As another week passes, and thereby another week closer to the next NFL season, the Arizona Cardinals seems all but set going into Free Agency. We've learned that our new wide receiver coach will be the former Indianapolis, and Peyton Manning, quarterback coach Frank Reich, with John McNulty sliding over to fill the quarterback coach vacancy. We also learned that Steve Keim, our talented player personnel director, will not be leaving to take over the general manager's position in St. Louis. So now that the Cardinals have all their coaches and managers in place, the focus can shift squarely to the NFL Draft, Free Agency and Peyton Manning speculation. This mock will only cover the first round, and a new variation has been added different from weeks past: there is the possibility of trades.With that said, here I am to mock you like a hurricane.
With the first pick of the 2012 NFL entry draft...
2. St. Louis Rams - Matt Kalil, OT, USC. The Rams add Kalil here and in doing so, have the two most important building blocks for an offense, with Bradford at QB and Kalil at LT. Previous pick: Matt Kalil, OT, USC.
3. Seattle Seahawks from Minnesota Vikings - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor. The Seahawks trade up here to grab arguably the second best QB prospect since Manning. Seattle is a quarterback away from being a serious Super Bowl contender. Previous pick: Justin Blackmon, WR, OSU (Vikings selection).
4. Cleveland Browns - Morris Claibourne, CB, LSU. The Browns are a long way from contention, so in all likelihood, they go BPA throughout the draft to jump start their current rebuild. Previous pick: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama. Blount is a good back, but his ability to shoulder the workload of an every down back has been questioned. To alleviate that pressure from Blount by adding Richardson, the most complete running back prospect since Ladainian Tomlinson in 2001. Previous pick: Morris Claibourne, CB, LSU.
6. Washington Redskins - Michael Brockers, DT. LSU. The Redskins will be seriously in on the RG3 sweepstakes, and the Flynn sweepstakes, and the Manning sweepstakes. I'm guess they land either Flynn or Manning in free agency, and grab the dominant defensive tackle Brockers. Previous pick: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Riley Rieff, OT, Iowa. The Jags have a solid defense, unfortunately, their offense struggles to put up double digit points. With this pick, the Jags make Gabbert a bit more comfortable, and hope he develops to his potential. Previous pick: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina.
8. Miami Dolphins - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina. Miami is making the transition into a 4-3 defense next season, and grab the motivation needy Coples to rush the passer opposite Cameron Wake. Previous pick: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford.
9. Carolina Panthers - Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama. After getting kicked off the Florida Gators, Jenkins dominated lesser competition at North Alabama, then during the Senior Bowl, he dominated again. Jenkins stock is on the rise, and the Panthers add a great corner here. Previous pick: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
10. Buffalo Bills - Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina. Like the Phins, the Bills are making the official switch to a 4-3 defense and add a great pass rushing defensive end. Previous pick: Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama.
11. Kansas City Cheifs - David DeCastro, OG, Stanford. Were it not for some bad injuries and poor quarterback play, Kansas City could have made a run for the AFC West title. By adding DeCastro, the Cheifs get a potential All-Pro guard to make the quarterbacks job easier. Previous pick: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford.
12. Minnesota Vikings from Seattle Seahawks - Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford. The two standout Stanford linemen get selected back to back. The Vikings would have loved to grab Kalil at three, but trade back and grab a great left tackle prospect who should start day one. Previous pick: Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina (Seattle's pick).
13. Arizona Cardinals - Justin Blackmon, WR, OSU. Finally, the fall of Blackmon comes to an end. All four top 15 lineman have been selected, but the Cardinals still fill a need and fit Whisenhunt`s BPA draft philosophy. Blackmon is an great athlete by nearly every measurable and will rekindle memories of Fitzgerald and Boldin lining up with each other. Blackmon`s stock has been falling slightly, but is still a top 15 talent easily. Previous pick: Riley Rieff, OT, Iowa.
14. Dallas Cowboys - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama. Despite some recent red flags being raised, Kirkpatrick is still an elite cornerback prospect. Dre should be a starter very early in his career,and add some youth to the Cowboys secondary. Previous pick: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama.
15. Philadelphia Eagles - Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina. Linebacker has been a popular choice here for the Eagles, but I think they will look at their two second round picks to draft some linebackers for better value. By adding Jeffery, the Eagles add a big bodied possession receiver to go along with the all around Maclin and the speed threat Jackson. Previous pick: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College.
16. New York Jets - Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Illinois. Mercilus adds the innate ability to get after the passer, and can be coached into a very good all around outsider linebacker. Previous pick: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina.
17. Cincinnati Bengals - Lamar Miller, RB, Miami. The Bengals have a good young defense, as well as some very good pieces on offense. With Miller, the Bengals add another great young weapon to their offense, and replace Cedric Benson. Previous pick: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama.
19. Chicago Bears - Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State. The Bears could go in one of two possible directions here. They could grab a lineman here to rebuild their porous offensive line, or they could add a wide receiver to there equally awful receiving corps. I bet they go with the former and look for wide receiver talent later. Previous pick: Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama.
20. Tennessee Titans - Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia. To the surprise of everyone, last year the Titans used the eighth overall selection on Jake Locker. Next season, Tennessee looks to start Locker, and with this selection protect their investment. Previous pick: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor. The Bengals add another good young piece to their offense with the speedy Wright, who will likely fill the slot position. With all their pieces, the Bengals are a number two wide receiver and possibly a guard away from legitimate contention. Previous pick: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame.
22. Cleveland Browns - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame. Since the Browns missed out on RG3, they will probably give Colt McCoy one last shot, and by adding Floyd, give him a weapon to help him out. Previous pick: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor.
23. Detroit Lions - Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College. In my opinion, Tulloch will be gone before the draft, leaving middle linebacker as a huge need for the Lions. They fill that need with the talented Kuechly, and continue to build a great young defense. Previous pick: Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Nick Perry, OLB, USC. Perry is a great pass rushing prospect, but is very raw in other facets of his game, making him fall a bit. He lands in Pittsburgh, where he can sit a learn in one of the best defensive systems in the NFL. Previous pick: Nick Perry, OLB, USC
25. Denver Broncos - Devon Still, DT, Penn State. The Broncos good young defense gets its 3-4 nose tackle anchor here in the Nittany Lion standout Still. Previous pick: Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson.
26. Houston Texans - Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers. The Texans are my Super Bowl favourites going into the 2012 season. They boast the best offense line, the best running back combo, one of the best wide receivers, a great young defense, and the very capable (and healthy) Matt Shaub. With this pick, Houston adds another weapon for opposing defenses to worry about. Previous pick: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis.
27. New England Patriots - Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin. Konz falls farther than his talent level should have him, but the Pats pick him up and fill a need at center. Previous pick: Mark Barron, S, Alabama.
28. Green Bay Packers - Vinny Curry, OLB, Marshall. In their playoff loss to the Giants, the Packers inability to rush the passer was evident. Curry adds a pass rushing presence opposite to Clay Matthews, and should instant improve the Packers defense. Previous pick: Andre Branch, OLB, Clemson.
29. Baltimore Ravens - Vontaze Burfict, ILB, ASU. Burfict has become the de facto pick for the Ravens, and by adding him to the veteran linebacking corps of the Ravens, Burfict can get his issues sorted out. Previous pick: Vontaze Burfict, ILB, ASU.
30. San Francisco 49ers - Alfonso Dennard, CB, Nebraska. The Niners front seven is among the best in the league, but their secondary is not. Dennard is a great zone cover corner, with good instincts. Previous pick: Stephon Gimore, CB, South Carolina.
31. New England Patriots - Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina. Everybody knows how good the Pats offense is, but their defense leaves much to be desired. Due to a better showing during the playoffs, pass rush is pushed below pass coverage on their needs, and the Pats add Gilmore to their secondary. Previous pick: Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Illinois.
32. New York Giants - Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson. The tight end position is being revolutionized in the NFL, and the defending Super Bowl champs look to stay on top by following that trend. Allen is the best tight end prospect in this draft, and should be a great addition to an already impressive New York offense. Previous pick: Orson Charles, TE, Georgia.
There you have it. Five mocks down, and the combine is fast approaching. How do you feel about this mock draft?