2012 Final Mock Draft (Willy): Picks 1-16, 4/25
1. Indianapolis Colts– QB Andrew Luck, Stanford:
-The Colts finally have their head coach, so now we know who will be popping the champagne for landing Andrew Luck come April. This pick will be one of the easiest in NFL Draft history.
2. Washington Redskins (via St. Louis)– QB Robert Griffin, Baylor:
-The Redskins made a big trade to land a franchise QB in Griffin. It’s a risk, but one that they felt they could take. Griffin does have elite upside, and his mobility should help him. This trade will come down to how quickly Griffin can become a top level NFL passer though, when it is all said and done.
3. Minnesota Vikings- OT Matt Kalil, USC:
-This is a no brainer pick for the Vikings. LT is their biggest weakness and Matt Kalil is the top LT prospect in years. Kalil is a top 3 talent easily and a tremendous pick here. While WR and CB are needs, the draft is filled with both positions so they can address it later.
4. Cleveland Browns – RB Trent Richardson, Alabama:
-The Browns can go in a number of different ways here, and I could see them targeting Trent Richardson, Riley Reiff, Ryan Tannehill or Justin Blackmon. It could really go any direction, but if they are committed to building a ground attack, than Richardson could be the pick.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers– CB Morris Claiborne, LSU:
-The Buccaneers did add CB Eric Wright in free agency meaning, Claiborne might not be as big of a need. But, with Richardson off the board, Claiborne is probably the best talent on the board. Tampa’s cornerback situation was a mess last season so adding another top notch option makes sense.
6. St. Louis Rams- WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State:
-The Rams could really do anything with this pick, including trading back again, but I think Blackmon could be the selection. St. Louis seems serious about adding a weapon for Sam Bradford, and while an offensive tackle would be smart, they could convince themselves that Saffold and Smith can hold up this year. Blackmon might not be a gamebreaker, but his is a very good, surehanded option.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars– DE Melvin Ingram, South Carolina:
-The Jags sign Laurent Robinson, and while WR remains a need, adding a top level talent like Ingram makes sense here. Ingram has a fantastic work ethic, and is one of the best talents in the draft. While many will overlook him due to his size, but he’s such a talent they will regret that decision.
8. Miami Dolphins- QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M:
-The Dolphins could be struggling to find a QB, but they could luck out if Tannehill slides to them. He’s got really nice upside, and if given a year or two could be an elite QB in the future.
9. Carolina Panthers– DT Michael Brockers, LSU:
-The Panthers are likely to choose between one of the top DT’s and CB’s. While both are needs, a potential stud DT like Brockers will probably win them over. Brockers will help shut down opponents running games, which means more time on the field for Cam Newton and the offense.
10. Buffalo Bills- : OT Riley Reiff, Iowa
-The Bills need to give Ryan Fitzpatrick some protection, and Reiff at this spot would be a steal. He won’t make as big of an impact as Matt Kalil, but he does have elite LT potential.
11. Kansas City Chiefs– MLB Luke Kuechly, Boston College:
-The Chiefs probably have more needs on the offensive side of the ball, but don’t be surprised if they take Kuechly. It’s a need, and an excellent steal as he is easily a top 10 player in this draft.
12. Seattle Seahawks– DE Quinton Coples, North Carolina:
-The Seahawks need to prioritize adding a pass rusher this year, and Coples is a great pick here. He’s got great upside and is so versatile the Seahawks can find plenty of ways to use him.
13. Arizona Cardinals-OT Cordy Glenn, Georgia:
The Cards need to beg, borrow and steal to ensure they land an offensive lineman (particularly a tackle) with this pick. Their line is in woeful shape and if they ever want to figure out if Kevin Kolb is the answer they should probably keep him on his feet. Even with the re-signing of Levi Brown this is a smart pick, because Glenn can find a starting role, even if it isn’t at LT (though probably should be) on this line.
14. Dallas Cowboys- G David DeCastro, Stanford:
-The Cowboys secondary has gotten a little better in free agency, meaning Dallas could look to grab DeCastro with this pick. Decastro would be a huge get for them, and would really strengthen that line.
15. Philadelphia Eagles- CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama:
-This isn’t the Eagles biggest need, but it might be too much value for them to pass up. Kirkpatrick has immense potential, and putting him in this secondary would be huge.
16. New York Jets- OLB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama:
-The Jets need a star pass rusher to make this defense complete. Given how important defense is to their success, I don’t know if it makes sense to use this pick on a luxury. Upshaw would be a great fit here coming off the edge and getting penetration.