NFL Mock Draft

March 29, 2012 | John West

The 2012 NFL Draft is upon us and I couldn’t be happier. This is the time of the year where Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome shines brightest amongst his peers. A lot of other teams are trying to solve some of the roster issues by purchasing free agents at or above their real salary cap value. Ozzie just resigns some key players, drafts the best available talent on the board, and makes some shrewd free agent signings right before camp opens. It seems so easy when Ozzie does it.

Anyway, below is a good guess as to how the first round of the 2012 NFL will go. Go Ravens!!

1. Colts Andrew Luck QB Stanford
2. Redskins Robert Griffon QB Baylor
3. Vikings Matt Kalil OT USC
4. Browns Trent Richardson RB Alabama

The Browns blew it big time. They had to address their quarterback position and with 2 first round draft picks they didn’t pull the trigger with the Rams. They are now left with 11 picks in this years draft, which will allow them to fill many holes, just not quarterback. Here they take a game changing running back and go from there.

5. Bucs Morris Claiborne CB LSU
6. Rams Michael Floyd WR ND
7. Jaguars Justin Blackmon WR Okla St.
8. Dolphins Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M

The Dolphins blew it big time. Same story as the Browns only the Dolphins have to take a QB with this pick. The WR flip at 6 and 7 is new and it’s because of the poor pro day for Justin Blackmon. I think the Rams will take the bigger WR. In the end its always a crap shoot with WR’s in the first round so I think the Rams take the one with the less risk and that’s Floyd out of ND.

9. Panthers Dontari Poe NT Memphis
10. Bills Riley Reiff OT Iowa
11. Chiefs David DeCastro G Stanford
12. Seahawks Quinton Coples DE North Carolina
13. Cardinals Melvin Ingram DE/OLB South Carolina
14. Cowboys Dre Kirkpatrick CB Alabama
15. Eagles Like Kuechly LB Boston College

Lots of picks here that fall very near their draft rating and also meet a big draft need for the pro team. The Cowboys have a huge need at CB and lots of draft boards have Dre Kirkpatrick at or around 15 to 18. So the Cowboys take him at 14. Same with the Eagles. Kuechly is the highest rated ILB but lots of drafts have that position rated out at 18-21. The need for strong interior linebackers for the Eagles is so great they have to take him.

16. Jets Courtney Upshaw DE/OLB Alabama
17. Bengals Fletcher Cox DT Mississippi State
18. Chargers Whitney Mercilus DE/OLB Illinois
19. Bears Jonathan Martin OT Stanford
20. Titans Michael Brockers DT LSU
21. Bengals Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama
22. Browns Cordy Glenn G Georgia

The Browns and Bengals finish up this stage of the first round with 2 picks and I think the Browns will focus on offense and the Bengals on defense. The Bengals are playoff team and this draft could help solidify their playoff status for a couple of years to come. I think both of these picks will turn into very good players and I like what the Bengals are doing overall as a franchise. The Browns are embarrassing, but they make 2 good picks here. The Bears need offensive line help very bad and will take the highest rated offensive lineman left on the board multiple times in this draft, starting at the 19th pick.

23. Lions Kendall Wright WR Baylor
24. Steelers Mike Adams OT Ohio State
25. Broncos Stephen Hill WR Georgia Tech
26. Texans Nick Perry DE/OLB USC
27. Pats Devon Still DT Penn State
28. Packers Stephon Gilmore CB South Carolina

The Steelers need all sorts of help on the offensive line. The Texans need to try to replace Mario Williams and the Packers are old in the defensive secondary. The Pats will add talent to their defensive front seven and Peyton Manning will want another big tall fast WR to throw to in Denver.

29. Ravens Mark Barron SS Alabama

The Ravens can go a lot of places with this pick. I think Ozzie will look to trade down as he usually does. In fact I would not be surprised if he does. If Barron is taken and LB Don’ta Hightower is here I could see Ozzie taking him. If both players are gone I expect Ozzie to trade out of this pick. However in this mock draft, with the Ravens need at S so high, I expect the Ravens to take Mark Barron.

30. 49ers David Wilson RB Virginia Tech
31. Pats Alfonzo Dennard CB Nebraska
32. Giants Don’t’a Hightower LB Alabama

I think the 49ers need more explosive weapons on offense and back-up to Frank Gore. I think the Pats are horrible in the secondary and the Giants always take the best available talent.

Here is a quick list of some of the players I think/hope the Ravens will be looking at for the rest of this draft.

Bobby Massie OT Ole Miss
Kevin Zeitler G Wisconisin
Mike Brewster C Ohio State
Nick Toon WR Wisconsin
Nate Potter G/OT Boise State
Travis Lewis OLB Oklahoma
Mike Martin DE Michigan