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2012 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

By: Justin Boone,
February 14, 2012

1. Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck - QB - Stanford

Height: 6'4 | Weight: 235 | Born: September 12, 1989 (age 22)

The marriage of Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts would be a perfect one, if it wasn't for the franchise quarterback they already have under contract. It appears as though Peyton Manning will be released, paving the way for the Colts to select Luck as the first piece in their rebuild. Luck is a polished prospect that can guarantee the Colts another decade plus of solid quarterback play in the post-Manning era.

2. Washington Redskins* (Projected trade with Rams)

Robert Griffin III

Robert Griffin III - QB - Baylor

Height: 6'2 | Weight: 220 | Born: February 12, 1990 (age 21)

St. Louis owns the second overall pick, but while the Rams could take an elite tackle like Matt Kalil or a playmaking wide receiver like Justin Blackmon, it's more likely that the club will move down in the draft to get more picks. The Redskins are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback and this year's Heisman Trophy winner Griffin will give them just that.

3. Minnesota Vikings

Matt Kalil

Matt Kalil - OT - USC

Height: 6'7 | Weight: 295 | Born: July 6, 1989 (age 22)

If the Vikings hope to keep their young quarterback Christian Ponder alive in the pocket, they need to draft a stud who can protect him on the edge. Kalil has spent his career at USC blocking for Matt Barkley and has emerged as the best tackle prospect in this year's class. With a combination of hardwork and a willingness to improve at his craft, Kalil is on pace to become a premier player at the next level.

4. Cleveland Browns

Trent Richardson

Trent Richardson - RB - Alabama

Height: 5'11 | Weight: 224 | Born: July 10, 1990 (age 21)

Heading into last season, running back appeared to be the one position the Browns had locked up with Peyton Hillis coming off a 1,000-yard campaign and 2010 second-round pick Montario Hardesty returning from injury. With Hillis heading towards free agency and Hardesty failing to assert himself, the Browns are still looking for an answer in their backfield. The solution comes in the form of Richardson.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Morris Claiborne

Morris Claiborne - CB - LSU

Height: 6'0 | Weight: 173 | Born: February 7, 1990 (age 21)

Tampa Bay regressed significantly in 2011 and while they have several areas to address, replacing Ronde Barber will be a top priority. Whether Barber retires or not, the Buccaneers can use help in their secondary in an attempt to deal with the passing attacks of the Saints, Falcons and now Panthers, all in their division. Claiborne was a star at LSU and is the one true elite cover corner in the draft.

6. St. Louis Rams* (Projected trade with Redskins)

Riley Reiff

Riley Reiff - OT - Iowa

Height: 6'6 | Weight: 300 | Born: December 1, 1988 (age 22)

Regardless of where the Rams trade down to, picking up a solid tackle to protect Sam Bradford will be key. The Rams drafted Jason Smith in the 2009 Draft, but he has failed to develop into the player they hoped they were getting with the second overall pick. Reiff doesn't come with the same hype as some of the other prospects, but the Iowa product is ready to compete in the NFL.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

Quinton Coples

Quinton Coples - DE - North Carolina

Height: 6'6 | Weight: 272 | Born: June 22, 1990 (age 21)

Coples has the potential to blow away scouts at the combine and catapult his draft stock. He also has the potential to give the Jaguars defence something it has been lacking for some time - a pass rush. Coples will remind many of Julius Peppers, who also came to the draft by way of North Carolina. Like Peppers, Coples is a dangerous rusher off the edge and his speed off the ball will torment blockers.

8. Carolina Panthers

Devon Still

Devon Still - DT - Penn State

Height: 6'5 | Weight: 310 | Born: July 11, 1989 (age 22)

The Panthers made great strides last season thanks to the infusion of talent on offence, which came with the addition of one player - Cam Newton. Management will now turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball, as they search for a way to improve their run defence. Still could have the same kind of impact on their defence that Newton had on the offence, helping to shore up a porous defensive line.

9. Miami Dolphins

Justin Blackmon

Justin Blackmon - WR - Oklahoma State

Height: 6'1 | Weight: 211 | Born: January 9, 1990 (age 21)

Blackmon is a wild card in the top half of the draft. A team could fall in love with his game tape and take him early, envisioning a Calvin Johnson-type impact on their offence. Blackmon projects to be an impact player in the pros, but he is not on par with elite pass catchers like Megatron. The Dolphins could be an ideal landing spot, as Brandon Marshall will help draw coverage away from him.

10. Buffalo Bills

Melvin Ingram

Melvin Ingram - DE - South Carolina

Height: 6'2 | Weight: 276 | Born: April 26, 1989 (age 22)

The Bills have one of the best defensive tackle duos in all of football with Marcel Dareus and Kyle Williams. However, even with the double teams they command, the Bills were unable to get a consistent pass rush on the outside. With the addtion of Ingram, the Bills won't have to rely on the aging body of Shawne Merriman to get in the backfield. The attention given to the Bills tackles will allow Ingram to thrive.

11. Kansas City Chiefs

Jonathan Martin

Jonathan Martin - OT - Stanford

Height: 6'6 | Weight: 304 | Born: n/a

The Chiefs could target a variety of positions with the 11th pick, but Martin would represent a significant upgrade at tackle, allowing them to move Branden Albert to the right side to bookend their line. Martin isn't as pro-ready as some other prospects, but he has the tools needed to succeed as a left tackle in the NFL and the Chiefs line has been lacking a player of his caliber since soon-to-be Hall of Famer Willie Roaf left.

12. Seattle Seahawks

Luke Kuechly

Luke Kuechly - ILB - Boston College

Height: 6'3 | Weight: 237 | Born: April 20, 1991 (age 20)

If Marshawn Lynch decides to leave via free agency, the Seahawks will be in the market for a workhorse back to replace him. Assuming they can get Lynch under contract, the Seahawks will look to improve their defence. Kuechly would give them a leader on that side of the ball, and someone to replace Leroy Hill, if he leaves in free agency. Kuechly is a cosistent tackler and always gets himself to the ball carrier.

13. Arizona Cardinals

David DeCastro

David DeCastro - OG - Stanford

Height: 6'5 | Weight: 313 | Born: January 11, 1990 (age 21)

The Cardinals ended the 2011 season on a strong note and they could be ready to contend for a playoff spot in 2012. If they plan on making a legitimate run at the post-season, they will need to get more from their offence. With playmakers like Larry Fitzgerald and Beanie Wells on board, the next step will be solidifying their offensive line and DeCastro is the best interior lineman coming out of the NCAA this year.

14. Dallas Cowboys

Mark Barron

Mark Barron - S - Alabama

Height: 6'2 | Weight: 218 | Born: October 27, 1989 (age 22)

The Cowboys secondary desperately needs an infusion of talent and Mark Barron is by far the best safety in this year's class. Mark Barron, welcome to Dallas. The Alabama product was a vital part of the Crimson Tide's defence, and would instantly become essential to the Cowboys' success. Safeties are often underrated in the first round of the draft and Barron will be a value pick after the first dozen selections.

15. Philadelphia Eagles

Michael Brockers

Michael Brockers - DT - LSU

Height: 6'6 | Weight: 306 | Born: December 21, 1990 (age 21)

Despite their free agent additions a year ago, the Eagles defence struggled in the first half of the season under first year coordinator Juan Castillo. However, as the season progressed, the unit came together and nearly helped the team make the post-season. Allowing Brockers to join the mix would not only help the defensive line, but it would also work to keep blockers away from the Eagles young linebackers.

16. New York Jets

Michael Floyd

Michael Floyd - WR - Notre Dame

Height: 6'3 | Weight: 229 | Born: November 27, 1989 (age 22)

Mark Sanchez needs weapons and Michael Floyd is exactly the kind of player who can help move the ball downfield, while giving the Jets a legitimate threat in the red zone. Floyd excels at using his body to create space between him and the defender, a skill that become even more evident near the end zone. Despite some off-field issues, Floyd remains a high end prospect and could flourish in New York.

17. Cincinnati Bengals (via Raiders)

David Wilson

David Wilson - RB - Virginia Tech

Height: 5'10 | Weight: 205 | Born: June 15, 1991

The Carson Palmer trade gives the Bengals two first round picks in this year's draft, the first of which they will use to inject some more youth into their offence. With Cedric Benson reaching the later stages of his career, the Bengals will restore their rushing attack with David Wilson. Wilson excels with the ball in his hands in space and is also an effective receiver, adding a new dimension to the offence.

18. San Diego Chargers

Kendall Wright

Kendall Wright - WR - Baylor

Height: 5'10 | Weight: 194 | Born: November 12, 1989 (age 22)

With the possibility of Vincent Jackson returning to San Diego dwindling, the Chargers will be forced to replace his production. Philip Rivers has proven he can get the ball downfield to anyone wearing a Chargers' jersey, but with Antonio Gates getting long in the tooth another playmaker will be needed. Wright is willing to go deep or take his chances over the middle and is a threat to score from anywhere.

19. Chicago Bears

Cordy Glenn

Cordy Glenn - OG - Georgia

Height: 6'5 | Weight: 330 | Born: September 18, 1989 (age 22)

The Bears sat back and watched as Jay Cutler took hits on a weekly basis. Last season, the punishment Cutler absorbed ultimately led to injury and forced him to miss the end of the season, ending the Bears chances at the playoffs. Glenn would step in right away and to shield Cutler. Glenn is big enough to be an NFL tackle, but his athletic limitations make him more suited to guard as a pro.

20. Tennessee Titans

Janoris Jenkins

Janoris Jenkins - CB - University of North Alabama

Height: 5'10 | Weight: 183 | Born: October 29, 1988 (age 23)

The Titans may be hard-pressed to get cornerback Cortland Finnegan signed to a new contract. If Finnegan is lost, then Tennessee will need to look to the draft for secondary help. Jenkins was dismissed from Florida in early 2011 after his second drug-related arrest in three months. After spending the 2011 season at the University of North Alabama, the skilled corner is still a top talent.

21. Cincinnati Bengals

Dre Kirkpatrick

Dre Kirkpatrick - CB - Alabama

Height: 6'3 | Weight: 192 | Born: October 26, 1989 (age 22)

When Johnathan Joseph left the Bengals for the Texans, he left a hole in Cincinnati's defensive backfield. With their second pick in the first round the Bengals will go after a player who can help remedy that. Kirkpatrick has the height to match up with any receiver, a valuable asset to defend jump balls in the end zone. Kirkpatrick also comes from a winning program in Alabama.

22. Cleveland Browns (via Falcons)

Courtney Upshaw

Courtney Upshaw - DE/OLB - Alabama

Height: 6'2 | Weight: 265 | Born: December 13, 1989 (age 21)

The Browns need to upgrade at several positions if they are going to contend in the AFC North. Having two first round picks helps, and getting an impact defensive starter in a priority. Courtney Upshaw doesn't have ideal size, which often makes players get overlooked, like Miami Dolphins' Cameron Wake. Upshaw has the skills to succeed and could do well playing on the opposite side of defensive end Jabaal Sheard.

23. Detroit Lions

Mike Adams

Mike Adams - OT - Ohio State

Height: 6'7 | Weight: 323 | Born: March 10, 1990 (age 21)

Matt Stafford made it through the season healthy for the first time in his career, but it wasn't easy. Stafford dodged pass rushers often in 2011 and was hit more than the Lions' coaching staff would like. Whether Jeff Backus remains the starting left tackle or not, the time has come to find a franchise tackle to protect their star quarterback. Despite his inconsistency, a talent like Adams is too tough to pass up on draft day.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

Dontari Poe

Dontari Poe - DT - Memphis

Height: 6'5 | Weight: 350 | Born: August 18, 1990 (age 21)

It's a time of transition for the Steelers as some of their older defensive players are moving into more limited roles. Defensive tackle Casey Hampton will be 35-years-old next season, which could lead the Steelers to draft a future replacement. Poe has the size to clog up the middle in any defensive front. While his college stats may not show an ability to rush the passer, for his size he is able to get after the quarterback.

25. Denver Broncos

Brandon Thompson

Brandon Thompson - DT - Clemson

Height: 6'2 | Weight: 310 | Born: October 19, 1989 (age 22)

Prior to the Broncos' miraculous run last season, the groundwork was laid for the team to draft a franchise quarterback. With Tim Tebow leading the club to the post-season, those plans will be put on hold. Denver will instead look to bolster their defensive line. Thompson is a powerful tackle who explodes off the line and can be a disruptive force in the backfield.

26. Houston Texans

Alshon Jeffery

Alshon Jeffery - WR - South Carolina

Height: 6'4 | Weight: 232 | Born: February 14, 1990 (age 21)

When Andre Johnson was out of the lineup, the Texans offence sputtered. With their defence showing signs of improvement under Wade Phillips, Houston will comfortably use their first rounder to add a complimentary receiver to their offence. Jeffery is strong on the ball and has elite size that could allow him to take advantage of defences if they attempt to load up to stop Johnson.

27. New England Patriots (via Saints)

Alfonzo Dennard

Alfonzo Dennard - CB - Nebraska

Height: 5'10 | Weight: 205 | Born: September 9, 1989 (age 22)

The Patriots are another team making two selections this April and both picks will likely be used to fix the holes on their defence. Dennard isn't the best corner in this year's draft, but his coverage ability cannot be questioned. Denard excels in press coverage when he can disrupt the receivers pattern and stay close. On a team that started a wide receiver at corner last season, he will be more than welcomed.

28. Green Bay Packers

Lamar Miller

Lamar Miller - RB - Miami (FL)

Height: 5'11 | Weight: 212 | Born: n/a

What do you get the team that appears to have everything? With Ryan Grant heading towards free agency and James Starks failing to run away with the starting job in 2011, the Packers offence could use a true weapon at running back. Miller showcased his talent in Miami's backfield, complete with a knack for making big plays. In the right environement Miller could become a star back.

29. Baltimore Ravens

Vontze Burfict

Vontaze Burfict - ILB - Arizona State

Height: 6'3 | Weight: 250 | Born: September 24, 1990 (age 21)

The Ravens have put off drafting a replacement for Ray Lewis for the last few years, but now is the time to bring in the heir apparent to their defensive throne. Lewis is returning for another season, meaning he can tutor a young linebacker as he inches closer to retirement. Much like Lewis, Burfict is a dangerous striker from the middle linebacker position. Lewis can also help him channel his intensity.

30. San Francisco 49ers

Ronnell Lewis

Ronnell Lewis - OLB - Oklahoma

Height: 6'2 | Weight: 245 | Born: September 17, 1990 (age 21)

San Francisco wants receiving help more than anything, but at this point in the first round it would be a reach to take a receiver. It seems surprising that the 49ers would add to their already potent defence, but that's exactly what they will do when they select Lewis out of Oklahoma. Surrounded by hardworkers like Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman, Lewis will learn how to bring a more steady approach to his game.

31. New England Patriots

Whitney Mercilus

Whitney Mercilus - DE - Illinois

Height: 6'4 | Weight: 265 | Born: July 21, 1990 (age 21)

When veteran defensive end Andre Carter went down with an injury, his presence on the defensive line was missed by the Patriots defence. New England won't make the mistake of being short-handed again. By drafting Mercilus, the Pats will get a pass rusher first and run defender second, who lacks experience but plays with passion and an aggressive nature.

32. New York Giants

Dwayne Allen

Dwayne Allen - TE - Clemson

Height: 6'4 | Weight: 255 | Born: February 24, 1990 (age 21)

The Giants victory in Super Bowl XLVI was in part due to the injury to Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, which slowed the Patriots two-tight end attack. Pass catching tight ends are trending in today's NFL and Dwayne Allen is the most talented of this year's crop. Despite being an average blocker, Allen has the size and hands to give Eli Manning yet another target in the Giants' passing game.


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