Here it is, the Version 1.0 of my 2012 NFL Mock Draft on Cardiac Attack Sports. I’m just going through the first 10 picks for the time being, but check back for picks 11-20 and 21-32 later this week.
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
What is there to say that you haven’t already seen plastered across ESPN for the past two seasons. This guy’s got the leadership, poise, intelligence, accuracy, and mobility to be an NFL star. Think Steve Young with a smaller learning curve. At best, he could be the best in the game someday. At worst, he’s Bernie Kosar. Either way, Indy has found their quarterback of the future.
2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Rex Grossman, John Beck, or RG3? Which of these signal-callers do you think would make Redskins fans excited enough to pay big bucks and show up to games? The best combination of talents above and below the waist, Griffin can give hope to a franchise that has been all but irrelevant for the better part of two decades.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
The Vikings need an upgrade at left tackle. Badly. Among players who pass blocked 550 times or more in 2011, left tackle Charlie Johnson ranked 21st out of 29 linemen in pass blocking efficiency last season, one spot behind Doug Free. Being a Dallas fan, I know just how sad that is.
4. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
There are three different ways Cleveland can improve their offense with this pick. One, they could draft Blackmon and give Colt McCoy the top-flight receiver he hasn’t had since college. Two, they could reach a bit for Trent Richardson and fix their abhorrent running game. Three, they could reach even more and take Ryan Tannehill. Personally, I feel the team is best served giving McCoy one more year and a few more weapons. Blackmon is a great start, arguably the next Calvin Johnson.
5. Tampa Bay Bucs: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
This is a little high for Brockers, but Tampa Bay has a serious need for a run-stopping lineman and the LSU product is the best available by far. To show just how bad the league’s 32nd ranked run defense was, consider this. Only three teams since 1990 have allowed 150 rushing yards and two scores seven or more times in a single season: the 1990 Patriots (1-15) and the 2008 Lions (0-16). Another possibility to sure up the line would be fast-rising lineman Dontari Poe, but he’ll have to prove scouts he’s more than just a workout warrior before garnering a top five pick.
6. St. Louis Rams: Riley Rieff, OT, Iowa
Among the Rams many pressing needs, an upgrade to arguably the worst O-Line in the game ranks near the top. Jason Smith has shown he can’t stay healthy and Rodger Saffold isn’t going to win Lineman of the Year anytime soon, so an athletic tackle from the Midwest who is equally qualified at pass and run blocking would provide St. Louis its best option going forward.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
As pressing as Jacksonville’s needs are at receiver, the No. 7 pick is a bit high to take someone like Michael Floyd or Kendall Wright. Need 1b would be a pass rusher, since Jeremy Mincey was the only threat from around the corner opposing lines had to deal with. A physical specimen at over 280 pounds, Coples still boasts some of the best pass rush moves in the draft. The comparisons to Julius Peppers are a little premature, but I feel he can reach that potential as long as he keeps his occasionally stalled motor running full blast at the next level.
8. Miami Dolphins: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
I could see Miami swapping picks with Tampa Bay to take Rieff instead of St. Louis, but in the case that no trades occur, I feel the Dolphins are best served taking a gamble on Ingram. With the retirement of Jason Taylor, there’s a vacant spot just waiting to be filled by a guy with a quick first step and experience with at linebacker as well as with his hand on the ground. He has a few issues, namely tackling, that could shy a few teams away, but his potential in the right system is through the roof.
9. Carolina Panthers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
In a division that features Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, it’s only fitting that Carolina goes after the draft’s best cover corner and return man. An interception machine, the former wide receiver can track the ball through the air and make Revis-like plays when opposing signal-callers make a mistake. The only reason I have him falling to No. 9 is that there were more pressing needs for the 1-8 teams. That, however, won’t matter if someone goes the “best player available” route. In that case, his other likely destination would be Tampa Bay.
10. Buffalo Bills: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
A bit of a reach at No. 10, Buffalo knows that the money it gave Stevie Johnson and Ryan Fitzpatrick will go to waste if the franchise can’t bring in another receiving threat. At nearly the size of a tight end, Floyd would give his Harvard signal-caller a solid target with great hands, which should open up the running game for C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. It’s the best strategy if the team want to make a postseason run within the lifetime of their owner, 93-year-old Hall of Famer Ralph Wilson.
What a positive note to end a blog with, huh? Thanks for reading my post, be sure to follow me on twitter at @LucasKinser or find me on Facebook. Enjoy March Madness, Spring Training baseball and St. Patty’s Day! Horray green beer!
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