Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft - Part One

So I am a little bit late in getting this up, especially part two of this, which will cost me some views, I know, but nonetheless it is here. I like creating mock drafts because it makes following the draft that much more fun. And yes, I split this into two posts so that it is easier to read. If I were to keep it in one post, it would be awfully long and boring. So, without further ado, let us begin!

1- Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford - Earlier today, the Colts officially announced that they are going to take Andrew Luck with the first overall pick, so this here isn't a prediction, its me telling you what is going to happen. We all knew this was going to happen for a long time and so did the Colts. They didn't decide to cut their Hall of Fame quarterback to go take Matt Kalil or Trent Richardson. They have decided to start over and they hope that Luck can be their new franchise quarterback for them to build around. Luck is said to be the best quarterback prospect to come since Peyton Manning or John Elway, both of whom were drafted by the Colts, so the Colts sure do know when to lose. However, things aren't all flowery and peachy just because the Colts get Luck. The Colts were awful last season and Luck will most likely struggle in his first season just because he has nothing to work with. Its a long road for Luck and the Colts and their is no guarantee that Luck will turn out like Manning and save this franchise. With that said, I believe that Luck will be great and if the Colts can put the pieces together to help him, they can be back in playoff contention again in a few years.

2- Washington Redskins- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor - This pick hasn't been officially announced like the Colts pick, but once again everyone knows who it is going to be. The Redskins made a huge risk to jump up to the number two spot with the intention of taking the Hiesman winner RG3. And I say huge risk because they traded three first round picks and one second round pick to get this guy. So if he doesn't end up being their star franchise quarterback, they have screwed themselves over big time and will be stuck in the NFC basement for 5-10 years. That's a lot of pressure on one man. They say RG3 has the potential to become what Michael Vick was supposed to be. I think in the long run, Andrew Luck will end up having the better career, but Griffin will probably have the better rookie season because he has slightly more to work with in Washington than Luck does in Indianapolis.

3- Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, T, USC - This pick will come down to one of three players for the Vikings. Either the tackle Matt Kalil, the cornerback Morris Claiborne, or the receiver Justin Blackmon. Out of those three, either of those would be helpful for the Vikings, but Blackmon would be the least helpful at this point. They could afford to wait until the second or third round to grab one. The popular pick is Kalil because the Vikings' offensive line was one of the worst in the league last season. The tricky thing is that they also had one of the worst pass defenses, so both players would really help. I am picking Kalil because he seems like he could be a great player for a very long time and picking a corner third overall seems a bit high. Plus, if they ever want Christian Ponder to be a good quarterback, they are going to need to protect him.

4- Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama - The Browns could use a lot of help and there are a lot of picks that make sense. If they were to draft Claiborne, then they would possibly have the best young cornerback tandems in the league and when you are playing in a division with the Steelers, Ravens, and Bengals, that could come in handy. However, I really feel that they need the most help on offense. Some claim that they should draft Tannehill, but one I think it is way too high for Tannehill and two I don't think that the Browns are ready to give up on Colt McCoy just yet. Instead they should give him some weapons because he has none. Blackmon would make a lot of sense here, but the key with this pick is that the Browns also have another pick in this first round and there should be some top receivers left there and with Trent Richardson still on the board, going with that route would be best. Personally I think it would be a bad decision to pass on Richardson. The man is a beast and could quickly become one of the top running backs in the league here within a few years.

5- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU - With this pick, the Bucs will be more worried about what the Vikings do than what the Browns do. The Bucs want to pick either Trent Richardson or Morris Claiborne. If the Vikings end up taking Claiborne then both players they want will be gone and the Bucs will be in a tough situation, but if the Vikings go with Kalil then the Bucs will just pick the player that the Browns don't pick. Trent Richardson would be ideal and there is a possibility that they could swap spots with the Vikings to get him because a Richardson and Blount duo would be scary. But in this mock, the Browns take him and so the Bucs won't be upset and grabbing a top corner in Claiborne. Blackmon could be an option, but with the Bucs signing Vincent Jackson, they will probably go elsewhere with this pick.

6- St Louis Rams - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St - The Rams really played their cards well in this draft. They could've stayed at number two and been guaranteed the guy they wanted, but there was enough teams that wanted to trade up to the two spot to grab RG3 so the Rams traded down to six and thus gained two additional first round picks and a second round pick. The best part is that they will get the guy they wanted anyways. Now as a Rams fan, I have wanted the Rams to get a good receiver for several years now and now they will finally get that guy in Blackmon. Sam Bradford needs weapons and Blackmon has a good chance of developing into Bradford's number one target. Yes, there is a chance that Blackmon is gone by now as the Vikings, Browns, and Bucs will all think hard about taking him and if that is the case either Claiborne or Kalil will fall to the Rams and either one of those guys will be a great consolation prize.

7- Jacksonville Jaguars - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame - The Jaguars' offensive line this past year didn't do a very good job at all in protecting Luke McCown an Blaine Gabbert and they could also use some help in their pass rushing on defense. It is also reported that they are seriously considering drafting Stephon Gilmore, so it is apparent that the coaching staff isn't too terribly happy with the secondary either. But when I look at the Jaguars the biggest glaring need that I see is their receiving corps. Can you name their top receiver? The tight end Marcedes Lewis led the team in receiving yards with 460. In terms of actual wide receivers, not including tight ends, the leading receiver was Mike Thomas with 415. Selecting Michael Floyd might be a risk due to some injury and character concerns, but its a risk that the Jags need to take because if Gabbert never has anyone to throw to, he will end up as a quick bust because that rookie season of his was horrid.

8- Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M - The Dolphins really don't have much of a choice here with this pick. They officially gave up on Chad Henne  and Matt Moore will never be greater than a backup. They desperately tried to bring in a big name quarterback but failed on Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn, and Alex Smith. So they settled with David Garrard, who flopped for the Jags and didn't play any football last year. Tannehill is an interesting prospect because he started his college career at receiver before switching to quarterback and only has one full season at quarterback, so because of that he is a huge risk, but he did play really well that senior season and is a guy with his head screwed on straight. If someone happens to trade up and take Tannehill before the Dolphins have a chance, Brandon Marshall leaving makes the Dolphins really thin at receiver and they could also use a pass rusher as well.

9- Carolina Panthers - Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College - Cam Newton played really well in his rookie and gives this team a lot of hope for the future, given Newton can learn not to turn the ball over as much. The one thing that would really help the Panthers is to give Newton a few more weapons because while Steve Smith was really good last year, he was playing football still back when Abraham Lincoln was elected president, so he doesn't have too many years left and the Panthers don't have any other receivers that are that great. That said, with Floyd gone in this mock, any other receiver is too big of a reach and the Panthers need defense. Ron Rivera is a defensive minded coach and the Panthers didn't play well on defense, so he probably wants to fix that. The could either go with Luke Kuechly or Fletcher Cox with this pick, but I predict they go with the linebacker here. Kuechly has a knack of always being where the ball is and would fill a huge whole that was left when Dan Conner walked in free agency.

10- Buffalo Bills - Riley Reiff, T, Iowa - The Bills are another team that would benefit from an additional receiver on their roster. Ryan Fitzpatrick did good and Stevie Johnson proved to be a solid number one, but Johnson can't catch all the passes and they could could an upgrade over David Nelson as a number two receiver, so Michael Floyd would be a great fit, but as he is gone in this mock, the tackle position is another position that the Bills need given that Demetress Bell left and Riley Reiff is a great value pick when it comes to the tackles available. Now there are reports that Kalil could fall in the draft and end up available here for the Bills, which would be their dream pick, but that probably won't happen.

11- Kansas City Chiefs - David DeCastro, G, Stanford - The word on the street is that the Chiefs really want to draft a guard and right now in this draft, their dream has come true as DeCastro would be the best fit for them. Guards usually don't go that high, but there is always an exception to the rule. There is a chance that they go for a DT in this draft since Kelly Gregg is ancient now. They could also go for other defensive players based on a best player available route with Poe and Cox still on the board here, but DeCastro seems logical for now

12- Seattle Seahawks - Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina - The receiving corps for Seattle this year was quite poor and the Seahawks could really use a receiver with this pick. This is yet another spot that Michael Floyd would work well in. If he is not available at this point, the Seahawks may consider moving down or if they decide not to, they may decide to use this pick to help with defense. Ingram is a great player that would help them get to the quarterbacks of other teams more, which is something the Seahawks could use. Quinton Coples might be the better talent, but character issues could cause him to drop in the draft. Help on the offensive line might also be a good idea for the Seahawks.

13- Arizona Cardinals - Cordy Glenn, T, Georgia - The Cards could easily go receiver here. Larry Fitzgerald told the team that he would love to play with Michael Floyd, but he may not get his wish. A pass rusher would also be helpful whether it be a defensive end like Ingram or Coples, or an outside linebacker in Courtney Upshaw. However, I think the smartest thing for them to do would be to get an offensive lineman and Cordy Glenn is great because of his versatility. He started his college career playing guard and finished by playing tackle, so he could fit in to wherever the Cards want to place him.

14- Dallas Cowboys - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi St - At this point in the draft the Cowboys are super stoked because the two most glaring needs that they need to take care of come in the secondary, safety specifically, and the interior of their defensive line. Mark Barron at safety and Fletcher Cox at defensive tackle are two players that the Cowboys would really want to select that could easily be gone right now, but in this mock are still here. Fletcher Cox would be the biggest steal at 14, so if he falls to them here I don't see how they pass him up. If both players are gone, they could decide to go the offensive line route.

15- Philadelphia Eagles - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis - The Eagles were everyone's early pick to go to the Super Bowl after all that they picked up during the offseason, but sadly it didn't work out and part of that was due to a could be better rush defense. Another big body added to that defensive line could really help them. Plus, Andy Reid seems to have a history of drafting lineman, especially defensive lineman, so this pick would make sense. Dontari Poe was a player who was up and down in college but started to shoot up draft boards after a stellar workout. This could lead to him being a risky pick causing a slight slide from what some project, but the Eagles because of the reasons I stated before could be the team that decides to take a chance on him.

16- New York Jets - Mark Barron, S, Alabama - Mark Barron could easily be gone by now, but if he is still here, this would be a great pick for the Jets as they need help at safety. LeRon Landry was only signed to a one year deal and is an injury prone safety, so some insurance there would be nice. Also, the Jets have issues at wide receiver. All they really have is Santonio Holmes and a currently unsigned 35 year old Plaxico Burress. If Michael Floyd falls this far, don't expect him to make it past here. The Jets will also take a serious look at other receivers such as Stephen Hill and Kendall Wright before making a final decision on who to take. 

Continued here:

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