2012 NFL Mock Draft: Projecting Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III & Best QBs

Collin McCollough@cmccolloNFL Deputy EditorJanuary 2, 2012

STANFORD, CA - NOVEMBER 26:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal in action against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Stanford Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Stanford, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Every NFL draft, or NFL mock draft for that matter, seems to prove the same point: quarterbacks are the most valued position in any draft.  You see it with Cam Newton, with Matthew Stafford, with Eli and Peyton Manning and, unfortunately, as Oakland Raiders fans will tell you, with JaMarcus Russell as well.  This is a QB's league.  As such, they are hypervalued on draft boards.

So which QBs will be taken in the first round this year?  Let's take a look at the latest 2012 NFL mock draft with top quarterback projections.  

Which teams will invest in Stanford's Andrew Luck, Baylor's Robert Griffin III or Oklahoma's Landry Jones?

1.  Indianapolis Colts—Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

SEATTLE - OCTOBER 30:  Quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal rushes against Hau'oli Jamora #52 of the Washington Huskies on October 30, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. Stanford won 41-0. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Simply put, Jim Irsay, Bill Polian or whoever is running the Colts these days can't afford to pass on Luck.  He's one of the finest QB prospects to come along in quite some time, and certainly one of the most pro-polished passers.  Not that he needs to be, of course, if Peyton Manning returns healthy for another three or four years.

The Colts should hope for a Brett Favre-to-Aaron Rodgers type handoff, with an NFL great mentoring a promising rookie.  There's no reason the two can't co-exist, unless Luck doesn't want to ride the pine for a few seasons...in which case, Indy should seek to trade the pick for a king's ransom.

2.  St. Louis Rams—Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

WACO, TX - DECEMBER 03:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Baylor Bears looks to pass during a game against the Texas Longhorns at Floyd Casey Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III may not have number two overall talent (I would have him in the five-to-nine range based on overall talent), but the drop-off between Luck, Griffin III and all other QBs in the 2012 NFL draft will surely overinflate Griffin's value.

St. Louis is actually in a wonderful position here, or as wonderful a position as a terrible team without dibs on Luck could be.  With Sam Bradford, the Rams don't need a QB, so they could look to trade out of the number two pick and fix a litany of problems on their roster.  

Teams like the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks would have to be close to the phones on draft day and intrigued about the possibility of moving up.

Look for the Rams to try and trade down from number two overall, and a QB-starved team to trade far too much to move up.  For their sake, they had better hope Griffin is worth it.

3.  Minnesota Vikings — Matt Kalil, OT, USC

4.  Cleveland Browns — Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

5.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama

6.  Washington Redskins — Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

7.  Jacksonville Jaguars — Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

8.  Carolina Panthers — Alshon Jeffrey, WR, South Carolina

9.  Miami Dolphins — Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

10.  Buffalo Bills — Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

11.  Seattle Seahawks — Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 30:  Quarterback Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners throws a pass during the Insight Bowl against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Sun Devil Stadium on December 30, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Oklahoma's Landry Jones is probably bottom-of-the-first-round talent in the 2012 NFL draft, but if you doubt he'll end up in the top 15, you haven't watched many drafts.

Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker went far too high in the 2011 NFL draft.  I don't expect the case to be any different with Jones.  QB-starved teams will try to trade up and nab Griffin, but if they can't, look for them to reach on Jones, who has some serious accuracy and system questions coming out of Oklahoma.

That said, could Jones really be much worse than the Tarvaris Jackson/Charlie Whitehurst combo in Seattle right now?  He would have to be a special brand of awful if so.  Should Jones fall to the Seahawks, look for them to pull the trigger.

12.  Kansas City Chiefs — Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

13.  Arizona Cardinals — Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

14.  Philadelphia Eagles — Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

15.  New York Jets — Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

16.  Oakland Raiders — Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina

17.  San Diego Chargers — Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona

18.  Chicago Bears — Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

19.  New York Giants * — Janoris Jenkins, CB, Miami

20.  Tennessee Titans — David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

21.  Denver Broncos — Devon Still, DT, Penn State

22.  Dallas Cowboys * — Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

23.  Cincinnati Bengals — Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

24.  Houston Texans — Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama

25.  Atlanta Falcons — Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

26.  Detroit Lions — Stephon Gllmore, CB, South Carolina

27.  Pittsburgh Steelers — Cordy Glenn, OL, Georgia

28.  Baltimore Ravens — Ronnell Lewis, LB, Oklahoma

29.  New Orleans Saints — Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson

30.  San Francisco 49ers — Alameda Ta'amu, DT, Washington

31.  New England Patriots — Mark Barron, S, Alabama

32.  Green Bay Packers — Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska

* Pending results of Sunday Night Football's Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants game.


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