2012 NFL Mock Draft: Beasts, Freaks and Combine Super Stars

T.J. Mcaloon@@tjmcaloonContributorMarch 20, 2012

The NFL combine is a time where athletes can come out and make a big name for themselves. These players had great combines and will shoot up a number of teams' draft boards, which will get them selected in the first round.  

For example, when quarterback Robert Griffin III ran an amazing 4.4 40-yard dash, it enabled the St. Louis Rams to demand a high price for the rights to draft him at No. 2 in the draft. 

However, Griffin III wasn’t the only player who had a great combine; these other players had great trips to Indianapolis for the scouting combine. 


1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Luck is the best player in the draft this year and will be selected by the Colts to be their quarterback of the future. With Peyton Manning gone, Indianapolis will move onto the Luck Era.


2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

The Redskins went all-in for RG3 when they traded their next three first-round picks for the No. 2 spot in the draft. Griffin III had a great combine and will be expected to be the leader of the Redskins for the next 10 years. 


3. Minnesota Vikings: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

The Vikings were awful in pass defense last year, giving up a league-high 34 touchdowns. Claiborne is the best corner in the draft and should go to Minnesota at No. 3.


4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

Richardson is the best running back in the draft, and with the Browns losing Peyton Hillis to free agency, the smart move is to take Richardson at No. 4. 


5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Kirkpatrick comes into Tampa Bay and is their best cornerback from day-one. With Tampa giving up 30 touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks last year, they will have to take Kirkpatrick at No. 5. 


6. St. Louis Rams: Matt Kalil, OT, USC

The Rams cannot afford to lose franchise quarterback Sam Bradford to another injury. Taking Kalil, who impressed during his workout at the combine, running a 4.96 40-yard dash and finishing in the top 10 of the bench press, will help keep Bradford healthy.


7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

The Jaguars had the worst passing offense in the NFL last year. Drafting Blackmon gives them a legit target for Blaine Gabbert, or Tim Tebow if they trade for him. They have to take Blackmon at No. 7. 


8. Miami Dolphins (subject to coin flip): Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

Miami needs a quarterback, and Tannehill is the best one that will be available. With Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman now with the team, drafting his quarterback while at A&M is the smart move. 


9. Carolina Panthers (subject to coin flip): Devon Still, DT, Penn St. 

The Panthers need help on their run defense, and Still is the best tackle in the draft. They will take the PSU run-stopper at No. 8.


10. Buffalo Bills: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

Buffalo needs help on their offensive line to keep running back Fred Jackson and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick healthy. Taking Martin is the right move. 


11. Kansas City Chiefs: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

 The Chiefs need help on their offensive line, and Reiff is one of the best player on the board in this position. 


12. Seattle Seahawks : David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

Seattle gave up 50 sacks to their quarterback last year. DeCastro will help fix that problem. 


13. Arizona Cardinals: Quinton Coples, DE/DT, North Carolina

Coples is a fierce pass-rushing defender that the Cardinals desperately need. Taking Coples here will help a Cardinals defense that ranked in the middle of the NFL in passing defense last year.


14. Dallas Cowboys: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

The Cowboys have been known to take risks on players with checkered pasts. Jenkins is a great cornerback whose past has him down on a number of mock drafts. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will take a risk on Jenkins at No. 14.


15. Philadelphia Eagles: Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama

Hightower is a high-energy player who hits anything that moves. He can help a rushing defense that ranked 16th last year. 


16. New York Jets: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

The Jets need help with their run defense, which ranked 22nd in the NFL last year. Poe would fill that hole in their defense.  


17. Cincinnati Bengals (via Oakland Raiders): Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska 

The Bengals did have the ninth-best passing defense in the league last year; however, they were torched for 21 touchdowns to receivers. They should take Dennard with No. 17 and fix the cornerback position. 


18.San Diego Chargers: Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State

The Chargers allowed teams to constantly hit QB Philip Rivers, which was one reason why they finished at 8-8. Taking Sanders at No. 18 will help correct this and improve their record next year. 


19. Chicago Bears: Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State

Brian Urlacher isn’t getting any younger, and they need to find a replacement for him soon. Burfict can come in and be the understudy to Urlacher while the linebacker starts to wind his career down. 


20. Tennessee Titans: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

Ingram will come in to help a Tennessee defense that ranked 24th in rushing and 14th in passing last year. His speed and aggression will help improve this Titans defense.


21. Cincinnati Bengals: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (FL)

Miller is the second-best running back in this draft, and with the Bengals potentially losing Cedric Benson to free agency, they can add the speedy back from Miami (FL). With Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, Miller could be the third piece to their young nucleus on offense.


22. Cleveland Browns (via Atlanta Falcons): Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

Jeffery is the best receiver in this draft that isn’t named Justin Blackmon. Cleveland needs a receiver, and drafting Jeffery is the smart decision. 


23. Detroit Lions: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

The Lions were awful in defending the pass last year. They have to address this need by drafting Gilmore at No. 23. 


24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College

The Steelers are getting older on the defensive side of the ball. Taking Kuechly to replace James Farrior will help keep this defense as one of the best in the NFL.


25. Denver Broncos: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

The Broncos need a No. 1 receiver to be Peyton Manning’s go-to guy. Picking Floyd, who impressed at the combine with his 4.47 40-yard dash, will be the best move for the Broncos at No. 25. 


26. Houston Texans: Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson

Houston has a good defense, but adding Thompson would make them an elite defense. They can add the run-stopper from Clemson at No. 27 and watch as teams fail to run on them next year. 


27. New England Patriots (via New Orleans Saints): Jared Crick, DE/DT, Nebraska

The Patriots did not have a pass rush this year, only sacking the quarterback 40 times. Crick can help in adding a great pass-rusher to a defense that ranked 31st last year.


28. Green Bay Packers: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

Green Bay needs a center, and Konz is the best one in the draft. It’s a match made in heaven for the Packers. 


29. Baltimore Ravens: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

The Ravens gave up 33 sacks last year and could use some help keeping quarterback Joe Flacco upright. Taking Adams will help cut this number down.


30. San Francisco 49ers: Cordy Glenn, Guard/T, Georgia

If the 49ers lose quarterback Alex Smith to free agency, they will be moving to first-year starter Colin Kaepernick. They’ll have to do everything they can to give him as much time as possible.


31. New England Patriots: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

The Patriots need a pass-rushing defender, and selecting Upshaw with their second first-round pick will be exactly what they’re looking for.  


32. New York Giants: Mark Barron, S, Alabama

Barron is one of those combination defenders that can defend the pass just as good he defends the run. The Giants have to take him at No. 32 and improve an already good defense.



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