Double D’s Def Draft, Mocking 2012


To give everyone a slight break from the frenzied first 48 hours of free agency (with which I too am trying to keep up), I’m venturing into the hallowed, funny haired ranks of NFL draft prognosticators.  Let’s begin with a little conversation about which positions teams around the league seem to be looking for and suggest that that is likely to play a major factor in dictating what the first round of the draft will look like. In just a couple of instances, I’ve deviated from the “pure need” approach and selected a player for value or long term strategic reasons.

Over the last few years, most teams have shied away from taking wide receivers in the first round for a variety of reasons: cost, bust factor, position depth… you get the picture. I believe this is the draft where the pendulum starts swinging the other way.

Cliche or not, through its rule-making, the NFL is emphasizing the passing game more and more. This is brought to fore in the 2012 draft by noting that somewhere in the neighborhood 17 receivers are considered high on the list of offseason needs throughout the NFL. Right up there with WRs, the next most in demand positions are, not surprisingly, cornerback and safety, with about 15 needed for each. Think of it as a co-dependent, abusive relationship.

Let me clue you into something: there are not even 10 WRs in this year’s draft class that warrant first round consideration.  I’m gonna tell you one thing more — first round quality or not, there will be a lot of teams grabbing up WRs in the first round for fear that they miss out on filling that need in the 2nd or later rounds.

Here’s how I have primary team needs breaking down by position:

17 Wide Receivers

15 Cornerbacks

15 Safeties

14 Guards

11 Right Tackles

10 Pass Rushers

10 4-3 Linebackers (SAM, MIKE, WILL)/ 3-4 ILBs

6 Left Tackles

6 Quarterbacks

6 Centers

4 Nose Tackles

3 Running Backs

2 3-4 Defensive Ends

1 4-3 Defensive Tackle

I’m making no assumptions about draft trades at this point but I am going to assume that the Free Agent market will take some pressure off of teams looking to draft a franchise QB in the first round. I figure about 3 or 4 QBs with starter potential will be in the mix and likely acquired prior to the draft through FA. The short list of names of who I either know or feel will be in play for starting roles on new teams – Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn, plus perhaps Josh Johnson and Dennis Dixon. The way I see it, that sort of narrows down the list of teams desperately seeking a franchise QB through the draft, now doesn’t it?

Anyway, those are my initial thoughts on this year’s draft. After the dust of free agency has had settled a bit, I plan to revisit these picks and perhaps tweak them for a post free agency mock.

Enjoy, debate, and by all means participate if you agree or disagree with any of these selections.

1. Indianapolis Colts 

Primary Needs –  QB, CBx2, SS, WR

Selection – Andrew Luck, QB – Stanford

2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis)

Primary Needs –  QB, WR, ILB, NT

Selection – Robert Griffin III, QB – Baylor

3. Minnesota Vikings

Primary Needs – LT, CB, WR, OG

Selection –  Matt Kalil, OT – USC

4. Cleveland Browns

Primary Needs – WR, RT, QB?, CB

Selection –  Trent Richardson, RB – Bama

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Primary Needs – CB, 43LB x 2, RT, WR

Selection  – Morris Claiborne, CB – LSU

6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington)

Primary Needs – OT x 2, OG, WR, 43OLBx2

Selection – Riley Reiff, OT – Iowa

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

Primary Needs – QB, WR, CB, 43DE

Selection – Melvin Ingram, 43DE – South Carolina

8. Miami Dolphins

Primary Needs – NT, WR, RT, 34OLB, QB?

Selection – Justin Blackmon, WR – Oklahoma State

9. Carolina Panthers

Primary Needs – 43DT, CB, SAM, RT

Selection – Michael Brockers, 43DT – LSU

10. Buffalo Bills

Primary Needs – 43DE, WR, LT, CB

Selection – Quinton Coples, 43DE – North Carolina

11. Kansas City Chiefs

Primary Needs – RT, NT, QB, G/C

Selection – Dontari Poe, NT – Memphis

12. Seattle Seahawks

Primary Needs – QB, 43DE, G, 43DT

Selection  –  David DeCastro, OG – Stanford

13. Arizona Cardinals

Primary Needs – OT x 2, WR, 34ILB, 34OLB, RG

Selection –  Jonathon Martin, OT – Stanford

14. Dallas Cowboys

Primary Needs – CB, C, G, S

Selection – Cordy Glenn, RT/G – Georgia

15. Philadelphia Eagles

Primary Needs – SAM, MIKE, WR, CB, SS

Selection – Luke Kuechly, ILB – Boston College

16. New York Jets

Primary Needs – WR x 2, RT, 43OLB, S x 2

Selection  – Michael Floyd, WR – Notre Dame

17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland)

Primary Needs – CB, RB, S x 2, G

Selection – Janoris Jenkins, CB – North Alabama

18. San Diego Chargers

Primary Needs – LT/RT, G, 34OLB, CB

Selection – Mike Adams, RT – Ohio State

19. Chicago Bears

Primary Needs – WR, LT, CB, G/C

Selection – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB – Bama

20. Tennessee Titans

Primary Needs – C, OG x 2, 43DE, S?

Selection – Peter Konz, C – Wisconsin

21. Cincinnati Bengals

Primary Needs – CB, RB, S x 2, G

Selection – Mark Barron, S – Bama

22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta)

Primary Needs – WR, RT, QB?, CB

Selection –  Stephen Hill, WR – Georgia Tech

23. Detroit Lions

Primary Needs – LT, CB, SS, 43DE

Selection  – Stephon Gilmore, CB – South Carolina

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

Primary Needs – LT, LG, NT, CB x 2

Selection – Ryan Tannehill, QB – Texas A & M

25. Denver Broncos

Primary Needs – LG, RT, CB, C, QB?

Selection  – Kelechi Osemele, OG/OT – Iowa State

26. Houston Texans

Primary Needs – WR x 2, OG x 2, C, NT

Selection  – Kendall Wright, WR – Baylor

27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans)

Primary Needs – 34OLB, WR x 2, 34DE, S

Selection – Whitney Mercilus, 34OLB – Illinois

28. Green Bay Packers

Primary Needs – 34OLB, S, 34DE, RB

Selection – Fletcher Cox, 34DE – Mississippi State

29. Baltimore Ravens

Primary Needs – LT, C, WR, 34OLB

Selection  – Mohammed Sanu, WR – Rutgers

30. San Francisco 49ers

Primary Needs – WR, RG, RT, FS, QB?

Selection – Kevin Zeitler, OG – Wisconsin

31. New England Patriots

Primary Needs – 34OLB, WR x 2, 34DE, S

Selection – Reuben Randle, WR – LSU

32. New York Giants

Primary Needs – LG, TE, FS, 43ILB

Selection – Coby Fleener, TE  – Stanford