2012 NFL Mock Draft October 30 Update

Posted by Brad On October – 30 – 2011
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1.  Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (Junior)

The Colts are looking at the reality of turning the page on the Peyton Manning era in Indy in the next couple of seasons.  With a healthy Manning in place, the Colts won’t be picking this high again until Manning is out of town.  In that vein, they select the heir apparent (in more ways than one) to Manning in Andrew Luck.  The question now becomes, how long does Luck sit and learn from Peyton?

2.  Miami Dolphins – Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma (Junior)

The hottest debate leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft will be who is the number two QB behind Luck?  The answer in this version of the 2012 NFL Mock Draft is Landry Jones.  I have flip-flopped between Jones, Barkley and RGIII and probably will until after the Pro Day workouts.  They all have flaws and it will come down to system fit.  With Tony Sparano half-out in Miami, we don’t know the system yet so I opted for the best physical tools of the three.

St. Louis needs to find a protector for Sam Bradford

3.  St. Louis Rams – Matt Kalil, T, USC (Junior)

The Rams have major issues on their offensive line including the LT spot that Jason Smith will vacate.  Keeping Sam Bradford healthy is the number one priority in STL.  I toyed with the idea of Morris Claiborne here but came (quickly) to the realization that Bradford needs to stay upright more than they need a DB.  Matt Kalil is a franchise LT that is a low-risk pick and could be a Joe Thomas-type tackle, so he’s the logical selection for our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

4.  Minnesota Vikings – Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford (Junior)

Vikings fans have to be excited with what they saw out of Christian Ponder in his first NFL start.  Protecting Ponder should be the goal of this offseason.  Charlie Johnson is a serviceable tackle but is a better guard.  Steve Hutchinson may be a cap casualty as his play has steadily decreased over the last several years.  Moving Johnson inside to LG and Martin manning the LT spot is a natural fit and a sure way to keep Ponder healthy.  Martin will quickly become AP’s friend as he’s a terrific run blocker as well.

5.  Arizona Cardinals – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St. (Junior)

Probably not worst case scenario for the Cardinals but they would have loved for one of the tackles to slide to them at five in our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.  The Cardinals got themselves in trouble by selecting Levi Brown based on need over BPA.  In this case, the pick comes down to Blackmon, Coples, or Claiborne.  The Cardinals are going to equip Kevin Kolb with the pieces to succeed.  If a top tackle is not available, Blackmon becomes the next objective.  Kolb has underperformed due to three reasons; lack of protection, lack of weapons (outside of Fitzgerald), and lack of skills.  Two of those three can be fixed.

6.  Seattle Seahawks – Matt Barkley, QB, USC (Junior)

The marriage of Pete Carroll and Matt Barkley has come full circle.  Carroll ducked out of SC before the major sanctions hit leaving his star QB without hopes of postseason glory.  Carroll is hoping his former star recruit can bring a little postseason glory to Seattle.  The Seahawks QB situation is in dire need of a long-term fix.  Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst are not starters and Josh Portis is a long way from developing to that level.  With Barkley available at 6, it makes to much sense to leave out of our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

7.  Denver Broncos – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama (Junior)

Willis McGahee and Knowshon Moreno are not the answers at the RB position for this John Fox-led team.  Foxey is comfortable with a two-back system that has talent.  He currently has a two-back system that lacks talent.  Moreno is hurt more than he is healthy and McGahee is on the downside of his career.  Trent Richardson is a complete back that has Adrian Peterson-type potential.  Quinton Coples probably gets a long, hard look here but they go with Alabama junior.

8.  Jacksonville Jaguars – Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina (Junior)

You know it’s bad when a team brings back Mike Sims-Walker to help out a struggling WR corps.  Jacksonville’s defense has been nothing short of spectacular for much of the season.  Their offense is a different story.  They will look to surround Blaine Gabbert with some legitimate weapons.  Jeffery isn’t a pure speed receiver but runs good routes, excellent leaping ability, and uses his body to shield defenders with the best of them.

9.  Carolina Panthers – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Carolina looks for a run stuffer in free agency and focuses in on finding Cam a weapon in the 2012 NFL Draft.  Floyd has been spectacular in 2011 and appears to be on the right track in his personal life.  Steve Smith isn’t getting any younger and they have little quality depth at the WR position.  Jeremy Shockey is the team’s second leading receiver behind Smith, enough said.

10.  Cleveland Browns – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor (Junior)

I took a lot of heat for my Steve Young comparison with RGIII.  Now it is playing out in reality.  Mike Holmgren gets an opportunity to draft a faster Steve Young and doesn’t pass it up.  Say what you want about the Browns and their lack of weapons but you can’t afford to miss on the passes Colt McCoy misses on.  Colt is a tough, heady quarterback that has a winning mentality but Mike Holmgren is in win soon mode.  As he said in an interview with Seattle media, he doesn’t plan on being in Cleveland in ten years and wants to quickly find success.  Colt is an adequate starter in the league but not a franchise building block.  For that reason, the Browns go a different direction.  RGIII is a smart, accurate passer with the arm strength to pass in the cold, windy Decembers in Ohio.

11.  Kansas City Chiefs – David DeCastro, G, Stanford (Junior)

Scott Pioli doesn’t have a problem bucking trends and won’t with this pick.  LG is a major need area and Pioli loves building through the trenches.  DeCastro is one of the best guard prospects to come out of the draft in a long while.  His tenacious style will be welcomed in KC opposite Jon Asamoah.  The Chiefs would have loved (at least their fans) one of the QB’s to drop to them but not going to happen if you keep winning.  Ryan Tannehill is on the rise and could pull 2012’s version of Christian Ponder.  For now we’ll go DeCastro in this version of the 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

12.  Washington Redskins – Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

Quinton Coples is too good to pass on at this point in the 2012 NFL Mock Draft.  Stephen Bowen and Adam Carriker have been solid at DE for Washington but not good enough to pass on a talent like Coples with pick 12.  Carriker and Kedric Golston are free agents and may not be brought back.  ILB, QB, and WR are still huge needs for the ‘Skins but Coples is BPA in this scenario.  Washington is another slot to watch out for Ryan Tannehill if the other QB’s are off the board.

13.  Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College (Junior)

It goes without saying that Eagles need help at the LB spot.  The much publicized lack of leaders at this spot is causing a ton of headaches for Andy Reid and Co.  This pick could come down to Kuechly, Te’o, and Burfict.  If the Eagles go away from the LB spot they could look to address the OL with Riley Reiff at 13.  Kuechly is a tackling machine that plays solid, assignment football.  That’s just what the doctor ordered on this defense.

14.  Tennessee Titans – Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin (Junior)

Tennessee would have rejoiced if David DeCastro fell to them in the 2012 NFL Mock Draft.  The interior of this offensive line needs re-tooled in the worst of ways.  Eugene Amano has been terrible at center and needs to go.  Konz is a physical presence that has completely overtaken the number one center spot from Michael Brewster with his play this season.

15.  Chicago Bears – Riley Reiff, T, Iowa (Junior)

The Bears have three starting OL that have no business starting in the NFL (Louis, Omiyale, and Webb).  This OL needs re-tooled with a talent infusion.  With the selection of Reiff it gives the Bears an option to keep Carimi at RT and Reiff at LT or vice-versa.  This moves also allows Chris Williams to stay at guard where he’s been effective.  If this pick is anything put an OL, Jerry Angelo needs to go.

16.  Cincinnati Bengals (OAK) – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU (Junior)

Cincinnati should take this and run if Claiborne is sitting there at 16 in the 2012 NFL Draft.  This pick is an absolute steal and fills a major need for the Bengals.  Claiborne is the best CB in this draft and if you have doubts about that watch him on Da’Rick Rogers of Tennessee.  A combination of Claiborne and Leon Hall is a dangerous one that will put fear in the AFC North QB’s for a long time.

17.  Dallas Cowboys – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama (Junior)

Kirkpatrick hasn’t been spectacular in 2011 but may have more upside than any corner in the draft.  He has elite physical tools but needs to work on his coverage skills with his back to the ball.  He has labored turning his hips and running with faster receivers which will have to be corrected before he makes the leap to the NFL.  He is a good value at 17 in our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

18.  Cleveland Browns (ATL) – Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina

The Browns need to get more athletic at the LB position and it’s tough to find a more athletic LB than Zach Brown in all of football.  Brown has been on a tear in 2011…getting to the QB, breaking up passes in coverage, and working sideline to sideline bringing down the ball carrier.  Scott Fujita is a solid locker room presence but doesn’t bring a lot to the table in terms of pass coverage.  He is becoming a liability on the field in pass coverage and is better served on run downs and depth.

Cedric Benson replacement

19.  Cincinnati Bengals – Lamar Miller, RB, (RSophomore)

The Bengals will let the constant headache known as Cedric Benson walk via free agency.  Lamar Miller has the blend of speed, power, and vision to be a good one.  He’s only a rSophomore but with Miami’s status up in the air he could look to bolt after a terrific 2011 campaign.  If the Bengals walk out of the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft with Morris Claiborne and Lamar Miller they will have effectively stole the show.  Miller at 19 in the 2012 NFL Mock Draft is a steal.

20.  Buffalo Bills – Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama

Buffalo needs an edge rusher.  Shawne Merriman and Chris Kelsay have combined for a whopping one sack thus far which won’t get the job done.  Upshaw is healthy and looking very solid off the edge.  He completely destroyed the Florida offensive line which includes a top 2013 prospect in Xavier Nixon.  Upshaw to the Bills is a natural fit for our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

21.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

Every year there’s one pick that just seems to fit and Dennard to TB is that pick this year.  Dennard fits their defensive scheme and fills their biggest need.  Aqib Talib is facing suspension and has played terrible and Ronde Barber isn’t getting any younger.

22.  New York Jets – Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona St. (Junior)

The Jets need S, OLB, WR, OT, OG.  So why not take an ILB.  Burfict is versatile enough to slide out to rush linebacker in Rex Ryan’s system with an eventual move inside when Bart Scott moves on.  I had Mark Barron here but I just think Rex is looking for another guy with some edge about him.  In Burfict’s case that may be putting it lightly.

23.  Houston Texans – Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson

Brandon Thompson at 23 in our 2012 NFL Mock Draft is a steal.  Thompson is widely considered the best DT in this weak class.  He’s an excellent fit in Houston’s one gap scheme.  Thompson doesn’t have the bulk of a typical 34 nose but is a one-gap penetrator that will give the Texans exactly what they want out of a NT.

24.  New York Giants – Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame (Junior)

The Giants love to go BPA and two years in a row they catch a falling prospect late in the draft.  Te’o is a steal at 24 in our 2012 NFL Mock Draft and fills a major need area for the Giants.   Te’o is a downhill defender that is capable of making big plays to change games.  He’s my favorite of the top three ILB’s in the 2012 NFL Draft.

25.  Detroit Lions – Michael Brewster, C, OSU

The Lions have to do a better job of protecting Matt Stafford.  Stafford has shown what he’s capable of when healthy this season.  There offensive problems start up front and could take back-to-back selections on the offensive line in round 1 and 2.  Brewster was our number one center prospect until Peter Konz burst onto the scene.  Either way, the Lions are getting a starting caliber center that could turn into a Pro Bowler down the road.

26.  San Diego Chargers – Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina (Junior)

The Chargers have bigger needs than CB but Gilmore is a good value at 26 in our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.  They could go OLB or OL here but Gilmore is too good to pass on.  Quentin Jammer is getting old and Antoine Cason has been decent but not spectacular.  Jammer will be 33 before the 2012 season starts and could be a cap casualty.  In this passing league, it’s a must for teams with SB hopes to have three starting quality CB’s and SD doesn’t have that.  With Gilmore, Jammer, Cason, and Gilchrist the Chargers should be good at the CB position well into the future.

27.  Pittsburgh Steelers – Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia

The Steelers OL needs some major upgrades.  Their patchwork OL could use an upgrade at every spot outside of center and RT.  Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert appear to be good building blocks but the rest of the OL could use some work.  Glenn has started at LT for the Bulldogs but appears to be a better fit at guard in the NFL.  Glenn could step in immediately for Trai Essex and provides the versatility to move around for depth purposes.

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

Safe to say that Jim Harbaugh is not a fan of Shawnte Spencer.  The team’s best corner, Carlos Rogers is a free agent and Tarell Brown is not a starter.  If the 49ers could keep Rogers at a decent price and add Jenkins in the 2012 NFL Draft they would have a solid group.  Jenkins ran into some personal problems but has went all season with a hiccup at N. Alabama.  He may be the most NFL-ready of all the corners and brings a solid overall skill set to the table.

29.  Baltimore Ravens – Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma (Junior)

The Ravens have some holes on the OL but with no value available they look for an upgrade opposite Terrell Suggs.  Lewis is a raw prospect with a huge ceiling.  He has stood up as much as he’s had his hand in the ground, so the transition to rush linebacker in the NFL should be an easy one.  The Ravens will need to start adding youth to their LB corps very soon.

Dontari Poe's mix of size and athleticism could be interesting in New England

30.  New England Patriots (N.O.) – Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis (Junior)

The Pats need safety help.  After cutting the vastly overrated Brandon Meriweather they haven’t found a replacement.  Mark Barron or T.J. McDonald would make a ton of sense here but Poe offers some long-term potential that won’t be passed on by the Pats.  With his size, one would naturally believe he’s a 3-4 NT but he has a ton of athleticism that would allow him to play in the 4-3.  Poe could be this year’s Phil Taylor and may offer more long-term upside than Taylor.  He may not make it to 30 when it’s all said and done but he presents a good value here in our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

31.  New England Patriots – Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

Ingram’s versatility will be a major factor in New England’s selection.  As I have said, Ingram fits the mold of a Bill Belichick-type player.  His ability to play multiple positions in multiple schemes will drive his first-round grade and why he is the 31st selection in our 2012 NFL Mock Draft.  Micheal Profetta gave the most realistic player comparison to date (I have struggled finding someone comparable):  Adalius Thomas.  The Pats have two selections (for now) in the second round that will give them better value at the safety spot.

32.  Green Bay Packers – Devon Still, DE, Penn St.

Ryan Pickett will be 33 for much of the 2012 season and Mike Neal can’t be counted on to stay healthy.  Jarius Wynn has been good this season but he’s not a consistent force in the run game.  At 6’5 305, Still could be a nice option next to B.J. Raji and give the Packers a front that most wouldn’t attempt to run on.  The front seven, outside of Clay Matthews, need to do a better job of pressuring the QB as well.  Still could give the Packers a much needed boost in pass rush and stopping the run.

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  • Rmccolgan

    Solid mock draft. If the Chiefs did that pick I will be the first one that says Pioli needs to go. His drafts have not been solid. For the Lions to get Brewster, maybe Kevin Zeitler in Round 2, and sign Joe Staley as a FA and I will be a happy camper.

    • Brad

      The Chiefs really need interior line help. A Brewster, Zeitler combo in rounds 1 and 2 is realistic and needs to happen for the Lions. They have to go OL early and often to protect Stafford. We’ll see if Staley hits the market.

  • Kingtut01

    Well thought out draft. Browns’ fan

    • Anonymous

      You like the RGIII pick to the Browns? I’m catching some heat for throwing in the towel on Colt.

      • Rmccolgan

        It is just fact that if you have a chance to get a good to very good QB and you dont have one you jump on it. McCoy is okay…never will be more.

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