2012 Mid-Free Agency Two Round Draft

Hey y'all, I know FA is ongoing and this can change at anytime, but I felt the bug and went with it. Love to hear your thoughts and insights.

I didn't include any future trades because it is just too unpredictable.

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: The Colts feel pretty confident about Luck it seems. You don’t part with your franchise, Super Bowl winning QB unless you are. That is why the Colts don’t risk it on RG3 and stick with Luck. Imagine the outrage if they pass on the heir apparent to Manning for a Michael Vick/Cam Newton prodigy and he doesn’t win them a Super Bowl.

2. Washington Redskins (TRADE: Rams get Washington’s 2012, 2013, and 2014 first rounders and 2012 second): Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: No one else is worth the king’s ransom Washington paid to get this pick.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC: A line that gave up the fifth most sacks on a rookie quarterback is not something that can continue if they want Ponder to develop and vindicate his selection with last year’s 12th pick. Kalil is pretty much universally seen as a top three talent and LT is a position of need. Ponder will be thrilled.

4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Bama: Clearly the Brown’s biggest need is at QB, but I don’t think the Browns are going to jump at the consultation prize of Tannehill. Instead they decide to replace Peyton Hillis. Blackmon can’t pass to himself, but Richardson can make his own plays. The Browns upgrade a position of need and get value, something no other player offers at this point in the draft. They could always trade down.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU: The Bucs made a huge splash in free agency, addressing serious needs with serious talent. With Richardson gone, they go after best player available; which also happens to bolster a position of need. Ronde is on his last leg, Talib’s legal issues make him uncertain, and there is no one else but the newly acquired Wright. They still have cap space and there is time in free agency, so they might address their LB needs there, but no LB is worth this pick, so look in the second for that upgrade. RB and OT probably get picked in the third and fourth.

6. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, OK St.: Losing Brandon Lloyd sealed this pick for the Rams. They need a legitimate passing target for Sam Bradford and it is safe to assume that the front office recognizes that Austin Pettis, Greg Salas, nor any other of their receivers fit the role. Sure, they have plenty of other needs; but with the money they invested in Bradford as the future of the franchise, they need results (and preferably soon). Plus, they have an extra second and additional firsts for the next two years to tinker away with. Grabbing someone to protect Sam Bradford is possible, but with their plethora of picks, I think they get O-line in the second.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinton Coples, DE, UNC: Wide Receiver remains a pressing need, even after the Jags secured Laurent Robinson to a long-term deal, but Gabbert is going to have to work with what he has. Part of Gabbert’s problems stem from an offensive line that leaks like a sieve, but the talent discrepancy between the remaining first and second round RTs and DEs isn’t close. While the Jags will pass on Jonathon Martin and Riley Reiff; it is safe to assume Mike Adams, Kelechi Osemele, or Brandon Washington will probably be available when the Jags pick in the second. A comparable DE to Coples will be harder to find with the second rounder. They play the odds to get a big defensive playmaker and in doing so, address their sack-luster defense. With Tebow available, this pick might go to the Broncos. Perhaps a stretch in terms of talent, but it would certainly fill seats and that is what mike make it happen.

8. Miami Dolphins: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa: If the Fins hope to take advantage of whatever QB they end up with, they need to guarantee his protection. They’ll be able to try and replace Brandon Marshall later in the draft when they won’t have to stretch to get value, but here would be a mistake. Look for Miami to go after a DE/OLB like Chandler Jones, Vinny Curry, or Andre Branch in the second rather than skipping on what many expect to be a sure RT rookie starter.

9. Carolina Panthers: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Bama: When you play Drew Brees and Matt Ryan twice a year, you need to be able to defend to pass pretty well. The Panthers passing and rushing defense were equally mediocre last year, both in the bottom ten; but Kirkpatrick can change that. Both CB and DE/DT are deep enough to get both addressed in the first two rounds so they have to decide who is better value for their pick. I think they decide Kirkpatrick, whose impact would be harder to duplicate with a second round corner than the impact of a first and second round pass rusher.

10. Buffalo Bills: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina: The Bills just got Mario Williams! Why would they go after another pass rusher? Well, I think the Bills are of the mind that when you have to play in the pass heavy AFC East, it pays to get to the quarterback; especially when you have a young secondary. Protecting Fitz is certainly a priority (the least sacked QB in the league last year) but addressing the third worst sacking defense will get the nod. And tell me it won’t be exciting to watch Ingram, Dareus, and Williams sprinting towards the quarterback.

11. Kansas City Chiefs: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis: The Chiefs have addressed their immediate needs at OT, TE, and CB; and brought in depth at RB in Free Agency. One major piece is missing and it takes a big man to fill it. Kelly Gregg has likely played his last game as a Chief and so Poe gets the nod. Replacing Matt Cassel has to be in the front office’s mind, but this is not the draft to get that type of value. Depth can be improved in other places, but nothing is more glaring than at NT. As clichéd as this pick is, there is a pretty solid reason. Besides being an incredible athlete (especially for his size), he is the only real guaranteed first round NT in this year’s draft. Brockers is reportedly projected as a 3-4 end or 4-3 tackle; same as Still, Worthy, or Cox (and none have Poe’s size). It doesn’t hurt that Poe has favorable measurables to Haloti Ngata and Paul Soliai.

12. Seattle Seahawks: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU: Brockers is exactly the type of guy that Pete Carroll was talking about when he mentioned upgrading pass rush. Big, physical, athletic. Sure, they signed the young, impressive, inconsistent Jason Jones, but it’s a one year deal so you can’t expect this to change their draft plans too much. LB is certainly a possibility, but with depth at LBer in the second, they grab someone who can help take pressure off Chris Clemons and get to the quarterback. Getting Matt Flynn takes a lot of pressure off whether to move early in the draft for a QB, so I expect they go to the other side of the ball here.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford: After a paying the $7 million bonus to Kevin Kolb, it is safe to assume protection is going to be a priority. So far the Cardinals have signed Levi Brown and Adam Snyder, but that won’t be enough to turn around the line that gave up the second most sacks in the league. They pick Martin because as a three year starter at LT for Andrew Luck, he can fit right in and slide Brown to RT. While fixing interior line is a consideration, the benefit of protecting Kolb’s blindside outweighs the value of the number one interior lineman.

14. Dallas Cowboys: David Decastro, OG, Stanford: The Cowboys did an outstanding job in free agency addressing needs with improvements rather than place holders. Acquiring Carr probably ensures they don’t go after CB, while getting Pool makes a Barron pick unlikely, and the signing of Dan Conner and franchising of Anthony Spencer makes linebacker less of a priority. Getting a serious rushing d-lineman is a possibility and trying to replace Laurent Robinson’s 11 touchdowns could be an early focus, but chances are they go with the sure thing that addresses need. Decastro is a sure thing to plug in by most accounts, better than either of the interior linemen the Cowboys signed in free agency.

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Kuechly, LB, BC: The Eagles are ecstatic that the draft falls in their favor. They get the best player at the position of their greatest need. In the bottom half of teams in almost all rush defense metrics, something attributed widely to their linebacker play, finally gets addressed. He is smart, athletic, has experience, and is ready to play. Unless one of the blue chips falls, I don’t see Philly passing on Kuechly if he is available.

16. New York Jets: Michael Floyd, WR, ND: Rex Ryan got management to double down on the Mark Sanchez experiment, which might make or break Rex at this point. If you are going to pay for Sanchez, he needs more weapons. Needs at safety, aging linebackers, pass rush, and running back all make the front office sit for a second, but they’ve committed to Sanchez, so they have to give him the tools to succeed. Whether he can is a different matter altogether.

17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland): Mark Barron, SS, Bama: Bengals resign FS Reggie Nelson, but still find themselves in need of a quality starting SS. The Bengals showed a strong offense this season thanks to rookie contributions, but defense is their big need. Andy Dolton got sacked fewer times than all but three other teams, so they can live with their line for now. Addressing running back could occur, but I don’t think here. There is always the possibility of trading picks, so the Bengals join the Browns and Patriots as the most easily mobile teams in this year’s draft.

18. San Diego Chargers: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC: It seems like Chargers fans are willing to give up on the Larry English experiment. After a free agency flurry, the Chargers have refurbished their offense with playmakers and weapons. Now they will get the pass rusher they need to pressure the weak AFC West. Perry has great size and incredible speed. The only linebacker who was faster was Bruce Irvin, who is 25 pounders lighter. Perry will be a huge boon to a Chargers defense that fell in the bottom ten sack teams and allowed a less than respectable 7.9 yards per attempt (fifth worst).

19. Chicago Bears: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Bama: No Bears fans want to admit it, but Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher are getting older and they need help. Free Agency and the trade for Brandon Marshall have helped address their most pressing need at WR, so the Bears get to plan long-term and get the best player of need for them.

20. Tennessee Titans: Devon Still, DT, Penn St.: Failure. The Titans miss on returning Peyton to the state that made him famous. The grabbed Hutchinson in an attempt to lure Peyton home, but without him, I doubt they decide to use this pick to further improve their battered line. Still can help immediately plug in on the line and help bring the pressure the Titans need to avoid being the 31st best pass rush in the NFL next year. Secondary is also an immediate need, but I think they grab a top DT instead of a second tier corner or leap for safety.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Stephen Gilmore, CB, South Carolina: Defense wins the AFC North, and the Bengals need an improved secondary to be relevant. After figuring things out at safety, they throw Gilmore across from injured Leon Hall (or replacing Hall if needed) to firm up a long-term secondary squad. No running back picked here would offer more value, and so they get value. Mel Kiper says some GMs have Gilmore over Kirkpatrick, which I don’t ascribe to, but I do think he gets selected before Jenkins despite being less polished on his technique.

22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta): Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M: After making such a public attempt for RG3 and the crushing year (physically and in confidence), I think it is pretty clear they can’t bring Colt back in to start. The question is whether they use their fourth pick to leap at Tannehill (who I think is this year’s version of Blaine Gabbert and will be taken too early) or do they wait. I say they wait after losing Peyton Hillis to address that need with the number one running back in this year’s draft. I think he will fall just because the Dolphins aren’t in love, the Bills have a better starter, and the Jags would rather go after Tebow if they do give up on Gabbert (which I think they won’t). The Browns fans will be less than thrilled after seeing the excitement in DC and Indy, but at least they get Trent Richardson.

23. Detroit Lions: Janoris Jenkins, CB, Northern Alabama: Losing Wright in free agency makes finding a starting quality corner a must. They resigned Backus and franchised Avril, so I don’t see the Lions doing anything different unless they see a blue chip talent free fall down to them. LB is also a strong possibility here, but they grab value at a position of need rather than making a leap.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Cordy Glenn, OT/OG, Georgia: How is Big Ben still able to move? He has been sacked more than forty times in every season he played more than 14 games and has to injuries to show for it. They grab the versatile Georgia lineman to help stem the bleeding. The Steelers have to hope the addition of Glenn can keep Ben on the field and off the gurney. If they can’t keep Mike Wallace they might try for WR or maybe find a replacement for Farrior. O-line is probably the bigger need though.

25. Denver Broncos: Kelechi Osmele, OG/OT, Iowa St.: Peyton Manning is going to be a Bronco. Wow. That throws this pick up in the air. Do they decide to go after someone to protect the recovering Peyton, or address the defense that spurred the Broncos into the playoffs? What will the Broncos get if they move Tebow? Corner, inside linebacker, and both sides of the line can get improved, but one can assume they protect their newest investment first and foremost. Konz is more injured than Peyton, so chances are they try to address center at some later point.

26. Houston Texans: Andre Branch, DE, Clemson: What seemed like an easy choice the day before Free Agency just became a tremendously difficult decision. Houston just lost their franchise defensive playmaker and dumping Winston’s contract changed the offseason for the Texans in a big way, so they have to get this right. Although the need for WR is real, they have to address their biggest hole: losing Mario Williams. By no means does it look like Branch would be a lock for filling that hole, he’d make a dent. Good size, great speed, and a dynamic playmaker with several years of starting time under his belt. They pick Branch over Mercilus because Branch’s quicker speed off the block and proven experience rather than the one year starter.

27. New England Patriots: Fletcher Cox, DT, Miss. St.: Cox has shown himself to be athletic and very gifted, but it the victim of alternative needs in this year’s draft. His fall, through not fault of his own, will make Bill Belichick very happy. The second fastest lineman at the combine, he uses his speed to close fast and excels as a run stopper. As a 3-4 DE, he will do well and the rich will become richer.

28. Green Bay Packers: Jerel Worthy DE/DT, MSU: Pass Rush help is going to be a focus, but with the first tier OLB guys gone they have to go in a different direction. Green Bay had the worst past defense in the NFL, but lead the league in defensive interceptions. They can address secondary needs later, but right now they have to get the guys they need to get to the quarterback. Worthy’s going to add pressure and help free up Clay Matthews and the pass rusher they grab in the second to make big plays. Expect offensive line, running back, and secondary help later too.

29. Baltimore Ravens: Donta' Hightower, ILB, Bama: The Ravens are finally going to have to admit that Ray Lewis is going to retire someday and they need someone who can step in. Hightower is a beast, critical to Bama’s recent successes, and will excel under the tutelage of one of the best LBers to ever put on pads. Although finding a long-term center is a need, I think they pass on Konz, who has a history of serious injuries. Replacing Grubbs will be necessary, but I don’t think anyone will jump out at them enough to pass over Hightower.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Kendall Reyes, DT/DE, UCONN: Justin Smith had an awesome year, but he is 32. The 49ers need a contingency plan and so they grab Reyes. He had one of the quickest 40s and second most reps for D-linemen at the combine, showing scouts the agility and explosiveness that San Francisco is going to be looking for. The 49ers are fortunate that they are young, talented, and well coached because it gives them the luxury of getting a talent like Reyes without sacrificing a need. Getting back Rogers and signing Manningham helps secure up the big needs they had going into free agency (assuming they get a quarterback by the end of it). Grabbing the next safety would be a stretch from here, so rather stock up at corner they plan for the future.

31. New England Patriots: Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois: What does a team that came minutes away from winning the Super Bowl, is coached by an evil genius, and has a million picks do? They copy their enemies. Pass rush will be the order of the day after free agency brings in several great receivers. Their second worst pass defense was a product of their pass rush as much as their young secondary. Mercilus will be the type of heat Belichick is looking for, bringing great size and speed at OLB.

32. New York Giants: Mike Adams, OT, OSU: After picking up a new TE and grabbing secondary help, the Super Bowl Champions have to find the answer to their expiring O-line needs. Stacy Andrews, Kareem McKenzie, and Tony Ugoh all are free agents and can be improved upon. Replacing Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs will have to happen, but that can wait. A move for middle linebacker is possible, but that defensive front that won the Super Bowl makes that less of a priority than protecting Eli.

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Round 2

33. St. Louis Rams: Zach Brown, LB, UNC:

34. Indianapolis Colts: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford:

35. Minnesota Vikings: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech:

36. Tampa Bay Bucs: Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall:

37. Cleveland Browns: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina:

38. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kevin Zietler, OG/OT, Wisconsin:

39. St. Louis Rams (from Washington): Zebrie Sanders, OT, FSU:

40. Carolina Panthers: Brandon Thompson, DE/DT, Clemson:

41. Buffalo Bills: Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida:

42. Miami Dolphins: Rueben Randle, WR, LSU:

43. Seattle Seahawks: Mychal Kendricks, LB, Cal:

44. Kansas City Chiefs: Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson:

45. Dallas Cowboys: Alameda Ta'amu, NT, Washington:

46. Philadelphia Eagles: Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana:

47. New York Jets: Harrison Smith, SS, ND:

48. New England Patriots (from OAK): Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin:

49. San Diego Chargers: Brandon Washington, OG/OT, Miami:

50. Miami Dolphins (from Chicago): Brandon Weeden, QB, OkState:

51. Philadelphia (from AZ): Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse:

52. Tennessee Titans: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska:

53. Cincinnati Bengals: Ben Jones, OG/C, UGA:

54. Detroit Lions: Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska:

55. Atlanta Falcons: Bobby Wagner, LB, USU:

56. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ronnell Lewis, OLB, OU:

57. Denver Broncos: Josh Chapman, DT, Bama:

58. Houston Texans: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor:

59. New Orleans Saints: Chase Minnifield, CB, UVA:

60. Green Bay Packers: Bruce Irvin, OLB, WVU:

61. Baltimore Ravens: Brandon Brooks, OG, Miami (Ohio):

62. San Fransisco 49ers: Amini Silotalu, OG/OT, Midwestern St:

63. New England Patriots: Brandon Taylor, SS, LSU:

64. New York Giants: Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers:

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