Thursday, April 26, 2012

2012 Mock Draft

Let me start by saying this: Mock Drafts are crap. Most mock drafts work on the assumption that every team is going to pick from their slot and that there won't be any trades. That's unrealistic. But it's nearly impossible to predict trades. In keeping with tradition around here, I'm going to do my mock with some predicted trades. I'm not going to pretend I'm any kind of expert here, just going through the process of mocking it out for the fun of it. Earlier this week, I did a mock draft with Phil from I Hate JJ Redick where I took the even number picks and he took the odd picks.

Without further ado, here's my last mock draft for this year:

Andrew Luck (QB-Stanford)

The Colts won the "Suck for Luck" sweepstakes, allowing them to release Peyton Manning and start rebuilding in Indy.

Robert Griffin III (QB-Baylor)

Interestingly enough, last year I predicted the Redskins would trade with the Rams. Of course, that didn't happen last year. But it did this year, and the Redskins land a supremely talented quarterback they hope can turn them into a contender.

Matt Kalil (OT-USC)

The Vikings secondary is terrible so Morris Claiborne could get some consideration, but ultimately I'm going with the Vikings taking a franchise LT to protect last year's first round pick Christian Ponder.

Trent Richardson (RB-Alabama)

Richardson might be the best offensive skill player in the draft. Cleveland has an offense devoid of playmakers, regardless of who their quarterback is. There has been some pressure to pick Ryan Tannehill, but that would be a bad move putting him in an offense with no weapons and a mediocre line.

Morris Claiborne (CB-LSU)

The Bucs get the best defensive player in the draft at #5 as the top 4 all go offense. Really, the Bucs would be happy with any of the 3 (Kalil, Richardson, Claiborne).

[St Louis Trades with Philadelphia]
Fletcher Cox (DT-Mississippi St)

The Eagles are desperate for help up the middle and move up to grab the best Defensive Tackle in the draft before he can get to Jacksonville, Miami, or Carolina.

Justin Blackmon (WR-Oklahoma St)

If the Rams don't trade out of their pick, the Jaguars will be a popular target for teams trying to move up into the Top 10. If anyone wants Ryan Tannehill, they're going to have to get ahead of Miami to nab him, making Jacksonville the ideal candidate for a trade. In this case, the value of Blackmon still being on the board is too much for the Jags to pass up.

Ryan Tannehill (QB-Texas A&M)

There might not be a player in the draft as divisive as Tannehill. Some people love him and say he's a Top 10 prospect and others say he shouldn't go in the first round. Miami is desperate for a franchise QB after whiffing on um...everyone.

Melvin Ingram (DE-South Carolina)

Ingram played all over the field for the Gamecocks, and for a team that desperately needs playmakers on defense, he will be a huge asset for the Panthers. I was tempted to slate Dontari Poe here, but with pass rushers at a premium in this draft, I think Carolina takes a shot at Ingram who can slide inside on 3rd downs.

Malcolm Floyd (WR-Notre Dame)

Having addressed the defense in Free Agency, the Bills add another weapon for Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Dontari Poe (DT-Memphis)

The Chiefs have never shied away from drafting for need, and they need a big body in the middle of their 3-4 defense. Poe is an athletic freak that can clog up the middle and get pressure on the quarterback from the nose tackle spot.

[Cincinnati Trades With Seattle]
Stephen Gilmore (CB-South Carolina)

The Bengals need a corner opposite Leon Hall to replace Jonathan Joseph. With 2 first round picks, the Bengals are willing to part with one of their later picks to move up and take Gilmore.

David DeCastro (OG-Stanford)

The Whiz and Russ Grimm land a fantastic guard in the mold of Alan Faneca. Maybe the Cards will finally have a running game.

Mark Barron (S-Alabama)

It's no secret that Dallas needs help on the back end. Barron provides that.

[Philly to St Louis to move up to #6]
Kendall Wright (WR-Baylor)

St Louis adds more picks later in the draft and still gets a play-making wide receiver for Sam Bradford in the first round.

Courtney Upshaw (OLB-Alabama)

It's no secret that Rex Ryan loves Upshaw. The Jets need pass rushers and may try to trade up to get Ingram.

[Oakland to Cincy for Carson Palmer]
[Cincy to Seattle to move up to #12]
Luke Kuechly (LB-Boston College)

An ideal scenario for the Seahawks. They trade back and pick of more selections later in the draft and are still able to get Kuechly, the top inside linebacker in the draft.

Quentin Coples (DE-North Carolina)

No one seems to know where Coples fits best in the NFL. Is he a 3-4 DE? Is he a 4-3 DE? Is he a 3-4 OLB? Any way you slice it, San Diego needs pass rushers.

Riley Reiff (OT-Iowa)

Even though the Bears drafted a tackle last year, they add Reiff this year to give Jay Cutler even more protection up front.

Michael Brockers (DT-LSU)

Brockers is a boom-or-bust prospect that if developed properly, could help fill some gaps in the Titans defensive front that has lost a plethora of players over the last few years.

Cordy Glenn (OG-Georgia)

Glenn is a versatile lineman capable of playing both guard and tackle. The Bengals add another big body in front of Andy Dalton.

Alshon Jeffrey (WR-South Carolina)

As I said earlier, the Browns need playmakers. Jeffrey raised some eyebrows with his weight at the combine, but had a much better Pro Day. He's capable of being a top flight receiver if he puts the work in, but could also be a total bust. Typical Browns pick.

Dre Kirkpatrick (CB-Alabama)

The Lions need help on the back end and Kirkpatrick is probably the top zone corner in the draft.

Dont'a Hightower (LB-Alabama)

As if I was going to predict anyone else.

Devon Still (DT-Penn St)

After adding Peyton Manning in free agency to bolster the offense, Denver looks to fix a hole in the middle of their defensive line.

Jonathan Martin (OT-Stanford)

The third tackle off the board, Martin adds a solid player to an already decent Houston line.

Whitney Mercilus (DE-Illinois)

Mercilus led the nation in sacks last year and New England lost their top two pass rushers in free agency. Seems like a match made in heaven.

Shea McLellin (OLB-Boise St)

The Packers add another pass rusher to plug in opposite Clay Matthews. This could be one of the most dynamic duos in the league in a few years.

Peter Konz (C-Wisconsin)

The Ravens have lost a lot from their O-line in free agency. Konz will help solidify things up the middle for them.

Kevin Zeitler (OG-Wisconsin)

Two guys from Wisconsin go back-to-back. The 49ers add more beef to their line. They may also consider Amini Silatolu (OG-Midwestern St) who has been a fast riser in the last week before the draft.

[New England trades with Dallas]
Doug Martin (RB-Boise St)

Of course I have to include a New England trade somewhere. The Cowboys running backs can't stay healthy. Martin is a solid all-around back that can be a 3-down player once Felix Jones inevitably gets hurt again.

Coby Fleener (TE-Stanford)

The fourth Stanford player selected in the first round. Fleener will add a dangerous weapon down the seam for the defending champs.

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