2012 NFL Mock Draft: Last-Minute First Round Predictions with Trades
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The closer we get to the 2012 NFL draft, the more draft boards change.
We were so young and naive, thinking we knew it all when we did those mock drafts way back in February and March.
Looking at those mock drafts is like looking at a Commodore 64 computer.
So here's one last attempt to get it right.
1. Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
I wish all the picks were this easy.
2. Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
That food sculpture of RGIII might just be the creepiest thing I've ever seen.
3. Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Despite all the trade talk, the Vikings stay put at 3 and get blind-side protection for Christian Ponder.
4. Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
The Browns need a receiver, too, but expect one to be available at 22.
5. Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
It's fun to look at sample Wonderlic questions and try to figure out which ones Claiborne actually got right. The Buccaneers probably don't care.
6. Rams: Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
The middle of the defense, not wide receiver, is a good place to start for a team that needs help everywhere.
7. Jaguars: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
The transgressions of Janoris Jenkins and Alfonzo Dennard makes cornerback-needy teams less inclined to wait until the second round.
8. Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Tannehill started 19 games for the Aggies. Mark Sanchez started 16 for USC.
9. Panthers: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
Cox comes quite a long way after receiving a second-round grade, according to the Panthers' web site, earlier in the draft process.
10. Bills: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
The Bills want a left tackle, according to Pro Football Talk. They can't trade up for Kalil. So they stay put and get Reiff.
11. Chiefs: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
12. Seahawks: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
The Seahawks wanted Kuechly. With him gone, Pete Carroll is just nutty enough to take a risk on Poe.
13. Cardinals: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Larry Fitzgerald wants Michael Floyd, according to Peter King. Fitzgerald probably didn't realize then that Blackmon would still be on the board at 13.
14. Cowboys: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
Dallas picks an offensive lineman in the first round for the second straight year.
15. Lions (predicted trade from Eagles): Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
As I said, character issues with Jenkins and Dennard drive up CB value in the first round. The Lions are desperate for a corner after being badly exposed in the playoffs.
16. Jets: Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina
NFL.com's scouting report suggests Ingram can play any position on the front seven.
17. Bengals: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
The Bengals hope a wild card like Brockers will help them get past the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
18. Chargers: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Coples falls, so the Chargers don't have to trade up to get the pass rusher they need.
19. Bears: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Floyd and Blackmon fall because teams know this is a deep draft for receivers.
20. Titans: Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Illinois
Like Ingram (6), Mercilus (85) is a pass rusher who will have to change his uniform number in the NFL.
21. Bengals: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
The Bengals need another receiver to help free up A.J. Green.
22. Browns: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
The Browns hope Richardson and Hill can help them improve on the 13.6 points per game they scored in 2011.
23. Eagles (predicted trade from Lions): Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State
Late riser joins the Dream Team.
24. Steelers: Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia
The Steelers can't keep allowing Ben Roethlisberger to be sacked 40 times a year.
25. Broncos: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
The Broncos need to go with defense. Peyton Manning will take care of the offense.
26. Texans: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Andrew Luck's blind-side protector still will get to see his former teammate twice a year.
27. Patriots: Courtney Upshaw, DE, Alabama
The Patriots need pass rushing help.
28. Packers: Nick Perry, DE, USC
The Packers need pass rushing help (echo).
29. Ravens: Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
Baltimore needs an eventual successor to Ray Lewis.
30. 49ers: Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin
Amini Silatolu, a Division II guy, is the trendy pick here. But the 49ers instead tap into Wisconsin's rich tradition of offensive linemen.
31. Patriots: Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
The Patriots relish the chance to grab Martin before their tormentors in New York, who also could use a running back.
32. Giants: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
The champs can sit back and take the best player available, who also happens to fill a need, and bookend the first round with Stanford guys.
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