2012 NFL Mock Draft: Prospects the Remaining Playoff Teams Should Target
Despite advancing to the second round of the postseason, the eight remaining playoff teams have roster holes to fill heading into next season and will look to do so in the 2012 NFL draft.
Let's take at the prospects they should target.
Denver Broncos— Devon Still, DT, Penn State
The Broncos can run the football, but they have their troubles stopping it. They surrendered 126.3 yards on the ground per game and would love to have a beefy, disruptive defensive tackle that can help against the run and take some pass-rushing pressure off Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller.
Still's their guy. Expect a running back to be picked at some point, too.
New England Patriots—Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson and Mark Barron, S, Alabama
The Patriots offense, well, it's just fine. The defense? Not so much. Based on what he's done in the past, Bill Belichick will most likely trade one of these first-round picks, but I'd be shocked if they didn't go defense.
Brandon Thompson can be paired next to Vince Wilfork and has the athleticism to rush the passer. A safety duo of Patrick Chung and Mark Barron would be a formidable one, and would certainly strike fear into receivers going across the middle and running backs reaching the second level.
Houston Texans—Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
There's a chance Floyd will be selected before the Texans pick in the late stages of the first round, but if he's there, the Texans should jump on the opportunity to draft him.
Although he's similar in size and stature to Andre Johnson, Houston's star wideout needs a complement. Jacoby Jones isn't threatening enough.
Baltimore Ravens—Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
The Ravens should be looking to groom a replacement to Ray Lewis.
Kuechly isn't nearly as big or athletic enough to be an instant thumper at the inside linebacker position, but he's a tackling machine and could become a fine player learning the game from the legendary Baltimore linebacker.
New Orleans Saints—Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska (2nd round)
The Saints don't have a pick until the second round, and they'll almost certainly be looking to add help around Jonathan Vilma in the linebacking corps. David has a good football IQ and enters the NFL as a solid all-around outside linebacker. He had 11.5 sacks and a whopping 276 total tackles in his last two seasons.
His athleticism will fit into Gregg Williams' ultra-aggressive, blitz-happy scheme.
San Francisco 49ers—Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
The 49ers don't need much. Their offensive line is decent and loaded with youthful talent like Anthony Davis, Mike Iupati and Joe Staley. However, interior offensive lineman Jonathan Goodwin is 33, and they'd love to acquire another young trenchman.
Konz is a perfect fit.
New York Giants—Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
David Diehl is 31 and Kareem McKenzie is 33, so selecting a youthful offensive tackle for depth would be in the Giants' best interest for the future.
Green Bay Packers—Chris Polk, RB, Washington
With a solid pre-draft process Polk could move up in the middle of the first round, but if he falls to the Packers, they'd love to add him and make him their feature back.
At 5'11'', 225, with a hard-nosed running style and great agility in the open field, he fits the mold.
Improving their running prowess would make them a more dangerous offense, if that's possible.
2012 NFL Mock Draft (Jan. 10 Update)
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
2. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
6. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
8. Carolina Panthers: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
9. Miami Dolphins: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
10. Buffalo Bills: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
11. Seattle Seahawks: Nick Perry, OLB, USC
12. Kansas City Chiefs: Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
13. Arizona Cardinals: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
14. Dallas Cowboys: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Vontaze Burfict, LB Arizona State
16. New York Jets: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland Raiders): Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
18. San Diego Chargers: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
19. Chicago Bears: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
20. Tennessee Titans: Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta Falcons): Ronnell Lewis, LB, Oklahoma
23. Detroit Lions: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Cordy Glenn, OL, Georgia
25. Denver Broncos: Devon Still, DT, Penn State
26. Houston Texans: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
27. New York Giants: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
28. Baltimore Ravens: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
29. New England Patriots (from New Orleans Saints): Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
30. San Francisco 49ers: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
31. New England Patriots: Mark Barron, S, Alabama
32. Green Bay Packers: Chris Polk, RB, Washington
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