- Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
1. This pick has been a given since the beginning of this year’s college football season. Luck demonstrates everything you want from a quarterback and much, much more.
Comparison: Eli Manning
2. Washington Redskins: (From Rams) Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor.
RGIII elevated his stock more than other player this past season, putting on a show every single week for Baylor en route to winning the Heisman. Griffin has tremendous athleticism and one of the more accurate deep balls I have ever seen. Shanahan should be able to turn him into a superstar.
Comparison: A young Donovan McNabb
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt kalil, OT, USC.
Kalil is one of the safest picks of the draft, as he showed excellent footwork, athleticism and strength protecting Matt Barkley’s blind side for the past two seasons. Seems like a no brainer as Kalil is the top prospect on the board and Minnesota gave last years first round pick, Christian Ponder, hardly any time to stay In the pocket last year.
Comparison: Joe Thomas
4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
The browns have a pretty horrendous offense. They missed out on RGIII and already have a great left tackle in Joe Thomas, so why not start with one of the best running back prospects in years. Richardson would give the browns offense some much needed life.
Comparison: a young Willis McGahee
5. Tampa Bay buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
This selection becomes fairly easy with Richardson off the board. Even with the offseason signing of Eric Wright from Detroit, Claiborne should be the selection, as Ronde Barber has very few years left and Aquib Talib is reportedly being shopped after yet another run in with the law.
Comparison: champ bailey
6. St. Louis Rams: (from redskins) Justin Blackmon, WR, ok. State
We potentially could see a sleeper pick here, as Stephon Gilmore and Fletcher Cox have been flying up draft boards. But I don’t see how the Rams could pass on this year’s No. 1 WR. Sam Bradford and Blackmon could be the making of a nice offense, however with so many needs I could see the Rams try to move down and acquire extra picks.
Comparison: a more physical Greg Jennings
7. Jacksonville jaguars: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre dame
A tough spot for the Jags, as they would have liked Blackmon here. Melvin Ingram and Fletcher Cox are options here, but I think the Jags will settle for Floyd. Floyd, Laurent Robinson and Mike Thomas should be enough weapons for Blaine Gabbert.
Comparison: Sidney Rice
8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Dolphins haven’t drafted a quarterback in Round One since Dan Marino in 1983 and it’s about time to end that dry spell. Tannehill is a bit of an overrated prospect, but one that has enough tools for the Dolphins to build around. It also makes sense reuniting with Mike Sherman.
Comparison: Jay Cutler
9. Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi St.
The Panthers are starting to build a nice and talented team. They could use upgrades across from Steve Smith at WR and across from Chris Gamble at CB. In the end they should upgrade with a solid run stuffer.
Comparison: Tommie Harris
10. Buffalo Bills: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Buffalo upgraded its pass rush by signing Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. They also will get CB Terrence McGee back from injury, so an upgrade at left tackle seems like the obvious choice. Reiff, although not a top-notch prospect, could come in and replace Demetress Bell.
Comparison: David Diehl
11. Kansas City Chiefs: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
DeCastro is one of the best guard prospects in years. He could come in and play either next to newly signed Eric Winston on the right, or Brandon Albert on the left. DeCastro would help create holes for Jamaal Charles and give Matt Cassel some needed extra protection. Luke Kuechly got some major consideration, but ILB isn’t as big of a need, and under Bill Belichick; Romeo Crennel often avoided taking linebackers early on in the draft.
Comparison: Steve Hutchinson
12. Seattle Seahawks: Luke Kuechly, ILB
Seattle just signed linebacker Barrett Ruud, but it was for cheap and they could really use someone with Kuechly skills and instincts to build around.
Comparison: D.J. Williams
13. Arizona Cardinals: Cordy Glenn, OT/OG, Georgia
Cardinals will be begging teams to trade up, as their two most likely options, Riley Reiff and Michael Floyd, are off the board. With that being said, the Cardinals find themselves reaching for Glenn, who’s a nice player with great size but isn’t worth this high of a pick. Melvin Ingram is a possibility here as well, as he could fit nicely on the edge.
Comparison: Brandon Albert
14. Dallas Cowboys: Mark Barron, S, Alabama
It is literally a toss-up here between Barron, Dontari Poe and Stephon Gilmore. All three would fit in very nicely, but the Cowboys ultimately decide to go with the highest rated player and hard-hitting Barron. I also think Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick will garner some thoughts here as well.
Comparison: Brian Dawkins
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
Poe was somewhat overhyped after his freakish combine, but when you go back and look at his tape you’ll see he was a very dominant player. But if there is a coach who can get the most out of Poe’s ability it’s going to be Jim Washburn. Eagles need run stuffers badly and Andy Reid sure loves his lineman.
Comparison: Warren Sapp
16. New York Jets: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
Upshaw is a perfect fit in Rex Ryan’s blitzing frenzy. He should cause havoc that the Jets have sorely missed opposite of Calvin Pace.
Comparison: Terrell Suggs
17. Cincinnati Bengals: (from Raiders) Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Gilmore has been steadily rising up draft boards all season and especially in the pat few weeks. He has a great skill set and has all the potential to be a shut down corner. However, he falls in this mock, and the Bengals rejoice, as he replaces the shoes that Jonathon Joseph left last year.
Comparison: Troy Vincent
18. San Diego Chargers: Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina
Ingram inexplicably falls, similar to his teammate the pick before. The Chargers don’t necessarily need Ingram, as they have other more pressing needs (O-Line, WR and D-Line). But there is no way Norv Turner can pass on Turner and the pass rush he’ll bring.
Comparison: Lamarr Woodley
19. Chicago Bears: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
The Bears could very easily go left tackle with Jonathan Martin here, but I can’t see them going OT two straight years. Luckily enough for them they can take Michael Brockers, who left school as a redshirt sophomore and could make a solid defense that much better.
Comparison: Darnell Dockett
20. Tennessee Titans: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
A lot of options here including Whitney Mercilus, Devon Still and Peter Konz. In my previous mock I had them taking Brockers, but since he’s off the board the Titans will gladly scoop up Dre Kirkpatrick, who from day one can try and replace Cortland Finnegan.
Comparison: Nnamdi Asomugha
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
The smarter pick would be Jonathon Martin, as he fills a far greater need. However the Bengals will be hard pressed to pass on Coples potential and will gamble on a player who has all the skill but not all the work ethic. Carlos Dunlap, Michael Johnson and Coples would form a nice trio of young athletic DE’s.
Comparison: Julius Peppers
22. Cleveland Browns: (from Falcons) Stehpen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
The 2012 draft should be all about giving Colt McCoy enough pieces to work with so he can have a valid shot of proving his worth. Kendall Wright could very easily be the selection, but in the end the Browns will be too intrigued with Hill’s height (6’4”) and speed (4.33). Mercilus and Nick Perry will draw some consideration here as well.
Comparison: Demaryius Thomas
23. Detroit Lions: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Martin falls in Detroit’s lap and he fills one of their two massive needs (left tackle, CB). Martin Mayhew shouldn’t think too hard about this one. Martin is a good, (although not great) player that fits a big need.
Comparison: Matt Light
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dont’a Hightower, MLB, Alabama
The Steelers have bigger needs across the O-Line and need to find a replacement for Casey Hampton. But Mike Tomlin won’t be sad with settling on Hightower, who has experience in the 3-4 and will put some youth into an aging defense. Hightower will be the great run stuffer and Lawrence Timmons will be the great coverage linebacker. Mike Adams would have drawn serious consideration had he not had a failed drug test at the combine.
Comparison: E.J. Henderson
25. Denver Broncos: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan St.
As much as I want to slot Kendall Wright here and give Peyton another tool to work with I just can’t. Denver has practically nothing up the middle and must draft someone to step in. Worthy will fit very well, as he has the size and strength to play in in their scheme.
Comparison: Domata Peko
26. Houston Texans: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
The Texans need some body opposite of Andre Johnson. Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter can be relied upon like they were last year. The Texans could also look to add a pass rusher to ease the loss of Mario Williams or a tackle to replace the surprisingly released Eric Winston. At the end of the day an explosive offense adds one of the more explosive players in the draft.
Comparison: Steve Smith
27. New England Patriots: Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
The Patriots were such a great team last year, yet had such a weak pass rush and it really showed. Mercilus would give Belichick someone to develop into a Willie McGinest type role.
Comparison: Osi Umenyiora
28. Green Bay Packers: Shea McCellin, OLB, Boise St.
I don’t see a whole lot of upside in McCellin but apparently the Packers love the prospect of pairing him on the edge with Clay Matthews. In my opinion Peter Konz or Nick Perry would be the smarter option, but unfortunately I’m not the GM for every team.
Comparison: Mike Vrabel
29. Baltimore Ravens: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
First center to come off the board, Konz is a very logical pick. With Matt Birk nearing the end of his career a scenario involving his successor seems very likely. Peter King has said that the Ravens do not like Konz. For the sake of my mock I hope he’s wrong and see this as a very solid pick for the Ravens.
Comparison: Alex Mack
30. San Francisco 49ers: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Jim Harbaugh will try his best to whip Janoris into shape after his numerous run-ins with the law and eventual departure of Florida. Jim will do this because of the immense talent Jenkins brings and because the Niners are in a position to take a gamble if they would like.
Comparison: Tramon Williams
31. New England Patriots (from Saints) Chandler Jones DE/OLB Syracuse
Jones has been a hot name recently. Mike Mayock has him as the ninth best player in the draft. He is very raw but has great length and a variety of quick twitch pass rush moves. New England presumably shores up its pass rush with its two first round picks.
Comparison: Simeon Rice
32. New York Giants: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
After yet another magical Super Bowl run the G-Men find themselves sitting at the bottom of round one. With no drastic needs the Giants can afford to go best available player if they choose. In the end they’ll go with Fleener who is a much better athlete than Jake Ballard and isn’t coming off of a torn ACL.
Comparison: Todd Heap