2012 NFL Draft Prediction: 1st Round Picks
With a quarter of the season done and over with, there are teams that are looking good and teams that are in a pretty tight spot, and are desperate for some wins. The most disappointing team would have to be "The Dream Team". The Eagles and many other teams have been such a disappointment, while teams like the Lions have proven they are a true contender.
There are a lot of teams in desperate need of a franchise quarterback. Most of the teams in the top five are looking for either the future of their franchise, or someone who can come right in and start. If the season were to end right now, this is where the teams would end up picking.
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck (Stanford, OB)
Peyton Manning is out for the season and the Colts are 0-5. The injury bug is starting to hit the Colts hard, especially their offensive line. The Colts currently have 13 players on the injured list, and three players out for the season.
Curtis Painter has stepped in and done a great job filling in for Peyton Manning and the Colts, but has not been able to finish a game strong. The schedule doesn't get much easier. As the Colts have New Orleans, Atlanta, Carolina, New England, Baltimore, and Houston left on the schedule.
The Colts will be lucky to win one game this year, and will earn the number one pick. With this pick they will select Peyton's successor, Andrew Luck. Luck has been putting on a show in college and is showing, throughout every game, why he is the soon to be number one pick.
2. Miami Dolphins: Matt Barkley (USC, QB)
The Miami Dolphins have had a problem at quarterback for years, and haven't won a game yet this season. It's time to draft a true franchise quarterback.
Matt Barkley should be brought in to resurrect this Miami Dolphins franchise. Barkley is a great leader, has great arm strength, and good accuracy with the ball. Barkley should come right in and start for this team that has been dying for a franchise quarterback for years.
3. St. Louis Rams: Matt Kalil (USC, OT)
Matt Kalil being added to this line would help a lot. Kalil is a great tackle with good footwork. He has long arms, and should turn out to be a great NFL tackle. Kalil would be a great addition to this team and should help open holes on this offensive front, and keep Bradford up right in the pocket.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Vontaze Burfict (Arizona State, ILB)
The Philadelphia Eagles are terrible and undersized at the linebacker position.
This has been the weakness for this team, as teams have had a ton of success running all over this Eagles defense.
Adding Vontaze Burfict would definitely upgrade this linebacker crew. Burfict is an animal. Through two games he has four sacks and is leading the team in tackles. His only weakness is pass defending, but with his aggressive style of play, receivers will be hard pressed to go across the middle against this man.
5. Minnesota Vikings: Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State, WR)
Minnesota has no true number one receiver on their roster. The Vikings need to take a receiver here to give Christian Ponder a weapon to throw the ball to.
Drafting Justin Blackmon would really help this team out at the receiver position. Blackmon is a beast and has been great for the Cowboys this season. Blackmon has 38 receptions for 450 yards and four touchdowns. Blackmon is currently ranked fifth in the FBS with 9.5 receiving yards per game.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars: Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina, WR)
The Jacksonville Jaguars also have a problem at the wide receiver position. Blaine Gabbert has proven that he is the quarterback of the future for the Jaguars.
Gabbert needs a quality number one receiver to throw the ball to on a game to game basis. There is no better receiver then Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery will draw comparisons to Calvin Johnson all season long. Jeffery is tall, at 6' 4". He has great speed for his size, and catches everything.
7. Denver Broncos: Dre Kirkpatrick (Alabama, CB)
The Denver Broncos right now are going through the Tim Tebow era. Until it becomes a failure, there is no point in taking a quarterback with this pick. The Broncos are one of the worst teams in the league at defending against the pass.
Drafting Dre Kirkpatrick would be a great addition for John Fox and his defense. Kirkpatrick is a very aggressive cover corner, has great speed, great height, and a good leaping ability to play with big receivers in the NFL. Kirkpatrick should be a great force for the Denver Broncos.
8. Carolina Panthers: Quinton Coples (UNC, DE)
The Carolina Panthers are toward the bottom of the league at sacking the quarterback. They are in need of someone opposite Charles Johnson.
Adding Quinton Coples to this defensive line would boost the number tremendously. Coples is a sack machine that is very athletic. He can play across the line and can get to the quarterback in many different ways.
9. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Martin (Stanford, OT)
Arizona's offensive line has been terrible this year. They have not been able to protect Kevin Kolb at all this season.
Jonathan Martin would be a great fit for this team. Martin has dominated the Pac-12 with his run blocking and as a pass protector for Andrew Luck. Martin is a future Pro-Bowl tackle and should be able to come in and instantly make an impact for this team.
10. Seattle Seahawks: Landry Jones (Oklahoma, QB)
Yeah, the Seattle Seahawks have won a couple games but Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst are not starting quarterback material. The Seahawks need to take a quarterback with this pick.
Landry Jones would be a great pick for the Seahawks and Pete Carroll. Jones is a quarterback that can put up big numbers in any given game. He has good accuracy, great arm strength, and is a proven winner. Jones will fit well in Seattle and Pete Carroll's system.
11. New York Jets: Trent Richardson (Alabama, RB)
Trent Richardson would be a great fit for the Jets run game. Richardson will not only give them a starting back, but he can pound the ball between the tackle, and when he gets out in space can turn on the burners. With Richardson on the team, Green will move back to his back-up role, which he is more suited for.
12. Kansas City Chiefs: Courtney Upshaw (Alabama, OLB)
Kansas City has Tamba Hali but doesn't have anyone opposite him. With this pick, they can grab Courtney Upshaw and have a great outside linebacker opposite Tamba Hali.
Courtney Upshaw is a great pass rusher. Upshaw has 16 tackles, two sacks, and 8.5 tackles for lose. Upshaw is a versatile linebacker that can play inside linebacker or outside linebacker. He has good speed and good pass rushing ability. Upshaw will be a great backer opposite of Hali.
13. Chicago Bears: Luke Kuechly (Boston College, ILB)
Nick Roach is the weak link in the Bears linebacking core. With this pick, the Bears could upgrade there Strong side linebacker.
Picking Luke Kuechly would be a great pick up for the Bears. Kuechly is a very intelligent linebacker. He can not only stop the run game, but is also very good at defending the pass. If the Bears take Luke with this pick they will not only have drafted a great linebacker, but also have a replacement for Brian Urlacher.
14. Cleveland Browns: Manti Te'o (Notre Dame, ILB)
The Cleveland Browns will have an empty spot on the roster at the line-backing position at the end of the season.
The Browns will take Manti Te'o with this pick and will make him their new strong linebacker. Te'o is a tackling machine and has been great against the run as well as the pass. Look for Manti Te'o to make an instant impact as a Brown.
15. Dallas Cowboys: Morris Claiborne (LSU, CB)
The Dallas Cowboys went out and got Rob Ryan as their defensive coordinator, but left him without a quality starting corner back. Terrence Newman is getting old and has nothing left in the tank and Jenkins is overrated.
Rob Ryan will take Morris Claiborne with this pick and will add a great shut down corner to his defense. Claiborne has gone up against stiff competition this year, and has shut down there best receivers. Claiborne has good speed and size and should continue his success in the NFL.
16. Cleveland Browns: Donte Paige Moss (UNC, DE)
The Cleveland Browns have been interested in adding a pass-rushing defensive end. With this pick, they can add just that.
Donte Paige Moss is a beast on the edge. Moss has been on a tear for the Tar Heels since he broke into the rotation. He has record nine sacks and 15 tackles for loss in 1 1/4 season. Moss is a freak of nature, who is equipped with great speed and explosion of the edge.
17. Tennessee Titans: Jeff Fuller (Texas A&M, WR)
Outside of Kenny Britt, the Titans have no quality receivers to throw the ball to. Britt is constantly injured, and if he isn't injured then he is getting into trouble with the law. It's time to upgrade at the wide receiver position for the Tennessee Titans.
Jeff Fuller will be a great big target for young Jake Locker to throw the ball to. Fuller has great speed, and has great size (6' 4") for a receiver. Fuller has the ability to go up and over defenders to get the ball. This will be a great addition, and should give Locker a great target down field.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Alfonzo Dennard (Nebraska, CB)
The Tampa Bay Bucs are crazy about Alfonzo Dennard, and they are in desperate need of a corner back. The Bucs are one of the worst teams at defending against the pass. They even allowed Curtis Painter to throw for over 200 yards.
Dennard has good cover skills and is a good cover corner or zone corner at the next level, and has great speed to keep up with NFL receivers. Dennard has been injured and has only played one game so far this season, but he has shut-down credentials.
19. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kelechi Osemele (Iowa State, OT/G)
The Steelers line is plagued with injuries and is absolutely horrible. The Steelers want to get back to running the ball and protecting their quarterback.
With this pick, the Steelers will take Kelechi Osemele. Osemele will play guard at the Pro level. Osemele is a powerful run-blocker, and should fit right in with the Steelers, who have a power run game.
20. Oakland Raiders: Stephon Gilmore (South Carolina, CB/PR)
The Oakland Raiders are all about speedy cover corners. They will be looking for a replacement for Nnamdi Asomugha.
Stephon Gilmore will be taken with this pick. Gilmore has made a ton of big plays, but at the same time has given up some big plays. Gilmore has a lot of potential. He has great speed and good coverage ability. Gilmore just needs to learn to be more consistent.
21. New York Giants: David DeCastro (Stanford, G)
David Diehl has been absolutely terrible for the Giants. The Giants need to upgrade at that position. David DeCastro is the best available guard.
DeCastro would help with the disappointing run game in New York. DeCastro is a strong run blocker, and is a great pass blocker that has kept Andrew Luck upright for years.
22. Houston Texans: Alameda Ta'amu (Washington, NT)
The Houston Texans have upgraded their defense, and are looking to add pieces to make it a true dominating force day in and day out.
Alameda Ta'amu would be an upgrade from Shaun Cody. Ta'amu has been hard to handle at the line of scrimmage. He has been able to plug his gaps in the run defense, and has pushed right through double teams. Alameda Ta'amu has the ability to collapse the pocket and allow the edge rushers to get pressure on the quarterback.
23. Cincinnati Bengals: Dwight Jones (UNC, WR)
The Cincinnati Bengals have brought in a young quarterback in Andy Dalton to run their offense. Now it's time they arm him with some weapons to throw the ball to.
The Bengals drafted AJ Green, but outside him and Jermaine Gresham, Dalton has no one to throw the ball to.
Drafting Dwight Jones would give Andy Dalton a tall, physical receiver. Jones has 37 receptions, 605 yards, and seven touchdowns. Jones has been double teamed and even triple teamed, but still is able to go up and get the ball over defenders. Jones is an extreme talent that will give this team a good target opposite Green.
24. Washington Redskins: Michael Floyd (Notre Dame, WR)
There is no one opposite of Santana Moss for the Redskins. Getting another receiver for Rex Grossman should be the next step for Coach Shanahan and the Redskins.
Michael Floyd is a troubled receiver but is a great, physical receiver. Floyd is a tall receiver that goes up at the highest point and attacks the ball. He also has the strength to take the ball away from defenders when it is up in the air.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Jared Crick (Nebraska, DE/DT)
The Baltimore Ravens aren't really in desperate need for a certain position. So, with this pick, they will take the best player available.
Jared Crick would be a great fit for this team. Cory Redding is entering his 10th season in the league and Crick should be a nice pick up to replace him in the future as the full-time starter. Crick is strong off the line and is very quick at the point of attack.
26. San Francisco 49ers: Brandon Jenkins (Florida State, OLB)
The 49ers are a little weak at linebacker, and should look to upgrade. With this pick the 49ers should look to upgrade their outside linebacker position.
Brandon Jenkins would be a great fit for this team. Jenkins has been a sack machine since he stepped on the scene. Jenkins has great speed and explosion of the edge. He also has a knack for getting to the quarterback.
27. San Diego Chargers: Dont'a Hightower (Alabama, ILB)
The Chargers have been pretty solid all around this year, both on offense and defense. If the Chargers had one weak point it would be there run defense. Teams have averaged over 120 yards per game on this defense.
Dont'a Hightower is a work in progress, but is a solid player. Hightower is a leader, and he stands the offensive lineman up and then slides them out of the way at the point of attack. Spikes is bound to retire soon and when he does, Hightower will be the one taking over.
28. New England Patriots: Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech, CB)
Since the start of the season the Patriots secondary has been awful at defending against the pass. The secondary for the Patriots even allowed Chad Henne to throw for over 400 yards in a week one matchup against the Dolphins. Bill Belichick will look to address this problem.
Adding a ball-hawking corner like Jayron Hosley would be a great way to address this problem for the Patriots. Hosley has great speed, good instincts, and great hands. Hosley loves making big plays on the ball, and make big plays in the punt return game.
29. New England Patriots: Zack Brown (UNC, OLB)
Bill Belichick always seems to be looking for ways to upgrade his defense, or trade away the picks. I think Bill will keep this pick and look to upgrade to a strong linebacker.
Zack Brown is a unique linebacker. Brown was said to have clocked in a 40 time of 4.28, a time that is pretty incredible for a linebacker. Brown improved on his blitzing game and is very good at defending the pass. Brown has shown the ability to play side line to side line with blitzing speed. This will be a guy that Coach Belichick should show a lot of interest in.
30. Buffalo Bills: Jerel Worthy (Michigan State, DT)
In the 2011 draft, the Bills selected Dareus Marcell. This year they will be looking to pair him up with Jerel Worthy so that they can have two disrupting forces in the middle of their defensive line.
Selecting Jerel Worthy would be a great addition to Bills D-line rotation. Worthy has a good get-off, is very disruptive, and is good at splitting double teams to get to the quarterback or running back. Worthy would be a great addition to this team.
31. Detroit Lions: Cliff Harris (Oregon, CB)
The Detroit Lions have been okay against the pass, but have given up some big plays to a lot of teams. The Lions need to take the best players available with this pick.
The Lions need help at the corner back position. Adding Cliff Harris would help that situation. Harris is not that tall but is fast enough to keep up with some of the speedsters in the NFL. Harris also has big play making ability, which should help the Lions out a lot.
32. Green Bay Packers: Bruce Irvin (West Virginia, OLB)
The Green Bay Packers are stacked with talent at just about every position across the board. The Packers will be picking whatever is best on the board, and adding him as part of their future plans.
The Packers, with this pick, will look to add to there already dominating line-backing crew. Bruce Irvin would be a nice fit for this defense. He has great pass-rushing ability and should be used more on third and longs as a pass-rusher only. Bruce needs to get better at defending against the pass before he can even think of contending for a starting spot on this roster.