2012 NFL Mock Draft
1.). Indianapolis Colts: QB Andrew Luck - Stanford
Roger Goodall needs to send new Colts' GM Ryan Grigson the same memo he recently sent to NFL Network and ESPN regarding not ruining the "suspense" of the draft selections.
2.). Washington Redskins: QB Robert Griffin III - Baylor
The Shanahans get the QB they traded away 4 draft picks to get.
3.). Minnesota Vikings - CB Morris Claiborne - LSU
First "surprise" pick of the draft (if you can call it that). After fielding trade offers, the Vikings don't find a suitable trading partner, and instead, opt for a player who will help them stop division rivals who all feature gun-slinging QBs: Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Jay Cutler.
4.). Cleveland Browns: RB Trent Richardson - Alabama
Cleveland desperately needs offense playmakers, and even at a devalued position, Richardson still represents the best offensive playmaker (and value) on the board.
5.). Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OT Matt Kalil - Southern California
While the Bucs miss out on their primary draft targets (Richardson and Claiborne), they still get the best o-lineman prospect in this draft which vaults their o-line into one of the best in the league. Donald Penn is entrenched at LT, but Kalil steps in as a Day 1 starter at RT, where incumbent Jeremy Trueblood can either kick inside to back but Davin Joseph, or provide more than quality depth at either tackle spot (Trueblodd is also an UFA after the 2012 season, so a Kalil pick is not entirely impossible).
6.) St. Louis Rams: WR Justin Blackmon - Oklahoma State
The Rams may opt for pass rushing DT Fletcher Cox, but they choose to give Sam Bradford a much needed weapon instead. While not a flashy receiver, Blackmon is a physical specimen with the strength, hands, and toughness to make contested catches, a skill which will undoubtedly help a young, developing Quarterback like Bradford.
7.). Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Michael Floyd - Notre Dame
Barring a trade, the Jags choose to surround 2nd year QB Blaine Gabbert with another weapon. After adding WR Laurent Robinson as a FA, the Jags add yet another WR with the Notre Dame playmaker. Aside from making Gabbertt happy, a Floyd selection would also bring a smile to the face of MJD, as he will likely face fewer defenders in the box with the paforementioned receivers on the outside.
8.). Miami Dolphins: DE Quinton Coples - North Carolina
The next "surprise" pick in the draft. Although Tannehill will most likely be the pick, I wouldn't be surprised if the Dolphins do the unexpected and take a player not named Tannehill. With the Dolphins converting to a base 4-3 defense, they opt for Coples and choose to pair him opposite their best defender, DE Cameron Wake.
9.) Carolina Panthers: DT Michael Brockers - LSU
While the panthers could use help at every level of their defense (d-line, LB, and secondary), they opt for the young Brockers, whose upside is too good for the Panthers to ignore. Brockers helps free up some blockers for the Panthers $70M+ RDE Charles Johnson.
10.). Buffalo Bills: CB Stephon Gilmore -South Carolina
GM Buddy Nix cold barely contain his affinity and excitement for Gilmore in a press conference a few days ago. Gilmore solidifies the Bills' secondary, and coupled with the FA acquisition of DE Mario Williams, further strengthens the Bills overall defense.
11.). Kansas City Chiefs: DT/NG Alameda Ta'amu - Washington
Another "surprise" pick, although, unlike the Claiborne and Coples picks, this one comes completely out of left field (similar to the Jags selection of DT Tyson Alualu with the 10th pick in the 2010 Draft). Outside of Kelly Gregg, the Chiefs have no one capable of playing the nose guard position. The Chiefs opt for Ta'amu's production over Poe's potential. Ta'amu will anchor the Chiefs' 3 man front for the foreseeable future.
12.). Seattle Seahawks: DE/OLB Melvin Ingram - South Carolina
The Seahawks ranked near the bottom third in the league in sacks last season, and Ingram will go a long way in improving that statistic. While Seattle could opt for LB help, Ingram's ability to cause disruptive plays, as well has his ability to line up anywhere on obvious passing downs (e.g. as a down lineman, standing upright, rushing through the middle, etc) wins out in the Seattle war room.
13.). Arizona Cardinals: OG David DeCastro - Stanford
Arizona desperately needs O-line help, and while tackle may be their biggest need, DeCastro's talent and high football IQ win out. Cardinals HOF O-line coach sees a spitting image of himself on DeCastro.
14.). Dallas Cowboys: S Mark Barron - Alabama
The Cowboys secondary was a major reason for their supremely disappointing (and underachieving) 2011 season. They added young CB Brandon Carr in FA, and Barron is the man they targeted to solidly the secondary in particular, and the defense in general. Jerry Jones and the 'Boys find their Darren Woodson of the 21st Century.
15.). Philadelphia Eagles: DT Fletcher Cox - Mississippi State
To say that the Eagles rush defense last season was atrocious would be offensive to the word atrocious. Not only does Cox help stop the run, but he also brings exceptional ability to rush the passer from the inside and collapse the pocket. Cox is an athletic, disruptive force and represents excellent value for the Eagles at pick #15.
16.) New York Jets: OLB Courtney Upshaw
Rex Ryan gets his Terrell Suggs. Although Upshaw wasn't dropped into coverage often at Alabama, he does seem to fit best in a 3-4 defensive scheme. The Jets view Upshaw's relentless motor, high productivity, and brute playing strength as too good to pass up, as they hope Upshaw will provide the pressure that will result in more hurried throws which their stellar secondary can turn into INTs.
17.). Cincinnati Bengals: LB Luke Kuechly - Boston College
Marvin gets his (smokescreen?) wish and addresses the defense with the first of two 1st round selections. And he addresses the defense with a bang by grabbing a consensus Top 10 overall prospect who falls right into their lap, in part, because of the devalued position of middle linebacker. Kuechly's talents and innate (and uncanny) instincts are too hard to pass up at this point. The Bengals happily "catch" Kuechly's unexpected fall, and Marvin finally finds his prototypical mike LB that he has sought for nearly a decade. (Editor's note: a Kuechly selection could result in a Maualuga trade for a fourth round pick).
18.). San Diego Chargers: OLB Whitney Mercilus - Illinois
The Chargers opt for Defense, and add the nation's sack leader from last season. In addition to his 16 sacks, Mercilus also forced 9 fumbles, and otherwise proved to be a disruptive force for the Illini. The Chargers envision Mercilus doing the same for their lackluster defense in 2012 and beyond.
19.). Chicago Bears: OT Riley Reiff - Iowa
Reiff gives the Bears another big-bodied protector for Jay Cutler. Reiff can man either Tackle spot, and he also projects the ability to play Guard. While this selection would mark back-to-back seasons in which the Bears have selected a Big Ten o-lineman (2011 1st round pick = Wisconsin Tackle Gabe Carimi), Reiff represents the best value at this point, and the Bears opt to select him rather than reach for a need.
20.). Tennessee Titans: CB Dre Kirkpatrick - Alabama
The Titans look to offset the FA loss of CB Cortland Finnegan by replacing him with Alabama's Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick's length and physicality will remind the Titans of Finnegan, but Kirkpatrick brings the added benefit of projecting the ability to play safety as well.
21.). Cincinnati Bengals: OG Cordy Glenn - Georgia
The Bengals elect to protect their new franchise Quarterback by drafting the massive and extremely versatile Georgia captain. Glenn would be a Day 1 starter at right guard and could also easily (and more than capably) kick out to play either tackle position this season or in the future. Glenn's versatility is unmatched in this year's o-line class, and his 4-year production in the best conference on college football has readily prepared him for the next level. The Bengals continue the trend of drafting Georgia Bulldogs (former Bulldogs Robert Geathers, Geno Atkins, A.J. Green, and Clint Boling were all drafted by the Bengals; not to mention David Pollack and O'dell Thurman).
22.). Cleveland Browns: QB Ryan Tannehill - Texas A&M
Brady Quinn - Part Deux?? After the Dolphins surprisingly bypass Tannehill at #8, his agonizing wait ends at the EXACT same spot (#22) and with the EXACT same team (Browns) as Brady Quinn's unfortunate slide did in 2007. The Browns' brass and fanbase is obviously hoping for an entirely different outcome than the Brady Quinn story. Tannehill competes with incumbent Colt McCoy for the starter's job.
23.). Detroit Lions: CB Janoris Jenkins - North Alabama
With three corners off the board, the Lions opt for a no less talented (but more troubled) one in Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins has a Top 10 overall skillet, but takes a tumble because of the much discussed off-field issues. If Jenkins can avoid trouble, his talent and playmaking potential could represent the steal of the draft for the Lions. Adding a playmaker to the secondary will nicely compliment the Lions' fearsome front four, as well as stabilize the overall defense, which will go a long way in helping the Lions reach the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 90s.
24.). Pittsburgh Steelers: DT/NG Dontari Poe - Memphis
The Steelers find Casey Hampton's successor in the athletically gifted Poe. A space eater who will occupy blockers, the Steelers envision Poe helping to set up more one-on-one matchups for their feared edge rushers James Harrison and Lamarr Woodley.
25.). Denver Broncos: DT Devon Still - Penn State
The Broncos add Still to an already formidable defensive front that includes sack artist Elvis Dumervil and former first round pick Robert Ayers. Adding Still to a defense that includes 2011 Defensive ROY OLB Von Miller, and the Broncos already stout defense becomes even more dominant.
26.) Houston Texans: WR Kendall Wright - Baylor
The Texans opt to select the "local" kid from Baylor whose draft stock seems to be somewhat in flux after posting less than elite 40 times during the Combine and Baylor's pro day. Nonetheless, with Andre Johnson on the other side, Kendall Wright should still be able to win some one-on-one matchups and provide another valuable target for QB Matt Schaub.
27.). New England Patriots: OLB Shea McLellin - Boise State
Barring a typical Patriots' draft day trad, the Patriots opt for the versatile and high motor Boise State OLB. McClellin brings a certain toughness to the Patriots defense that has been lacking since the days of Teddy Bruschi, Richard Seymour, and Rodney Harrison. In addition, Mcclellin (who lined up everywhere for the Broncos' defense) embodies the "team-first" player that Belichik values and covets.
28.) Green Bay Packers: OLB Nick Perry - USC
The Pack pair the USC edge rusher with another USC product in Clay Matthews. While the biggest defensive weakness for the Packers remains the secondary, Perry provides a quality bookend opposite Matthews in Dom Capers' 3-4 alignment who can provide pressure off the edge.
29.). Baltimore Ravens: C/OG Peter Konz - Wisconsin
With C Matt Birk at the twilight of a phenomenal career, and with the loss of UFA Guard Ben Grubbs to the Saints, Baltimore's interior O-line needs to be addressed. Luckily for the Ravens, this spot represents the perfect intersections where need meets value, as Konz is likely to be one of the highest rated players left on their board.
30.). San Fransico 49ers: TE Coby Fleener - Stanford
Harbaugh reunites with the TE he coached at Stanford, and provides the 49ers offense with another weapon for emerging (finally!) QBAlex Smith. The thought of having to defend both Vernon Davis and Coby Fleener will have opposing D coordinators breaking out in cold sweats.
31.). New England Patriots: S Harrison Smith - Notre Dame
Again, assuming no trade, the Patriots address their defense, this time by adding a heady player to their much maligned secondary.
32.). New York Giants: LB Dont'a Hightower - Alabama
The SB Champion Giants find a national champion inside linebacker fall to them. Jerry Reese will likely stay true to his board, and the highest rated player available is likely to be 'Bama linebacker Dont'a Hightower. How fortunate for the linebacker needy Giants - after acquiring former 1st round pick Keith Rivers, a Hightower selection suddenly turns a position with razor thin depth into one overflowing with talent.
1. (33) St. Louis Rams: DT Jerel Worthy - Michigan State
2 (34) Indianapolis Colts: OLB Chandler Jones - Syracuse
3. (35): Minnesota Vikings: OT Jonathan Martin - Stanford
4 (36): Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Doug Martin - Boise State
5 (37): Cleveland Browns: WR Rueben Randle - LSU
38.) Jacksonville Jaguars: DT Kendall Reyes - Connecticut
39.) St. Louis Rams: OT Mike Adams - Ohio State
40.) Carolina Panthers: CB Trumaine Johnson - Montana
41.) Buffalo Bills: WR Stephen Hill - Georgia Tech
42 Miami Dolphins - QB Brandon Weeden - Oklahoma State
43 Seattle Seahawks - LB Zach Brown - North Carolina
44. Kansas City Chiefs - ILB Mychal Kendricks - California
45. Dallas Cowboys: OLB Vinny Curry - Marshall
46.). Philadelphia Eagles - CB Josh Robinson - Central Florida
47.) New York Jets: WR Mohamed Sanu - Rutgers
48. New England Patriots: OLB Andre Branch - Clemson
49.). San Diego Chargers: OG Kevin Zeitler - Wisonsin
50.). Chicago Bears: DE Cam Johnson - Virginia
51.). Philadelphia Eagles: LB Lavonte David - Nebraska
52.). Tennessee Titans: OG Amini Silatolu - Midwestern State
53.). CINCINNATI BENGALS: RB Lamar Miller - Miami
(Miller provides a perfect compliment to the newly signed BJGE. With breakaway 4.4 speed, Miller will be the "lightening" to BJGE's "thunder" in Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden's new RBBC approach. With Virginia Tech RB David Wilson also on the board, the Bengals opt for the younger and less fumble-prone Miller).
54.). Detroit Lions: OT/OG Bobby Massie - Ole Miss
55. Atlanta Falcons: DT Brandon Thompson- Clemson
56. Pittsburgh Steelers: OG Kelechi Osemele - Iowa State
57. Denver Broncos: RB David Wilson - Virginia Tech
58. Houston Texans: DT/DE Derek Wolfe - Cincinnati
59. Green Bay Packers: FS Markelle Martin - Oklahoma State
60. Baltimore Ravens: OLB Bruce Irvin - West Virginia
61. San Francisco 49ers: OG/OT Jeff Allen - Illinois
62. New England Patriots: CB Brandon Boykin - Georgia
63.). New York Giants: RB Chris Polk - Washington
64.) Indianapolis Colts: TE Dwayne Allen - Clemson
65.). St. Louis Rams: OL James Brown - Troy
66.). Minnesota Vikings: WR Alshon Jeffery - South Carolina
67.). Cleveland Browns: OL Mitchell Schwartz - California
68.). Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Josh Norman - Coastal Carolina
69.). Washington Redskins: WR Joe Adams - Arkansas
70.). Jacksonville Jaguars: CB Casey Hayward - Vanderbilt
71.). Buffalo Bills: OL Tony Bergstrom - Utah
72.). Miami Dolphins: WR A.J. Jenkins - Illinois
73.). Miami Dolphins: OG Brandon Washington - Miami
74.). Kansas City Chiefs: CB Dwight "Bill" Bentley - Louisiana Lafayette
75.). Seattle Seahawks: DT Mike Martin - Michigan
76.). Houston Texans: CB Jamell Fleming - Oklahoma
77.). New York Jets: S Antonio Allen - South Carolina
78.). San Diego Chargers: RB LaMichael James - Oregon
79.). Chicago Bears: WR Brian Quick - Appalachian State
80.). Arizona Cardinals: WR Juron Criner - Arizona
81.). Dallas Cowboys: OG Brandon Brooks - Miami (OH)
82.). Tennessee Titans: WR Ryan Broyles - Oklahoma
83.). CINCINNATI BENGALS: TE Orson Charles - Georgia
(OC Jay Gruden has admitted watching the Patriots and Saints offenses this offseason. Just as Aaron Hernandez perfectly compliments Rob Gronkowski, Gruden envisions Orson Charles doing the same for Jermaine Gresham. Charles is a strong in-line blocker, and can also provide a dynamic receiving threat downfield. Furthermore, Charles continues the trend of drafting Georgia Bulldogs).
84.). Atlanta Falcons: DE/DT Jared Crick - Nebraska
85.). Detroit Lions: LB Terrell Manning - North Carolina State
86.). Pittsburgh Steelers: RB Isaiah Pead - Cincinnati
87.). Denver Broncos: S George Iloka - Boise State
88.) Philadelphia Eagles: S Brandon Taylor - LSU
89.). New Orleans Saints: WR Marvin Jones - California
90.). Green Bay Packers: DE/DT Billy Winn - Boise State
91.). Baltimore Ravens: ILB James Michael-Johnson - Nevada
92.). San Francisco 49ers: DT/NG Josh Chapman - Alabama
93.). New England Patriots: OG Senio Kelemete - Washington
94.) New York Giants: DT Marcus Forston - Miami
95.) Oakland Raiders: TE Ladarius Green - Louisiana Lafayette
Remaining Bengals selections:
Round 4 (#116): CB Jayron Hosley - Virginia Tech (Positive drug test at Combine causes ball hawking corner to slide into the 4th round). Hosley will cover the slot receiver, and he brings added value as a fast and elusive punt and kick returner). Also, the Bengals can always draft a CB high in the 2013 Draft (recall that they will have 3 picks in the first two rounds next year too) with the likes of Johnthan Banks (Mississippi State), David Amerson (N.C. State), Xavier Rhodes (Florida State), Tyrann Matheiu (LSU), Desmond Trufant (Washington), and Broderick Brown (Oklahoma State), along with many other intriguing CB prospects.
Round 5 (# 156): WR Marvin McNutt - Iowa (Bengals hope to groom McNutt into a reliable #2. Will battle Armon Binns and Brandon Tate for team's #2 receiver).
Round 5 (#166): OLB Emmanuel Acho - Texas (Provides depth behind WiLl LB Thomas Howard who will be an UFA after the 2012 season. Acho will compete with Vincent Rey for Howard's primary backup. Acho can provide solid special teams play as well).
Round 5 (#167): DT/DE Akiem Hicks - Regina (Canada)
Versatile d-lineman who the Bengals hope will provide some depth behind the 3-man DT rotation of Arkins, Peko, and Sims. Hicks is an extremely athletic d-lineman with super long arms who can line up all along the line and provide pressure from all places.
Round 6 (#183): DE Ernest Owusu - California (Athletic Cal DE is somewhat of a new comer to the game of football. Will compete for roster spot, and may end up on the practice squad where he will be groomed to be Robert Geathers' replacement whose contract expires after the 2012 season. Owusu is still very raw, but the Bengals hope to strike it rich with a late-round d-lineman like they did with the recently departed Jon Fanene. Owusu also had a pre-draft visit to the Bengals).
So the 2012 Bengals Draft picks end up as follows:
1.). LB Luke Kuechly - Boston College
1a.). OL Cordy Glenn - Georgia
2.). RB Lamar Miller - Miami
3.). TE Orson Charles - Georgia
4.). CB Jayron Hosley - Virginia Tech
5.). WR Marvin McNutt - Iowa
5a.). OLB Emmanuel Acho - Texas
5b.). DT Akiem Hicks - Regina (Canada)
6.). DE Ernest Owusu - California
Thoughts/Comments/ Feedback/Criticisms. . .
However it ends up over the next 3 days, Who Dey!!!