2012 Top College Players To Watch

Here is the first crack at the top players in college football for next season. I know it is about 7 weeks early but I like to get an early start. I think it is good to think about players at positions you want the Vikings to draft and then being ready to record or watch their games. I will highlight some I like at the positions I think will have to be addresses after this next season.

Player Pos. School Class Ht. Wt.
Matt Barkley QB Southern California Sr 6-1 218
Tyler Wilson QB Arkansas rSr 6-3 220
Logan Thomas QB Virginia Tech rJr 6-5 254
Tyler Bray QB Tennessee Jr 6-5 210
Landry Jones QB Oklahoma rSr 6-4 230
Aaron Murray QB Georgia rJr 6-1 212
Zach Mettenberger QB LSU rJr 6-5 225
Geno Smith QB West Virginia Sr 6-3 214
Casey Pachall QB TCU Jr 6-4 216
E.J. Manuel QB Florida State rSr 6-4 245
Brad Sorensen QB Southern Utah rSr 6-4 225
Mike Glennon QB North Carolina State rSr 6-4 225
Matt Scott QB Arizona rSr 6-3 198
Jeff Tuel QB Washington State Sr 6-3 223
James Vandenberg QB Iowa rSr 6-3 212
Sean Renfree QB Duke rSr 6-4 225
Alex Carder QB Western Michigan rSr 6-2 224
Collin Klein QB Kansas State rSr 6-3 226
MarQueis Gray QB Minnesota Sr 6-4 240
Jordan Rodgers QB Vanderbilt rSr 6-1 208
Ryan Nassib QB Syracuse rSr 6-2 229
Seth Doege QB Texas Tech rSr 6-1 200


Player Pos. School Class Ht. Wt.
Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina Jr 6-0 232
Montee Ball RB Wisconsin Sr 5-09 212
Knile Davis RB Arkansas rJr 6-0 226
Eddie Lacy RB Alabama rJr 5-10 220
Joseph Randle RB Oklahoma State Jr 6-0 192
Andre Ellington RB Clemson rSr 5-10 190
Giovani Bernard RB North Carolina rSo 5-10 205
Ray Graham RB Pittsburgh Sr 5-09 195
Cierre Wood RB Notre Dame rJr 6-0 215
Michael Dyer RB Arkansas State rSo 5-09 210
Christine Michael RB Texas A&M Sr 5-11 215
Spencer Ware RB LSU Jr 5-11 223
D.J. Harper RB Boise State rSr 5-09 205
Le'Veon Bell RB Michigan State Jr 6-2 237
Stepfan Taylor RB Stanford Sr 5-11 210
Fitzgerald Toussaint RB Michigan rJr 5-10 195
Kenjon Barner RB Oregon rSr 5-11 195
Washaun Ealey RB Jacksonville State Sr 5-11 215
Johnathan Franklin RB UCLA rSr 5-10 195
Dillon Baxter RB Baker rSo 5-11 195
Rex Burkhead RB Nebraska Sr 5-11 210
Marcus Coker RB Stony Brook Jr 6-0 230
Onterio McCalebb RB Auburn Sr 5-10 175
Silas Redd RB Penn State Jr 5-10 209
Isi Sofele RB California Sr 5-08 190


Player Pos. School Class Ht. Wt.
Trey Millard FB Oklahoma Jr 6-1 249
Zach Boren FB Ohio State Sr 6-0 252
Trey Burton FB Florida Jr 6-2 229
Zach Line FB Southern Methodist rSr 6-1 230
Devon Ramsay FB North Carolina rSr 6-2 250
Richard Samuel FB Georgia Sr 6-1 243
Braden Wilson FB Kansas State rSr 6-3 255
Devonte Campbell FB Maryland rSr 6-2 255


Player Pos. School Class Ht. Wt.
Robert Woods WR Southern California Jr 6-1 184
Keenan Allen WR California Jr 6-3 205
Justin Hunter WR Tennessee Jr 6-4 205
Terrance Williams WR Baylor rSr 6-1 205
Marquess Wilson WR Washington State Jr 6-2 188
Aaron Mellette WR Elon rSr 6-3 214
Da'Rick Rogers WR Tennessee Jr 6-3 215
Cobi Hamilton WR Arkansas Sr 6-3 209
Josh Boyce WR TCU rJr 5-11 203
Tavon Austin WR West Virginia Sr 5-09 176
Dan Buckner WR Arizona rSr 6-3 215
Ryan Swope WR Texas A&M rSr 6-0 206
Kenny Stills WR Oklahoma Jr 6-0 190

Tavarres King WR Georgia rSr 6-1 192
Denard Robinson WR Michigan Sr 5-11 195
Emory Blake WR Auburn Sr 6-1 197
Keenan Davis WR Iowa Sr 6-2 215
Roy Roundtree WR Michigan rSr 6-0 178
Aaron Dobson WR Marshall Sr 6-2 205
Marquise Goodwin WR Texas Sr 5-09 178
Nicholas Edwards WR Eastern Washington rSr 6-2 200
Erik Highsmith WR North Carolina Sr 6-2 190
Devin Street WR Pittsburgh rJr 6-2 192
Conner Vernon WR Duke Sr 6-1 195
Markus Wheaton WR Oregon State Sr 6-0 178
Russell Shepard WR LSU Sr 6-0 185
Skye Dawson WR TCU Sr 5-10 176
Quinton Patton WR Louisiana Tech rSr 6-2 195
Tracy Moore WR Oklahoma State Sr 6-1 220
T.J. Moe WR Missouri Sr 5-11 195
Tyrone Goard WR Eastern Kentucky rSr 6-4 195
Theo Riddick WR Notre Dame Sr 5-11 198
Uzoma Nwachukwu WR Texas A&M Sr 6-0 195
Marcus Sales WR Syracuse rSr 6-0 185
Josh Jarboe WR Arkansas State rSr 6-2 215
Chad Bumphis WR Mississippi State Sr 5-10 200
Xavier Boyce WR Norfolk State rSr 6-3 220
Brandon Wimberly WR Nevada rSr 6-3 210


Player Pos. School Class Ht. Wt.
Tyler Eifert TE Notre Dame rJr 6-5 249
Joseph Fauria TE UCLA rSr 6-7 252
Jake Stoneburner TE Ohio State rSr 6-5 245
Philip Lutzenkirchen TE Auburn Sr 6-4 250
Michael Williams TE Alabama rSr 6-5 268
Jordan Reed TE Florida rJr 6-3 239
Zach Ertz TE Stanford rJr 6-6 250
Ryan Griffin TE Connecticut rSr 6-5 248
Dion Sims TE Michigan State rJr 6-5 276
Gavin Escobar TE San Diego State rJr 6-5 245
Chris Gragg TE Arkansas Sr 6-3 236
Ben Cotton TE Nebraska Sr 6-6 255
Colin Anderson TE Furman Sr 6-4 234
Kyler Reed TE Nebraska Sr 6-3 230
Ryan Otten TE San Jose State rSr 6-4 238
Jack Doyle TE Western Kentucky Sr 6-5 248
Chris Pantale TE Boston College rSr 6-5 252


Player Pos. School Class Ht. Wt.
Chris Faulk OT LSU rJr 6-5 325
Taylor Lewan OT Michigan rJr 6-7 302
Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M Jr 6-6 310
D.J. Fluker OT Alabama rJr 6-6 335
Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M Jr 6-5 305
Ricky Wagner OT Wisconsin rSr 6-6 320
Cyril Richardson OT Baylor rJr 6-5 335
Oday Aboushi OT Virginia Sr 6-6 310
Alex Hurst OT LSU rSr 6-6 340
Mark Jackson OT Glenville State rSr 6-5 326
James Hurst OT North Carolina Jr 6-6 310
Justin Pugh OT Syracuse rJr 6-5 292
Seantrel Henderson OT Miami (Fla.) Jr 6-8 345
Dallas Thomas OT Tennessee rSr 6-5 305
Xavier Nixon OT Florida Sr 6-5 292
David Quessenberry OT San Jose State rSr 6-5 292
Tanner Hawkinson OT Kansas rSr 6-5 295
Matt Summers-Gavin OT California rSr 6-4 295
Jeff Nady OT Nevada rSr 6-7 290
R.J. Mattes OT North Carolina State rSr 6-6 305
Ryan Schraeder OT Valdosta State Sr 6-6 318
Brennan Williams OT North Carolina Sr 6-7 315
LaAdrian Waddle OT Texas Tech Sr 6-6 332
Dann O'Neill OT Western Michigan Sr 6-7 308
Fou Fonoti OT Michigan State Sr 6-4 300
Reid Fragel OT Ohio State Sr 6-6 288


Player Pos. School Class Ht. Wt.
Barrett Jones OG Alabama rSr 6-4 305
Jonathan Cooper OG North Carolina rSr 6-3 310
Travis Frederick OG Wisconsin rJr 6-4 330
Chance Warmack OG Alabama Sr 6-3 320
Larry Warford OG Kentucky Sr 6-3 336
Alvin Bailey OG Arkansas rJr 6-5 315
Omoregie Uzzi OG Georgia Tech rSr 6-3 305
Blaize Foltz OG TCU rSr 6-4 310
Braden Hansen OG Brigham Young rSr 6-5 313
Gabe Jackson OG Mississippi State rJr 6-4 320
Lane Taylor OG Oklahoma State rSr 6-2 312
Chris Jacobson OG Pittsburgh rSr 6-2 295
Travis Bond OG North Carolina Sr 6-6 340
Chris McDonald OG Michigan State rSr 6-5 300
Patrick Lewis OG Texas A&M Sr 6-2 306
Carson York OG Oregon rSr 6-5 292
Theo Goins OG UCF rSr 6-4 316
Earl Watford OG James Madison rSr 6-4 296


Player Pos. School Class Ht. Wt.
Khaled Holmes C Southern California rSr 6-3 310
Dalton Freeman C Clemson rSr 6-4 285
Graham Pocic C Illinois rSr 6-5 308
James Ferentz C Iowa Sr 6-2 292
Mario Benavides C Louisville rSr 6-4 302

Braxston Cave C Notre Dame rSr 6-3 303
T.J. Johnson C South Carolina rSr 6-3 316
Joe Madsen C West Virginia rSr 6-4 302
Ben Habern C Oklahoma rSr 6-3 292
Travis Swanson C Arkansas rJr 6-5 305
Ivory Wade C Baylor Sr 6-3 310


Player Pos. School Class Ht. Wt.
Star Lotulelei DT Utah Sr 6-3 325
Johnathon Hankins DT Ohio State Jr 6-3 335
Bennie Logan DT LSU rJr 6-3 288
Kawann Short DT Purdue rSr 6-3 310
Jesse Williams DT Alabama Sr 6-3 320
Johnathan Jenkins DT Georgia Sr 6-3 351
Cassius Marsh DT UCLA Jr 6-3 290
Sylvester Williams DT North Carolina Sr 6-3 320
Sharrif Floyd DT Florida Jr 6-3 298
Akeem Spence DT Illinois rJr 6-1 305
Jordan Hill DT Penn State Sr 6-1 298
Joe Vellano DT Maryland Sr 6-2 285
Aaron Tipoti DT California Sr 6-2 295
Josh Downs DT LSU Sr 6-1 287
Dominique Easley DT Florida Jr 6-2 282
Baker Steinkuhler DT Nebraska rSr 6-5 290
Montori Hughes DT Tennessee-Martin Sr 6-3 328
Anthony Rashad White DT Michigan State Sr 6-2 316
Kaleb Ramsey DT Boston College rSr 6-3 302
Everett Dawkins DT Florida State rSr 6-2 295
Brent Russell DT Georgia Southern rSr 6-2 290
Dave Kruger DT Utah rSr 6-5 285
Jamarkus McFarland DT Oklahoma Sr 6-1 296
Brandon Williams DT Missouri Southern State rSr 6-2 325
Josh Boyd DT Mississippi State Sr 6-3 295
Scott Vallone DT Rutgers rSr 6-3 278


Player Pos. School Class Ht. Wt.
Sam Montgomery DE LSU rJr 6-4 248
Jackson Jeffcoat DE Texas Jr 6-4 250
Margus Hunt DE Southern Methodist rSr 6-7 288
Alex Okafor DE Texas Sr 6-4 260
William Gholston DE Michigan State Jr 6-6 278
John Simon DE Ohio State Sr 6-2 270
Michael Buchanan DE Illinois Sr 6-5 240
Wes Horton DE Southern California rSr 6-5 265
Devin Taylor DE South Carolina rSr 6-6 260
Bjoern Werner DE Florida State Jr 6-4 273
Corey Lemonier DE Auburn Jr 6-4 242
Dion Jordan DE Oregon rSr 6-6 246
Craig Roh DE Michigan Sr 6-4 269
James Gayle DE Virginia Tech rJr 6-3 256
Malliciah Goodman DE Clemson Sr 6-4 278
Datone Jones DE UCLA rSr 6-4 275
Cameron Meredith DE Nebraska rSr 6-4 260
Damion Square DE Alabama rSr 6-3 286
Brad Madison DE Missouri rSr 6-4 265
Lavar Edwards DE LSU rSr 6-4 262
Devon Kennard DE Southern California Sr 6-3 250
David Bass DE Missouri Western State Sr 6-3 258
Pete Massaro DE Penn State rSr 6-4 265
Kapron Lewis-Moore DE Notre Dame rSr 6-4 300
Willie Jefferson DE Stephen F. Austin Sr 6-5 234
John Youboty DE Temple rSr 6-4 258
Izaan Cross DE Georgia Tech Sr 6-4 292
Quinton Dial DE Alabama Sr 6-5 304
Chancey Aghayere DE LSU rSr 6-4 279
Will Pericak DE Colorado rSr 6-4 285
Ben Obaseki DE Indiana State Sr 6-3 258
Quanterus Smith DE Western Kentucky rSr 6-4 245


Player Pos. School Class Ht. Wt.
Manti Te'o ILB Notre Dame Sr 6-2 255
Shayne Skov ILB Stanford Sr 6-3 244

Alexander Ogletree ILB Georgia Jr 6-3 236
Kevin Reddick ILB North Carolina Sr 6-2 240
Arthur Brown ILB Kansas State rSr 6-1 228
Tom Wort ILB Oklahoma rJr 6-0 230
Nico Johnson ILB Alabama Sr 6-2 245
Bruce Taylor ILB Virginia Tech rSr 6-2 243
James Morris ILB Iowa Jr 6-1 228
Chris Borland ILB Wisconsin rJr 5-11 245
Michael Mauti ILB Penn State rSr 6-2 242
Kevin Minter ILB LSU rJr 6-1 242
Patrick Larimore ILB UCLA rSr 6-3 250
Kenny Demens ILB Michigan rSr 6-1 248
Jordan Zumwalt ILB UCLA Jr 6-4 236
Christian Robinson ILB Georgia rSr 6-2 226
Will Compton ILB Nebraska rSr 6-2 230
A.J. Klein ILB Iowa State Sr 6-1 243
Jonathan Bostic ILB Florida Sr 6-1 243
Uona Kaveinga ILB Brigham Young rSr 5-11 236
Steve Greer ILB Virginia rSr 6-2 225
Dwayne Beckford ILB Purdue rSr 6-1 228
Andrae Jacobs ILB Coastal Carolina rSr 5-11 235


Player Pos. School Class Ht. Wt.
Barkevious Mingo OLB LSU rJr 6-4 240
Jarvis Jones OLB Georgia rJr 6-2 242
Sean Porter OLB Texas A&M Sr 6-2 230
Brandon Jenkins OLB Florida State Sr 6-3 265
Gerald Hodges OLB Penn State Sr 6-2 234
C.J. Mosley OLB Alabama Jr 6-2 232
Jonathan Brown OLB Illinois Jr 6-1 235
Chase Thomas OLB Stanford rSr 6-4 240
Khaseem Green OLB Rutgers rSr 6-1 220
Jelani Jenkins OLB Florida rJr 6-0 230
Kenny Tate OLB Maryland rSr 6-4 220
Alonzo Highsmith OLB Arkansas Sr 6-1 234
Zaviar Gooden OLB Missouri rSr 6-2 230
Jeremiah Attaochu OLB Georgia Tech Jr 6-2 235
Travis Long OLB Washington State Sr 6-3 256
Sio Moore OLB Connecticut rSr 6-1 232
Mike Taylor OLB Wisconsin rSr 6-2 230
Cornelius Washington OLB Georgia rSr 6-4 268
Jake Knott OLB Iowa State Sr 6-2 243
Nathan Williams OLB Ohio State rSr 6-3 255
Sean Fisher OLB Nebraska rSr 6-5 235
Demetrius Hartsfield OLB Maryland rSr 6-2 235
Etienne Sabino OLB Ohio State rSr 6-3 242
Ramon Buchanan OLB Miami (Fla.) rSr 6-1 222
Keith Pough OLB Howard rSr 6-2 228
Terence Garvin OLB West Virginia Sr 6-2 222
Storm Klein OLB Ohio State Sr 6-2 240
Toben Opurum OLB Kansas Sr 6-1 240
Josh Francis OLB West Virginia Sr 6-1 224


Player Pos. School Class Ht. Wt.
David Amerson CB North Carolina State Jr 6-2 193
Johnthan Banks CB Mississippi State Sr 6-1 185
Xavier Rhodes CB Florida State rJr 6-1 215
Tyrann Mathieu CB LSU Jr 5-09 176
Dee Milliner CB Alabama Jr 6-1 198
Johnny Adams CB Michigan State rSr 5-11 175
Carrington Byndom CB Texas Jr 6-0 180
Micah Hyde CB Iowa Sr 6-1 185
Jordan Poyer CB Oregon State Sr 5-11 190
Nickell Robey CB Southern California Jr 5-08 172
Logan Ryan CB Rutgers rJr 6-0 190
Demontre Hurst CB Oklahoma Sr 5-09 182
Branden Smith CB Georgia Sr 5-11 176
Desmond Trufant CB Washington Sr 6-0 185
Rod Sweeting CB Georgia Tech Sr 5-11 184
Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech Jr 5-11 187
Greg Reid CB Florida State Sr 5-08 186
Nigel Malone CB Kansas State Sr 5-10 178
Brodrick Brown CB Oklahoma State rSr 5-08 185
Terry Hawthorne CB Illinois Sr 6-0 190
Brandon McGee CB Miami (Fla.) Sr 6-0 190
Travis Howard CB Ohio State rSr 6-0 190
B.W. Webb CB William & Mary rSr 5-11 176
Devin Smith CB Wisconsin Sr 5-10 180
Leon McFadden CB San Diego State Sr 5-10 185
Dustin Harris CB Texas A&M Sr 6-0 175
J.T. Floyd CB Michigan rSr 6-0 185
Dominique Battle CB Cincinnati rSr 5-11 185
Trey Wilson CB Vanderbilt Sr 5-11 190
Aaron Hester CB UCLA rSr 6-1 206
Mitchell White CB Michigan State Sr 5-11 180
Jeremy Brown CB Florida rSr 5-10 187
Marcus Cromartie CB Wisconsin rSr 6-0 182
Dwayne Gratz CB Connecticut rSr 5-11 187
Adrian Bushell CB Louisville rSr 5-10 190
Sheldon Price CB UCLA Sr 6-1 180
Kenny Okoro CB Wake Forest rSr 6-0 190
Demetrius McCray CB Appalachian State Sr 6-0 185
T'Sharvan Bell CB Auburn rSr 6-0 185


Player Pos. School Class Ht. Wt.
Ray Ray Armstrong SS Miami (Fla.) Sr 6-4 216
Kenny Vaccaro SS Texas Sr 6-1 215
Matt Elam SS Florida Jr 5-10 206
Hakeem Smith SS Louisville rJr 6-1 185
DeVonte Holloman SS South Carolina Sr 6-2 232
Prentiss Waggner SS Tennessee rSr 6-2 187
Drew Frey SS Cincinnati rSr 6-3 200
Rontez Miles SS California (PA) Sr 6-0 210
Jahleel Addae SS Central Michigan rSr 5-10 195
Duron Harmon SS Rutgers Sr 6-1 201
Orhian Johnson SS Ohio State rSr 6-2 205
Jordan Kovacs SS Michigan rSr 5-11 197
Cooper Taylor SS Richmond rSr 6-4 221


Player Pos. School Class Ht. Wt.
Eric Reid FS LSU Jr 6-2 208
T.J. McDonald FS Southern California Sr 6-2 205
Robert Lester FS Alabama Sr 6-2 210
Tony Jefferson FS Oklahoma Jr 5-10 200
Bacarri Rambo FS Georgia rSr 6-0 218
C.J. Barnett FS Ohio State rJr 6-0 190
John Boyett FS Oregon rSr 5-10 202
Vaughn Telemaque FS Miami (Fla.) rSr 6-2 200
Malcolm Bronson FS McNeese State Sr 5-11 190
Jarred Holley FS Pittsburgh rSr 5-10 190
Dexter McCoil FS Tulsa Sr 6-2 218
Brandan Bishop FS North Carolina State Sr 6-2 210
Kejuan Riley FS Alabama State Sr 6-0 205
Kemal Ishmael FS UCF Sr 5-11 211
Rashard Hall FS Clemson rSr 6-1 210
Javon Harris FS Oklahoma Sr 5-11 207
D.J. Swearinger FS South Carolina Sr 5-10 208
Josh Evans FS Florida Sr 6-1 200

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

My first thoughts about next year's draft start at the defensive tackle position. I think that it needs some new top talent because KWill is not going to last forever and the rest of the group is just average at best.

Next I have to look at the middle linebacker position. I am not sure how Brinkley will do this year but he is a major concern. His ability to stay healthy is also a huge consideration.

After that I think the safety position will be in need of another upgrade. I do not like Blanton or Frampton. I do not know what they will do with Sanford but I am hoping he will start and play well. Then there is Raymond.

I think you never stop trying to find good cornerbacks.

I think in offense the guard position could be a need. The right tackle position may be a need as well if Loadholt does not do better at pass blocking and they need to sign him to an extension as well.

I think that WR and TE may be set. They may add a late round WR who has return ability.

I think that the RB position will probably be OK too if Todman steps up. Otherwise they could be looking for another back too.

Lastly, and unfortunately, I have to include the fullback position because apparently this front office loves them some fullback.

So without further ado I give you a mock with the Vikings picking 6th (5-11 record).

6. Star Lotulelei DT Utah Sr 6-3 325
38. Shayne Skov ILB Stanford Sr 6-3 244
70. Kenny Vaccaro SS Texas Sr 6-1 215
102. Ryan Swope WR Texas A&M rSr 6-0 206
Lions pick - Alvin Bailey OG Arkansas rJr 6-5 315
134. John Boyett FS Oregon rSr 5-10 202
166. Baker Steinkuhler DT Nebraska rSr 6-5 290
Titans pick - Mike Taylor OLB Wisconsin rSr 6-2 230
198. Quinn Sharp P Oklahoma State rSr 6-1 190


Obviously, Quinn Sharp will go a lot earlier than round 7 since he does kickoffs, field goals, and punting.

But I like the idea of doubling up on positions. Two defensive tackles, linebackers, and safeties could be necessary. Evans, Sanford, Frampton, and a few LBs could all be gone.

Well there it is.

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