Thursday, October 27, 2011

2012 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

The Suck for Luck campaign remains open in more than a few cities, but Miami and Indianapolis seem to be in a race for it. With almost half the season over, here's my second mock draft. The draft order is based on current records; if teams have the same record I just used my judgement on who I think is worse. Explanations for top 10.

1. Indianapolis Colts 0-7 -  Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

This would be a no brainer, even if Manning does come back from his possibly career ending neck injury. Luck could sit behind Manning for a year or two or three and the Colts would be fine. Luck might not like that idea, though, and despite a friendly relationship with Manning I could easily see a situation in which Luck decides to go back to school AGAIN, unless the Colts agree beforehand to trade the pick or Manning is injured. He's not going to want to sit on the bench for another three years, no matter who he'd be backing up. Things could get very interesting this off-season.

2. Miami Dolphins 0-6 - Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

Regardless of what pick the Dolphins end up with, they'll almost certainly be drafting the best quarterback available. Jones seems to get knocked for having a somewhat long release, but he his arm strength is well above average and his accuracy is elite. Jones isn't quite on the level Luck is, but that doesn't mean Jones won't be special.

3. St. Louis Rams 0-6 - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

Blackmon is clearly the best receiver in the draft, and experts have said he's a better prospect coming out of Oklahoma State than Dez Bryant was. I'm not sure if that's because Bryant missed basically a full year or because Blackmon is truly special, but he's looked great thus far in the college season. The Rams have looked terrible offensively almost all season, and even with their recent trade for Brandon Lloyd and a Blackmon-Lloyd combination could help the Rams turn things around in a hurry with Sam Bradford throwing the football.

4. Minnesota Vikings 1-6 - Matt Kalil, OT, USC

While Vikings fans would undoubtedly rather see the team get someone like Blackmon to improve the receiving core but in reality getting Kalil would be a perfect scenario for this team. After releasing an average Bryant McKinnie and replacing him with a below average Charlie Johnson the team clearly needs to upgrade it's left tackle position, and there's a decent chance moving Johnson back inside to right guard could really improve the offensive lines play. With Ponder, Harvin and Peterson, an improved offensive line could give the Vikings a solid offensive core to build around.

5. Arizona Cardinals 1-5 - Jonathon Martin, OT, Stanford

It's no secret that Levi Brown has been struggling for the Cardinals. While Kevin Kolb has looked shaky and some fans may want to see a possible franchise QB drafted, there's almost no way the Cardinals give up on Kolb just one season after giving up what they did. Martin is a safe bet to be a very good pro, at least, and there's a chance that Kolb could thrive behind an improved offensive line.

6. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-5 - Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

Blaine Gabbert hasn't really shown a whole lot of improvement yet, but he's clearly going to get every chance to succeed over the next few years. A good start to Gabbert working out for the Jaguars would be to draft a number one receiver he can throw the ball too. The Jaguars receiving core is among the worst in football, and they could really use a big play threat to at least keep the defense honest. Jeffery could be that player.

7. Carolina Panthers 2-5 - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

Cam Newton has played better than almost anyone expected this early in his career. He appears well on his way to becoming a superstar in the near future, and if the Panthers can correctly build a team around him they could be a really good team for a long time. The Panthers defense has been terrible this season, and while Quinton Coples would be tempting here to improve the team's pass rush, Claiborne fills a more glaring need and is still an elite prospect.

8. Seattle Seahawks 2-4 - Matt Barkley, QB, USC

When your quarterbacks consist of Tarvaris Jackson, Charlie Whitehurst and Josh Portis (who?) it's clear you need to draft a franchise QB. Barkley has the experience in a pro-style offense, although that didn't help Jimmy Clausen nearly as much as people thought it would. Barkley has a lot of tools and if nothing else will give a Seahawks fan base a reason to be excited. After blowing the third overall pick in 2009 on Aaron Curry, who they traded to Oakland for a late round draft pick last week, the Seahawks really can't afford to miss on another top 10 pick, especially at the quarterback position. But this is a pick they need to make.

9. Denver Broncos 2-4 - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

Obviously people like to point to the DeAngelo Williams-Jonathon Stewart combination that John Fox coached in Carolina as proof that Fox loves to pound the ball. Richardson is a big, bruising running back with big play potential, and while the Broncos still have Willis McGahee playing well, a McGahee-Richardson duo would make sense for a year or two. Unless Knowshon Moreno shines over the next few weeks while McGahee is hurt, there's really no way the Broncos will bring him next year.

10. Philadelphia Eagles 2-4 - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

The Eagles have struggled with mental mistakes and turnovers all season, but it's not a big secret that their offensive line hasn't played very well. Michael Vick is getting hit often, and if the team does continue to play as poorly as they have through the first half of the season, it will be a no-brainer to pick an offensive lineman with this high of a pick. Reiff has been outstanding this year for Iowa and there's at least a chance that he could become the best lineman in the draft.

11. Kansas City Chiefs 3-3 - Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
12. Cleveland Browns 3-3 - Luke Kuelchy, ILB, Boston College
13. Tennessee Titans 3-3 - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
14. Washington Redskins 3-3 - Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor
15. Dallas Cowboys 3-3 - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
16. Cleveland Browns (Via Atlanta Falcons 4-3) - Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-3 - Janoris Jenkins, CB, Northern Alabama
18. Chicago Bears 4-3 - David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
19. Cincinnati Bengals (Via Oakland Raiders 4-3) - Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma
20. Houston Texans 4-3 - Cordy Glenn, OT/OG, Georgia
21. New York Jets 4-3 - Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State
22. Cincinnati Bengals 4-2 - Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M
23. Buffalo Bills 4-2 - Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame
24. Baltimore Ravens 4-2 - Alfonzo Denard, CB, Nebraska
25. New York Giants 4-2 - Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State
26. San Diego Chargers 4-2 - Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
27. Detroit Lions 5-2 - Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
28. New England Patriots (Via New Orleans Saints 5-2) - Alameda Ta'amu, DT, Washington
29. Pittsburgh Steelers 5-2 - Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska
30. San Francisco 49ers 5-1 - Kelechi Osemele, OT/G, Iowa State
31. New England Patriots 5-1 - Mark Barron, FS, Alabama
32. Green Bay Packers 7-0 - Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

Feel free to sound off in the comments.



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