isn't going to let another school take the highest rated member of his class of 2012. Edwards' father, Mario Sr., is a former Seminoles cornerback who has just started his new job as FSU's director of player development. This pick keeps father and son together. The younger Edwards will probably have to play right away after other schools raided FSU's defensive line.
Williams shouldn't have to make too many adjustments moving from Art Briles' offense to Dana Holgorsen's. Last year, with Robert Griffin III doing the throwing, Williams caught 59 passes for 957 yards and 11 touchdowns. Expect equal or better numbers in Morgantown.
Collins might be the most logical replacement after losing Jarvis Jones. Collins has played three different positions, starring in 2011 as the Bandit in the 4-2-5 the Eagles played last season. As a junior, Collins had 98 tackles and 16.5 tackles for loss.
Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson values speed and toughness on defense above most other factors. In Milliner, Patterson gets a fast corner who isn't afraid to mix it up physically with larger receivers.
As a redshirt freshman, Pullard tied for the team lead in tackles with 81. Bill Snyder rolls the dice on a star defender who could be in Manhattan for as few as one season and as many as three.
The Spartans' Mark Dantonio takes USC's other 2011 tackles leader. Like Pullard, Bailey is a redshirt sophomore, so he could be gone quickly or stick around for a while.
Mack Brown has wanted to turn Texas into a power running offense since Colt McCoy left, but the Longhorns' line has not cooperated. So Brown grabs a powerful blocker at the point of attack to open holes for his backs.
Gary Pinkel understands the SEC is a line-of-scrimmage league, so he'll start building with a big ugly. Bailey, at 6-5 and 319 pounds, has the frame and skill set to play guard or tackle.
The Cougars are never going to beat out Texas, Texas A&M and TCU on the recruiting trail for a ready-made pass rusher. But they can pick one now. Jordan, a first-team All Pac-12 player, brings serious speed off the edge.
Kevin Sumlin is used to developing offensive talent, so he's fine taking offensive players in later rounds. He uses his first pick to give a 320-pound gift to defensive coordinator Mark Snyder.
Art Briles takes a raw, athletic quarterback who has the arm to develop into a stellar passer and the speed to make plays when the pocket breaks down. Any of this sound similar to a certain quarterback Briles developed recently?
When Ed Orgeron asks for a player for his position group, Coach O gets what Coach O wants. In Maponga, he gets a disruptor who forced five fumbles and led TCU in tackles for loss with 13.5 in 2011.
If not for durability questions, Graham would have been selected much higher. When Graham suffered a season-ending knee injury in Pitt's eighth game last year, he was averaging 134.1 yards per game. Had Graham kept up that pace, the only Panthers back to post a better season would have been Tony Dorsett during his Heisman season in 1976.
I know I suggested earlier that Shaw might slip to a later round, but until Shaw, Steve Spurrier hadn't had a quarterback he's truly liked since Rex Grossman at Florida in 2001. The Head Ball Coach isn't letting someone else take this one.
Even after sharing Big 12 co-defensive player of the year honors with Oklahoma's Frank Alexander, Klein still flies under the radar nationally. That's OK. Boise State coach Chris Petersen loves players who fly under the radar while dominating.
The 340-pound Hurst will fit in perfectly in Madison. He'll just have to trade the fried cheesecake at The Chimes on the edge of LSU's campus for the bacon scrambler at Mickie's Dairy Bar across the street from Camp Randall Stadium.
The blocking style will be different, but Uzzi will still get to plow over defenders on running plays the majority of the time.
Haven't heard of Vernon? That's because he plays for Duke. In the Razorbacks' offense, the 6-1, 200-pounder -- who caught 70 passes for 956 yards in 2011 -- will post ridiculous numbers.
The Ducks lose Thomas, but they keep Barner. Last year, while splitting touches with LaMichael James and Thomas, Barner ran for 939 yards and scored 11 rushing touchdowns.
After watching Randle run for 1,216 yards for their rival, Sooners coaches take Randle and hope injury concerns allow their own top back, Dominique Whaley, to drop to them in a lower round. If Whaley does, Oklahoma would have a terrifying backfield.
The Cowboys bring a reliable receiver back to the Big 12 before his Aggies head to the SEC. Swope caught 89 passes for 1,207 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2011. He's perfect for the Cowboys' no-huddle offense.
After watching his defensive line get decimated in the first round, Les Miles makes sure he gets to keep at least one of his giants. In future years, Miles can replace the draft losses from the fruit of the giant defensive tackle tree located somewhere in rural Ascension Parish. (That is how LSU gets all those great defensive tackles, right?)
After watching the nation pick apart his team in the first round, Nick Saban chuckles. "Aight," he says. "You take my veterans. I'll beat you with my freshmen." Then he selects Anderson, the 250-pound Jack linebacker-in-training. Upon hearing this comment, the other schools promptly select the remainder of Alabama's 2012 signing class before Saban can select again.