2012 NFL Mock Draft: Jacksonville Jaguars Go with LB Vontaze Burfict
At this point, the Jacksonville Jaguars' primary needs are at defensive end and safety, but when a top prospect falls in the draft, the general thinking is you go with the best player available.
At No. 19 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, I see the Jaguars exacting the same strategy the New York Giants did at No. 19 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft: if a high-caliber player lands in your arms, you don't push him away.
Therefore, with Arizona State inside linebacker Vontaze Burfict falling to No. 19 in my mock draft, I see the Jaguars grabbing him and seeing if he can be their next star in the middle.
Middle linebacker Kirk Morrison wasn't bad in the center of the linebacking corps last season, but he wasn't great, either.
Burfict, who totaled 89 tackles and two forced fumbles for the Sun Devils last season, is a burgeoning young player who will likely be selected based on potential rather than what he offers right away, similar to Missouri outside linebacker Aldon Smith, who went No. 9 to the San Francisco 49ers in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Mel Kiper of ESPN currently has him No. 12 on his Big Board for 2012 prospects, and that's not a reach based on Burfict's potential.
Entering his junior season with the Sun Devils, Burfict is a freak athlete who has the ability to fly sideline-to-sideline and completely spoil offensive gameplans.
He still needs to learn the game a bit more, but at 6-foot-3, 252 pounds, he's a beast in the middle of the field. If he lives up to his potential, he could become a Pro Bowler, and he certainly has a chance of starting over Morrison.
One of those prospects who figures to be hard to pass up in the 2012 NFL Draft, even if the Jaguars have more pressing needs at the time.
|1. Carolina Panthers: Quinton Coples |
2. Washington Redskins: Andrew Luck
3. Denver Broncos: Matt Barkley
4. Arizona Cardinals: Matt Kalil
|17. Kansas City Chiefs: Manti Te'o|
18. New York Giants: Zach Brown
19. Jacksonville Jaguars: Vontaze Burfict
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cliff Harris
|5. Tennessee Titans: Jerel Worthy |
6. Buffalo Bills: Donte Paige-Moss
7. Seattle Seahawks: Dre Kirkpatrick
8. Cincinnati Bengals: Trent Richardson
|21. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon|
22. San Diego Chargers: Keenan Robinson
23. Indianapolis Colts: Jeff Fuller
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Travis Fuller
|9. Cleveland Browns: Alshon Jeffery |
10. Minnesota Vikings: Jonathan Martin
11. San Francisco 49ers: Stephon Gilmore
12. Oakland Raiders: Janoris Jenkins
|25. New England Patriots: Andre Branch|
26. Cleveland Browns: Mike Adams
27. Baltimore Ravens: Robert Lester
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kelechi Osemele
|13. Miami Dolphins: Landry Jones |
14. Detroit Lions: Luke Kuechly
15. Dallas Cowboys: Jayron Hosley
16. Houston Texans: Ray-Ray Armstrong
|29. Chicago Bears: Michael Floyd|
30. New York Jets: Brandon Jenkins
31. New England Patriots: Jared Crick
32. Green Bay Packers: Chase Minnifield
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