The early 2012 NFL mock drafts are being sporadically released and they very quite a bit. The most optimistic of these mocks comes from Pete Schrager of FoxSports.com who has three Mountain West players going in the first round:
6. Arizona Cardinals - Ryan Lindley, QB, San Diego State: When it's all said and done, Donovan McNabb ends up in Arizona. Alas, he's no Kurt Warner, and the Cardinals offense fails to light up the desert with any aerial fireworks. With Larry Fitzgerald leaving town for greener pastures in free agency next March, the Cardinals look to rebuild from the ground up, going with the quarterback in Lindley. Who?! Yes, Ryan Lindley will be a top-10 selection next year. The 6-4, 220-pound Lindley can sling the ball, and is second all-time in school history in career passing yards (9,537), completions (724) and is tied for second in career touchdown passes (67).
13. San Francisco 49ers - Billy Winn, DT, Boise State: Aldon Smith, the 2011 first-round pick, has a breakout year in San Francisco. In Winn, a 6-4, 290-pound interior line star out of Boise State, Smith gets a defensive linemate to grow old with in San Francisco. Go pop in the tape of last year's Boise State-Virginia Tech game - one in which Winn dominated the line of scrimmage - and you'll see why so many NFL scouts are giddy about the former high school wrestling star from Las Vegas.
19. New York Giants - Nate Potter, OT, Boise State: The Giants failed to address the offensive line in the 2011 draft, and the once-dominant unit shows signs of age this season. After failing to make the playoffs for the third straight year, Big Blue grabs Potter, a 6-6, 300-pound pass protector out of Boise State. Nothing flashy, Potter was a third-team All-American during his junior campaign in 2010.
Your eyes do not deceive you, going number six overall is San Diego State quarterback Ryan Lindley. In a recent top 100 list of 2012 NFL Draft prospects Lindley comes in at number 42. A top 100 list is different then a draft, but having Lindley is at six is a bit surprising.
Lindley has the size and arm strength that NFL teams love and during his college career he has put up some amazing passing numbers. It is possible that LIndley could be a first round pick come the 2012 NFL Draft, but Schrager is the first to put it out there officially.
The other two picks between Boise State's Nate Potter and Billy Winn have been mentioned as being the best at their position, so it is not too much of a surprise to see them being taken in the first round of a mock draft.