2012 NFL Mock Draft: 17-32 10/31

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Round 1, Picks 17-32, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, Draft Blog, NFL Draft Page

17. Cincinnati Bengals– WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame

The Bengals did just grab a top receiver last year, but I could see them making this selection. For one thing Cincinnati doesn’t have as many holes as you’d expect, as they are solid on defense and their offensive line is fairly good. Another reason why they could look at the position is because both Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell are free agents next year, and overall have just been average to above average. The Bengals might not want to invest much in resigning them, and instead take a higher upside guy in Floyd. Floyd teamed up with A.J. Green could be down right scary for opposing defenses. I think Floyd is one of the more polished receivers in this class, and should be an instant impact in the NFL. Jeffery and Blackmon might have higher upside, but Floyd isn’t that far behind and could do more damage as a rookie.

18. New York Giants–  CB Alonzo Dennard, Nebraska

I know it would be rare to draft Prince Amukamara’s Nebraska teammate, but it could very well happen. The Giants CB situation is really up in the air going forward, as both Terrell Thomas and Aaron Ross are impending free agents, and Corey Webster has been just average of late. Dennard has slid down the draft board somewhat, but he’s easily a top 20 pick, and would really strengthen that secondary.

19. New York JetsOLB 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.

20. Cincinnati Bengals (via Oakland): G David DeCastro, Stanford

The Bengals held out and they were rewarded with the Raiders desperation for a new quarterback. The Bengals would be quite lucky to land DeCastro here, as he is a day one starter at guard, and could help improve their young offense. DeCastro fills a big need as the Bengals interior line is in shambles right now

21.Philadelphia Eagles- ILB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame.- 

The Eagles could go a number of different areas, but right now their biggest question marks are at LB and DT. With no tackle here worthy of a top 20 selection the Eagles would be wise to turn their attention to middle linebacker. Manti Te’o would be an excellent pick here for the Eagles. He’s a smart football player with good athleticism, and should start from day 1.

22. Buffalo Bills- OLB Bruce Irvin, WVU-

The Bills need to generate a more consistent pass rush, which has been lack this season (the Redskins game notwithstanding), and Irvin is probably the best pure pass rusher in this draft. While he might not be on a ‘Von Miller’ level, he should help them from day one at the very least as a pass rush specialist.

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama-

The Bucs need to improve their offensive line this offseason if they every want this young offense to take their game to that championship caliber level. Fluker is just a red-shirt sophomore, but he could be looking to come out as the Tide are losing a ton of players, and they are likely coming off a major Bowl game. He’d be a great fit for them at RT, where Jeremy Trueblood has been a complete joke. He’s also the type of prospect who could grow into the LT role in a year or two.

24. 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.

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. Detroit Lions- CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama-

The former Florida star, has absolutely dominated the Division II level. He is an elite playmaker every time he touches the ball, and displays good ball skills. He looks to be a real ball hawk going forward, and fits in perfectly for Detroit.

27. San Francisco 49ers- DE Billy Winn, Boise State-

The 49ers don’t have a major need at defensive end, but it is an area they could improve. Winn is shooting up draft boards and looks to be a prototypical 3-4 end. He will make that formidable 49ers defense even better. While the 49ers could look towards the offensive side of the ball it wouldn’t surprise me to see them continue to build up that defense.

28. Baltimore Ravens- OT Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin

The Ravens biggest weakness this season has been their offensive line play. While some of that can be attributed to injuries, I think it is clear they need to upgrade the unit. Wagner is a LT who is rising, and if he declares should be in the first round mix. He’s more of a road grinder, but that fits the Ravens offensive philosophy. He would be a big upgrade to Baltimore and give them the protection they need on the left side.

29. New England Patriots (via New Orleans) CB Chase Minnifield, UVA-

The Patriots likely won’t keep both picks, but if they do they should look to add another defensive player. Minnifield is one of the top guys on the board here and gives them yet another good young defensive back. Minnifield’s father was an All-Pro corner back in the 80’s, and actually played his final two years under Belicheck with the Browns. Belicheck might take a shot on his son and see if he can be the same shut down corner his father was.

30. New England Patriots-DE Jared Crick, Nebraska-

The Patriots aren’t likely to keep both picks, but if they do they are likely to add a defensive player. Crick profiles best as a 5-tech DE, but he can help out in other formations as well. Crick was likely a top 15 pick, but a recent injury should knock him down to the end of the round. This is a good value pick for New England if they choose to make it.

31. 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.

32. Green Bay Packers- OLB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama

The Packers need to find a pass rush complement to Clay Matthews and Upshaw could be their man. Upshaw is a very versatile LB who could play in any system at just about any spot. He is a very good pass rusher though and could be a nice fit here for the Packers. He’s smart, instinctive and takes good angles at the quarterback. With all the attention placed on Matthews, Upshaw could have a field day for Green Bay.

Round 1, Picks 17-32, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, Draft Blog, NFL Draft Page

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