2012 NFL Draft Picks 1-16
1. Cincinnati Bengals- QB Andrew Luck, Stanford-
It looks to be a long year in Cincinnati, and the only saving grace is they will get to draft Andrew Luck (assuming he doesn’t decide to go back for his 5th year just to avoid them). Even with drafting Dalton in round 2 this past year, this is a no brainer pick, one that even the Bengals can’t screw up (I’m assuming if they mess this up the city of Cincinnati revolts). Hopefully the Bengals can get their act together and build a quality team around Luck, and treat him better than their last Franchise QB.
2. San Francisco 49ers- CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama-
It could be a rough year in San Fran, if Alex Smith doesn’t prove to be adequate. While they could look at a big name QB (and will if they have the top spot), or an offensive lineman, their biggest need could be at corner back. Kirkpatrick is an exceptional playmaker and looks to be a surefire top 5 pick. He could step in from day one and be a shutdown guy.
3. Denver Broncos- WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina-
Brandon Lloyd is an impending free agent, and he might not look to stick around with the Broncos in the midst of a rebuilding effort. While Denver has some other interesting young receivers, they could use a weapon like Jeffery for Tebow to grow with (hopefully). Jeffery is arguably the best receiver to come out since Calvin Johnson, and should be a major weapon for the Broncos.
4. Carolina Panthers- WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma St.-
The Panthers will find out this season if they have the weapons in place to run their offense, but I’m guessing that they will come up just short. Given the amount of money they spent this offseason, I don’t see them being able to afford a top flight WR next year. Blackmon will give Newton a big play weapon and eliminate that excuse going forward.
5. Seattle Seahawks- QB Matt Barkley, USC-
Pete Carroll wasn’t able to trade for his first QB at USC, Carson Palmer, this offseason, but that should allow him to draft his last, Matt Barkley. Carroll only had one year with Barkley, but he did recruit him so he knows his strengths and weaknesses. Barkley gives Seattle their QB of the future and if he develops a very bright future. I think he is more of a risk than some, but if anyone can get him to succeed it should be Carroll.
6. Miami Dolphins- QB Landry Jones, Oklahoma-
Miami missed out on Kyle Orton, but they should be able to add their quarterback at the top of this draft class. Jones is my 2nd favorite QB in this class, and I think a future franchise QB. He’s got great size, accuracy and arm strength and appears pretty ready for just a guy going into his Junior year.
7. Tennessee Titans- DE Quinton Coples, UNC-
The Titans could use a pass rusher, and Coples is an absolute steal at this spot. He is probably the 2nd best player in this class, but given team’s needs or their preference for QB’s and WR’s he could fall. He’d be a huge addition for the Titans and could team up with Morgan to give them a great pass rush.
8. Washington Redskins- OT Matt Kalil, USC-
I know some people will say ‘what about a quarterback’, well the top ones are all gone, and no one else is worth a pick nearly this high. Other’s might question adding another offensive tackle, but it makes more sense than reaching for an WR or ILB. Kalil is the real deal and would give the Redskins a stud bookend tackle to go along with Trent Williams. The question would be what to do with Jamaal Brown, but he shouldn’t really factor into the equation. He’ll be 31 next year, and if the Skins are picking this high, it will likely mean that he has struggled once again. The Redskins could either just cut Brown and eat his contract, or they could keep him as an expensive backup. At this point in the draft Kalil is the best option for Washington, and would allow them to take a QB in round two. Given this draft board it is also probable that the team would look to trade back to add some picks and maybe take a QB later where it isn’t nearly the reach.
9. Minnesota Vikings- OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford-
This could be a rough year for the Vikings, but the good news is it should put them in prime position to draft a LT to protect their QB of the future in Ponder. Martin is an absolute stud LT and a great option here for Minnesota. Adding him will make Adrian Peterson‘s job (assuming he resigns) a whole lot easier and that is exactly what the Vikings need.
10. Buffalo Bills- OT Reily Reiff, Iowa-
Given the law of averages the Bills have to take an offensive lineman sometime right? I really like what the Bills are building, but not having a competent offensive line is going to be their downfall. Reiff is a day one LT, and would be a huge get for the Bills.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars- CB Alonzo Dennard, Nebraska-
Jacksonville could go in a couple directions, but I think adding a top flight corner makes by far the most sense. Dennard has big time potential and could end up being a true shutdown guy. He is exactly what Jacksonville needs considering they play the Colts and Texans four times a year.
12. Cleveland Browns- OLB Zach Brown, UNC-
It is odd to draft a non-pass rushing OLB in the top 15, but not unprecedented. Brown is a guy who deserves to be drafted this high, and the Browns are a team with zero talent in their linebacking corps. This seems like a great fit and can help make the Browns defense become a force in the AFC North.
13. Dallas Cowboys- OLB Donte Paige-Moss, UNC-
The Anthony Spencer experiment hasn’t worked out too well, and the Cowboys could use a top notch bookend to Ware. Paige-Moss could be that guy as he has excellent pass rushing skills, and is just scratching the surface of his talent.
14. St. Louis Rams- WR Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M-
Now is the time to give Sam Bradford a weapon and Fuller is the best receiver on the board. He’s a big tall wideout, who is pretty advanced for a receiver. I think he makes a big time impact from day one.
15. Chicago Bears- OG Cordy Glenn, Georgia-
I think the Bears line (and potentially Cutler’s attitude) are going to be Chicago’s downfall this year. They need to add a guy who can be a stud. While tackle is an option, the Bears could be content to go with what they have. And adding a guard is never a bad option when you play Suh/Fairley, Raji, and K. Williams a total of 6 times a year.
16. Oakland Raiders- CB Morris Claiborne, LSU-
The Raiders could go a number of different areas, but right now their biggest question mark is CB. Given their penchant for loving big time athletes and top notch corner’s Claiborne makes sense for them.