Mock Draft Round 1 Version 1.0

Here is my first mock draft for the 2012 NFL Draft, enjoy.

Be sure to check out my Big Board of the top 32 players and then read each selection's reasoning.

PHXhero's Big Board:






Andrew Luck




Robert Griffin III




Matt Kalil




Trent Richardson




Luke Kuechly


Boston College


Justin Blackmon


Oklahoma State


Morris Claiborne




David DeCastro




Jonathan Martin




Whitney Mercilus




Michael Floyd


Notre Dame


Michael Brockers




Riley Reiff




Fletcher Cox


Mississippi State


Melvin Ingram


South Carolina


Quinton Coples


North Carolina


Mark Barron




Dre Kirkpatrick




Stephon Gilmore


South Carolina


Cordy Glenn




Courtney Upshaw




Nick Perry




Dont'a Hightower




Janoris Jenkins


North Alabama


Stephen Hill


Georgia Tech


Dontari Poe




Kendall Wright




Zach Brown


North Carolina


Devon Still


Penn State


Peter Konz




David Wilson


Virginia Tech


Coby Fleener



1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck QB Stanford

The Colts have the number one pick and it is pretty much a lock right now after his fantastic Pro Day, despite RGIII showing some great potential and ability at his own incredible Pro Day. The only problem for Luck though is the amount of pressure he is going to face as Manning's successor, oh and don't forget he really doesn't have anybody around him (excluding aging WR Reggie Wayne).

Alternate Pick: Robert Griffin III, QB from Baylor, could move up but his lack of willingness to hold a private workout could turn off Jim Irsay.

2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III QB Baylor

The ‘Skins gave up the world for the second spot in the upcoming draft, and they did it specifically to land RGIII. Snyder has a history of doing rash things to try and bring the Redskins to prominence but this one might actually payoff. RGIII has good accuracy (particularly at long range) and has a cannon were his right arm should be, not to mention his amazing athleticism. RGIII could end up being the closest we will see to the Madden 04 version of Michael Vick.

Alternate Pick: Only other pick here could be if RGIII goes number one and the ‘Skins are "forced" to take Andrew Luck.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil OT USC

The Vikings took Christian Ponder surprisingly early last year, and in order to ensure that pick isn't labeled a bust soon they will need to find proper protection for the young signal caller. Kalil is easily the best O-lineman in the draft and if not for RGIII he could have been the second player taken off the board.

Alternate Pick: A lot of mocks now are projecting the Vikings will "shock the world" again in this year's draft and if they do I would expect that Justin Blackmon (WR Oklahoma State) or Morris Claiborne (CB LSU) will be selected. The Vikings need serious help at both positions as well.

4. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State

The Browns have been mocked frequently with Trent Richardson (RB Alabama), however the RB position has been devalued at a drastic rate in the NFL, first round RB's haven't been nearly as productive as late. Saying that, the Browns need a passing threat for Colt McCoy (or any future QB they might have) and that man can easily be the Cowboy's all-around threat; Justin Blackmon

Alternate Pick: Despite what I said above, Trent Richardson could be selected here and I wouldn't be the least surprised. I don't see Ryan Tannehill (QB Texas A&M) being taken here because he is too much like their current QB.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne CB LSU

Another LSU CB will be taken five this year, and this time it will be Morris Claiborne. The Bucc's pass defense is going to suffer this year because 1) Barber is going to retire soon. And 2) Talib probably won't play all that well with shackles on his ankles and wrists. Claiborne is big and physical (something the Bucc's like) and can immediately contribute like Patrick Peterson did for Arizona, and don't forget that Claiborne could have been returning kicks for LSU had the Honey Badger not been so electrifying.

Alternate Pick: Trent Richardson could also land here but the Bucc's don't have immediate need at RB like they do at CB. I wouldn't be surprised to see another D-lineman taken by the defensive happy Bucc's organization.

6. St. Louis Rams: Trent Richardson RB Alabama

Richardson finally gets taken at the sixth spot but this is really only because all of the Rams top three targets are off the board; Kalil, Blackmon, and Claiborne. However, the pick makes sense because there is no way that Jackson is going to continue to be a formidable back with all the injuries he has sustained and the fact that he is closing in on the RB window (age isn't kind to RB's). Richardson can also help Bradford out of the backfield by catching passes too.

Alternate Pick: I personally believe that O-line is very important in a rebuilding process, so I wouldn't be surprised if Riley Reiff (OT Iowa) is announced with the sixth pick.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinton Coples DE North Carolina

To put it plainly, the Jag's can't pressure opposing team's QB's, in reality they barely put up a fight against O-linemen. Coples has been up and down people's mocks, his work ethic really puts some gigantic question marks on his draft stock. However, you can't overlook his athleticism and ability to get in the backfield on passing situations. The Jaguars need this to start stepping the right direction for AFC South contention.

Alternate Pick: Riley Reiff has been slated here a lot but I see Melvin Ingram (OLB/DE South Carolina) getting taken here because as I said the Jag's need a pass rusher. If they decide Coples won't work hard enough expect them to go in Ingram's direction.

8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M

A third QB taken in the first ten picks! This must be a deep QB class right? Wrong. Tannehill is only taken this high because the class is so thin that they want to make sure he is available when they take him, and because the Dolphins have a problem with making bad decisions. In all honesty they should stick with Matt Moore for the year, if he fails then they get a high pick next year and have a shot at Barkley or he could succeed and they will look like geniuses. Essentially it is a win-win.

Alternate Pick: Riley Reiff could be a nice compliment to Jake Long, or Ingram could be a nice compliment to Cameron Wake. These are win-wins and make more sense than Tannehill.

9. Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox DT Mississippi State

The Panthers have been associated with Dontari Poe (DT Memphis) for a long time but his athleticism doesn't make up for his poor game tape. Cox is a more polished version of Poe; he can stuff the run and be a wrecking ball for Charles Johnson to take full advantage of. If the Panthers are smart they will take Cox and help build that defense for Newton.

Alternate Pick: Surprise, Michael Floyd (WR Notre Dame) could be taken here because, outside of Steve Smith, Newton doesn't have a receiver to target. Adding Floyd would give Newton Smith, Floyd, and Greg Olsen to throw to (not bad).

10. Buffalo Bills: Riley Reiff OT Iowa

The Bills have a struggling offensive line but a surprisingly potent offense if they are able to maintain what they did in the beginning of last year. Reiff could help strengthen the Bills OT position, although he probably won't be an immediate starter at LT he will more than likely play RT in the NFL but any help for the Bills is good help.

Alternate Pick: Jonathan Martin (OT Stanford) is the only choice I would expect Bills fans to be excited about since they signed Mario Williams and don't have need at the pass rusher spot.

11. Kansas City Chiefs: Jonathan Martin OT Stanford

Another team that needs help at the O-line positions is the Kansas City Chiefs. The rest of their team is relatively solid and could make them contenders for the AFC West crown in 2012 with Eric Berry, Matt Cassel and Jamaal Charles. Martin could be a key component for the Chiefs while he is protecting Cassel's blind side. In my opinion, Martin could play any position on the O-line excluding Center.

Alternate Pick: Luke Kuechly (ILB Boston College) is a nice pick for any team, I seriously think Kuechly is top five talent but need pushes him out of that spot.

12. Seattle Seahawks: Luke Kuechly ILB Boston College

David Hawthorne is off to play in NOLA and Lofa Tatupu was cut last year which leaves the Seahawks with no true ILB for the upcoming season. If Kuechly is on the board here the Seahawks should be jumping with joy. Kuechly was a tackling machine in the ACC last year and was a terrific leader for the Eagles defensive unit. I have no doubt in my mind that Kuechly is a future All-Pro and long term starter, as I said before Kuechly should be a top five pick, being taken 12th overall is a steal for Seattle.

Alternate Pick: David DeCastro (OG Stanford) is another top prospect that has been bumped out of the top tier, the ‘Hawks need an OG to replace Gallery and DeCastro could get it done.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame

I thought this was going to be a surprise pick when I assembled my mock draft but it seems a certain ESPN reporter had my same thought for the Cards this year. The Cards lack a number two receiver to lighten the load on Fitzgerald but this year such a player falls right in their laps. Floyd could be a great combo with Fitz just like Anquan Boldin was, in fact Floyd could end up being a fantastic number one as well in a few years when Fitz starts climbing in age.

Alternate Pick: The Cards have some need at the O-line, either DeCastro or Cordy Glenn (OT Georgia) could be selected to wear the Cardinal's red.

14. Dallas Cowboys: David DeCastro OG Stanford

The Cowboys haven't really been protecting Tony Romo all that well over the years, they took a great step forward with Tyron Smith. DeCastro could be another great addition to the ‘Boys O-line and simultaneously help solidify the middle of the field. Keep in mind that DeCastro came from Stanford and was part of a great run offense and could open up massive holes for a healthy DeMarco Murray.

Alternate Pick: Janoris Jenkins (CB North Alabama) is the type of player Jerry Jones loves; talented, cocky and comes with a side of legal baggage. But seriously Jenkins could leapfrog both Gilmore and Kirkpatrick if Jones gives the go ahead.

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Dontari Poe DT Memphis

The Eagles under Andy Reid do not take LB's in the first round, they just don't and the really don't need to this year since they traded for the Texans All-Star LB Demeco Ryans. With that in mind, the Eagles still need help at defending the run and Poe is an impressive athlete with a knack for plugging holes. His only issue is poor game tape, sometimes athleticism doesn't translate to NFL production.

Alternate Pick: Michael Brockers (DT LSU) could move up this high and would be a much better and safer pick at the 15th slot.

16. New York Jets: Melvin Ingram OLB/DE South Carolina

Oh the Jets, what a circus they have been running these past few seasons. Is it possible that Rex Ryan will guarantee a Super Bowl win again? Yes. But that has little to do with their draft selection this year. The Jets need some pass rushers for the upcoming year if they want to get better and luckily for them Melvin Ingram is still available at the 16th spot, a steal in my book. Ingram can play both DE and OLB which will be great for the Jets defense, which needs some flexibility.

Alternate Pick: Mark Barron (SS Alabama) could upgrade the Jets poor secondary is a likely choice for the 2012 draft. I am sure Fireman Fred would agree.

17. Cincinnati Bengals: Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina

The Bengals have an interesting choice at the 17th spot, either they take Glenn and risk Gilmore being taken before their second first round pick or they take Gilmore and hope Glenn falls to the 21st spot. Here I see Gilmore coming off the board because the Bengals will realize that the Titans could snatch him up and Glenn is relatively safe. Gilmore has jumped boards since the end of the College bowl season but buyers should be cautious, he needs to be more heavily used in zone packages.

Alternate Pick: Cordy Glenn is the only other option that Bengal fans won't be upset about realistically and it would still give them a shot at Gilmore.

18. San Diego Chargers: Mark Barron SS Alabama

The Chargers last year signed Bob Sanders hoping that they would then be set at the SS position for years to come. Well... that didn't really happen. The Chargers need a player opposite Eric Weddle to become fearsome in their pass defense and Mark Barron might be able to do just that. If Barron pays off the Chargers will only need help at the WR and O-line positions to become serious contenders for the AFC.

Alternate Pick: Nick Perry (OLB/DE USC) is a little undersized but he has a knack for getting to the QB and could provide a nice pass rush for the Chargers.

19. Chicago Bears: Dont'a Hightower ILB Alabama

The Bears have been slated to take a pass rusher in a lot of mocks I have seen but I see a more glaring issue. Brian Urlacher is getting up there in age and the Bears should not be ignoring that fact. Hightower is the second best ILB in the draft and could develop into a nice replacement for Urlacher down the stretch. I know Bears' fans love their Urlacher but they have to come to terms with age and plan ahead (look what their rival Packers did with Rodgers, proper planning I must say).

Alternate Pick: Whitney Mercilus (DE Illinois) is a fantastic pass rusher and could be a fearsome tandem with Julius Peppers (Bears fans should enjoy this).

20. Tennessee Titans: Whitney Mercilus DE Illinois

The Titans just lost Jason Jones to Seattle, Jason Babin left the team last year and had a great season in Philadelphia and Derrick Morgan is looking more and more like a bust. With that in mind the Titans cannot pass on the NCAA sack leader; Whitney Mercilus. I personally watched Mecilus just absolutely tear through the ASU O-line when they were hot, it was a scary spectacle. He could be a great NFL pass rusher.

Alternate Pick: Dre Kirkpatrick (CB Alabama) the Titans also need to address their pass defense since Courtland Finnegan left for the dome in St. Louis.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Cordy Glenn OT Georgia

Somehow it all works out for the Bengals and they land both of the players they are targeting this offseason. Glenn is an excellent fit for the Bengals because he is coming from a zone blocking scheme in Georgia which is very similar to the Bengals own blocking scheme, plus they need a dominant OT to both protect Dalton and block defenders in the run game.

Alternate Pick: Mike Adams (OT Ohio State) could jump Glenn here, it isn't uncommon for some O-linemen to make a surprise jump (cough-cough James Carpenter).

22. Cleveland Browns: Courtney Upshaw OLB/DE Alabama

The Browns have two picks in the first round thanks to the Julio Jones. With their second selection I would expect the Browns to address a defensive need, especially one that can rush the passer, stuff the run and attempt to cover TE's. Upshaw would immediately upgrade the Browns defense and help Jabaal Sheard get in the back field. That would be a really young pass rushing attack that could be around for years and possibly be the face of the Browns playoff run in a few years.

Alternate Pick: Lamar Miller (RB Miami) could make a shocking jump here, the Browns do need a RB and Miller needs a team where he can be the number one (win-win?).

23. Detroit Lions: Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama

The Lions end up with another troubled defensive youth; they are getting closer to becoming the football version of the "Bad Boys of Detroit." However, this works out for the Lions because their secondary is so weak and it also just so happens that Jenkins plays their physical style of defense despite only being 5'10". Remember that Jenkins has shut down top SEC prospects like Alshon Jeffery and even A.J. Green on consistent a basis when he was a member of the Florida Gators.

Alternate Pick: Mike Adams (OT Ohio State) could be taken instead, the Lions need their offensive line to be better in order to keep Matthew Stafford healthy.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Adams OT Ohio State

The Steelers, like so many teams, could use an upgrade on their offensive line. Adams has been ranked higher than the 24th pick pretty consistently but the problem is that Adams game is lazy and inconsistent. He had problems shutting down, or slowing down, top tier Big Ten defensive linemen throughout his stint as a Buckeye. However, if there is one coach that could get a lazy and inconsistent player to reach his full potential it would be Mike Tomlin.

Alternate Pick: Michael Brockers (DT LSU), the Steelers normally draft Best Player Available (BPA) and it would be likely that the Steel Curtain won't pass up on a defensive specimen.

25. Denver Broncos: Michael Brockers DT LSU

The Broncos are a very weak up-the-middle defense, but, as luck would have it, Brockers somehow falls all the way to the 25th pick. This may be due to LSU's recent woes with defensive linemen gone pro such as Glenn Dorsey. Brockers is still a little bit of a work in progress but I personally believe he is the best DT in the draft, after a year or two in the NFL he could become a household name in the United States.

Alternate Pick: Kendall Wright (WR Baylor) is a likely selection for the Broncos; they really don't have a receiving threat for Manning to throw to.

26. Houston Texans: Stephen Hill WR Georgia Tech

The Texans have been associated with Stephen Hill frequently throughout this year's lead up to the draft. Even though Kendall Wright is ranked higher on most boards, Hill is a much better fit for the Texans offense. Most of the Texans receiving core is taken up by slow-possession-receivers leaving them with a real lack of deep threat burners. Hill is fast, almost lightning fast for his height (a modest 6'5"), plus with the size he possesses he could become just like Megatron himself. The real question is; can he keep up the GT WR legacy of Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas?

Alternate Pick: Kendall Wright has also been targeted by the Texans, don't be surprised if he is taken by the defending AFC South champions.

27. New England Patriots: Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama

The Patriots are notorious for trading away their first round selections, and I don't see a real reason for them to not continue this trend. This pick will likely be traded but if I had to say who the Pats would take, it would most likely be Kirkpatrick. The Patriots secondary last year was torched on a weekly basis, and even though they ended fairing alright in the playoffs they could use a serious upgrade there. Kirkpatrick used to be a top 20 pick, if the Pats manage to snag him at 27, I would expect big things.

Alternate Pick: Trade, I don't often put that here but a trade is more likely than another selection. Look for teams needing secondary, receiving, or pass rushing needs.

28. Green Bay Packers: Nick Perry OLB/DE USC

The Packers need a lot of help on the defensive side of the ball after last year's debacle. However, the biggest need may be in their pass rush, Clay Matthews was pretty much inefficient without Cullen Jenkins taken on some of the blocks and causing havoc in the backfield. Perry is undersized to play DE but in the Packers system he could be a great OLB tandem with Matthews. Plus, Perry is a USC alum and a previous USC pass rusher has been working wonders for them already.

Alternate Pick: Chandler Jones (DE Syracuse) may also be a route that the Pack takes this year. He is more of a true DE and could play on the same side as Matthews causing them to overpower the offensive line.

29. Baltimore Ravens: Peter Konz C Wisconsin

The Ravens may need more help at their ILB position for Ray Lewis retires (possibly after this season) but there really isn't an ILB anywhere on the board when they have this pick. Their second biggest need may be located at the interior of the offensive line, particularly Center. Matt Birk is getting old and there is no need not to find a suitable replacement, Konz is easily the best Center available, is built for a ground and pound games (Rice will enjoy this) and is already expected to go in the late first round or early second round.

Alternate Pick: Zach Brown (OLB North Carolina) doesn't really fit a need for the Ravens but I think the pick may make sense because Suggs is going to slow down eventually and Johnson signed with the Chargers.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Kendall Wright WR Baylor

Sure the 49ers signed Randy Moss this offseason and Michael Crabtree is looking more promising every day, but they don't really have depth at the position. For starters, Moss is pretty old for a WR of his caliber at this point. And secondly, Crabtree hasn't really shown as much potential as people thought he would. That leaves the Niners to take Wright in 2012, he could help provide receiving depth for Alex Smith to sling the ball to.

Alternate Pick: Devon Still (DT Penn State) could help bolster that 49ers defense that only allowed two touchdown runs all season. Take about formidable.

31. New England Patriots: Devon Still DT Penn State

The Patriots like to take physical and underappreciated defensive lineman and Still could be that man this year. Besides the Pats terrible secondary, the defense also suffered from an inefficient run defense. Still is a good run stuffer something that the Patriots covet in their DT's. If Still gets to line up with Vince Wilfork this year we could witness a fantastic run stuffing combination that also eats up a lot of blocks for their Pats pass rushers.

Alternate Pick: Vinny Curry (OLB/DE Marshall) also fits the Pats love of underappreciated defensive lineman, plus the Pats pass rush was almost non-existent last year.

32. New York Giants: Coby Fleener TE Stanford

The Giants had another miracle run at the Super Bowl this season which cumulated in defeating an offensive powerhouse in the New England Patriots both times. So if the current recipe is still working; what do you add to it? The weakest part of the Giants offense last season was their TE play (although their RB's came a close second). The Giants have an interesting choice with Fleener and Dwayne Allen (TE Clemson) available, but I see the Giants taking a TE more used to catching passes from an efficient QB.

Alternate Pick: Lamar Miller could also go here as well, with Brandon Jacobs heading to the Bay area. The Giants will need a number two back to run wild with Bradshaw.

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