2012 NFL Mock Draft


Last update: Thursday February 16, 2012. This week's NFL Mock Draft features a big trade in the top 10 and a new QB addition to the first round!

Next update: Every Thursday leading up until the NFL Draft. Follow us on Twitter @QuintEvents and on Facebook for updates on the 2012 NFL Draft.

*Denotes a coin flip at the NFL Combine to determine draft order.

**Denotes a trade.

Round 1

1. Indianapolis (2-14) Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

No question. Andrew Luck will be the first pick in this year’s draft. Talks between Peyton Manning and Jim Irsay are heating up, so I expect a decision on Peyton's future within the next few weeks. 

2. Washington** Trade with St. Louis (2-14) Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

The Redskins will make a splash this draft season and trade up to get Robert Griffin III. They are in need of a franchise type quarterback and Griffin will fit the mold. He is mobile, he’s got a cannon for an arm, and will give the Redskins one of the best QBs in franchise history.

I think Jeff Fisher is in a position here to trade down with the Redskins to acquire multiple picks. They will likely receive the Redskins number six pick, a second round pick, and either a first or second round pick in next year’s draft depending on how the Redskins finish the season. With a rebuilding team, Fisher could focus on stocking talent around his franchise quarterback with multiple options throughout the draft.

3. Minnesota (3-13) Matt Kalil, OT, USC

Vikings have a lot invested in Christian Ponder and Adrian Peterson. Kalil is a Pro-Bowl caliber LT and will protect the Vikings’ prized assets for many years to come.

4. Cleveland (4-12) Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

I think the Browns' best option is to either stick with McCoy for another season or sign a QB via free agency. In a weak QB draft, I believe it will be smart to get the necessary pieces to surround a QB and not attempt to get one in this draft.

Justin Blackmon is a beast and will give the Brown’s the downfield threat they have been missing. Regardless who they will have starting at QB, Blackmon will be the number one target in Cleveland.

5. Tampa Bay (4-12) Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

The Tampa Bay corner situation is very ugly. They have an ageing corner in Ronde Barber and legal troubles with Aqib Talib. Their need at corner is far too severe to avoid taking one of the best CB in the draft.

Many mocks have Trent Richardson going to the Bucs, but RB isn’t the greatest area of concern for Tampa Bay. LaGarrette Blount had somewhat of a down season, but that was due in large part to the Bucs needing to throw the ball after falling behind in games. Defense should be the focus for the Bucs and taking Claiborne with this pick makes a whole lot of sense.

6. St. Louis** Trade with Washington (5-11) Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

I still have the Rams selecting the best OT available with the sixth pick after the trade with the Washington Redskins. The Rams will gain draft picks to rebuild, and they can still nab a franchise OT in the first round. Jeff Fisher has never drafted an offensive lineman with a first round pick, but there’s too much of a need at the position not to consider it. Reiff has the same build as Matt Kalil, who the Rams were projected to take with the number two pick. Trading down to number six will give them the same opportunity to draft a high caliber lineman while gaining future picks in return… Smart move!

7. Jacksonville (5-11) Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

Coples erased all doubts at the Senior Bowl two weeks ago. He gained high praise and will be the number one pass rusher in this year’s draft. The Jaguars’ pass rush is the biggest concern. With an influx of high caliber QBs in their division it would be smart for the Jags to get a franchise DE. If the Jags can overlook Coples' sometimes lackadaisical effort, look for him to be selected with this pick.

8. Carolina Panthers (6-10)* Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

Brockers has many fans and even more critics, but I am still on his bandwagon. Panthers’ have multiple positions on defense that are in need of an upgrade. CB is one of those, but with Kirkpatrick’s latest legal issue, I think the Panthers will choose to upgrade at DT. Brockers is one of the most physically gifted defensive prospects in this year’s draft and his potential will be attractive to a team on the rise like Carolina.

9. Miami (6-10)* Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

Martin will give the Dolphins one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and will replace Marc Colombo at right tackle. He will also act as an insurance policy for Jake Long, who battled injuries over the past two seasons.

10. Buffalo (6-10) Courtney Upshaw, LB/DE, Alabama

Upshaw shined at the Senior Bowl and solidified himself as a top 10 draft pick. The Bills struggled to rush the passer this year, which caused them to go on their losing streak. Upshaw is a versatile LB/DE who can be put into several different positions in the Bills 3-4 defense. His lower body strength and explosion ability will allow him to get around many offensive linemen and attack the QB.

11. Seattle (7-9)* Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

The Seahawks' quarterback situation is ugly. Tarvaris Jackson is not the answer in Seattle, and Charlie Whitehurst makes Jackson look like Michael Vick! Case and point, the Seahawks do not have a franchise quarterback on their roster. Tannehill is a great selection with this pick because he possess more arm strength than Whitehurst and Jackson while maintaining his mobility. He is also a big guy at 6'4", 235, so he will be tough to take down in the backfield. Good pick up for the Seahawks. 

12. Kansas City (7-9)* Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

Staying with this pick from the past few weeks. The Chiefs would like an offensive tackle, but Reiff and Martin are already selected. Also, they could find value at OT in the second round with a deep draft class at that position. I think they will choose a running back to address injuries at the position. Jamaal Charles and Richardson will complement each other very well with Charles’ finesse and Richardson’s power. The Chiefs running attack will scare NFL defenses for years to come.

13. Arizona (8-8) Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

Arizona could trade this pick to a team looking to pick up DeCastro, but I think Adams is a player on the rise, and will be taken with the 13th pick. The Cardinals' offensive line has several holes and Adams has a huge upside as an NFL left tackle. Looking back on this draft, Adams could be the best OT taken in the first round.

14. Dallas (8-8) David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

I had the Cowboys taking a CB last week, which is a huge possibility. But I believe their need at guard is far too severe to pass up on one of the best prospects to come out of college in several years. The Cowboys can find value at the CB position in the second round. 

15. Philadelphia (8-8) Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College

I had the Eagles taking a WR last week to replace the troubled DeSean Jackson. Now that it looks like Jackson will receive the franchise tag in Philly, I think the Eagles will address their pass rush woes by picking up Kuechly. While the defense, overall, was strong - they finished 8th in total yards and 10th in passing yards - the rushing defense was merely average (16th). Kuechly is one of the highest ranked linebackers in this year's draft and will be a great value pick at 15.

16. New York Jets (8-8) Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC

After signing Santonio Holmes to a two-year deal, I no longer have the Jets taking a WR in the first round. Instead, I have them upgrading their linebacking core who struggled to get to the QB this year. Perry fits in extremely well in a 3-4 set and will likely be the Jets outside linebacker for many years in the future. 

17. Cincinnati from Oakland (8-8) Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

The fall of Kirkpatrick ends at number 17 with the Bengals. I have projected the Bengals to take a CB since my first mock draft, and I think they will select Kirkpatrick over Janoris Jenkins. Kirkpatrick is a 6'3" 195 lb corner with elite speed, excellent coverage skills, and three years of experience in a pro-style defense that is a perennial super power in college football. Great value pick for the Bengals.

18. San Diego (8-8) Mark Barron, S, Alabama

This pick is strickly based on value at their draft position. Barron is in the top 13 of most draft boards and would be an excellent value if he fell to 18. The Chargers have need at offensive line and on their pass rush, but most teams will draft value at their draft position.

The Chargers had a need at safety last season when Bob Sanders underperformed. Though it is not their biggest need in this year's draft, look for them to upgrade their secondary with the best safety prospect in the 2012 Draft.

19. Chicago (8-8) Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

The Bears were projected to take Mike Adams at this position, but I believe his draft stock will soar before draft day. Instead, the Bears will address their glaring need at WR taking Floyd with this pick. At 6'3", 224, Floyd will give Jay Cutler a big target area, and the speed to break apart from NFL corners. 

20. Tennessee (9-7) Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

Tennessee’s defense has played well this year, but they need more of a sack threat at DE. The Titans finished 31st in the NFL in sacks last year and really need to give their pass rush a boost if they want to become legitimate contenders. Ingram will be a great addition to their defensive line and will be a threat for all QBs.

21. Cincinnati (9-7) Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

With Cedric Benson not re-signing, the Bengals could look at upgrading their backfield with Miller. The Bengals have a great run-blocking offensive line and Miller could take full advantage of that in Cincinnati. He has explosive speed around the edges, which should open up some easy screen plays for Colt McCoy (if he is still the QB). 

22. Cleveland from Atlanta (10-6) Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina

The Browns need some help at outside linebacker and defensive end. Brown is one of the best OLB prospects in this year's draft and will fit in well in Cleveland. It's a little bit of a reach at 22, but he is a versatile OLB who can pass rush and drop into coverage.

23. Detroit (10-6) Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

Detroit could address their secondary with this pick, but with a deep CB draft class, I think they can find value in later rounds. The Lions have an ageing center in Dominic Raiola. Konz will be a powerful force on the offensive line and will be a youthful upgrade for the Lions.

24. Pittsburgh (12-4) Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis

The Steelers have to address the NT position with Chris Hoke retired and Casey Hampton injured. Look for the Steelers to find Hampton's replacement in Poe. His massive body will definitely stop the run and his quickness will give the Steelers a pass rush option through the middle.

25. Denver (8-8) Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

Denver has an ageing secondary and will look to replace Champ Bailey once he retires. The Broncos can get a franchise corner to replace one of the best corners in franchise history. Jenkins could be drafted earlier in the round, but I don’t believe many teams will address their CB needs especially with Jenkins' off the field issues. 

26. Houston (10-6) Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

I have had the Texans taking a WR for weeks and that will not change. Wright will compliment Andre Johnson and will take advantage of single coverage in the NFL. Defenses will struggle against the Texans because they will need to account for their passing threats while respecting their run game. Wright will open up their offense and give Arian Foster some more running room. Look for Foster to have a major season next year if the Texans draft a great WR.

27. New England from New Orleans (13-3) Fletcher Cox, DT/DE, Mississippi St.

Another versatile front seven player the Patriots could add to their defense. The Patriots could use Cox in several defensive sets. He has the flexibility to play across the entire defensive line, which will be attractive to a team like New England. He will also give the Patriots youth at the defensive line, which is an issue they need to address over the next few years. 

28. Green Bay (14-2) Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson

The Packers struggled to replace Cullen Jenkins this year and they need help at DT. Thompson showed he has the ability to play in a 3-4 scheme with a solid senior year at Clemson.

29. Baltimore (12-4) Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State

Baltimore will need to address their ageing linebacker core. Burfict is perfect for this role and can contribute immediately at linebacker for the Ravens. He could also be a successor to Ray Lewis who will likely retire within a few years.

30. San Francisco (13-3) Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

With Braylon Edwards out, I think the 49ers will look to take a WR in the first round. Sanu is a big receiver with great hands, which will give Alex Smith a reliable target downfield.

31. New England (14-2) Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois

The Patriots did not get consistent pressure off the edge this year and the addition of Mercilus will give them threat. He has a quick 40-time, while maintaining the size to manuever around offensive lineman. Good fit for the Patriots. 

32. New York Giants (9-7) Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson

Jake Ballard tore his ACL in the Super Bowl and there is doubt that he can return next season. The TE position is vital to the success of many NFL teams (just ask the Patriots) and I think Allen can replace Ballard as he recovers from his injuries.  

Do you agree or disagree with any of my picks? Let me know your thoughts below!

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Last week's NFL Mock Draft.

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