2012 NFL Mock Draft: Belch’s Take

I’m going to take a break from the beer for a bit to explore the draft. With a few teams trading up to secure their draft positioning, this draft is based on the current draft order and current draft needs. Barring any more free agent signings, this draft is as complete as i can think.

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB Stanford
As of right now, Andrew Luck is still the more impressive, NFL ready QB. Could the Colts select RGIII instead? Perhaps, but either selection would be a good one.

2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB Baylor
The Redskins made a bold move trading away a few 1st rounders to get this draft pick. The Redskins are ready for their franchise QB, and if it’s not Robert Griffin III it will be Luck.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT USC
With a second year QB on the roster in Ponder and Peterson in the backfield, the Vikings are looking for a little protection. Here the Vikings take the smart move in adding a great OT as opposed to a premier offensive player.

4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB Alabama
Cleveland loses their big running threat in Peyton Hillis, basically leaving the team without a RB. Trent is an every down back who can either run up the gut or bounce outside, if he can stay healthy he could prove to be an elite RB.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB LSU
Claiborne has been compared to Champ Bailey, his awareness on the defensive side of the ball is superb. Tampa Bay plays in a very offensively powerful division and would benefit with the addition of a potential All-Star Cb.

6. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma St.
Losing Brandon Lloyd leaves the Rams with basically no top WR. Blackmon might not be the fastest guy on field, but he has incredible hands, great strength, and runs an outstanding route. Might make the Pro Bowl this year.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinton Coples, DE North Carolina
The Jags struggled last year to produce pressure, and with the defense suffering many injuries last year, they need an anchor. Look for the Jaguars to build on the offense in the later rounds, but Coples is a good fit here in the first.

8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB Texas A&M
Here is an interesting pick. The Dolphins need a long term answer at QB, but how good can Tannehill be? The Dolphins hope to let him develop behind David Garrard for a bit while they see what they can get out of Ryan.

9. Carolina Panthers: Whitney Marcilus, DE Illinois
The Panthers look to ride the “Cam Tram” on offense as far as he might take them, but the defense still needs to fill the hole that Julius Peppers left. Whitney Marcilus adds some pressure from the outside, helping the CB’s by cutting down on pocket time.

10. Buffalo Bills: Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame
The Bills make a huge splash in signing Mario Williams, significantly improving the defensive pressure. The Bills, needing another option at WR, pick a DeSean Jackson style receiver with speed. Fitzpatrick can now pick apart most defenses.

11. Kansas City Chiefs: David DeCastro, OG Stanford
The Chiefs have a lot of question marks on the offensive side of the ball but sign Peyton Hillis so add depth. Look for the Chiefs to protect Cassel a little more this year, also adding a great run blocker.

12. Seattle Seahawks: Luke Kuechly, LB Boston College
Seattle adds a dual threat linebacker with Luke, making an immediate difference on defense. Still pretty of concerns to address in the next few rounds, but Luke has the most talent on the board.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Riley Reiff, OT Iowa
Arizona needs to cash in on investments Kolb and Fitzgerald, and the first step is strengthening the O-line. Riley can protect the outside, giving Kolb more time to hit a target.

14. Dallas Cowbots: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB Alabama
The Cowboys struggled last year with their secondary. Kirkpatrick is an NFL ready CB that could also make a splash on Special Teams.

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Courtney Upshaw, OLB Alabama
Philadelphia wasn’t close to being an elite defense last year, struggling with stopping the run. Courtney Upshaw can help as a dual threat: stopping the run, and pressuring the QB.

16. New York Jets: Mark Barron, S Alabama
Is that three from Alabama in a row? Yes it is, but the Jets need a good over-the-top safety that can play to their defensive scheme. Barron will start immediately.

17. Cincinnati Bengals: Fletcher Cox, DT Mississippi St.
Fletcher Cox will anchor one of the youngest defensive lines in the league. Fletcher is a great penetrative lineman with great size and speed.

18. San Diego Chargers: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB South Carolina
I see San Diego taking highest value here with so many holes in the roster. Ingram could make an immediate impact on a few different positions on the field, making the Chargers’ front 7 stronger.

19. Chicago Bears: Mike Adams, OT Ohio St.
The Bears continue to improve on the worst O-line in the league. Mike Adams will find a place on the line, maybe a few players shift to make it work.

20. Tennessee Titans: Stephon Gilmore, CB South Carolina
The Titans have a huge hole to fill after losing Finnegan to free agency, and McCourty just isn’t ready to be the number one starter. Gilmore can anchor the secondary as this team starts to retool.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Peter Konz, C/OG Wisconsin
The Bengals’ second pick, they look to give Dalton a little more protection inside. A great move at interior lineman, Konz can give Green-Ellis a little more push also.

22. Cleveland Browns: Andre Branch, DE Clemson
Branch could corner the pass rush opposite of Sheard, finally completing the D-line project. Branch will help stop the run, something the Browns have had a very hard time doing.

23. Detroit Lions: Jonathon Martin, OT Stanford
Martin isn’t the Mike Adams pick they were looking forward to, but still a very promising tackle. With the fragile Stafford in the huddle, the Lions could use more protection.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dont’a Hightower, ILB Alabama
Alabama was stacked with talent this year, and Hightower was no slouch. Pittsburgh loves their linebackers, and they’ll love Dont’a.

25. Denver Broncos: Michael Brockers, DT LSU
The Broncos have an extremely talented defense, even with a slight absence of defensive line. Brockers will only add to the talent, making sure Peyton has the ball more than the opposing offense.

26. Houston Texans: Zach Brown, OLB North Carolina
The Texans lost a massive piece in Mario Williams, but this could also help the team. Clearing up the space needed to sign a few free agents, Brown will fill some pretty big shoes.

27. New England Patriots: Devon Still, DT/DE Penn State
It’s no secret that the defense for the Patriots is weak. This pick will just be step one of many down the path to reaching a great defense.

28. Green Bay Packers: Kendall Reyes, DE/DT Connecticut
The Packers are a pretty complete team with very few holes to fill. Reyes could step in as a supporting role at first, making an impact on the pass rush.

29. Baltimore Ravens: Cordy Glenn, OG Georgia
With many of the O-line on the wrong end of their career, the Ravens need to think about who will protect Flacco in five years. Glenn can step into a number of interior line positions.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Stephen Hill, WR Georgia Tech
Hill has the ability to stretch the field as a deep threat. This will take the pressure off Probowl TE Vernon Davis and take Ginn off the field, keeping him in the return specialist role he’s actually good at.

31. New England Patriots: Janoris Jenkins, CB North Alabama
Finally a corner who can play across from Devin McCourty! He might not be a Champ Bailey but he is talented and can have an instant impact on the field. Leave Ras-I Dowling in the nickel and see who develops.

32. New York Giants: Coby Fleener, TE Stanford
The Giants were hurt by injuries to the tight ends last season. Ballard is solid, but look for the team to move in a Patriots style offense, with two TE’s on the field.

There you go peeps. Those are what I consider to be the logical picks as of yet, but with two weeks left before the draft it could change. Still plenty of time to trade picks, maybe make a move in free agency. Who knows, maybe the Bengals or the Patriots decide they only want one, really good draft pick and trade up.

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