2012 NFL Mock Draft: Predicting All 32 1st-Round Picks
With Luck going No. 1 overall, where will Matt Barkley and Landry Jones end being picked? What will the New England Patriots do with their two first-round picks?
The Alabama Crimson Tide top all college programs with five potential first round picks—most of them coming on the defensive side of the ball. Where will they land?
If you want to know where your team is currently sitting and what need they’re looking to fill, you have come to the right spot.
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Stanford
Questions have been swirling around the Indianapolis Colts organization as to whether or not they should draft Andrew Luck. The answer is yes. Of course they should.
The Colts should seriously consider taking a page out of the Green Bay Packers philosophy.
Can you think of a better scenario for Luck than to watch Peyton Manning for a year or two and learn from possibly the NFL’s greatest quarterback ever?
2. Miami Dolphins: Landry Jones, Quarterback, Oklahoma
The Miami Dolphins have been searching for a quarterback since Dan Marino retired. Now is the perfect time to peg a guy like Landry Jones as their next franchise QB.
Landry Jones has a big arm, but he has played inconsistent throughout this college football season. He’s going to need to clean up the mistakes if he wants to be looked at as a top-five pick.
The Dolphins will end up with one of the top picks in next year’s draft, so you would think targeting a QB would be at the top of any new head coach’s list.
He could be a nice fit with the Seattle Seahawks depending on where they end up as well.
3. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma St.
There’s no quarterback issue here at all. Sam Bradford is the man for the St. Louis Rams, but he needs a big-time weapon at the receiver position.
Justin Blackmon fits that mold perfectly. At 6-foot-1, 235 lbs, he's easily the second best player in the draft.
He has great size and speed to stretch the field, making him a great complement to Bradford and Steven Jackson.
4. Arizona Cardinals: Matt Kalil, Offensive Tackle, USC
There are a lot of ways the Arizona Cardinals could go here at No. 4, but their most glaring need is on the offensive line.
USC’s Matt Kalil is this year’s top-rated lineman and has excelled in blocking Matt Barkley’s blind side for three seasons.
He would come in and start immediately and would instantly upgrade the left tackle position.
Kevin Kolb has not looked anything like the QB experts thought he was, so I would not be surprised to see Landry Jones taken here, if he were to fall to No. 4.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinton Coples, Defensive End, North Carolina
The Jacksonville Jaguars lack any sort of real pass rush. Veteran defensive end Matt Roth leads their team with three sacks on the year.
Bringing in Quinton Coples would give the Jags an athletic pass rusher with good speed to blow by NFL tackles.
He is also very well-rounded as he is a very good run defender.
The Jags could possibly trade down into that 15 to 18 range and draft Michael Floyd, the big wide receiver out of Notre Dame—accumulating draft picks in the process and then targeting a pass rusher in the second or third round.
6. Minnesota Vikings: Jonathan Martin, Offensive Tackle, Stanford
Offensive line issues continue to plague the Minnesota Vikings passing game, and if they want to keep last year’s first-round pick, Christian Ponder, healthy and alive, they need to fix the issues at left tackle.
Some say Jonathan Martin is a better blocker than Matt Kalil and also more athletic.
Martin would be able to come in and be the opening-day starter at left tackle, which would allow the Vikings to move Charlie Johnson to right guard—a much more suitable position for the veteran.
Trading down a few spots and landing Riely Reiff is also an option, allowing the Vikes to gain extra picks to fix their secondary issues.
7. Carolina Panthers: Jerel Worthy, Defensive End, Michigan State
Outside of Charles Johnson with seven sacks, nobody on the Carolina Panthers defense is getting any pressure on the quarterback.
At 6-foot-3, and 310 lbs, Jerel Worthy is a load on the defensive interior that will command double teams, allowing for other players to help put pressure on quarterbacks.
The big man will also boost a run defense that gives up 4.6 YPC and currently ranks 26th in the league.
8. Seattle Seahawks: Matt Barkley, Quarterback, USC
It makes sense, right? Pete Carroll recruited and coached Matt Barkley at USC, so why not be the coach who drafts him into the NFL?
Tarvaris Jackson is not a viable long-term solution for the Seattle Seahawks, making the QB position their top priority heading into the off-season.
Barkley has good size at 6-foot-2, and 220 lbs, and has a big arm that allows him to make all the throws.
Either Barkley or even Landry Jones could be here at No. 8, making one of these two signal callers the likely pick here.
9. Denver Broncos: Brandon Thompson, Defensive Tackle, Clemson
If the Denver Broncos drafted the best player on the board, defensive tackle Brandon Thompson would be their guy. His size and athleticism will make him a big-time run stuffer at the next level.
Trading down into the bottom half of the first round and selecting DE Melvin Ingram makes the most sense, because they have to upgrade the DE spot currently manned by Robert Ayers.
Another interesting scenario would be the Broncos trading up into the top five and landing either Landry Jones or Matt Barkley, thus putting an end to all the misery that surrounds Tim Tebow being the long-term starter.
10. Cleveland Browns: Morris Claiborne, Cornerback, LSU
The Cleveland Browns have a couple of options here at No. 10. They could take Alabama running back Trent Richardson, and say goodbye to the headache that is Peyton Hillis, or they could land the top cover guy in this year’s draft.
Morris Claiborne is the leader of that tough LSU secondary and is no question the top cornerback headed into the draft.
Claiborne’s size, speed and overall ability would allow him to come in and make an immediate impact—helping make a smooth transition for the team to move Sheldon Brown (32) to the nickel spot.
Brown is a decent cover guy, but adding Claiborne would give the Browns one of the most exciting, young corner tandems in the NFL.
11. Washington Redskins: Alshon Jeffery, Wide Receiver, South Carolina
Santana Moss is a really good receiver, but he lacks the necessary size to be a legitimate red-zone threat—he is also getting long in the tooth at 32 years of age.
Drafting Alshon Jeffery would give John Beck a great target down around the end zone, also freeing things up in the middle for Fred Davis to work.
I can also see where Mike Shanahan could take Trent Richardson with the No. 11 pick. Tim Hightower is will be a question mark coming off an ACL injury and Ryan Torain is likely to be gone after the season.
12. Dallas Cowboys: Dre' Kirkpatrick, Cornerback, Alabama
At 6-foot-2 and 190 lbs, Dre’ Kirkpatrick is one of the biggest corners in the draft. Good speed and great size will allow him to cover the NFL’s big receivers—something Michael Jenkins and Terrance Newman have struggled to do for the Dallas Cowboys as of late.
Newman is also showing signs of aging, making him a liability in the secondary.
With Felix Jones not really showing he can be an elite running back, Jerry Jones could very well make a play for Trent Richardson here and keep DeMarco Murray as more of a change-of-pace guy, however, I can see Jones being loyal to his fellow Razorback alum.
13. Philadelphia Eagles: Riley Reiff, Offensive Tackle, Iowa
The Philadelphia Eagles need to shore up that offensive line and better protect star quarterback Michael Vick, or he'll never play a full season.
Right now they just don't have anyone who can compete week in and week out at the left-tackle position and handle the league’s best pass rushers.
Riley Reiff is tall at 6-foot-6 and is athletic enough to keep up with the elite defensive ends, allowing the Eagles to solidify that all-important position.
14. Tennessee Titans: Manti Te'o, Middle Linebacker, Notre Dame
Manti Te’o is a beast of a linebacker that has very solid sideline-to-sideline speed. He also is very good as shedding blockers and getting to the ball carrier.
His instincts, along with his size, make him a better fit at the Mike-backer position than Barrett Ruud. Ruud is a bit undersized and would make a better fit on the outside.
Te’o has all the intangibles you look for in your prototypical middle linebacker and could be a dynamite player in the league.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Adams, Offensive Tackle, Ohio State
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to upgrade the offensive line and better protect Josh Freeman.
Donald Penn is a good competitor, but lacks the ability you need at the left tackle position to take on the league’s best pass rushers from game to game.
Mike Adams is tall at 6-foot-6 and is athletic for a 330-pound man—enough to keep up with the elite DE’s, allowing the Bucs to move Penn to the interior of that offensive line where he would be better suited.
16. San Diego Chargers: Vontaze Burfict, Inside Linebacker, Arizona State
This dude is scary! Built out of the Lance Briggs mold, the 6-foot-3, 253 pounder is a monster at the ILB position.
Right now the San Diego Chargers are without Larry English for the rest of the season with a broken foot, leaving room for doubt in the 2012 season.
Burfict would add tremendous depth to the linebacking group, as his size and ability to play the run would allow him to play the ILB or OLB positions in a 3-4 scheme.
17. Kansas City Chiefs: Barrett Jones, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
Barrett Jones is low on most experts boards—right there at the end of the first round and beginning of the second round, but he is a solid run blocker and excels with pass blocking.
A good combine could shoot him up into the middle of the first round, landing him with the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 16.
Jones would add depth to the tackle position and challenge Barry Richardson, who has struggled at times, for the starting job at right tackle.
18. Cincinnati Bengals (OAK): Trent Richardson, Running Back, Alabama
It would make sense to see Marvin Lewis draft a running back here. Trouble still swirls around Cedric Benson and Lewis and the Cincinnati Bengals organization can’t afford to keep losing their running back to suspensions.
Bringing in Trent Richardson would help facilitate Benson’s phasing-out process.
I could also see a scenario where the Bengals package some sort of deal with their two first-round picks and move up for Quinton Coples to try to bolster their pass rush.
19. Cleveland Browns (ATL): Michael Floyd, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame
Clevland Browns fans thought I was forgetting about their deficiencies at the wide receiver position, didn’t you? Well I didn’t.
With the Browns second pick in the first round, enter Michael Floyd.
Floyd is a physical specimen at 6-foot-3, and 229 pounds. His size and jumping ability make him an excellent red-zone threat for Colt McCoy.
With Greg Little coming along as a rookie this season, putting Floyd opposite him next season would make for a real nice receiving duo for years to come.
20. New York Jets: Alameda Ta'amu, Defensive Tackle, Washington
What happened to the New York Jets' run defense is year? They currently rank 24th against the run and that can’t make Rex Ryan very happy.
You can rest assured knowing that Ryan will fix this problem in the offseason and most likely through the draft.
Alameda Ta’amu would make a nice fit at the nose tackle position in the Jets' 3-4 scheme.
At 6-foot-3 and 338 pounds, Ta’amu possesses the huge frame that Sexy Rexy loves to have on the interior of his o-line. He will fill gaps and will generally take on two blockers doing it.
21. Chicago Bears: David DeCastro, Offensive Guard, Stanford
More help is needed on the Chicago Bears' offensive line than any other o-line in the NFL.
This year they drafted Gabe Carimi to become their cornerstone tackle. Next year they need to draft another piece of that puzzle.
David DeCastro is another beast of a lineman that Andrew Luck has blocking for him. He is a road-grader type that can push d-linemen back on their heels.
He would fit real nice alongside Carimi on the left side of that Bears line.
22. Cincinnati Bengals: Mark Barron, Safety, Alabama
With the Cincinnati Bengals' second pick in the first round, they need to target their safety position.
Solid corner play has made up for some sloppy play by their safeties.
Mark Barron is a big safety at 6-foot-2 and 223 pounds and is at his best when he’s down in the box stopping the run.
Barron makes a great fit and excellent value here at No. 22.
23. New England Patriots (N.O.): Alfonzo Dennard, Cornerback, Nebraska
The New England Patriots rank dead last against the pass and it’s going to cost them this year in the playoffs.
Second-year corner, Devon McCourty, is really struggling after a rookie season that garnered him a Pro Bowl appearance.
Help might not be too far away for the Pats' lowly secondary. Nebraska Cornhusker’s cornerback, Alfonzo Dennard, could be that help they so desperately need.
In 2010, Dennard played opposite Prince Amukamara and together they helped the Husker’s defense rank fifth in the nation in pass defense.
His size at 5-foot-10 may hurt him against the bigger receivers, but his physicality allows him to make big plays against the run.
24. New York Giants: Luke Kuechly, Middle Linebacker, Boston College
Luke Kuechly continues to impress scouts as he is amongst the nation’s leaders in tackles every year he’s started.
He’s not overly athletic and he’s not real fast, but he has a great nose for the ball and excellent instincts—a taller version of Zach Thomas.
It isn’t sure if Kuechly would come right in and start at the middle linebacker position, but he would add depth and be reunited with former Boston College teammate, Mark Herzlich.
25. Houston Texans: Ryan Broyles, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma
Ryan Broyles is undersized at 5-foot-10, but is real quick off the snap and can get behind defenders in a hurry.
He would fit perfectly in the Houston Texans' high-powered offense coming out of the slot—allowing for things to open up for Owen Daniels and Andre Johnson.
26. New England Patriots: T.J. McDonald, Safety, USC
More secondary help for the New England Patriots could come from safety T.J. McDonald.
He’s a hard-hitting 205-pound defensive back that has a knack for anticipating routes and jumping on the ball—just like his father Tim McDonald, who played with the San Francisco 49ers back in the early to mid 90s.
27. Buffalo Bills: Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama
For as good of a season as the Buffalo Bills are having, they really lack a serious pass rush.
Courtney Upshaw would give them that threat they’re missing.
At 6-foot-2, and 265 pounds, Upshaw is a big linebacker with speed to get around the edge and get to the quarterback.
He also has the ability to drop back in coverage and has good enough cover skills to take on the better tight ends in the NFL.
28. Detroit Lions: Stephon Gilmore, Cornerback, South Carolina
The greatly improved Detroit Lions defense has the best pass rush in the NFL, but they still lack a big corner that can cover the better receivers in the league.
Stephon Gilmore is one of the taller corners coming out in the draft in 2012 and is a solid defender.
What he lacks in speed he makes up for in great press-coverage skills. He excels in bump-and-run coverage and has the attitude to mix it up.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Cordy Glenn, Offensive Guard, Georgia
At 348 pounds, Cordy Glenn is a monster of a man and could make an immediate impact in the Baltimore Ravens' run game.
Putting him in that right-guard position in between Michael Oher and Matt Birk will give the Ravens one of the better o-lines in the league.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Chase Minnifield, Cornerback, Virginia
The San Francisco 49ers struggle some against the pass, ranking 20th overall, which is their only glaring weakness on defense.
Chase Minnifield wouldn’t start right away for the Niners, but he would play a role in nickel situations until they groomed him to play opposite Carlos Rogers.
Minnifield comes from a real good football background—his father Frank Minnifield played cornerback for the Cleveland Browns during the 1980s.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jared Crick, Defensive End, Nebraska
The Pittsburgh Steelers could use a guy like Jared Crick. Crick is a fast defensive end that can shed blocks and make tackles in the run game.
He can also get around the edge and put serious pressure on the quarterback.
Crick would be great value for the Steelers who are always looking to improve on defense.
32. Green Bay Packers: Lamar Miller, Running Back, Miami
The Green Bay Packers thought maybe James Starks was the answer they were looking for in the running game, but that hasn't quite worked out like they had planned.
Ryan Grant's load keeps getting lighter and lighter and could be playing his last season for the Packers.
Miami Hurricane's running back, Lamar Miller, is a quick back with power between the tackles.
The Packers might also try to trade this pick and get out of the first round—adding another pick in the second round.
Check out more of Brian Dezelske's articles.
Brian can also be found at Out of My League, where he compiles fantasy football rankings every Friday.