Alabama running back Trent Richardson led the Alabama Crimson Tide to the BCS National Title. Richardson was a 5 star recruit in 2009 coming out of high school. Richardson has had a huge impact in his tenure at Alabama.
Trent Richardson had to split carries with 2010 Heisman Trophy Winner Mark Ingram at Alabama. Richardson helped Alabama with big results in 2 National Title wins against Texas in 2010 and LSU in 2012.
In 2011, Richardson had 283 carries, 1,679 rushing yards, and 21 rushing touchdowns.
This will be our 4th 7 round 2012 NFL Mock draft if you exclude the pre combine mock draft and the free agency mock draft. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your input on any picks.
Feel free to check out the 2012 Rant Sports Mock Draft. It features in depth coverage from other top writers about who their teams should take.
1. Indianapolis Colts 2-14 Andrew Luck Quarterback Stanford Junior Redshirt Back in 2008, many considered Ohio State commitment Terrell Pryor to be the #1 quarterback recruit coming out of Jeanette High School. Some were so high on Pryor at the time back in 2008 that they thought he could go #1 overall in 2011 or 2012 before ending up leaving Ohio State to take part in the 2011 Supplemental Draft.
As Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friends.” Pryor had a great supporting cast at Ohio State. Pryor lost a Fiesta Bowl to Texas quarterback Colt McCoy as a freshman, won a Rose Bowl against Oregon as a sophomore, and helped the Buckeyes defeat Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl before getting kicked off the team with the whole Ohio State scandal receiving improper benefits.
Andrew Luck was also a 5 star recruit in 2008. Luck committed to Stanford after growing up in Houston, TX.
Luck got Stanford to the Orange Bowl in 2010 with only 1 regular season loss to Oregon who played Auburn for the National Title as a sophomore redshirt. Luck dominated the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech before spurning the chance to go pro and be the #1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Other 5 star recruits from 2008 included Florida State commitment EJ Manuel, Dayne Crist who committed to Notre Dame before transferring to Kansas, and eventual Stanford commitment Andrew Luck. Some even had Missouri commitment Blaine Gabbert as a 5 star recruit while other recruiting services had him as low as 2 stars coming out of high school.
Besides Luck, none of the 5 star quarterback recruits have lived up to the hype of being a future first round pick at the collegiate level. Luck had to watch Stanford go 5-7 when he was redshirted before becoming Stanford’s full time starter in 2009.
Luck went threw for 2,575 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, while completing 56.3 percent of his passes as a freshman redshirt in a run first offense where Luck would hand the ball off to Toby Gerhart. Luck did have a broken finger in 2009 so maybe that explains why his completion percentage was so low in 2009.
Luck really showed signs of major improvement in 2010 going from completing 56.3 percent of his passes to completing 70.7 percent of his passes while transitioning from a run first balanced offense to a pass first west coast offense as a sophomore redshirt.
Andrew Luck is the top prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft. Luck is considered the clear cut prospect with a commanding lead on NFL draft boards. He’s practically sold theIndianapolis Colts as the top prospect at this point.
Draftniks have been saying that Luck would eventually go #1 overall since October of 2010 when he leapfrogged Jake Locker on 2011 NFL Draft boards to become the top prospect, before shocking the nation by returning to Stanford after a sensational sophomore redshirt campaign. Luck ranked 2nd behind Locker heading into the preseason, but some were unsure about how big Andrew Luck would become prior to the 2010 season when Luck was a sophomore redshirt.
Luck entered 2011 as the Heisman Trophy favorite after being the runner up to Cam Newton in 2010. Luck was considered better than Newton because of the pro style offense he played in. Luck ended up finishing second to Robert Griffin III in Heisman votes one year later in 2011.
Luck got Stanford to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl before Stanford lost to Oklahoma State. Ironically enough Peyton Manning lost his final bowl game to Nebraska in the Tostios Fiesta Bowl when Manning played at Tennessee. Oklahoma State would win 41 to 38 in overtime after Stanford’s kicker missed a field goal.
Luck has maintained his momentum in a pro style offense even with the departure of Jim Harbaugh. Peyton Manning was considered the clear cut #1 prospect in 1997 as a true junior. Manning returned for his senior season at Tennessee and maintained his momentum as the clear cut top draft prospect despite facing stiff competition from Ryan Leaf for the #1 overall draft pick. In 1998 some were saying Ryan Leaf could be better than Peyton Manning even though every mock draft penciled Manning to the Colts at the time. Nearly 15 years later history may be repeating itself because some believe Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is the better prospect.
For the casual NFL fan who refuses to watch college football its getting simply ridiculous hearing Andrew Luck 24/7 on major media outlets. Avid NFL draft followers referred to the Andrew Luck sweepstakes as the Suck for Luck derby. The Andrew Luck campaign was fun to speculate during the first half. By the time the second half of the NFL season started, it looked like the Colts would land Luck.
The Colts need to take Luck. Luck is arguably the best quarterback prospect over the past 15 years to come out of college. The Colts released Manning because they wanted to draft Luck. Manning will not be forgotten. This is now Luck’s time to live up to the hype.
There was some speculation heating up that the Colts would release Manning prior to the NFL Combine which is 2-3 weeks before the March deadline to resign him. This plan has been in place for weeks according to candidates who were interviewing for the Colts GM job.
One the Indianapolis Colts posters for Rant Sports, Colts blogger Chris Batchelder posted a piece about how the Colts have already planned to release Peyton Manning. He got the bit from a source at the NFL Combine. Click the link to check it out. This piece was published one week before ESPN’s report confirmed everything about Manning being released.
I never doubted the report because the Colts usually telegraph their draft picks. Polian wanted a left tackle in 2011 after passing on Rodger Saffold for Jerry Hughes in 2010.
Isray was telegraphing the pick for the 2012 NFL Draft by tweeting that he loved Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley who opted to return to school in December before Barkley returned and Polian got fired. That should have indicated everything we already knew at the time.
That Colts tradition for telegraphing picks has not changed even with Polian’s departure from Indianapolis. Jim Irsay seems like the type of owner who wants his GM to send smokescreens to other NFL teams.
That, Polian’s draft picks over the recent years, and Polian wanting to keep Manning probably all led to the departure of Bill Polian. Polian was a great GM for many years, but the combination of those 3 things forced Irsay to find a new General Manager.
The Colts are taking Andrew Luck. Case Closed. Luck will be a Colt. Will Andrew Luck wear #12 in Indianapolis?
Luck returned to school spurning the chance to go #1 overall to the Carolina Panthers and has maintained his consistency in 2011. Back to back seasons with a 70 percent completion rate despite a coaching change at head coach. Jim Harbaugh left Stanford as Stanford’s Head Coach before becoming the San Francisco 49ers head coach taking the 49ers to the NFC Title game in his first year.
Luck plays in a pro style offense at Stanford and he calls his own plays in 2010 and 2011. Luck is willing to operate a complex west coast offense like he did in 2010 or a balanced run first offense to set up the passing game like he had in 2011 at Stanford.
I’ve done 7 different scouting reports on Luck and media outlets will build so much more hype around Luck leading up to April’s NFL Draft to the point where you will believe that Luck may bust if you have never seen him play. I might do an 8th write up on Andrew Luck
Luck threw 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2011 after throwing 32 touchdowns and 8 interceptions in 2010. Luck also threw for 3,517 passing yards in 2011 after throwing for 3,338 passing yards in 2010. Luck improved his completion percentage from 70.7 to 71.3 percent. Luck did all this after losing 3 of his five starters on the offensive line at right tackle, left guard, and center.
The other 2 starters on Stanford’s offensive line are expected to be 2012 first round picks with Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro. DeCastro is viewed as the safer pick among the consensus draft pundits while Martin has a chance of being selected in the top 10 overall.
The Andrew Luck hype may be on a Tim Tebow level. The hype about Luck is real though, Andrew Luck is a can’t miss quarterback prospect. I like Tebow, but the hype Tebow gets sometimes is beyond excessive. Andrew Luck is money with his short and medium passes like Tom Brady. He can also scramble like John Elway. Luck is your ideal West Coast Quarterback with Elway’s scrambling and Peyton Manning’s awareness to call his own plays by using audibles while being money with short and medium passes like Tom Brady.
Luck is money with short and medium passes displaying throws in the short and intermediate areas of the football field with precise field vision. Luck has the mechanics, footwork, and accuracy to execute any short or medium throw.
Luck can also move outside the pocket which makes him like Tom Brady with Elway’s scrambling ability. Luck can make the deep throws.
Sometimes Luck does not have the best throwing mechanics on deep throws with throwing motion. Some of Luck’s critics who doubt his ability say he did not throw enough deep passes in college and forced throws when dropping back to pass.
Luck has the accuracy to make those deep throws to move the chains. Luck usually goes to his tight ends on deep throws.
It will be interesting to see how Bruce Arians the former Steelers offensive coordinator develops Andrew Luck. Arians was the wide receivers coach for Pittsburgh during Ben Roethlisberger’s rookie year.
Arians played a huge role with maturing Roethlisberger as the Steelers offensive coordinator after Ken Whisenhunt went to Arizona. Luck threw to his tight ends a lot in college. Arians puts an emphasis on the vertical passing game with his wide receivers so having Luck mix and match his passing game with tight ends plus the vertical passing game with his wide receivers makes Andrew Luck even more dangerous in the NFL.
Bruce Arians was a quarterback coach for Peyton Manning during Manning’s rookie season before joining Pittsburgh. The Colts are being smart when it comes to building the offense around Andrew Luck at any cost.
Andrew Luck wanted to throw at the 2012 NFL Combine. The Colts told him not to throw at the 2012 NFL Combine so Luck will not throw the football until Stanford’s pro day on March 22nd.
The Colts will be taking Luck #1 overall. Can they sign him to his rookie deal before draft day? The Lions were able to sign Stafford the night before the 2009 NFL Draft. If Luck is the sure fire #1 pick, then the next step should be for the Colts to sign Luck.
Luck is the best quarterback prospect in the last 15 years. You could say Luck is a once and a generation quarterback. The first once in a generation quarterback came out of Stanford in 1983 in the year of the quarterback with John Elway before Peyton Manning went #1 overall in 1998. The next all pro quarterback prospect from Stanford goes pro 30 years after Elway.
Below is a list of the last 15 quarterbacks that did not throw at the NFL Scouting Combine dating back to 1998. There were originally 11 quarterbacks on this list, but 4 more were added after 4 quarterbacks blew a chance to throw at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine.
Ryan Leaf Quarterback Washington State 1998 NFL Draft Bust
Tim Couch Quarterback Kentucky 1999 NFL Draft Bust
David Carr Quarterback Fresno State 2002 NFL Draft Bust
Joey Harrington Quarterback Oregon 2002 NFL Draft Bust
Matt Leinart Quarterback USC 2006 NFL Draft Bust
Matt Ryan Quarterback Boston College 2008 NFL Draft 0-3 in NFL Playoff career
Sam Bradford Quarterback Oklahoma 2010 NFL Draft #1 overall pick in 2010
Tim Tebow Quarterback Florida 2010 NFL Draft Only quarterback on this list to win a playoff game so far.
Jimmy Clausen Quarterback Notre Dame 2010 NFL Draft Future Bust
Colt McCoy Quarterback Texas 2010 NFL Draft Future Backup
Blaine Gabbert Quarterback Missouri 2011 NFL Draft Future Bust
Andrew Luck Quarterback Stanford 2012 NFL Draft Clear Cut #1 pick
Robert Griffin III Quarterback Baylor 2012 NFL Draft Clear Cut #2 pick
Ryan Tannehill Quarterback Texas A&M 2012 NFL Draft Top 10 Prospect
Brock Osweiler Quarterback Arizona State 2012 NFL Draft 4th Round Prospect
Its too early to say what happens with the 2012 NFL quarterbacks. The only quarterback among the 11 who did not throw at the Combine dating back to 1998 with a playoff win is Tim Tebow.
Tebow got traded to the New York Jets. It will be interesting to see whether Tebow can take Mark Sanchez’s job in the Big Apple.
Andrew Luck dominated his pro day workout. The Colts brought Andrew Luck in for an individual workout. Luck impressed Jim Irsay in the individual workouts. The Colts have tried to conceal the fact that Luck is a lock to be the top pick.
Andrew Luck is capable of winning multiple Super Bowls with the right supporting cast in Indianapolis. The Colts have a chance to build that cast around Andrew Luck if they get Luck a tight end like Stanford teammate Coby Fleener in round 2 and a wide receiver next to Reggie Wayne in round 3.
Irsay knows how to build a supporting cast around his quarterback. Irsay did it with Bill Polian and Peyton Manning. He should be able to maintain the same success with Andrew Luck in 2012.
I will post offseason outlooks for all 32 NFL teams on this site. This is our piece about the Indianapolis Colts Offseason.
Other Options None
2. Washington Redskins from St. Louis Rams Robert Griffin III Quarterback Baylor Junior Redshirt The Washington Redskins dealt their 6th overall pick, 39th overall pick, a 2013 first round pick, and a 2014 first round pick to theSt. Louis Rams for this selection. It seems evident that Washington will use this pick on Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh also recruited Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III out of high school to Stanford. Robert Griffin III knew before hand that either he or Luck would transfer to another school down the road if he committed to Stanford.
RGIII made an smart unselfish decision by letting Luck commit to Stanford and exploring other options. Most high school recruits probably would not have made the same decision that RGIII made in the heat of the moment. Griffin’s decision making speaks volumes about his maturity.
RGIII originally made a commitment to the Houston Cougars before Art Briles left Houston to go coach at Baylor. RGIII then withdrew his commitment to Houston to play for Briles at Baylor.
Robert Griffin III would operate a shotgun spread offense after being named the starter as a true freshman for the Baylor Bears. Robert Griffin III completed 160 out of 267 passes as a true freshman. Robert Griffin III would go on to complete 59.9 percent of his passes as a true freshman in 2008. Griffin would throw 15 touchdowns and 3 interceptions as a true freshman.
Robert Griffin III got injured as a true sophomore and was redshirted. During spring drills RGII started to master the basics of calling plays in a pro style offense prior to the 2010 season. RGIII mixed up spread plays and pro style plays in 2010 as a sophomore redshirt. RGIII had over 3,500 passing yards completing 67 percent of his passes in 2010.
Robert Griffin III operated pro style plays as a junior redshirt at Baylor in 2011. Robert Griffin III averaged 10.68 yards per passing attempt completing 72.4 percent of his passes. Robert Griffin III threw 37 touchdowns and 6 picks in 2011 compared to Luck’s 37 touchdowns and 10 picks.
Robert Griffin III took more 20 sacks or more in each full season he played if you exclude 2009 when he got redshirted due to an injury. Luck took 6 sacks during his first two seasons at Stanford before taking 11 sacks in 2011 after losing 3 of his 5 starters on Stanford’s offensive line. The other 2 starters Jonathan Martin a left tackle, and David DeCastro a top ten talent at guard are 2012 first round picks. Luck took 23 career sacks at Stanford while Robert Griffin III took 79 sacks during his career at Baylor.
Luck’s redshirt freshman year he completed 56.3 percent of his passes throwing 13 touchdowns and 4 picks in 2009. RGIII completed 59.9 percent of his passes throwing 15 touchdowns and 3 interceptions as a true freshman in 2008. Robert Griffin posted better numbers than Luck in 2011 and had better numbers as a true freshman than Luck did as a freshman redshirt when comparing RGIII’s 2008 campaign to Luck’s 2009 campaign.
Robert Griffin III won the Heisman for the Nations best player in college football. RGIII is showing scouts that he believes he has the confidence to be better than Andrew Luck. You have to applaud RGIII for that even if Luck going #1 overall appears like a forgone formality at this point. Luck was runner up to RGIII in the Heisman voting after being runner up to Cam Newton last season.
Previous Heisman winning quarterbacks include Cam Newton, Sam Bradford, and Tim Tebow. Heisman winners have flopped in the past. That trend may be starting to change with the success of recent Heisman winners.
Washington’s offensive line from 2011 would return. Trent Williams and Jamaal Brown can be an effective bookend tandem if Brown stays healthy. Maurice Hurt only gave up 3 sacks in 8 starts at left guard in the second half of the season. Hurt was a 7th round pick out of Florida in the 2011 NFL Draft. Hurt was 6 foot 5 305 pounds as guard who shows promise. Kory Litchensteiger can start at left guard if he is healthy. Will Montgomery and Chris Chester also provide the Washington Redskins with starters on the interior offensive line starting all 16 games at center and right guard respectively in 2011.
Hurt played left guard on the Gators interior offensive line when they won the 2009 National Championship with Maurkice Pouncey, Mike Pouncey, and right tackle Marcus Gilbert protecting Tim Tebow’s blindside. Tebow throws with his left hand so technically Gilbert was his blindside as Florida’s right tackle. Gilbert moved to left tackle after Tebow graduated from Florida.
Baylor won 67 to 56 in their Alamo Bowl win over the Washington Huskies after losing to Illinois in the Texas Bowl in 2010. Griffin III has Michael Vick’s scrambling out of the pocket and Drew Brees pinpoint accuracy. Matt Barkley’s decision to return to USC for his senior season also propelled Robert Griffin III up draft boards. Some had USC quarterback Matt Barkley projected to be drafted higher than Robert Griffin III.
Robert Griffin III did not throw at his combine just like Andrew Luck. Robert Griffin III did work out at his Baylor Pro Day. Robert Griffin III completed 75 of 81 passes with 4 of those passes being dropped.
Some even believe Griffin could be better than Andrew Luck. Robert Griffin has accomplished so much in Baylor with his 2011 campaign that you might argue there is a Peyton Manning/Ryan Leaf debate with Luck and Griffin with each quarterback going 1 and 2 overall. Neither 2012 quarterback prospect should bust like Ryan Leaf did. This hypothesis of Luck and RGIII going in the top 2 has become a forgone reality and a fun debate to discuss for the casual NFL fan.
Luck has potential to get into Canton and Griffin has potential to be a pro bowl signal caller for years to come. Robert Griffin III could win 1 Super Bowl with the right supporting cast on offense. Luck should win multiple championships in his career. That’s the difference between Luck and RGIII. I would take Luck or Griffin over anyone in the class of 2011 at quarterback. I rarely ever say a quarterback will hoist a Lombardi Trophy before their NFL career starts because its hard to judge a prospects career until you know where they get drafted. I do believe that both quarterbacks will be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at some point with the respective teams that they play for.
I see both Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III getting their teams Super Bowl wins in their career. The ability for both quarterbacks is that high. I am not questioning the ability of either quarterback long term. Fans may lose patience if neither quarterback provides immediate success like Cam Newton did because a vast majority thought Newton would bust. Newton ended up breaking Peyton Manning’s rookie record for passing yards in a single season. Andy Dalton led the Bengals to the playoffs as a second round prospect.
There will be some demand for Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III to match or exceed these expectations because both quarterbacks have generated more praise than Newton coming out of college.
The Redskins loved watching RGIII at his pro day and brought him in for an individual workout. The Redskins should be getting another all pro signal caller with Robert Griffin III.
Washington retained starting quarterback Rex Grossman. Washington may feel like they have some flexibility to be aggressive or conservative with Robert Griffin III’s development depending on how he performs in training camp. I see Griffin starting off the get go. Washington would not have gave up so many picks for Griffin to ride the bench.
Robert Griffin III may not have immediate success in Washington due to crazy free agent spending by Redskins owner Dan Snyder. Colts owner Jim Irsay knows how to build around a quarterback. Snyder does not and that may be the difference at the end of the day with Griffin’s career.
Washington will need to get RGIII an offensive tackle and a #1 flanker receiver. The Redskins will have to wait until 2015 to get RGIII an offensive tackle or a primary wide receiver target if they opt to continue to add players by free agency while neglecting draft needs. Washington fans are not waiting until 2015 for that kind of player. The Redskins faithful want results now.
Other Options None
3. Minnesota Vikings Matt Kalil Left Tackle USC Junior Redshirt And then there were three. The Minnesota Vikings will either select USC left tackle Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, or USC left tackle Matt Kalil with the 3rd overall selection on Thursday’s 2012 NFL Draft assuming they do not trade the pick.
Justin Blackmon would be a reach. Justin Blackmon is a #2 receiver in the mold of a Braylon Edwards. Minnesota can get a wide receiver in round 2. The last thing the Vikings need to do is spend this pick on Justin Blackmon.
Matt Kalil is lightyears better than Justin Blackmon as an NFL prospect at this point. Saying Blackmon is a game changer and that Kalil is just another offensive tackle that comes along seems like pure idiocy since Kalil is such a rare talent at left tackle, but that’s just me.
Morris Claiborne does not make sense. The Vikings have 5 different cornerbacks on their depth chart with Antoine Winfield, Chris Cook, Chris Carr, Zachary Bowman, and Brandon Burton. Claiborne also scored a 4 out of 50 on his Wonderlic. Claiborne does have the talent to succeed in the NFL. I’m not sure if Claiborne has done enough to make a convincing case to go in the top 4 overall ahead of last years #5 overall pick and former LSU teammate Patrick Peterson.
That leaves USC left tackle Matt Kalil as the pick by process of elimination. Kalil also addresses the biggest need. Taking Kalil is the only sensible selection that the Vikings can make.
Matt Kalil is the little brother of Carolina Panthers center Ryan Kalil. Matt Kalil can play left tackle, right tackle, left guard, center, or right guard on the offensive line.
Kalil looks like a natural blue chip plug in player at left tackle. USC allowed fewer sacks than any team on the offensive line in 2011.
USC quarterback Barkley threw a career 39 touchdowns and 7 interceptions as a junior taking only 8 sacks. This was an FBS best for the USC Trojans offensive line. Kalil was an elite blindside protector that did not allow a single sack in 2011 on the Trojans offensive line. Kalil could have returned to school like Barkley. Kalil denied a report about him returning to school and opted to go pro instead while Barkley returned to school.
Kalil weighed 6 foot 6 295 heading into the season after weighing 6 foot 6 282 pounds heading into his senior year of high school. There were questions about how he would need time to improve his run blocking. Kalil realizes this and those questions may be put to rest.
Kalil entered the NFL Combine weighing in at 6 foot 7 306 pounds. Kalil did 30 reps on the bench press at the Combine. Kalil was only one of two offensive lineman besides Oklahoma left tackle Donald Stephenson to run an official 40 time in under 5 seconds.
Christian Ponder needs a blue chip left tackle to protect his blindside. Matt Kalil makes too much sense here with the 3rd pick. Kalil could protect Ponder’s blindside and learn the Vikings run blocking scheme to pave the running lane for Adrian Peterson.
Adding Kalil does not just give the Vikings a blue chip left tackle. It stabilizes the rest of Minnesota’s offensive line as well. Vikings left tackle Charlie Johnson moves from left tackle to right tackle. Right tackle Phil Loadholt moves inside from right tackle to left guard. John Sullivan starts at center. Geoff Schwartz can start effectively at right guard if he stays healthy.
With Matt Kalil at left tackle, Percy Harvin as the flanker receiver, Kyle Rudolph as the primary tight end, and John Carlsson as a secondary tight end. Ponder has all the tools to succeed in Minnesota in 2012 if Adrian Peterson is ready for the start of the 2012 season.
The Vikings can finish ahead of Chicago if they take Matt Kalil. Minnesota believes Antoine Winfield, Chris Cook, Chris Carr, Zachary Bowman, and Brandon Burton are capable of anchoring the Vikings at cornerback. The Vikings will be more competitive in 2012. I’m not sure they can obtain a playoff spot until 2013 at the very earliest.
There has been talk that teams will move up for Ryan Tannehill at #3. The Vikings are not going to get enough to give up this pick.
If the Vikings want to hire Matt Millen to perform shadow magic on draft day by selecting the Oklahoma State receiver that’s their decision. At the end of the day I expect Kalil to go 3rd barring some miracle.
Morris Claiborne CB LSU The Vikings could add Claiborne as a #1 field cornerback if their not sold on Antoine Winfield holding the fort as a #1 field cornerback after adding free agents like Chris Carr and Zachary Bowman. Drafting Claiborne allows you to move Winfield to a #2 boundary role with Chis Cook, Chris Carr, Zachary Bowman, and Brandon Burton competing for 3 roster spots and a shot of being the Vikings nickel cornerback.
Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State The Vikings may go Justin Blackmon to enhance their offense at #3. An offense with Percy Harvin and Justin Blackmon could be potent. I just don’t think Ponder will get the protection he needs and that could really limit the Vikings ability to take the next step.
4. Cleveland Browns Trent Richardson Running Back Alabama Junior After the first 3 picks this is where the 2012 NFL Draft officially commences. The Cleveland Browns will have a multitude of options with the 4th overall pick in April’s 2012 NFL Draft.
Some of those options will include Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Alabama running back Trent Richardson, Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, and LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne.
Cleveland Browns GM Tom Heckert views Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden both as first round prospects besides Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Some Browns fans believe Colt McCoy is still the favorite to start in Cleveland next season. If this is true than I highly doubt Tannehill goes fourth overall.
Justin Blackmon is a #2 secondary receiver with the production of a #1 receiver. Blackmon faced weak defenses at Oklahoma State. When you think of Justin Blackmon you think Hakeem Nicks size and Braylon Edwards hands. Hakeem Nicks may be slightly undersized at 6 foot 1 208 pounds. Nicks hands, route running, and overall ability make Nicks one of the NFL’s most complete receivers.
Blackmon has a tendency to drop some passes on tape in Braylon Edwards type fashion. Blackmon did have two seasons at Oklahoma State with 100 plus receptions so I could see Cleveland taking Justin Blackmon with their 4th pick.
There is a lot of hot talk that the Browns go Morris Claiborne with the 4th pick. I cannot see that outcome. The Browns kept Sheldon Brown and brought back dime cornerback Dimitri Patterson by re-signing him to a 5 year deal. The Browns also got Buster Skryne Taking Claiborne makes complete sense from a talent standpoint. It makes no sense from a business standpoint.
Cleveland lost Peyton Hillis to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Browns lack a quarterback to operate a pass first offense. Right now the Browns are stuck with game manager Colt McCoy after failing to move up for Robert Griffin III.
Colt was a successful game manager as a rookie because the Browns had a running back that could operate a run first offense in Peyton Hillis. With Hillis gone its really essential that the Cleveland Browns get a blue chip running back that can be the feature back of Cleveland’s offense.
Trent Richardson has the skill set to be the complete back. Richardson has the speed, agility, hands, pass blocking, ball carrier vision, ability to run to the inside, or the ability to run to the outside. Richardson can make 5 to 6 defenders miss a tackle when he trucks by plowing defenders downfield. Richardson also knows how to use elusive ability to execute spins and jukes. Richardson is one of the more complete tailbacks in recent memory.
Richardson faced an Alabama run defense in practice sessions that ranked #1 in the entire country. This Alabama defense was also ranked #1 overall in pass defense. Alabama’s defense was ranked 1st out of 120 FBS schools in both run defense and pass defense. Richardson’s practice sessions against this Crimson Tide defense will help prepare him for the NFL.
Richardson was a five star recruit coming out of high school in 2009. Richardson committed to Alabama as a running back. Richardson was ranked 2nd in the country in running backs behind Bryce Brown at the time.
Trent Richardson rushed for 751 rushing yards and 8 receiving touchdowns on 145 carries when splitting carries with 2009 Heisman Trophy Mark Ingram.
Richardson managed to start a few games when Ingram was injured early in the season while rushing for 700 rushing yards and 6 rushing touchdowns in 2010.
In 2011, Richardson became the full time starter for the Alabama Crimson Tide in the backfield after Mark Ingram left Alabama early as a junior to declare for the 2011 NFL Draft.
Richardson entered the 2011 season as a preseason Heisman Candidate behind Heisman Favorite Andrew Luck. Richardson was having so much success that at one point Richardson looked like the favorite to win the Heisman.
A regular season loss to LSU opened up a whole can of worms in the Heisman race with debates about whether Luck, RGIII, or Richardson deserved the Heisman. In the end Robert Griffin won the Heisman because of his game against Oklahoma who was in the hunt to become #2 overall after Alabama lost to SEC rival LSU.
Richardson had 89 rushing yards on 23 carries and 80 receiving yards on 5 recepitons in a 9 to 6 overtime loss to #2 ranked LSU who ranked 3rd overall in run defense.
Alabama would meet LSU again in the BCS National Title. Richardson would have 20 carries for 96 rushing yards, and 1 rushing touchdown in a game where Alabama would go on to post a 21 to 0 shutout win over the LSU Tigers.
Richardson is 5 foot 11 224 pounds. Richardson reminds me of Emmitt Smith in terms of a power back and Barry Sanders in terms of elusiveness.
I realize the NFL is now a pass first league. At the end of the day Richardson is a blue chip running back. If you cannot build your pass first offense around a blue chip quarterback then you need to assemble a run first offense around a blue chip runner to win in this league.
Trent Richardson is a blue chip runner. The Ravens have Ray Rice as the only blue chip rusher in the AFC North. Rashard Mendenhall and Cedric Benson can be effective when healthy. Neither is effective as Ray Rice at the end of the day.
In Cleveland, Richardson would have Joe Thomas at left tackle, Jason Pinkston at left guard, Alex Mack at center, Shaun Lauvao at right guard. The only key missing piece on this Browns offensive line is a right tackle.
Mike Holmgren works closely within the Cleveland Browns. Holmgren drafted a former Alabama rusher when he was associated with the Seattle Seahawks. That rusher was Shaun Alexander. Holmgren may see flashes of Shaun Alexander in Trent Richardson which is why I believe Richardson goes 4th here.
At Richardson’s pro day he looked very impressive. Richardson managed to knock down the Cleveland Brown’s running back coach. You have to love Richardson’s competitive nature and passion for the game of football.
Morris Claiborne CB LSU Morris Claiborne is another top 5 talent besides Trent Richardson and Justin Blackmon. If the Browns want to add a second top 5 coverage lockdown corner next to Joe Haden to boost their abysmal pass rush at defensive end then adding Claiborne to give the pass rushers more time may not be such a bad idea.
Adding Claiborne makes the most sense from a talent standpoint. It just does not make the most sense from a business standpoint since the Browns already have 4 cornerbacks on their depth chart. If Cleveland opts to go defense I won’t criticize the pick since Claiborne will help address a need on defense.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-12 Morris Claiborne Cornerback LSU Junior The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need a field cornerback and a boundary cornerback. Aqib Talib could get arrested and Ronde Barber is past his prime. Greg Schiano has developed great Rutger’s pass defenses in the past. Rutgers finished 11th out of 120 FBS teams in pass defense under Schiano in 2011.
Schiano can make EJ Biggers, Myron Lewis, and Anthony Gaitor better NFL cornerbacks. A #1 field cornerback like Morris Claiborne to set the tempo of the Buccaneers secondary for the next decade is exactly what Tampa Bay needs.
Morris Claiborne lined up next to LSU cornerback and 2011 top 5 pick Patrick Peterson. Claiborne gave quarterbacks like SEC quarterbacks Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett fits as a true sophomore at LSU. That says something about Claiborne’s ability to cover well. While Claiborne did play next to Patrick Peterson, his success continued in 2011.
Tyrann Mathieu managed to make big play interceptions because of Claiborne’s presence as a cover corner. Mathieu will try to continue his success without Claiborne.
Ron Brooks was the LSU secondary coach before joining Tampa Bay as the Buccaneers. Claiborne will be the 5th pick if he slips to Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay will pursue Trent Richardson if Cleveland likes Claiborne 4th overall.
LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne did not disappoint at his pro day. Claiborne was very active in the cornerback drills. When lining up against Rueben Randle in one on one drills Claiborne managed to keep Randle in check at LSU’s pro day. Claiborne has cemented his status as a top 5 selection in April’s draft.
Randle managed to have an impressive pro day too. Randle’s big plays came with his 40 time and when lining up against LSU sleeper Ron Brooks a mid round cornerback prospect.
The only concern with Morris Claiborne is that he scored a 4 out of 50 on his Wonderlic Test. Claiborne played on an LSU secondary featuring 2 2013 first round picks, a 2012 late round pick at strong safety, and 2011 top 5 pick Patrick Peterson. Some teams may look at this and generate the conclusion about this being an early red flag.
Trent Richardson RB Alabama There is a chance that Aqib Talib does not get arrested. If this happens then the Buccaneers may be contempt with Talib and Eric Wright as their top two cornerbacks.
Tampa Bay has Carl Nicks at left guard, Jeremy Zuttah at center, and Davin Joseph at right guard on the interior offensive line. Donald Penn is a great run blocker at left tackle, but struggled as a pass blocker in 2011. Right tackle Jeremy Trueblood was great as a pass blocker, but really struggled in the run blocking department. Left tackles are supposed to pass block with right tackles understanding how to run block.
Tampa Bay may want to build a smash mouth run first offense around Trent Richardson with the 5th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Richardson is a very realistic plan B in the rare event that Cleveland decides to ignore their offensive woes to add a cornerback with the 4th pick.
6. St. Louis Rams from Washington Redskins Justin Blackmon Wide Receiver Oklahoma State Junior Redshirt St. Louis was really hoping to address wide receiver in the 2011 NFL Draft. Justin Blackmon likely would have gone 14th overall to the St. Louis Rams had he declared for the 2011 NFL Draft.
There was hot talk that the Rams really wanted Julio Jones with the 14th pick in the draft prior to the 2011 NFL Combine. St. Louis may get their receiver with Justin Blackmon with this pick.
St. Louis will likely go best playmaker available on offense by taking Justin Blackmon or Trent Richardson depending on whichever player is left available when the Rams pick 6th overall pick.
Justin Blackmon had 38 receiving touchdowns over his last 2 seasons at Oklahoma State VS Michael Floyd’s 37 career receiving touchdowns at Notre Dame. Teams will look at Blackmon’s production the last two seasons as the 2 time Billetnikoff Award winner for college football’s top wide receiver and make the case that Justin Blackmon should be the first receiver drafted. Its hard to argue against that case even though I do not see Blackmon having the better NFL career than Michael Floyd long term.
Justin Blackmon looked very impressive at his Oklahoma State pro day. Both the Cleveland Browns and the St. Louis Rams came away impressed when watching Blackmon perform at his pro day.
In this scenario, Blackmon would have Sam Bradford to throw to. If Michael Floyd goes to a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars than it sort of evens the playing field because Blaine Gabbert did very poor as a rookie.
Other Options None
7. Jacksonville Jaguars Michael Floyd Wide Receiver Notre Dame Senior The Jacksonville Jaguars desperately need to find Blaine Gabbert a #1 target. Michael Floyd established himself as a top 10 prospect at the Combine. I keep telling people that Floyd has the ability to be a Randy Moss type receiver. I’d much rather have Michael Floyd over Justin Blackmon in this draft.
Floyd faced far tougher competition than Justin Blackmon. Floyd has a 6 foot 3 220 pound size compared to Blackmon’s 6 foot 1 207 pound frame. Floyd produced 37 touchdowns during 4 years at Notre Dame compared to Blackmon’s 38 combined in 2010 and 2011 and many will say thats the X Factor end of story.
Blackmon faced pee wee pass defenses while Floyd encountered far tougher pass defenses. In 2011 Michigan ranked 16th out of 120 teams in pass defense. Floyd had 13 receptions for 159 receiving yards for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in an Ann Arbor contest against the Wolverines.
Against a Michigan State pass defense that ranked 12th out of 120 teams Floyd had 6 receptions for 84 receiving yards.
Air Force finished 6th out of 120 teams in pass defense. Floyd had 6 receptions for 78 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown against the Air Force Falcons.
Both South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and Michael Floyd were dueling to be the #2 receiver taken in April’s draft. Floyd ran at the Combine while Jeffery didn’t giving scouts the impression that concerns about him are true.
One opponent that Alshon Jeffery and Michael Floyd both faced in 2011 was the Navy Midshipmen. Navy ranked 66th out of 120 teams in pass defense Floyd posted 6 receptions, 121 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdown. Jeffery had only 2 receptions for 35 receiving yards against the same Navy football team that Floyd encountered.
The reality is Jacksonville may be able to double dip at wide receiver landing both Michael Floyd and Alshon Jeffery in round 2 if they play their cards right. I doubt that happens at this point though.
The Jaguars owner Shahid Khan grew up near Chicago. The Buffalo Bills drafted Lee Evans in 2004 when Mike Mularkey was the head coach. That is the one main reason why I believe Floyd makes so much sense for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Michael Floyd weighs in at 6 foot 3 220 pounds displaying better size than Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon. Floyd also showcased consistency. Floyd had 7 receiving touchdowns and 700 receiving yards at minimum in each season at Notre Dame.
In 20o8, Floyd hauled in 48 receptions for 719 receiving yards, and 7 receiving touchdowns as a true freshman. Floyd would become the secondary receiver in Notre Dame’s pro style offense across from Golden Tate. Notre Dame would go on to win the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl with their offense.
In 2009, Floyd improved his receiving yards hauling in 795 receiving yards. Floyd also had 9 receiving touchdowns while hauling in only 44 receptions. Floyd hauled in a career high 18.1 yards per catch in 2009. Floyd developed well as a #2 target for Jimmy Clausen to throw to at Notre Dame. Floyd caught an 88 yard pass in 2009 which was a career high for Floyd.
Working with former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen his first two seasons at Notre Dame helped mold him into a leader when Clausen left Notre Dame for the NFL. Michael Floyd had 79 receptions, 1,025 receiving yards, along with a career high 12 receiving touchdowns in 2010. Floyd would catch an 80 yard pass on his own as a junior for the Fighting Irish.
In 2011, Floyd had his best season. Floyd had 100 receptions, 1,147 receiving yards, and 9 receiving touchdowns facing much tougher competition against pass defenses than Justin Blackmon.
Michael Floyd dominated Notre Dame’s pro day. Former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen had an easy time completing passes mainly due to Michael Floyd catching the football.
Besides Floyd the only other player that makes sense is defensive end Quinton Coples. Jacksonville re-signed Jeremy Mincey at right end. Jacksonville has a solid starter in Aaron Kampman at left end. The problem with Kampman is he cannot stay healthy. For now, I will mock Michael Floyd to the Jacksonville Jaguars because the Jaguars seem set at defensive end for the time being.
Michael Floyd is a #1 flanker wide receiver while Kendall Wright is more of a #2 target. Both receivers are better than Justin Blackmon in my opinion. Floyd’s size, hands, route running, and consistency as a wide receiver give him the edge over Wright.
Kendall Wright WR Baylor If the Jaguars are foolish enough to pass on Michael Floyd because they believe Kendall Wright has better character then Wright could be the Jaguars 7th pick.
Trade Down With Kansas City Chiefs The Jaguars could trade down with the Kansas City Chiefs if the Chiefs want to move up for Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Trade Down With Philadelphia Eagles The Eagles may pony up for Ryan Tannehill. I have trouble buying the smokescreen right now.
Trade Down With New York Jets The Jaguars could trade down with the New York Jets. Bart Scott’s value as a trade prospect equates to a 4th round pick. The Jets could send Jacksonville a 2012 1st, a 2012 2nd, and Bart Scott to the Jaguars to move up for Luke Kuechly.
8. Miami Dolphins 6-10 Ryan Tannehill Quarterback Texas A&M Senior Redshirt I expect the Miami Dolphins to obtain a quarterback through the 2012 NFL Draft. Miami did not successfully attempt to sign Peyton Manning. Rumor has it that Miami lowballed Matt Flynn when negotiating a deal with Flynn. The rumor may be true because Matt Flynn preferred going to Seattle over Miami by opting to sign with the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the day.
The Miami Dolphins old regime featuring Tony Sparano left. The new regime consists former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin at head coach.
Mike Sherman is the Dolphins new offensive coordinator. Mike Sherman previously served as the Green Bay Packers head coach before joining Texas A&M as the Aggies head coach. Sherman got fired from Texas A&M and joined the Dolphins as an offensive coordinator for the 2012 season.
Sherman has always been an offensive minded coach. Sherman’s assistant head coach and offensive coordinator in Green Bay was Tom Rossley. After the Packers fired Sherman at head coach, Rossley went to Texas A&M with Mike Sherman.
Tom Rossley has been Texas A&M’s quarterback coach since 2008. Texas A&M’s coaches have spoke very highly of Tannehill. The one coach who monitored Tannehill’s progress more than any other Texas A&M coach was Tom Rossley.
Mike Sherman will probably take Tom Rossley’s advice into heavy consideration. I cannot see Ryan Tannehill getting past Miami with Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn both off the market.
Ryan Tannehill threw 1,638 passing yards completing 65 percent of his passes in 6 starts in 2010 after coming in to replace Jerrod Johnson. In 2011 Tannehill became the Aggies full time starter. Tannehill managed to throw for 3,744 passing yards. Tannehill completed 61.6 percent of his passes. Tannehill ended the 2011 season throwing 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Ryan Tannehill threw 9 of his 15 interceptions against Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Texas. Tannehill threw 3 picks against each team. The fact that Tannehill had 3 games where he threw 3 interceptions a game at the college level should concern you.
Unless you believe your getting a QB that can develop into a top 5 quarterback you should not even draft Tannehill in the first round because many say he’s needs more experience, but has tons of upside. I see a quarterback that is raw like Blaine Gabbert that can be groomed into a Joe Flacco type of with the right development. There are some who even question Flacco’s ability as a franchise quarterback because he hasn’t won the big game yet. Too many teams like Tannehill and the demand for a starting quarterback in this league is too great so clearly someone will reach for him.
Ryan Tannehill had an excellent supporting cast at Texas A&M. Tannehill had offensive tackles were Luke Joekel and Jake Matthews. Both offensive tackles could be 2013 first round picks and look like future first rounders.
Wide receivers Jeff Fuller and Ryan Swope really helped Tannehill out on the supporting cast. Tannehill had two running backs with Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael that he could hand the ball off too when those two backs stayed healthy. Tight end Nehemiah Hicks was another player who stepped up on the Aggies offense.
Tannehill has about as much potential as Christian Ponder. Tannehill had a much stronger supporting cast than Ponder. You could easily make the case that Tannehill is the poor mans Ponder.
I think Tannehill is a product of his supporting cast at A&M. Coaches are saying good things about him to help him get drafted as high as possible. Tannehill loves to compete so he gets his wish by competing against Matt Moore and David Garrard for the Dolphins starting job in Miami.
Ryan Tannehill did have an impressive showing at Texas A&M’s pro day. Cleveland, Miami, Kansas City, and Seattle all have been looking at Tannehill. If someone takes Tannehill in the top 5 they will end up regretting it. Tannehill has potential to be a great quarterback, but not an elite one. When you take a quarterback in the top 10 you want a quarterback who can be an immediate starter or has the potential to develop into an elite quarterback or the picks a waste to a certain extent. That’s why the Panthers and Titans got it right with Cam Newton and Jake Locker while the Jaguars whiffed with Blaine Gabbert last season in the 2011 NFL Draft.
The other risk with Tannehill is that he is a project. You sort of get the impression that Tannehill is getting pushed up draft boards due to the high demand of quarterbacks.
Some are comparing Tannehill to a young Rich Gannon. I’m reminded more of Elvis Grbac when I pop in Tannehill’s tape. With experience Tannehill could go on to have a Brad Johnson like career. Right now Tannehill needs time to develop his technique as a quarterback in the NFL.
At the end of the day, Miami will draft Tannehill because Mike Sherman has a connection to Texas A&M with his former offensive coordinator Tom Rossley in Green Bay being Tannehill’s quarterback coach.
Tannehill will likely start out as the 3rd string quarterback on Miami’s depth chart behind current Matt Moore and backup David Garrard. Tannehill will get as much time as he needs to work his way up the Miami Dolphins depth chart.
Miami will have other options to consider with the 8th overall selection. Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman has Tom Rossley as such a strong connection to Texas A&M that I cannot see Tannehill falling past this pick.
Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame If Ryan Tannehill is gone because a team moves up then the Dolphins will likely have to take Michael Floyd with the 8th overall pick.
9. Carolina Panthers 6-10 Kendall Wright Wide Receiver Baylor Senior Kendall Wright was Robert Griffin III’s favorite throwing target at Baylor. In 2008 as a true freshman Wright had 50 receptions for 649 receiving yards, and 5 receiving touchdowns.
In 2009 when RGIII was injured, Wright managed to haul in 66 receptions for 740 receiving yards as a true sophomore. Wright had 78 receptions, 952 receiving yards, and 7 receiving touchdowns in 2010 showing flashes of a potential sleeper wide receiver heading into the 2011 campaign.
In 2011 Wright broke out successfully emerging at wide receiver for the Baylor Bears. Wright recorded 108 receptions, 1,663 receiving yards, had a reception for 87 receiving yards a career high, averaged 15.4 yards per catch, and scored 14 receiving touchdowns for the Baylor Bears.
Wright was one of the essential elements in the Baylor Bears Waco, TX Wild Wild West Coast Aerial Attack with a combination of shotgun spread plays on offense. Besides Robert Griffin III, Wright was the Baylor Bears biggest playmaker. Some of Griffin’s biggest detractors believe Wright played a huge role in Robert Griffin III winning the Heisman in 2011. RGIII will probably tell you the same thing knowing how effective Kendall performed for Baylor in 2011.
The Panthers could line Kendall Wright next to Steve Smith. When Steve Smith retires Kendall Wright could be Cam Newton’s #1 target with slot receiver David Gettis a former Baylor teammate of Wright developing into a #2 target for Cam Newton.
Kendall Wright could become Cam Newton’s version of Mike Wallace in Carolina.
Previous Pick Riley Reiff Right Tackle Iowa Junior Redshirt
Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame I could see the Panthers taking Michael Floyd at #9 overall if Floyd is still available. Floyd is one of the most complete receivers in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Quinton Coples DE/DT/3-4 DE/3-4 OLB North Carolina Coples may be too good to ignore if he slips to 9th overall.
Luke Kuechly LB/3-4 MLB Boston College Carolina may give Luke Kuechly a look with his impressive instincts and tackling ability. Kuechly is one of the remaining players considered a top 10 talent at this spot.
10. Buffalo Bills 6-10 Riley Reiff Left Tackle Iowa Junior Redshirt The Buffalo Bills obtained a blue chip right end with Mario Williams and a great left end who showed he could play right end when Andre Carter was injured in Mark Anderson. I highly doubt Coples is in the conversation to be the 10th pick now despite being the clear cut best prospect available.
Thanks to Buffalo obtaining Mark Anderson its really difficult to project a sure fire pick to Buffalo at #10 overall.
Buffalo retained Stevie Johnson and David Nelson has the size of a #1 flanker at 6 foot 5 215 pounds.
Riley Reiff has experience starting at left tackle, right tackle, and left guard for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Riley Reiff is capable of playing offensive tackle or guard on either side.
Reiff started 3 games at left tackle and 7 at left guard in 2009 as a freshman redshirt. Reiff started the 2010 Orange Bowl as a bookend right tackle to Bryan Bulaga.
In 2010 Reiff became the Hawkeyes main left tackle. Reiff has maintained that role at Iowa for the past two seasons.
Reiff can pass block, run block, or zone block effectively. Reiff’s versatility is an underrated asset.
Chris Hairston can be an effective pass blocker. Hairston did a good job when Fred Jackson was getting the carries. Buffalo only had 1 game with 100 rushing yards against Denver down the stretch when CJ Spiller their 2010 first round pick was running with Hairston his former Clemson teammate as his blindside.
Erik Pears started all 16 games showing great toughness. You sort of got the sense that Pears could be upgraded even though it was not an immediate need heading into free agency.
Your probably telling yourself Buffalo should get a left tackle at 10 with Demetrius Bell leaving the team. Buffalo has a promising left tackle in Chris Hairston. Erik Pears started all 16 games at right tackle. Buffalo can make do with these offensive tackles for the time being. Now because the Bills made some moves in free agency at defensive end its safe to say that left tackle will be the direction the team takes with the 10th pick since Buffalo has been criticized for not addressing left tackle in years past. Buffalo could move Chris Hairston to right tackle and use Erik Pears as a depth player if injuries occur on the offensive line.
Riley Reiff could solve Buffalo’s woes at left tackle. The Bills cannot afford to pass on Reiff if he slips to the 10th overall selection.
Previous Pick Jonathan Martin Left Tackle Stanford Junior Redshirt
Other Options None
11. Kansas City Chiefs 7-9 Luke Kuechly 3-4 Middle Linebacker Boston College Junior Luke Kuechly is a top 10 talent and one of the most complete linebacker prospects in this entire draft.
Kuechly was one of my favorite players all throughout the draft process. I even mocked Kuechly to Washington at #6 overall at one point. Kuechly has not disappointed.
If I had to project one player outside of Andrew Luck, RGIII, Matt Kalil, or Quinton Coples to be a frontrunner to land into Canton one day Kuechly would probably be the wild card dark horse candidate.
Kuechly dominated the combine confirming his top ten talent status. Kuechly is slightly undersized at 6 foot 3 237 pounds. Kuechly has the versatility to start anywhere in a 4-3 scheme at linebacker. Kuechly could play right outside linebacker, middle linebacker, or left outside linebacker.
Kuechly was the Middle Linebacker for a Boston College Eagles defense that operated a 4-3 scheme. Kuechly was part of a Boston College linebacking core that featured Luke Kuechly, Kevin Pierre Lewis, and Mark Herzlich as the Eagles linebackers.
As a freshman Kuechly would start 12 games and be ACC defensive rookie of the year as a true freshman. Kuechly won ACC player of the week 3 times in 2009 as a true freshman. Kuechly finished 2nd in the nation with 158 total tackles as a true freshman. Kuechly also recorded 13 tackles for a loss in 2009.
Boston College faced USC in the 2009 Emerald Bowl. USC quarterback Matt Barkley a true freshman at quarterback faced Luke Kuechly and his defensive mindset at middle linebacker.
Despite Boston College’s 24-13 loss in the Emerald Bowl, Kuechly showcased great ability forcing Matt Barkley to chuck screen passes deciphering what Barkley would do. Kuechly would go on to record 16 tackles in the Emerald Bowl ending his freshman season with a bang.
Kuechly continued to improve in 2010. Kuechly led the nation with 183 total tackles and 110 solo tackles a true sophomore.
Kuechly became the fastest Boston College Eagle to reach 200 total tackles. It only took Kuechly 17 games to get to 200. Kuechly had over 300 total tackles after his sophomore season. Kuechly is the only Boston College linebacker in BC history to have over 300 total tackles in his first two seasons.
Kuechly recorded 10 total tackles against Nevada in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, 9 of those 10 tackles were solo. Kuechly showed impressive ability in another bowl game. This time Boston College would lose due to Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick who went on to become a 2011 2nd round pick for the San Francisco 49ers.
Kuechly went on to record 191 total tackles as a junior leading the nation in tackles once again. Kuechly had 20 tackles in a single game against ACC rival Florida State.
Kuechly showcased great man coverage and zone coverage when watching some of his tape. Kuechly would play man coverage against Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen who happened to be the top tight end in the 2012 NFL Draft prior to Coby Fleener’s pro day at Stanford. Kuechly would play amazing man coverage locking down Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert who is the top tight end for the 2013 NFL Draft at this time.
Kuechly is going to be a game changer at middle linebacker. Kuechly may not be the most physical linebacker. Kuechly is physical enough to wreak havoc. Kuechly has Brian Urlacher’s mental intelligence along with AJ Hawk’s versatility.
The last Boston College linebacker prospect to have some significant impact in the NFL was Bill Romanowski. The more I hear about Kuechly the more I’m convinced he could be a candidate for Canton when his career ends.
The Kansas City Chiefs will love what Kuechly brings to the table as a 3-4 middle linebacker. Scott Pioli will see flashes of Tedy Bruschi’s fire in Luke Kuechly when Kuechly steps on the gridiron.
Kansas City resigned Amon Gordon to a 2 year deal at nose tackle plus Jerrell Powe has some potential. Powe has looked promising in the Chiefs offseason. I think the Chiefs will add a nose tackle later in this draft despite the temptation of Dontari Poe being available at #11 here.
The Chiefs were projected to take Bryan Bulaga back in 2010. The Chiefs ignored need and went best player available with Eric Berry. I get the sense that the Kansas City Chiefs could go that same route in 2012.
There has been some speculation that the Chiefs will trade up for Ryan Tannehill with Jacksonville at #7 overall. The 2012 NFL Draft has other quarterbacks. Matt Cassel’s contract runs through 2014 so I doubt this happens.
Trade Up With Jacksonville Jaguars for quarterback Ryan Tannehill The only other realistic option besides Luke Kuechly is for Kansas City to trade up for Ryan Tannehill. I am leaning towards the Chiefs sticking at 11 now.
Trade Down For More Picks The Chiefs traded down to obtain Jonathan Baldwin in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Chiefs could trade down again.
New England loves Quinton Coples and Melvin Ingram to the point that they would consider trading up for either player. Chicago would trade up for Michael Floyd if he slipped to 11th overall. The Chiefs may be able to obtain more draft picks by moving down.
12. Seattle Seahawks 7-9 Quinton Coples Right End North Carolina Senior The Seattle Seahawks will select Quinton Coples in a heartbeat if he slips to 12. Pete Carroll loves the North Carolina pass rusher. Coples could be a blue chip right end. The Seahawks have a blue chip left end with Chris Clemons who can stop the run and had 2 straight seasons with 11 sacks. Seattle also has an awesome secondary with Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Walter Thurmond, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor.
With Coples and Clemons Seattle would have a defensive end tandem that would trump any offensive tackle tandem in the NFC West. The Rams and Cardinals would not be able to stop a Quinton Coples and Chris Clemons tandem. San Francisco has Joe Staley who can be effective at left tackle when he is healthy. Staley has had durability issues in the past. I can see Coples giving Staley all kinds of problems. Chris Clemons could have a big game against Anthony Davis who may have to move inside to right guard if a right tackle falls to San Francisco.
Seattle signed Barrett Rudd and Leroy Hill at linebacker to compliment KJ Wright. I’ve been telling people for weeks that Pete Carroll loves Quinton Coples.
Luke Kuechly LB/3-4 MLB Boston College Luke Kuechly is an option for the Seahawks if Coples is off the board and the Chiefs decide to trade up or trade down. Kuechly could sit behind veteran Barrett Rudd for a year before becoming the Seahawks full time starter. Kuechly has the instinctive mental ability to play linebacker in this league. Kuechly would be the complete linebacker prospect if he added just a little more physical strength to his game. Kuechly is the best inside linebacker prospect in this draft class and its not even close.
Trade Down for Dont’a Hightower One player the Seahawks are rumored to be interested in is Dont’a Hightower. Hightower has been a 3-4 middle linebacker his whole career. Hightower would have to sit behind Barrett Rudd for a season if he were to become an effective starter at middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme.
The earliest Hightower could go would be 24th to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Seahawks could trade down anywhere between picks 19 and 23 to stock up by adding more picks.
13. Arizona Cardinals 8-8 Jonathan Martin Left Tackle Stanford Junior Redshirt The Arizona Cardinals biggest need is finding a blue chip left tackle. With Martin off the board at #10 overall its safe to say that Arizona may take the best player available.
Jonathan Martin has been a left tackle his entire life. Martin attended Harvard Westlake High School back in the day.
Harvard Westlake High School is the same place that 2012 MLB Draft pitching prospect Lucas Giolito is currently attending. Giolito was competing against Stanford pitcher Mark Appel to be the top pick in June’s MLB draft before an injury occured. The Houston Astros hold the first pick with the Minnesota Twins picking 2nd in June’s Draft. Appel should go to Houston with Giolito joining the Twins in June. The only reason I went off topic here is because I think its sort of ironic that a pitcher from Jonathan Martin’s college is competing against a pitcher that attended the same high school as Martin to be the top pick in June’s MLB Draft.
Back to Jonathan Martin though. Martin is the main attraction from Harvard Westlake that committed to Stanford before declaring for the 2012 NFL Draft by deciding to forgo his senior season at Stanford to turn pro in 2012.
Jonathan Martin graduated from Harvard Westlake High School with a 3.7 GPA weighing in at 6 foot 6 265 pounds back in 2008 at the time. Martin was the 60th best offensive tackle in the 2008 recruiting class.
Martin was listed as a 3 star recruit. Stanford got a bargain with Jonathan Martin. Martin was redshirted at Stanford before starting for 3 straight seasons at left tackle.
Martin put on 40 pounds in 4 seasons at Stanford. Martin now weighs in at 6 foot 6 foot 305 pounds. Martin is the best left tackle prospect to leave Stanford since left tackle Bob Whitfield. Whitfield was a 1992 first round pick that helped the Atlanta Falcons pass block for Chris Chandler and run block for Jamal Anderson.
With no more top ten talents on the board, Arizona can focus on need. Martin will likely be the pick here. Do not rule out Martin’s teammate on Stanford’s offensive line David DeCastro.
Previous Pick Kendall Wright Wide Receiver Baylor Senior
David DeCastro OG/C Stanford If the Cardinals go for the top player on their board then David DeCastro could be the pick at 13.
Cordy Glenn OT/G Georgia The Cardinals may like Cordy Glenn’s size for an offensive lineman. If Arizona wants to keep Levi Brown at left tackle, I could see the Cardinals passing on Jonathan Martin for Cordy Glenn.
Trade Down The Cardinals do not pick again until round 3. The Cardinals could move down for more picks.
14. Dallas Cowboys 8-8 Dontari Poe Nose Tackle Memphis Junior Dontari Poe should be a top 10 pick after his monster NFL Combine where the 6 foot 5 344 pounder did 44 reps on the bench press while running a 4.98 40 time. The Dallas Cowboys would literally be insane to pass on Poe if he slips to the 14th pick. Poe showcases more explosion on tape than Michael Brockers, Devon Still, Fletcher Cox or any of the other first round prospects at defensive tackle.
Dallas gets a major bargain with Dontari Poe here. Some are generating the impression that Poe is a one year wonder. I got Poe graded out as my top ranked 3-4 nose tackle.
Adding Poe enables Dallas to plug Poe into nose tackle and move Ratliff to 3-4 left end. Dallas would be killing two birds with one stone up front on the defensive line by selecting Dontari Poe with the 14th pick.
Michael Brockers could be a solid option. I just cannot see Jerry Jones passing on Dontari Poe for Michael Brockers given the fact that Poe had a monster combine.
Michael Brockers DT/3-4 NT LSU The Cowboys will likely turn to LSU sophomore redshirt Michael Brockers if Dontari Poe is gone before the 14th overall pick.
Melvin Ingram DE/ DT/3-4 DE/3-4 OLB South Carolina Melvin Ingram has tons of versatility. I could see the Cowboys taking a liking to Ingram if he is available at 14.
Devon Still DT/3-4 DE Penn State If Poe, Brockers, and Ingram are all gone by some miracle than I expect Dallas to pick between run stuffer Devon Still and pass rusher Fletcher Cox. I got Still graded higher. Cox is the better pass rusher.
Fletcher Cox DT/3-4 DE Mississippi State The Cowboys could target Fletcher Cox at 14 if they wanted a pass rusher to solidify their 3-4 defensive line in the event that Poe and Brockers are both gone by the 14th pick.
Mark Barron S Alabama The Dallas Cowboys could take the top safety Mark Barron in a weak safety class. Barron has showcased the ability to play strong safety or free safety on either side.
David DeCastro OG/C Stanford The Cowboys need a center. Dallas could draft DeCastro as a center with the 14th pick.
Jonathan Martin OT Stanford Dallas may want to replace Doug Free at right tackle down the road. I could see Dallas taking Martin at 14 given that Martin would be the top offensive tackle after Riley Reiff and It would be a very controversial pick that many Cowboys fans would question from the get go.
Trade Down The Dallas Cowboys could always trade down. The Cowboys have a history of trading in the first round.
15. Philadelphia Eagles 8-8 Melvin Ingram Right End South Carolina Senior Redshirt Melvin Ingram has the versatility to play anywhere on a 4-3 defense on the defensive line. Ingram also displays the skill set to play linebacker anywhere in a 3-4 scheme.
Ingram is a pass rushing tweener with a very unique skill set when lining up to rush the quarterback whether its by using power moves or finesse moves when block shedding.
The best defensive lineman available on my draft board is Melvin Ingram. Ingram would give the Philadelphia Eagles some defensive tackle depth behind Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, and Antonio Dixon. Ingram would also give the Eagles depth at defensive end which is an area the Eagles could use as well. The Eagles could use Ingarm as a pass rushing defensive tackle on 3rd down situations and expand his role as he develops.
Melvin Ingram impressed teams at South Carolina’s pro day. Ingram impressed enough people at his pro day that he received an individual workout from the New England Patriots.
Depth at defensive tackle and defensive end is needed plus Andy Reid loves adding more players to play in the trenches when using a power play draft selection in the first two rounds.
Jonathan Martin OT Stanford The Eagles could add Jonathan Martin as a right tackle for depth on their offensive line. The Eagles might need a plan B if Demetress Bell struggles at left tackle and Todd Herremmans struggles at right tackle.
Trade Down With New England Patriots The New England Patriots brought in Melvin Ingram for an individual workout. If New England likes Ingram enough they could deal their 27th pick and their 48th overall pick in the 2nd round to Philadelphia for the rights to obtain Melvin Ingram here with the 15th selection. Trading down with New England would give the Eagles a late first round choice and 3 2nd rounders.
16. New York Jets 8-8 Courtney Upshaw 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Alabama Senior The New York Jets love Courtney Upshaw. Rex Ryan sees a blue chip pass rusher in Courtney Upshaw. The Jets take Upshaw to anchor their defense with this pick.
Andre Branch RE/3-4 ROLB Clemson I could see the New York Jets adding Andre Branch. The New York Jets went to his Clemson pro day.
Mark Barron S Alabama The Jets could add Mark Barron here if they wanted a free safety badly enough. This is a really weak draft class at safety.
Michael Brockers DT/3-4 NT LSU I could see the Jets adding Brockers. This would be a pick that lots of Jets fans would be unhappy about.
Devon Still DT/3-4 DE Penn State The Jets have a 3-4 right end in Muhammed Wilkerson plus a 3-4 nose tackle tandem featuring Sione Pouha and Kendrick Ellis. The Jets lack a 3-4 left end. I could see the Jets targeting Devon Still here.
Fletcher Cox DT/3-4 DE Mississippi State The Jets may want a pass rushing 3-4 left end. Imagine what Fletcher Cox could do next to Muhammed Wilkerson in the Jets 3-4 scheme.
Trade Up for Luke Kuechly The Jets may trade Bart Scott and their first two draft picks to move up to #7 overall. if that happens then the Jets will need a new 3-4 middle linebacker next to David Harris.
17. Cincinnati Bengals from Oakland Raiders 8-8 Lamar Miller Running Back Miami FL Sophomore Redshirt The Cincinnati Bengals obtained this selection from the Oakland Raiders in the Carson Palmer trade at midseason. The Bengals need a feature back BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a secondary back that needs to be complimented with a top notch rusher. Ben Lamar Miller really impressed me with his 40 time at the 2012 NFL Combine.
Lamar Miller weighs in at 5 foot 11 212 pounds. Miller had a great run blocking offensive line the past two seasons at Miami FL. This offensive line featured Orlando Franklin, Brandon Washington, Seantrel Henderson, and Brandon Linder.
Lamar Miller would split carries with Graig Cooper in 2010 as a freshman redshirt. Miller would go on to have 108 carries, 646 rushing yards, 6 rushing touchdowns, while averaging 6 yards per carry.
In 2011, Miller became the Hurricanes full time running back. Miller had 227 carries, 1,272 rushing yards, a 79 yard run, and 9 rushing touchdowns as Miami FL’s feature back. Miller makes too much sense for the Bengals with the 17th overall pick.
The Bengals offensive line consists of Andrew Whitworth at left tackle, Travelle Wharton at left guard, Kyle Cook at center, Clint Boling at right guard, and Andre Smith at right tackle.
The Oakland Raiders do not pick until #95 overall. Here is a recap of Oakland’s offseason for Raiders fans.
Other Options None
18. San Diego Chargers 8-8 David DeCastro Left Guard Stanford Junior Redshirt The San Diego Chargers need a starting left guard to replace Kris Dielman. David DeCastro played center in high school and was a 3 year starter at right guard. DeCastro can run block or pass block. DeCastro displays amazing footwork on his cut blocks when he lines up as a right guard and moves into motion like a left guard.
David DeCastro has the skill set to play anywhere on the interior offensive line when you watch his tape. DeCastro can help the Chargers out.
Cordy Glenn OT/G Georgia The San Diego Chargers could end up selecting Cordy Glenn with the 18th pick if he is on the board.
Trade Down The Chargers need to add a #1 flanker receiver and a #1 field cornerback if they refuse to pursue left guard. San Diego feels contempt with most of the needs they addressed in free agency. There will be tons of wide receivers and cornerbacks on the board in the late portion of round 1.
19. Chicago Bears 8-8 Cordy Glenn Right Guard Georgia Senior The Chicago Bears need Cordy Glenn. Glenn is a great prospect for a team searching for an immediate starter at guard.
Cordy Glenn lacks the footwork to be a starting left tackle. Another thing I am questioning at times is his work ethic. Glenn did look impressive in some one on one drills against LSU’s Sam Montgomery early in the SEC Title game when lining up as Georgia’s left tackle before struggling in the 2nd half.
Chicago is contempt with J Marcus Webb at left tackle, Gabe Carimi at right tackle, and Chris Williams at left guard. I am guessing that Glenn would start at right guard for 2012. In 2013, Chicago would move Gabe Carimi to left tackle and Cordy Glenn to right tackle if J Marcus Webb struggled again. Matt Forte or Michael Bush would be able to excel with runs to the outside with Cordy Glenn and Gabe Carimi run blocking next to each other on the right side of the offensive line.
Adding the 6 foot 5 345 pound Cordy Glenn gives the Chicago Bears a bookend right tackle next to Gabe Carimi when Carimi makes the move to left tackle. Chicago drafted Gabe Carimi as an offensive tackle. With two offensive tackles, Jay Cutler should have better protection.
Jonathan Martin OT Stanford The Chicago Bears really need an upgrade over J Marcus Webb at left tackle. Unless Jonathan Martin falls to 19 I seriously doubt the Bears consider replacing J Marcus Webb at left tackle.
Michael Brockers DT/3-4 NT LSU The Chicago Bears could use 1 more defensive tackle for depth. I think Chicago will consider Brockers at this spot.
Devon Still DT/3-4 DE Penn State Devon Still is a great run stuffer. I could see the Bears taking Still at this spot.
Fletcher Cox DT/3-4 DE Mississippi State Fletcher Cox is so good at pass rushing and getting to the quarterback. I could see Chicago getting Cox at 19 if he is available to add more depth at defensive tackle.
Trade Up With Kansas City Chiefs for Michael Floyd or Luke Kuechly If Michael Floyd slips out of the top 10 overall then I think the Bears could offer their 2012 1st and 2012 2nd round picks for Michael Floyd. Pairing Michael Floyd up with Brandon Marshall would make a team with great wide receiver depth a team with elite wide receiver depth.
I could also see the Chicago Bears moving up for Luke Kuechly as a successor to Urlacher at middle linebacker. I think Chicago waits until at least 2013 with Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o as an option to succeed Urlacher.
Trade Down To Obtain Wisconsin interior offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler or Peter Konz The Chicago Bears could trade down to the 2nd round and try to obtain Kevin Zeitler or Peter Konz.
20. Tennessee Titans 9-7 Stephon Gilmore Cornerback South Carolina Junior The Tennessee Titans addressed many needs in free agency. The Titans need a nickel cornerback and a center. The Titans can get a nickel cornerback with South Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore here.
Stephon Gilmore is one of the most underrated players in the country. Opposing offenses only completed 49.7 percent of their passes against South Carolina. The only other pass defense to have a lower opponents completion percentage was Alabama who allowed opponents to complete 48.26 percent of their passes.
South Carolina would pair Stephon Gilmore up with Jason McCourty and Alteraun Verner in the Titans secondary.
I gave the Titans Zach Brown at outside linebacker in my last mock draft. The Titans have Will Witherspoon and Gerald McRath at right outside linebacker. Colin McCarthy starts at middle linebacker with Tim Shaw filling a backup role that suits him perfectly at middle linebacker. 2011 2nd round pick Akeem Ayers starts at left outside linebacker. Former Steelers special teamer Patrick Bailey can be a suitable special teams player and backup to Ayers. I doubt the Titans pursue an outside linebacker now.
Some teams were scared by Browns character issues off of the field earlier in the postseason. Brown made up for it with his 4.5 flat 40 yard time at the 2012 NFL Combine while posting an even better 4.47 40 time at his pro day.
Brown managed to record 47 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss in his first 6 starts as a true sophomore before going back to a backup role for the duration of the season. Brown would execute 2 tackles VS a strong Pittsburgh Panthers team at the time in the 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl as a true sophomore.
As a junior in 2010, Brown would play in all 13 games. Brown would only start 5 of those games. Brown finished 2nd on the Tar Heels in 2010 with 72 tackles. 47 of those 72 tackles were stops. Brown would also go on to record 3 interceptions.
Zach Brown had a career senior campaign in 2011. Brown recorded 105 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, and 3 interceptions to wrap up his career as a Tar Heel. Brown has the ability to play next to Colin McCarthy and Akeem Ayers on the Titans linebacking core.
Previous Pick Zach Brown Right Outside Linebacker North Carolina Senior
Trade Up With Arizona Cardinals For Stanford G/C David DeCastro The Tennessee Titans have a great supporting cast built around Matt Hasselbeck or Jake Locker at quarterback. The only hole on offense lies at center where Eugene Amano is starting. The Titans could give up their 2012 1st and 2012 2nd round pick to the Arizona Cardinals to move up for David DeCastro.
DeCastro played center in high school and some feel that center is his most natural position in the NFL. DeCastro was the #1 overall recruit at center for the class of 2008. DeCastro moved to right guard at Stanford because Stanford already had an all american playing center for Stanford at the time.
Chris Johnson exceeded 1,000 rushing yards. The reason Johnson had only 4 rushing touchdowns was because he had a poor interior offensive line last season along with his contract holdout.
Could you imagine what Chris Johnson could do with Steve Hutchinson at left guard, David DeCastro at center, and Leroy Harris at right guard? There is a chance that Chris Johnson could revert to his 2009 or 2010 form which would do wonders for the Titans offense.
Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama The Titans could add Dre Kirkpatrick as a nickel cornerback. I prefer Stephon Gilmore over Dre Kirkpatrick at this point.
Mark Barron S Alabama The Titans could take Mark Barron here if they really were uncomfortable with Jordan Babineaux. If this is the case then expect the Titans to consider adding Mark Barron here.
Michael Brockers DT/NT LSU The Titans drafted Jurrell Casey, Karl Klug, and Zach Clayton at defensive tackle in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Titans only have 2 major draft needs at nickel cornerback and at center. There is no center in round 1 worth taking and you can easily make the case that Tennessee should not flirt with a nickel cornerback before round 3. Brockers a great run stuffer that clogs the running lanes. Brockers isn’t as effective as a pass rusher when you watch his tape.
Devon Still DT/3-4 DE Penn State The Tennessee Titans could add Still if they wanted a run stuffing defensive tackle with this pick.
Fletcher Cox DT/3-4 DE Mississippi State The Titans could consider Fletcher Cox at defensive tackle if they want.
Cordy Glenn OT/G Georgia The Titans could bring in Cordy Glenn as competition for Leroy Harris at right guard if they really wanted to. Steve Hutchinson is on the late end of his 30′s. One of Glenn’s question marks was his work ethic. In Tennessee, Glenn would sit behind Hutchinson and Harris for a few years at guard and correct this area of his game.
21. Cincinnati Bengals 9-7 Mark Barron Strong Safety Alabama Senior The Bengals have Nate Clements, Terrence Newman, Jason Allen, Pacman Jones, and Brandon Ghee as short term answers in case Leon Hall is not ready to go. The Bengals should consider Dre Kirkpatrick here. I think the Bengals are contempt with these 2nd rate corners and will end up sticking with them even if Leon Hall gets injured.
The Bengals could use a new strong safety. I think Alabama safety Mark Barron has to be the selection here if he slips to Cincinnati.
Previous Pick Stephon Gilmore Cornerback South Carolina Junior
Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama Kirkpatrick is the top cornerback on the board. I seriously doubt the Bengals target Kirkpatrick in the draft since the Bengals have been very active in free agency.
Mohammed Sanu WR Rutgers The Bengals could move Jordan Shipley into a slot receiver role and pair Sanu up next to AJ Green.
Rueben Randle WR LSU The Bengals could give Dalton another red zone threat with Rueben Randle. AJ Green and Jermaine Gresham already have effective ability to catch passes in the red zone.
Stephen Hill WR Georgia Tech The Bengals could pursue Georgia Tech’s Stephen Hill. Hill has been slowly working his way up NFL Draft Boards.
Cordy Glenn OT/G Georgia The Bengals don’t really need Glenn as a starter right now. I could see the Bengals taking Glenn as a player to groom for the future. The other reason I could see Glenn on the Bengals is to keep division rivals in the AFC North from obtaining Glenn to boost their offensive lines.
22. Cleveland Browns from Atlanta Falcons 10-6 Mike Adams Right Tackle Ohio State Senior The Cleveland Browns obtained this pick from the Atlanta Falcons last season when the Falcons traded up into the top 10 for Julio Jones. The Cleveland Browns seem intent on getting a right tackle to fortify the offensive line with this pick. Mike Adams is an outstanding run blocker at 6 foot 8 320 pounds. Adams has illustrated some ability to play left tackle in the NFL during senior bowl week showing major improvements with pass protection.
Cleveland released Tony Pashos. The other thing to consider is that the Cleveland Browns will need a run blocker if they intend on taking Trent Richardson with the 4th pick.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens are also interested in Adams. Cleveland can keep Pittsburgh or Baltimore from getting Mike Adams by using their second first round pick on Adams.
Left Tackle Joe Thomas
Left Guard Jason Pinkston
Center Alex Mack
Right Guard Shawn Lauvao
Right Tackle Mike Adams
With this offensive line Cleveland can will be able to have 5 starters who can pass block effectively at their respective positions. Mike Adams is also an excellent run blocker at right tackle.
Brandon Weeden QB Oklahoma State I could see the Browns taking Brandon Weeden. There are 4 quarterbacks that Tom Heckert liked in the 2012 NFL Draft. Those quarterbacks were Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, and Brandon Weeden. The Browns could obtain Weeden in round 2 or the Browns could take Weeden at the 23rd overall pick.
Mohammed Sanu WR Rutgers Mohammed Sanu dominated his pro day at Rutgers. Sanu is now listed as my top receiver after Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, and Kendall Wright. Sanu could be a realistic option for the Cleveland Browns at this point.
Rueben Randle WR LSU The Cleveland Browns could also look to LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle. I like Randle slightly better than Stephen Hill. Both Randle and Hill look like realistic options at this point.
Stephen Hill WR Georgia Tech The Browns could look to Stephen Hill too. Hill is a 6 foot 4 215 pound wide receiver from Georgia Tech. Hill displayed impressive route running at Georgia Tech’s pro day.
Jonathan Martin OT Stanford The Browns would like to add Jonathan Martin as a right tackle if he slips to this pick. Martin struggled at his pro day while receivers like Mohammed Sanu, Rueben Randle, and Stephen Hill impressed. That will make this selection very difficult for Cleveland at 22.
Cordy Glenn OT/G Georgia The Browns could end up taking Cordy Glenn over Mike Adams if he slips to this pick.
23. Detroit Lions 10-6 Dre Kirkpatrick Cornerback Alabama Junior The Detroit Lions take the best available player each year. Dre Kirkpatrick provides great value with the 23rd pick. Dre Kirkpatrick was once graded out as the top cornerback in this entire draft. I even put Dre Kirkpatrick in my top 5 overall back in my first mock draft in June.
Kirkpatrick has been exploited against receivers with massive size and blazing speed at Alabama. Dre Kirkpatrick is the top cornerback available at this point.
Jonathan Martin OT Stanford The Lions might take Jonathan Martin here because he will be considered the best player available by this point. Martin could sit out behind Jeff Backus and become Matthew Stafford’s eventual blindside at left tackle. The Lions will take Martin here if Chicago passes on him at 19 and Cleveland passes on him at 22. Martin would be a huge draft steal for Detroit if he slips this far. I cannot see Martin falling past this pick worst case scenario. Martin will get selected as early as Arizona and as late as Detroit.
Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina The Lions will probably target the best cornerback available. I think the Lions will target Stephon Gilmore with this pick if Kirkpatrick is gone before 23rd pick.
Janoris Jenkins CB Northern Alabama The Lions could flirt with the idea of taking Janoris Jenkins at this spot if
Cordy Glenn OT/G Georgia The Lions may target Cordy Glenn as a potential offensive tackle to groom for the future at this spot.
Mike Adams OT Ohio State I could see the Lions taking Mike Adams as a developmental offensive tackle to groom for the future.
Zach Brown OLB North Carolina The Lions could flirt with the idea of obtaining Zach Brown here.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4 Amini Silatolu Left Guard Midwestern State Senior Redshirt The Pittsburgh Steelers have needed a left guard ever since the release of Chris Kemoatu. Amini Silatolu is a 6 foot 3 320 pound guard that played left tackle for Midwestern State. He struggles with pass blocking footwork and has short arms. Silatolu dominated the NFL Combine and is moving up draft boards. Silatolu is making a case to be the first small school prospect instead of Janoris Jenkins the Northern Alabama cornerback being the first small school cornerback drafted. Pro Football Weekly ranked Silatolu ahead of Mike Adams and Dont’a Hightower.
Mike Adams and Dont’a Hightower are the two most common players to show up on the Steelers in mock drafts. I like Silatolu the more I watch him. Silatolu would have been an upgrade over Chris Kemoatu anyway so taking Silatolu will be really smart when all is said and done. I know a lot of Steelers fans would prefer Silatolu in round 2.
Silatolu has cemented his status as a top 50 pick and will not be on the board in the 2nd round for Pittsburgh. The Steelers would have to trade into the top 40 to have a realistic shot of obtaining him. I feel like its vital that the Steelers get an immediate starter on their offensive line with tons of versatility.
I was not very high on small school Villanova offensive lineman Ben Ijalana last year. The Colts already moved him from right tackle to right guard as Ijalana enters his 2nd season after being placed on injured reserve as a rookie.
I love what I see out of Amini Silatolu in terms of work ethic when I watch his tape. Silatolu has the talent to surge up NFL Draft boards and become a top 25 overall pick.
Silatolu is one of my top 40 prospects that received a first round grade in this mock draft. Pittsburgh desperately needs to add someone to their offensive line. There is a demand for skilled offensive lineman in this league and that may push him up boards. I’ve seen Silatolu listed as high as 18th overall on one draft board.
Silatolu played left tackle at Midwestern State. Silatlou can play guard on either side with his versatility. Some are now even projecting him to move to play right tackle now. Willie Colon was originally projected as a guard coming out of Hofstra. Some teams thought Colon could play right tackle too and listed Colon as an offensive tackle/guard on their draft boards.
Silatolu is a lineman that could play anywhere at offensive tackle or guard at the next level if he maximizes his potential. Is Pittsburgh in a place where they have the luxury of passing on an offensive lineman like Silatolu who could provide more stability to an offensive line that appears depleted by injuries each season.
Silatolu could start out at left guard and possibly move into an offensive tackle role on either side for Pittsburgh on the offensive line if left tackle Marcus Gilbert or right tackle Willie Colon gets injured. Silatolu would probably better moving from guard to right tackle before making the jump to left tackle because his pass blocking footwork and short arms limit his ability as a pass blocker to a certain extent. That makes you wonder if Silatolu is a guard with average right tackle ability at best like Willie Colon.
I mocked Maurkice Pouncey to Pittsburgh back in 2010. Putting Silatolu at left guard next to Pouncey gives the Steelers a quality run blocker. Marcus Gilbert will have some struggles pass blocking at left tackle.
Gilbert surrendered 7 sacks a right tackle during his rookie season. Max Starks play at left tackle was able to mask this quality plus Pittsburgh’s interior offensive line was suspect at times so Gilbert had to pick up the slack.
Gilbert will run block effectively at left tackle. Putting Amini Silatolu next to Gilbert at left guard with Maurkice Pouncey at center gives Pittsburgh’s offensive line more flexibility.
Issac Redman has a marginal chance to rush for 1,000 rushing yards if the Steelers get Silatolu as a left guard and everyone on Pittsburgh’s offensive line stays healthy.
Pittsburgh’s running backs like to run to the inside to create runs to the outside when defenses stack the box. Pittsburgh did not have the stability on the interior offensive line to open up running lanes to the outside last season. With Silatolu the Steelers will have some stability to open up running lanes to the outside.
Silatolu has nimble feet that showcase his run blocking footwork. Silatolu also has violent hands which make him a disruptive run blocker. Silatolu has the ability to push back linebackers when run blocking.
One other lineman that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens have both looked at besides Mike Adams of Ohio State is Midwestern State’s Amini Silatolu.
Mike Iupati was a disruptive run blocker with mediocre pass protection skills coming out of Idaho. Silatolu sort of reminds me of Willie Colon because Colon had the same size as Silatolu at 6 foot 3 320 pounds and should have played guard coming out of Hofstra. Pittsburgh rushed Colon into a right tackle role that Colon was uncomfortable with. With Silatolu Pittsburgh will place him into a solid left guard role. At the end of the day I expect Silatolu to be the first small school prospect off the draft board.
In addition to bringing Dont’a Hightower in for an individual workout, the Steelers also brought in Amini Silatolu for an individual workout. The consensus seems to be in a near unanimous agreement that Hightower will be a Steeler. The Steelers brought in Silatolu for an individual workout as well. I think the Steelers could opt for Silatolu over Hightower in round 1.
Art Rooney II wants the Steelers to become more of a run first team. If this is the case then the Steelers could take Silatolu at 24 if Mike Adams or Cordy Glenn is gone. The Steelers could get a running back on day 2 of the 2012 NFL Draft. Here is what the Steelers offensive line would look like with Silatolu.
Left Tackle Marcus Gilbert
Left Guard Amini Silatolu
Center Maurkice Pouncey
Right Guard Ramon Foster
Right Tackle Willie Colon
In even numbered draft years the Steelers usually opt for offensive players. The last time the Steelers took a defensive player in the first round of the NFL Draft during an even numbered year was 1988.
Amini Silatolu fits the bill for what the Steelers are looking for on the offensive line. Second round offensive guards like Kevin Zeitler and Kelechi Osmele probably will not be there in round 2 for Pittsburgh. Both Zeitler and Osmele will likely both be top 50 picks. Round 4 talents include Brandon Washington of Miami FL and Brandon Brooks of Miami Ohio. Both could be top 100 picks and will be off the board before Pittsburgh picks. The top guard after those two is small school sleeper Gino Gradkowski of Delaware who happens to be the top guard available. The Ravens have Gradkowski graded out as a 4th rounder even though most teams have Gradkowski as a 6th rounder.
Pittsburgh has ignored their glaring woes on the offensive line for years because they had stability on the offensive line when Max Starks was healthy at left tackle along with a fresh Steel Curtain defense that could keep them in games. Max Starks got injured in the playoff loss to Denver and may never be the same. I view Marcus Gilbert as a right tackle at best with the versatility to plug into left tackle. The Steelers defense is still talented and can pose a potent threat to opposing offenses at times. It isn’t what it was when they won Super Bowl 43 and their defense is at a stage where some youth would help.
The Steelers have two choices. Choice A is get a blue chip 3-4 middle linebacker to replace James Farrior in Dont’a Hightower and ignore the offensive line once again. Choice B involves getting Silatolu as an immediate starter at left guard and getting a 3-4 middle linebacker like Bobby Wagner in round 2 to compete with Larry Foote and Stevenson Sylvester for the Steelers 3-4 middle linebacker job across from Lawrence Timmons. Choice B sounds like the better decision if you ask me because the Steelers are picking 24th in the 2012 NFL Draft their likely not going to be in a position where they get to have their cake and eat it on draft day.
The Steelers have to take Silatolu here because the depth at guard in this draft class significantly drops off after Silatolu gets drafted. The only way I can see Marcus Gilbert succeeding as a left tackle over the long haul is if they bring in someone like Silatolu at left guard to compliment him on the left side of the offensive line.
The other thing to consider is that James Farrior may realize after the 2012 NFL Draft that he won’t get the kind of money he is looking for. If the Steelers take Silatolu here then maybe there is an outside chance Farrior returns if the Steelers have the cap room to bring him back. That I doubt, at this juncture.
Cordy Glenn OT/G Georgia I really doubt Cordy Glenn slips to 24. Glenn is a 6 foot 5 345 pound left tackle from Georgia expected to start out at guard before moving inside to right tackle. Glenn is exactly what Pittsburgh needs.
Cincinnati at 17, San Diego at 18, Chicago at 19, Tennessee at 20, Cincinnati at 21, Cleveland at 22, or Detroit at 23 could all be potential landing spots for Glenn. If Glenn makes it to Pittsburgh, he has to be the pick.
Mike Adams OT Ohio State Mike Adams will be the pick if he slips to 24 overall and Cordy Glenn is gone. The Steelers went to Mike Adams pro day and like Mike Adams as a prospect.
Bobby Massie RT Ole Miss Pittsburgh has had success drafting SEC offensive lineman. Max Starks, Maurkice Pouncey, Marcus Gilbert, Alen Faneca, and Kendall Simmons all attended SEC Schools. With Marcus Gilbert moving to left tackle the 6 foot 6 315 pound Bobby Massie is an option as a right tackle underclassmen.
Dont’a Hightower 3-4 MLB Alabama The Steelers could draft an immediate starter to replace James Farrior. I think Hightower could end up having more potential than Lawrence Timmons at some point down the road. Hightower is a player that the Steelers brought in for an individual workout. 9 out of 10 mock drafts on the web have Hightower going to Pittsburgh.
Michael Brockers DT/3-4 NT LSU The Steelers could obtain Michael Brockers as a 3-4 nose tackle to replace Casey Hampton down the road if he slips to this pick.
25. Denver Broncos 8-8 Mohammed Sanu Wide Receiver Rutgers Junior Peyton Manning will want a target next to DeMaryius Thomas to throw to. Eric Decker has been injury prone in the past for the Denver Broncos. Mohammed Sanu had 115 receptions, 1,206 receiving yards, and 7 receiving touchdowns for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
Sanu has soft hands that enable him to make difficult catches. Sanu is an effective route runner who can also block effectively as a run blocker.
Rueben Randle WR LSU Rueben Randle is emerging as a late first round prospect. Denver could take a flyer on him.
Stephen Hill WR Georgia Tech Stephen Hill could be another first round prospect. Hill and Thomas two former Yellow Jackets for Georgia Tech could be re-united in Denver.
Michael Brockers DT/3-4 NT LSU The Denver Broncos could use a defensive tackle to stop running lanes in the middle. Michael Brockers provides tremendous value at this spot.
Devon Still DT/3-4 DE Penn State The Denver Broncos could end up taking Devon Still as a defensive tackle to boost their run defense.
Fletcher Cox DT/3-4 DE Mississippi State The Denver Broncos could add Fletcher Cox as a 4-3 pass rusher if he slips to this selection.
Mike Adams OT Ohio State Denver could pursue Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams if they want right tackle Orlando Franklin to move to left guard and left guard Zane Beadles to move to right guard. I like Denver’s current offensive line situation, but adding Adams would give Denver an upgrade.
26. Houston Texans 10-6 Rueben Randle Wide Receiver LSU Junior TheHouston Texans need a 2nd wide receiver next to Andre Johnson. Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones can play on the inside as slot receivers.
Rueben Randle is a 6 foot 3 208 pound wide receiver. Randle earned a mind boggling 18.1 yards per reception in 2011.
Randle has a nice release and can push cornerbacks back when dropping into press coverage. Randle has strong soft hands which enable him to make any catch coming his way.
Randle can be an effective route runner executing crisp routes. The fact that Randle makes yards after the catch is another dangerous quality to his game. Randle is a red zone threat.
Randle also takes his role as a blocker just as serious as his wide receiver role. Randle has the mental skill set to be a complete #1 flanker receiver. Randle drew heavy interest from the MLB before ultimately committing to the NFL.
Mike Adams OT Ohio State The Texans probably would take Mike Adams as a right tackle if Cordy Glenn went to Pittsburgh and Adams slipped to this pick.
Michael Brockers DT/3-4 NT LSU The Texans could add Michael Brockers as a nose tackle if he slips to this selection. Houston really needs to upgrade their nose tackle situation.
Mohammed Sanu WR Rutgers Mohammed Sanu could be an option for Houston at 26 if Denver passes on Sanu at 25.
Stephen Hill WR Georgia Tech Stephen Hill is a 6 foot 4 215 pound wide receiver from Georgia Tech. The Texans may take a liking to Hill at this point.
27. New England Patriots from New Orleans Saints Andre Branch Right End Clemson Senior Redshirt The New England Patriots obtained this pick from theNew Orleans Saints in the Mark Ingram trade in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Andre Branch has the skill set to be a complete pass rusher. Branch rarely misses tackles. Branch would make the ideal 4-3 right end for the New England Patriots.
New England could trade up for Quinton Coples or Melvin Ingram. The Patriots could target Boise State’s Shea McClellin or USC’s Nick Perry.
The Patriots probably could consider other players at defensive tackle. At the end of the day finding a blue chip 4-3 right end is their biggest need on draft day. The Patriots need to move up for a pass rusher by trade or take the best pass rusher at 27 and use the 31st pick on another player that will help the Patriots defense.
I have been a huge fan of Andre Branch since last season. I think Branch is going to be the steal in the first round with his complete skill set and uncanny ability to command double teams from left tackles and left guard. Wilfork commands double teams from left guards and centers sometimes. Adding Branch next to Wilfork would enable Branch to have early success and over time confuse opposing quarterbacks.
Trade Up With Kansas City Chiefs for North Carolina pass rusher Quinton Coples The Patriots could consider giving up both of their 2012 first round picks for Quinton Coples if he slips out of the top 10. Quinton Coples is that dynamic as a pass rusher. Obtaining Coples may help the Patriots reach a 2nd consecutive Super Bowl appearance.
Trade Up With Philadelphia Eagles for Melvin Ingram The New England Patriots could consider trading up for Melvin Ingram if he falls to 15. The Patriots would likely have to cough up this draft selection and a 2nd round pick to obtain Ingram.
28. Green Bay Packers 15-1 Shea McClellin 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Boise State Senior The Green Bay Packers need a 3-4 right outside linebacker. Clay Matthews is a 3-4 left outside linebacker. Shea McClellin has really impressed teams with his high character in the interviews.
Back in the preseason I had McClellin as a 5th round prospect. McClellin got bumped up to the 3rd round after the regular season ended. Shea McClellin has been gaining momentum ever since.
Its now at the point where McClellin has a chance to be a late first round pick. It really would not surprise me if McClellin got drafted by the Packers.
McClellin had to practice against a great pass blocker in Boise State left tackle Nate Potter which helped prepare McClellin for the NFL. McClelin had 9.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for a loss in 2011.
Previous Pick Whtiney Mercilus 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Illinois Junior Redshirt
Nick Perry RE/3-4 ROLB USC Nick Perry can be a very effective 3-4 pass rusher. Perry is a great run stuffer. Perry can play in a 4-3 or a 3-4 scheme on the right side. Practicing against left tackle Matt Kalil has helped prepare Perry for the NFL.
Michael Brockers DT/3-4 NT LSU The Packers may want to go best player available at this stage and add a 3-4 nose tackle for depth behind BJ Raji. Brockers is raw and inexperienced. Brockers has tons of potential. Brockers could develop more and possibly reach his potential in Green Bay.
Devon Still DT/3-4 DE Penn State Devon Still would make a great replacement to Cullen Jenkins. Still anchored a Penn State front 7 that ranked 10th out of 120 FBS teams in run stopping. Still also registered 4.5 sacks. Still may be a bigger project than Fletcher Cox. Still has more potential though.
Fletcher Cox DT/3-4 DE Mississippi State Mississippi State’s run defense ranked 43rd out of 120 FBS teams. I see Cox as a player with slightly more potential than Nick Fairley coming out of Auburn. Cox has better character. Cox is not as effective as Fairley in the run stuffing or pass rushing department. Cox should develop into an NFL starter.
Mark Barron S Alabama The Packers may want Mark Barron as a long term replacement for Nick Collins if he slips to this selection.
29. Baltimore Ravens 12-4 Dont’a Hightower 3-4 Middle Linebacker Alabama Junior Redshirt The Baltimore Ravens need a successor to Ray Lewis. Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome hinted about drafting a successor to Lewis early. I cannot see Hightower slipping past this selection.
In 2011, Hightower played a huge role with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Hightower was one of the leaders of an Alabama run defense that ranked #1 in the FBS. Hightower led Alabama 81 total tackles, 3 sacks, and 9.5 tackles for a loss in 2011. Alabama also was #1 in pass defense out of 120 FBS teams. Hightower can drop back into zone coverage as well.
Mark Barron S Alabama The Baltimore Ravens will need a safety to succeed Ed Reed. Mark Barron is the top safety in a weak 2012 safety draft class.
Amini Silatolu LT/LG Midwestern State Silatolu would make a great left guard replacement to Ben Grubbs. The Ravens need to find someone to replace Grubbs at left guard. I am not sold on 2011 3rd round pick Jah Reed or Justin Boren an undrafted left guard out of Ohio State.
Bobby Massie RT Ole Miss The Ravens will need a right tackle when left tackle Bryant McKinnie retires. The Ravens could move Michael Oher back to the blindside and draft an Ole Miss offensive tackle Massie who reminds some of Oher with the 29th selection.
Michael Brockers DT/3-4 NT LSU Brockers declared as a sophomore redshirt. Brockers would make a good 3-4 nose tackle for depth behind Terrence Cody. Brockers could be the 29th overall selection.
Devon Still DT/3-4 DE Penn State The Ravens could use a 3-4 left end for depth behind Pernell McPhee. Devon Still could be an option at this point late in round 1. Still could even provide an upgrade over McPhee if the Ravens are not sold on McPhee long term.
Fletcher Cox DT/3-4 DE Mississippi State The Ravens could consider adding Fletcher Cox as a 3-4 left end for depth if they want one more pass rusher. Cox would be competing with former teammate Pernell McPhee for a starting job in this situation.
30. San Francisco 49ers Bobby Massie Right Tackle Ole Miss Junior The San Francisco 49ers would be able to patch up the right side of their offensive line by adding Bobby Massie. Anthony Davis is an effective right tackle. Davis would be better suited at right guard though. Davis does struggle as a pass blocker. Davis is an outstanding run blocker though.
Bobby Massie could really help patch the 49ers offensive line. Adding Massie at right tackle would allow the 49ers to make two key upgrades on the right side of the offensive line at right tackle and right guard. The 49ers lost Adam Snyder to free agency.
The 49ers seem contempt with their wide receivers with Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, Randy Moss, Ted Ginn Jr., and Brett Swain. I doubt the 49ers upgrade this area early.
The 49ers secondary consists of Carlos Rodgers as a field cornerback, Tarell Brown as a boundary cornerback, Chris Culliver as a nickel corner, Tramaine Brock playing dime, and Perrish Cox as a quarter cornerback.
Wide receiver and cornerback were the 49ers two biggest needs heading into free agency. Now the 49ers have more flexibility than you would imagine.
Coby Fleener TE Stanford The 49ers may take Jim Harbaugh’s former Stanford tight end and pair him up next to Vernon Davis.
Nick Perry RE/3-4 ROLB USC The 49ers could move Parys Harason to a backup 3-4 left outside linebacker role. Perry would rotate in the lineup whenever Aldon Smith fatigues.
Michael Brockers DT/3-4 NT LSU The 49ers could add a nose tackle for depth if they really wanted to. Brockers is one of the best defensive tackles available at this point.
Devon Still DT/3-4 DE Penn State The 49ers could use a 3-4 defensive end for depth behind Justin Smith and Ray McDonald.
Fletcher Cox DT/3-4 DE Mississippi State The 49ers could use a pass rusher for depth behind Justin Smith and Ray McDonald. Fletcher Cox may be the answer.
31. New England Patriots 13-3 Michael Brockers Defensive Tackle LSU Sophomore Redshirt The New England Patriots placed an RFA tender on defensive tackle Kyle Love because they had faith in him. I am not sure if Love can start. Michael Brockers provides great value late in the first round.
I really doubt Mark Barron slips to New England now with the demand for teams needing safeties along with this weak safety draft class. Steve Gregory and Sergio Brown could compete for the strong safety job due to 2012 being a weak safety class. Patrick Chung could remain at free safety, but would need depth behind him.
The Patriots would likely pursue Michael Brockers, Devon Still, or Fletcher Cox at 31 if any of the 3 slipped to this selection. All 3 would be upgrades over Kyle Love at defensive tackle.
Previous Pick Mark Barron Strong Safety Alabama Senior
Devon Still DT/3-4 DE Penn State Devon Still would be a good option at 31 if he is still available.
Fletcher Cox DT/3-4 DE Mississippi State The Patriots could draft Fletcher Cox to beat out former Mississippi State defensive tackle Kyle Love for a starting job. This would be a great value pick for New England.
Trade Down for 2013 1st Round Pick The Patriots could use the 31st selection to try to get a team to move up for Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden.
32. New York Giants 9-7 Devon Still Defensive Tackle Penn State Senior Redshirt The New York Giants were Super Bowl 46 Champions. The Giants hold the final pick in the first round as a result. Adding some defensive tackle depth is an area that the New York Giants could address.
Devon Still had some impressive game tape prior to the end of the season. Still impressed me at the 2012 NFL Combine. Still would be a good option for the New York Giants late in the first round.
Still had 49 total tackles, 4.5 sacks, and is an outstanding run stuffer. Still weighs 6 foot 5 310 pounds. Still can be used as a 4-3 defensive tackle or a 3-4 defensive end.
Fletcher Cox DT/3-4 DE Mississippi State If Fletcher Cox slips to the Giants they have to consider taking him. If Dontari Poe, Michael Brockers, and Devon Still are all gone with Fletcher Cox being the Giants first round pick.
David Wilson RB Virginia Tech There is an outside chance that 3 running backs could go in round 1. David Wilson really impressed teams in his interviews at the 2012 NFL Combine. I liked Chris Polk better at first. Now I realize that David Wilson has a shot to crack the late portion of the first round.
33. St. Louis Rams 2-14 Zach Brown Right Outside Linebacker North Carolina Senior Some teams were scared by Zach Browns character issues off of the field earlier in the postseason. Brown made up for it with his 4.5 flat 40 yard time at the 2012 NFL Combine while posting an even better 4.47 40 time at his pro day.
Brown managed to record 47 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss in his first 6 starts as a true sophomore before going back to a backup role for the duration of the season. Brown would execute 2 tackles VS a strong Pittsburgh Panthers team at the time in the 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl as a true sophomore.
As a junior in 2010, Brown would play in all 13 games. Brown would only start 5 of those games. Brown finished 2nd on the Tar Heels in 2010 with 72 tackles. 47 of those 72 tackles were stops. Brown would also go on to record 3 interceptions.
Zach Brown had a career senior campaign in 2011. Brown recorded 105 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, and 3 interceptions to wrap up his career as a Tar Heel.
Brown has the ability to start next to James Laurinaitis and Jo-Lonn Dunbar in St. Louis. Brown would likely start for the Rams at right outside linebacker.
Previous Pick Janoris Jenkins Cornerback Northern Alabama Senior
Janoris Jenkins CB Northern Alabama The Rams could go Janoris Jenkins. The last time Jeff Fisher took a cornerback with character concerns it did not end well with Pacman Jones playing his way out of Tennessee. Jenkins is a player the Rams could consider here. I think the Rams could get Janoris Jenkins with their 2nd round pick from the Redskins which is why Jenkins slipped to this pick.
David Wilson RB Virginia Tech The Rams need a #2 back behind Steven Jackson in the backfield. David Wilson provides tremendous value at the top of round 2.
34. Indianapolis Colts 2-14 Coby Fleener Tight End Stanford Senior Redshirt Andrew Luck wanted Reggie Wayne back as the Colts #1 flanker target for the short term. I think the Colts get Andrew Luck multiple tight ends in this draft. Andrew Luck loved throwing to Coby Fleener and Zach Ertz a 2013 NFL prospect at Stanford.
Coby Fleener proved he has first round talent by dominating Stanford’s pro day. The 6 foot 6 245 pound tight end had 34 receptions, 667 receiving yards, and 10 receiving touchdowns for Stanford in 2011. Re-uniting Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener just makes too much sense for Indianapolis if Fleener slips to this selection.
Rueben Randle WR LSU The Colts may like the idea of pairing Rueben Randle up next to Reggie Wayne. I cannot see Rueben Randle getting past this pick if he slips to round 2 unless Coby Fleener is on the board.
Stephen Hill WR Georgia Tech The Colts could use a wide receiver with size like Stephen Hill. Hill is 6 foot 4 215 pounds and displays tremendous route running.
35. Minnesota Vikings 3-13 Stephen Hill Wide Receiver Georgia Tech JuniorStephen Hill is a 6 foot 4 215 pound wide receiver from Georgia Tech. Hill has tremendous hands and route running skills. Hill impressed NFL Scouts at his pro day. The Vikings would strongly consider Stephen Hill if he slipped to this selection.
Janoris Jenkins Cornerback Northern Alabama The Minnesota Vikings could consider Janoris Jenkins at this point in round 2 if he slips to this selection. The Vikings were more active with their cornerback situation in free agency. That is why I expect the Vikings to go with a wide receiver at the top of round 2.
36. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-12 David Wilson Running Back Virginia Tech Junior David Wilson replaced Darren Evans and Ryan Williams at Virginia Tech in 2011. In his only season as a starter Wilson had 290 carries, 1,709 rushing yards, and 9 rushing touchdowns.
Wilson contributed off the field as well. David Wilson really impressed teams with his interviews at the 2012 NFL Combine. I highly doubt David Wilson slips past this selection.
Previous Pick Chris Polk Running Back Washington Junior Redshirt
Other Options None
37. Cleveland Browns 4-12 Brandon Weeden Quarterback Oklahoma State Senior Redshirt A quarterback with first round talent as a senior has good college production, can dominate the senior bowl, dominates the 2012 NFL Combine, and dominates his pro day.
Brandon Weeden is a 6 foot 4 218 pound quarterback. Weeden is 28 years old and will turn 29 in the regular season which is the biggest knock on his game.
In 2010, Brandon Weeden took over for Zach Robinson as Oklahoma State’s starting quarterback. Weeden completed 342 of 511 of his passes in 2010. Weeden completed 66.9 percent of his passes in 2010. Weeden averaged 8.37 yards per attempt. Weeden threw 34 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his first year as a starting quarterback.
In 2011, Brandon Weeden threw 408 completions on 564 attempts. Weeden completed 72.3 percent of his passes in 2011 which was better than Ryan Tannehill’s 67.5 percent and Andrew Luck’s 71.3 completion percentage. Weeden threw for 4,727 passing yards. Weeden would finish the 2011 campaign throwing for 37 passing touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Brandon Weeden would help Oklahoma State win the 2012 Fiesta Bowl against Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal. Weeden would go 29 for 42 in the game with 399 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, and 1 sack.
I had some questions about Brandon Weeden’s accuracy. Weeden corrected this area of his game at the Senior Bowl. Weeden showcased the best accuracy.
Brandon Weeden also did the best at the 2012 NFL Combine in the throwing drills. Weeden dominated his pro day workouts as well. I could see Cleveland taking Weeden at 23 overall. If the Browns take Brandon Weeden here in round 2 their getting great value.
Brandon Weeden reminds me of Brett Favre with Chris Weinkie’s age. Weeden makes a ton of sense for Cleveland if they are looking for a short term answer to compete with Colt McCoy for the starting job.
Other Options None
38. Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11 Nick Perry Right End USC Junior Redshirt The Jacksonville Jaguars will need a defensive end for depth behind Jeremy Mincey and Aaron Kampman. Nick Perry is a player who could start out as a rotational pass rusher and eventually become the Jaguars starter at right end.
Perry is a 1st round talent and provides too much to offer in round 2 for Jacksonville to pass on. Perry had 9.5 sacks and was a great run stuffer.
Previous Pick Alshon Jeffery Wide Receiver South Carolina Junior
Other Options None
39. St. Louis Rams from Washington Redskins 5-11 Fletcher Cox Defensive Tackle Mississippi State Junior The St. Louis Rams need a 4-3 defensive tackle for depth. Fletcher Cox is a player that should be a first round pick. Cox is a first round talent that would be a steal if he fell this late in the 2nd round.
I think Janoris Jenkins is the more talented player. The bad history with Pacman Jones and Jeff Fisher along with the fact that Janoris Jenkins has had some off the field struggles may turn off Jeff Fisher completely when evaluating Jenkins.
Previous Pick Kevin Zeitler Left Guard Wisconsin Senior
Janoris Jenkins Cornerback Northern Alabama Senior The St. Louis Rams might consider Janoris Jenkins here. I’m not sure if they would take Jenkins with his character concerns off of the field.
40. Carolina Panthers 6-10 Janoris Jenkins Cornerback Northern Alabama Senior Janoris Jenkins would be a steal for Carolina in round 2. Jenkins could step in right away becoming the Panthers #1 field cornerback. Chris Gamble would move to a #2 boundary cornerback role with Captain Munnerlyn making the move to a nickel cornerback.
Adding Jenkins finally solidifies Carolina’s cornerback woes on secondary. Not only does this pick fill a need, its a great value pick in round 2.
Janoris Jenkins is the final player among the top 40 picks in this mock draft that I have graded out as first round talents.
Previous Pick Michael Brockers Defensive Tackle LSU Sophomore Redshirt
Other Options None
41. Buffalo Bills 6-10 Brock Osweiler Quarterback Arizona State Junior Brock Osweiler has some of the best physical tools in the 2012 NFL Draft at 6 foot 7 240 pounds.
Osweiler was a one year starter at Arizona State before declaring for the NFL Draft. NFL Scouts knock one year starters.
Osweiler has great production with 4,036 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.
Osweiler needs to improve the mental aspects of his game. Osweiler could develop into the Buffalo Bills future starting quarterback.
Osweiler provides too much value at 41. The Bills have to take Osweiler here.
Previous Pick Kirk Cousins Quarterback Michigan State Senior Redshirt
Nick Foles QB Arizona The Buffalo Bills can take their pick between Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler and Arizona’s Nick Foles
42. Miami Dolphins 6-10 Alshon Jeffery Wide Receiver South Carolina Junior Alshon Jeffery was a #1 flanker target at South Carolina. Jeffery was originally weighed in at 6 foot 4 229 pounds. Jeffery is now listed at 6 foot 2 216 pounds.
Jeffery only had 49 receptions, a career low 762 receiving yards, and 8 receiving touchdowns.
Ryan Tannehill will need a #1 flanker wide receiver for the future. Alshon Jeffery makes a lot of sense for Miami in round 2. Jeffery could really help the Miami Dolphins with Ryan Tannehill’s development.
Previous Pick Nick Perry Right End USC Junior Redshirt
Other Options None
43. Seattle Seahawks 7-9 Nick Foles Quarterback Arizona Senior Redshirt Nick Foles is a 6 foot 5 240 pound quarterback for Arizona. Foles has potential to develop into a future pro bowler.
Foles is a 3 year project that needs to hold the clipboard for 3 years without any remote coaching change.
Foles has the elite physical tools and the intangibles to adapt to the NFL. He needs to learn a teams playbook and correct some fundamentals to his game.
Foles had 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2010. In 2011, Foles had 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Foles looks like a potential 2nd round pick.
Previous Pick Bobby Wagner Left Outside Linebacker Utah State Senior
Other Options None
44. Kansas City Chiefs 7-9 Kevin Zeitler Right Guard Wisconsin Senior The Chiefs need depth players on their interior offensive line. The Chiefs seem contempt with backup left guard Darryl Harris and backup center Rob Bruggerman who only weighs 293 pounds.
I think the Chiefs need to bring Zeitler in as a backup right guard. Zeitler can start out as a backup right guard and work into a backup center or backup left guard role if he excels as a backup right guard.
Other Options None
Previous Pick Markelle Martin Free Safety Oklahoma State Senior
45. Dallas Cowboys 8-8 Peter Konz Center Wisconsin Junior Redshirt Peter Konz struggled at the 2012 NFL Combine. Dallas needs a center. Konz is the top one in the 2012 NFL Draft. Peter Konz makes a lot of sense at this point for Dallas.
After obtaining a nose tackle and center, Dallas can focus on tier 2 draft needs or take the best available players moving forward.
Other Options None
46. Philadelphia Eagles 8-8 Kirk Cousins Quarterback Michigan State Senior Redshirt Kirk Cousins has a great work ethic. Cousins is a low end starter in the mold of Ryan Fitzpatrick if he maximizes his potential.
I do not see the Eagles winning until they get a new face of the franchise. The Eagles gave Michael Vick a big deal last offseason. The Eagles can draft Kirk Cousins here and groom him for the future.
Previous Pick Brandon Thompson Defensive Tackle Clemson Senior
Other Options None
47. New York Jets 8-8 Nick Toon Wide Receiver Wisconsin Senior RedshirtThe New York Jets need a 2nd wide receiver to pair up next to Santonio Holmes. Nick Toon is the son of former Jets pro bowler Al Toon.
Other Options None
48. New England Patriots from Oakland Raiders 8-8 Harrison Smith Free Safety Notre Dame Senior I do not believe Harrison Smith is talented enough to start in this league. Harrison Smith will make a great backup two way safety that can either play strong safety or free safety.
In many ways Harrison Smith is the poor mans Tom Zbikowski. People on NFL Network believe the Patriots should get Smith near the end of round 1. The Patriots would be getting much better value with Smith if we got Smith in the middle of round 2.
New England has a main need for addressing a 4-3 right end. After that their are 2 2nd tier needs at defensive tackle and safety that New England will need to address.
New England has addressed their 3 main needs with these 3 picks. New England can use their remaining 2012 picks to trade for future 2013 picks so Belichick can continue stockpile talent or they can take the best players available on their board.
Previous Pick Vinny Curry Left End Marshall Senior
49. San Diego Chargers 8-8 Kelechi Osmele Right Guard Iowa State Senior Redshirt The Chargers added offensive tackles for depth in free agency. They retained center Nick Hardwick. I gave the Chargers David DeCastro the Stanford guard as a left guard to replace Kris Dielman in the first round.
San Diego can use this 2nd round pick to add another guard by double dipping at the guard position.
The Chargers believe they have addressed most of their long term problems. After right guard, the Chargers will likely turn to addressing other second tier needs.
Previous Pick Kendall Reyes 3-4 Right End Connecticut Senior Redshirt
Doug Martin RB Boise State The Chargers need a #2 back behind Ryan Matthews. Doug Martin is the only running back graded out as a 2nd round talent. Doug Martin could go off the board as early as 49 overall.
Martin reminds me more of former Boise State running back Ian Johnson then Ray Rice. That’s why its in San Diego’s best interest to wait another round for a running back.
50. Chicago Bears 8-8 Whitney Mercilus Left End Illinois Junior Redshirt Da’Quan Bowers fell on draft day in 2011. Bowers led the nation in sacks in 2010 just like Mercilus did in 2011.
I could easily see Mercilus slide to round 2 on draft day. Mercilus will not last past this pick. Chicago will add Mercilus as a rotational 4-3 left end who can try to work his way into an eventual starting 4-3 left end role.
Previous Pick Kelechi Osmele Left Guard Iowa State Senior Redshirt
Other Options None
51. Philadelphia Eagles from Arizona Cardinals 8-8 Brandon Thompson Defensive Tackle Clemson Senior Brandon Thompson commanded double teams. Thompson can be used as a 4-3 defensive tackle, a 3-4 defensive end, or a 3-4 nose tackle.
There are only 10 players left that provide a 2nd round talent. Thompson is the best player on my draft board so I will just give the Eagles Brandon Thompson.
Previous Pick Andrew Datko Left Tackle Florida State Senior
Other Options None
52. Tennessee Titans 8-8 Vinny Curry Left End Marshall Senior Vinny Curry is an effective run stuffing defensive end. He’s had two seasons as junior and senior with double digit sacks.
The Titans have Kamerion Wimbley and Derrick Morgan as their starting defensive ends. The Titans would have Dave Ball and Vinny Curry for depth if they took Curry in round 2.
Curry was a player I was not very high on at the beginning of the year. Curry is a player I like more the more I have watched him on tape. Curry would basically be a steal at 52 overall for the Titans.
Previous Pick Cam Johnson Left End Virginia
Antonio Allen S South Carolina The Titans could use a safety for depth behind Jordan Babineaux. The reason I did not want to give the Titans Allen in this mock draft is because I gave the Titans Stephon Gilmore in round 1 of this mock draft. Gilmore was a cornerback for South Carolina. The other reason I gave the Titans Curry is because I had Vinny Curry as a higher graded prospect.
53. Cincinnati Bengals 9-7 Kendall Reyes Defensive Tackle Connecticut Senior Redshirt The Bengals lost one defensive tackle Jonathan Fanene to the New England Patriots. Cincinnati needs a defensive tackle for depth. Reyes makes tons of sense in round 2.
Previous Pick Harrison Smith Strong Safety Notre Dame Senior
Other Options None
54. Detroit Lions 10-6 Doug Martin Running Back Boise State Senior Redshirt Doug Martin has all the physical tools needed to be a top back. Martin weighed 5 foot 9 215 pounds heading into the season. Martin is now 5 foot 9 223 pounds.
Doug Martin has started since his sophomore redshirt season. In 2009 Martin got moved to special teams and defense before moving back Martin had 129 carries, 765 rushing yards, and 15 rushing touchdowns in 9 starts. Doug Martin also scored the game winning touchdown over the TCU Horned Frogs in the Fiesta Bowl.
Doug Martin started all of his games for Boise State in 2010 and 2011 for the Broncos. In 2010, Doug Martin had 201 carries, 1,260 rushing yards, and 12 rushing touchdowns. In 2011, Martin had 263 carries, 1,299 rushing yards, and 16 rushing touchdowns.
Doug Martin showcased his intangibles down in Mobile Alabama during Senior Bowl week. Martin also dominated the 2012 NFL Combine.
Martin is great with catching passes out of the backfield. Martin could be like former Boise State teammate Ian Johnson worst case scenario. Best case scenario, Martin ends up becoming the next Maurice Jones Drew. Lots of people are comparing Martin to a younger version of Maurice Jones Drew.
Doug Martin is consistent and has a great work ethic. Martin struggles with ball carrier vision, pass blocking, fumbles the ball, and lacks the height to play running back at five foot 9.
Martin’s predecessor Ian Johnson went undrafted because he had the exact same weaknesses as Martin despite running the fastest 40 time at the 2009 NFL Combine. Ian Johnson scored a game winning touchdown in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma before proposing to his girlfriend after Boise State won at the time.
Martin could end up becoming the next Maurice Jones Drew. I think Martin reminds me more of Ian Johnson.
Detroit has Jahvid Best and Mikel LeShoure. The Lions usually go best player available. The Lions may decide to take the final offensive player that is considered a first round talent.
Previous Pick David Wilson Running Back Virginia Tech Junior
Antonio Allen S South Carolina The Lions could add Antonio Allen as a safety for depth. This is one of the weakest draft classes at safety.
55. Atlanta Falcons 10-6 Antonio Allen Strong Safety South Carolina Senior Antonio Allen could give Atlanta a safety for depth behind Thomas DeCoud and Willam Moore. Allen makes a great depth player.
Previous Pick Zebrie Sanders Left Tackle Florida State Senior
Bobby Wagner LOLB/3-4 MLB Utah State The Falcons need a left outside linebacker for depth. Bobby Wagner
56. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4 Bobby Wagner 3-4 Middle Linebacker Utah State Senior Redshirt The Pittsburgh Steelers need a 3-4 middle linebacker now that James Farrior is gone. Pittsburgh loves competition Wagner would compete with Utah player Stevenson Sylvester and veteran Larry Foote for the starting 3-4 middle linebacker job across from Lawrence Timmons.
Other Options None
57. Denver Broncos 8-8 Jerel Worthy Defensive Tackle Michigan State Junior Redshirt The Denver Broncos could use a run stuffer. I am not completely sold on Jerel Worthy. Worthy’s draft value is simply too good to ignore at this point so Denver obtains the Michigan State defensive tackle in round 2.
Previous Pick Chandler Jones Right End Syracuse Junior Redshirt
Other Options None
58. Houston Texans 10-6 Josh Chapman Nose Tackle Alabama Senior Redshirt One player the Texans have taken a huge liking to at nose tackle is Josh Chapman. The Texans could add Chapman at this spot hoping to obtain a future starter.
Other Options None
59. Green Bay Packers 15-1 Lavonte David Free Safety Nebraska Senior Lavonte David can play strong safety or free safety on either side. David can also play outside linebacker in 4-3 scheme on either side. Green Bay will groom Lavonte David into the successor to Nick Collins. Collins may need another season to recover from his injury.
Green Bay also realizes that Baltimore will be in the market for adding more depth at safety. Green Bay could go with either Lavonte David or Josh Robinson here. The Packers go with David here knowing it could hurt Baltimore long term.
Previous Pick Fletcher cox 3-4 Right End Mississippi State Junior
Josh Robinson CB Central Florida The Packers could also add Josh Robinson as a cornerback for depth.
60. Baltimore Ravens 12-4 Josh Robinson Cornerback Central Florida Junior The Ravens have the luxury of adding the best player available. The Ravens could add one more cornerback to an already deadly secondary. Baltimore is just taking the best player available.
Previous Pick Jerel Worthy 3-4 Left End Michigan State Junior Redshirt
Lavonte David OLB/S Nebraska The Ravens may add Lavonte David in round 2 as a developmental safety if he slips to this selection. The Ravens lost both of their backup safeties and Ed Reed is on the brink of retirement.
61. San Francisco 49ers 13-3 Josh Norman Cornerback Coastal Carolina Senior Carlos Rodgers could move to a boundary cornerback role that suits him much better if the 49ers get lockdown cornerback Josh Norman with this selection.
Norman is a 6 foot 3 215 pound cornerback from Coastal Carolina. Norman is another small school cornerback that can play man, zone, or press. Norman can also record diving interceptions by making acrobatic catches.
Josh Norman dominated the East West Shrine game. Norman also ran a good 40 time at his pro day. Norman could easily get selected in the late 2nd round.
Unless a cornerback like Josh Norman is available in round 2 as a 3rd round talent, the 49ers need to wait until the later rounds to add another cornerback because its in their teams best interest with the flexibility that the 49ers have by being active in free agency.
Previous Pick Josh Robinson Cornerback Central Florida Junior
Other Options None
62. New England Patriots 13-3 Alfonzo Dennard Cornerback Nebraska Senior Alfonzo Dennard is a great man coverage cornerback. Dennard struggles in zone coverage. A team that can patiently develop Dennard’s zone coverage while allowing him to remain a threat in man coverage could be the perfect fit for Alfonzo Dennard.
The Patriots would get great value with Alfonzo Dennard in the 2nd round. Dennard simply offers too much at this point.
Previous Pick Alameda Ta’amu Defensive Tackle Washington Senior
Other Options None
63. New York Giants 9-7 Dwayne Allen Tight End Clemson Junior RedshirtThe New York Giants could use a 2nd tight end next to Matellus Bennett. Dwayne Allen provides a bargain value at the end of round 2.
Bernard Pierce RB Temple The New York Giants could also consider Temple running back Bernard Pierce with this selection.
64. Indianapolis Colts 2-14 Cory Harkey Tight End UCLA Senior Cory Harkey is a 6 foot 4 260 pound tight end. Harkey showcased his incredible hands at the 2012 NFL Combine. After Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, Harkey is my top graded tight end.
Andrew Luck loved having multiple tight ends to throw to at Stanford. Having Coby Fleener and Cory Harkey to throw to would give Andrew Luck the confidence he needs.
65. St. Louis Rams 2-14 Markelle Martin Strong Safety Oklahoma State Senior The St. Louis Rams need a strong safety and a free safety. Markelle Martin can play either strong safety or free safety.
Previous Pick DaJohn Harris Defensive Tackle USC Senior Redshirt
66. Minnesota Vikings 3-13 Justin Bethel Strong Safety Presbyterian Senior Justin Bethel can play anywhere on secondary. Bethel can play cornerback, strong safety, free safety, kick returner, or punt returner.
The Vikings have Antoine Winfield as their field cornerback. Winfield was an elite #1 corner a few years ago. Age and durability concerns make Winfield a #2 cornerback at this point. The Vikings believe Winfield can still play a #1 cornerback role if he stays healthy.
Chris Cook is likely going to be their boundary cornerback. Cook has some character concerns and even had some trouble holding down the nickel role.
Chris Carr will play the nickel cornerback role. Carr was a good boundary cornerback before he got benched in Baltimore.
Zachary Bowman can contribute as a dime cornerback. Bowman was a dime cornerback on the NFC North division rival Chicago Bears.
Brandon Burton a 2011 5th round pick from Utah is a quarter cornerback. Burton really struggled as a rookie and needs competition from somebody at cornerback for his roster spot.
Mistral Raymond can start at free safety or strong safety. Raymond will likely start at free safety. That would leave Justin Bethel to win the strong safety job next to Antoine Winfield.
Bethel has incredible versatility, speed, coverage skills, tackling ability, a very high functioning football IQ, and special teams. Bethel may be one of the most complete small school prospects.
Bethel reminds me a lot of safety Darren Sharper coming out of William & Mary. The Vikings could really help their horrid secondary by adding Justin Bethel to the fold.
With Bethel’s versatility, there will be a multitude of options that the Minnesota Vikings can use to develop Justin Bethel at the next level.
Previous Pick Josh Norman Cornerback Coastal Carolina Senior
67. Cleveland Browns 4-12 Joe Adams Wide Receiver Arkansas Senior Joe Adams can be used as a #1 flanker wide receiver target. Joe Adams playing as a #1 wide receiver with Greg Little being a #2 target gives Brandon Weeden or Colt McCoy two suitable options to work with in the passing game. Worst case scenario your getting a slot receiver that can serve an effective role on special teams.
68. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-12 Sean Spence Right Outside Linebacker Miami FL Senior The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need outside linebackers for their defense. Sean Spence is a right outside linebacker with pro bowl ability. Tampa Bay could get a sleeper in round 3.
Adam Heyward attended Portland State and Rennie Curran is a practice squad linebacker with backup ability at best.
Tampa Bay’s linebacking core would be much better with Sean Spence. Spence would become an immediate starter at right outside linebacker next to second year middle linebacker Mason Foster. Foster also started as a rookie after being a 3rd round pick.
Tampa Bay got 3 defensive starters in the 2011 NFL Draft with Adrian Clayborne, DaQuan Bowers, and Mason Foster. Tampa Bay would use 2011 to add two starting defensive ends and a middle linebacker. Tampa Bay got two starting defensive tackles in 2010 with Gerald McCoy and Brian Price. Tampa Bay landed two starting safeties with Larry Asante and Cody Grimm in the 5th and 7th rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft. Tampa Bay has depth players on the defensive line with rotational defensive end Michael Bennett along with Amobi Okoye, Roy Miller, and Frank Okam as defensive tackles for depth.
Tampa Bay could use 2012 to add 3 starters at cornerback, running back, and right outside linebacker. Tampa Bay is really coming into their own with all of these draft picks.
Previous Pick Alfonzo Dennard Cornerback Nebraska Senior
69. Washington Redskins 5-11 Brian Quick Wide Receiver Appalachin State Senior Redshirt Teams usually like to use their 2nd draft pick on offense to build around a rookie quarterback. Brian Quick is the only wide receiver at this point with 3rd round talent.
The Redskins had bigger needs to address. Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan are not true #1 flanker wide receiver targets. Quick is 6 foot 5 220 pounds. Brian Quick would be a good option for Washington in round 3.
Quick has the size at 6 foot 5 220 pounds. Quick is Appalachin State’s all time leader receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Quick finished his career with 202 receptions, 3,418 receiving yards, and 31 receiving touchdowns.
In 2011, Quick had 71 receptions, 1,096 receiving yards, and 11 receiving touchdowns. Quick has the physical skill set to be a wide receiver.
Quick runs precise routes. Quick can run short, medium, or deep routes. Some question his route running. Quick struggled because he went up against great opponents that were covering him well plus he had to encounter some difficult cornerbacks at the Senior Bowl.
Quick is really an underrated wide receiver. Washington should get him even with their free agent moves. The Washington Redskins need to do everything necessary to enhance Robert Griffin III’s success.
70. Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11 Michael Egnew Tight End Missouri Senior The Jaguars addressed most of their needs in free agency. The Jaguars will likely still double dip at wide receiver paying Laurent Robinson to be a slot receiver.
Marcedes Lewis had 700 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns in 2010. Did you know that was Lewis’s contract year. Lewis did not amount to squat prior to that point. Lewis got a 5 year extension back in August so bringing in a tight end to compete with Lewis is necessary because tight end is a need until Lewis’s contract year.
Michael Egnew was teammates with Blaine Gabbert at Missouri. Egnew might be able to be used as a complimentary #2 tight end next to Marcedes Lewis.
71. Buffalo Bills 6-10 Marvin McNutt Wide Receiver Iowa Senior Redshirt Marvin McNutt is a 6 foot 4 215 pound route runner for the Iowa Hawkeyes. In 2011, McNutt had 82 receptions, 1,315 receiving yards, and 12 receiving yards.
Marvin McNutt could be a great secondary target across from Stevie Johnson. Both David Nelson and Marvin McNutt have ability to draw mismatches with size. Nelson lined up as a flanker receiver on some plays due to his size. McNutt could line up on the other side
Stevie Johnson could move to the inside to the slot receiver. Johnson is capable of playing on the outside at wide receiver as well. The thing is when you got two wide receivers like David Nelson and Marvin McNutt it always helps to have your best target Stevie Johnson on the outside as a vertical slot receiver against some weaker nickel corners. That is a match up Johnson will win 9 out of 10 times.
The Bills could also line up David Nelson or Marvin McNutt in the slot by adding Marvin McNutt with this selection.
Previous Pick Sean Spence Right Outside Linebacker Miami FL Senior
72. Miami Dolphins 6-10 Marvin Jones Wide Receiver California Senior The Miami Dolphins will need a secondary receiver to compliment Alshon Jeffery. Davone Bess is a slot receiver at best and Brian Hartline is best suited as a #4 receiver coming off the bench.
Marvin Jones has the ability to be a #2 secondary receiver. Jones entered the 2011 season for California as the #1 target ahead of 2013 first round wide receiver Keenan Allen on the Golden Bears depth chart.
Marvin Jones is 6 foot 3 215 pounds. Jones does not produce the best stats. Jones is a good route runner.
Jones never had more than 62 receptions in his career at California. Jones has a chance to develop into a secondary target. Jones needs to become more consistent when catching the football.
Previous Pick Justin Bethel Strong Safety Presbyterian Senior
73. Miami Dolphins from Chicago Bears via Carolina Panthers 6-10 Brendan Taylor Free Safety LSU Senior Brendan Taylor was a strong safety at LSU. Taylor has the versatility to play strong safety or free safety.
Taylor impressed at LSU’s pro day just like top 5 cornerback prospect Morris Claiborne. Claiborne scored a 4 out of 50 on his Wonderlic test. I think Taylor playing next to Claiborne at strong safety may have made Claiborne’s job easier in 2011.
Previous Pick Delano Howell Free Safety Stanford Senior
74. Kansas City Chiefs 7-9 Ben Jones Center Georgia Senior Adding an interior offensive lineman for depth is something the Kansas City Chiefs need. I am not completely sold on Rodney Hudson or Jon Asamoah making a transition to center. Hudson can play left guard and Asamoah can play right guard. Hudson could move to center, but you would like to have a plan A.
Adding Ben Jones gives the Kansas City Chiefs a plan A at center. Jones is one of the most complete center prospects in the entire country.
Jones was a pass blocker for Aaron Murray the last two seasons while being an outstanding run blocker for Georgia during his tenure.
75. Seattle Seahawks 7-9 Bernard Pierce Running Back Temple Junior Bernard Pierce is capable of starting in this league and becoming a pro bowl back. Seattle will be a perfect fit for Pierce.
Seattle needs a #2 back. Seattle just gave Marshawn Lynch a 5 year extension. Pierce could start out as a #2 back and go to a team when the time is right like how Michael Turner went to Atlanta after being a great #2 back to LaDainian Tomlinson in his prime.
Pierce weighs 6 foot 1 218 pounds. Pierce has always had a good run blocking unit at Temple.
In 2009, Pierce had 236 carries, 1,361 rushing yards, and 16 rushing touchdowns as a true freshman. Pierce had the best freshman season for a running back since Adrian Peterson at Oklahoma when Peterson nearly rushed for 2,000 rushing yards in 2004.
In 2010, Pierce had 154 carries, 728 rushing yards, and 10 rushing touchdowns. Pierce scored his only career receiving touchdown as a true sophomore.
In 2011, Pierce had 273 carries, 1,481 rushing yards, and 27 rushing touchdowns. Pierce would really thrive behind Marshawn Lynch. If the Seahawks get tired of Marshawn Lynch’s Skittles showcase then they can bring in Pierce to wear and tear run defenses to shreds.
Previous Pick Audie Cole Middle Linebacker North Carolina State Senior Redshirt
76. Houston Texans from Philadelphia Eagles 8-8 George Iloka Strong Safety Boise State Senior The Houston Texans need a strong safety. George Iloka provides great value for the Texans in round 3. Iloka has good size for a safety at 6 foot 2 211 pounds. Iloka has the versatility to play strong safety and free safety.
77. New York Jets 8-8 James Hanna Tight End Oklahoma Senior James Hanna had a 4.49 40 time at the 2012 NFL Combine. Hanna produced the best 40 time among the tight ends.
Previous Pick Christian Tupou 3-4 Left End USC Senior Redshirt
78. San Diego Chargers 8-8 Isaiah Pead Running Back Cincinnati Senior Isaiah Pead weighs in at 5 foot 11 200 pounds. Pead has been a workhorse rusher for the Cincinnati Bearcats during each of his last 3 seasons.
Pead had 121 carries, 806 rushing yards, and 9 rushing touchdowns as a true sophomore in 2009 on a Bearcats offense that featured 2010 NFL Draft prospects like quarterback Tony Pike and wide receiver Mardy Gilyard.
In 2010, Pead had 157 carries, 1,029 rushing yards, and 6 rushing touchdowns. Pead had less rushing touchdowns without Cincinnati’s other playmakers from 2009.
In 2011, Pead had 237 carries, 1,259 rushing yards, and 12 rushing touchdowns. Pead had 39 receptions, 319 receiving yards, and 3 receiving touchdowns.
Pead was MVP of the 2012 Under Armor Senior Bowl. Pead has the ability to return on special teams.
Isaiah Pead would be a great #2 back in the backfield behind Ryan Matthews. Pead is capable of developing into a solid starter like former Charger #2 backs Michael Turner and Darren Sproles.
Previous Pick Bernard Pierce Running Back Temple Junior
79. Chicago Bears 8-8 Alameda Ta’amu Defensive Tackle Washington Senior Alameda Ta’amu is the only defensive tackle worth taking in round 3. Ta’amu provides Chicago with one more defensive tackle that the Bears would desperately need for depth.
Previous Pick Cordarro Law Left End Southern Miss Senior Redshirt
80. Arizona Cardinals 8-8 Tank Carder 3-4 Middle Linebacker TCU Senior Redshirt Tank Carder could play next to former TCU teammate Darryl Washington who currently starts for Arizona as a 3-4 middle linebacker.
Previous Pick Matt McCants Left Tackle UAB Senior Redshirt
81. Dallas Cowboys 8-8 Cam Johnson 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker Virginia Senior Dallas needs a pass rusher to develop for the future. Anthony Spencer is not a long term answer. Cam Johnson is a 3-4 left outside linebacker that could rotate with Spencer for a season and eventually start down the road.
Chandler Jones is not a guy I am very high on. Jones is not a double digit sack artist. Jones does provide some versatility as a 4-3 defensive end on either side, a 3-4 defensive end on either side if he bulks up, or a 3-4 outside linebacker on either side. Chandler Jones could go as high as 32 overall to the New York Giants. I got Jones greaded out as a 3rd round prospect.
Jones versatility and run stuffing is making him an intriguing prospect.
Previous Pick Shea McClellin 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker Boise State Senior
82. Tennessee Titans 9-7 Chris Givens Wide Receiver Wake Forest Junior Redshirt Chris Givens was redshirted in 2008. Givens recorded 80 receptions combined during his first two seasons at Wake Forest.
Givens really stepped up in 2011. Givens had 83 receptions, 1,330 receiving yards, and 9 receiving touchdowns for Wake Forest in 2011.
The Titans already have Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Damian Williams, Nate Washington, and Marc Mariani as their top 5 receivers. Givens has the skill set to make an impact as that #6 wide receiver on a depth chart.
Previous Pick Lavonte David Strong Safety Nebraska Senior
83. Cincinnati Bengals 9-7 Chris Owusu Wide Receiver Stanford Senior The Cincinnati Bengals will need a slot receiver to throw to. The Bengals have AJ Green and Jordan Shipley as a secondary target. The Bengals have no slot receiver and will need a secondary target next to AJ Green if Shipley goes down again. Chris Owusu is a 3rd round talent and he fills a need in the 3rd round.
Previous Pick Jeff Allen Left Tackle Illinois Senior
84. Atlanta Falcons 10-6 Matt McCants Left Tackle UAB Senior Redshirt The Atlanta Falcons need a left tackle to replace Sam Baker. Matt McCants provides great value in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
McCants could immediately replace Sam Baker at left tackle. Atlanta could move Baker to right guard.
Previous Pick Casey Heywad Cornerback Vanderbilt Senior
85. Detroit Lions 10-6 Jeff Allen Left Tackle Illinois Senior Jeff Allen was a great pass blocking blindside at Illinois. Allen was a great run blocker for Mikel Leshoure at Illinois as well.
The Lions can draft the best available player Jeff Allen here. Detroit will groom Allen as the left tackle for the future.
Previous Pick Terrell Manning Right Outside Linebacker North Carolina State Junior Redshirt
86. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4 LaMichael James Running Back Oregon Junior Redshirt Joe Long is now considered a day 3 pick due to so many offensive tackles being available in this draft.
One player besides Dont’a Hightower and Amini Silatolu that the Steelers brought in for an individual workout was LaMichael James.
I gave the Steelers Silatolu in round 1 as a run blocking left guard. Art Rooney II wants the Steelers to become more of a run first team.
LaMichael James may be 5 foot 9 185 pounds. James has excellent elusive ability. Many Pittsburgh Sports personalities on local Pittsburgh radio stations see flashes of Barry Sanders with LaMichael James.
Pittsburgh brought James in for an individual workout. James may not be a complete power back. James has mind boggling stats that are simply too impressive to ignore.
In 2009, James came in as a freshman redshirt and filled in for LeGarrette Blount. In 2009, James had 230 carries, 1,546 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. Blount’s play got Oregon to a Rose Bowl where they would lose to an Ohio State team led by sophomore quarterback Terrell Pryor. Ohio State had the more experienced team that day. Ohio State’s run defense held James to 70 rushing yards and no rushing touchdowns on 15 carries.
Oregon would learn from their 2009 season. In 2010 James had 294 carries, 1,731 rushing yards, and 21 rushing touchdowns. James helped Oregon go 12-0 and Oregon would end up facing Cam Newton and Auburn for the 2011 BCS Title before Auburn won the 2011 BCS Title. Auburn’s run defense held James to 13 carries for 49 rushing yards. James would not get a rushing touchdown against Aburun.
In 2011, James came in as a junior redshirt. James struggled in his first two games failing to rush for 100 rushing yards against LSU or Nevada. James had 3 straight games with 200 rushing yards before he got injured for 2 weeks.
James had 20 carries, 146 rushing yards, averaged 7.3 rushing yards per carry, and had 3 rushing touchdowns against an undefeated Stanford team that was on the brink of becoming the #2 ranked team in the BCS. James performance against Stanford helped Oregon achieve a road win that would ruin Stanford’s chances of being a sleeper for the BCS Title game.
James had another big game in the first ever Pac 12 Championship against the UCLA Bruins. James had 25 carries, 219 rushing yards, averaged 8.8 yards per carry, and 3 rushing touchdowns.
James would end his Oregon career with 25 carries, 159 rushing yards, and 1 rushing touchdown against Wisconsin. James would help Oregon in a 45 to 38 Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin after watching Oregon lose bowl games as the teams featured rusher.
I get the feeling that Steelers GM Kevin Colbert and Steelers owner Art Rooney II have these conversations on who to draft in some random top secret bat cave in Pittsburgh. Colbert pitches his concept for who to draft and Rooney goes BRILLIANT like in the Guinness commercials. There really is no other explanation to why this team continues to stockpile great players and get tremendous value with their picks by competing for championships by making the playoffs on a consistent basis.
Previous Pick Joe Long Left Tackle Wayne State Senior Redshirt
87. Denver Broncos 8-8 Casey Heyward Cornerback Vanderbilt Senior The Denver Broncos could use a nickel cornerback behind Champ Bailey and Tracy Porter. Heyward is a great nickel cornerback prospect and the top cornerback available on my draft board.
Previous Pick Marvin McNutt Wide Receiver Iowa Senior Redshirt
88. Philadelphia Eagles from Houston Texans 10-6 Andrew Datko Right Tackle Florida State Senior Andrew Datko has more potential than Zebrie Sanders. Datko is injury prone at offensive tackle.
Previous Pick Mitchell Schwartz Right Tackle California Senior Redshirt
89. New Orleans Saints 13-3 Zebrie Sanders Right Tackle Florida State Senior Zebrie Sanders was once projected to go in the late first round in the eyes of some NFL draft pundits due to the demand for an offensive tackle. I have had Sanders as low as early round 5 and as high as late round 2. The Saints might be getting a steal in round 3 if Zebrie Sanders falls to their lap in the 3rd round.
Previous Pick Tank Carder Right Outside Linebacker TCU Senior Redshirt
90. Green Bay Packers 15-1 Jayron Hosley Cornerback Virginia Tech Junior Jayron Hosley may be undersized. Hosley has sick zone coverage ability and recorded double digit interceptions in 2010. One interception even came against Andrew Luck in a winter scrimmage game.
The Packers have Charles Woodson, Tramon Williams, Jarrett Bush, Sam Shields, and Davon House. The problem is the Packers pass defense was worse in the league. The Green Bay Packers have to bring another cornerback in for competition. Hosley can compete with Bush, Shields, and House for the nickel cornerback job.
91. Baltimore Ravens 12-4 Mitchell Schwartz Right Tackle California Senior Redshirt When Bryant McKennie retires it is likely that Michael Oher will become the blindside once again in Baltimore after rotating back from left tackle to right tackle.
Previous Pick Marvin Jones Wide Receiver California Senior
92. San Francisco 49ers 13-3 Mike Martin Nose Tackle Michigan Senior The 49ers add a 3-4 nose tackle for depth at this spot. Mike Martin is the best available player. Martin would provide 3-4 depth at nose tackle or a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme. Martin is better served as a 3-4 nose tackle for depth.
Previous Pick Chris Givens Wide Receiver Wake Forest Junior Redshirt
93. New England Patriots 13-3 Chandler Jones Left End Syracuse Junior Redshirt Chandler Jones is not a guy I am very high on. Jones is not a double digit sack artist. Jones does provide some versatility as a 4-3 defensive end on either side, a 3-4 defensive end on either side if he bulks up, or a 3-4 outside linebacker on either side. Chandler Jones could go as high as 32 overall to the New York Giants. I got Jones greaded out as a 3rd round prospect.
Jones versatility and run stuffing is making him an intriguing prospect. New England would have the luxury of drafting a 4-3 left end to compete with Jonathan Fanene and Brandon Deadrick at this spot. Maybe the Patriots hit the jackpot with Chandler Jones here.
Previous Pick Dwight Bill Bentley Cornerback Louisiana Lafayette Senior
94. New York Giants 9-7 Dwight Bill Bentley Cornerback Louisiana Lafayette Senior The New York Giants could use a dime cornerback behind Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas, and Prince Amukamara. Bentley is the final player that I got graded out as a 3rd round talent.
Previous Pick Isaiah Pead Running Back Cincinnati Senior
95. Oakland Raiders 8-8 (Compensation Pick) Cordarro Law 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Southern Miss Senior Oakland is switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme. Oakland will need a pass rusher to anchor their 3-4 scheme.
Cordarro Law reminds me of James Harrison coming out of Kent State. Law’s favorite NFL player is Lamaar Woodley. Law gets drafted to be the face of the Oakland Raiders defense.
Instead of representing the Black and Yellow as a developmental pass rusher to groom behind Harrison, Law goes to the Silver and Black where he gets a chance to renew the old Raiders VS Steelers rivalries by trying to be the steal of the 2012 NFL Draft for Oakland.
I have been a huge fan of Cordarro Law. Law is one of my sleepers. Most have Law graded out as a 4th round talent at this point. I decided that Law would be a good fit for a team like Oakland in round 3.
Previous Pick Mike Martin Nose Tackle Michigan Senior
96. St. Louis Rams 2-14 Ryan Steed Cornerback Furman Senior The St. Louis Rams will need a #2 boundary cornerback across from Cortland Finnegan. Ryan Steed is a cornerback I like the more I watch him.
The best way to exploit Ryan Steed is to use wide receivers with speed who excel in the vertical passing game. The Florida Gators exploited this by using speed receivers on Steed.
Previous Pick Travis Lewis Right Outside Linebacker Oklahoma Senior Redshirt
97. Indianapolis Colts 2-14 Brandon Mosley Right Tackle Auburn Senior Brandon Mosley can pass block, run block, or zone block effectively.
In 2010, Mosley played right tackle. Mosley would pass block at right tackle for Cam Newton while run blocking for five star recruit freshman Michael Dyer, backup Onterrio McCalebb, and 2011 NFL Draft prospect Mario Fannin as a 3rd stringer.
In 2010, Michael Dyer had 1,093 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns mainly due to Auburn’s run blocking. Ontarrio McCalebb had 819 rushing yards and 9 rushing touchdowns as a #2 back. Fannin had 395 rushing yards on 61 carries in limited action with 5 rushing touchdowns.
When Cam Newton led Auburn to a National Title, Auburn had a great running game with consistent run blocking and strong depth in the backfield.
In 2011, Auburn lost quarterback Cam Newton and 4 other starters on the offensive line. Mosley had to make the transition to left tackle.
Mosley’s run blocking for Michael Dyer paid off big time as Dyer had 242 carries, 1,242 rushing yards, and 10 rushing touchdowns. Michael Dyer started to showcase character concerns off the field after the departure of quarterback Cam Newton.
When Dyer was on the field, Mosley did a superb job run blocking. Mosley was also a great pass blocker at left tackle.
The Indianapolis Colts would have 2011 first round pick Anthony Costanzo at left tackle, Mike McGlynn at left guard, Samson Satelle at center, and Ben Ijalana a 2011 2nd round pick from Villanova at right guard. The only problem is the Colts need a right tackle instead of Winston Justice now that they moved Ijalana over to right guard on the interior offensive line.
Mosley is the best offensive tackle available in round 4. Mosley makes a ton of sense here for a Colts team that wants to solidify their offensive line to maximize Andrew Luck’s ability over the long haul.
Previous Pick Chris Owusu Wide Receiver Stanford Senior
98. Minnesota Vikings 3-13 DaJohn Harris Defensive Tackle USC Senior Redshirt USC’s two defensive tackles DaJohn Harris and Chris Tupou did a great job aiding Nick Perry when stopping Washington running back Chris Polk. Minnesota only has 3 defensive tackles on their depth chart. Minnesota needs a defensive tackle in round 4.
Previous Pick Terrance Ganaway Running Back Baylor Senior Redshirt
99. Houston Texans Philadelphia Eagles from Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-12 Brandon Washington Right Tackle Miami FL Junior The Houston Texans need a right tackle now that Eric Winston is gone. Why not add another former Hurricane offensive tackle here? Washington is my top graded offensive tackle in round 4.
Previous Pick Jaye Howard 3-4 Right End Florida Senior Redshirt
100. Cleveland Browns 4-12 Brandon Brooks Right Guard Miami Ohio Senior Brandon Brooks has the versatility to play offensive tackle or guard anywhere on the offensive line. Shawn Lauvao needs competition for his right guard job. Lauvoa is promising as a pass blocker, but horrid as a run blocker. There were even plays on tape where a blue chip safety like Troy Polamalu would get right by Lauvao without Lauvao putting up a fight against Polamalu.
Worst case scenario, Brandon Brooks loses out to Lauvao for the Browns right guard job and can be used as a depth player at offensive tackle and guard when injuries occur at both offensive tackle and guard while continuing to add more physical strength to his game while conditioning properly in the weight room.
Best case scenario, Brooks beats out Lauvao for the right guard job and solidifies the right side of Cleveland’s offensive line for the long haul assuming they get Mike Adams. Cleveland already solidified the left side of the offensive line with Joe Thomas at left tackle, Jason Pinkston at left guard, and Alex Mack at center. Now its time for the Browns to patch up the right side of the offensive line.
Previous Pick Ronnell Lewis Left Outside Linebacker Oklahoma Junior
101. Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11 Trevor Guyton Left End California Senior The Jacksonville Jaguars need to find a 4-3 left end that could be used for depth behind Aaron Kampman. Guyton can be a defensive end on either side in a 4-3 or a 3-4 scheme.
Previous Pick Robert Turbin Running Back Utah State Junior Redshirt
102. Washington Redskins 5-11 Audie Cole 3-4 Middle Linebacker North Carolina State Senior Redshirt The Washington Redskins need a 3-4 middle linebacker next to London Fletcher. Audie Cole makes a lot of sense in round 4.
Previous Pick James Michael Johnson 3-4 Middle Linebacker Nevada Senior Redshirt
103. Miami Dolphins 6-10 David Paulson Tight End Oregon Senior Redshirt The Miami Dolphins should draft Texas A&M wide receiver Jeff Fuller. Fuller is a 6 foot 4 220 pound wide receiver. I think Fuller’s ability to handle double teams is really underrated. Fuller can be a crisp route runner. Fuller can jump in the red zone to make a critical play. Texas A&M hated Fuller’s work ethic in 2011 and Mike Sherman was A&M’s HC before joining the Dolphins. Fuller had 72 receptions, 1,066 receiving yards, and 12 receiving touchdowns in 2010 before regressing in terms of production in 2011.
I realize Miami likes Fasano as a #1 tight end. Fasano needs competition though. Now your telling yourself Charles Clay could be an option. Clay was a fullback at Tulsa and that should be his natural position in the NFL. David Paulson can block and get open as a pass catcher. Paulson could be a solid #2 tight end.
The Dolphins will try to do something really dumb by attempting to copy the Patriots with a two tight end set featuring Anthony Fasano and David Paulson. I got a feeling the experiment fails and Jeff Fuller goes on to be a draft steal while Tannehill fails to make ends meet in Miami.
I don’t think Tannehill is a bust. I just think his draft value is way too high. Tannehill is a raw inexperienced quarterback with Joe Flacco, Elvis Grbac, or Rich Gannon type potential at best. Tannehill could get a team to the playoffs maybe even the AFC Championship with the right supporting cast. I cannot see Tannehill playing in a Super Bowl.
I’d rather have Brandon Weeden in round 2, Brock Osweiler in round 3, or Nick Foles in round 4 because I see more long term potential to work with in those quarterbacks than I do with Tannehill.
If any of those 3 quarterbacks have more success than Tannehill then some will debate about whether Tannehill was a draft bust unless he wins a Championship.
104. Carolina Panthers 6-10 Christian Tupou Defensive Tackle USC Senior Redshirt The Panthers need a defensive tackle for depth. The Panthers end up taking Tupou in this mock draft here because I gave Carolina Michael Floyd
Previous Pick Jeff Fuller Wide Receiver Texas A&M Senior
105. Buffalo Bills 6-10 Terrell Manning Right Outside Linebacker North Carolina State Junior Redshirt The Buffalo Bills use this selection to obtain a 4-3 right outside linebacker for depth. Terrell Manning’s value is too good to ignore at this point.
Previous Pick Nigel Bradham Middle Linebacker Florida State Senior
106. Seattle Seahawks 7-9 Jonathan Massaquoi Left End Troy Sophomore Redshirt Chris Clemons has registered 11 sacks with Seattle over the last two seasons. The problem is he will be entering a contract year next season. It would not hurt to bring a 4-3 left end who can learn behind the aging Clemons for a year.
Previous Pick Brock Osweiler Quarterback Arizona State Junior
107. Kansas City Chiefs 7-9 Trumaine Johnson Free Safety Montana Senior Trumaine Johnson would give the Kansas City Chiefs a safety for depth. Johnson is 6 foot 2 215 pounds and can play cornerback or free safety. The Chiefs can use Johnson as a rotational safety behind free safety Kendrick Lewis.
Romeo Crennell loves using 3 safety sets. I saw Crennell unleash the 3 headed safety dragon against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots. Lewis and Berry were both injured last season. Just imagine what the Chiefs could do with Johnson plus those two safeties back.
Previous Pick LaMichael James Running Back Oregon Junior Redshirt
108. Denver Broncos from New York Jets 8-8 Jerron McMillan Strong Safety Montana Senior Jerron McMillan did a good job stepping up on Montana’s defense. McMillan helped Trumaine Johnson anchor Montana’s secondary. McMillan would be a nice sleeper pick to a Denver team that could use some safety depth behind Mike Adams, Rahim Moore, and Quinton Carter in round 4.
Previous Pick Jonathan Massaquoi Left End Troy Sophomore Redshirt
109. Washington Redskins from Oakland Raiders 8-8 James Brown Right Tackle Troy Senior Offensive tackle James Brown has played left tackle for Troy since his sophomore season. Many project Brown as a better fit at right tackle. James Brown could manage to beat out incumbent right tackle Jamaal Brown for Washington’s right tackle job.
Previous Pick Winston Guy Jr. Strong Safety Kentucky Senior
110. San Diego Chargers 8-8 BJ Coleman Quarterback Tennessee Chattanooga Senior Redshirt San Diego released backup quarterback Billy Volek. Charlie Whitehurst struggled in Seattle. Phillip Rivers is 30 years old.
BJ Coleman has elite physical tools. Coleman conducts himself in interviews well with his character. The problem with Coleman at this point is his accuracy. Coleman’s work ethic will define his intangibles and whether Coleman makes it at the next level.
BJ Coleman is the top small school quarterback in this draft and the only quarterback that I got projected as a 4th round talent at this point. Maybe San Diego should add Coleman as a developmental quarterback.
Previous Pick Nick Jean Baptiste Nose Tackle Baylor Senior Redshirt
111. Chicago Bears 8-8 Michael Brewster Center Ohio State Senior The Chicago Bears need a center so they can move Roberto Garza back to right guard. Brewster is the best center available at this point.
Adding Brewster solidifies everywhere on Chicago’s offensive line. Chicago can focus their remaining draft picks on adding youth to the defense.
112. Arizona Cardinals 8-8 Jeff Fuller Wide Receiver Texas A&M Senior Texas A&M wide receiver Jeff Fuller was Ryan Tannehill’s #1 target at Texas A&M.
The 6 foot 4 220 pound wide receiver had 72 receptions, 1,066 receiving yards, and 12 receiving touchdowns as a junior. Tannehill started for A&M during A&M’s final 6 games.
What I find puzzling is that Fuller only had 70 receptions, 828 receiving yards, and 6 receiving touchdowns as as senior. Texas A&M’s coaches are giving Tannehill a hall pass for losing close games and throwing Fuller under the bus for his so called lack of work ethic.
I actually think its quite the opposite. I think Fuller is the pro bowl target that made Tannehill better than he actually is. Fuller can catch, run routes, has speed, good hands, jumps. Fuller commanded double teams to open up the passing game for Texas A&M tight end Nehimiah Hicks and wide receiver Ryan Swope. People want to give Tannehill credit for making the throws. Tannehill having 2 first round offensive tackles and a wide receiver with Fuller’s size getting double teams at 6 foot 4 220 pounds made his job really easy if you think about it.
Fuller has all the tools to be a complete wide receiver. Fuller’s only question is his work ethic. With a complete veteran like Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona, Fitzgerald will make sure to help Fuller prepare and succeed.
Fuller will deliver a Brandon Marshall like impact if he goes to a team like Arizona. Adding Fuller next to Fitzgerald also enables Arizona to move 5 foot 10 190 pound wide receiver Andre Roberts inside to a slot receiver role. Roberts is fast, but had less receptions than 2011 slot receiver Early Doucet.
With Larry Fitzgerald and Jeff Fuller playing wide receiver on the outside you could have Andre Roberts and Early Doucet being utilized as slot receivers on the inside. The Cardinals have Todd Heap, Jeff King, and 2011 3rd round pick Rob Housler at tight end. If the Cardinals draft Stanford left tackle Jonathan Martin at 13 then maybe Kevin Kolb can turn things around for the Cardinals next season.
Previous Pick Keenan Robinson 3-4 Middle Linebacker Texas Senior Redshirt
113. Dallas Cowboys 8-8 Ron Brooks Cornerback LSU Senior Redshirt Ron Brooks was a dime cornerback on LSU’s stacked secondary. Brooks had to play behind Morris Claiborne, 2013 first round prospect Tyrann Mathieu, nickel corner Tharold Simon a 2013 prospect, and Ron Brooks. Last year Brooks was a quarter cornerback.
One of Brooks question marks is that he has no prior experience as a cornerback on the outside and that he always had to cover slot receivers. Brooks has the potential to develop into a #2 boundary cornerback across from a #1 field cornerback.
Dallas has their #1 cornerback with Brandon Carr. Ron Brooks is a project cornerback that could compete with Orlando Scanderick for the nickel role and develop into a #2 boundary cornerback.
Previous Pick Ryan Steed Cornerback Furman Senior
114. Philadelphia Eagles 8-8 DeQuan Menzie Cornerback Alabama Senior DeQuan Menzie may be a dime corner at this stage. Menzie has the potential to develop into a boundary cornerback across from Nnamdi Asomugha in Philadelphia.
Previous Pick Nick Foles Quarterback Arizona Senior Redshirt
115. Tennessee Titans 9-7 David Molk Center Michigan Senior Redshirt The Tennessee Titans need a starting center. There is no guarantee David Molk is a long term answer. David Molk will have great team chemistry with Steve Hutchinson and Leroy Harris on the interior offensive line.
116. Cincinnati Bengals 9-7 Travis Lewis Right Outside Linebacker Oklahoma Senior Redshirt The Bengals need a right outside linebacker now that they traded Keith Rivers to the Giants. Travis Lewis provides good value in round 4 for Cincinnati.
Previous Pick Gerrell Robinson Wide Receiver Arizona State Senior
117. Detroit Lions 10-6 Ronnell Lewis Left Outside Linebacker Oklahoma Junior The Lions tend to go best player available. Ronnell Lewis is a 4-3 left outside linebacker only. Some have Lewis going in the late first early 2nd round. That’s a huge misconception.
Previous Pick Brandon Mosley Right Tackle Auburn Senior
118. Cleveland Browns from Atlanta Falcons 10-6 Delano Howell Free Safety Stanford Senior The Browns need a free safety for depth behind Usama Young now that Mike Adams is gone. Delano Howell a two way safety with the versatility to line up at free safety or strong safety.
Previous Pick Chase Minnifield Cornerback Virginia Senior Redshirt
119. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4 John Cullen Left Tackle Utah Senior John Cullen is a backup left tackle only that could be used for depth behind Marcus Gilbert. The Steelers could take Cullen in as a backup offensive tackle. The Steelers offensive tackle core usually seems to be riddled by injuries each year.
Previous Pick Korey Williams 3-4 Middle Linebacker Southern Miss Senior Redshirt
120. Denver Broncos 8-8 Tony Bergstrom Right Tackle Utah Senior The Broncos need a right tackle for depth behind Orlando Franklin. Tony Bergstrom was Utah’s starting right tackle across from Cullen at Utah.
Orlando Franklin had an impressive rookie campaign. Denver could use some depth behind Franklin at right tackle if some Broncos fans want Franklin to move to left guard or Zane Beadles to right guard. I’ve been objective about Denver’s offensive line, they did a great job protecting Tebow. Some disagree so its understandable if Denver spends a day 3 pick on Bergstrom.
Previous Pick Jared Crick Defensive Tackle Nebraska Senior Redshirt
121. Houston Texans 10-6 Shaun Prater Cornerback Iowa Senior The Houston Texans need a dime cornerback behind Jonathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, and Brandon Harris. Shaun Prater has the ability to develop into a dime cornerback and would make great depth for the Texans at cornerback on day 3 of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Previous Pick Brandon Washington Right Tackle Miami FL Junior
122. New Orleans Saints 13-3 Leonard Johnson Cornerback Iowa State Senior The Saints need a dime cornerback. Leonard Johnson is a quarter cornerback that could develop into a potential boundary cornerback. The Saints need Johnson for depth behind corners like Jabari Greer, Patrick Robinson, and 2011 3rd round pick Johnny Patrick who got torched against the Lions and 49ers wide receivers in the NFL playoffs.
Previous Pick Ron Brooks Cornerback LSU Senior Redshirt
123. Green Bay Packers 15-1 Jaye Howard 3-4 Right End Florida Senior Redshirt The Green Bay Packers will need someone to replace Cullen Jenkins. Jaye Howard is a 3-4 defensive end that can be used for depth.
Previous Pick BJ Coleman Quarterback Tennessee Chattanooga Senior Redshirt
124. Buffalo Bills from Baltimore Ravens 12-4 LaDarius Green Tight End Louisiana Lafayette Senior Adding LaDarius Green as a mid round pick to challenge Scott Chandler for the Bills starting tight end job may not be a bad idea. If things don’t work out the Bills could always consider Tyler Eifert in the 2013 NFL Draft.
125. San Francisco 49ers 13-3 Brandon Lindsey 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker Pittsburgh Senior Redshirt Brandon Lindsey helps San Francisco with a pass rusher for depth. The 49ers have some good pass rushers for their 3-4 scheme. One more would solidify this area for the long haul.
Previous Pick Eddie Whitley Free Safety Virginia Tech Senior
126. New England Patriots 13-3 Chris Polk Running Back Washington Junior Redshirt New England does not need a running back. Its just Chris Polk’s value as a back is way too good to pass on.
Polk can pass block, catch out of the backfield, and has the ball carrier vision. Polk may not have the speed of a Trent Richardson, Lamar Miller, David Wilson, Doug Martin, Bernard Pierce, Isaiah Pead, or LaMichael James.
Polk has one thing that is extremely underrated. That trait is consistency. Polk has had 3 straight seasons of 1,100 rushing yards. In terms of intangibles the best overall rusher after Trent Richardson and their isn’t even a debate about this.
New England does not need Polk after drafting Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen in 2011. They could certainly use Polk to bolster their backfield even more.
Previous Pick Brandon Brooks Right Tackle Miami Ohio Senior
127. New York Giants Robert Turbin Running Back Utah State Junior Redshirt Robert Turbin is considered as one of the better players at running back. Maybe Turbin could provide a Brandon Jacobs like role to the New York Giants in round 4.
I don’t consider Turbin a #1 back. Turbin could be effective as a #2 back. The Giants could really use someone behind Ahmad Bradshaw. Turbin might be the answer.
Previous Pick DeQuan Menzie Cornerback Alabama Senior
128. Minnesota Vikings 3-13 (Compensation Pick) Gerrell Robinson Wide Receiver Arizona State Senior Gerrell Robinson has the talent of a #2 wide receiver and was Brock Osweiler’s favorite target at Arizona State. If Minnesota has Percy Harvin and Stephen Hill as a 2nd round pick then the Vikings can use their offense to spread defenses out.
Minnesota can line Robinson on the outside next to Stephen Hill and move Percy Harvin inside to the slot on some plays. Harvin is a #1 flanker target. Robinson would be better on the outside. If you move Robinson to the inside then he will dominate against nickel cornerbacks.
Previous Pick Juron Criner Wide Receiver Ariziona
129. Oakland Raiders 8-8 (Compensation Pick) James Michael Johnson 3-4 Middle Linebacker Nevada Senior Redshirt Oakland needs a 3-4 middle linebacker next to Rolando McClain. Phillip Wheeler and Aaron Curry are 4-3 outside linebackers that are backups at best in a 3-4 scheme.
Previous Pick Brandon Lindsey 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Pittsburgh Senior Redshirt
130. Baltimore Ravens 12-4 (Compensation Pick) Gino Gradkowski Center Delaware Senior Redshirt Gino Gradkowski is listed as a 6th round talent on most draft boards. The Ravens have Gino Gradkowski graded out as a 4th rounder.
Gino is the little brother of Bruce Gradkowski. Gino can play anywhere on the interior offensive line at left guard, center, or right guard. I feel like Gradkowski would provide an upgrade over both guards Jah Reed and Marshall Yanda. Gradkowski could also be groomed to be the successor to Matt Birk at center on the interior offensive line.
Gradkowski would have one thing in common with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Both attended Delaware.
Previous Pick James Brown Right Tackle Troy Senior
131. New York Giants 9-7 (Compensation Pick) Quentin Saulsberry Left Guard Mississippi State Senior Redshirt Quentin Saulsberry can play anywhere on the interior offensive line at left guard, center, or right guard. Saulsberry could start at left guard or center over their current starters on the Giants interior offensive line.
Previous Pick Nate Potter Left Guard Boise State Senior Redshirt
132. Green Bay Packers 15-1 (Compensation Pick) Ronnie Hillman Running Back San Diego State Sophomore Redshirt Green Bay adds San Diego State rusher Ronnie Hillman to their backfield. Before Ronnie Hillman was a all pro rusher for the San Diego State Aztecs he was a waiter at Applebees. Hillman reminds many of a young Marshall Faulk.
Hillman is 5 foot 10 190 pounds. Hillman had 262 carries, 1,532 rushing yards, and 17 rushing touchdowns as a freshman redshirt in 2010. In 2011, Hillman had 311 carries, 1,711 rushing yards, and 19 rushing touchdowns for San Diego State.
James Starks is an injury prone back who struggles to catch passes out of the backfield. Brandon Saine was undrafted and Alex Green has no business seeing the field as he got drafted way too early in the 2011 NFL Draft. Brandon Saine who went undrafted had a greater impact.
Previous Pick Bobby Rainey Running Back Western Kentucky Senior Redshirt
133. Green Bay Packers 15-1 (Compensation Pick) Will Blackwell Left Guard LSU Senior Redshirt Evan Dietrich Smith has absolutely no business starting at left guard if TJ Lang goes down. Will Blackwell can start at guard on either side if injuries occur.
Kelemete was a pass blocker for Jake Locker and a run blocker for Chris Polk. Adding Kelemete as a left guard behind TJ Lang could give the Green Bay Packers some much needed depth on the interior offensive line.
Previous Pick Senio Kelemete Left Guard Washington Senior
134. Minnesota Vikings 3-13 (Compensation Pick) Jamell Flemming Cornerback Oklahoma Senior Redshirt The Vikings like players from Oklahoma. Flemming could come on as a #6 corner and battle Brandon Burton for that #5 quarter cornerback spot on the Vikings depth chart. Flemming is my top ranked cornerback available. I got Flemming listed as a 4th round talent.
Previous Pick Marcus Forston Defensive Tackle Junior Redshirt
135. Dallas Cowboys 8-8 (Compensation Pick) Kheeston Randle 3-4 Left End Texas Senior There was a point where Kheeston Randle was considered a first round prospect for the 2012 NFL Draft. Randle had great junior tape. Randle has the versatility to be a 4-3 defensive tackle, a 3-4 nose tackle, or a 3-4 defensive end.
Randle is better at using finesse swim moves than he is at using power bull rush moves when attacking opposing offensive lineman. There were plays on tape where Randle commanded triple teams from all 3 interior offensive lineman.
Dontari Poe fatigues easily even though he has massive speed and power bull rush moves that he can use to pass rush while wearing down opposing offensive lineman. Randle’s game as a defensive lineman perfectly compliments Poe’s game as a defensive lineman.
Dallas could use a player like Randle on their 3-4 defensive line. Dallas could start Randle in a depth role and work him into a starter over time.
Previous Pick Tony Bergstrom Right Tackle Utah Senior
136. Indianapolis Colts 2-14 Juron Criner Wide Receiver Arizona Senior The Indianapolis Colts need a wide receiver for depth. Juron Criner is 6 foot 4 215 pounds. Criner hauled in 82 receptions, 1,233 receiving yards, and 11 receiving touchdowns as a junior when being Nick Foles #1 target in 2010.
In 2011, Criner had 75 receptions,956 receiving yards, and 11 receiving touchdowns. Criner still dominated at Arizona. Criner’s numbers were better in 2010 though.
Criner showcased excellent route running, hands, and jumping ability in Mobile, Alabama for the 2012 Senior Bowl. Criner is a #4 receiver for depth at this point in terms of NFL talent that may have late round value as a potential starter.
Previous Pick Keith Tandy Cornerback West Virginia Senior Redshirt
137. Denver Broncos from St.Louis Rams 2-14 Terrance Ganaway Running Back Baylor Senior Redshirt Ganaway is a 6 foot 240 pound bruiser for the Baylor Bears. Ganaway had 250 carries, 1,547 rushing yards, and 21 rushing touchdowns.
Ganaway has the talent to compete with Knowshon Moreno to be a #2 back in Denver’s backfield behind Willis McGahee.
Previous Pick Daniel “Boom” Herron Running Back Ohio State Senior Redshirt
138. Minnesota Vikings 3-13 Tauren Poole Running Back Tennessee Senior Tauren Poole went from having 204 carries, 1,034 rushing yards, and 11 rushing touchdowns as a junior to having 187 carries, 693 carries, and 5 rushing touchdowns as a senior. Poole may have been taken before this spot if he declared as a junior.
Previous Pick Micanor Regis Defesnive Tackle Miami Fl Senior
139. Cleveland Browns 4-12 Keenan Robinson Right Outside Linebacker Texas Senior Redshirt The Browns have effective starting linebackers when all 3 linebackers are healthy. Cleveland needs depth players behind those starters. Keenan Robinson is a extremely underrated player. Robinson is a player with flashes of 2nd-3rd round talent that could slip through the cracks and fall to round 5.
Previous Pick Ryan Miller Right Guard Colorado Senior Redshirt
140. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-12 Bradie Ewing Fullback Wisconsin Senior Bradie Ewing may be the best fullback I’ve seen since Mike Alstott. Earnest Graham turns 32 years old. Ewing is a great value pick.
Tampa Bay’s offensive line coach coached the running backs, fullbacks, tight ends, and offensive line at Wisconsin from 2006-2011. Those areas are usually Wisconsin’s strengths.
141. Washington Redskins 5-11 Asa Jackson Cornerback Cal Poly Senior Asa Jackson is just your same old same old small school corner that goes from being an undrafted pick to a mid round pick for a monster 40 time. The Redskins need a quarter corner as a #5 corner on their depth chart. Maybe the Redskins will take Asa Jackson.
Previous Pick Lucas Nix Right Tackle Pittsburgh Senior
142. Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11 Cyrus Gray Running Back Texas A&M Senior In 2010, Gray broke out. Gray filled in for the injured Christine Michael in Texas A&M’s backfield. Gray had 200 carries, 1,133 rushing yards, and 12 rushing touchdowns.
Cyrus Gray had 198 carries, 1,045 rushing yards, and 12 rushing touchdowns in limited action as a senior in 2011. Cyrus Gray running the football at A&M really made Tannehill’s job at quarterback a lot easier.
Previous Pick Russell Wilson Quarterback Wisconsin Senior Redshirt
143. Carolina Panthers 6-10 DeAngelo Peterson Tight End LSU Senior The Panthers need a #2 tight end next to Greg Olsen. DeAngelo Peterson could be a sleeper at tight end in this draft class.
Previous Pick Shaun Prater Cornerback Iowa Senior
144. Buffalo Bills 6-10 Emmanuel Acho Left Outside Linebacker Texas Senior Emmanuel Acho provides great depth on the strong side at 4-3 left outside linebacker behind Chris Kelsay.
Acho was used as a 4-3 left outside linebacker at Texas. Emmanuel Acho is the little brother of Arizona Cardinals pass rusher Sam Acho.
Previous Pick Leonard Johnson Cornerback Iowa State Senior
145. Miami Dolphins 6-10 AJ Jenkins Wide Receiver Illinois Senior AJ Jenkins is not a #1 receiver in my eyes in terms of overall talent. Jenkins is the top receiver on the board though. Lots of people are generating the impression that AJ Jenkins is a top 100 pick.
Jenkins is best suited as a #4 receiver on a depth chart. Miami can add Jenkins for depth behind Brian Hartline and Davone Bess. Jenkins would give Brian Hartline competition for that #4 wide receiver job.
In 2011, Jenkins had 90 receptions, 1,276 receiving yards, and 8 receiving touchdowns. AJ Jenkins would give Miami some short term depth at wide receiver.
146. Kansas City Chiefs 7-9 Bruce Irvin 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker West Virginia Senior As a junior Bruce Irvin was a sack artist at West Virginia. Irvin struggled as a senior. Many are generating the impression that Irvin is a 3-4 only player.
Bruce Irvin would make a great fit in Kansas City. Irvin could start out as a 3-4 left outside linebacker for depth behind Justin Houston. Over time, Irvin could surpass Houston as the Chiefs starting pass rusher if he puts the work in.
147. Buffalo Bills from Seattle Seahawks 7-9 Nigel Bradham Middle Linebacker Florida State Senior When Green Bay won Super Bowl 45, Nick Barnett was on injured reserve. Barnett stayed healthy this year. Buffalo is switching from a 3-4 scheme to a 4-3 scheme. The Bills have the luxury of taking 4-3 linebackers for depth in the later rounds after addressing most of their needs.
Previous Pick Emmanuel Acho Left Outside Linebacker Texas Senior
148. Oakland Raiders 8-8 Orson Charles Tight End Georgia Junior I was never really that high on Orson Charles. As the season progressed Charles has moved down on draft boards. Charles struggled at the NFL Combine and did poorly at his pro day.
The Oakland Raiders need a tight end. Orson Charles seems like the kind of tight end that would fascinate the Raiders with his hands and ability to stretch the field as a playmaker.
Previous Pick Johnnie Troutman Left Guard Penn State Senior
149. San Diego Chargers 8-8 Ryan Broyles Wide Receiver Oklahoma Senior Redshirt Ryan Broyles may be a #5 wide receiver in terms of overall talent. Broyles is a surgeon when it comes to route running. A team like the San Diego Chargers could be intrigued by Broyles route running in the later rounds. San Diego may look past Broyle’s durability concerns at this stage in round 5.
Previous Pick Frank Alexander 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Oklahoma Senior
150. Chicago Bears 8-8 Joe Suhey Fullback Penn State Senior Redshirt Matt Suhey got to block for Walter Payton in Chicago. Now Matt’s son Joe, gets to do the same for Matt Forte.
151. Arizona Cardinals 8-8 Josh Kaddu 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker Oregon Senior Josh Kaddu would be much better as a 4-3 left outside linebacker. Kaddu has the versatility to be a 3-4 left outside linebacker. I think a team could be getting a Chris Kelsay or Rob Ninkovich type player with Kaddu’s versatility. Kaddu posted great numbers with generating sacks so if Kaddu shows leadership like those other veterans at linebacker then Kaddu could become a late round diamond in the rough.
Previous Pick Donte Paige Moss 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker North Carolina Junior
152. Dallas Cowboys 8-8 T.Y. Hilton Wide Receiver Florida International Senior T.Y. Hilton is a good depth receiver that can play some special teams. Hilton can compete with 2011 draft pick Dwayne Harris for a roster spot.
Previous Pick Kheeston Randle 3-4 Left End Texas Senior
153. Philadelphia Eagles 8-8 Garth Gerhart Center Arizona State Senior Redshirt Garth Gerhart is the brother of Vikings rusher Toby Gerhart. The Eagles could spend a day 3 pick on a center upgrade.
Previous Pick Quentin Saulsberry Center Mississippi State Senior Redshirt
154. New York Jets 8-8 Jerrell Young Free Safety South Florida Senior Redshirt Jerrell Young has done a great job succeeding 2010 2nd round pick Nate Allen at South Florida. Young is slowly working up draft boards making a case to get drafted this April.
Previous Pick Trumaine Johnson Free Safety Montana Senior
155. Tennessee Titans 9-7 Sean Richardson Strong Safety Vanderbilt Senior Sean Richardson is a very underrated strong safety that compensated for Casey Heyward. Richardson could go as early as round 3 and rival Casey Heyward to be the top secondary player drafted. Richardson could also easily fall to the 7th round.
The Titans only need left here by process of elimination is strong safety depth. Richardson is the best player available so he joins the Titans.
Previous Pick Jermaine Kearse Wide Receiver Washington Senior
156. Cincinnati Bengals 9-7 Chase Minnifield Cornerback Virginia Senior Redshirt Chase Minnifield is the son of former Browns pro bowl corner Frank Minnifield. The Bengals may not have Leon Hall as their #1 field cornerback for 2012. Nate Clements, Jason Allen, Terrence Newman, Pacman Jones, and Brandon Ghee are not acceptable options for a #1 field cornerback that will have to cover Pittsburgh and Baltimore’s offense twice a year.
Minnifield is getting knocked for his size and durability concerns which cause Minnifield to slip to 156. Minnifield provides great value late at this point.
Previous Pick Will Blackwell Right Guard LSU Senior
157. Atlanta Falcons 10-6 Rhett Ellison Tight End USC Senior Rhett Ellison a senior tight end from USC. Ellison could sit behind Tony Gonzalez for a year and eventually succeed Gonzalez in Atlanta.
Previous Pick DeAngelo Peterson Tight End LSU Senior
158. Detroit Lions 10-6 Grant Garner Center Oklahoma State Senior Redshirt Grant Garner was a center who snapped the football to Brandon Weeden in a shotgun spread offense. Adapting to a pro style offense while sitting behind aging veteran Dominic Raiola may help Garner develop into Detroit’s eventual successor at center.
Previous Pick Orson Charles Tight End Georgia Junior
159. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4 Keith Tandy Cornerback West Virginia Senior Redshirt With William Gay’s departure, Pittsburgh needs a new #2 boundary cornerback. Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown are both nickel cornerbacks at best. The problem is the Steelers have faith in Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown. A dime corner for depth behind these two needs to be brought in during the 5th round for a year if you want to play the waiting game by hoping for Allen, Brown, or your dime cornerback to develop.
Pittsburgh brought in West Virginia dime cornerback Keith Tandy for a workout. Tandy would make a lot of sense for Pittsburgh here.
Previous Pick Charles Brown Cornerback North Carolina Senior
160. Cleveland Browns from Denver Broncos 8-8 Chris Galippo Middle Linebacker USC Senior Redshirt Chris Galippo can play linebacker pretty much anywhere in a 4-3 scheme. Cleveland needs linebacker depth pretty much everywhere in their 4-3 scheme. I gave the Browns Keenan Robinson earlier in round 5.
161. Houston Texans 8-8 Jordan White Wide Receiver Western Michigan Senior Redshirt Jordan White is the best available player at this point. White is a 4th round talent that provides a major bargain in round 5. White weighs 6 foot 215 pounds. White recorded 140 receptions, 1,911 receiving yards, and 17 receiving touchdowns in 2011.
In 2010, White had 94 receptions, 1,378 receiving yards, and 10 receiving touchdowns. Jordan White reminds many of a young Greg Jennings.
Previous Pick Omar Bolden Cornerback Arizona State Senior Redshirt
162. New Orleans Saints 13-3 Sean Cattouse Strong Safety California Senior Redshirt The New Orleans Saints need a strong safety for depth behind Roman Harper. Sean Cattouse provides solid value for the Saints at this point.
163. Green Bay Packers 15-1 Russell Wilson Quarterback Wisconsin Senior Redshirt Green Bay needs a backup to Aaron Rodgers. Wilson threw 33 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on a Wisconsin team with a better completion percentage than Andrew Luck.
If Wilson were 6 foot 2 or 6 foot 3 Wilson’s name would probably be penciled into Cleveland at #4 ahead of Ryan Tannehill. Wilson played in some pro style plays.
Wilson has some great zip and accuracy when you watch him release the football. Wilson only weighs 5 foot 11. Green Bay’s hometown prospect from the state of Wisconsin will make a great Charlie Batch type backup to Aaron Rodgers thanks to the departure of Matt Flynn. To be honest, I like Russell Wilson as a potential NFL starter one day a lot more than I would Matt Flynn.
Previous Pick Ronnie Hillman Running Back San Diego State Sophomore Redshirt
164. Baltimore Ravens 12-4 Nate Potter Right Guard Boise State Senior Redshirt Nate Potter is capable of playing offensive tackle on either side. Potter is better suited as a guard at the next level due to his short arms and inability to execute as a run blocker. Potter is a mirror like wall when pass blocking. Right now, Nate Potter looks like a backup at best. I could see Nate Potter beating out current left guards Jah Reed and Justin Boren for Balitmore’s left guard job. Here is how Balitmore’s offensive line looks. If Potter does not win the left guard job expect the Ravens to use Potter as a depth player at right guard behind Marshall Yanda on the depth chart.
Left Tackle Bryant McKennie and backup Michael Oher
Left Guard Jah Reed and backup Justin Boren
Center Matt Birk and backup Gino Gradkowski
Right Guard Marshall Yanda and backup Nate Potter
Right Tackle Michael Oher and backup Mitchell Schwartz
Previous Pick Garth Gerhart Center Arizona State Senior Redshirt
165. San Francisco 49ers 13-3 Jared Crick 3-4 Right End Nebraska Senior Redshirt The 49ers need depth behind Justin Smith and Ray McDonald. Jared Crick could thrive in a 3-4 scheme. The 49ers could add a 3-4 defensive end like Jared Crick here with a late round pick.
Previous Pick Jack Crawford 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Penn State Senior
166. Cincinnati Bengals from New England Patriots 13-3 Ryan Lindley Quarterback San Diego State Senior Redshirt The Bengals could use a backup behind Andy Dalton. Ryan Lindley is a 5th round talent at quarterback. Lindley struggled in 2011 without Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson. I could see Lindley developing into a solid starter with playmakers like AJ Green and Jermaine Gresham to work with.
167. Cincinnati Bengals from New York Giants 9-7 Senio Kelemete Right Tackle Washington Senior Kelemete was an average left tackle for Jake Locker in pass protection and outstanding as a run blocker for Chris Polk. Kelemete has the versatility to play on either side at offensive tackle or guard at the next level. The Bengals were active with guards in free agency. I feel like the Bengals could use Kelemete as a rotational right tackle when 340 pound right tackle Andre Smith fatigues.
Previous PIck Matt Reynolds Left Tackle BYU Senior Redshirt
168. Oakland Raiders 8-8 (Compensation Pick) Lucas Nix Left Guard Pittsburgh Senior Lucas Nix has displayed an outstanding work ethic. He went from a right guard competing for a starting job to a left tackle by midseason with the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Oakland moved veteran right guard Cooper Carlisle to left guard and overpaid the Texans starting right guard 20 million for 5 years when he had trouble winning the Texans right guard job in training camp. Its beyond evident that the Raiders need depth at guard.
Previous Pick Jerry Franklin 3-4 Middle Linebacker Arkansas Senior Redshirt
169. Baltimore Ravens 12-4 (Compensation Pick) Tim Benford Wide Rceiver Tennessee Tech Senior The Ravens need one more receiver to compete with Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin, and David Reed. Benford could be a solid option at this point. Benford is considered one of the more underrated small school wide receivers.
Previous Pick Ryan Broyles Wide Receiver Oklahoma Senior Redshirt
170. Indianpolis Colts 2-14 (Compensation Pick) Vontaze Burfict 3-4 Middle Linebacker Arizona State Junior Vontaze Burfict is still on the board at the end of round 5. The Colts need a starter at 3-4 middle linebacker across from Pat Angerer.
Previous Pick Mike Ryan Right Tackle Connecticut Senior Redshirt
171. St. Louis Rams 2-14 Johnnie Troutman Left Guard Penn State Senior The Rams need a starting left guard. Troutman is the best player on the board in round 6.
Previous Pick Brandon Taylor Strong Safety LSU Senior
172. Philadelphia Eagles from Indianapolis Colts 2-14 Jarius Wright Wide Receiver Arkansas Senior Jarius Wright is the only player left that could be considered a 4th round talent. Wright hauled in 66 receptions, 1,117 receiving yards, and 12 receiving touchdowns in 2011. Jarius Wright provides amazing value at this juncture.
Previous Pick Micah Pellerin Cornerback Hampton Senior Redshirt
173. Washington Redskins from Minnesota Vikings 3-13 Nick Jean Baptiste Nose Tackle Baylor Senior Redshirt The Redskins need a nose tackle to rotate in their lineup. Nick Jean Baptiste provides amazing value at this point in round 6. Baptiste could start for Barry Cofield if Cofield gets injured.
Previous Pick CHigbo Anunoby Nose Tackle Morehouse Senior Redshirt
174. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-12 Dale Moss Wide Receiver South Dakota State Senior Dale Moss is a huge sleeper wide receiver prospect. Moss has the size, hands, and unique ability to emerge from Tampa Bay’s receiving core as a potential start. Moss is 6 foot 3 213 pounds. Moss is a former basketball player and has the speed to translate to the next level.
Previous Pick T.Y. Hilton Wide Receiver Florida International Senior
175. Cleveland Browns 4-12 Nathan Stupar Left Outside Linebacker Penn State Senior Redshirt Nathan Stupar is a left outside linebacker from Penn State. Stupar makes tons of sense for the Cleveland Browns atop of round 6.
Previous Pick Vontaze Burfict Middle Linebacker Arizona State Junior
176. Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11 Case Keenum Quarterback Houston Senior Redshirt The Jaguars will need a 3rd stringer for depth behind Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne. Houston Cougars quarterback Case Keenum could be a 6th round addition that the Jaguars desperately need.
Keenum got injured in 2010. In 2008, 2009, and 2011 Keenum managed to throw for 5,000 passing yards or more in each season. Keenum should have graduated last year. Keenum was granted a medical redshirt so he got a 6th year and a 5th year as a starter due to this technicality. The 24 year old signal caller makes a good late round flyer at this state.
Previous Pick Aaron Henry Free Safety Wisconsin Senior Redshirt
177. Arizona Cardinals from Washington Redskins 5-11 Billy Winn 3-4 Left End Boise State Senior Redshirt The Arizona Cardinals need a 3-4 left end. Billy Winn would provide good depth behind Darnell Dockett in the late rounds.
Previous Pick DeAngelo Tyson 3-4 Left End Georgia Senior
178. Buffalo Bills 6-10 Brandon Boykin Cornerback Georgia Senior The Buffalo Bills could use a quarter cornerback. Brandon Boykin provides great value in round 6. The Bills would have one more corner to use for depth with this selection.
Previous Pick Jordan White Wide Receiver Western Michigan Senior Redshirt
179. New Orleans Saints from Miami Dolphins 6-10 William Vlachos Center Alabama Senior Redshirt The New Orleans Saints will need a center. Vlachos is the top center prospect available in round 6. Vlachos seems to make the most sense in the 6th round.
Previous Pick Josh Oglesby Right Tackle Wisconsin Senior Redshirt
180. Carolina Panthers 6-10 Tyrone Crawford Left End Boise State Senior Tyrone Crawford is a 4-3 left end who would provide great depth. Crawford is a 5th round talent so he provides a bargain at this point.
181. Seattle Seahawks 7-9 Marcus Forston Defensive Tackle Miami FL Junior Redshirt The Seattle Seahawks could use a 4-3 defensive tackle for depth behind Alan Branch and Jason Jones. Forston is the best 4-3 defensive tackle available worth taking a flyer on in the late rounds. Forston could become an effective rotational defense.
Previous Pick Cyrus Gray Running Back Texas A&M Senior
182. Kansas City Chiefs 7-9 Chigbo Anunoby Nose Tackle Morehouse Senior Ghigbo Anunoby can battle with Amon Gordon and Jerrell Powe for the Chiefs nose tackle job.
Previous Pick Antoine McClain Right Guard Clemson Senior
183. San Diego Chargers 8-8 Miles Burris 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker San Diego State Senior Redshirt The Chargers need a pass rusher on the right side. Neither Jarrett Johnson or Larry English is a long term answer. Miles Burris has the versatility to be a 4-3 right outside linebacker or a 3-4 right outside linebacker.
Previous Pick Donnie Fletcher Cornerback Boston College Senior
184. Chicago Bears 8-8 Dwight Jones Wide Receiver North Carolina Senior The Chicago Bears could use a #2 secondary wide receiver next to Brandon Marshall. Dwight Jones can develop into a secondary target down the line if Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox both struggle in Chicago this season.
Previous Pick Antonio Allen Free Safety South Carolina Senior
185. Arizona Cardinals 8-8 Omar Bolden Cornerback Arizona State Senior Omar Bolden could be an upgrade over William Gay and Greg Toler as a #2 boundary cornerback. Arizona is a team that likes Bolden. Ironically I got Bolden graded out as my top ranked cornerback.
Previous Pick Case Keenum Quarterback Houston Senior Redshirt
186. Dallas Cowboys 8-8 Evan Rodriquez Tight End Temple Senior Redshirt The Dallas Cowboys need a 2nd tight end next to Jason Witten now that Martellus Bennett is gone. Evan Rodriquez is the top tight end available in round 6.
Previous Pick Tim Benford Wide Receiver Tennessee Tech Senior
187. New York Jets from Philadelphia Eagles 8-8 Tony Jerod Eddie 3-4 Left End Texas A&M Senior The New York Jets need a 3-4 left end. Tony Jerod Eddie is the top 3-4 left end available.
Previous Pick Landon Walker Right Tackle Clemosn Senior Redshirt
188. Denver Broncos from New York Jets 8-8 Joel Foreman Left Guard Michigan State Senior Redshirt Denver may add a left guard for depth behind Zane Beadles. Joel Foreman is a late round left guard from Michigan State that I could see developing into a sleeper. Foreman pass blocked for quarterback Kirk Cousins and run blocked for Edwin Baker on Michigan State.
189. Oakland Raiders 8-8 Josh Oglesby Right Tackle Wisconsin Senior Redshirt Oakland could find a right tackle in the late rounds to challenge Joseph Barksdale for a roster spot on Oakland’s offensive line. Oakland seems unsatisfied with Barksdale’s progression so far this offseason.
Previous PIck Evan Rodriquez Tight End Temple Senior Redshirt
190. Tennessee Titans 9-7 Micah Pellerin Cornerback Hampton Senior Redshirt The Tennessee Titans could use a dime cornerback for depth. Pellerin is the top ranked cornerback available.
Previous Pick RJ Blanton Cornerback Notre Dame Senior
191. Cincinnati Bengals 9-7 Jake Bequette Left End Arkansas Senior Redshirt Jake Bequette is a backup 4-3 left end at best. Cincinnati could spend a late round pick on the 5th round talent here hoping to bring in a long term asset at 4-3 left end.
192. Atlanta Falcons 10-6 Daniel “Boom” Herron Running Back Ohio State Senior Redshirt Daniel “Boom” Herron has the ability to replace Michael Turner, Jason Snelling, and Jacquizz Rodgers long term in Atlanta. Can Herron stay out of trouble and produce on a consistent basis? Those are two big questions that Herron will need to address if he plans on succeeding long term in Atlanta.
Previous Pick Nathan Stupar Left Outside Linebacker Penn State Senior Redshirt
193. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4 Jerrell Harris 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Alabama Senior Jerrell Harris is a 3-4 outside linebacker. Harris is an all pro at run stopping and playing zone coverage. The one thing Harris cannot do is pass rush well.
Harris’s teammate Courtney Upshaw is a 3-4 linebacker that can play anywhere in the 3-4. Upshaw has the size of a 4-3 defensive end and people want to assume that Upshaw is a better natural pass rusher.
At the end of the day it really would not surprise me if Upshaw ended up being an NFL draft bust while Jerrell Harris developed into an all pro pass rusher if a team like the Pittsburgh Steelers took Jerrell Harris in the 6th round to coach up his pass rushing ability.
The Steelers recently brought in pass rusher Jerrell Harris and dime cornerback Keith Tandy for workouts. Harris is my top pass rusher on the draft board at this point so I got to believe Pittsburgh takes Jerrell Harris.
194. Philadelphia Eagles frorm Denver Broncos 8-8 Eddie Whitley Free Safety Virginia Tech Senior The Philadelphia Eagles could use a free safety for depth. Virginia Tech’s Eddie Whitley is a bargain at this point.
Previous Pick Jarius Wright Wide Receiver Arkansas Senior
195. Houston Texans 10-6 Chad Diehl Fullback Clemson Senior Redshirt The Texans will need a fullback. Chad Diehl is the top fullback available at this stage.
196. Miami Dolphins from New Orleans Saints 13-3 Danny Trevathan Right Outside Linebacker Kentucky Senior The Miami Dolphins need 4-3 linebackers for depth. Danny Trevathan was a very effective 4-3 right outside linebacker playing the weak side for Kentucky. I realize Miami brought in Gary Guyton. Danny Trevathan’s value is too good to pass up on.
197. Green Bay Packers 15-1 Phillip Blake Center Baylor Senior The Green Bay Packers need a center for depth behind Jeff Saturday. Phillip Blake has the ability to succeed Jeff Saturday at center in Green Bay.
Previous Pick Grant Garner Center Oklahoma State Senior Redshirt
198. Baltimore Ravens 12-4 Austin Davis Quarterback Southern Miss Senior Redshirt The Ravens need a backup for depth behind Joe Flacco. I am not completely sold on Virginia Tech’s Tyrod Taylor as that player yet.
Austin Davis broke all of Brett Favre’s records at Southern Miss. The Ravens scouts spoke extensively with Davis during the East West Shrine Game. Davis could realistically go to Baltimore here.
199. San Francisco 49ers 13-3 Aaron Henry Free Safety Wisconsin Senior Redshirt The 49ers need a free safety for depth. Aaron Henry was the featured player on a Wisconsin secondary that ranked 4th in the nation in pass defense. Henry is equipped to be selected at some point in round 6.
Previous Pick Billy Winn 3-4 Left End Boise State Senior Redshirt
200. Philadelphia Eagles from New England Patriots 13-3 Neiko Thorpe Free Safety Senior The Philadelphia Eagles could use a free safety for depth behind Nate Allen. Neiko Thorpe is the top graded free safety at this point. Thorpe was the only Auburn senior on a very young and inexperienced Auburn defense last season.
201. New York Giants 9-7 Trenton Robinson Free Safety Michigan State Senior Trenton Robinson impressed some teams at his Michigan State pro day. There is no question that the Giants need a free safety for depth behind Antrel Rolle. The Giants may decide just to add Trenton Robinson for depth here knowing that Robinson is the final free safety that provides 6th round value.
202. New York Jets 8-8 (Compensation Pick) Jack Crawford 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Penn State Senior The Jets add a 3-4 right outside linebacker for depth behind Courtney Upshaw in the late rounds in case Upshaw struggles to translate to a 3-4 scheme at right outside linebacker.
Previous Pick William Vlachos Center Alabama Senior Redshirt
203. New York Jets 8-8 (Compensation Pick) Darius Fleming 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker Notre Dame Senior Darius Fleming would provide an upgrade at 3-4 left outside linebacker over Bryan Thomas. Fleming is my top graded pass rusher at this stage of the 2012 NFL Draft.
204. Cleveland Browns 4-12 (Compensation Pick) Micanor Regis Defensive Tackle Miami FL Senior The Browns add a defensive tackle for depth in round 6. Regis provides good value at this juncture.
Previous Pick Logan Harrell Defensive Tackle Fresno State Senior
205. Cleveland Browns 4-12 (Compensation Pick) Donnie Fletcher Cornerback Boston College Senior Donnie Fletcher could compete with Buster Skyrne and Dimitri Patterson for the nickel cornerback role on Cleveland’s depth chart. Fletcher is the best available cornerback at this stage.
Previous Pick Jacquies Smith Left End Missouri Senior
206. Indianapolis Colts 2-14 (Compensation Pick) Derek Wolfe 3-4 Right End Cincinnati Senior The Colts may need a 3-4 right end for depth behind Drake Nevis. Derek Wolfe provides good value as a 3-4 right end at the end of the 6th round.
Previous Pick Trevor Guyton 3-4 Right End California Senior
207. Carolina Panthers 6-10 (Compensation Pick) Donald Stephenson Left Tackle Oklahoma Senior Redshirt The Panthers use this late round pick to add a developmental left tackle for depth. Donald Stephenson was a very underrated blindside for Landry Jones. Stephenson ran the fastest 40 time among the offensive tackles at the 2012 NFL Combine.
Previous Pick Miles Burris Right Outside Linebacker San Diego State Senior Redshirt
208. Indianapolis Colts 2-14 Cameron Chism Cornerback Maryland Senior The Indianapolis Colts need a #1 field cornerback. The problem is they may not find one. The Colts may have to make ends meet with Kevin Thomas, Jerraud Powers, and Chris Culliver for one more season.
Cameron Chism covered Torrey Smith at Maryland. Chism makes a lot of sense for the Colts in round 7 as a #1 field cornerback. Chism would help bolster the Colts secondary as a #1 corner with the other 3 corners battling for a starting boundary cornerback role.
Previous Pick Tony Jerod Eddie 3-4 Left End Texas A&M Senior
209. St. Louis Rams 2-14 Davin Meggett Running Back Maryland Senior The Rams need a #2 back to pair up with Steven Jackson. Davin Meggett could be a sleeper in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Previous Pick Blake Gideon Free Safety Texas Senior
210. Minnesota Vikings 3-13 Kyle Wilber Right Outside Linebacker Wake Forest Senior Redshirt The Vikings can use this pick on a backup right outside linebacker to obtain a right outside linebacker for depth.
Previous Pick Sean Richardson Strong Safety Vanderbilt Senior
211. Cleveland Browns 4-12 Will Ebner Middle Linebacker Missouri Senior The Browns add one more middle linebacker for depth. Will Ebner is the top middle linebacker available.
Previous Pick Renard Washington Defensive Tackle Eastern Washington Senior
212. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-12 Marcus Dowtin Middle Linebacker Northern Alabama Senior Marcus Dowtin is a middle linebacker who can play in the 4-3 or the 3-4 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Adding Dowtin as Tampa Bay’s middle linebacker and moving Mason Foster to left outside linebacker makes too much sense for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
213. Washington Redskins 5-11 Frank Alexander 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Oklahoma Senior The Washington Redskins could use a 3-4 pass rusher for depth behind Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan. Alexander is the top pass rusher available in round 7.
Previous Pick Adrian Robinson 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Temple Senior
214. Indianapolis Colts from New York Jets via Jacksonville Jaguars 5-11 Phelon Jones Cornerback Alabama Senior Redshirt Phelon Jones may be a quarter cornerback at this point. Jones has the skill set to develop into a starter surpassing Chris Culliver, Jarraud Powers, and Kevin Thomas on the Colts depth chart.
Previous Pick Jameel Flemming Cornerback Oklahoma Senior Redshirt
215. Miami Dolphins 6-10 Matt Reynolds Right Tackle BYU Senior Redshirt The Miami Dolphins will need a right tackle. Marc Colombo had no business starting last season. Lydon Murtha and Artis Hicks really do not solve this problem up front on the offensive line.
Previous Pick Will Ebner Middle Linebacker Missouri Senior
216. Carolina Panthers 6-10 Tyler Nielsen Left Outside Linebacker Iowa Senior Redshirt The Panthers obtain Nielsen to give their team another 4-3 left outside linebacker for depth. Nielsen is the top outside linebacker available.
217. Buffalo Bills 6-10 Ryan Miller Right Guard Colorado Senior Redshirt The Bills draft a right guard with 6th round talent at this point in round 7. Ryan Miller is the top right guard available at this point.
Previous Pick Dwight Jones Wide Receiver North Carolina Senior
218. Kansas City Chiefs 7-9 Marc Tyler Running Back USC Senior Redshirt The Chiefs add a 3rd rusher to the depth chart behind Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis in the late rounds. Marc Tyler is the top running back available at this point. Tyler has the skill set to be a #2 back if either Charles or Hillis goes down with an injury.
Previous Pick Chandler Harnish Quarterback Northern Illinois Senior Redshirt
219. Detroit Lions from Seattle Seahawks 7-9 Jarrett Boykin Wide Receiver Virginia Tech Senior The Detroit Lions have a tendency to take the best player available. Boykin is a 5th round talent that slides to round 7. The Lions have to take Boykin here. I got Boykin’s teammate going to Chicago at 220.
Jarrett Boykin is a 6 foot 2 218 pound target. Boykin was Virginia Tech’s #1 target in 2011. Boykin is best suited as a #4 option for depth
Previous Pick Jeff Adams Left Tackle Columbia Senior
220. Chicago Bears 8-8 Danny Coale Wide Receiver Virginia Tech Senior Redshirt Some believe Coale could be the sleeper of this draft. Coale is the best player available in round 7. It really would not hurt to bring Coale into the fold of wide receivers that Chicago currently has in place.
Earl Bennett, Johnny Knox, Dane Sanzenbacher, Devin Thomas, and Devin Hester are solid complimentary targets for Brandon Marshall. I feel like one upgrade and one player to compete for a roster spot could give the Bears the competition that they need at wide receiver.
Previous Pick Brian Linthicum Tight End Michigan State Senior Redshirt
221. Arizona Cardinals 8-8 Chandler Harnish Quarterback Northern Illinois Senior Redshirt Chandler Harnish is one of my sleepers. I had Harnish projected to go in the late 2nd round at one point. I loved the physical tools and production that Harnish presented. If Hanrish can go somewhere as a 3rd stringer and develop his mental game with a young team built around him then he could succeed as a starter if given the opportunity.
Arizona seems like an ideal fit. Remember Whisenhunt once had a MAC quarterback out of Miami Ohio in Pittsburgh before becoming Arizona’s head coach. Not saying Harnish will replicate what Roethlisberger has done. I like Harnish better than other MAC scrubs that have attempted to follow in Ben’s footsteps like Akron quarterback Charlie Frye, Bowling Green quarterback Omar Jacobs, Ball State quarterback Nate Davis, and Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour.
Harnish is 6 foot 2 221 pounds. Harnish has called plays out of a spread and a pro style offense. Harnish threw for 28 passing touchdowns and 6 interceptions in 2011 as a senior redshirt.
Harnish knows how to rally a team back in the 2nd half. This is a really underrated quality when evaluating a quarterback. When Ohio led 20 to 0 in the MAC Championship, Harnish helped Northern Illinois rally their team back to a victory to win the 2011 MAC Championship.
Previous Pick D’Anton Lynn Cornerback Penn State Senior
222. Dallas Cowboys 8-8 Edwin Baker Running Back Michigan State Junior The Cowboys could use one more rusher on the depth chart behind DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones. Edwin Baker is a 6th round talent and a potential late round option for Dallas.
Previous Pick Tim Bierre Tight End Kansas Senior
223. Minnesota Vikings from New England Patriots via Philadelphia Eagles 8-8 Mark Asper Right Tackle Oregon Senior Redshirt Adding Mark Asper gives the Minnesota Vikings some depth on the right side of the offensive line. Charlie Johnson will likely move to right tackle if the Vikings draft Matt Kalil. Johnson was a great pass blocker in Indianapolis for Peyton Manning. Johnson did a good job run blocking and struggled as a pass blocker in Minnesota.
Johnson is a one dimensional offensive tackle. Minnesota would have Mark Asper sit behind Geoff Schwartz at right guard for depth. With all this depth on the offensive line here is how Minnesota’s offensive line looks.
Left Tackle Matt Kalil and backup Charlie Johnson
Left Guard Phil Loadholt and backup DeMarcus Love
Center John Sullivan and backup Brandon Fusco
Right Guard Geoff Schwartz and Mark Asper
Right Tackle Charlie Johnson and backup Phil Loadholt
As long as Matt Kalil stays healthy, this offensive line looks very strong with tons of depth at key positions.
224. Green Bay Packers from New York Jets 8-8 Bradley Sowell Left Tackle Ole Miss Senior Redshirt The Packers can add Bradley Sowell as a left tackle for depth behind Marshall Newhouse. Sowell could enter Packers camp and compete for a roster spot. Green Bay continues to find premium value for players with Ted Thompson.
Sowell played left tackle across from 1st round right tackle Bobby Massie. Sowell was a player that the Steelers looked at during the East West Shrine Game.
Previous Pick Donald Stephenson Left Tackle Oklahoma Senior Redshirt
225. Seattle Seahawks from Oakland Raiders 8-8 Shawn Loiseau Middle Linebacker Merrimack Senior The Seahawks signed Barrett Rudd to a 1 year deal. That does not mean that Loiseau is out of the cards for Seattle.
Previous Pick Tydreke Powell Defensive Tackle North Carolina Senior
226. San Diego Chargers 8-8 Lance Dunbar Running Back North Texas Senior The Chargers need a 3rd running back for depth. Lance Dunbar makes sense here in round 7 as a #3 back for the depth chart.
Previous Pick Marcel Jones Right Tackle Nebraska Senior Redshirt
227. Tennessee Titans 9-7 Kellen Moore Quarterback Boise State Senior Redshirt Rusty Smith has no business on the Titans roster as a Titans draft pick out of Florida Atlantic. Hasselbeck could retire soon. Kellen Moore could start out on the Titans practice squad and develop into a solid backup.
Despite losing Titus Young and Austin Pettis, Kellen Moore had another career season at Boise State. Moore posted his best numbers in 2011 with 3,800 passing yards, 43 passing touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. Moore is 6 foot 1 190 pounds. Moore does display a tremendous football IQ.
Previous Pick Travian Robinson Defensive Tackle South Carolina Senior Redshirt
228. Jacksonville Jaguars from Cincinnati Bengals 9-7 Marcel Jones Right Tackle Nebraska Senior Redshirt The Jaguars need a right tackle for depth. Eben Britton may move to guard and Guy Whimper has no business starting. Jacksonville needs to spend a late round pick on a right tackle to challenge Whimper for a right tackle job in the event that Eben Britton moves inside to left guard.
Previous Pick Phelon Jones Cornerback Alabama Senior Redshirt
229. Atlanta Falcons 10-6 Ben Burkett Center Northwestern Senior Redshirt The Atlanta Falcons need a center to succeed Todd McClure. Northwestern center Ben Burkett has the chance to be a late round draft pick. I think Burkett will be a sleeper if he gets a chance to crack an NFL roster.
Previous Pick Shawn Loiseau Middle Linebacker Merrimack Senior
230. Detroit Lions 10-6 Eric Page Wide Receiver Toledo Junior Eric Page is a 5 foot 10 180 pound wide receiver that has tallied 1,100 receiving yards each season during his 3 years at Toledo. The Lions will want to take one of the top 5th round talents available.
Previous Pick Phillip Blake Center Baylor Senior
231. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4 Greg Childs Wide Receiver Arkansas Senior The Steelers could use a wide receiver that could develop into a slot target. Antonio Brown will be the flanker with Emmanuel Sanders being the secondary target if Mike Wallace does not return to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has all the leverage when negotiating with Mike Wallace.
Previous Pick Jarrett Boykin Wide Receiver Virginia Tech Senior
232. New York Jets from Denver Broncos 8-8 Alfred McCullough Right Guard Alabama Senior Redshirt The Jets should add a right guard for depth. Alabama right guard Alfred McCullough can provide a serviceable role at right guard if the Jets select him this late.
233. Houston Texans 10-6 Randy Bullock Kicker Texas A&M Senior Randy Bullock has a cannon for a leg. Bullock also hit 87.9 percent of his field goals in 2011. Part of the reason why Bullock struggled early as a kicker was because Ryan Tannehill was holding snaps as a backup quarterback for Bullock. Tannehill has small hands and those small hands affected Bullock’s ability to convert field goals.
The Texans need a replacement at kicker for Neil Rackers. Bullock is graded out as my top kicker on the draft board and the only kicker or punter that I have graded above a 7th round grade. I gave Bullock a 6th round grade.
Blair Walsh missed a lot of chip shot kicks for Georgia in critical situations. Bullock really impressed me for Texas A&M. That’s why Bullock is the top graded kicker in this mock draft.
234. New Orleans Saints 13-3 Renard Washington Defensive Tackle Eastern Washington Senior The Saints are really set with all of their draft needs at this point. Small school defensive tackle Renard Washington is my top player available. Washingotn would make a lot of sense for Green Bay.
Previous Pick Ben Burkett Center Northwestern Senior Redshirt
235. Green Bay Packers 15-1 Eddie Pleasent Strong Safety Oregon Senior Redshirt The Green Bay Packers could use a strong safety for depth as well. Eddie Pleasent is the only legit strong safety graded out at this point.
Previous Pick Danny Coale Wide Receiver Virginia Tech Senior Redshirt
236. Baltimore Ravens 12-4 Austin Pasztor Left Guard Virginia Senior Pasztor was a very productive left guard at Virginia. He was a great run blocker and part of an offensive line that only allowed 2 sacks in 22 quarters for the Virginia Cavaliers.
Pasztor’s success was heavily overshadowed by Virginia offensive tackles Oday Aboushi and Morgan Moses. Both Virginia offensive tackles have the chance to be 2013 NFL first round Prospects.
Baltimore will need a new left guard if they cannot resign left guard Ben Grubbs. Jah Reed is not a future starter at left guard in my eyes plus backup Justin Boren may not provide a long term answer. Jah Reed would be best suited as a backup right guard to Marshall Yanda. Austin Pasztor provides great value as a late round value in round 7.
I realize I gave the Ravens got Gino Gradkowski in round 4 and Nate Potter in round 5 with compensation picks. Gradkowksi has starter ability anywhere on the interior offensive line. Potter is a backup offensive tackle/guard that would fill out a roster spot. Pasztor is a left guard who could realistically beat out Jah Reed and Justin Boren for the left guard job.
237. San Francisco 49ers 13-3 Brandon Barden Tight End Vanderbilt Senior Redshirt Brandon Barden has the skill set to start across from Vernon Davis. Barden could immediately compete with Delanie Walker for the #2 tight end job.
Previous Pick Kellen Moore Quarterback Boise State Senior Redshirt
238. Kansas City Chiefs from New England Patriots 13-3 Devier Posey Wide Receiver Ohio State Senior Devier Posey has the tools to be a #1 flanker target. Posey could fall to this pick because of some character issues. Adding Posey gives the Chiefs 4 wide receivers with #1 ability. Those targets are Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston, Jonathan Baldwin, and Devier Posey.
Previous Pick Eric Page Wide Receiver Toledo Junior
239. New York Giants 9-7 Dominique Davis Quarterback Eastern Carolina Senior Redshirt Dominque Davis is a quarterback with a rocket arm and good physical tools. Davis reminds me of former East Carolina quarterback David Garrard with less upside. The Giants can bring Davis in to compete with the aging David Carr for a backup gig.
Previous Pick Scott Wedige Center Northern Illinois Senior Redshirt
240. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4 (Compensation Pick) Jacory Harris Quarterback Miami FL Senior Jacory Harris was 6 foot 4 170 pounds as a high school recruit. In high school Harris was not a big time recruit. Harris was the top ranked 3 star recruit at quarterback. Recruits can have up to 5 stars coming out of high school.
Harris led Miami Northwestern High School to a 30-0 record, a state championship, and a National Championship in high school in 2008.
Harris only added one pound as a true freshman in 2008 weighing in at 171 pounds. Jacory Harris did not have much of a supporting cast as a freshman in terms of playmakers. Harris did have a strong running game featuring Graig Cooper and Javarris James. Harris would become the first Miami FL quarterback since Bernie Kosar to start a season opener for the Miami Hurricanes. Harris did not have the upside yet. Harris showed great promise with a good arm and promising intangibles as a freshman throwing 12 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Harris would complete 60.8 percent of his passes as a true freshman.
Jacory Harris gained tons of weight in the offseason heading into 2009. Harris weighed 190 pounds entering his sophomore season. Harris would throw for over 3,000 passing yards as a true sophomore. Harris would throw 24 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in a shotgun spread offense. Harris would complete 59.9 percent of his passes. Harris continued to show flashes as a true sophomore.
Harris would add 5 more pounds weighing 195 as a junior quarterback. Harris would struggle as a junior throwing 14 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Harris finally had a great offensive line with Orlando Franklin at left tackle, Seantrel Henderson at right tackle, and Brandon Washington at left guard. Miami FL also had Leonard Hankerson at wide receiver as his favorite target returning. Graig Cooper was splitting carries with Lamar Miller. The fact that Jacory Harris played this poorly in a basic spread offense with a great supporting cast made you wonder if he had the skill set to translate his ability to the next level.
Jacory Harris weighed 200 pounds heading into his senior season. Brandon Washington and Seantrel Henderson were Miami FL’s bookend offensive tackles. Lamar Miller can play running back. Travis Benjamin, Tommy Streeter, and Aldarius Johnson were wide receivers for Miami FL. Harris also had Chase Ford and Blake Ayles at tight end. Harris finally had a supporting cast that could help Miami FL.
With this cast, Harris had his best season. Harris completed 195 of his 300 passes. Harris would throw for 20 passing touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Harris would also complete a career high 65 percent of his passes with this legit supporting cast. Harris also threw a career long 77 yard pass.
Harris has bulked up prior to the NFL Combine. Harris now weighs 215 pounds. With Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich, and Dennis Dixon gone its vital for Pittsburgh to add a quarterback for depth. Jacory Harris makes too much sense here.
241. Green Bay Packers 15-1 (Compensation Pick) DeAngelo Tyson 3-4 Left End Georgia Senior The Packers add a second 3-4 defensive end for depth. DeAngelo Tyson is the top player available.
Previous Pick JR Sweezy 3-4 Left End North Carolina State Senior Redshirt
242. New York Jets 8-8 (Compensation Pick) DJ Holt 3-4 Middle Linebacker California Senior Redshirt DJ Holt would make a good addition as a 3-4 middle linebacker for depth. The Jets need depth here behind David Harris and Bart Scott.
243. Green Bay Packers 15-1 (Compensation Pick) Derek Moye Wide Receiver Penn State Senior Redshirt Derek Moye is a receiver with the potential to develop into a secondary wide receiver in a few years. Moye is extremely raw right now in terms of physical ability. Moye has everything else that you look for in a wide receiver.
Greg Jennings will enter a contract year this season plus Donald Driver is aging. Jordy Nelson is a #2 target and Randall Cobb is a slot receiver at best. The Packers will need one more target to solidify their core. Moye could become the Packers #1 target if they develop him for a year.
Previous Pick Eddie Pleasent Strong Safety Senior Redshirt Oregon
244. New York Jets 8-8 (C0mpensation Pick) Darron Thomas Quarterback Oregon Junior Redshirt The Jets need a 3rd stringer. Backup will be a priority too if Mark Sanchez gets dealt. Thomas could solve a short term answer at quarterback.
245. Cleveland Browns 4-12 (Compensation Pick) T Bob Hebert Left Guard LSU Senior Redshirt T Bob Hebert can play left guard, center, or right guard as a depth player on the interior offensive line. Hebert is someone the Browns could use for depth behind Jason Pinkston.
246. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4 (Compensation Pick) Blair Walsh Kicker Georgia Senior Blair Walsh has great ability as a kicker. Walsh could come in and compete with Suisham for the Steelers kicker job.
247. Cleveland Browns 4-12 (Compensation Pick) Risard Matthews Wide Receiver Nevada Senior Risard Matthews has better size than Joe Adams. I see Adams as a #1 target. Most say Adams is a slot receiver at best. Cleveland may want another target that could be used as a wide receiver on the outside next to Greg Little when the Browns use 3 wide receiver sets with Adams playing the slot.
Previous Pick Marc Tyler Running Back USC Senior Redshirt
248. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4 (Compensation Pick) Drew Butler Punter Georgia Senior Redshirt Daniel Sepulveda has an expiring deal. Drew Butler really makes a lot of sense for the Pittsburgh Steelers as the top punter in the entire draft if Sepulveda does not return.
249. Atlanta Falcons 10-6 (Compensation Pick) James Wilson Right Guard Florida Senior Redshirt The Falcons may want a right guard for depth with their final selection. James Wilson makes sense in round 7.
Previous Pick Moe Petrus Center Connecticut Senior Redshirt
250. San Diego Chargers 8-8 (Compensation Pick) Scott Wedige Center Northern Illinois Senior Redshirt The Chargers may want a center for depth with this late round pick. Nick Hardwick flirted with retirement before re-signing with San Diego.
Previous Pick Devier Posey Wide Receiver Ohio State Senior
251. Buffalo Bills 6-10 (Compensation Pick) Brandon Bolden Running Back Ole Miss Senior The Bills could add Brandon Bolden for depth. Bolden has tons of potential. Bolden really struggled in 2011 in terms of production when he had Bradley Sowell and Bobby Massie at offensive tackle.
Previous Pick DaRell Scott Running Back South Florida Sophomore Redshirt
252. St. Louis Rams 2-14 (Compensation Pick) Vick Ballard Running Back Mississippi State Senior The Rams add a 3rd string back in round 7. Ballard is one of the top players available that fills a need for the Rams.
Previous Pick Edwin Baker Running Back Michigan State Junior
253. Indianapolis Colts 2-14 (Compensation Pick) Jacquies Smith 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker Missouri Senior Redshirt The Indianapolis Colts need a 3-4 pass rusher for depth. Jacquies Smith pass rushed next to Aldon Smith at Missouri. Smith is this years Mr. Irrelevant for the 2012 NFL Draft.
Previous Pick Darius Nall 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker Central Florida Senior Redshirt