Friday, March 9, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft - Post Scouting Combine

Here is my Post NFL Scouting Combine 2012 NFL Mock Draft. It will be followed by updates up until the NFL Draft on April 26th.

My mock draft has been linked by The Football Fan Spot, Sports Jabber, DC Pro Sports ReportWalter Football, FF Toolbox,, The Football Expert, NFLDraftDogNFL Mocks, Fantasy Football Help Desk, The Huddle Report, NFL Mock Draft Central, NFL Pro Zach and No Limits Sportsline Fantasy Sports in their Mock Draft Databases. If you're a draftnik like me, be sure to click on their hyperlinks and check out all of their extensive NFL Draft related material.

This is not a mock draft where I attempt play general manager and substitute my own judgment for the 32 NFL teams. I do my best to research what particular players or positions each team may be targeting by searching the internet for reliable reports from team beat writers and NFL insiders in order to provide links and analysis as to why that team may be targeting a particular player.

1st Round

1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: With the Colts unwilling to pay a $28 million roster bonus to a quarterback coming off of four neck surgeries, and with Peyton Manning not wanting to take a pay cut to play through a major rebuilding project, this has been one of the better break-ups between a superstar and a franchise/city in recent history. The Colts are free to select Andrew Luck with the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and play him right away, while their fan base will have the excitement of watching him develop even though they are completely starting over.;;

2. Washington Redskins (trade with St. Louis) – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: With Peyton Manning having rebuffed Washington's attempt to lure him in free agency, the Redskins will have their quarterback of the future, having elected to give up three first round picks and a second for the right to draft Robert Griffin III.

3. Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil, OT, USC: The Vikings appear to have made their decision to go with Christian Ponder as their quarterback of the future, having assured him that they will not select another signal caller with their first round pick in this year's draft. Matt Kalil projects as a premier left tackle that Minnesota can rebuild their offensive line around. Justin Blackmon and Morris Claiborne would also fill needs here for the Vikings, but when all else is equal when it comes to talent, left tackle takes precedence over a wide receiver or a cornerback.;;;;;

4. Detroit Lions (predicted trade with Cleveland) – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU: Offensive line and the secondary are Detroit's biggest areas of need. Last year the Lions tried to make an aggressive move in order to trade up with Arizona in order to select LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson. The Lions still haven't upgraded their secondary since that trade fell through, and fellow LSU Tiger Morris Claiborne probably projects as a better NFL cover corner than Peterson. If Claiborne is still on the board, look for the Lions to put in a call to Cleveland..To trade up with Cleveland, it would likely cost the Lions their entire draft in 2012, as well as a 1st rounder in 2012.;;;;!/ttwentyman/status/164890568651046913;

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: It would be hard to argue with Morris Claiborne or Justin Blackmon at the #5 spot, but an electric back like Trent Richardson would immediately make life easier on quarterback Josh Freeman by forcing an extra defender into the box. The decision as to which position to pick will likely be determined by who the Bucs are able to sign in free agency, where there will be more top flight cornerbacks available than game changing running backs.;;

6. St. Louis Rams – (trade with Washigton) Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State: With the Rams now having traded down from the #2 spot with Washington at #6, they have accumulated a bounty of extra picks and still have the opportunity to select the elite go to wide receiver they covet for Sam Bradford in Justin Blackmon before the next team clearly seeking help at that position picks in Jacksonville at #7.;;

7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina: Wide receiver, defensive end and tackle seem to be the Jaguars biggest needs. In the event that Justin Blackmon does not fall to them, they should have their choice of elite pass rushers in this year's draft, with defensive end representing the position of best value for Jacksonville at the #7 spot.;

8. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A and M: While there has been speculation that the Dolphins will make a strong push for Peyton Manning now that he has been released by the Colts. They could also pursue Matt Flynn since his former offensive coordinator in Green Bay is now Miami's head coach. In the event that the Dolphins miss out on Payton Manning and Matt Flynn, they could target Texas A and M quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who played for Mike Sherman (Miami’s new offensive coordinator) in college. They could also target an outside 3-4 pass rusher like South Carolina’s Melvin Ingram.;;

9. Carolina Panthers – Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis: Ideally the Panthers would like for in-state product Quinton Coples to fall them at pick #9. Coples would have the skill-set to play inside as a disruptive tackle in the Panthers 4-3 system. Morris Claiborne is also a player that the Panthers are considering to fill a need at cornerback. If both are off the board by the time the Panthers pick, Carolina will likely have to choose between Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick and Memphis DT Dontari Poe. Poe would be a fit because he has the size to anchor a defensive line against the run, and the athleticism to be disruptive from the inside.;;

10. Buffalo Bills – Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama: An edge pass rusher like Courtney Upshaw would be a great combination to pair alongside fellow ex Alabama teammate Marcell Dareus in the Bill's new 4-3 defense. A left tackle could also be a consideration, but for now Buffalo hopes to re-sign Demetrius Bell.;;;;

11. Kansas City Chiefs – Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa: The Chiefs are looking to upgrade their offensive line. Drafting a true left tackle like Iowa’s Riley Reiff at #11 would allow them to move Brandon Albert either inside to guard or to right tackle, his more natural position. Either way, Kansas City would substantially upgrade two positions on their line by making that move.

12. Seattle Seahawks – Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC: Seattle has needs at quarterback and defensive end. It certainly would not be surprising if the Seahawks used or packaged this pick for a new signal caller, but that scenario would require them moving up from pick #12 and into the top 2 or 3 to even have a chance at one of the top 2 quarterbacks in the draft. If Seattle finds their new quarterback in free agency (where they have been linked to both Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn), the Seahawks are said to have exhibited an interest in USC DE Nick Perry, who could be reunited with former college coach Pete Carroll.;;;;  

13. Arizona Cardinals – Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford: The Cardinals need to improve their current offensive line, especially if they elect to let left tackle Levi Brown walk in free agency. Jonathan Martin of Stanford and Riley Reiff would seem to fit at #13 value wise. The Cardinals also exhibited an interest in Ohio State left tackle Mike Adams at the Senior Bowl.;;;

14. Dallas Cowboys – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama: The Cowboys have several glaring holes in their secondary, which for an aspiring Super Bowl contender is a recipe for disaster in the pass happy NFC. Look for the Cowboys to address that need and let their young interior offensive line develop another season before deciding whether it needs to be upgraded.;;;;

15. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College: Despite spending significant amounts of money on the defensive side of the ball last season, it was relatively easy to foresee that the Eagles would struggle due to an inability to stop the run. While Philadelphia typically uses their first round draft picks on linemen, they were woefully undersized and thin on depth at linebacker last season, where a complete overhaul is necessary. Luke Kuechly of Boston College would be a solid step in remedying that problem, especially in light of his superb zone cover skills.;;

16. New York Jets - Melvin Ingram, OLB/DE, South Carolina: The Jets entire defense was brought down last season due to a lack of pass rush from the edge. Melvin Ingram of South Carolina projects as an ideal 3-4 OLB in the Jet’s defensive scheme. Mark Barron of Alabama could also be a consideration for some much needed speed at safety, but I'm hearing that a strong pass rusher would be their preference.

17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) – David DeCastro, G, Stanford: From the interior of their offensive line to an explosive back, the Bengals could stand to improve their running game. David DeCastro projects as one of the highest rated guards in recent draft history, possibly going as high as the top half of the first round. Cornerback and safety will also be considerations depending on the value available when it comes to Cincinnati's draft board.;;;

18. San Diego Chargers – Andre Branch, OLB/DE, Clemson: The Chargers could have plenty of needs depending upon whether they re-sign all of their own free agents. Offensive line could be a huge concern with the retirement of Kris Dielman and depending on the statuses of Marcus McNeil, Jared Gaither and Nick Hardwick, although it currently looks as if Gaither and Hardwick may ultimately return. Adding a playmaker to rush the passer at linebacker is also a major need, and could represent better value at the 18th pick if the Chargers can sure up their line before the draft. Melvin Ingram of South Carolina or Courtney Upshaw of Alabama would be ideal fits if they were to fall to San Diego at #18, while Andre Branch of Clemson would also fit the bill of a pass rusher at linebacker in a 3-4 defense.;;

19. Chicago Bears – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame: Replenishing an aging offensive line has to be a priority for the Bears, as is adding a true #1 receiver. With Mike Martz having been forced into retirement, new offensive coordinator and offensive line guru Mike Tice might be able to make do with the pieces that he currently has. In that case, Michael Floyd of Notre Dame would give Jay Cutler a natural go-to receiver to work with, allowing Devin Hester and Johnny Knox to work as more complimentary big-play threats. Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill may have also worked himself into the mix with a strong Scouting Combine.;

20. Tennessee Titans – Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois: The Titans appear to be looking for help at defensive end. In the mid to later part of the first round they could find value in edge rushers like Nick Perry of USC, Andre Branch of Clemson, or Whitney Mercilus of Illinois. Cornerback could also be a consideration with Courtland Finnegan free to sign elsewhere as a free agent.;;
Sports Tennessee Titans

21. Cincinnati Bengals – Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama: The Bengals should look to upgrade their secondary at either corner or safety with at least one of their two first round picks. Janoris Jenkins claims to have distanced himself from the marijuana problems that caused him to get kicked out of the University of Florida. Given that the Bengals have a tendency to overlook character concerns, Jenkins may be a fit in Cincinnati given that he just may be the best cover corner in the draft.;;;

22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta) – Brandon Weedon, QB, Oklahoma State: If the Browns trade for Robert Griffin III, the price will almost undoubtedly cost them both of their first round picks in this year's draft. Assuming that the Rams fill their need for an elite wide receiver with their first pick, they can concentrate on plugging the hole on the middle of their defensive line. While Dontari Poe received all of the attention for his athleticism at the Scouting Combine, Fletcher Cox actually tested very similarly, plus he has better game tape to back up those results. 

23. Cleveland Browns (predicted trade with Detroit) - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor: Having offered three first round picks and even a second rounder, the Browns still lost out to Washington on Robert Griffin III. If the Browns land their quarterback of the future via free agency in someone like Matt Flynn or draft a quarterback later in the first round at #22 like Ryan Tannehill or Brandon Weedon, they will be free to trade back and accumulate additional draft picks, In this scenario, those picks come in the form of Detroit's entire 2012 draft, and likely their first rounder in 2013. With those additional picks they can start with a go-to target. Kendall Wright of Baylor is the type of deep threat that they have been lacking in order to stretch defenses.;;

24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Cordy Glenn, T/G, Georgia: Pittsburgh is trying to keep their core of young talent together, while letting some of their more tenured veterans depart via free agency. This has left them with a lack of depth and several major holes that will need to be filled, including on their offensive and defensive lines. Cordy Glenn of Georgia could step in immediately at either right tackle or guard, although a 3-4 defensive end would not be out of the question.;

25. Denver Broncos – Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State: The Broncos have more needs than there is value to them at the #25 pick. Ideally, they'd probably like to trade out of the first round and accumulate more players at positions of need like running back, center, defensive tackle and the secondary. Defensive tackle should be a particularly deep position in the late first or early second round, and Jerel Worthy, Devon Still, Fletcher Cox or Brandon Thompson could all fill a need for the Broncos at that position if they stay put.;;

26. Houston Texans – Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech: The Texans need a compliment to Andre Johnson at wide receiver, who's injury last season magnified their lack of depth at that position. Stephen Hill is a physical specimen at wide receiver who's numbers at Georgia Tech were hindered by their lack of a vertical passing game. After his performance at the Scouting Combine, teams have to be wondering how good Hill can become in an offense that utilizes its receivers.;;;

27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans) – Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall: If the Patriots can address defensive end with the first selection in the first round, a 3-4 outside linebacker needs to be their next priority with Kevin Carter and Mark Anderson set to hit the free agent market. Vinny Curry of Marshall is a talented pass rusher who's skill set translates well to standing up in a 3-4 defense in the NFL.;;;

28. Green Bay Packers – Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State: The Packers are still looking for a replacement for Cullen Jenkins, who's departure after their 2011 Super Bowl victory in free agency created a huge hole at end on their defensive line. Mississippi State DT Fletcher Cox would be a disruptive force in Green Bay's 3-4 defense that could occupy some of the extra attention that Clay Mathews received this year, freeing him up to get after the passer like he did two seasons ago. In fact,w
hile Dontari Poe received all of the attention for his athleticism at the Scouting Combine, Fletcher Cox actually tested very similarly, plus he has better game tape to back up those results.;;;;|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

29. Baltimore Ravens - Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin: Baltimore takes a best player available approach when it comes to the draft. Fortunately for them, interior offensive linemen may represent the best value on the board when they select, as they could lose G Ben Grubbs to free agency and C Matt Birk to retirement. Peter Konz could either replace Birk should he retire, or he could play along side of him for a year at guard in order to learn the calls a center needs to make in the NFL.,0,217052.story;;,0,217052.story

30. San Francisco 49ers – Mark Barron, S, Alabama: The 49ers will take the best player available on their draft board. If Mark Barron of Alabama slides, he'd make a formidible partner alongside Dashon Goldson at safety.;

31. New England Patriots – Devon Still, DT, Penn State: New England has two picks in both the 1st and the 2nd rounds of this year's draft. With glaring holes at DE, OLB CB/S and possibly even WR, they should be in position to make major improvements to a team that just narrowly missed winning the Super Bowl. Devon Still of Penn State would be an ideal 3-4 end to provide the Patriots with some much needed pass rush while also stabilizing against the run.;;

32. New York Giants – Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State: The Giants were able to mask holes on their offensive line, linebacking corps and in their secondary all season. With their secondary returning some of the depth and talent that was lost due to injury, the Giants can focus on their line and linebackers. Cordy Glenn of Georgia has the versatility to play either right tackle or right guard, both of which are positions that the Giants could stand to improve. If Glenn is not available, and given that the Giants take a best player available philosophy under Jerry Reese, a linebacker with a solid first round grade like Dont’a Hightower of Alabama would help solidify their front seven, or a tackle like Mike Adams of Ohio State would stabalize thier offensive line.;              


  1. Why does everyone think the Browns will panic and reach for a QB. No offense but there is absolutely no history of either President Mike Holmgren or GM Tom Heckert taking a qb this high, let alone a 28 year old. It would be different if Weeden was a top shelf prospect like Luck or RG3 but he isnt

    1. The NFL Draft GuruMarch 11, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      It's not panicking if you need a quarterback and no other options are available. Under this scenario the Browns would have a plethora of picks to secure plenty of talent, but at a position like QB, need becomes an issue. I'm not 100% sold on Weeden, but he tore up his pro day...and as a Michigan State alum, I can tell you that someone like Kirk Cousins is NOT the answer. Right now the Browns have an interest, and barring signing someone like Matt Flynn in FA, they may not be able to risk waiting for Weeden in the 2nd Rd.

    2. Who says they "need" a qb? Why not give Colt a shot with actual NFL talent around him. Last year he had a banged up oline, random healthy RBs, and WRs that lead the league in drops. Maybe 1 or 2 NFL qbs would have won 8 games with that junk. Give Colt a chance with more help...just my opinion.

      However, I do like your trade down. Not sure Detroit would give up that much though with the CB field as talented as it is in this draft class. Last year was a weak CB class behind Peterson.

    3. The NFL Draft GuruMarch 12, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      I'm not denying that Colt has lacked any type of legitimate receiving option, but I'm getting the reports that they "need" a QB from the Cleveland media. The Browns were certainly in the mix for RG3, they are reported to be in the mix for Flynn, and they have at least kicked the tires on Tannehill and Weeden. Not saying it's a foregone conclusion that McCoy's days as the starter in Cleveland are over, but drafting a QB in the first round is one several realistic possibilities for the Browns from what I'm hearing, especially if they can trade down for more picks.

    4. The Cleveland media are idiots. Nothing more than pawns to spread whatever the front office wants put out there.

    5. The NFL Draft GuruMarch 12, 2012 at 6:25 PM

      Fair point. Speaking his mind about the front office didn't exactly do very much for Tony Grossi's career. Do you think they are using the media for their smoke screens then? If so, who are they really looking at?

    6. I believe that the Browns should go OT or Skill players for a better offense. I don't know the line and how it plays, but the better the line the more time for McCoy to make decisions...How many teams have gone QB in the past and end up cutting that player after their first contract...To me it don't make sense...Get your best players to surround the QB and let them make plays...The QB must have a strong arm to make the throws...I believe QB's need time to learn the offense and quickness of the pro game...Tom Brady 6th round comp pick...Build your offensive line first with won't regret it....

    7. The NFL Draft GuruApril 9, 2012 at 12:38 AM

      First off, I've updated my mock several times since this post. You can find the most recent version at:

      I can't argue with your point about the Browns OL too much...I hate the fact that they cut Eric Steinback when they had plenty of cap space. However, with a franchise tackle in Joe Thomas, I can't see them wasting the #4 pick on a tackle that won't be playing on the left side. Maybe at #22, but like you say, I want to surround my QB with weapons at RB and WR, and the Browns have neither.

      Unfortunately, Colt McCoy does not have a strong arm. I think he'll have a serviceable career as a backup in the West Coast Offense, but I just don't see him ever being an upper echelon starter in the NFL. Keep in mind that Tom Brady was a very mediocre QB who split time at Michigan until he got to the NFL and hooked up with Barry Bond's trainer, Greg Anderson...just sayin'.

  2. I'm one of the few who think the Texans should take OLB/edge rusher in Round 1 to help replace Mario Williams and for depth (especially after last year). Pass rushers are at a premium and much less plentiful than WR in this draft. Take your mock, for instance: the only pass rusher available when the Texans pick at 26 who could possibly be considered a first-round talent is Vinny Curry. But I'm not sure he should be taken over WR Stephen Hill. Very tough call, for me at least.

    1. The NFL Draft GuruMarch 12, 2012 at 2:12 PM

      At this point I'm going with the opinion of John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, who's usually on the ball in regards to where the Texans are leaning in the draft. With free agency yet to start, I haven't ruled out the possibility of Williams re-signing. I'll be updating with a Post Free Agency Mock Draft, at which point we'll know whether or not a 3-4 OLB has become a need.

  3. #27 & #31 Fletcher Cox (Willie McGinest) and Michael Brockers (Richard Seymour) with Vince blocking the middle, the Pats defense will be back in old form...very soon......Defensive line will have a solid rotation...If these players aren't available trade out for more draft picks...

  4. The NFL Draft GuruApril 9, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    In my most recent mock draft ( I actually have the Pats going DT/DT in the 1st Rd. in Michael Brockers and Kendall Reyes. I think Cox is the best DT in this year's draft, and will be long gone by the time NE picks at #27...and I do mention the possibility of them trading back for additional picks, which sounds like a strong possibility for them again this year.

  5. I believe this years draft is the deepest since I've been following the draft...If you pick at 75, and pick the guy at 35, and no one would think any differently....Whoever is your team picking and your guys no there at that pick, trade out, someone's guy is still there at that pick and they'll give up that two picks to get'm...My teams the Pats and if they can get 10 picks between 30-90, their defensive problems are over....Cox & Brockers & McClellan are my top three...With Trumaine Johnson, Minniefield, Streeter my next three...If they only have the six picks....