The College football season is very close to kicking off so it seemed like a good time to put out my 1st 2012 Mock Draft. One of the hardest things with this early of a mock draft is the fact that no NFL games have been played making it a pure guess on the draft order. I used the created draft order from the guys at NFL Draft Scout who also solicited the help of an NFL GM. Everyone should keep in mind that this early in the year player's draft stocks are very fluid and will change a lot before the draft. Be sure to check out our Prospect Notes for a good look at each player.
1. Washington Redskins- Andrew Luck- QB- Stanford
- Luck is the unquestioned top prospect and also fits a need for the Redskins. This would be a dream scenario as the current roster has no long term answer at the position.
2. Cincinnati Bengals- Quinton Coples- DE- UNC
- The Bengals have a few young defensive ends with upside but none with the talents of Coples. He could be the next dominant pass rusher in the NFL.
3. Carolina Panthers- Alshon Jeffery- WR- South Carolina
- Steve Smith appears to be sticking around but is getting older and there isn't much else on the roster. Jeffery's size and leaping ability will have a tremendous impact on the development of Cam Newton.
4. Denver Broncos- Landry Jones- QB- Oklahoma
- Tebow fans will be calling for my head but this offseason only strengthens my belief that the Denver brass doesn't see Tebow as a legit NFL quarterback.
5. Minnesota Vikings- Jonathan Martin- OT- Stanford
- The Vikings are starting Colts castoff Charlie Johnson at left tackle. Martin is the top tackle prospect in the draft and could anchor the Minnesota line for years to come.
6. Miami Dolphins- Nick Foles- QB- Arizona
- Foles' draft stock is all over the place but I feel the is a legit NFL prospect. He reminds me of Blaine Gabbert but with more down the field accuracy. Unless Chad Henne really has a good season the Dolphins will target a quarterback early in 2012.
7. Buffalo Bills- Matt Kalil- OT- USC
- Do the Bills feel that Matt Barkley is going to be a star? That is the question but I feel they need to address the offensive tackle position before adding a quarterback. They just benched their starter at left tackle and filled the spot with a benched guard.
8. Cleveland Browns- Donte Paige- Moss- DE- UNC
- The Browns are making the move to the 4-3 system and need pass rushers. Paige-Moss is very underrated and has the potential to develop into a pass rushing force.
9. Arizona Cardinals- Brandon Jenkins- OLB/DE- Florida State
- Arizona is relying on an aging Joey Porter, mid round picks Sam Acho, and O'Brien Schofield to provide a pass rush. Jenkins has the quick burst and speed to be an effective edge rusher from the outside linebacker position.
10. Seattle Seahawks- Matt Barkley- QB- USC
- Seattle is gambling on Tavaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst this season and its unlikely it will work out. Pete Carroll has no issue bringing in players he is familiar with and at this point Barkley is also the best available quarterback.
11. Houston Texans- Justin Blackmon- WR- Oklahoma State
- Andre Johnson is a great reciever and has battled double teams his entire career. Its about time the Texans give him some help. The combination of Blackmon and Johnson would be deadly.
12. Tennesse Titans- Manti Te'o- LB- Notre Dame
- Tennessee lost Stephen Tulloch to the Lions this offseason and could use an elite talent at the linebacker position. Te'o can cover a ton of ground and is a good leader.
13. San Francisco 49ers- Dre Kirkpatrick- CB- Alabama
- The 49ers were mentioned as a team pursuing Nnamdi Asomugha but were unable to land the prize free agent. Loosing out on Asomugha and Nate Clements going to Cinncy has left a hole in the secondary. Kirkpatrick is the best corner prospect in the draft and fills a big need.
14. Oakland Raiders- Mike Adams- OT- Ohio State
- Looking at the Raiders roster, it is apparent that they have talent at almost every position. However, a big weakness appears to be that left tackle position. The Raiders have been trying to fill the spot with mid round selections but have the opportunity here to add more talent.
15. Chicago Bears- Mike Brewster- C- Ohio State
- Olin Kruetz has moved on leaving a major hole at the center position. Roberto Garza will be a decent fill in this season but he is 32 years old and not the long term solution.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars- Stephon Gilmore- CB- South Carolina
- Gilmore is a nice fit for the Jaguars who will be looking to improve their secondary.
17. Kansas City Chiefs- Trent Richardson- RB- Alabama
- Kansas City has employed a two back system using Jamal Charles and Thomas Jones. Jones is a good in between the tackles runner but is on the downside of his career. Richardson would be a great replacement for Jones and compliment to Charles.
18. New York Giants- Vontez Burfict- LB- Arizona State
- The middle linebacker spot has been a weakness for several years and adding Burfict would make it a strength. He has had some character concerns pop up but there is no denying his talents.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Cyrus Gray- RB- Texas A&M
- I need another year before I really trust LeGarrette Blount. However, even if he continues to produce Gray would add that game breaking ability Blount lacks.
20. Detroit Lions- Alfonzo Dennard- CB- Nebraska
- The Lions still need help at corner and after passing on Prince Amukamara they get his former teammate.
21. St. Louis Rams- Jeff Fuller- WR- Texas A&M
- I didn't completely agree with the Rams strategy to bring in two mid round recievers in 2011. I think they will still be looking for a big time playmaker come April.
22. San Diego Chargers- Zach Brown- LB- UNC
- Brown is too talented to pass up here as he would bring some explosiveness to the Chargers linebacking corps.
23. Philadelphia Eagles- Jerel Worthy- DT- Michigan State
- Cullen Jenkins was a nice offseason addition but he has struggled staying healthy. If he doesn't remain on the field this season Worthy would be a nice young replacement.
24. Cleveland Browns (from ATL)- Kendall Reyes- DT- Connecticut
- Any defense that hopes to be successful needs production from their front four. Cleveland added Jabaal Sheard and Phil Taylor last season and now add Donte Paige-Moss and Kendall Reyes. Reyes' quickness and penetration will complement Taylor's skills.
25. Indianapolis Colts- Brandon Thompson- DT- Clemson
- One of these drafts the Colts will take a big run stuffing defensive tackle in the 1st round. Thompson is a skilled defensive tackle that has the ability to stuff the run and push the pocket.
26. Dallas Cowboys- Chase Minnifield- CB- Virgina
- Unless Terrence Newman and Mike Jenkins find their game the Cowboys will be looking for replacements.
27. Baltimore Ravens- Courtney Upshaw- LB- Alabama
- Ray Lewis is slowing down so bringing in a young protege would be a good idea.
28. New England Patriots (from NO)- Vinny Curry- DE- Marshall
- New England continues to stock pile draft picks and talent. This makes it difficult to project what direction they will head but adding a player with pass rushing ability is always a good bet.
29. New England Patriots- Bruce Irvin- OLB- West Virginia
- Adding both Irvin and Curry would bring a ton of quickness to the defense.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers- Kelechi Osemele- OL- Iowa State
- Pittsburgh is another team that has a ton of talent but could use some help along the offensive line. Osemele is a big and powerful player that could play either guard or right tackle.
31. Green Bay Packers- Devin Taylor- OLB/DE- South Carolina
- In the 2011 draft, Green Bay didn't add someone with the potential to bring pressure. However, 2012 could be the year and Taylor has great quickness and the ability to threaten the edge.
32. New York Jets- David DeCastro- G- Stanford
- Vlad Ducasse has not really emerged as the long term answer at guard. This season will determine his future but if he falters someone like DeCastro would be a great replacement.