Willy’s 2012 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1, 12/23
By Contributing Writer Willypops:
1. Indianapolis Colts- QB Andrew Luck, Stanford:
Unless some team wows them with an offer Luck will be Indy’s pick. Even if he has to sit a year or two behind Peyton Manning, it will be a smart choice as the Colts ensure their future.
2. St. Louis Rams- OT Matt Kalil, USC:
There have been some recent reports that Kalil might head back to USC, but until those are confirmed he has a top 5 spot locked up on the draft board. He’s probably the best tackle to come out since Jake Long, and is a great fit for St. Louis.
3. Minnesota Vikings- WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State:
The Vikings need a lineman, but will surely take the consolation prize of an elite playmaker.
4. Cleveland Browns- QB Robert Griffin, Baylor:
The Browns need to strongly consider upgrading from Colt McCoy here. If Griffin enters the draft I think this is a good pick for Cleveland if he’s still on the board.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars- WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina:
Some would consider this a reach, but the Jags have never let that stop them before. The fact is they need a big play WR, and Jeffery fits that bill. He didn’t have a great year at SC, but part of that is due to the poor QB play.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- CB Morris Claiborne, LSU
The Bucs have a serious need at CB, which will only get worse when Barber retires.
7. Washington Redskins- OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford:
Trent Williams’ recent suspension, is reason 10,472 why the Redskins need to invest in their offensive line. Williams is one more failed test away from a year long ban, and he’d be probably better suited for RT duty anyways, as Martin can take over.
8. Carolina Panthers- CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama:
The Panthers need to add some more talent on defense, and landing a big play physical corner like Kirkpatrick would be huge.
9. Miami Dolphins- OT Riley Rieff, Iowa
The Dolphins already have one stud tackle, and could add a bookend here with Rieff. With no quarterbacks on the board, the Dolphins mine as well add as much protection as possible for their new signal caller.
10. Buffalo Bills- OLB Quinton Coples, UNC
The Bills need to increase their pass rush this offseason and Coples could be the perfect fit for them. He’s on the bigger side for a rush linebacker, but I still think he has the potential to stand up.
11. Kansas City Chiefs- G David DeCastro, Stanford
The Chiefs will need to reestablish the run next year if they want to get back to the post season, and the best way for them to do that is to add some blockers for Charles. DeCastro is an absolute star at Stanford, and should make a seamless transition to Kansas City.
12. Philadelphia Eagles- LB Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State
The Eagles need to add some linebacking talent this year and Burfict would be a nice fit for them.
13. Arizona Cardinals- OT D.J. Fluker
The Cardinals are desperate for offensive tackle help. So far it is tough to get a read on Kolb given the amount of pressure that he is under, which is something Arizona needs to minimize next season.
14. Tennessee Titans-DT Devon Still, Penn State
The Titans could lose Jason Jones this offseason, and would need a replacement tackle. Still is the best defensive tackle in the draft and is a nice pick here.
15. Seattle Seahawks-WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
The Seahawks might begin to see the Mike Williams reclamation project as a failure. Floyd is a great prospect, and he could team with his former college teammate Golden Tate, as well as Doug Baldwin to give Seattle an impressive receiving corps.
16. San Diego Chargers- CB Alonzo Dennard, Nebraska
The Chargers pass defense has been suspect this year, and Dennard is a great value pick.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (via Oakland)- CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama:
Jenkins is moving up draft boards and looks to be a dynamic playmaker in the NFL.
18. New York Giants- C Peter Konz, Wisconsin:
The Giants offensive line needs some serious upgrades as they haven’t been able to run the ball effectively at all.
19. Chicago Bears- G Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State:
The Bears should look to build up their offensive line with this first round pick.
20. New York Jets- OLB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama:
The Jets desperately need to upgrade that pass rush and should be quite pleased with Upshaw.
21. Cincinnati Bengals- RB Trent Richardson:
Richardson is a top 10 or 15 player, but he could fall due to lack of need. If he does the Bengals will be thrilled as he could be the workhorse they need in this offense.
22. Denver Broncos- RB Lamar Miller, Miami
With Moreno likely on the shelf and MaGahee getting up there in age an early round back makes too much sense.
23. Dallas Cowboys- OLB Whitney Mercilus, Illinois
Cowboys need a bookend to Ware, and Spencer is a free agent.
24. Detroit Lions- LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College:
The Lions could go offensive line or CB here, but I could see them favoring a tackling machine like Kuechly.
25. Cleveland Browns (via Atlanta)- OT Barrett Jones, Alabama
The Browns need a bookend to Thomas (or they could slot Jones at guard if they like Pashos). And after taking a QB adding some extra protection is a smart play.
26. Houston Texans- NT Dontari Poe, Memphis:
The Texans might consider a WR here, but should keep building up that defense with a NT like Poe.
27. New England Patriots- CB Chase Minnifield, UVA:
The Pats need to keep adding corners as that continues to be their weakness.
28. New England Patriots (from N.O.)- WR Kendall Wright, Baylor:
The Pats could use a big play receiver opposite Welker and Wright could be that guy. He’s got great deep speed and will stretch the field as the TE’s work the middle and Welker underneath.
29. Baltimore Ravens- LB Donte Hightower, Alabama:
Ray Lewis might have a year or two left, meaning his replacement should be priority 1 for the Ravens. Hightower can play next to Lewis now, and take over for him in the future.
30. San Francisco 49ers- OG Cordy Glenn, Georgia:
The 49ers need to add some talent to their interior line.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers- NT Josh Chapman, Alabama:
The Steelers can grab Casey Hampton’s replacement here and have a smooth transition in the middle.
32. Green Bay Packers- OLB Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma:
The Packers need to find another pass rusher to go along with Matthews here, and Lewis is a great fit.