2012 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Here is my first NFL Mock Draft of the season; I will release updates as the draft gets closer.

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck QB-Stanford-No doubt about this pick, the Colts have to improve from last season and Luck is one of the best quarterbacks to come out in a long time. It will be very interesting to see what the Colts do with Peyton Manning and how long he is a Colt.

2. St. Louis Rams: Matt Kalil OT- USC: St. Louis has way too much invested in Sam Bradford to have him flop as a quarterback. The offensive line is a mess, as right tackle Jason Smith stinks and left tackle Rodger Saffold is too overmatched to be stationed on the blind side. With general manager Billy Devaney gone, the Rams can part ways with Smith if they wish. He's been an enormous bust. Matt Kalil is the best offensive line prospect since Joe Thomas.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Justin Blackmon WR- OKSU:The Vikings need to give Christian Ponder another target and I believe they need to compete with the offenses in the NFC North. When you break down the wide receivers of the teams in the NFC they all have great depth. If Matt Kalil is available the Vikings must take him to improve a dismal offensive line.

4. Cleveland Browns: Robert Griffin III QB- Baylor- The Browns are very disappointed in Colt McCoy and want a dual threat QB. RG3 is hot player in this year’s draft and picks could be traded if a team really wants RG3. In the top 3 is where I could see teams like Cleveland and Washington pursuing RG3. Although I think Washington will make a play for Peyton Manning if he is on the trading block.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne CB-LSU- All indications are that the Buccaneers will definitely consider a cornerback in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Aqib Talib could be going to jail, while Ronde Barber will probably retire this offseason. The corner position is a dire need for Tampa. Morris Claiborne is easily the top talent available at this position, especially since Dre Kirkpatrick was arrested.

6. TRADE: Cincinnati Bengals: Trent Richardson RB- Alabama- The Bengals have two first round picks and I'm sure they would love to obtain Trent Richardson. Washington could move down to No. 17 and secure a quarterback at that spot.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinton Coples DE-North Carolina- The Jaguars had hardly any pass rush all season and need to get some in the future. Aaron Kampman won’t be back and they need to find a dominant pass rusher. Coples has a big body and has great speed to rush the quarterback.

8. Miami Dolphins: Riley Reiff OT-Iowa- A much needed upgrade for the Dolphins is their offensive line. Marc Colombo is getting toasted on a consistent basis and upgrading the right tackle position has to be Miami's No. 1 priority if it can't land a franchise signal-caller.

9. Carolina Panthers: Jonathan Martin OT- Stanford- The Panthers have too much invested in Cam Newton and they need to protect him. Jeff Otah played in four games this whole season due to injuries. Martin would be a huge upgrade to their offensive line.

10. Buffalo Bills: Vinny Curry DE-Marshall- With Dave Wannstedt being promoted to the team's defensive coordinator, speculation is suggesting that the team will move to a new 4-3 defense for the 2011 season. When you consider that the team finished tied for third-worst in the NFL with just 29 sacks this season, an upgrade is expected in the pass rushing department. With Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams in place at the tackle position, I would expect them to target defensive end in the upcoming draft. Curry's natural ability to make plays in the backfield as well his versatility to stand up and make plays suggests that he'd be a great fit in Buffalo’s 4-3 defense.

11. Kansas City Chiefs: Devon Still DE-PSU- Michael Brockers is a better player than Still, but Still might be a better fit for the Chiefs. Romeo Crennel is going to run a 3-4, and he needs a guy in the middle that can hold up against the run and the pass. Still could be that guy.

12. Seattle Seahawks: Melvin Ingram DE-South Carolina- Ingram is the best 4-3 linebacker in the draft and the Seahawks won’t be able to upgrade the quarterback, so they will draft for value.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Courtney Upshaw LB-Alabama- Courtney Upshaw is one of the top pass-rushers available in the wake of his MVP performance in the so-called national championship. The Cardinals thought they shored up their inside linebacker position when they signed Stewart Bradley to a 5-year, $25 million contract with $10 million guaranteed this offseason. Yeah, not so much. Bradley has barely played, so he could be a cap casualty this offseason.

14. Dallas Cowboys: David DeCastro G-Stanford- The Cowboys biggest need is in the secondary, but if there is not a guy available that is worthy of this pick, DeCastro could be a good pick for them. This seems early for a guard, but if adding DeCastro makes the offensive line a strength of the team, it is a good pick.

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Luke Keuchly LB-Boston College- The Philadelphia run defense was a disaster, especially early in the season, because their linebackers were terrible. Kuechly would come in and be an upgrade from the first day he walks on the field. He has the chance to be a real star in the NFL.

16. New York Jets: Mark Barron S-Alabama-Barron is the prototypical NFL safety. Barron is big enough to play around the line of scrimmage and to help in run support, but he also has the range to be effective in coverage. This pick would help the Jets get their defense back to the elite unit it was a couple of years ago

17. Washington Redskins (FROM BENGALS): Michael Floyd WR-Notre Dame- The Washington Redskins appear to be more likely to upgrade the quarterback position through free agency or trade rather than the draft. Where they do need an upgrade is at the receiver position, where they need to add a young, talented wideout to their passing game, as Santana Moss is in decline and both Jabar Gaffney and Anthony Armstrong are not ideal candidates to be starting.

18. San Diego Chargers: Nick Perry LB-USC- The Chargers didn't really address the rush linebacker position last offseason, opting only to sign Travis LaBoy, a rotational player. Nick Perry has great measurables and immense upside, so I think he'll have a good chance to find his way into the middle of the first round come Draft Day.

19. Chicago Bears: Dre Kirkpatrick CB-Alabama- Starting cornerback Tim Jennings will be a free agent this March. If the Bears can't retain him, they'll need depth at the position. Kirkpatrick was arrested earlier this week for marijuana possession. Some teams are going to remove Kirkpatrick off their board completely, but I think the Bears will take a chance on him.

20. Tennessee Titans: Michael Brockers DE-LSU- Michael Brockers, the top prospect on the board, has great size and the Titans need someone to complement Paul Klug.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Cordy Glenn G-Georgia-Cincinnati's offensive line has played extremely well as a whole this year, but the one exception has been left guard Nate Livings. The 29-year-old will be a free agent in March anyway, so he'll need to be upgraded. Cordy Glenn is one of the top prospects on the board and he fits Cincinnati's blocking scheme, so he makes sense at this spot.

22. Cleveland Browns: Kendall Wright WR-Baylor- Adding Wright would help RG3 feel comfortable early because of the chemistry the two already have. It also fills a need of playmaker the Browns have on offense.

23. Detroit Lions: Alfonzo Dennard- CB-Nebraska- Dennard is the top player on the board who makes sense for Detroit. With Aaron Rodgers in the division, the Lions need as many talented corners as possible.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dont’a Hightower LB-Alabama-The Steelers usually take the top player on their board, and it would be hard to imagine that it wouldn't be Dont'a Hightower in this case. Pittsburgh has some aging inside linebackers on its defense, so Hightower would be a great long-term solution.

25. Denver Broncos: Fletcher Cox DT-Miss St- The Broncos would be best served to load up on defense, because they are not going to be scoring many points as long as Tim Tebow is playing quarterback.

26. Houston Texans: Ashlon Jeffery WR-South Carolina- The Texans need an additional receiver beside Andre Johnson. It is time to make an upgrade to Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones.

27. New England Patriots: Dontari Poe DT-Memphis- The Patriots need to upgrade their front-seven. The only problem with Poe is that he has not played against the level of competition you would like to see from a first-round pick. He dominated the guys he played against, but 99 percent of the guys he played against will have to have a ticket to get into an NFL game.

28. Green Bay Packers: Whitney Mercilus LB-Illinois- There is no question that the Packers are going to go defense with this pick. Mercilus makes a lot of sense because he can get after the quarterback. Nobody in the league had a lower sack rate than Green Bay this season. They are going to have to change that if they want to stay on top in this pass-happy league.

29. New York Giants: Zerbie Sanders OT-FSU-Sanders is good fit for the Giants. Their passing offense is one of the best in the league, but their rushing attack was not where they would like it to be this season. Sanders is a guy that could be an immediate upgrade.

30. Baltimore Ravens: Vontaze Burfict LB-ASU-Ozzie Newsome has indicated that he'll be looking for Ray Lewis' successor this upcoming April. Well, Burfict makes sense for a number of reasons. He's one of the best players available and fits the attitude of Baltimore's defense.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Mohamed Sanu WR-Rutgers- Braylon Edwards was brought in as a deep threat, but was a big disappointment. The 49ers don't need a receiver with Josh Morgan coming back and Kyle Williams emerging, but it wouldn't hurt to add someone with talent at the position.

32. New England Patriots: Andre Branch LB-Clemson- The Patriots will be a scary team in 2012 if the first round plays out this way. They will have added two guys that can flat get after the quarterback with Poe at 27 and now Branch at 32. Andre Branch is a really good fit for the Patriots. He can play defensive end in the 4-3 and rush linebacker 3-4, filling both needs in those schemes. He also has the size that Bill Belichick likes out of his rush linebackers.

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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