2012 NFL Mock Draft: Surprise Team Trading Up for Trent Richardson?
NFL free agency is chopping and changing the draft boards of every NFL team with every move each franchise makes. As such, between now and the beginning of the draft, projections will continue to change.
For now however, here are my projections for this year's draft.
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck
What explanation could I give you that you haven't already read?
2. TRADE: Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III
There is only one man that the Redskins gave all that up for. Well, probably two who they'd settle for.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil
Bringing in a second tight end in free agency, John Carlson, tells me the Vikings want to tighten things up on offense. Improving the offensive line is a must then.
4. Cleveland Browns select Morris Claiborne
It's been a while since I wrote this article; nothing has changed since.
5. TRADE: Kansas City Chiefs: Trent Richardson
With their recent moves, the Buccaneers are looking for more picks and in turn give the Chiefs a value trade to move up for Richardson. The Chiefs see Richardson as a game-changing back and are desperate to pair him with Jamaal Charles in the backfield for Jones and Charles 2.0.
Chiefs have few needs, so they won't worry about giving up a pick or two.
6. TRADE: St. Louis Rams: Michael Brockers
The Rams need a presence on the inside of the line now that Fred Robbins is gone.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Blackmon
It's about time the Jaguars got a receiver...or two...or three...
8. Miami Dolphins: Dontari Poe
Dolphins are looking to play multiple fronts on defense. Having a Haloti Ngata type of body on the line would be a major addition for them.
9. Carolina Panthers: Nick Perry
David DeCastro is considered, but pairing Perry with Charles Johnson is too tempting. Panthers want to improve defense; Cam can overcome some offensive issues.
10. Buffalo Bills: Quinton Coples
The Bills are making a big play for Mario Williams. Bringing in Coples as the bookend defensive end gives them potentially the best defensive line in football—presuming they sign Super Mario.
11. TRADE: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Janoris Jenkins
If the Bucs think they can control V-Jax, lets throw in Jenkins too just for the fun of it...plus they need a cornerback despite the addition of Eric Wright.
12. Seattle Seahawks: David DeCastro
The thought of Robert Gallery and DeCastro clearing holes for Marshawn Lynch is too much for Pete Carroll.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Riley Reiff
No more Levi Brown; welcome to Arizona's blind side, Riley Reiff.
14. TRADE: New York Jets: Michael Floyd
The Jets jump in front of the Eagles just to make sure that they can sign the big receiver who was falling rapidly.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Donta Hightower
Everyone knows the Eagles need a linebacker upgrade. I'm not sure Hightower is exactly the type, but he has a motor and is very versatile.
16. TRADE: Dallas Cowboys: Cordy Glenn
The Cowboys add another piece to their offensive line in the hopes of keeping Tony Romo alive.
17. Cincinnati Bengals: Alshon Jeffrey
The Bengals need a starting receiver to play across from A.J. Green. Jeffrey has the big-play potential to take advantage of single coverage.
18. TRADE: Cleveland Browns: Melvin Ingram
The Browns trade up with the Chargers, who will look for offensive line help later. Rebuilding mode for the Browns means finishing off the defense in this draft before fixing the offense next year.
19. Chicago Bears: Courtney Upshaw
With Brandon Marshall added, the Bears get the best player available at a position of need.
20. Tennessee Titans: Stephon Gilmore
The Titans must look to replace Cortland Finnegan, who signed with the Rams.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Lamar Miller
The Bengals bring a lot more explosion to their offense with their two first-round picks. Ironic that that's what they get in return for Carson Palmer.
22. TRADE: San Diego Chargers: Peter Konz
The return of Nick Hardwick will see Konz play right guard with no offensive tackles worth taking.
23. TRADE: St. Louis Rams: Stephen Hill
The Rams give away their two second-rounders to solve their wide receiver issues with someone who can finally stretch the field.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Luke Kuechly
The Steelers need a new inside linebacker to replace James Farrior. Kuechly could sit for a year while Larry Foote starts to learn the system.
25. Denver Broncos: Kendall Wright
26. Houston Texans: Mike Martin
Texans take a nose tackle to shore up the front seven.
27. New England Patriots: Fletcher Cox
Belichick sees too much value in Cox and understands the importance of winning in the trenches.
28. Green Bay Packers: Vinny Curry
It's time to finally set in stone the starter across from Clay Matthews.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Whitney Mercilus
Jarret Johnson is gone; replacing him is vital.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Jamell Fleming
You can never have too many cornerbacks, and the 49ers don't have that many needs, so taking the best one here makes sense.
31. New England Patriots: Dre Kirkpatrick
Kirkpatrick would provide the Patriots with a lot of versatility on the back end.
32. New York Giants: Jonathan Martin
The signing of Martellus Bennett removes the need for a TE, at least this high in the draft. Adding Martin to play RT could be big.
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