2012 NFL Mock Draft Picks 1-20
The NFL Regular season has come to an end and the first 20 slots of the NFL Draft have been determined, with picks 21 through 32 to be determined after each week of the playoffs. The Cincinnati Bengals have two first round picks, their own, which is a pick between 21 and 32, and the Oakland Raiders first round pick, who traded it to the Bengals in the Carson Palmer trade back in October. The Cleveland Browns also have two first round picks, their own at number four, and the Atlanta Falcons first rounder between 21 and 32 after the Falcons traded it last year in a package to get Julio Jones from Alabama in last years draft. The New England Patriots are the third and final team to have two first round picks, their own, and the Saints first rounder, whom they acquired at last years draft so New Orleans could move up and draft Alabama running back Mark Ingram. Both Patriots picks are between 21and 32.
The Indianapolis Colts own the number one pick after finishing 2-14 in 2011, and finishing 10-6 and being a playoff team in 2010. With many questions surrounding future hall of fame quarterback Peyton Manning’s health, the Colts may look to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who is being called the greatest college prospect since Peyton Manning, and even John Elway. There are many scenarios involving what the Colts could or should do with the number one overall pick, I’ll run down some of the scenarios now. The Colts could draft Luck, and keep Manning, and have Manning play for a couple more years and tutor Luck. The Colts could draft Luck, and decide to cut or trade Manning, saving lots of money, and having a fresh new young quarterback in Andrew Luck to start from the get go for them and not have to worry about Manning’s bad neck all the time. Finally, the Colts could trade the number one pick to a quarterback hungry team and get two, or even three first round picks for it, while having Peyton Manning start for them for a few more years, and draft a quarterback to groom in the future. In order to do that last scenario, the Colts will have to have had run many tests on Manning’s neck to make sure it can hold up for a few years and be confident he can turn back into a top three quarterback like he was before he had the multiple neck surgeries in 2011. Many experts don’t believe the Colts will trade the number one pick, and when they do keep it, they will draft Andrew Luck, just for when Manning retires, or gets injured again possibly. Either way, many people believe Andrew Luck will be wearing Colts blue in 2012, whether he’s starting under center, or watching from the bench and being mentored by a future hall of famer.
As I am writing this, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones, has decided to return to Oklahoma for his senior season. I had Landry as the third best quarterback in this draft after USC quarterback Matt Barkley decided to return to school for his senior season. This once unforgettable quarterback class has gone from very deep to good/normal. With Barkley and Jones both headed back to school, and possibly Georgia’s Aaron Murray, Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson, and Tennessee’s Tyler Bray coming out of school for the 2013 NFL Draft, that draft class now looks remarkable. That’s assuming all three of Murray, Wilson, and Bray join Barkley and Jones in the 2013 draft. Only time will tell until we get those decisions, which will not be for about at least another 11 months, so no reason to think about that right now, when Andrew Luck and Baylor QB Robert Griffin III are headlining the 2012 draft.
Now it is time for my first ever mock draft of any sport. I bet you will be able to tell when going over my mock draft. I promise there will be no bias picks by me, in case you think I may be bias. Now lets get the ball rolling, here’s the first edition of my 2012 NFL mock draft. I will update it after every playoff round, and through free agency as well. Hope you enjoy.
1.Indianapolis Colts: Stanford QB Andrew Luck – The Colts have a chance to draft another Peyton Manning. The real one is 35 and nearing the end, so Indy needs a future QB anyway.
2.St.Louis Rams: USC OT Matt Kalil – If the Rams wan to move forward with Sam Bradford as their QB, they need to give him some protection.
3.Minnesota Vikings: Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon – The Vikings have assured Christian Ponder that he is the QB of the future, so they need to give him a big time weapon to throw to.
4.Cleveland Browns: Baylor QB Robert Griffin III – The Browns could use a good young dual threat QB as Colt McCoy doesn’t look like the answer in Cleveland.
5.Tampa Bay Buccaneers: LSU CB Morris Claiborne – The Bucs need help on defense, especially since they play in the NFC South, Claiborne is the best defensive prospect in the draft.
6.Washington Redskins: Stanford OT Jonathan Martin – With Landry Jones going back to school, the Redskins need QB protection for a free agent addition or a QB added in the 2013 draft.
7.Jacksonville Jaguars: South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffrey – The WR corps in Jacksonville is pitiful and long term QB Blaine Gabbert needs a big time #1 WR to throw to.
8.Carolina Panthers: Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick – The Panthers have a great offense, but the defense is bad, if they want to contend with the offenses of the Saints and Falcons, they’ll take Kirkpatrick.
9.Miami Dolphins: Iowa OT Riley Reiff – With no Matt Barkley or Landry Jones available, the Dolphins can add some pass protection for Matt Moore in 2012.
10.Buffalo Bills: North Carolina DE Quinton Coples – The Bills ranked at the bottom of the league in sacks, and could use a big pass rusher, this is where Coples comes in.
11.Kansas City Chiefs: Boston College ILB Luke Kuechly – The Chiefs will be getting Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry, and Tony Moeaki back in 2012, and can use a hard hitting linebacker to make the defense scary.
12.Seattle Seahawks: Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill – The Seahawks need a QB bad, and with no Barkley or Landry, they may reach for Tannehill, just like Minnesota reached for Christian Ponder last year.
13.Arizona Cardinals: Stanford G David DeCastro – The Cardinals offensive line is putrid, and if they want their $65 million investment in Kevin Kolb to be able to finish the season and give them the performance that they’re paying him for, they need to add protection for him.
14.Dallas Cowboys: North Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins – The Cowboys secondary is horrible, and Terrance Newman was just made a mockery of by the Giants doing hurdles over him all game in the NFC East title game, they need to upgrade the secondary and Jenkins makes sense.
15.Philadelphia Eagles: Alabama MLB Dont’a Hightower – The Eagles LB corps is really bad, and was their main problem in 2011. An offensive lineman can be taken here, but a LB is needed.
16.New York Jets: Alabama DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw – The Jets need a legit pass rusher and Upshaw fits the bill. A defensive player from Alabama with this defense can do wonders.
17.Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland Raiders): Alabama RB Trent Richardson – The Bengals need to get a new running back to replace Benson and they’ll get the best one in the draft.
18.San Diego Chargers: USC DE/OLB Nick Perry – The Chargers offense can score with anybody, but they need a pass rusher to stop the other team from always outscoring them.
19.Chicago Bears: Florida State OT Zebrie Sanders – The Bears offensive line is horrible, and adding a left tackle to protect Jay Cutler is what they need the most.
20.Tennessee Titans: South Carolina DE Melvin Ingram – The Titans offense is solid, their defense could use some help as they were second last in the league in sacks.