2012 NFL Mock Draft: The 5 Biggest Head Scratchers in Russ Lande's Mock Draft
With the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine in the books, many draftniks across the internet are busily cranking out mock drafts (I'm no exception), and among the sportswriters who have thrown their hat into the ring is the esteemed Russ Lande of the Sporting News.
Mr. Lande is a fine writer and a credit to his profession, but just like the rest of us, he is apparently prone to occasionally taking leave of his senses while penning a mock draft, as a few of the picks Mr. Lande projected in his latest mock are head scratchers and then some.
5. Michael Floyd to Jacksonville Jaguars with Pick No. 7
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Lande's Take: If young quarterback Blaine Gabbert is going to develop, he needs weapons and Floyd has what it takes to be an impact receiver early in his career.
It's impossible to argue that the Jacksonville Jaguars need help at wide receiver, but given the Jaguars mediocre pass rush and with leading sacker Jeremy Mincey set to hit free agency, a defensive end such as South Carolina's Melvin Ingram makes a lot more sense here, especially given how deep the draft is at wideout.
My Pick: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
4. Luke Kuechly to Denver with Pick No. 25
Lande's take: Current Broncos middle linebacker Joe Mays is not an elite player, and Kuechly would bring strength, athleticism and rare playmaking ability to the middle of the Broncos’ defense.
Mays may well not be the elite talent that Kuechly appears to be, but the Broncos just used a third round pick on middle linebacker Nate Irving a season ago.
With a full offseason under his belt it makes a lot more sense to see if Irving can grow into the role and use their first round pick to address the interior of a defensive line that struggled against the run last year.
My pick: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
3. Mike Adams to Baltimore Ravens with Pick No. 29
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Lande's take: Bryant McKinnie is not the long-term answer at left tackle and Michael Oher struggled when he played on the left side in 2010. So the Ravens choose Adams, who is not an elite prospect but a good one with excellent height (6-7), long arms and competitiveness.
Not if they're smart they don't.
I can't disagree that the Ravens need offensive line help, but after a combine in which Adams' footwork looked poor and he couldn't even manage 20 repetitions of 225-pounds in the bench press, the Ohio State standout just isn't worth a first round pick.
My pick: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
2. Quinton Coples to New York Jets with Pick No. 16
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Lande's take: The Jets’ edge pass rush needs to improve, and Coples could help them because he is an explosive pass rusher with the versatility to be productive from a down end spot or as an outside linebacker in the team’s 3-4 scheme.
This is an awful fit, as although Coples has the size to play defensive end in the 3-4, his lackluster effort at times in college should be enough to give Gang Green Vernon Gholston flashbacks. And the idea of the 281-pounder learning a new scheme and dropping back into coverage is almost enough to make me giggle.
My pick: Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
1. DeVier Posey to San Francisco 49ers with No. 30
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Lande's take: The 49ers need a receiver to open up their offense, and Posey has good height (6-1 5/8) and the ability to run sharp routes and make tough catches. He would upgrade the 49ers’ offense immediately.
So, let me get this straight. With receivers like combine darling Stephen Hill of Georgia Tech and South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery (who led the SEC in receiving in 2010) still on the board, you're going to pick a wideout who never topped 1,000 yards receiving in a season in Columbus and was suspended for most of his senior season.
My pick: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech