Read my NFL Mocks Season Preview to see my predictions that determined this draft order
1. Washington Redskins Andrew Luck QB Stanford Luck already stated earlier that this will be his final year at Stanford. Unless Luck has a Jake Locker type regression he will be the top pick. Washington needs a quarterback really badly and the Redskins will not second guess their decision to draft a quarterback if they pick 1st in 2012. Washington will have the chance to take their choice between Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, or Landry Jones.
2. Cincinnati Bengals Matt Barkley QB USC Cincinnati needs a long term replacement for Carson Palmer. Andy Dalton is simply not the answer. Maybe the Bengals will draft another Trojan quarterback if in Matt Barkley who also went to USC just like Carson Palmer.
Carolina took Jimmy Clausen in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL Draft. The Panthers took Cam Newton with the #1 overall pick a year later. Matt Barkley is twice the quarterback that Newton is so I have no problem with Cincinnati taking a page from Carolina’s playbook and drafting Matt Barkley with the #2 overall pick.
Taking Matt Barkley with the #2 overall pick would allow Carson Palmer to stay retired. Palmer could swim in his pool of money in his million dollar home and kick back until the IRS collects all his assets.
3. Denver Broncos Landry Jones QB Oklahoma John Elway wanted a quarterback in 2011. I hope Tim Tebow succeeds and I believe Tebow will succeed in 2012. The problem is Elway will not wait another year to find out if Tebow is the answer if Denver picks this high.
Oklahoma is the #1 overall ranked team in the NCAA preseason polls. If the Sooners run the table then there is a chance that Jones could end up jumping Matt Barkley and Andrew Luck becoming the top quarterback in the 2012 NFL Draft.
There are talks that Blaine Gabbert has exceeded expectations in Jaguars camp. Elway considered drafting Gabbert, but knew he would be better off waiting until 2012 to get a signal caller when the Denver Broncos have bigger needs to address. Elway will take a quarterback with this pick if Tebow fails to win the starting job while Denver.
I would probably take Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick with this pick. In the end the NFL is a business. I get the feeling that Elway will want his own signal caller to groom for the future if Denver holds a top 3 pick in 2012.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars Quinton Coples RE North Carolina The Jaguars need a true sack artist at the 4-3 right end spot. Kampman can still be effective as a 4-3 left end when healthy. Kampman would be more effective with a 4-3 right end like Quinton Coples to play next to. Adding Colpes would also boost the pass defense because the secondary will not have to cover as long with pass rushers applying pressure on the quarterback.
5. Arizona Cardinals Matt Kalil LT USC The Arizona Cardinals need a left tackle. In fact the Cardinals do not have a true blue chip pass blocker on their offensive line. Kevin Kolb will not become a franchise quarterback until he gets a blue chip left tackle to protect his blindside.
Patrick Peterson is a stud corner, but there is no secondary corner to play across from him now that Dominique Rodgers Cromartie is gone.
6. Carolina Panthers Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina Cam Newton will not succeed unless he has a legit #1 target like Jeffery. Jeffery has the size, speed, hands, route running, jumping, and physical tools of a complete flanker receiving target.
Steve Smith can still be a viable #2 option. Smith has lost his speed, burst, and release off the snap to be an effective #1 target at his age.
Newton has two tight ends in Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey. Newton may succeed in the long term, but he will struggle in the short term.
Derek Anderson is going to mentor Cam Newton. This is a grave concern if you ask me. Anderson plays like an interception machine who failed a DUI test. Anderson is the last quarterback that I want mentoring Newton if I am a Panthers front office GM or a Panthers fan in general. The Panthers would have been better off bringing in Marc Bulger or Charlie Batch as a mentor to Newton rather than Derek Anderson.
I am sure that Derek Anderson is hatching up a plan to win the starting job in Carolina as we speak. Maybe Anderson will spike Newton’s Gatorade by pouring Jack Daniels in Cam Newton’s Cammy Cam Juice.
Maybe Jimmy Clausen can be Cam Newton’s personal towel boy once he gets released by the Panthers for ratting Anderson out. Okay I am done roasting the Carolina Panthers. I will move on to the next team picking.
7. Seattle Seahawks Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama Dre Kirkpatrick is a complete cornerback in the mold of a Patrick Peterson. With no other franchise quarterbacks worth drafting at this point Seattle is forced to take Kirkpatrick.
Unless Pete Carroll wins 2 games or less Carroll is keeping his job. Defeating the New Orleans Saints in the NFL Playoffs when your team goes 7-9 during the regular season while the Saints are the defending Super Bowl Champions is like drawing a get out of jail free card in Monopoly. No matter what Carroll does his job is safe because he has the get out of jail free card for defeating the Saints in the playoffs.
Dre Kirkpatrick would be a major upgrade over cornerbacks Marcus Trufant, Kelly Jennings, and Walter Thurmond. Seattle has to draft Kirkpatrick and pair him up with the corners they got on their secondary.
8. Miami Dolphins Donte Paige Moss 3-4 LOLB North Carolina Miami cannot get a quarterback if Luck, Barkley, and Jones are all gone so they may get a pass rusher who can compliment Cameron Wake with this selection. Donte Paige Moss a 4-3 pass rusher with the size of a 3-4 outside linebacker making him the kind of player that Mike Nolan can develop if Nolan sticks around.
9. San Francisco 49ers Jayron Hosley CB Virginia Tech Hosley managed to intercept Andrew Luck in a Winter Scrimmage. Jim Harbaugh a former Stanford Head Coach who coached Luck will see something special in Jayron Hosley and will take Hosley with this pick. Harbaugh will take Hosley because cornerback is the 49ers biggest need.
10. Chicago Bears Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State Justin Blackmon had a career year for Oklahoma State with 111 receptions, 1,782 receiving yards, and 20 receiving touchdowns. Jay Cutler could use a true primary flanker receiver. You cannot pass on the opportunity to add a receiver with Justin Blackmon’s production. Whether that production translates or not remains to be seen, but Blackmon has a chance to be a special receiver in the NFL if his college production translates to the pros.
11. Buffalo Bills Jonathan Martin LT Stanford The Buffalo Bills usually draft the best player available on their draft board. Martin will be the best available player on every teams draft board if he falls out of the top 10. Martin is a blue chip left tackle who plays like Jonathan Odgen with the fan favorite personality off the field like Max Starks. Getting Martin gives Buffalo the pass blocking offensive line to succeed.
Jonathan Martin is an offensive player that Buffalo needs. Buffalo could use a true upgrade at quarterback, left tackle, or wide receiver. Martin is a huge upgrade at left tackle.
12. Oakland Raiders Robert Griffin QB Baylor The Oakland Raiders may opt to take a quarterback in 2012 when Jason Campbell’s contract expires. Robert Griffin has the ability to scramble like Michael Vick. Griffin has the arm strength, accuracy, football IQ, and a 4.0 GPA. Al Davis loves quarterbacks with speed and something tells me that Griffin could succeed in Oakland. If Cam Newton can go #1 overall why can’t Griffin go in the first round.
13. Minnesota Vikings Riley Reiff LT Iowa The Vikings need a left tackle now that they released Bryant McKennie. Reiff is the best left tackle available so he should get drafted by the Vikings if Minnesota cannot draft Jonathan Martin.
14. Kansas City Chiefs Trent Richardson RB Alabama The Chiefs will draft a running back like Trent Richardson who can split carries with Jamaal Charles. Todd Haley does not use Charles as much as he should even though I agree that Charles is not a 300 carry back. Charles should still get 200 plus carries. Pairing Trent Richardson and Jaamal Charles up gives the Chiefs a deadly 1 2 backfield.
Thomas Jones is the current #2 back behind Jamaal Charles. Jones is in a contract year so I believe that Jones will play out until his contract expires.
15. Indianapolis Colts Jerel Worthy DT Michigan State Jerel Worthy is a top 15 defensive tackle propsect. Tommie Harris cannot stay healthy while Jamaal Anderson is a defensive end moving to defensive tackle. Both Harris and Anderson got 1 year deals. If the Colts fail to reach the playoffs then neither defensive tackle will be retained.
I believe Drake Nevis will have a promising future next to Fili Moala. Moala will enter the final year of his contract so sitting out Jerel Worthy behind Nevis and Moala for a year until Moala’s contract expires is not a bad idea.
16. Detroit Lions Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina I would take a cornerback here. The Lions prefer to take the best available player rather than addressing key needs. Which is why they may take middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict who is the best available player. Stephen Tulloch was a part of a defense that Jim Schwartz worked with in Tennessee as a defensive coordinator before going to Detroit as a head coach.
Detroit’s two big needs are left tackle and cornerback. I like the additions of that the Lions have made on the front 7 with Tulloch and Justin Durant. DeAndre Levy is ready to be the Lions weak side linebacker.
17. Tennessee Titans Vontaze Burfict MLB Arizona State The Titans cannot pass on a middle linebacker with the talent and the skill set of Vontaze Burfict. Burfict would be a good 2012 first round selection because of his tackling ability and play recognition on the football field.
18. Cleveland Browns Luke Kuechly MLB Boston College The Browns could use a middle linebacker to boost their new 4-3 defense. The Browns addressed all of their needs in the 2011 NFL Draft and have the luxury of going with the best player available at this point.
19. Dallas Cowboys Alfonzo Dennard CB Nebraska The Cowboys need a true shutdown corner. Terrance Newman is overpaid and Mike Jenkins lacks the consistent coverage ability on a weekly basis that you demand out of a first round pick. Dennard is who Dallas should take with this pick.
20. New England Patriots from New Orleans Saints Courtney Upshaw 3-4 ROLB Alabama Courtney Upshaw is a tremendous 3-4 linebacker. Upshaw can pass rush like a 3-4 outside linebacker. He also run stuffs like a 3-4 inside linebacker. Upshaw is the best available player and is the perfect player for Bill Belicheck’s 3-4 defense.
21. St. Louis Rams Robert Lester FS Alabama Robert Lester would make an excellent free safety for the Rams. I know the Rams drafted Jermaile Hines, but he is better suited as a backup free safety/strong safety.
The Rams are a team that drafts by need. Right now the only glaring long term need is the free safety spot.
22. San Diego Chargers Brandon Jenkins 3-4 ROLB Florida State The Chargers need a pass rusher who can play next to Shaun Phillips on the right side. Brandon Jenkins could really help boost the San Diego Chargers pass rushing unit.
23. New York Jets Bobbie Massie RT Ole Miss The Jets need a right tackle now that Damien Woody retired. Bobbie Massie would be an awesome right tackle prospect to pair up next to left tackle Debrickashaw Ferguson.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cliff Harris CB Oregon Tampa Bay needs a long term corner for when Ronde Barber retires and in case Talib leaves the roster. Myron Lewis will not be able to be the teams #1 cornerback.
25. New York Giants Mike Adams LT Ohio State The New York Giants need to bring in a left tackle since David Diehl moved to left guard. Mike Adams would be a good first round pick for the Giants because he could challenge William Beatty for the starting left tackle job.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers David DeCastro RG Stanford The Steelers had a huge indication of interest at guard the last two seasons. In 2010 the Steelers wanted Mike Iupati, but gladly settled for Maurkice Pouncey. There was talk that the Steelers would take Maurkice’s brother Mike in the 2011 NFL Draft. David DeCastro will be much better at right guard than Mike Pouncey so Pittsburgh should get DeCastro to solidify their interior offensive line.
27. Philadelphia Eagles Marcus Forston DT Miami FL The Philadelphia Eagles have the luxury of taking the best player available. They will likely get a second defensive tackle to pair up with Cullen Jenkins with this pick.
28. New England Patriots Jared Crick 3-4 RE Nebraska The New England Patriots will take the best available player who could address a long term need. Getting a 5 technique end will be a long term priority. Crick could move to 3-4 right end at some point with Haynsworth moving to the 3-4 left end role as he ages.
29. Green Bay Packers Kheeston Randall 3-4 RE Texas The Packers need a 5 technique 3-4 right end if Cullen Jenkins leaves. Kheeston Randall would be a quality option for the Green Bay Packers.
30. Baltimore Ravens Mante Teo 3-4 MLB Notre Dame Ray Lewis will not be around forever. Mante Teo would be a great complimentary middle linebacker for Ray Lewis plus he could succeed Lewis down the road in Baltimore.
31. Houston Texans Kelechi Osmele LG Iowa State Houston could add a left guard next to Duane Brown to boost the offensive line.
32. Cleveland Browns from Atlanta Falcons Chase Minnifield CB Virginia Chase Minnifield is a nickel corner who can be a #1 corner if necessary. Minnifield will be the best player available with this pick so Cleveland should consider drafting Minnifield with this pick.
Ironically enough, Chase’s dad Frank Minnifeld played for the Browns in the 80’s. Pairing Joe Haden and Chase Minnifield up would give Cleveland a deadly secondary. Joe Haden is an excellent coverage corner while Chase Minnifield recorded 6 interceptions for Virginia in 2010.
33. Washington Redskins Michael Brewster C Ohio State Teams usually build their offense around the quarterback by adding a wide receiver or offensive lineman in round 2. Washington needs a center at the top of round 2. Ohio State center Michael Brewster has first round talent and would be a slam dunk pick if he fell to the top of round 2. The Redskins would be foolish to pass on Brewster with this pick.
34. Jacksonville Jaguars Eddie Whitley FS Virginia Tech The Jaguars need a free safety and Eddie Whitley is a 2nd round free safety prospect. Whitley played next to Hosley on Virginia Tech’s secondary last season.
35. Denver Broncos Baker Steinkuhler DT Nebraska Denver’s biggest need heading into the 2011 NFL Draft was to find a defensive tackle. Denver will address this need once 2012 rolls around.
36. Cincinnati Bengals Mark Barron SS Alabama Mark Barron could be a suitable replacement at strong safety to replace Roy Williams. Williams parted ways with the Bengals this offseason.
37. Carolina Panthers Zach Brown ROLB North Carolina The Panthers need a weak side linebacker. Zach Brown would be a nice addition to the Carolina Panthers linebacking core.
38. Philadelphia Eagles from Arizona Cardinals Levi Adcock RT Oklahoma State Michael Vick needs a blindside at right tackle. Ryan Harris may be a short term need, but he is not a long term starter by any means necessary.
39. Miami Dolphins Nick Foles QB Arizona The Miami Dolphins need a quarterback. Nick Foles is a sleeper that people are talking about. Chad Henne and Matt Moore are simply not long term answers for their teams at quarterback.
40. Seattle Seahawks TJ McDonald SS USC TJ McDonald can play free safety or strong safety. McDonald was coached by Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll when Carroll was at USC.
41. Chicago Bears Dwayne Allen TE Clemson Chicago needs a tight end now that Greg Olsen is gone. Chicago should consider drafting Dwayne Allen with this second round pick.
42. Buffalo Bills Devin Taylor 3-4 LOLB South Carolina The Buffalo Bills need a pass rusher. Devin Taylor is a 2nd round talent who would upgrade Buffalo’s pass rush.
43. San Francisco 49ers Tanner Hawkinson LT Kansas Tanner Hawkinson is a backup left tackle at best. San Francisco needs a backup left tackle though because Joe Staley cannot stay healthy.
44. Minnesota Vikings Travis Lewis ROLB Oklahoma The Vikings need a weak side linebacker. Travis Lewis is one of the best right outside linebackers in the country. The Vikings should draft Lewis and make him their weak side linebacker if they get the opportunity.
45. New England Patriots from Oakland Raiders Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame Michael Floyd played for Charlie Weis at Notre Dame. Floyd did well during his freshman year at Notre Dame. Weis may convince Belicheck to draft Michael Floyd the same way Charlie Weis recommended the hiring of Patriots linebacker coach Patrick Graham who worked with Weis at Notre Dame.
46. Kansas City Chiefs Ricky Wagner LT Wisconsin The Kansas City Chiefs need a true blue chip left tackle because Branden Albert has lacked consistency during his tenure in Kansas City. Ricky Wagner will be the next big name to leave Wisconsin to go pro. Wagner will follow in the footsteps of former Badger left tackles like Joe Thomas and Gabe Carimi by getting drafted becoming a rookie in the NFL.
47. Detroit Lions Knile Davis RB Arkansas Mikel LeShoure just suffered a season ending injury today in Lions Training Camp. Left tackle is Detroit’s biggest need. The problem is there are no 2nd round left tackle prospects left so Detroit will draft the best player available. Jahvid Best got injured during his rookie campaign so I would not be surprised if Detroit drafted another power running back like Knile Davis just to have a plan B in case Mikel LeShoure does not recover from his torn achilles injury in 2012.
48. Indianapolis Colts Mohamed Sanu WR Rutgers The Colts could use another receiving target for Peyton Manning. Mohamed Sanu is a very talented wide receiver prospect who could benefit in the Colts offense.
49. Cleveland Browns Jeff Fuller WR Texas A/M The Browns get an offensive player who can stand out as the primary flanker option in Cleveland. Fuller has the size, speed, and soft hands to be Colt McCoy’s primary receiving target. 2011 2nd round pick Greg Little is more suited to be the #2 receiving target.
50. Tennessee Titans Andre Branch RE Clemson The Titans need a 4-3 right end. Andre Branch has the ability to start as a 4-3 right end. Derrick Morgan is better suited as a 4-3 left end.
51. New Orleans Saints William Vlachos C Alabama Vlachos could succeed in the NFL. The problem with Vlachos is that he is very undersized. Bulking up while learning behind center Olin Kreutz for a few years could really benefit Vlachos in the long term.
52. Dallas Cowboys Kevin Zeitler RG Wisconsin David Arkin may struggle starting right guard as a rookie. If that is the case than Dallas may spend a 2nd round pick on a right guard like Kevin Zeitler.
53. St. Louis Rams LaMichael James RB Oregon The Rams have the luxury of taking the best player available. The Rams may take LaMichael James as a #2 back to compliment Steven Jackson down the road.
54. San Diego Chargers Billy Winn 3-4 LE Boise State Corey Liuget is not a 3-4 player. The Chargers spent their first round pick on Liuget in 2011. San Diego should add a 3-4 end for depth behind Liuget with their 2nd round pick.
55. New York Jets Brandon Lindsey 3-4 ROLB Pittsburgh The Jets need a pass rusher. I would take Shayne Skov over Lindsey simply because Skov can pass rush and stuff the run. Lindsey is higher on draft boards then Skov plus Rex Ryan believes he can take any player and make them a premium pass rusher.
56. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nate Potter LG Boise State The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need a left guard to replace Ted Larsen on the interior offensive line. Some people are convinced that Nate Potter is a first round offensive tackle. I want to see what Potter does against Georgia in week 1 before I am sold on Potter. Despite the fact that Potter may not be a first round prospect, he provides amazing value with the 56th overall pick.
57. Pittsburgh Steelers Donta Hightower 3-4 MLB Alabama Pittsburgh needs a 3-4 middle linebacker. James Farrior will turn 37 in January. Lawrence Timmons enters a contract year where Mike Wallace and Troy Polamalu also have expiring contracts. I get the feeling that Pittsburgh will draft a linebacker with one of their first two picks in 2012.
58. New York Giants Chris Polk RB Washington The Giants lost Brandon Jacobs and I am not completely sold on Da Rel Scott. Meanwhile Ahmad Bradshaw has endured 4 foot injuries over the past two seasons with the New York Giants. Chris Polk could be a nice change of pace back that the New York Giants are seeking to compliment Bradshaw.
59. Philadelphia Eagles Casey Hayward CB Vanderbilt The Eagles have only 2 key needs at defensive tackle and right tackle. Once the Eagles address these needs they have the luxury of taking the best player available. Casey Hayward is the best available player at pick #59.
60. New England Patriots Janoris Jenkins CB Northern Alabama The Patriots who happen to be my favorite NFL team have taken a cornerback in the first two rounds since 2008. Until Belicheck stops this trend I am going to mock a cornerback to New England somewhere in the first two rounds of my mock draft.
61. Green Bay Packers Shayne Skov 3-4 ROLB Stanford Green Bay loves west coast pass rushers that play in the PAC 12. Clay Matthews went to USC and rookie Ricky Elmore went to Arizona. I get the feeling that Green Bay will draft Skov with this second round selection if he falls to #61 overall.
62. Baltimore Ravens Ray Ray Armstrong SS Miami FL The Ravens need a strong safety now that Dawan Landry is gone. Ray Ray Armstrong went to the U. Ed Reed who plays free safety also attended Miami, Florida playing for the U. I think Ed Reed has lost his passion to play so adding a free safety has to be a priority in this draft.
63. Houston Texans Alameda Ta amu NT Washington The Texans need a nose tackle with some size for their brand new 3-4 defensive scheme. They released Amobi Okoye so getting Alameda Ta amu is a smart pick for the Texans at the end of round 2.
64. Atlanta Falcons Michael Egnew TE Missouri Some people like Michael Egnew better than Dwayne Allen. The Falcons need a tight end who can eventually succeed Tony Gonzalez in Atlanta.