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Which 2012 prospects are first to top charts?

Posted Feb 13, 2012

We're just about three months away from the 2012 NFL Draft, which means it's time for the first edition of my "Hot 100." This isn't necessarily how I think the draft will unfold, but rather the 100 best prospects heading into April.

We're just about three months away from the 2012 NFL Draft, which means it's time for the first edition of my "Hot 100." This isn't necessarily how I think the draft will unfold, but rather the 100 best prospects heading into April.

This is only the beginning. Plenty will change after the NFL Scouting Combine and pro days get under way. For now, though, this is how I list the best players in the country.

1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
With a 71.3 completion percentage, 10,043 total yards and 80 touchdown passes, this kid is the complete package.

2. Matt Kalil, OT, USC
A first-team All-Pac 12 selection, Matt is the younger brother of Panthers Pro Bowl lineman Ryan Kalil. He plays like him, too.

3. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
His timed speed could drop him some, but it's hard to ignore 121 catches and 18 touchdowns last season.

4. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
He's the dual threat as a passer (72.4 completion percentage, 32 touchdowns in 2011) and runner (699 yards, 10 TDs) every coach dreams of.

5. Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
A first-team All-ACC selection in 2010 and 2011, he's an all-out every-down player.

6. Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
A first team All-SEC selection last season, he had six interceptions. He's not very big at 5-foot-11 and 177 pounds, but he can return kicks.

7. Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Reiff is a very good athlete who was a three-time South Dakota state wrestling champion.

8. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
He's very smart, an excellent athlete and has the ability to take off if necessary.

9. Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
He wasn't as good in 2011 as he was in 2010, and he's gained some weight since then. Still, he's a playmaker.

10. Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina
He's a good weak-side linebacker who was named first-team All-ACC last season. Nobody is likely to draft him in the top 10, though.

11. Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama
Just how good is Upshaw? He's better than former Crimson Tide linebacker Rolando McClain, who was a first-round pick in 2010.

12. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
A two-year first team All-Pac 12 selection who made 36 career starts, Martin is a very good run blocker.

13. Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Floyd's had some off-field problems, but he is a very good athlete who made 100 catches with nine touchdowns in 2011.

14. Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
He finished with 191 tackles, 12 of them for loss, and had three interceptions last season. The only thing that could hurt him is a lack of speed.

15. David DeCastro, G, Stanford
He made 38 straight starts at right guard. This kid reminds me of Vikings All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson.

16. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Richardson averaged an eye-popping 5.9 yards per carry last year and scored 21 touchdowns. He will be drafted higher than this.

17. Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
Ingram will be rewarded handsomely for staying in school for his senior year. He's good, athletic and plays hard every down.

18. Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Off-field trouble forced him to transfer from Florida, but this kid can cover very well.

19. Devon Still, DT, Penn State
A high-motor guy who was first-team All-Big Ten after finishing with 4.5 sacks and an impressive 17 tackles for loss.

20. Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
A first-team All-Big Ten selection who definitely has talent but needs to play hard all the time.

21. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
He's tall for a corner, and people like that. He most likely will fall some after the combine and his pro day, which could result in a move to safety.

22. Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State
This is a very talented player, but he has problems taking coaching, so teams need to make sure he's right for them.

23. Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
A three-year player who has a lot of upside and a strong front.

24. Kelechi Osemele, OT, Iowa State
He's a strong and powerful player who is more suited to play guard in the NFL.

25. Nick Perry, DE, USC
A first-team All-Pac 12 selection, Perry had 9.5 sacks last year. He's best to fit in as a linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

26. Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
27. Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
28. Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
29. Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
30. Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
31. Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
32. Mark Barron, S, Alabama
33. Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia
34. Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia
35. Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (Fla.)
36. Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
37. Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
38. Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State
39. Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
40. David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
41. Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
42. Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
43. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
44. Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska
45. Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
46. Dwight Jones, WR, North Carolina
47. Chris Polk, RB, Washington
48. Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
49. Billy Winn, DT, Boise State
50. Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
51. Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall
52. Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma
53. Leonard Johnson, CB, Iowa State
54. Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt
55. Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin
56. Jarius Wright, WR, Arkansas
57. Bruce Irvin, DE, West Virginia
58. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
59. Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
60. Ben Jones, C, Georgia
61. Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State
62. Travis Lewis, LB, Oklahoma
63. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona
64. Andrew Datko, OT, Florida State
65. Josh Chapman, DT, Alabama
66. A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois
67. Joe Adams, WR/KR, Arkansas
68. Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State
69. Jayron Hosely, CB, Virginia Tech
70. Ronnell Lewis, DE, Oklahoma
71. Luke Nix, G, Pittsburgh
72. Brandon Washington, G, Miami (Fla.)
73. Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska
74. Rokevious Watkins, G, South Carlina
75. Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State
76. Coryelle Judie, CB, Texas A&M
77. Senio Kelemete, OT, Washington
78. Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana
79. Sean Spence, LB, Miami (Fla.)
80. Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M
81. Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
82. Mike Martin, DT, Michigan
83. Kheeston Randall, DT, Texas
84. T.Y. Hilton, WR/KR, Florida International
85. Alameda Ta'amu, DT, Washington
86. Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor
87. Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State
88. Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia
89. Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State
90. Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa
91. DeQuan Menzie, CB, Alabama
92. Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
93. Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin
94. James-Michael Johnson, LB, Nevada
95. Juron Criner, WR, Arizona
96. Ryan Steed, CB, Furman
97. Eric Page, WR/KR, Toledo
98. Donnie Fletcher, CB, Boston College
99. Josh LeRibeus, G, Southern Methodist
100. Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma

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