2012 NFL Mock Draft

The NFL Draft is coming into much clearer focus with April 22nd rapidly approaching. Eric Galko is back with his projected draft order, complete with a few twists and turns during the first two rounds.

In this update, the top three picks are shooken up a bit, but a big name offensive weapon falls, three quarterbacks in the Top 10, it's a defensive line heavy first round.

1 . Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

-Despite a recent push and rumors around RG3 as the possible pick, the Colts WILL stick with Luck, getting the draft's best quarterback.

2 . TRADE: Washington Redkskins - Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor

-Redskins coordinator Kyle Shanahan has already gone over the offense with Griffin, so their new franchise QB will have a head start.

3 . Minnesota Vikings - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

-A major change of note, Matt Kalil doesn't have the size (he's under 300 pounds) the Vikings generally look for in an OT, and Claiborne can further improve a secondary that has dealt with injuries along with having to face potential prolific offenses in division in Detroit, Green Bay, and Chicago.

4 . Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

-With no Claiborne, their pick seems simple, getting the drafts more stable and safe offensive force to balance out an offense lacking talent overall.

5 . Tampa Bay Bucs - Matt Kalil, OT, USC -While Greg Schaino wants a more power run scheme, he'll look at add offensive line talent if Richardson and Claiborne are gone, and Kalil can give this offensive line the elite talent in pass protection for Josh Freeman.

6 . St. Louis Rams - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

-Ideally, the Rams would like to see any of picks 3-5 end up here, and if they don't, they may look to trade back if possible. Justin Blackmon isn't the elite receiver to answer their woes, and taking any offensive linemen here is a reach. Jeff Fisher has had success with raw defensive linemen before, and Poe could solidify this front four.

7 . Jacksonville Jaguars - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

-Been flopping on this pick for months, but with outside pass rushers likely falling to the 2nd round, the Jaguars get a solid short and intermidate presence for Blaine Gabbert that can fill a Roddy White-type role in Mike Mularky's offense.

8 . Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M

-I don't believe a team in the Top 20 should take Ryan Tannehill if they expect him to play early. In the Dolphins case, they have two quarterbacks who have starter experience on the roster with just one year deals, Tannehill's former head coach (Mike Sherman), and an offense that gave success to a similar quarterback (Aaron Rodgers).

9 . Carolina Panthers - Devon Still, DT, Penn State

-Still is a reach for many boards here, but not for us. He fills their need now as a great run defense-based nose tackle. Ideally, they'd like to trade down, but he gives this defense the best potential to be successful next year of any defensive prospect.

10 . Buffalo Bills - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

-The Bills are looking to win now, and adding an impact player could be high on their list. While Michael Floyd may be a better fit, Blackmon could complement Stevie Johnson just as well as a middle of the field threat to break plays deep.

11 . Kansas City Chiefs - David DeCastro, OG, Stanford -Kansas City has addressed every other spot of their offense except for one guard spot. Adding DeCastro would solidify this young offensive line with a rare interior lineman talent, and give Matt Cassell next to zero reason not to thrive this year.

12 . Seattle Seahawks - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

-After drafting James Carpenter last year in the late first round a year ago, the Seahawks could go back to the offensive line in Riley Reiff, to give them a safe right tackle for the future and finalize an offense that is built on youth and depth.

13 . Arizona Cardinals - Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama

-Sam Acho emerged last year as a solid potential starter, but outside of him, they have no safe pass rushers on the roster next year. Upshaw fits the scheme well, and his ready-to-go pass rushing ability now could help a needy defense.

14 . Dallas Cowboys - Mark Barron, S, Alabama

-Mark Barron has been linked to the Cowboys for a while now, and he's an ideal fit. They've addressed cornerback with Brandon Carr in free agency, and could look there again in the middle rounds. Barron gives them a middle of the field ballhawk who does everything well and can be a much-needed secondary leader.

15 . Philadelphia Eagles - Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College

-Despite adding DeMeco Ryans, the Eagles could use the under-ratedly athletic Luke Kuechly to play the Mike or Will in the defense, as the Eagles aren't finished with their linebacker makeover.

16 . New York Jets - Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina

-Adding an offensive weapon to help Sanchez/Tebow would be ideal for Jets, but getting a new pass rusher to utilize in Rex Ryan's system could keep a strength-a-strength on defense.

17 . Cincinnati Bengals (via Oak) - Stephen Gilmore, CB, South Carolina -Gilmore is an ideal fit in the Bengles defense, and no one currently in their defensive backfield can adequately replace Jonathan Joseph for the long-term.

18 . San Diego Chargers - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State

-Despite drafting Corey Liuget last year in the first round, the Chargers could use another 5-technique as well as follow the "BPA" route and take a falling-because-of-other-needs Fletcher Cox.

19 . Chicago Bears - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

-Another surprise fall in this mock draft, Kirkpatrick is the drafts best zone cornerback by far and while it's not a glaring need for the Bears, he's too good of a fit and talent to fall past #19.

20 . Tennessee Titans - Peter Konz, OC, Wisconsin

-The Titans have added offensive line help in free agency (Steve Hutchinson), but still need youth and depth for the future with Jake Locker. While Whitney Merclius fits a pass rushing need as well as their usual trend to draft talent first, Konz can solidify their center spot fr the next 10 years.

21 . Cincinnati Bengals - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

-Andy Dalton's success last year was more than surprising, but no Jerome Simpson and no long term receiver opposite A.J. Green leads Wright to be a logical, value-based, and system fit for the Bengals.

22 . Cleveland Browns - Rueben Randle, WR, LSU

-Getting another big play threat for this offense is a must even if Colt McCoy can't reach consistently down the field, as he likely isn't the "quarterback of the future" anyways.

23 . Detroit Lions - Cordy Glenn, OT, Georgia

-The Lions need to add to their offensive line. Glenn could push Cherlius this year, kick inside to guard, or even start day one at left tackle instead of Jeff Backus.

24 . Pittsburgh Steelers - Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

-Pittsburgh needs a long term right tackle, and with more coaching on hand placement and footwork inside, Martin could be an elite right tackle.

25 . Denver Broncos - Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

-Willis McGahee is not the long term answer, and adding a new dimension runner in Miller for this year could open up a new weapon Manning hasn't had in a while at quarterback.

26 . Houston Texans - Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois

-The Texans will likely target receiver at some point in the top two rounds, but with a talent like Merclius here (maybe the only really fit in round one for the raw, situational athlete), Wade Phillips could pound the table, as he wanted a somewhat similar rusher in Aldon Smith a year ago.

27 . New England Patriots (via NO) - Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama

-Because of the lack of value in an inside linebacker in the draft, either Kuechly or Hightower likely will fall. With the Patriots likely being able to utilize Hightower's rushing ability as well as play him at , 3-4 OLB, strong and middle 4-3 linebacker, he's a great value here.

28 . Green Bay Packers - Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State

-A big reach for our board, rumors are he could be taken in the Top 40 picks, and the Packers have seen a similar, high motor, late riser at a similar spot in draft in Clay Matthews Jr.

29 . Baltimore Ravens - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

-While many have Brockers going high, think the talent at DT in the 2nd round combined with him being a raw talent that didn't test overly athletic pushes him down on draft day.

30 . San Francisco 49ers - Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

-If any team in round one could take a chance on an elite talent falling, it's the confident Jim Harbaugh. He's already added Randy Moss and Perrish Cox, so Janoris Jenkins would fit the mold as a high talent, high risk addition.

31 . New England Patriots - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina -Another falling talent for the Patriots, Coples is a guy that few scouts and evaluators will fight for in their draft War Rooms, causing him to fall. A fit as a 3-technique, 5-technique, or true 4-3 DE, Coples adds the versatility Belichek loves with the pass rushing defensive lineman he needs.

32 . New York Giants - Coby Flenner, TE, Stanford -The Giants shouldn't stop adding weapons to this offense, and while a receiver to replace Mario Manningham is an option, Coby Fleener quickly supplants Jake Ballard as an ideal tight end for this offense to split the season.


33 . St. Louis Rams - Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

-While adding more talent to the offense is a must to help Sam Bradford, a Hosley-Finnegan combo could be great for the future.

34 . Indianapolis Colts - Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State

-The Colts added Winston Justice to a young offensive line already, but adding Silatolu at left guard could give Andrew Luck ample protection to be successful early on.

35 . Minnesota Vikings - Kelechi Osemele, OT, Iowa State

-The Vikings pass on Matt Kalil in first round to get the better fit Osemele in 2nd, who has the size and power they need in a power run team.

36 . Tampa Bay Bucs - Doug Martin, RB, Boise State

-Missed out on Trent Richardson is first round, they still get the compact, powerful Doug Martin to fill the Ray Rice-Rutgers role for Schiano.

37 . Cleveland Browns - Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State

-Pass on Tannehill at #2 to get help on offense, and adding Weeden who can play now and likely beat out Colt McCoy for opening day is a huge addition in round two.

38 . Jacksonville Jaguars - Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC

-Perry is a Top 20 talent on our board, but could fall on draft day because he's a bit one dimensional as of now and hard to place in the right system. Could be a steal of a value.

39 . St. Louis Rams - David Wilson, RB, Virgina Tech

-The Rams will look to add a running back in this top 40, and Wilson is the best of the bunch left that has the type of explosive qualities Chris Johnson did for Jeff Fisher back in Tennessee.

40 . Carolina Panthers - Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida

-Robinson has seen his stock rise drastically since Combine, but still doesn't get to the first round. Carolina pounces on the great cornerback talent.

41 . Buffalo Bills - Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

-Could have reached for an offensive tackle in the first, the Bills get lucky and find a potential left tackle of the future here in the 2nd.

42 . Miami Dolphins - Keith Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin

-Still looking to finalize their offensive line, the Dolphins add Zeitler who can step in now to play left or right guard.

43 . Seattle Seahawks - Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State

-Know they love him, and with Flynn on just 3 year deal, he's no lock to be their franchise guy.

44 . Kansas City Chiefs - Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina

-The Chiefs need overall talent, and with Brown having loads of it but time to develop, he could take his time in development and add versatility long term.

45 . Dallas Cowboys - Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson

-Passed on a few solid pass rushers in round one to go safety, but Branch is a nice value here to at least at 3-4 OLB depth and at best supplant Anthony Spencer opposite DeMarcus Ware.

46 . Philadelphia Eagles - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

-Could target a quarterback here, but with elite talent like Hill and no reason to rush him, could be a steal of a value.

47 . New York Jets - Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

-Another top receiver talent that falls on draft day, the Jets take a gamble on another high risk, high reward receiver to fill Plaxico's shoes.

48 . New England Patriots (via OAK) - Mitchell Schwartz, OT, California

-After doing well in round one, the Patriots get another great value, as Schwartz can slip in at either guard spots and play right away.

49 . San Diego Chargers - Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt

-Adding more secondary help is a must for the Chargers, and Hayward is a solid value here and a playmaker.

50 . Chicago Bears - Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska -Fringe first round talent himself, David slips because he needs ideal system to hide size concerns. Bears fit perfectly.

51 . Philadelphia Eagles (via Ari) - Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia

-While the Eagles don't NEED a cornerback with Samuel, Asmougha, and DRC, but they lack a nickel cornerback, Boykin fills that role and more with his versatility.

52 . Tennessee Titans - Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse

-Tennessee still needs pass rushing help and loves drafting outstanding talents first who may need time to develop.

53 . Cincinatti Bengals - Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State

-After missing out on Mark Barron in the first, the Bengals get the next safety that fits their scheme in Martin, who isn't a reach by our evaluations.

54 . Detroit Lions - Ryan Steed, CB, Furman

-Another "reach" for some, Steed is one of the more unheralded cornerbacks in this class and could develop into one of the best in 2-3 years.

55 . Atlanta Falcons - Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana

-Atlanta has looked at both more physical yet lacking speed cornerbacks as well as Montana players in the past, and Johnson fits that mold.

56 . Pittsburgh Steelers - Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame

-Pittsburgh needs depth in the secondary, and Smith can fill a lot of roles at both safety spots plus in situational plays.

57 . Denver Broncos - Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

-Denver would've like to go DT in round one, but it's likely they either trade up or stay here at #57 for their defensive tackle spot.

58 . Houston Texans - Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State

-Very easily could end up going late round one, the Texans get a deep threat receiver that they very well could consider iat pick #26.

59 . Green Bay Packers - Chris Polk, RB, Washington

-Reportedly are eyeing him up, I think more teams have Polk high than people realize. They may need to trade up to get him.

60 . Baltimore Ravens - Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall

-Cury is a great fit for the Ravens defense, and they shouldn't rely on Paul Kruger or Sergio Kindle for the future at OLB.

61 . San Francisco 49ers - Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas -Despite adding Manningham and Moss in the off-season, they still lack a true slot receiver. Adams's is the drafts best, plus he's a deadly returner.

62 . New England Patriots - Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson

-Similar to Chris Polk, feel that teams have Thompson much higher than many realize. But if he falls, the Patriots could get another steal of a value.

63 . New York Giants - Sean Spence, OLB, Miami

-Spence garnered a second round grade from us, and his instincts and aggression to the ball could be exactly what the Giants need.

Eric Galko is the Owner, Director of Scouting of Optimum Scouting and lead editor for OptimumScouting.com. He has been scouting college football for eight years, and for pro teams and other sports professionals for the last four years. Eric is also a member of the FWAA.

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