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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III Atop Projections For First Round

Posted: 04/ 4/2012 11:01 am Updated: 04/ 4/2012 11:01 am

By Wes Bunting, National Football Post

Our latest mock draft of the season.

1. Indianapolis Colts: Stanford QB Andrew Luck
Seems like Luck to the Colts is still all but a lock.

2. Washington Redskins: Baylor QB Robert Griffin III
RG3 is the kind of athletic quarterback that would be an ideal fit in the Washington offense. He can make plays outside the pocket, throw on the run and create second lives with his legs.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Southern Cal OT Matt Kalil
Quarterback Christian Ponder has shown flashes in year one, but he needs to stay healthy. Therefore, bringing in the top offensive tackle prospect in the draft who has a chance to mature into a Pro Bowl-caliber lineman seems like an easy selection at three.

4. Cleveland Browns: Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill
I would not be shocked if the Browns bite the bullet and overpay on a QB like Tannehill at four.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: LSU CB Morris Claiborne
Tampa Bay has done a great job over the past two drafts improving the overall talent along its defensive line. Therefore, adding a playmaking corner who can capitalize on all the potential pressure is a must for this defense to take that next step.

6. St. Louis Rams: Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon
Getting a big-play receiver for quarterback Sam Bradford is almost a must at this point. Blackmon can line up all over the offense and has the skill set to produce as a rookie.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: North Carolina DL Quinton Coples
Infusing talent on the D-line is a must for Jacksonville and despite there being some motor concerns with Coples, he’s the kind of talent that is worth a top-ten pick and fills a big need.

8. –TRADE- Cleveland Browns via Miami Dolphins: Alabama RB Trent Richardson
The Browns move back into the top-ten from pick 22 in order to secure their workhorse back. Richardson could fall outside the top-five picks, but he isn’t going to last much longer than that.

9. Carolina Panthers: Memphis DT Dontari Poe
The NFL Combine helped Poe as much as anyone. He’s a massive kid with an elite combination of power, explosion and upside. His tape isn’t great, but I think he’s now a lock for the top 15 and the Panthers have a huge need inside for a body with his type of talent.

10. Buffalo Bills: Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd
Floyd has some character concerns and isn’t the most dynamic of athletes. However, he’s a guy capable of running the entire route tree, beating press coverage on the outside and going up to get the football. Will give the Bills a much needed talent on the outside to pair with Stevie Johnson.

11. Kansas City Chiefs: Boston College ILB Luke Kuechly
With the need at offensive tackle addressed in free agency the Chiefs can now look at one of the safest players available in the front seven. Kuechly is a tackling machine with good size, natural instincts and above-average athleticism. Is the kind of talent who can make an impact inside from day one.

12. Seattle Seahawks: Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus
The Seahawks need a more dynamic pass rushing option to replace Red Bryant on obvious passing downs. Mercilus has a lot of natural talent and could be a force off the edge.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Iowa OT Riley Reiff
Reiff is an athletic tackle with good range off the edge, natural change of direction skills and has the ability to sit into his stance on contact. He needs to get stronger and fill out a bit more. However, this former tight end recruit has the type of athleticism and demeanor to mature into the kind of blind side protector the Cardinals are looking for.

14. Dallas Cowboys: LSU DT Michael Brockers
Brockers is as talented as any defensive lineman in the draft and is capable of maturing into a real game changer up front. He’s got the ability to play all over the Cowboys defensive line early and offers them a lot of versatility in their 34 front.

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Mississippi State DT Fletcher Cox
Cox is the kind of potential three-technique who can create behind the line of scrimmage and stop plays before they start. The Eagles don’t have a huge need at DT, but Cox could still mature into a playmaker inside, at a position where Philly lacks an impact guy.

16. New York Jets: South Carolina OLB/DE Melvin Ingram
Ingram has a great motor, is a high character kid and can get after the quarterback from a number of spots on a defensive front seven. He’s the kind of “NFL ready” prospect the Jets would love to get in the middle of round one.

17. Cincinnati Bengals: Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick
Kirkpatrick adds a physical element to the Bengals secondary. He’s got the ability to press off the line, make plays in zone and consistently tackle the ball carrier. Plus, he has the size to handle some of the bigger wideouts in the AFC North.

18. San Diego Chargers: Alabama OLB Courtney Upshaw
Upshaw is a thick, powerful kid who can line up all over the Chargers 34 front and get after the passer. He’s got the power to win consistently on contact vs. both the run and pass game and would be the kind of “NFL ready” prospect the Chargers would love to get in the middle of round one.

19. Chicago Bears: Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill
Hill is going to need to become a more consistent route runner. However, at 6-5 he showcases some natural short-area quickness to his game and knows how to go up and get the football vertically. He’s one of the draft's elite size/speed combos at the receiver spot and his stock is on the rise.

20. Tennessee Titans: Stanford OG David DeCastro
DeCastro has the ability to become one of the NFL’s best interior linemen and will instantly improve the Titans offense in both the run and pass game. He also offers them some much needed versatility and youth inside.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Georgia OL Cordy Glenn
Glenn is a powerful body who can maul defenders in the run game and more than hold his own inside vs. the pass. A potential Pro Bowl-caliber option at guard who should be an ideal power player in the AFC North.

22. -TRADE- Miami Dolphins via Cleveland Browns: Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden
If the Dolphins are unable to get their QB in the top ten, don’t be shocked to see them move back and take their pick from the second tier type QB prospects mid/late stages of round one.

23. Detroit Lions: Ohio State OT Mike Adams
As long as quarterback Matthew Stafford is healthy the offense is going to score points. Therefore, bringing in an athlete capable of protecting his blind side is becoming a major need in Detroit.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Stanford OT Jonathan Martin
Getting a potential franchise left tackle at 24 has to be a thrill for the Steelers. Martin is an athletic pass blocker who needs to get stronger, but has the talent to hold his own in space vs. the pass game and is an upgrade over what the Steelers have in place now.

25. Denver Broncos: Baylor WR Kendall Wright
After signing QB Peyton Manning, adding a big play threat to open up the field vertically and complement the pieces the Broncos already have in place makes a lot of sense for Denver.

26. Houston Texans: LSU WR Rueben Randle
The Texans would love to add another vertical threat to the offense to take some pressure off Andre Johnson and Randle has the strider speed to be a threat down the field and take the top off a defense.

27. New England Patriots: Penn State DT Devon Still
He’s not the most dynamic of pass rushers. However, he’s a big, strong kid with a good get off, long set of arms and knows how to play the run. He’s a potential anchor inside who can push the pocket and give the Patriots a lot of 3-4 and 4-3 flexibility.

28. Green Bay Packers: Southern Cal DE/OLB Nick Perry
Perry has worked out well all post-season and is a versatile 43 DE or 34 OLB prospect who could line-up all over. His versatility on third down gives the Packers even more options in pressure situations.

29. Baltimore Ravens: Wisconsin OL Peter Konz
Konz has the ability to play both center and guard at the next level and gives the Ravens a real upgrade inside at a spot of need.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Stanford TE Coby Fleener
The 49ers need to add talent to the passing game, but if there isn’t a receiver on the board worthy of the pick, don’t be shocked to see them look at Fleener. Head coach Jim Harbaugh loves to run multiple tight end packages and Fleener has the ability to create a ton of mismatches in the pass game on all levels of the field.

31. New England Patriots: Alabama SS Mark Barron
New England has had to piece together their secondary this year, but in terms of talent they could certainly use an upgrade at a number of spots. Barron is a smart, instinctive safety with good ball skills, can play in the box and be effective bumping/running with tight ends underneath.

32. New York Giants: South Carolina CB Stephon Gilmore
Getting a tall, physical defensive back who displays a natural feel in zone and can go get the football makes some sense for the Giants at the back end of round one.

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