2012 NFL Mock draft: Free Agency Right Around the Corner (2 rounds)

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33. St. Louis Rams-Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Hurricanes

First Pick Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU, Kendall Wright

The Rams take a best player available approach. Steven Jackson isn’t done being a Stud yet, but that time is fast-approaching. With the addition of Wright and Lamar Miller the Rams have given Sam Bradford some seriously explosive weapons to work with to help the offense flourish.

34. Indianapolis Colts-Brandon Thompson, DL, Clemson

First pick Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford Cardinal

Not a sexy pick, but Thompson is a plug in Defensive linemen who could fill a variety of roles for the Colts defense whichever defense they play whether it’s primarily a 43 front or a 34 front. Thompson can play some NT as a 34, DT in a 43, and potentially 34 DE. A good solid pick for the Colts at the top of round two.

35. Minnesota Vikings-Alshon Jefferey, WR, South Carolina

First Pick Matt Kalil, T, USC

If they want to give Ponder the most chance to succeed they should improve their OL and receiving weapons. With this draft they get the best LT and potentially the best WR in the class.

36. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Janoris Jenkins, CB, Northern Alabama

First pick Trent Richardson

We’ll see if under a new coach the Buccaneers are less likely to take players with character concerns. Jenkins is the most talented cornerback left in the draft and fills a position of need for the Buccaneers.

37. Cleveland Browns-Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

First pick Robert Griffin III,

When you select a quarterback you want to add another play-maker with him. The Browns already have a franchise LT, but are still looking for more WR weapons. I believe that they like what they have seen from Greg Little, but having Sanu being a complement with Little and Josh Cribbs could be enough to make this a dangerous offense rather soon.

38. Jacksonville Jaguars-Andre Branch, DE, Clemson

first pick: Quinton Coples

The Jaguars have shown that they will go back to back to address the same position. If the Jaguars lose Jeremy Mincey in free agency (which I think they will as of today) they will have zero pass rushers, they need to. Coples can play LDE where he can use his strength to hold up against the run and rush the passer while Branch can be the more prototypical RDE who rushers the passer. The Jaguars aren’t doing enough to help Blaine Gabbert in this mock, but the value just has not been there so they build the defense. A good defense can help a young quarterback as well, it puts less pressure on him to go out and win games and let’s them learn how to manage games first.

39. Washington Redskins-Jamel Flemming, CB, Oklahoma

First pick Justin Blackmon-

The Redskins have a lot of age at the cornerback position in an otherwise really good defense. Fleming is built like a safety, but has the athleticism as a cornerback and is a fringe first round prospect. Flemming didn’t always play great at Oklahoma, but was really strong in the final half of the regular season and really good down the stretch.

40. Carolina Panthers-Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska Cornhuskers

First pick Fletcher Cox

Alfonzo Dennard is a very physical cornerback who is a strong competitor. He’s had a rough pre-draft process and after being injured much of the 2011 College Football season had bouts of inconsistencies, but has first round ability. Not so long ago the Panthers were routinely mocked cornerbacks but that has been altered to defensive tackles now. Cornerback is still a need.

41. Buffalo Bills-Zebrie Sanders, T, Florida State University

First pick: Whitney Mercilus

This is not the direction I would go if I were the Bills, but they have made it known they feel they should address OL if possible. Sanders was considered a potential first round prospect prior to a poor Senior Bowl. He’s an athletic player who has the potential to play LT.

42. New England Patriots*** (in my hypothetical trade with the Dolphins in round one)-Rueben Randle, WR, LSU

First pick: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College

I think the Patriots will address WR in free agency so this will not be a need come draft day, but as of today WR is a big need for the Patriots. They relied way too much on the middle of the field this year, being able to exploit a matchup on the outside would really help diversify their offense.

43. Seattle Seahawks-Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall

First pick: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A and M

The Seahawks could use another guy to rush the passer outside of Cris Clemson, enter Vinny Curry. Curry is a 2nd round prospect who is a bit of a tweener type player, which might actually fit well with what Seattle does on defense. Seattle has shown that they want big bodied defenders.

44. Kansas City Chiefs-Doug Martin, RB, Boise State

First pick: Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis

The Chiefs have a terrific running back in Jamaal Charles, but the aging Thomas Jones is no longer the perfect complement. Is that player on the Chiefs roster already? Perhaps. But Martin could be the perfect complement to Charles. Martin has return ability, can catch the football, run the football between the tackles and has enough speed to make some big plays. The addition of Martin could give the Chiefs the best 1-2 rushing attack in all of professional football.

45. Dallas Cowboys-Kendall Reyes, DL, UCONN

First pick: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin

The Cowboys need to bolster their play up front along the defensive line. DeMarcus Ware is a Stud. Jay Ratliff is a perennial pro-bowler but besides those two this team doesn’t have enough players to get after the quarterback. People who know the Cowboys well think that J.J. Watt was going to be their player of choice if Tyron Smith was not available, I believe they will look DL early in this draft.

46. Philadelphia Eagles-Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin

First pick: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

If the Eagles lose Evan Mathis they will need another interior OL. This interior OL class is terrific. Zeitler is another one of those big bodied tough Wisconsin Badgers blockers that NFL teams covet. Andy Reid is partial to linemen early in the draft.

47. New York Jets-David Wilson, RB, VA Tech

Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama

The Jets are looking to improve their running game this year. Ideally Trent Richardson would fall into their laps in the first round, but if not they could look at running back in the second round. The presence of Wilson could motivate Green to be at his best next year, and if not Wilson can replace him. Wilson has terrific speed and game-breaking ability. He dances around in the backfield too much, but has Ahmad Bradshaw type potential (he’s faster, but not as tough between the tackles).

48. New England Patriots-Jerel Worthy, DL, Michigan State

First two picks: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College, Rueben Randle, WR, LSU

I have no idea what the Patriots will do in this draft, but adding as many talented defensive players as they can might be the way to go. The Patriots like versatile DL and Worthy is talented enough to help out in the 43 or 34 fronts the Patriots use regularly.

49. San Diego Chargers-Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson

First pick: Michael Floyd, WR, Norte Dame

This is a best player available pick. Antonio Gates has been really banged up the past two season so the Chargers might look for a reliable option to play when Gates is hurt. In either case with the potential (and seems inevitable loss) of Vincent Jackson the Chargers have to add more weapons for Philip Rivers in this off-season.

50. Chicago Bears-Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

Riley Reiff, T, Iowa

The Bears have a lot of free agents at he cornerback position and even if everyone returns, there aren’t many really good cornerbacks on their roster. The Bears will be better on offense next year (though they need a WR) with the return of Jay Cutler. They could look to aid their defense early in the draft.

51. Philadelphia Eagles-Bobby Wanger, LB, Utah State

First Three Picks: Michael Brockers, LSU, Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin

The Eagles finally draft their linebacker.

52. Tennessee Titans-Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State

First pick: Nick Perry, DL, USC

The Titans take the second best safety in this class even though they just franchised Michael Griffin this year. I think teams will realize that with how much teams pass in the league now, every team that using three safeties on the field at once as the Giants have done the last two years can be an effective minimizer of the potent passing games.

53. Cincinnati Bengals-Chris Polk, RB, Washington

First two picks: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama Cordy Glenn, T, Georgia

The Bengals take a running back who is more of a bell-cow type who can complement Bernard Scott. With the addition of Gleen and Polk the Bengals run game should be much better next year.

54. Detroit Lions-Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska

First pick: Mike Adams, T, Ohio State

The Lions take the best player available here and also fill a position of need. The Lions aren’t great in the linebacker corps. David is rangy, even though he’s a bit undersized.

55. Atlanta Falcons-Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse

no first round pick:

The Falcons need to replace the pass rush presence that John Abraham’s absence next year will bring. Jones is a high-upside pass rusher who is long and athletic.

56. Pittsburgh Steelers-Bobby Massie, T, Ole Miss

First pick: Devon Still, DL, Penn State

Here the Steelers get a rising offensive linemen. Massie is big, strong, and long. Massie will probably be a second round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and can play RT to start the season, but has some potential as a LT in some schemes.

57. Denver Broncos-Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford Cardinal

First pick: Zach Brown, LB, UNC

The Broncos take the tall and athletic pass catcher in Fleener. Fleener needs to improve his blocking, but he’s a good fit with the Broncos who need to add another pass catching option for Tebow. The Broncos need a DT, but the value hasn’t been great. Mike Martin out of Michigan makes some sense here.

58. Houston Texans-Ronnell Lewis, LB, Oklahoma

Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

The Texans grab a powerful outside rusher to give the pass rushing unit depth. The Texans look like they are going to lose Mario Williams and while Connor Barwin and Brooks reed filled in admirably for Williams, the Giants will tell you that you can never have too many pass rushers.

59. New Orleans Saints-Harrison Smith, S, Norte Dame

No First round pick

The Saints have now lost in the playoffs two years in a row because their safeties were blowing coverages in big moments. This will not be Harrison Smith. Smith is instinctive, smart, and huge. He doesn’t have elite athletic ability, but enough to be a good NFL starter.

60. Green Bay Packers-Jared Crick, DL, Nebraska

First pick: Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama

Jared Crick is a forgotten man because he didn’t play much in the 2011 College Football season, but he’s good value here. The Packers really have to improve their defense.

61. Baltimore Ravens-Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa

First round pick: Kelechi Osmele

The Ravens impending release of Lee Evans and the age of Anquan Boldin could mean that the Baltimore Ravens are searching for another wide receiver. McNutt was being talked about as a potential first round pick half-way through the college Football season, he didn’t quite show enough to warrant a first round selection, but he’s an intriguing option here at the end of round two.

62. San Francisco 49ers-Marvin Jones, WR, Cal

First round pick: DeCastro

The 49ers could look to add another wide receiver. Jones is a fast-rising prospects who is drawing positive comparisons to Green Bay WR Donald Driver. Jones is able to stretch the field and has good body control. He’s a smooth athlete and would be a nice complement to Michael Crabtree.

63. New England Patriots-Jayron Hosley, CB, Va Tech

All picks: Luke Kuechly, Jerel Worthy, Rueben Randle

The Patriots continue to add defensive playmakers early in the draft to make another run at the Superbowl.

64. New York Giants-Amini Silatalou, G, Midwestern State

First round pick: Mark Barron

The Giants offensive line was one of the worst in the National Football League in the 2011 season. Silatalou is a name that is well-known in the scouting community, he is raw like Vladimir Ducasse before him, but could end up being one of the best players in this draft.


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