2012 NFL Draft: A Two-Man Mock Draft
The NFL draft is approaching minute by minute. The latest rumors have been swirling around websites, making writers scramble to change their mock drafts. My friend Patrick Harris, who has interned for NFL Films writing for their online blog, and I decided to develop a mock draft by alternating draft selections for today’s NFL draft.
Here are our selections:
1. Indianapolis (2-14)
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
This pick has already been decided. Andrew Luck will replace Peyton Manning as the franchise quarterback in Indianapolis.
2. Washington from St. Louis (2-14)
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
There is no player other than Robert Griffin III that the Redskins would have traded three first-round picks for. RGIII has already sparked the Redskins fanbase and should continue to do so for the next decade.
3. Minnesota (3-13)
Matt Kalil, OT, USC
The Vikings hold the first unknown draft pick in the 2012 NFL draft, but despite the Vikings' smokescreens, there is no pick that makes more sense than Matt Kalil. Kalil is by far the most talented offensive tackle in the draft, and the Vikings are desperate to rebuild their line.
4. Cleveland (4-12)
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
The Browns would like to draft Robert Griffin III but will settle for the best running back out of college in recent memory. Peyton Hillis is out the door, and Colt McCoy needs a running game to lean on—enter Trent Richardson.
5. Tampa Bay (4-12)
Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
The big spending spree Tampa Bay went on at the start of free agency filled some of the holes that plagued the team in 2011. Morris Claiborne will fill another need, replacing the ageless Ronde Barber in the secondary.
6. St. Louis from Washington (5-11)
Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
Sam Bradford needs weapons, but neither Blackmon nor Floyd is a must-draft in the top 10. The Rams know there will be receivers available in Round 2, so Fisher will add the best interior pass-rusher to the defensive line instead.
7. Jacksonville (5-11)
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Jacksonville’s receivers were horrid in 2011. During free agency, the Jaguars added Laurent Robinson and Lee Evans to attempt to revamp their receivers, but that will not stop the Jaguars from quickly adding the best receiver in this draft class.
8. Miami (6-10)
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Personally, I believe Tannehill is going to be a huge bust, but Miami desperately needs a quarterback. There are some who believe in Tannehill, but I think he is going to have trouble beating out Matt Moore.
9. Carolina (6-10)
Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
The Panthers find themselves hoping that lightening can strike twice in the form of a defensive end from North Carolina. Julius Peppers turned into a defensive star in Carolina, and they hope Coples can have similar results.
10. Buffalo (6-10)
Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Gilmore has skyrocketed up the draft board in recent weeks, jumping over Dre Kirkpatrick and Janoris Jenkins. The Bills were torched by basically every team they faced in 2011 and need to add some help in the secondary.
11. Kansas City (7-9)
Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
The Chiefs made the playoffs behind the strong rushing game of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones in 2010. Two years later, they are hoping for similar success with Charles and Peyton Hillis. Reiff will start immediately and help restore the running game.
12. Seattle (7-9)
Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
The Seahawks missed on an inside linebacker in Aaron Curry a couple drafts ago and now have to replace Curry with Luke Kuechly. The Seahawks hope they can add another young stud for the next ten years to an already improving defense.
13. Arizona (8-8)
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Kevin Kolb may not be the answer at quarterback for the Cardinals, but by adding Michael Floyd, they will quickly find out if Kolb is. Floyd can create a dynamic receiving duo with Larry Fitzgerald like the duo that led them to their only Super Bowl appearance.
14. Dallas (8-8)
Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Jerry Jones has apparently fallen in love with Mark Barron. Even though I believe the Cowboys would be better off selecting David DeCastro, what Jerry Jones wants, Jerry Jones usually gets. Expect Barron to come off the board to the Cowboys.
15. Philadelphia (8-8)
Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
The Eagles were gashed against the run consistently last season. The Eagles struggled with both their defensive line and linebackers in run support the entire season. Michael Brockers can help improve their line immediately, especially against the run.
16. New York Jets (8-8)
Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
Aaron Maybin led the Jets in sack last season with six. That is not acceptable for a Rob Ryan defense. Courtney Upshaw is the best 3-4 pass rusher in the draft, making this an easy selection for Ryan.
17. Cincinnati from Oakland (8-8)
David DeCastro, G, Stanford
David DeCastro is the most likely to lead this draft class in Pro Bowl appearances. If DeCastro lasts until the Bengals select, they will happily insert DeCastro on their line for the next decade.
18. San Diego (8-8)
Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
The Chargers have been looking for a premier pass-rusher since Shawn Merriman departed. Ingram has all of the physical attributes to become a disruptive force in the backfield, but he needs to turn that potential into production on the field.
19. Chicago (8-8)
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Dre Kirkpatrick is a very physical corner but does not excel at man coverage. The Bears use a lot of zone coverage, which will help Kirkpatrick. Some scouts believe Kirkpatrick will end up at safety. Either way the Bears are drafting a very talented player for their secondary.
20. Tennessee (9-7)
Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
Bud Adams has started to remind me of Al Davis in recent years, with his fixation on Peyton Manning and love for speed (CJ2K). I believe Adams is going to fall in love with Poe’s physical gifts and select him based solely on his potential.
21. Cincinnati (9-7)
Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Kendall Wright could have skyrocketed up the draft board with a great combine but failed to deliver in the 40-yard dash. However, Wright did show off his talent at Baylor all season, which will keep him in the first round. Andy Dalton will be happy to see Wright line up opposite of A.J. Green in 2012.
22. Cleveland from Atlanta (10-6)
Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
If Stephen Hill played in a college offense that threw the ball more often, he could have been a top-10 selection. Hill has a great combination of size, speed and hands that will finally give the Browns the deep threat they need for Colt McCoy.
23. Detroit (10-6)
Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Janoris Jenkins might be the most talented cornerback in the draft, but bad decisions have left Jenkins as a questionable first-round pick. The Lions got Matt Flynn paid with their horrid secondary last season, so the risk is well worth taking for them.
24. Pittsburgh (12-4)
Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
Pittsburgh’s defense has been accused of becoming too old in recent years. In this draft, the Steelers can add one of the best linebackers in the draft late in the first round. Hightower can continue a long tradition of nasty linebackers to wear the black and gold.
25. Denver (8-8)
Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati
With Peyton Manning as the Broncos starting quarterback, Coach Fox will decide to upgrade their defense in the first round. The Broncos need to improve their defensive line, especially in the middle. Wolfe should help upgrade their defensive line play.
26. Houston (10-6)
Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
The Houston Texans realized last season how good their team can be when their defense plays well. If Matt Schaub was never injured, they could have reached the Super Bowl. Instead of upgrading their offense, the Texans decide to ensure their defense does not decline and replace Super Mario with Whitney Mercilus.
27. New England from New Orleans (13-3)
Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
Chandler Jones is probably not worth a first-round pick in most seasons, but pass-rushers are becoming more valuable every season. Since this is a weak draft class for pass-rushers, Jones can sneak into the first round and try to improve a Patriots defense that was one of the worst in 2011.
28. Green Bay (15-1)
Devon Still, DT, Penn State
With B.J. Raji stuffing the middle, the Packers could use help at defensive end. Still can play end in a 3-4 defense and give the Packers a boost against the run while hopefully adding to their pass rush.
29. Baltimore (12-4)
Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
At any point in the draft where a team selects the best player at a position, they have made a great selection. The Ravens need help on their interior offensive line, and there is not a better option than Konz. Konz could be a Pro Bowler very quickly.
30. San Francisco (13-3)
Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia
Even though the 49ers signed Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, they do not want to lose their identity as a power-running team. To ensure the 49ers can still pound the football when they want to, they will use their first-round pick on Cordy Glenn to continue to build their offensive line.
31. New England (13-3)
Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech
The Patriots have to turn to defense with their second selection as well. Jayron Hosley may be a reach based on his drug use, but his talent belongs close to the first round. The Patriots have been known to take risks, and Hosley could be one of them.
32. New York Giants (9-7)
Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
The Giants are not really serious about Martellus Bennett as their starting tight end. The Giants have watched Bennett disappoint in Dallas and will not pass on Coby Fleener at the end of the first round. Bennett can be used as their blocking tight end, and Fleener can produce in the passing game.