2012 NFL Draft: Time to Talk Mock – The First Round







1Indianapolis ColtsQBAndrew LuckStanford
In 1998, It was Peyton Manning who was the #1 overall pick by a struggling Colts franchise, 14 years later,  Luck replaces that same  Indianapolis QB legend that he helped force out of town.                             2011 Stats: 3,517 Pass Yards – 37 TD – 10 INT – 71% – 150 Rush Yards – 2TD
2Washington Redskins QBRobert Griffin IIIBaylor
You don’t trade away all of those 1st round draft picks unless you already have pin-pointed your selection.  Robert Griffin III, has Cam Newton type talent and will excel in Washington.                                                          2011 Stats: 4,293 Pass Yards – 37 TD –  6 INT – 72% – 699 Rush Yards – 10TD
3Minnesota VikingsOTMatt KalilUSC
Kalil is the best offensive lineman in the draft, and the Vikings gave up 49 sacks last season, which was fifth most in the NFL, so you do the math.
4Cleveland BrownsRBTrent RichardsonAlabama
This is the drafts first big debate – Should the Browns select Trent Richardson or gamble on the raw athletic QB Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M.                                                                                                                    2011 Stats: 1,679 Yards Rush – 5.9 YPC – 21 TD – 338 Yards Rec – 3 TD
5Tampa Bay BuccaneersCBMorris ClaiborneLSU
Ronde Barber is old and Aqib Talib is always in trouble.  Claiborne is a playmaker at CB who can change games.  A recent draft direction tip, Claiborne’s old defensive backs coach Ron Cooper from LSU was just brought in.
6St. Louis Rams   WRJustin BlackmonOklahoma State
St. Louis QB Sam Bradford regressed in his 2ndyear in the NFL and needs some WR help.                    Blackman is not as talented as Cowboys WR Dez Bryant but is a true #1 WR in the NFL.                              2011 Stats: 121 Rec – 1,522 Yards Rec – 18TD
7Jacksonville JaguarsDEQuinton CoplesNorth Carolina
The Jaguars break my heart, selecting my pick in Coples, they could go WR Floyd or trade down with someone hoping to jump ahead of Miami for Tannehill, but I think they take Coples here.                              2011 Stats: 55 Tackles – 15.0 TFL – 7.5 Sacks – 7 QB Hurries – 3 FF – 2 PBU
8Miami DolphinsQBRyan TannehillTexas A&M
The Dolphins will draft Ryan Tannehill here if he’s still available.  It makes perfect sense due to his college coach Mike Sherman being in Miami and being ditched by every QB not named Marino.                                  2011 Stats: 3,744 Pass Yards – 29 TD – 15 INT – 62% – 306 Rush Yards – 4TD
9Carolina PanthersDTMichael BrockersLSU
Carolina has a huge need at defensive tackle.  Michael Brockers fits their 4-3 defense better then Cox or Poe, and in my opinion he is the best DT in the draft with the most upside.                                                         2011 Stats: 54 Tackles – 10 TFL – 4 Sacks – 5 QB Hurries – 2 PBU – 1 FF – 1 INT
10Buffalo BillsOTRiley ReiffIowa
 The Bills biggest need has been OT since the Jason Peters trade, Reiff can start on either side.
11Kansas City ChiefsOGDavid DeCastroStanford
 DeCastro, who is NFL ready, is the best OG to enter the NFL, since Steve Hutchinson in 2001.
12Seattle SeahawksILBLuke Kuechly Boston College
Luke Kuechly can replace David Hawthorne.  Kuechly is the best inside linebacker in this draft.  They could also look at former USC Trojan OLB Nick Perry.                                                                                                     2011 Stats: 191 Tackles – 12 TFL – 3 INT – 3 PBU
13Arizona CardinalsWRMichael FloydNotre Dame
Maybe a surprise pick by Arizona, but Floyd will be a great compliment to Larry Fitzgerald.
14Dallas CowboysDE/OLBMelvin IngramSouth Carolina
The Cowboys lost out on Coples, but Ingram is one of the best defensive players in this year’s draft.  Rob Ryan will use his versatility to create pressure on opposing QB’s.                                                                     2011 Stats: 48 Tackles – 15 TFL – 10 Sacks – 6 QB Hurries – 2 PBU
15Philadelphia EaglesSSMark BarronAlabama
Philadelphia turns to their need at safety, after filling their linebacker need with DeMarco Ryans.
16New York JetsDTDontari PoeMaryland
 I can hear the New York Crowd already, first Tebow, and now Poe.                     J-E-T-S… JETS, JETS.
17Cincinnati Bengals  CBStephon Gilmore South Carolina
 Gilmore is a great cover corner who is sky rocketing up draft boards as we speak.
18San Diego ChargersDE/OLBCourtney UpshawAlabama
Upshaw becomes the pass rush OLB the Chargers have needed since the release of Shawne Merriman for steroid abuse back in 2010.
19Chicago BearsOGCordy GlennGeorgia
Chicago has been trying to makeover their offensive line for years, the rebuilding continues.
20Tennessee TitansDEWhitney MercilusIllinois
Mercilus does a great job rushing the quarterback; he will give the Titans defense a playmaker.                   2011 Stats: 57 Tackles – 22.5 TFL – 16 Sacks – 6 QB Hurries – 9 FF – 1 PBU
21Cincinnati BengalsWRStephen HillGeorgia Tech
Cincinnati can’t count on talented WR Jerome Simpson, Hill has speed and is a value pick.
22Cleveland Browns OTJohnathan MartinStanford
The Browns drafted the best RB in the Draft, now they need someone to block for him.
23Detroit Lions CBDre’ Kirkpatrick Alabama
The Lions need to improve their very bad secondary to take the next step.  Kirkpatrick is too talented to pass up at pick #23. He can help at CB and be groomed to play safety.
24Pittsburgh SteelersILBDont’a HightowerAlabama
Dont’a Hightower is a Pittsburgh Steeler type player, he will excel next to Harrison and Woodley.
25Denver BroncosDTFletcher CoxMississippi State
Defensive tackle is a huge need for the Broncos and Cox is the best one still left on the board.
26Houston TexansWRKendall WrightBaylor
Andre Johnson’s Injury showed how much Houston still needs a #2 Wide Receiver.                                           2011 Stats: 108 Rec – 1,663 Yards Rec – 14TD
27New England Patriots  CBJanoris Jenkins North Alabama
The Patriots need to upgrade their defensive secondary badly, Belichick goes best defensive CB available, despite the risk due to his past issues.
28Green Bay PackersDE/OLBShea McClellinBoise State
Green Bay could use an upgrade on the other side of Clay Matthews, and this guy has Green Bay written all over him, he is their type of player.
29Baltimore RavensCPeter KonzWisconsin
Baltimore needs an eventual successor to Matt Birk.  Konz is a good value here.
30San Francisco 49ersTECoby Fleener Stanford
The 49ers are putting together some dangerous weapons on offense.  Fleener already knows Harbaugh’s offense and is a nice fit for the 49ers.
31New England PatriotsOLBChandler JonesSyracuse
 Jones is coming off an Injury and is the best kept secret at OLB in this year’s draft. He is a player.
32New York GiantsRBDoug MartinBoise State
 The Giants need RB depth with the loss of Brandon Jacobs, and injury history of Ahmad Bradshaw.

The excitement is building with the NFL draft only one week away.  Dallas Cowboys GM/Owner Jerry Jones has already somewhat tipped his hand, indicating that the Cowboys will do everything possible to trade down from the #14 position in the first round. Look for the Cowboys to try to move the #14 pick to one of the three teams with multiple 1st round picks Cleveland, Cincinnati, or New England.

New England is the best and most rewarding trade partner, they have two late 1st  round picks and need an immediate impact player on defense to help their secondary and/or pass rush for another AFC Championship run.   If you look at the NFL draft trade value chart, the #14 pick owned by Dallas has a value of 1100 points.  New England owns the #27 pick from New Orleans via the Mark Ingram trade last year and their own #31 pick totalling a trade value of 1280 points.  Therefore, if  Dallas sends the #14 & #81 ( 3rd rd pick)  to New England with a (value of 1285 points),  the cowboys can gain two late #1 picks and have a very fair deal. 

New England can move up to #14 and jump ahead of the Eagles/Jets for SS Mark Barron, OLB Courtney Upshaw, or CB Dre’ Kirkpatrick, and with Dallas obtaining the #27 pick, it puts the Cowboys in the perfect position to ensure that they can draft rising player SS Harrison Smith of Notre Dame, my #2 targeted player right behind DE Quinton Coples.                          

The #27 pick is two picks right ahead of the Baltimore Ravens, who are very  interested in Smith to eventually replace aging Ed Reed down the road. The Cowboys can then go BPA with the #31 and #45 picks, possibly adding questionable but talented CB Janoris Jenkins of Florida/North Alabama.   Selecting Jenkins at #31 instead of #14 makes a lot more sense and contains less risk for the Cowboys front office if he turns out to be another Pac-Man Jones.

You can also look for Cincinnati and Cleveland to attempt to trade up to #14 but those scenarios are less attractive, moving down to either #21 with the Bengals and picking up a 3rd the #83 pick or moving down with the Browns for #22 and #53 pick. I think we can all agree that there are many trade down opportunities available for the Cowboys in this years draft, which only begs to ask the question: Just where is Draft guru Jimmy Johnson when you need him?

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