Wednesday, April 11, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Post Pro Day Version

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Post Pro-Days


The evaluation process is over.  All of the NFL prospects have been thoroughly poked and prodded by scouts, doctors, coaches, and media personnel around the country.  Now, it's down to the picking.  After the combine, pro days, and now double-secret probation private pro days (like the one the Colts had with Andrew Luck and did not have with Robert Griffin III), no more forty-yard dash times or shuttle runs or bench presses will be recorded.  Now, it's just good, old-fashioned hearsay and smoke screens.


1.   Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck (QB) Stanford: I expect that the contract will be signed sooner than later given the new rookie weight scale and its ability to dictate contract terms with the #1 overall pick.  Plus, the Colts cannot give Luck the playbook until they sign him and with offseason programs already starting, now would be a good time. Previous Pick: Andrew Luck

2.   Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III (QB) Baylor: After trading all the picks they traded, the term "on the clock" is not nearly as stressful when you know who you are going to pick.  I'm setting the Over/Under on time used for the pick at 15.5 seconds.  Previous Pick: Robert Griffin III

3.   Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil (OT) Southern Cal.: Before, I debated between Kalil and Claiborne, but after Claiborne's staggering 4 on the wonderlic exam, Kalil seems like the smarter pick (see what I did there?).  To reiterate, Kalil is the best tackle prospect since Jake Long in 2008.  Previous Pick: Matt Kalil

4.   Cleveland Browns: Ryan Tannehill (QB) Texas A&M: The Browns need help everywhere, but Colt McCoy is obviously not the franchise quarterback of the future.  Some scouts argue that Tannehill is an improvement to McCoy already and has one of the higher ceilings of all the QB prospects in the draft.  It would not surprise me to see Cleveland trade out of this spot to acquire more draft picks and choose one of the second-tier quarterbacks (like they did with McCoy) like Kirk Cousins or Brandon Weeden.  Previous Pick: Trent Richardson

5.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Trent Richardson (RB) Alabama: It was not long ago when Trent Richardson was paired with Mark Ingram in Alabama, bruising running back, in the same backfield.  Tampa Bay has obviously focused on improving its offense surrounding their franchise quarterback Josh Freeman (who is vastly underrated) by signing Vincent Jackson and Carl Nicks (eliminating Justin Blackmon and Riley Reiff as possibilities) and Eric Wright to provide some insurance for their defensive backfield (eliminating Morris Claiborne as a possibility upon second review).  Pairing Richardson with bruising incumbent running back LeGerrete Blount will benefit both players and, most importantly, Josh Freeman.  Previous Pick: Morris Claiborne

6.   St Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon (WR) Oklahoma State: This could not have worked out better for St. Louis, who has reportedly enamored with Blackmon to the point where they were considering taking him with the second overall selection when they were picking second once upon a time.  Now, they acquired a myriad of extra picks and still get the guy they wanted.  The Jeff Fisher gets off on the best foot possible.  Previous Pick: Justin Blackmon

7.   Jacksonville Jaguars: Morris Claiborne (CB) LSU: By far the best cornerback in the draft, Claiborne's draft stock slipped slightly, but not too much.  Who would've thought that his wonderlic score would be a nice over/under for when he's going to get drafted this year?  For Jacksonville, they need everything so taking the best player on the board is a great idea, and that's what they did here.  Previous Pick: Quinton Coples (DE) North Carolina

8.   Miami Dolphins: Michael Floyd (WR) Notre Dame: Quick, name the #1 wide receiver on Miami's depth chart after the departure of Brandon Marshall to Chicago?  Exactly.  Michael Floyd is a suitable replacement for Marshall even though Miami desperately needs a quarterback.  Only problem is that there is not a quarterback worth taking here, so look for Miami to move back and acquire some extra draft picks and take their QB later.  If they stay here, however, Floyd makes some sense.  Previous Pick: Ryan Tannehill

9.   Carolina Panthers: Dontari Poe (DT) Memphis: No reason to abandon this pick from last week considering that nothing has changed on either for the Panthers or for Poe.  Previous Pick: Dontari Poe

10.    Buffalo Bills: Quinton Coples (DE) North Carolina: The Bills hybrid 4-3, 3-4 defense needs some more threats on the edge, and Coples is the best player to do so in the 4-3 format.  Buffalo would have one of the more formidable pairs of outside rushers with Coples and newly inked Mario Williams.  Previous Pick: Melvin Ingram

11.    Kansas City Chiefs: Riley Reiff (OT) Iowa: The Chiefs will get the two skill players back from injury they desperately missed last season in Jamaal Charles and Tony Moeaki, but they have not had a solid offensive tackle since Willie Roaf.  Reiff is ready to start week 1 for the Chiefs protecting Matt Cassel and creating running room for Charles.

12.    Seattle Seahawks: Luke Kuechly (ILB) Boston College: Seattle signed its quarterback for their offense in Matt Flynn, now they get the quarterback of their defense in Kuechly who has the best instincts of any linebacker in this draft.  Couple that with his impressive combine and it would not surprise me if teams start trying to trade up to get him.  Previous Pick: Luke Kuechly

13.    Arizona Cardinals: David DeCastro (OG) Stanford: Arizona lost out on Manning, so they really need to keep Kolb upright in order for any chance of him having success.  DeCastro can start week 1 and contribute in both pass and run blocking.  Previous Pick: David DeCastro

14.    Dallas Cowboys: Dre Kirkpatrick (CB) Alabama: How long can the Cowboys wait until they realize that they need help in the defensive backfield?  Kirkpatrick has the size, speed, and experience to play in the NFL.  Only worry is his attitude and his off-the-field baggage, but Dallas has to take the risk to reap the reward of Kirkpatrick's talents.  Previous Pick: Dre Kirkpatrick

15.    Philadelphia Eagles: Fletcher Cox (DT) Miss. State: Scouts keep saying that Cox is the most underrated player in the draft and that he will be able to consistently play in opponent's backfields.  If that's the case, the Eagles will now have the scariest defensive line in the NFL with Jason Babin, Trent Cole, Cullen Jenkins, and Fletcher Cox.  Will they ever blitz?  Previous Pick: Michael Brockers

16.    New York Jets: Melvin Ingram (DE/OLB) South Carolina: The Jets made the most noise this offseason, but not for anything truly spectacular (looking more like the New York Mets of the NFL by the day) by bringing back last year's locker room cancer in Santonio Holmes and the media circus surrounding Tim Tebow (however the Jet-Bow sandwich at the Carnegie Deli sounds delicious).  Ingram has previously been near the top-10 but has slipped a little bit due to team needs weighing higher than his talent.  The Jets, however, need his talents in New York rushing the passer.  Something they have not been able to do consistently in all of Rex Ryan's years running the show. Previous Pick: Michael Floyd

17.    Cincinnati Bengals: Mark Barron (SS) Alabama: Corner is the more pressing need since the departure of Jonathan Joseph last season, but the Bengals know that they pick again at #21, and there are more CBs of value available than safeties so the Bengals play the numbers game that they will get a valuable corner at pick #21.  Previous Pick: Janoris Jenkins

18.    San Diego Chargers: Cordy Glenn (OG/T) Georgia: The Chargers have a glaring offensive line need since Kris Dielman's sudden retirement, and Glenn fits the bill as his replacement.  Previous Pick: Cordy Glenn

19.    Chicago Bears: Jonathan Martin (OT) Stanford: Offensive line coach Mike Tice's mouth may foam over knowing that he has both Martin and 2011's first round pick Gabe Carimi as his bookends for the foreseeable future.  Jay Cutler will now have two solid tackles to keep him upright in pass protection and two fierce run blockers for Matt Forte and Michael Bush.  Throw in the recent acquisition of Cutler's old running mate in Denver Brandon Marshall and you have one hell of a revamped offense from the team that limped to the finish last season.  Previous Pick: Jonathan Martin

20.    Tennessee Titans: Janoris Jenkins (CB) Northern Alabama: Based on talent alone, this is a steal.  Jenkins rivals the talents of Claiborne, but will slide down in the draft due to his off-the-field concerns that got him dismissed from Florida.  Tennessee added Kamerion Wimbley as a pass rusher this offseason, but lost Cortland Finnegan, so Jenkins would serve as a nice replacement.  Previous Pick: Courtney Upshaw

21.    Cincinnati Bengals: Stephon Gilmore (CB) South Carolina: The strategy of waiting on a cornerback worked for Cincinnati as they grab one of the fastest late-risers in the draft in Gilmore.  He does not have the pure skills that Jenkins, Kirkpatrick, and Claiborne have, but he has the size and speed to keep pace with NFL receivers.  Previous Pick: Kendall Wright

22.    Cleveland Browns: Mike Adams (OT) Ohio State: Adams did not have the best of combines and lacks what scouts call the "killer instinct" but he has the size and quick feet to play at left tackle to protect Cleveland's newest investment, and number four pick of this draft, Ryan Tannehill. Previous Pick: Stephen Hill

23.    Detroit Lions: Courtney Upshaw (DE/OLB) Alabama: The Lions do not have a long-term solution at the defensive end position.  Cliff Avrill is playing under the franchise tag and Kyle Vanden Bosch is 34, so Upshaw will provide great depth plus a long-term solution at defensive end to go along with the beasts in the middle in Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh.  Previous Pick: Stephon Gilmore

24.    Pittsburgh Steelers: Dont'a Hightower (ILB) Alabama: James Farrior is gone and the defense, as a whole, is aging.  Hightower is a perfect fit to be the quarterback of this defense for years to come.  Previous Pick: Dont'a Hightower

25.    Denver Broncos: Michael Brockers (DT) LSU: By far Denver's biggest need, the interior of the defensive line gets a young boost here.  Brockers is a perfect fit for John Fox's defense and will eat up blockers for Von Miller to run wild.  Previous Pick: Fletcher Cox

26.    Houston Texans: Stephen Hill (WR) Georgia Tech: Hill is an absolute matchup nightmare as a six-foot-four wide receiver that can run a 4.36 forty-yard dash.  Throw him on the other side of the field as Andre Johnson and you have put opposing defenses in quite the bind.  Previous Pick: Reuben Randle

27.    New England Patriots: Chandler Jones (DE) Syracuse: Jones is a versatile player that can play on the end of either a 3-4 or a 4-3, which is perfect for Bill Belichek and the Patriots' system.  Jones isn't that flashy so he'll blend right in with the hoodie.  Previous Pick: Lavonte David

28.    Green Bay Packers: Nick Perry (DE/OLB) Southern Cal.: Perry can rush the quarterback.  Green Bay struggles with that unless your name is Clay Matthews, but he can't do it by himself.  Perry isn't getting the love other pass rushers in this draft are getting, but that's just fine for Green Bay who will be getting a discount double-check on Perry.  Previous Pick: Mark Barron

29.    Baltimore Ravens: Whitney Mercilus (DE) Illinois: Mercilus isn't exactly the best fit for a 3-4 defense, but his pass-rushing talents are too much for the Ravens to pass up, with no offensive lineman of value being available here.   Previous Pick: Nick Perry

30.    San Francisco 49ers: Coby Fleener (TE) Stanford: I'm the only one who thinks this, but the matchup nightmares San Francisco would create with a potent two tight-end set like this one with Fleener and Vernon Davis are very similar to the matchups the Patriots create with their offense.  Throw in the field-stretching Randy Moss on the outside, and you have no more excuses for Alex Smith.  Previous Pick: Coby Fleener

31.    New England Patriots: Kendall Reyes (DT) Connecticut: Another versatile player for Belichek's defense to go along with Chandler Jones at pick 27.  Reyes projects nicely as a nose tackle in a 3-4 or a defensive tackle in a 4-3.  More fun pieces for Belichek to play with.  Previous Pick: Devon Still

32.    New York Giants: Lavonte David (OLB) Nebraska: David flies from sideline-to-sideline and will allow Michael Boley to move back to his more comfortable inside linebacker position.  The Giants have a bigger need on the offensive line and running back, but can address both later in the draft.  Previous Pick: David Wilson

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