FFS – 2012 Mock Draft II

With the first round of the draft tonight, here is my final mock draft. I will, again, be providing my pick which is based on the players that I have available and I will provide a “surprise” pick which provides an alternative option considering the multiple directions a draft can take. This process is provoking painful reminders of NCAA March Madness bracket selections.

1. Indianapolis Colts

My Pick – QB Andrew Luck – Stanford

– The Colts have already come out and said that they are picking Luck, as they should.

Surprise Pick – None

– See Above

2. Washington Redskins (trade with St. Louis)

My Pick – QB Robert Griffin III – Baylor

– Washington traded a lot to get to this pick and to select RGIII. He is very talented and has the tools to dynamic in the pros.

Surprise Pick – None

– Indy is picking Luck. Washington is picking Griffin.

3. Minnesota Vikings

My Pick – LT Matt Kalil – USC

– There are rumors that Minnesota is willing to trade this pick or keep the pick and pick CB Morris Claiborne. I personally think they go with Kalil. There aren’t many teams that take the consensus top LT and then regret the pick later. Plus QB Christian Ponder needs to stay healthy and that starts with LT.

Surprise Pick –  CB Morris Claiborne – LSU

– Minnesota plays in a division with Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler. Claiborne would, in theory, help limit the offensive fireworks during the 6 games that Minnesota sees one of these QBs.

4. Cleveland Browns

My Pick – RB Trent Richardson – Alabama

– The Browns offense is anemic and Richardson is very, very talented. This pick makes sense.

Surprise Pick – WR Justin Blackmon – Oklahoma State

– How many times have we heard about how Cleveland lacks the receiving talent to help out their quarterback. Blackmon would help.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

My Pick – CB Morris Claiborne – LSU

– Claiborne is very talented and could immediately impact games from the CB position. Tampa Bay needs help there too.

Surprise Pick – RB Trent Richardson – Alabama

– Head Coach, Greg Schiano, likes to run the ball and Richardson is talented enough to contribute. This pick really depends on what Minnesota decided to do at #3. Kalil may also become an option if Richardson doesn’t make it past Cleveland (and Minnesota takes Claiborne).

6. St. Louis Rams (trade with Washington)

My Pick – WR Justin Blackmon – Oklahoma State

– Many experts don’t consider Blackmon elite (because he isn’t really), but he is still better then the receivers on the Rams roster and he would instantly help QB Sam Bradford.

Surprise Pick – DT Fletcher Cox – Mississippi State

– St. Louis sits at pick 6 in a draft where there are, for sure, 6 elite prospects. St. Louis also has a lot of positions of need. If Blackmon is gone, this becomes a best player available pick and Fletcher Cox is flying up draft boards.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

My Pick – DE Melvin Ingram – South CarolinaSouth-Carolina-Gamecocks_50

– I think I am going to stick with the pass rusher pick here. Coples is still a possibility because he fits the mold of other first round DE picks by Jacksonville, but Ingram is probably a safer pick.

Surprise Pick – CB Stephon Gilmore – South Carolina  
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– Gilmore makes sense. The secondary could use the very talented CB from South Carolina as CB Rashean Mathis is getting older and coming off of an ACL injury.

8. Miami Dolphins

My Pick – QB Ryan Tannehill – Texas A&M

– This might be a little early for Tannehill, but he has the raw ability to make this a great pick when looking back a couple years from now. Plus, I think Miami is sick of missing out on quarterbacks.

Surprise Pick – WR Michael Floyd – Notre Dame

– I think Miami goes with Tannehill here because they feel like they have no choice but to address the QB position. Floyd is a player that could help the Dolphins, but probably won’t be the selection come tonight.

9. Carolina Panthers

My Pick – DT Fletcher Cox – Mississippi State

– Cox has been rising up draft boards and Carolina needs defensive help.

Surprise Pick – ILB Luke Kuechly – Boston College

– This pick, unless something completely unexpected happens early in the draft, will be defensive so that means Kuechly wouldn’t be a surprise, CB Gilmore is an option as is S Mark Barron who could be drafted anywhere to any team… seriously.

10. Buffalo Bills

My Pick – WR Michael Floyd – Notre Dame

– Floyd would give the Buffalo offense another weapon which is always valuable.

Surprise Pick – ILB Luke Kuechly – Boston College

– Kuechly is one of the top talents in this entire draft and with the signing of DEs Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, Buffalo has obviously been looking to improve their defense.

11. Kansas City Chiefs

My Pick – ILB Luke Kuechly – Boston College

– Kuechly is a great pick here and he is a “safe” prospect who should make an impact on a defense that struggled last year.

Surprise Pick – SS Mark Barron – Alabama

– GM Scott Pioli likes Barron. I didn’t put Barron here though because picking 1st round safeties in back to back drafts doesn’t make sense to me when you have many other holes. I will admit that it would give you a heck of a secondary though.

12. Seattle Seahawks

My Pick – DE Quinton Coples – North Carolina

– Coples is talented but is dropping because he wasn’t as dominent as was expected on game tape during this past football season at North Carolina.

Surprise Pick – DE Melvin Ingram – South Carolina
South-Carolina-Gamecocks_50

– Ingram is a pure athlete who can play LB or DE. He is fully capable of playing an outside rush linebacker in Seattle’s 3-4 defense and should be able to contribute early.

13. Arizona Cardinals

My Pick – OT Riley Reiff – Iowa

– Arizona needs to look to improve their offense, but more specifically, improve their offensive line. Reiff is a solid player that can protect QB Kevin Kolb.

Surprise Pick – OG David DeCastro – Stanford

– The offensive line and wide receiver are needs, but with Floyd possibly being off the board, Arizona will also be looking at OL and DeCastro is a solid guard prospect who Arizona may pursue.

14. Dallas Cowboys

My Pick – SS Mark Barron – Alabama

– After watching the Cowboys last season I would strongly urge Owner/GM Jerry Jones to draft secondary here. With the addition of CB Brandon Carr in free agency I think safety becomes a priority here especially considering the lack of depth at safety in this draft class.

Surprise Pick – CB Stephon Gilmore – South Carolina 
South-Carolina-Gamecocks_50

– The Cowboys need secondary help and Gilmore has the skill to fill in as a starter and help Dallas immensely.

15. Philadelphia Eagles

My Pick – DT Michael Brockers – LSU

– DT is certainly an option here and with Cox flying up draft boards, he may end up being the choice, but another option could be OLB Courtney Upshaw from Alabama or SS Mark Barron if he is available.

Surprise Pick – CB Stephon Gilmore – South Carolina 
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– Gilmore is an option for a defense that will need a CB for the future.

16. New York Jets

My Pick – OLB Courtney Upshaw – Alabama

– Given the other picks that have taken place to this point, Upshaw would be the likely selection here.

Surprise Pick – WR Michael Floyd – Notre Dame

– I personally think that the Jets want Floyd or a pass rusher. I think they take Floyd if it comes down to him or Upshaw

17. Cincinnati Bengals

My Pick – CB Dre Kirkpatrick – Alabama 

– I think Cincinnati goes CB here because of how the teams between Cincinnati’s 17th pick and 21st pick are also possibly taking a CB and Kirkpatrick is the best on the board.

Surprise Pick – DE Quinton Coples – North Carolina

– I think that Cincinnati wants to improve their pass rush and Coples, if coached properly, could satisfy that need. This also depends on Coples dropping which is very possible.

18. San Diego Chargers

My Pick – OL Cordy Glenn – Georgia

– I think Glenn gets taken here because he can play guard or tackle and is massive. He would be a great addition to a Chargers O-line that could use more bodies.

Surprise Pick – DE Whitney Mercilus – Illinois

– Mercilus makes sense for the Chargers, but I think that OL is a bigger need.

19. Chicago Bears

My Pick – DE Whitney Mercilus – Illinois

– Mercilus and Julius Peppers would make a formidable pass rushing tandem.

Surprise Pick – OG David DeCastro – Stanford

– This is more if he is here. Chicago could always use a little more help on the line and DeCastro would certainly help. Chicago may also go after a CB if any of the top 3 are available.

20. Tennessee Titans

My Pick – WR Stephen Hill – Georgia Tech

– Hill would be an interesting pick because his physical ability is such that warrants a 1st round pick, but the fact that he played in a run-happy Georgia Tech offense makes him “raw”.

Surprise Pick – DE Chandler Jones – Syracuse

– Jones is a pass rusher who has suddenly flown up draft boards. The Titans are always looking for pass rushers and Jones fits what they are looking for.

21. Cincinnati Bengals

My Pick – OG David DeCastro – Stanford

– When does the value of DeCastro just become too much? I think the Bengals want to use one of their 2 picks on value and that means waiting for the top G to drop to them with their 2nd pick in the 1st round.

Surprise Pick – OLB Courtney Upshaw – Alabama

– If Upshaw drops, I think this is where he is taken. Cincinnati has got to love his versatility as an end or a linebacker.

22. Cleveland Browns

My Pick – WR Kendall Wright – Baylor

– Wright is a great player to go along with #4 pick, Trent Richardson, in an offense that needs playmakers. Look for Brandon Weeden to be selected at the start of the 2nd by Cleveland.

Surprise Pick – QB Brandon Weeden – Oklahoma State

– If Cleveland thinks that Weeden could be taken between here and pick 5 of the 2nd round, they may take their guy here.

23. Detroit Lions

My Pick – OT Jonathan Martin – Stanford

– The Lions need to protect franchise QB Matthew Stafford who demonstrated that he is the real deal if he is healthy the entire season.

Surprise Pick – DE Nick Perry – USC

– Perry is a solid DE prospect that could fill the void that will be left by aging DE Kyle Vanden Bosch and prevent any letdown on that talented defensive front.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

My Pick – ILB Dont’a Hightower – Alabama

– The Steelers defense is getting older and after the release of ILB James Farrior this offseason, Hightower would be the perfect replacement. Hightower has the physical tools and the experience in Alabama’s pro-style defense to be a difference maker.

Surprise Pick – OT Mike Adams – Ohio State

– For the last couple years, the Steelers offensive line has come under fire for not being able to keep defenders off of QB Ben Roethlisberger. Adams could be here and would be a nice addition if he is.

25. Denver Broncos

My Pick – DT Devon Still – Penn State

– The Broncos need some help upfront defensively and Still would certainly help. I realize I still have Dontari Poe on the board, but Poe is more for a 3-4 defense whereas Still can work into the 4-3 a little more fluently.

Surprise Pick – DT Jerel Worthy – Michigan State

– It’s another big man. Worthy and Still are both players that are being mentioned with Denver. Both would help the Broncos defense improve in the trenches.

26. Houston Texans

My Pick – DT Dontari Poe – Memphis

– Houston is drafting for playmakers and Poe could be a great player with some coaching.

Surprise Pick – WR Kendall Wright – Baylor

– Wright would be a fantastic pickup for Houston and may very well end up a Texan come draft day to pair with WR Andre Johnson.

27. New England Patriots

My Pick – DE Chandler Jones – Syracuse

– New England wants to upgrade it’s DL and Jones would certainly provide that upgrade.

Surprise Pick – DT Dontari Poe – Memphis 

– Poe would be a surprise (if he is available here), but DT’s have been mentioned with New England because they need to rebuild their defensive line. A DT wouldn’t be out of the question, but DE and CB are more important, in my opinion.

28. Green Bay Packers

My Pick – DE Andre Branch – Clemson

– The feeling is that Green Bay is looking for another pass rusher. Branch can be that player as he appears capable of learning to play the OLB position in a 3-4 defense.

Surprise Pick – DE Shea McClellin – Boise State

– I have seen McClellin mocked here and if he actually is taken by Green Bay in the first round I will be surprised. He is another pass rusher who is a late riser on draft boards and could be taken here. I just think there are better options available.

29. Baltimore Ravens

My Pick – C Peter Konz – Wisconsin

– Baltimore’s starting center is 35 years old and the backup last year was only a couple years younger. Konz would be a great investment for the future.

Surprise Pick – FS Harrison Smith – Notre Dame

– Safety is a need as FS Ed Reed continues to get older. It would be surprising to me if Smith went this high though and I think Baltimore would rather spend this pick on postion that needs depth now. Reed is still playing at a high level even in his older age.

30. San Francisco 49ers

My Pick – DT Jerel Worthy – Michigan State

– Worthy would a welcomed addition to an already dominant DL and defense.

Surprise Pick – DT Kendall Reyes – Connecticut

– Reyes is a player that has been mentioned at this pick as a DE in the 3-4 defense San Francisco runs. It is certainly a possibility as Reyes moves up boards.

31. New England Patriots

My Pick – CB Janoris Jenkins – North Alabama

– It’s very unlikely that New England will actually use both of their two 1st-round picks, but if they do, Jenkins makes some sense here. Yes he is a bit of a headache, but if there is any team that can sort that out and utilize his top-tier talent, it’s the team that made Chad Ochocinco shut up.

Surprise Pick – RB Doug Martin – Boise State 

– Many would argue that it is early for a RB and I would agree, but former starting RB, Benjarvus Green-Ellis, signed with the Bengals this offseason possibly leaving the door open for a Belichick running back selection. They will probably trade out of this spot.

 32. New York Giants

My Pick – Coby Fleener – Stanford

– The Super Bowl Champions proved that they had a solid receiving core, but they still lack a game changing TE. Fleener may not be a superstar from day 1, but he has the receiving tools to contribute early on and develop the blocking skills he needs to be an every down TE.

Surprise Pick – RB Doug Martin – Boise State 

– It might be a little early for a RB, but if Martin is high enough on the Giants draft board they may snag him. One of the advantages to winning the Super Bowl is that you normally have more freedom with your draft strategies.

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