2012 NFL Mock Draft: Where Will Biggest Names Land?

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal reacts during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against the Oklahoma State Cowboys on January 2, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 2012 NFL draft is filled with star players, and soon we'll find out what the future has in store for them. 

With the draft kicking off on Thursday, each prospect is preparing for a moment they've likely dreamed about for quite some time.

As for the star players, much will be expected of them, but they've got the talent to live up to the hype. A lot of times, the success these players have will depend on which team ends up drafting them. 

That being said, here's my 2012 NFL mock draft with info on each pick and a more in-depth look at where some of the biggest names will land. 


2012 NFL Mock Draft 

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

The consensus No. 1 pick, Luck has long been coveted by NFL teams, and it's going to be very exciting to see him in action during his rookie campaign. 

He's got the intelligence for the game, as well as the great arm. Luck is one of the best prospects in recent years and he won't take long to shine. 


2. Washington Redskins (5-11): Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

The Heisman Trophy winner will have a ton of pressure on him, but it won't be anything he can't handle. 

Griffin is a star, and the Redskins won't regret trading multiple first-rounders to get to the No. 2 pick. They needed a franchise QB, and Griffin will be their man for many years. 


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

Kalil is the safe bet for Minnesota, but it's a major mystery as to what the Vikings will do with the No. 3 pick. The anticipation is intense, and all eyes are already on Minnesota. 


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

The Browns have to improve on offense through this draft, otherwise it will seem like they don't care about making the team better. 

Richardson is the top running back in the draft class, and he's going to dominate at the next level. He sees the field very well, and that will help him excel in Cleveland. 


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

Claiborne is the top defender in the draft, and Tampa Bay will love getting such a big upgrade in its secondary. 


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

The Rams may end up trading up to try and get Richardson, especially with recent news that the Rams are looking to trade Steven Jackson. 

If they stay put at No. 6, drafting Brockers over a WR is the safer pick. He's a beast in the trenches and will help anchor the defensive front in St. Louis, which could use some youth as well. 


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

The Jaguars are desperate right now, so they'll take the gamble on Blackmon. Blaine Gabbert needs more weapons, even if they have bust written all over them. 


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

Ryan Tannehill is probably going to get picked here, but it would serve Miami better if it drafted Jeffery to help the team now as opposed to selecting a project QB. 


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

This Carolina kid may have had a poor season a year ago, but his skills are very good, and he'll definitely work hard for his hometown team. 

10. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame 

With Floyd still on the board, the Bills will ignore the fact they need to to stockpile talent on defense and draft Floyd to try and outscore all their opponents. 


11. Kansas City Chiefs (7-9): David DeCastro, G, Stanford 

DeCastro is the best interior lineman in the draft, and he'll be a perfect addition for Kansas City. 


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

The Seahawks have a big need for an explosive player off the edge like Perry and if they can trade back a few spots to get him, that would be ideal. 

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

Ingram thrives on getting into the backfield and disrupting plays. With the top three wideouts gone, the Cardinals will look to upgrade their pass-rush. 

14. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Mark Barron, S, Alabama

Helping out the secondary should be priority No. 1, and while cornerback is an option here, Barron's skills at safety are tremendous, so passing on him would be ludicrous. 

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

If the Eagles are going to win it all then they need superb depth on defense, something Kuechly will easily provide. 

16. New York Jets (8-8): Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama

Upshaw may not be the fastest guy out there, but he understands the game well and is a relentless defender, which Rex Ryan will love. 

17. Cincinnati Bengals (via OAK 8-8): Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

Miller's blazing speed makes him very enticing. He'll give the Bengals another young stud that will help make this offense very dangerous. 

18. San Diego Chargers (8-8): Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa  

Reiff is the best available prospect here, which is why the Chargers would be wise to take him as opposed to reaching on a defensive tackle. 


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

Jay Cutler needs more protection, and Martin will easily give him that and create big holes for the Bears run game. 

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

With the top pass-rushers off the board, the Titans look to fix another area of need by drafting Gilmore to upgrade the secondary. 


21. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7): Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

Jenkins has huge character concerns, but Cincinnati will overlook that and focus on his immense talent. 

They've dealt with troubled players before in the past and things have worked out. That's what they'll hope for here, and it would be smart to find someone to mentor the young corner. 

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

The Browns once again go with an offensive stud to help improve their game. Wright will instantly make Colt McCoy better, and teaming up with Greg Little will really help Cleveland win more games. 

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

Cornerback is a strong option here, but Glenn's versatility in the trenches makes him a special prospect, and Detroit will not want that to walk away. 


24. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4): Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

Pittsburgh needs to get younger on defense, as well as boost the depth in the secondary. With Kirkpatrick falling their way, the Steelers won't waste any time in drafting him.

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

Denver's biggest need is at defensive tackle, and at No. 25, the Broncos have a few different guys to choose from who all happen to have similar grades. Poe's potential is higher than the others in my opinion, which is why the Broncos will draft him. 

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

Hill has amazing speed, which he'll use to easily burn NFL corners. It will take him time to be an all around wideout, but in his rookie campaign, he'll significantly help the Texans. 

Houston needs to take pressure off Andre Johnson, and Hill will certainly help do just that. 

27. New England Patriots (via NOLA 13-3): Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin 

With Konz dropping after a run of defenders and skill position players, Bill Belichick will jump at the chance to add more talent on the offensive line. 

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

Mercilus and Clay Matthews on the same team would be highly dangerous for opposing teams. Green Bay's pass-rush would get a major boost if it were able to land Mercilus. 

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

Baltimore needs help on the offensive line, but the Raves would be reaching for a guy here at this point, which is they'll take the best overall player available. 

30. San Francisco 49ers (13-3): Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State 

Another team that might end up reaching on an offensive lineman, the 49ers should go with the best overall player here. Cox will help provide the team with excellent depth, which in the process will make the 49ers a scarier team. 


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

This pick will probably be traded away, but should they keep it, the Patriots would be wise to boost their defensive line with a monster like Branch. 


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

Ahmad Bradshaw won't be able to do it alone in New York now that Brandon Jacobs is gone, so the Giants need to plug in a young stud like Polk to help the team stay on top. 


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