Leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft I'll be posting a mock every four or so days. Each time I'll make small alterations and add another five picks, starting with ten now and ending up the full 32 come April the 26th. We encourage you to get active, post your thoughts, and let us know where I'm wrong (and right!).
Mock Draft v1: First 10 Selections[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="468" caption="Andrew Luck is still the number 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft - deservedly so."][/caption] 1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford. You might feel that picking Luck here is an obvious one but this last week has been riddled with speculation and ambiguity concerning where he shall land. While over the last few days the media and fans seemed to have settled down Irsay is quirky - to say the least - and could still surprise is. Still, right now. Luck is the best QB in the draft. 2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor. The charismatic and athletic QB from Baylor has everything Shanahan wants and desperately needs at the position: Mobility, a big arm and smarts. His recent trip to the capital to sign autographs for fans might also be something of a tip-off. 3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC. Matt Kalil for the tackle position is just about as much of a sure thing as Luck as for QB. Big, mobile with great technique Kalil is ready to play at the NFL level immediately. This pick - like those above - is something of a no-brainer. I don't think the Vikings will pass on him. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="468" caption="Trent Richardson should be drafted in the top 5."][/caption] 4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama. They'll be able to grab a WR with their other 1st round pick as well. I had debated whether or not the Browns might trade down with Miami for more picks however I decided against it. Here's why: If they Browns are shopping their 4th overall then Miami will realise that they are not sold on Tannehill and that there was a good chance he would fall to their 8th overall pick anyway. As it stands the Browns and Dolphins are the only two teams who are in need of Tannehill (recent rumors concerning the Chiefs aside - I'd like to hear more from them first) so the Browns couldn't even pretend to shop to others to force Miami's hand. 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU. The two best players on the board are Claiborne and Blackmon and after spending so much on Vincent Jackson I doubt the Buccaneers would risk angering the diva by getting another WR. That really just leaves the very talented Claiborne. 6. St Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, OSU. I'm really not doing anything especially bold am I? The fact is without Brandon Lloyd the Rams need a new weapon on offence. He has good size, great jumping ability and is able to use his body to out maneuver defenders. I wouldn't be surprised if they looked for a new RB in the later rounds too. [caption id="attachment_14688" align="aligncenter" width="468" caption="Michael Floyd has been gaining on Blackmon in recent weeks."][/caption] 7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame. Blaine Gabbert needs help. The Jaguars won't be too upset that Blackmon didn't fall to them because Floyd has had a great month and a half and has definitely improved his value. A pure WR1 Floyd is a big target with great hands, a genuine threat over the middle. Don't let the fact that they Jaguars overpaid for Laurent Robinson in free agency dissuade you, they would be more than happy to give their struggling QB another big target. 8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M. The Dolphins salvage what has been an otherwise terrible offseason by picking the last remaining 1st-round talent QB. I wouldn't expect him to start immediately, but I could see him getting his shot mid-season. 9. Carolina Panthers: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina. The smart pick is to get the best player on the board. Melvin Ingram is that player. Happy coincidence the Panthers actually need a pass-rusher. [caption id="attachment_14689" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Riley Reiff should be the second offensive tackle off the board."][/caption] 10. Buffalo Bills: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa. The Bills just officially lost Bell to the Eagles so they move to repair their OL with the solid Reiff. The three year Iowa starter is great in pass protection thanks to great technique and body control.
Phew! After all that my picks are not too different from most.. I'll try harder to be a little more original next time, but the reality is I need to see some more ambiguity from the Browns camp first. They hold the keys to the draft. Coming up next I'll add another 5 picks - with your advice and input of course! - and make any changes if I feel the need. What do you think? Are there any prospects you think might sneak into the top 10? Who should be drafted next? Let us know!