So I’m back with the next version of my 2012 NFL Mock Draft and alot has changed since the first one. There’s an extra trade and there alot of changed picks, with previous ones noted. The order is basically set, with only the last two picks to be determined in the Super Bowl. As I said before, I’ll be updating this mock periodically right up until the actual event and especially after the Combine and Free Agency are over.
1. Indianapolis – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Andrew Luck will be the pick here, without a doubt. The drama surrounding what the Colts will do with Manning does not change this pick. They could have Luck be the starter from Day 1 or keep Manning around to help him along. Either way Luck will be a Colt.
2. Washington(from St Louis) – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
With all the talk of teams trading up for RG3, the Redskins trade with St Louis to make sure they get their future signalcaller. He can make plays happen with his arms and his feet and will be a force in the NFL.
3. Jacksonville(from Minnesota) – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
The opportunity to have a player like Blackmon will be cause the Jags to move up. If they want Gabbert to succeed, then they need to give him someone to throw to and the Jags’ WRs were terrible last season. Blackmon is a game-breaking receiver and a threat to score on any play.
(Previous Pick: Quinton Coples, DE, UNC)
4. Cleveland – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
The Browns desperately need an offensive weapon and Richardson more then fits the bill. He is a one man wrecking crew who bowls over opposing defenses. He racked up yards game after game and will add a new dimension to Cleveland’s offense.
(Previous: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State)
5. Tampa Bay – Matt Kalil, OT, USC
The Bucs miss out on the two premier offensive playmakers they wanted, but Kalil is a great consolation prize. He’s the top OT in the draft and will help Blount in the run game and Freeman stand up in the pocket.
(Previous: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama)
6. St Louis(from Washington) – Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Trading down robs them of the chance to draft Kalil, but Martin is still very good. He has done an excellent job blocking for Andrew Luck and is equally talented in blocking for the run and the pass.
(Previous: Matt Kalil, OT, USC)
7. Minnesota(from Jacksonville) – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
This pick could go several ways, but the Vikings have too big of a need in the secondary. Playing in a division with QBs Rodgers and Stafford, they need top pass protection to compete. Claiborne provides just that to go along with speed and big play ability.
8. Carolina – Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Since Kirkpatrick decided to get arrested, the Panthers will move onto a fast riser in Brockers. He was surrounded by talent in Baton Rouge, but nonetheless has a combination of speed, skill and strength that will be very tempting on draft day.
(Previous: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama)
9. Miami – Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
The Dolphins could use an OT, but the top DE is still on the board and I believe they would take him. Coples’ combination of size, speed and athleticism will allow him to get to the QB constantly. A dominant pass rush has done wonders for teams just this past season.
(Previous: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford)
10. Buffalo – Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
The Bills really need an edge rusher and Ingram more then fits the bill. He could beat O-lineman with his physicality as a DE or get to the QB with his speed as an OLB. He’ll be a big piece of an improving Buffalo defense.
(Previous: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama)
11. Kansas City – Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
An offensive tackle would do wonders for the Chief’s O-line. Reiff has been consistent throughout the season in handling his blocks. Though he may need to add some bulk to handle the bigger DEs in the NFL, he has all the tools to be successful.
12. Seattle – Devin Still, DE/DT, Penn State
The ‘Hawks need a legit rush threat off the edge on defense and while Still is not quite there yet, he hast he tools to become a premier option. He mostly played DT, but with his potential, he can grow into an edge rushing DE.
(Previous: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina)
13. Arizona – Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabma
The Cardinals have a big need on the O-line, but barring a trade there are no players with taking here. Instead they jump at the chance to take a premier talent in Upshaw who the stats and big game performances to back up the hype.
(Previous: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College)
14. Dallas – Alfonso Dennard, CB, Nebraska
The ‘Boys need a cornerback for Ryan’s defense to work properly. Dennard more then has the talent to succeed on Sundays. He has the skills, but perhaps his best trait is that he’s smart and doesn’t make mistakes.
(Previous: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama)
15. Philadelphia – Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
The Eagles’ rush defense wasn’t that spectacular last season and fixing it will be a focus in the offseason. Kuechly will definitely help in that department. During the season, he seemed to be all over the field making plays and was a tackling machine every game.
(Previous: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois)
16. NY Jets – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Yes the J-E-T-S have Holmes and Burress, but they could use another receiver. Floyd has a great combination of size and speed and I’m sure Sanchez will be glad he’ll be throwing to him.
17. Cincinnati(from Oakland) – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Kirkpatrick’s arrest for pot possession will cause him to slipdown draft boards, but not the Bengals. They desperately need help at the corner with Hall’s injury and Clements’ age. This will cause them to take a chance on a premium talent that will slip down in Round 1.
(Previous: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska)
18. San Diego – Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
The Chargers need to focus on their defensive front seven this offseason. Perry could play either DE or OLB for them, though it’s more likely he’ll be the latter. He has speed off the snap and a variety of moves to get into the backfield.
19. Chicago – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Jay Cutler needs someone to throw to and RG3’s favorite receiver will fill the need. Wright has all the tools to be a true #1 receiver, including great athleticism and solid hands that can make some amazing grabs.
(Previous: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford)
20. Tennessee – David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
Chris Johnson sputtered at RB this past season and upgrading the O-line will be a major objective for the Titans in the offseason. That’s where DeCastro comes in. He is a dominant run blocker and a big reason for Stanford’s success on the ground, who will only help Johnson.
(Previous: Devon Still, DE/DT, Penn State)
21. Cincinnati – Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
This is probably too high for Miller, but the Bengals don’t have much of a ground game. His main asset is his speed, which he can use to break some long runs. He would add another young offensive piece to go with Dalton and Green.
22. Cleveland (from Atlanta) – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Recognizing their huge need for a QB, the Browns will select the rising Tannehill, who is benefiting greatly from Landry Jones’ decision. Tannehill’s recent injury could raise concerns, but Cleveland might get desperate if he can bounce back.
23. Detroit – Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Dominic Raiola is on the downside of his career and it’s time to find his replacement. Konz has the results to back up his skills as he has handled top players like Jerel Worthy and Jared Crick in the Big Ten. He can block equally as well for the run as the pass and will be anchor in the middle of the Lion O-line.
24. Pittsburgh – Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia
The Steelers need an upgrade at guard and Cordy Glenn fits the bill. He positions himself well to make blocks, utilizing quick feet to do so. He can pass protect, though he’s better at run blocking. He had a bad game against Boise State, but improved as the season wore on.
25. Denver – Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
The Broncos need a run stuffing defensive tackle and that’s exactly what they get with Worthy. He has the strength to break off blocks from the O-line and zero in on the running back. He’ll also create space for the LBs to get into the backfield.
26. Houston – Mohammed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones are not effective targets across from Andre Johnson. Sanu is on the rise after breaking several records this past season and has a nice mix of skills that he uses to beat defenders.
(Previous: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina)
27. New England(from New Orleans) – Mark Barron, S, Alabama
The Pats have some young players in their secondary, but in this pass happy league, you can never have too many defensive backs. Barron is a hard hitter with excellent instincts. He can cover receivers as well as come up for run support.
28. Green Bay – Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
The Packers don’t have any real immediate needs, but one they could turn their attention to is an edge rusher opposite Clay Matthews. Mercilus was a DE in college, but could transition to an OLB in the NFL. His high motor led to a very productive past season.
(Previous: Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina)
29. Baltimore – Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
Ray Lewis only has a few years left and the Ravens need to start looking for his successor. Hightower is a rock in the middle, chasing down ball carriers and can also join the blitz if needed. He’ll benefit greatly learning from Lewis.
30. San Francisco – Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
The Niners could use a CB, but their defense is already good, so they turn to improving the offense. Jeffery has the size that will make him a dangerous red zone target for Alex Smith. His considerable skills allowed him to succeed in the tough SEC.
(Previous: Mohammed Sanu, WR, Rutgers)
31. New England – Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
The Pats use another pick to shore up their terrible pass defense. Jenkins has elite cover skills, but his off field issues have caused his stock to drop. Belichick should remedy that and at least get Jenkins focused enough to tap into his potential.
(Previous: Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall)
32. NY Giants – Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State
Burfict is a run stopper of the highest caliber that plays with a very high motor. He can slip past blockers and tackle with ease. The caveat is that he can lose control of his emotions, but the Giants staff can work on directing that aggression properly.