For this 2012 NFL Mock Draft, I’m using mocking the draft’s draft order which is based on:
Unlike some other sites, no opinion goes into my draft order. It is all numerical fact. When putting this together, I use the strength of schedule based on games played so far. To keep it unbiased, the order is not considering the scenario that takes place because of playoff slotting (for instance, the Giants lead the NFC East but only have an 8-5 record).
Notes: Mohamed Sanu and Manti Te’o are reportedly returning to school. (I think Sanu should come out and I can’t see him improving his draft stock much next year, he’s N.F.L. ready. Te’o has some refinement he needs so I don’t hate that for him, but I think some team in the top 12-15 is going to be disappointed he returned to school. I’m also leaving out redshirt sophomores not named Lamar Miller who is reportedly planning on declaring for the N.F.L. draft).
I’m also projecting that Landry Jones will go back to school (because he should).
check out our scouting report page, for all of our scouting reports on all of these players and many more.
1. Indianapolis Colts – 0-13 (.550)-Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford Cardinal
This is the easy and right pick to make here. Griffin is exciting, but Luck is extremely consistent and continues to pile up victories and stats year after year. Luck gave people time to over-analyze him by coming back for the 2011 College Football season and they have, but make no mistake he’s the better prospect, today, than Robert Griffin III and Matt Barkley are and he should be the first overall pick.
2. St. Louis Rams – 2-11 (.556)-Matt Kalil, T, USC
Another easy pick to make. Besides the Quarterbacks, Richardson, and maybe Claiborne, Kalil is the only really elite prospect in this draft class. Add that into the fact that Roger Saffold has had a down year and Jason Smith is approaching bustedom, this is another easy pick. Now Kalil is rumored to be heading bakc to school
3. Minnesota Vikings – 2-11 (.574)-Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Too high for this pick. We’ve compared Blackmon to Reggie Wayne in our scouting report, but I’ve also compared him to Michael Crabtree. What I’m saying about Blackmon is this: he can be a very good player in this league, but he’s not a top three pick to me. But the Vikings are in a tough position here unless they want to draft a cornerback third overall. I think positional value wins out here and they take Blackmon or Jonathan Martin over Morris Claiborne.
4. Carolina Panthers – 4-9 (.479)-Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford Cardinal
If the board shakes out like this there are four players I think the Panthers would consider here Morris Claiborne, Jonathan Martin, Alshon Jefferey, Quinton Coples. This is too high for Jeffrey with his poor season. I’ve already mocked them Coples and Claiborne numerous times so I’m going to go a different roue to see how things might shake out. Martin isn’t an elite tackle prospect, but he’s a pretty darn good one. Jeff Otah hasn’t been able to stay healthy and Jordan Gorss is getting up there in age. I’m not sure Tackle is an immediate need though.
5. Washington Redskins – 4-9 (.479)-Matt Barkley, QB, USC
I’m mocking the Redskins Matt Barkley here because I’ve mocked them Robert Griffin III numerous times already and I don’t want to rule out Barkley. I think the Redskins will prefer Griffin III though. He’s more flashy and has more physical tools.
6. Cleveland Browns – 4-9 (.497)-Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
If the Browns continue to lose and end up drafting this high they have to consider Quarterback despite Holmgren’s philosophy of drafting quarterbacks late. Griffin has everything you look for in a quarterback prospect. Great down field accuracy, mobility, leadership, “clutch-factor”. He’s coming from a spread offense and even though he has high completion percentage and low interception numbers I still think he needs to continue to improve his decision making when he jumps up levels to the N.F.L, but he’s a good prospect who we at NFLMocks have had as a first rounder since August/September.
7. Miami Dolphins – 4-9 (.509)-Morris Claiborne, CB, LS
The Best player available here. Claiborne is not as physically gifted to me as Patrick Peterson, but there’s not too much of a difference, but Claiborne might be a more sound coverage guy. The Dolphins have young talent in the secondary with Sean Smith and Vontae Davis, but with the three big quarterbacks off the board they have to take the best player available.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars – 4-9 (.533)-David DeCastro, G, Stanford Cardinal
I know Jaguars fans think they need a WR, but DeCastro just seems like a Jaguars pick to me, especially the more they win. DeCastro is tough, smart, consistent. He’s a very good player. The best guard prospect in awhile and the Jaguars G.M. Gene Smith isn’t afraid of making a “reach” pick, or being unconventional as he continues to show year after year.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 4-9 (.550)-Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina
The Buccaneers have young talent all over the place so I’m not sure where to go with this pick, but Brown seems like a perfect fit for their defense. Right now they are playing Quincy Black and Gerald Hayes at their outside linebacker spots, which isn’t going to give you an elite defense. The Buccaneers could really use a guy who can really run and cover with all the receiving weapons the Saints run at them year after year.
10. Kansas City Chiefs – 5-8 (.479)-Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
How good with the combination of Trent Richardson and Jamaal Charles be? Who needs a quarterback when you can run Charles and Richardson at defenses all day. Richardson is the best player on the board here by a mile so the Chiefs get a steal here, maybe the next Adrian Peterson.
11. Philadelphia Eagles – 5-8 (.491)-Michael Floyd, WR, Norte Dame
Not the typical Norte Dame wide receiver, but DeSean Jackson is a free agent. They have spent a lot of first round picks on their offensive line and I don’t think they will love Riley Reiff and I’m not sure where else to go. Quinton Coples doesn’t fit their system. Kuechly doesn’t either (Zach Brown might). Floyd would be a great complement to the speedy Maclin.
12. Buffalo Bills – 5-8 (.503)-Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama
This is the first time in awhile I’ve mocked Upshaw to the Bills but it’s blatantly obvious that the Bills must upgrade their pass rush this off-season or Chan Gailey is going to be out of a job after the 2012 N.F.L. season. The Bills also have to find a good wide recieving option in the second round.
13. Arizona Cardinals – 6-7 (.467)-Riley Reiff, T, Iowa
The Cardinals need a tackle, Riley Reiff is good value here and a smart pick He’ll have a productive N.F.L. career somewhere.
14. Seattle Seahawks – 6-7 (.485)-Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Good value here for Coples. I don’t love him early, but I think he has a nice career ahead of him. A Justin Smith like career. The Seahwks want guys who can play the pass and run and that’s Coples. Coples has all the ability in the world, will he put it together at the N.F.L. level? I think Carroll could get it out of him.
At this point, Ryan Tannehill has to be in the mix as well. The Seahawks aren’t that far away from being a real good team.
15. San Diego Chargers – 6-7 (.509)-Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
The Chargers secondary has gotten beaten badly in more than a few games this year. Plaxico Buress ate them alive and the Jets passing offense is nothing special. Kirkpatrick is good value here.
16. Dallas Cowboys – 7-6 (.467)-Janoris Jenkins, CB, Northern Alabama
IF you watched the Cowboys-Giants game on Sunday night you knew this pick was coming. The Cowboys need to move on from Terrance Newman. The Cowboys have Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz to deal with for the foreseeable future (and Maclin possibly Jackson). Their current cornerback situation is not going to get it done.