2012 NFL Mock Draft
Posted February 13, 2012 by Doc's Sports
Hey, Giants fan, the rest of the NFL outside of New England (and probably Philly and Dallas) was happy for you for winning the Super Bowl. For about 12 seconds.
But now the 2011 season is in the books and it is officially the start of the 2012 NFL betting season. And whether it is a new wave of Super Bowl futures odds or a brand-spanking new NFL mock draft, the rest of the football world is moving on and looking forward to next season and our own shot at a trip to Disney Land.
This year the 2012 NFL Draft will be held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City beginning with the first round on Thursday, April 26, and concluding on Saturday, April 28.
The athletic-industrial complex that is the NFL does not sleep. But we still have time for plenty of moving and shaking between now and April. So with my first 2012 NFL mock draft I am going to lean more based on what I think should happen. And then as we get closer to the actual draft my mock draft predictions will more truly reflect what I think will happen.
Without further ado, ere is the initial version of Doc’s Sports 2012 NFL mock draft:
1. Indianapolis – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Call me crazy, but I also think that the Colts should re-work Peyton Manning’s deal and keep him so that they can groom luck. The track record of quarterbacks taken No. 1 overall – or even just first round quarterbacks that are thrust into starting jobs their first year – is pretty gross. Especially when you compare it to quarterbacks that were able to come into the NFL, learn from the sidelines, and then take over when ready. I think anyone that thinks that Luck is a “sure thing” that can step right in and start is absolutely kidding themselves. I’ve seen a lot better players than him come in and fall on their faces.
2. St. Louis – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
I actually think that Blackmon is the best NFL prospect in the draft. He is an absolute freak of nature. And after watching the impact that young guys like Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson and even A.J. Green have had in recent years I think that Blackmon is a no-brainer. The guy is going to be a stud and the Rams desperately need to get Sam Bradford some help.
3. Minnesota – Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Look, the Vikings were the idiots who took Christian Ponder last year (which I said was absolutely hysterical). They can’t double-down by trying to reach for Robert Griffin. Take an offensive tackle and find a veteran quarterback and hope beyond hope that with two or three more years of seasons that Ponder can step up and be an Aaron Rodgers-type. (Although that ain’t happenin’.)
4. Cleveland – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
The Browns have two No. 1 picks and are in a prime spot here at No. 4. They absolutely have to trade out of this spot. They either need to move up to get Justin Blackmon – they can’t take the risk of someone snaking him – or move down and start stockpiling. As I have said repeatedly, this team has the absolute worst set of skill players in the NFL and has for the last three years. They absolutely have to load up on running backs, receivers and tight ends in the draft and free agency. You could do worse than a Heisman finalist. I actually firmly believe that you shouldn’t draft a running back in the first round anymore. But this is how desperate I think the Browns need to be for quality offensive players.
5. Tampa Bay – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
This one almost seems too obvious and is the pick that every NFL mock draft you can find online is predicting. But the fact is that the Bucs are desperate for secondary help – especially in the NFC South – and Claiborne is considered the top prospect.
6. Washington – Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor
OK, this is where a mock draft gets tricky. I actually don’t think that Washington should waste a pick on Griffin. I, personally, don’t think he projects that smoothly into the NFL and working with the Shanahans could be a career crippler for Griffin right out of the gate. But the Redskins desperately need a quarterback. I do think they will address the issue in free agency. But until it happens you have to call for them to get someone that can actually throw the ball.
7. Jacksonville – Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
The Jaguars are another team that needs offensive skill players. But it is too early to reach on a wideout here. And they had one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL – as well as one of the worst in franchise history – last year. They need speed and skill over brawn at this juncture, and Coples is considered one of the best defensive players in the draft.
8. Carolina – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Right now I am projecting that Carolina will be picking first here even though they are tied with Miami. The actual order will be determined by a coin flip at the NFL Combine this month. I also think that they will take their chances with Kirkpatrick, who is one of the top corners in the draft. The weed charges against him were dropped. And the Panthers had no qualms about all of the red flags that Cam Newton had when they took him No. 1.
9. Miami – Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
If I were Miami I would be looking to trade down and stockpile picks. I feel like this team has 10- or 11-win talent (and yes, I am 100 percent a Matt Moore supporter; that guy is so much better than people give him credit for). And I don’t feel like they have glaring needs so they should just be building depth. Reiff is a guy that could go in the Top 5 so this would be a steal here.
10. Buffalo – Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
Look, just keep drafting Alabama guys. There is a reason why they have fielded a dominating defense the last several years: talent. Marcell Dareus was a home run pick. Now they need to keep building that defense with playmakers in the front seven.
11. Kansas City – David Decastro, G, Stanford
The Chiefs are tied with Seattle and, like with Carolina, I am projecting them ahead of the Seahawks. This is a little bit of a reach here. But there is no doubt that the Chiefs need serious offensive line help. They won in spite of it in 2010 but their feeble talent in the trenches came back to haunt them.
12. Seattle – Luke Kuechly, MLB, Boston College
I think that the Seahawks could use some speed in the pass rush. However, after watching what happened with Lofa Tatupu I think that this team has been struggling to find that anchor in the middle over the last few seasons. Kuechly should be exactly that. This is a tough team to predict where they will maneuver.
13. Arizona – Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Hey, let’s keep the Stanford train going. Arizona hasn’t picked an offensive lineman in the top four rounds in over four years. It is time to address a unit of this team that they have been trying to overcome for the better part of the last decade. Martin is, again, a little bit of a reach here. But he fits a need and I’m all about teams going after the biggest dudes they can find in the first round.
14. Dallas – Mark Barron, S, Alabama
For crying out loud, please address your secondary. Or don’t. And continue to make me money betting against you. Yeah, do that. (But if you want to improve, Cowboys, you seriously need someone at the back of your defense that has a prayer of becoming a player.)
15. Philadelphia – Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State
The Eagles absolutely have to rework their front seven and the most obvious place that could use a talent infusion is linebacker. I think that they would be better served getting some free agent backers. But if not they need to grab the best guy available and that would be the ferocious Burfict.
16. New York Jets – Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
I feel like the Jets have to be crossing their fingers and hoping that Barron drops. If not, I think they would have to jump in here and grab a player with Top 10 talent. Whether Rex Ryan will admit it or not, the Jets are not nearly as tough as they think they are. They need a speed and talent infusion.
17. Cincinnati – Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Thank you, Carson Palmer. This pick is from Oakland and the Bengals actually have a lot of options here. Offensive line help wouldn’t be a bad way to go. But Brockers is a guy that is being projected in the Top 10. He likely won’t slide this far. But if he were to it would be a savvy move to grab him. (Which means the Bengals wouldn’t do it even if it were an option.)
18. San Diego – Nick Perry, DE, USC
It isn’t really the Chargers’ style to do something this obvious. But San Diego is amazingly soft in its front seven and they have a severe lack of defensive playmakers. Perry is a local product and still has a lot of room to grow. This is another team that would love it if Barron somehow fell to them.
19. Chicago – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
The Bears have some new players in the front office and I think that they will want to make a splash with their initial first round pick. Personally, I would rather see them trade down and get an offensive lineman or a linebacker. But instead I think they will cut the cord with Roy Williams and replace him with a large, young receiver that could help in the big play department.
20. Tennessee – Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
This team has a lot of bricks but no foundation to build upon. They need to get bigger, tougher, and more stout on both their offensive line and their defensive front seven. That’s it. They need to load up on the biggest, strongest, meanest bodies they can find. Jones would be an instant boon for the second-worst pass rush in the NFL.
21. Cincinnati – Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Hey, look, it’s the Bengals again. They were able to nurse another year out of Nate Clements. But they could use some new blood in the secondary. It is too early to grab a safety. But if they don’t jump up and grab the speedy Jenkins another thought would be to go with Ohio State product Mike Adams at offensive tackle.
22. Cleveland – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
This pick is from Atlanta for Julio Jones. And, as I said before, the Browns absolutely have to load up on skill people. Wright can return kicks as well and can help take the load off of Josh Cribbs. Perhaps that would make him a more viable receiving threat.
23. Detroit – Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
I wouldn’t mind them reaching for Dont’a Hightower here because they absolutely have to have help in their back seven. But I think the smart play would be to move on this mammoth offensive tackle. They need to keep Matt Stafford healthy. And they will do that with a strong offensive line.
24. Pittsburgh – Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia
The Steelers should be crossing their fingers that Adams drops to them. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they were a team that looked to trade up to secure an offensive lineman in the first round. One way or another, they need to fix their pathetic line.
25. Denver – Alfonzo Denard, CB, Nebraska
There are a lot of different directions that this team could go. But I don’t see them investing any top picks on offense until they figure out what they are going to do over there. Safety should be a priority. But instead I think they’ll grab a guy with talent that can learn at Champ Bailey’s feet.
26. Houston – Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
The Texans have one of the best defenses in football – which will only get better when Mario Williams (remember him?) returns. They have a dominating offensive line and running game. They have their quarterback and top wideout coming back. Why not gamble a little here? Andre Johnson has some durability concerns. So why not grab another beast to pair on the other side of him, or someone that could fill in if he goes down again?
27. New England – Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
This is a pick that the Patriots gained from New Orleans, who traded up last year. The Patriots can only keep leaning on Vince Wolfork for so long. Worthy is just a pure disruptor and would be a valuable addition in the middle of a soft front seven. New England has enough needs where I don’t think they should trade up.
28. Green Bay – Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
This team experienced a huge drop off on defense in part because they couldn’t generate a consistent push from the front four. If they are smart that is where they will put their resources again this year.
29. Baltimore – Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
Whoever the Ravens draft, I’m sure it will be a brilliant pick. Ozzie Newsome remains the best talent evaluator in the NFL Draft. The Ravens can never have too many pure animals on defense and Branch is another excellent athletic talent for them to throw in the stable. More offensive skill players are the priority, but I don’t know that anyone is worth the value here.
30. San Francisco – Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
Jim Harbaugh had to grit his teeth and make due with a feeble group of offensive skill players this year. He has to be itching to get some playmakers. He is obviously familiar with Fleener from their time together at Stanford. And even though Vernon Davis is obviously still in him prime, it isn’t as if the idea of featuring a two-tight end set is groundbreaking. Just ask the Patriots.
31. New England – Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana
It seems as if every year the Patriots have multiple picks in the first round. But they don’t seem to have done much with them over the past several years. I don’t think that Johnson has first-round talent – he may not even have second-round talent – but he is a big corner. And that may give him the edge over Brandon Boykin. And it is obvious that New England has long-term secondary issues that need tending to.
32. New York Giants – Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
Hey, it’s good to be king. Why not take a chance and reach on a guy that has all of one productive college season under his belt. The Giants will likely let Brandon Jacobs walk in free agency and Ahmad Bradshaw has had some injury issues in his past. D.J. Ware is limited. The G-Men can take a shot here and they haven’t been shy about grabbing Miami players in the past.