A Quick Look Ahead: First 2012 NFL Mock Draft


At the risk of being hammered on for way too early season predictions, I will use someone else’s 2012 Mock Draft order for this draft. It’s never to early to look ahead, and while we grade the 2011 NFL Draft for all 32 teams, we will take a look now at the class of 2012 and who your team could target next year.

1. San Francisco 49ers: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Again, this is not my order. I’m not sure the 49ers are the worst team in the NFL with the way they play defense, but they do have a lot of questions surrounding the quarterback position. Andrew Luck would reunite with his former head coach Jim Harbaugh in San Francisco.

2. Carolina Panthers: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

Cam Newton is their QB of the future, so they need to get him some targets. Alshon Jeffery might be the best WR prospect to come along since Calvin Johnson.

3. Washington Redskins: Matt Barkley, QB, USC

The Redskins will be in the market for a stop-gap veteran QB this offseason, but next year–especially if they are picking this high–expect them to take a QB. Barkley is a fiery kid who really improved as a sophomore last year.

4. Tennessee Titans: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

The Titans got themselves a young QB in Jake Locker, so now he needs targets. Kenny Britt’s future is up in the air right now, and Blackmon is a big time talent.

5. Buffalo Bills: Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

This could be a boom or bust year for Foles, who has all of the physical skills needed to play in the NFL. The Bills like athletic QB’s, so Foles fits the bill.

6. Arizona Cardinals: Matt Kalil, OL, USC

Great left tackle prospect would be a fantastic addition to the Arizona offensive line.

7. Seattle Seahawks: Dre’ Kirkpatrick, DB, Alabama

Big defensive back prospect with speed and playmaking ability.

8. Cincinnati Bengals: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

Big time defensive tackle with a lot of upside. Needs to have a big senior season to validate top ten status.

9. Denver Broncos: Quinton Coples, DL, North Carolina

The Broncos stay true to their 2011 strategy and take the best player on the board here. Coples is a big athletic pass rusher.

10. Cleveland Browns: Andre Branch, DE, Clemson

Athletic defensive end who has a high ceiling.

11. Minnesota Vikings: Jonathan Martin, OL, Stanford

Big offensive tackle prospect to replace Bryant McKinnie

12. Miami Dolphins: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

One of the best RB prospects in the entire country. Heisman candidate this year.

13. Jacksonville Jaguars: Stephon Gilmore, DB, South Carolina

Just a notch below Dre’ Kirkpatrick as the best CB in the entire draft.

14. Oakland Raiders: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

The Raiders need a QB of the future, and Jones is good value here

15. Houston Texans: Kenny Tate, S, Maryland

Hard-hitting safety with great size and range.

16. Detroit Lions: Travis Lewis, LB, Oklahoma

Lions continue to add talented players to their defensive front seven.

17. Kansas City Chiefs: Nate Potter, OL, Boise State

Big OL prospect who will fit in right away for the Chiefs

18. New York Giants: Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State

Top inside linebacker prospect in the entire draft.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Manti Te’O, LB, Notre Dame

Another excellent inside linebacker prospect and tackling machine

20. Dallas Cowboys: Jared Crick, DL, Nebraska

Excellent prospect for the Cowboys’ 3-4 defensive unit.

21. St. Louis Rams: Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M

Another weapon for Sam Bradford in the Rams’ offense.

22. Chicago Bears: Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina

Athletic LB prospect to fit the Tampa 2 defense for the Bears

23. San Diego Chargers: Courtney Upshaw, LB, Albama

Big lienbacker prospect who would play inside for the Chargers.

24. Baltimore Ravens: LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

Speedy back to complement Ray Rice.

25. New York Jets: Donte Paige-Moss, DE/OLB, North Carolina

Pass rush prospect to add to Rex Ryan’s talented defensive unit.

26. Cleveland Browns (from Falcons): Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Another big WR to put with Greg Little in the Cleveland offense.

27. Philadelphia Eagles: Matt Reynolds, OL, BYU

Andy REid loves drafting linemen, and Reynolds fills the bill.

28. Indianapolis Colts: Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas

Drafting RB’s early has not really worked out for the Colts in recent years, but Davis is a special player.

29. New England Patriots (from Saints): John Jenkins, DL, Georgia

Huge defensive line prospect who would upgrade the New England front seven.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

More talent to the Pittsburgh defense.

31. New England Patriots: Nigel Bradham, LB, FLorida State

Another linebacker prospect for the Patriots to upgrade their front seven.

32. Green Bay Packers: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

Packers’ front seven just gets better and better with this pick.

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