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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Kicking Off Mock Season Edition

Posted by Brad On February - 15 - 2012

**This version will not include any trades.  The trades took the focus off the actual picks and at this point it’s tough to accurately predict anything without free agency.  I have enacted a no trade clause until after the free agency period.  With the Combine a little more than a week away, things are beginning to take shape.  As always, leave your insightful feedback in the comments section.

Indianapolis Colts : Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Scouting Report

2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  After a 2-14 season, the Colts have needs all over the field.  The first pick is a virtual lock, so I won’t bother addressing the QB position.  Their top needs look to be in the defensive backfield at CB and the SS position.  With Jerraud Powers and Antoine Bethea the only core players amongst the DB’s it will be imperative that the Colts find some help in this area.  With Jeff Saturday exploring retirement the center position could become a major need area especially if they have a rookie QB under center (even if it is Andrew Luck).  The Colts will have to "2012 NFL Draft prospect, Andrew Luck"monitor free agency very carefully as they have a ton of expiring contracts.  With both Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon as potential free agents, they could be looking for WR help somewhere along the way.  Look for the Colts to address the guard spot at some point and it may be early if someone falls to them.  The Indy coaching staff is taking shape with former Baltimore DC Chuck Pagano assuming HC duties and Bruce Arians taking over as OC.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  The Colts appear ready to move on from the Peyton Manning era in Indy.  As reluctant as some will be, it will be made easier with Andrew Luck waiting at the doorstep.

St. Louis Rams:  Matt Kalil, OT, USC

Scouting Report

2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Rams were a flat out mess this season.  They couldn’t do much of anything right and towards the end of the season looked like the worst team in the NFL.  Their offensive line was  a major disappointment this season and in particular former first round pick Jason Smith at LT.  The Rams could be investing the No. 2 pick in "2012 NFL Draft prospect, Matt Kalil"another LT just three seasons removed from Smith’s selection.  He was that bad.  If Brandon Lloyd leaves town via free agency, the cupboard is bare again at WR.  They invested some mid-round picks into average receivers in 2011 but need a true No. 1.  Aside from that they will look to improve a horrific defense.  Jeff Fisher will inherit a team that can’t stop the run and needs help at DT, OLB, FS, and CB…to name a few.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  St. Louis’ offensive line was atrocious in 2011 and Jeff Fisher made it clear that they will protect their franchise QB this season.  With the addition of Kalil, the Rams can move Roger Saffold to RT and Jason Smith inside or to the bench.  The Rams No. 2 spot will be a hotbed for trade action.

3rd pick in the 2012 NFL Mock DraftMinnesota Vikings :  Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Vikings were beat up in 2011 and lacked any semblance of an offense.  Christian Ponder looks to be the future for the Vikings but even he was outplayed by Joe Webb at times.  They are set at QB, either way,"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Morris Claiborne" but they need to find someone to protect the QB.  The Charlie Johnson experiment is over at LT and he will be moved inside to guard.  They have to find a way to draft the best LT available in round 1 or 2.  They could also use a guard and a true No. 1 receiver.  After losing Sidney Rice they were left with nothing at position.  Percy Harvin is a nice piece but not a No. 1.  On defense they should look for a lockdown CB in round 1 or 2 and then fill the ILB and S spots in the mid-rounds.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Morris Claiborne makes too much sense here with an aging Antoine Winfield and the oft-injured Cedric Griffin as starters.  As bad as the Vikings need LT help, I see Reiff as a reach at this point.  Claiborne is BPA and fills a major need area.

"4th pick in our 2012 NFL Mock Draft"Cleveland Browns:  Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  Hire an offensive coordinator.  Ok that doesn’t have anything to do with the draft but Pat Shurmur was clearly in over his head in year one playing HC and OC.  The biggest decision in the offseason will be to decide on what to do at QB.  Colt McCoy looked very average despite not having much to work with.  They will have to find a receiver that can stretch the field with his speed.  The trio of Greg Little, Jordan Norwood, and Josh Cribbs in a"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Robert Griffin III" nice 2-3-4 combo but none present the option of being a No. 1.  Mohamed Massaquoi should be cut despite wasting a second round pick on him.  The Browns should look to address this offense early and often.  They need a RT, RB, and OG to go along with WR and maybe QB.  On defense, Sheldon Brown is old and can’t keep up at corner.  They should look to find Joe Haden a partner in crime.  Haden is one of the up and coming corners in the league but needs someone opposite him.  They also need to get more athletic at the OLB spot and could use a DE to takeover for Jayme Mitchell.  Mitchell is decent but is clearly the weak link of an emerging defensive line.  Yeah, they have a lot of needs.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Based on the no-trade clause that I have reached with myself, it clears the way for RGIII to Cleveland.  This is the one downfall of putting the no-trade clause in because I think RGIII goes 2nd and at worst 3rd in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Bucs looked terrible towards the end of the season and may have been fighting the Rams for the worst team heading in the offseason.  Raheem Morris is gone and they have to look to add talented playmakers"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Trent Richardson" to both sides of the ball.  Their biggest needs are on defense.  Ronde Barber has seen his better days and Aqib Talib is Aqib Talib.  Who knows what is going to shake out at corner but they need to find one quick.  They also have to find an OLB or two and some depth at safety.  On offense, they should make it a priority to find some speed at the skill positions and address their offensive line.  They have solid pieces at WR and RB but lack playmakers at either position which really holds back their offense.  On top of that they need a RT and G on the OL.  Greg Schiano has his hands full with this roster.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Greg Schiano is a run to set up the pass kind of guy.  There are no better runners in this draft (and none since 2007) than Trent Richardson.  He’s a one-cut runner with a perfect blend of power and speed and will be well suited for Schiano’s offense.  He will take a ton of pressure off Josh Freeman as he’s a guy opponents will be forced to account for on each play.

"2012 NFL Draft"Washington Redskins:  Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.

Scouting Report

2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  John Beck and Rex Grossman didn’t exactly pan out.  The Shanahan’s have to find a franchise QB.  Either through free agency, trade, or the draft or it’s their jobs.  Dan Snyder is going to lose his patience"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Justin Blackmon" with his ultra-expensive coach if he keeps running bums out at QB position because of his ego.  Shanny will have to set ego aside and go get a QB.  They are prime to trade up for RGIII.  Aside from QB they need a WR, LG, and RT on offense.  On defense they were much improved.  That said, they have holes at ILB, CB, and need depth on the defensive line.  Folks inWashingtonhave to feel pretty good about the core of this defense.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  I may flip flop back and forth on this one…Ryan Tannehill or Justin Blackmon.  My personal feeling is that both are reaches at this point (Blackmon to a lesser extent).  I don’t see the Redskins sitting back and waiting at No 6 for a QB to fall to them.  They will be players in Peyton Manning market and will be options to trade up for RGIII.

"2012 NFL Draft"Jacksonville Jaguars:  Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  Year one for Blaine Gabbert didn’t go as planned.  While I’m not ready to throw the towel on him yet, I did see some concerning aspects of his game and how it will translate to the NFL.  The Jags have to surround"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Riley Reiff" him with NFL caliber talent at the WR position. Mike Thomas is 5’8” and is their top receiver.  That would be fine if he was Steve Smith but he’s not.  Thomas would be a slot receiver on a good team therefore it’s imperative to find a nice No. 1 option before passing judgment on Gabbert.  Outside of WR and maybe a tackle for depth the offense isn’t bad.  The defense is another story.  They played well given the talent they have as a group.  They need one if not two corners, a free safety, and a defensive end and we’ll call it good.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:   Tackle doesn’t rank high on the list of needs for the Jaguars but Gene Smith has shown a propensity to surprise on draft day.  Blaine Gabbert look skittish in the pocket in 2011 and Reiff adds a level of security for the sophomore signal caller.  WR is a deep position in this draft, so I see the pick coming down to Reiff and Coples.

"2012 NFL Draft"Miami Dolphins (coin flip):  Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Dolphins endless search for a franchise QB begins again this season.  Just like everyone since Dan Marino left the South Beach.  Matt Moore played well enough towards the end of the season to knock them"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Quinton Coples" out of the RGIII running.  With Joe Philbin’s hiring they should be the leaders in the clubhouse of Matt Flynn’s services.  Their offensive line left a bit to be desired as well and need upgrades at RT and RG.  On the defensive side of the ball they have to find a pass rusher at OLB to take the protection away from Cam Wake.  They should look for upgrades at CB, FS, and DT as well.  Sean Smith didn’t look good this season and may need moved to safety or to nickel.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Joe Philbin has said he’s switching to the 4-3.  The Dolphins need to find 4-3 personnel and it starts at the end spot.  Coples is a bit inconsistent and may not be an electric edge rusher but he brings an intriguing skill set to the position that will make him a top 10 pick.

"2012 NFL Draft"Carolina Panthers (coin flip):  Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Panthers scored with their selection of Cam Newton last season and will look to capitalize on the momentum they have going.  The offense was pretty good this season and doesn’t need much.  RT"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Michael Brockers" may be the biggest of needs on that side of the ball with Jeff Otah injuries and Jordan Gross aging.  A revitalized Steve Smith and solid play from Brandon LaFell will ease the minds of Carolina fans at the WR position.  They may want to draft a high upside WR later in the draft.  The defensive side of the ball is another story.  They couldn’t stop the run and need a big time DT to plug the middle and apply pressure from the inside.  They were a mess at CB and OLB as well.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see their first three picks come from the defensive side of the ball.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  After my flirtation with DeCastro here, I decided to go with the LSU DT.  He will add a missing piece to this defense as a dynamic inside pass rusher.  They drafted two DT’s relatively high in the 2012 NFL Draft but neither the caliber of Brockers.

"2012 NFL Draft"Buffalo Bills:  Mike Adams, OT, Ohio St.

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Bills switch to the 4-3 brings a whole need bag of needs.  They applied no pressure to opposing QB’s last season and should look for a rush DE early in this draft.  They could also look early for a CB.  On the "2012 NFL Draft prospect, Mike Adams"offensive side of the ball a lot will depend on the status of Stevie Johnson’s free agency.  The Bills may decide that his on-field dramatics aren’t worth the headaches and allow him to walk.  The WR free agent class is loaded as well as the WR position in the 2012 NFL Draft.  Demetrius Bell looked good before losing the season to an ACL, so the Bills may have to find a LT early.  Bell is a free agent as well.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Courtney Upshaw is the popular pick but I’m not sold on him as a 4-3 DE.  The Bills have some decisions to make in free agency which could cost them Demetrius Bell.  They will look early for his replacement.  This is not a strong tackle class, so passing now could mean not finding anything at the position.  Adams has top 10 talent but his motivation has been spotty over the years.

"No. 11 pick in the 2012 NFL Mock Draft"Kansas City Chiefs (coin flip):  Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Chiefs will have a decision to make on Matt Cassell.  He doesn’t look to be a franchise QB and they need one.  While I don’t see them as a viable candidate to trade up to RGIII territory they could look to the"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Ryan Tannehill" second round for a guy that can sit a year or two behind Cassell.  The offensive line needs some attention as Barry Richardson is absolutely abysmal.  They have to find a RT to take his spot and could still use a guard.  On defense they need a plugger for Romeo’s defense.  Kelly Gregg was a nice stopgap but they need a young big man for the middle of the defense.  If they can’t re-sign Brandon Carr, they will need a starting CB.  They may look early for an ILB as well.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Kansas City fans will hate this selection and I’m prepared for the hate mail.  This is an anti-Scott Pioli pick but they need to consider options for Matt Cassel’s replacement.  It is becoming clear that some teams value Tannehill as first round worthy.  I’m banking on the Chiefs being one of them.

"No. 12 pick in the 2012 NFL Mock Draft"Seattle Seahawks:  Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama

Scouting Report

2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Seahawks rolled to a 7-9 record with Tarvaris Jackson at the helm.  No telling how good they could be with a good QB pulling the trigger.  The defense is young and promising, particularly in the defensive"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Courtney Upshaw" backfield.  They could use a RDE and a LEO as Chris Clemons isn’t getting any younger.  They could look for an upgrade at the WILL LB spot early as well, with speed being the emphasis.  The Seattle defensive front (Brandon Mebane, Red Bryant, and Alan Branch) allow for the LB’s to roam and make plays unscathed…now they just need another LB that is capable of playing sideline-to-sideline.  On offense, the QB position will need addressed along with some depth at guard and running back.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:   Upshaw’s versatility in Pete Carroll’s defense will be a major plus.  His ability to play standing up and with his hand on the ground should intrigue the Seahawks enough to pull the trigger at No. 12.

"2012 NFL Draft"Arizona Cardinals:  David DeCastro, OG, Stanford 

Scouting Report

2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Cardinals woes start with the offensive line.  They really need a LT to move Levi Brown"2012 NFL Draft prospect, David DeCastro" to RT and find Brandon Keith a spot on the bench.  They may look to move up to secure the future of their offensive line.  They also need help at RG and WR on the offensive side of the ball.  On the defense they really need depth at the linebacker positions and along the defensive line.  They could also look for a CB fairly early in the 2012 NFL Draft.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Logic points me to Jonathan Martin here but I think you go with the sure things in DeCastro.  The bigger need is at tackle but its going to be tough to pass on DeCastro’s talent.

"2012 NFL Draft"Dallas Cowboys:   Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy: Dallas needs an overhaul of talent on the defensive side of the ball.  Not finding a corner in"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Janoris Jenkins" the 2011 draft or in free agency really wreaked havoc on this team.  They will or should find a solution at the CB spot early in this draft.  In addition to CB, they need some help at safety and defensive end.  On the offensive side of the ball they were beaten badly in the trenches and mostly on the interior.  They could look for a top notch guard or center in the first round and make it two years in a row for the OL.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  I like Janoris Jenkins a lot.  That said, he’s a risk but one I’d be willing to take.  The Cowboys are in desperate need of some help on the corner and Jenkins could be a day one starter.

"2012 NFL Draft"Philadelphia Eagles:  Devon Still, DT, Penn St.

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  It’s easy to just point out the failures of the Dream Team.  One could easily pin it on the linebackers or the safeties, etc.  But it comes down to a leader in the middle of the defense.  They need a tackling "2012 NFL Draft prospect, Devon Still"machine that is capable of calling a defense in the middle.  The Eagles will scour free agency and the draft for an ILB that can tackle and more importantly lead the defense.  They have some young talent at safety but they underperformed and I don’t know that they can afford to sit and wait for them to develop.  They may look for a veteran presence in free agency for the safety position.  DT and a 3rd CB will be needed…Asante Samuel is long gone.  The WR spot is one of contention.  DeSean Jackson may choose to look for greener pastures and they may turn the page and look for a WR early in the draft.  Look for the Eagles to find a weapon for Mike Vick in round 2-ish at the WR or TE spot.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Luke Kuechly makes a ton of sense here but an ILB in the top 15 has be really special.  I don’t Kuechly as that dynamic, special player.  Devon Still gives the Eagles some immediate relief stopping the run.

"2012 NFL Draft"New York Jets:  Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"

2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  Rex Ryan is still steaming at the play of his defense.  The lack of pressure applied to the QB was disturbing for a Rex Ryan defense.  They will look for a pass rushing OLB early in this draft.  Both safety spots need "2012 NFL Draft prospect, Jonathan Martin"addressed either in free agency or the draft.  On offense the offensive line was bad at times.  RT Wayne Hunter isn’t cutting it, so they may look for a RT in the early rounds of the draft.  The WR spot is in a state of flux.  With players taking to the media to air team grievances it has become apparent that Santonio Holmes is not long for this squad.  They couldn’t afford to cut him but they need to be thinking long-term at the position.  Jeremy Kerley had a solid season but he looks like a slot receiver in the NFL.  They could use their first pick on a big target for Sanchez.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Wayne Hunter was tough to watch at points last season.  With Martin sliding into their laps, they forget about the much needed pass rush.  Martin could start immediately on the right side and lend a helping hand to Sanchez and the Jets running game.

"2012 NFL Draft"Cincinnati Bengals (f/OAK):  Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Bengals came out of nowhere this season to rock the NFL world.  Most expected them to be AFC North bottom dwellers until Andy Dalton and A.J. Green could gel.  Well it didn’t take too long and they appear2012 NFL Draft prospect Kendall Wright to be a team on the rise in an aging division.  The Bengals need to find a guard early in this draft.  Cedric Benson isn’t likely to be back, forcing them to take a RB early or look to free agency.  On defense the lack of depth at corner was exposed when Leon Hall went down.  They should be thinking a cornerback in round 1 or 2.  Aside from that they will be filling in depth on a young, budding roster.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  WR is not the Bengals biggest fish to fry but Wright sitting at 17 can’t be ignored.  Pairing Wright with A.J. Green and a healthy Jordan Shipley could be fun to watch.  The Bengals have plenty of money to spend in free agency to address the other areas of need.  I think they go BPA and take Wright with the 17th pick in our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

"2012 NFL Draft"San Diego Chargers:  Dont’a Hightower

Scouting Report

2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Chargers lack any semblance of a pass rush in 2011.  The Larry English experiment is officially over and they may be looking at taking a rush linebacker in round one again.  Corey Liuget didn’t do much of "2012 NFL Draft prospect, Dont'a Hightower"anything in year one but they are positive about his future.  They will need to find another five-tech that can pressure the QB.  On offense, the offensive line was abysmal at times.  Marcus McNeill can’t be counted on in the long or short term.  Injuries have stripped him of far too many games and they have no reliable depth to speak of.  They could look for a tackle or guard early in April’s draft.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Takeo Spikes was solid inside but he’s 35 and will need replaced sooner than later.  Bigger needs at OLB and OL await but Hightower is too good of a fit to pass on at 18 in our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

"2012 NFL Draft"Chicago Bears:  Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Scouting Report

2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  After Jay Cutler went down, it wasn’t the same.  Their first priority should be to lock up Matt Forte and let the rest fall in place.  With a new GM in place, they have to focus on getting  younger on defense and "2012 NFL Draft prospect, Dre Kirkpatrick"giving Cutler a legit go-to guy at receiver.  On defense, the linebacking corps is getting old and they may need an end if Idonije leaves town (or even if he doesn’t leave).  They could also spend a top pick on the cornerback position.  On offense, finding a WR should be priority two after re-signing Forte.  Depth on the offensive line is also needed especially at guard.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  The Bears need a serviceable player opposite Charles Tillman.  Kirkpatrick slides a little because of concerns in off man coverage and some off-the-field issues.  He’s a good fit in Chicago’s defense and would be a solid value at No. 19 in our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

"2012 NFL Draft"Tennessee Titans:  Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy: Tennessee almost made the playoffs with Matt Hasselbeck at the helm and a shell of Chris Johnson.  The best thing for them was being able to sit Jake Locker all season (at least most of it) and allowing him to "2012 NFL Draft prospect, Mevin Ingram"learn for a vet.  Locker should emerge as the starter next season.  They need to find interior offensive linemen early in this draft.  The guard and center spots are a mess and should be a priority.  On defense, they will have to find a speed rusher at end and a corner if Cortland Finnegan leaves town.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Tennessee could work some magic with Ingram.  He’s a guy that you can play at multiple spots and they have a ton of needs on the D Line.  I could see this being a great fit and one of the better picks of the first round.

"2012 NFL Draft"Cincinnati Bengals:  Doug Martin, RB, Boise St.

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Bengals came out of nowhere this season to rock the NFL world.  Most expected them to be AFC North bottom dwellers until Andy Dalton and A.J. Green could gel.  Well it didn’t take too long and they appear"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Doug Martin" to be a team on the rise in an aging division.  The Bengals need to find a guard early in this draft.  Cedric Benson isn’t likely to be back, forcing them to take a RB early or look to free agency.  With Jerome Simpson’s future hanging in the balance, don’t be surprised if Cincinnati looks for a target at WR earlier than expected.  On defense the lack of depth at corner was exposed when Leon Hall went down.  They should be thinking a cornerback in round 1 or 2.  Aside from that they will be filling in depth on a young, budding roster.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Some guys are just too perfect of a fit to ignore.  Draftniks have a tendency to forget about fit in the system.  I find myself forgetting to look at if/how a guy will fit into the team’s system.  Doug Martin is perfect in Jay Gruden’s offense.  Many will view this as a reach but this pick should come into focus after the Combine.

"2012 NFL Draft"Cleveland Browns (f/ATL):  Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  Hire an offensive coordinator.  Ok that doesn’t have anything to do with the draft but Pat Shurmur was clearly in over his head in year one playing HC and OC.  The biggest decision in the offseason will be to decide on what to do at QB.  Colt McCoy looked very average despite not having much to work with.  They will have to find a receiver that can stretch the field with his speed.  The trio of Greg Little, Jordan Norwood, and Josh Cribbs in a nice 2-3-4 combo but none present the option of being a No. 1.  Mohamed Massaquoi should be cut despite wasting a "2012 NFL Draft propsect, Michael Floyd"second round pick on him.  The Browns should look to address this offense early and often.  They need a RT, RB, and OG to go along with WR and maybe QB.  On defense, Sheldon Brown is old and can’t keep up at corner.  They should look to find Joe Haden a partner in crime.  Haden is one of the up and coming corners in the league but needs someone opposite him.  They also need to get more athletic at the OLB spot and could use a DE to takeover for Jayme Mitchell.  Mitchell is decent but is clearly the weak link of an emerging defensive line.  Yeah, they have a lot of needs.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:

Floyd is a steal if he lasts until No. 22 in my book.  He’s not the burner that Cleveland is lacking but with his run after the catch abilities he could Pat Shurmur the missing piece in this receiving corps.

"2012 NFL Draft"

Detroit Lions:  Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Lions need to find guys to take them to the New Orleans, San Francisco, Green Bay, and Giants level.  On defense, a playmaker in the secondary is needed along with help at defensive end.  KVB is on his last "2012 NFL Draft prospect, Zach Brown"legs and Cliff Avril is going to cost a ton of money to keep.  Monitor this situation as DE could wind up being their biggest need area.  On offense it’s all about the offensive line.  Jeff Backus is about done and Dominic Raiola isn’t far behind.  They could look early for a LT and C.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  This is more of a gut feeling.  Brown will set the Combine on fire next week.  His level of athleticism is rare and gives the Lions a solid value pick.  OLB may not be at the top of the needs list but neither was DT in 2011.  The ghost of Ernie Sims could come out on draft day for Lions fans.

"2012 NFL Draft"Pittsburgh Steelers:  Cordy Glenn, OG/OT, Georgia

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Steelers were an early exit from the Playoffs which won’t go over big in the Steel City.  Their QB was beaten and bruised and could barely stand after a season of play behind a ragtag OL.  A healthy Willie"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Cordy Glenn" Colon may make a big difference but they have to find youth.  The guard spot is a mess and should be addressed early in the 2012 NFL Draft.  On the defense they need to find an ILB to groom and take over for James Farrior.  Casey Hampton isn’t getting any younger and may have a season or two (at the most) left in the tank.  Finding a NT that can fill those shoes is going to be tough.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  A versatile guy that could play guard or tackle could be what Big Ben ordered.  Glenn was a standout at the Senior Bowl and has some believing he can play tackle in the NFL.  I’m not sold on the tackle part…yet but he can be an effective guard immediately.

"2012 NFL Draft"Denver Broncos:  Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  Mel Kiper says the Broncos will draft a QB in round 1.  I’m saying that’s a no on that one.  Tim Tebow earned at least another season as the Broncos starter considering he has started 14 games in his NFL career…not even a full season.  The Broncos have bigger fish to fry in the first round than QB.  They may look to address the "2012 NFL Draft prospect, Luke Kuechly"defense at the DT or CB position.  Andre Goodman was relentlessly beaten by the Pats in the Playoff game and Champ Bailey isn’t going to play forever.  On offense, finding an electric back could be top priority.  Willis McGahee was great in 2011 but is passing the age of productivity for RB’s.  On top of that, John Fox loves to have two backs that he can rely on and they need some speed at the position to run the offense.  The OL needs work (LG/RT) and they could use another WR.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  The Broncos will vary fronts a lot with Jack Del Rio coming aboard.  Kuechly is too good to pass on with Joe Mays and/or Nate Irving manning the middle.  I like Irving a lot and his long term potential but not enough to pass on Kuechly at 25 in our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

"2012 NFL Draft"Houston Texans:  Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Texans may be the most promising AFC team given their exit from the playoffs.  They started a rookie 5th round pick and were able to make it to the second round of the playoffs and barely were beaten by"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Dontari Poe" the Ravens.  On offense, they need a second receiving option to pair with Andre Johnson.  Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter aren’t cutting it and they should look early for a replacement.  They also could use depth on the offensive line particularly at the guard position.  The defense was very solid this season.  Wade Phillips but together solid schemes and they made defense a priority the last two seasons in the draft and in free agency.  Shaun Cody was solid but unspectacular at NT and they really could use a one-gap penetrator at the position.  Depth in the secondary should be addressed in the mid to late rounds.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Poe is too good to pass on especially to reach for a WR.  I don’t think Sanu, Jeffery, Randle, or any other receiver is worth this pick.  Taking a risk on a 6’5 350 pound athlete is.  Shaun Cody is very serviceable but Poe has the ability to dominate down the road.  His ceiling is through the roof.

"2012 NFL Draft"

New England Patriots (f/NO):  Fletcher Cox, DE/DT, Mississippi St.

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Pats defense was pretty miserable for most of the 2011 season.  Much of the offseason will be spent on addressing defensive holes.  They could really use help at the safety position and a couple hybrid "2012 NFL Draft prospect, Fletcher Cox"DE/OLB and DT/DE types for their multiple fronts.  On offense they should look for a WR that can stretch the defense vertically.  Wes Welker is a magician in the middle of the field but they rely on Gronkowski and Hernandez to stretch the defense.  A big downfield playmaker should open up more for Tom Brady and his stable of weapons.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Cox is my top five-technique in this draft.  He has a non-stop motor and violent hands.  He’s best suited in the 3-4 but could play well alongside Wilfork in the 4-3 when New England changes fronts.

"2012 NFL Draft"Green Bay Packers:  Nick Perry, OLB, USC

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  It was an earlier exit from the Playoffs than most expected.  The defense was underwhelming"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Nick Perry" all season and could never catch up with the offense.  It doesn’t help that the offense scores so fast the defense doesn’t have time to rest.  Good problem to have in the grand scheme of things.  Most of the Packers offseason focus should be spent on upgrading the defense.  A pass rusher opposite Clay Matthews should be found early.  A five-technique that can apply pressure along with a safety in case Nick Collins doesn’t make it back is needed.  They may also address the corner position as they didn’t get the productivity out of it that they are accustomed to.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Perry is another guy that will impress at the Combine.  I haven’t been ultra-impressed with him on film.  He could be a solid fit next to fellow USC alum Clay Matthews.

"2012 NFL Draft"Baltimore Ravens:  Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

Scouting Report

2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Ravens age is beginning to show at key positions.  Easy to say about a team that made it to the AFC Championship game.  On defense they will look for an eventual replacement for Ray Lewis early.  Ray Ray is "2012 NFL Draft prospect, Peter Konz"showing his age despite still being a factor from the middle.  They could also look to find a safety in this draft to take over for Ed Reed or Bernard Pollard.  On offense the offensive line is aging to say the least.  Matt Birk may retire and Bryant McKinnie isn’t getting any younger.  Finding a center and tackle has to be a top priority for Ozzie Newsome.  If the Ravens lose Ben Grubbs to free agency they could be looking hard at the guard position.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Baltimore lucks out with Konz falling in their laps.  Matt Birk is about ready to hang them up and Konz is a perfect fit in Baltimore’s system.  He’s got immediate starter potential and is a steal with the 29th pick.

"2012 NFL Draft"San Francisco 49ers:  Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The 49ers were the shock of the NFL this season.  Many had written off John Harbaugh’s first season and had them picking atop this draft.  Alex Smith looked rejuvenated in this offense and the defense is lights "2012 NFL Draft prospect, Stephon Gilmore"out.  On the offensive side of the ball they could look early for a WR to give Smith another big play option opposite Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis.  The guard spot is another that could be looked at early in the 2012 NFL Draft.  On defense, it’s hard to find a hole.  They could use some depth on the defensive line and an rush linebacker.  Aside from that, some depth in the secondary and they can call it good.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  WR is the popular pick here but I think they need some quality depth at corner, especially if they lose Carlos Rogers to free agency.  Gilmore is a guy that I see rising after the Combine and Pro Day workouts.  He’s got loads of talent but needs to refine his game.  I think he’s a steal at 30 in our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

"Pick No. 31 in the 2012 NFL Mock Draft"New England Patriots:  Mark Barron, SS, Alabama    

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Pats defense was pretty miserable for most of the 2011 season.  Much of the offseason will be spent on addressing defensive holes.  They could really use help at the safety position and a couple hybrid "2012 NFL Draft prospect, Mark Barron"DE/OLB and DT/DE types for their multiple fronts.  On offense they should look for a WR that can stretch the defense vertically.  Wes Welker is a magician in the middle of the field but they rely on Gronkowski and Hernandez to stretch the defense.  A big downfield playmaker should open up more for Tom Brady and his stable of weapons.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Barron’s injury may affect his ability to partake in pre-draft workouts but with the lack of safety depth in this class, I can’t see him falling out of round one.  The Pats need to find a starting quality SS to pair with Patrick Chung.

"Pick No. 32 in the 2012 NFL Mock Draft"New York Giants:  Brandon Washington, OG/OT, Miami

Scouting Report

"2012 NFL Draft"2012 NFL Draft Strategy:  The Giants turned it on at the right time.  The defense played well during the Playoffs as they were able to pressure QB’s with regularity.  They still need a long-term solution at ILB and may need some help on the "2012 NFL Draft prospect, Brandon Washington"corner despite drafting Prince Amukamara with their first pick in 2011.  On offense, they boast an aging offensive line that needs attention.  The tackle and guard positions could use an infusion of youth.  Jake Ballard played out of his mind in 2011 but they could look early for a legit receiving threat at the position given the state of TE’s in today’s NFL.  As we know, Jerry Reese will stick to his board come April and all this will get thrown out the window.

2012 NFL Mock Draft Selection:  Jerry Reese’s head implodes at the thought of drafting the raw guard/tackle.  This pick goes against every principle of the NYG draft strategy.  But I like it, so I’m sticking with it.

Click here for round 2 & 3

  • Arbond

    Just a thought.

    Buffalo – If you watch how Ryan Fitzpatrick operates – he throws quickly. The Bills were the least sacked team in the NFL last year with just 23. Look what Fred Jackson did rushing, and then Spiller later. Not terrible.

    Do they need more depth and should they have more talent on the OL? Sure.

    But I believe they need their first round pick to be a difference maker at a position of real need – their pass rush.

    Just sayin’.

    • bradc11

      Agree 100% on pass rush being the biggest need. I gave Melvin Ingram some consideration here but I don’t like the value at that point. I really think Upshaw is going to struggle as a base 4-3 end. Had Coples fallen here, he would have been the pick. That was my logic on that one but we are on the same page with the need.

  • EyeGore

    If Zach Brown is Ernie Sims, that is the perfect reason to NOT draft Brown!

    • Brad

      I’m not saying Brown is Ernie Sims, just pointing out that the ghost of Sims may haunt the Lions on draft day which could stop them from taking Brown. I, personally, am not a fan of Brown but I don’t slot players based on my rankings. I should have been more clear in the explanation. Did you like the rest of the Lions draft?

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