1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford - Scouting Report
The Colts still haven’t made their intentions known, but I just can’t see him going any other direction with this pick. Griffin is an elite prospect, but players like him come along every couple years. Luck is in another stratosphere as a prospect, and there are franchise that have waited their entire existence without ever having the opportunity to land a guy like him. The Colts would be making a huge mistake to pass on Luck.
2. Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III – QB – Baylor - Scouting Report
[from Rams] As much as the Redskins are excited about Griffin, there’s no doubt that they’re secretly crossing their fingers for the Colts to let Andrew Luck slide. But Griffin will be a fine consolation prize, if you can even call it that. He’s a special prospect, but the challenge now will be to surround him with enough talent in order to let him develop.
3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil – OT – USC - Scouting Report
The Vikings may entertain the possibility of trading this pick but if they stay put Kalil is too valuable to pass up. Their offensive line has been depleted by the release of Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera, and if they want to keep Christian Ponder on his feet in 2012, then adding a star at left tackle is a must.
4. Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson – RB – Alabama - Scouting Report
The Browns have shown a good deal of interest in Richardson in recent weeks, and I’m inclined to believe it’s genuine. If they were trying to drive up the price of the 4th overall pick, Blackmon would probably be the guy the feign interest in, given the number of teams in the lower half of the top 10 in need of a receiver. So assuming the Browns don’t trade down, Richardson is the pick.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne – CB – LSU - Scouting Report
The Bucs will probably be content to take either Richardson or Claiborne, whichever one the Browns pass up. Claiborne may not have the same immediate impact as Richardson, but still fills a glaring hole at cornerback. The Bucs may also be a candidate to trade down, especially if a team like the Jaguars or Bills decide to leapfrog the Rams in an effort to land Justin Blackmon.
6. St. Louis Rams - Justin Blackmon – WR – Oklahoma St - Scouting Report
[from Redskins] It’s unlikely that Claiborne gets past the Browns and Bucs, which means the Blackmon is the heavy favorite for this slot. There is no doubt that Blackmon would add a new dimension to the Rams offense, providing Sam Bradford with the type of supporting cast he deserves. I don’t think they’ll trade up for Blackmon, as has been rumored, but I do think they’ll take him if he falls.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Michael Floyd – WR – Notre Dame - Scouting Report
Jaguars GM Gene Smith is definitely an outside-the-box thinker when it comes to the draft. This may be reach for Floyd, but the Jaguars need to give Blaine Gabbert a tall possession receiver. Floyd has the skills to make an immediate impact in Jacksonville and, given the number of teams in need of a receiver, they don’t have the luxury of trading down and landing him later.
8. Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill – QB – Texas A&M - Scouting Report
I’m finally giving in and moving Tannehill into the top 10. It’s absolutely ludicrous that a team would even consider him this high, but if the Dolphins are half as dysfunction as they’ve been portrayed this offseason, they just may pull the trigger on a developmental quarterback who struggles with NFL throws.
9. Carolina Panthers – Quinton Coples – DE – North Carolina -Scouting Report
The Panthers seem to be interested in upgrading the defensive end position opposite Charles Johnson, hoping to find a more well-rounded upgrade over Greg Hardy. Coples was incredibly inconsistent in college, but when the effort is there, he’s a dominant force.
10. Buffalo Bills - Riley Reiff – OT – Iowa - Scouting Report
The addition of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson more than adequately addressed their need for a defensive end, which means their attention turns elsewhere with this pick. Cornerback and offensive line are now the most obvious holes that need to be filled. Considering the money they’ve already spent on defense, I suspect they’ll be leaning towards addressing the offense with this selection. Reiff holds a slight edge over Jonathan Martin.
11. Kansas City Chiefs - Dontari Poe – DT – Memphis - Scouting Report
If the season started today, 2011 6th-round pick Jerrell Powe would be the Chiefs likely starting nose tackle. I can’t imagine Scott Pioli and Romero Crennel feel good about that situation, and they should jump at the chance to bring a guy with Dontari Poe’s size and athleticism into the mix. It may be a slight reach considering his limited collegiate production, but his upside is undeniable.
12. Seattle Seahawks - Luke Kuechly – LB – Boston College - Scouting Report
The Seahawks should be ecstatic if Kueckly is on the board at No. 12. With David Hawthorne and Leroy Hill gone, the linebacking corps has been depleted. Kuechly has all the physical and mental tools necessary to be an elite inside linebacker for the next decade. He’s a guy you can build around.
13. Arizona Cardinals - Melvin Ingram – LB – South Carolina - Scouting Report
The Cardinals need to address the offensive line, but could also use a pass rusher like Ingram. They’ll have a tough call to make if left to decide between Ingram and Jonathan Martin, but there aren’t many pass rushers in this draft class and if they don’t land Ingram they may not find anyone capable of upgrading the position in 2012.
14. Dallas Cowboys - Courtney Upshaw – LB – Alabama - Scouting Report
The Cowboys have done a nice job filling some holes in free agency, upgrading the secondary and of the offensive line. Their next move will be to add a pass rusher. Either Upshaw or Melvin Ingram should be on the board here, and I suspect the Cowboys would be fine with either. There are also reports that they covet Dontari Poe, but I don’t see him falling this far.
15. Philadelphia Eagles - Fletcher Cox – DT – Mississippi State - Scouting Report
The Eagles are a tough team to predict, so I’ll play it safe and assume Andy Reid sticks with his ‘when in doubt, draft a lineman’ strategy. Cox has the potential to be a dangerous interior pass rusher, and could be a poor man’s Ndamukong Suh in Philly’s defensive scheme.
16. New York Jets - Cordy Glenn – OG/OT – Georgia - Scouting Report
The Jets have been linked to a pass rusher in most mock drafts, which they definitely need, but Glenn’s value may be tough to pass up. Right tackle Wayne Hunter is coming off a miserable season in which he allowed 11 sacks, and Matt Slausen wasn’t much better at left guard. Glenn could play either position, and provide Mark Sanchez with some much needed protection.
17. Cincinnati Bengals - Peter Konz – C – Wisconsin - Scouting Report
[from Raiders] The Bengals have made some big changes to the offensive line this offseason, adding Travelle Wharton and Jacob Bell, and they may not be done yet. Kyle Cook has been an adequate staring center, but Konz offers a significant upgrade. If the plan is to pound the ball inside with Green-Ellis and Scott in 2012, Konz would make a lot of sense here.
18. San Diego Chargers - David DeCastro – OG – Stanford - Scouting Report
The Chargers should consider trading up for Cordy Glenn, but DeCastro would be a decent consolation prize. Both starting guard positions should be up for grabs in training camp, and the Chargers would have to feel better about the situation if they could plug DeCastro into one of those slots.
19. Chicago Bears - Andre Branch – DE – Clemson - Scouting Report
The Bears seem locked into taking a defensive end here, partly due to a need and partly due to the depth at the position. They could go a number of different directions here, but I’ll give the edge to Branch in this situation. Of the remaining players on the board, Branch probably has the most potential as a three-down lineman.
20. Tennessee Titans - Mark Barron – S – Alabama - Scouting Report
The Titans are one of the most difficult teams to predict. Most mock drafts have them targeting a defensive lineman, but I suspect the addition of Kamerion Wimbley fills that need. Strong safety isn’t necessarily a glaring hole, but Barron is a definitely upgrade over Jordan Babineaux and one of the best available players on the board.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Janoris Jenkins – CB – N.Alabama - Scouting Report
This almost seems too predictable to be realistic. Kirkpatrick and Gilmore will be higher on many draft boards due to Jenkins’ character concerns, but the Bengals are clearly not among the teams that care about such things. In terms of raw talent, Jenkins is arguably the best available player on the board and fills a hole in Cincinnati.
22. Cleveland Browns - Kendall Wright – WR – Baylor - Scouting Report
[from Falcons] I don’t think the Browns have a strong interest in Justin Blackmon, and one reason for that is due to the fact that they’ll have an opportunity to land a receiver at No. 22. Wright would be the perfect complement to Greg Little and could really open things up for the Browns offense.
23. Detroit Lions - Dre Kirkpatrick – CB – Alabama - Scouting Report
Considering who should be on the board here, it’s tough to imagine the Lions not landing a cornerback. Kirkpatrick, Gilmore and Jenkins should all be considered viable options and any of the three could reasonably emerge as the Lions top corner in 2012. I’ll give the edge to Kirkpatrick over Gilmore, but it’s really a toss up.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Dont’a Hightower – LB – Alabama - Scouting Report
The Steelers have more glaring needs (cornerback, offensive line) but they also value depth in the defensive front seven. Additionally, GM Kevin Colbert loves to fill needs before they open up. Adding Hightower would provide them with impressive depth at linebacker before he eventually took over for Larry Foote as the starter (which could happen sooner rather than later).
25. Denver Broncos - Michael Brockers – DT – LSU - Scouting Report
The Broncos must address their defensive line early in this draft, and they should be in position to land a quality tackle here. Brockers and Jerel Worthy would both make sense, but I’ll give the slight edge to Brockers. He has more upside and has the potential to be a dangerous interior pass rusher once he refines his game.
26. Houston Texans – Rueben Randle – WR – LSU - Scouting Report
The Texans have far bigger holes to fill, but when you’re this close to being legitimate contenders, sometimes the right decision to make the luxury pick. Randle will take time to fully develop, but he would add some depth to the receiving corps and take some of the pressure off of Andre Johnson.
27. New England Patriots - Stephon Gilmore – CB – S.Carolina - Scouting Report
From New Orleans - The Patriots have needs all over the defensive side of the ball, so I expect them to take the best available player. Gilmore makes the most sense in this situation, adding some much needed depth to a depleted secondary. Shea McClellin or Whitney Mercilus could be options as well.
28. Green Bay Packers – Shea McClellin – OLB – Boise State - Scouting Report
I skeptical of McClellin’s recent surge up draft boards, but after going back to review some games from 2011 I realized the hype is warranted. McClelling played more of a hybrid end/linebacker role as a senior and make significant strides in his game. He’s a perfect fit at outside linebacker in defense like Green Bay’s.
29. Baltimore Ravens - Jonathan Martin – OT – Stanford - Scouting Report
The Ravens don’t need to fill any glaring holes, so they can sit back and wait for the best available player to fall into their lap. In this scenario, it’s definitely Jonathan Martin, who could potentially play guard early in his career before shifting over to tackle in a year or two to replace Bryant McKinnie.
30. San Francisco 49ers - Amini Silatolu – OG – Midwestern State
The 49ers don’t have many holes to fill, but if the opportunity presents itself to upgrade the right guard position they should jump at the chance. This may be a slight reach for Silatolu, but pairing him with Mike Iupati would give the 49ers two potentially dominant interior run blockers to pave the way for Frank Gore.
31. New England Patriots – Jerel Worthy – DT – Michigan State - Scouting Report
Worthy is a great fit for the Patriots, who need to add depth on the interior line to take some of the pressure off Vince Wilfork. Worthy has the ability to play tackle in the Patriots 4-3 sets, and could shift outside to end in their 3-4 sets. He may also have the size and strength to eventually take over for Vince Wilfork at nose tackle down the road.
32. New York Giants – Lavonte David – LB – Nebraska - Scouting Report
Depth at linebacker has been a slight issue for the Giants over the past few years, and they have a chance to address that situation here. David could play weak-side or inside linebacker, and would compete for a starting job with Michael Boley at either of those positions. The Giants may also consider a running back here if they’re concerned about Ahmad Bradshaw’s health.