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T.J. the Sports Geek’s NFL Draft Preview

Here are my projections for Round One of the 2012 NFL Draft!

1. Indianapolis- Andrew Luck, QB Stanford
We all know he is going to be selected by Indianapolis,so there isn’t any mystery surrounding the top pick. He’s the guy that the Colts have been considering to replace Peyton Manning for quite some time. He had a great 40 time at the combine and showed great athleticism there despite not throwing (but we all know he can do that). He may not be the next Manning there but he is the future in Indy.

2. Washington- Robert Griffin III, QB Baylor
Here’s a guy whose stock has soared higher than ever before. The Heisman Trophy winner has so much to offer. He can throw, he can run, he is very athletic and even very outgoing. He could very well be the next Steve Young. The Redskins traded up to get him and only him. My question is can he work well with Shanahan? Let’s hope it all works out!

3. Minnesota-Matt Kalil, OT USC
The Vikings very much need help at tackle and Kalil provides it. Adrian Peterson needs holes to run through and Christian Ponder needs to be well protected and Kalil is the guy to do that. He’s definitely the best tackle in this draft and Minnesota would be foolish not to take him.

4. Cleveland-Trent Richardson, RB Alabama
This pick is very much a wildcard here between Richardson, Justin Blackmon, Morris Claiborne,and Ryan Tannehill. Cleveland has glaring needs everywhere,but in the end I think the Browns will go with Richardson to replace Peyton Hillis and will team up with Montario Hardesty to try to give AFC North defenses a bigger headache.

5. Tampa Bay-Morris Claiborne, CB LSU
The Buccaneers need help in the secondary with an aging Ronde Barber close to being done and possible jail time for Aqib Talib, the wise pick for Tampa would be Morris Claiborne. He is the best cornerback on the board in this year’s draft and with all that’s going on with their secondary situation, it’s the obvious choice.

6. St. Louis-Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma State
This is the most talented wideout in the draft this year and he should be in a helmet with horns painted on it in St. Louis. Sam Bradford needs someone to play catch with and Blackmon is it. Many are concerned about his size but despite his 6’1″ size, he plays a lot bigger than he is. He also had a very impressive pro day so the Rams should be more than happy to get him at No. 6.

7. Jacksonville- Melvin Ingram, DE South Carolina
The Jags are very high on Ingram and could use help at defensive end. Not to mention in a division with Matt Schaub, Jake Locker and Andrew Luck at quarterback, you’re going to want to get to them and Ingram will be of help in that department.

8. Miami-Ryan Tannehill, QB Texas A&M
When efforts to sign Matt Flynn, Peyton Manning and hell, even Alex Smith of all people, fall flat, the draft is where to go for your next quarterback of the future and Tannehill is that guy. The Dolphins have had 16 different starting quarterbacks since Dan Marino left in 1999 and they’re hoping Tannehill can put a stop to that streak.

9. Carolina-Fletcher Cox, DT Mississippi State
Cox’s draft stock has been on the rise and the Panthers need help on the front line. Cox is a beast and would be a great addition to the interior line which was inferior last season. Cox could even go as high as seventh, but I like him in the ninth spot.

10. Buffalo- Luke Kuechly, ILB Boston College
Coming off having a great combine, Kuechly is probably the best linebacker in this draft and the Bills could use some help to bolster that linebacking core with Nick Barnett and Kelvin Sheppard. The Biils also may use this pick to go after David DeCastro or Riley Reiff.

11. Kansas City-David DeCastro, G Stanford
DeCastro is the “can’t miss” guard in this draft,many are comparing him to Steve Hutchinson. The interior of Kansas City’s offensive line is in shambles and DeCastro would be perfect for it. They could also go for some defensive help with Dontari Poe or Luke Kuechly should he be available,but conventional wisdom says the Chiefs will take DeCastro.

12. Seattle-Quinton Coples, DE North Carolina
This team is in need of a pash rusher and Carolina’s Quinton Coples could be the Seahawks’ top player on their board. Though many other mock drafts have him falling due to character issues, I think otherwise. He could fall no maybe 15th or 16th,but the Hawks will take him 12th unless Luke Kuechly falls past the Bills and Chiefs.

13. Arizona-Riley Reiff, OT Iowa
Many have Reiff being drafted 10th by the Bills, but I think he goes to Arizona. The Cardinals have a messy offensive line and if Kevin Kolb is going to have any time to throw, they better draft a guy like Reiff.

14. Dallas- Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame
The Cowboys like flashy players and Floyd fits that mold. He would be a great addition to a receiving core of Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. I know Tony Romo definitely likes having guys to throw to and Dallas just might select Floyd to give him that extra weapon. If they don’t choose Floyd here, it will most likely be Dre Kirkpatrick.

15. Philadelphia- Dontari Poe, DT Memphis
Though they may go with a cornerback like Dre Kirkpatrick, the Eagles already have Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie and are likely to trade Asante Samuel. Poe would be a great addition to the Eagles despite their lack of need for help up front. Andy Reid does like to mix it up in the front line. With Fletcher Cox more than likely coming out in the Top 10, Poe makes sense here.

16. N.Y. Jets- Mark Barron, SS Alabama
The Jets very much need help at safety and Barron should be a great fit for the secondary. Though they could go with someone like  Courtney Upshaw, the secondary could use some bolstering and Mark Barron is the guy they need. It’s a passing league now,folks!

17. Cincinnati- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB Alabama
Could we have back to back Alabama players going in the middle of the first round? More than likely. The Bengals have needs in the secondary and Kirkpatrick could be a good fit here. Cincinnati could also go for Janoris Jenkins here at this pick but he could slip to their second first round pick at 21. Stephen Gilmore could also be picked here.

18. San Diego- Courtney Upshaw, OLB Alabama
The Chargers have a need for a pass rusher and Upshaw from Alabama could be that guy. Whitney Mercellius of Illinois may also be an option and I had him here originally,but how cool would it be to see three Tide guys go back to back to back?

19. Chicago- Stephen Gilmore, CB South Carolina
Gilmore could go as high as 10th but I think he will fall right to the Bears at 19. Chicago needs help at that position and if Cincinnati or San Diego don’t take him, the Bears should. They might also go with a receiver like Kendall Wright or Stephen Hill to compliment Brandon Marshall.

20. Tennessee- Whitney Mercelius, DE Illinois
If the Chargers don’t take him,the Titans will. They’ve signed Kamerion Wimbley but I don’t think they’re done blostering their front line. Mercellius is the best end available at this pick and the Titans should take,take,take him.

21. Cincinnati- Cordy Glenn, G Georgia
The Bengals could go a number of directions here as this pick was a hard one for me here. Although the O-line for Cincinnati was stellar, it doesn’t hurt to bolster it,especially if you lost Bobbie Williams to free agency. Glenn would work well with this pick. Michael Brockers could also be picked here.

22. Cleveland- Stephen Hill, WR Georgia Tech
Should the Browns pick Trent Richardson like many are projecting, they’ll need a receiver as well as their offensive is horrific. Kendall Wright could also be an option here.

23. Detroit-Mike Adams, OT Ohio State
Many draft boards have him going earlier but I have him going to the Lions. He’s really the best player available at this pick and Detroit should take him. They may also pick Janoris Jenkins,but many draft boards have him slipping.

24. Pittsburgh- Dont’a Hightower, ILB Alabama
The Steelers need a replacement for the released James Farrior and Hightower looks as though he could be the guy and a long term fill for that hole. Michael Brockers could also be picked with this pick as well as Kendall Wright.

25. Denver- Michael Brockers, DT LSU
The Broncos have a big hole at defensive tackle and Brockers can be the guy to fill it. As of late, he may go as high as 19, but I think he is still going to go in the mid-20s and will fall to Denver. Should they pass on him, they could go with a receiver like Kendall Wright if he is still around. Peyton Manning does need someone to throw to!

26. Houston- Kendall Wright, WR Baylor
Some boards have him going as high as 15, but I don’t see him going there. I see the Texans picking Wright. He’s very explosive and I’m sure the Texans would love to give that offense some much needed weapons.

27. New England- Janoris Jenkins, CB North Alabama
Jenkins has slipped on many draft boards,mine included mainly due to his drug related issues. I don’t think will phase Belichick and the Patriots who definitely need help in the secondary thanks to their last ranked pass defense. If New England wants to go to another Super Bowl (and maybe actually win it), they need to improve that and Jenkins would certainly help.

28. Green Bay- Shea McClellin, OLB Boise State
The Packers need pass rushers and McClellin is definitely that. If teamed with Clay Matthews, he will give Green Bay a power punch on defense that was sorely needed. McClellin could go earlier but I doubt it.

29. Baltimore- Alshon Jeffery, WR South Carolina
Should Wright or Hill not be available as they had hoped, the Ravens will go as far as taking Jeffery. Despite being a troubled player,he is talented and has immense promise. Joe Flacco needs weapons to throw to, they’re just too much of a running team and a guy like Jeffery can help that passing attack.

30. San Francisco- Amini Silatolu, G Midwestern State
The 49ers can pretty much do anything with this pick because of how well-balanced their roster is,but I see them going for a guard and Silatolu might be the guy they pick. They also may go for Stanford’s Coby Fleener to give Alex Smith a two tight end passing attack with Vernon Davis or even a wide receiver like Reuben Randle as they still need wideouts (Randy Moss? Really?).

31. New England- Doug Martin, RB Boise State
Though it’s been said the Patriots may trade this pick, should they not, they need to get a tailback after losing BenJarvus Green-Ellis to free agency. Martin is the best tailback available here and although he is projected to go in the second round, Bill Belichick just might sneak him into the first round.

32. N.Y. Giants- Johnathan Martin, T Stanford
Martin was at one time considered a top 10 pick but he did not play well last year at Stanford. But it doesn’t mean the Giants won’t have a look at him and they should be interested since they have a need at tackle. Andrew Luck and Martin, two Stanford guys, should bookend the first round of this draft.

Special programming note: Be sure to catch me on with DJ Mappquest on Genre Roulette, Wednesday April 25 from 5-7pm (Pacific time) on We will be talking about the NFL Draft and much more about the upcoming 2012 NFL Season. You don’t want to miss it! 

3 replies »

  1. When you see my mock draft list you are going to be like, “Wait, what?” Definitely far from conventional. I think only my Top 5 or 6 are similar to anyone else. Once the Jags pick my draft list starts varying off.

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April 2012
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