2012 NFL Mock Draft: Complete 1st-Round Mock Draft with Team Needs and Video
NFL draft week is finally here, and all of the mocking will soon give way to the reality of teams making picks that could immediately change the fortunes of their respective franchises.
Here is fresh first-round mock draft, complete with team needs and highlights for every player.
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB Stanford
Not that there was any drama leading up to the decision, but the Colts are not shy about stating that they will be selecting Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in the draft.
Obviously, the need for Luck at quarterback springs from the releasing of Peyton Manning, but considering the disaster that was last season, Indianapolis has quite a few other areas of need as well.
Team Needs: QB, WR, DT, CB
2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB Baylor
Another low-drama (but still high-excitement) draft moment will be when Roger Goodell steps to the microphone and Robert Griffin III becomes a Washington Redskin, after the team made a big trade to move up and get him.
The Redskins did well to surround their new quarterback with weapons but need to focus on protecting Griffin and their pass defense.
Team Needs: QB, OL, S, CB
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OL USC
There is still a chance that the Vikings could cash in on trading this pick, but if they don't, it will be hard to pass on a great player that can help protect the team's new franchise quarterback.
This is the first choice in the draft that could allow a team to really address one of its three serious needs, with top-notch talent available at each position.
Team Needs: OL, CB, WR
4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Trent Richardson is too good of a player to pass up, and had the team picking before Cleveland not been a team with an All-World player at running back already, it likely would have taken Richardson off the board at No. 3.
Team Needs: RB, OL, OLB, WR
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB LSU
The Buccaneers are not necessarily a team rebuilding, as much as retooling right now. They are certainly in the discussion as the team who "won" the offseason, and adding Morris Claiborne will only fuel that talk.
Despite a poor season last year, the Bucs are mainly in search of depth and are hoping that the talent they already possess on their roster can live up to its hype.
Team Needs: OLB, RB, OL, CB
6. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma State
This is another pick that has been discussed since day one, and it will likely happen because it makes so much sense for the Rams offense.
Justin Blackmon fills a huge need as a playmaker on the outside and will help keep the offense on the field and make some of the Rams' other shortcomings seem less dire.
Team Needs: WR, DL, OL, OLB
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Melvin Ingram, DE South Carolina
The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to take Ingram and then decide which hole he will best fill for the team: defensive end or outside linebacker.
Either way, the former Gamecock is going to be a fierce pass-rusher and an impactful all-around player for the Jaguars.
Team Needs: WR, DE, OLB, OL
8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB Texas A&M
Would there be a full-scale riot in Miami if the Dolphins chose not to take Ryan Tannehill?
The Dolphins will be taking a huge gamble if they indeed cave to fan pressure, but the team is in desperate need of a long-term solution at quarterback and will likely take a stab at trying to land him here.
Team Needs: WR, QB, DE, RG
9. Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox, DT Miss. St.
Fletcher Cox has slowly ascended the ranks of draft hopefuls and may be rewarded with a top-10 pick in this years draft.
Carolina clearly needs help in the middle of its defense in trying to stop the run, but there are needs all over the field for the Panthers to transform into a playoff contender.
Team Needs: DT, OL WR, CB
10. Buffalo Bills: Riley Reiff, OT Iowa
The Buffalo Bills are not in need of a flashy pick. Last season, they did well by selecting Marcel Dareus to solidify their defensive front, and this season, they should do the same on offense.
There isn't talent like Reiff later in the draft, but they may be able to find value for some of their other positions of need later on.
Team Needs: OT, WR, CB, LB
11. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Kuechly, ILB Boston College
The Chiefs defense was much improved down the stretch last season, and adding an impact player like Luke Kuechly in the middle of the defense will continue that growth.
If Kansas City can address some key positions, it may be poised to return to the top of the AFC West, a place the Chiefs held two years ago.
Team Needs: DT, ILB, OL, DE
12. Seattle Seahawks: Quinton Coples, DE North Carolina
The Seattle Seahawks have a very exciting, young secondary but are lacking the pressure on the quarterback to enable their athletes to make more plays in the secondary.
Adding Matt Flynn should help the offense stay on track, but there is a serious need to protect that new investment as well.
Team Needs: ILB, DE, OL
13. Arizona Cardinals: David DeCastro, OG Stanford
The Cardinals were in hot pursuit of a quarterback with Peyton Manning, and even though they lost out on that sweepstakes, they must still be committed to protection up front.
David DeCastro is one of the many Stanford first-round hopefuls that will come off the board, and Arizona will look to address a wide receiver in the second round.
Team Needs: OL, WR, QB
14. Dallas Cowboys: Mark Barron, SS Alabama
The Dallas Cowboys went out and got their man at cornerback in Brandon Carr, and now Rob Ryan needs a strong safety to help keep his defense on schedule.
Dallas is always a team deep with talent, and if the Cowboys are lucky, they can score another late-round star like DeMarco Murray.
Team Needs: OL, DL, OLB, S
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Dontari Poe, DL Memphis
Dontari Poe almost moved himself up to the Top 10 with his combine performance, but the tapes showed a freakish athlete who still needs some technical work.
Philadelphia has got some great depth on the outside of its defensive line, but inside, the Eagles are shallow at tackle and linebacker, which are both issues that need to be addressed early in the draft.
Team Needs: LB, DT, S
16. New York Jets: Nick Perry, DE USC
Being fast and being aggressive are hallmarks of a Rex Ryan defense, which makes Nick Perry a perfect fit for the Jets.
Another area that needs addressing is on the inside of the offensive line, and more help is required at wide receiver as well.
Team Needs: OL, S, DE, WR
17. Cincinnati Bengals: Courtney Upshaw, OLB Alabama
The Bengals will not miss the opportunity to take an impact player like Courtney Upshaw, who will still be on the board at this pick.
It may not be the position of the most urgent need, but the Bengals cannot pass up the chance to take a talent like this, which will have a huge impact on their defense.
Team Needs: CB, WR, OL, RB
18. San Diego Chargers: Andre Branch, DE Clemson
The Chargers have been without an impact pass-rushing threat since Shawne Merriman's career took a turn, and Andre Branch is a name that is piquing the interest of A.J. Smith.
San Diego has tried to re-tool its offensive weapons for Philip Rivers and should spend a majority of the draft working on defense.
Team Needs: CB, S, OLB, DE
19. Chicago Bears: Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame
The Chicago Bears have an interesting choice facing them.
The need to score often is a key in Chicago's division, and the opportunity to combine a possession receiver with home-run hitter Marshall is too good to pass up.
Team Needs: OL, WR, TE, DE
20. Tennessee Titans: Stephon Gilmore, CB South Carolina
The loss of Cortland Finnegan has left a big hole at corner for the Tennessee Titans, and one that needs to be filled over any other position for the team.
In a division soon to be filled with young quarterbacks, it will be important to have cover corners who can capitalize on mistakes through the air.
Team Needs: CB, DE, OL
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB Alabama
Team Needs: CB, WR, OL
22. Cleveland Browns: Kendall Wright, WR Baylor
After adding the right piece in the backfield early in the draft, the Browns will give Colt McCoy another weapon to help him blossom as a quarterback.
The Browns cannot totally ignore defense in this draft, but Pat Shurmur is an offensive mind, and he needs to make sure his team can execute his plan.
Team Needs: RB, OLB, WR, OL
23. Detroit Lions: Mike Adams, OT Ohio St.
The Detroit Lions are definitely going in the right direction, but they have some aging parts that will need replacing sooner rather than later.
Tackle is one of those positions and will likely be the choice, unless Detroit gets lucky and sees an impact cornerback that it covets at this spot.
Otherwise, look for the CB to be selected in the second round.
Team Needs: RB, OT, CB, S
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dont'a Hightower, ILB Alabama
The Pittsburgh Steelers defense is aging, and it is time to bring in talent that has leadership qualities as well.
Dont'a Hightower was the ring leader and captain of the vaunted Crimson Tide defense and would be a great addition on the field and in the locker room for Pittsburgh.
Team Needs: OL, ILB, RB, DL
25. Denver Broncos: Lamar Miller, RB Miami
There is a huge belief that Denver must take a defensive tackle in the first round or face mutiny from the fanbase. The truth is that Denver needs to find a player who can make an immediate impact,
With Peyton Manning now calling the shots, that player might be Lamar Miller, who can stretch the outside with his speed and make plays out of the backfield on screens.
Team Needs: RB, DT, OL, CB
26. Houston Texans: Stephen Hill, WR Georgia Tech
Losing Matt Schaub, and then Matt Leinart, made it clear that having an offense full of weapons that can make anyone look good is important.
Stephen Hill is similar to the Yellow Jacket receivers that came ahead of him in Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas, which is enough to excite any offensive coordinator.
Team Needs: OLB, CB, WR, OL
27. New England Patriots: Michael Brockers, DT LSU
The Patriots will be excited to see a player with tremendous upside like Michael Brockers drop to them so late in the draft.
New England wants to control both sides of the line, and Brockers is a player who can help it do that.
As a result of some shrewd trading, the Patriots get another chance at addressing needs before the second round.
Team Needs: S, DL, RB
28. Green Bay Packers: Whitney Mercilus, DE Illinois
The Packers have never made excuses for injuries slowing their team's performance, but the need for depth is a real one, especially on defense.
A very close second to taking Whitney Mercilus might be an offensive lineman to offset the injury woes there, but Mercilus can make a bigger impact immediately.
Team Needs: OLB, DE, OT, S
29. Baltimore Ravens: Peter Konz, C Wisconsin
The Baltimore Ravens know that time is running out on the potential future Hall of Fame career of their center Matt Birk.
Peter Konz is a sure-fire successor to that position and can possibly contribute elsewhere while waiting to take over for Birk.
The retirement of Ricky Williams means that depth could be a concern at running back as well and might need to be addressed in the later rounds.
Team Needs: OL, OLB, RB
30. San Francisco 49ers: Jerel Worthy, DT Michigan St.
The San Francisco 49ers made some big moves in free agency to sign impact wide receivers, likely because they felt the players they wanted would not be on the board anymore when it was their turn to pick.
The Niners can always use more beef in the middle of the line to help Justin Smith and Aldon Smith generate pressure, and Jerel Worthy is a player that can deliver that.
Team Needs: OL, WR, DL, CB
31. New England Patriots: Harrison Smith, FS Notre Dame
The Patriots' pass defense fell short against the Giants in the Super Bowl when they needed it the most, and that is why it must be addressed.
Running back will be a spot that the Patriots still need to look at, but there are most likely good options late into the fifth round.
Team Needs: S, DL, RB
32. New York Giants: Coby Fleener, TE Stanford
The Giants were decimated by injury at tight end and tried to rectify that problem in free agency. However, they will be much better off drafting Coby Fleener and letting him work with Eli Manning.
Like many other teams, the Giants had a departure in their backfield that is forcing them to be in the market for a running back as well.
Team Needs: RB, TE, OL, CB