Well we know now who is going to be available in the 2012 N.F.L. draft and except for four spots who will be picking where, so it’s time to realize my latest version of my 2012 N.F.L. mock draft. Regular readers of this site will know that I do not make the usual pick when I can avoid it, there are too many mocks out there who are close minded. This team WILL Draft this guy and so forth. But we all know it never happens like it’s “suppose” to. If you think my pick is too crazy for your favorite team let me know and I’ll try to convince you I’m right! I know now that I’ve made the entire mock I have too many WR in the first round, but sometimes that happens.
There were some surprise players returning for another season of College Football like QB Matt Barkley, and a few surprise entrants like LSU DT Michael Brockers who will make his debut in this mock draft, but other than that the declared underclassmen were as expected.
Clicking on the name of the pick will bring you to the fansided site that covers that team, so feel free to check that out.
Scouting reports for all of these players can be found on our scouting report page.
1. Indianapolis Colts-Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford Cardinal
This is as easy a pick as there is. The Colts will take Andrew Luck, the question is what will they do with Peyton Manning, might initial feeling is that they will release him and let him become a free agent. I think his contract is untradeable with the salary cap hits and if they don’t release him they are going to pay him a ton of money.
2. St. Louis Rams-Matt Kalil, OT, USC
There are two options for this pick. One is to find someone to protect Sam Bradford. Drafting Kalil allows the Rams to move Saffold to RT, Jason Smith to Guard, and then plug in Kalil at LT. Kalil is not quite Joe Thomas or Jake Long, but he’s not far off. In this league you have to protect the quarterback, especially one who seems to be injured as often as Bradford does if you want to win big.
3. Minnesota Vikings-Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Believe it or not I have not mocked Blackmon to Minnesota very often. I think the Vikings will strongly consider Martin or Reiff if they have them high on their big board. They have to make sure their investment in Ponder is protected. Blackmon’s huge Bowl game has pushed his stock a little higher and teams might feel justified taking him at this spot. Comparisons to T.O. (without the attitude) and Brandon Marshall are becoming the norm for Blackmon. I however have been on record multiple times saying (well writing at least) that top five is too high for Blackmon who is more Michael Crabtree to me, than he is Dez Bryant.
4. Cleveland Browns-Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
I mock Griffin III to the Browns a lot so I thought about taking it in a different direction. I have yet to mock them Claiborne at number four overall. Claiborne is not as physically gifted as Patrick Peterson, but he’s a better cover corner. Imagine trying to throw the ball on the Browns with Haden and Claiborne on the outside. Good luck. Then if they can add a good linebacker in free agency to go with their young powerful DT, this defense could really be something terrific.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Riley Rieff, T, Iowa
One of the hardest picks for me to make is the Buccaneers. Their best player on offense is their running back. Would they dare take another one? On top of that who knows who is coaching this team? The coach will make a big difference in the direction this pick goes.
6. Washington Redskins-Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor Bears
I think ultimately the Redskins will trade up for Griffin III so I don’t he will be the pick at this spot, but just have this feeling he’ll end up being the pick. Unless they absolutely fall in love with Ryan Tannehill or Brock Osweiler and wait to get one of those players by trading back into the first round. .
7. Jacksonville Jaguars-Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor Bears
Choo Choo. They hype train for WR Kendall Wright has begun. Wright has been linked to some NFL Teams big boards as The number one wr prospect ahead of Blackmon, Floyd, and Jeffery. Wright will not be taking that claim on our big board, but his stock has soared through the roof. Wright is talented, but he’s also little. In todays’ N.F.L. speed kills. Watch out for Wright.
8. Carolina Panthers-Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Perhaps a bit too early, but the top talent in this draft class is lacking to me. The Panthers need to continue to build up their defensive line. Quinton Coples would have been a great choice if he had decided not to be awful this past season. They turn their attention instead to the most physically gifted DT in this draft class in Brockers. Brocker still needs to improve in areas of his game, but he’s very, very talented and young.
9. Miami Dolphins Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama Crimson Tide
This is a little early to me for Upshaw, but the Dolphins need to find someone opposite Cameron Wake to rush the passer. Upshaw could be terrific at LOLB rushing up against the slower RT in the league. Upshaw also has good bulk to handle the power of these big men as opposed to quicker speed rushers who have gone this high like Aaron Maybin.
10. Buffalo Bills Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama Crimson Tide.
Kirkpatrick showed in the National Championship Game why he’ll likely be selected in the top 10. He is just too physically gifted for some players to handle. Kirkparick has terrific size, is an absolutely fantastic tackler, and has enough speed to cover a lot of fast Wide Receivers. Look for the Bills to make the wrong pick here whatever they decide to eventually do (I can say that my wife’s a Bills fan and I live in Rochester).
11. Kansas City Chiefs-Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama Crimson Tide
Because I’m not one who is anti running backs in the first round I think this pick would be absolutely terrific for the Chiefs. Imagine pairing Richardson with Jamaal Charles and then having Bowe and Baldwin on the outside. The Chiefs are already pretty good on defense. This pick could make them one of the most explosive offenses in the league, IF and this is a big if they can get consistent good quarterback play.
Jonathan Martin is a good possibility here too.
12. Seattle Seahawks- David Wilson, RB, Viringia Tech
Wilson’s stock is not here yet, but it could be when all is said and done. Wilson has game breaking ability, can catch the football and runs in between the tackles better than what you might think for a 5-10 205 pound running back. Right now Wilson is in the top 20 of both mocking the draft and Wes Bunting’s big board. So watch his stock soar during the pre-draft process.
13. Arizona Cardinals-Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford Cardinal
The second easiest pick to make outside of Andrew Luck to the Colts. The Cardinals need a LT. Plan and simple. Their defense is pretty good, they could use another pass rusher, especially one from the LB spot, but first and foremost they need to protect their QB (is that Kolb or Skelton?).
14. Dallas Cowboys-Mark Barron, S, Alabama Crimson Tide
In most draft classes this pick would scream reach. In this one? Eh, not so much. Unless they want to take a WR like Michael Floyd, or a linebacker but I don’t see that happening. There aren’t a ton of players who are higher than Barron who will fit a need. The Cowboys need secondary help. If Kirkpatrick is off the board (and he should be) they will look at Alfonzo Dennard, Jenkins, and Stephen Gilmore, but could ultimately settle on safety. Their safety play is Awful. Absolutely awful.
15. Philadelphia Eagles-Michael Floyd, WR, Norte Dame
Until DeSean Jackson is picked this is a selection I’ll favor. Floyd to the Eagles makes a lot of sense on a lot of different levels. First of all, the Eagles can’t score in the Red-zone. Floyd could be terrific in the Red-zone. Second if Jackson leaves they have Maclin on the outside and then Riley Cooper and Jason Avant. That’s not the same kind of explosion and talent at the WR position they’ve grown accustomed too. I would take Peter Konz here if Ididn’t think Jason Kelce played well this year.
The rest is continued on page two