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2012 NFL Mock Draft – Post Free Agency Edition


My dear gentlemen and ladies, we have posted mock drafts here on and B&T before.  But now, now more than ever we are smarter, more aware, and more accurate.  Below you will find the brilliance that is the Black and Teal Editor’s Picks for the NFL Mock Draft coming later this month.

I’m not saying I’m going to be right.  But hey, it’s as good a guess as anyone I’d imagine!

As always, thanks to our friends at Walter Football, Hail Redskins, DC Pro Sports Report, and Fantasy Football Toolbox.  Check them out for some more brilliant coverage!

Behold, and be excited.

1. Indianapolis Colts
.Andrew Luck
.QB – Stanford

  • The Colts need a new quarterback to replace Peyton Manning.  This is a no-brainer.  Even with the debate of whether RGIII is as good as people say he is, Luck is the choice and the Colts will be better for it.

2Washington Redskins (Via Trade with St. Louis)

.Robert Griffin III
.QB – Baylor

  • The Redskins did a really good job of jumping up to get the quarterback they want.  Apparently the team has been meeting with RGIII already and are looking forward to working with the dynamic passer.  Will he better than Luck?  Maybe, maybe not.  But the Redskins will be better with him.

3. Minnesota Vikings

.Justin Blackmon

  • Go with me here.  Owner Ziggy Wilf will want to make a splash following a disastrous 2011 campaign.  The Vikes need a new stadium and showing they can get the next Randy Moss to play in it will go over big with local politicians.  OT Matt Kalil is listed here in many mocks, but I guarantee that the Vikes are looking to land a big fish to help out QB Christian Ponder.  Percy Harvin and Blackmon would make a devastating combo reminiscent to Cris Carter and Moss.

4. Cleveland Browns
.Trent Richardson
.RB – Alabama

  • The Browns need a replacement for Peyton Hillis.  While Colt McCoy needs to be upgraded, I can’t see Cleveland letting the rare talent of Richardson slip past them.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
.Morris Claiborne

  • Claiborne is supposed to be the second coming of Arizona’s Patrick Peterson.  Only better.  Who cares what he scored on the wonderlic.  The Bucs are going to come out swinging with their new coach. Claiborne will be an immediate contributor on a young and talented defense.

6. St. Louis Rams (Via Trade with Washington)
.Matt Kalil

  • You simply don’t let players like Kalil slip past you when you get the opportunity.  Kalil is the right pick and the Rams will be lucky to have them.  With all of the picks they’ve garnered from Washington, they can afford to go straight BAP all draft long.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars
.Melvin Ingram
.DE – South Carolina

  • The Jags are going to get good value with Ingram.  There’s a question whether he has a true position to play, but I think the coaches will try to utilize his versatility.  The Jags really need a defensive end and with Quinton Coples still on the board this pick will look bad if Ingram turns out to be a bust.  However, he has a high motor and the Jags desperately need help to finally complete their defensive line.

8. Miami Dolphins
.Ryan Tannehill
.QB – Texas A&M

  • You’re hearing it here first: Tannehill will succeed in Miami.  The Texas A&M quarterback has jumped up draft boards rapidly after a strong pro day and overall success in communication and marketing of himself.  The Dolphins can’t succeed without a quarterback and Matt Moore is not the answer.

9. Carolina Panthers
.Luke Kuechly
.LB – Boston College

  • Kuechly will be the best available player left on the board and is a blue chip linebacker to take here.  Why not grab him?  Really, I can’t think of a reason to pass him up.

10. Buffalo Bills
.Michael Floyd
.WR – Notre Dame

  • While spending money has helped the Bills to suddenly appear relevant, they now need to make sure that their offense can continue to keep up.  The Bills could go with Iowa’s OT Riley Reiff to protect QB Ryan Fitzpatrick more, but I think that the opportunity to pair the mature Floyd with Stevie Johnson will be tough to pass up.

11. Kansas City Chiefs
.Riley Reiff
.OT – Iowa

  • The Chiefs need to find a way to keep Matt Cassel upright and give him a chance to recreate that dream 2007 season he had with the Patriots.  Reiff should help them do just that.  Reiff should be good at paving the road for Jamaal Charles to return to top level form.

12. Seattle Seahawks
.David DeCastro
.G – Stanford

  • The Seahawks are really shallow at guard and need to address the hole if they expect new QB Matt Flynn to actually contribute this season or for the next few seasons.  DeCastro is an instant upgrade and will look great in the new Seahawks uniforms.

13. Arizona Cardinals
.Jonathan Martin
.OT – Stanford

  • The Cardinals need to fix their offensive line.  They will reach to make sure they get a quality tackle in Jonathan Martin and they will be happy to use #13 money to secure him.  As much as I think that grabbing DT Dontari Poe would be an upgrade over the young Dan Williams at nose tackle, I can’t see the Cardinals letting Kevin Kolb/John Skelton keep getting hit.

14. Dallas Cowboys
.Quinton Coples
.DE – North Carolina

  • Coples is a rare talent that will free fall, I assure you.  His questionable motor won’t be a concern for the free-spending Jerry Jones however.  Any big name is a good name for Dallas and the Cowboys need help in their 3-4 to be truly dominant.  Coples fits their need beautifully.

15. Philadelphia Eagles
.Dontari Poe
.DT – Memphis

  • It’s rumored the Eagles will go with a defensive tackle, mostly because it’s what coach Andy Reid does best.  Poe is the best player at the position on the board.  As much as I think the Eagles may grab a linebacker like Courtney Upshaw, it’s too much of a reach and the Eagles will be happy to score another big man in the trenches.

16. New York Jets
.Kendall Wright
.WR – Baylor

  • The Jets need to help Sanchez and Wright is the perfect way to do it.  When you commit to your quarterback for no reason and the entire world is wondering why, you really need to find a way to make him look good.  If Santonio Holmes and Kendall Wright can’t do it then it may be time to move on.

17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland)
.Dre Kirkpatrick
.CB – Alabama

  • Kirkpatrick will be a star.  But the hole that is Cincinnati will swallow him up and nobody will notice.  Kirkpatrick will fall to the Bengals and they will love to have him starting throughout the season.

18. San Diego Chargers
.Mark Barron
.SS – Alabama

  • The Chargers could use the immediate help in the secondary and will get an instant upgrade from Barron.  He’s the most solid safety prospect in the draft and having him fall to 22 will be a blessing for a team that desperately needs help stopping other teams from scoring on them.  Even with the talented Philip Rivers, it’s tough to always be clawing back each game.

19. Chicago Bears
.Courtney Upshaw
.LB – Alabama

  • The Bears got their receiver in Brandon Marshall via trade from Miami, but they still need somebody to pair with Julius Peppers at defensive end.  I think Upshaw will be the pick to help Peppers in the pass rush.  He’s a very strong, very talented player that should be good in coverage and rushing the passer and will give the Bears some much needed insurance in their linebacking corps.

20. Tennessee Titans
.Peter Konz
.C – Wisconsin

  • Maybe Chris Johnson really isn’t as good as people thought he was.  That or his blocking isn’t super great.  I think the Titans could go for a defensive tackle here, but getting a consistent interior lineman for the next decade is an absolute necessity if they wish to compete in the run heavy AFC South.

21. Cincinnati Bengals
.Whitney Mercilus
.DE – Illinois

  • The Bengals should have already addressed cornerback with Kirkpatrick or Janoris Jenkins.  While the interior line could use a solid standout guard to help young QB Andy Dalton, I think that the Bengals will instead opt to make their defensive front four even stronger with Mercilus.

22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta)
.Brandon Weeden

  • At age 28, Weeden is the most mature quarterback entering the draft this year.  He has a pro baseball caliber arm and will be able to wing it much better than current QB Colt McCoy.  Weeden stands tall in the pocket and has the natural ability to overcome many of the weaknesses that plague the Browns’ offensive line.  Cleveland needs a quarterback and Weeden may be the best thing for them.

23. Detroit Lions
.Janoris Jenkins
.CB – North Alabama

  • The Lions are fine bringing in troubled players.  Jenkins’ free fall will end with the Lions who can’t help but pick up the talented, yet troubled corner.  It’ll be a risky move that could pay huge dividends if he is even remotely as good as he was in college.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers
.Cordy Glenn
.OT/G – Georgia

  • He’s a great guard that would be able to transition smoothly in Pittsburgh.  The Steelers are major BAP team and will snatch up Glenn as quickly as they possibly can.

25. Denver Broncos
.Fletcher Cox
.DT – Mississippi State

  • While it would be popular to give Peyton Manning another offensive weapon like Georgia Tech’s Stephen Hill, the Broncos know they only got into the playoffs on their defense.  With the departure of Brodrick Bunkley, the Broncos need to fill the hole at defensive tackle.  It would be unfortunate to see Cox fall so far down the draft board, but his skills are too good for a team like the Broncos to pass on.

26. Houston Texans
.Stephen Hill
.WR – Georgie Tech

  • The Texans are going to make Matt Schaub very happy by giving him the speedy Hill.  While the team may look to help out their linebacking corps with a pick like USC’s Nick Perry, it could be tough to pass on the intriguing speed that Hill possesses.

27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans)
.Nick Perry

  • Perry will be a tough one for the Patriots to pass on with his very solid skills.  The play from Perry will only improve under the Belichick led Patriots.  He’ll become a very strong contributor on a defense that desperately needs help.

28. Green Bay Packers
.Stephon Gilmore
.CB – South Carolina

  • It appears that this would be the popular time to replace Charles Woodson.  Or at least find his replacement.  The Packers are a very strong, almost perfectly complete team and will ensure future completeness with a talented cornerback.

29. Baltimore Ravens
.Dont’a Hightower
.ILB – Alabama

  • Ray Lewis still has some good football in him, but he’s getting up there.  Hightower will be a very good addition to a strong linebacking corps.  It helps to know that your strength will continue to be your strength by keeping top quality talent in the pool.  That’s exactly what Hightower will do.

30. San Francisco 49ers
.Mohamed Sanu
.WR – Rutgers

  • The Niners are going to give as many weapons as possible to QB Alex Smith.  While a tight end like Stanford’s Fleener could be tempting, the really irksome three yards that the wide receiving corps put together in the NFC Championship will haunt the team until they can finally get some production from them.  Sanu will be great in Harbaugh’s offense and may even make Alex Smith look good.

31. New England Patriots

.Devon Still
.DT – Penn State

  • The Patriots will continue their defensive trend by picking a player they hope can fill a hole in their front four.  He should fit well with the Patriots and provide a more solid presence than Albert Haynesworth could ever have.

32. New York Giants
.Coby Fleener
.TE – Stanford

  • The Giants could use a very solid tight end to add to their offense.  With even more talent outside the tackles the Superbowl Champs should ensure that Elite Eli stays elite.

While some of these picks may be reaches or too need based, it’s tough for some teams to ignore the holes that they have at certain positions.  The Jags should be well set with Ingram.  Unless he does turn out to be an absolute miss…

– Luke N. Sims