I’ve done a myriad of 2012 NFL Mock draft this year, but it’s time to expand my effort before the combine gets here. I’m going to try and get this mock draft out to seven rounds before the combine happens and I’ll even throw in a few projected compensation picks. Today We’ll go three rounds deep.
As daily readers know for me personally the Mock draft is a place to explore the myriad opportunities the draft presents us. I will make some picks I think are unlikely, but I hope you’ll still consider them.
Scouting reports for all of these players (and many more) can be found on our scouting report page
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
. “Quarterback of the future for the Colts. Luck bridges the gap perfectly between Peyton Manning and the future of this organization. He will have growing pains, but I think he has star potential, like many others.”
I’m just going to quote my co-editor Sayre there and leave it at that.
2. St. Louis Rams: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
This is an extremely unlikely pick I’m making here for the Rams, but it’s fun to consider the possibility, you could also consider this a pick they make if they trade down with Washington and Claiborne is available. I think this pick has only four real options. The first is trade the pick (and probably the option the Rams are most hoping occurs). Two they take Justin Blackmon. That’s a good pick if you think Blackmon is Terrell Owens, if he’s Michael Crabtree though, then you’re in trouble. Three is take LT Matt Kalil. The pick I think is most likely to happen. Four Take CB Morris Claiborne. Claiborne is better in coverage than Patrick Peterson who was considered by many the best player in the draft, so his talent is high, but Cornerbacks never go this high and I think Claiborne is likely to be available at pick 5 like Peterson was last year.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, T, USC
I’m not the biggest fan of Justin Blackmon. Not that I don’t think he’s talented, and I think the odds are that the Vikings will take him here though they are hoping for Kalil. In this scenario Kalil is available for the Vikings to take. The Vikings will want Kalil. He would instantly give Ponder the protection they desire and currently lack for him.
4. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon, WR, Cleveland
Let’s say that this is the pick the Browns are making after the Redskins make a move to get in position to grab Griffin III so that Griffin is already gone. I don’t think Blackmon is great for every team, but I think he’s a terrific fit for the kind of offense the Browns are trying to run.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama Crimson Tide
I think Legarette Blount is actually one of the Buccaneers best players so maybe they should not make this pick, but I won’t rule out the opportunity. I know it seems crazy to take a Running back in the top five in today’s N.F.L. but that’s what teams were saying before they passed on Adrian Peterson and allowed him to fall to #7 overall. Do you think those teams, especially the Cardinals picking at #5 who grabbed Levi Brown instead aren’t regretting that decision.
6. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor Bears
The Redskins seem destined to end up with A) Peyton Manning, B) Robert Griffin III, C) Matt Flynn. I find it difficult to imagine a situation in which they don’t end up with a quarterback in this draft. Shanahan isn’t a young man and might not have the patience to wait until a Quarterback falls into his lap. Besides that in the N.F.C. East with Eli Manning, Michael Vick, and Tony Romo the Redskins will always be last until they can get a quarterback.
.7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
The Jaguars will do something to improve the passing game on offense or defense. I had Coples falling towards the end of the first round for awhlie, but he did what he should have done all season at the Senior Bowl and made himself some money. My inkling is that Coples was playing to “not get hurt” during the season and his play suffered. If he is motivated he can be terrific.
8. Carolina Panthers: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama Crimson Tide
If not for the Marijuana possession Kirkpatrick might be considered a lock for the top 10. Kirkpatrick is not one of Mayock’s favorites, but he is a terrific prospect. He is big, strong, fast and pretty fluid. You don’t find that much at the cornerback position. I think OL, WR, DL, CB are the four ways the Panthers could go with this pick. This is the first time in awhile I’ve mocked them a cornerback.
Miami Dolphins: Riley Reiff, T, Iowa
Pretty good value here and fills a need. The Dolphins need a QB, but I was actually impressed with the way Matt Moore played this year. To me, Peyton Manning should be allured the most by the Dolphins and the Cardinals. Both teams have pretty good defenses with a number one type Wide receiver and are in fairly average divisions. They also play in warm weather climates. The Dolphins already have the Franchise LT as well and a really dynamic weapon he’s never had in Reggie Bush. Add in a pass protecting RT and you have a great mix.
10. Buffalo Bills: Alshon Jefferey, WR, South Carolina
Once teams learned to take away the short slant route from the Bills, they really struggled on offense. They don’t have anyone who can make big plays over the top and down the field, which they desperately need. Jefferey started rebuilding his stock a bit during his Bowl game. Now if he can show off some separation skills/speed at the combine he could get back in the top 10 range. The position to watch here is LT. Buddy Nix has already said “well draft a tackle if we can”hicChi
11. Kansas City Chiefs: Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama Crimson Tide
Tamba Hali on one side Courtney Upshaw on the other with Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr on the outside? Good luck offenses.
12. Seattle Seahawks: David DeCastro, G, Stanford Cardinal
The Seahawks have shown that they want to get bigger, stronger, more physical up front. I think adding DeCastro could give them the best offensive line in the league in another year if Russell Okung can stay healthy. That’s a much better pick than reaching for a QB like Brock Osweiler or Ryan Tannehill here.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford Cardinal
If a good OT is available here the Cardinals are taking one. In fact, the Cardinals might take one even if they have to take the 4th best OT in Mike Adams. Passer pass rusher, pass protector are three positions the Cardinals need. They also happen to be the three most important positions in the N.F.L.
14. Dallas Cowboys: Janoris Jenkins, CB, Northern Alabama
Jerry Jones has never shied away from a little character concerns. Jenkins is very talented and he fills a position of need. This is a definite possibility as a pick. I think ideally they would love to see Courtney Upshaw available here. I also can not rule out a DL like Devon Still or Michael Brockers
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Mike Adams, T, Ohio State
The Eagles always draft linemen, in fact they draft Linemen in the first round much more often than the Giants do, even though the Giants have that reputation. Adams is huge (which Reid loves) and will give the Eagles bookend tackles to protect their somewhat fragile Quarterback.
Mock Draft continued on page two