Todd McShay 2012 NFL Mock Draft: Biggest Surprises in ESPN Analyst's Latest Mock

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Linebacker Luke Kuechly of Boston College takes part in a drill during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Todd McShay is one half of ESPN's NFL draft experts, and he can be almost as crazy as the network's other guy, Mel Kiper Jr

Both guys have some questionable picks in their mock drafts, as well as some selections that make you go, "Say what?"

Earlier today, McShay and his Scouts Inc. team released a full seven-round mock, but for your own sanity (OK, mine too), I'm focusing solely on the first round. 

With that said, here's the biggest surprises McShay and his crew made in their latest 2012 NFL mock draft


Luke Kuechly to Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

This is a result of the Minnesota Vikings selecting Morris Claiborne at No. 3. 

Don't get me wrong, Kuechly is a gifted athlete and one of, if not the, top linebackers in the draft. However, picking him at No. 5 is very risky, especially with several other higher-rated prospects still on the board. 

If Claiborne does indeed go to the Vikings, which is a strong possibility, the Buccaneers should probably trade back. They'd still be able to get Kuechly or be in position to draft a different cornerback, such as Stephon Gilmore or Dre Kirkpatrick. 

It might be difficult to trade back there, but with Matt Kalil on the board, as well as talented receivers and the over-hyped Ryan Tannehill, somebody would be willing to move up. 


Chandler Jones to Seattle Seahawks 

McShay is right that the Seahawks need a defensive end, but selecting Jones at No. 12 is entirely too high. 

Jones has sky-rocketed up draft boards in the recent weeks, but he isn't the top overall DE in the draft, which is what McShay is essentially saying by having him be the first DE drafted. 

With Melvin Ingram, Quinton Coples and Courtney Upshaw still there, I'd be very surprised to see the Seahawks reach on Jones. I could see Seattle trading back and getting Jones or another DE later, but it's a mystery if that will happen or not. 

Oh, and don't even get me started on the fact he has DE Nick Perry of USC going in the late second round. 


Stephen Hill to the Cincinnati Bengals 

With their second first-round pick, McShay has the Bengals taking a wide receiver.

That's a surprise in itself, but the bigger surprise here is that he picks Hill over Kendall Wright, a guy who happens to be a much better all around wideout. 

I could see the Bengals going with a wide receiver to pair with A.J. Green, building a bright future in the process. 

However, taking Hill over Wright is a major shocker. Sure, Hill may be faster, but Wright is no slouch. He too would be a great big home-run threat for Andy Dalton, forcing opponents to worry about two very skilled receivers.

Wright is a better route-runner, and one could argue he has better hands than Hill. I would be incredibly shocked if Hill is drafted before Wright. 



Follow E_ROCK12 on Twitter