Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Post Combine Edition

Round 1

  1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck (QB) Stanford: Even though scouts were raving at Robert Griffin III's 4.40 ish 40-yard dash, Luck ran a respectable 4.60 ish 40 and showed no chinks in the armor (notice how that was an appropriate time to use that idiom, ESPN).  Luck not only has all the athleticism needed at the QB position, but he is the best prospect between the ears since John Elway. (Previous pick: Andrew Luck)
  2. Cleveland Browns (from St. Louis): Robert Griffin III (QB) Baylor: The most likely of trade partners with the St. Louis Rams for this pick with two first round picks (4 and 22) to dangle in front of the Rams.  Cleveland was the only offense last year with zero playmakers on it, and Carolina showed last season that getting a playmaker at the QB position (Cam Newton) can pay off big time.  What ultimately will push the Browns to pull the trigger on this trade will be the fact that they have to play Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Cincinnati twice every year, which necessitates having playmakers on the offensive side of the ball for they all have good defenses.  (Previous pick: STL taking Matt Kalil)
  3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil (OT) Southern Cal.: This pick should only take about ten seconds for the Vikings will be getting the best OT prospect since Jake Long to fill one of their primary needs.  Kalil put up more than adequate numbers at the combine and will be Christian Ponder's best friend. (Previous pick: Morris Claiborne)
  4. St Louis Rams (From Cleveland): Riley Reiff (OT) Iowa: He's not as athletic as Kalil, but Reiff is just as nasty at OT.  Has a similar build to Kalil (6'6", 300 lbs, one inch shorter and same weight), but has to improve his footwork at the NFL level to consistently stay with the elite pass rushers in the NFL.  Bottom line, St. Louis desperately needs to protect Bradford more than they need a WR.  Especially considering the talent at WR in free agency and later in the draft.  (Previous pick: CLE taking Trent Richardson)
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne (CB) LSU: Another pick that should not take very long, considering CB is going to be one of TB's biggest organizational needs, and that Claiborne is, by far, the most complete DB in the draft.  Aqib Talib may be in jail next season and Rhonde Barber can not play forever, so this makes a whole lotta sense.  (Previous pick: Dre' Kirkpatrick)
  6. Washington Redskins: Justin Blackmon (WR) Oklahoma State: This pick is predicated on Washington finding a QB via free agency, but if they don't, Ryan Tannehill may be in play here.  Nevertheless, Washington's phone lines will be busy on draft day because if they strike out on a QB, they may trade back to secure Tannehill later and stockpile some draft picks.  Owner Dan Snyder will have to show some restraint this off season and let his football people make the decisions, but can he?  (Previous pick: Robert Griffin III)
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinton Coples (DE) North Carolina: Coples' teammate Zach Brown stole the show at the combine, Coples remains the best defensive line prospect, and Jacksonville's D line was dreadful last season.  Coples showed at UNC that he is a threat against the run and in the pass rush.  Two things that the Jags need to improve on from last year.   (previous pick: Justin Blackmon)
  8.  Miami Dolphins: Melvin Ingram (DE) South Carolina: This pick, like Washington's, depends on if Miami scores a QB in free agency (front runners for Matt Flynn if they don't get Peyton Manning).  If they grab a QB, Ingram is definitely the pick.  Ingram has been shooting up draft boards and did not disappoint at the combine.  Shows the versatility to be effective as a DE in a 4-3 or as an OLB in a 3-4.  Consistently showed relentlessness to reach the quarterback at South Carolina and Miami needs a pass rusher to take some pressure off of Cameron Wake. (Previous pick: Quinton Coples)
  9. Carolina Panthers: Michael Brockers (DT) LSU: Carolina desperately needs to improve its run defense, and Brockers showed that he was a beast in the middle of LSU's defense last season.  Has the appropriate frame and initial burst to consistently be playing in the opposition's backfield, whether it is to tackle a running back or the quarterback.  (Previous pick: Devon Still)
  10.  Buffalo Bills: Jonathan Martin (OT) Stanford: How quickly did the other shoe drop last season on the Buffalo Bills?  Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick consistently found himself on the bottom of a defensive line pile on towards the end of last season, which will have to change going forward considering the Bills gave him the big bucks.  Martin showed the mean streak necessary to get it done in both the run and pass game.  (Previous pick: Riley Reiff)
  11. Kansas City Chiefs: Dontari Poe (DT) Memphis: I was on the Poe train a lot longer than my compatriots in the Mambino Mock Draft.  This 330+ pounder ran a sub-5 40-yard dash!  Upon further review of Memphis tape, it showed that he had a great initial burst off the line of scrimmage on his way to wrecking opponent backfields.  Poe was definitely one of the biggest winners at this year's combine.  (Previous pick: Jonathan Martin)
  12. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Tannehill (QB) Texas A&M: There is a very real possibility that the Seahawks are the only team left without a QB after free agency/first two picks in the draft, and organizational need may dictate this pick.  The Tavauris Jackson/Charlie Whitehurst experiment clearly failed and it's time that Sidney Rice and Marshawn Lynch get a better signal caller. (Previous pick: Melvin Ingram)
  13. Arizona Cardinals: David DeCastro (OG) Stanford: DeCastro has the mean streak in him required for the running game to go along with his athleticism to pull and block in space.  No matter who Arizona has at QB, they will need better protection than last year.  (Previous pick: David DeCastro)
  14. Dallas Cowboys: Dre' Kirkpatrick (CB) Alabama: Kirkpatrick has some off field issues that have caused him to drop on some people's draft boards, but Dallas can not ignore his talent at a position of the greatest organizational need. (Previous pick: Janoris Jenkins)
  15. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Kuechly (ILB) Boston College: Kuechly solidified himself as the best interior linebacker at the combine.  His instincts are second to none combined with superior tackling and athleticism. (Previous pick: Luke Kuechly)
  16. New York Jets: Courtney Upshaw (OLB) Alabama: Upshaw disappointed at the combine due to an Achilles problem, but overall is still one of the best linebackers going towards the line of scrimmage...something the Jets need badly.  Is a bit stiff in the hips when he drops in coverage, but the Jets don't really need him to do that.  Rex Ryan needs a guy to chase after running backs and quarterbacks, and Upshaw fits the bill there.  (Previous pick: Mark Barron)
  17. Cincinnati Bengals (from OAK): Trent Richardson (RB) Alabama: Bengals fans will rejoice knowing that they're offensive core is set for the next 5 years with Andy Dalton, AJ Green, and Trent Richardson all locked up.  Richardson is falling in draft boards not due to talent, but due to the lack of emphasis placed on the RB position.  By far the best in this year's class, Richardson will be a great fit for the Bengals, who will be saying goodbye to Cedric Benson.  (Previous pick: Alfonzo Dennard)
  18. San Diego Chargers: Nick Perry (DE) Southern Cal.: Like Upshaw, Perry will have a lot of questions to answer about his coverage ability playing in a 3-4 defense like San Diego's, but his workout at the combine proved his athleticism is more than adequate to play with his hand off the ground in the NFL.  (Previous pick: Vontaze Burfict)
  19. Chicago Bears: Michael Floyd (WR) Notre Dame: Floyd ran well at the combine and did nothing to lower his stock, which is why the WR deprived Bears scooped him up like a fresh Salmon.  This pick comes from the no-brainer department.  (Previous pick: Alshon Jeffery)
  20. Tennessee Titans: Whitney Mercilus (DE) Illinois: Mercilus showed...well..a merciless pass rush for the Illini last season and his workout at the combine will continue his meteoric rise from obscurity at this point last year.  Tennessee needs a little bit of everything, but acquiring a pass rush is the hottest fashion in the NFL and Mercilus fits well in Tennessee's 4-3 scheme. (Previous pick: Andre Branch)
  21. Cincinnati Bengals: Cordy Glenn (OG) Georgia: Glenn dazzled at the combine and solidified his first round status.  The Bengals hit two home runs in the first round by adding Glenn to solidify what was a shaky offensive line last year protecting Andy Dalton.  Additionally, Glenn is extremely athletic and will easily be able to pull and lead the way for freshly selected Trent Richardson four picks previously.  (Previous pick: Lamar Miller)
  22.  St. Louis Rams (via CLE/ATL in anticipated RG3/Julio Jones Trade respectively): Stephen Hill (WR) Georgia Tech: No one nailed the combine more than Hill.  At 6'4", running a sub-4.40 40-yard dash will definitely raise eyebrows.  Like Denver's Yellow Jacket Demauriyus Thomas, Hill did not run all the NFL routes in college and will need some seasoning before reaching his full potential.  However, there is not a receiver in this draft that exceed his size-speed combination.  Additionally, all Georgia Tech WR are great blockers coming from that triple option system.  (Previous pick: CLE taking Michael Floyd)
  23. Detroit Lions: Janoris Jenkins (CB) North Alabama (former Florida Gator): Physically, Jenkins is gifted, but his checkered past is the only reason why he is still on the board for Detroit.  The Lions, however, can afford to take a character risk given its stability and leadership from head coach Jim Schwartz and quarterback Matthew Stafford (HOLY CRAP I JUST SAID THAT THE LIONS ARE STABLE).  The Lions pass defense was woeful last season and, outside of the front-four, needs to be greatly improved if they want to challenge for anything more than a playoff spot. (Previous pick: Cordy Glenn)
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kelechi Osemele (OT/G) Iowa State: If Pittsburgh wants to get back to its smash mouth, run the football approach, then it's got to get better and younger on the offensive line.  Injuries have claimed the line the past two seasons and now has claimed running back Rashard Mendenhall.  I'd actually expect the Steelers to trade out of the first round due to the fact that they are tight against the cap and will need to use that money to secure wide receiver Mike Wallace. (Previous pick: Kelechi Osemele)
  25. Denver Broncos: Fletcher Cox (DT) Mississippi State: If it wasn't for Dontari Poe, there would have been much more attention paid to Cox's combine.  Cox is also a favorite of ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. which never hurts who calls Cox "underrated" with active hands and arms.  (Previous pick: Jerel Worthy)
  26. Houston Texans: Alshon Jeffery (WR) South Carolina: Jeffery did not participate in any drills at the combine but he did drop 15 pounds from the end of the season to the combine.  The WR plans to run at his pro day, and if he runs well, will not be available this late in the first round, but the Texans need another playmaker on the outside to take some pressure off of Arian Foster and Andre Johnson.  (Previous pick: Dontari Poe)
  27. New England Patriots (from NO): Zach Brown (OLB) North Carolina: Brown was a big winner at the combine, and is exactly what the Patriots need on defense...speed.  Running a blistering 4.50 40-yard dash as well as having one of the best verticals among linebackers will get you noticed by Bill Belichek.  Stock may rise even higher than this.  (Previous pick: Courtney Upshaw)
  28. Green Bay Packers: Stephen Gilmore (CB) South Carolina: Gilmore dazzled at the combine and showed that he is, indeed, athletic enough to transition to the next level.  Has ideal size-speed combination and showed that he was a steady contributor both against the run and pass at South Carolina in the SEC.
  29. Baltimore Ravens: Peter Konz (C) Wisconsin: Konz performed admirably at the combine, which was all the Ravens needed to hear.  With ILB Vontaze Burfict making a fool of himself at the combine, the Ravens will look to solidify the interior of the offensive line with Konz, who needs to put on a little weight, but that shouldn't be a problem.  (Previous pick: Dont'a Hightower)
  30. San Francisco 49ers: Kendall Wright (WR) Baylor: Wright was one of the big losers at the combine running a terrible 40-yard dash, but San Francisco desperately needs to get some help at WR, and Wright showed the ability to constantly separate from his opposition in college.  Here's to hoping that the combine was fluke (previous pick: Kendall Wright)
  31. New England Patriots: Andre Branch (DE) Clemson: With their second pick in the first round, the Patriots get another pass rusher from another level on the defense.  Branch is similar to Mercilus and Perry who were drafted previously, but is not as flashy as either.  However, when was the last time "flashy" and "Bill Belichek" were said in the same sentence.  He'll fit right in.
  32. New York Giants: Dont'a Hightower (ILB) Alabama: The defending champs desperately need help at the linebacker position.  The defense got hot at the right time, but adding Hightower would go a long way to adding some stability to what was a shaky unit last season.  (Previous pick: Zach Brown)

1 comment:

  1. You lost me at the Lions are stable... Can I get some o-line help!? Any chance Glenn falls to Detroit? What happened to Mike Adams? Does the tattoo scandal really make him a bad pick?