My first 2012 NFL Mock Draft is now complete. I decided to take this mock up to the Chiefs’ second round pick. So I guess you could call it about one and a half rounds. I did include a couple of trades and some justifications for each pick. Feel free to tell me where I’m off base.
1. Indianapolis Colts
QB – Stanford
I may miss every other pick in this mock, but I feel pretty good about my chances with this one. Andrew Luck is the most hyped prospect that I can remember in my lifetime. Between the hype and all the drama involving Peyton Manning, anything short of multiple Super Bowls for the kid would be a let down.
2. Cleveland Browns (from St. Louis)
Robert Griffin III
QB – Baylor
Okay, in this mock the QB situation shakes out like this. Peyton Manning isn’t healthy and hasn’t signed with anyone and no one knows if he will ever play again. Matt Flynn signed with the Dolphins. That leaves Cleveland and Washington in a bidding war to get Griffin. In the end, Cleveland has to give up its other first round pick (#22) to get their man.
3. Minnesota Vikings
OT – USC
The Vikings choose to protect Ponder’s blind side instead of getting him a #1 WR in Blackmon. I actually think they will take a good look at Morris Claiborne as well. In the end, their need for a LT and the fact that Kalil is a near can’t miss makes him the pick.
4. St. Louis Rams (from Cleveland)
WR – Oklahoma State
The Rams would probably have preferred Kalil, but since they now have an additional first-round pick to address the offensive line they get Sam Bradford, an elite WR, and hope he does for him what Megatron did for Matt Stafford.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
CB – LSU
After the way Ray Rice carried Schiano’s Rutgers team to national recognition, he may very well decide to try the same thing in the NFL and draft Richardson here. However, I think Claiborne is the best player available and Schiano is a defensive minded coach. Also, Ronde Barber is no spring chicken and Aqib Talib looks like the next Pacman Jones (in a “going to jail and kicked off the team” kind of way).
6. New York Jets (from Washington)
RB – Alabama
After losing out on the RG3 bidding war, the Redskins are left with little choice but to go after Ryan Tannehill, but the sixth pick is too high for him. So they trade down and allow the Jets to move in to take Richardson. Rex Ryan is hoping that a super star RB will take some of the heat off Mark Sanchez.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
OT – Iowa
Jacksonville’s RT Guy Whimper may have been the only starting tackle capable of giving Barry Richardson a run for his money for the “worst starting tackle in the NFL” award. Reiff will be an immediate upgrade at RT and could even eventually unseat Eugene Monroe at LT.
8. Carolina Panthers
DT – Penn State
Carolina got its offense going last season but their defense was horrible. They were equally bad against the run and pass. Still helps in both areas with the ability to stuff the run but also push the pocket and get pressure on the QB on passing downs.
9. Miami Dolphins
DE – North Carolina
The word is that the Dolphins may be switching to a 4-3 defense next year. Even though Coples has some work ethic questions, he’s the best pass rusher in this draft and pairing him with Cameron Wake will give the Dolphins a scary pass rush for years to come.
10. Buffalo Bills
OLB – Alabama
Like Carolina, the Bills defense was also really bad. They didn’t have a single consistent pass rush threat on the roster. With Coples off the board, Upshaw is probably the number two pass rusher in the draft and OLB is definitely a need.
11. Kansas City Chiefs
OT – Stanford
Martin will be a HUGE upgrade over Barry Richardson in pass protection. Martin’s athleticism will also make him an ideal fit in the Chiefs’ zone-blocking scheme. Martin’s teammate David DeCastro is also an option here (and may even be the better player), but ultimately Richardson needs upgraded much more then Ryan Lilja and I think the guards still available later on in the draft will be of better value then the tackles.