This mock 2012 NFL Mock draft comes from one of our newest writers who will have more for you once the tech guys get him set up officially.
Provide some feedback and let him know what you think. I wanted to post this before the order changed tomorrow.
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1) Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck QB
No brainer pick, you don’t pass on a franchise QB no matter what. Especially when said QB has been compared to John Elway and is considered one of the best QB prospects since Peyton Manning. Reports have said Manning may never play again, and even if he does he will be fragile and who knows if he could even last another season. If Manning is available to play this year, redshirt Luck under one of the smartest QB’s of all time and let him take over in a year.
2) St. Louis Rams – Justin Blackmon WR
Normally I would never take a WR over a franchise LT but the Rams recently hit on LT Roger Saffold and Jason Smith although disappointing so far, was a very high pick, and should continue to improve at RT. The real problem with their line appears to be the interior which can be addressed in later rounds or FA. Blackmon is a rare talent at the WR position in the mold of a TO or Calvin Johnson, a guy who can physically dominate you with his size strength and speed and has a knack for big plays. With Lloyd and Blackmon and some improved interior line play Sam Bradford should be in for a big year.
3) Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil LT
The Vikings have tried for years to get a franchise LT and came up short. Bryant McKinnie never quite lived up to the hype and Loadholt is purely a RT kind of guy. Kalil is a sure thing to be a starter and possible pro bowler for the next 5-10 years barring injury. Great athleticism and potential to be one of the elite pass blockers in the league, Kalil would help out the young QB Ponder who likes to move around in the pocket.
4) Cleveland Browns – Robert Griffin III QB
Same rule applies, never pass up a franchise QB. Colt McCoy was a 2ndrounder, he played decent for a bit, but in the long run I think it’s pretty clear that he isn’t a Franchise QB at least imo. Griffin is special, he has Franchise QB potential and then some. Similar to the Panthers last year there is just no way you can pass on a guy this talented because you already spent a draft pick on another QB. Let them battle it out in camp and let whoever plays better start. Obviously Griffin is the future though and would most likely steal the starting job sometime during his first season.
5) Tampa Bay Bucs – Trent Richardson RB
This pick may seem a little redundant for the Bucs who already have Blount a baller at RB, but this is a young team and they need to go BPA. They also need to build around Josh Freeman going forward if they want to have success as a franchise. The Bucs had most of their success in 2010 because the running game made things much easier for Josh Freeman to play his game and get the deep ball to Mike Williams, they really struggled on offense this year with Blount not being as productive and some injury and fumble issues. If you look at 2010 Freeman had a 96 QB rating and the Bucs were winning because Blount changed the team. In 2011 Freeman had a 74.6 rating, the bucs were 30th in the league in rush offense and had a very disappointing season not living up to the increased expectations. Richardson is an even better player and I think will do wonders for Freeman and the Bucs. Claiborne was the other option but I think Richardson is the better more proven player, and the Bucs already have two good starters, even if Barber is old and Talib is a little crazy, their pass defense wasn’t their main problem last year and they can draft depth in the later rounds. Plus they have a bunch of high draft picks on the DL that should help with the pass defense as they improve.
6) Washington Redskins – Morris Claiborne CB
With Barkley and Jones opting to go back to College, the redskins are really out of luck here, and the Browns would be crazy to trade down with them, at least imo. The Redskins offense is pretty much a disaster, they need a new QB, a young WR and could improve on Helu although it looks like he may be the future starter. On the bright side though, the Redskins have drafted well on the defensive side of the ball and appear to have a good foundation with two stud OLB to rush the passer. With no QB available, Richardson and Blackmon gone, the pick will probably come down to Claiborne and Jeffrey. Claiborne is the better, more consistent player and the Redskins have to go BPA in order to improve the team long term. Hall Claiborne and Josh Wilson along with a solid pass rush will make for a young up and coming defensive group.
7) Jacksonville Jaguars – Alshon Jeffery WR
This pick is going to come down to either Alshon or Jon Martin OT. Gabbert looked mostly terrible this year, but is still a talented guy and can hopefully recover with some better talent around him. The Jags recently took Monroe the other year high, recently drafted Britton high at LG, and could really use a RT sometime during the draft to give the shaky Gabbert some more time in the pocket. Jeffery is a star in the making though and would bring a lot of excitement to Jacksonville. South Carolina always has horrible QB play, so that can explain some of the struggles Jeffery has had this year and he recently destroyed Nebraska, who has a top corner and a great defense, for 148 yards on 4 catches and 1 TD. I think given a better QB he could produce and be a future pro bowler. The Jags have absolutely nobody at WR after dropping Sims-Walker for whatever reason, and Jeffery could start for them immediately as he already has an NFL body and size.
8) Miami Dolphins – Jonathan Martin OT
With no QB on the board, the Dolphins do the next best thing, solidify the OL for the long term so that whenever they do get a QB(draft/FA) they will be a much improved OL. Marc Colombo is probably the worst starting Tackle in the league, and fell apart years ago, and Vernon Carey is a lot better at G than T. The Dolphins finished 30th in the league in sacks given up with a whopping 52. Pairing Jon Martin opposite Jake Long would give the OL some much needed help and two pro bowl caliber bookend tackles for the next decade. The Dolphins could have one of the best young OL’s in the league and turn a major weakness into a strength hopefully in time with this pick. Either way, offense starts with the trenches and you can’t be that bad on the OL and expect to win.
9) Carolina Panthers – Whitney Mercilus
The Panthers really looked good on offense this year, but their defense was terrible and their offense finished 7th in the league in total yards. That is too much pressure on Cam Newton to win every game, especially this early in his career. I know a lot of Panthers fans really want a corner but take a look at their team defense for a second. 28th total defense, 25thagainst the run, 25th against the pass, and 25th in total sacks for the year.. Getting another corner isn’t going to help unless you really solidify the DL. Charles Johnson is a beast but one guy can’t do it alone, they need a guy to give him help opposite and help take some of the double teams off of him. The Panthers have a couple guys at DT who are still young draft picks in Sione Fua and Terrell McClain, so Coples wouldn’t be the best fit here because he is more of a DT in the NFL imo. Mercilus is a natural pass rusher off the edge and also has the size to help against the run. Improved pass rush and run defense will go a long way towards improving the Panthers defense and help out guys like Chris Gamble who is a pretty good corner.
10) Buffalo Bills – Courtney Upshaw DE/OLB
The Bills finished 1st in sacks allowed by OL, and 28th in the league in total sacks, so they really need a guy who can get to the QB. Kyle Williams coming back off injury and Marcel Dareus in his 2nd year should team up with Upshaw to make a really good front 7. Upshaw can play DE in the 4-3 or OLB in the 3-4 since the Bills will likely play some of both or a hybrid at times. Upshaw has great character, a good all around game, and could start for the Bills from day one.
11) Kansas City Chiefs – David DeCastro OG
The Chiefs have a ton of draft picks on the defensive side of the ball, and even though they took Branden Albert they still have some work to do on the OL to protect their franchise investment in QB Matt Cassel. If they want to get back to how they looked in the 2010 season they need to protect Cassel and give the running game more holes. DeCastro is an elite interior lineman who could play either guard spot for the chiefs and be a big upgrade. Adding a guy like DeCastro would take a lot of pressure off Albert and give them a dominant left side of the OL like they used to have with Waters and Priest Holmes back in the day. I could also see the Chiefs taking Reiff and putting him at RT.
12) Seattle Seahawks – Luke Kuechly MLB
The Seahawks like a lot of the teams in the top 10-15 desperately need a QB but due to the recent trend of QB’s staying in college they miss out, and cannot risk taking Tannehill this high. Pete Carroll was done a good job imo drafting OL last year and they have some good young pieces on offense to build around if they can grab a QB in FA or in the 2nd round to develop. The Seahawks have some good run stuffing DT’s but they have no identity or leader on defense. Kuechly gives them an instant leader on defense and guy who can direct the defense. They have been missing a star LB since Lofa fell apart and Aaron Curry was a huge bust.
13) Arizona Cardinals – Riley Reiff OT
I knew that Kevin Kolb wasn’t that good, but I never knew it would be such a disaster in Arizona this year. Kolb is a flat out bust as most people thought he would be, and John Skelton imo should be the starter until they can find a legitimate replacement. Either way, they need to do a better job of blocking. Levi Brown needs to move to RT and Reiff can slide right in at Left Tackle and be a huge upgrade. This would also help their inconsistent run game.
14) Dallas Cowboys – Dre Kirkpatrick CB
After yet another year of poor secondary play, and nobody besides Ware or Ratliff providing much of a pass rush, several upgrades are necessary on defense if the Cowboys ever want to be legit playoff contenders. With Upshaw gone, Kirkpatrick is the easy pick here. Newman is old, his body has fallen apart and he no longer has the elite speed that made his pathetic tackling bearable, he is a sure cut in the offseason. Alan Ball proved to be the worst corner in the league as anytime he saw spot duty as the 4th CB he was repeatedly picked on and abused. Jenkins had a good year and will start but doesn’t have the best size and Scandrick is still just a nickel CB even though we just signed him to an extension he isn’t the long term solution at starter. Dre Kirkpatrick gives the Cowboys some much needed size, tackling and playmaking ability from the CB spot, since the Cowboys corners have been horrible at making big plays or helping in the run game. Newman and Jenkins have also been badly abused by the larger WR’s like Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson for years now, and Kirkpatrick would help us with those matchups. The Cowboys can address the DL/OLB spots in subsequent rounds.
15) Philadelphia Eagles – Devon Still DT
The Eagles have drafted a couple DT’s over the years but with Mike Patterson’s recent health scare and Cullen Jenkins being up there in age it’s time to grab a guy who can rotate in at DT and be a run stuffer and pass rusher. Still has size
16) New York Jets – Nick Perry OLB
I contemplated giving the Jets a receiver here to make up for the almost certain loss of Santonio Holmes, but realized that the Jets trying to go all in with Mark Sanchez is a mistake; forgetting that their defense and run game is what they made them successful in the first place. Trying to make the passing game a strength would be a mistake, the Jets need to get an elite caliber pass rusher off the edge to give them the dominant defense they used to have. Perry has a ton of potential and would play opposite Calvin Pace to help give them the pressure they need to win.
The rest is continued on page two
17) Cincinnati Bengals f/ Oakland – Cordy Glenn OG
The Bengals had a resurgent year thanks in large part to Andy Dalton, AJ Green and the 7th ranked defense. They still finished 20th in total offense, and need to continue building around Andy Dalton. With no RB available, the Bengals get back to fundamentals and improve their interior line with a big mauler, to add to an already good OL, who can open up the running game for Benson and a back to be drafted/obtained later.
18) San Diego Chargers – Melvin Ingram 3-4 OLB
It’s no secret the Chargers defense hasn’t been the same since Merriman got off the roids. Larry English is a total bust and they finished 23rd in the league in sacks. They badly need to get more pressure on the QB if they’re going to make it back to the playoffs. Ingram is a big strong athlete who should be a playmaker for their defense.
19) Chicago Bears – Mike Adams LT
The Bears once again finished near the bottom of the league in sacks allowed (27th) which is inexcusable when you have a talented QB, they can no longer afford to dump all the blame on Cutler and not get him more OL help.
Mike Adams has the potential to be an elite Left Tackle at 6’8 320, he has excellent footwork which is much needed at the LT spot which is currently manned by J’Marcus Webb, nuff said. Adams will team with former high pick Chris Williams who had to be moved to LG and Carimi at RT for a young talented and hopefully much improved OL. The Bears will really need an interior lineman either C/RG sometime in the draft or FA as well.
20) Tennessee Titans – Quinton Coples DE/DT
The Titans would love to have the versatile pass rushing DL available at their pick. He can line up at DE opposite Morgan or slide inside to DT and give them an interior pass rush. The Titans finished 31st in the league in total sacks and need to step it up if they’re going to make a playoff push next year.
21) Cincinnati Bengals – Lamar Miller RB
The Bengals need to add more weapons around Dalton to continue and improve upon his early success. Miller is a playmaking running back out of Miami who averaged 5.6 yards a carry and has speed to break off some big runs and open up the play action/deep ball for AJ Green. Along with an aging Benson should give the Bengals a formidable running game to go along with their talented OL. Miller gives the Bengals a fun young version of their own “triplets.”
22) Cleveland Browns f/ ATL – Michael Floyd WR
The Browns need a reliable go-to option for new QB Robert Griffin, as Greg Little is good but very inconsistent. Floyd has great hands, body control and size and would be a good addition to the Browns.
23) Detroit Lions – Janoris Jenkins CB
The Lions have an explosive offense and great DL but need some secondary upgrades. Jenkins could be a big time playmaker on defense and returns for the Lions if he can keep himself out of trouble.
24) Pittsburgh Steelers – Kelechi Osomele G/T
The Steelers simply cannot win if Big Ben keeps getting hurt every year, there is only so much beating the guy can take. The Steelers can put Osomele in at RT or pop him in at the Guard spot next to Pouncey to give them a bigger more physical interior OL to protect Big Ben so he can step up in the pocket and not always have to take the big hits.
25) Denver Broncos – Alfonzo Dennard CB
Broncos are developing a dominant pass rush with Dumervil and Miller, hopefully for them Ayers will step it up or he could be gone in a year or two. They could use a CB opposite Bailey who can handle the pressure and make some big plays for them. Dennard is good in man and zone coverage and would fit perfectly into the Broncos squad as an immediate starter.
26) New York Giants – Zach Brown OLB
The Giants Linebackers have long been the weakness of the team, they have a dominant pass rush but need a solid LB. Brown can cover, play the run, and rush the passer, which fits into the scheme the Giants play. Will be an immediate starter for the squad and the kind of LB who can stay in on passing downs.
27) Houston Texans – Mohamed Sanu WR
The Texans defense took a big step up this year under Wade, at times being dominant. They also have one of the best WR’s in the game, but little to no help after that or in the event Andre Johnson is hurt. Sanu has great size and versatility and would be a great addition to the Texans. At 6’2 215 he has the size to be a #1 WR but will have time to work his way into the team without a lot of pressure as the #2 guy with Andre Johnson getting a lot of double coverage and attention. Sanu can also be used as a return man or trick play guy similar to a Percy Harvin as he 59 rushing attempts for 309 yards.
28) Baltimore Ravens – Vontaze Burfict LB
Burfict has a ton of potential at 6-3 250, and can come in and either play next to Ray Lewis or be the replacement if Lewis decides to retire. Great size and speed to play in a 3-4 he can play the run, pass, or blitz at times. If the Ravens intensity can rub off on him and help take his game to the next level he could be something special.
29) New England f/ NO – Jerel Worthy
The Patriots have missed Seymour since he left. Worthy is a big disruptive guy who can play DT in a 4-3 or DE in a 3-4 and is good against the run and pass at 6’3 310 he has great size and versatility.
30) San Francisco 49ers – Kendall Wright WR
I’ve always thought Crabtree was a beast, but he can be inconsistent and they could use another WR opposite him with deep speed and playmaking ability. Wright is a big time deep threat, with elite speed and good hands and would be exciting for 49ers to watch on Sunday’s.
31) New England Patriots – Brandon Jenkins 3-4 OLB
The other main spot the Patriots need help is at pass rushing OLB. Jerod Mayo is a pro bowler but only had 1 sack this year, Andre Carter had 10 sacks this year but is ancient and can’t keep pulling big years randomly out of his butt. Jenkins has great size at 6’3 260 with good burst, shoulder dip and some good pass rush moves including a good spin move. He finished 2010 with 13.5 sacks and followed that up with an 8 sack season in 2011 so he is no one year wonder and doesn’t have questions about his motor or energy level.
32) Green Bay Packers – Vinny Curry OLB
The Packers have been phenomenal this year, but still have one weakness that could come back to bite them in the playoffs; if Clay Matthews isn’t getting pressure, than nobody really is. Erik Walden and 3.0 sacks aren’t going to cut it on a team with that good of a secondary. Curry is a physical freak at 6’5 265 he finished the year with 21 TFL and 11 sacks and a whopping 6 forced fumbles. Packers would love to get a guy with his skill set and talent ASAP.
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