Tennessee Quarterback Tyler Bray will be the top pick if he declares as a junior. I could see Bray getting selected ahead of Robert Griffin III if RGIII opts to return for his senior year. In the end, I expect Bray to return to Tennessee and play all 4 years just like Peyton Manning. When I read Tyler Bray’s player Bio on Rivals 2 years ago coming out of high school, my immediate impression was that Bray had the potential to be a quarterback who leads the Vols to the promise land down the road. Bray has shown promise at Tennessee in 2011 with his supporting cast of receivers. Who goes #1 overall in 2013 if Bray opts to return to Tennessee for his senior season?
This mock draft was based off a random draft order. The picks were based off of team needs. I took draft picks from my 2012 NFL Mock Draft with trades into account so you will see some teams picking based off of trades I projected in my 2012 NFL Mock Draft with trades. Below is the link to the 2012 Mock if you want to read that.
1. Seattle Seahawks Robert Griffin III Quarterback Baylor Senior Redshirt Robert Griffin III will be the top pick if Bray returns for his senior year. I think Seattle would give Pete Carroll a hall pass this year because of what he did with a 7-9 Seahawks team against the Saints. Carroll does not like drafting quarterbacks so I believe Carroll wound sign a quarterback in free agency. The Seahawks get the top pick and they get a new regime and bring in Robert Griffin III with the top pick to resurrect their franchise.
Other contenders for the 2013 top pick include USC’s Matt Barkley if he returns, Tyler Bray if he declares, and Tyler Wilson if he guides Arkansas to a national title in 2012. For now I have Griffin listed as my top pick in 2013 assuming he returns and doesn’t go pro.
2012 First Round Pick Dre Kirkpatrick Cornerback Alabama
2. Washington Redskins Tyler Wilson Quarterback Arkansas Senior Redshirt Tyler Wilson is currently a junior redshirt at Arkansas. The 6 foot 3 220 pound signal caller backed up Ryan Mallett last year looking promising against Cam Newton in a relief appearance. Arkansas is stacked with 7 different receivers for Wilson to throw to.
Do not be surprised if Wilson pulls a fast one. If Matt Barkley and Robert Griffin III both opt to return for their senior seasons then I could see Tyler Wilson jumping ship now and declaring as a junior redshirt.
There have been quarterbacks who pulled fast ones in years past. In 2009 there was speculation by some that Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, Jevan Snead, or Colt McCoy would come out and declare. Due to all 4 players returning Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman both pulled a fast one by leaving college as underclassmen.
In 2011 you saw the same thing when Andrew Luck returned. Blaine Gabbert declared and was a top 10 pick. Wilson may end up pulling a fast one leaving school a year early. I have not wrote a scouting report on Wilson yet because I think he returns for his senior year. I better get on this soon because you cannot rule out the possibility of Wilson declaring if both Matt Barkley and Robert Griffin III return.
I say Wilson returns. In 2011 Wilson has thrown 13 touchdowns and 3 interceptions is outstanding considering the fact that he has not thrown a pick since the Arkansas VS Alabama game. Wilson’s only completed 62.7 percent of his passes so I think he should return to Arkansas for another year of starting experience hoping to improve those numbers.
Arkansas will contend for a national title if Wilson returns next year because Knile Davis a 2012 first round prospect before his season ending injury will be back next season at running back in addition to Ronnie Wingo Jr who has made some big plays. Arkansas has 2 freshman offensive tackles that will be in their 2nd year next season with some receivers to stretch the field. This Razorbacks team will be much more mature offensively so they could blow teams away in the SEC.
I could see Tyler Wilson having a Cam Newton type of season in a year from now. Alabama and LSU will both lose a lot of talent to the 2012 NFL Draft. The Razorbacks will be the favorite in 2012 to win the SEC.
Maybe Wilson jumps Griffin III as the top pick in a year from now. Who knows?
2012 First Round Pick Luke Kuechly 3-4 Middle Linebacker Boston College
3. Kansas City Chiefs Seantrel Henderson Left Tackle Miami FL Junior Henderson played right tackle as a true freshman developing his run blocking skills paving the running lane for freshman redshirt Lamar Miller. As a sophomore in 2011 Henderson has made the proper adjustment to left tackle. Kansas City will draft the 6 foot 8 345 pound left tackle.
The Chiefs will have some interesting options. Quarterback Matt Cassel’s deal is up in 2014 and left tackle Brandon Albert’s deal is up in 2013. Since their is no quarterback worth taking here the Chiefs part ways with Albert making Henderson the teams new blindside. The Chiefs hope that Henderson’s helps Matt Cassel play well in his contract year. If it doesn’t the Chiefs could look to Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray in 2014.
2012 First Round Pick None
I had the Chiefs trading out of the first round in 2012 by trading their 15th overall pick to the Eagles. Eagles took right tackle Ricky Wagner with the pick. The Chiefs only have 2 positions where they need starters. Those positions are free safety and 3-4 middle linebacker. Free safety is a reach at #15 overall in 2012 plus I think Burfict and Kuechley will both be off the board. Monte Teo is talented as a 3-4 middle linebacker, but a bit of a reach at #15 overall. The Chiefs could add more depth at running back, offensive line, pass rusher, cornerback, wide receiver, and nose tackle which is why I could see the Chiefs moving down in 2012.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars Kareem Martin Right End North Carolina Junior Kareem Martin will be the Tar Heels right end in 2012 when Quinton Coples leaves. Martin is a 6 foot 6 260 pound left end who will move to right end when Coples leaves. Martin beat out Donte Paige Moss for the left end job so Martin should move to right end assuming Donte Paige Moss returns.
The Jaguars have needed a pass rushing defensive end since 2010. If the Jaguars opt for a receiver like Justin Blackmon in 2012 then they will continue their rebuilding process on the defensive side of the ball.
2012 First Round Pick Justin Blackmon Wide Receiver Oklahoma State
5. San Francisco 49ers Robert Woods Wide Receiver USC Junior I think the 49ers make the playoffs in 2011 before a setback year in 2012. The 49ers give Harbaugh another chance. I mocked Landry Jones to the Dallas Cowboys in my 2012 mock draft because A Jerry Jones likes Landry Jones and B he wants to screw the Redskins out of a quarterback. I have the Cowboys picking 6th in this mock. If Dallas picks 6th it means they failed to address other draft needs and want to make Jones the starter moving forward.
Harbaugh puts a franchise tag on Alex Smith again and he struggles. Smith leaves the 49ers in 2012. Harbaugh realizes Kaepernick needs one more year of development remembers the game where Romo rallied the Cowboys to a 4th quarter comeback because it was his first loss as an NFL head coach. Harbaugh decides to sign Romo to a 1 year deal knowing that Dallas will part ways with him making Landry Jones the starter.
Romo will want his own receiver to throw to and the 49ers will need a secondary receiver next to Michael Crabtree. Robert Woods has been a standout blue chip flanker for USC. Woods has been the big play primary receiving target that Matt Barkley has thrown to.
Crabtree can make big plays, but he may be better suited as a secondary receiver if a flanker receiver like Robert Woods can maximize his NFL potential.
Kaepernick will succeed down the line in San Francisco, with a 3rd year on the bench, sitting behind Romo, along with having 2 starter receivers with flanker like ability with Robert Woods and Michael Crabtree.
Robert Woods has 991 receiving yards and 9 receiving touchdowns in 2011. I could see the 49ers taking the hometown prospect 5th overall. The 49ers could use another receiver next to Crabtree. Woods could be an upgrade over Crabtree. Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes is another option.
2012 First Round Pick 49ers trade up 10 spots with Ravens for Dontari Poe Nose Tackle Memphis
6. Dallas Cowboys Xavier Rhodes Cornerback Florida State Junior Xavier Rhodes was a boundary cornerback playing next to Greg Reid as a freshman. Rhodes jumped Reid as the #1 field coverage cornerback on the Seminoles depth chart.
Dallas will have the offensive pieces in place for Tony Romo or a 2012 first round quarterback like Landry Jones so the focus will be defense.
Rhodes is 6 foot 2 215 pounds. If we were grading cornerbacks on size alone then the Seminoles corner may be graded higher than any 2012 cornerback.
Dallas could use a cornerback with the ability that Xavier Rhodes displays if they pick this high and fail to address cornerback by 2013.
2012 First Round Pick Landry Jones Quarterback Oklahoma
I gave Dallas Landry Jones because Jerry Jones really likes him. Jones also liked Cam Newton even though he was out of his draft range. Considering Newton’s 2011 success as a rookie it would not shock me if Dallas took Landry Jones just to keep Washington from obtaining the signal caller if the Cowboys end up picking higher than Washington.
7. New Orleans Saints Jake Matthews Right Tackle Texas A&M Junior The Saints need a right tackle. Jake Matthews is the son of Bruce Matthews. Matthews could start out at right tackle his natural position which is the Saints biggest weakness right now before sliding into a left tackle role to protect Bree’s blindside as Brees enters his mid to late 30′s.
2012 First Round Pick None Traded
The Saints traded their 2012 first rounder when trading for running back Mark Ingram.
8. Miami Dolphins Jonathan Massaquoi 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker Troy Junior Redshirt Massaquoi is a sophomore redshirt pass rusher to keep an eye on. Miami needs a pass rusher to pair with Cameron Wake. Massaquoi would be an outstanding selection at #8 overall if he returns to Troy.
The Troy Trojans have produced 2 pro bowlers with Ware arguably the NFL’s best pass rusher and Osi Umenyiora.
2012 First Round Pick Matt Barkley Quarterback USC
9. Detroit Lions Marcus Lattimore Running Back South Carolina Junior If the Lions pick this high in a year from now it means that the Jahvid Best expiriment has failed. Best has gotten injured each of his first two seasons at Detroit and there were some durability questions about him coming out of California. Mikel Leshoure is more of a #3 goal line back who can be used as a #2 goal line back when Best is injured.
Lattimore is an upgrade in the backfield over Best and Leshoure plus the Lions always take the best available player. That would clearly be Marcus Lattimore at this point.
2012 First Round Pick Andre Branch Right End Clemson
10. Carolina Panthers Bjoern Werner Left End Florida State Junior Bjorn Werner has really stepped up at defensive end. He can play either the right or the left side. Carolina could use a second pass rusher on the left end who can play next to Charles Johnson.
2012 First Round Pick Alshon Jeffery Wide Receiver South Carolina
11. St. Louis Rams Michael Dyer Running Back Auburn Junior Michael Dyer would be a good rotational back to insert into the Rams lineup as a rotational back to Steven Jackson. Dyer would be a great addition and potential successor to Steven Jackson.
2012 First Round Pick Matt Kalil Left Tackle USC
12. Cincinnati Bengals Lamar Miller Running Back Miami FL Junior Redshirt The Bengals use this pick to get the running back for their lineup after enduring a brutal 2012 Schedule.
2012 First Round Pick Brandon Thompson Defensive Tackle Clemson
13. Oakland Raiders DJ Fluker Right Tackle Junior Redshirt Al Davis drafted players on 40 times. The new owner of the team will draft players based on how much they bench press. Oakland will have their choice between Alabama left tackle Barrett Jones and Alabama right tackle DJ Fluker. I say they go with the right tackle DJ Fluker because he bench presses more.
2012 First Round Pick None
The Raiders traded their 2012 first rounder to the Bengals for Carson Palmer. The Bengals select South Carolina corner Stephon Gilmore with the selection.
14. Chicago Bears Barrett Jones Left Tackle Alabama Senior Barrett Jones can play left tackle or right guard. His versatility would be a much needed addition to the Chicago Bears offensive line. Jones could be a late first rounder in 2012 if he leaves early.
15. Denver Broncos Pete Thomas Quarterback Colorado State Junior Colorado State rarely generates first round talent. The Rams have a chance to develop 2 first round prospects in 2013 with offensive signal caller Pete Thomas and pass rushing sack artist Nordly Capi.
Pete Thomas is a bit of an unknown. Thomas has a Daunte Culpepper like cannon arm and weighed 6 foot 5 218 pounds out of high school. Thomas has first round physical tools, but 5th round intangibles at this point.
The problem is a school like Colorado State cannot land big time recruits on offense to build around Thomas. Thomas is a hometown prospect who is a pocket passer. John Elway may take a liking to him if the Denver Broncos give Tim Tebow another year to start after 2011.
If Tebow does get to start heading into 2012 and fails to lead the Broncos to the playoffs I get the feeling Denver will target a quarterback in 2013.
Blaine Gabbert had first round physical tools and 3rd round intangibles. Gabbert got pushed up draft boards to the point where he rivaled Cam Newton for the top pick mainly due to his massive size and rocket arm. Its not crazy to believe that the same thing could happen with Pete Thomas because he plays in a weak conference.
Kellen Moore has 1st round intangibles, but his physical tools are so poor he may not get drafted. I prefer quarterbacks with the mental gift over quarterbacks with the arm. Most NFL scouts like the quarterback with the arm and size believing they can develop him. That could push Thomas up boards assuming that Bray returns to Tennessee in addition to Luck, Barkley, and Jones all declaring. A lot has to happen for Thomas to get first round consideration, but I see Thomas making a case for a first round pick.
Its not unrealistic to believe that the Broncos may take a flyer on Pete Thomas assuming Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray returns to Tennessee. There is always someone every year who gets pushed up.
If Bray declares for 2013, then Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson falls to this selection as Denver takes him here.
2012 First Round Pick Trent Richardson Running Back Alabama
16. Buffalo Bills Nordly Capi 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Colorado State Junior Shawn Merriman has not stayed healthy in Buffalo. The Bills need a pass rusher. Capi has generated 8 sacks for Colorado State in 2011. Capi is undersized at 6 foot 3 249 pounds. He has the ability to be a 3-4 pass rusher in the NFL on Sunday’s if he matches his consistency from 2011 in 2012.
2012 First Round Pick David DeCastro Right Guard Stanford Junior Redshirt
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