Richner: 2012 Mock Draft
NFL Draft Expert Matt Richner projects the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. With a complete evaluation of teams needs, strengths and weaknesses, this mock draft represents what each organization SHOULD do in this week's NFL Draft. Each draft selection is based upon team needs, players strengths, offensive and defensive scheme assignments, and players overall talent level. These are the highest rated players on Matt's board along with who he feels will achieve the most sustained success in the NFL. Read Matt's comments on each first round pick below.
2012 First Two Rounds Mock Draft
|2||Washington||Robert Griffin III||QB||Baylor|
|4||Cleveland||Justin Blackmon||WR||Oklahoma State|
|5||Tampa Bay||Morris Claiborne||DB||LSU|
|6||St. Louis||Quinton Coples||DE||North Carolina|
|7||Jacksonville||Melvin Ingram||OLB/DE||South Carolina|
|9||Carolina||Michael Floyd||WR||Notre Dame|
|11||Kansas City||Courtney Upshaw||OLB||Alabama|
|12||Seattle||Luke Kuechly||ILB||Boston College|
|15||Philadelphia||Devon Still||DT||Penn State|
|16||New York Jets||Kendall Wright||WR||Baylor|
|18||San Diego||Dre Kirkpatrick||CB||Alabama|
|24||Pittsburgh||Jerel Worthy||DT||Michigan State|
|26||Houston||Bobbie Massie||OT||Ole Miss|
|27||New England||Vinny Curry||OLB||Marshall|
|28||Green Bay||Fletcher Cox||DT||Mississippi State|
|30||San Francisco||Dwayne Allen||TE||Clemson|
|31||New England||Derek Wolfe||DE/DT||Cincinnati|
|32||New York Giants||Dont'a Hightower||ILB||Alabama|
|33||St. Louis||Stephon Gilmore||CB||South Carolina|
|35||Minnesota||Jeff Fuller||WR||Texas A&M|
|36||Tampa Bay||Cyrus Gray||RB||Texas A&M|
|39||St. Louis Rams||Josh Robinson||CB||UCF|
|42||Miami||Kirk Cousins||QB||Michigan State|
|43||Seattle||Bruce Irvin||OLB||West Virginia|
|44||Kansas City||Brandon Washington||OG||Miami|
|46||Philadelphia||Harrison Smith||SS||Notre Dame|
|47||New York Jets||Lavonte David||OLB||Nebraska|
|48||New England||Markelle Martin||FS||Oklahoma State|
|49||San Diego||Doug Martin||RB||Boise State|
|51||Philadelphia||Jordan White||WR||Western Michigan|
|54||Detroit||George Iloka||FS||Boise State|
|56||Pittsburgh||Zebrie Sanders||RT||Florida State|
|57||Denver||Brian Quick||WR||Appalachian State|
|58||Houston||Bobby Wagner||LB||Utah State|
|59||Green Bay||Antonio Allen||SS||South Carolina|
|60||Baltimore||Kelechi Osemele||OG||Iowa State|
|61||San Francisco||Mychal Kendricks||ILB||Cal|
|62||New England||Tank Carder||ILB||TCU|
|63||New York Giants||B.J. Cunningham||WR||Michigan State|
First Round Comments
1. Indianapolis, Andrew Luck, QB: Luck is the best QB in this year's NFL Draft and has the background in college to step in and be a productive starting QB in his first season. He has some big shoes to fill and with the absence of talent around him, it will take some time before the Colts have success with Luck at the helm.
2. Washington, Robert Griffin III, QB: Griffin's athletic ability is second to none in this year's NFL draft. He has the athleticism to make some plays outside the pocket, but it will take some time before he masters a pro-style offense.
3. Minnesota, Matt Kalil, LT: The Vikings have to get the offensive tackle position filled and Kalil is the best player in this draft to step in a fill the need. I'm not sure Christian Ponder can survive another season with a turnstile as his left tackle.
4. Cleveland, Justin Blackmon, WR: The Browns desperately need a playmaker on offense, and Blackmon can be this year's A.J. Green. Blackmon has shown he has the ability to make the tough catches and will help Colt McCoy become a better overall QB.
5. Tampa Bay, Morris Claiborne, DB: Claiborne has a tough job ahead of him. He will be asked to match up against the likes of Roddy White, Julio Jones, Steve Smith, and Marques Colston. Tampa will need all the help it can get to keep those guys out of the end zone.
6. St. Louis, Quinton Coples, DE: Chris Long can't do it all by himself on the St. Louis Rams' defensive line. Coples has the ability and track record to be a dominant force from the defensive end position. Paring Coples with Robert Quinn, Chris Long, and James Laurinaitis will give the Rams a solid foundation on the defensive front moving forward.
7. Jacksonville, Melvin Ingram, OLB/DE: Ingram is the best pure pass rusher in this year's draft class. Jacksonville has a talent depleted roster and could use an elite pass rusher on their defense.
8. Miami, David DeCastro, OG: The Dolphins do not have a running game, and can't protect their QB. They need to take time and build their offensive line. DeCastro is the perfect player to match with Jake Long and build an elite offensive line.
9. Carolina, Michael Floyd, WR: Steve Smith has been a productive wide receiver in the NFL for a long time. They could finally give him some help. Floyd will make an immediate impact in the red zone and his size will cause matchup problems for smaller defensive secondaries.
10. Buffalo, Riley Reiff, LT: The Bills don't have a decent option at the left tackle position and Reiff is a technician who should provide some stability for a few years. They have given a lot of money to Ryan Fitzpatrick. They need to start protecting him.
11. Kansas City, Courtney Upshaw, OLB: With recent picks of Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson, it is time the Chiefs draft a player who can help Tamba Hali put pressure on the QB. Courtney Upshaw is perfectly suited to play the OLB in the 3-4 and could be a perfect complement to Tamba Hali.
12. Seattle, Luke Kuechly, ILB: The third highest rated player on my board, Kuechly is a tackling machine with an ACC record 532 career tackles. The Seahawks have an obvious need at the ILB position and Kuechly will be leader for seasons to come in the NFL.
13. Arizona, Jonathan Martin, OT: Kevin Kolb or John Skeleton needs someone to give him more than a nanosecond in the pocket. Martin has tremendous footwork and will have no problems protecting either QB's blindside.
14. Dallas, Mark Barron, SS: In a perfect world, Dallas would trade down and get some extra picks because they need depth at just about every position. Barron is the best safety in this year's draft, and Dallas had one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL last year
15. Philadelphia, Devon Still, DT: Seems like every year the Eagles are searching for a top tier DT in the first few rounds. Still is a disruptive force with 33.5 TFL and 11.5 sacks for his career in college. He is perfectly suited to play alongside Cullen Jenkins.
16.. New York Jets, Kendall Wright, WR: The Jets have some obvious holes on defense, but they need to add another playmaker on offense. They don't have anyone opposite of Santonio Holmes and Wright, who reminds me of Terance Mathis, can be the playmaker they need. With over 4,000 career receiving yards in college, Wright can stretch the field and keep defenses honest in the NFL.
17. Cincinnati, Cordy Glenn, OG: The Bengals have drafted very well the last few seasons and they need to invest in their offense line to protect one major asset (QB, Andy Dalton) and let another one get downfield to make some plays (WR, A.J. Green). Glenn is the type of tough, physical mauler they need to improve their offensive line.
18. San Diego, Dre Kirkpatrick, CB: Considering this is probably A.J. Smith's last time running the Chargers draft room, he would be best served taking the most physical, man-to-man cover corner in the draft - Dre Kirkpatrick. With his size and frame and history of shutting down the top wide receivers in the SEC, Kirkpatrick should have little issues adjusting to NFL.
19. Chicago, Nick Perry, DE: Perry is a three-down lineman who can be an effective pass rusher, but also hold his own in the running game. With 21.5 career sacks in college, he should have few issues showing that sort of production with the Bears.
20. Tennessee, Casey Hayward, CB: With the loss of Cortland Finnegan, the Titans need some help in the defensive secondary. Hayward showed excellent ball skills in college with 15 career INTs to go along with 46 career passes broken up at Vanderbilt.
21. Cincinnati, Coby Fleener, TE: I know, I know, you say "They just took Jermaine Gresham; they don't need another tight end." But, an offensive set of Gresham, Fleener, A.J. Green, Jordan Shipley, and Ben-Jarvus Green Ellis would be explosive. Adding another weapon with the talent of Fleener for a young QB, could transform Andy Dalton into an elite QB in a few years.
22. Cleveland, Trent Richardson, RB: If you add Richardson's physical running style with Blackmon's elite receiving ability the Browns go from having a few offensive skills players to having a great foundation to build on. Richardson can be the workhorse running back that is typically the staple of a West Coast Offense.
23. Detroit, Kevin Zeitler, OG : A guy who never gave up a sack in college, Matt Stafford would love to see that streak continue with Zeitler protecting him.
24. Pittsburgh, Jerel Worthy, DT: Worthy is a smart player who regularly calls out passing routes. He has great size and led Michigan State to one of the top rushing defenses each of the past two seasons. Worthy should be able to sub in for Casey Hampton on passing downs and be a destructive force on the inside.
25. Denver, Kendall Reyes, DT: With Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller rushing from the outside, the Broncos need some interior pass rush help. With 110 career tackles, 11.5 sacks and 32 TFL for his career in college, Reyes is the top rated interior pass rusher on my board and he will help Miller and Dumervil.
26. Houston, Bobbie Massie, OT: The Texans just cut their starting right tackle, Eric Winston, and the best one on the board is Bobby Massie. Massie is a true right tackle who led an Ole Miss offensive line that gave up the fewest sacks in the SEC.
27. New England, Vinny Curry , OLB: Curry is a complete pass rusher with 26.5 career sacks, 49 TFL, and 11 Forced Fumbles in college. Bill Belichick will find more than a few ways to put Curry in the right spots and allow him to wreak havoc on opposing QBs.
28. Green Bay, Fletcher Cox, DT: Clay Matthews needs some help. He needs someone who can occupy blockers and allow him the freedom to run around and make plays. At 6'4 and 295 lbs., Fletcher Cox can play the DE in the 3-4 and create pressure in the backfield.
29. Baltimore, Peter Konz, C: Selecting the best center and allowing him to sit behind a Pro Bowler in Matt Birk is a smart move. Konz can learn the system, offensive calls and be an offensive line leader in future years.
30. San Francisco, Dwayne Allen, TE: Coach Jim Harbaugh ran a high percentage of two-tight end sets at Stanford and he will have the opportunity to incorporate that formation with Allen. A John Mackey Award winner with 93 career receptions would be a great complimentary tight end to Vernon Davis.
31. New England, Derek Wolfe, DE/DT: The Patriots look for players who are versatile and can allow them to make changes to their defensive schemes and systems. Wolfe has the ability, with 19.5 career sacks and 37 TFL to be a pass rusher. He also has the size at 6'5 300lbs to hold his ground. Wolfe can play inside or outside on a defensive line.
32. New York Giants, Dont'a Hightower, ILB: The defending Super Bowl champions have a lack of depth of quality inside linebackers and Hightower is a purer tackling machine. With 21 career tackles for loss in college, Hightower is perfectly suited to play inside linebacker for Coach Coughlin, where he will have the freedom to run sideline to sideline and make an impact.