Well, the 2012 NFL Entry Draft will kick round one off tomorrow evening. As always, the mock draft process was a lot of fun to do, hopefully, as a reader, you felt it was enjoyable to see what my best guesses are for each of the teams drafting in the first round. Looking back upon the previous three versions I did, I find it interesting how new information comes about and reshapes the thought process as to where a prospect may land. You can check out the previous versions here: Version 1, Version 2 and Version 3
1. Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck QB Stanford
The speculation's been here all along, and earlier this week the team told the media that in deed Andrew Luck's their guy.
2. Washington Redskins- Robert Griffin III QB Baylor
The Redskins didn't give that ransom away to St. Louis to play let's shock the world. They made the bold move to be able to select RGIII, and that's exactly what they'll do tomorrow night.
3. Minnesota Vikings- Morris Claiborne, CB LSU
The Vikings have been the talk of the league the past few weeks. With the first two picks being no-brainers, in essence the Vikings were sitting here with the top pick in the draft. There was some talk that anyone who wanted Tannehill would have to trade here and There is still some speculation that Cleveland may throw a third rounder to Minnesota to ensure they can get their guy, St. Louis is also supposedly in the mix to trade back up to take the same guy. But as information's trickled out of Minnesota this past 8 days or so, it appears that if they do trade the pick it'll probably be to the Browns, as they know who they want and know who Cleveland wants, and they aren't the same player. This Vikings pick also has a boatload of speculation as to who they'll actually take. Will it be the stud LT Kalil, who's been the consensus choice for most of this offseason. Will it be the stud WR Justin Blackmon, giving Christian ponder a real threat in the passing game, or, will the HC have a bigger say in this than anyone. I think the latter is the safest bet here, and being a defensive coach, a secondary guy, I'm believing all the recent hype that when all is said and done, CB Morris Claiborne from LSU will be a Minnesota Viking.
4. Cleveland Browns- Trent Richardson RB Alabama
Therefore Richardson's still my pick here. Sure, they've been weighing their options. And while QB and WR may still be topics of discussion, I will be shocked if the RB isn't a Brown when Tampa goes on the clock.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Matt Kalil LT USC
Tampa will be shaking their head. The two guys they really want I have to believe are Claiborne and Richardson. They've had Claiborne all but slotted in on their own boards for a while now. But getting Kalil, on a team that can use the OL help, is not a consolation prize in the least bit. This is an elite, number one overall worthy in most drafts, type of player that they are able to grab with the fifth pick. Kalil to the Bucs.
6. St. Louis Rams- Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State
Since I'm not going to do trades I will keep Blackmon as the Rams selection. But I've got a feeling that Richardson was they guy they wanted all along and with him off the board, I think they'll try to move down a few spots. I say this because I've been reading some reports that they actually like the value of moving down, acquiring some more picks and then taking Michael Floyd the Notre Dame Receiver, a guy they think highly of. And I also believe they'll find a trade partner for someone salivating over a guy like Blackmon. Yet, no trades, in my opinion, means they take the ultra talented Ok. State WR.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars- Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame
I think it's official. I have no idea what Jacksonville is going to do here. I hear they really like Dontari Poe the DT from Memphis, as well as Fletcher Cox, the DT from Mississsipi State. I'm also hearing they might be in the Stephon Gilmore discussion. Then I just heard again, they really like Ingram and Coples. So what do I do, I call the bluff and have them go back to offense and select WR Floyd. They way I see it is Robinson is not the threat Gabbert really needs, he's a nice guy when you have another one or two really good guys playing beside him, as was his situation in Dallas last year. Grabbing Floyd helps Gabbert and the Jags passing game, and also helps MJD and the run game. Floyd to the Jags.
8. Miami Dolphins- Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A & M
This is the pick. It's been the pick all along. Perhaps if Blackmon is still on the board they'll change their minds, but unless something crazy takes place and he drops, the team knows they need to appease their fans as well as get a good QB prospect to groom/play. Tannehill a Phin.
9. Carolina Panthers- Fletcher Cox DT Mississippi State
HC Ron Rivera is going defense with this pick. The Question is who and at what position. While I do think Coples or Gilmore would be great picks here for Carolina, I've read numerous mock drafts and heard a lot of interesting things about the way Rivera feels about both of the NT's and Fletcher Cox, while to some a reach, may just wind up in Charlotte.
10. Buffalo Bills- Mark Barron S Alabama
I don't even want to guess right now. I'll be closing my eyes when the commish calls our pick. I'm going to go into detail as to all the guys I'd like Buffalo to take either later today or sometime tomorrow before the draft. But, as a Bills fan still dealing with an inferiority complex about his team, I just think there is something to this Safety talk. Unfounded, for sure in my opinion. A need, I guess, in a year or two, but they reached for a S in Whitner a few years back and passed up Ngata, please, Buffalo don't do it again. I really like Mark Barron, I really do. He's going to be a special guy, but I like Wilson and I can see him here for at least 2 more years, and they do have other needs. But, I'm going to go with what I think and not what I want. Barron to Buffalo.
11. Kansas City Chiefs- Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina
They need OL help and particularly at T, but I think with Gilmore still on the board and they do have a need at Corner, they'll go in this direction.
12. Seattle Seahawks- Luke Kuechly LB Boston College
Seattle's another team I have no idea what they're going to do. I still think OL might be the selection, and perhaps my own man crush on David DeCastro wants him to get picked this early, but I can't have the hawks pass on Luke Kuechly.
13. Arizona Cardinals- Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama
I've felt Arizona wants a corner and with Gilmore off the board, they'll take the Alabama cover man.
14. Dallas Cowboys- Quentin Coples DE North Carolina
Well, many have Dallas going CB here or S, with all those guys seemingly gone, I think they see Quentin Coples here and say why not.
15. Philadelphia Eagles- Cordy Glenn OT Georgia
I can see the Eagles going in a few directions, but with a few of those options already gone, I think they'll stay OL and I like Glenn better than Reiff as I think he has a better shot at the left side which is really what they need if Peters doesn't come back, and if he does, he can play right as well. So Glenn to Philly
16. New York Jets- Melvin Ingram DE/OLB South Carolina
Same pick as before. Although, I think they'll consider Poe, DeCastro and I would've actually selected Barron here, but unfortunately I think the Bills will take him. So I'll stick with Ingram.
17. Cincinnati Bengals- Lamar Miller RB Miami
With Jenkins being the only guy left I think Cincinnati will go in another direction. WR is a strong possibility as it gives Dalton two big weapons. OL is a possibility, but do they like DeCastro or Reiff. I've yet to read they have, so I'm going to go with a guy I had them taking at 21 in the last mock draft. Lamar Miller, RB Miami. I just really like the way a BJGE and Miller backfield looks.
18. San Diego Chargers- David DeCastro OG Stanford
SD really wants OL help here and where it looked as if, in the previous mocks, all the top OL guys would be gone, David DeCastro is sitting here for them and I think they'll take him.
19. Chicago Bears- Stephen Hill WR Georgia Tech
I still think there is something to the DE option. But, from what I've been hearing this week, I think the WR position may be addressed first come tomorrow night.
20. Tennessee Titans- Peter Konz C Wisconsin
Same pick again. It's a big need for them and where I think they'll go. Staying put here. I really think this is almost a lock.
21. Cincinnati Bengals- Janoris Jenkins CB N. Alabama
Now, I think they'll take a shot on the trouble Corner. They've done it before and if this guy gets his act together, he's a top ten talent. And it's a need.
22. Cleveland Browns- Brandon Weeden QB Oklahoma State
Yes, Cleveland needs a Wr and if they don't go QB here, I think they'll go Kendall Wright or Reuben Randle. But perhaps I listen to too much radio, as I keep hearing this connection, and yes, this early. Not what I would do. I'd wait to round two, but I'll defer to the "experts" for this one.
23. Detroit Lions- Riley Reiff OT Iowa
CB would be the pick if anyone gets to him that's not named Jenkins, but then, even there, I'm not too sure anymore that Detroit would pass on him. With OL also being a need, I can see the Iowa Tackle in a Lion's uniform
24. Pittsburgh Steelers- Nick Perry DE/LB USC
I do think if one of the OL prospects already taken were here, whoever that guy is would've been the pick. I think Martin is a talented back and with some questions surrounding Mendenhall lurking around, this pick makes some sense. WR could also be the play here with a guy like Alshon Jeffrey from South Carolina Note: I've been reading the Steelers want Defense, so I'm going to give them a guy they will like a lot. This guy is multi-scheme ready and will definitely be a player for them ***Same pick.
25. Denver Broncos- Dontari Poe DT Mississippi State
Upshaw, Poe or Martin. These are the guys I'm considering here. I like all of them, but Poe fills a huge need and is the guy I think they'll take. Fleener is also a guy who may be in the mix here as well.
26. Houston Texans- Courtney Upshaw DE/OLB Alabama
I really, really wanted to give the Texans another WR opposite AJ, but with Upshaw available I had to go this route. He won't make up for the loss of Super Mario completely, but he'll help and eventually this kid will be dynamic in the NFL. They'll be shocked he makes it to them. ***Same Pick
27. New England Patriots- Shea McClellin DE/OLB Boise State
They need to replace Anderson and this guy's moving up the board fast and after reading up on this kid, what's not to like **Staying pat, no pun intended, with Shea.
28. Green Bay Packers- Coby Fleener TE Stanford
I think GB will be stunned as the Pats and Steelers have just taken the 2 guys they like the most with their picks in the past 4 picks. I could go with a guy like Curry here, probably a safe call, but I'm going to throw a curveball in here and go with the speedy receiving TE. Finley is injury prone and only has one year left with GB and they may well resign him, but NE has proven it doesn't hurt to have 2 stud TE's **Longshot, But I'm feeling this pick, so am going to stick to my guns here.
29. Baltimore Ravens- Andre Branch DE/OLB Clemson
I don't know what I was think with the Ronnell slotting here the past few weeks, I think this pick will be either Curry, Branch or Mercillus.
30. San Francisco 49ers- Jonathan Martin OT Stanford
With Curry and Fleener gone they could go Curry, but perhaps, just perhaps Harbaugh grabs a guy from his old coaching grounds and takes the Tackle that probably shouldn't still be on the board
31. New England Patriots- Whitney Mercillus DE/OLB Illinois
The Patriots want to get better on Defense. Either Mercillus or Curry here.
32. New York Giants- Doug Martin RB Boise State
Lots of option for Big Blue. Will they grab Curry, or perhaps Mike Adams. Alshon Jeffrey and Kendall Wright. Chandler Jones. Maybe Dwayne Allen. The Big RB will be their pick in my opinion.