Now that we’ve made it through a bulk of Free Agency, it’s time to mock a draft with new team needs.
For the first version: Mock 2012 NFL Draft [Round 1]
For the first version: Mock 2012 NFL Draft [Round 1]
1. Indianapolis Colts select:
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
I’m even more certain of this pick than I was before. Absolutely no way Irsay goes for Griffin rather than Luck. It’s a match made in Heaven for all parties involved, especially if Indianapolis is able to find more suitable pieces to help make Luck’s job easier.
2. Washington Redskins select:
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins’ entire fan-base are enamored by Griffin, who has the chance to revolutionize the position and reinvigorate the idea that athletes can play QB, as well as the troubling trends at FedEx Field.
3. Minnesota Vikings select:
Matt Kalil, OT, USC
The Vikings need something on offense. While I believe they could easily select Blackmon here and initially was going to scribe his name above, I think they play it safe, solidify the line, and let Ponder make something happen with what they’ve got/acquire later in the draft.
4. Cleveland Browns select:
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
There’s a good chance they could select Blackmon and help make life a little easier for McCoy when he drops back, but Richardson’s a kid who projects to be as close to a 3-down back as you’ll find, and he can contribute in the passing game. We’re talking a Maurice Jones-Drew style back in that he does it all, all the time. He should be able to help the offense out a lot.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select:
Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
The Bucs need a new corner, and they’ve got a chance to continue the trend of grabbing a big, fast, physical guy who can ball-hawk and take it the distance, as well as return punts.
6. St. Louis Rams select:
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
I initially thought about the possibility of sending Jonathan Martin here and establishing the O-Line a little bit, but Bradford needs a target that can be reliable and physical, and also help block downfield in the running game. Not to mention someone who can move the chains and be a threat in the redzone.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars select:
Mike Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
I’m sticking with this pick here no matter what. I think Jacksonville absolutely needs a WR they can be confident in, and I still think Mike Floyd turns out to be
8. Miami Dolphins select:
Quinton Coples, DE, North CarolinaThe Dolphins are transitioning to the 4-3, and while Coples is a risk for a variety of reasons, his raw talent alone makes him hard to pass up on. With the right focus in coaching and effort in keeping himself in shape and being healthy, Coples could easily be your next Jason Pierre-Paul.
9. Carolina Panthers select:
Devon Still, DT, Penn State
I still think there’s a possibility they trade this pick with the Chiefs and still get their guy at 11 plus a later-round pick, but I think they’ll be content with just taking Still here and making sure they anchor their D-Line even more with a young, fresh force in the middle.
10. Buffalo Bills select:
Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Barring the Panthers trading their pick away and the Chiefs ending up with Martin at pick 8 as I predicted in the initial mock, the Bills’ are going to get a hell of a steal. Martin has the potential to be the best Tackle in this class in the long-run if he’s in a good situation, and the Bills have an opportunity to give him that spot.
11. Kansas City Chiefs select:
Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Reiff’s stock continues to rise in my eyes. No way do I imagine him going above Martin to teams in need of a LT, but at RT, he’s got all-pro potential. He’ll be a steal for the Chiefs considering a couple teams drafting ahead could definitely use this guy’s talents.
12. Seattle Seahawks select:
Michael Brockers, DL, LSU
Seattle will love this guy being here at 12, as his stock will only continue to rise leading into the draft and could land him at 9 instead, Brockers, who can play all four positions on the defensive line will give Seattle a great boost on defense and elevate the level of play of everyone around him.
13. Arizona Cardinals select:
David DeCastro, G, Stanford
The third Stanford player taken in the first 13 picks of the 2012 NFL Draft, DeCastro is a perfect fit for Arizona's offense and will give the Cardinals a physical athlete on the interior of their line to help make life a little easier.
14. Dallas Cowboys select:
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Dallas needs corners, and they need them bad. Mike Jenkins was literally beat up all year long, and even when he's healthy, he's not a tackler and he commits too many penalties. Kirkpatrick brings Dallas a long-armed corner with speed to keep up with most receivers, and a corner who likes to get physical and hit people. Rob Ryan is going to get his corner this year.
15. Philadelphia Eagles select:
Nick Perry, OLB, USC
The Eagles desperately need a linebacker to make the middle of the field more respectable. Perry showed a good ability to keep up with some good TE's and RB's this season, and he can rush around the edge to put pressure on the passer. I would have given this nod to Upshaw, but I feel he's better utilized rushing the passer, strictly, instead of chasing down TE's like Jason Witten and Fred Davis.
16. New York Jets select:
Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
Upshaw's perfect for Rex Ryan's 3-4, blitz-heavy scheme, and will finally give the Jets the talent at OLB that they've needed to make this defense work. Upshaw's one of the highest players on my talent-board in this draft, and even higher on the potential scale. He'll be an incredible steal here at 16, and would have been an incredible steal anywhere between 6-10.
17. Cincinnati Bengals select:
Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
The Bengals have a great set of options here in the draft, but they'll get a solid selection in their secondary in Jenkins. Jenkins will be one of the most watched prospects at CB from this class, but I expect him to perform strong in Cincinnati where his talent in man-coverage will be beneficial.
18. San Diego Chargers select:
Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
I'm assuming the Chargers finally lose Vincent Jackson, and will need to replace him with an electric performer. Wright is a guy who brings a lot to a team, and Rivers will love having an outlet like Wright who can take pressure off of him to stay in the pocket waiting for things to open up down field.
19. Chicago Bears select:
Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia
The Bears need to do whatever they can to get better on the line, and they'll be upset having just missed out on Kendall Wright to elevate their receivers. But Jay Cutler needs to be hit less, and that starts up front, where the Bears have been among the worst over the last 3 years. It will also make life easier for Matt Forte to have a physical blocker like Glenn.
20. Tennessee Titans select:
Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Munchak wasn't pleased with his O-Line, his specialty, and that's telling. The interior struggled the most, especially in the passing game, which is unacceptable. Konz will provide great protection to the QB, and it will give the run game a much needed spark.
21. Cincinnati Bengals select:
Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
While I think they could hold out until a later pick to grab LaMichael James, I think they'll go with the second best back in this year's draft here and pull in a guy like Miller who is a little more physical than James but still effective in the passing game. Miller's stock could still rise well above this spot, but I think Cincinnati needs him most, and he'll be a good fit in that offense.
22. Cleveland Browns select:
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
The Browns will look to clone what division and state rival Cincinnati did last year in the draft, and get a dynamic WR/QB combination. While I don't think Tannehill will start immediately, or even for a year or two, the Browns will be hard pressed to turn down the opportunity to pair him up with Blackmon. Tannehill gives you a threat on the ground as well, which should help open up that offense even more.
23. Detroit Lions select:
Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Barron's got a red flag for a double hernia surgery, but he should be prepared to go eventually. Nothing that says a 1st round pick HAS to start their rookie season, every snap. The Lions need a disciplined DB, and one who can tackle. Barron is a violent hitter, but a smart tackler, and he's very disciplined in coverage.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers select:
Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis
I've got to give credit to SBNation for this selection. While I considered throwing Sanu to the Steelers here because of the uncertainty of Hines Ward's future, it's hard to doubt that the Steelers get infatuated with a dominant nose tackle in this draft early. Casey Hampton's not getting younger and the defense looked slow and gave up some rush yards at times, it would be smart to groom your next NT.
25. Denver Broncos select:
Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
The Broncos have a variety of possible selections here, but Kuechly, who will see his stock rise in the next month and a half, will be a great pick for the Broncos. His presence will be for depth purposes initially, but he's talented enough to take away playing time and attack beside Von Miller to shore up the defense a bit more.
26. Houston Texans select:
Jerel Worthy, DE, Michigan State
The Texans will convert Worthy to an OLB to add another pass rusher. He will be in transition, going from a 4-3 to a 3-4, but they will look to do with him what the Redskins have done with Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, also what Dallas was able to do with DeMarcus Ware, whom Wade Phillips is more than familiar with.
27. New England Patriots select:
Fletcher Cox, DE, Mississippi State
The Patriots desperately need more linemen for the 4-3, rather than the 3-4. One of the many reasons this team struggled this year is because the line wasn't made to rush the passer in a 4-man front. Cox is a perfect fit for the scheme, and would be great lining up beside New England's large, dominant tackles.
28. Green Bay Packers select:
Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska
Crick is a big guy who can contribute to a solid rotation at End in Green Bay's 3-4 front. He's also agile enough to make plays vs. the pass, but they'll look mainly to utilize him to stuff the run and make life Hell on Sundays for backs like Forte & Peterson.
29. Baltimore Ravens select:
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
The Ravens will grab another passing threat. Defensively, they're always better than we think them to be. They hung in there with one of the most powerful pass attacks from this season in the Patriots giving the offense chances to ice and win the game. There will be a WR or two gone in Baltimore, so drafting a guy like Sanu, who is an "all-around" receiver who can also block for Ray Rice, would be a favorable pick and possibly a huge steal.
30. San Francisco 49ers select:
Rueben Randle, WR, LSU
The 49ers are going to need a receiving threat to really open the offense up. Crabtree still isn't the WR the 49ers needed him to be, regardless if Alex Smith is at all responsible for that, and the 49ers could lose Josh Morgan in free agency. Randle is a tall WR with pretty good speed and hands, and he could be a big time target in the redzone, where the 49ers weren't great through the air. It would certainly take pressure off of the run game after marching down the field time and time again.
31. New England Patriots select:
Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Dennard's a solid man-coverage corner, who can run with a lot of receivers. New England desperately needs help in the secondary; they'll find it in Dennard. He likes to jam, and if Belichik is as wise defensively as everyone believes him to be, you might have a guy here who can play close to the level of that league's best corner in your own division... MIGHT being the keyword.
32. New York Giants select:
Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
This isn't necessarily a position of need, but I don't really see where the Giants have need other than the offensive line. There are two Tackles on the roster who are up there in age, one who isn't starting, and both could move to guard, which the Giants may need as well. Adams also can play inside, but depth on the line is the best move for a Super Bowl champion, after all, you were good enough all-around to have just won the title in one of the most remarkable playoff runs in NFL history.
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