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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Final Predictions for First 32 Picks

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Final Predictions for First 32 Picks
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The 2012 NFL draft is on Thursday and as we close in on the start of the first round it's time to take a look at where things stand right now.

The following is my latest mock draft as we are just hours away from the start of this year's event.

 

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

We already know Luck will be the guy. Heck, we've known he'd be the top pick in this draft for well over a year now.

 

2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis Rams): Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

After watching John Beck and Rex Grossman play quarterback in 2011, the Redskins were willing to surrender three first-round picks for the chance to land a franchise quarterback.

Griffin will step in and start from day one.

 

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC

Rumors have the Vikings waffling on this pick, but it would be foolish to let a guy like Kalil go by. He is a future Pro Bowler at left tackle and will solidify the position for years.

 

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

After losing Peyton Hillis to the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason, the Browns need to add a running back in the draft.

This is a perfect fit, as Richardson is the best, most complete back to enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson in 2007.

 

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

The Bucs might be hoping Richardson falls, but he won't. They'll settle for Claiborne, who has shutdown corner and Pro Bowler written all over him. 

 

6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

The Rams are praying Blackmon falls to them here, and he will.

Pairing the Oklahoma State wideout with Sam Bradford will finally give St. Louis an elite pass-catch combination.

 

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

The Jaguars would take Blackmon if he was on the board, but they'll go with Ingram here. The versatile defender should immediately spark a pass rush that is seriously lacking punch.

 

Darren Carroll/Getty Images

8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

The Dolphins missed out on Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn and Alex Smith in free agency and can't let another passer escape their collective grasp.

Tannehill will need time to develop, but he'll be a guy the franchise can build around long-term. 

 

9. Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

Cox has moved up the board as much as anyone during the evaluation process. He's a complete defensive tackle who should make an immediate impact along a Panthers defensive line that needs help along the interior.

 

10. Buffalo Bills: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

Buffalo's biggest need is an offensive tackle and Reiff is the second best this draft class has to offer.

 

11. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College

Kansas City and Kuechly are a match made in heaven. The Chiefs need an active inside linebacker to patrol the middle of their 3-4 defense and he's the best pure linebacker in this draft.

 

Geoff Burke/Getty Images

12. Seattle Seahawks: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

The Seahawks desperately need to upgrade their pass rush and at 6'6" and 285 pounds, Coples is a prototypical 4-3 pass-rush end.

If Pete Carroll can find a way to keep him motivated, the North Carolina product could turn into a monster.

 

13. Arizona Cardinals: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Floyd is this draft's second-best wide receiver and will be a great No. 2 wideout and complement to Larry Fitzgerald.

If Reiff somehow falls here though, he would be the pick.

 

14. Dallas Cowboys: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

Jerry Jones will love Poe's eye-popping measurables and Rob Ryan will love his strength and size. He'll step in and start as the nose tackle in Dallas' 3-4 defense right away.

 

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Mark Barron, S, Alabama

After adding DeMeco Ryans through a trade, getting Barron would make Philadelphia's defense that much better. He'll start from day one and develop into a rock, and a leader, in the secondary.

 

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

16. New York Jets: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

Upshaw is the kind of tough, rugged player Rex Ryan loves to have.

The Jets need to add an edge rusher, and the Alabama product is versatile enough to rush the passer and be a run-stuffer.

 

17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland Raiders): Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

Gilmore is a legitimate top-15 player in this draft and this would be a big score for the Bengals at a position of need.

Some have Stanford's David DeCastro ticketed for this spot, but I have a hard time seeing Mike Brown taking a guard with his top pick.

 

18. San Diego Chargers: David DeCastro, G, Stanford

DeCastro will immediately step in to a starting role and should quickly be one of the NFL's best guards. He will replace the recently-retired Kris Dielman on the left side of the line and provide an immediate boost.

 

19. Chicago Bears: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

The Bears need a guy to help protect quarterback Jay Cutler. Martin's stock has fallen during the draft evaluation process, but is still as talented as he was at the end of the season.

The Stanford product needs to develop a bit more, but has a high ceiling and is a franchise-caliber left tackle.

 

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

20. Tennessee Titans: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Cortland Finnegan bolted for St. Louis in free agency, leaving a big hole in his wake. Kirkpatrick will fit perfectly in Tennessee's zone-heavy scheme.

 

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Cordy Glenn, OT/G, Georgia

Cincinnati needs help along the offensive line and Glenn is a big, versatile prospect who could play either guard spot or right tackle immediately.

 

22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta Falcons): Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

At 6'7" and 323 pounds, Adams should be better than he is.

That said, playing right tackle for the Browns will give Adams a chance to develop with help from Pro Bowler Joe Thomas.

 

23. Detroit Lions: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

Detroit's current center Dominic Raiola is terrible and Konz is a stud who will step in to the NFL and be one of the league's best centers right out of the gate.

 

Joe Murphy/Getty Images

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

Brockers will eventually take over for the aging Casey Hampton at nose tackle, but until then he can play all over the defensive line.

 

25. Denver Broncos: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

The Broncos have a huge hole in the middle of their defensive line.

Worthy is a strong, determined tackle who has one of the draft's better motors and plays through the whistle. He would be an immediate upgrade.

 

26. Houston Texans: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

I've had the Texans locked into this pick for a while.

Wright is a legitimate No. 2 wideout with big-play ability who should provide an excellent complement to Andre Johnson.

 

27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans Saints): Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse

Bill Belichick needs to upgrade his front seven—that process with start with Jones.

The Syracuse product is a raw athlete who Belichick can mold into the perfect edge rusher for his 3-4/4-3 hybrid scheme.

 

28. Green Bay Packers: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC

Perry is this draft's best pure pass-rusher and the Packers will be happy he falls to them here. 

 

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

29. Baltimore Ravens: Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama

Hightower will likely shift to the outside to take over for the departed Jarret Johnson until Ray Lewis retires. At that time, he will shift inside to take over for the future Hall of Famer.

 

30. San Francisco 49ers: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

The 49ers need a deep threat to help stretch the field for quarterback Alex Smith. At 6'4" and 215 pounds with elite speed, Hill is raw, but may be this draft's best deep target.

 

31. New England Patriots: Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut

Reyes is a smart, versatile defensive lineman who will fit right in along the Patriots' front. With Jones and Reyes added, New England will have gone a long way to rebuilding its front seven.

 

32. New York Giants: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

Fleener is a big, athletic target who should provide an immediate boost to New York's offense. Eli Manning needs another target now that Mario Manningham is gone.

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