2012 NFL Draft Picks 17-32

Mock Drafts NFL Draft

Picks 1-16: 17-32

17. Detroit Lions- ILB Vontaze Burfict, Arizona St.-

The Lions should go in one of three directions with this pick, OL, CB, or LB. While all three are smart moves, they seem to be focused on improving their defense with their top picks (and you really can’t blame them). Burfict would be a great addition to put at LB and he could either play in the middle or outside. He’s a big time hitter and should have plenty of operating room with those big tackles up front.

18. Kansas City Chiefs- DE Jared Crick, Nebraska-

The Chiefs don’t really ‘need’ another 3-4 DE, but Crick is an excellent value pick here, and having a guy to rotate in makes everyone else better. He’s a good player who is versatile enough to play end in 4 man sets as well.

19. Cleveland Browns (via Atlanta)- OT Andrew Datko, FSU-

Joe Thomas is one of the best offensive tackles in the game, unfortunately opposite him the Browns have continuously had journeymen starting. With an improved offensive unit, the Browns need to get aggressive in building up their line. Datko would be a great addition to the line and give the Browns two great bookend tackles.

20. New York Jets- OLB Brandon Jenkins, FSU-

Jets could miss the playoffs unless Mark Sanchez really steps up this season, and if that is the case I’d look at two main culprits (outside of Sanchez). The offensive line and their rush linebackers. While they could go after an offensive lineman, they have more depth and talent there than at OLB. Both Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas are good pass rushers, but neither is great, and both are starting to get up there in age. Adding a young pass rush specialist like Jenkins could be huge for the Jets and give them the sack artist to go along with the rest of that elite defense.

21. Arizona Cardinals- OT Levy Adcock, Oklahoma St.-

The Cardinals appear to be a vastly improving, but they still have some major holes along their offensive line. If they want to do more than win a weakened NFC West, they will need to protect Kevin Kolb, and Ryan Williams. Now this pick could change if they lose Larry Fitzgerald, but right now it makes sense to grab an o-lineman.

22. Indianapolis Colts- DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson-

A lot of people will point to adding a receiver here, and I get that it makes sense (Wayne, Garcon and Gonzalez are all impending UFA’s), but I would target a different option. Adding an offensive lineman could be on the short list, but my top target would be a defensive tackle. The Colts have had great ends, and solid linebackers for years, but their defense hasn’t been able to take their game to a consistently high level. Adding a big time DT like Thompson, would be a huge boost to this team. His presence will be big against the run, but it will also have a major impact against the pass as well.

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- CB Stephen Gilmore, South Carolina-

Between Barber’s likely retirement and legal troubles for Talib, adding a 1st round corner sounds like a very wise decision for the Buccaneers. Gilmore is a physical corner, and very advanced for his age. He should be a year a year one starter for them.

24. Baltimore Ravens- ILB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama-

With Ray Lewis getting up there in age, and R. McClain a free agent, the Ravens would be wise to address their ILB needs with this pick. Now they do have some other big name free agents to worry about, but if their defense isn’t right this team won’t win. This has to be their top priority, and Upshaw is a smart, active LB who can be the guy in Baltimore.

25. San Diego Chargers- DT Josh Chapman, Alabama-

The Chargers front three is suspect even after the addition of Corey Liguet. Chapman gives SD another big man, and one who is capable of helping out at NT, their weakest position. Chapman has the versatility to play anywhere on the line and should be a great addition for the Chargers.

26. New York Giants- RB Trent Richardson, Alabama-

Giants almost always draft for talent over need, and with Richardson falling they are the team that could stop his slide. New York loves running the ball, and with Jacobs getting up there (in RB years) and Bradshaw not too far behind, the Giants will look to ensure their future. This could lead them to cut/trade Jacobs, or they could just bury Richardson on the depth chart for a year.

27. Philadelphia Eagles- DT Jerel Worthy, Michigan St.-

What do you get for the team that has ‘everything’, well some depth. The Eagles could look at adding an OT here, but unless the position completely collapses this year, I’d say DT is their biggest need. You need to be able to rotate your DT’s in this league, and right now the Eagles don’t have a lot of depth here. Worthy would be a fine addition to get 25-30 snaps a game.

28. Houston Texans- DT Alameda Ta’amu, Washington-

I really like what the Texans have done this offseason and I think this new defense will take them pretty far. They will still need some help though going forward and I think their primary need will be at NT. Ta’amu is a fantastic run defender and profiles to be a starting NT in the NFL. He’d be a great pickup here late in round 1, and should start right away.

29. Green Bay Packers- CB Chase Minnifield, UVA-

Charles Woodson is in the twilight of his illustrious career, and the Packers shouldn’t be left unprepared for when he is done. Minnifield continues a strong tradition of UVA corners and would be a nice addition to the Packers defense. His father was a Hall of Fame corner in this league in the 80’s, playing on the same defense as Clay Matthew’s Jr.’s father.

30. New England Patriots-SS Ray Ray Armstrong, Miami-

The Brandon Meriweather era will likely come to end next offseason, and the Patriots would do well to replace him with a fellow Miami product. Armstrong has incredible potential, but is still rather raw which should allow him to slide to the end of the first round. New England’s defensive talent will allow Armstrong to learn for a year, before he will need to be really relied upon.

31. New England Patriots (via New Orleans)- OLB Bruce Irvin, West Virginia-

The Patriots likely won’t keep both picks, but if they do they should look to add an OLB pass rusher. It looks like they will run more of a hybrid defense, but Irvin could even play OLB in the 4-3 giving them some versatility.

32. Pittsburgh Steelers- ILB Luke Kuechly, Boston College-

Pittsburgh’s James Farrior still plays at an extremely high level, but he is likely winding down his career in the next year or so. Adding Kuechly, keeps the Steelers defense in tact, and will continue to make them a formidable force to stop any offense.

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