2012 NFL Mock Draft – October 2 Update

Posted by Brad On October – 2 – 2011
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1.  Kansas City Chiefs – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

The Chiefs are in utter disarray.  They lost arguably their best players on both sides of the ball in Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry to ACL’s.  Matt Cassel is digressing and they Todd Haley is most likely done after this season.  As bad as Cassel has been, he is not the biggest problem on this team but they would be crazy not to select Andrew Luck at #1.  Looks like Cassel and Haley may be looking for other gigs if this scenario plays out.

2.  Indianapolis Colts – Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

The Colts have to come to the realization that Peyton Manning has to pass the torch at some point.  Manning’s neck has to be concerning for Jim Irsay and Co. and they need to find a franchise QB to replace Manning in the near future.  If Peyton plays next season or 5 more seasons, this year should be a glaringly obvious picture into the future…without Peyton this team is a 3-4 win team.  It’s time to start looking for his replacement and Jones is an excellent fit in Indy’s system.  He can learn under Peyton for a couple of season, ala Aaron Rodgers and take the reins when Peyton hangs ‘em up.

3.  Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil, T, USC

The Vikings need to find a blindside protector for Christian Ponder and someone that can also excel in the run game.  Kalil is a dominant, franchise LT that can be an anchor on that line for many years to come.  The Vikings could use help in a lot of areas but they need to address their offensive line early and often in the 2012 NFL Draft.

RGIII climbing up the 2012 NFL Draft

4.  Miami Dolphins – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

Tony Sparano is not long for South Beach, as evidenced by the front office axing (trying to ax) him for Harbaugh.  This team is showing the dysfunction of the head coach.  They really do have a talented roster from top to bottom but they appear to be out of sync on every level.  New head coaches equal a new quarterback in similar situations.  Chad Henne has looked fairly good thus far in 2011 but he’s not a long term answer at the position.  RGIII is the most dynamic player in college football.  The sky is the limit for this guy.  I fully expect him to start early and excel with the weapons the Dolphins have.

5.  St. Louis Rams – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

The oft-injured Steven Jackson can’t be counted on to play an entire season and looks wore down.  Trent Richardson is a complete back ready to play immediately and make an impact.  Sam Bradford needs a legitimate running game to get the most out of him.  The Rams will have to address the offensive line at some point as they have been abysmal through three games.  I’m not buying the RB position being de-valued in the NFL as you will see with Cincinnati in my 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

6.  Seattle Seahawks – Matt Barkley, QB, USC

The reunion of Matt Barkley and Pete Carroll.  I’m not a huge fan of Barkley’s but Seattle is desperate for QB help.  Tarvaris Jackson is not a starter in this league and Pete Carroll knows that.  Seattle needs a face of this franchise and Barkley has the savvy to pull that off.  I think 6 is too high for Barkley but the marriage works in my 2012 NFL Mock Draft to perfectly.

7.  Denver Broncos – Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

Coples is STRUGGLING in 2011 and if he fails to pick it up he could be in for a major fall in the 2012 NFL Draft.  Denver needs a someone to pair with an upgrade over Robert Ayers.  Pairing Coples and Elvis Dumervil would give the Broncos a nice pass rush threesome with Von Miller.

8.  Jacksonville Jaguars – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.

Blaine Gabbert looks to be the future of this franchise.  Jason Hill and Mike Thomas are not going to strike much fear in opponents nor will they give Gabbert a legitimate threat.  Blackmon struggled with concentration against A&M but has been relatively flawless otherwise.  He gives Gabbert a legitimate number one option at WR for many years to come.

9.  Cincinnati Bengals – Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

The first major surprise in this edition of the 2012 NFL Mock Draft.  Miller has burst onto the scene (literally).  With “the U” in a state of flux following the Nevin Shapiro debacle the redshirt sophomore may choose to bolt South Beach after this season.  I can’t say I would blame him.  Miller has fantastic speed, power, and vision that could vault him into the top of the 2012 NFL Draft.  Miller will need time to pick up the intricacies of the position in the NFL but the sky is the limit for this speedster.  Bold statement:  Chris Johnson with better vision and a little (just a little) less speed.

10.  Carolina Panthers – Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

It’s hard to get a good evaluation of Jeffery because of the poor QB play at South Carolina.  He looks disinterested at this point which is a major concern.  Stephen Garcia has been terrible but Jeffery is looking slow(er) and less crisp in his routes than 2010.  I’m keeping him at 10 in this 2012 NFL Mock Draft but he will have to pick it up to stay here.  Cam Newton and Alshon Jeffery could form a very good passing combination if Jeffery can put it together…quickly.

Manti Te'o is the first LB off the board in the 2012 NFL Mock Draft

11.  Tennessee Titans – Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame

Te’o is the middle ground between the top 3 ILB’s in the 2012 NFL Draft.  Some have pegged him for a 3-4 ILB only but I don’t see it.  He has the athleticism to play the middle in the 4-3 and is the best of the three in coverage.  Barrett Ruud is solid but not great and Colin McCarthy is no Te’o.  Te’o has the skills be an impact ILB at the next level.  I think he’s scheme diverse and will excel in any system.  If Blackmon or Jeffery were available, Tennessee would have to consider one of them given their situation at WR.

12.  Cleveland Browns – Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford

The RT spot in Cleveland is in shambles.  Tony Pashos cannot be counted on and Artis Hicks and Oniel Cousins aren’t starters in this league.  Martin is an absolute steal at this point in the 2012 NFL Mock Draft but need dropped him.  He and Joe Thomas could lock down the Browns offensive line for a long time and give Colt McCoy time to throw the ball downfield.

13.  Arizona Cardinals – D.J. Fluker, T, Alabama

D.J. Fluker is a young, raw tackle with a very high ceiling.  He has great feet a massive human being and excels in pass protection and in the run game.  Fluker is only a redshirt sophomore but he will receive a high first round grade from the NFL Advisory Committee.  Arizona needs help badly along their offensive so they make a wise selection in D.J. Fluker with the 13th selection in the 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

14.  Chicago Bears – Mike Brewster, C, Ohio St.

I have been down on Brewster because of his issues with the shotgun snaps.  But this guy is a flat out beast in pass protection and in the run game.  Roberto Garza is better at guard and should be moved back there with this selection.  If Gabe Carimi can find his way into the starting lineup next season, he and Brewster would be major upgrades for Jay Cutler’s ability to stay upright.

15.  Washington Redskins – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Santana Moss is not going to play forever and Leonard Hankerson has been disappointing thus far.  Floyd would give Rex Grossman the legitimate weapon he is missing.  Floyd has been overly impressive in 2011 and looks to be in great shape.

16.  Philadelphia Eagles – Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona St.

This would be a major coup if Burfict fell to 16.  The Eagles LB corps is absolutely killing them in 2011 and they will look for upgrades in the 2012 NFL Draft.  Casey Matthews is not ready to start in the NFL and Jamar Chaney has taken steps in the wrong direction from a solid rookie season.  Burfict will make mistakes (penalties of the 15 yard variety) but he will make up for it with an INT, sack, or FF shortly after.  If Burfict can keep his wits about him and tone it down a notch he has a chance to be real special.

17.  Cleveland Browns (f/Atlanta) – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

Sheldon Brown is no longer an effective starting corner in the league.  He could be a candidate to move to safety but either way, the Browns need someone opposite Joe Haden.  Haden has played at a Pro Bowl level in 2011 and teaming him with the dynamic playmaker out of LSU would be huge for a very good, young secondary.

18.  Oakland Raiders – Riley Reiff, T, Iowa

Reiff looked really good against Brandon Lindsey of Pitt, which changed my opinion on the junior tackle.  He’s athletic but needs to work on using his hands to defeat quicker ends.  Khalif Barnes is not the long term answer at tackle and Joe Barksdale is a big project.  This move would allow the Raiders the flexibility to play with Jared Veldheer at RT or put Reiff at RT.  Either way, it’s a major upgrade on their offensive line.

19.  New York Giants – Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

ILB is not a huge need for the Giants (CB, T, and G) but the BC linebacker is sitting in their laps.  The Giants are always good for picking guys that they view as dropping without considering need.  The injuries in 2011 have shown the need for quality depth at all positions and having a guy like Kuechly sitting at 19 represents a steal in our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

20.  Buffalo Bills – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Drayton Florence will be 31 next season and they don’t have a solid number two corner to pair with him.  Kirkpatrick has the size and speed of a top-flight corner but needs to work on his technique.  He struggles with his back to the ball but the sky is the limit for the junior corner.  This is probably too far for Kirkpatrick to drop but he would be a steal at this point in the 2012 NFL Mock Draft.  If a talent like Kirkpatrick weren’t available the Bills would probably look to address bigger needs at OLB or offensive line.

21.  San Francisco 49ers – Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

Jenkins is the most NFL-ready CB in this draft and would have been a top 10 pick without the off-the-field issues.  SF could use a rush linebacker but Jenkins is a good value at this point.  They picked up Carlos Rogers late in free agency and he’s been fairly solid but they need a number one corner.  Jenkins has all the on-the-field abilities to be that guy.

22.  San Diego Chargers – Brandon Jenkins, OLB, FSU

Brandon Jenkins has yet to match his 2010 production but still shows a superior pass rushing skill set.  He is similar to former FSU DE turned Browns/Raiders OLB Kamerion Wimbley.  The Chargers need help getting to the QB and the OLB has plagued them since Shawne Merriman left town (even before then).  Larry English looks like a bust, so they move on with Jenkins at 22 in our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

23.  New York Jets – T.J. McDonald, S, USC

The Jets need help at RT, G, S, and OLB so they elect to take the hard hitting safety from USC.  McDonald is an enforcer that plays fairly well in coverage.  He hasn’t produced at a 1st round level but the junior is as talented as anyone at the position.

24.  Dallas Cowboys – Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska

The Cowboys need an upgrade at DE in their 3-4 alignment.  The senior DT looks to be perfect fit in the 3-4 at the five-technique.  Crick would be a perfect compliment next to Jay Ratliff.  The combination of Kenyon Coleman, Jason Hatcher, and Marcus Spears won’t strike fear into any opponents.

25.  Pittsburgh Steelers – David DeCastro, G, Stanford

The Steelers couldn’t go wrong with this pick picking any OL outside of a center.  I was tempted with Jayron Hosely only because of value but they NEED to address the offensive line in the worst of ways.  They really need a LT but no one of significance is available so they take the best guard prospect in the draft with the 25th pick in the 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

26.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jayron Hosely, CB, Virginia Tech

Ronde Barber could be inching closer to retirement and Aqib Talib could be inching closer to a suspension from the league.  Hosely is a steal at this point in the draft.  I must have fallen asleep on the corners in this version of my 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

27.  Houston Texans – Alameda Ta’amu, NT, Washington

Ta’amu is quickly becoming the best DT prospect in this relatively weak DT class.  The Texans need a NT in a bad way and find a gift with the 27th pick in the 2012 NFL Mock Draft.  Shaun Cody is serviceable but not a true 3-4 space eater.  The Texans are currently 17th against the run but haven’t faced a decent back yet (Indy, Miami, and New Orleans).  The next six weeks will be the test (Mendenhall, Darren McFadden, Ray Rice, Chris Johnson, MJD, and Peyton Hillis).

28.  Detroit Lions – Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

Don’t shoot the messenger Lions fans…but there aren’t any OL worth this pick at this point.  I know Chris Houston and Eric Wright have been good but trust me they need an upgrade.  Gilmore doesn’t have blazing speed but makes up for it with solid coverage skills.

Will Hightower be the heir apparent to 52

29.  Baltimore Ravens – Dont’e Hightower, ILB, Alabama 

They need to be looking for a replacement for 52 and Hightower has a ton of experience in a similar defensive system.  He has shown he is fully back from an ACL and looks like a first round LB.  Jameel McClain is not the lead dog on a defense, so Hightower will be groomed to be Ray Ray’s long-term replacement.

30.  New England Patriots (f/New Orleans) – Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

Chad Ochocinco is giving the Pats nothing and Wes Welker can’t be expected to carry the load he is carrying.  Outside of Welker, the Pats just serviceable pieces (Julian Edelman and Taylor Price).  Sanu is a playmaker with decent speed but looks like a perfect complement to Welker.  He could step into the starting lineup immediately and end the Ochocinco era (can you call it an era if it’s only a year?).

31.  New England Patriots – Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson

With the Pats going to more of a 4-3 base they need someone to replace Albert Haynesworth.  He won’t be back in NE and Thompson is a steal at this point in the draft.  Thompson and Wilfork would give the Pats a formidable crew to stop the run.  Their defense has looked very average and maybe below-average at this point, so they will upgrade several spots.  They need to get more athletic at LB and I wouldn’t be surprised if this pick were spent on an athletic LB (maybe Sean Spence).

32.  Green Bay Packers – Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia

Leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft we will be tired of hearing Bruce Irvin’s personal story.  The once high school dropout to NFL 1st round pick will be engrained in our brain.  Irvin isn’t having the type of statistical season he’s use to but still is one of the best pass rushers in college football.  He is a prime candidate to make the transition to rush linebacker in the NFL and would be nasty opposite Clay Matthews.

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  • Anonymous

    If the Steelers dont block better their going to be picking in the teens. As for the Suck for Luck campaigns its to early project a winner but the Chiefs play the Phins so that should be the deciding factor.

  • Brad

    The Steelers are in trouble. Their OLine is in bad shape and need a kick start on defense as well. They could easily lose out on an AFC Wild Card and pick in the teens. With the play of some surprise teams, the Steelers may be on the outside looking in this year.

  • http://www.gentlemenstailgate.com/?p=591 Check out NFL Future’s latest 2012 Mock Draft |

    [...]  Robert Griffin III to the ‘Fins? [...]

  • Rico1113

    This is one of the better first round mocks I’ve seen so far. Good work…picks all make sense.

  • Brad

    Rico 1113,

    I appreciate the solid feedback and glad you could see the reasoning behind each pick.

  • Lisa Deker

    As much as I hope I’m wrong, the Lions probably won’t be picking at 28, I think they’ll be picking earlier. Probably fall to earth and be picking in the low 20s.

    I agree that there won’t be a LT worth picking in this 20s. But how about Konz at Center? I think Konz is big enough to play some OG, as well as OC. Has his value moved into the first round yet; ’cause he looked darn good to me.

    It’s between LB and CB for need and value meeting, for the Lions. Obviously Mayhew goes for BPA. Is Hightower strictly a 3-4 ILB? At this point he might be BPA, if he can play 4-3 ILB.

  • Anonymous

    I agree that they won’t be picking that late. Somewhere in the 20′s is probably more realistic. I do think they make the Playoffs and possibly pull off a win against the NFC West. With Philly and Atlanta struggling they could have the #1 WC spot (battling TB?) which would give them a matchup up against SF??? Could be interesting.

    Konz is a beast. He was as dominant against Nebraska as I’ve seen from that position since Nick Mangold. I think he stays at center and if he declares is the first one off the board.

    It’s a tough call on Hightower, he’s definitely a better fit in the 34 but he’s looking back to full health. When he’s healthy he looks athletic enough to play in the 4-3 but I think a 3-4 team targets him because of familiarity. Great points and enjoy the feedback.

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