2012 NFL Mock Draft: The Latest Snapshot of a First Round in Motion
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Multiple times a day this week we have learned of things that change the complexion of the first round. Here's another stab at what it could look like:
1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford - Reggie Wayne: "Peyton hung his pads in his locker like this... Peyton always wore the white mouth guard on the road, never the blue..."
2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis) - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor - Pierre Garcon should be able to benefit from RG3's eerie deep ball accuracy.
3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, OT, USC - Will a team covet Kalil enough to trade up for him? The Vikings might be open to it.
4. Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama - Peyton Hillis won't return, and the team isn't making a strong play for Matt Flynn. Justin Blackmon, Morris Claiborne and Ryan Tannehill remain possibilities, but Richardson feels like the best fit.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU - With GM Mark Dominik a "self-professed CB collector," and with troubled CB Aqib Talib in the last year of his rookie deal, the Eric Wright signing shouldn't be considered a reason to automatically rule this out.
6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington) - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State - The Rams trade down and still get the WR prize of the draft. A potential Mario Manningham signing shouldn't change this pairing.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina - Mario Williams is off the market and Michael Floyd might be considered a reach here. If the Jags can't find a trade down partner, Ingram is the pick.
8. Miami Dolphins - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina - I'm projecting Matt Flynn to the Dolphins, so that would rule out Ryan Tannehill. Michael Floyd is a possibility, but Coples represents a rarer total package, and he would magnify the value of Cameron Wake.
9. Carolina Panthers - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State - This pick feels right from a "big board" standpoint, where Cox sure looks like top 10 quality to me.
10. Buffalo Bills - Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford - With Mario Williams in tow, the Bills can turn their focus to the offensive line.
11. Kansas City Chiefs - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis - Ryan Tannehill is a strong possibility here with Kyle Orton no longer available as an alternative to Matt Cassel, but Poe would give the Chiefs a very formidable and massive defensive line.
12. Seattle Seahawks - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M - The Seahawks have to worry about the Browns and Chiefs taking Tannehill ahead of them, but if he's there and they haven't signed Matt Flynn, it will be hard to pass on him.
13. Arizona Cardinals - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa - Levi Brown is back to play left tackle, but Reiff can step in at right tackle from day one and possibly be in the long-term LT mix.
14. Dallas Cowboys - David DeCastro, OG, Stanford - Tannehill falling to Seattle creates a windfall for the Cowboys as they scoop up the best guard in the draft by a good margin.
15. Philadelphia Eagles - Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College - The Eagles never take linebackers in the first round, but there are never linebackers of Kuechly's quality on the board when they are on the clock. Kendall Wright is out of consideration after DeSean Jackson's new contract.
16. New York Jets - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame - The Jets get a break as a top size/speed WR talent with a few character questions gets past the Jags and Dolphins and falls to the mid-first.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) - Cordy Glenn, OL, Georgia - This pick makes more sense every day for a team that has been very quiet in free agency despite having a ton of cap room.
18. San Diego Chargers - Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois - Jarret Johnson's forte isn't the pass rush and he's in the late summer/autumn of his career. Mercilus will be hard to pass on.
19. Chicago Bears - Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State - The Bears would hope to get offensive tackle solved long-term with Adams and their 2011 first, Gabe Carimi.
20. Tennessee Titans - Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin - This seems high for Konz, but if his ankle checks out medically, Tennessee may pounce.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina - With Dallas out of the cornerback market, Gilmore or Dre Kirkpatrick should be available at one of their first-round selections.
22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta) - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor - Liking this combination more and more, assuming the Browns don't take Justin Blackmon at No. 4.
23. Detroit Lions - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama - Really a dream scenario for the Lions as they get a massive improvement at corner because of how the board shakes out with Dallas possibly no longer looking for a corner.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama - I wish I could go away from this combination, but all signs point to it.
25. Denver Broncos - Doug Martin, RB, Boise State - John Fox loves his running game anchors.
26. Houston Texans - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU - The Texans have the luxury of taking the best player available, and Brockers' ability to deepen their DE rotation and penetrate in Wade Phillips' defense makes this a viable pick.
27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans) - Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC - Perry's versatility and athleticism makes him a possible pick at a position the Patriots seem to neglect early in the draft.
28. Green Bay Packers - Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama - Much like when Bryan Bulaga fell to them in 2010, the Packers get a high-floor player at a position of need without giving up any draft capital to do it.
29. Baltimore Ravens - Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson - The Ravens get the last top pass rush prospect on the board.
30. San Francisco 49ers - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech - Hill's speed to stretch defense would open things up for Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis in the middle of the field.
31. New England Patriots - Devon Still, DT, Penn State - The Patriots are in a good position to pick up a terrific defensive lineman in the late first.
32. New York Giants - Mark Barron, S, Alabama - Best player available; it's just how the Giants roll.
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