2012 NFL Mock Draft: Taking a Look at Offensive Line Prospects
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Stanford
2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, Quarterback, Baylor
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, Offensive Tackle, Southern California
Charlie Johnson just isn't going to be the answer for the Vikings moving forward. He was absolutely atrocious pass-protecting for Christian Ponder last season. Couple that with the fact that the consensus top tackle in the draft is available here and you have to believe that the Vikings are going to go in that direction.
Kalil has the ability to be a bookend franchise tackle for the next decade. He already possesses pro-ready technique, doesn't get too high with his blocks and has the lateral movement to fend off speed rushers.
At just over 300 pounds with a 6'7" frame, Kalil will need to add some bulk in order to be able to handle the rigors of the NFL. The good news is that this should come naturally in terms of him growing at his age.
4. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma State
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, Cornerback, Louisiana State
6. St. Louis Rams: Michael Floyd, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Riley Reiff, Offensive Tackle, Iowa
According to Football Outsiders the Jaguars had an adjusted sack rate of 6.1 percent, which ranked them near the middle of the pack. However, doing further research and simple math, I came to the conclusion that the majority of this pressure came from the right side of the line.
This is definitely an area that they need to address.
Riley Reiff isn't going to jump out to you on tape as a dominating offensive tackle. He does pretty much everything well and doesn't have a major weakness to his game. What I like most about the Iowa product is that he played against top-level competition in the Big Ten and usually came out on top.
His learning curve to the NFL shouldn't be too great.
8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, Quarterback, Texas A&M
9. Carolina Panthers: Dontari Poe, Defensive Tackle, Memphis
10. Buffalo Bills: Melvin Ingram, Defensive End/Linebacker, South Carolina
11. Kansas City Chiefs: David DeCastro, Guard, Stanford
I view the former Stanford All-American as the best guard prospect to enter the NFL Draft in two decades. This is how good that I project DeCastro to be. He is not just a mauler on the insides—instead he has the ability to pull block to the sides and maintain balance against speedier rushers.
DeCastro is extremely consistent throughout the game, brings it on every single play and can simply dominate between the hashes.
The Chiefs also have a tremendous need here. They ran the ball between the hashes nearly 50 percent of the time in 2011, but only averaged 3.4 yards per rush when doing so. Ryan Lilja was a pathetic example of a guard last season as well.
Immediate upgrade at a need position.
12. Seattle Seahawks: Trent Richardson, Running Back, Alabama
13. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Martin, Offensive Tackle, Stanford
It is true that Martin had an extremely pedestrian performance in Indianapolis at the combine. He didn't look good in the position-specific drills, showing a lot of issues with technique. With that being said, he was called up to protect the blind side of Andrew Luck for three seasons at Stanford and did a damn good job. These technique issues can be fixed.
The Cardinals gave up a league-high 54 sacks in 2011, which caused Kevin Kolb to miss substantial time due to injury. It is time that Arizona fully addresses this issue in the draft despite the fact that this pick could be seen as a little bit of a reach.
14. Dallas Cowboys: Dre Kirkpatrick, Cornerback, Alabama
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Dont'a Hightower, Linebacker, Alabama
16. New York Jets: Stephen Hill, Wide Receiver, Georgia Tech
17. Cincinnati Bengals: Lamar Miller, Running Back, Miami (Fla.)
18. San Diego Chargers: Courtney Upshaw, Linebacker, Alabama
19. Chicago Bears: Mike Adams, Offensive Tackle, Ohio State
Adams fell out of my top 25 with a horrible performance at the combine. He struggled in the generic drills and looked to have tremendous technique issues in the skill-specific drills. I don't know what to make of that because he looked downright dominating on tape.
This would be considered somewhat of a reach for the Bears here. With that said, they did acquire Brandon Marshall in a trade and don't have a major need at the wide receiver position now. Instead, Chicago looks to solidify what has been a shaky offensive line.
20. Tennessee Titans: Janoris Jenkins, Cornerback, North Alabama
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Mark Barron, Safety, Alabama
22. Cleveland Browns: Doug Martin, Running Back, Boise State
23. Detroit Lions: Peter Konz, Center, Wisconsin
Sure, the Lions could look at the corner position here and might be forced to. Stephon Gilmore would be an intriguing option. However, I see them going with a sure bet to help build a young core along the offensive line.
Konz is the consensus No. 1 center in the draft. He has the ability and strength to be a dominating center in the NFL. In fact, I don't see a reason why he won't be a perennial Pro Bowl performer. You cannot ask for much more than that in the bottom third of the first round.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Michael Brockers, Defensive Tackle, Louisiana State
25. Denver Broncos: Alshon Jeffery, Wide Receiver, South Carolina
26. Houston Texans: Kendall Wright, Wide Receiver, Baylor
27. New England Patriots: Stephon Gilmore, Cornerback, South Carolina
28. Green Bay Packers: Vinny Curry, Linebacker, Marshall
29. Baltimore Ravens: Bobby Wagner, Linebacker, Utah State
30. San Francisco 49ers: Cordy Glenn, Guard, Georgia
The 49ers lost Adam Snyder to the Arizona Cardinals in free agency. While that isn't a huge hit to the team in terms of talent, it does leave a tremendous hole along the offensive line. At this point, San Francisco just needs to go out there and get that left guard to play next to Anthony Davis.
Cordy Glenn has looked downright awesome in his postseason performances. He was one of the biggest standouts at the combine, absolutely acing the skill-specific drills.
This is a player who has the athletic ability to play on the outside, which fits what the 49ers are attempting to build along the offensive line.
31. New England Patriots: Nick Perry, Defensive End, Southern California
32. New York Giants: Luke Kuechly, Linebacker, Boston College
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