By: Derek Havens
The third and final edition of my 2012 NFL mock draft.
The NFL draft is finally upon us and there have been a lot of changes from my previous mock. Here’s how I expect the first round to play out. –
1. Indianapolis Colts – QB Andrew Luck, Stanford
2. Washington Redskins – QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor
3. Minnesota Vikings – OT Matt Kalil, USC
4. Cleveland Browns – RB Trent Richardson, Alabama
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB Morris Claiborne, LSU
– There has been a lot of last minute shuffling in the top five picks in the past 48 hours, but I am sticking to my guns and believe each of these picks will make an immediate impact on their respective teams.
6. St. Louis Rams – WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – DE Melvin Ingram, SC
8. Miami Dolphins – QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
9. Carolina Panthers – CB Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina
10. Buffalo Bills – OG David Decastro, Stanford
– Both Fletcher Cox and Luke Kuechly could be in these last picks, but I believe the Mark Barron rumors are just that.
11. Kansas City Chiefs – LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College
12. Seattle Seahawks – DE Quinton Copples, UNC
13. Arizona Cardinals – WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
14. Dallas Cowboys – S Mark Barron, Alabama
15. Philadelphia Eagles – DL Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State
– Some quality players in the last five selections that seem to fill a number of key needs for each team. With Barron’s stock rising, Dallas would be thrilled to pick him at fourteen. Also, could the Eagles move up to select Cox? I think it’s a legitimate possibility.
16. New York Jets – DE Chandler Jones, Syracuse
17. Cincinnati Bengals – CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama
18. San Diego Chargers – LB Whitney Mercilus, Illinois
19. Chicago Bears – OT Riley Reiff, Iowa
20. Tennessee Titans – DL Michael Brockers, LSU
– Chandler Jones stock has been going through the rough, but Courtney Upshaw could be the pick for New York. Dontair Poe was also a consideration for Chicago, but I think they would like to upgrade the offensive line at this point.
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick could go a number of different directions in this year’s draft. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
21. Cincinnati Bengals – OG Cordy Glenn, Georgia
22. Cleveland Browns – WR Kendall Wright, Baylor
23. Detroit Lions – OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – DL Dontari Poe, Memphis
25. Denver Broncos – DL Jerel Worthy, Michigan State
26. Houston Texans – WR Rueben Randle, LSU
– A pair of receivers and some upgrading in the trenches for the teams in this area of the round. Dont’a Hightower is also a legitimate option for Pittsburgh, but there linebackers have all been taken after the first round; I believe they look to upgrade the defensive line.
27. New England Patriots – LB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
28. Green Bay Packers – LB Nick Perry, USC
29. Baltimore Ravens – LB Dont’a Hightower, Alabama
30. San Francisco 49ers – OG Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin
31. New England Patriots – LB Shea McClellin, Boise State
32. New York Giants – RB Doug Martin, Boise State
– The Patriots double dip in the front seven and come away with two versatile players with a ton of talent. Of course, would it surprise anyone if Bill Belichick trades out? I could certainly envision a move back with one of the selections.
Even though I did not mock any trades into this draft, I would expect the Patriots to trade back at 31 to a team like the Browns or another team trying to select a quarter back. Should make for some interesting drama at the end of the night.
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