2012 NFL Mock Draft

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I’m using Gil Brandt’s Power Rankings to order the picks.

I’m trying to do more of a best player available thing here while also addressing some needs. I’d love to be writing about my reactions to free agency, but that’s not possible at this time. Enjoy.

1. Denver Broncos-Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

In my last mock draft, I had the Broncos choosing third overall and selecting Andrew Luck (because Carolina and the Titans were the first two picks), but in this instance they are picking first. I still feel that John Elway, as of right now, is not a big time believer in Tim Tebow. Tebow has a chance to change that this year, but if not then Andrew Luck could be in play for the Broncos with the first pick.

2. Arizona Cardinals-Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

This is subject to change especially if the Cardinals end up with Kevin Kolb. If the Cardinals end up with a veteran quarterback like Donovan McNabb than a quarterback could be the first selection. There is going to be fun to watch this year to see which quarterback separates himself and establishes himself as the “safety pick” if a team can’t get Andrew Luck.

3. Carolina Panthers-Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

The Panthers passed up adding help to the defensive line to select the quarterback of their future. If they ended up picking in the top five next year they could look to add help along the defensive line. A wide receiver like Ashlon Jeffrey is also a possibility here.

4. Minnesota Vikings-Matt Kalil, OT, USC

The Vikings addressed the quarterback position in this past draft so they look to add talent to the offensive line. Kalil is also one of the top players available here which makes a lot of sense for the Vikings. Bryant McKinnie is going to be thirty two years old next year and didn’t play as well last year as he had in the past few seasons.

5. Cleveland Browns-Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

The Browns passed on Julio Jones in 2011 NFL Draft to get a first round pick from the Falcons this year and a few other draft picks. This time they go with the ultra productive Justin Blackmon to give Colt McCoy his best chance of succeeding. It’s possible that when the draft comes around next year the Browns will be in the market for a quarterback. Blackmon has good size, and caught a 111 balls for 1782 yards with a whopping 20 touchdowns last season. Another season like that for the 6’1 Blackmon and he might not make it out of the top five.

6. Tennessee Titans-Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

At one point there was speculation that the Titans were growing tired of Cortland Finnegan and his antics. In any case the Titans have added a lot of talented offensive weapons in the draft recently, they have a quarterback of the future, and some young pretty good defensive linemen. What they don’t have is great cornerback play and depth. Kirkpatrick begins to fix that.

7. Cincinnati Bengals-Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

The Bengals are hoping that Andre Smith steps up his game this year so that the Bengals aren’t forced to select an offensive linemen with their first round pick next year. The Bengals had a down year this past season in large part because they weren’t able to effectively pound the ball like they were the year before.

8. Seattle Seahawks-Alshon Jeffrey, WR, South Carolina

Mike Williams resurrected his career last season with the Seattle Seahawks and they have Golden Tate as well, but Pete Carroll can’t pass up the value of Jeffrey. Jeffrey has tremendous size listed at 6’4 233 pounds (that’s unreal) and had 88 catches for 1517 yards (17.2 yards per reception) with 9 touchdowns. You’d like to see Jeffrey get the ball in the end zone more this upcoming season, but his talent is undeniable.

9. Washington Redskins-Jayron Hosley, CB, VA Tech

The Redskins have a ton of age at cornerback. Hosley gets his hands on a lot of passes. The Redskins have added two pass rushers with their recent first round draft selections. They should consider adding a talented cornerback to their team. They still need a quarterback in the worst way and Nick Foles or Matt Barkley are  likely alternative options here.

10. Buffalo Bills-Matt Barkley, QB, USC

Finally, the Bills address the QB position in the first round. The Bills like supremely mobile quarterbacks, but after another year of a lot of losing choose to go with Barkley. Barkley lacks ideal size, listed at 6’2 or 6’3, but can make all the major N.F.L. throws and is a top 10 prospect at this point.

11. Miami Dolphins-Donte Paige Moss, OLB, North Carolina

The Miami Dolphins need to find someone to rush the passer effectively opposite of Cameron Wake. They have some candidates on their roster, but they have to go out and do it. The Dolphins also need a Quarterback and Nick Foles is a possibility here, but they choose to add more pass rushing talent to their defense to complement their talented young secondary.

12. St. Louis Rams-Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

Fred Robbins is not a young man and the Rams need to find some pieces to play with the young Chris Long and Robert Quinn. Worthy needs to make more plays this year to be a top 10 pick, but he has the kind of pure athletic ability to entice a team to select him in the first half of the first round.

13. Kansas  City Chiefs-Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

This is a best player available pick. The Chiefs have one of the better running backs in the entire league with Jamaal Charles, but Thomas Jones has a lot of age. Richardson is considered a cut above Ingram, by many (not me). 

14. San Fran 49ers-Alfonzo Denard, CB, Nebraksa

The 49ers chose to add Aldon Smith instead of Prince Amukamara with the 7th pick in the 2011 N.F.L. draft. Denard is a top 20 prospect right now and would fill a position of need for the 49ers. It’s just a coincidence that he plays at the same school as Prince Amukamara did.

15. San Diego Chargers-Brandon Jenkins, OLB, Florida State University

It would not surprise me at all if Jenkins is a top 5-7 pick next year when the draft rolls around. Athletic 34 outside linebackers are in high demand right now in the league.

16. Chicago Bears-Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

The Bears have very quality linebacker play right now, but they could use an upgrade next to Urlacher and Briggs. Also, Urlacher and Briggs are getting up there in age. Kuechly is a tackling machine (183 last year) and has the instincts the Bears covet for their defensive system.