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2012 NFL Draft Order: Sorting Out The Top Three Picks

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The race for the top three picks in the 2012 NFL Draft is shaping up with two games left in the NFL season.
The race for the top three picks in the 2012 NFL Draft is shaping up with two games left in the NFL season.

With the Indianapolis Colts finally getting on the winning side of the ledger this week, some wondered whether or not the St. Louis Rams could end up picking first again this year, the second time in three years. Unfortunately, the answer is no. In all likelihood, the Rams will end up with the third pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Indy could move out of the top spot by winning their next two games. That isn't going to happen. They host the Houston Texans in Week 16, and it should be a lopsided matchup. Anything can happen, but this one's pretty far outside the realm of possible. Indy could very likely win their season finale against a really crummy Jacksonville team. That would give them two wins, setting up a potential tie with the Rams and Vikings.

Strength of schedule would still work in Indy's favor with a two-win season. Minnesota's remaining games come against the Redskins and the Bears. It's possible that they could win one of those. If they don't, they'll have an advantage over the two-win Rams for the second pick because St. Louis plays a tougher schedule to end their season, against the Steelers and 49ers.

If the Rams were going to get the top pick in the draft again, 2012 is the year to do it. Teams would likely make lucrative offers to trade up in the draft for Andrew Luck. (No, I'm not considering the possibility of the Rams drafting Luck and keeping Bradford).

In all likelihood, the Rams will have the third pick in the draft, which also could make things interesting. Barring a trade down, Minnesota would be well advised to take USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil. That would give the Rams flexibility to trade down or consider between Justin Blackmon, who doesn't look like a third overall pick, or Morris Claiborne. Quarterback needy teams may covet the chance to draft Robert Griffin III or Matt Barkley with that pick and a bottom line friendly rookie salary schedule.