clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2012 NFL Mock Draft: CaliforniaJag's take

New, comments
Will Claiborne fall to 7?  You'll just have to click and see...
Will Claiborne fall to 7? You'll just have to click and see...

It's the battle of the mock drafts, from pick 1 through the Jaguars' second-round pick at 38. Here's my best guess as to what will take place tonight:

1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford - A no-brainer selection. The Colts have actually already announced that Luck will be the pick. Mystery solved.

2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis) - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor - Another no-brainer. The Redskins traded up specifically to ensure themselves of getting one of these two quarterbacks. With Luck gone, Griffin will be a Redskin.

3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, WR, USC - All the Claiborne/Blackmon talk was just smokescreens to try to get a Redskins/Rams-like trade to fall into their laps. I don't think it'll happen.

4. Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama - The Browns improve an underwhelming offense by snagging the best running back in the draft and probably the best overall back since Adrian Peterson.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU - This pick makes way too much sense. Aqib Talib is on his way out either via trade or free agency after the 2012 season, and though they spent a lot of money on Eric Wright, Claiborne would still dramatically improve the Bucs' secondary.

6. Philadelphia Eagles (from St. Louis) - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State - The Eagles pay up to move to six for Cox, who could be a huge hit as a pass-rushing defensive tackle in Jim Washburn's scheme similar to Jason Jones in Tennessee. The Rams move back again and accumulate even more picks.

7. Kansas City Chiefs (from Jacksonville) - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M - Yes, I believe the potential smokescreens that other teams might move up for Tannehill. Franchise quarterbacks are in short supply, and Matt Cassel clearly is not one. The Chiefs already have a great core, but are lacking a reliable signal-caller to help them return to the playoffs. Tannehill would make a ton of sense in Kansas City.

8. Dallas Cowboys (from Miami) - Mark Barron, S, Alabama - Three straight trades? Yep! The Cowboys move up and get Barron, a player teams may have liked more than draftniks during the entire draft process. Draft "experts" are just now getting on board with Barron in or near the top ten, and Dallas' secondary could use the boost.

9. New York Jets (from Carolina) - Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina - FOUR straight trades? Why the hell not? The Jets move up to grab Ingram, who can play a variety of different positions, but most importantly can help rush the passer.

10. Buffalo Bills - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa - I don't see any reason Reiff can't play left tackle in the NFL; his arms are short, but so are Joe Thomas' and he hasn't seemed to have any problems. With the Bills' already-porous line having lost Demetrius Bell this offseason, Reiff should be able to step in as a day one starter.

11. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Kansas City) - Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina - Many fans (but definitely not all fans) revolt as the Jaguars pass on Blackmon even AFTER trading down. NFL Films' Greg Cosell actually believes Gilmore is the best corner in this draft, even ahead of Morris Claiborne, and the scouting community is finally realizing just how much teams like this guy. I do believe Gilmore is who the Jaguars would take at seven if the real draft went like this one through six picks and they weren't able to trade down.

12. Seattle Seahawks - David DeCastro, OL, Stanford - The Seahawks grab the best interior offensive lineman in the draft and can immediately plug him into the starting lineup for the next decade. Not bad for a running-oriented team who just added Matt Flynn.

13. Arizona Cardinals - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State - Yep, I think he falls. Blackmon just isn't an elite talent at the receiver position, and I think teams know that. The Cardinals have missed Anquan Boldin since he was traded to the Ravens, and Blackmon is probably the closest thing to Boldin besides Boldin himself.

14. Miami Dolphins (from Dallas) - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina - The Dolphins grab Coples, who wins the award for most inappropriate use of the "has no motor" label. Coples admitted to taking plays off his senior year, but he was also doubled consistently. Motivation and motor are not the same thing, and the Dolphins recognize that and hope he's plenty motivated in the NFL.

15. St. Louis Rams (from Philadelphia) - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU - Jeff Fisher traditionally likes to have a dominant interior player, and though the Rams signed Kendall Langford in the offseason, Langford is simply not that guy. Brockers would give the Rams the flexibility to use him or Langford at DE on rushing downs and both of them together inside on passing downs.

16. Carolina Panthers (from New York Jets) - Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College - After moving down and accumulating more picks, the Panthers tab the best linebacker in the draft to fill the potential void left by the yet-again-injured Thomas Davis, who is recovering from his third ACL surgery.

17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) - 'Dre Kirkpatrick, CB/S, Alabama - The Bengals are able to add secondary help without moving around in the first round. Kirkpatrick played cornerback in college, but many think his best position in the NFL will be safety. Regardless, he definitely would improve the Bengals' secondary.

18. San Diego Chargers - Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise State - Another player draft "experts" are just now catching onto. McClellin would dramatically improve the Chargers' pass-rush, which hasn't been the same since Shawne Merriman was, well, Shawne Merriman.

19. Chicago Bears - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame - The big, fast wide receiver just falls into the Bears' laps, and Mike C. Wright does a dance because he doesn't have to answer very many "why did the Bears take ______???" questions on Twitter.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers (from Tennessee) - Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama - The Steelers move up to make sure they get Hightower, who would be a perfect fit as an ILB in Pittsburgh.

21. Cincinnati Bengals - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor - Wright AND A. J. Green? Time to play dime packages on every snap. Wright would provide an exciting downfield presence for the Bengals and would force defenses to think twice about committing their entire secondary to covering Green.

22. Denver Broncos (from Cleveland) - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis - With Broderick Bunkley leaving this offseason, the Broncos could use a good defensive tackle, and Poe has flashed the potential to be a dominant player on film. He isn't consistent by any means, but the Broncos will attempt to coach him into the "mini-Haynesworth" some think he could become.

23. Detroit Lions - Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford - Not everyone is sold on Andrew Luck's former left tackle, but the Lions could use a blind-side protector for Matthew Stafford with Jeff Backus' career winding down.

24. Tennessee Titans (from Pittsburgh) - Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse - All the Titans' pass-rushers have been deserting them recently, as Jason Babin left for greener pastures and Jason Jones did the same. Chandler Jones has work to do, but he has the upside to be a very good defensive end and a perfect bookend to Derrick Morgan (if he ever "figures it out").

25. Cleveland Browns (from Denver) - Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State - Weeden may be old, but he's got the talent to become an NFL starter sooner rather than later. The Browns could use any kind of offensive upgrade, and adding Weeden and Richardson would definitely give their low-scoring O a boost.

26. Houston Texans - Rueben Randle, WR, LSU - This has become the "vogue" pick for the Texans, but it makes sense; Randle would be an outstanding complement to Andre Johnson.

27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans) - Andre Branch, DE, Clemson - Branch is the ideal fit to replace Andre Carter; he's versatile enough to play both 4-3 defensive end or stand up in a 3-4 look. Branch can get after the passer and hold his own against the run as well.

28. Green Bay Packers - Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama - Upshaw would give the Packers a legitimate bookend pass-rusher across from Clay Matthews.

29. Baltimore Ravens - Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin - The Ravens draft a likely long-term fixture at center in Konz, who also has the versatility to play guard.

30. San Francisco 49ers - Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State - The 49ers have shown a willingness to go off the beaten path for guys they like, and Silatolu seems like the kind of player the 49ers love. He has a nasty streak and should be able to develop into a long-term starter at guard.

31. Carolina Panthers (from New England) - Devon Still, DT, Penn State - The Panthers' need at defensive tackle wins out, and they trade with the Patriots. Classic Bill Belichick. Carolina grabs the best defensive tackle left on their board.

32. New York Giants - Cordy Glenn, OG/OT, Georgia - Glenn slips down a little, and the Giants do cartwheels when he's available at 32.


33. St. Louis Rams - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech - The Rams need to add weapons for Sam Bradford if he's ever going to have a chance to turn them back into a playoff team. Hill is extremely raw, but he's shown the playmaking skills of an elite wide receiver in limited opportunities at Georgia Tech. This could be a huge win for the Rams, or Hill could easily bust.

34. Indianapolis Colts - Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin - Coby Fleener is the popular pick here, but I think new GM Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano will want to focus more on bolstering the running game, and Fleener isn't much of a blocker at the tight end position. Zeitler should be able to start day one and help improve the Colts' run-blocking right away.

35. Minnesota Vikings - Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois - Because there's no such thing as too many defensive ends.

36. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Lavonte Davis, OLB, Nebraska - David goes ahead of Zach Brown, and many draftniks are not surprised. David would immediately fill a hole at weakside linebacker for the Bucs.

37. Cleveland Browns - Mitchell Schwartz, OT, California - The Browns could use young talent at the right tackle position to help protect new quarterback Brandon Weeden. Schwartz isn't flashy; he's simply a really good football player.

38. Jacksonville Jaguars - A. J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois - This is higher than some may think he'll go, but Jenkins to the Jaguars has had legs for a while now, and he likely won't make it to their next pick. Jenkins can get downfield in a hurry but is also relatively polished, and should be able to compete for a starting spot his rookie year.

Well, that's it...let me know what you think.