Welcome everyone to the 2012 Thread NFL Mock Draft. The NFL Draft officially starts on April 26th this year and will prove to be as fascinating as ever. The 3 of us that brought you the Thread Mock Draft of last year, are all back for another go. If you’ve forgotten who we are, the trio consists of myself, MYH, and friend of the Thread, Mark Rodriguez. The picks will be alternating after the first two picks (Which I’m writing up) like this: 1st: Mark 2: MichaelYoungHistory 3rd: Myself. *Note that we’ve done some moving of picks to allow all of us to make the announcement for our favorite team or teams. And with the ground rules in place, the Indianapolis Colts are on the clock.
With the 1st overall pick in the 2012 Thread Mock Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select, Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Stanford.
The consensus number one pick for the last 2 years, Andrew Luck, is just as advertised. The best QB prospect since Peyton or John Elway. We’ve heard it all before. And as of this morning, the Colts have finally made it official that he will be the #1 pick. He has all the skills to make a difference in this league from jump. But this guy has a very empty cupboard to go to in Indianapolis. Plus there’s the whole replacing that #18 guy. Oh, and Jim Irsay might be crazy. So good Luck…Andrew (see what I did there?)? The good thing for Andrew is he’s in a weak division (aside from the defenses) right now. He’s going to get beaten up pretty badly by the defenses at least, especially Houston, but he could win a possible game from both Jacksonville and Tennessee. Plus, Reggie Wayne was crazy enough to want to stay in Indianapolis. So it isn’t a total loss. If Andrew Luck has half the career Peyton Manning has had for the Colts, the Colts fan base can’t be too disappointed in letting Peyton go.
With the 2nd overall pick in the 2012 Thread Mock Draft, the Washington Redskins select, Robert Griffin III, Quarterback, Baylor University.
Your 2011-2012 Heisman winner, RG III. This guy tears his ACL 2 years ago and has been on fire ever since. He’s beaten Texas twice and beat OU this year. Helping launch the most successful year in Baylor athletics ever. And now Robert is going to the Redskins after Washington mortgaged its draft future in order to jump up to the 2nd pick to grab him. He arrives to DC with a lot of 2nd and 3rd option wide receivers getting paid 1st and 2nd receiver money. But they still have Chris Cooley and Fred Davis. Davis coming off a great breakout season prior to getting suspended the last 4 games of the season for marijuana. Also, rookie Roy Helu stole the show and robbed Ryan Torain (my fantasy running back) of all the great running back moments for the team. Yes, I’m still bitter.
Mike Shanahan might have just found the quarterback necessary to save his job. Surprise guys, John Beck and Rex Grossman can’t get the job done. Robert is able to keep plays alive, and while Donovan McNabb thinks he can’t make it here, RG III can come in and make some real noise this year. His team is stocked with much more talent than the one that Andrew Luck will be going to.
Mark: With the third overall pick in the 2012 Thread Mock Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select Matt Kalil, tackle from USC.
With quarterbacks going with the first and second picks, Minnesota will do what it can to try and talk another team to move up and take the next available QB (looks at Miami and laughs) the Vikings will do what’s best for their team and take a left tackle they can build the line around and (hopefully) protect Christian Ponder (or Joe Webb, because I’m not exactly sure which one is better) for the future. The Vikings gave up 49 sacks last year and Ponder was banged up a lot as the year wore on, so getting someone to anchor line is a must in this draft. Kalil has what it takes to be a franchise tackle, with all of the measurables of a premiere tackle (Mel Kiper speak). Furthermore, he was a rock at USC, protecting Matt Barkley over the past three years. Kalil can start at left tackle for the next ten years for whoever the QB will be for the Vikings.
MYH: With the 4th overall pick in the 2012 Thread Mock Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Justin Blackmon, WR from Oklahoma State.
This hasn’t been much of an offseason for our favorite poo-colored perennial punching bag. After going “all-in” to get the #2 pick from the Rams in order to draft RG III, the Browns, well…gave up. Thus, the Colt McCoy experiment will last another year. While the Browns have a lot of holes, it seems to be time to get Colt some weapons on the outside, since he’ll be the guy for at least another year. Now, this is a risky selection, as Mike Holmgren is not known to draft WR’s early. Some experts think they’ll take Alabama RB Trent Richardson here given that Peyton Hillis unexplainably fell off the face of the earth last year production wise and is now with Kansas City. However, current NFL GMs realize that RBs have short shelf lives and no matter how good they are, in a passing league, you don’t want to take a RB this high unless he’s the next Adrian Peterson. (Case in point: in the last 10 years, there have only been 8 RBs taken in the top 10. In 2005, there were 3: Ronnie Brown, Cedric Benson, and Cadillac Williams…yeah…that didnt work out to well…)
Meanwhile, Blackmon is a manchild. He put up 38 TDs over the past two years in college, ran the 40 at an even faster time then most expected, runs amazing routes, has an NFL-ready body (pause), and is not afraid to go over the middle. Scouts are drooling over this kid (pause), and he’d immediately take pressure off of the other WRs in that receiving corps. Again, don’t forget that this is a passing league, and over the last 3 years, we’ve seen lots of rookie WRs make immediate impacts (AJ Green, Julio Jones from last year are both great examples). Blackmon is a 10-15 year guy who will make alot of noise in this league. Colt McCoy can save his career and regain some support from the front office after he regressed last year. They still need offensive line help and help in the backfield, but things will begin to look better if Blackmon is as good as we think he’ll be.
With the 5th overall pick in the 2012 Thread Mock Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Morris Claiborne, Cornerback, LSU.
The Bucs and the Browns are going to be the 2 most interesting picks in the top ten aside from the Jags (who you never ever can guess what they’re doing.). I can see the Bucs taking a shot at Richardson to clash with Blount in the backfield for them. Though I think they pass on it because the 2 have similar running styles with Richardson still being the better all around back. The Bucs have been the winners of Free Agency though they didn’t get a player to address their secondary.
Claiborne is a great corner and had to be in the shadow of Tyrann Mathieu aka the Honey Badger. Morris just stood on the other side of the field and locked down wide receivers left and right. He did his job without the flash of Mathieu. Don’t let his Wonderlic test score fool you (he allegedly got a 4 on the test but it was later discovered he has a learning disability), This guy is sharp. Tampa needs help at corner now. The ever troublesome, Aqib Talib, could still be going to prison for his off the field issues and Ronde Barber seriously can’t be an effective corner for that much longer. So, this is a need in Tampa and should be the pick.
Mark: With the 6th pick in the 2012 Thread Mock Draft, the St. Louis Rams select Melvin Ingram, Defensive End, South Carolina.
First off, I think the Rams are a little upset that Justin Blackmon doesn’t fall to them at the six spot. They desperately need a big time receiver to fill the void that Brandon Lloyd leaves when he left for New England (even though the team’s website still has him listed on the depth chart). Ideally, St. Louis would love to trade down with someone who wants to jump on Ryan Tannehill before the Dolphins pick, but I don’t see a team who has that much of a need at QB that would trade draft picks for Tannehill anyway. Teams right after Miami have guys in place (like Buffalo, Kansas City, and Seattle) where giving up pieces to draft a guy that I know myself and my fellow drafters feel is a big reach anyway. This spot may be a little to soon for Michael Floyd, even though he has a work-out scheduled with St. Louis in the coming weeks and they badly need a playmaker. They may also look at Trent Richardson, who makes a little bit of sense with Steven Jackson getting older and having a lot of miles, but I don’t agree with drafting a running back this early in the draft since.
Jeff Fisher has always been known for having a good defense and will need some pieces to retool a unit that was 22nd in yards allowed per game and 26th in points allowed (and that’s playing in a pretty weak NFC West).
The Rams will want a head-hunting blitzer for Gregg Williams’s attacking, blitzing defense… I mean, Fisher needs a piece to pair with Jake Long, and Ingram is versatile enough to fit into different places along the defensive line. After missing out on Blackmon, I say St. Louis settles on defense with this pick and tries to move back into the first round later to get a receiver.
MYH: With the 7th pick in the 2012 Thread Mock Draft, The Jacksonville Jaguars Select Michael Floyd, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame.
Like the Browns, the Jags will be looking to get some help for their young and oft criticized young QB, Blaine Gabbert. They have a few holes too, but getting a tall, vertical threat like Floyd could be a gamechanger for them. Floyd has had some off the field issues, but football wise, his numbers are not much different than those of Blackmon. The Jags NEVER draft playmakers (the last one might have been MJD) and have not drafted a pro bowler in 3 years. Amidst rumors of ownership possibly moving the team to LA, the Jags need to make a splash now. Floyd could be the guy to do that.
Also, Melvin Ingram was a real possibility here before Mark had them taken by the Rams (who, like Mark said, most likely would have taken Blackmon if he was still available). If they still want to go pass rusher, Quinton Couples, a DE from NC, will still be on the board. Don’t be shocked if Jacksonville trades out of this pick to get more picks, either.
TBS: With the 8th overall pick in the 2012 Thread Mock Draft, the Miami Dolphins select, Ryan Tannehill, Quarterback, Texas A&M.
I’m not a fan of this pick for a multitude of reasons. Some personal some not. Ryan Tannehill is in need of some serious grooming before he is ready for the bright lights as an NFL QB. He has the ability to be good but often doesn’t play the best in big games. He also is gaining a reputation of not being able to close games. Knowing all of these things, Miami will want to take the chance on him. QBs always go in bunches in the first round. That’s exactly how Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, and Christian Ponder all get picked in the top 15 picks in last year’s draft after Cam Newton was taken #1. The Dolphins have made nothing but the wrong QB choices since Dan Marino retired. They passed on Matt Ryan and took Jake Long, they picked Daunte Culpepper over a rehabbing Drew Brees, and so on and so forth. Number of the day? 17. 17 QBs have started for the Miami Dolphins since #13 retired from South Beach. 17!!!! Yeah, I think they need to address the quarterback position. The bright side? While you wait for him to become your quarterback, you can move him to wide receiver and replace the production you lost from trading away Brandon Marshall! Everybody wins.
Mark: With the 9th pick in the 2012 Thread Mock Draft, the Carolina Panthers select Dontari Poe, Defensive Tackle, University of Memphis.
First off, I think the Panthers really want Michael Floyd but are trying to keep it on the hush. What better way to build around your franchise QB than pair him up with an electrifying receiver for years to come. Unfortunately for them, in our draft he’s gone by now. Thankfully for Cam Newton and the Panthers, there are some good receivers to be had at the top of round two to help Newton The Panthers will be happy to pick from the many top level defensive tackles on the board though, as building the interior of their defensive line is a must. I say the Panthers take Poe after his ridiculous combine where he lit up the Underwear Olympics, testing better than many of the skill position players. Poe is still very raw, but that didn’t stop the Panthers last year when they took Newton. I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t hear much about Pie during his rookie season, but give him a year of coaching and development, and he can develop into the rare defensive tackle who can put constant pressure on the quarterback.
MYH: With the 10th pick in the Thread Mock Draft, my Buffalo Bills select Riley Reiff, Offensive Tackle, Iowa.
The Bills REALLY wanted Michael Floyd to line up on the other side of Stevie Johnson, who just got a new deal, to give franchise QB Ryan Fitzpatrick another target. However, with Floyd likely gone, the Bills will look elsewhere for a WR. Besides, the Bills are just fine at WR and TE. The real problem was on the defensive side of the ball. However, the secondary was riddled with injuries and fell apart after a pretty good start to the season. The return of key pieces of the back 7 along with the huge signing of Mega-free agent Mario Williams and Mark Anderson at DE should help that unit tremendously.
The Bills will likely draft Reiff, who most have as the best tackle in the draft behind Kalil. Since the Bills failed to re-sign Demetrius (Demetress) Bell, they really need a LT to protect Fitz’s blindside, especially after all the money they just paid him. This is really a no brainer, and outside of Floyd falling, this will be the pick for sure.
TBS: With the 11th pick in the 2012 Thread Mock Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select Trent Richardson, Running Back, Alabama.
The Kansas City Chiefs have to think really hard about passing up Trent here. May not be the best spot for him. I originally typed up David DeCastro but here it is pick 11 and Trent’s still here. So the slide is over for Mr. Richardson and the Chiefs get a great option to side next to Jamaal Charles. This makes that backfield really crowded with Richardson, Charles, and recent pickup Peyton Hillis but consider this…. Richardson on the team means that Charles doesn’t have to rush back until he’s 100% from his season ending knee injury. That also means that Hillis doesn’t have to be the #1 since he proved last year that when he has to be, he won’t perform to that level. Sure the Madden curse had a lot to do with his performance, but he also said he’d rather be a spy or something instead of a RB…um…. What? Richardson is a merciless runner. This guy really fears no one on the field. They say there’s no set of weights he can’t lift. I was a huge Ingram fan with him coming out last year and Richardson is showing that he could be a much more talented back. Plus, he seems to be more of a durable option to Ingram. The Chiefs defense is stacked and anything they need to add will be on the offensive side of the ball. Romeo Crennel took charge of this roster and had them really competing again even with season ending injuries to their 3 biggest contributors in Tony Moeaki, Eric Berry, and Jamaal Charles.
MYH: With the 13th pick in the 2012 Thread Mock Draft, the Arizona Cardinals select Cordy Glenn, OT, Georgia
While the Cardinals are great at LT with Levi Brown, they haven’t had a good RT in years. Glenn is a whopping 6’5 and 345 lbs (jesus!) but is athletic and versatile enough to also play guard, as he did for most of his collegiate career. Glenn really boosted his stock by dominating the Senior Bowl, and is projected to be a mid 1st round pick. Although Ingram and Poe will likely be gone, don’t be surprised if Arizona also looks at a pass rusher like Courtney Upshaw.
Mark: With the 14th pick of the 2012 Thread Mock Draft, “America’s Team”, the Dallas Cowboys, select David DeCastro, Offensive Guard, Stanford.
That sound you heard was the eruption of the war room in excitement (my war room includes myself and my two dogs… yes there were high fives). In my opinion, DeCastro is the best offensive lineman in the draft, third best player in this draft behind Luck and RGIII and in my eyes, and a future Hall of Famer. The Cowboys should be ecstatic that DeCastro has fallen to them. He is polished and ready for an NFL offense having played for Jim Harbaugh for three years (red-shirted his first year).
I have seen a lot of mocks where they have Dallas either drafting either Mark Barron if he’s available or another defensive end/outside linebacker to pair with Demarcus Ware. I’m against drafting Barron because 1) DBs from Alabama usually are overrated and in my opinion get over drafted due to the lack of quality passing games in the SEC (looks at Dre Kirkpatrick), 2) Signing Brandon Carr should help out with some of the secondary issues, as well as another year in Rob Ryan’s system. As for being against a DE/OLB, my main thing is if you are going to waste a franchise tag on Anthony Spencer, then why go after someone who could potentially replace him. Overall, Dallas should draft DeCastro, move Tyron Smith to the left side of the line and pair him with DeCastro, and have a dominant left side of the offensive line to protect Tony Romo and help produce 1,000 rushers for the next 10 years.
TBS: With the 15th overall pick in the 2012 Thread Mock Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select Jonathan Martin, Offensive Tackle, Stanford.
The Eagles just lost offensive tackle Jason Peters to a season ending ruptured tendon. They haven’t exactly been known for their line depth over the years, so this pick comes out of necessity more than anything. DeCastro and Martin anchored a Stanford line that made them one of the best running teams in the country. Martin’s got great technique and athleticism that is needed to be a tackle in the NFC East. When you’ve got to go up against the likes of Ware, the entire Giants front line, and Kerrigan and Orakpo, you really need that kind of talent and skill set.
MYH: With the 16th overall pick in the Thread Mock Draft, the Jets select Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama.
Oh boy, where do we start with the good ole Jets? Well, for starters, its pretty clear they will use this pick to bolster the defense, and I think Upshaw will be the pick for a few reasons. One, the Jets really struggled getting to the QB last year, and Upshaw is a DE that can also rush the passer from the LB position or drop into coverage. This versatility will allow him to roam a bit in the Jets defense. A few teams ahead of the Jets will strongly consider drafting him, but we think he’ll be around at 16.
The Big Socrates, MichaelYoungHistory, & Markrod
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