Thursday, April 26, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft - Part Two

Continued from here:

17- Cincinnati Bengals - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina - Andy Dalton had a great rookie season that gives this team hope. However, he could use a few more offensive weapons because their offense wasn't fantastic. And outside AJ Green, the Bengals don't have much on the receiver end now that Jerome Simpson is gone, so picking a wideout here is an option. However, despite a great performance by their defense, they had some key losses in free agency to their defensive line. Their cornerbacks are getting old and/or broken and so they could also go that route. Quinton Coples is a great player that would go much higher if not for character issues, but that never seems to bother the Bengals, so they will jump at the chance to get him here at 17, especially because they have a second first round pick here in four picks after this.

18- San Diego Chargers - Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama - The Chargers could go a few different ways with this pick. They could go for a receiver to try to replace Vincent Jackson. An offensive lineman would also help a lot. However, I think grabbing a defensive player is the most pressing need for them. A better defense last year could've put them over the top with winning the division. And now that Peyton Manning is a divisional rival they either need to grab a pass rusher or sure up their secondary. Upshaw would definitely fulfill that and is a great selection at number 18.

19- Chicago Bears - Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina - It seems like the Bears have chronic troubles at wide receiver and offensive line. At receiver they had several players that are a good number two or number three receiver, but no true number one. They did sign Brandon Marshall, so that could potentially solve that problem, but a young talented receiver to put next to him would make the Bears passing attack really strong, which is something they've never had. If one of the good offensive lineman fall to them, that would be a no brainer for them, but in this scenario, neither option is solid, so instead they go the best player available route and pick the corner from South Carolina. The Bears passing defense wasn't solid last year and in a division with the Lions and the Packers a solid pass defense is necessary to have success. Gilmore could easily be a top 10 pick, so if he falls to the Bears at 19, they should be ecstatic.

20- Tennessee Titans - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama - The Titans could do one of two things with this pick. Their first option is to grab a pass rusher. They were the second worst team in the league when it comes to number of sacks, so that needs to be fixed. If there is one of the top defensive ends still available here, then they will be tempted to grab one. However, their most glaring need comes at cornerback due to Cortlan Finnegan. At this point in the draft, either Stephon Gilmore, Dre Kirkpatrick, or Janoris Jenkins would make a lot of sense. They will take whichever one is available and since it is either Jenkins or Kirkpatrick in this situation, Kirkpatrick is the safer option.

21- Cincinnati Bengals - Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama - Like mentioned earlier, the Bengals will most likely take a cornerback and a defensive lineman with their two picks in the first round and having taken Coples with their first pick, they will take the best available corner and in this case, Jenkins is the one that is available. Now Jenkins does have serious character issues that will scare many away, but if he can keep himself in line, he will end up being a really good corner in this league, so it will be worth the risk for the Bengals.

22- Cleveland Browns - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor - Having taken Richardson with their first pick in this draft, the Browns will now look at giving Colt McCoy a receiver to throw to. The three options that the Browns will be looking at is Kendall Wright from Baylor, Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech, and Reuben Randall from LSU. Out of those three, I personally think Kendall Wright is the best option. He is a bit small, but he's a huge playmaker and could develop into a number one receiver for the Browns.

23- Detroit Lions - Amini Silatolu, G, Midwestern St - For what seems like the first time in history, things have actually started to go well for the Lions. Matt Stafford threw for over 5,000 yards and Megatron was a beast with 1,600 receiving yards. The defense of the Lions is one thing that killed the Lions, so they could select the best defensive player that is left on the board, but they also need to focus on keeping Matt Stafford on his feet and healthy, so going for Silatolu is a great choice for the Lions.

24- Pittsburgh Steelers - Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama - This pick is almost a match made in heaven. Now that the Steelers are without standout linebacker James Farrior, a huge hole is left in that spot that they will try to fix here in the draft. Now Hightower may end up getting taken by several teams ahead of the Steelers, but if he falls to this spot, this could be a rather quick decision for the Steelers to make. He would be immediately plugged into the center of Alabama's defense.

25- Denver Broncos - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU - The Broncos lost defensive tackle Broderick Bunkley in free agency, so selecting Brockers here makes perfect sense because it fills a big whole and Michael Brockers is probably the highest value on the board right, so it would be the best player available. The Broncos will also take a look at Jerel Worthy, the defensive tackle from Michigan State, but I think they will stick with Brockers. Other options with this pick are to draft a safety to help replace the recently retired Brian Dawkins or draft a receiver to give Peyton more weapons to work with.

26- Houston Texans - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech - The Texans finally made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history and have things working rather well for them. This is the first time they head into a draft with very few pressing needs. Despite Andre Johnson being injured for a good portion of the season, the Texans receivers didn't perform horribly, but grabbing a wideout to start beside Johnson would give the Texans a very strong and deep receiving corps. Stephen Hill doesn't have extremely flashy numbers, but he does have great height and great speed, so he would work out well in the Texans organization .

27- New England Patriots - Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse - The Pats, like always, were great on offense with Tom Brady running the show. They added Brandon Lloyd to that receiving corps this offseason which will boost that even more. They don't really have a running back to lean on as Green-Ellis has departed and neither back played great to begin with, so they could go that route, except there really is no running back they could select here at this point. However, the Pats defense is what was their demise this season. Had they had a defense that wasn't terrible, they could've won that Super Bowl, so with two first round picks, that's probably the direction they will go and Chandler Jones of Syracuse makes sense with that first pick.

28- Green Bay Packers - Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame - It's hard to look at a 15-1 team and determine what they need to do to improve. However, for the Packers this one is actually quite easy to see as they were dead last this past season in pass defense. Some of that may be because they beat teams so bad that everyone was throwing the ball to try to catch up, but help in that secondary would help the Packers greatly. Harrison Smith won't be their defensive savior, but he should at least improve that safety postion.

29- Baltimore Ravens - Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin - With this pick, the Ravens should be looking towards the future. People like Ray Lewis, Matt Burk, and Anquan Boldin won't play forever. I believe that the Ravens will seriously consider their options at wide receiver and provide some more depth and more targets for Flacco, but in the end the selection of Konz makes sense. One, he can be the eventual successor at center for the Ravens and two, he is versatile enough that he can be used at the guard spot in the meantime.

30- San Francisco 49ers- Reuben Randall, WR, LSU - Niners fans have a lot to be excited for since Jim Harbaugh has seemingly resurrected this franchise. Despite going 13-3, they still aren't perfect and will have plenty of challenges from the other teams in their division. One weakness that they have attempted to address is the passing game. Alex Smith made huge strides, but the Niners still wound up with 29th best passing offense. Vernon Davis is a beast at tight end, but their top receiver currently is Michael Crabtree. He's been decent, but hasn't yet developed into the star receiver they thought he would be when they drafted him. The Niners did bring in both Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, which will make things interesting, but continuing the trend by bringing in yet another receiver to help things would be a good idea and Reuben Randall would be a great fit for them.

31- New England Patriots - Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska - Word is that the Patriots may actually trade this pick. But if they decide not to trade it, then I believe they will once again go defense and select what is the top linebacker at this point in David. In this scenario, they have already used a pick on a defensive lineman, so grabbing another linebacker would make sense because with what is left on the board, grabbing a corner or safety would be a reach, so they will play it safe and use later picks to pick up a defensive back and a running back.

32- New York Giants -  Nick Perry, DE, USC - The Giants have a few needs that they could address with this pick. They desperately need a tight end, so Coby Fleener from Stanford makes a lot of sense. They also lost Brandon Jacobs to the Niners, so they really need to pick up a running back and while it would be a bit of a stretch, they could take Doug Martin from Boise State if they like him enough. However, when it comes down to it, I think they are going to use this pick to grab yet another defensive end. The Giants never shy away from taking a defensive lineman and it always seems to work out to their advantage. The case here comes with the uncertainty behind Osi Umenyiora. Drafting Nick Perry would give them some insurance there in case Osi is done with the Giants.

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