Monday, January 23, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Second Edition

With the playoffs nearing an end, we finally know the NFL draft order, at least for all but the last two picks.  A few people have declared for the draft since our last edition, and others have had incidents that have dropped their draft stock.  Let's get to the draft picks.

1) Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

This pick is already set in stone.  Andrew Luck will be a Colt next year, but the future of Peyton Manning is in question.  We heard Rob Lowe come out earlier this week saying Peyton would retire later in the day, but Jim Irsay expelled those rumors quickly.  I still believe Manning will be the Colts' starting quarterback for one more year, but teams like Washington, New York, and Miami will all be interested in the All-Pro quarterback.

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

The Rams should, and probably will, trade this pick to the Cleveland Browns for both of their first rounders, and they will take Blackmon at 4.  Blackmon is a strong receiver with reliable hands that can immediately become Sam Bradford's favorite target.  Alongside Danario Alexander and Lance Kendricks, Bradford would have some solid weapons at his disposal.

3) Minnesota Vikings- Matt Kalil, OT, USC

This one is a no-brainer.  The Vikings' first priority is to protect second-year quarterback Christian Ponder.  If he has time to throw in the pocket, Ponder could develop into a very solid starter in the NFL.  Kalil will be protecting Ponder's blindside for their entire careers.  It's a match made in Heaven.

4) Cleveland Browns- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

A few weeks ago, I thought the Redskins would be the ones trading up to snag Griffin III.  But the Browns have more to offer to the Rams than the Redskins do, and they will get their quarterback of the future in the 2012 draft.  Griffin has great deep ball accuracy, and while I don't see him as a perfect fit for the current Cleveland offense, they will definitely tailor the current offense to fit his unique skill set.

5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Devon Still, DT, Penn State

It's tough to say who the best defensive tackle in the draft is, but this is a pressing need for the Buccaneers defense.  Haynesworth is obviously not a solution, and Gerald McCoy has struggled in his first two years.  I could see Still adding consistency and versatility to the middle of this line.

6)  Washington Redskins- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

Claiborne is very high on a lot of draft boards, but I could see him slipping to 6th, and the Redskins will draft him with no hesitation.  The Redskins need a top cornerback after Deangelo Hall's struggles this year, and Claiborne will immediately fill that void.  Hall is under contract for two more years, but I see Claiborne and Josh Wilson as a better duo than Hall and Wilson.

7) Jacksonville Jaguars- Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

The Jaguars desperately need help at wide receiver, but Jeffrey, Floyd, and Wright would all be reaches with the 7th pick.  They could trade back and load up on draft picks, especially since teams might want to move up to take Trent Richardson here, but I think they will be perfectly fine with drafting Coples, helping with a struggling pass rush.

8) Carolina Panthers- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

Brockers is rough around the edges after starting just one season in college.  The Panthers have time, however, to let him develop, as they are not quite ready to make the next step.  While the offense is already great, the defense needs to improve immensely if this team wants to get to the next level.  The Panthers have a bright future, and Brockers has unlimited potential, as long as he is not rushed into anything.

9) Miami Dolphins- Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama

Upshaw is a great talent, who could potentially take a nosedive in this draft.  I think the Dolphins are going to fall in love with this guy, and they will make him a top-10 pick.  If he doesn't get picked here, he could slip down to the 15 or 20 range, but he is a perfect replacement for the retiring Jason Taylor

10) Buffalo Bills- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

The Bills want Coples here, but he's too good, and I feel that he is going to have a fantastic combine.  That being said, the Bills will still be able to fill a need, grabbing a premier left tackle to protect Fitzpatrick.

11) Kansas City Chiefs- Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

This might be a bit early to pick Adams, but he is a talented lineman, and the Chiefs need right tackle help.  Adams is a solid draft pick, and the Chiefs will be happy to have him.

12) Seattle Seahawks- Alshon Jeffrey, WR, South Carolina

Despite being lower on some boards, I think Jeffrey will separate himself as the clear number-two receiver in this draft.  He played great in South Carolina's bowl game, and despite concerns about his speed, he can go up and get the ball better than anyone in this draft.  The Seahawks need help at receiver, and Jeffrey would be a great fit and a solid redzone target.

13) Arizona Cardinals- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

The value of running backs has declined in recent years, especially now that the NFL has shifted to a pass-happy league.  Richardson is very talented, but it goes to show you just how easily someone can drop 10 spots.  The Cardinals drafted Ryan Williams last year, but he has already given them reason for injury concerns.  Beanie Wells is not the answer, so Richardson is a logical pick.  The Cardinals could use help on the offensive line, but Richardson is too talented to pass at this point in the draft.

14) Dallas Cowboys- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Kirkpatrick's recent behavioral issues have almost assured himself a spot on the Cowboys' roster next season.  They need help in the secondary, and they love players with character issues.  I don't think Kirkpatrick has behavioral issues, but NFL scouts hate taking risks, and he will certainly fall on draft boards because of his latest incident.

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

This is the perfect fit for Philadelphia.  We had them taking Kuechly in our first mock draft, and every mock I've seen since has had him going to Philadelphia.  I'd bet the farm on this pick come April, as long as Kuechly is around for the Eagles at 15.

16) New York Jets- Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

Wayne Hunter was the worst player on the Jets this year.  Yes, worse than Mark Sanchez.  He was exposed game after game, and he should not be starting in the NFL.  Martin is a smart lineman who I could see getting very comfortable at right tackle.  The transition from left to right tackle is harder than advertised, but a player like Martin should have no trouble.

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

Back-to-back Stanford lineman picks here.  Decastro is the more talented of the two, but the Jets interior of the line played well enough to pick Martin instead of Decastro.  The Bengals need help on the interior of the line, and they will take as many linemen as they need to protect their franchise quarterback, Andy Dalton.

18) San Diego Chargers- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

I would rather see the Chargers use this pick for help in the secondary, but they could use more weapons on offense, especially at receiver.  Antonio Gates is constantly injured, and Vincent Jackson is as inconsistent as they come.  Give Rivers a consistent, durable target like Floyd, and see what the Pro Bowl quarterback can do.

19) Chicago Bears- Mark Barron, S, Alabama

The Bears would've loved to grab Floyd with this pick, but they will "settle" for an athletic safety like Mark Barron.  Barron has that "ball-hawk" label, and he could complete what already is a very talented defense.

20) Tennessee Titans- Nick Perry, DE, USC

Tennessee's most glaring need is defensive end, and Perry has the potential to shoot up draft boards after the combine.  The Titans come away with top-15 talent here, and they also fill a big void on the defensive side of the ball.

21) Cincinnati Bengals- Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

A lot of experts said Dennard was better than Prince Amukamara last year.  While I disagree, I think they will be picked at similar spots.  The Bengals need help in the secondary alongside Leon Hall, as they already have a very solid front seven.  Dennard is the type of polished cornerback that the Bengals have been known to draft in recent years.

22) Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta)- Chris Polk, RB, Washington

The Browns could definitely use help at running back, and Polk will be a great every-down back in the NFL in the future.  But, as I said before, the Browns will probably have to trade this pick to the Rams to get RGIII, in which case the Rams would draft Janoris Jenkins in a second.

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

The Lions need help in the secondary.  There is no doubt that this team can score points, but they have trouble stopping passing teams from scoring.  In their last two games of the season, they allowed almost 1,000 yards passing and 9 touchdowns through the air.  Not exactly promising heading into 2012.

24) Pittsburgh Steelers- Kelechi Osemele, OG, Iowa State

Osemele is versatile enough to play both guard and tackle, and the Steelers need help across the line.  This seems like a good fit, and they fill a void at arguably their most pressing need.

25) Denver Broncos- Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

Last week, I was in love with the idea of Denver taking Dwayne Allen, giving Tebow a safety valve at tight end.  But Wright has such big play ability, and other talented tight ends will be available later in the draft.  Wright has the most boom-or-bust potential of the wide receivers in this draft, and an upstart offense like Denver's could take a risk on him.

26) Houston Texans- Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

There is no denying Houston's need for offensive weapons in the passing game.  Andre Johnson is incredible, but he has been more injury-prone in recent years, and he can't do it all.  Sanu is a talented receiver who could start climbing up draft boards, and this seems like a great fit opposite Andre Johnson.

27) New England Patriots (from New Orleans)- Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina

This would be a fantastic pick for the Patriots, as they have had issues the last few years rushing the passer.  Ingram is very talented, and he could immediately make an impact on the outside for New England.

28) Green Bay Packers- Brandon Thompson, DT, North Carolina

Thompson is a big body that could join BJ Raji in the middle of the Packers line.  The Packers struggled mightily rushing the passer against the Giants, allowing Manning to tear apart this defense.  They need to address this issue if they want to get back to the Super Bowl next year.

29) Baltimore Ravens- Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

The Ravens need to replace the aging Matt Birk.  Even if Birk doesn't retire, Konz could sit behind him for a year or two, or even shift over to one of the guard spots.  But either way, this pick makes a lot of sense.

30) San Francisco 49ers- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

The 49ers would love some help at receiver or cornerback, but they would have to reach for both of those positions.  With Poe, the Niners have a chance to beef up that front 3 even more, allowing for the linebackers to make plays.

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

The weakest part of this Giants defense is the linebacking unit.  Chase Blackburn has filled in nicely this season, but they could still use some more speed and intensity, which is exactly what Burfict brings to the table.

32) New England Patriots- Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska

I don't know why, but I have a feeling that Jared Crick is destined to become a New England Patriot.  They need help in the front seven, and Crick is a perfect 3-4 defensive end.

Check back in two weeks for our next mock draft.  There should be plenty of movement in the coming weeks, as players have Senior Bowls and individual workouts to look forward to.


  1. chris, i think a trouble maker like Janoris Jenkins would fit right in with the Lions. Keen insight as always

  2. Bengals got 5 of these guys haha