2012 NFL Mock Draft: Surprise Picks That Will Shock Fans

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2012

As with every NFL draft, surprise trades and picks occur that often leave people wondering what just happened or filled with joy depending on their favorite team(s). 

The 2012 NFL Draft will be just the same as years' past, in the sense that dumb and shocking picks will happen.

Teams do crazy things on draft day, which is something fans have to expect. 

That being said, here's my updated mock, with information on each pick and a more in-depth look at those picks that will shock the fans. 


1. Indianapolis Colts (2-14): Andrew Luck, QB (Stanford)  

Are you surprised? I surely hope not, because Luck has been the consensus No. 1 overall player for quite some time now.

The Colts will wisely select him to lock up their future at QB. 


2. Washington Redskins (via STL 2-14): Robert Griffin III, QB (Baylor)

The only thing fans might be shocked about in regards to the Redskins' pick is how much they traded to get here. Washington's 2012 and 2013 drafts will a major hit, but I think it's worth it to get a special player like Griffin. 


3. Minnesota Vikings (3-13): Matt Kalil, OT (USC)

The Vikings may trade down, but their best bet would be drafting Kalil to keep Christian Ponder's backside safe for many years to come. 


4. Cleveland Browns (4-12): Trent Richardson, RB (Alabama)

The Browns are another team that might trade down, but since their offense is so weak, keeping this pick to get Trent Richardson would be the the smart decision. Richardson sees the field extremely well, and he'll definitely take pressure off Colt McCoy


5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12): Morris Claiborne, CB (LSU)

Claiborne is the top defender in the draft, and he'll easily be an instant upgrade for the Bucs secondary. 


6. St. Louis Rams (2-14): Michael Brockers, DT (LSU)

Surprise, surprise—the Rams shock everyone and don't select a wide receiver here.

Of course, St. Louis may possibly trade up, but the Rams have already moved back to gain a slew of picks, so staying put and drafting the sure thing in Michael Brockers would be very wise for the team. 

Jeff Fisher has aging linemen on his defensive front, so selecting a beast of a man like Brockers to anchor the line for many years to come would be the correct call. 

It's too risky to take a wideout here. Going with Brockers may not sit well with some fans, but in the long run, it will pay off for St. Louis. 


7. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11): Justin Blackmon, WR (Oklahoma State)

The Jaguars will take the gamble on Blackmon and hope it ends well. They desperately need playmakers, and there's no denying the former Cowboy from Oklahoma State has great hands and speed.

However, facing much stiffer competition in the NFL, he could easily meet his match and be a bust. 


8. Miami Dolphins (6-10): Alshon Jeffery, WR (South Carolina)

Another shocker here, as the Dolphins don't go with QB Ryan Tannehill—the ever-so-popular pick among most mock drafts right now. 

Tannehill isn't much of an upgrade, if any, over Matt Moore, so Miami would be better-served to give Moore another weapon with which to work. 

Jeffery has tremendous leaping ability as well as exceptional hands. He can catch virtually anything thrown his way, which is good since the Dolphins no longer have Brandon Marshall

Miami would be wise to not buy into the hype of Tannehill and waste a pick on him. Getting better value in Jeffery here is the right decision, as it would also allow the Dolphins to hold out for Matt Barkley in 2013.  

9. Carolina Panthers (6-10): Quinton Coples, DE (North Carolina)

Despite having a down year this past season, Coples finds his way into the Top 10 because of his great size, strength and versatility on the defensive line.

Several folks are down on him because he had a poor season last year. However, Coples has all the skills to thrive in the NFL. The Panthers need a powerful player like him, so they'll gladly take the Carolina kid at No. 9 and shock those who doubt Coples can be elite.  


10. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Courtney Upshaw, OLB (Alabama)

Drafting Upsahw would give the Bills and even better defense in 2012, which is what they have to have if they're going to do the unthinkable and win the AFC East—or, at least, make the playoffs. 


11. Kansas City Chiefs (7-9): Riley Reiff, OT (Iowa)

The Chiefs have several options here, but securing the offensive line with a stud like Reiff is their best bet. 


12. Seattle Seahawks (7-9): Nick Perry, DE (USC)

Perry is an explosive defender off the edge, which is exactly what the Seahawks need. It surely helps that he has the connection to Pete Carroll through USC. 

13. Arizona Cardinals (8-8): Melvin Ingram, DE (South Carolina) 

The Cardinals also have plenty of options here, but boosting the pass-rush with a fierce competitor like Ingram will vastly help Arizona's defense in 2012 and beyond. 


14. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Dre Kirkpatrick, CB (Alabama)

The Cowboys need to improve their defense if they're going to hang with the tough NFC East in 2012. Adding Kirkpatrick to the secondary will significantly help Dallas moving forward. 

15. Philadelphia Eagles (8-8): Luke Kuechly, LB (Boston College) 

The Eagles are thinking about trading up, and it all depends on how much they give up and who they get to determine whether or not it would be a smart idea. 

What is a smart idea is drafting Kuechly at No. 15 should the Eagles decide not to move up. He's a tackling machine, and he'll dominate in the NFL just like he did in college. 


16. New York Jets (8-8): ): Michael Floyd, WR (Notre Dame)

Floyd is a superbly talented wideout, and it honestly wouldn't surprise me to see him drafted higher. A big run at defenders causes him to drop to No. 16, but the Jets will quickly scoop him up to give Mark Sanchez another big-time weapon. 


17. Cincinnati Bengals (via OAK 8-8): Janoris Jenkins, CB (North Alabama)

Jenkins has major character concerns, which is why some don't believe he'll be selected in the first round at all.

However, the Bengals are known for getting trouble players and making things work. They'll see the talent Jenkins has to offer, which is fantastic, and they won't pass up on the chance to steadily improve their secondary.

Jenkins is a special player, and if he stays out of trouble in the NFL, he's going to have a splendid career. 


18. San Diego Chargers (8-8): David DeCastro, OG (Stanford)

The Chargers have a need on the defensive line, but they would be reaching for one here. Instead, San Diego fills another need with DeCastro, the best interior lineman in the draft. 

19. Chicago Bears (8-8): Jonathan Martin, OT (Stanford)

Another Stanford player is selected after DeCastro, as the Bears wisely choose Martin to add much-needed depth to the offensive line for Jay Cutler's protection. 

20. Tennessee Titans (9-7): Stephon Gilmore, CB (South Carolina)

With the best pass-rushers off the board, the Titans look to fill another need in the secondary. Gilmore is a fine prospect who has the skills to be elite in no time. The Titans will love that. 


21. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7): Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

The Bengals continue to add young playmakers on offense with the addition of Miller, a stud running back with blazing speed. He'll platoon with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and together, the two will help make Cincinnati a much better team. 

22. Cleveland Browns (via ATL 10-6): Kendall Wright, WR (Baylor)  

The Browns win big again with this draft pick. Wright is a true home run threat, and he'll help Colt McCoy spread the field. This will take pressure off Greg Little, resulting in huge gains for Cleveland. 


23. Detroit Lions (10-6): Cordy Glenn, OG (Georgia)                  

Cornerback is an option, but Glenn is the best overall prospect available here, and he does fill a need. Getting extra protection for Matthew Stafford is always a good call. 


24. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4): Alfonzo Dennard, CB (Nebraska)

The Steelers aren't getting any younger, especially in the secondary. Drafting Dennard will give them much-needed youth and extra depth in a position of need. 

25. Denver Broncos (8-8): Dontari Poe, DT (Memphis)

Poe tore through the combine, quickly turning heads and catching the eyes of every scout in attendance. The Broncos have a huge need for a defensive tackle, and they'll love adding the massive Poe to their line. 

26. Houston Texans (10-6): Stephen Hill, WR (Georgia Tech)

With the majority of top-notch offensive tackles off the board, the Texans decide to play it smart and draft Hill. Hill has phenomenal speed and will be a great complement to Andre Johnson, helping relieve the amazing receiver of a great deal of pressure. 


27. New England Patriots (via NO 13-3): Peter Konz, C (Wisconsin)

The Patriots' primary need is on the defensive front, but with Konz slipping down thanks to defensive and playmaker picks, Bill Belichick won't pass on the chance to stockpile his offensive line with more talent for Tom Brady's safety. 

28. Green Bay Packers (15-1): Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB (Illinois)

Mercilus had just one good season in college, which was this past year when he recorded 16 sacks.

Sometimes one year is all you need, and Mercilus will make the most of his limited college success by working alongside Clay Matthews. 

29. Baltimore Ravens (12-4): Dont'a Hightower, LB (Alabama)

Offensive line is the biggest need for the Ravens, but going with the best overall player here in Hightower is something Baltimore can't pass up. He'll learn from Ray Lewis and will eventually take his place, which will serve better Baltimore than any guard the Ravens would reach on at No. 29. 

30. San Francisco 49ers (13-3): Mark Barron, S (Alabama)

The 49ers offense is stacked after great offseason additions, so adding depth to the defense by selecting Barron would be a great move for San Francisco. 


31. New England Patriots (13-3): Andre Branch, DE (Clemson)

The Patriots may trade this pick, but since they desperately need help on the defensive line, keeping it to get a beast like Branch would be the wise move for New England. 


32. New York Giants (9-7): Chris Polk, RB (Washington)

Polk would serve as a fantastic replacement for the recently departed Brandon Jacobs. Ahmad Bradshaw won't be able to do it alone, and while there are other needs, such as the offensive line or the linebacker position, Polk's talents are too good to pass on.


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