2012 NFL Mock Draft

Posted by Brad On March – 22 – 2012
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"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Andrew Luck"1. Indianapolis Colts:  Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

The Colts are ready to turn the page on the Peyton Manning era in Indy.  As tough as it is/was it is made easier with Andrew Luck sitting atop the 2012 NFL Draft to comfort the fall.

Alternative pick:  None

2.  Washington Redskins:  Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

The talk of Washington mortgaging their future drafts is old already in my mind.  For me, this was an outstanding deal that netted the future of this organization.  It’s tough putting a price on that.

Robert Griffin III is a special talent that should re-invigorate the Redskin fan base, Mike Shanahan, and sell a whole bunch of merchandise.  This trade and pick was a win for the Redskins no matter the cost.  My prediction is that there will be teams regretting their decision to not go all-in on the No. 2 pick.

Alternative pick:  None

3.  Minnesota Vikings:   Matt Kalil, OT, USC

Talk of Minnesota trading out of this pick is absurd…they are not passing on taking the best player available at their position of greatest need.  0% chance this pick is in anyone’s hands outside of Minnesota.

Kalil is a perennial Pro Bowler at LT with an elite skill set for the position.  The Vikings and Christian Ponder run this pick to Roger Goodell.

Alternative pick:  None

4.  Cleveland Browns:  Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

I have felt really strongly that the Browns brass would jump in on Morris Claiborne because of positional value.  With the loss of "Trent Richardson"Peyton Hillis to the Chiefs, the Browns may not be able to pass on TR.  Richardson is a special talent that I would contend is a better overall player than Adrian Peterson.  He’s as complete as they come at the position with the ability to play in any system.  I love his possibilities in the West Coast as will Browns fans.

Alternative pick:  Morris Claiborne, Ryan Tannehill

5.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

The Bucs spent a ton of money on Eric Wright’s services.  That said, no way they pass on Claiborne if he’s sitting there at five for the taking.  With Aqib Talib’s future hanging in the balance, the Bucs will look early to the cornerback position.  If Claiborne’s available, he’s the guy.

Alternative pick:  None

6.  St. Louis Rams:  Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.

St. Louis has positioned themselves to find a legit weapon for Sam Bradford without the need to reach outside the position.  Blackmon is a viable receiving threat that gives Bradford a level of comfort that he’s not accustomed to.  St. Louis spent big but wisely on defense in free agency, allowing them the flexibility to address WR or OL.  This is too early on the tackles, so the pick most likely will be Blackmon.

Alternative pick:  Dontari Poe

7.  Jacksonville Jaguars:  Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Pass rush makes a ton of sense here but I don’t see the Jags waiting on a receiver.  Floyd is a good fit in this offense and gives Blaine Gabbert a big target to rely on in times of need, which in his case are frequent.  The Laurent Robinson signing should not deter the Jags (Gene Smith) from pulling the trigger on a big time receiving threat.  Gabbert needs a safety blanket, with Floyd, Robinson, Marcedes Lewis, and Mike Thomas he should have a plethora of options.

Alternative pick:  Quinton Coples, Melvin Ingram

8.  Miami Dolphins:  Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Quinton Coples"This pick is assuming Alex Smith signs with Miami.  San Francisco’s flirtation with Peyton appears to have cost them the guy that led them to the NFC Championship Game in 2011…maybe led is too strong.  Either way, the Dolphins could be looking at the possibility of Smith leading Philbin’s offense.  Which, by the way, is a major coup in my book because I think he would be a good fit.  If true, the Dolphins need to turn their attention to the pass rush.  They will be looking for a playmate opposite Cameron Wake.  Coples blend of size, strength, and athleticism make him an interesting fit in this defense.  If Alex Smith stays with SF, this pick is Ryan Tannehill.

Alternative pick:  Ryan Tannehill

9.  Carolina Panthers:  Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

Brockers is definitely on the downhill slide.  I haven’t been aboard the ship that has him dropping into the late 20’s.  I see his floor at 21 with Cincinnati needing an upgrade in the middle of their defense.  The Panthers have shown a ton of interest in Brockers.  Too much for me to ignore.  The fact remains that he’s a high ceiling guy that has just begun to scratch the surface of his overall talent.

Alternative pick:  Dontari Poe, Melvin Ingram

10.  Buffalo Bills:  Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

If you’re the Bills, why not?  You just signed Mario Williams and no WR, OT, or CB are worth this pick.  I’m not sure Tannehill is either but that’s for another debate.  Tannehill is an athletic QB that is a prototype for Chan Gailey’s system.  If Fitzpatrick sputters in the least, they will have a long-term fallback option in Tannehill.

Alternative pick:  Kendall Wright, Mike Adams, Riley Reiff

11.  Kansas City Chiefs:  Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

KC has quietly had one of the best offseasons in the NFL.  The Eric Winston signing keeps them from having to reach for a tackle at this point.  Poe is a big, athletic guy that should be in Crennel and Pioli’s wheelhouse.

Alternative pick:  Luke Kuechly

12.  Seattle Seahawks:  Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

The Seahawks have to find a consistent pass rusher outside of Chris Clemons.  If the board falls this way, this pick should come down to Ingram and Courtney Upshaw.  I can find issue with either player but I think Ingram’s versatility wins the day.  Upshaw is sliding, maybe in my mind only.

Alternative pick:  Cordy Glenn, Courtney Upshaw, Luke Kuechly

"David DeCastro"13.  Arizona Cardinals:  David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

Do they reach for a tackle or take the sure thing in DeCastro.  It’s an internal battle that I struggle with each time I pick for the Cardinals in my mock draft.  Tackle is a much bigger need but I struggle to put any of them on the paper this early.

Alternative pick:  Mike Adams, Riley Reiff

14.  Dallas Cowboys:   Fletcher Cox, DE, Mississippi St.

The Cowboys have addressed need areas in free agency aside from the offensive line.  If DeCastro slides past the Cardinals he could be the pick.  Barring that happening, I love the fit with Cox in Rob Ryan’s defense.  I have held steady with Cox at 14 for over a month and something tells me this may carry right into April.

Alternative pick:  Cordy Glenn, Dre Kirkpatrick

15.  Philadelphia Eagles:  Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College

Defensive tackle gets some consideration here but reaching for Jerel Worthy isn’t in Philly’s best interest.  The Eagles haven’t been active in free agency to this point and with Kuechly on the board he makes too much sense to ignore.

Alternative pick:  Jerel Worthy

16.  New York Jets:  Andre Branch, OLB, Clemson

Andre Branch ahead of Courtney Upshaw.  I fully expect my Jets fans to completely destroy my integrity as a mock drafter for this pick.  That said, Branch is an impressive specimen that is much more fluid standing up than Upshaw.  With Upshaw’s health in question, I would have to believe Branch could get a serious look at this point.  On the bright side, it beats the alternative which was Stephen Hill.

Alternative pick:  Courtney Upshaw, Cordy Glenn, Stephen Hill, Kendall Wright

"2012 NFL Draft, prospect, Dre Kirkpatrick"17.  Cincinnati Bengals (f/OAK):  Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Stephon Gilmore is slowly gaining traction on Kirkpatrick and Jenkins for the rights to No. 2 corner on most boards.  I will stick with Kirkpatrick for the time being although I think Gilmore has a chance to be a better pro.  Either way, the Bengals have to go hard after a corner given their current rotation.

Alternative pick:  Cordy Glenn, Stephon Gilmore

18.  San Diego Chargers:  Cordy Glenn, OT/OG, Georgia

Cordy Glenn going ahead of Riley Reiff, Jon Martin and Mike Adams.  What a travesty.  Glenn’s versatility to play RT or inside could be an intriguing fit for the Chargers.  The Chargers were able to retain the services of Jared Gaither but lost Marcus McNeill.  Glenn could fill in immediately at RT and has some questioning whether he is capable of playing the left side in the NFL.  I have spent a day on Glenn, outside of the Boise game, you would be hard pressed to find a game that he didn’t look like a natural fit on the left side against SEC pass rushers.

Alternative pick:  Courtney Upshaw, Dont’a Hightower

19.  Chicago Bears:  Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

The trade for Brandon Marshall came as a bit of a surprise to many, including myself.  It most likely frees the Bears up to take BPA.  Gilmore is a man on the rise and fills a major need area for the Bears.  If the board falls this way, they should have plenty of options including taking a tackle.

Alternative pick:  Riley Reiff, Courtney Upshaw, Whitney Mercilus

20.  Tennessee Titans:  Courtney Upshaw, DE, Alabama

The Titans need some speed off the edge.  Upshaw has the look of a base end to me which fills Tennessee’s need perfectly.  He has the edge speed to make immediate waves in this defense.

Alternative pick:  Janoris Jenkins

21.  Cincinnati Bengals:  Nick Perry, DE, USC

Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson are a bit of an inconsistent pair.  The Bengals are fresh off losing their depth at the DE position in Frostee Rucker and Jonathan Fanene.  Perry is a base end that can be an impact player off the edge.  Kendall Wright would/should get some looks here if the board falls this way but Perry is too good to pass on.

Alternative pick:  Kendall Wright, Doug Martin

22.  Cleveland Browns (f/ATL):  Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

This pick could easily be Brandon Weeden.  The Browns lack of ‘real interest’ in any free agent QB’s makes me think they have their eye on a QB in this draft.  In this scenario, the Browns gamble and hope Weeden falls to the second round.

Alternative pick:  Brandon Weeden, Mike Adams, Jonathan Martin

23.  Detroit Lions:  Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

Reiff’s fall stops with Detroit.  The Lions re-signed Jeff Backus but they still need an eventual replacement.  Reiff could serve as the team’s future left tackle and fill in along the line in the mean time.  As every regular reader knows, I’m not a huge fan of Reiff but this would be fantastic value for a guy that has potential to be a starting LT down the road.

Alternative pick:  Janoris Jenkins, Peter Konz

24.  Pittsburgh Steelers:  Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama

Pittsburgh is in a win-win here with the likes of Mike Adams, Jon Martin, Janoris Jenkins, and Dont’a Hightower on the board.  I could see Mike Adams coming off the board here and playing right or left tackle for the Steelers.  That said, it will be tough to pass on Hightower.

Alternative pick:  Mike Adams, Jonathan Martin, Janoris Jenkins

25.  Denver Broncos:  Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan St.

The Broncos have secured the services of Peyton Manning.  PM may bring in some of his guys (Dallas Clark, Jeff Saturday).  The ""Jerel Worthy"Broncos still have a hole on defense and it’s a pretty sizable one.  Brodrick Bunkley may be back with the team but they need a long-term solution at the DT position.  Worthy can be dominant but he too often runs out of steam.  The Broncos would do well to get Worthy at this point in the draft.

Alternative pick:  Coby Fleener, Janoris Jenkins

26.  Houston Texans:  Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

Stephen Hill makes a ton of sense here but the Texans can’t afford to pass on taking a tackle with Eric Winston out of the picture.  Martin is a little overrated for my taste but 26 appears to be a good value.  Martin could step in at RT for Winston.

Alternative pick:  Stephen Hill

27.  New England Patriots (f/NO):  Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois

The Pats need a legit pass rusher that is versatile enough to play standing up and with his hand in the dirt.  Mercilus is a raw talent that has a ton of room to grow.  I’m a fan of Mercilus’ and think the Pats get an absolute steal on the Illini star.

Alternative pick:  Stephen Hill, Janoris Jenkins

28.  Green Bay Packers:  Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma

Ronnell Lewis is a talented player that is a prototype 34 OLB.  I want to remind everyone that the only official issue he had at OU was related to academic issues.  His knee is back to 100% and won’t factor into any medical evaluations from teams.  Before any jumps on the Ted Thompson doesn’t draft players with off-the-field issues, please do your homework on this guy.  There aren’t arrests just a guy that knew he was going pro and decided to not take part in the student part of student-athlete.

Alternative pick:  Peter Konz

29.  Baltimore Ravens:  Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

WR isn’t this team’s biggest need.  They have bigger holes at guard and linebacker but Hill has special qualities that will intrigue teams.  Anquan Boldin’s production in 2011 continued to slide and he will be 32 before midseason.  Lee Evans was a non-factor in 2011.  Torrey Smith has the look of a promising downfield threat.  Hill blew up the Combine and brings a special skill set to the WR position.  Getting him at 29 represents a gigantic steal in my book.

Alternative pick:  Mike Adams, Peter Konz

"Mike Adams"30.  San Francisco 49ers:  Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

Anthony Davis hasn’t been the player they thought they were drafting at tackle.  My original contention was Davis would fit on the inside in the NFL.  With a gaping hole at right guard, the ‘Niners may look to move Davis inside.  Adams can play left and right tackle, freeing the ‘Niners to make adjustments to the line.

Alternative pick:  Janoris Jenkins, Alshon Jeffery

31.  New England Patriots:  Mark Barron, SS, Alabama                            

Barron will have to prove at his upcoming workout that he is back on the healing track.  If he does he could be the Pats target with 27 or 31.  I’m not sold on him as a mid-first as some have speculated.  I think he’s an enormous reach at that point but solid value with the 31st pick.

Alternative pick:  Janoris Jenkins

32.  New York Giants:  Doug Martin, RB, Boise St.

The Giants could snag Janoris Jenkins at this point and never look back.  He makes a ton of sense here.  The Giants don’t historically take RB’s early making this pick almost certain not to happen.  If you’re the Giants why not take a shot on a guy that is as complete as they come.  You are likely to lose Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw isn’t a pillar of health.  Jenkins could and should go here but my man crush on Martin is showing.

Alternative pick:  Janoris Jenkins

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