2012 Mock Draft; First Edition

It's that time of the season. NFL free agent player discussions are ablaze, with the player signing period less than a month away....But today, we jump into the fray of college player scouting, as we offer-up Alo's 2012 Mock Draft.

1. Indianapolis -- Andrew Luck QB Stanford
The biggest no-brainer of all no-brainers, the Colts should rush to the podium to select the Stanford signal caller. While blessed with very good size, mobility, and arm strength, where Luck truly stands out is the mental aspect of the game. He's fully ready to start immediately and should quickly develop into a top-flight NFL quarterback.

2. St. Louis -- Matt Kalil OT USC
There's a very good chance that this pick will get shipped to a team shopping for Robert Griffin III. If not, the Rams would be wise to invest in the elite blindside tackle they once thought they were getting in Jason Smith. Indeed, drafting Kalil would allow the team to cut ties with the first round disappointment and move third year man Rodger Saffold to right tackle.

3. Minnesota -- Riley Reiff OT Iowa
Charlie Johnson was one of the worst left tackles in the league last year. To provide a secure cockpit for Christian Ponder, the team needs to bring in a more capable blindside protector. Riley Reiff certainly would fit the bill. While some may consider him a reach at #3 overall, the Iowa product possesses tremendous potential; with some added lower body strength, he could excel in Minnesota.

4. Cleveland -- Robert Griffin III QB Baylor
The Browns likely will have to trade up to secure Griffin's services. They'd be elated to find the Baylor Bear waiting for them at #4. And rightfully so, as RG3 is an ideal fit for the AFC North. He can rifle the ball through the region's blustery Decemeber winds and use his escapability to work his way around the division's dynamic pass rushers.

5. Tampa Bay -- Morris Claiborne CB LSU
With Ronde Barber on the really wrong side of 35 and Aqib Talib in and out of trouble, the Bucs neeed to address the cornerback position. Enter Morris Claiborne, whose special combination of length and receiver-like ball skills would make him a great fit in Tampa. If their talented young d-linemen start to make plays, Claiborne will be sure to reciprocate with picks.

6. Washington -- Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M
If you don't have a franchise quarterback, you must do everything possible to get one. In this case, the Redskins "reach" for a raw but very promising QB. Super-accurate on the move, the strong-armed Tannehill would be a great fit for Shanahan's bootleg-heavy offense. Hopefully, more reps will improve the A&M product's sometimes spotty decision-making.

7. Jacksonville -- Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma State
Blaine Gabbert struggled mightily as a rookie, in part due to an medicorce receiving corps. To best support the sophomore quarterback, the Jaguars should add a receiver who can beat press coverage and come down with contested balls. If character-conscious GM Gene Smith can look past Blackmon's 2010 DUI arrest, the Oklahoma State receiver will perfectly fit that need.

8. Miami -- Quinton Coples DE North Carolina
With the Dolphins switching to a 4-3 defense, the team needs to add a competent bookend to edge rusher Cameron Wake. Though something of a divisive prospect, Coples has the potential to be dominant on all three downs, perhaps sliding inside to do even more damage on passing downs. The question is whether he possesses the will to make the most of his immense natural ability.

9. Carolina -- Michael Brockers DT LSU
Last year, the Panther's defense struggled mightily, particularly its pair of 3rd round defensive tackles. Though the team could stay the course, a talent upgrade may be in order. Michael Brockers certainly would qualify as such. While not much of a pass rusher at this stage, but the raw redshirt Sophomore will anchor in the run game and hopefully hone his overall skillset.

10. Buffalo -- Courtney Upshaw DE/OLB Alabama
The Bills' defense is still struggling to find an identity. After running a 3-4 last year, the team now will transition its way back to a 4-3 defense. If the squad is going to employ a share of both fronts, Courtney Upshaw would be an ideal addition. Strong enough at the point of attack to play 4-3 defensive and athletic enough to stand up as a 3-4 outside linebacker, Upshaw would provide the defense with a pass rush infusion and plenty of versatility.

11. Kansas City -- Jonathan Martin OT Stanford
After a disastrous season, Barry Richardson can no longer be looked upon as the answer at right tackle. With Branden Albert entering the final year of his contract, there's some uncertainty at left tackle as well. Though a shade below elite, Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin possibly could solve both issues: start at right tackle next year, then move to his natural blindside spot if Albert leaves in free agency.

12. Seattle -- Trent Richardson RB Alabama
After having a career year, Marshawn Lynch will look to make bank in free agency. Though the Hawks may acceed to his contract demands (or franchise tag him), they could bring in a younger, cheaper, and more talented option in Richardson. Arguably one of the top five talents in this class, T.Rich easily could slide here and end up being one of the best picks in the first frame.

13. Arizona -- David DeCastro OG Stanford
Last year, the Cardinals's offensive line gave up a whopping 54 sacks. To give whoever's behind center a chance to survive, the team needs to find upgrades at multiple spots. Thus, while offensive tackle may be the most pressing need, guard David DeCastro would be a strong choice here. The Stanford o-lineman simply grades out higher than any of the OTs left on the board.

14. Dallas -- Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama
The Cowboys' defense collapsed late in the season, giving up big points and yardage to its divisional competitors. Dre Kirkpatrick could help reverse that trend. A lengthy corner who loves to jam receivers at the line, Kirkpatrick would alllow Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan to be more creative with his blitz packages, thereby giving opposing quarterbacks fits.

15. Philadelphia -- Kendall Wright WR Baylor
With reports emerging that the Eagles will franchise tag DeSean Jackson, this may seem like a curious selection. However, the possibility still exists that the team will part ways with the speedy receiver, perhaps via trade. If that happens, Kendall Wright could easily slide into Desean's role, becoming Vick's primary vertical threat.

16. New York Jets -- Melvin Ingram DE/OLB South Carolina
In need of an explosive, high-motor pass rusher, the Jets could turn to one that may look eerily familiar to Rex Ryan. Melvin Ingram's drawn comparisons to Adalius Thomas, a versatile defender that Ryan was able to use to full disruptive effect in Baltimore. Ingram could have a similar impact in New York, continuing to get after the quarterback from multiple spots.

17. Cincinnati (f/OAK) -- Cordy Glenn OG/OT Georgia
Last year, left guard Nate Livings was the weak link on the Bengals' offensive line. To add some heft and power to the position group, the team could snag Cordy Glenn here. A surprisingly nimble 6'5", 346 lbs., Glenn excelled playing left guard in 2010 and could provide a significant upgrade over Livings. And if Andre Smith once again has a career setback, Glenn easily could kick over to right tackle.

18. San Diego -- Michael Floyd WR Notre Dame
With Vincent Jackson set to test free agency, the Chargers are in need of a new #1 target. Michael Floyd possesses the ability to be that go-to-guy. The Notre Dame wideout slimmed down before his senior season and used the added explosiveness to terrorize defenses. The Chargers will have to be convinced that Floyd's past alcohol issues are behind him; if they are, he'll be a high reward pick here.

19. Chicago -- Mike Adams OT Ohio State
Jay Cutler will be disappointed to see the top receivers off the board, but the team can help him just as much by making sure that he stays upright. Mike Adams would help make that happen. Vaulting up boards after a strong Senior Bowl week, Adams possesses the skills to acquit himself well as a blindside protector. He'd form a nice Big Ten pairing with right tackle Gabe Carimi.

20. Tennessee -- Nick Perry DE USC
Last year, the Titans finished second to last in the league in sacks. A bookend to Derrick Morgan is sorely needed, which Nick Perry would provide. Possessing long arms and good explosion off the ball, Perry is a solid counter move or two away from being a dynamic pass rusher. Along with Jurrell Casey, Karl Klug, and a possibly returning Jason Jones, the Titans would have a tremendous young defensive line.

21. Cincinnati – Jerel Worthy DT Michigan State
While defensive tackle isn't the Bengals' biggest need, the team can afford to use one of its two first round picks on a giant present for Marvin Lewis. Cinci's coach undoubtedly will be intrigued by Worthy's potential: the big man's explosion off the snap is exceptional. With proper coaching, Worthy could develop a much better overall game -- one that easily could have him being the best defensive tackle to come out of this class.

22. Cleveland (f/ATL) -- Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama
Joe Haden's more than lived up to his draft status -- he looks like a budding shutdown corner -- but Sheldon Brown opposite him is aging. In need of a young replacement, the Browns would be wise to look towards Janoris Jenkins. It'd be fitting to pair Haden with his former college running mate, who too proved during his time in Gainesville that he could match up with the SEC's elite receivers.

23. Detroit -- Luke Kuechly LB Boston College
Starting middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch is a free agent, but even if he resigns, adding Luke Kuechly would be a logical move. The Lions have adopted a Best Player Available strategy, and Kuechly simply is a tremendous football player. While not blessed with elite physical tools, the BC linebacker posssesses excellent instincts that would allow him to make plays lining up inside or at weakside backer.

24. Pittsburgh -- Kelechi Osemele OG/OT Iowa State
With guard Chris Kemoeatu a potential cap casualty, the Steelers will be on the lookout for a quality young replacement. Osemele played left tackle at ISU, but the mammoth lineman possesses the ability to handle the rigors of playing inside. And if injuries once again beset the team's front five, the Iowa State product could manage a move back to tackle.

25. Denver -- Devon Still DT Penn State
The Broncos' defense made great strides late in the season, but they've since lost their defensive coordinator and face losing their starting defensive tackles in free agency. To keep the progress going, why not add an upgrade in Devon Still? While not a flashy, explosive penetrator, Still uses his strength to overpower interior linemen and dominate in the run game.

26. Houston -- Dontari Poe NT Memphis
Instead of suffering through a haphazard scheme switch, the Texas swiftly built one of the best young 3-4 defenses in the league. One missing piece, however, is a truly dominant nose tackle. While very raw, Dontari Poe possesses all the tools to excel at the position. The athletic big man just needs to learn how to play with better functional strength and awareness.

27. New England (f/NO) -- Alfonzo Dennard CB Nebraska
After being forced to field street free agents and receivers in the secondary, the Patriots will go after at least a defensive back or two in this year's draft. Here, the team could get a discount pick in Alfonzo Dennard. Coming off a season and Senior Bowl marred by injuries, Dennard's stock could take a tumble on draft day. The Pats could scoop him up and have for themselves a physical corner who'll manhandle receivers at the line.

28. Green Bay -- Fletcher Cox DL Mississippi State
The Packers' defense took a big step back last year, falling to last in the league in passing yards allowed. Part of the reason was that the club lost three down defensive end Cullen Jenkins. In Fletcher Cox, the team gets a player with a similar skillset: a big defensive end who holds his own against the run but also is very disruptive in the passing game.

29. Baltimore -- Peter Konz C Wisconsin
With Matt Birk contemplating retirement, the Ravens need to add a pivot who can handle the big nose tackles of the AFC North. The 6'5", 315-pound Konz is more than capable of handling that duty. He plays with the toughness you expect from a Wisconsin lineman and is versatile enough to slide over to guard, should the team want him to assume free agent Ben Grubbs' spot.

30. San Francisco -- Rueben Randle WR LSU
The Niners' receivers were virtual non-entities during the playoffs. Their abysmal collective effort will force the team to address the position in free agency and/or the draft. Reuben Randle would make sense as a late 1st round investment in the position. The physical wideout can pluck the ball away from his frame and charge upfield, gaining plenty of YAC for SF.

31. New England -- Whitney Mercilus DE/OLB Illinois
Both Andre Carter and Mark Anderson are set to hit free agency, potentially leaving the Pats without a dynamic sack artist. The relentless Whitney Mercilus could come in and help fill that void. While not the most physically gifted pass rusher, Mercilus possesses strong hands and the savvy to beat linemen inside and out. Also, he's just athletic enough to play some outside backer, should the team move back to a 3-4.

32. New York Giants -- Dwayne Allen TE Clemson
With both Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum suffering knee injuries in the Super Bowl, the team needs to add a talented tight end. And he can't be a one-dimensional receiver: the Giants' system requires a guy who can help out in the run game. While other tight ends offer more explosive receiving ability, Allen is the balanced receiving/blocking option that the Giants' offense needs.


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