2012 NFL Mock Draft
FINAL UPDATE: April 25th, 2012
1. Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (Scouting Report)
Andrew Luck is going to be the pick here. Peyton Manning is done. Andrew Luck is the future. There is a new kid in town.
2. Washington Redskins (Via St. Louis)
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor (Scouting Report)
Griffin isn’t the “perfect” prospect that Luck is, but his incredible physical skills make him nearly as intriguing. He can throw the ball as well as he can run it – if he can work through his progressions, he will be a star in the NFL. The Redskins gave up their 1st and 2nd picks in 2012 and their 1st round picks in 2013 and 2014 to secure the pick.
3. Minnesota Vikings
Matt Kalil, OL, USC (Scouting Report)
The top lineman by far in the draft falls right into the Vikings lap, whether their coach wants him or not. Matt Kalil is far and away the best offensive tackle in the draft; Christian Ponder would love to have him as his personal protector. Cornerback is a need, but there will be starters available in the 2nd round.
4. Cleveland Browns
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama (Scouting Report)
Ryan Tannehill will be an option here, but Richardson is a very safe pick and the tops at his position. Replacing the departed Peyton Hillis and injury-riddled Montario Hardesty has got be a priority.
5. Tampa Bay Bucs
Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU (Scouting Report)
Claiborne was fantastic in coverage and returning the ball on kickoffs at LSU. He is a great man-corner, but has the closing ability to play in zone as well. His long arms and leaping ability are really just a bonus.
6. St. Louis Rams
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State (Scouting Report)
The Rams will certainly be looking to trade down again here, but if they are forced to pick, Blackmon makes a lot of sense. He is my number one receiver over Michael Floyd, so he gets the nod here. Fletcher Cox will also get a long look here.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
David DeCastro, OL, Stanford (Scouting Report)
I ultimately think the Jaguars will trade down, but they could take DeCastro at #7 or further down the line in the first round. He will be a 10-year starter at right guard.
9. Carolina Panthers
Fletcher Cox, DL, Mississippi State (Scouting Report)
Cox is my favorite defensive lineman in the draft and will be a disruptive force early on in his career – despite only being 20 years old at the time of the draft.
10. Buffalo Bills
Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina (Scouting Report)
The Bills never fail to surprise me, so Mark Barron or Michael Floyd could also be the pick here. Gilmore is talented in coverage and can bring it in run support – there are few true flaws to his game.
11. Kansas City Chiefs
Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama (Scouting Report)
Hightower doesn’t get enough respect in my opinion. He can play ILB, OLB as well as rush from the DE spot. Think back to when Adalius Thomas wasn’t a punchline, and this is the sort of multi-faceted prospect you might get in Hightower.
12. Seattle Seahawks
Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina (Scouting Notes)
We’ve made it well known that we are not huge fans of Ingram. A team like the Seahawks might be able to hide some of his flaws by playing him out in space where he has a better chance of winning consistently. The defensive line figures to get a look here as well.
13. Arizona Cardinals
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame (Scouting Report)
Michael Floyd is exactly the kind of receiver the Cardinals need to pair with Fitzgerald. He answered a lot of questions about his speed by running in the low 4.4′s at the NFL Combine, but regardless of times, Floyd is a dynamic prospect that won’t make it too far past the midway point of the first round. Offensive line should be the pick here, but Floyd might be too good to pass on.
14. Dallas Cowboys
Mark Barron, S, Alabama (Scouting Report)
Adding Barron to the Cowboys defensive backfield should give it a stabilizing presence. Barron can play both safety positions and supports the run as well as covering. Cowboys will probably have to trade up to secure this pick.
15. Philadelphia Eagles
Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina (Scouting Report)
Coples might not be Julius Pepper, but he has that freak skill set and athleticism. He will be as good as he wants to be.
16. New York Jets
Dontari Poe, DL, Memphis (Scouting Report)
Poe is an incredible athlete, there is no denying that. Moving the way he does at nearly 350 pounds doesn’t seem humanly possible. If a team is willing to develop Poe into a football player, they could have a perennial All-Pro on their hands within a couple of years. Out of the box, Poe is going to make some flash plays.