NFL

2012 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: With Two Games Left in the Season Here's How the Draft Might Shake Out

2012 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: May – Before the lockout ended.
2012 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: October – Early in the NFL/college football season, when bad NFL teams and good NFL players began to become evident.
Not a ton has changed, as you’ll see a lot of the same players from 2.0 in this version, although we still don’t know which underclassmen are coming out (USC’s Matt Barkley and Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o are not).

1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, Stanford. I don’t think the Colts will beat the Jags.
2. St. Louis Rams – Matt Kalil, OL, USC. Protect Sam Bradford or get weapons for Sam Bradford?
3. Minnesota Vikings – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU. Had the Vikings getting him 11th in Draft 2.0.
4. Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama. Do they go with Baylor’s Robert Griffin here?
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St. Gabbert’s been awful, but he’s got garbage WRs.

6. Tampa Bay Bucs – Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College.
One of the worst defenses in the league bolsters an overrated front seven.
7. Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor. Shanahan can’t go into next year with Beck/Grossman, can he?
8. Miami Dolphins – Jonathan Martin, OL, Stanford. Only because there’s no QB to take here.
9. Buffalo Bills – Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina. Horrendous run defense can’t stop a nose bleed.
10. Carolina Panthers – Devon Still, DT, Penn State. Strong senior year vaults him high in the first round to help a porous run defense.

11. Philadelphia Eagles – Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama.
Absolutely, positively, has to be a run-stopping LB.
12. Kansas City Chiefs – Riley Reiff, OL, Iowa. Or will the new coach want to take a chance on a new QB? The OL is the safe call now.
13. Arizona Cardinals – Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina. The pick will be in the front seven on defense. Some mock drafts have Coples in the Top 10.
14. Tennessee Titans – Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois. Led the country in sacks with 14.5. The Titans are near the bottom of the NFL in sacks (24).
15. Seattle Seahawks – Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma. You don’t like him. He appears to have regressed. Is he even coming out? If not … Ryan Tannehill? Twenty-eight year old Brandon Weeden?

16. San Diego Chargers – Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
. Chargers have had issues pressuring the QB (just 29 sacks) and Branch had 10.5 and has a relentless motor.
17. NY Giants – Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama. Massive need at LB for the Giants, who pass on the nutcase that is Burfict.
18. Chicago Bears – Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama. Jay Cutler approves.
19. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) - David DeCastro, OL, Stanford. Because there will be holes in the offensive line next season, according to Todd McShay.
20. Cincinnati Bengals – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame. Floyd and AJ Green would be an impressive tandem for Andy Dalton.

21. NY Jets – Mark Barron, S, Alabama. Dire need at LB and OL, but in a division with Aaron Hernandez and Gronk, they must get better at safety, and Barron’s a major talent.
22. Dallas Cowboys – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama. Had him higher in my previous two mocks. Probably a Top 15 pick.
23. Denver Broncos – Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska. Aging secondary needs to improve to keep pace with the front seven. We’ll get Tebow a WR -Randle? Toon? – in round two.
24. Detroit Lions – Lamar Miller, RB, Miami. They’re what, 0-for-the-last-3 trying to find a ball carrier?
25. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta) – Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina. Stock supposedly has slipped due to a shaky year and some weight issues. But two SEC studs in the first round = major win.

26. Houston Texans – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor. Offense has looked anemic without Andre Johnson. With Johnson’s power and Wright’s speed …
27. Pittsburgh Steelers – Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina. The Steelers’ secondary is vastly overrated.
28. SF 49ers – Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina. Incredible athlete on one end, and Aldon Smith on the other? Oh boy, Harbaugh could be building a monster.
29. Baltimore Ravens – Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State. Assuming he stays out of trouble, and another Sun Devil, Terrell Suggs, can teach him how to reign in the anger, he’ll be of great value here.
30. New England Patriots (from New Orleans) – Mike Adams, OL, Ohio State. They scout better than you, so they’ll trade out of this spot, obviously.
31. New England Patriots – Nick Perry, DE, USC. Perfect fit for when Shaun Ellis is cut loose.
32. Green Bay Packers – Brandon Jenkins, LB, FSU. The only thing certain is that the pick will be a defender.

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