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NFL Insiders 2012 Mock Draft
1, Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck - With the departure of Peyton Manning, Jim Irsay is looking for a similar guy to fill those shoes. Don't be fooled with his comments that they haven't decided between Luck and Griffin yet. Luck is big, strong, athletic, and a very smart QB. Sound Familiar? On paper, he's a replica of Peyton, but don't expect him to BE Peyton, because that's never going to happen. I heard Luck looked at a few houses while he was here for a visit to Indy.
2. Washington Redskins
Robert Griffin III - Again, there will be no surprise here with this pick. Daniel Snyder and Mike Shanahan gave up everything but there first born children to move to second so they can nab this guy and solidify there quarterback position. He looks a lot like Randall Cunningham in my opinion. Just don't expect him to be Cam Newton, because he weighs about 70lbs less!
3. Minnesota Vikings
Matt Kalil - Let's face it, the Vikings have a lot of holes that need to be filled. There are a number of players in the draft that are worthy of this pick and that the Vikings could use, but outside of a QB, the left tackle is the first position you need to sure up, especially if you like your QB and you don't want to have to draft another one next year because he got beat down from behind game after game.
4. St Louis Rams from Cleveland Browns
Justin Blackmon - The Rams earned a lot of trading power with their trade from the Redskins before the draft so look for them to offer Holmgrem a deal they can't refuse. They need weapons on the outside for Bradford to throw to and there is no bigger skill player in the draft then WR Justin Blackmon.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Morris Claiborne - Tampa Bay has a choice here between Claiborne and Trent Richardson, because they could use both. Greg Schiano already called out Blount about the fumbles and told him he will find himself on the pine if he coughs it up, so don't be surprised if he's interested in Richardson right here. But in the end, they are too thin at corner to pass up on Claiborne here. Talib is a felon that could be suspended or in jail, Barber is too old to be an impact corner, and they recently added journeyman Eric Wright, he can't cover top receivers in the league. With all that being said, Claiborne comes off the board here.
6. Cleveland Browns from St Louis Rams
Trent Richardson - Well the Browns need just about every position on the offensive side of the ball that you can think of outside of left tackle and center. So who do you go with? The best player available on offense, and that's Trent Richardson. Hillis is gone and Hardesty has proven that he's not the answer at RB, so Richardson is the likely choice here. He can run hard and catch the ball out of the backfield, which works well in the west coast scheme. He plays a lot like Shaun Alexander, a running back Holmgrem had in Seattle that carried them to a Super Bowl. Easy choice here for the Browns.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
Melvin Ingram - This is a team that has a lot of holes on offense but quite frankly there isn't anyone left that is worth drafting this high, so they will take the best player on the board. They could take a look at Michael Floyd and have expressed interest in the receiver, but I don't think they make the move here. Ingram is a beast at DE and I like him coming off the board here.
8. Miami Dolphins
Ryan Tannehill - This is a no brainer for the Dolphins. Tannehill's stock has been rising since his impressive pro day and the Fins need a QB more than anything. They've lost out on the Manning sweepstakes, the Matt Flynn sweepstakes, and Kyle Orton didn't want any part of Miami. It seems that Ireland has that negative presence that AJ Smith has in San Diego, and nobody wants to play for him. Tannehill will be a good pick here for them, and we will see if he can be the first legitimate starter for the franchise since Dan Marino.
9. Carolina Panthers
Dontari Poe - The Panthers were awful on the front line last year and the 350 lb nose tackle will help sure up that unit. This kid ran a 4.8 in the forty which is just ridiculous for someone that size, so he's extremely athletic and can get in the backfield quickly. I think he's a better prospect Phil Taylor from last year because he's more athletic. This will fill a huge need on defense for the Panthers.
10. Buffalo Bills
Riley Reiff - The signing of Mario Williams killed Quenton Coples chance of going in the top ten. The Bills added to defensive ends in free agency so they will look to the offensive side of the ball here. They could really use Michael Floyd here to pair with Stevie Johnson, but they won't go that route. Reiff is too good of an offensive tackle to pass up on here and they need to protect Fitzpatrick and create holes for Spiller and Jackson.
11. Kansas City Chiefs
Dre Kirkpatrick - An outstanding corner out of Alabama, this is a must for the Chiefs after losing Brandon Carr in free agency. They will also be getting Eric Berry back from injury, and we know that Romeo Crennell is a defensive minded coach, so I expect him to sure up that defensive back spot early in the draft.
12. Seattle Seahawks
Quenton Coples - The Seahawks have some needs on the offensive side of the ball but Coples is just too good to pass up here. They could also take a look at ILB Kuechly here but ultimately you have to go with the best player on the board and that's Coples. This is a perfect fit because the kid has a lot of talent but can't find himself lazy and unmotivated at times. If any coach can light a fire under him, it would be Pete Carrol.
13. Arizona Cardinals
Jonathan Martin - The OT out of Stanford will be a nice addition for the Cardinals here. There offensive line is very bad so this will be a good pick up. It will be a toss up here between Martin and DeCastro. I think DeCastro is the better player, but a tackle is more of a need than a guard at this point for Arizona.
14. Dallas Cowboys
David DeCastro - I initially had them taking a corner here, but the signing of Brandon Carr in free agency will make this an easier pick. They still need help in the secondary, but I think DeCastro is a player that's too good to pass up on here. If you remember the combine, this is the kid they used to demonstrate the proper technique for all the other players. He will help protect Romo in a division with a lot of tough pass rushers.
15. Philadelphia Eagles
Fletcher Cox - The Eagles don't have much of a need on the defensive line, but Andy Reid likes to rotate four in four out quite a bit so don't be surprised if they take Cox here. The Vince Young experiment didn't work at backup so there biggest need is a QB to come in when Vick goes down in week six. This is too early to take any of the remaining QB's, so they will add Cox to the defensive line here.
16. New York Jets
Mark Barron - I like SS Barron out of Alabama going here to the Jets. This kid can provide help in coverage as well as coming up to stop the run. You can't have too many skill guys in the secondary when you play the Patriots twice a season.
17. Cincinnati Bengals
Janoris Jenkins - This guy has some character issues, but the Bengals are notorious for taking on players like this. He's a great talent at CB and will fill a huge hole that the Bengals had last season. They have some guys coming back off injuries, but I like them to get younger at this position with the 17th pick.
18. San Diego Chargers
Cordy Glenn - A flexible guy out of Georgia, he can play tackle and guard on the line, a huge need for an aging group in San Diego. This will be a key pick to help keep Rivers upright.
19. Chicago Bears
Whitney Mercilus - Defensive end out of Illinois, Mercilus will provide a great rushing end opposite of Peppers. The Bears wanted Mario Williams in free agency but never got the chance, this will be there backup plan.
20. Tennessee Titans
Devon Still - I definitely think the Titans go defensive line here, and with Cox and Mercilus already off the board, Still out of Penn State is the sure pick here.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Lamar Miller - I know they just signed Green Ellis, but he hasn't been an every down back throughout his career in New England, so there are some question marks there. That's why I like the Bengals adding Miller here out of Miami. He's a shifty runner that can hit holes quick and break it open. He should compliment "The Law Firm" quite well.
22. Cleveland Browns
Michael Floyd - The Browns will add a big time receiver here with there second first round pick. They have huge needs on the offensive side of the ball and adding Richardson at RB and Floyd at WR, this could be the start of a nice young talented group.
23. Detroit Lions
Stephon Gilmore - Let's face it, the Lions secondary is like swiss cheese, giving up 5 TD passes to back up QB Matt Flynn in the season finale last year proved that. So Gilmore is a huge pick up here to step in and be a better corner right away than Wright was.
26. Houston Texans
Stephen Hill - A great receiver out of Georgia Tech, this will be a must need to pair with Andre Johnson. Wade Phillips lost a lot of leaders on defense but they can't pass on Hill here. Look for them to address some defensive needs in the second round.
27. New England Patriots
Andre Branch - The Pats are brutal on defense and this will fill a big need that they have on that side of the ball. They need talent in the secondary but there is nobody left here to take, so this gives them the size and speed they need to get after the QB.
28. Green Bay Packers
Shea McClellin - A good pass rusher out of Boise State, this will fill a huge need for the Packers. They had no pass rush last season and this will help solidify that line and get pressure on guys like Cutler and Stafford who they meet twice a year.
29. Baltimore Ravens
Harrison Smith - The Ravens need to think ahead and realize that they are not going to have Ed Reed forever. Smith out of Notre Dame will fill a much needed void for Baltimore.
30. San Francisco 49ers
Kendall Wright - The Niners added Randy Moss and Mario Manningham in free agency, but let's face it, neither of these guys are number one receivers. Moss is in his mid thirties and nobody knows what type of production you're going to get out of this guy. If Manningham is getting a teams best cover corner week in and week out I don't see him putting up big numbers, so Kendall Wright adds a lot of speed and separation ability here. He can be a great slot receiver and can also beat guys deep with his speed.
31. New England Patriots
David Wilson - Virginia Tech's running back will be a great pick up this late in the first round for the Pats. After losing Green Ellis in free agency they will be looking to replace him. They have some young backs they drafted last year, but I don't think they are sold on them. Danny Woodhead is a great option back, but not an every down back.
New York Giants
Dont'a Hightower - This is a steal here with the last pick in the first round for the G-Men. The Giants need to get younger and faster at linebacker and this is a huge pick up for them.