Updated NFL’s Future 2012 NFL Mock Draft

Posted by Brad On August – 11 – 2011
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1.  Buffalo Bills – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

The Bills lost rather than gained this offseason which will hurt a roster that is already depleted of talent.  Andrew Luck is a once in a lifetime prospect that Buffalo will not pass on even though QB is the least of their worries.  They need a LT, help in the defensive backfield, and still need front seven impact players.  Sorry, Buffalo fans but I’m predicting a miserable finish in 2011 and the first pick in my 2012 NFL mock draft.  But the good news is that you are the proud winners of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.

2.  San Francisco 49ers – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

The marriage of Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck almost came true but Buffalo’s 2-win season ruined it for 49er fans.  I think the 49ers stay away from QB with second round pick Colin Kaepernick showing promise unless Luck is there for the taking.  The 49ers have some stop gaps at the CB position but not a true shutdown CB.  Kirkpatrick has the size, speed, and skills to make his way to the second pick in the 2012 NFL mock draft.

3.  Washington Redskins – Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

I know, the Redskin brass all would have taken John Beck with the whatever pick in whatever draft.  A 3-4 win season should remind them why they didn’t (or anyone) take Beck that high.  The Redskins did a nice job of picking up talent in free agency (albeit overpaid for some but it’s Dan Snyder) but that won’t equal anymore wins for the ‘Skins.  Jones has all the physical tools of being a big time QB in the NFL and will tempt the 49ers in the 2 hole but falls to Washington.  If Washington passes on QB help in the 2012 NFL Draft it will go down as an epic failure on Mike Shanahan’s “vaunted” resume.

4.  Cincinnati Bengals – Matt Kalil, T, USC

Cincinnati has one of the most underrated tackles in the NFL with Andrew Whitworth but their line is in need of an overhaul.  They will give this season for Andre Smith to get it together and remain healthy.  After another season of mediocrity he will be moved to guard.  They can move Whitworth to RT or play Kalil at RT to begin with but Kalil has elite skills and will be an immediate upgrade to the Bengals OL.

5.  Miami Dolphins – Matt Barkley, QB, USC

I will be the first to admit that I’m not high on Barkley right now.  This pick is assuming he takes a leap forward in 2011 to elite collegiate status.  Big if.  This organization is in flux and needs a new face to give it life.  Fans are chanting for Kyle Orton…you know it’s bad.  Barkley is athletic, has adequate arm strength but needs to work on accuracy down the field.

6.  Tennessee Titans – Quentin Coples, DE, North Carolina

Tennessee lost Jason Babin in free agency and are left with unproven Derrick Morgan and Jason Jones as starters.  Coples brings the physicality and athleticism to the position to make an immediate impact on a front seven that is deplete of talent.  The Titans failure to address the offensive line in the 2011 NFL draft and free agency will have to be taken care of early in the 2012 NFL Draft also.

7.  Seattle Seahawks – Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

I love the skills Gilmore brings to the field and have him higher ranked than most.  I think he’s an elite corner in the NFL and capable of playing day one.  Seattle is faced with starting Walter Thurmond and Marcus Trufant in 2011 and will lose Kelly Jennings after this season.  They have very little depth and need a legitimate #1 corner.  Trufant will be more effective as the teams number 2 corner.

"2012 NFL mock draft pick, Jonathan Martin"8.  Oakland Raiders – Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford

Jared Veldheer is the only Raider OL that is a capable starter.  They re-signed a one-year stop gap in Khalif Barnes but he won’t be around in 2012.  Veldheer would be a more effective RT with Martin playing the left side and solidify the tackle position for the next decade.

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

Steve Smith is quickly fading and the Panthers need to give Cam Newton a chance.  Jeffery is a physical freak at 6’4, 230 and has enough speed to separate.  Jeffery is not a blazer but has excellent body control and hands.  He shields defenders as well as anyone currently in the NFL which will make him an immediate red zone threat in the NFL.

10.  Denver Broncos – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

The Broncos can’t be happy with the progress of Knowshon Moreno and can’t count on Willis McGahee for a whole lot anymore.  Richardson is a big, strong, shifty back with adequate speed.  This season he will be a Heisman frontrunner for Bama carrying the load for the first time in his collegiate career.  He may be one of the most complete backs to come out in a long while (think Adrian Peterson skill set minus some of the breakaway speed).  People looking to jump on the RB’s being de-valued recently bandwagon that doesn’t apply to someone this talented.  Mark Ingram’s strong start in New Orleans certainly won’t do anything to hurt his draft stock, hence why he is landing at 10 in my latest 2012 NFL mock draft.

11.  Minnesota Vikings – Robert Lester, S, Alabama

The Vikings would love for Martin or Kalil to fall to them at 11 as the next tackle off the board could/should come in the late-20’s (Reiff).   12 may be"2012 NFL mock draft pick, Robert Lester" a little high for a safety but Lester is special in my mind.  I would compare him to an Earl Thomas type early impact in the NFL.  He’s a playmaker that is capable of coming up to stop the run.  The Vikings are in dire need in the secondary and particulary at safety with Tyrell Johnson and Husain Abdullah penciled in as starters.

12.  Cleveland Browns – Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona St.

The Browns will move D’Qwell Jackson to OLB and Burfict into a starting spot immediately.  He is an instant impact type player that will find a spot at the top of the MLB heap in the NFL with Patrick Willis, Jon Beason, Ray Lewis, etc.  Burfict is as nasty as they come and the Browns could use a little or a lot of that on their roster.

13.  Dallas Cowboys – Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

The Cowboys didn’t have the cap room in 2011 to dramatically change their secondary.  They will look early and often to find help at these positions.  Hosley has been the early buzz prospect after McShay put him in his early mock projection.  There is good reason for some of that hype.  I’m not buying him as a better prospect than Kirkpatrick or Gilmore but he will be a solid pick in the top 15.

14.  Jacksonville Jaguars – Donte Paige-Moss, DE, North Carolina

The Jags had one of the better offseasons south of Philadelphia.  They upgraded some porous spots on defense.  The one area they left relatively untouched was at DE.  They badly need someone that can pressure the QB.  Moss will provide that pressure and surprisingly plays the run really well.

15.  St. Louis Rams – Marcus Forston, DT, Miami

The Rams are really weak up the middle of that defense and need an impact player on the defensive line.  Forston is the ultimate upside guy that when playing up to his talent level can be an impact DT.  He is eerily reminiscent of former Cane Warren Sapp in his pass rushing abilities from the DT spot.  If Forston puts it all together the sky is the limit.

16.  Chicago Bears – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.

The Bears did well to pick up Roy Williams but he isn’t a true number 1 at this point in his career.  They have a bevy of #2 and #3 WR on their roster but no #1.  Anyone that follows NFL’s Future knows my feelings about Blackmon.  I think he could wind up being a bust in the NFL.  Another system guy that doesn’t run crisp routes and has inconsistent hands.  The need trumps the value and the Bears take Blackmon off the board at 16 in the 2012 NFL mock draft.  For the record I would take Jeff Fuller before Blackmon.

17.  New York Giants – Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan St.

The Giants drafted Linval Joseph and Marvin Austin high to answer their questions in the middle of their defense.  I’m just not sure about Joseph or Austin’s ability to shore up that spot.  Worthy is another high ceiling DT that will intrigue teams solely based on his upside.

18.  San Diego Chargers – Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame

The Chargers will run James Holt and Takeo Spikes out as starting MLB’s in their base 3-4 defense.  Te’o is the most athletic LB of the very talented 2012 LB crew.  He will be called on early in San Diego to make an impact up the middle.

19.  Detroit Lions – Michael Brewster, C, Ohio St.

Protecting Matthew Stafford has to become more of a priority in Detroit.  Dominic Raiola will be 33 next season and can’t be expected to give much"2012 NFL mock draft pick, Mike Brewster" more for the Lions (or any NFL team for that matter).  They have no depth behind him and need a starting caliber center in free agency or the 2012 NFL Draft.  In this case they find the OSU, 4-year starter with the 19th pick in the 2012 NFL mock draft.  Brewster has the skills to be an elite level center much like former OSU standout Nick Mangold.

20.  Baltimore Ravens – Brandon Jenkins, OLB, Florida St.

Baltimore needs to add another pass rusher to the fold.  Jenkins is versatile in that he can play in the 4-3 as an end or stand up in the 3-4.  He is the 12th best prospect on our 2012 rankings so getting him at 20 would constitute a steal.  Jenkins is the best athlete of this years crop of DE’s and could make an immediate impact.

21.  Houston Texans – Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M

The Texans need to add another weapon to their WR corps to take some pressure off Andre Johnson.  Fuller is versatile in that he can stretch the field and allow Johnson to work underneath and he is good in traffic catching the ball while Johnson attracts defenders deep.  This would be a solid value if the Texans can get Fuller with the 21st pick of the 2012 NFL mock draft.

22.  Arizona Cardinals – Riley Reiff, T, Iowa

The Cardinals are starting Levi Brown and Brandon Keith at tackle which scares me with my prediction that they represent the NFC West in the Playoffs.  Brown is better at RT and Keith is strictly a back up.  For me, Reiff is a second round prospect but need will drive this pick and make his way into the first round of the 2012 NFL mock draft.

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

With Aqib Talib’s off-the-field issues and Ronde Barber’s age the Bucs have to be looking to the future at the CB spot.  Dennard fits perfectly in their defense and could play nickel in his first season while learning from Barber.  Barber is probably closing in on retirement either next season or in 2013 when Dennard can take over full time.

24.  Kansas City Chiefs – T.J. McDonald, FS, USC

KC takes a year off from selecting a safety and then pairs Berry with McDonald.  That’s a scary proposition for opposing QB’s.  McDonald is a fast riser that is a force against the run and can make plays in centerfield.  A secondary of Flowers, Carr, Berry, and McDonald is an intriguing one.

25.  Indianapolis Colts – Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

The Colts are looking to move Pat Angerer to OLB and rely on the aging Gary Brackett to fill the middle.  Angerer will be a smooth transition to the outside but Brackett will be 32 next season and wearing down physically.  At number 25, Kuechly is a steal for the Colts in the 2012 NFL mock draft.

26.  New England Patriots (f/N.O.) – Ray Ray Armstrong, SS, Miami

The Pats will try their hand at another UM safety with Armstrong.  Brandon Meriweather is wearing out his welcome in New England and I expect them to look early for a SS to pair with Patrick Chung.  Armstrong is a raw prospect with a ton of upside that could develop into the next great Miami safety.

27.  New York Jets – Kheeston Randall, DE, Texas

The Jets go back to back DE’s in consecutive years with Randall and Wilkerson (2011).  Mike DeVito is serviceable but not a dominant force.  Randall is the perfect transition to the 3-4 five-technique.  He has all the physical tools of an impact defensive end in the 3-4 and makes NYJ a solid front seven.

"2012 NFL mock draft pick, Devin Taylor"28.  Cleveland Browns (f/ATL) – Devin Taylor, DE, South Carolina

The Browns are high on Jayme Mitchell but at this point I have nothing to believe he’s going to be an impact player.  Taylor was/is a dominant pass rusher at South Carolina and could be a nice complement to 2011 second rounder, Jabaal Sheard.  At #28, Taylor is a steal in the 2012 NFL mock draft for the Browns.

29.  Pittsburgh Steelers – David DeCastro, G, Stanford

The Steelers still need help on their offensive line.  They didn’t have the cap room to get fresh faces on the OL or even keep old ones for that matter.  Their starting guards in 2011 are Ramon Foster and Chris Kemoeatu with very little depth behind them.

30.  Philadelphia Eagles – Sean Spence, LB, Miami

The one area of weakness on this team is at OLB.  They are one good OLB away from having a good, young corps of LB’s.  With Casey Matthews locking down MLB and 2010 7th rounder Jamar Chaney moving outside they are only in need of another OLB prospect.  Spence is becoming my 2012 man crush the more I watch of him.  He is a small in stature but packs a punch with each collision.

31.  New England Patriots – Shayne Skov, LB, Stanford

This guy has Patriots written all over him.  Skov can play multiple positions in either the 3-4 or 4-3.  Knowing Bill Belichick he may decide to play him at TE or FB in goal line sets.  Skov is a warrior that is only getting better with more polish.  He could be a standout in NE under Belichick.

"2012 NFL mock draft pick, Vinny Curry"32.  Green Bay Packers – Vinny Curry, LB, Marshall

Curry has played DE at Marshall and found ways to the QB.  In the NFL, he will make the transition to rush linebacker in the 3-4.  He’s a perfect fit next to Clay Matthews in Green Bay.  He’s a prospect to keep an eye on in 2011 as someone that can move up the board in the 2012 NFL mock draft.

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  • Draft One

    Sean Spence in the first round? I guess we found out who your 2012 man crush is this year. Vinny Curry, I haven’t seen in any projections. Don’t know much about him but he looks too big to make the transition to the 3-4. Maybe looks are deceiving. Love the Shayne Skov pick, he’s my official man crush. Given our last conversation I bet it was painful putting Riley Reiff in your first round. I double checked when I saw this mock to make sure it was actually yours. Nice mock, can’t complain about my Chiefs getting the best safety (IMO) to team with Berry.

  • Logan

    Angerer is actually the ILB of the future for the Colts. He’s at OLB right now because he played well enough to supplant Philip Wheeler at that spot last year when Wheeler went down with an injury. I’d guess the Colts go with Brewster if available. If not, as in this scenario, the Ray Ray Armstrong (replacing Bob Sanders), David DeCastro (Colts are trying to rebuild their O-line), or Ryan Broyles (if Reggie Wayne is allowed to walk) are better first round picks.

  • Brad


    Appreciate the feedback from a Colts fan. Don’t have many readers from Indy. I knew this pick would draw a few question marks but I only made it based on value. Kuechly may be the most complete LB of a talented bunch of ILB’s. I know they don’t typically address the LB spot early but if Kuechly is still on the board when they are up it would be a major steal. He’s solid in coverage despite not being the most athletically gifted of this year (suspected) crop of LB’s. If Kuechly weren’t there I would have went with DeCastro for the Colts. Ray Ray is a gamble because of the lack of experience at the position and I think the Colts need a proven starter in the defensive backfield. To be honest, I would stay from Armstrong unless I was willing to deal with the growing pains. Super talented athlete though. Broyles, I’m really not high on. Too inconsistent on tape and will have to run better routes in the pros. To me he’s a slot guy in the NFL and the Colts (if Wayne leaves) need a true number one guy. If Jeff Fuller makes it down to the Colts they should jump on him. Brewster will probably surface as a top 15 pick by the end of the season. Better all around prospect than either Pouncey coming out. Bold statement, I know but could be an instant standout in the NFL. Thanks for the comments

  • Brad

    I have been working up to putting Spence in the first and finally pulled the trigger. He will be my top OLB by the end of season, mark it down. Guy is nasty and a complete player. If his size matched his abilities we would be talking about him as a top 15-20 pick. You know Reiff killed me and my opinion hasn’t changed but I only see two true first round tackles in this draft and the demand will be greater than that. I knew you would love that KC pick!!!

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