2012 NFL Mock Draft - Jan. 2
North Carolina DE Quinton Coples
The first 20 slots in the 2012 draft are set. Here's the first mock draft.
2012 NFL Draft
1st Mock - Jan. 2
Potential other first rounders
1. DE Andre Branch, Clemson
2. DE Fletcher Cox, Miss State
3. CB Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska
4. OG Cordy Glenn, Georgia
5. DE Nick Perry, USC
6. WR Kendall Wright, Baylor
7. LB Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
8. LB Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State
10. LB Zach Brown, North Carolina
The first 20 pick slots for the 2012 NFL Draft have been set. This is assuming some juniors like Landry Jones and Morris Claiborne will come out early.
1. Indianapolis (2-14)
QB Andrew Luck, Stanford (Jr.)
Peyton Manning might be one hit away from being done for good, and while there might be several big needs across the board – you don't go 2-14 just because you lost a quarterback – Luck is the obvious building block to start over with.
2. St. Louis (2-14)
WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State (Jr.)
Blackmon won't time as well as many might like for a No. 2 overall pick, and the Rams will try to trade down to teams in desperate need of a left tackle, but getting a top-shelf receiver is a screaming need. If they really believe that Sam Bradford will be the franchise, he'll need weapons to work with.
3. Minnesota (3-13)
OT Matt Kalil, USC (Jr.)
After heavily investing in Christian Ponder – for right or wrong – the Vikings have to protect him. More receivers to flank Percy Harvin will be a must later on, and the secondary needs help, but Kalil would be the perfect pick at the three to rebuild the line around.
4. Cleveland (4-12)
QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor (Jr.)
Do the Browns continue to try to make Colt McCoy the main man to run the offense? The Browns need offensive linemen, and a go-to receiver would be nice, but Griffin might be the type of player the franchise needs to provide a boost. RGIII is a gamechanger.
5. Tampa Bay (4-12)
CB Morris Claiborne, LSU (Jr.)
Defense, defense, defense, and defense. After a disastrous last several weeks of the season, Tampa Bay desperately needs to improve the secondary and the linebacking corps. A shut-down corner in Claiborne would be a start, but more defensive backs will need to be picked up down in later rounds.
6. Washington (5-11)
QB Landry Jones, Oklahoma (Jr.)
Trent Richardson is the need pick, but Mike Shanahan doesn't believe in overpaying for running backs. Addressing the John Beck/Rex Grossman fiasco is Job One, and while Jones might need time and some seasoning, he'll be the player Washington has to overpay to get. The quarterback lot dries up quickly.
7. Jacksonville (5-11)
DE Quinton Coples, North Carolina
In the eternal quest for Jacksonville to come up with a defensive line that works, Coples will be the next high draft pick the franchise goes after for the front. A receiver would be an option if Justin Blackmon falls.
8. Carolina (6-10)
DT Devon Still, Penn State
In a division with New Orleans and Atlanta, Carolina has to beef up the defense to give Cam Newton a fighting shot. The Panthers need help up front, especially for the interior, and the versatile, quick run stopper.
9. Miami (6-10)
OG David DeCastro, Stanford (Jr.)
This might be way, WAY high for a guard, but Miami is a believer in putting together the building blocks first. There are still quarterback options in Matt Moore and Chad Henne, but the line needs to get stronger and better before the other pieces are put in place. The Dolphins need help for the offensive interior.
10. Buffalo (6-10)
LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College (Jr.)
It'll be a perfect match of a need pick coming at the right time. The Bills need a corner and could use more receiver pop, but they also need a tackling machine at inside linebacker. No one coming out is better at stopping the run from the inside.
T11. Seattle (7-9)
OT Riley Reiff, Iowa (Jr.)
The Seahawks have addressed the tackle situation in previous drafts, but Reiff would allow for more flexibility up front in case Russell Okung continues to have injury problems and if James Carpenter doesn't pan out on the outside.
T11. Kansas City (7-9)
RB Trent Richardson, Alabama (Jr.)
The Chief running game came up with jack squat in terms of scoring. Jackie Battle ran for two scores, Dexter McCluster closed out the year with a touchdown, and that was about it. Jamaal Charles is coming back, but getting a great value pick in Richardson would allow for more options and more power.
13. Arizona (8-8)
OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford (Jr.)
Plug in Martin, or Riley Reiff, and let them start from Day One. Arizona can't look at any other position but offensive tackle to give the either Kevin Kolb or John Skelton a fighting chance.
14. Dallas (8-8)
CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama (Jr.)
Four words: Victor Cruz, Sunday night. The Cowboys desperately need a steady playmaking corner.
15. Philadelphia (8-8)
LB Dont'a Hightower, Alabama (Jr.)
What could the Dream Team possibly need? A leader at linebacker. Philadelphia got beaten up too often against the better running games, and it needs the best defensive player on the board.
16. NY Jets (8-8)
LB Melvin Ingram, South Carolina (Jr.)
Ingram just fits. While finally admitting that Mark Sanchez isn't the long term answer at quarterback would be nice, it might not be time to pull the plug yet. A more productive running back than Shonn Green and LaDainian Tomlinson will come later in the draft, but with this pick, Rex Ryan will get a new toy to play with.
17. Cincinnati from Oakland (8-8)
WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina (Jr.)
The Bengals have a superstar in the making in A.J. Green, and the rest of the receiving corps looks solid, but Jeffery might be too good a pick to pass up. With Andy Dalton emerging as a quarterback to build around for the next decade, he'll get a No. 2 target to produce on the other side of Green.
18. San Diego (8-8)
LB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
The Charger offense will be fine once Phil Rivers stops giving the ball to the other team. The secondary needs addressing, but getting a big, versatile linebacker In Upshaw would do more. He'd be turned loose to use in a variety of ways.
19. Chicago (8-8)
WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
The Bears have to come up with a productive safety, reinforcements at linebacker are a must, and an upgrade at guard would be nice, but at some point, getting a No. 1 receiver to give Jay Cutler a break is a need. Chicago can no longer compete in a division with Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers without more offensive firepower.
20. Tennessee (9-7)
S Mark Barron, Alabama
The Titans need a good, sound safety to work the secondary around. He'll be terrific in workouts and he'll be an instant starter as a key need-filler.