2012 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1, 17-32, 4/04
17. Cincinnati Bengals (via Oakland)- WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame:
One of the Bengals top priorities this offseason is to add weapons for Andy Dalton. While A.J. Green was a good first step, the Bengals need to add more targets. Running back is a greater need, but I don’t see another one being worth a first round pick beyond Richardson. Floyd though does give Cincy a top notch offensive weapon, and one that should make Dalton’s life much easier.
18. San Diego Chargers- CB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina:
.The Chargers cornerback play has fallen off of late, and could use an infusion of young talent. Gilmore is steadily climbing draft boards and has the potential to develop into an elite CB.
19. Chicago Bears- OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford
The Bears have addressed their WR need, and now they need to find a way to protect Jay Cutler. Adding Martin to last year’s 1st rounder Gabe Carimi is a great start. If Chicago can keep Cutler upright they have a real good shot of taking the division.
20. Tennessee Titans- C Peter Konz, Wisconsin:
The Titans could use an upgrade at the center position. Konz would be an instant starter, and really strengthen their offensive line.
21. Cincinnati Bengals- CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama:
The Bengals need to add a cornerback early in this draft, and Jenkins would be the smart pick here. The Bengals are also less likely to be concerned with some of his off the field issues.
22. Cleveland Browns- WR Kendall Wright, Baylor:
The Browns are expected to go offense here, and they are likely to add a complementary weapon for Tannehill. Wright is a good quick receiver who can stretch the field and would balance out last year’s 2nd rounder Greg Little.
23. Detroit Lions- OT Mike Adams, Ohio State:
The Lions will need to address their offensive line in this draft, and even with re-signing Jeff Backus, offensive tackle remains the biggest need. Adams could potentially start on the right side, then take over for Backus in a year or two.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers- ILB Donta Hightower, Alabama:
The Steelers need to find some upgrades at a number of spots, and with the recent release of James Farrior, ILB is near the top of their list. Hightower comes from Nick Saban’s 3-4 meaning he’s extremely well coached and has some basis for the system.
25. Denver Broncos- DT Dontari Poe, Memphis:
The Broncos still need help along both of their lines, with defensive tackle being a more primary need. The Broncos tackles played solid this year, but they could use that singular dominant presence in the middle. That is where Poe comes in. He flashes the potential to be an absolute force in the middle, and if he puts it all together figures to be both a top level pass rusher and run stopper.
26. Houston Texans- WR Rueben Randle, LSU:
The Texans should look to give Matt Schaub a welcome back gift with this draft pick. Randle would be a nice complement to Andre Johnson, and would move Kevin Walter to the slot (where he is a better fit). A Randle-Johnson combo could be extremely dangerous, and could be the final cog to their offense. Don’t be surprised if a move up for a tackle after the release of Eric Winston.
27. New England Patriots (via New Orleans)- DE Nick Perry, USC:
The Patriots need to find some upgrades to their defensive line, and Perry would give them a top pass rusher. He can fit into both even and odd man fronts, and would give NE a young edge rusher to build around.
28. Green Bay Packers: OLB Whitney Mercilus, Illinois:
The Packers could look at a corner or 5-tech DE here, but I think they might reach a bit for a pass rusher. Mercilus is a slight reach, but he fills the Packers biggest need. He’s an accomplished pass rusher, who takes good pursuit angles. Teaming him up with Matthews would be a major boost for this defense. Given this being a bit of a reach, don’t be surprised if the Packers look to move up for one of the bigger name pass rushers.
29. Baltimore Ravens- DT Devon Still, Penn State:
The Ravens could look to find a tackle/end to replace Cory Redding with this pick, and Still is the top guy available. Teaming him up with Ngata would really turn that line into a force.
30. San Francisco 49ers- TE Coby Fleener, Stanford:
The 49ers don’t have a lot of weaknesses, but they could look to bring in a former Stanford player of Coach Harbaugh. While TE isn’t a huge, the 49ers could look to create some mismatches with this pick. With the signing of Randy Moss I believe now more than ever that Fleener could be the pick here.
31. New England Patriots: DT Fletcher Cox, Mississppi State:
The Pats go in a number of different ways here, but they usually stick with the best player on the board, and here that would be Cox. I know the Pats have already spent one first rounder on the defensive side of the ball, but it is such a need that they could spend both.
32. New York Giants: S Mark Barron, Alabama
The Giants could go a few different directions, but I can’t see them passing on a top young safety. Barron has the potential to be a top 5 safety in the league, and could really upgrade the Giants pass defense.