Matt McDonnell NFL Mock Draft - 25 April 2012

1. Andrew Luck 2. Robert Griffin III 3. Morris Claiborne 4. Trent Richardson 5. Matt Kalil
Round 1
1Indianapolis Colts 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesIndianapolisAndrew LuckQBStanford
The Colts got a taste of life after Manning this year, thanks to a neck injury. The result is not something the Colts want to stomach ever again. Selecting Luck  will help the Colts prepare for their future. Andrew Luck has been labeled the next big thing and expectations could not be higher. He has all the tools to be successful; a strong and accurate arm that can make every throw on the field, all the intangibles, smarts  and supreme athleticism for his position.  After selecting the quarterback of their future the Colts can now spend the rest of the draft, and their next few years worth of first round picks,  drafting talent around their newly groomed signal caller, Andrew Luck. Every team wants to be able to do what the Packers did with Favre and Rodgers and this is the Colts chance. There is absolutely no way they pass on the chance. The Colts will likely select the best player on their board from here on out, as they have major needs on both sides of the ball.
2Washington Redskins 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesWashingtonRobert Griffin IIIQBBaylor
The Redskins traded away the farm to acquire the right to select number two overall. There is no way they take anyone but Griffin here, unless of course he somehow goes number one overall, in which case they will select Luck. They clearly expect to be playoff contenders for the next decade with RG3 at the helm. Griffin has a very unique skill set and has all the tools to be successful in the NFL. He is a strong and charismatic leader, his athleticism is second to none, and he possesses a rocket arm, coupled with pinpoint accuracy. He has a tremendous amount of upside and will rejuvenate hope into Washington's franchise, much like Cam Newton did to the Panthers just a season ago. Without a second round selection but plenty of cap room, and despite the penalty from the lockout, look for the Redskins to acquire as much help for their new franchise quarterback as possible through free agency.
3Minnesota Vikings 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesMinnesotaMorris ClaiborneCBLSU
The Vikings have needs all over the place. They need to protect their biggest investment in Christian Ponder and add some offensive weapons, as well as numerous defensive needs. I know I am in the minority here, but I believe they should, and will, select Claiborne. The Vikings seem to be leaning more and more towards Claiborne, but it could be a smoke screen to lure someone into trading up for their selection. Claiborne makes sense for a lot of reasons. First and foremost the Vikings have more than a need at corner, they have a void. They need not one, but two starting corners. Claiborne is a guy who can step up and play right away and make an impact. Of course he will be tested right away, facing the likes of Greg Jennings, Brandon Marshall, and Calving Johnson twice a season. If the Vikings want to win they need to combat the aerial assaults they will face within their own division. Ask anyone who knows anything about winning championships and they will tell you it all starts with winning your division. Selecting Claiborne gets the Vikings on their way of being competitive in the NFC North, as they know have someone who has great ball and coverage skills in the secondary. They will need to add some protection for Ponder, as well as select at least one more corner to play aside from Claiborne and some offensive firepower throughout this draft. With Claiborne the Vikings now at least have a player who is competent in the secondary. But part of the reason they selected Claiborne is because they have a major void to fill at corner, so expect the Vikings to double dip, and take at least one more corner at during this draft.
4Cleveland Browns 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesClevelandTrent RichardsonRBAlabama
Trade Alert! The Browns have tons of needs, all across the board, and have been looking to accumulate multiple picks in recent years to help address their multitude of needs. With Blackmon, Kalil, and Richardson still on the board, but all three likely being selected in the next few picks, someone may want to make the jump to land one of them.  If the Vikings do select Kalil this pick is almost guaranteed to be traded, as the Browns already have one of the best tackles and there are lots of teams that need one. Teams such as the Bills, (doubtful) Seattle, Chiefs, and Cardinals all may be interested. But back to why the Browns select Richardson, he is the best running back prospect to enter the draft since Adrian Peterson. He has the size, speed, strength, hands, power, blocking ability, agility, and vision to be an elite back at the next level. He will upgrade the Browns running game which in turn should help balance their offense. Expect the Browns to add another weapon or two, plus a potential quarterback, and then focus on the defense for the remainder of the draft
5Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesTampa BayMatt KalilOTUSC
The Buccaneers took no time overhauling their team during free agency, quickly inking the talented Vincent Jackson to add a vertical threat to their passing game, one of the game's best guards in Carl Nicks and a decent starting corner in Eric Wright. However Tampa Bay knows their secondary still leaves much to be desired, which was one of the league’s worst last season. But now with Claiborne off the board they will have to look elsewhere.  Kalil has to be their highest rated player on the board, so this selection seems to be a no brainer. With Kalil the Buccaneers offensive line is much improved this offseason. They added a great interior lineman and now an elite left tackle. Kalil has excellent footwork and great strength, having many dobbing him as a "safe pick." He will start right away, and Josh Freeman could not be happier as he know has a blind side protector, who is of Pro Bowl caliber, for a decade or more. Tampa Bay will likely look to address the defensive side of the ball throughout this draft, but still need another running back and some offensive weapons, so they have some options down the line.   
6Saint Louis Rams 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesSt. LouisJustin BlackmonWROklahoma State
The Rams traded down from the number two pick to the number six acquiring an extra second round this season as well as a first round selection for the next two seasons from the Redskins. Now that they have more selections they have more options as they attempt to rebuild their franchise. The Rams have a major need at receiver, tackle and on defense. Blackmon is likely the player the Rams wanted all along, so dealing the number two pick and still being able to land him is the perfect scenario for St. Louis. Blackmon is the best receiver in this year's crop. He has decent size, good speed, runs great routes, can jump out of a barn, and has sticky glue like hands. He has all the tools you look for in a true number one receiver in the NFL. He instantly upgrades this offense and gives Sam Bradford a new favorite target. Blackmon will help this offense take flight. Expect the Rams to continue to add more offensive firepower throughout this draft.
7Jacksonville Jaguars 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesJacksonvilleMelvin IngramDESouth Carolina
The Rams traded down from the number two pick to the number six acquiring an extra second round this season as well as a first round selection for the next two seasons from the Redskins. Now that they have more selections they have more options as they attempt to rebuild their franchise. The Rams have a major need at receiver, tackle and on defense. Blackmon is likely the player the Rams wanted all along, so dealing the number two pick and still being able to land him is the perfect scenario for St. Louis. Blackmon is the best receiver in this year's crop. He has decent size, good speed, runs great routes, can jump out of a barn, and has sticky glue like hands. He has all the tools you look for in a true number one receiver in the NFL. He instantly upgrades this offense and gives Sam Bradford a new favorite target. Blackmon will help this offense take flight. Expect the Rams to continue to add more offensive firepower throughout this draft.
8Miami Dolphins 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesMiamiRyan TannehillQBTexas A&M
The Dolphins have needed a quarterback for far to long. When they had the 1st overall selection they selected Jake Long over Matt Ryan, which although paid short term dividends, have left them still scrambling for a quarterback. Consequently, they decided to go all to land Peyton Manning in free agency however he turned them down and their second option, Matt Flynn, was wooed by the Seahawks. Miami simply cannot wait any longer to address their most pressing need. Tannehill gives the Dolphins a chance to have their first quality quarterback since Marino. He is an outstanding athlete and has a plus arm. He is a leader and a team orientated player. He does have a lot of learning to do as he really only played quarterback for two season in college. Tannehill may have a learning curve, but his upside is tremendous. Look for the Dolphins to add some weapons for their new signal caller as well as revamp their defense, which is transforming for a 3-4 to a 4-3 under newly hired coach Joe Philbin. 
9Carolina Panthers 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesCarolinaFletcher CoxDTMississippi State
The Panthers went from one of the most dismal teams in the NFL to one of the most dynamic  in just one short season thanks to former number one overall selection, Cam Newton. Now the Panthers have a cornerstone to continue to build upon on offense. However their defense still needs work so with this selection the Panthers may be looking to add a defensive cornerstone. Cox is an excellent prospect, who has been flying up draft boards the more teams uncover about him. That alone is a great sign, typically the more teams nitpick at a player the more problems they turn up, with Cox it is the opposite. He is now considered a top 10 selection and the Panthers will not miss their chance to obtain him. He is very big but is a superior athlete for his position and size. He has the size and strength to command double teams as well as the ability to fight through them. He is great in run defense, but even better as a pass rusher. He is difficult to block from the point of the attack which allows him to live in the back field and disrupt the offense. The Panthers defense just got a shot in the arm, and now they will likely look to add some weapons for Newton as well as continuing to shore up their defense for the remainder of the draft.
10Buffalo Bills 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesBuffaloLuke KuechlyILBBoston College
The Bills went into this offseason with one goal in mind-upgrading their pass rush. They knew they had many different options through the draft, as they hold the 10th overall selection, but they opted to pony up and address the need through free agency. First they signed Mario Williams to a record deal. With just Williams signed, they likely would have still taken another pass rusher, however then they went out and inked Mark Anderson, which makes selecting a pass rusher in the first round a baffling move. With their biggest need out of the way, they are free this selection to help shore up other issues. The Bills offensive line struggled at times and when their starting tackle, Demetress Bell, left via free agency to the Eagles, they now have a gaping need at left tackle, which is why I originally thought Reiff would be the selection here. However the more I read into information about the Bills draft strategy the more I feel they will pass on Reef. The Bills GM values tackles who have long arms which is the biggest knock on Reiff. This is one team that is rumored to be interested in moving up for Kalil if he falls to four, but don't count on it. The Bill's GM has repeatedly stated that he does not like trading up and losing selections. He is not a guy just to blow smoke, typically he always telegraphs his selections. So I expect the Bills to stand pat and snatch Kuechly, which is probably a better move for them. Kuechly is a stud and the Bills have expressed that they fill he can play all three linebacker positions. He has good speed and instincts, which gives him the illusion he is all over the field. He is always on a crash course with the ball carrier and once he hits you  rarely escape. He should flourish in the NFL and will make an instant impact as a rookie. The Bills will likely continue to bolster their defense, which is starting to look scarier already by adding at least one corner throughout this draft, as well as continue to add offensive firepower for the remainder of the draft. Of course now they are going to target a tackle and one with long arms.
11Kansas City Chiefs 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesKansas CityDavid DeCastroGStanford
Last year many people thought the Chiefs may take a tackle or guard in the first round to help build their potent running game. But Kansas City passed, electing to trade down and then selecting a wide receiver. This year I suspect they will go to the trenches and take the best lineman on the board, which in this case is DeCastro. He will be an instant starter and fill a need at guard for the Chiefs. He is the best guard prospect to come out since long time Pro Bowler and likely Hall of Famer, Steve Hutchinson. The Chiefs love to run the ball and provided Jamal Charles comes back to his usual form from his ACL tear, he will love running behind the holes the massive DeCastro will create. He will be a long time Pro Bowl guard who will not only excel in the run game but is a good pass protector as well.  He is head and shoulders above the rest of the guards in this class with his great size, supreme athleticism, strength, and superior footwork. Expect the Chiefs to take a running back to pair with Charles as insurance and to fill their need to have their dual backfield, as then infuse the defense with talent throughout this draft.
12Seattle Seahawks 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesSeattleQuinton CoplesDENorth Carolina
The Seahawks won the Matt Flynn sweepstakes, which opens up their draft a little bit as they no longer need a quarterback. They will probably look across to trenches to find someone who will be able to rush the quarterback. Coples seems to be a player the Seahawks are targeting, and they are a team that does not shy away from a head case or a troubled player. My take on Coples saying that he would give himself a C for effort, if that was his C effort imagine what his A effort would be. Admittance is the first step in recovery so that is a big deal for him. I tend to take this as a positive, I believe it is him growing up and realizing he needs to give his best effort. Coples is an ultra talented player, one of the players who is very difficult to slate in the draft due to his elite athleticism but character concerns. If he is there at 12, I think the Seahawks will grab him. He is a great pass rusher, something the Seahawks desperately need. He has great size and will be a great fit in a 4-3 scheme. He will make an impact as a rookie. The Seahawks may look to address the offensive line during this draft, but expect a heavy dose of defense, particularly in the front seven. As the Giants have proven, if you can get to the quarterback, you can make up for a lot of sins. Coples will atone for some of those sins in the Seattle secondary.  
13Arizona Cardinals 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesArizonaRiley ReiffOTIowa
The Cardinals have a tough decision to make here. Do they go with Reiff, or Floyd? It is almost a coin flip. On one end they need weapons for Kolb, on the other, they need protection for him. One thing that is clear is that they need to bring in someone to help out Kolb, who they invested heavily in, both in terms of money and property, sending a starting corner (Dominique Rodgers Cromartie) and a second round selection to the Eagles as compensation for him. At this moment I believe they will add protection, as that is the key to success in the NFL, just ask the Packers whose goals were dashed by a relentless Giants pass rush. Reiff joins a long list of Iowa Hawkeyes who have been drafted by the NFL. He has short arms, which is his biggest knock, but has great technique, is extremely strong, and has an outstanding work ethic. For those reasons he projects to be a suitable starter who has Pro Bowl potential. Reef could also help to ignite a previously stagnant run game. Arizona will likely add some weapons for Kolb as well as shore up their defense in this draft.
14Dallas Cowboys 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesDallasStephon GilmoreCBSouth Carolina
The Cowboys have many needs across their defense, including along the defensive line and in the secondary. There is no doubt that they will address these needs in this year’s draft so they could go a few different directions here. I was originally thinking they would look to add help to their defensive line, but addressing the secondary makes a ton of sense as well, since it has been one of the league’s worst for several years. Jerry Jones is reportedly in love with the former Crimson Tide standout and for good reason. However because Gilmore is still on the board, I think they will elect to take him. In fact they could try to trade down a few spots, as the Chargers and Patriots are reportedly interested in trading up for Barron. Gilmore's stock has been soaring. He is tall, athletic, excellent in run support, and can play any coverage style. He has the makings of a Charles Woodson type player, so landing him at 14 gives the Cowboys great value.  He can blitz and posses outstanding ball skills. Some even believe he is better than Claiborne. Gilmore will fill in right away and give the Cowboys secondary a much needed boast. Of course they are more than one player away of having a competent secondary, so expect the Cowboys to continue to select secondary help throughout the draft, as well as add some defensive line prospects to bolster their run defense and pass rush.
15Philadelphia Eagles 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesPhiladelphiaDre KirkpatrickCBAlabama
The Eagles are coveting a defensive tackle, that is no secret. They are head over heels over Cox, but their chances of grabbing him at 15 are little to none. The next best option is to address their secondary needs. Kirkpatrick is a dominate physical specimen. He was the Crimson's Tide best corner in their talented and daunting secondary. He routinely locked up opposing teams number one receiver. He is used to being challenged on a weekly basis which is a plus heading into the NFL. He should fit well into the Eagles scheme and should earn a starting spot as a rookie. The updated 2012 version of the so called "dream team" should fare better than the 2011 version. The Eagles know the key to the difference is having a better defense so expect the Eagles to continue to address problems in the secondary and upgrade their front seven.  Kirkpatrick has excellent ball skills, flashing the ability to intercept the ball and deflect the ball away from receivers. He has good range and can lock up in man or play off the ball in zone effectively. He should be a Pro Bowl caliber corner for years to come. 
16New York Jets 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesNew York JetsMichael FloydWRNotre Dame
The Jets have more holes than they think. Mark Sanchez could be upgraded, their receiving core leaves much to be desired, their running game has been stagnate, and their defense has a few weak links. With their first round pick I think they will select the player who is the highest rated on their board and I have to believe that player is Michael Floyd, who has all the tools that you look for to be a number one target in the NFL. He has great size, excellent speed and outstanding hands. When paired with Santonio Holmes the Jets could have a scary duo at receiver, which should greatly help Mark Sanchez, or Tebow, if he pulls the same magic he did in Denver. Look for the Jets to add a running back and focus on the defense throughout this draft.
17Cincinnati Bengals 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesCincinnati (from Oak)Courtney UpshawILBAlabama
The Bengals are one of the three teams with two first round selections, so they have some flexibility at this spot. They need help badly in the secondary, so selecting a corner would make a ton of sense here, but with the top three corners off the board they will have to look elsewhere. The Bengals are reportedly very interested in Upshaw, and he, or Barron (again if no one trades up for him) would likely be the highest rated player on their big board. Upshaw posses great pass rushing ability and is projected to be able to play several positions but will likely slide to defensive line. He will upgrade Cincinnati's line and give them the ability to get to the quarterback. Upshaw is a pass rush specialist, but has proven he can play well against the run. The Bengals still need help on offense so look for them to target some players on that side of the ball with the next few selections. Of course they still have defensive needs, so they will need to address those needs throughout the draft. 
18San Diego Chargers 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesSan DiegoMark BarronSSAlabama
The Chargers are very susceptible to the passing attack, thanks to a porous secondary. They are in love with Barron, and if he is there at 18 this becomes almost a no brainer selection. There are even reports that they are willing to trade up to jump Dallas, ensuring that they will land Barron. The former Alabama standout  was one of the leaders of the stingy Alabama defense and is the top safety in this class, making him the only one worth selecting in the first round. The Chargers may be tempted to go with offensive line, but their GM hates taking lineman in the first round, so unless one of the top two tackles slip, don’t hold your breath that they will take one, instead electing to focus on defense. Barron is an excellent prospect; he has good speed for a safety, is a sure tackler, can cover in man or zone, excels in playing in the box and making plays in the run game.  He is a nice fit for the Chargers and provides great value. Furthermore he fills a huge need. San Diego will likely continue to focus on their needs on the defensive side of the football during the 2012 offseason, as they still need some pass rushers, but their offense could use some depth as well so do not be surprised if they add some offensive help. 
19Chicago Bears 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesChicagoKendall WrightWRBaylor
The Bears addressed their biggest need at receiver when they acquired Jay Cutler’s former favorite target, Brandon Marshall, from the Dolphins. That frees them up to focus on other needs, like their aging defense, or offensive line, but does not stop them from stock piling wideouts. Don’t let Wright's small stature fool you.  He is great football player. He is explosive in the return game and extremely dangerous as a wide out. Even has a freshman he was able to make an impact in college. Of course last season he was forgotten about, along with the rest of the Baylor offense, because of Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin the Third. He reeled in a Big 12 high 108 yards, for 1,663 yards. He also scored 14 touchdowns. He now can use that spectacular season to be a first round NFL draft choice.  Wright, coupled with Brandon Marshall and free agent running back Michael Bush, gives the Bears offense an entire new look for the upcoming season and in the high octane NFC North, they will need it if they wish to keep pace with the Packers and the Lions. The Bears will probably target defensive depth throughout this draft from here on out since their offensive needs are widely taken care of either through the draft or through free agency. 
20Tennessee Titans 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesTennesseeDontari PoeDTMemphis
The Titans had a lot of pressing needs coming into this offseason, but through free agency have been able to address them, at least in some fashion. Remember when the Titans defense was at their best? They had the most dominating defensive tackle in the league, Albert Haynesworth. Ever since they lost him in free agency their defense has never been the same.  The Titans would probably rather have a corner here, but again the top corners have been sniped. Poe is a fantastic athlete who wowed at the combine, pushing his stock into the first round. However the knock on him is that he has poor game film. That being said, Memphis's entire defense had poor game film. Poe performed well at the combine, putting up similar numbers to arguably the best defensive lineman in the league, Luis Castillo. The Titans need help on the interior part of their line. Poe is player who can dominate at the next level providing he puts forth his best effort. He has tremendous size and scary quickness. He is difficult to block and gives the Titans defense line a much needed boost, completing turning around their line.  With Poe, the Titans have a potential replacement for Haynesworth and help them return to their dominate form. Tennessee will likely look to continue to retool their defense, as well as add help on the offensive line and add some weapons to their offense for the reminder of their draft.
21Cincinnati Bengals 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesCincinnatiCordy GlennOT/GGeorgia
The Bengals were able to nab the talented Upshaw at 17 and now they have a chance to take one of the best offensive lineman in this class. Glenn is ultra talented but does have some character issues. Glenn has outstanding size and is a talented athlete. Most project him to play guard at the next level, and I tend to agree, which luckily for the Bengals is their biggest need on the offensive line. He gives them a major upgrade and should help to pave the way for whichever running back ends up starting for them (they will be praying that one falls to them in round two). The Bengals have balanced their picks well, fortify both trenches in the first round. They will need to continue to balance their selections throughout this draft, adding some weapons on offense and continuing to build upon their defense. They will likely dip into this deep corner class at some point throughout this draft as well.
22Cleveland Browns 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesCleveland (from Atl)Stephen HillWRGeorgia Tech
The Browns continue to focus on the offensive side of the ball during this draft, first selecting Trent Richardson and now selecting a wide receiver in Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill.  Hill performed admirably during the NFL combine, running a blazing fast 40 yard dash and showing off his great physique. Hel is a great fit for the Browns because he is a receiver who can run any route and excels as a run blocker. He gives Colt McCoy a weapon, unless of course, they find a better option, which they likely will in the second round or even later. I think that Hill, along with former LSU standout, Rueben Randle, may have the highest ceilings in this draft, so this is a great selection for the Browns. Hill is an extremely physical receiver who was underutilized at Georgia Tech and should flourish in a more open offense. Hill combined with Greg Williams gives the Browns and excellent one-two punch at the receiver position. The Browns will likely select a quarterback and look to add another offensive lineman to bolster their running game even further.
23Detroit Lions 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesDetroitJanoris JenkinsCBOther
It is no secret that the Lions need help in their secondary, which was one of the league’s most abused units. They have a few options here, as Jenkins is an ultra talented player but comes with some character concerns. So they could take a slightly less skilled player like Stephon Gilmore of South Carolina to avoid any issues, especially in the wake of both Mikel Leshoure and Nick Fairley being arrested on Marijuana issues. The Lions are already started to get a "bad boy" reputation on defense, so they might not mind rolling the dice on a player who without character issues would have been a top 10 selection. He gives the Lions an instant upgrade in the secondary and has all the potential in the world. He has good size for a corner, is very physical, and covers well in both man and zone. He can even press effectively. Providing he stays out trouble, Jenkins has a chance to be one of the best corners in the league and a perennial Pro Bowler.
24Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesPittsburghDon'ta HightowerILBAlabama
The Steelers already have a great defense, although it is starting to age, and they love bolstering it further.  If Mike Wallace ends up leaving in free agency they will likely opt for a receiver with one of their two first round selections, but providing he stays, I think they will focus on the defensive side of the ball. They cut their former starter, the aging, overpaid James Farrior to help clear cap, so replacing him with the top player on the board makes sense. Hightower is an excellent prospect who dominated the collegiate ranks. He has great size and appears physical enough to play in a 3-4 defense. Unlike most teams that run a 3-4 scheme, the Steelers are not in desperate need of a pass rusher which gives them flexibility with this selection.  Hightower seems to be in the mold of the Steelers defense, a sure tackler, aggressive, tough, physical, and intimidating.  He loves to hit and is great at making plays in the running game, making him a perfect fit for the Steelers defense. Hightower might not be the fastest player on the field, but he always seems to find a way to make plays. Hightower can give to the Steelers what Ray Lewis has given to their bitter rivals, the Ravens, for many years to come.
25Denver Broncos 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesDenverPeter KonzCWisconsin
The Broncos landed the biggest free agent catch of the offseason, and possibly of all time, winning the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. The future Canton inductee is coming off a neck surgery that cost him an entire season but he says he has fully recovered and will be back to his normal self. This is an interesting spot for the Broncos because despite making the playoffs, thanks to the magic and heroics of since traded quarterback, Tim Tebow, the Broncos have a lot of holes. Their defense, which dominated at times, also looked abysmal at times and needs some upgrading, their receiving corps needs more talent, and their offensive line could use a little bit of work. Although their offensive line was outstanding in the running game they struggled as pass protectors, which was fine when they had Tebow, because he could run and they only threw the ball a handful of times anyway. However Manning is a sitting duck, and the last thing the Broncos want is him to have his neck injured again, so protecting him should be their number one priority. Konz may not be a guard, but he gives the Broncos some flexibility and with some shifting around he should significantly improve this line. He is extremely athletic, so they could even shift him to guard if they wanted and he would flourish. Konz is good in pass protection but excels as a run blocker even pulling from the center position in college. He is very talented and provides the Broncos with a much improved offensive line.  The Broncos will probably add some offensive firepower late in the draft as well as add some depth. They need to address the defensive tackle position but I think they will wait until at least the second round to do so. With the right selections and Manning at the helm the Broncos could be poised to make a deep run into the playoffs.
26Houston Texans 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesHoustonWhitney MercilusDEIllinois
The Texans have long needed, and coveted, a receiver who could compliant star Andre Johnson in the passing game. However I think they will pass unless Wright or Floyd somehow manage to fall. They may even consider Hill if he is on the board here as well. Another player they may consider is Rueben Randle.  Overall however, I feel that the Texans will take the best player on their board, which I believe to be Mercilus. The former Illinois defensive end is an outstanding prospect who never gives up on a play. He has a relentless motor and a drive to get to the quarterback. He has the quickness and the strength to disrupt the offense, making plays in the run and the pass game. He also has a tendency to force fumbles. He should ignite this defense and although Mario Williams left in free agency, they will quickly forget about him. Mercilus has a chance to be one of the best pass rushers from this class. The Texans may target some offensive help later in the draft as well as continue to bolster their defense in hopes of making the playoffs again this year and taking the next step forward, making a deep run.
27New England Patriots 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesNew England (from NO)Michael BrockersDTLSU
The Patriots defense has some holes, especially after losing a few of their pass rush specialists to the free agent market. However the Patriots have no need to worry with two first round selections to help shore up the unit. Of course there is always a possibility of a trade with one of their selections as they look to deal for more future picks. With Brockers on the board it is hard to imagine the Patriots passing up on him. He has excellent size and has the ability to play in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme, both of which the Patriots like to utilize. Furthermore he is an SEC player and we all know that Belichick loves SEC players with his connection to Nick Saban. With Saban's backing, the Patriots will not hesitate to select the former LSU stud. He may have slipped a little bit after performing poorly at the combine, but with his collegiate pedigree, excellent game film, and massive body he is still a surefire first round draft choice and the Patriots will love to have him on their line. They will probably target a pass rusher as well as some offensive weapons throughout the 2012 draft.  
28Green Bay Packers 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesGreen BayShea McClellinDE/OLBBoise State
The Packers, an offensive juggernaut, had a fantastic regular season, compiling the league’s best, 15-1 record. However all season they lacked a pass rush, and that Achilles Heel ultimately lead to their demise in the playoffs. This year the Packers know they need to upgrade their pass rush, and it has been their top offseason priority. They signed a few bargain buster free agents to upgrade their defensive line, so they will likely spend their first round selection on a linebacker. (Guy's name) is a very interesting prospect, who had a productive collegiate career. He is a blue collar guy, with a strong work ethic, which the Packers love. They love the fact that he played a plethora of different positions in college in even more. The versatile (guy's name) will start opposite Clay Matthew's as a rookie, and should improve this defense right away. As a bonus to them he is good cover linebacker as well, something every Packer linebacker seemed to struggle with a season ago. The Packers will spend the majority of their selections on the defensive side of the ball, continuing to infuse their front seven with new talent, and add depth to their secondary. Expect the Packers to take a center at some point in this draft as well, as they know Jeff Saturday is just a short term answer.
29Baltimore Ravens 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesBaltimoreRueben RandleWRLSU
The Ravens could use a center, but Konz is unavailable, although the rumor has it that the Ravens are not interested in him anyway. Of course they could just be blowing smoke, but I will take their word for it. The Ravens next biggest need is at the receiver position. With all the heat that Joe Flacco has received from the media and even teammates, to be fair he really has never had quality targets so adding some should be a propriety for the Ravens. With the top three receivers already off the board the Ravens wind up taking the fourth best receiving prospect but one with a ceiling that rivals any receiver in this draft. Randle, like all receivers at LSU, was seldom used, making his production not look very good comparatively speaking. But Randle has been able to make an impact on LSU every year he was there, not receiving a redshirt and having a good freshman campaign. He has good size, decent speed, and very good hands. Randle gives the Ravens a big target who can work anywhere on the field making him a great compliant to last year's first round selection, Torry Smith. Flacco is finally starting to acquire weapons, meaning his seat is getting hotter by the year. The Ravens will probably address the offensive line, as well as continue to collect weapons for Flacco, and add depth to their defense for the remainder of the draft.
30San Francisco Giants 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesSan FranciscoCoby FleenerTEStanford
The 49ers, whose defense is one of the top in the game, has an offense that needs work. With all receivers worthy of a first round grade already gone, they can look at other venues. Stanford's head coach, John Harbaugh, is familiar with Fleener making this pick make even more sense. Many teams are able to utilize multiple tight end sets and the 49ers should be able to do the same. Fleener gives San Francisco’s offense a much needed boost providing a safety net for Alex Smith as well as a player who can get open on third down and in the red zone. With Vernon Davis stretching the field, the middle of the field can be wide open for Fleener to take advantage of. Fleener is also a solid run blocker, an area that Davis struggles. This 49ers offense gains much flexibility and gives them a chance to be more creative and potent on offense. They will likely add depth to their defense as well as continue to target playmakers for their offense.
31New England Patriots 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesNew EnglandChandler JonesDE/OLBSyracuse
The Patriots added help to their defensive line with the 27th selection, and now can add some pass rush help, which is much needed, especially after the departure of Mark Anderson. Jones is a player who has flown up draft boards as of late. He uses his hands well and is a dominate athlete. He should translate well into an NFL pass rusher and provides the Patriots with some needed pass rush and versatility.
32New York Giants 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesNew York Giants Doug MartinRBBoise State
The Giants need a tight end, and would likely consider Cody Fleener if he was sitting there at the bottom of the first round. But with him snatched by the 49ers they will have to consider different options. They might take the player rated highest on their board, or they may go fill their need. Martin has a chance to do both. He is the most complete back in this class, aside for Richardson who will be a top 5 selection. He has great hands, good speed and vision, runs with power, blocks well, and does not fumble. He is molded similar to a player like Ray Rice and Matt Forte. Martin is a do it all back who will fit in nicely with Bradshaw, who is a homerun threat, but not really a back the Giants would want to carry the load. Martin provides great value for the Giants here and will make a difference as a rookie. He gives the Giants that combination backfield that they thrive on, as Brandon Jacobs continues to wear down. The Giants will need to add depth to their secondary and continue to inject talent into their offense throughout this draft.
Round 2
33Saint Louis Rams 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesSt. LouisJerel WorthyDTMichigan State
The Rams added Justin Blackmon with their first pick and can now supplement that selection by adding some help on defense. Worthy is a prospect who could easily be a first round choice but has slipped a bit recently. Worthy is a massive player who can take over a game. He is a dangerous fit in a 4-3 scheme that the Rams run. He is big enough and strong enough to command and defeat double teams and has enough quickness to get to the quarterback. The Rams and new Head Coach Jeff Fisher get an excellent player with this selection. Fisher loves to have a stud defensive tackle in his defenses, much like how the Titans were built during their glory days. Worthy is a guy who can project similar to the season that Albert Haynesworth had when the Titans were at their best.
34Indianapolis Colts 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesIndianapolisJonathan MartinOTStanford
The Colts had the prize first round selection, adding Andrew Luck. Now they must add weapons and protection to give him a chance to succeed. This pick provides them with the latter. Ironically enough he protected Luck's blind side while at college, so they will once again be paired up, this time at the highest level. Martin has slipped as scouts have questioned his athleticism, but he if falls to 34 it’s hard to imagine that the Colts will not want him to protect Luck. This is a common piggyback strategy and a good fit.
35Minnesota Vikings 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesMinnesotaAmini SilatoluG/OT Midwestern State
The Vikings passed on Kalil in the first round, so now in the second round they will look to address their offensive line. Silatolu is a talented prospect who has a chance to be a first round pick. He very easily could be off the board at this point, but if he is available the Vikings will almost have to pull the trigger. Silatolu could play tackle for the Vikings, but many feel he is better suited at guard. He is a physical blocker and loves to finish his blocks. He gives the Vikings versatility on their offensive line, as well as giving them the ability to better protect last year's first round selection, Christen Ponder, and open holes in the running game for arguably the league’s best running back, Adrian Peterson.
36Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesTampa BayDavid WilsonRBVirginia Tech
The Buccaneers offense need a jolt, I know it, you know it, they know it, and every defense in the league knows it. LeGarrette Blount is a solid back, who is an extremely powerful runner, but he is not enough. The NFL is moving towards a two back system anyway, and Wilson seems to be a great fit for Tampa. They were rumored to be interested in Trent Richardson, so selecting a halfback is on their mind. Wilson has good hands, something that Blunt lacks, and is an explosive player. He is a talented runner with good speed, power, and vision. If Martin is still on the board at this point, which is possible, he will almost be guaranteed the pick. Overall Wilson gives them solid value for this selection and a complete back. When he is paired with Blunt, Tampa Bay’s backfield is loaded with talent and potential. Combine that with their free agent signings and their first round selection and this offense appears to be lock and loaded heading into 2012. 
37Cleveland Browns 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesClevelandBrandon WeedenQBOklahoma  State
The Browns used both of their first round selections stockpiling offensive weapons, but now they need a trigger man. Weeden is a great prospect who would be a first round pick had it not been for his age so the Browns get great value here. 
38Jacksonville Jaguars 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesJacksonvilleAlshon JefferyWRSouth Carolina
The Jaguars snatched a top flight pass rusher with their first round pick and now need to look to give last year’s first round selection Blaine Gabbert some help. Jeffery is an ultra talented prospect, who at one point was considered a top 10 selection. Nabbing him at 38 gives them great value and gives Gabbert a true number one target. He will certainly have an impact as a rookie.
39Saint Louis Rams 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesSt. LouisMike AdamsOTOhio State
The Rams offensive line needs help. If they are unable to snatch Kalil at number six they will need to address their issue in the second round. Mike Adams provides them with great value. On game film alone he likely would be a first round selection. He has all the tools to be a successful lineman at the next level. He uses his hands well, has good technique and is a powerful and strong blocker. He is great in pass protection as well as having a mauling run blocking skill set. The Rams have to be happy with their first two selections.
40Carolina Panthers 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesCarolinaAndre BranchDEClemson
The Panthers are continuing to bolster their defensive line, adding Cox and now Branch to the mix. They need pass rushers and that is exactly what they have done through this draft. Branch is another talented prospect who is worthy of a late first round selection but may slip. If he does slip I would expect the Panthers would waste no time adding him to their team. You can never have too much pass rush, or too many talented defensive lineman. The Panthers may consider one of the five wide outs who are already off the board in this mock if one is sitting there for them as they do need weapons for Newton. But Branch is ultra talented and difficult to pass up. This Panthers pass rush is severely upgraded and will create havoc in 2012.
41Buffalo Bills 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesBuffaloJayron Holsey CBVirginia Tech
The Bills have successfully upgraded their defensive line through free agency and added  an excellent tackle in the first round. Now they can pay attention to their defensive needs. The Bills have a pressing need at corner. With the pass rushers they already added finding secondary helps makes lots of sense and could really upgrade their pass defense. Holsey is a an excellent athlete with tremendous ball skills. He will make an impact as a rookie and has an enormous ceiling.
42Miami Dolphins 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesMiamiDevon StillDTPenn State
The Dolphins selected their quarterback of the future in round one but also need help on defense. Their pass rush leaves much to be desired so upgrading that should be a priority.  Still is versatile and should fit in nicely with the Dolphins defense, reportedly switching back to a 4-3 but even if they do not make the switch Still fits well in a 3-4 as your prototypical end. Still's versatility and talent, as he easily could have been a first round selection, gives the Dolphins extra value on top of filling a major need.
43Seattle Seahawks 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesSeattleMohamed SanuWRRutgers
The Seahawks elected to upgrade their pass rush in the first round so now they will likely look elsewhere although they could continue to bolster their pass rush here. I think the Seahawks will add help for Flynn now. Sanu is the top wide out on the board. The former Rutgers stud has the tools to be a productive receiver in the NFL.
44Kansas City Chiefs 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesKansas CityVinny CurryDEMarshall
With the Chiefs adding some help along their offensive line they will probably look at the opposite side of the ball for their second round pick. Curry provides great value and is an excellent pass rusher who projects well at outside linebacker. Curry, although he may be a small school prospect, should make a huge impact on this already talented defense. 
45Dallas Cowboys 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesDallasHarrison SmithSSNotre Dame
Although the Cowboys added Gilmore in the first round that is not enough to overhaul their secondary. If the Chargers make the jump for Barron or if Gilmore slips to them, Smith will likely be their second round selection. Of course if they select Barron at 14 he will not be, and they will likely address corner. The Cowboys know if they do not address their secondary issues they cannot win enough games to be an elite NFL team. Smith is a player who has the ideal size/speed ratio to play safety. He has good ball skills and tackles well. He is an upgrade and will start immediately.
46Philadelphia Eagles 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesPhiladelphiaKendall Reyes DTConnecticut 
The Eagles were unable to add their ideal player in the draft, but they had to anticipate that. They were able to add a talented  corner and now are now sitting pretty at 46, with Reyes still on the board. Reyes is a talented prospect who had a chance to be a first round selection. He gives the Eagles exactly what they wanted in the first round, a talented interior lineman who can get to the quarterback. Andy Reid wants depth on the defensive line and Reyes is a quality player to do just that. The Eagles have really bolstered their defense with their first two selections and still have one coming. 
47New York Jets 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesNew York JetsBobby MassieOTMississippi
The Jets offense struggled for the majority of the season last year. They need help on the offensive line, as they could use an upgrade at right tackle and depth. Massie gives them both. The talented Mississippi product has elite size and great athleticism. He will battle for the starting right tackle job as a rookie and give the Jets options on the offensive line. When you have options you have depth. There is another need that the Jets can cross off this offseason.
48New England Patriots 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesNew England (from Oak)Lamar MillerRBMiami (FL)
With the Patriots adding two talented defensive players in the first round, they can afford to look elsewhere in round two. They do not have a true running back so finding one makes sense. Miller is a great prospect who is a good combination of size, speed, power, and vision. He was a workhorse at Miami and should translate well as an NFL back.
49San Diego Chargers 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesSan DiegoKelechi OsemeleGIowa State
The Chargers need help with the interior of their offensive line and could with a number of different players here, but I expect that will take Osemele. Many people thought he could wind up in the first round, so being on the board at 49 gives them great value and a possible starter.
50Chicago Bears 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesChicagoKevin ZeitlerGWisconsin
The Bears helped their offense by adding Wright in the first round and now continue to bolster their offense. They need help on their offensive line and Zeitler is a great prospect. For the second straight year the Bears will select former Badger standouts. Zeitler, by film alone, is a first round talent but thanks to his position will likely slip into the second round.  He is tough, physical, strong and has a great work ethic. Those traits combined with his great technique make Zeitler and excellent prospect who projects to be a Pro Bowl caliber guard at the next level.
51Philadelphia Eagles 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesPhiladelphia (from Ari)Lavonte DavidILBNebraska
The Eagles upgraded both trenches with their first two selection. This pick helps to shore up the linebacking core where they desperately need help. The Eagles never really seem have any great linebackers but maybe Lavonte David can change that for him. He is an excellent prospect who had a very good collegiate career. He is a physical player who is excellent in run support and can cover as well.  
52Tennessee Titans 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesTennesseeJosh RobinsonCBUCF
The Titans did not get a chance to land one of the top corners at the 20th spot so they went elsewhere and snatched up the talented Poe. Now in the second round they will target the top corner. Robinson turned heads of GM's and Coaches alike everywhere at the combine, running the fastest time. He has great closing speed and good ball skills. He is an upgrade and will be a starter as a rookie. 
53Cincinnati Bengals 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesCincinnatiBrian QuickWRAppalachian State
The Bengals need a running back but elected to fill bigger needs in the first round. Now in the second round no running backs are on the board worth this selection, so again they will look elsewhere. Quick is likely to be the top skill player on their board. This small school prospect has glue like hands and has good size and speed. Him along with  A.J. Green, and Andy Dalton should make quite the combination in 2012.
54Detroit Lions 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesDetroitMychal Kendricks ILBCalifornia 
The Lions like to stay true to their draft board, proving that when they selected Fairly a season ago. They may not need a linebacker badly, but they do need defensive help. Kendricks had an ultra successful collegiate career and looks to be able to take the next step at the next level. The Lions will find a way to get him on the field. He is a tackling machine and plays hard every snap.
55Atlanta Falcons 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesAtlantaZebrie Sanders OTFlorida State 
The Falcons need to address their offensive line needs. With no first round selection (gave it up for Julio Jones a season ago) they need to hit on this pick. Sanders is a big and athletic tackle who has lots of upside. He is athletic enough to shift around on the line, playing wherever the Falcons will need him. The Falcons will likely continue to retool their defense for the rest of this draft.
56Pittsburgh Steelers 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesPittsburghBrandon BoykinCBGeorgia
The Steelers defense needs some help in the secondary. Boykin is a talented and physical player who loves to compete. They do not need a starter right away but someone they can count on in the nickel packages and eventually start. Boykin seems to be a perfect fit to their need.
57Denver Broncos 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesDenverBrandon ThompsonDTClemson
The Broncos would probably like to land a weapon for Manning here but the pickings are slim at this point in the draft. The Broncos need some help at the interior of their defensive line particularly one who can get to the quarterback. Thompson fits that bill perfectly. He is a great athlete and should absolutely make an impact on the Broncos as a rookie. Don’t be surprised if they add even more talent because their defensive line is a major concern. 
58Houston Texans 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesHoustonNick PerryDE/OLBUSC
The Texans lost Mario Williams to free agency which although is a big loss, is not the end of the world as they did just fine without him as he was out for a while during the regular season with a torn pectoral. Nick Perry was impressive at the combine and looks like a great outside linebacker prospect. He has a great burst and an ability to get the quarterback. He should find a way to start right from day one.
59New Orleans Saints 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesNew OrleansForfeited   
The Saints lost this selection due to their role in a bounty scandal and because they traded up last year to land Mark Ingram, they did not have a first round selection this year either, meaning their first selection is not until the third round. There they will likely begin to focus on defensive players to upgrade their front seven as well as add depth to their secondary. 
60Green Bay Packers 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesGreen BayTrumaine JohnsonCBMontana 
This is another small school prospect who has a chance to boom. He has great size and good speed. The Packers love players his size at corner and he should be able to learn from the great Charles Woodson. Furthermore the Packers safety positions are up for grabs as Nick Collins could tragically be forced to retire due to a neck injury suffered against the Panthers. Johnson also projects well at safety so he provides the Packers will added insurance and versatility.
61Baltimore Ravens 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesBaltimoreZach BrownOLBNorth Carolina
The Ravens have reportedly shown interested in the talented North Carolina prospect. Brown is a versatile linebacker who can play every linebacker position for the Ravens. He is a great athlete who can cover sideline to sideline as well. He will certainly find the field in some way, shape, or form for Baltimore as a rookie.
62San Francisco Giants 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesSan FranciscoMarvin McNuttWRIowa
The 49ers will stockpile as much offensive firepower as they can. Adding Fleener in the first was a nice fit and now they need to acquire some targets outside of the tight end position. McNutt played in a pro style offense and was ultra productive in college despite being the team’s best offensive weapon. He is a big target and should help this offense continue on an upward trend.
63New England Patriots 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesNew EnglandDonald StephensonOTOklahoma 
The Patriots need some help on the offensive line, especially after Matt Light retired. They may consider a center like Ben Jones here, but I think they will opt for the better overall prospect and shift the offensive line according.  This is a good fit for the unconventional Patriots anyway.  Stephenson played in a spread offense so there may be an adjustment period, but he is use to pass protecting often, which is good considering how pass happy Tom Brady and the Patriots are. 
64New York Giants 2012 NFL Mock Draft College Football Draft ProfilesNew York GiantsDwayne AllenTEClemson
The Giants have not had a consistent T.E. threat for Manning in a long while. They will likely want to address it during this draft. Allen is a player who is very talented and at one point was considered a first round pick. Landing him with the last pick of the second round provides great value. He can stretch the field and provide Manning with a safety blanket in an already dangerous offense.