22 April 2012

2012 NFL Draft Mock Mob

The NFL Draft is only days away with folks like myself blowing up the web with mock drafts over who we think will be going where. So in this mock draft, I have some guest writers, all folks looking to go into the sports jounalism profession, with their own mocks all pieced together here. Let's take a look at the mock mob.
NOTE: I did not write any of these mocks but I did edit them for grammatical and formatting purposes. 

By Evan Romano, who is starting his own blog here:
1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
We've known this pick since about week 10 of last season. Peyton Manning is now gone, and the Colts have cleaned house, getting rid of nearly every key offensive player of the past few years with the exception of Reggie Wayne. Luck gives the Colts someone who should be their Franchise QB for the next 10 years, as Draft experts such as Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, and Mike Mayock have referred to him as the best QB Prospect since John Elway. 

2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis) - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
The Redskins made the aggressive move to trade up from the sixth pick to the second pick in order to take the player who they believe will be their franchise QB for the next ten years, in Baylor’s Robert Griffin III. RG3 is a rare combination of speed, strength, and real QB ability with his extremely strong arm and pinpoint accuracy. I believe that while Luck is more of a sure thing than RG3, that Griffin has a higher ceiling, in that I believe his game compares to that of Michael Vick, but Griffin is bigger, smarter, and has never had any injury issues like Vick has had. 

3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, OT, USC 
This could be a very active pick in this draft, as Colts owner Jim Irsay recently tweeted that he thinks if someone wants to draft Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill. If the Vikings stay in this spot, the pick should easily be Kalil. Kalil is a fantastic Offensive line prospect, and the Vikings need to do all they can to protect their young QB Christian Ponder and drafting Kalil gets a jump start at doing just that. 

4. Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Richardson has been called the best RB Prospect since Adrian Peterson back in 2007, and I agree with that statement. Richardson is a rare runner who, despite his size, can run with both speed and power. I think he’ll have the opportunity to step in right away and be a 1,000-yard rusher with Peyton Hillis out of Cleveland. The offense in Cleveland should revolve around Richardson.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Claiborne is the top defensive back on the board this year, and while he isn’t quite as good a prospect as last year’s top CB, his former teammate Patrick Peterson, he’s still a very, very good corner with shutdown potential. The Bucs had a lot of cap room this year and made some nice moves bringing in Vincent Jackson at WR and Carl Nicks at OG, but they wasted a good chunk of money (just under 40 million over 5 years) on a terrible CB in Eric Wright. Drafting Morris Claiborne helps to rectify that mistake.

6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington) - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Blackmon, the two time Biletkinoff Award winner for the best receiver in college football, is the best WR prospect in this year’s group. The Rams’ new coach Jeff Fisher and new O.C. Brian Schottenheimer are thrilled to get Blackmon here at pick six as a much needed young weapon for former #1 overall pick QB Sam Bradford. 

7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
This is the first pick of the draft where no one really has any idea what will happen. Consensus at this point seems to say that Ingram is the pick, but Gene Smith of the Jaguars always likes to take his guy, usually a guy of high character. The Jaguars also are said to be very high on Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill, who helped his stock drastically at the NFL Combine. A trade down is possible here, and there is also a chance the Jags reach and take Hill. 

8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M 
Tannehill was thought not too long ago as a second round prospect, but with so many teams wanting QBs now, he is a surefire top 10 pick in this draft. The dolphins will be happy to take him here at 8, as they struck out earlier in the offseason in their attempts to sign Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn. Tannehill is a good fit with Miami because his college coach, Mike Sherman, is now with the Dolphins as their Offensive Coordinator, and Tannehill won’t be forced to start immediately, as the dolphins still have Matt Moore, who was pretty good last year and can be a solid stop-gap QB until Tannehill is ready.

9. Carolina Panthers - Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
Carolina could go in a few different directions with this pick. They could take a WR like Michael Floyd from Notre Dame, Kendall Wright from Baylor or Stephen Hill, as Cam Newton had one of the best rookie years of all time last season, while really only having Steve Smith and Greg Olsen to throw to. However, the Panthers defense was truly terrible last year, and if they had improvements to their defense would have been in playoff contention. The Panthers best defensive player is LB Jon Beason, but he is always injured and is getting older. Kuechly is a tackling machine and could be a Pro Bowler for the Panthers. 

10. Buffalo Bills - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Rieff is a very good albeit raw OT prospect. He has great size at 6’6, 300 rounds. The Bills could use some help at WR or on defense, but they’ll need to protect their QB, Ryan Fitzpatrick, who they gave a big contract to during last season, as well as strengthen their running game for RBs Fred Jackson, who is returning from a broken leg, and the explosive CJ Spiller, who finished last season on a high. Rieff will provide Fitzpatrick with more time in the pocket to find star receiver Stevie Johnson. 

11. Kansas City Chiefs - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
The Chiefs could use some help on the defensive front, as they have had trouble stopping the run and their pass defense should be solid with Brandon Flowers, Stanford Routt, and the returning Eric Berry from injury. Cox should help the defensive pressure as he should immediately demand double teams, where the disappointing Glenn Dorsey does not. 

12. Seattle Seahawks - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Seattle’s defense was actually very underrated last year, and with new QB Matt Flynn and returning WR Sidney Rice along with beast RB Marshawn Lynch, Seattle could be a surprising team in 2012. They could draft a WR to further help Flynn and the Offense, but drafting Coples, who has ridiculous upside, and has drawn comparisons to Julius Peppers (Both went to UNC) to pair with one of the best run stopping DEs in the league in Red Bryant would make Seattle’s defense even better than it was last year. 

13. Arizona Cardinals - David DeCastro, G, Stanford
The Cardinals made a big investment last summer in Kevin Kolb, and despite his first season being mediocre at best, they are committed to him succeeding in their offense alongside star WR Larry Fitzgerald and improving RB Beanie Wells. DeCastro is the best of a few NFL O-Line prospects out of Stanford this year, and should step in immediately and start to protect Kolb and open up holes for Wells. 

14. Dallas Cowboys - Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Dallas’ secondary was terrible once again last year, and they made the right first move in getting rid of the overrated and often injured Terrence Newman, and bringing in former Chief Brandon Carr to pair with Mike Jenkins. Their safeties remain weak however, having only Gerald Sensabaugh, and signing Brodney Pool. Sensabaugh is a decent player, but not a game changer. Pool shouldn’t be more than a backup. Barron has the potential to be a player in the mold of Arizona’s Adrian Wilson, someone who can be decent in coverage, while also being a big hitter and an enforcer in the secondary. 

15. Philadelphia Eagles - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
Dontari Poe has had a wild ride during this draft season, at first being projected as a 2nd rounder or late first rounder. After his ridiculous combine, his stock jettisoned up to top 10 potential. I think he’ll settle in the mid teens, here with Philadelphia. Philly’s D was underwhelming last year, and I think adding an athlete like Poe between the awesome pass rush of Jason Babin, Trent Cole, and Cullen Jenkins will both help him ease into the NFL, and give him some great mentors to learn the game from.

16. New York Jets - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Mark Sanchez didn’t take the step forward last year that everyone thought he would, and rather he was very inconsistent, being terrible in the season’s final three weeks, throwing seven interceptions over the season’s final three games, all Jets losses. He did improve his accuracy and TD numbers however, and isn’t as bad as many people say. The key cog in his development, I believe, is his lack of consistency amongst receivers, as the only receiver who returned from 2010 to 2011 was Santonio Holmes who is a head case. A young, talented stud like Floyd would provide talent and consistency at the WR position, something Sanchez desperately needs, as their WR core is very thin right now after not bringing back the disappointing Plaxico Burress. 

17. Cincinnati Bengals - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
The Bengals were a surprising success last year, making the playoffs despite being led by a rookie QB (Andy Dalton) and a rookie WR (AJ Green) on offense. Their D was decent, but the secondary became the clear issue once star CB Leon Hall went down with an injury, since #2 Nate Clements is simply not the player he once was. The Bengals will be thrilled to get Kirkpatrick here, as he was once considered a top 10 prospect, and has fallen because of some questionable off the field issues. 

18. San Diego Chargers - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
The Chargers had a big loss this past offseason, losing star receiver Vincent Jackson in free agency to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They signed Robert Meachem to a free agent contract, thinking he could perhaps replace VJax, but I think that Meachem is best suited as a slot receiver/deep threat as he was used in New Orleans. Hill has a very similar skill set to Jackson, as he is very tall at 6’4, and has the skill set to make some circus catches. He had a very nice combine and was able to push himself into the first round. Phillip Rivers likes throwing to big WRs such as Jackson, Malcom Floyd, and TE Antonio Gates, so adding Hill will add to this phenomenon.

19. Chicago Bears - Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
As we saw with the Giants and Jason Pierre-Paul, as well as year in and year out with teams like the Ravens and the Steelers, they can stockpile defensive talent, and it seems like they always seem to pan out. Upshaw will have fallen a bit here at this point, and as the best player available, the Bears will pounce. Upshaw will learn from some of the best, including Lance Briggs, who I think is a good model for what Upshaw could be- a stud OLB who can do a bit of everything, but isn’t necessarily a pass rusher.

20. Tennessee Titans - Janoris Jenkins, CB, Northern Alabama
Jenkins is an elite CB prospect with the potential to someday be a top CB in the NFL. However, he was kicked off of Florida’s football team due to off the field problems, including being arrested for possession of Marijuana. The off the field problems worry teams, as well as now being from a much smaller scale program in Northern Alabama as opposed to Florida. He fits here perfectly with the Titans who are looking for a new CB to replace Cortland Finnegan, who went to St. Louis on a big free agent contract to reunite with former Titans coach Jeff Fisher. 

21. Cincinnati Bengals - Cordy Glenn, G/OT, Georgia
As I mentioned earlier, the Bengals have a very promising young offense based around QB Andy Dalton and WR AJ Green. They also signed former Patriot Benjarvus Green-Ellis to be their new starting RB. They need to do their best to protect this offense, and Glenn is a very solid guard prospect who had a great combine and final year at Georgia to cement his status as a first round pick. 

22. Cleveland Browns - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
The Browns pick up another offensive weapon here who can help improve their offense alongside Trent Richardson. Wright is very speedy despite his terrible 40 time of 4.61 at the combine. He fits really well across from possession receiver Greg Little who the team drafted last year. Expect the Browns to take a QB high in the 2nd round, either Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State, or Kirk Cousins of Michigan State. I don’t expect Colt McCoy to be the starting QB in Cleveland much longer, because he is mediocre at best. 

23. Detroit Lions - Stephen Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
The Lions offense has been very good with Matthew Stafford at the helm and Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, and Brandon Pettigrew catching balls. However the team has struggled to establish a run game, so an OL could be a possibility here. Their secondary has been really bad the past few years, and finally using a high pick on a CB would be a good idea. 

24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama
This is one of the clearest picks in the whole draft to me: Lawrence Timmons remains as an MLB for the Steelers, and a very good one at that. However, James Farrior was just cut after a long career, and a Timmons/Hightower duo in the middle would be great for years and years go come. Hightower was really, really good for ‘Bama this past season, and in my opinion I thought he looked better in the title game than Courtney Upshaw. He is very quick, a great tackler, and has quick instincts.

25. Denver Broncos - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Obviously Denver has undergone a big change this offseason, switching QBs from Tim Tebow to Peyton Manning. I think bringing in another WR as a weapon for Peyton here could be a possibility, but any of the WRs here would be a big time reach, so Peyton will have to settle for Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. The Broncos defense was pretty solid last season, but their defensive tackles were very, very bad. Brockers was a big part of the great LSU defense that went undefeated leading up to the national title game last year. He should immediately provide some pressure up the middle in Denver.

26. Houston Texans - Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
The Texans offense was fantastic last year as it had been in the prior years, despite Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub being injured for most of the year. The key players for that are Superstar RB Arian Foster, who has been arguably the best RB in the NFL the past two years, and his explosive backup Ben Tate. To keep the success of the run game going, the Texans will need to replace Eric Winston, one of the best Offensive Tackles in the league, as they had to cut him earlier in the offseason due to the salary cap. Martin protected Andrew Luck’s blind side in Stanford, so he know what it takes to protect a star QB, which he will need to do in Houston since Schaub is coming off a season ending injury, and has had some issues with injuries in the past. He is also a very strong run blocker. 

27. New England Patriots - Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
The Patriots were recently given the news that Matt Light, longtime guard and protector of Tom Brady, is retiring. Given this news, they will replace him with the top OL Prospect on the board here, and that is Ohio State’s Adams; it should be a seamless transition. 

28. Green Bay Packers - Chandler Jones, OLB/DE, Syracuse
The Packers problem clearly is that they have no pass rush opposite Clay Matthews- the lack of a threat really hurt last season, as Matthews was constantly double teamed and had no help on the other side. Jones has seen his stock rise of late, and is physically a beast. He should help GB provide a pass rush. 

29. Baltimore Ravens - Whitney Mercilus, OLB/DE, Illinois
Like I said earlier with Chicago and Courtney Upshaw, you always see teams like this take the best player available even with a depth of talent already on the roster. Mercilus is by far the best defensive player here on the board, and he would flourish on the Ravens learning under Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs. He could start immediately, as Jarret Johnson signed with SD as a free agent, opening the OLB spot opposite of Suggs for Mercilus. 

30. San Francisco 49ers - Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
Fleener is the top TE on this year’s draft board, and with good reason- He is a physical beast, and had a ridiculous combine, while also being Andrew Luck’s favorite target the last few years. Jim Harbaugh coached Fleener at Stanford, and he loves to run two tight end offenses, and with Delanie Walker a free agent after next season, this gives a year of transition for Fleener to work his way in and learn the system, and allow Walker to walk following next season.

31. New England Patriots - Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame
The Patriots’ secondary was very bad last year. They constantly gave up huge passing numbers to pedestrian QBs such as Chad Henne, and CB Devin McCourty, who had a very nice rookie year in 2010, looked lost in 2011. Smith could slot in at safety next to Patrick Chung and hopefully improve their wretched secondary. 

32. New York Giants - David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
The Giants lost Brandon Jacobs to the 49ers this offseason, and they like to run a two RB system, as Ahmad Bradshaw is very good, but is more effective when his carries are limited. Wilson is an RB in the mold of Ray Rice or MJD, as he is smaller (5’9), but plays big, strong, and aggressively. He could replace Jacobs and probably even be better in short yardage situations, and place where Jacobs unexpectedly struggled due, where you would have expected him to excel due to his giant size (6’4, 264).

By Jeff Parles, renowned failed blogger:
1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
2. Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, OT, USC
4. Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Clailborne, CB, LSU
6. St. Louis Rams - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
7. Jacksonville Jaguars -  Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
8. Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
9. Carolina Panthers - Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
10. Buffalo Bills - Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
11. Kansas City Chiefs - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
12. Seattle Seahawks - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
13. Arizona Cardinals -Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
14. Dallas Cowboys -Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
15. Philadelphia Eagles - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
16. New York Jets - Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
17. Cincinnati Bengals - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
18. San Diego Chargers - Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
19. Chicago Bears - David DeCastro, G, Stanford
20. Tennessee Titans - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
22. Cleveland Browns - Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
23. Detroit Lions - Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Cordy Glenn, G/OT, Georgia
25. Denver Broncos - Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
26. Houston Texans - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
27. New England Patriots - Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
28. Green Bay Packers - Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
29. Baltimore Ravens - Dont'a Hightower, MLB, Alabama
30. San Francisco 49ers - Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin
31. New England Patriots - Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
32. New York Giants - Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

By Zack Schwartz
1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
2. Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, OT, USC
4. Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
6. St. Louis Rams - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
8. Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
9. Carolina Panthers - Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
10. Buffalo Bills - Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
11. Kansas City Chiefs - David DeCastro, G, Stanford
12. Seattle Seahawks - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
13. Arizona Cardinals - Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
14. Dallas Cowboys - Stephen Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
15. Philadelphia Eagles - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
16. New York Jets - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
17. Cincinnati Bengals - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
18. San Diego Chargers - Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
19. Chicago Bears - Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
20. Tennessee Titans - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Cordy Glenn, G/OT, Georgia
22. Cleveland Browns - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
23. Detroit Lions - Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Don’t’a Hightower, MLB, Alabama
25. Denver Broncos - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
26. Houston Texans - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
27. New England Patriots - Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise State
28. Packers - Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse
29. Baltimore Ravens - Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
30. San Francisco 49ers - Cody Fleener, TE, Stanford
31. New England Patriots - Devin Still, DT, Penn State
32. New York Giants - Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis) - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
3. Minnesota Vikings - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
4. Cleveland Browns - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington) - Matt Kalil, OT, USC
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
8. Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
9. Carolina Panthers - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
10. Buffalo Bills - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
11. Kansas City Chiefs - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
12. Seattle Seahawks - Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
13. Arizona Cardinals - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
14. Dallas Cowboys - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
15. Philadelphia Eagles - Mark Barron, S, Alabama
16. New York Jets - Courtney Upshaw, DE, Alabama
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) - David DeCastro, G, Stanford
18. San Diego Chargers - Cordy Glenn, G/OT, Georgia
19. Chicago Bears - Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
20. Tennessee Titans - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta) - Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
23. Detroit Lions - Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama
25. Denver Broncos - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
26. Houston Texans - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans) - Whitney Mercilous, DE, Illinois
28. Green Bay Packers - Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska
29. Baltimore Ravens - Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin
30. San Francisco 49ers - Janoris Jenkins, CB, Northern Alabama
31. New England Patriots - Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
32. New York Giants - Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

By Christopher Novak, who has a successful blog of his own right here:

1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Stanford

2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis) - Robert Griffin III, Quarterback, Baylor

3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, OL, Southern California
This pick makes too much sense to me. After they swung and missed with Bryant McKinnie earlier in the decade, they have a chance to go safe here with the best tackle prospect since Jake Long in 2008.

4. Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Cleveland needs a gamebreaker. Badly. And Trent’s the guy that they should take. QB Ryan Tannehill has been suspected to be the pick here and while that is a move that would be Browns-like, they should take Trent to fill a gaping hole that they have at running back.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Tampa Bay spent a lot of money in the offseason for Carl Nicks, Vincent Jackson, and Eric Wright but still are a team of many needs. Even though they got Eric Wright, Wright isn’t what they need out of a #1 CB. Ronde Barber is returning but his career shouldn’t be going on for too much longer so I see them taking Claiborne and getting a guy who should have gotten a lot more pub than his teammate Tyrann Mathieu.

6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington) - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
If Matt Kalil isn’t taken by the Vikings I expect the Rams to take him but given the mock, I’ll say Blackmon goes here. I think Blackmon’s stats were a bit inflated in college due to the offense he played in but make no mistake he has the strength, size and speed to excel at the next level and will be a great addition for the Rams and finally give Sam Bradford a new toy to play with.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
The lone Jaguar fan I know says it is unlikely that this occurs, but I don’t see a reason that it shouldn’t. The Jacksonville offense is as anemic as they come and despite the fact that they overpaid for Laurent Robinson and Lee Evans in the offseason, in no way are they top-flight wide receivers. Floyd has the talent to become one and Jacksonville should do SOMETHING about their offense with raw 2nd year QB Blaine Gabbert.

8. Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
After striking out with top-flight free agent Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn, and even Alex Smith, the Dolphins have two options: run with Matt Moore, or make a desperate move. While Matt Moore hasn’t been terrible, with former Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman becoming the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator Ryan Tannehill has been speculated to be the pick here. Tannehill is no doubt a raw prospect given that he’s only been playing the QB position for a little over a season, but a desperate team like the Dolphins may be willing to take a chance.

9. New York Jets (from Carolina) - Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
The New York Jets have never been afraid to make moves to get the guys they want (see: Mark Sanchez in 2009). So it’s not unheard of to think that they could trade up to the 9 spot here. With the possibility that Melvin Ingram would be gone at 12 or 14, they hop up here inside the Top 10 to get what they have needed since Rex got to the Jets: a premier pass rusher. They’ve lacked a player that can consistently pressure the quarterback, and while Ryan draws up some of the most exotic blitz packages in the league, there is a need for someone to do this on his own. Ingram possesses a unique athletic ability unlike many in the draft and may turn out to be the best defensive player from this draft class if he reaches his potential.

10. Buffalo Bills - Riley Rieff, OT, Iowa
After filling the need for DE in the free agency period by making the biggest non-Manning splash by attaining Mario Williams, the Bills need OL help. Pretty easy pick here is to take Riley Reiff. Reiff is someone that can keep Ryan Fitzpatrick upright and after losing Demetress Bell and not having someone who can do it consistently since they lost Jason Peters, Reiff seems like a no-brainer. The only problem could be his short arms but Reiff has had experience with run-blocking so not only can he do a good job of keeping Fitzpatrick upright he could also help create holes for running back Fred Jackson.

11. Kansas City Chiefs - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
There's no middle ground when it comes to Poe this year. You either love him or you hate him as a prospect. The physical attributes Poe possesses cannot be denied however and Kansas City just can’t pass up a nose tackle like they have for the past few years. Poe’s big body in Romeo Crennel’s defense could provide similarities to Vince Wilfork in New England and would only help him out and keep top-flight inside linebacker Derrick Johnson clean.

12. Seattle Seahawks - Courtney Upshaw, OLB/DE, Alabama
A lot of people have pegged linebacker Luke Kuechly into this pick. I don’t know if I can see it seeing as the Seahawks need more pass rushers, and Courtney Upshaw is their man that could step in and be a perfect fit for their elephant LEO spot. Upshaw brings with him a lot of versatility, so he could put his hand down on the dirt and come off the edge or play in the standing position, a la Terrell Suggs. We saw this year what drafting a pass rusher could do for a team (their NFC West rival San Francisco 49ers drafted Aldon Smith and reaped the rewards) but considering Upshaw is more complete he could assist a defense that is quietly getting better year in and year out.

13. Arizona Cardinals - David DeCastro, G, Stanford
Even though the Cardinals probably have a more pressing need for an offensive tackle and are hoping that Buffalo chooses not to take Riley Reiff, they’ll be more than happy to take one of the best guard prospects in recent memory in DeCastro. Protecting whomever it is at quarterback whether it be Kolb or Skelton is a main concern and something they desperately need to have happen. DeCastro would step in to their facility and onto the field and be better than anyone on their roster right now and has Steve Hutchinson written all over him.

14. Dallas Cowboys - Mark Barron, S, Alabama
This may be nearly the biggest lock of the draft aside from the first two overall picks of the draft. It’s as if Jerry Jones came out and said, “Hey guys, we’re taking Mark Barron, bye guys,” because damn near everyone has the Cowboys selecting the safety from Mobile, Alabama. And why not? Dallas’ secondary needs a big boost even after signing free agent cornerback Brandon Carr and facing teams in their division with receivers like DeSean Jackson, Hakeem Nicks, and Victor Cruz it is necessary to have somebody with the ability to cover over the top. And Barron is that man for America’s Team. (Shut up)

15. Philadelphia Eagles - Fletcher Cox, DL, Mississippi State
Even though virtually any player could be taken here (Kuechly, Floyd, Barron have all been in the discussion) I think the Eagles add Fletcher Cox to their roster. Cox’s versatility would be a big boost to an already solid defensive line with Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins, as Fletcher could play on the inside and out and be successful. If Brandon Graham can come back from his injury and contribute to pressure the QB, the Eagles defensive line could be awesome.

16. Carolina Panthers (from New York) - Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
Carolina's run defense has been downright putrid the last couple of seasons. (seems to be the common theme with everyone in the NFC South sans the Falcons) While that had a lot to do with the loss of Jon Beason last season, the lack of consistency from the WLB. The Panthers are extremely thin at the linebacker position and adding Kuechly to play the WLB will give them a three down LB that many are anointing the best coverage LB prospect in years. Kuechly can land just about anywhere as any team could use him but I see him landing in The Queen City.

17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) - Stephen Gilmore, CB, South Carolina 
Easy pick here. The lack of Johnathan Joseph hurt the Bengals a lot as did the loss of Leon Hall last year to injury and it showed that they need somebody to groom for the CB position. Stephon’s stock has sky rocketed ever since his Combine performance, displaying fluid hips in the DB drills and ran lights out. He was a natural playmaker at South Carolina and is a better press corner than playing off of receivers and that fits well with defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer’s defense. Gilmore can step in and start from day one at worse at the nickel position.

18. San Diego Chargers - Jonathan Martin, OL, Stanford 
Once again the San Diego Chargers missed the playoffs, and somehow head coach Norv Turner still has a job. We’re all aware of the fact that that won’t be the case if that happens again and the Chargers need to begin by protecting All-Pro quarterback Philip Rivers. When tackle Marcus McNeil went down last year that was very apparent, and while Jared Gaither came back to play pretty well, you can’t rely on that happening again. Mario Henderson was a laughable signing and every Charger fan knew this from watching him play in Oakland. Jonathan Martin has the feet of a left tackle and has helped keep Andrew Luck upright for the last 3 seasons. He could step in and be an upgrade at the tackle position right away.

19. Chicago Bears - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina 
I'm not entirely sold on Coples as a pro prospect, but I don’t see him going past the Chicago Bears here at the 19th pick. The Bears’ production out of their DL aside from Julius Peppers is worse than it should be when you have an elite edge rusher and it was apparent with how Israel Idonije dropped off this season from his solid season in 2010. Coples’ lack of effort in the season dropped him from what seemed to be a Top 10 lock, and it’s downright disturbing to constantly see him get rolled up by tight ends that blocking running backs as much as he did during his tenure at UNC. But he can learn from one of the best edge rushers in the game and eventually take the role of the premium pass rusher if all works out for him. Whether or not that happens is up for debate and Coples may turn out to be a huge bust in the blink of an eye.

20. Tennessee Titans - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU 
The Titans have a lot of options at this pick. They can address their lack of a pass rush and take Nick Perry. They can address their lack of a 3rd cornerback and take Dre Kirkpatrick or Janoris Jenkins. But now that leaves them with their third biggest need which is a defensive tackle and Michael Brockers is the guy. Brockers is sort of like Kuechly in that he can be just about anywhere and provide a great fit but Tennessee shouldn’t and probably won’t pass on him here. Casey played extremely well last season and with Jason Jones moving on to Seattle, they’ll need someone to pair with him. Brockers possesses a big body with quick feet, and he can play the same role as Albert Haynesworth did that made him lots of money (hopefully he won’t flame out like him though).

21. Cincinnati Bengals - Cordy Glenn, G/OT, Georgia
This pick just makes sense. They need a guard and Cordy Glenn fits the mold and is the best one left. He played all over the offensive line during his time at The University of Georgia so he provides great versatility if necessary. This has been a very trendy pick for the Bengals and it’s for good reason.

22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta) - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
The Browns took Greg Little last season and after one season it didn’t seem to work out too well as Litle had the 4th worst dropped pass rate in the NFL last season according to ProFootballFocus.com. They need another weapon for Colt McCoy if they do intend on moving along with him (and, frankly, for whomever they go with because their receivers aren’t cutting the mustard) and Kendall Wright should be their guy here. Wright had a very impressive Pro Day and made some great catches during the session as well as running in the low 4.4’s.

23. Detroit Lions - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama 
The Lions had a very successful 2011, living up to the hype that they had around them, making the playoffs for the first time in over a decade. However there are still numerous holes to fill and Detroit should no doubt address one of their main holes in getting Dre Kirkpatrick here. Kirkpatrick possesses a lot of talent and his size and knowledge could allow him to be flexed to the safety position if the Lions choose to. He’s big, physical, and fully understands zone coverage and I absolutely love him as a cornerback. He may need some work to become more fluid with his hips but he should have no problem being a starting DB in the NFL.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama 
Here's another pick that just makes sense. With James Farrior getting cut this offseason, the Pittsburgh Steelers should find themselves selecting this big inside linebacker from the devastating Alabama defense. Hightower possesses excellent speed for a man of his size and he does an excellent job of finishing -- no, destroying -- tackles and there are countless amounts of videos showing proof. Although his coverage skills leave a lot to be desired he can improve and let’s face it, they won’t be dropping him into coverage much. Donning the black and yellow and joining Lawrence Timmons, James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley is just scary to think of. NFL, good luck running against the Steelers, as if you didn’t have enough trouble doing so already.

25. Denver Broncos - Devon Still, DL, Penn State 
With the loss of Brodrick Bunkley, the very best run stopping interior lineman in the NFL in the year 2011 according to ProFootballFocus.com, the Broncos should address that need and why not take Devon Still to fill the DT spot? It was already a weak one with Bunkley and with the loss they need to address this. Still’s flashes of dominance in big games is a bright spot, as he popped up quite frequently against Alabama earlier on in the season. Denver has a lot of pass rushers in Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, and Still can create some pressure from the middle so the sack amounts can multiply by the bunches.

26. Houston Texans - Reuben Randle, WR, LSU 
Randle's stock has been rising as of late and I can see Houston being his landing spot. The Bastrop, Louisiana native is an extremely physical receiver off of the line of scrimmage and he can use his height to get above corners and defenders. He’s excellent off of the catch, and is always willing to go over the middle to make a tough catch in traffic. Houston is in need of someone like him with the fact that they’ve got a deep threat/possession monstrosity of a #1 in Andre Johnson, perhaps the best WR in the league so taking Randle to compliment him as a slot/Y hybrid pass-catcher would be a perfect fit if you ask me.

27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans) - Nick Perry, OLB/DE, USC
New England probably won’t hold onto this pick as it always seems like they’re too busy trading down to attain more picks to address actual needs but nobody can really predict what Bill Belichick will do. Regardless, the need for a pass rusher may never be bigger for New England at this point and especially now that they lost Mark Anderson to fellow AFC East foe Buffalo and don’t seem to be jumping the gun at Andre Carter either. Perry is athetlic enough to put his hand to the ground or stand up and would fit perfectly in the hybrid scheme that New England uses. If there’s any coach that can get the best out of their picks it’s definitely BB and if the Pats want to get back to the Super Bowl they are going to need to get after the quarterback week in and week out.

28. Green Bay Packers - Whitney Mercilus, OLB/DE, Illinois
The loss of Cullen Jenkins for the Packers may have been the least discussed move that made the biggest impact for any team all season. Packers’ management has to be ecstatic to add another pass rusher to compliment Clay Matthews and Whitney Mercilus is a force off of the edge. The best part about him? After creating contact, he forces the ball away! Merclius has 11 career forced fumbles and had an extraordinary 2011 campaign. The Packers’ entire defensive scheme is built off of taking the ball away so they would gladly walk away with a beastly pass rusher here in Mercilus.

29. Baltimore Ravens - Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
The Ravens lost Ben Grubbs this offseason to New Orleans and Matt Birk has made a lot of fiirtation with retirement. They need interior line help and Peter Konz looks to be the next great Wisconsin lineman and should help immediately. Linemen grow out on trees up in Madison and have been producing top-flight linemen from damn near the dawn of time and even though Cam Cameron can’t seem to grasp the process of figuring out how to give the rock to Ray Rice, but they’ve got to and Konz will help push and pave the way. Drafting a WR may be a possibility here since Boldin is showing his age.

30. San Francisco 49ers - Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
The 49ers defense was downright NASTY this past season and provided one of the bigger and sweeter surprises of the NFL season. Even with that said, and even with the re-signing of Carlos Rogers they still could use a lot of help at the CB position and Janoris Jenkins can do all of that. He’s a bit of a gambler but it usually ends in a play made by him and even though he has serious character issues, he is the best cover corner in this draft by far and showed it by locking down the best that the SEC had to offer while he was with Florida. That could help playing in the pass-heavy NFC with offenses like Green Bay, New Orleans, New York, among others that they’ll face this upcoming season.

31. New England Patriots - Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame
The Patriots’ safety play was very subpar for a team that made it to the Super Bowl. They struggled to force turnovers on a consistent basis sans Kyle Arrington, who did surprise me in nickel packages, I’ll admit. But aside from Barron, Harrison Smith is the next best safety in the class and while it might be a reach, BB has been known for taking players where he wants them despite grades by scouts. Harrison is smart and is a leader, which may make him the perfect type of player for the New England Patriots. He’s got a nose for the football and is always making plays and is capable of playing centerfield or in the box. Bill will like his versatility to pair in the backfield with fellow safety Patrick Chung.

32. New York Giants - Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
If you paid close attention to the New York Giants last season you would have noticed a gaping, gaping hole in their offensive line. That man is David Diehl and according to ProFootballFocus.com he was the worst rated offensive lineman in terms of pass protection from BOTH the guard and tackle position. You have to possess some kind of awfulness to do that so the Giants should, as opposed to addressing skill positions like the tight end or running back position or going with help for LB (which may have already been addressed with the low-risk high-reward addition of Keith Rivers) by selecting Mike Adams from The Ohio State University. Even though Adams has “character issues” (greatly exaggerated if you ask me) Adams is a first round talent at LT. He’s a superior athlete and was one of the best OL at the Senior Bowl and while he didn’t show consistency on tape he couldn’t be much worse than Diehl, right? Right?

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