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Sports

2012 NFL Mock Draft V4.0: Picks 24-32

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The nitty gritty of the NFL Draft never gets much fanfare, but more often than not it actually ends up being the most impactful portion of the whole event. This is where the teams that are already good get even better, and where respected franchises show why exactly they’re so respected

Some of the more interesting player-related storylines to watch: which quality defensive ends will slip to the bottom of the first round just because of how much quality depth there is on that side of the ball this year? Will teams stick to their “we can get a running back at any point” mantra, or will Doug Martin or one of the other top-tier non-Trent Richardson rushers slip into the first round?

At the same time, there are a number of intriguing team-related storylines to keep an eye on as well. Will the Denver Broncos upgrade on defense or will they aim to please Peyton Manning with a wide receiver/tight end? The New England Patriots have two picks at the bottom of the first round – do they trade them for a higher pick or aim to shore up their defensive weaknesses with them? With Brandon Jacobs gone, do the New York Giants replace him with another running back or do aim to fix a “problem area”? Will the San Francisco 49ers continue to apologize to Alex Smith for chasing Peyton Manning by getting him a new receiving option?

With all that in mind, here is how we envision picks Nos. 24-32 shaking out.

[Also, make sure to check out our projections for picks Nos. 1-7]

[And our projections for picks Nos. 8-15]

[And our projections for picks Nos. 16-23]

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