2012 NFL Mock Draft: Last Mock Before Free Agency

Manning Watch 2012 reaches a significant day in two days, on March eighth. The Indianapolis Colts either have to restructure Mannings contract, pay him his $28 Million roster bonus, or cut ties with Manning and officially start the "Andrew Luck" era. Thus far, all signs point to the end of Peyton as a Colt, and his, along with many other potential free agent's decisions, can and will drastically effect all future mock drafts. However, we do not have the luxury of foresight, and the show must go on, as it were. Same rules apply as the most recent mock, first round only and trades are an option. With that said, prepare yourselves, because I'm going to mock your socks off.

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

1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford. My prediction is that the Manning era comes to an end Thursday, and the Colts have Luck already written in for their first selection. (Previous Pick: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford)


2. Washington Redskins from St. Louis Rams - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor. The Redskins have reportedly offered St. Louis two firsts, a third, and a fifth, to trade up to select Griffin III. That's a tough offer to turn down, and it could still be improved. (Washington Previous Pick: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor)

3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, OT, USC. The top three picks of this year's draft seem to be all but submitted at this point. Minnesota protect their investment in Ponder with the top tackle prospect to come out in years. (Previous Pick: Matt Kalil, OT, USC)

4. Cleveland Browns - Morris Claibourne, CB, LSU. The Browns could use help all over the field, and can stick to their draft board throughout the draft. Claibourne is BPA on my board here. (Previous Pick: Justin Blackmon, WR, OSU)

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Justin Blackmon, WR, OSU. The Bucs have a decent young team that just needs to add a few more pieces and develop some consistency. Adding a big possession receiver across from Mike Williams gives them offensive weapons to move the ball consistently down field.


6. St. Louis Rams from Washington Redskins - Riley Rieff, OT, Iowa. The Rams would have had a tough decision if Blackmon had fallen one pick farther. Instead the decision is made for them to protect Bradford, instead of giving him weapons. (St. Louis Previous Pick: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU)

7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame. I don't want to become to predictable, but at this point, nothing has changed my mind to take Floyd away from the Jags. A handful of scouts already have Floyd ranked higher than Blackmon on their boards. (Previous Pick: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame)

8. Miami Dolphins- Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina. Ingram gets the honour of being the first pass rusher to be selected in the 2012 Draft, and the Phins get the honour of putting a dangerous set of defensive ends on the field in Ingram and Wake. (Previous Pick: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina)

9. Carolina Panthers - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU. Brockers has excellent upside and is a disruptive force on the interior defensive line. Ron Rivera should have no trouble turning this young man into an All Star. (Previous Pick: Riley Rieff, OT, Iowa)

10. Buffalo Bills - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina. Coples and Ingram switch spots from the previous mock here. While Coples physical talents are undeniable, his desire and motor are, and the Bills roll the dice on a high risk/high reward player. (Previous Pick: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina)

11. Kansas City Chiefs - David DeCastro, QB, Stanford. DeCastro is a once in a decade type talent at guard, and should be able to solidify either left or right guard for the Chiefs for a decade. (Previous Pick: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford)

12. Seattle Seahawks - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M. Yes, this is a reach, but I'm trying to be realistic. QBs get drafted much higher than they should, and this year will not be an exception. (Previous Pick: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama)

13. Cincinnati Bengals from Arizona Cardinals - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama. For the second straight week, I have the Bengals trade up to grab the Crimson Tide RB standout. I can't see an RB being picked in the top 5 anymore, and none of the other teams, barring maybe the Miami Dolphins have a semblance of a need for a RB. With Marshawn Lynch signing an extension on Sunday, Richardson's fall gain more credibility, and the Cardinals are the benefactors in gaining a second round pick, and perhaps a fifth or sixth rounder.

14. Dallas Cowboys - Cordy Glenn, OG/OT, Georgia. Glenn's versatility makes him a great pick here as he can play almost any position on the offensive line relatively well. Him and Tyron Smith are great building block for the Cowboys offensive line going forward. (Previous Pick: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford)

15. Philadelphia Eagles - Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College. Kuechly is a very interesting prospect, because I've seen him all over the place on multiple big boards. In my opinion, he's easily a top 20 talent and addresses a huge need for the Eagles. (Previous Pick: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College)

16. New York Jets - Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford. Its become more common for athletic and quick tackles to play on the right side, opposed to right tackle previously being filled by a linemen with the physical appearance of a guard. Martin can slid into the right tackle position out of training camp, and eventually take over for the 28 year old D'Brickashaw Ferguson. (Previous Pick: Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois)

17. Arizona Cardinals from Cincinnati Bengals - Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois. The Cardinals were one pick short of an ideal scenario were they replace their second rounder an still grab an elite tackle prospect. All is not lost however, as the talented Mercilus is a very good pick here for the Cards. Mercilus has all the tools you'd want in a 3-4 OLB, speed, strength, pass rushing ability, explosion, and while he is not elite in an category, he is above average in nearly all of them. Mercilus is best described as a "jack of all trades, but master of none". He is a well rounded prospect, who can be coached into become a great OLB.

18. San Diego Chargers - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama. Kirkpatrick hasn't impressed in interviews so far, and could see his stock fall even farther come draft day, but here, he fills a massive need on the Chargers defense. (Previous Pick: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC)

19. Chicago Bears - Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina. The Bears need a solid possession receiver for Jay Cutler to work with. While Knox and Hester are explosive, a possession receiver would add a great element to their offense. (Previous Pick: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina)

20. Tennessee Titans - Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC. At 17, the choice seemed to be between Mercilus and Perry for the Cardinals, and while Perry may be seen as the better pass rusher, Mercilus' overall ability gave him the edge. In my opinion, Perry would be better suited as a defensive end, where he just has to focus on beating the man in front of him. (Previous Pick: Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina)

21. Cincinnati Bengals - Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama. The draft so far has gone perfectly for the Bengals. With their first two picks, albeit one which was originally Arizona's, they were able to address their two biggest needs.` (Previous Pick: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama)

22. Cleveland Browns - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor. Whatever happens in free agency, the Browns need to add some better wide receivers. They stick to their board and grab the explosive Wright for whoever is under center. (Previous Pick: Kendall Wright)

23. Detroit Lions - Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama. It looks like Tulloch will be testing the market in free agency, leaving a big hole in the middle of the Lions 4-3 defense. Hightower is a smart, athletic player who can step in day one and fill that hole. (Previous Pick: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama)

24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Devon Still, DT, Penn State. I am "Still" firmly on the Devon Still bandwagon, and with this pick the Steelers keep reloading on their defensive line. (Previous Pick: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis)

25. Denver Broncos - Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina. I don't have any WRs close enough on my big board to justify the Broncos reaching here, so instead they grab Gilmore to learn behind the great Champ Bailey. (Previous Pick: Devon Still, DT, Penn State)

26. Houston Texans - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis. Don't you just love it when a plan works out perfectly? Wade Phillips get the perfect fit for the nose tackle on his 3-4 defense. (Previous Pick: Jerel Worthy, DT, MSU)

27. New England Patriots - Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama. Pretty significant fall for Upshaw, but concerns about his ability to play as a true OLB, ie pass coverage, drop him down. (Previous Pick: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina)

28. Green Bay Packers - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State. Green Bay's defensive line could use some work, and Cox will be able to keep opposing offensive linemen off his playmaking linebackers. (Previous Pick: Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson)

29. Baltimore Ravens - Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall. While there's no real need for an outsider linebacker here, the Ravens grab the talented Curry, while they keep reloading and restocking their linebacking core. (Previous Pick: Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama)

30. San Francisco 49ers - Mark Barron, SS, Alabama. Barron is the type of safety who can cover this need breed of tight ends, while at the same time improving the 49ers secondary as a whole. (Previous Pick: Mark Barron, SS, Alabama)

31. New England Patriots - Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin. While a good quarterback can make an offensive line look great, adding elite prospects can't hurt. (Previous Pick: Ronnell Lewis, DE/OLB, Oklahoma)

32. New York Giants - Orson Charles, TE, Georgia. At this point, it seems like the Giants will pick whichever tight end they like best. (Previous Pick: Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson)

Eight mock drafts are done, and with free agency looming, they might not even be close to what really happens. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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