View of the 2011NFL Draft Stage. Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

NFL Mock Draft 2012

As new information continues to come in from draft experts, leaks from individual team, free agent signings, unexpected cuts, etc., I will be re-mocking the draft. Expect updates to be posted every couple weeks. Each SideLion Report mock draft is featured in the DC Pro Sports ReportWalterFootball.comhailredskins.com and Sports Jabber mock draft databases. Each site keeps track of a huge number mock drafts all over the web.

1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

The writing is on the wall for Peyton Manning’s time in Indy. Peyton fans might not want to believe it, but the Andrew Luck era for the Colts is about to being.

2. St. Louis Rams – Matt Kalil, OT, USC

The Rams hold all the Cards in the draft this year. After Luck, there’s only one top QB and many teams wanting him. The likelihood that the Rams pick a player here and don’t trade out is quite small. Kalil is the best non-QB in this draft, and at a position of need for the Rams, so he’s the pick here since I don’t try and predict trades. 

3. Minnesota Vikings – Riley Reiff, OT, Georgia

When the draft finally rolls around in April, The Vikings will almost certainly take Kalil after the Rams trade out of #2 spot and whoever gets that spot takes a QB. In this mock, they get Reiff, and very solid tackle that will help upgrade an offensive line that definitely needs help.

4. Cleveland Browns – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

Word out of Cleveland is that they love RG3, and their 2 first round picks made them the favorite to trade up to get him.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

The Bucs could go in a lot of different directions here, but Claiborne makes the most sense. He’s an amazing shutdown corner and someone who instantly makes a defense better.

6. Washington Redskins – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.

Blackmon is a very gifted receiver that is a tremendous big play threat. Drafting him is like drafting another Marvin Harrison. Since the Redskins will miss out on a QB, getting the drafts’s best WR is a nice alternative.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Johnathan Martin , OT, Stanford

This draft could not have fallen worse for the Jags. The WR and CB they want are gone, and there’s no DE worthy of this spot. Luckily, the best player available also fills a need.

8. Carolina Panthers – David DeCasto, OG, Stanford

Decasto is the 3rd Stanford offensive player taken in the first 8 picks. Pretty amazing. DeCasto might also be the best. He’s an absolute beast at guard, and one of the most technically advanced guard to come out of the draft in years.

9. Miami Dolphins – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

Reggie Bush had a decent year in 2011, but he also proved that he isn’t an every down back in the NFL. Richardson instantly fixes that mistake, and gives the Phins one of the top running back combos in the league.

10. Buffalo Bills – Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina

Buffalo really needs a major upgrade at linebacker, and Ingram provides just the type of player that they need. While 10 might be a bit of reach for him, he really is a great fit for the Bills.

11. Kansas City Chiefs – Devon Still, DT, Penn St.

The Chiefs need a DT, and Still is the best in this years draft. They will also look carefully at Michael Brockers here, but Still is the better fit for their defense.

12. Seattle Seahawks – Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

The Seahawks need linebacker help, and also need additional passrushers. Upshaw is the perfect blend of the two. He will line up at weak side linebacker on running downs, and then move up to DE on passing downs and rush the passer in the old Julian Peterson roll.

13. Arizona Cardinals – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

With 4 offensive lineman gone in the first 12 picks, the Cardinals will be stuck either having to really reach for a player if they want to fill their biggest need. Instead They’ll fill their 2nd biggest need by picking up a WR who can finally take some coverage off of Larry Fitzgerald.

14. Dallas Cowboys – Dre KirkPatrick, CB, Alabama

KirkPatrick is a top 6 or 7 talent, but he’ll slide because of his off-field issues, that includes drug use. Luckily for KirkPatrick, he wont slide too far because the Cowboys seem to love collecting these types of players, and they desperately need an upgrade at corner.

15. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College

The Eagles defense was awful in 2011, and most of the reason was some really horrible linebacker play. Luechly is a rare inside linebacker good enough to go this high in the draft.

16. New York Jets – Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

The Jets could use some defensive line help, and they’ll get that in Coples. He is a polarizing figure in terms of draft grades, but he is incredibly athletic and Rex Ryan’s defenseive style is a great fit for Coples’s talents.

17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

The Bangles biggest needs are RB and S, but neither position has a player near this draft position. Instead I expect they’ll take a WR to give their young QB another weapon to work with.

18. San Diego Chargers – Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina

The run on linebackers continues. Brown is speedy linebacker who fits well into the Charger’s scheme. He’s a solid weak side LB who’ll be an upgrade and help solidify this defense.

19. Chicago Bears – Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

The Bears don’t need a corner as much as they need help at other positions, but an upgrade on at CB is on their wish list. Since, the value isn’t there at the other positions, and Dennard really is the best player available at this point, it makes for a good fit.

20. Tennessee Titans – Nick Perry, DE, Southern Cal

I had Perry going to the Seahawks in my last draft. He’s a good pure rusher that will provide a nice boost to the Titan defense.

21. Cincinnati Bengals – Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

Having already gotten the WR this offense needs, the Bangles will be happy to get Konz to help them get younger and better on the offensive line.

22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta) – Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

They got their franchise QB earlier, now they give him a weapon. Jeffery is game changer type talent, and paired with RG3 they should make for a dynamic offense.

23. Detroit Lions – Cordy Glenn, OT/G, Georgia

The Lion really need offensive line help at guard and LT. Glenn is a versatile player who can play guard, but also play some tackle, though he’s better suited for the right side.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Flether Cox, DT, Mississippi St.

The Stealers must start getting younger on defense, and Cox would be a great start to that up front. They should be able to address their other defensive needs later.

25. Denver Broncos – Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

The Broncos would love to get some help for Tebow on the offensive side of the ball, but the value in this part of the first round is on defensive players. Worthy is a good fit that will help solidify the line between Dumerville and Miller.

26. Houston Texans – Kelechi Osemele, G/T, Iowa State

The Texans don’t have many glaring needs, but they do need an upgrade at Guard. Osemele is a mauler of a run blocker that will boost an already solid running game in Houston.

27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans) - Ronnell Lewis, OLB/DE, Oklahoma

The Patriots freely switch between a 3-4 and a 4-3 defense, so they need versatile players that can make an impact in both schemes. Lewis is the type of pass rusher that can that make plays either from the OLB position in the 3-4, or with his hand on the ground in the 4-3 defense.

28. Green Bay Packers – Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

The Packers have to address their 32nd ranked pass defense, and getting Minnifield would be a great start. The Pack could also look to Whitney Mercilus at DE in this spot, but I feel that Minnifield offers better value at this draft slot.

29. Baltimore Ravens – Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama

Every time I mock this draft I end up with Hightower going to the Ravens; it just always falls that way for some reason. The Raven’s Linebackers are getting older, and they need to get some youth in there with the vets while their’s still time. Hightower is a tackling machine, and will create a scary combo on the inside next to Ray Lewis.

30. San Francisco 49ers – Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

The 49ers front 7 is as good as it gets, but they need some help in the secondary, especially if they lose Carlos Rogers to free agency. Jenkins is a top 10 talent, but had to transfer to North Alabama after getting kicked out of Florida do to drug problems. If he falls this far, I could totally see the 49ers taking a shot on him.

31. New York Giants – Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

The 2-headed rushing attack of Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs are getting older and have been having considerable injury problems the past 2 seasons. Miller has the potential to be a great back in the NFL, and getting him will provide a big boost to this offense.

32. New England Patriots – Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

The Patriots have to provide Tom Brady more weapons at WR. Deon Branch and Chad Ochocinco appear to be done in the NFL, and there doesn’t appear to be any depth behind them either. Sanu is the type of receiver that can really open things up for the other playmakers on this team.

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