2012 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 11-20
by By Jason Fryer
Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Kuechly: Quietly, Kansas City features one of the most talented teams in the NFL and should be an improved team in 2012 with Jamal Charles, Eric Berry, and Tony Moeak all returning from injuries that they suffered at the beginning of last season. The Chiefs are already setup at wide receiver, running back, offensive line, defensive line, to go along with have a good cornerback, safety, and outside linebacker. This is why I feel Like Kuechly would fit in nicely onto their roster and transform them from a good defense into a great defense next year. Kuechly had a fantastic combine showing he doesn't just have great speed (4.58) but also has great athletic ability (38 inches vertical jump) to go along with it. If the Cheifs are able to add Kuechly (who some are comparing to Brian Urlacher) to their line linebacking core, then I feel the Chiefs would become the team to beat in the AFC West.
Seattle Seahawks: Quenton Copels: The Seahawks can go in many different directions with this pick (Wide Receiver, Defensive End, and Cornerback) so I feel the Seahawks should draft the player that's highest on the board with the 12 pick and at this spot, I feel that will be Quinton Copels. Copels has terrific size (6'6" and 284 lbs.), speed (ran a 4.78 40 yard dash), and has a great amount of athletic ability. He has the potential to be like Jason Pierre Paul (6'5" and 278lbs), and can really upgrade the Seahawks for both the present and the future.
Arizona Cardinals: David DeCastro: The Cardinals need to upgrade their offensive line so that quarterback Kevin Kolb can make it through the entire season healthy. Arizona already features one of the best Wideouts in the NFL (Larry Fitzgerald), a good running back (Beanie Wells), and a solid defense but needs a lot of help with their offensive line. The Cardinals signed former top 5 pick Levi Brown to a 5 year deal and last offseason signed former Packers guard Daryn Colledge to a deal, but they still need more talent on their offensive line. At this spot in the draft, there are two ideal players to take here in David DeCastro (Guard from Stanford) or Jonathan Martin (Tackle from Stanford). DeCastro has great good size for an interior lineman (6'5" and 316lbs.) and many feel he's a tad better prospect than his former college teammate. Whatever Arizona decides to do here, they need to make sure they add another solid offensive lineman to their team to help Kevin Kolb stay upright so he can find Larry Fitzgerald down field.
Dallas Cowboys: Mark Barron: There are two positions that the Cowboys need to address in the next few weeks: Safety and defensive lineman that can become a good defensive end in a 3-4 defense. If Mark Barron is still on the board at this spot, then there's no doubt in my mind that the Cowboys would draft Barron at this spot. However, if Barron still isn't on the board, then I feel they will draft defensive end Michael Brockers out of LSU (who was a defensive tackle at LSU and would become a good defensive end in a 3-4 defense). Barron had a great year for the National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide recording 68 tackles and 2 interceptions all while becoming one of the most reliable safeties in college football. Barron is a smart safety that would greatly improve Rob Ryan's secondary for both next year and years to come.
Philadelphia Eagles: Dontari Poe: The Eagles need to make sure they improve their safety and linebacker cores (even after the addition of Demeco Ryans to play middle linebacker) but at this spot, I feel they should draft the defensive tackle out of Memphis (Dontari Poe). The Eagles already have a good line (Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, and Trent Cole) and need another quality defensive tackle upfront to make the Eagles one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Poe has a great deal of talent and speed from the defensive tackle position which can turn this Eagles defensive line into one of the best in the NFL. If Poe isn't on the board, then the Eagles would look to draft a safety, linebacker (Upshaw), or another defensive lineman (Whitney Mercilus) with the 15th pick.
New York Jets: Melvin Ingram: The Jets have a
few key holes they have to fill on their roster (wide receiver, offensive line, linebacker, safety) but I feel it's another hole they first need to address with there first round pick: defensive end. Even with the Jets using their 2011 first round pick on a defensive lineman (Muhammad Wilkerson), I still feel they need to add another early pick to once again upgrade their pass-rush from the 3-4 position. With that said, this is why I feel Melvin Ingram would be a great fit for the Jets 3-4 defense and will bring a pass rush that the Jets were missing last year. With his height (6'1" and 264 lbs.) and athletic ability, I feel the Jets will be able to line him up at a number of places (inside linebacker, outside linebacker, defensive end), so that he can pressure the quarterback from a number of places on their defense. This would be a perfect fit for both Ingram and the New York Jets defense.
Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Floyd: The Bengals have 2 first round picks in the 2011 draft (17 and 21) as they have the opportunity of going from a playoffs team last year into a team that can take the next step and go deep in the NFL playoffs. With these two picks, the Bengals need to see if they can fill 2 of 4 positions (wide receiver, outside linebacker, defensive end, and cornerback) with their first round picks and they should draft the highest player on the board (which is Michael Floyd). In his senior season at Notre Dame, Floyd showed that he was one of the best players in college football (100 catches) and has the potential to be one of the best wide receivers at the next level. Floyd has good size for a wide receiver (6'3" and 220 lbs.) but its his leaping ability that make's him such a great NFL prospect. With 2011 rookie Pro Bowl A.J. Green on one side and Michael Floyd on the other, the Bengals would then feature one of the best young receiving cores in the NFL.
San Diego Chargers: Nick Perry: The Chargers have two significant positions they have to replace in this draft (defensive end and offensive line) in this draft. With that said, I feel there are a few players they can choose from with this pick (Nick Perry, Michael Brockers, Whitney Mercilus, Chandler Jones, or Cordy Glenn). With all these choices, I feel the Chargers will eventually choose the defensive end out of USC (Nick Perry) to fill one of their defensive end positions. Perry would be able to play the right defensive end position on the opposite side of 2011 first round pick, Corey Liuget for next year and beyond. With the Chargers playing a 3-4 defense, he would give them the option of playing at the linebacker or defensive end positions on their defense.
Chicago Bears: Whitney Mercilus: The Bears addressed a few positions during the 2012 off-season (trading for Brandon Marshall, signing Michael Bush, and adding more depth at the cornerback position). There were only two positions that they didn't address this offseason which were at left tackle and defensive end. If the Bears were to take Whitney Mercilus with the 19th pick, it would address one of the Bears problems after he had a breakout season at Illinois (recording 16 sacks, 22.5 tackles for loss, and 9 forced fumbles on the season). Mercilus has good size for a 4-3 defense (6'3 and 261 lbs.) and with his speed he would add a lot more speed from the Bears front four. With one of the best defensive ends on one side of the ball, and Mercilus on the other side, then the Bears would create a much more opposing front four that would allow the Bears linebacker's to not have to blitz as much next year.
Tennessee Titans: Chandler Jones: The Titans signed a pass rusher earlier this offseason (Kamerion Wimbley), but still need another pass rusher to play on the other side which is why I feel the Titans will draft Chandler Jones out of Syracuse. Jones has good height (6'5") but needs to gain a little weight (247 lbs.) for a 4-3 defense, that should eventually give Titans a good pass rushing combo from their front four. Titans fans hope that Jones would have them remember the late 1990's and 2000's with Jevon Kearse.