2012 NFL Mock Draft Version 3: The Risers and Fallers
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck (QB) Stanford: No Change here
2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III (QB) Baylor: Or here
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil (OT) Southern Cal.: The Vikings will be entertaining trade offers, but if they are forced to stick at this pick, it won't change and will continue to be Matt Kalil
4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson (RB) Alabama: I've gone back and forth with this pick but this week I improved the stock of the second tier quarterbacks like Nick Foles, Brock Osweiler, and Brandon Weedon, which can ultimately cause the Browns to pass on a QB in round 1 despite the obvious need. Richardson is one hell of a consolation prize, too. Previous Pick: Ryan Tannehill
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne (CB) LSU: Tampa Bay may be one of the teams calling Minnesota at pick #3 because the Bucs really want Richardson to finish the revamping of its mediocre offense last season, and may have to move ahead of Cleveland to do so. If they stay at 5, Claiborne is one of the elite players in this draft and it fills a position of need so they won't be too upset. Previous Pick: Trent Richardson
6. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon (WR) Oklahoma State: No changes here. St. Louis got exactly what it wanted in its trade with Washington.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Melvin Ingram (DE/OLB) South Carolina: Fast riser alert! Ingram has catapulted himself up people's boards due to his tenacious pass-rush abilities. He has also displayed elite work ethic; something his counterpart Quinton Coples has yet to do. Previous Pick: Morris Claiborne
8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill (QB) Texas A&M: Miami, in the end, may have to trade up to acquire the former wide receiver turned quarterback. If they are able to stay at eight and still get Tannehill, a celebration may ensue. Previous Pick: Michael Floyd
9. Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox (DT) Miss. State: Fast riser alert! Cox has steadily climbed my (and others) board, but Carolina will have serious thoughts about local product Quinton Coples (UNC).
10. Buffalo Bills: Riley Reiff (OT) IOWA: The Bills desperately need to keep newly inked quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick upright. Reiff can start right away at right tackle and could develop into a left tackle over time. Previous Pick: Quinton Coples
11. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Kuechly (ILB) Boston College: With this pick, Kansas City may have the best ILB combination in a 3-4 defense with Kuechly and Derrick Johnson. The AFC West better beware. Previous Pick: Riley Reiff
12. Seattle Seahawks: Quinton Coples (DE) North Carolina: The Seahawks probably never thought that Coples, a top-ten talent, would ever fall to them at pick 12. Either way, they will take the Julius Peppers esque defensive end, and put up with his inconsistent motor if it means that their pass rush will be improved. Previous Pick: Luke Kuechly
13. Arizona Cardinals: David DeCastro (OG) Stanford: No change here. DeCastro may be the most talented of the entire lineman class. He's that good. Arizona will have found their starter for the next decade here.
14. Dallas Cowboys: Dontari Poe (DT) Memphis: This isn't necessarily a pick of need for the Cowboys, who desperately need help against the pass, but Poe is rated by some (including the Cowboys) as a top-ten talent. Plus, the corenerback/safety class is pretty deep compared to the DT class. Previous Pick: Dre Kirkpatrick
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Brockers (DT) LSU: The Eagles were not happy that Cox has been rising so quickly, and may be interested in calling teams like the Dolphins (if they don't get Tannehill) to see if they'd be willing to move back in the draft to ensure that Cox is an Eagle. Brockers is next on the DT board so he is slotted in here. Previous Pick: Fletcher Cox
16. New York Jets: Chandler Jones (DE/OLB) Syracuse: As a Syracuse alumni, I was surprised to see anyone from the pathetic football team had any talent. Jones is not the ideal pick for the Jets, but Jones is versatile and built like a dump truck. Rex Ryan could easily turn him into the best rush end in the draft. Previous Pick: Melvin Ingram
17. Cincinnati Bengals: Mark Barron (S) Alabama: The Bengals have a tough choice here between two talented Alabama players (Barron vs. Dre Kirkpatrick), but elect to go with their bigger need at safety, which is also a shallower class. Remember, Cincinnati picks four picks later and could still get Kirkpatrick then.
18. San Diego Chargers: Cordy Glenn (OG) Georgia: No change here, huge positional need. Would love it if DeCastro fell to them here.
19. Chicago Bears: Jonathan Martin (OT) Stanford: No change here, desperately need to keep Cutler upright in pass protection, and to provide huge holes for Matt Forte.
20. Tennessee Titans: Stephon Gilmore (CB) South Carolina: Same position as last time, but different player. CB is the team's biggest need and Gilmore is very talented with the added bonus of zero off-the-field baggage when compared to Janoris Jenkins and Dre Kirkpatrick. Previous Pick: Janoris Jenkins
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Dre Kirkpatrick (CB) Alabama: Draft faller alert! Couldn't have worked out better for the Bengals, though, who need to retool their defensive backfield. Kirkpatrick has top-15 talent, but comes with some off-the-field baggage. Something the Bengals know very little about, right? Previous Pick: Stephon Gilmore
22. Cleveland Browns: Kendall Wright (WR) Baylor: If they choose to build around Colt McCoy by not drafting Tannehill at pick four, then they NEED to get a playmaker on the outside. Wright made big play after big play for Baylor and has more impressive game tape than combine performance. In the end, the Browns need someone who performs well when the pads are on…not shorts and a t-shirt. Previous Pick: Mike Adams
23. Detroit Lions: Janoris Jenkins (CB) Northern Alabama: This is a gamble for the Lions due to Jenkins' off-the-field woes that got him kicked out of Florida two years ago. He is, however, the second-best cover corner in the draft behind Claiborne, and (can you believe it?) the Lions have solid leadership on both sides of the ball. Could be the biggest steal of the first round or a colossal failure. Previous Pick: Courtney Upshaw
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dont'a Hightower (ILB) Alabama: No change here. Perfect fit for the future of the Steel Curtain.
25. Denver Broncos: Jerel Worthy (DT) Michigan State: Draft faller alert! Once considered one of the elite DT in the draft, Worthy has seen the likes of Brockers, Poe, and Cox leapfrog him on people's boards. Denver's biggest need is in the middle of the defensive line and Worthy is the best available DT (strongly considered Devon Still, too). Previous Pick: Michael Brockers
26. Houston Texans: Stephen Hill (WR) Georgia Tech: No change here, the Texans need a WR to go on the other side of the oft-injured Andre Johnson.
27. New England Patriots: Courtney Upshaw (DE/OLB) Alabama: Draft faller alert! Bill Belichek will pinch himself for he would never have imagined such a talent falling to him this late in the draft. The Patriots may even use both picks in the first round this year! Yeah, right. Previous Pick: Chandler Jones
28. Green Bay Packers: Nick Perry (DE/OLB) Southern Cal.: Perfect fit here. No need to change.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Peter Konz ( C ) Wisconsin: The Ravens will want to trade out of this pick, for Konz is not a tremendous value here, but if they're stuck here they will take him for he is the best player at their biggest position of need. Previous Pick: Whitney Mercilus
30. San Francisco 49ers: Coby Fleener (TE) Stanford: No change here, would be lucky to get him (look for Denver to give Fleener serious thought).
31. New England Patriots: Kendall Reyes (DT) Connecticut: No change here, but no one really expects the Patriots to pick twice in the first round, right?
32. New York Giants: Mike Adams (OT) Ohio State: Draft faller alert! Adams looked terrible at the combine, but the Giants have a need at OT with Kareem MacKenzie still unsigned. Previous Pick: Lavonte David