2012 NFL Mock Draft: Post Combine Edition

1. Indianapolis Colts - QB Andrew Luck, Stanford. There will be some people out there who say the Colts are debating between Luck and Griffin III. No, they are not. This pick will be Luck. No drama here.

Other Possibilities: I suppose if Andrew Luck pulls a Len Bias or runs away to join the circus or something, they would look at Robert Griffin III or maybe even Matt Kalil, but this pick will be Luck.

2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis Rams) - QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor. Projected Trade. It is no secret that the Rams want to trade this pick. With every RG3 success story, the price of this pick goes up. There are some people who think they should move on from Sam Bradford and take Griffin here. I don't believe in that. RG3 looks like a sure thing, but you never really know. Bradford showed enough during his rookie season that you have to continue to ride with him. So St. Louis will try to get the best package they can.

I picked the Redskins for a few reasons. They are very aggressive when they want something. I think they are willing to give up more then the Dolphins, Browns and Seahawks are. Seattle has too much of a jump to the second spot. They would have to give up way too much. The Dolphins are rumored to not want to work with the Rams after the whole Jeff Fisher thing. That makes no sense to me, but I think they are more focused on adding Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn. As for the Browns, on paper, they are a logical fit. They have two first round picks, and would only have to move up two spots. But the Rams have one of the most conservative front offices in the league. There are reports of them not wanting to give up the 22nd overall pick in a trade, and that falls right in line with what I have been saying about them. Griffin would give the city of Cleveland their biggest sports star since LeBron James, but Cleveland has never shown me they really care about adding dynamic talent to their team.

So that leaves Washington, who is dying to add a new face of the franchise. No real explanation needed.

Other Possibilities: If the Rams do keep this pick, I think it has to be Matt Kalil. He had amazing workouts to go along with a lot of impressive game tape. He is the only true franchise left tackle in this draft, and is worth so much more then Justin Blackmon.

3. Minnesota Vikings - OT Matt Kalil, USC. Robert Griffin III will make three franchises very happy. The team that trades up for him, the Rams for gaining so many valuable picks, and the Vikings, who will have Matt Kalil fall right into their laps. The Vikings offensive line was a complete disaster last year, and Kalil will help solidify the left side. No brainer.

Other Possibilities: I just can't see one. Maybe Justin Blackmon in the event that the Rams stay at #2 and take Kalil.

4. Cincinnati Bengals (from Cleveland Browns) - RB Trent Richardson, Alabama. Projected Trade. I haven't heard any rumors or seen any insight on this. It is just a trade I think would make sense for both teams, even though the chance of division rivals making a trade like this isn't that high.

The Bengals struck it rich with their 2011 draft, adding a future (current) Pro Bowl wideout and a new starting quarterback. The offense is young, and very talented. The only thing they are missing is that every down running back. Backs aren't taken in the top ten very often, but they are if a team believes he can be a three down guy. And Richardson is just that. He is the best back in the draft since Darren McFadden. The Bengals absolutely lucked into a second first round pick, so why not cash in the house money for a stud? I would love to see this happen.

As for the Browns, they are as conservative as conservative can be. This would give them three picks in the first round, and the team still has holes all over the place. I think they would do this in an instant.

Other Possibilities: Three guys here would make sense if the Browns stayed where they were. Trent Richardson, Justin Blackmon and Morris Claiborne. I think Claiborne would be the most likely pick, since the Browns seem to want to give Colt McCoy as little as possible to work with.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - CB Morris Claiborne, LSU. Ronde Barber is reaching his late 30's and Aqib Talib is pretty much year to year due to his off the field troubles. Claiborne is head and shoulders at the top of a weak cornerback class. He would really help solidify a young but improving defense.

Other Possibilities: The team would take a long, hard look at Trent Richardson if he was available here. He would be the workhorse back this team needs and the focal point of the offense. Justin Blackmon is a possibility, as the team thinks Mike Williams is more of a number two option (they are right).

6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) - WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma St. The Rams trade down but still land a guy they are looking at. I have some doubts about Justin Blackmon. He doesn't possess the amazing size/skill combo that recent top ten wideouts have, but he is a pro and should be a pretty good number one wideout. It is well past time for the Rams to give Sam Bradford someone to throw to.

Other Possibilities: I don't really see any other options for the Rams here, so if they trade down, they better hope Blackmon falls to them. This draft is heavy on defensive lineman, so they could reach for a tackle. There is no need for another defensive end.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars - WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame. Too high for Floyd? Well, this is the Jaguars, who took Tyson Alualu a round too early a couple years ago and actually traded UP to take Blaine Gabbert last year, so they obviously throw their draft board into a blender and pick that way. As for the pick, the Jags desperately need to give Gabbert someone to throw to. Floyd has good size and hands, and with a good combine looks to be the clear number two pick. Realistically I think he goes in the teens, but a team could surprise. This is a pass happy league now.

Other Possibilities: Jeremy Mincey came out of nowhere to have a good season for Jacksonville last year, but it has seemed like forever since the Jaguars have had a consistent pass rush. So Quinton Coples and Melvin Ingram would be good choices here as well. Especially since Mincey is a free agent and likely to be overpaid somewhere.

8. Miami Dolphins - DE Quinton Coples, North Carolina. The Dolphins are moving to the 4-3, so they really need to add personnel for that scheme. Cameron Wake will be asked to hold down one end spot, and Coples has the size and skills to really be a terror on the other side. The question with him is if he has the desire. Like seemingly every other big time North Carolina defender, he underachieved in college.

Other Possibilities: Melvin Ingram is like the anti-Coples. He doesn't have great size but his motor is non stop and he was a big play machine for the Gamecocks. He could play hybrid end/linebacker if the Dolphins decide to throw a variety of looks at the opposing offense. Riley Reiff is another possibility. The Dolphins have nothing on the right side of the line. In fact, even David DeCastro could get some looks here, although it is almost unheard of for a guard to go in the top ten.

9. Carolina Panthers - DT Dontari Poe, Memphis. Poe had a monster combine, and the Haloti Ngata comparisons are flying in from all over the place. Which means someone will overdraft the monster from Memphis. The Panthers will take him here and hope he provides some play making skills as a 4-3 tackle. It is rare for a man this big to become a playmaker like smaller tackles like Ndamukong Suh. Buyer beware.

Other Possibilities: The Panthers did not get much production across Charles Johnson, so I think Melvin Ingram would be a good fit here. Fletcher Cox is a different kind of tackle, more of a classic 4-3 tackle, and could get looks here. Kendall Wright as well if he rebounds from

10. Buffalo Bills - DE/OLB Melvin Ingram, South Carolina. The Bills are still paying dearly for the Aaron Maybin debacle. They really don't have anyone who can get to the quarterback and make plays. Ingram was a highlight reel in Columbia, and can play both end and linebacker for the Bills, who still seem confused as to the type of defense they want to run.

Other Possibilities: The Bills may want to prove that the Ryan Fitzpatrick extension wasn't a huge mistake (it was, of course), so they could continue to draft offensive guys. Kendall Wright or a right tackle like Riley Reiff.

11. Kansas City Chiefs - OT Riley Reiff, Iowa. The Chiefs offensive line has gotten better recently, but they are still pretty weak as a whole. Some idiots out there ranked Reiff ahead of Matt Kalil. That is asinine, but if he gets to play right tackle, Reiff should be one of the better guys on that side in the NFL.

12. Seattle Seahawks - DT Fletcher Cox, Mississippi St. I really don't know which direction the Seahawks are going to go. Their defensive line was great against the run but had trouble getting to the quarterback. Cox is a penetrator who is coming off a good combine.

13. Arizona Cardinals - MLB Luke Kuechly, Boston College. Kuechly knows how to pile up the tackling numbers. The Cardinals, even after running the 3-4 for a few years, seriously lack linebackers for the scheme. Kuechly is a great fit for the scheme.

14. Dallas Cowboys - OG David DeCastro, Stanford. The interior of the Cowboys line is a mess. DeCastro is the best guard prospect to come along in years, and I think he might actually be gone before this. DeMarco Murray will love this draft pick, then he will try to hi five himself and get injured.

15. Philadelphia Eagles - WR Kendall Wright, Baylor. The DeSean Jackson situation is a complete mess. I think 2012 will definitely be his last year in Philadelphia. Wright had a disappointing combine, but I think he will still be a good pro with speed to burn. A good fit with Philadelphia.

16. New York Jets - OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford. Wayne Hunter is a pretty pathetic right tackle. The Jets want to lean on the run, and aren't afraid to spend first round picks on the offensive line. Martin could hold down the right side or even kick inside, where there is a hole there.

17. Cleveland Browns (from Oakland Raiders via Cincinnati Bengals) - DE Courtney Upshaw, Alabama. The first of three picks the Browns now have in this mock. They can pretty much go best player available at every position, since they are so starved for talent. Upshaw looks like he might be too big and slow to play 3-4 outside linebacker. But if he continues to bulk up he could be a good pass rusher at end. Other then Jabaal Sheard, Cleveland has no one that can get to the quarterback.

18. San Diego Chargers - DE/DT Michael Brockers, LSU. Luis Castillo was finally released. He could just never stay healthy. The Chargers took end Corey Liuget in the first round last year, and look to fill the other end spot with Brockers. He is young and probably not ready to be a consistent contributor, but has great size and skills for the position.

19. Chicago Bears - CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama. The Bears are aging at several positions and will use this pick to draft an eventual replacement. So it could be a number of different directions. Chicago has a few corners that are free agents. Kirkpatrick falls a bit due to concerns that he might have to eventually move to safety.

20. Tennessee Titans - OG Cordy Glenn, Georgia. I am not blaming Chris Johnson's troubles on the offensive line, because his lack of success goes way beyond that, but the fact is the interior failed to open lanes for CJ last year.

21. Cleveland Browns (from Cincinnati Bengals) - RB Lamar Miller, Miami. Peyton Hillis is certifiably insane, and probably won't be back next year. Since the team won't find weapons for Colt McCoy to throw to, they should at least draft a three down back to hand off to. Miller would form a nice duo with Montario Hardesty.

22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta Falcons) - QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M. As much as I hate to admit it, Tannehill will probably be a first round draft pick. If he falls this far some team will probably trade back up into the first round to take him. Cleveland could, I suppose. So here he is.

23. Detroit Lions - CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama. Jenkins would be gone in the teens if he wasn't such a knucklehead. The Lions like to draft the best player available, and that is definitely Janoris. I think they are one team that can look past the off the field problems and take the guy, because they could really use his talent.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers - MLB Dont'a Hightower, Alabama. When James Farrior was released, you could begin to etch this pick in stone. The Steelers always use the draft to replace aging veterans.

25. Denver Broncos - DT Devon Still, Penn St. A few castoffs held down the fort for the Broncos last year, but they need to find a long term solution at defensive tackle.

26. Houston Texans - WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina. Maybe it is because I live in Columbia, South Carolina, but I still think Jeffery is a first round pick. He probably isn't, but the talent hasn't gone away. He may be a double cheeseburger away from becoming Mike Williams, but if he can keep his weight in check, he would be a great second option across from Andre Johnson.

27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans Saints) - S Mark Barron, Alabama. The Patriots are searching high and low for someone to play next to Patrick Chung. Barron is the one good safety prospect in this class.

28. Green Bay Packers - DE/OLB Whitney Mercilus, Illinois. Clay Matthews had a much more difficult second season for Green Bay, mostly because he was doubled all the time. The Packers have no one else that can get to the quarterback.

29. Baltimore Ravens - WR Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech. Hill is the latest in a long line of freakish stud wideouts to come out of Georgia Tech's wacky offense. Calvin Johnson and Deymarius Thomas pave the way for Hill, who is 6'5 with speed to burn.

30. San Francisco 49ers - WR Reuben Randle, LSU. The Niners would have liked to get Hill here, but he is gone. Randle is a first round bubble prospect. The Niners need to bring in some bodies at wideout, even if they sign Mike Wallace or Vincent Jackson.

31. New England Patriots - DE/OLB Nick Perry, USC. Perry is a hybrid end/linebacker who would be a nice fit with the Patriots. They are losing a few key defensive free agents.

32. New York Giants - TE Coby Fleener, Stanford. Jake Ballard tore his knee during the Super Bowl and won't be ready for the start of next season. He is mediocre anyways.

Jonathan Carrano

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Anonymous said...

The Lions won't take Jenkins. Remember, Matt Millen is no longer in charge and who really wants the distraction of this Shawn Kemp wannabe?

Anonymous said...

I really like the trade for the Browns but i really dislike the selections. Upshaw just doesn't fit what the Browns front office likes in their DEs. Both GM Tom Heckert and D coordinator Dick Jaroun have a history of going with small quick ends like Nick Perry. Also even if the Browns don't bring back Hillis i don't think they should take a RB in the 1st. IMO Miller isn't really head and shoulders above the rest of this running back class. And lastly i agree that there is going to be a team that reaches for Tannehill in the 1st but i can't see it being the Browns. This Front office has never spent a 1st round pick on a QB and Holmgren likes to find his project QB late in the draft. If the Browns don't land RG3 i think the 3rd round is the earliest they target a QB.