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2012 NFL Mock Draft: 17-32, 1/2

Steve Shoup

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17. Cincinnati Bengals (via Oakland)- WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame

I consider this a bit of a luxury pick, but one that makes some sense when you think about it. While A.J. Green has been everything the Bengals could have hoped for, the rest of their receivers have been lacking (not to mention they are UFA’s). Adding Floyd with Green would create major match-up issues for opposing defenses, and make Andy Dalton one happy camper.

18. San Diego Chargers- OLB Whitney Mercilus, Illinois

The Chargers pass rush has been down this year, and while O-line or CB could be a bigger need, I think San Diego invests in a pass rusher this year. Mercilus is also versatile enough to play in a 4-3, if Chargers do end up switching coaches.

19. Chicago Bears- C Peter Konz, Wisconsin

The Bears offensive line has been a joke, and while it should be better next year with the return of 1st round pick (and Konz’s college teammate) Gabe Carimi, they need a lot more help.

20. Tennessee Titans- DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson

The Titans interior line is fairly soft, and could use some beefing up. The need for a DT will be even more dire if Jason Jones leaves via free agency.

21. Denver Broncos- DT Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State:

The Broncos need to add some help in the interior of their defense, and a guy like Cox could be a good plug and play guy. He’s got a good first step, and can be a terror for opposing QB’s. With the Broncos having a strong outside rush, any penetration up the middle could be huge for this team.

22. New York Giants- CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama

The Giants secondary is in a state of flux and could use some young talent. Jenkins is the best player on the board here and usually that is the primary strategy for the Giants draft picks.

23. Cincinnati Bengals- CB Chase Minnifield, UVA

The Bengals need to fill the void left in their Secondary when Jonathan Joesph left via free agency. Minnifield has big time upside and should be able to start as a rookie.

24. Houston Texans- NT Dontari Poe-

The Texans defense doesn’t have many holes, but one area they need to address is their NT position. Look for them to even trade up to ensure they land Poe.

25. Cleveland Browns- WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina

The Browns could use this pick on a number of areas, but if Jeffery is still on the board, I imagine he will be their pick. Jeffery could team up with Greg Little to give  the Browns a formidable receiver corps, and add another great weapon for RGIII.

26. Detroit Lions- OT Mike Adams, Ohio State

The Lions are having some serious issues with protecting Matt Stafford and that has to be their top priority this offseason. While they need help at just about every position along the offensive line, finding someone to replace LT Jeff Backus (maybe move him to G or RT), is key. Backus had a strong year last year, but it is clear he can’t be the blind side protector any longer in Detroit.

27. Pittsburgh Steelers- G/T Cordy Glenn, Georgia

The Steelers blocking has been pretty bad this year, and they should once again look to add a high pick to their line. Glenn isn’t a great fit at tackle, esp. LT, but in a power offense like the Steelers he might be able to handle it.

28. Baltimore Ravens- ILB Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State

Burfict’s temper could get him to fall somewhat in this draft, but I see the Ravens not letting like his slip by. And honestly it would be a good fit, because Burfict can learn the position from a true star, Ray Lewis, who has the ability to take control of the locker room.

29. New England Patriots (via New Orleans)- DT Jerel Worthy, Michigan State

The Patriots need to fix this defense ASAP, and Worthy would be great start. He’s a major presence in the middle and can give New England a great complement to Vince Wilfork.

30. San Francisco 49ers- G Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State

The 49ers don’t have a lot of weaknesses, but their biggest one is along their offensive line. Osemele could either play guard or if Anthony Davis doesn’t improve, he could become the RT.

31. New England Patriots- DE Nick Perry, USC

This might be slightly high for Perry, but I can see the Patriots going after him. They need pass rushers, and Perry has one of highest ceilings.

32. Green Bay Packers- OLB Melvin Ingram, South Carolina

The Packers defense has fallen off somewhat this year, in part because Clay Matthews isn’t as effective this year. A big part of that reason is he’s basically doing it himself when it comes to consistently getting after the QB. Ingram is one of my favorite players in this draft class, and a great fit for the Packers. He is a bit of a tweener, but Green Bay will find a place for a talented guy like him to play.

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