2012 NFL Mock Draft: Mocking the First Three Rounds
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Dis-information. Subterfuge. Espionage. No, I am not giving you the plot synopsis for Matt Damon's next spy flick. We're talking about April and the NFL Draft.
After trying to sift out which sources are telling the truth and which are merely blowing smoke, here is my prediction for the first three rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft.
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1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Forget all the Robert Griffin talk. Andrew Luck is already getting sized for his horseshoe.
2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Griffin is already learning the Redskins offense - there is no doubt that he will be a Redskin by the end of April.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OL, USC
Unless there is a surprise trade up for Ryan Tannehill here, the Vikings will pick the best left tackle in the draft—Matt Kalil.
4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Richardson is by far the safest pick for the Browns here. They could take a gamble on Ryan Tannehill here, but taking a stud running back might just be too easy.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
After losing out on Richardson, taking the best cover corner in the draft is a pretty nice consolation prize.
6. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
I imagine that the Rams will probably try and trade this pick as well, but if they don't, it makes sense for them to pick the best offensive weapon the board.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Blackmon and Floyd are pretty close on many people's draft boards. The Jaguars really need to land one of the two.
8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Tannehill is not a project. He could use some development, but I'm confident he could start by the middle of this season.
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9. Carolina Panthers: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
If the Panthers want help for their front seven, they need not look further than Chapel Hill. Coples is going to be a force in the NFL.
10. Buffalo Bills: Cordy Glenn, OL, Georgia
A lot of Bills fans won't like this pick, but Buddy Nix will. Glenn will give the Bills the versatility they need at all four non-center positions.
11. Kansas City Chiefs: Fletcher Cox, DL, Mississippi State
Cox, who will turn 21 this September, may ultimately be the best defensive prospect from the 2012 NFL Draft. Scott Pioli will not be able to pass him up.
12. Seattle Seahawks: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
Kuechly just likes to tackle people. He is athletic enough to get the job done in the NFL and his instincts and football IQ are second to none.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Riley Reiff, OL, Iowa
If the Cardinals don't pick Reiff here, there should be a congressional inquiry. They need offensive line help in the worst way.
14. Dallas Cowboys: Dontari Poe, DL, Memphis
I'm not sure Jerry Jones can pass up the athletic Poe here, even though adding Peter Konz or Mark Barron might make more sense initially.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: .Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
If there is a team that can help Ingram be successful in the NFL—I have my doubts—it is the Eagles. They can play him in space and see if he can win consistently.
16. New York Jets: Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
The safety play from the Jets last year was pretty abysmal. Adding Barron—who is much more than just an in-the-box strong safety—is a no-brainer.
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Gilmore has the size, speed and skill combination to really make a huge impact as a rookie. It wouldn't surprise me to see him go even higher.
18. San Diego Chargers: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
Upshaw is the hard-nosed football player that the Chargers need in their front seven. He's not a workout warrior, he is a warrior on Sundays.
19. Chicago Bears: David DeCastro, OL, Stanford
DeCastro is probably the safest pick in the entire draft. Even though the Bears probably want an OT or WR, they might not be able to pass on him.
20. Tennessee Titans: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Tapping Kirkpatrick to replace Cortland Finnegan makes a lot of sense. He can play the run, in zone and is improving in man coverage.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Konz is easily the best center in the draft, but his injury problems are a concern. If the Bengals are comfortable with Konz medically, he will be the pick.
22. Cleveland Browns: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Whether Wright plays the slot, outside, or both, I would be shocked if he wasn't a very productive receiver as a rookie.
23. Detroit Lions: Jonathan Martin, OL, Stanford
I'm not as high on Martin as others, but he certainly has made things easier for Andrew Luck these last few years.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
The Steelers seem to gravitate toward these physical, versatile defenders. Hightower has a chance to be just as good as current Steelers Lawrence Timmons, James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley.
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25. Denver Broncos: Michael Brockers, DL, LSU
They just don't make enough people as big as Brockers to go around. Whether he plays 3-4 DE or 4-3 DT, Brockers could make a "big" difference.
26. Houston Texans: Mike Adams, OL, Ohio State
The Texans will be tempted to reach for a receiver here, but addressing the right tackle position makes sense. The draft is loader with talented receivers.
Hosley is a ball-hawking corner that isn't afraid to throw himself in the run game. He would instantly upgrade the Patriots secondary.
28. Green Bay Packers: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
I love Nick Perry's skill-set. Playing the 3-4 OLB position opposite Clay Matthews, Perry is going to make life difficult for opposing quarterbacks.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
The Ravens have a lot of needs other places, but adding Stephen Hill to what they have in Torrey Smith and company could open things up even more for Ray Rice.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
It rarely works out that way, but a reunion of Coach Harbaugh and Fleener makes sense both on and off the field.
31. New England Patriots: Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State
This is a classic Patriots "reach" pick. McClellin fits what they want to do so well, they may very well just overpay and get the guy they want.
32. New York Giants: Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina
Brown is a sideline-to-sideline guy that is just beginning to tap his unreal potential.
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33. St. Louis Rams: Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
34. Indianapolis Colts: Devon Still, DL, Penn State
35. Minnesota Vikings: Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
36. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
37. Cleveland Browns: Kelechi Osemele, OL, Iowa State
38. Jacksonville Jaguars: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
39. St. Louis Rams (via WAS): Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State
40. Carolina Panthers: Reuben Randle, WR, LSU
41. Buffalo Bills: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
42. Miami Dolphins: Kevin Zeitler, OL, Wisconsin
43. Seattle Seahawks: Trumaine Johnson, CB/FS, Montana
44. Kansas City Chiefs: Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida
45. Dallas Cowboys: Harrison Smith, SS, Notre Dame
46. Philadelphia Eagles: Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt
47. New York Jets: Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall
48. New England Patriots (via OAK): Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State
49. San Diego Chargers: Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
50. Chicago Bears: A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois
51. Philadelphia Eagles (via ARZ): Jerel Worthy, DL, Michigan State
52. Tennessee Titans: Brandon Thompson, DL, Clemson
53. Cincinnati Bengals: David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
54. Detroit Lions: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
55. Atlanta Falcons: Ladarius Green, TE, Lousiana-Lafayette
56. Pittsburgh Steelers: Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss
57. Denver Broncos: Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
58. Houston Texans: Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
59. Green Bay Packers: Kendall Reyes, DL, UConn
60. Baltimore Ravens: Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse
61. San Francisco 49ers: George Iloka, FS, Boise State
62. New England Patriots: Jared Crick, DL, Nebraska
63. New York Giants: Mitchell Schwartz, OL, Cal
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64. Indianapolis Colts: Amini Silatolu, OL, Midwestern State
65. St. Louis Rams: Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia
66. Minnesota Vikings: Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia
67. Cleveland Browns: Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma
68. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Philip Blake, C, Baylor
69. Washington Redskins: Matt McCants, OL, Baylor
70. Jacksonville Jaguars: Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson
71. Buffalo Bills: Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
72. Miami Dolphins: Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa
73. Miami Dolphins (CAR-CHI): Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma
74. Kansas City Chiefs: Brandon Taylor, SS, LSU
75. Seattle Seahawks: Chris Polk, RB, Washington
76. Houston Texans (PHI): Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State
77. New York Jets: Josh Champan, DL, Alabama
78. San Diego Chargers: Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas
79. Chicago Bears: Mychal Kendricks, LB, Cal
80. Arizona Cardinals: Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple
81. Dallas Cowboys: Jarius Wright, WR, Arkanasas
82. Tennessee Titans: Marvin Jones, WR, California
83. Cincinnati Bengals: Brandon Brooks, OL, Miami (OH)
84. Atlanta Falcons: Jeff Allen, OL, Illinois
85. Detroit Lions: Leonard Johnson, CB, Iowa State
86. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alamaeda Ta'amu, DL, Washington
87. Denver Broncos: T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida International
88. Philadelphia Eagles (HOU): Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska
89. New Orleans Saints: James-Michael Johnson, LB, Nevada
90. Green Bay Packers: Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma
91. Baltimore Ravens: Cam Johnson, DE/OLB, Virginia
92. San Francisco 49ers: LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
93. New England Patriots: Ron Brooks, CB/S, LSU
94. New York Giants: Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati
95. Oakland Raiders (Compensatory): Malik Jackson, DE, Tennessee