Now that the 2011 NFL Draft is in the books, there's only one logical thing to do: look ahead to the 2012 NFL Draft! SB Nation football writer Brian Galliford released his 2012 NFL Mock Draft on Saturday night, giving us a sneak peek at next year's top NCAA prospects.
As expected, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick, and Galliford predicts he will go to the San Francisco 49ers (and, by extension, predicts San Francisco will be the worst team in the NFL next season). Luck most likely would have been the top pick in this year's draft, but he decided to stay at school for his senior year (kudos, Andrew!).
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.
In the local scene, Galliford projects Georgie defensive tackle John Jenkins will be drafted by the New England Patriots at No. 29 overall (the pick they received in the trade from the New Orleans Saints). Jenkins, a junior college transfer, signed with the Bulldogs this year and will play his first season with the football team next fall.
29. New England Patriots (f/NO): John Jenkins, DT, Georgia. This JUCO transfer is a 340-pound menace that should be in Round 1 conversations by the midway point of the 2012 college season.
With the Pats' second pick of the first round, Boston College junior linebacker Luke Kuechly is projected to New England at No. 31 overall. Kuechly, who emerged as one of the nation's best up-and-coming linebackers over the past two seasons in Chestnut Hill, would be a good fit for Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
31. New England Patriots: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College. This local product is a perfect fit for the Patriots, even if they've already got Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes inside.
Kuechly has amassed some impressive numbers in his first two seasons at Boston College, totaling 325 tackles, four interceptions, three sacks and two forced fumbles. In 2010, Kuechly led the nation in tackles with 183 (110 solo) and had three interceptions.Kuechly has recorded 10 or more tackles in 22 straight games, which is the longest streak in the country.