2012 NFL Mock Draft: Mocking Surprise Picks for Almost Every NFL Team
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Mock draft season rolls on today with a look at a "surprise pick" mock. This is one of the biggest shortcomings of most mock drafts you'll read in March and April. Few draftniks are willing to stick their neck out and predict surprise picks, even though we see multiple selections that leave us slackjawed every April. How would the draft go if most of the picks surprised us?
1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford - Even in an alternative universe mock full of surprises, this pick stays the same.
2. St. Louis Rams - Matt Kalil, OT, USC - GM Les Snead said today that there is a "90% chance" that the Rams are trading down. That means there's a 10% chance they'll stay home and take Kalil. It would shocking, but not impossible.
3. Minnesota Vikings - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor - Yeah, they spent #12 last year on Christian Ponder, but Rick Spielman has already said they won't ignore QB prospects that are "too good to pass up".
4. Cleveland Browns - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M - The Browns will likely do the smart thing and take Morris Claiborne if they don't trade up for RG3. Still, there's always a chance that Holmgren and Heckert become smitten with Tannehill in the next month and a half and worry about Washington taking him at six enough to not trade down.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU - My brain just won't let me have the Bucs pass on Claiborne.
6. Washington Redskins - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame - The Redskins will chase the biggest names at WR in free agency, but if they fail, they may look WR at #6. Wideouts with impressive size/speed numbers tend to be overdrafted, so Floyd fits the bill.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama - Sure, MJD showed his knee was sound last year (and then some), but there were rumors that the Jags were looking at Spiller in 2010, and Mike Mularkey loves his power running game.
8. Miami Dolphins - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis - The Dolphins, like so many other teams, will want to change up looks in their defensive fronts. Poe gives new DC Kevin Coyle a trump card that no other player in the draft can offer.
9. Carolina Panthers - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State - The Panthers eschew help on defense or the offensive line to get a long-term go-to guy for Cam Newton.
10. Buffalo Bills - Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois - The Bills' endless search for a pass rusher induces them to take possibly the biggest one-year wonder of the draft.
11. Kansas City Chiefs - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU - The Chiefs just have a thing for LSU defensive linemen.
12. Seattle Seahawks - Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College - Not every pick here will be a shocker. The Seahawks should be thrilled if they can get their hands on Kuechly to replace departing free agent David Hawthorne.
13. Arizona Cardinals - David DeCastro, OL, Stanford - DeCastro in the top 15 shouldn't be surprising, but a team taking him to play right tackle like the Cardinals would should be.
14. Dallas Cowboys - Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama - Jerry Jones just can't help himself when it comes to the boom/bust character risks.
15. Philadelphia Eagles - Fletcher Cox, DL, Mississippi State - The Eagles just can't help themselves when it comes to defensive line prospects in the first round.
16. New York Jets - Courtney Upshaw, DE/LB, Alabama - Upshaw to the Jets wouldn't be a shocker at OLB, but what if they announced that he was Bart Scott's replacement at ILB?
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland)- Mark Barron, S, Alabama - The Bengals take an injured player higher than most expect because of their need at safety.
18. San Diego Chargers - Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina - The Chargers finally admit 2009 first round pick Larry English was a bust and go to the well for another edge rusher.
19. Chicago Bears - Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina - The Bears' eternal search for the big #1 WR leads them to reach for Jeffery.
20. Tennessee Titans - Riley Reiff, OL, Iowa - The Titans ignore needs to take a BPA on the offensive line.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Quinton Coples, DE, UNC - Coples' buzz is negative right now, but the Bengals have always been suckers for the flashy DE prospect who underachieves in college.
22. Cleveland Browns - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech - The Browns follow the Josh McDaniels plan of overdrafting a wide receiver and a quarterback.
23. Detroit Lions - Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford - The Lions finally admit that they could do better than Jeff Backus at LT.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Devon Still, DL, Penn State - The grooming of Ziggy Hood as a nose tackle begins with the selection of Still.
25. Denver Broncos - Doug Martin, RB, Boise State - Willis McGahee is north of 30 and John Fox loves to have two quality RBs.
26. Houston Texans - Josh Chapman, DT, Alabama - ACL tear and all, the Texans decide that the best true 3-4 nose tackle in the draft is worth the reach in the first.
27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans) - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama - Is there such a thing as a surprise pick for the Patriots? Kirkpatrick falls after bad interviews at the Combine.
28. Green Bay Packers - Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC - The surprise here is that a player of Perry's caliber, fitting a glaring need so perfectly, is still there for the Packers.
29. Baltimore Ravens - Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin - Hey, I said surprise picks for almost every team.
30. San Francisco 49ers - Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina - The 49ers make it three Gamecocks in the first round as Gilmore's aggressive style fits them well.
31. New England Patriots - Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall - The Patriots relent and finally take a pass rusher early in the draft.
32. New York Giants - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor - Taking a BPA that falls too far in the first round? It's the Giants way.
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