Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012 Mock Draft: First Edition

Now that the draft order, at least for the first 20 picks, is set, let's take a look at the possible selections by each team in the first round.  The draft brings with it a fair share of surprises, but we here at 11-on-11 will do our best to bring you accurate draft predictions up until draft day.  So, without further ado, here is the first of many 2012 Mock Drafts.

1)  Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Despite the fact that I am not ready to call Luck "the greatest quarterback ever," and I am not completely sold on him as a quarterback, he is the clear option at number 1.  It is looking more and more as though the Colts will draft Luck, but no matter who is picking here, they will take Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in this year's draft.

2)  St. Louis Rams- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

The Rams will probably end up trading this pick to the Washington Redskins or the Cleveland Browns who will be very interested in Robert Griffin III, but I think the Rams will eventually select Justin Blackmon.  They were desperate for offensive weapons this year, and they led the league in drops by receivers.  A sure-handed, athletic receiver like Justin Blackmon could really open up the offense for Sam Bradford and company.

3) Minnesota Vikings- Matt Kalil, OT, USC

Matt Kalil is looking like the top Tackle prospect for the 2012 draft, and the Vikings main goal this offseason is to grab some players to protect Christian Ponder.  This one could change if Riley Reiff or Jonathan Martin make a move as the top tackle, but Matt Kalil is as solid as they come.

4) Cleveland Browns- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

While I wouldn't agree with taking a running back this high in the draft, the Browns are desperate for playmakers on offense.  I think Alshon Jeffrey would be the better pick here, but the Browns will have a huge void at running back with the departure of Peyton Hillis.  If Robert Griffin slips to 4, they will draft him, but I see the Redskins trading up to grab him.

5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

The Buccaneers had a terrible defense last year, and they have needs at almost every position.  Grabbing a corner to team up with Aqib Talib would be an ideal place to start rebuilding this defense, and Morris Claiborne is a supreme talent that could replace Ronde Barber immediately.

6) Washington Redskins- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

The Redskins would love to grab their quarterback of the future, Griffin, with the 6th pick, but I just don't see that happening.  Look for them to swap picks with the Rams, and Coach Mike Shanahan will be ecstatic to snag a quarterback with the accuracy and athletic ability of Griffin.

7) Jacksonville Jaguars- Alshon Jeffrey, WR, South Carolina

Alshon Jeffrey is the second best receiver in this draft class, and the Jaguars are desperate for some playmakers to surround Blaine Gabbert.  While most experts think Gabbert will be labeled a bust, we will have to see how he does next season with a big, athletic target like Jeffrey at his disposal.

8) Carolina Panthers- Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

With an explosive offense after the emergence of Cam Newton, the Panthers will look to the defensive side of the ball almost exclusively this draft.  Carolina was 25th in the league in sacks in 2011, and extra quarterback pressure could help out the secondary immensely.  Coples has already drawn comparisons to Julius Peppers, as they both went to UNC, and he could team up with Charles Johnson to form an electric pass-rush duo.

9) Miami Dolphins- Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama

Depending on who Miami's next coach is, this pick could vary as they could change defensive schemes.  But this team is already built to run a 3-4, and Upshaw would be a great replacement for the retiring Jason Taylor.

10) Buffalo Bills- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

The Bills get lucky here and scoop up an elite left tackle to protect Ryan Fitzpatrick's blindside.  This is definitely a need for Buffalo, and they should be very happy with the outcome.

11) Kansas City Chiefs- Devon Still, DT, Penn State

Just as Romeo Crennel did in New England when he drafted Vince Wilfork, I think he will want to beef up the interior of this line to shore up the defense.  The Chiefs have issues on the offensive side of the ball, but they won't be able to take a quarterback with this pick, so Devon Still seems to be the best available.

12) Seattle Seahawks- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Floyd is another talented receiver in this draft class, and he could immediately give Tarvaris Jackson a favorite target out on the field.  Floyd is a polished receiver, and I expect him to be performing at a high level almost immediately.

13) Arizona Cardinals- Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

Martin will be a rock on this offensive line for whomever is playing quarterback.  From Cardinal to Cardinals, he could be a dominant force on the Arizona line for a long time.

14) Dallas Cowboys- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

The Cowboys are desperate for help in the secondary, and they luck out by getting one of the top cornerbacks in the draft.  Kirkpatrick will be able to make an impact right away, and he was a part of arguably the greatest college defense of all time.

15) Philadelphia Eagles- Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

The Eagles have to fix their linebacking core quickly, and Kuechly is the most NFL-ready linebacker in this class.  He is a sure tackler with a nose for the football, and he will be a mainstay in the Eagles' lineup for years to come.

16) New York Jets- Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

Wayne Hunter got tossed around like a rag doll by opposing defensive ends this year.  The game against Denver, where he faced Von Miller, immediately comes to mind.  This problem needs to be addressed as soon as possible, and Mike Adams is a natural right tackle who could contribute very early on.

17) Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland)- David Decastro, OG, Stanford

The Bengals could use some help on the line and at running back, but they will try to grab a running back in a later round, so they pick up Decastro here.  He should be able to take over at right guard for the Bengals in his rookie campaign.

18) San Diego Chargers- Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

People argue that Dennard was actually the more talented of the two Nebraska cornerbacks last year, the other being Prince Amukamara.  While that may not be true, he is still a talented cornerback, and the Chargers could use help in the secondary.  This pick seems like a no-brainer.

19) Chicago Bears- Mark Barron, SS, Alabama

The Bears could use some safety help, and there won't be a receiver worth drafting left here, so I think they will go with Mark Barron.  Barron is very athletic, and he will be the ball-hawking safety that the Bears are looking for.

20)  Tennessee Titans- Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson

Thompson is higher on most draft boards, and the Titans will realize that they are getting a steal and a filling a need with the 20th pick.  He's a perfect fit for the 4-3, and he will be starting from day one.

21) Cincinnati Bengals- Chris Polk, RB, Washington

I think the Bengals will want to go running back here, especially after the performance that Benson put on in the playoff game against Houston.  The decision is whether to grab Polk or Lamar Miller.  I like Polk as a better fit for the Bengals, fitting in as another bruising back in the AFC North.  He will be able to hold up against these tough defenses, and he will definitely find success in Cincinnati.

22)  Cleveland Browns (from Falcons) - Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina

The Browns stole this pick form the Falcons last year, and now they can add a strong linebacker to their top-10 defense in Zach Brown.  Brown should start immediately alongside D'Qwell Jackson, assuming he is still in Cleveland next season.  Browns personnel are hopeful that they will have Jackson back next season.

23) Detroit Lions- Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

The former Florida cornerback is flying under the radar as he was forced to transfer to North Alabama, but he is still a very talented cornerback.  The Lions have struggled in pass defense, and were exposed particularly last week against the Saints.  That game could've been very different if the Lions had been able to capitalize on a few errant throws by Brees, and a playmaker like Jenkins will make the most of these opportunities.

24) Pittsburgh Steelers- Donta Hightower, LB, Alabama

The Steelers could address a number of issues with this pick, but I think they will add to the interior of their defense by grabbing Hightower to help out alongside Lawrence Timmons.  James Farrior is getting older, and injuries are becoming a concern, so Hightower could be the perfect guy to step in when Farrior needs a break.

25) Denver Broncos- Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson

The Broncos could use a safety valve for Tim Tebow next year, and Allen is the perfect guy for the job. Assuming the Broncos don't feel the need to draft a quarterback (I hope they have learned that by now), this seems like a solid pick that fills a void on the offense.  The Broncos could also go running back here, which would leave them with Lamar Miller, but Allen is the best tight end in the draft, and he can run block.

26) New York Giants- Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State

The Giants have a chance to steal one of the most talented players in the draft here, as long as he can control his penalties and temper.  Burfict has speed and attitude, and the Giants linebacking unit seems to be lacking in both.  This pick just works.

27) Houston Texans- Nick Perry, OLB, USC

The Texans could add another piece to an already fierce linebacking crew.  I struggled mightily with this pick, and I think the Texans could easily go with a receiver or Jared Crick, but Perry fits the scheme and could take over for Connor Barwin in the near future.  If nothing more, he adds depth at an important position.

28) New England Patriots (from New Orleans)- Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska

The Patriots pick up Crick quickly, as he is perfect for the 3-4 and a relative steal at this point in the draft.  the Patriots should use both of these first round picks on the defensive side of the ball.

29) Baltimore Ravens- Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

Matt Birk is old.  Really old.  The wheels are going to fall off at some point, so you might as well grab a quality center to learn under Birk for a year before he takes over the show.

30) San Francisco 49ers- Juron Criner, WR, Arizona

The 49ers could use a few more weapons for Alex Smith, and Criner would complement Crabtree nicely.  The 49ers could go a number of ways with this pick, but receiver seems the most logical.

31) New England Patriots- Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Illinois

Mercilus is an incredible name for a linebacker, and hopefully he will help the Patriots on their way to a merciless pass rush.  The Patriots are in dire need of some big, athletic linebackers who can get to the quarterback, and Mercilus fits that mold.

32) Green Bay Packers-  Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

You could say that the Packers don't have needs, but their running game has struggled with consistency this year, and Lamar Miller would offer them a fast running back with the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.  Miller's receiving ability makes him a perfect fit for this pass-happy offense.

Check back in a few weeks for the second edition.


  1. I love your mock pick of Kilpatrick to the boys'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. i agree...the drug incident made two things clear. 1. he will drop to 14. 2. he is destined to have a star on his helmet now. gettin back to the 90's boys lol

    2. Yeah, you have to have a criminal background for the boys to want you

  2. a little disclaimer, made this mock draft before a few people declared for the draft. the changes will be reflected in the next mock. check back in a week for the newest one

  3. Great perspective of Denver taking a TE, dont you think they might want defensive line though?

    1. I could definitely see them going d-line as well, but I think they will use this first round pick somewhere on the offensive side of the ball. If they are serious about tebow being the starting quarterback, they need some guys he can depend on to check down to. all tebow did this year was throw deep, he needs to be able to vary his throws. defensive line is another need for them, and i see them addressing that in the 2nd or 3rd round. But if they do use the first rounder on a defensive end, whitney mercilus and nick perry are both very good options.

    2. they really need a top notch reciever or lineman in my opp.

  4. Who are some of the big name free agents coming out this offseason?

    1. on the dline the biggest names are robert mathis, mario williams, cliff avril, calais campbell, and john abraham. I expect mathis, abraham, and possibly one other to move teams. campbell and mario will probably stay in arizona and houston, respectively. jermichael finley will be a free agent, and its looking more and more like the packers won't resign him, so if the broncos want to address other needs with their pick, they could sign jermichael to fill that void.

    2. As a Falcons fan, I really think Abraham is switching teams. He had a tremendous year, but we have Ray Edwards and Kroy Biermann to play at DE if we lose Abraham. Mario Williams resigns for sure and if he doesn't, the Texans can still franchise him and get a 1st and 3rd round pick from anyone who wants him. He's out of the question. Mathis is a great option as a free agent. He's probably leaving and always productive opposite Freeney.

  5. i see some names that i find highly unlikely to be picked in the first round

    1. true, you just never know until after the combine. i've included some names of guys that i think have the potential to impress in the combine, thus rising their draft stock from mid-2nd to late first.

  6. Im not buying richardson that high....I think he takes a free fall and is drafted late first at the earliest

    1. Couldn't disagree more. Richardson will go to Cleveland or Tampa Bay at 4 or 5.

  7. The Panthers wont get Coples because they dont need him they already have Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy I think they get Kirkpatrick, Ashton Jeffrey, or Luke

    1. I agree with you not Coples, but they need help in the front seven desperately. The rushing defense was torched for 3/4 of the season. The secondary is solid and Kirkpatrick seems like a stretch. I could see Jeffrey for sure because Smith is getting up there in years.