The 2012 NFL draft is now upon us. Football fans have been patiently waiting for this event for months. For fans of teams that were not even close to qualifying for the playoffs, their wait has been even longer.
For the past several months, we have seen players go on a wild roller-coaster ride of shooting up draft boards on mock drafts, then coming back down again. We have read about all the red flags of certain players and wonder where they will ultimately be drafted.
There have been smokescreens and misinformation that send analysts down the wrong path, as well as plenty of offseason moves that affect each team's needs heading into the draft.
So all that is left now is to sit back and watch the event unfold. Oh yeah, there is also the chance to make some predictions about what will go down. With no crystal ball at my disposal, I will venture forward and make 50 bold predictions concerning the 2012 NFL draft. I have no idea how many of these will pan out, but it will be fun to see how many I nail.
On to the presentation.
We all know that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will be gone after the first two selections are announced. Ryan Tannehill will be the third quarterback off of the board in Round 1.
But that is it. No other quarterbacks will be drafted until we move on to Day 2. Any rumors of teams trading up to get back late into Round 1 to draft Brandon Weeden or Brock Osweiler won't materialize.
Prediction is that only three quarterbacks will be drafted in the first round.
As we all know, Bill Belichick owns four draft picks in the first two rounds of the draft. Those happen to be overall picks No. 27, 31, 48 and 62. How many of them will he use and how many of them will he trade away?
The prediction here is that Belichick will use both of his first-round draft picks to pick up some talent for his defense, but that he will only trade one of his first four draft picks. That will be one of his second-round selections.
This is kind of a crazy thought that I haven't seen speculated anywhere else, but what are the chances that Belichick packages both of his second-round picks and whatever else he needs to do to secure a third pick in the first round? Based on the new CBA, first-round draft picks are more affordable than ever, so if he really wants to add a major transfusion of talent to the defense, this is a move that could make some sense.
The original projections of the following eight players are completely different from where they will wind up being drafted.
My prediction is that all eight players on this slide will ultimately be drafted later than originally projected. Their issues range from off-the-field decisions, character concerns, drug issues, lack of 100 percent effort on every play, commitment, dedication and not impressing coaches enough in individual meetings and workouts.
The eight players in question are: Baylor WR Kendall Wright, North Carolina DE Quinton Coples, Memphis DT Dontari Poe, North Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins, Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Ohio St. T Mike Adams, Arizona State ILB Vontaze Burfict and Virginia Tech CB JayRon Hosley.
Obviously some of the falls will be deeper than others, but the point remains that character counts. What you do off the field can be just as important as what you do on the field.
My prediction here is that both of Indianapolis' first two picks (overall picks No. 1 and 34) will come from Stanford University.
For the Colts to pair Andrew Luck up with either tight end Coby Fleener or tackle Jonathan Martin makes sense on a number of levels. The Colts need help at both tight end and tackle.
Both Martin and Fleener are comfortable playing with Luck, and the transition from college to the pros will be easier with a very familiar face around to share the experience. Not only that, but both Martin and Fleener are thought to be drafted in this range, as they are some of the best prospects in the draft class at tackle and tight end.
If only we had the ability to place a listening device in the war rooms of every NFL team (where's Mickey Loomis when you need him?). I predict that the three players who will receive the loudest groans across the NFL when they are drafted will be: South Carolina CB Stephon Gilmore, Alabama S Mark Barron and Boston College LB Luke Kuechly.
These players are all liked by multiple teams and they were well-received at their stadium visits. All three have been late movers shooting up draft boards to the point that a number of teams are hoping that they will still be available for them in the first round. It's not going to happen.
NFL teams that were originally thinking that they could draft one of the three later in the first round will be sad to see that all three will be gone prior to overall pick No. 16 in the first round.
The 2012 NFL draft features three teams without a draft pick in the first round.
The Oakland Raiders don't have a draft pick until overall pick No. 95. The New Orleans Saints are in a similar boat, as they do not have a draft pick until No. 89. At least the Atlanta Falcons can make a selection in the second round at No. 55.
I think all three teams will try to find an asset on their roster to try to scare up a draft pick or two, but nobody will be buying whatever these teams want to sell. In fact, the Associated Press reported the Falcons just gave up another draft pick to acquire corner Asante Samuel from the Philadelphia Eagles (per ESPN).
I predict all three teams will try to acquire more draft picks, but all three clubs will be rebuffed.
As banged up as the New York Giants are at tight end, they will resist the temptation to draft athletic tight end Coby Fleener from Stanford and will opt to go in a different direction.
As a result of the Giants passing on Fleener, my prediction is that no tight end will be drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft, which was also the case in the 2011 draft.
There is some debate going on that three teams might be interested in Fleener—the Houston Texans, San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants. I think all three will pass on him in the first round. They realize that Fleener is a terrible blocking tight end, and whenever you bring him into the game you might as well just yell out to the defense that you are going to be passing the ball on the next play.
Here is my predicted order of when the first eight quarterbacks will come off the big board:
First round: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill
Second round: Brandon Weeden and Brock Osweiler
Third round: Kirk Cousins
Fourth round: Nick Foles and Russell Wilson
I'm predicting five offensive linemen will be selected in the first round, and they are: T Matt Kalil, G David DeCastro, T Riley Reiff, G/T Cordy Glenn and G Kevin Zeitler.
What the owner wants, the owner gets. No matter how much people will tell you something contrary, rest assured that the Miami Dolphins will draft Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill with the No. 8 overall pick. That's assuming that Tannehill is still on the board.
While there is still speculation that the Dolphins could draft a wide receiver or pass-rusher, the reality is that owner Stephen Ross wants Tannehill. It would be occupational suicide for the team not to grant his wish.
My prediction is that of the AFC East, the Miami Dolphins are the only team that will use their first-round draft pick on the offensive side of the ball. As just stated, that player will be Ryan Tannehill.
The New England Patriots hold two draft picks in the first round, and I think they will use both of them on defense. The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets will also use their first-round draft picks on defensive players, making it a total of four draft picks for defense and one for offense in the first round for the AFC East.
Both the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns hold two draft picks in the first round. The Browns will use both of their picks on the offensive side of the ball, while the Bengals will split their picks—one on offense and one on defense. The Pittsburgh Steelers will draft a defensive player in the first round, while the Baltimore Ravens will go over to offense.
So, to recap, my prediction makes it four players from the offensive side of the ball and two defensive players drafted by AFC North teams in the first round.
For those of you keeping score, that is six picks on defense and five picks on offense so far. On to the AFC West.
In the AFC West, my prediction is that it looks like a clean sweep for defensive picks in the first round from Kansas City, San Diego and Denver. Oakland obviously doesn't own a first-round pick.
If this trend continues in the second round for the AFC West teams, expect to see them react by addressing their offensive units in the third and fourth rounds.
Updated projection is that we now have nine picks on defense and five picks on offense. On to the AFC South.
In the AFC South, we already know that the Indianapolis Colts have committed their first pick to Andrew Luck. I think that Houston will also go on the offensive side of the ball with their first pick, while the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans will both go over to defense with their first choice.
My prediction is that the AFC South teams will have two offensive picks and two defensive picks in the first round.
That concludes the AFC teams in the first round. The tally is 11 picks on defense and seven picks on offense.
As far as the NFC East goes, we know that the Washington Redskins are going to draft Robert Griffin III, but that is all we know for sure. My prediction is that the other three NFC East teams—Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles—will all draft a defensive player in the first round.
Perhaps that is a testament to RG3 that NFC East defenses will need better athletes to help contain him.
New running total is now 14 picks on defense and eight picks on offense. On to the NFC North.
Now it's time to look at the NFC North teams. My projection (and prediction) is that the Chicago Bears will draft a defensive player, while the other three teams—Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions—will all draft offensive linemen in the first round.
That brings the running total to 15 picks for defense and 11 picks for offense. On to the NFC West division.
In the NFC West, I predict the Seattle Seahawks to go defense with their first pick, and the other three teams—San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams—will go with an offensive player in the first round.
That brings our running total to 16 defensive players and 14 players on offense with our final two picks coming from the NFC South.
While the AFC North has the most first-round draft picks (six total), the division with the fewest is the NFC South (two total). Since both the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons are not involved in the first round, we turn our attention to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers.
I see Tampa Bay and Carolina going with defensive players in the first round. That completes the first-round predictions, bringing the final tally to 18 defensive players and 14 players on offense.
As the NFL continues to place more emphasis on the passing game and less emphasis on the running game, that is also reflected in how running backs are drafted.
I predict that Trent Richardson is the only running back drafted in the first round. As many as three running backs might come off the big board in the second round, but clearly the position is taking a dip in its overall importance.
Mark Barron has been shooting up draft boards recently, and I'm curious to see just how high he can go.
While the consensus months ago was that several defensive ends would be top-10 picks, the reality is that Barron continues to rise while the defensive ends continue to drop.
I predict that Mark Barron will be drafted before any defensive ends.
How many times will teams trade to go up or down in the first round? This is a topic that I have been wondering about for the past two months.
While it is the nature of certain NFL teams to be aggressive in the draft and trade up to acquire that player they feel they have to own, the reality is that the new CBA has made it more affordable for teams to have a top-10 draft pick and not kill their salary cap structure in the process.
The Minnesota Vikings have been trying to find a team that wants to trade up to take their pick at No. 3. If that happens, I predict that it will trigger a flurry of other activity resulting in as many as five trades in the first round. In the 2011 NFL draft, there were a total of four trades in the first round.
Of course, if Minnesota doesn't get an offer that blows it away, it will keep the pick, and things could go the exact opposite way. If that happens, then you might only see two trades go down in the first round.
After the formalities of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are announced by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, that is when the 2012 NFL draft will really begin.
By that I mean overall pick No. 3 is where we could be quite surprised. The Vikings could announce that they have traded out of the pick. They could also announce that they have done the expected and drafted USC tackle Matt Kalil. But there is also the possibility that the Vikings could draft Morris Claiborne, creating a ripple effect across the NFL.
My prediction is that the Minnesota Vikings will not draft Matt Kalil with the No. 3 overall pick.
Once the No. 3 pick is known, the next pick that I will be looking forward to is the No. 7 pick with the Jacksonville Jaguars. That is the pick right in front of Miami, so if another team wants to jump ahead of the Dolphins to draft Ryan Tannehill, this is the pick on which they have to act.
I believe strongly that the Dolphins will draft Tannehill at No. 8, so if he is still there, the Dolphins take him. Then at No. 9, the Carolina Panthers could very well draft DT Fletcher Cox. So if another team feels that they really want to draft Cox, they will also have to jump up to that No. 7 pick, because there is no way that the Miami Dolphins would trade down and risk losing out on Tannehill.
I predict that one of those two scenarios will happen, and that Jacksonville will wind up trading the No. 7 overall pick and move down in the first round.
The next position of intrigue for me is at No. 10 where the Buffalo Bills are due to draft. They could consider T Riley Reiff, WR Michael Floyd, T Cordy Glenn, LB Luke Kuechly, CB Stephon Gilmore and S Mark Barron.
If that isn't enough to consider, or enough to confuse you, there is also a rumor surfacing that the Bills want to give up their overall picks at No. 10 and 41 to the Minnesota Vikings in order to draft T Matt Kalil at No. 3, as tweeted by NFL Network's Charlie Casserly.
Well that would certainly solve the Bills" problems at left tackle. They would then have to address their needs at wide receiver and corner in Rounds 3 through 7, where they would still have eight picks to play with.
As tempting as that scenario might appear to be on the surface, I don't know that Buddy Nix has ever been very keen on trading away draft picks, much less high picks. My prediction is that the Bills will sit tight at No. 10 and draft the best player available, similar to what they did when they took RB C.J. Spiller in the 2010 NFL draft.
South Carolina corner Stephon Gilmore has been really shooting up draft boards at a rapid pace in the past few weeks. Gilmore is rising so fast that some teams now have rated him above Morris Claiborne as the top corner in the 2012 NFL draft class.
While that might be true for a few teams around the league, I don't believe that Gilmore will be drafted above Claiborne. However, I predict that the both corners will be drafted before the wide receiver duo of Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd is off the draft board.
I have to be honest with my readers: I had never heard of wide receiver Cody Pearcy in my life until his name was mentioned on the ESPN special draft show that featured Bill Parcells on Wednesday. Parcells told everyone that there was this speed merchant wide receiver Pearcy from Huntington College that put up some crazy numbers.
You need to know that Pearcy isn't very large, as he stands 5'10" and weighs around 160 pounds. But then again, you can't tackle what you can't touch.
As per the show, Parcells said that Pearcy ran the 40-yard dash in sub-4.3 seconds, and he finished the shuttle in 3.7 seconds, which is unheard of. So you have the combination of both blazing speed and amazing quickness rolled up into one player.
How high will he be drafted? I haven't got a clue, but if you start hearing a buzz about this kid during the draft telecasts, now you know why.
If you want to do a little further research on Pearcy, here is a link to the Bleacher Report article on him by our own Sigmund Bloom.
My prediction is that Pearcy will cause a buzz at the NFL draft, and that some team will draft him during Day 3.
Since we have only one running back being drafted in Round 1, they will be in demand on Day 2.
My prediction is that the first player drafted on Day 2 of the 2012 NFL draft will be Virginia Tech running back David Wilson. Whether or not the St. Louis Rams still own that pick or not is up for debate. That is another pick that could very easily be in play.
I'm peering deep into the crystal ball for this one (if I owned one, that is) to come up with the following prediction.
I predict that the first draft pick of Day 3 (which is overall pick No. 96, which kicks off Round 4), will be Tennessee defensive end Malik Jackson. Interestingly enough, Jackson is pulling on the facemask of Chris Rainey of Florida, who might be another pick coming off the board very early in Round 4.
Leading all colleges in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft, the University of Alabama will have five players drafted in the first round.
My prediction is that Trent Richardson, Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick, Courtney Upshaw and Dont'a Hightower will all be drafted in the first round.
This serves as an endorsement for the coaches at Alabama, signifying that they are able to prepare their players to be as ready as possible for making the transition to the NFL.
How will the New York Jets pick at No. 16 be received by the Jets faithful fans in attendance?
My prediction is that no matter who is drafted, the player will be greeted with a loud chorus of boos. That is because that is what Jets fans do, and they do it quite well.
Whether that player turns out to be Courtney Upshaw, Mark Barron or Michael Brockers, welcome to life in the Big Apple.
Chris Rainey, the speedster from Florida, will probably wind up being drafted on Day Three. He could be a hybrid kind of player, getting some touches out of the backfield, as a slot receiver or split out wide—similar to what the Buffalo Bills do with C.J. Spiller.
As Rainey will fly past NFL defenses in 2012, teams will be asking themselves why they let him slip past them for so many rounds. I predict that Chris Rainey won't be drafted until Day Three, and that NFL teams will regret that they passed him over so many times in the draft.
He rarely gets much publicity when the quarterbacks of the 2012 NFL draft class are being discussed, but I think a sleeper QB pick in this draft is Ryan Lindley of San Diego State.
To my way of thinking, if there is a quarterback that gets drafted in Round 5 or later but has the ability to come in and manage a game the way that rookie T.J Yates did for the Houston Texans down the stretch in 2011, that would be a quarterback to keep an eye on.
My prediction is the "T.J. Yates QB" in the 2012 draft will be Ryan Lindley.
As such, that means that Richardson will see a steady enough diet of carries all season, which should be sufficient to allow him to realize a 1,000-plus yard rushing season in his rookie campaign. That result will make it well-worth all of the jockeying in order to draft him.
Prediction: Trent Richardson will rush for over 1,000 yards as a rookie, and he will be the only rookie running back from the 2012 class to do so.
For those of you that forgot about this from the 2011 NFL draft, the Baltimore Ravens failed to turn in their draft card in time due to a trade they were working on with the Chicago Bears not getting consummated quickly enough. The Kansas City Chiefs rushed in their pick before the Ravens turned in their draft card, but luckily none of the three teams involved wanted the same player.
So the question is: will some team fall into the same scenario in 2012 and fail to turn in their card in time to Commissioner Goodell? My prediction is that the answer is yes, some unfortunate team will get caught up in a proposed trade, and they will miss their deadline. Weird that it would happen two years in a row, but that is my prediction.
In case you aren't aware, the time limit for the first round is 10 minutes between picks, seven minutes for Round Two, and just five minutes between picks for the remaining five rounds. That doesn't leave teams much time to get a trade verbally agreed to and turn in the necessary paperwork to the NFL for approval.
While we have already pegged Ryan Lindley from San Diego State as the T.J. Yates QB of the 2012 NFL draft class, I also wanted to dedicate a slide to quarterback Russell Wilson of Wisconsin.
He is another quarterback that will get overlooked by the vast majority of NFL teams and will be waiting to be drafted until somewhere on Day Three. Wilson will go on to have a productive NFL career. He may not become a starter for years on end, but he will be effective whenever he is asked to play, and that is something that not enough teams can say about their backup quarterback.
My prediction is that Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson won't be drafted until Day Three, and he will wind up becoming an effective NFL quarterback.
Out of all the defensive players that have been really zooming up the draft boards in the past two weeks, there is no doubt that corner Stephon Gilmore and safety Mark Barron will be drafted higher than originally thought.
My prediction is that the player that will really catch most people by surprise as to how soon he comes off the big board is Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones.
He was usually thought to be anywhere from a second- to third-round draft pick, but I believe Jones is going to be drafted in the top half of the first round.
Based on the hype that surrounded their NFL Scouting Combine performances, you would have walked away from Indianapolis being convinced that defensive tackle Dontari Poe from Memphis and wide receiver Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech would be drafted no worse than the middle of the first round.
But now that we are so close to the start of the draft, it would seem that the stock for both Hill and Poe has been slowly dropping over the past 10 days. Poe could now go in anywhere in the 20s, and Hill could drop out of the first round due to lack of polish and concerns about his lack of development at Georgia Tech.
My prediction is that Dontari Poe doesn't get drafted in the top half of the first round and that Stephen Hill falls out of the first round.
As I considered all of the various scenarios that could be played out during Day One of the 2012 NFL draft, there is one contingency that I am somewhat dreading, because it would cause an immediate panic and reaction from all the teams drafting immediately after it.
That scenario would be if the Minnesota Vikings either drafted Trent Richardson for their own needs or traded away the draft pick, and another team swooped in to draft Richardson. That would immediately force the Cleveland Browns into Plan B, which would be...who knows?
Maybe they take a receiver, maybe they draft Tannehill or maybe they take Morris Claiborne. Then what would Tampa Bay do? See what I mean? Everybody is thrown for a loop, and it would be chaos.
My prediction: If Trent Richardson is drafted at No. 3 overall, all bets are off. The rest of the top half of the first round would be Looney Tunes.
The NFL has received confirmation that 26 players accepted invitations to attend the 2012 NFL draft in person. That means that there will be a crowded green room as players wait for their name to be called, hit the red carpet and walk the stage to give Commissioner Goodell a hug.
The 26 players attending this year are listed in alphabetical order:
S Mark Barron, WR Justin Blackmon, DT Michael Brockers, CB Morris Claiborne, DE Quinton Coples, DT Fletcher Cox, TE Coby Fleener, WR Michael Floyd, CB Stephon Gilmore, OL Cordy Glenn, QB Robert Griffin III, LB Dont'a Hightower, WR Stephen Hill, DE Melvin Ingram, T Matt Kalil, CB Dre Kirkpatrick, QB Andrew Luck, LB Shea McLellin, DE Nick Perry, DT Dontari Poe, WR Rueben Randle, RB Trent Richardson, DT Devon Still, QB Ryan Tannehill, LB Courtney Upshaw and WR Kendall Wright.
From this group, I predict the players that will have the longest green room wait will be: Coby Fleener, Stephen Hill, Nick Perry, Rueben Randle and Devon Still.
If you are one of the NFL fans that is getting sick of hearing about all of the problems with the New Orleans Saints, raise your hand.
The Saints will probably be one of the most discussed teams during the NFL draft telecasts on ESPN and the NFL Network. The only problem I have with that is probably less than five percent of the dialogue will be about the Saints draft picks, which is supposed to be the focal point of why we all gathered in the first place.
First, it was the Peyton Manning ordeal, then it moved to Tim Tebow. Since then the Saints have been the major story, and it isn't going away anytime soon. We hoped that the players being disciplined would have all of their suspensions announced prior to the draft, but it didn't happen.
My prediction is that the New Orleans Saints will be one of the most discussed teams in the NFL Draft, but that very little of the talk will actually be about the Saints draft picks. Ugh.
The position to be most-picked in the first round will defensive tackles. I can see at least four, and possibly five, defensive tackles going off the board in the first round.
My prediction is that a total of five defensive tackles will be drafted in the first round, which will be the most of any position.
Cliff Harris clearly hurt his career and future by being disciplined at Oregon. The question is: How badly did he hurt himself regarding the NFL draft?
Will somebody take a chance on Harris on Day Three due to the prior talent that he flashed in Oregon, or will teams have crossed him completely off their big boards?
Maybe he slips through the entire draft without getting his name called. Then he will get a tryout as an undrafted rookie free agent and have to earn his way onto a NFL roster.
My prediction is that Oregon corner Cliff Harris is not drafted in the 2012 NFL draft.
My prediction is that, after three rounds of the draft are completed, there will only be two centers drafted in those rounds: Peter Konz of Wisconsin and Ben Jones of Georgia.
Where did all the centers go?
He may not be the flashiest wide receiver in the 2012 NFL draft class, but Oklahoma wide receiver Ryan Broyles is a player that appears to be largely overlooked. Over the past three seasons at Oklahoma, Broyles averaged 101 catches, 13 touchdowns and 1300 receiving yards per season.
That is some serious production, and if you can draft that in the third or fourth round, consider that a steal.
Prediction: Wide receiver Ryan Broyles won't get drafted until the third or fourth round, but it will be a steal based on what he will do in the NFL.
My prediction for the player that is the overall No. 253, otherwise known as Mr. Irrelevant, will be tight end Brad Smelley of Alabama.
Guess that covers that slide. Enough said.
Regarding my predictions for the 2012 NFL Draft, I will now look ahead to predicting the NFL Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year.
Although I expect Trent Richardson and Andrew Luck will both have strong rookie campaigns, I predict that Robert Griffin III will wind up being named the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Defenses will be keying on Richardson wherever he winds up going. Luck won't have nearly the supporting cast around him that Griffin has in Washington, and that will be one of the reasons that Griffin will stand out from the rest of the pack.
I suspect that Griffin and Luck will have a friendly rivalry that will last for the majority of this decade, trying to see who can outperform the other.
While I suspect that Morris Claiborne, Stephon Gilmore and Mark Barron will turn in respectable rookie seasons, the guy that will have a chance to make the biggest impact is linebacker Luke Kuechly. Assuming that he winds up becoming a three-down linebacker as he is advertised, he will have the chance to rack up an impressive array of statistics.
Look for Kuechly to make his mark by becoming a playmaker that either leads his team in tackles or is way up there in the category, coming up with some interceptions and either creating some fumbles or recovering some. In other words, he will make more of an impact across the board for his team, and that is why he will secure the most votes.
Prediction: Linebacker Luke Kuechly will become the 2012 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
For the final three slides of the presentation, we will turn it over to some surprising results in mock drafts just released by two well-known NFL draft analysts, Mike Mayock of NFL Network and Greg Cosell of NFL Films.
On the NFL Network on Wednesday evening, Mike Mayock released his first and only mock draft for the 2012 NFL draft. It had some very interesting results, so we thought you might like to see some of the more interesting choices.
No. 4: Cleveland Browns draft WR Justin Blackmon, passing on Trent Richardson.
No. 10: Buffalo Bills draft LB Luke Kuechly, passing up WR Michael Floyd and T Riley Reiff.
No. 11: Kansas City Chiefs draft S Mark Barron.
No. 15: Philadelphia Eagles draft CB Stephon Gilmore.
No. 16: New York Jets draft WR Michael Floyd. I think Jets fans might cheer that pick!
No. 19: Chicago Bears draft DE Chandler Jones.
No. 20: Tennessee Titans draft WR Stephen Hill.
No. 22: Cleveland Browns draft RB Doug Martin (which is why they passed on Richardson at No. 4).
No. 23: Detroit Lions draft DE Courtney Upshaw.
No. 26: Houston Texans draft TE Coby Fleener.
No. 31: New England Patriots draft S Harrison Smith.
My prediction: While I like the fresher approach that Mayock used, I just don't see Fleener, Harrison Smith and Stephen Hill going in the first round of the draft.
We can provide you with a link to the mock draft conducted by Greg Cosell here.
The biggest surprise for me happened right away, with Cosell selecting Stephon Gilmore as the No. 3 draft pick to the Minnesota Vikings. While on the surface Gilmore would help the Vikings with the passing attacks of the NFC North teams, you have to wonder how he is viewed as the No. 3 best player in the draft class.
My prediction: There is no way that the Vikings will draft Gilmore with the No. 3 draft pick in the 2012 NFL draft.
Would you believe that Greg Cosell continues with his mock draft choices by placing corner Janoris Jenkins at No. 5 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Now we need to put in the disclaimer plug that Cosell based his picks based solely on what he observed on film.
I don't know what he saw on film, but I do remember watching Jenkins closely during the All-Star game practices on the NFL Network, and I recall Jenkins being beaten pretty easily.
Next big surprise to me was that he had Matt Kalil on a free fall all the way down to No. 13 to the Arizona Cardinals. There is no way that happens, because the Buffalo Bills would hop all over him at No. 10.
Anyway, I think you get the gist. Check out the link we gave you on the prior slide to see all of Cosell's picks. We all know that there will be some surprises, but I just can't predict that any of the picks from this slide will become reality.
Thanks for checking out the presentation. Hope you enjoy the 2012 NFL draft.