**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
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 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
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 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.
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