Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft

Final NFL Mock Draft
By: Brian Sanchez

1. Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck, QB Stanford
A source told ESPN that the Colts have made Luck aware that they will select him first overall.  In my eyes he is the perfect man to draft to fill in for Peyton Manning and the Colts should consider themselves lucky (pun intended).  End of discussion.

2. Washington Redskins- Robert Griffin III, QB Baylor
So far I think my draft is correct.  Woo Hoo!  You don't trade all of the picks the Redskins traded to take an O-linemen or CB.  They see a franchise QB in RGIII so they went and got him.  He will have some talent to work with in Washington as he and Luck will be forever linked because of going No. 1 and 2.

3. Minnesota Vikings- Matt Kalil, OT USC
The Vikings have said that they are not sold on Kalil.  Smokescreen?  I think so.  They need a lot of things but if a potential franchise LT is there and you need one, you have to pull the trigger.  Claiborne might be in play here, but Kalil looks phenomenal and his upside may be too much to pass up.

4. Cleveland Browns- Trent Richardson, RB Alabama
He is a flat out stud.  He can run between the tackles, bust a run outside with speed, catch the ball, block, he is the real deal.  I think he will quickly enter the Maurice Jones-Drew/Ray Rice class of do everything RB.  The Browns lost Hillis, and while they could use Blackmon (who I think is overrated) a running game could help McCoy as much as a WR can.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Morris Claiborne, CB LSU
The Bucs CB situation is not good.  Aqib Talib has had trouble with the law and they are currently trying to trade him.  Their other CB is the 39 year old Ronde Barber who the team is thinking about moving to Safety.  It's safe to say the Bucs need a CB.  Claiborne is a tall, athletic, fast cover corner who will be a day 1 starter for the Buccaneers.

6. St. Louis Rams- Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma St.
The Rams traded down to six and that all but made their draft decision for them.  They will take whoever is open between Blackmon, Richardson, and Claiborne.  They need a lot, and while I do not think that Blackmon is the Franchise WR the Rams need, I do think he'll be their No. 1 and be productive.  Bradford will finally get some help.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars- Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame
First I would like to say that Floyd has a very good chance of being better than Blackmon.  But this pick is a gut call for me.  I have read that Jags GM Gene Smith likes Notre Dame guys (Floyd) and playmakers (Floyd).  Also, the Jags had a pathetic WR crew and I think Floyd will immediately become the teams No. 1.

8. Miami Dolphins- Ryan Tannehill, QB Texas A&M
This is a pretty much agreed upon pick by almost everyone trying to predict this draft.  That, of course, does not mean he will go there.  But, the Dolphins are desperate for a franchise QB.  Tannehill has a lot of upside but being a converted WR he does not have a lot of experience.  While I think he has the talent of a second rounder he is elevated due to his position.  The Dolphins have Moore and Garrard so Tannehill won't have to play right away which will be good for his development. 

9. Carolina Panthers- Fletcher Cox, DT Mississippi St.
The Panthers could certainly make a run in to the Playoffs this year behind Super Cam.  But he will need help from his defense.  The biggest problem for Carolina was their front 7.  They especially need help on the defensive line.  Cox is a disruptive playmaker on the inside which is rare.  He can stop the run and get to the QB.  He can open a lot of doors for the Carolina defense.

10. Buffalo Bills- Stephen Gilmore, CB South Carolina
The Bills have had a phenomenal off season.  They netted big fish DE Mario Williams and will get DT Kyle Williams back healthy.  When you have to dethrone the Patriots to get in to the playoofs you need to always be improving your defense.  The Bills do so here with Gilmore.  A big athletic cover corner who will make an immediate impact on this team.  

11. Kansas City Chiefs- David DeCastro, G Stanford 
I previously had the Chiefs going with Dontari Poe here, but his production was so low it very well could scare the Chiefs when drafting this high.  While Kuechly might be in play here I think the Chiefs take DeCastro and solidify the line.  This is high for a guard but 5th overall was high for a safety and Eric Berry is a gem.  They don't care about value, they care about production.

12. Seattle Seahawks- Luke Kuechly, MLB Boston College
The Seahawks lost their starting MLB David hawthorne to the New Orleans Saints.  They have a hole there and there is a perfect guy to fill it left on the board.  Kuechly is a smart, instinctive, athletic MLB who can take the MLB role in Seattle and keep it for a long time solidifying the middle of the field.

13. Arizona Cardinals- Riley Rieff, T Iowa
The Cardinals need to better protect whoever will be taking the snaps between Kolb and Skelton.  Start by taking a solid T in Rieff.  He is not the most exciting pick but it is one that they need to make.  Someone needs to protect the QB if the Cardinals want a serious chance at beating the 49ers.

14. Dallas Cowboys- Mark Barron, S Alabama
The Cowboys could cap off a successful off season by making this pick.  They signed CB Brandon Carr to help their terrible secondary and that was solid.  Now, they get a top flight safety.  Barron can cover slot WR and TE as well as help stop the run.  Barron will make an immediate impact on this team.

15. Philadelphia Eagles- Michael Brockers, DT LSU
The Eagles need help getting more physical in the trenches.  They would especially like a DT who can stuff the run and disrupt plays.  They get a nice piece here in Brockers.  He started as high as No. 9 overall then fell to the Patriots at 27 after a horrible combine.  I think he will even out and fit in nicely in the middle of the draft.  

16. New York Jets- Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB South Carolina
I admit it, this guy could easily go earlier, even in the top 10.  I have him here and Rex Ryan is going to love it.  Ingram can play at OLB or DE giving the Jets the versatility the need.  The have to send too many men on blitzes too often leaving people open down the field.  Ingram will be a great first step in returning this Jets defense to dominance.

17. Cincinnati Bengals- Cordy Glenn, OL Georgia
The Bengals are a scary team.  They are young and only getting better.  They could use some help along the O-line and Glenn represents an upgrade.  He is huge and athletic so he can play inside or outside.  When you have to play the Steelers and Ravens, you need to be able to block and be physical, ergo Glenn.

18. San Diego Chargers- Chandler Jones, DE/OLB Syracuse
The Chargers pass rush is pathetic.  They need it to improve and do so here with Jones.  Jones is a DE that is so athletic he can play the 3-4 OLB for the Chargers and add some pressure on opposing QB's.  Chandler Jones is built to be in the mold of Aldon Smith from last year.  Scary.

19. Chicago Bears- Quinton Coples, DE North Carolina
The biggest faller in my Mock finally finds a home.  Coples has the build of the prototypical DE but has had his motor questioned.  I think Chicago is the perfect home for Coples.  The Bears may want a WR but Coples offers too much value here.  He would be across from Peppers so they would not have a dire need for him to perform right away and Peppers isn't getting any younger so Coples may develop into the heir apparent.  When you play the Packers and Lions, having a feared pass rush can certainly help.

20.  Tennessee Titans- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB Alabama
The Titans lost CB Cortland Finnegan in Free Agency and need to fill the hole.  They would love to see Stephen Gilmore fall to here but I don't see that happening.  Kirkpatrick is a big physical corner who will be a good start in filling the shoes left by Finnegan.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB Alabama
The Bengals went OL with the first pick and now they will switch to the other side of the ball.  Upshaw is a pass rush monster and will make an immediate impact on the team.  It is also rumored that HC Marvin Lewis loves Upshaw which doesn't hurt.

22. Cleveland Browns- Jonathan Martin, OT Stanford
Yes, the Browns could use a WR.  They already passed on Blackmon and I don't think Hill or Wright are good fits for Cleveland based on the arm strength of Colt McCoy.  The Browns need to both keep McCoy upright and open holes for new RB Trent Richardson.  The have All-Pro LT Joe Thomas and now they can add a solid tackle across from him in Martin.  This is especially important when 6 of your 16 games are against the Steeler, Ravens, and Bengals.

23. Detroit Lions- Janorice Jenkins, CB North Alabama 
The Lions really need help at CB.  Jenkins may not be the straightest arrow around but he is very talented.  He is fast and shifty and a good man to man coverage CB.  The need for a CB outweighs the potential problem that Janorice Jenkins could be.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers- Dont'a Hightower, MLB Alabama
It's rare that this late in the draft you can pick up the perfect player for your team.  This is the case here for the Steelers.  Pitt had to cut long time MLB James Farrior leaving a hole next to stud MLB Lawrence Timmons.  Hightower can step in and fill the hole from day 1.  

25. Denver Broncos- Dontari Poe, DT Memphis
The Broncos need help in the middle of their defense.  In previous drafts I had Poe going much earlier but since he is here now I think Denver needs to take him.  They need a D-line that can be more physical up front.  Poe has a lot of upside but little production in college which is why he is still here.

26. Houston Texans- Stephen Hill, WR Georgia Tech.
The Texans have a slight need at WR despite having Andre Johnson.  When Johnson went down last year it was apparent that there were no other options on the team.  Hill is raw and not neccesarily ready to be a star yet.  But what he has is great size and blazing speed.  As the No. 2 across from Andre Johnson, and with the running attack of Arian Foster and QB Matt Schaub coming back this Texans team can make a case for being one of the best offenses in the NFL.

27. New England Patriots- DE/OLB Whitney Mercilus
It is always hard to project these picks since the Pats have an affinity for trading their picks.  But here they get a guy in Mercilus who can just flat out get to the QB.  The Pats need help on the D-line and they need to be able to rush opposing QB's more often.  Mercilus could easily be gone by now, but since he isn't I think the Pats will scoop him up.

28. Green Bay Packers- Shea Mcclellin, OLB Boise St.
The Packers need help getting to the QB and the need it bad.  Mcclellin is the kind of high motor, blue collar player that the Packers love.  He is such a tireless worker that he just wares down opposing linemen.  Putting him across form Clay Matthews could restore the pass rush for the Packers.

29. Baltimore Ravens- Kendall Wright, WR Baylor
The Ravens need to be able to put up more points to help out that defense.  They have Boldin and Torrey Smith came in nicely last year.  They can take advantage of Flacco's arm strength and take another speedy WR.  Wright in the slot for this team can make them an offense that won't stall out and let the defense down.

30. San Francisco 49ers- Coby Fleener, TE Stanford
I am making this pick with my heart as much as I am with my gut and my head.  But this is not just me picking my guy for my team.  It makes a lot of sense.  First of all, Harbaugh likes Coby as much as I do.  Harbaugh was not happy about missing out on Owen Marecic last year.  I think he earned the right to tell the 49ers this is his guy and have them take him.  As far as how it would work on the field;  I think it would be dynamic.  He is a very fast, long, athletic TE who across from Vernon Davis could be very scary.  Like Davis Fleener can split out wide and play WR.  He also gives Alex Smith another target underneath which suits his game.  It is also another Red Zone weapon which can free up Crabtree and Davis.  What about Delanie Walker you say?  He is good, but he is also a FA in 2013.  He would likely make money as a starter somewhere else so the 49ers would lose him.  He would then be expendable because of the dynamic duo of Davis and Fleener.  I would also keep an eye out for RG Kevin Zeitler from Wisconsin.  He is a big boy and can block with the best of them.  If SF thinks he can be a long time starter on the O-line, they might just grab him.  But I think the 49ers are comfortable with their in house options at RG and the need for one is over stated.  My sleeper pick is Doug Martin the RB from Boise St.  He can be a back up and take over when Gore is gone.

31. New England Patriots- Harrison Smith, S Notre Dame
The Patriots need to take a playmaker in pass defense and Smith seems to fit the mold.  They have holes all over the defense but especially in the secondary.  Smith is a smart, instinctive player who just, for all intensive purposes, looks like a Patriot. 

32. New York Giants- Doug Martin, RB Boise St.  
This is not that great of a value pick, but it is one I feel the Giants need to make.   They only have Ahmad Bradshaw left at RB and they are going to need someone else.  Martin is a strong between the tackles runner who can also block and catch the ball.  He is a perfect back up for the Giants and while he may be a early second round value, if they want him they need to take him now.  

2nd Round:
33. Rams- Jerel Worthy, DT Michigan St.
34. Colts- Rueben Randle, WR LSU
35. Vikings- Josh Robinson, CB Central Florida
36. Buccaneers- Devon Still, DT Penn St.
37. Browns- Brandon Weeden, QB Oklahoma St. 
38. Jaguars- Nick Perry, OLB USC
39. Rams- David Wilson, RB Virginia Tech
40. Panthers- Lavonte David, LB Nebraska
41. Bills- Alshon Jeffrey, WR South Carolina
42. Miami- Andre Branch, DE Clemson
43. Seahawks- Amini Silatolu, G Midwestern
44. Chiefs- Mike Adams, OT Ohio St.
45. Cowboys- Kevin Zeitler, G Wisconsin
46. Eagles- Kendall Reyes, DT/DE UConn
47. Jets- Brandon Taylor, S LSU
48. Patriots- Peter Konz, C Wisconsin
49. Chargers- Alonzo Denard, CB Nebraska
50. Bears- Mohamed Sanu, WR Rutgers
51. Eagles- Mychal Kendricks, MLB Cal
52. Titans- Derek Wolfe, DT Cincinnati
53. Bengals- Lamar Miller, RB Miller
54. Lions- Zach Brown, OLB North Carolina
55. Falcons- Bobby Massie, T Mississippi
56. Steelers- Kelechi Osemele, G Iowa St.
57. Broncos- Vinny Curry, DE Marshall
58. Texans- Trumaine Johnson, CB Montana
59. Packers- Jared Crick, DE Nebraska
60. Ravens- Ronnell Lewis, OLB Oklahoma
61. 49ers- Brandon Boykin, CB Georgia
62. Patriots- Jayron Hosley, CB Virginia Tech
63. Giants- Brian Quick, WR Appalachain St.


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