2012 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (4/3/2012)

This is my first mock of the off-season. It's currently only picks 1-10 and contains NO projected trades. I'll add more picks and update the mock in about a week or so.

If you disagree with a pick, please give reasons as to why. Debating the picks is what makes the mock drafts fun.


1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck QB Stanford - Without a doubt, Luck should be the first pick, 100%. He is everything on the field AND off the field you want in a QB prospect. There should be no debate with this pick.

Picks 2-10 after the jump.

2. Washington Redskins: Robert: Griffin QB Baylor - This is also a no brainer. But second in this draft is right were Robert Griffin should be. Like Luck, he is great on AND off the field. But unlike Luck, he has a few more questions marks. His size and durability are two of the question marks. Regardless, he still has one hell of an arm and a lot of athletic ability. But the parts of his game that aren't stressed enough are his motivation to work hard and his football IQ; this guy is smart.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil OT USC - The Vikings have some major O-line problems. And with a young quarterback running the show and one of the best NFL running backs in the backfield leading this team, a strong O-line is a must. Kalil is hands down the best Offensive linemen in the draft and this pick is also an easy one to make.

4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson RB Alabama (or trade?) - This is where the draft could begin to get real interesting... If the Browns keep this pick then Trent Richardson would be the way to go. I'll admit that a few months ago I had Blackmon locked in to this pick. Now, I don't think he is a sure fire selection here anymore and here's why... Mike Holmgren has the Browns running his West Coast offense. In that Offense receivers are obviously important. But what is almost more important is a running back that can do it all. One that can not only run and block but also catch out of the backfield to make plays. Trent Richardson is that type of guy. Not only would he help out Colt McCoy(by running the ball effectively and also catching check down passes) but Trent would also fill the void left fromPeyton Hillis leaving.

*The Browns have many holes to fill on both sides of the ball, and if they get the right asking price I could definitely see them trading back to get even more picks in this draft if a team wants someone like Morris Claiborne, Justin Blackmon, or Ryan Tannehill (Miami?).

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne CB L.S.U. - I feel for the Bucs fans this off-season. Last off-season they thought their team was destined to do big things.... Then the wheels fell off... Mike Williams forgot how to get open, Josh Freeman lost his confidence, and their promising young coach seemed absent minded. Unfortunately, there is still more trouble to come for the Bucs when (not if) Aqib Talib goes to jail for his gun crime. Knowing that Talib's situation will be a headache and that Ronde Barber is really, really, really, really, old, the Bucs choosing Morris Claiborne here makes the most sense. Claiborne will help slow down the Saints' aerial circus, the two headed monster in Atlanta (White & Jones), and "Wham Bam thank you Cam" in Carolina... Anyone who thinks Blackmon will be chosen here.... Just stop. Vincent Jackson was signed to a big contract and Mike Williams will return to form with defenses focusing on Jackson now as well. *Trent Richardson is an intriguing option with this pick as well if he is still there.

6. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon WR Okla St. - Finally Justin Blackmon is off the board and FINALLY the Rams actually have a young #1 Wide Receiver for Sam Bradford to show off his skills with. Justin Blackmon is a stud, plain and simple. He works as hard as any top WR prospect in the draft, but has the special abilities to get open from his defenders, and incredible hands to make all types of catches. The Rams & Bradford will surely be happy by not only getting a fortune for trading back with Washington but still being able to get their guy.

*DT could be a surprise pick here.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Melvin Ingram DE South Carolina - The Jags and GM Gene Smith are always one of the hardest teams to predict on draft day. Last year they pulled a fast one on us in the first round and made a draft day trade to pick QB Blaine Gabbert... Well Gabbert didn't do so hot, but in his defense (does he really deserve one?) he had almost no one to throw the ball to. In the off-season the Jags began to fix that problem and signed Laurent Robinson. Robinson alone isn't the entire solution but he helps. This draft is deep with receivers so unless the Jags get lucky and see Blackmon sitting there at 7, I don't see them drafting a WR this high. On the other side of the ball the Jags defense is pretty solid except for DE. They resigned DE Jeremy Mincey, but opposite from him there is only an aging Aaron Kampan and a soon to be cut Matt Roth (Roth was told to explore other option according to Melvin Ingram would be a perfect fit at the other DE spot opposite Mincey. Mercilus is strong, and talented, and plays with the type of effort that Gene Smith loves. Ingram also has an impressive resume that includes 9 sacks in 2010 and 10 sacks in 2011. *Like I said, Gene Smith is hard to predict. One guy to keep an eye on is Whitney Mercilus (DE from Illinois). Mercilus has more of the size that Gene Smith looks for and is also rising up draft boards.

8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M - Is Tannehill really worth a top 10 pick? No. Is he even worth a first round pick? No. Do the Dolphins really, really want a QB? Yes. (They failed at signing Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn, and Alex Smith all in one off-season. And don't try to convince me they are happy with David Garrard and Matt Moore.) Is Jeff Ireland a crazy GM and the guy making the pick? YEESSSSS. Not only is Jeff Ireland making this pick but Mike Sherman, Tannehill's former head coach, is now also on the Dolphins staff and I'm sure both of those guys will be giddy to see their "franchise QB" still on the board... Tannehill is a good kid, but he is still a big time work in progress after playing the position in college for a year and a half. Sorry Dolphin Fans.

9. Carolina Panthers: Fletcher Cox DT - Last year the Panthers hit a home run by drafting Cam Newton with the first overall pick in the 2011 draft. He looks like he will be every bit worth that pick and more. He has rejuvenated the offense and given WR Steve Smith's career a second chance. But one thing that is keeping Carolina from making that next step to being a great football team is their defense, specifically their interior defensive line. The two defensive tackles that the Panthers drafted last year in the 3rd round didn't pan out. And although they have only been in the league one year, neither really showed that they would be making big improvements into being great starters anytime soon. Fletcher Cox fits the Panthers 4-3 perfectly and provides the impact defensive tackle the Panthers defense is lacking.

10. Buffalo Bills: OT Riley Reiff Iowa - Last season Buffalo signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to a big contract and now it's time to protect that investment with some insurance. Though some scouts have concern with length of Reiff's arms, he is still a very effective run and pass blocker, and also has experience playing both left and right tackle positions, and could even be slid inside to guard.

*The bills also need help at TE but since drafting Coby Fleener would be a bit of a reach here I could also see the Bills looking to trade back into the mid-late first round to pick one of the top TE's.

Picks 11-20 coming soon.

Side Notes

1. Wouldn't it be funny if Dan Snyder and Mike Shanahan throw a curve ball and pick Ryan Tannehill instead of Robert Griffin. I can't even imagine what the Vikings would be thinking in those minutes leading up to their pick.

2. Trent Richardson is the real deal. End of Story. He is worth a top 5 pick.

3. This draft is very, very, very deep at wide receiver. There will be many receivers picked in rounds 3,4, & 5 who will end up being WR1's and WR2's for their teams in the near future.

4. Tannehill is NOT worth a first round pick. Neither was Blaine Gabbert. All reports say Tannehill is a great guy off the field, and I don't disagree. But on the field he hasn't shown enough to be worthy of a first round pick...

5. Miami could be painful to watch. GM Jeff Ireland has already missed on free agent opportunities and made some strange moves this off-season. I'm curious to see what he does (or whiffs on) next.

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