2012 NFL Mock Draft: Analyzing Matt Miller's Latest Mock for Every NFC East Team
Mock drafts today look nothing like they will on April 26th when the 2012 NFL draft finally arrives, but it's never too early to start looking at some prospects that could be potential fits with certain teams.
That's why, when Bleacher Report featured columnist Matt Miller gives us his latest mock every week, it's worth a second to pause and at least wonder how each prospect will fit with the team to which he's been mocked.
So, let's take a look at what Matt had to say about the NFC East teams in the draft.
2. Trade: Washington Redskins Select Robert Griffin III, Quarterback, Baylor
Matt says: "Griffin will give head coach Mike Shanahan a true playmaker who can run his offense and also give the entire team a spark. Look at what Michael Vick did in Atlanta early on, or what Cam Newton and Tim Tebow did in 2011. RG3 has the personality and athleticism to be a leader in the Washington clubhouse, as well as an elite quarterback on the field."
My slant: Nothing's changed here since Matt's previous mock draft. This makes perfect sense from a long-term standpoint, as it gives the Redskins their franchise quarterback of the future no matter what happens. At the same time, it won't help Mike Shanahan keep his job in the short term.
The Redskins have more needs than just at quarterback, and although trading up for Griffin may be a smart move if they think he's their guy, it won't help them put pieces around him.
14. Dallas Cowboys Select Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama
Matt says: "Upshaw has played all over in the Alabama defense. You can line him up at defensive end, inside linebacker and as an edge rusher. Upshaw is the solid football player type who can fit in any scheme—you just have to make room for him. Dallas will be glad to. Pairing Upshaw with Ware would give Dallas a linebacking corps ready to rival the San Francisco 49ers in terms of potential and talent."
My slant: The Cowboys have one elite outside linebacker in DeMarcus Ware. Opposite him? No such luck. Upshaw would give defensive coordinator Rob Ryan another solid pass-rusher to work with and could help the defense improve on what was a less-than-memorable 2011 season.
That being said, the Cowboys could really use some help in the secondary. This pick would be well used either way, but it should definitely be on the defensive side of the ball.
15. Philadelphia Eagles Select Zach Brown, Outside Linebacker, North Carolina
Matt says: "Zach Brown is the best athlete at linebacker in this year's class. He has the size to play either outside linebacker position in the Eagles defense, but would be a great fit opposite Rolle at strong side. This combination would give Philadelphia the speed to attack the run and cover the slot without safety help."
My slant: The Eagles have struggled mightily to find fits at linebacker. They've used five picks on the position in the past two years, but none have been higher than a fourth-round pick. It's time to finally put their chips down on a blue-chip linebacker.
Judging by Matt's description, it sounds like Brown could be the perfect fit. The Eagles seek athletes at linebacker, guys that can both rush the passer and cover the slot. Nice pick, Matt.
32. New York Giants Select Orson Charles, Tight End, Georgia
Matt says: "Charles isn't a great blocker, but that can be taught. Just look at Vernon Davis, who was a horrible blocker early in his career and is now one of the best. Charles is very similar to Davis physically and could have a similar impact on the New York offense."
My slant: Another pick that stays the same from the previous mock draft. The Giants, arguably, had a need at tight end even before Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum both tore ACLs in the Super Bowl, and with that, the need has been exacerbated.
Now, with the prospect of losing those two tight ends to injury in 2012, along with receiver Mario Manningham in free agency, the Giants need pass-catchers badly. Charles could do some damage in the seam and gives the Giants a raw, physical talent to develop at the position.