The NFL draft is still a couple of months away, good news is that once free agency kicks off this year, March 13th, the time between the new NFL season start and the draft won’t be very long. We have decided to give this years draft an early look. I have decided to add trades where I feel they may occur. So take a look and join our discussion on our 2012 Mock Draft version 1.0! Make sure to check out DCProssportsreport.com and NFL Mocks.com for more mock drafts as well as other mock draft sites by clicking here.
Indianapolis Colts– Hmmmm, I think they may go with, I don’t know Andrew Luck? Luck is the top name on the lips of draft experts and it would be a major shock if Luck didn’t get drafted by the Colts, let alone the first pick in the draft. With the Colts owner Jim Irsay and incumbent veteran Peyton Manning yet to discuss his future, Luck is nothing short of a sure thing to lead the Colts into the future. I don’t expect the team to field any offers for the selection, but if they do, they will find quite a few teams jumping at the chance.
Cleveland Browns – Via trade with St. Louis: Robert Griffin, III. The Browns have two first round picks and that should be enough to move up two spots to grab their franchise quarterback. The Washinton Redskins will be in play here as well but they do not select until the 6th position. That’s a far drop for the Rams who will likely target a WR.
Minnesota Vikings – USC Tackle, Matt Kalil: The Vikings can thank Cleveland for this selection as the Rams would likely have taken him at number 2 overall if they stayed. Instead, Cleveland moves up and Kalil falls into the Vikings laps. The Vikings are also reportedly interested in trading down as well. With no RGIII on board, can a guy like Oklahoma St. WR, Justin Blackmon, bring enough interest for a team to move up to three?
St. Louis Rams – Via trade with Cleveland: WR Justin Blackmon. The Rams need speed and consistency on the outside and Blackmon is being compared to Charles “Megatron” Johnson in Detroit. With the team committed to Sam Bradford under new HC Jeff Fisher, getting him the outlet to succeed is imperative. Blackmon will serve that purpose and then some.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: LSU CB Morris Claiborne: A lot of people expect the Bucs’ to go with a running back here and Trent Richardson is an ideal candidate. However, the team needs to get better on the defensive side of the ball as they failed miserably last season holding opponents down giving up double digit totals consistently. Rhonde Barber is pushing towards the 38 year old mark and now is a good time to replace him.
Washington Redskins: RB Trent Richardson. They will likely try and trade up for RGIII but will inevitably not be able to beat out anything Cleveland throws at them. With CB a need as well as OT, the team will likely try and trade out of the spot and move down instead of up. The problem is there simply isn’t enough blue-chip playmakers at this spot that are worth investing multiple picks in. The Skins have some holes in their roster but the rotation of RB’s last season leads me to believe that this is a good move for a team that likely would have preferred a QB.
Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Quinton Coples of NC. The Jaguars have one pass rushing DE in Aaron Kampman. Their offense is need of a WR but I don’t believe that Blackmon will fall to a spot that is affordable for the Jaguars to trade up to. No, I do not believe they will try and jump over the Rams to number three. This is a safe pick for the Jaguars and Coples should make the Jags’ defense better.
Carolina Panthers: DT Devon Still Penn State – The Panthers will flip a coin with the Dolphins to see who gets the privilege of drafting in the 8th spot. Neither team are truly looking at the same personnel in the first round and the talent at this level simply isn’t enough to grab the interest of later first round teams to move up to these spots. The Panthers finished dead last in defensive pass rushing last season so it only strengthens their resolve to go after a DT with their first pick.
Miami Dolphins – Courtney Upshaw – OLB: The Dolphins could go a lot of ways here. Trent Richardson is still available, they could go with a speed receiver, Dre Kirkpatrick may still be on the board, or they could go with an offensive lineman like Reily Reiff. The team needs playmakers and frankly while Reiff would make the most sense, the Dolphins have invested two of four first round draft picks on lineman since 2009. The Phins are switching to a 43 defense which is going to put a need at OLB. Upshaw is a guy who can get to the passer not because of technique but because of drive. He is a baller and makes up for his short comings with his intensity.
Buffalo Bills – Reily Reiff OT: The Bills need to do a better job of protecting their QB.
Kansas City Chiefs – Jonathan Martin OT: The Chiefs have some holes to fill but the line needs to be upgraded to protect Matt Cassell and open running lanes. I look for them to address their defensive concerns in free agency.
Seattle Seahawks – Dontari Poe DT: To be honest, I am not sure what the Seahawks will go for here. They could use another pass catcher, another lineman, and they also could be looking for a franchise QB as well. If they do not address that spot in free agency, the Hawk’s may pull the trigger on a third first round QB of the 2012 draft. The question is who? For now, the need at DT is more important.
Arizona Cardinals – Melvin Ingram OLB – Joey Porter is gone and the linebackers are up in age. The Cardinals need to get younger and faster at the position if they want to compete with the 49’ers who have ascended to the top of the division.
Dallas Cowboys – Dre Kirkpatrick CB – the team needs help in a lot of places.
Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Kuechly – ILB – The dream team is still dreaming but their defense needs to get better with the front seven.
NY Jets: Kendall Wright WR: The Jets could go offensive line or safety here as they are both needs but they are pressing for WR’s with the future of Santonio Holmes now considered to be somewhere else. Plaxico Burress isn’t what they thought they were getting either. Tony Sparano is the man charged with fixing what is wrong with Mark Sanchez…it’s obvious he needs playmakers because he isn’t one.
Cincinnati Bengals: David DeCastro OG: Safe pick for a team who needs to continue the improvement of QB Andy Dalton…why not get him better blockers.
San Diego Chargers: Mark Barron – S: The Chargers need to get it done this year or they will lose most of their coaching staff. Barron needs to become a ball hawking safety who can also support the run.
Chicago Bears – Mike Adams – OT: The Bears went Oline last year, but it didn’t help keep pressure off of Jay Cutler. This to me is a pick that will be used on the best available who fits a need. It’s not flashy but it’s safe. The Bears need someone who will contribute immediately.
Tennessee Titans – Whitney Mercilus DE: It’s hard to say what the Titans might do in this position, go for the Oline or maybe add to their WR core? I think they start with the defensive side of the ball.
Cincinnati Bengals – Alshon Jeffrey WR – Jermome Simpson may be able to leap and jump over defenders for a TD but his future in the NFL is up in the air after his off-field legal troubles that could put him behind bars if not on the Commissioners suspension list. Add to that his impending free agency and you have a hole that the Bengals need to fill. Last year they hit a home run with AJ Green. Can they do it again?
St. Louis Rams – Via trade with Cleveland – Janoris Jenkins CB: The Rams got their WR in round one and it’s a matter of going defense or offensive line. I think Jeff Fisher goes with a capable corner.
Detroit Lions – Kevin Zeitler OG
Pittsburgh Steelers – Kendall Wright – WR
Denver Broncos – Michael Brockers – DT
Houston Texans – Fletcher Cox – NT
New England Patriots (from NO) – Likely to trade out of this pick – Michael Floyd WR
Green Bay Packers – Nick Perry OLB
Baltimore Ravens – Markelle Martin S
San Francisco 49’ers – Mohamed Sanu WR
NY Giants – Vontaze Burfict ILB
New England Patriots – Likely to trade – Trumaine Johnson – CB
NE Patriots –