2012 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 17-32 11/7
17. Chicago Bears- WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame-
The Bears finally can land Jay Cutler the big play receiver they have been lacking. Offensive line is def. a need as is CB, but Floyd could be too much to pass up.
18. Cleveland Browns (via Atlanta)– CB Alonzo Dennard, Nebraska
The Browns would love to put a top level guy like Dennard across from Joe Haden. LB is another option as is RT, but they can probably add that later.
19. 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.
20. Cincinnati Bengals: G David DeCastro, Stanford–
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. New York Giants- OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama-
The Giants offensive line is in some flux, and with Kareem McKenzie a free agent RT becomes a pretty big need.
24. San Diego Chargers- DE Billy Winn, Boise State-
The Chargers don’t have any glaring needs, but they could always use more additions upfront. Winn is a nice value here and should join their DE rotation from day 1.
25. 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.
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- G Cordy Glenn, Georgia-
The 49ers need to upgrade the interior of their line (with the exception of Iupati) Glenn is a nice value pick here and can give them a big boost. This is one of their few weaknesses so don’t be shocked if they look to trade up for Harbaugh’s former player G David DeCastro.
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- DT Josh Chapman, Alabama-
With the AFC jumbled up right now it is hard to say who is going to Indy, but Pittsburgh is playing really good football, and that is despite some key players being injured. While Pittsburgh could look to address a couple of different issues, one that stands out is their lack of depth at NT. Casey Hampton is nearing the end of his career, and Pittsburgh needs to find a replacement. Chapman is a slight reach here, but he fills a big need. He might not start as a rookie, but he’d see significant snaps, and should be able to assume the starting role by year two.
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.