2012 NFL Mock Draft: Free Agency Answers Some Questions

Which 2012 college star will be the newest member of the Birdgang? (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The initial barrage of free agent signings has passed, and a number of questions have been answered and needs have been filled. Most team's quarterback situation seem to have been rectified for the time being; Peyton in Denver, Flynn in Seattle, Henne in Jacksonville, Garrard in Miami, and Arizona stuck with Skelton and Kolb. With most of the marquee free agents already in new, or old, homes, teams needs that need to be addressed in the draft are starting to make themselves clear. On that note, let's get to the mock draft. Same rules as previous mock drafts will apply; it is a full first round and trading is permitted. It's a hard mock life for us.

The first pick of the 2012 NFL Draft is...

1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford. Peyton is officially a Broncos, and Luck is all but officially a Colt. (Previous Pick: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford)

2. Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor. Washington paid a kings ransom to move up a mere 4 spots in order to draft the highly talented Griffin III. They may have set the bar to high for other big trade up to happen. (Previous Pick: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor)

3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, OT, USC.There has been some noise about maybe trading this pick, but I think it's just pure speculation for speculation's sake. (Previous Pick: Matt Kalil, QB, USC)

4. Cleveland Browns - Justin Blackmon, WR, OSU. Maybe this is a reach, but if so, its not much of one. Blackmon provides the Browns with a legitimate number one guy for whomever is lined up under center. (Previous Pick: Morris Claibourne, CB, LSU)

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claibourne. Aqib Talib is in trouble with the law, and Ronde Barber is in trouble with his age. Should Claibourne fall past the Browns, this should be an easy selection. (Chicago Previous Pick: Justin Blackmon, WR, OSU)

6. St. Louis Rams - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU. Ideally, Jeff Fischer would like to add an offensive linemen here to protect Sam Bradford, but all three possibilities are too much of a reach. (Previous Pick: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame)

7. Seattle Seahawks from Jacksonville Jaguars - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame. Maybe this is a reach for Floyd here, maybe Julio Jones was a reach for Atlanta last year. Seattle signed their new quarterback and wants to give him a shiny new weapon. (Previous Pick: Quinton Coples, DE, UNC)

8. Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M. David Garrard just signed a contract with the Dolphins, but by no means should that eliminate quarterback as a top need for the Phins. (Previous Pick: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M)

9. Carolina Panthers - Quinton Coples, DE, UNC. Motivation issues aside, I feel bad for the quarterbacks of the NFC South, who have to face the pass rushing tandem of Charles Johnson and Coples twice a year. (Previous Pick: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU)

10. Buffalo Bills - Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford. By signing Mario Williams, the Bills scratched of defensive end as their biggest need going into the draft, a put offensive tackle at the top of the list. (Previous Pick: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina)

11. Kansas City Chiefs - David DeCastro, OG, Stanford. Chiefs fans have been clamouring in nearly every mock draft I've read that their selection should be DeCastro. Are you happy now? (Previous Pick: Riley Rieff, OT, Iowa)

12. Jacksonville Jaguars from Seattle Seahawks - Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina. The Jags can take their pick of a few intriguing pass rush prospects, and go with the relentless Ingram from South Carolina. (Cincinnati Previous Pick: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama)

13. Arizona Cardinals - Riley Rieff, OT, Iowa. Rieff and Martin are like tackle prospect 2A and 2B to me, and the Cardinals are fortunate enough to have one of them fall to 13. Some questions have been raised about his arm length hampering his ability to play left tackle effectively (think Brian Bulaga), but his tape is undeniable. Rieff should be a solid bet to man the right tackle spot, and hopefully be able to take over for Levi Brown on the left side at some point. (Previous Pick: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford)

14. Dallas Cowboys - Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois. A pass rushing duo of Demarcus Ware and Whitney Mercilus makes me dislike the Cowboys even more. RGIII, Eli Manning, and Michael Vick better watch out. (Previous Pick: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford)

15. Philadelphia Eagles - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama. I'll probably take some flack on this selection, with most people thinking Kuechly in this spot, but the fact is that Asante is getting older and more expensive, Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie played well below expectations, and Nnamdi Asomugha can't cover everyone by himself. (Previous Pick: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College)

16. New York Jets - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama. Richardson is easily a top ten telent, but he unfortunately plays as one of the less valued positions. Nevertheless, the Eagles get a great running back.(Previous Pick: Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois)

17. Cincinnati Bengals - Cordy Glenn, OG/OT, Georgia. Versatility is a great asset, heck, it basically got Adam Snyder a contract. Glenn is versatile, and a darn good linemen to boot. (Seattle Previous Pick: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis)

18. San Diego Chargers - Nick Perry, DE, USC. Losing Vincent Jackson will really hurt this offense, but the Chargers defense needs some help too. (Previous Pick: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama)

19. Detroit Lions from Chicago Bears - Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College. The Lions have a big hole in the middle of their 4-3 front seven, and trade up for a very good ILB prospect. (Tampa Bay Previous Pick: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina)

20. Tennessee Titans - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis. Poe's physical ability will get him drafted this high. and the Titans grab a potential monster here. (Previous Pick: Cordy Glenn, OG/OT, Georgia)

21. Cincinnati Bengals - Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina. Gilmore will need to adjust and fine tune his technique, but physically, he can hang around with NFL calibre receivers. (Previous Pick: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor)

22. Cleveland Browns - Brandon Weeden, QB, OSU. When you think you've found your guy at the quarterback position, you pull the trigger. Weeden and Blackmon's chemistry should help ignite this offense.(Previous Pick: Nick Perry, DE, USC)

23. Chicago Bears from Detroit Lions - Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama. A presence like Upshaw across from Peppers should keep opposing offensive lines alert. (Previous Pick: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama)

24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Devon Still, DT, Penn State. A well run franchise continues to operate very effectively. Reload each year with great talent. (Previous Pick: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama)

25. Denver Broncos - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor. Peyton can make any receiver look great, but give him a great receiver and you'll wreak havoc on defenses. (Previous Pick: Devon Still, DT, Penn State)

26. Houston Texans - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech. The speed of Kendall Wright mized with the body of Mohammed Sanu makes Hill a great pick for the Texans. (Previous Pick: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina)

27. New England Patriots - Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson. Besides possibly improving the offensive line, the Pats offense doesn't need any work. Their defense has to improve if they want to win another Super Bowl with Brady. (Previous Pick: Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson)

28. Green Bay Packers -Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama. Jenkins falls a bit because of his red flags, but the Packers have a few holes to fill on their defense, and Jenkins is a great start. (Previous Pick: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State)

29. Baltimore Ravens - Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina. Who better for an up and coming possession receiver to learn from then Anquan Boldin? The Ravens can basically replace former wide receivers with younger receivers of equal skill sets.(Previous Pick: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State)

30. San Francisco 49ers - Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall. A signs point to Smith being back in town, and the 49ers will likely take a hard look at some wide receivers here, but Curry is an excellent OLB option to have in a linebacker corps. (Previous Pick: Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall)

31. Cincinnati Bengals from New England Patriots - Lamaar Miller, RB, Miami. Pats always manage to find a trade partner, and the Bengals trade their second and first in 2013(acquire in the Palmer deal) to move up.(Previous Pick: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech)

32. New York Giants - Orson Charles, TE, Clemson. After releasing Brandon Jacobs, the Giants would have like to grab Miller with this pick, but will look to grab one in the later rounds. (Previous Pick: Lamaar Miller, RB, Miami)

Another mock down, and the picture is starting to clear. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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