2012 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 1-10
by By Jason Fryer
Nice Projections, I agree with many. Here are mine.
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck: The football world would be completely shocked if Andrew Luck wasn't the number one overall pick on Thursday. The 6'4" quarterback out of Stanford has been the projected 2012 number one overall pick since he decided to play an additional season of college football. Throughout the past few years, Luck has shown that he can do everything from escaping from the pocket, to having excellent accuracy. The Colts hope that they can have as good of success as they did the last time they held the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft (1998 Peyton Manning).
2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III: Not such a bad consolation prize for the Redskins as some feel that RGIII will eventually be a great NFL, (and possibly even better than Luck). With Luck, it's his great accuracy and pocket composure that makes him successful; on the other hand with RGIII, its his great ability to escape from pressure, make accurate throws on the run, and is a great competitor. Griffin is a great athlete and showed this by not only staring for Baylor (and winning the 2011 Heisman trophy), but was also a track star while at Baylor. The Redskins decided to trade 3 first round picks and a second round pick for hopefully their future franchise quarterback.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil: The best offensive lineman in this draft, Kalil would hopefully become the next great Vikings offensive lineman. With Steve Hutchinson (signed with the Titans) and Bryant Mckinnie (signing with the Ravens before the 2011 season) gone, it seems like the Vikings need someone who can protect the blindside of their future franchise quarterback Christian Ponder. At 6'6" and 306 lbs., it seems that Kalil has the ideal size and speed (also ran a 4.99 40 yard dash) to be a solid lineman in the future. The Vikings need to start rebuilding their line before they fix the other problems on their roster.
4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson: There are a lot of good running backs in this draft, but Richardson is the only "elite" running back. At 5'9" and 228 lbs., Richardson would be a great running back for the Browns after they became the latest team to suffer through the so-called "Madden Curse" (with Peyton Hillis) last year. In 2011, Trent Richardson showed he could be counted on as the guy and would be able to deliver as the number one running back for a NFL team in the near future. Richardson's become great at not just breaking tackles but is also great a turning short gains into long runs and touchdowns.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne: The Buccaneers had a lot of great signing's this offseason (Carl Nicks and Vincent Jackson), but still need another young cornerback to go alongside Ronde Barber (who might retire after this season), Aqib Talib (who has a lot of talent but has had some off the field problems), and Eric Wright (who will be a good 3rd cornerback for Tampa Bay). If Talib is able to stay on the field and play like he has in the past, then I feel the Buccaneers could create one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL for both now and the future and would be a sleeper team to make the playoffs with their core.
6. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon: If the Rams were able to draft Justin Blackmon with the 6th overall pick, then everything would have fallen exactly into place for them. Its most likely that had the Rams held the second overall pick, that they still would have still drafted Blackmon as they would with the 6th overall pick. Sam Bradford needs a true number one wide receiver to go alongside Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson to stretch the field for Bradford and star running back Steven Jackson.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Riley Reiff: The Jaguars need another
piece on offense, especially someone who can help 2011 first round pick Blaine Gabbert. With that said, I feel there are only two positions that would be able to answer this question with their draft pick: an offensive tackle or a wide receiver. The Jaguars currently have one of the best defenses (finishing 6th in 2011) and running backs (Maurice Jones-Drew) in the NFL and now need to fill the other holes on their roster as they could decide between Riley Reiff (Offensive Tackle) and Michael Floyd (Wide Receiver). In the end, I feel they'll draft Riley Reiff because they just signed a wide receiver this offseason (Laurent Robinson) and still need someone who can protect Gabbert's blindside (as they could then move Eugene Monore to the right side). Riley Reiff is seen solid NFL prospect and has good size (6'6" 313lbs.) for a NFL left tackle.
8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill: First the Dolphins were going to sign Peyton Manning; he went to Denver, then they were going to sign Matt Flynn (who used to play under new Dolphins head coach and former Packers Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin); he signed with Seattle, and finally they were going to sign Alex Smith; he resigned with San Francisco. If the Dolphins don't draft the quarterback out of Texas A&M then everyone would be completely shocked and have no idea which directions the Dolphins would be going in the future. Tannehill is a great athlete (played Wide Receiver at for a few years Texas A&M), is very good at getting out of the pocket, and has good size (6'4" and 221 lbs.) for a quarterback. The Dolphins hope that Tannehill will become the franchise quarterback that they've been looking for since Hall-Of-Famer Dan Marino retired in 1999.
9. Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox: Carolina's offense had a breakout season last year featuring one of the most exciting players in the NFL (Cam Newton), to go along with a solid offensive line and running game. However, as exciting as their offense proved to be, their defense was on the other side atrocious last year (finishing 28th last year) and needs a lot of work. In 2011, The Panthers suffered through a lot of injuries on that side of the ball (Thomas Davis and Jon Beason both missed the majority of the season) and have a few other good players on that side of the ball (Charles Johnson, Chris Gamble, and James Anderson). With the Panthers featuring a solid linebacker core (if healthy) and good secondary, it seems that the Panthers will look to draft a defensive lineman to help them upfront. I feel Defensive Tackle Fletcher Cox would be an excellent addition to the panthers 4-3 defense and will greatly improve their defense in the future. At 6'4' and 298 lbs., Cox has great size for a defensive lineman and should fit in nicely into Ron Rivera's defense.
10. Buffalo Bills: Stephon Gilmore: The Bills made their first major offseason move by signing star defensive end Mario Williams to a 6 year contract to be the face of the Bills. With Williams and 2011 first round pick Marcell Dareus (who showed the potential of becoming one of the top defensive tackles in the league), the Bills currently feature one of the best defensive line's in the NFL. The Bills also have a few other solid players on the defensive side of the ball in safeties Jarius Byrd and George Wilson but still need to upgrade their linebacker's and cornerback's. With this pick, I feel the Bills will have two different players to choose from in cornerback Stephon Gilmore and linebacker Luke Kuechly. As good as I feel Kuechly will be, I feel the Bills have a bigger need at the cornerback position than they currently do at the middle linebacker spot. At 6'0" 190 lbs., many feel that Gilmore has good coverage skills and is a great athlete that can help the Bills secondary.
Picks 11-20 Follow --