2012 NFL Mock Draft: Surprising Players Who Will Sneak into Top 10

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IJanuary 30, 2012

This mock draft gets a jump on the competition by forecasting the surprise high-profile selection in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Experts can release mock after mock, but there is always at least one team that confounds every mock with a surprise top-10 selection. 

In my mock draft below, two such selections are highlighted.

Richard Langford's Mock Draft

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Andrew Luck is the polar opposite of a player sneaking into the top anything.  

2. St. Louis Rams: Matt Kalil, OT, USC

Kalil is explosive and powerful. He has long arms and good feet. He is the perfect tackle prospect. 

3. Minnesota Vikings: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

Morris Claiborne is an elite corner prospect that will also bring value in the return game.  

4. Cleveland Browns: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

Colt McCoy is not the answer, but RGIII is. Griffin's potential is nearly limitless. 

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

Richardson is a complete and dominant back that will be an instant upgrade for Tampa. 

6. Washington Redskins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

Why This is a Surprise

Tannehill has been making a slow and steady climb up the draft boards that will prove to be greatly accelerated by Matt Barkley and Landry Jones returning to school. 

Despite all of this, he is widely perceived as a late first-round selection. That will be far from the reality when Washington takes him at No. 6.

Why the Redskins Make This Selection

Washington needs a QB in the worst way, and Tannehill is a solid Shanahan-type of QB. They could try and trade down, but they'd run the risk of missing out on him, and that is not a risk they will take. 

So, just like last year, the first big surprise of this draft will be a surprise QB taken in the top 10. 

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State 

Blackmon is a playmaking receiver with great instincts. He will help the Jaguars build a passing game. 

8. Carolina Panthers: Devon Still, DT, Penn State 

Devon Still is a strong a disruptive force that will help solidify the Panthers' front-seven. 

9. Miami Dolphins: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa 

Reiff is a pro-ready tackle with good strength and solid footwork. 

10. Buffalo Bills: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Why This is a Surprise

A couple of weeks ago, Kirkpatrick was a borderline top-10 pick. That was before he was arrested for possessing a little Mary Jane that was not prescribed to treat his glaucoma. 

It should go without saying that this was a horrible time for him to get arrested. Things like this typically kill a player's draft stock. 

Why the Bills Make This Pick

Buffalo is in dire need of help in the defensive backfield. This is a team that has some nice young pieces in place, but gave up way too many yards through the air. 

Kirkpatrick is the second most talented corner in this draft, and his ability to play both man and zone will fit right in with the Bills defensive philosophy. 

11. Kansas City Chiefs: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford 

DeCastro is a mauling run blocker that is the best interior lineman in this draft. 

12. Seattle Seahawks:  Vontaze Burfict, LB, ASU

The Seahawks defense is on the verge of being elite. An MLB with Burfict's talent would push them over that hump. 

13. Arizona Cardinals: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

Wright is a streak of light on the field. He will help take off some of the attention safeties can pay to Larry Fitzgerald

14. Dallas Cowboys: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

Kuechly makes up for what he lacks in athleticism with amazing instincts and a nose for the ball. 

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

 The Eagles will be jumping for joy at the chance to draft this pro-ready, run-blocking tackle. 

16. New York Jets: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

Ingram is an explosive and athletic player that will help the Jets shore up their edge rush defense. 

17. Cincinnati Bengals via OAK: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

Miller is a hard-running and explosive back that will help fill out the Bengals young offensive nucleus. 

18. San Diego Chargers: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

Denard is a quick corner with excellent footwork. He will be too much for the Chargers to pass up. 

19. Chicago Bears: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

Chicago cannot continue to wait to address their offensive line needs. Konz will fill a big hole, and he is the best center in this draft. 

20. Tennessee Titans: Mark Barron, S, Alabama

This hard-hitting safety will improve the Titans rush defense and provide solid coverage on TEs. 

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

Jenkins is a supremely gifted man-coverage corner. He has some character concerns, but those seldom concern the Bengals. 

22. Cleveland Browns via ATL: Zach Brown, OLB, UNC

Brown is a versatile and talented LB that will help complete a solid Browns defense. 

23. Detroit Lions: Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia

This 340-pound lineman will be an instant upgrade for the Lions in the run game. 

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

Adams is a physically gifted lineman that is capable of dominating. The problem is that he seldom does. The Steelers will draft him with the belief they can beat that intensity into him. 

25. Denver Broncos: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

Cox is a strong interior presence on the Broncos defensive line, and that is just what the Broncos need. 

26. Houston Texans: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Michael Floyd has all the skills to succeed. He just needs to get out of his own way. The Texans will hope Andre Johnson will aid him with that. 

27. New England Patriots via NO: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

Upshaw is a great athlete with a knack for getting to the passer. 

28. Green Bay Packers: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC

Perry is another natural pass rusher that will be a big a boost to the Pakcers defense. 

29. Baltimore Ravens: Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama

Hightower is suited to play any linebacker position. He can play outside while being groomed to take over for Ray Lewis on the inside. 

30. San Francisco 49ers: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

Jeffery knows how to stretch a defense, and that is exactly what the 49ers need. 

31. New York Giants: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

The Giants can never get enough explosive defensive linemen. Worthy is just the kind of guy they love. 

32. New England Patriots: Jared Crick, DL, Nebraska

The Patriots need some youth and athleticism on their defensive line. 


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