2012 NFL Mock Draft: Mocking First Round If Colts Take RG3, Not Andrew Luck
With free agency well underway, several teams have made signings that will have a significant impact (such as the Buffalo Bills with defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson) on how they approach the first round of the 2012 NFL draft.
However, the recent event that may shake the first round of April's draft the most happened Wednesday, as Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III's outstanding pro day showing has left some pundits questioning whether Griffin, and not Stanford signal-caller Andrew Luck, should be the first overall pick in the draft.
While admittedly unlikely, RG3 going first overall would certainly shake things up a bit, and since 99.99 percent of mock drafts have featured Luck going to the Colts, here's a "what if?" outside-the-box look at how the first round could unfold should the draft kick off with a shocker on April 26.
1. Indianapolis Colts: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
The Heisman Trophy winner put on a show in Waco Wednesday, and after watching 120 hours of tape on the draft's top two passers, ESPN analyst Merrill Hoge said that he would pick Griffin first overall in "half a heartbeat."
2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis Rams)
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: Robert Griffin going first overall would probably send the Redskins for a bit of a loop, but Washington didn't mortgage its future to not get a new signal-caller, and it'd be plenty pleased to bring Luck on board.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
For months it's been more or less assumed that the USC offensive tackle would be the pick here, but Vikings general manager Rick Spielman reportedly didn't get that memo.
4. St. Louis Rams (from Cleveland Browns): Matt Kalil, OT, USC
If Kalil does drop, any number of teams could have interest in acquiring this pick, and with the Browns set at LT it makes sense for the team to trade down a couple spots here and get some extra picks in the process.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
LeGarrette Blount is a one-dimensional back with ball control issues that can't catch or pass block, so the Buccaneers would be hard-pressed to let the best running back prospect in a few years get past them.
6. Cleveland Browns (from St. Louis Rams): Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Cleveland likely wouldn't be happy about missing out on Richardson, but it could use a later pick on a running back and upgrade the passing attack with Blackmon here.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
Even with Jeremy Mincey back in the fold, the Jaguars need help along the defensive line, and Ingram is the safest best among this year's defensive end prospects.
8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
After their free-agent pursuit of every quarterback with a pulse came up snake-eyes, the Dolphins will make the reach of the first round in selecting the strong-armed but inexperienced Tannehill.
9. Carolina Panthers: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
The interior of the Carolina defensive line was a big part of the Panthers ranking 25th against the run a year ago, and Poe has been shooting up draft boards since his monstrous showing at the combine.
10. Buffalo Bills: Luke Kuechly, MLB, Boston College
After overhauling the defensive line, the Bills could have an excellent opportunity here to add the foundation of their linebacker corps for years to come, and while presumed starter Kelvin Sheppard is a serviceable pro that's really all he is.
11. Kansas City Chiefs: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
The interior of the Kansas City offensive line is badly in need of an upgrade, and the two-time All-American is one of the best guard prospects to come along in years.
12. Seattle Seahawks: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
The Seahawks could use a bookend for Chris Clemons up front on defense, and Coples possesses the ability to be a steal here if Pete Carroll can get him to play to his potential.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
The Cardinals would probably do cartwheels over this pick, which allow them to slide Levi Brown to right tackle where at least quarterback Kevin Kolb could see that Brown can't pass block as opposed to being creamed from behind.
14. Dallas Cowboys: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
I've been mocking Janoris Jenkins here for some time, but his apparent inability to get out of his own way may send the Cowboys looking to Kirkpatrick to address a secondary that was terrible at times last season.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Now that the Eagles have filled their hole at middle linebacker by trading for DeMeco Ryans, Philadelphia can turn its sights toward finding a playmate for Cullen Jenkins on the interior of the defensive line.
16. New York Jets: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
Gang Green needs to upgrade a middle-of-the-pack pass rush, and Upshaw's extensive experience in Alabama's 3-4 defense would be an added plus.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland Raiders): Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia
There are a number of directions the Bengals could go in with their first of two first-round picks, but the road grader from Georgia would fill a huge hole (literally) at guard for Cincinnati.
18. San Diego Chargers: Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
The Chargers had only one consistent pass-rusher in 2011 (linebacker Antwan Barnes), and the NCAA's sack leader from last season would help the Bolts in that regard.
19. Chicago Bears: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
Adams was able to rehab his stock a bit after a poor combine with a better showing at Ohio State's pro day, and after trading for Brandon Marshall the Bears need to improve the pass protection for quarterback Jay Cutler.
20. Tennessee Titans: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
The acquisition of Kamerion Wimbley helps a pass rush that was 31st in the NFL in sacks in 2011, but the work on the Titans defensive front isn't done yet.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Jenkins may be a Grade A knucklehead but he's also a Grade A talent, and the Bengals have a need at cornerback plus a history of signing players who have some familiarity with law enforcement.
22. Cleveland Browns: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
The Browns need playmakers on offense in the worst way, but the opportunity to pair the draft's best right tackle prospect with Joe Thomas up front would be too good to pass up.
23. Detroit Lions: Stephen Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
By re-upping middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch, the Lions can turn their attention to the secondary in the draft, and Gilmore would likely start from day one in Motown.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
The release of James Farrior leaves a hole in the middle of the Pittsburgh defense that Hightower would fit like a glove, especially given his experience in a 3-4 front.
25. Denver Broncos: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
This pick would be the biggest coup for the Broncos since, well, not that long ago, but Cox would still be a great fit on a Denver front whose interior was its Achilles' heel last year.
26. Houston Texans: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Local kid who went to school in Texas and whose blazing speed would be a great complement to Andre Johnson for the Texans. What's not to like about this pick?
27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans Saints): Devon Still, DT, Penn State
Not only would Still provide the Patriots with some badly needed front seven help, but the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year has the versatility to play both tackle in a 4-3 defense and end in a 3-4.
28. Green Bay Packers: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
Given the Packers' needs on defense, this may seem a strange choice, but there are no obvious defensive fits here and Miller is the type of back that could absolutely thrive in Green Bay's West Coast offense.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
With Anquan Boldin a shell of his former self, the Ravens have to find a batterymate for burner Torrey Smith, and Floyd would present quarterback Joe Flacco with a big red-zone target.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
After a stellar showing at Stanford's pro day, Fleener's stock is skyrocketing, and his former college coach may look to use him to create the same sort of matchup nightmares in two-tight end sets that the Patriots do with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
31. Cleveland Browns (from New England Patriots): Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
Shock and amazement, the Patriots trade down! The Browns deal a package of picks (including one acquired in the trade with St. Louis) to move up a handful of spots and acquire the 28-year-old rookie that so enamored Cleveland's staff at Oklahoma State's pro day.
32. New York Giants: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
The Giants have a reputation for taking the best player available, and in this instance that is probably Konz, who is the draft's best center prospect and who would be an instant upgrade over David Baas at the position.
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