2012 NFL Mock Draft: The Latest First-Round Predictions

Tony Santorsa@@TonySantorsaSenior Writer IIMarch 26, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft: The Latest First-Round Predictions

0 of 32

    Now that the chaos of Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow is slowly coming to an end, we can look at the new landscape of the NFL—or perhaps how this domino effect has reshaped the NFL.

    Taking that into consideration, let's take a look at my latest 2012 NFL mock draft with the latest first-round predictions. 

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck

1 of 32

    No surprise here.

    The Indianapolis Colts have moved on without Peyton Manning and will now head into the future with Andrew Luck. 

2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III

2 of 32

    No surprise here, either.

    The Washington Redskins traded up to second overall for one reason: to draft Robert Griffin III. 

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil

3 of 32

    The Minnesota Vikings really need to find a left tackle of the future, and they could do so by drafting USC's Matt Kalil.

    The Vikings have a quarterback of the future in Christian Ponder, and they'll soon have his blind-side protector of the future in Kalil. 

4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson

4 of 32

    Now that the Cleveland Browns have officially parted ways with running back Peyton Hillis, they need to find his replacement. Trent Richardson is the ideal choice.

    The Browns missed out on Robert Griffin III, so why not draft the second-best offensive-skill-position player in Richardson? 

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne

5 of 32

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have brought back Ronde Barber, but he's not the answer for the future.

    Tampa Bay needs help at cornerback, and drafting a guy as talented as LSU's Morris Claiborne would be a very wise decision. 

6. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon

6 of 32

    The St. Louis Rams would have drafted Justin Blackmon second overall if they didn't trade with the Washington Redskins.

    With that being said, the Rams will stick to their guns and go with Blackmon—someone that could immediately step in and be Sam Bradford's No. 1 wide receiver in 2012. 

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinton Coples

7 of 32

    The Jacksonville Jaguars need to find a dominant pass-rusher, and UNC's Quinton Coples could be the answer.

    Coples is the best pass-rusher available, so I see the Jags calling his number with the seventh overall pick. 

8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill

8 of 32

    The Miami Dolphins desperately need a quarterback. I'm sorry, but David Garrard and Matt Moore are not the answers for the future.

    The Dolphins will look to draft Ryan Tannehill at eighth overall. 

    Some may think that this is a reach, but he fits what the Dolphins need heading into the future. 

9. Carolina Panthers: Michael Brockers

9 of 32

    Ron Rivera needs to find someone that can be a dominant player on the Carolina Panthers' defensive front.

    With that being said, LSU's Michael Brockers is the best pick available at this point for the Panthers. 

10. Buffalo Bills: Michael Floyd

10 of 32

    The Buffalo Bills have pretty much gone all defense thus far in the 2012 offseason.

    The Bills may have re-signed Stevie Johnson, but they still need more talent at the wide-receiver position. 

    Michael Floyd is the best player available at this point. 

11. Kansas City Chiefs: David DeCastro

11 of 32

    Now that the Kansas City Chiefs have signed Eric Winston, it's time for the team to continue to stabilize their offensive line.

    With that being said, offensive guard David DeCastro is one of the best interior-linemen prospects that we have seen in recent memory. He is simply too valuable to pass on. 

12. Seattle Seahawks: Luke Kuechly

12 of 32

    The Seattle Seahawks answered the bell by signing Matt Flynn.

    Now it's time to address the defense and draft Boston College middle linebacker Luke Kuechly. 

13. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Martin

13 of 32

    The Arizona Cardinals may have re-signed left tackle Levi Brown, but I still believe that they need to find an upgrade at the position immediately.

    With that being said, Stanford's Jonathan Martin is the best available and could certainly be a first-year-impact player. 

14. Dallas Cowboys: Dontari Poe

14 of 32

    The Dallas Cowboys will gladly welcome the combine freak, Dontari Poe.

    Poe is one incredible defensive-lineman prospect, considering he's so athletic and freakishly strong. He would fit in perfectly in Dallas' 3-4 defensive front. 

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Fletcher Cox

15 of 32

    The Philadelphia Eagles will no longer be looking for an inside linebacker, since they traded for DeMeco Ryans.

    With that being said, the Eagles will take a look at Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox with this pick. 

    Cox is a very talented defensive tackle with tons of upside, and has the potential to be a first-year-impact player. 

16. New York Jets: Melvin Ingram

16 of 32

    Rex Ryan and the New York Jets are known for putting pressure on the quarterback—but they failed to do so last season.

    With that being said, adding a guy like Melvin Ingram would be a very wise decision for the Jets. Ingram is a first-year-impact player that should fit very well in Ryan's extremely aggressive 3-4 defensive system. 

17. Cincinnati Bengals: Dre Kirkpatrick

17 of 32

    With Nate Clements starting to enter the twilight of his career, the Cincinnati Bengals should look to call Dre Kirkpatrick's number on draft day.

    Kirkpatrick is the second-best cornerback in this year's draft and would be a very wise pick for the Bengals at No. 17. 

18. San Diego Chargers: Courtney Upshaw

18 of 32

    The San Diego Chargers may have added Jarret Johnson via free agency, but they still lack a pass-rusher.

    Alabama's Courtney Upshaw is the best pass-rusher available and should fit perfectly in San Diego's 3-4 defensive system. 

19. Chicago Bears: Nick Perry

19 of 32

    So much for drafting a wide receiver—the Chicago Bears already landed wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

    Taking that into consideration, I believe that the Bears will look at Nick Perry with the 19th overall pick.

    The USC product is a very talented pass-rusher and one of the elite defensive ends in this year's class. 

20. Tennessee Titans: Peter Konz

20 of 32

    The Tennessee Titans need help at the center position, so I see them drafting this year's top center in Peter Konz.

    The Wisconsin product is an immediate starter for the Titans and will be a nice asset in the running game for Chris Johnson. 

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kendall Wright

21 of 32

    With the Cincinnati Bengals signing BenJarvus Green-Ellis in free agency, I do not see them going with a running back in the first round. Instead, I could see them calling Kendall Wright's number.

    Wright is an incredible receiver who is a playmaker and would be an excellent option—aside from A.J. Green—for Andy Dalton.

22. Cleveland Browns: Alshon Jeffery

22 of 32

    The Cleveland Browns may have missed out on Robert Griffin III and Kendall Wright, but they could easily draft the best wide receiver available at this point in the draft.

    South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery is a questionable prospect, but after watching game film, I can honestly say that he'll be just fine at the NFL level. He'll be a nice option for Colt McCoy to throw to for many years to come. 

23. Detroit Lions: Mark Barron

23 of 32

    The Detroit Lions badly need to improve their secondary.

    With that being said, the Lions should look at the best safety available, Mark Barron.

    The Alabama product is a first-year-impact kind of player that should help out Detroit's below-average secondary. 

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Doug Martin

24 of 32

    With Rashard Mendenhall's status up in the air due to his torn ACL, the Pittsburgh Steelers should look to add some depth at the running-back position.

    Boise State's Doug Martin is the best running back available at this point in time and should fit in very nicely with the Steelers. 

25. Denver Broncos: Devon Still

25 of 32

    The Denver Broncos need to find a defensive tackle.

    Penn State's Devon Still is the best defensive tackle available at this point, and John Fox and the Broncos should look his way come draft day. 

26. Houston Texans: Stephen Hill

26 of 32

    The Houston Texans could use some help at the wide-receiver position, and they certainly can afford to take some of the burden off of Andre Johnson's shoulders.

    Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill is a freak of nature that impressed everyone at the NFL combine and has a ton of potential. He certainly could be a first-year-impact player for the Texans. 

27. New England Patriots: Vinny Curry

27 of 32

    Vinny Curry can play either standing up or down in a stance—he would be perfect for Bill Belichick.

    Curry may be a bit undersized for a defensive end, but he has a real knack for getting after the passer—something that the New England Patriots could use a little more of. 

28. Green Bay Packers: Whitney Mercilus

28 of 32

    The Green Bay Packers need to improve the pass rush opposite Clay Matthews.

    One player that really sticks out in my mind is Illinois' Whitney Mercilus.

    Mercilus is one productive pass-rusher that plays with a high motor and would be a nice addition to the Packers heading into 2012. 

29. Baltimore Ravens: Riley Reiff

29 of 32

    This would be an absolute steal for the Baltimore Ravens at this point.

    Iowa's Riley Reiff is one of the better offensive-tackle prospects that the 2012 draft class has to offer and is well worth the 29th overall pick on the Ravens' end. 

30. San Francisco 49ers: Cordy Glenn

30 of 32

    The San Francisco 49ers could use some help on the interior part of their offensive line.

    Georgia's Cordy Glenn is quite the prospect, as he's a massive guard that is very effective in the run game and can protect pretty well against the pass rush. 

31. New England Patriots: Janoris Jenkins

31 of 32

    Considering how talented Janoris Jenkins is, this is an absolute steal for the New England Patriots.

    The Patriots could use some help at the cornerback position, and with Jenkins sitting around at 31st overall, he has simply far too much talent for Bill Belichick to pass on. 

32. New York Giants: Chris Polk

32 of 32

    This isn't much of a secret: The New York Giants will look to add a running back in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft due to the release of Brandon Jacobs.

    But who will it be? It will simply be the best available at that certain point, and according to my big board, Washington's Chris Polk fits that description.