Early 2012 Mock Draft
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To make life easy at this point I assumed the Dolphins finished with the worst record and therefore no need to project an Andrew Luck trade.
1. Miami: Andrew Luck QB Stanford…..Dolphins fans have waited a long time for their next Marino well they get it and potentially more in Luck. It will be an entire new regime but if I were a betting man I’d say Andrew Luck, Head Coach-Bill Cowher and GM Carl Peterson sounds about right.
2. St. Louis: Alshon Jeffery WR South Carolina….This team is desperate for a top tier WR talent and at this point it appears Alshon is the best of a deep bunch.
3. Indianapolis: Landry Jones QB Oklahoma…..You don’t want to draft this high but if you do you want to make sure you land a player who will make sure you don’t return anytime soon so the Colts grab Landry Jones as Peyton’s heir apparent. Landry is a smart player who could sit for two years and learn from the best in the business or if Peyton doesn’t comeback from neck surgery, take over and become the new face of the Colts.
4. Minnesota: Quinton Coples DE North Carolina……With the Ponder regime poised to start for a full season in 2012 so now they need to upgrade the defense and getting the best defensive player on the board is a good start.
5. Jacksonville: Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State……Give Gabbert a number one target and hopefully help put a few more people in the seats and help the leagues worse offense.
6. Carolina: Zach Brown OLB North Carolina….Cam can lead the offense but they need to upgrade the defense and grabbing in-state star Zach Brown is a nice addition. Hopefully he can stay healthier than past linebackers in Carolina.
7. Denver: Matt Barkley QB USC …..After the Tebow experiment is done this year John Elway will look to his former college conference for the QB to take over the Broncos.
8. Arizona: Matt Kalil OT USC…..Protection for your QB is vital and the Cards can always get better on the offensive line.
9. Philadelphia: Jonathan Martin OT Stanford…..Eagles offensive line is horrible and need a premier tackle if they want Mike Vick to make it for a full season and lead them to the promise land.
10. Seattle: Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama…Kirkpatrick is a freak talent who can match up with the biggest #1 wide receiver out there and a talent like that is rare and he is an immediate starter. With Trufant injured Kirkpatrick will immediately become the leader of the secondary.
11. NY Jets: Trent Richardson RB Alabama….LT time is coming to the end and Shone Greene isn’t a #1 RB. If the Jets hope to create a real offense they need a running game. Richardson is a special talent with an almost off the chart combo of speed and power. Could contend for a top 5 pick.
12. Kansas City: Luke Kuechly ILB Boston College….KC would love a future franchise QB but the top tier are gone and the others don’t warrant a top 12 pick so instead they get a tackling machine in Kuechly.
13. Dallas: Morris Claiborne CB LSU….Newman is likely playing his last season as his salary and production don’t match. To have Rob Ryan’s scheme work he needs corners that aren’t afraid to get physical and can cover on an island. Claiborne starts day one.
14. Cleveland: Nick Toon WR Wisconsin …..Greg Little is a nice receiver but Nick Toon is a potential #1 receiver who has the resume and family tree to become a special player.
15. Houston: Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame…They need to get Andre Johnson some help and Floyd would be a steal at this point.
16. Chicago: Riley Reiff OT Iowa…Cutler needs protection or he may not make it through a full season.
17. Cleveland (from Atlanta): Jared Crick DE Nebraska…Crick is recovering from a torn peck but come draft time and next camp will make him too tempting for Cleveland not to add to lead their defensive line.
18. Washington: Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M…When your answer is Grossman and Beck you need to spend a top pick on a QB and Tannehill has the arm and legs to really develop in the Shanahan scheme.
19. Tennessee: Alfonzo Dennard CB Nebraska..Finnegan is still a good player but getting older. Dennard is a good player who was banged up this year so he’ll likely slide right to the Titans.
20. Tampa Bay: Courtney Upshaw OLB Alabama…Keep stockpiling that talent. Upshaw would be a great fit.
21. Pittsburgh: Andrew Datko OT Florida State….Steelers need offensive line help and Datko is a big body to protect Ben.
22. Oakland: Brandon Thompson DT Clemson…..Big wide body who will help upgrade the Raiders new look defense. No more handcuffs on this defense.
23. NY Giants: Brandon Jenkins OLB Florida State….Giants need upgrade in their linebacking core and Jenkins is a nice fit for this team.
24. New England (from New Orleans): Dont’a Hightower ILB Alabama….Patriots need help on defense so Coach Belichick goes back to his old friend Nick Saban and grabs a guy who will fit their system perfectly.
25. Cincinnati: Donte Paige-Moss DE North Carolina….Bengals always need help when it comes to rushing the passer. Paige-Moss is a great edge rusher who should start week one.
26. Buffalo: David DeCastro OG Stanford…Buffalo has made nice strides but their offensive line still needs upgrade. Normally guards go in round two but DeCastro is a safe solid pick who Chan can pencil in as a starter for many years.
27. San Diego: Josh Chapman DT Alabama…Chapman is big and strong body that fits the Chargers defense perfectly.
28. Detroit: Cordy Glenn OG Georgia….Stafford’s health is always top concern and Glenn will help greatly with that and helping establish the run.
29. Baltimore: Vontaze Burfict ILB Arizona State…..Ravens need to prepare and groom for Ray’s eventual replacement and no player matches his intensity coming out like Burfict.
30. San Francisco: Chase Minnifield CB Virginia…Son of a former NFL player who should push to start as the 49’ers secondary is in a state of transition.
31. New England: Jerel Worthy DT Michigan State…..Nice big body who can be groomed to eventually be a leader on the defensive line.
32. Green Bay: Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama….Jenkins was run out of Florida and has made some poor off-field decision but could be a steal for the Packers at this point especially as Charles Woodson starts showing his age.
Again this will all change week by week but as a snapshot of what the NFL looks like now and as they say if the season ended today this is how the order would look. Shoot me an email or post your thoughts.