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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Trent Richardson Joins Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III In First Round

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Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State catches a pass during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 26, 2012.
Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State catches a pass during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 26, 2012.

By Wes Bunting, National Football Post

Our latest mock draft of the season.

1. Indianapolis Colts: Stanford QB Andrew Luck
With a week left until the draft, Luck still looks like the guy.

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: Alabama RB Trent Richardson
With the top two quarterback prospects off the board, the Browns could opt for the safest offensive threat in the draft. You have to be able to run the football in the AFC North to have a chance and Richardson gives Cleveland that workhorse-type back.

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: Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd
Is there a team in the NFL in more need of an upgrade at the wide receiver position than the Jaguars? This might be a bit high for Floyd. However, he’s got the talent to make plays on all levels of the field and fills a major need for the Jags at a position of major need.

8. Miami Dolphins: Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill
The Dolphins have received pretty average quarterback play over the past couple seasons and adding a talent like Tannehill who has the skill set to mature into a franchise QB could be too good to pass up at eight.

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.

10. Buffalo Bills: 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 Bills are looking for.

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: North Carolina DL Quinton Coples
The Seahawks have a real unique blend of athletes on the defensive side of the ball and because of that it makes me think Coples would be able to fit right in and fill a number of roles at both DT and DE. Plus, Pete Carroll seems like the kind of coach that could get the most out of Coples’s talent.

13. Arizona Cardinals: South Carolina OLB/DE Melvin Ingram
Ingram has the ability to play with his hand on the ground or rush off the edge from a two-point stance. He’s a sudden pass rusher with natural change of direction skills, long arms and could offer some talent and versatility to the Cardinals defense on third down.

14. Dallas Cowboys: Stanford: OG David DeCastro
The idea of drafting an athlete like DeCastro and potentially playing him next to 2011 first-round pick Tyron Smith at left tackle has to sound mighty intriguing.

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: Alabama OLB Courtney Upshaw
Upshaw is a thick, powerful kid who can line up all over the Jets 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 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: 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 Chargers defensive line early and offers them a lot of versatility in their 34 front.

19. Chicago Bears: Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus
The Bears love to go defense in round one and getting a talent like Mercilus in the middle of the first has to be considered a steal. There are some rough spots to his game, but he adds another pass rushing threat to the Bears defense on third down.

20. Tennessee Titans: 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 for the Titans.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Boise State RB Doug Martin
Martin is one of the “hot” names right now and has really done a nice for job himself all post-season. The Bengals could use some youth at the running back spot and Martin is an ideal fit for the physical NFC North.

22. Cleveland Browns: Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden
If the Browns are unable to get their QB in the top ten, don’t be shocked to see them take their second pick in round one and nab their QB of the future.

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: Wisconsin OL Peter Konz
Konz has the ability to play both center and guard at the next level and gives the Steelers a real upgrade inside.

25. Denver Broncos: 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 Broncos a guy they can win with inside.

26. Houston Texans: Baylor WR Kendall Wright
Wright might be the draft’s top vertical threat and has the ability to open up a lot of options for the Texans offense down the field.

27. 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.

28. Green Bay Packers: Boise State LB Shea McClellin
He’s got the ability to play both inside and out for the Packers and brings the kind of motor, intensity and relentless as a pass rusher they are looking for.

29. Baltimore Ravens: Alabama ILB Dont’a Hightower
Hightower is a “plus” run defender who can be used as a blitzer inside or a pass rusher off the edge. Is the kind of talent the Ravens could use inside as an eventual replacement for Ray Lewis.

30. San Francisco 49ers: 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.

31. New England Patriots: 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 Patriots even more options in pressure situations.

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.

Check out the NFP Draft page here...

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