2012 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1

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Written By: Eric Olinger

1) Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
This is going to happen. They can look at RG3 but Luck to the Colts is a certainty.

2) Washington Redskins (via trade with St. Louis): Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
I know a lot of people have bashed the Redskins for giving up so much to move up to #2, but I respect the hell out of it. If you see a franchise QB there and you have the need, you do whatever it takes to get him. If the Colts take RG3 (which they won’t) then you get Andrew Luck. The greatest Plan B EVER!!!

3) Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Beneficiaries of the St. Louis-Washington trade, Kalil would have likely gone to St. Louis at 2 had they stayed. Now Minnesota gets their franchise LT for the next decade and hopefully keeps Ponder upright. This could also be a hot spot for teams wanting Blackmon or Richardson.

4) Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
RB’s in the Top 5 are a real gamble but Richardson is the most complete back since Peterson.

And Cleveland has been void of playmakers since Braylon Edwards left and haven’t had an offensive weapon that scares defenses since their return to the league. We’ll see if they can figure out how to screw this up.

5) Tampa Bay Bucs: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

Coach Schiano would likely take Richardson should he fall to them but Claiborne fills a HUGE need. He will step in Day 1 and be a shutdown corner. More polished than Patrick Peterson from last year. He will fill the void of an aging Ronde Barber.

6) St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

This team NEEDS playmakers. Besides an aging Steven Jackson and the newly signed Steve Smith, they don’t have much for Bradford to work with. Mark Clayton and Danarrio Alexander are annual injury risks. Blackmon would be a great fit for Bradford and the Rams.

7) Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
The Jags would love for Blackmon to fall but he won’t. They could look at Floyd here but instead try to fix their missing pass rush. Coples has had a great off-season and should not fall out of the Top 10. 

8) Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill- QB- Texas A&m
After repeatedly swinging and missing on just about everything they do, the draft might be the only place they can’t have a cold shoulder turned on them. Obviously they don’t want to move forward with Matt Moore so they draft Tannehill. His college Head Coach is now the OC for the Dolphins so the transition should be smoother than normal. He should probably sit for a year but the Dolphins won’t let it happen.

9) Carolina Panthers: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Carolina needs to bolster the middle of this D-Line and Brockers has the resume to do it. He has the ability to keep blockers off Jon Beason and the disruptive force to penetrate.

10) Buffalo Bills: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
After adding Mario Williams and Mark Anderson in Free Agency, the Bills should shift their attention to anchoring the line. Reiff makes the most sense. 

11) Kansas City Chiefs: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

A scheme versatile player that can play a 4-3 DE or a 3-4 OLB that will succeed in Romeo Crennel’s hybrid style defense. A CB could be a possibility after losing Brandon Carr to the Cowboys.

12) Seattle Seahawks: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina

As Seattle looks to bolster an increasingly stingy defense, Ingram is a bookend DE that will wreak havoc on the NFC West from Day 1 from the OLB, DE, or even DT positions. He can be moved around similarly to the ways the Giants move Justin Tuck.

13) Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

If you’re going to find out if Kolb or Skelton are your QB’s of the future, you should at least give them the time to throw the ball before getting drilled. The Cardinals need for a pass rusher is only outweighed by their need for a LT.

14) Dallas Cowboys: Mark Barron, S, Alabama

Dallas needs help on the back end. They signed Brandon Carr to play CB, so now they should turn their attention to the Safety position and take the premier SS in the draft. Barron is like a young Brian Dawkins in that he can cover and knock you out.

15) Philadelphia Eagles: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

The Eagles could use a big body to keep blockers off the newly acquired DeMeco Ryans in their Wide-9 scheme and let Babin, Cole, and Co. go nuts!

16) New York Jets: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

Floyd should be the number 2 WR taken in the draft. He should compliment Santonio Holmes great because of his size and his ability to make tough catches look routine while Holmes burns them deep.

17) Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland): Dre’ Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

It’s the Bengals, why wouldn’t you draft a CB with an arrest for marijuana possession? A talented corner would help tremendously.

18) San Diego Chargers: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

Wright might be similar to Robert Meachem but Wright has all the makings of a star in this league. Meachem and Wright will scare defenses and open things up for Gates, Mathews, and Eddie Royal inside the 20’s.

19) Chicago Bears: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

With the way Guards are being paid nowadays, this pick shouldn’t surprise anyone. DeCastro is the best looking guard to come out since Hutchinson. Give Cutler the time to hit Marshall and Forte the lanes to run. Mike Tice will love this guy!

20) Tennessee Titans: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

After Cortland Finnegan left to sign with St. Louis, the Titans have a huge hole in the secondary. It’s big shoes to fill, but Gilmore gets the nod.

21) Cincinnati Bengals: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

The Bengals signed BenJarvus Green-Ellis in Free Agency, so that tells me they’ll wait to draft a RB. Why not add another young, dynamic, WR to the nucleus of this offense? Jeffery and Green would give Dalton a real nasty tandem at the WR spots.

22) Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta): Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

Fleener is shooting up draft boards since the Cardinal Pro Day and there is a shot he’s gone before this pick. If the Browns decide to waste another year with the weak armed Colt McCoy, why not give him a shot with a dynamic pass catcher that plays inside the numbers.

23) Detroit Lions: Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia

Operation: Keep Stafford Upright enters year 2 (or 4 if you count the first 2 failed missions). Bottom line, the Lions have the offensive skill players to do damage. Strengthen the offensive trenches and let Stafford do his thing.                             

24) Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

The Steelers HAVE to bolster their O-line. Roethlisberger holds the ball too long and takes too many hits. If they want to win and succeed, they have to keep Big Ben on the field and protect his blind side.

25) Denver Broncos: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

Peyton Manning probably single handedly makes this offense a Top 7 unit. With that being said, they take a big bodies disruptor to thicken up the D-Line.

26) Houston Texans: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

I think Stephen Hill is a lot like Torrey Smith coming out last year. He has the raw athletic ability to stretch defenses from Day 1 and will learn to become a more complete WR as he has to. This is practically answering a “Help Wanted” ad for the Texans.

27) New England Patriots (from NO): Nick Perry, OLB, USC

A disruptive force off the edge, Perry can star in Belicheck’s forever evolving defense.

28) Green Bay Packers: Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Illinois

The bookend the Packers need on defense to Matthews, Mercilus had 16.5 sacks as a Junior. He’s raw, but has potential to put up double digit sacks in year one.

29) Baltimore Ravens: Luke Keuchly, MLB, Boston College

The No.1 rated ILB in the draft, Keuchly can play next to Ray Lewis as a 2 down thumper in the Ravens’ 3-4 scheme and come off the field in Nickel packages until Ray hangs them up. Then Keuchly would become the heir apparent to one of the greatest to ever play the game.

30) San Francisco 49ers: Peter Konz, OG/C, Wisconsin

After the 49ers signed Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, and Ted Ginn Jr., the need for an early round WR was no longer the case. Now you need the time for the Alex Smith to hit these new toys. Center is a big need area for the Niners, so this should be a no-brainer.

31) New England Patriots: Andrew Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson

Basically New England will get younger at what they struck gold with last year. Last year’s Mark Anderson/Andre Carter will be the future’s Andrew Branch / Nick Perry. With Anderson gone and Carter coming off a severe injury, it makes a lot of sense.

32) New York Giants: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (FL)

After Brandon Jacobs signed with SF, Ahmad Bradshaw responded by getting treatment on his forever ailing troublesome foot. The G-Men have to find a reliable ground game and Miller has the talent to do it. In my opinion, he could be this offenses version of Tiki Barber minus the fumbling and a-hole attitude.

If you have any questions, feel free to email Eric at ericolinger@idpguru.com or follow him on Twitter @OlingerIDPGuru.

Last Updated: April 4, 2012
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