The 2012 N.F.L. draft approaches by the day. Each week we’ll be looking around at all the of the 2012 NFL mock drafts out there that from different draftniks or even well paid analysts. We’ll also constantly update and write new 2012 NFL mock drafts for the site as well. Today we’ll take a look at Russ Lande’s 2012 NFL mock draft.
The always controversial Russ Lande is out with his latest mock draft. Lande is a former N.F.L. scout who worked with the Cleveland Browns and now is the head of the scouting department for Sporting News. Lande has been lauded by some as a opinionated outside the box analyst who calls prospects the way he sees it and criticized by many others as a guy who is just trying to make waves. I’ll let you decide for yourselves. I think the truth lies somewhere in between. ither way, Lande’s mocks are always interesting. I remember one year he had Athyba Rubin mocked into the first round in his final mock draft, which didn’t happen. I think he was drafted by the Browns in the 7th round.
His newest 2012 NFL mock draft came out five days ago and there are some major, major whoppers.
First off, we head to USC where Matt Kalil who is widely considered a top 5 prospect for the 2012 N.F.L .draft falls all the way down to number 17! He lands with the Oakland Raiders.
Lande says, “The offensive line has been up and down; especially protecting the edges. Kalil has the tools to stabilize one of their tackle spots”, but he doesn’t offer any insight into why Kalil falls so far. Kalil is the second offensive tackle taken behind Riley Reiff (number 11 to the Bengals).
Matt Barkley does not even appear in the first round. Does Lande know something about him not declaring? It’s a weird omission if it is. It’s also possible that Lande does not think highly of Barkley at all.
The other big surprise drop is Landry Jones who falls all the way down to #21 to the Washington Redskins. This one is a little more understandable. Jones didn’t have a huge game vs Florida State which could have pushed his stock really high, but 21st still seems pretty low. Teams ALWAYS reach for quarterbacks in the first round. I can’t imagine Jones lasts that long.
The last major, major drop comes from Quinton Coples who falls all the way down to #29 where he is scooped up by the New England Patriots.
The Patriots have struggled to consistently pressure the quarterback for a few seasons and Coples is the versatile and athletic pass rusher that Bill Belichick would love despite his up and down production so far in 2011.
Again he doesn’t explain his thought on Coples, though I can understand this one. Coples has really, really been inconsistent this year. He hasn’t had the kind of dominating tape to be in the top 5. He’ll have to improve.