Draft 2012: Pre-Combine Mock Draft

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 11: Running back Chris Polk #1 of the Washington Huskies rushes against Michael Holmes #35 of the Syracuse Orange on September 11 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Who doesn't love mock drafts? Especially mocks before the Scouting Combine. That's when most fans jump into the draft discussion, but for the rest of us, we've been going at it since Chris Crocker dropped that T.J. Yates interception. We've seen just about every mock scenario possible and I'm not here to come up with some wacky picks just to give us something to talk about. There are a few ways to do a mock. The most common ways are who you would pick, or who do you think the teams will pick? This particular mock is based on what I think would happen today. Also, as a little sneak peak to my big board that will be released shortly, I have put each prospect's ranking next to their names. Enjoy, feedback is always welcome.

1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck (1) - QB - Stanford

2. *TRADE* Cleveland Browns - Robert Griffin III (8) - QB - Baylor

3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil (3) - OT - USC

4. *TRADE* St. Louis Rams - Morris Claiborne (4) - CB - LSU

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Riley Reiff (6) - OT - Iowa

6. Washington Redskins - Ryan Tannehill (28) - QB - Texas A&M

7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Quinton Coples (7) - DE - UNC

8. Carolina Panthers - Michael Brockers (21) - DT

9. Miami Dolphins - Kendall Wright (10) - WR - Baylor

10. Buffalo Bills - Justin Blackmon (11) - WR - Oklahoma St

11. Kansas City Chiefs - Jonathan Martin (27) - OT - Stanford

12. Seattle Seahawks - Devon Still (19) - DL - Penn State

13. Arizona Cardinals - Courtney Upshaw (9) - DE/OLB - Alabama

14. Dallas Cowboys - Fletcher Cox (14) - DE - Mississippi State

15. Philadelphia Eagles - Mark Barron (16) - S - Alabama

16. New York Jets - Trent Richardson (2) - RB - Alabama

17. Cincinnati Bengals - David DeCastro (5) - RG - Stanford

You never plan to have a top five prospect fall into the second half of the first round, but when the Bengals desperately need new starters at Running back and Guard, and those two positions don't get drafted very high, there's a decent chance one of the two could be available. As the pick is approaching, you'd think the Bengals front office would be thrilled to see Richardson, DeCastro and Kirkpatrick all still available. In this scenario, the Jets jump all over Richardson in an attempt to relieve pressure from Mark Sanchez. My choice for the Bengals came down to the two highest rated players on my board. Both were at position of need. So it just came down to selecting the best player for the team.

David DeCastro is my 5th best player in the draft and I believe he starts day one as one of the best interior lineman in the NFL. By 2013, he'll be a Pro Bowl player. DeCastro has elite pulling ability and is a menace in the 2nd level for linebackers. He needs to clean up a few things like dropping his head on contact and absorbing contact in pass protection, but overall he's a rare player. He would provide athleticism to the Bengals line that they lost when Eric Stienbach left, while also adding the type of technician mentality that would cut down on the penalties and blown assignments.

18. San Diego Chargers - Michael Floyd (13) - WR - Notre Dame

19. Chicago Bears - Peter Konz (22) - C/G - Wisconsin

20. Tennessee Titans - Dre Kirkpatrick (12) - CB- Alabama

21. Cincinnati Bengals - Stephon Gilmore (15) - CB - S.Carolina

While adding a Guard like DeCastro makes this draft a win already, the Bengals need to come away with a premiere position prospect somewhere in their first three picks. Their only need that qualifies as premiere is Cornerback. As the 21st pick approaches, they would have their eyes set on Kirkpatrick, Gilmore and Jenkins. The 2nd-tier corners in this class.

Again a team snags a Bengals' target just before they can pick. This time the Titans selected Dre Kirkpatrick. The Stephon Gilmore bandwagon is filling up fast and the Bengals should be driving it after the 21st pick. He's my 15th overall prospect in the draft and his grade is just a shade lower than Kirkpatrick's. Gilmore could easily end up my number two CB after the combine. He's tall, long, and very aggressive. I believe he'll succeed in man coverage as he is already good in zone. Gilmore is a big hitter and a great blitzer. The draft's best all-around CB. Not the greatest in any particular attribute, but Gilmore has an excellent blend of skills. He's young and a little raw, but his upside exceeds most of the other cornerbacks in this class.

22. *TRADE* St. Louis Rams - Lamar Miller (18) - RB - Miami

23. Detroit Lions - Mike Adams (29) - OT - Ohio State

24. Denver Broncos - Doug Martin (17) - RB - Boise State

25. Pittsburgh Steelers - Janoris Jenkins (20) - CB - N.Alabama

26. Houston Texans - Reuben Randle (37) - WR - LSU

27. New England Patriots - Nick Perry (25) - DE/OLB - USC

28. Baltimore Ravens - Cordy Glenn (26) - T/G - Georgia

29. San Francisco 49ers - Alshon Jeffery (32) - WR - S.Carolina

30. Green Bay Packers - Melvin Ingram (23) - OLB - S.Carolina

31. New England Patriots - Jerel Worthy (31) - DT - Michigan St

32. New York Giants - Luke Kuechly (24) - MLB - Boston College

Round 2

33. St. Louis Rams - Coby Fleener (39) - TE - Stanford

34. Indianapolis Colts - Dontari Poe (34) - NT - Memphis

35. Minnesota Vikings - Chase Minnifield (41) - CB- Virginia

36. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - David Wilson (47) - RB - WVU

37. Cleveland Browns - Zach Brown (49) - OLB - UNC

38. Jacksonville Jaguars - Marvin Jones (50) - WR - California

39. Washington Redskins - Jared Crick (38) - DE - Nebraska

40. Carolina Panthers - Whitney Mercilus (35) - DE - Illinois

41. Buffalo Bills - Chandler Jones (53) - DE - Syracuse

42. Miami Dolphins - Vinny Curry (36) - DE/OLB - Marshall

43. Seattle Seahawks - Alfonzo Dennard (61) - CB - Nebraska

44. Kansas City Chiefs - Brandon Weeden (30) - QB - Oklahoma State

45. Dallas Cowboys - Kelechi Osemele (45) - T/G - Iowa State

46. Philadelphia Eagles - Dont'a Hightower (33) - LB - Alabama

47. New York Jets - Mohamed Sanu (44) - WR - Rutgers

48. New England Patriots - Harrison Smith (63) - S - Notre Dame

49. San Diego Chargers - Zebrie Sanders (52) - OT - Florida State

50. Chicago Bears - Ronnell Lewis (64) - LB - Oklahoma

51. Philadelphia Eagles - Brandon Boykin (54) - CB - Georgia

52. Tennessee Titans - Dwayne Allen (57) - TE - Clemson

53. Cincinnati Bengals - Chris Polk (42) - RB - Washington

Again, the best player available also fills a need for the Bengals. They would be biting their nails again as they watched four running backs get drafted before pick-53. Chris Polk and Temple's Bernard Pierce are the last of the day one starters in this draft at RB. Getting one of the two was a must at this point.

Chris Polk was the easy choice. Not only was he my best available, he fits Marvin's mold of the bigger back (5'11" 220 lbs) and also provides the ability to catch passes. Polk is an all-around RB that shouldn't have to come off of the field on 3rd downs. I've seen Corey Dillon comparisons and I think those aren't far off. To me, he flashes a lot of the same abilities as Matt Forte does. Polk can run with power between the tackles but he actually breaks tackles in the 2nd level and turns 8-10 yard runs into 15-25 yard runs. He might also be the draft's best receiving RB. That's rare for a guy of his size and abilities. Drafting Chris Polk would be an instant upgrade from Cedric Benson.

54. Detroit Lions - Vontaze Burfict (75) - LB - Arizona state

55. Atlanta Falcons - Kevin Zietler (43) - OG - Wisconsin

56. Pittsburgh Steelers - Amini Silatolu (55) - OG - M'Western State

57. Denver Broncos - Alameda Ta'amu (51) - NT - Washington

58. Houston Texans - Josh Chapman (62) - NT - Alabama

59. New Orleans Saints - Mitch Schwartz (80) - OT - California

60. Green Bay Packers - Casey Hayward (58) - CB - Vanderbilt

61. Baltimore Ravens - Cam Johnson (40)- DE - Virginia

62. San Francisco 49ers - Leonard Johnson (67) - CB - Iowa State

63. New England Patriots - Stephen Hill (70) - WR - Georgia Tech

64. New York Giants - Bobby Massie (84) - OL - Ole Miss

Best Available Bengals Targets for Round 3 (Pick 81)

46. Orson Charles - TE - Georgia

48. Brandon Thompson - DT - Clemson

59. Brandon Washington - G - Miami

66. Andre Branch - DE - Clemson

68. Sean Spence - LB - Miami

69. Trumaine Johnson - S - Montana

71. Bobby Wagner - LB - Utah State

72. Brian Quick - WR - App. State

77. Malik Jackson - DE - Tennessee

78. Markelle Martin - S - Oklahoma State

79. Dwight Jones - WR - North Carolina

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