NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko
In this multi-scenario 2012 NFL Mock Draft I will make the selection for each team, based on what I think is most likely to happen next Thursday.
Unlike regular mock drafts, at least two other scenarios will be given per team. This will give fans a chance to see different possibilities for each pick in the first round depending on how things unfold.
1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Luck has already been told he will be the number one pick, no need for multiple scenarios here.
2. Washington Redskins (via StL) - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Griffin like Luck has already been told he will be the Redskins pick. The first two selections are locks so I will not waste your time with multiple scenarios.
3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, OT, USC
The Vikings have a major need at offensive tackle and Kalil is the best player on the board which should make this an easy selection for Vikings GM Rick Speilman.
Scenario B: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU – If LT isn’t the biggest need on the team, CB is. Claiborne is the best corner in the draft and should be able to add some stability to a poor secondary.
Scenario C: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State – The Vikings invested a lot in QB Christian Ponder by making him the #12 pick in the draft last year and they need to get him receivers to throw to. What’s a better way to do that than by drafting Blackmon who is the top rated WR in the draft.
4. Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Richardson is the last of the “elite” players in the draft and one of the few players who can come into the program day one and transform your offense. Has the potential to be a perennial pro bowler.
Scenario B: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State – If they decide to pass on Trent Richardson, they need to get Colt McCoy weapons to throw to and Blackmon would instantly become the #1 target in Cleveland.
Scenario C: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M – If the Browns are sold on Tannehill as the future of the franchise and someone to build around they will take him and upgrade the other positions at #22.
Scenario D: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU – The Browns have a legit #1 CB prospect in Joe Haden, but in this day and age with so many passing oriented offenses you can never have enough cornerback talent. Haden and Claiborne would give the Browns an unbelievable young tandem at CB for the next decade.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU – Aqib Talib is on the trading block and Ronde Barber is playing one final year before retiring. The Bucs play in the NFC South and will face some very good QBs week in and week out, they must add an impact corner to match up with opposing teams #1 WR.
Scenario B:Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama If the Browns pass on Richardson the Buccaneers would snatch him up in a minute. Blount is not a playmaker and offers little explosion to the offensive attack.
Scenario C: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State – The Buccaneers signed Vincent Jackson in free agency, by drafting Blackmon and adding him to Jackson and the existing WR corps like Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn, a weak position suddenly becomes one of the best units in the NFL.
6. St. Louis Rams - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State – The Rams have a bunch of middle tier wide receivers and no one who scares an opposing defense. Blackmon would give QB Sam Bradford a talented WR who can make things happen with the ball in his hands.
Scenario B: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State – There has been a lot of talk swirling around the internet the past two days that Cox is the guy the Rams really want. Adding an interior player like Cox to DE Chris Long and Robert Quinn would give the Rams one of the best 4-3 defensive lines in football.
Scenario C: Trade Down – The Rams have a bunch of needs and received a haul for trading down from #2. If they want an OT like Riley Reiff or a CB like Dre Kirkpatrick trading down makes the most sense.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame – The Jags threw QB Blaine Gabbert into the fire last season with no talent at WR, they signed Laurent Robinson in free agency, but I’d be surprised if that works out.
Scenario B: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina -The Jaguars are always looking for pass rushers and Coples is the only guy in the draft who has the talent to become an elite pass rusher. Big questions about his motor and work ethic remain.
Scenario C: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina -If Gene Smith isn’t comfortable with Coples’ motor they could take Ingram who is more of a hybrid OLB.
Scenario D: Trade Down -There has been a lot of talk that the Jaguars are praying they can trade down. That tells me they really like a player who they feel like would be a reach at #7. The Jaguars will surprise.
8. Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M – Everyone expects the Dolphins to take Tannehill and reunite him with his college coach Mike Sherman who is now the Dolphins offensive coordinator.
Scenario B: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State – If Blackmon would slip to the Dolphins I think that would make them think twice about taking Tannehill.
Scenario C: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina – The Dolphins are switching back to a 4-3 defensive front and will need another pass rusher to bookend with pro bowler Cameron Wake.
Scenario D: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa – The Dolphins could shock everyone and take the Iowa OT and play him at RT, creating a very good young offensive line.
9. Carolina Panthers - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State – Cox is the best defensive player on the board and Ron Rivera has been talking about upgrading the front seven for the last week.
Scenario B: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College – Kuechly would be a little bit of a surprise but would create a very solid linebacking corps with Jon Beason (presumably moving to OLB) and James Anderson.
Scenario C: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama – If Cox is off the board and the team doesn’t feel like Kuechly is a good fit, going with the best CB on the board would be a safe, smart move.
Scenario D: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame – Floyd would provide Cam Newton with another legit receiving target to go along with Steve Smith. If Justin Blackmon gets this far, he too would be under consideration.
10. Buffalo Bills – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama – Buffalo has done an unbelievable job building their defensive line through free agency and the draft, but still have major questions in the secondary.
Scenario B: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina – Gilmore has gained a lot of momentum and there is a possibility he could go ahead of Kirkpatrick. If the Bills decide to go DB, he could be the choice over Dre.
Scenario C: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame – If the Bills decide to use the selection on offense it’s hard to find a pick that makes more sense than Floyd.
Scenario D: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College – If the Bills decide to go best player available Kuechly would be the pick. Kuechly is a natural 4-3 ILB and would give the Bills a building block in the middle of the defense behind their great defensive line.