Trent Richardson ranks as No. 3 prospect in 2012 NFL Draft

The 2012 NFL Draft is less than a month away, so scouts are meeting around the clock to put the finishing touches on draft boards as pro days come to a close. Although team visits, private workouts and medical evaluations could alter the landscape leading up to draft day, here is how I envision most draft boards across the league at this point in the process:

1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: The most polished quarterback to enter the NFL since Peyton Manning. His remarkable physical tools are only surpassed by his exceptional football IQ.

2. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: World-class athlete with a spectacular skill set. RG3 is an explosive playmaker in the mold of Michael Vick, but is a much better passer at this point of his career.

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3. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: Talented runner could be the best RB prospect since Adrian Peterson. Richardson is a rugged workhorse with exceptional skills on the perimeter.

4. Matt Kalil, OT, USC: One of the best offensive tackle prospects to enter the league in recent years. Kalil is a sound technician with extraordinary footwork and movement skills.

5. Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU: Smooth cover man with a polished game that reminds some evaluators of Champ Bailey. Claiborne's combination of ball skills and awareness could make him an immediate impact player at the next level.

6. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State: Standout receiver with exceptional running skills. Blackmon has the tools to emerge as an Anquan Boldin-like playmaker as a pro.

7. Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina: Gifted pass rusher has all of the physical tools to be a dominant playmaker, but scouts harbor concerns about his motor and toughness.

8. Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina: Versatile defender with disruptive skills as a pass rusher. Ingram's first-step quickness is remarkable, but some evaluators worry about his short arms (31.5 inches) limiting effectiveness against tall offensive tackles.

9. Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College: Fundamentally sound defender with spectacular instincts and awareness. Kuechly's remarkable production over a three-year period (532 tackles) is a testament to his extraordinary ability to read and react in the middle.

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10. Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa: Big, physical edge blocker with solid footwork and fundamentals. Reiff has the ability to play on either side of the line, but could emerge as a standout as a right tackle.

11. David DeCastro, OG, Stanford: Athletic interior blocker with the size, strength and athleticism to move defenders off the ball.

12. Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford: Nimble athlete with the size and frame to become a dominant left tackle as a pro.

13. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama: Polished cornerback prospect with great instincts and awareness. Scouts question his top-end speed, but his ability to maintain leverage on elite receivers suggests he is fast enough to excel at the next level.

14. Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame: Big-bodied pass catcher with exceptional ball skills. Floyd is at his best in jump-ball situations near the end zone, but also flashes outstanding ability as a No. 1 receiver.

15. Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois: Scouts are starting to dismiss the "one-year wonder" label that has been affixed to Mercilus' name after extensively studying game film from his dominant junior season. Although some still question his explosiveness on tape, Mercilus' stellar performance at the NFL Scouting Combine has cemented his status as a top defender in the draft.

16. Michael Brockers, DT, LSU: One of the more intriguing defensive tackle prospects in the draft. Brockers possesses unique size, length and athleticism, but is far from a finished product at the position due to his limited game experience.

17. Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State: Disruptive pass rusher with length, athleticism and motor to harass quarterbacks relentlessly in the pocket.

18. Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis: After emerging as the star of the combine, Poe has experienced a meteoric rise up the charts despite having scant production during his final season at Memphis. However, Poe's evaluation could prompt scouts to value potential over production, which makes him the biggest "boom or bust" prospect in the draft.

19. Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor: The most explosive receiver in the draft underwhelmed with his 40 time at the combine, but scouts are willing to place greater value on his spectacular performance on game tape and pro-day workout, maintaining his standing as a top prospect in the draft.

20. Cordy Glenn, G/OT, Georgia: Versatile blocker with the athleticism and skills to thrive as a guard or tackle on either side of the offensive line.

21. Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama: Big, physical defender with outstanding instincts, awareness and rush skills. Hightower can play multiple spots in a 3-4, and that versatility makes him a valuable commodity as a prospect.

22. Mark Barron, S, Alabama: Ball-hawking safety with the instincts, awareness and versatility to effectively play in the middle or near the box as a hybrid defender.

23. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M: Some teams will certainly have Tannehill rated higher based on their need at the position, but the former receiver should be viewed as a long-range project. While his arm talent and athleticism are franchise caliber, he simply lacks the game experience and awareness to make an immediate impact as a pro.

24. Lamar Miller, RB, Miami: Explosive runner with the speed and quickness to score from anywhere on the field. Scouts question Miller's durability, but it is hard to ignore his natural talent as a difference maker in the backfield.

25. Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama: Aggressive cornerback with a polished game that reminds some of Asante Samuel. Although his sketchy background profile will affect his draft status, Jenkins has all-star potential as a cover corner.

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26. David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech: Speed is not an issue when it comes to Wilson's game, and scouts are raving about his burst to the corner. However, his penchant for putting the ball on the ground makes some evaluators worry about his ability to thrive as a feature runner.

27. Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina: No one is surging up the board more than Gilmore in the weeks leading to the draft. The former Gamecock has a solid all-around game without any noticeable flaws, and his size/speed combination makes him a highly sought-after cornerback prospect.

28. Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State: The enigmatic edge blocker has the physical tools to be a franchise-caliber tackle, but questions about his motor make it tough for scouts to rank him among the elite.

29. Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State: Athletic defender with explosive first-step quickness and burst. Worthy doesn't play with energy consistently, but his flashes of dominance make him an enticing prospect.

30. Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse: Rangy defender with the size, length and athleticism to be an effective five-technique in a 3-4.

31. Courtney Upshaw, OLB/DE, Alabama: A lack of elite athleticism has sent his stock tumbling, but scouts are mindful of his disruptive presence on the field, which is far more important in the evaluation process.

32. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech: The spectacular display of speed and explosiveness at the NFL Scouting Combine has been complemented by steady improvement in his route running and pass catching in workouts.

33. Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson: Energetic rusher with speed, quickness and burst. Branch is still more of a straight-line player, but his production makes him a coveted prospect as an edge rusher.

34. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford: The most complete tight end in this draft has been on the rise since impressing scouts with his underrated athleticism in workouts. Fleener also displays the ball skills to emerge as a difference maker in the passing game.

35. Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin: Rugged interior blocker with a workmanlike approach that wears opponents down in the game's late stages.

36. Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina: The promising pass catcher has salvaged his plummeting stock by posting respectable numbers at his pro day workout (4.5's in the 40 with a 10-foot-2 broad jump and 36-inch vertical). With few receivers capable of rivaling his ability as a jump-ball specialist, Jeffery is an intriguing option as a No. 1 receiver.

37. Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska: Size concerns have overshadowed David's potential, but scouts searching for impact defenders are beginning to push the Nebraska star up the charts with his stellar production on game tape.

38. Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State: If not for his advanced age (28), Weeden would rank much higher based on his arm talent and pocket presence.

39. Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina: Gifted athlete with unrefined skills. Brown could blossom into a standout defender as a pro with his rare combination of size, speed and athleticism.

40. Devon Still, DT, Penn State: Big man with an impressive frame, but scouts are concerned about his technical inconsistencies and effort. Still hasn't sufficiently addressed those issues to this point, so his team visits will be critical to his draft position.

41. Doug Martin, RB, Boise State: Teams intent on adding substance over style have fallen in love with Martin's game. He is a rough-and-tumble runner with sneaky quickness and a solid all-around skill set.

42. Nick Perry, DE, USC: It's hard to find a consensus opinion on Perry, despite his production as a pass rusher. Perry hasn't dominated elite competition consistently, so it is tough to project him as a difference maker at the position.

43. Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson: A disappointing 40-time at the combine has sent Allen's stock in a downward spiral, but he remains one of the top pass catchers at the position. He creates mismatches with his size and athleticism, and teams looking to add a dynamic weapon are closely monitoring his development leading up to the draft.

44. Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss: After flying under the radar for most of the season, Massie is starting to creep up boards across the league. Scouts rave about his toughness, footwork and overall skill set, making him a viable option for teams looking for an upgrade at tackle.

45. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon: The most electrifying runner in college football is viewed as a change-of-pace back due to his diminutive frame, but his production and big-play ability will make him a highly coveted prospect on draft day.

46. Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame: It is hard to find big, athletic safeties with ball skills who are also physical run defenders. Smith not only possesses those attributes, but he also has a high football IQ that allows him to act as the controller in the back end.

47. Brandon Washington, G, Miami: Size, strength and athleticism are essential along the interior, and Washington displays a skill set that should lead to instant success as a pro.

48. Rueben Randle, WR, LSU: After failing to impress at the combine, Randle opened up the eyes of evaluators with a strong showing at LSU's pro day. He is a smooth and polished route runner with strong hands and excellent ball skills.

49. Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech: A subpar final season at Virginia Tech has been erased by a strong series of showings at workouts. Hosley is a natural ball hawk with outstanding speed, quickness and return skills.

50. Kelechi Osemele, G, Iowa State: The monstrous interior blocker is not a nimble athlete, but his combination of strength and power allows him to maul defenders in the trenches.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks

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