Many thanks to Jason (big_jay) for another mega seven round mock draft. With the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine in the books, and free agency on the horizon, this was a good time for one of our resident draftniks to file this well done mock.
--Michael B. ---
1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck QB, Stanford
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Anthony Castonzo OT, Boston College
Team Needs: RT/OC//OG/WR/CB/SS
This pick is a done deal, a no brainer. The Colts get Luck-y yet again (terrible pun I know) by being in position to draft a franchise quarterback just as Peyton Manning’s career is winding down. But the Colts have a lot of overhauling left to do to become prominent again. Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon are free agents and the offensive line needs an infusion of talent. Defensively it’s likely that new head coach Chuck Pagano with convert them into a 3-4 scheme, and even if they do stay a 4-3 Pagano will spend more time, money, and draft picks on the defense than his predecessors. Dwight Freeney will convert into an OLB in the new scheme but Robert Mathis is a 31 year old free agent and Jerry Hughes is looking like a bust so far. The Colts have one of the weakest secondaries in the NFL and upfront they don’t have anyone who can play nose tackle.
2. Cleveland Browns (via St. Louis Rams) – Robert Griffin III QB, Baylor
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Phil Taylor NT, Baylor
Team Needs: WR/RT/QB/RB
I’ve never included a trade in my mock drafts before but this one makes too much sense. Colt McCoy hasn’t shown much since the Browns took him in the third round and they don’t have a lot invested in him financially so this trade makes perfect sense. And the Rams have pretty much gone on record as saying that the second overall pick is up for auction and the Browns have the most firepower and instant gratification to offer after last year’s trade which netted them the Atlanta Falcons first round pick. All of the other likely culprits looking to trade up to draft RGIII like the Dolphins and Redskins would have to mortgage their futures by parting with first round picks this year, in 2012, and one in 2013 to beat the Browns as the Rams can make this trade and still acquire one of their top targets at pick number four. Getting RGIII would be a huge coup for the Browns and provide a large stepping stone from out of the bottom of the AFC North division.
3. Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil OT, USC
2011 1st Draft Pick: Christian Ponder QB, FSU
Team Needs: LT/CB/WR/OG/FS
The Vikings biggest issue offensively has been trouble protecting the quarterback. Matt Kalil has to be their top priority in the 2012 draft and because of the Rams trade Kalil will be available to protect Christian Ponders blindside for the foreseeable future. He is an elite talent and would replace a severely untalented Charlie Johnson. Perhaps the Vikings biggest need overall would be at cornerback. Antoine Winfield is 35 years old and cannot stay healthy while Chris Cook has legal troubles. If the Vikings took anyone besides Matt Kalil it would be LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. Another option would be Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. A couple of years ago it was a strength but now the wide receiver corps needs an overhaul.
4. St. Louis Rams (via Cleveland Browns) – Justin Blackmon WR, Oklahoma State
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Robert Quinn DE/OLB, UNC
Team Needs: LT/WR/CB/OLB/DT
St. Louis gets to trade back and can still draft one of their top targets. Their two biggest needs will be at left tackle and at wide receiver. Sam Bradford was beaten down this last season and the team needs to do everything it can to better protect him. If they stay with the second pick in the draft it’ll be Matt Kalil. He would play left tackle, moving Rodger Saffold over to left guard or right tackle to replace Jason Smith who has been a huge bust to this point. At wide receiver Brandon Lloyd has already stated that he’s going to sign wherever former OC Josh McDaniels ends up. On defense the Rams could use a lot of help. Their tackles are getting old, both OLB’s are free agents that needed to be replaced anyway, and their secondary is a mess.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne CB, LSU
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Adrian Clayborn DE, Iowa
Team Needs: CB/RT/LB/OC/WR
The Bucs have a lot of holes to fill. On offense they really need a downfield threat. They don’t have anyone who can stretch the field and can be a homerun threat. If he’s available Justin Blackmon would be a huge boost to this offense. On the offensive line Jeremy Trueblood and Jeff Faine need to be replaced and Jeremy Zuttah is a free agent. At running back the Bucs need a compliment to LaGarrette Blount who can’t block and isn’t much of a pass catcher in which case Trent Richardson would make a lot of sense. Just about the only place the Bucs are set is on the defensive line. At linebacker Geno Hayes is a free agent and Quincy Black needs to be replaced. But the biggest issue is at cornerback. Ronde Barber is a 37 year old free agent whose time has come to retire and Aqib Talib will be going to prison at some point. Morris Claiborne is the top prospect available at this point and fills Tampa Bay’s biggest position of need so I can see them taking anyone else as long as he’s available.
6. Washington Redskins – Riley Reiff OT, Iowa
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Ryan Kerrigan DE, Purdue
Team Needs: QB/WR/O-line depth
It’s rumored that the Redskins have already offered the Rams their first three picks in this draft in addition to their 2013 first rounder to move up to draft RGIII but I still don’t think they’ll have the firepower to match the Browns. Aside from quarterback the Redskins definitely need to upgrade their offensive line. Kory Lichtensteiger tore two ligaments in his knee and Jammal Brown cannot stay healthy. At wide receiver Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney, and Donte Stallworth are all over 30 years old and behind them are a bunch of late-round 2011 rookies. Defensively they need an upgrade over Adam Carriker at DE and eventual successor to London Fletcher at ILB. Beyond that the Redskins could really use some depth at OLB and CB. With the talent available Reiff makes the most sense. He would give the Redskins a young pair of bookend tackles for the future. The only other option would be Trent Richardson but Mike Shanahan has a history of not taking running backs early.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Michael Floyd WR, Notre Dame
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Blaine Gabbert QB, Missouri
Team Needs: WR/CB/DE/RT/FS
Blaine Gabbert was terrible in his rookie season and GM Gene Smith better do everything he can to improve his performance before Smith finds himself out of a job. In his defense Gabbert doesn’t have much to throw to so a wide receiver would be a big help. Jacksonville could also use an upgrade at right tackle. Defensively they need a pass-rusher and some help in the secondary. Rashean Mathis will be a 32 year old free agent this offseason and William Middleton is a free agent as well. They already have a need for one defensive end and could be in a real bind if they do not resign Jeremy Mincey. At this point it’ll come down to Michael Floyd and Quinton Coples. Gene Smith doesn’t like drafting guys who don’t put out maximum effort all of the time and Coples has been guilty of that but he also doesn’t like taking players with character concerns for which Floyd is guilty. All reports have Floyd getting his act together so for now I’ll go with him, especially since Smith needs to do give Gabbert all the help he can.
8. Miami Dolphins – Quinton Coples DE, UNC
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Mike Pouncey OG/OC, Florida
Team Needs: QB/RT/OG/OLB/TE
Miami is the long shot to trade up with the Rams for RGIII simply because they are drafting this far back. That means they’ll have to either draft a quarterback in another round or sign free agent Matt Flynn. Elsewhere Marc Colombo has been absolutely terrible at right tackle and needs to be replaced immediately which is why they could give some serious consideration to Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin. They’ll also need a replacement for Vernon Carey if he isn’t resigned and could use an upgrade over Richie Incognito as well which could put Martin’s Stanford teammate David DeCastro as an option as well. Defensively the Dolphins will be converting from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defensive scheme so they’ll need to tweak their personnel. Cameron Wake will probably man one end spot but they’ll have a vacancy at the other and as such Quinton Coples will be the likely pick.
9. Carolina Panthers – Michael Brockers DT, LSU
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Cam Newton QB, Auburn
Team Needs: CB/DT/LB/WR/RT/S
The only dependable wide receiver on the Panthers roster is Steve Smith who will be 33 years old shortly after the 2012 NFL draft. At right tackle Jeff Otah cannot seem to stay healthy and Jonathan Martin would be a great replacement. The biggest issues for Carolina are on defense as they need players just about everywhere. They relied on two third-round rookies and while Sione Fua was decent Terrell McClain was not. At linebacker Thomas Davis cannot stay healthy and Dan Conner is a free agent. In the secondary the Panthers need someone opposite of Chris Gamble and they need upgrades at both safety positions. This pick will come down to Dontari Poe, Brockers or Martin. For the time being I’m going with Brockers as he fills a glaring need. While Poe had a much better combine Brockers has the better tape.
10. Buffalo Bills – Melvin Ingram DE, South Carolina
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Marcell Dareus DE/DT, Alabama
Team Needs: OLB/OT/WR
The Bills biggest need is to bolster their pass rush. Apparently they are sticking with a 4-3 defense. Either way Melvin Ingram is the most likely choice. He’s kind of small for a 4-3 defensive end but he’s got tons of explosion and fits the mold of the athletic type of player that Chan Gailey prefers. The Bills also need offensive line help especially if they lose Demetrius Bell to free agency in which case Jonathan Martin will come into play. At wide receiver Steve Johnson is a free agent and the Bills could use a compliment to him anyway. A few other needs they’ll need to address at some point are an upgrade at defensive end over Dwan Edwards and at cornerback over Drayton Florence.
11. Kansas City Chiefs – Trent Richardson RB, Alabama
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Jonathan Baldwin WR, Pittsburgh
Team Needs: QB/OT/RB/CB/NT
The Chiefs biggest needs going into the 2012 draft will be at right tackle where Barry Richardson is just plain awful in pass protection and at quarterback as Matt Cassel is mediocre at best. In anticipation of losing Brandon Carr to free agency they signed Stanford Routt so it’s unlikely that they draft a cornerback here. They’ll also need to look for a possible replacement for Kelly Gregg at nose tackle and for Casey Wiegmann at center. At this juncture the Chiefs could go in any direction from Jonathan Martin to Dontari Poe, who put on a clinic at the combine, but I don’t see K.C. passing on Trent Richardson if he’s available. Jamaal Charles will be coming back from an ACL injury and Thomas Jones is a 34 year old free agent. Richardson is better than his predecessor Mark Ingram who was a first round pick last year and is generally considered one of the most complete backs to enter the draft in years.
12. Seattle Seahawks – Courtney Upshaw DE/OLB, Alabama
2011 1st round Draft Pick: James Carpenter OG/OT, Alabama
Team Needs: QB/LB/DE/DT/CB
Aside from a nice little win against the Ravens and a couple of other decent spurts current starting quarterback Tavares Jackson is not a long term answer at the position. Unfortunately there just aren’t any other quarterbacks available worthy of this pick. Of course we could see an early rush on QB’s like last year with Chris Ponder and Jake Locker in which case the next QB up would be Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill. Most of Seattle’s issues are on defense. They are really lacking in the pass rush and could use a couple of starters. Raheem Brock is in the twilight of his career and Chris Clemons will be a free agent next year. David Hawthorne, Leroy Hill, and Lofa Tatupu are all free agents at linebacker. At cornerback Marcus Trufant is a free agent who is most likely not going to be resigned and while Richard Sherman played very well in his rookie year Brandon Browner was inconsistent. Upshaw played OLB at Alabama but with his size at 6’2”, 272lbs. can play defensive end in a 4-3 due to his combination of speed and athleticism. If the Seahawks do not resign Hawthorne this pick will change to Luke Kuechly.
13. Arizona Cardinals – Jonathan Martin OT, Stanford
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Patrick Peterson CB, LSU
Team Needs: OT/LB/OG/DE/CB
Arizona’s two biggest needs will be to upgrade the pass-rush and the offensive line. The combo of Clark Haggans and Joey Porter is just ridiculous. They drafted Sam Acho who will probably man one spot, but they’ll need someone to man the other or at least challenge O’Brien Schofield. They also need an ILB to pair with Daryl Washington as Stewart Bradley is not cut out for the 3-4 defense and will certainly look at Luke Kuechly. The Cards need to give some serious upgrades to protect their investment in Kevin Kolb. The Cards also have to resign or franchise Calais Campbell. If not they could be looking at Devon Still but it’s still too early for him. With Courtney Upshaw already off of the board this pick comes down to the two linemen from Stanford, Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro. While DeCastro may be the better overall talent Martin fills a much bigger void on the offensive line.
14. Dallas Cowboys – David DeCastro OG, Stanford
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Tyron Smith OT, USC
Team Needs: CB/OG/OC/S/OLB
Dallas has a dire need at cornerback, and really at both safety spots as well. Anyone who watched their season finale against the Giants can see that. Terrence Newman is getting old and Mike Jenkins should be a nickel back at best. With Dre Kirkpatrick’s pot bust I don’t see Dallas looking at him as an option. Janoris Jenkins could be a possibility as reports from the combine say that he seems genuinely humbled by being kicked off of the Florida team. If Dallas goes in any other direction besides cornerback it’ll be to upgrade the offensive line. David DeCastro is a stud and this is just about the range that he’ll be drafted in. With Derrick Dockery becoming a free agent after missing most of the season with an injury Dallas will need to revamp the entire interior of their offensive line. They could also use an upgrade over Igor Olshansky but it’s way too early for Devon Still who’s the highest rated 3-4 end. Also Anthony Spencer is a free agent looking for a big pay day and with his consistency issues Dallas may let him walk in which case they could be looking for another OLB.
15. Philadelphia Eagles – Janoris Jenkins CB, North Alabama
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Danny Watkins OG, Baylor
Team Needs: LB/OG/WR/CB/SS
So much for the Dream Team huh? Philly’s big free agent spending spree didn’t net them much beyond a colossal failure. They still have a few holes to fill. Linebacker has been an issue for years because Andy Reid just doesn’t value the position. However if he were so inclined to do so this would definitely be the right time to take Luke Kuechly. With so much invested in Mike Vick they need to do everything they can to protect his fragile body so if David DeCastro were to fall this fall he would probably be the pick with Evan Mathis being a free agent. Also its most likely that DeSean Jackson won’t be back next season. He’s worn out is welcome with Andy Reid and is too injury-prone to consider giving a massive contract to, and as such Michael Floyd would probably be the pick if he were available. Andy Reid loves taking cornerbacks early and Asante Samuel will most likely be traded or cut and DRC was terrible this season. There’s no denying Janoris Jenkins talent, the only question is his off the field concerns. Apparently he’s been humbled since being kicked off of the Florida Gators so the likelihood of him being drafted in the top half of the first round has increased.
16. New York Jets – Dontari Poe NT, Memphis
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Muhammed Wilkerson DE, Temple
Team Needs: QB/WR/OLB/RT/S/NT
The Jets are still having issues generating a consistent pass-rush. Calvin Pace has been good but the Jets still need someone opposite of him. Free safety Eric Smith looked overmatched against the Patriots and Jim Leonard is a free agent with a torn patellar tendon but this is still a little early for Mark Barron. On the offensive line the Jets have struggled mightily to replace Damien Woody. The biggest question with the Jets this offseason will be what they do with Mark Sanchez. Sanchez seems to be wilting in the Big Apple and with the possibility of Peyton Manning being released, and he would be a target for the Jets, he could be traded to his old coach in Seattle. One way the Jets could upgrade their pass rush is by drafting a dominant nose tackle to take the pressure off of the blitzing linebackers. Sione Pouha is a 33 year old free agent and 2011 third round pick Kendrick Ellis will probably be deported back to Jamaica at some point. Dontari Poe was amazing at the combine showing surprising athleticism for someone who is 6’4”, 346lbs. and also showed off his strength by doing 44 reps on the bench press.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (via Oakland Raiders) – Cordy Glenn OG/OT, UGA
2011 1st round Draft Pick: A.J. Green WR, UGA
Team Needs: CB/RB/OG/S
Cincy’s biggest need will be at the cornerback position. They lost Jonathan Joseph to free agency and Leon Hall to a torn Achilles. Even if Hall comes back healthy next season they’ll still need another cornerback to play opposite of him. In addition to cornerback the Bengals may also have a need at safety as Reggie Nelson will be a free agent. Offensively the Bengals definitely need to replace the weak link on the line in Nate Livings plus Bobby Williams is a free agent. It’s also time for them to start looking for a replacement for Cedric Benson as well. He’s a free agent and rapidly approaching that 30 year old wall for running backs. While cornerback is a bigger need for the Bengals Cordy Glenn is a better overall prospect at this point than Dre Kirkpatrick after a really good showing at the combine.
18. San Diego Chargers – Nick Perry DE/OLB, USC
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Corey Liuget DT, Illinois
Team Needs: OLB/ILB/RT/CB
Offensively the Chargers are just about set with the exception of a few offensive linemen. They could definitely use an upgrade over Jeromey Clary at right tackle and with Marcus McNeill’s injuries they may need to find a successor to him at left tackle at some point soon. It also seems like Kris Dielman’s career may be coming to a close as well with the seizure he suffered after a serious concussion. Michael Floyd would be a San Diego-type pick if they don’t resign Vincent Jackson but they have much bigger needs defensively. The Chargers could give a look at some of the available cornerbacks as they may be inclined to move Quinton Jammer to the strong safety position, or draft Mark Barron to fill their need at strong safety. Their biggest need by far is for a rush linebacker. Nick Perry is another player who had a great combine. He is 6’3”, 271lbs. but still managed to run a 4.50 40 time.
19. Chicago Bears – Luke Kuechly LB, Boston College
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Gabe Carimi OT, Wisconsin
Team Needs: LT/OG/OC/WR/CB/TE
Offensively Chicago needs desperately to upgrade the line. If Jay Cutler had time to throw the ball on a consistent basis they could really contend every year. J’Marcus Webb should not be starting and Chris Spencer is terrible. One thing they’ve lacked for years is a legitimate number one wide receiver. Devin Hester is good but he’s much better in the slot playing against a nickel CB. If Michael Floyd fall this far he could be drafted here. The Bears will need to find another running back in the event that they can’t come to some sort of deal with Matt Forte but I’m sure they will put the franchise tag on him if they can’t. And of course now that Mike Martz is gone the Bears will need to find a pass-catching tight end. Defensively the Bears could use a linebacker to replace Nick Roach and serve as an apprentice to Brian Urlacher who isn’t getting any younger and tore some knee ligaments in the final game of the season. And if the Bears hope to compete with the Packers they will need to upgrade/add to their secondary and possibly replace Tim Jennings who’s a free agent. With Cordy Glenn and Michael Floyd already off of the board and Mike Adams and Peter Konz both suffering from poor combine performances this pick becomes harder to predict. For now it’ll come down to the top cornerback which would be Dre Kirkpatrick or ILB Luke Kuechly to eventually replace Brian Urlacher. While Kirkpatrick would fill a much bigger need Kuechly is a far superior prospect. He can replace Nick Roach in the starting lineup and eventually slide over and replace Brian Urlacher when the time comes.
20. Tennessee Titans – Mark Barron SS, Alabama
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Jake Locker QB, Washington
Team Needs: OC/OG/S/WLB/DE
The Titans biggest needs are along the interior of the offensive line. Leroy Harris and Eugene Amano both need to be replaced in a hurry and right guard Jake Scott is a free agent. Given how Mike Munchak criticized the offensive line I think it’s definitely going to be a priority in this draft. However given the talent available the Titans will have to wait until the second round to address those needs. Tennessee’s defense clearly misses Stephen Tulloch as Barrett Ruud just isn’t getting it done so Boston College’s Luke Kuechly could be a good fit. Kenny Britt tore his ACL and MCL and may not come back the same player and even if he does the Titans could still use another playmaker for their offense especially since Lavelle Hawkins and Donnie Avery are free agents. With all of Tennessee’s safeties being free agents Mark Barron makes too much sense.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Dre Kirkpatrick CB, Alabama
2011 1st round Draft Pick: A.J. Green WR, UGA
Team Needs: CB/RB/OG/S
This time Cincy gets to fill their biggest need which is at cornerback. They could draft Lamar Miller to replace Cedric Benson but should be able to find a quality replacement for him in the second round when the crop of cornerbacks will be a lot thinner.
22. St. Louis Rams (via Cleveland Browns from Atlanta Falcons) – Mike Adams OT, Ohio State
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Robert Quinn DE/OLB, UNC
Team Needs: LT/WR/CB/OLB/DT
This will be the second pick that St. Louis will acquire from the Browns in exchange for the second overall pick and the right to draft RGIII. First time around they drafted Justin Blackmon to replace Brandon Lloyd and to give Sam Bradford a downfield threat. This time around they give him some protection. Adams did not have the best combine, only being able to complete 19 reps on the bench press, but he is still considered a first round talent and is worth this late-first round selection. The other alternative would be someone like Dre Kirkpatrick or Stephen Gilmore to upgrade an atrocious secondary.
23. Detroit Lions – Whitney Mercilus DE, Illinois
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Nick Fairley DT/DE, Auburn
Team Needs: LT/CB/OC/LB/DE/SS
Detroit has a habit of taking the best player available regardless of need. It’s why they have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL but also have one of the worst offensive lines in addition to one of the worst secondaries. Left tackle has been an issue for years and they may finally address it now that Jeff Backus is a free agent. OC Dominic Raiola is terrible. Even though the strength of this team has been its defensive line they could potentially take a DE in the first round because Cliff Avril is a free agent who’s going to command a lot of money on the free agent market and Kyle Vanden Bosch will be 34 years old this coming season. The same holds true at linebacker where one-year rental Stephen Tulloch will be looking for a big contract too. At cornerback Eric Wright is a free agent but he needed to be replaced anyway. Wisconsin OC Peter Konz would be solid option here but the best player available is Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus to replace Cliff Avril. He doesn’t fill a big need but he is the best player available which follows Detroit’s draft strategy.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Dont'a Hightower ILB, Alabama
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Cameron Heyward DE, OSU
Team Needs: OG/NT/ILB/OT/S/CB
Easily the Steelers biggest need is at offensive guard. I think it’s easy to agree that the frustrating carousel of Chris Kemoeatu, Ramon Foster, Trai Essex, and Doug Legursky is not working. The Steelers will need depth at tackle as well. Max Starks will probably not be resigned after tearing an ACL in the playoff loss to Denver. 2011 rookie Marcus Gilbert will be sliding over from right tackle to take Starks spot with Willie Colon returning to right tackle, but with Colon’s injury history it’ll be a gamble to go into the season without a solid back up. With Rashard Mendenhall’s ACL tear I’ve seen some chatter about the Steelers possibly drafting a replacement for him. ACL tears are a serious issue, especially for running backs, and next year will be the final year of his contract.
Defensively the Steelers still need to find a long term successor to Casey Hampton at nose tackle. He’s 35 years old, will be coming off of an ACL tear of his own, and the final year of his contract will count 8mil against the cap. In the secondary I’ve seen enough promise out of the youngsters at cornerback to finally be ok with the Steelers bypassing the position early in the draft. At safety though the time is near to start looking for at least one safety for depth to groom behind Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu. And at ILB James Farrior will in all likelihood be a cap casualty. At 36 years old he has clearly lost a step and can no longer be depended on to cover across the middle of the field. Some have high hopes for Stevenson Sylvester but at this point he’s just a late round pick who’s been a special teams standout. He hasn’t shown enough to warrant being expected to take over the starting duties. Thanks to his monster combine performance Dontari Poe is no longer an option to replace Casey Hampton, not unless they want to trade up to get him.
And if the Steelers do trade up wouldn’t it be for David DeCastro? One option I thought about was another defensive end like Devon Still or Fletcher Cox. I’ve read a lot of chatter about Ziggy Hood sliding over to play nose tackle. Some people think the Steelers should draft Josh Chapman in the second round to play nose tackle but he’s only 6lbs. heavier than Hood who is relatively the same size as Chris Hoke. With no offensive linemen, nose tackles, or safeties available worthy of this pick it’s going to come down to the best available inside linebacker to replace James Farrior. That would be Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower, Oklahoma’s Ronnell Lewis, and UNC’s Zach Brown.
Hightower’s biggest issue is his lack of speed, but given that he’s 265lbs. that is not a big surprise. Ronnell Lewis is intriguing as he has a good combination of speed and strength but his ability to cover is completely unknown. Zach Brown is slightly smaller than the typical 3-4 ILB but he ran a 4.44 40 at the combine, but he has some lingering maturity issues. For right now I’m going to continue to mock Hightower to the Steelers. He has the experience of playing in a 3-4 defense and the leadership abilities to replace Farrior. If the Steelers can keep him out of the weight room so that he sheds some bulk that should increase his speed and would make him less of a liability in coverage. Until that point he can be an end rusher on obvious passing downs.
25. Denver Broncos – Devon Still DE/DT, Penn State
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Von Miller DE/OLB, Texas A&M
Team Needs: DT/CB/RB/LG/OC
Offensively Denver just needs a new quarterback but unfortunately they are stuck with Tebow for at least another season. They could however also use a replacement for Zane Beadles and J.D. Walton but they are still young enough to be given another year. Defensively the Broncos have to stop neglecting the tackle position. Brodrick Bunkley is very good against the run but neither he nor Marcus Thomas offer much as a pass rusher. Plus Bunkley is a free agent. Given the weak crop of tackles in this year’s draft they must take this opportunity to take the highest rated one in this draft class. They could also draft an heir to Champ Bailey. He’s turned in another good year but at age 33 (he turns 34 before the 2012 season) how many good years can he have left? At running back Willis McGahee is 30 years old and Knowshon Moreno cannot stay healthy. Head Coach John Fox loves running back by committee so Lamar Miller would be an option as well if he’s available. The player who makes the most sense for Denver is Devon Still.
26. Houston Texans – Kendall Wright WR, Baylor
2011 1st round Draft Pick: J.J. Watt DT/DE, Wisconsin
Team Needs: OG/WR/OC/NT/CB/SS
The Texans really don’t have any huge pressing needs. The biggest would be to upgrade the interior offensive line, especially over Wade Smith, and to replace Chris Myers who is a free agent. They could also use a better compliment to Andre Johnson than Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones. Defensively they appear to be pretty well stacked. They could use a bigger run-stuffing nose tackle to anchor the front of their defense. At cornerback Kareem Jackson is coming close to being labeled a bust so Houston could take Stephen Gilmore or Alfonzo Dennard. Even if he does turn things around it wouldn’t hurt to have another quality cornerback on the roster with the NFL coming increasingly pass-heavy. Andre Johnson, Bryant Johnson, and Kevin Walter and all 30 years old and the Texans could use someone who can stretch the field and take the pressure off of Andre Johnson. Wright’s stock has taken a bit of a hit due to a bad 40 at the combine but he’s still an explosive playmaker who represents good value att he end of the first round.
27. New England Patriots (via New Orleans Saints) – Fletcher Cox DT, Miss. State
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Nate Solder OT, Colorado
Team Needs: OLB/DE/WR/OC
There’s almost no chance the Patriots use both of their 2012 first round picks. It’s likely they’ll find someone to give them a ridiculous deal for this selection, but I don’t do trades in my mock draft. New England needs to just about overhaul their entire defense. Their pass-rush is a joke at this point. They also need a receiving threat that can stretch the field vertically. Unfortunately there aren’t any wide receivers available that would warrant this pick. Fletcher Cox can play end in a 3-4 and tackle when they switch to the 4-3 and he would help revamp New England’s lacking pass rush.
28. Green Bay Packers – Ronnell Lewis DE/OLB Oklahoma
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Derek Sherrod OT, Miss. State
Team Needs: OLB/S/OC/DE/RB
Green Bay has the luxury of not really having any serious holes to fill. They do still need a pass-rusher to play opposite of Clay Matthews and will need to prepare for the day that Charles Woodson finally retires. They could also use an upgrade at defensive end over Jarius Wynn and Mike Neal cannot stay healthy. Aside from their needing an OLB perhaps their biggest need would be at safety. Nick Collins is coming off of a serious neck injury that could be potentially career threatening. Offensively they could continue to stockpile linemen. If they keep Derek Sherrod at guard they’ll still need to find an heir to Chad Clifton at left tackle, or someone to play right tackle if Bryan Bulaga moves to the left side. At center Scott Wells is a free agent. At running back Ryan Grant is a free agent and James Starks may not be able to shoulder the load full time. With the talent available Lewis is the best option. He was another defensive prospect who had a great combine and could be taken earlier than here. If Green Bay does not resign Scott Wells they will probably take Peter Konz instead.
29. Baltimore Ravens – Peter Konz OC, Wisconsin
2011 1st Draft Pick: Jimmy Smith CB, Colorado
Team Needs: LT/OC/ILB/S/WR
The Ravens are all about taking the best player on the board as opposed to drafting to fill a need. Offensively they will need to find an eventual long-term successor to Matt Birk at center. At left tackle Bryant McKinnie is just a Band-Aid at this point in his career. At WR Lee Evans did not pan out like the team had hoped and Anquan Boldin is starting to decline as well. Defensively they must find a successor to Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. In addition to finding a successor for Ray Lewis the Ravens will have to replace Jameel McClain if they do not resign him. Ed Reed will be 34 years old this coming season and both of his backups Tom Zbikowski and Haruki Nakamura are free agents. And at OLB Jarret Johnson is a free agent and Sergio Kindle may never pan out. Previously I would’ve had the Ravens taking Vontaze Burflict here but after he absolutely bombed at the combine he’s no longer a first round consideration. With the talent available Konz makes the most sense. His stock is down after a bad combine but he has plenty of good tape to fall back on.
30. San Francisco 49ers – Kendall Reyes DT/DE, UConn
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Aldon Smith DE/OLB, Missouri
Team Needs: WR/RG/RT/FS/OLB/CB
Thanks to Jim Harbaugh this team has completely turned around for the better. Heading into the draft the 49ers will only have a few needs and none of them should be too pressing. One will be at cornerback but only if Carlos Rogers isn’t resigned and at wide receiver where they lacked depth even before releasing Braylon Edwards. Unfortunately with Kendall Wright’s poor 40 time and Alfonzo Dennard’s poor Senior Bowl showing there really isn’t much of an option to fill those needs. The only move San Fran has is to take advantage of the available 3-4 defensive line candidates to inject some youth into the line. Isaac Sopoaga and Justin Smith played extremely well this season but they are 30 and 33 years old respectively. Reyes is another who benefited from a great combine and is a perfect fit as a 3-4 defensive end.
31. New England Patriots – Stephen Hill WR, Georgia Tech
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Nate Solder OT, Colorado
Team Needs: OLB/DE/WR/OC
As previously stated the Patriots will most likely not use both of their first round picks. Here they have the luxury of taking the best player available that fits any sort of need. Stephen Hill had the best combine of any of the wide receivers prospects and is now considered a fringe first round prospect. Both Wes Welker and Deion Branch are free agents and New England needs to start getting younger and find a wide receiver who can stretch the field and be a legitimate number one.
32. New York Giants – Coby Fleener TE, Stanford
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Prince Amukamara CB, Nebraska
Team Needs: OG/OT/RB/ILB/CB/FS
The Giants have serious issues all along the offensive line. At tackle William Beatty is injury prone and Kareem McKenzie is a 33 year old free agent. The situation at guard is even worse. At running back Ahmad Bradshaw is injury prone and Brandon Jacobs may be a cap casualty if he doesn’t rework his contract. Defensively both Aaron Ross and Terrell Thomas are free agents so the Giants may have to draft at least one cornerback at some point. They also have the same issue at inside linebacker where Jonathan Goff and Chase Blackburn are free agents. They could draft Zach Brown to fill a spot at linebacker but Coby Fleener is a better prospect and would be a a big upgrade over Jake Ballard who tore his ACL in the Super Bowl and won’t be ready to start the season anyway.
33. St. Louis Rams – Lamar Miller RB, Miami
The Rams have much bigger needs defensively but Miller is too good to pass up and the Rams need to look at the future beyond Steven Jackson.
34. Indianapolis Colts – Harrison Smith SS, Notre Dame
The Colts need to go with the best defensive player available, especially in the secondary. Current starting SS Melvin Bullitt is always injured.
35. Minnesota Vikings – Zach Brown LB, UNC
E.J. Henderson is a free agent and needed to be replaced anyway.
36. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Alfonzo Dennard CB, Nebraska
The Bucs have a history of doubling up in the first two rounds and they love Alfonzo Dennard.
37. Cleveland Browns – Alshon Jeffery WR, South Carolina
Cleveland needs to upgrade its WR corps. Jeffery could fall even farther if he doesn’t run the 40 at his pro day.
38. Jacksonville Jaguars – Rueben Randle WR, LSU
Like the Bucs, Gene Smith has a history of doubling up on prospects in the top two rounds and he needs to give Blaine Gabbert all the help he can get to save his own job.
39. Washington Redskins – Ryan Tannehill QB, Texas A&M
Washington will just have to settle for taking the top second tier QB available after missing out on RGIII.
40. Carolina Panthers – Kelechi Osemele OG/OT, Iowa State
Right tackle Jeff Otah has only played in 4 games the last 2 seasons.
41. Buffalo Bills – Orson Charles TE, UGA
Scott Chandler is a free agent who could be upgraded anyway.
42. Miami Dolphins – Jerel Worthy DT, Michigan State
The Dolphins are converting to a 4-3 defense and Paul Soliai and Kendall Langford are both free agents.
43. Seattle Seahawks – Bobby Wagner LB, Utah State
Seattle has a lot of free agent linebackers.
44. Kansas City Chiefs – Alameda Ta'amu NT, Washington
Kelly Gregg is a 35 year old free agent.
45. Dallas Cowboys – Stephon Gilmore CB, South Carolina
Dallas must upgrade an atrocious secondary.
46. Philadelphia Eagles – Brock Osweiler QB, Arizona State
The Eagles needs a young QB that they can groom for the future or can trade for a future draft pick like they did with Kevin Kolb. Osweiler has the highest upside and is extremely mobile for his stature.
47. New York Jets – Andre Branch DE/OLB, Clemson
The Jets must improve their pass-rush.
48. New England Patriots (via Oakland Raiders) – Vinny Curry DE/OLB, Marshall
The Pats need someone who can play DE in a 4-3 and OLB in a 3-4.
49. San Diego Chargers – Zebrie Sanders OT, Florida State
Marcus McNeill has injury issues, Jared Gaither is a free agent, and Jeromey Clary is terrible.
50. Chicago Bears – Mohamed Sanu WR, Rutgers
Jay Cutler needs a solid number one-type wide receiver.
51. Philadelphia Eagles (via Arizona Cardinals) – Brandon Thompson DT, Clemson
Philly has 3 free agent defensive tackles and Mike Patterson has health issues.
52. Tennessee Titans – Lavonte David OLB, Nebraska
The Titans need an upgrade at WLB and David would form a great young tandem with Colin McCarthy and Akeem Ayers.
53. Cincinnati Bengals – David Wilson RB, Virginia Tech
Cedric Benson is a free agent.
54. Detroit Lions – Mychal Kendricks ILB, Cal
Stephen Tulloch is a free agent.
55. Atlanta Falcons – Doug Martin RB, Boise State
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Julio Jones WR, Alabama
Team Needs: LT/OC/CB/DE/RB
Atlanta has several issues they will need to address in this draft. Unfortunately they traded away their first round pick to Cleveland for the rights to draft Julio Jones. On the offensive line they’ll need to replace Sam Baker who was benched at one point during the season. At center Todd McClure will turn 35 years old before the draft and he is a free agent. RB Michael Turner is starting to show some wear and tear. At defensive end John Abraham is a 34 year old free agent and Kroy Biermann is as well and the Ray Edwards signing last offseason didn’t pan out. ILB Curtis Lofton is a free agent as well but Atlanta is expected to resign him. Doug Martin has really improved his draft stock and looks to be a 3-down RB.
56. Pittsburgh Steelers – Kevin Zeitler OG, Wisconsin
If the Steelers bypass taking an offensive lineman in the first round they simply have to here. If he’s available I’m sure that Zeitler is going to be a fan favorite among those in Steelers Nation. Not only would he fill the team’s biggest need but he’s also a powerful road grader who can start from day one.
57. Denver Broncos – Jayron Hosley CB, Virginia Tech
Both of Denver’s starting CB’s are 34 years old, and Andre Goodman needs to be replaced anyway.
58. Houston Texans – Josh Chapman NT, Alabama
Houston needs an upgrade at nose tackle.
59. New Orleans Saints – Tommy Streeter WR, Miami
2011 1st round Draft Picks: Cameron Jordan DE/DT, Cal/Mark Ingram RB, Alabama
Team Needs: LB/LG/WR/DT/SS
Offensively the Saints will probably need a new guard to replace Carl Nicks. Unless they sign Drew Brees before free agency begins they’ll have to use their franchise tag on him which means Nicks will be able to test free agency. At wide receiver Marques Colston and Robert Meachem are free agents as well. Colston has already stated that he will not give the Saints a home town discount so it’s unlikely that he’ll be resigned. Most of the Saints issues are on defense. At outside linebacker the Saints have to upgrade over Scott Shanle and Jo-Lonn Dunbar. In year two Martez Wilson should be able to step into a starting role which would leave N.O. with only one spot to upgrade. And at safety they must find someone who can cover better than Roman Harper. Streeter is raw but can stretch the field and has the size to be a big time weapon.
60. Green Bay Packers – Markelle Martin S, Oklahoma State
Nick Collins is coming back from a serious neck injury.
61. Baltimore Ravens – Juron Criner WR, Arizona
Lee Evans is a 31 year old free agent disappointment and Anquan Boldin is 31 years old and on the downside of his career.
62. San Francisco 49ers – Josh Robinson CB, Central Florida
Carlos Rogers is a free agent.
63. New England Patriots – Shea McClellin, DE/OLB, Boise State
Andre Carter and Mark Anderson are both free agents.
64. New York Giants – Bob Massie OT, Ole Miss
The Giants seriously need some youth on the O-line.
65. Indianapolis Colts – Brandon Boykin CB, UGA
Indy must rebuild its defense.
66. St. Louis Rams – Chase Minnifield CB, Virginia
The Rams must improve their defense.
67. Minnesota Vikings – Marvin McNutt WR, Iowa
Minnesota needs weapons for Christian Ponder.
68. Cleveland Browns – Cam Johnson DE, Virginia
Cleveland needs to shore up the LDE spot.
69. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – LeMichael James RB, Oregon
LaGarrette Blount doesn’t offer much in the way of speed or receiving ability. Plus it would be fun to refer to the Bucs backs as “LeRunning backs”.
70. Washington Redskins – Marvin Jones WR, Cal
Washington needs to get younger at wide receiver.
71. Jacksonville Jaguars – Chandler Jones DE, Syracuse
The Jags will need two DE’s if they don’t resign Jeremy Mincey.
72. Buffalo Bills – Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin
The Bills could use a compliment to Steve Johnson, or a possible replacement if they don’t resign him.
73. Miami Dolphins – Mitchell Schwartz OT, Cal
Mark Colombo needs to be replaced.
74. Chicago Bears (via Carolina Panthers) – Dwayne Allen TE, Clemson
Now that Mike Martz is gone the Bears need a pass-catching TE. This also happens to the pick they acquired from Carolina in the Greg Olsen trade.
75. Kansas City Chiefs – Jeff Allen OT, Illinois
Barry Richardson is a free agent who needed to be replaced anyway.
76. Seattle Seahawks – Nate Potter OG/OT, Boise State
Seattle suffered a lot of injuries on the O-line this season. Someone like Potter, who can play multiple positions, would be valuable to the team and could possibly replace Robert Gallery if he struggles again.
77. Philadelphia Eagles – Tank Carder ILB, TCU
Andy Reid has to upgrade the linebackers at some point.
78. New York Jets – Antonio Allen S, South Carolina
Jim Lhonard is a free agent coming off of a torn patellar tendon.
79. Oakland Raiders – Forfeited after selecting Terrelle Pryor in the supplemental draft.
80. San Diego Chargers – Brandon Washington OG/OT, Miami
Kris Dielman retired after a serious injury.
81. Chicago Bears – Casey Hayward CB, Vanderbilt
The Bears have three cornerbacks set to be free agents including starter Tim Jennings.
82. Arizona Cardinals – Jonathan Massaquoi DE/OLB, Troy
Arizona needs some competition for O’Brien Schofield.
83. Dallas Cowboys – Audie Cole ILB, North Carolina State
Bradie James and Keith Brooking are free agents.
84. Tennessee Titans – Phillip Blake OG/OC, Baylor
The Titans need a lot of interior offensive line help.
85. Cincinnati Bengals – Billy Wynn DT, Boise State
Pat Sims is a free agent.
86. Atlanta Falcons – Jake Bequette DE, Arkansas
John Abraham and Kroy Biermann are both free agents.
87. Detroit Lions – Josh Norman CB, Coastal Carolina
Giving up 480 yards and 6 touchdowns to Aaron Rodgers’ backup is humiliating.
88. Pittsburgh Steelers – Brandon Taylor S, LSU
Pittsburgh needs to start looking at the future of the safety position.
89. Denver Broncos – Chris Polk RB, Washington
John Fox likes using a multi-back system and Knowshon Moreno is always injured.
90. Houston Texans – Brandon Brooks OG, Miami of Ohio
Wade Smith need to be replaced and Mike Brisiel is a free agent.
91. New Orleans Saints – Derek Wolfe DT, Cincinnati
Sedrick Ellis is always injured and both Shaun Rogers and Aubrayo Franklin are both free agents.
92. Green Bay Packers – Mike Martin DE/DT, Michigan
Green Bay could use an upgrade at DE.
93. Baltimore Ravens – Trumaine Johnson CB/FS, Montana
Haruki Nakamura and Tom Zbikowski are both free agents and Ed Reed is nearing the end of the line.
94. San Francisco 49ers – Tony Bergstrom OG/OT, Utah
Adam Snyder is a free agent who needed to be replaced anyway.
95. New England Patriots – Joe Adams WR, Arkansas
New England gets another weapon for Tom Brady.
96. New York Giants – Isaiah Pead RB, Cincinnati
The Giants may release Brandon Jacobs at some point to save cap space, plus Ahmad Bradshaw is injury prone.
97. St. Louis Rams – Senio Kelemete OG, Washington
The Rams have a lot of free agent guards that need to be replaced.
98. Indianapolis Colts – Nick Jean-Baptiste NT, Baylor
Indy will be switching to a 3-4 defense and doesn’t have anyone on the roster that can play NT.
99. Minnesota Vikings – Leonard Johnson CB, Iowa State
Antoine Winfield is 35 and cannot stay healthy and Chris Cook has legal issues.
100. Philadelphia Eagles (via Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Travis Lewis OLB, Oklahoma
If Andy Reid values his job he needs to spend two early picks on linebackers.
101. Cleveland Browns – Bernard Pierce RB, Temple
Peyton Hillis will most likely not be back and Pierce has a nice blend of size and speed.
102. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dwight Bentley CB, LA-Lafayette
Rashean Mathis and William Middleton are both free agents.
103. Washington Redskins – Jared Crick DT/DE, Nebraska
Adam Carriker is a free agent.
104. Miami Dolphins – Brandon Weeden QB, Oklahoma State
Miami needs someone who can come in and compete for a starting position immediately. Weeden is already 28 years old and should be mature enough to challenge for the starting position in his first year. If he were the typical college age he would’ve been a first round pick.
105. Carolina Panthers – DeQuan Menzie CB, Alabama
Carolina continues to rebuild its defense.
106. Buffalo Bills – Ryan Steed CB, Furman
Drayton Florence needs to be replaced and Terrence McGee will be 32 years old this season.
107. Seattle Seahawks – Kirk Cousins QB, Michigan State
Seattle needs to bring in some competition for Tavares Jackson.
108. Kansas City Chiefs – Ryan Broyles WR, Oklahoma
The Chiefs could use some depth at WR and a possible starter if they don’t resign Dwayne Bowe.
109. New York Jets – Levy Adcock OT, Oklahoma State
Wayne Hunter needs to be replaced at right tackle.
110. Washington Redskins (via Oakland Raiders) – James Brown OG/OT, Troy
Kory Lichtensteiger is a free agent coming off of a serious knee injury.
111. San Diego Chargers – Dwight Jones WR, North Carolina
San Diego loves big-bodied WR’s and Vincent Jackson is a free agent.
112. Chicago Bears – Brandon Mosley OT, Auburn
Chicago needs a lot of O-line help.
113. Arizona Cardinals – Emmanuel Acho LB, Texas
Arizona needs someone to pair with Daryl Washington in the middle. Emmanuel is the brother of the Cards OLB Sam Acho.
114. Dallas Cowboys – Frank Alexander DE/OLB, Oklahoma
Anthony Spencer is a free agent.
115. Philadelphia Eagles – Ryan Miller OG, Colorado
Philly needs O-line depth to protect the fragile Mike Vick and Evan Mathis is a free agent.
116. Tennessee Titans – Lucas Nix OG/OT, Pittsburgh
Tennessee needs a lot of upgrades on the interior of the O-line.
117. Cincinnati Bengals – Tim Benford WR, Tennessee Tech
Jerome Simpson is a free agent who was just arrested for felony drug possession.
118. Detroit Lions – Andrew Datko OT, FSU
BPA, Detroit needs O-line help and if not for an injury Datko would be a possible first round pick but is worth the risk here.
119. Cleveland Browns (via Atlanta Falcons) – Jamell Fleming CB, Oklahoma
Sheldon Brown needs to be replaced.
120. Pittsburgh Steelers – Brian Quick WR, Appalachian State
With no nose tackles or offensive linemen worthy of this pick the Steelers find another possible mid-round WR gem. With Hines Ward being cut to save cap space and Jerricho Cotchery a free agent the Steelers have a need for the next in a line of quality mid-round WR prospects. At the combine he measured in at 6’4”, 220lbs, and ran a 4.55 40 so he has a solid combination of size and speed and could be the big-bodied WR that Steelers Nation has been clamoring for.
121. Denver Broncos – Michael Brewster OC, Ohio State
J.D. Walton is not panning out at center.
122. Houston Texans – David Molk OC, Michigan
Chris Myers is a free agent and Molk would fit in very well with Houston’s zone blocking scheme.
123. New Orleans Saints – Nigel Bradham OLB, FSU
New Orleans needs to upgrade both OLB spots.
124. Green Bay Packers – Robert Turbin RB, Utah State
The Packers will need a replacement for Ryan Grant.
125. Buffalo Bills (via Baltimore Ravens) – Russell Wilson QB, Wisconsin
Trent Edwards had an up and down season. Wilson is a good developmental QB that fits Chan Gailey’s system.
126. San Francisco 49ers – T.Y. Hilton WR, Florida International
San Fran needs a burner who can stretch the field.
127. New England Patriots – Shaun Prater CB, Iowa
New England continues to upgrade its defense.
128. New York Giants – James-Michael Johnson ILB, Nevada
Chase Blackburn and Jonathan Goff are both free agents.
129. Indianapolis Colts – Mike McCants OT, UAB
Indy could use a right tackle and move Ben Ijalana inside to guard.
130. Denver Broncos (via St. Louis Rams) – Nick Foles QB, Arizona
Brady Quinn is a free agent and Denver could use a backup to develop behind Tim Tebow. Foles has all the tools he just needs some refinement to develop into a starting caliber QB.
131. Minnesota Vikings – Akiem Hicks DT, Canada
Minnesota needs a powerful run-stuffer like Pat Williams.
132. Cleveland Browns – Keenan Robinson OLB, Texas
Cleveland could use an upgrade at SLB.
133. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sean Spence OLB, Miami
Geno Hayes is a free agent and Quincy Black was terrible last season.
134. Washington Redskins – Josh Kaddu DE/OLB, Oregon
They have no depth behind Orakpo and Kerrigan.
135. Jacksonville Jaguars – Julian Miller DE, West Virginia
Matt Roth is a free agent.
136. Carolina Panthers – George Iloka SS, Boise State
Carolina could use an upgrade at both safety spots. If he’s too big they can move him to OLB to replace Thomas Davis with whom they did the same thing and who is always injured.
137. Buffalo Bills – Matt Reynolds OT, BYU
Demetrius Bell is a free agent.
138. Miami Dolphins – Ladarius Green TE, Louisiana-Lafayette
They need an upgrade over Anthony Fasano.
139. Kansas City Chiefs – B.J. Coleman QB, UT-Chattanooga
K.C. can’t go through another season of Ricky Stanzi and Tyler Palko if Matt Cassel gets hurt again.
140. Buffalo Bills (via Seattle Seahawks) – Danny Trevathan LB, Kentucky
The Bills lack linebacker depth.
141. Oakland Raiders – Bruce Irvin DE/OLB, West Virginia
The ghost of Al Davis would love a 3-4 OLB with a 4.4 40.
142. San Diego Chargers – Ronnie Hillman RB, San Diego State
Mike Tolbert is a free agent and I bet the Chargers miss having a Darren Sproles-type of back.
143. Chicago Bears – Aaron Henry S, Wisconsin
Brandon Meriweather and Craig Steltz are free agents.
144. Arizona Cardinals – Chris Givens WR, Wake Forest
Early Doucet is a free agent and the Cards could use someone to take the pressure off of Larry Fitzgerald.
145. Dallas Cowboys – DaJohn Harris DE/DT, USC
Dallas could use an upgrade at DE.
146. Philadelphia Eagles – Winston Guy jr. SS, Kentucky
Jaiquawn Jarrett was terrible in his rookie season.
147. New York Jets – A,J. Jenkins WR, Illinois
Plaxico Burress is old and can’t get any separation.
148. Tennessee Titans – Tyrone Crawford DE, Boise State
Jason Jones, William Hayes, and Dave Ball are all free agents.
149. Cincinnati Bengals – Donnie Fletcher, CB/S, Boston College
Reggie Nelson is a free agent.
150. Atlanta Falcons – William Vlachos OC, Alabama
Todd McClure is a 35 year old free agent.
151. Detroit Lions – Cyrus Gray RB, Texas A&M
Detroit has a lot of injury issues at RB.
152. Pittsburgh Steelers – Omar Bolden CB, ASU
As with the previous round there is just no value for the Steelers to take an offensive lineman or a nose tackle. The Steelers cut Bryant McFadden, Willie Gay is a free agent, and Ike Taylor will be 32 years old this coming season so taking a CB in the later rounds makes sense. Omar Bolden was projected to go in the first round before tearing his ACL in the preseason. At the combine he measured in at 5’10”, 202lbs. and did 25 reps on the bench press. He did not run the 40 or participate in the drills but hopefully he will do so at his pro day on March 24. For now he is worth the risk at the end of the 5th round.
153. Denver Broncos – Marcus Forston DT, Miami
Brodrick Bunkley is a free agent.
154. Houston Texans – Brandon Lindsey DE/OLB, Pittsburgh
Mario Williams probably won’t be resigned and they could use some depth behind Barwin and Reed.
155. New Orleans Saints – Rokevious Watkins OG/OT, South Carolina
Carl Nicks is a free agent.
156. Green Bay Packers – Coryell Judie CB, Texas A&M
Charles Woodson will be 36 years old this season.
157. Baltimore Ravens – Vontaze Burflict LB, Arizona State
Burflict’s stock continues to fall after a subpar season and a terrible combine. He has major maturity problems but someone is going to take a chance on him and a team like that would be the Ravens. He has a lot of potential but if he never pans out a pick at the end of the 5th round is worth the risk.
158. San Francisco 49ers – Chris Owusu WR, Stanford
San Fran could use multiple WR’s.
159. Cincinnati Bengals (via New England Patriots) – Terrell Manning OLB, North Carolina State
Manny Lawson is a free agent.
160. New York Giants – Kheeston Randall DT, Texas
Rocky Bernard and Jimmy Kennedy are free agents.
161. St. Louis Rams – Chris Marve LB, Vanderbilt
Brady Poppinga and Chris Chamberlin are both free agents who need to be replaced.
162. Indianapolis Colts – Gerell Robinson WR, Arizona State
Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon are free agents.
163. Minnesota Vikings – Lonnie Edwards OG, Texas Tech
Steve Hutchinson might retire and Anthony Herrera is terrible.
164. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jarius Wright WR, Arkansas
Tampa Bay needs a WR who can stretch the field.
164. Cleveland Browns – Josh Oglesby OT, Wisconsin
Tony Pashos needs to be replaced at right tackle.
166. Jacksonville Jaguars – Eddie Whitley FS, Virginia Tech
Dwight Lowery is a free agent.
167. New Orleans Saints (via Washington Redskins) – Jerry Franklin LB, Arkansas
New Orleans needs two upgrades at OLB.
168. Buffalo Bills – Keith Tandy CB, West Virginia
Terrence McGee will be 32 years old this season.
169. New Orleans Saints (via Miami Dolphins) – Jaye Howard DT, Florida
Shaun Rogers and Aubrayo Franklin are both aging free agents.
170. Carolina Panthers – Demario Davis OLB, Arkansas State
Dan Conner is a free agent and Thomas Davis is always hurt.
171. Seattle Seahawks – Tauren Poole RB, Tennessee
Seattle has needs depth behind Marshawn Lynch.
172. Kansas City Chiefs – Michael Egnew TE, Missouri
Tony Moeaki has a long injury history.
173. San Diego Chargers – James Hanna TE, Oklahoma
Randy McMichael is a 33 year old free agent.
174. Chicago Bears – Will Blackwell OG, LSU
Chris Spencer needs to be replaced.
175. Arizona Cardinals – Asa Jackson CB, Cal-Poly
Richard Marshall is a free agent and A.J. Jefferson needs to be replaced.
176. Dallas Cowboys – Quentin Saulsberry OC, Mississippi State
Phil Costa needs to be replaced.
177. Philadelphia Eagles – Travian Robertson DT, South Carolina
BPA, Andy Reid likes to collect D-linemen.
178. New York Jets – Randy Bullock K, Texas A&M
Nick Folk is a free agent.
179. Oakland Raiders – Chris Rainy RB, Florida
Another Al Davis-type pick. Michael Bush is a free agent.
180. Tennessee Titans – Malik Jackson DE, Tennessee
BPA, the Titans have 3 free agent DE’s.
181. Cincinnati Bengals – Janzen Jackson FS, McNeese State
Chris Crocker needs to be replaced.
182. Detroit Lions – Cliff Harris CB, Oregon
BPA, Detroit needs help in the secondary.
183. Atlanta Falcons – Oliver Vernon DE, Miami
Atlanta has two free agent DE’s.
184. Pittsburgh Steelers – Trevor Guyton DE, Cal
The Steelers cut Aaron Smith and could use some depth at DE.
185. Philadelphia Eagles (via Denver Broncos) – Blake DeChristopher OT, Virginia Tech
They need a better backup tackle than Winston Justice.
186. Houston Texans – Jordan White WR, Western Michigan
Jacoby Jones could be upgraded and Houston needs to start getting younger at the position.
187. Miami Dolphins (via New Orleans Saints) – Joe Long OG/OT, Wayne State
Vernon Carey is a free agent. Joe is the brother of current Miami LT Jake Long.
188. Green Bay Packers – Ryan Lindley QB, San Diego State
Matt Flynn is a free agent and it’s time for G.B. to find that next great backup to develop.
189. Baltimore Ravens – Jeff Fuller WR, Texas A&M
BPA, Lee Evans is a free agent and Anquan Boldin is getting old.
190. San Francisco 49ers – J.K. Schaffer ILB, Cincinnati
San Fran has two free agents at ILB.
191. Philadelphia Eagles (via New England Patriots) – DeVier Posey WR, Ohio State
Even though DeSean Jackson was franchised he may be traded at some point.
192. New York Giants – Stephen Good OG, Oklahoma
They need some youth on the offensive line.
193. Indianapolis Colts – Ben Habern OC, Oklahoma
Jeff Saturday is a 37 year old free agent.
194. St. Louis Rams – Neiko Thorpe FS, Auburn
Darian Stewart needs to be replaced.
195. Minnesota Vikings – Evan Rodriguez TE/H-back/FB, Temple
Jim Kleinsasser is retired.
196. Cleveland Browns – Tydreke Powell DT, UNC
Cleveland needs depth at DT.
197. Tampa Bay Buccaneers –Terrance Ganaway RB/FB, Baylor
Earnest Graham is a 32 year old free agent coming off of a torn Achilles.
198. Washington Redskins – Hebron Fangupo NT, BYU
Barry Cofield should be moved to DE.
199. Jacksonville Jaguars – Carmen Messina ILB, New Mexico
The Jags need depth at LB.
200. Miami Dolphins – Trevin Wade CB, Arizona
Will Allen is a 34 year old free agent.
201. Carolina Panthers – Greg Childs WR, Arkansas
Steve Smith will be 33 years old this season.
202. Buffalo Bills – Vince Browne DE, Northwestern
Marcus Stroud and Aaron Schobel are old.
203. Kansas City Chiefs – Cordarro Law DE/OLB, Southern Miss.
K.C. lacks depth behind Justin Houston and Tamba Hali.
204. Seattle Seahawks – Jack Crawford DE, Penn State
Seattle needs multiple upgrades on the D-line.
205. Chicago Bears – Kellen Moore QB, Boise State
Josh McCown is a free agent.
206. Arizona Cardinals – Art Forst OG/OT, Rutgers
Arizona has a couple of free agent guards.
207. Dallas Cowboys – Blake Gideon FS, Texas
Abram Elam needs to be replaced.
208. Minnesota Vikings (from New England Patriots via Philadelphia Eagles) – Jerrell Young FS, South Florida
They need an upgrade at FS.
209. New York Jets – Deangelo Peterson TE, LSU
They could use a better blocking TE.
210. Seattle Seahawks (via Oakland Raiders) – Isaiah Frey CB, Nevada
Marcus Trufant is a 31 year old free agent with back problems.
211. San Diego Chargers – Markus Zusevics OT/OG, Iowa
The Chargers have a lot of injury and free agency issues with the O-line.
212. Tennessee Titans – Jermaine Kearse WR, Washington
Donnie Avery is a free agent.
213. Cincinnati Bengals – Donte Paige-Moss DE, UNC
DPM is worth the risk in the final round.
214. Atlanta Falcons – Derek Moye WR, Penn State
Eric Weems and Harry Douglas are free agents.
215. Detroit Lions – Alex Hurst OT/OG, LSU
Detroit gets the best offensive lineman left available.
216. Pittsburgh Steelers – Delvin Johnson NT, Marshall
Casey Hampton will most likely remain on the team for the 2012 season but will probably start it on the PUP list. Steve McLendon will start in Hampton’s place but with Chris Hoke retiring there is no one to backup McLendon. I know some in Steelers Nation don’t like waiting until the 7th round to take a NT but with Dontari Poe’s monster combine propelling him into the middle of the first round the Steelers are better off waiting another year to permanently replace Hampton. The 2013 draft could produce as many as 5 quality nose tackles in the top 2 rounds. Delvin Johnson is a solid 6’3”, 315lbs. and could become a quality backup.
217. Denver Broncos – Kyle Wilber LB, Wake Forest
Joe Mays is a free agent.
218. Houston Texans – Bryan Anger P, Cal
Brett Hartmann tore his ACL towards the end of the season.
219. New Orleans Saints – Tony Dye SS, UCLA
Roman Harper needs to be replaced. Dye has serious injury issues but is worth the risk here.
220. Green Bay Packers – Lance Lewis WR, East Carolina
Donald Driver is 37 years old.
221. Baltimore Ravens – Logan Harrell DE/OLB, Fresno State
BPA, Harrell is a high motor guy who could shed weight and play OLB or gain weight and play 3-4 DE.
222. San Francisco 49ers – Garth Gerhart OC/OG, Arizona State
San Fran has a couple free agent guards.
223. Kansas City Chiefs (via New England Patriots) – Grant Garner OC, Oklahoma State
Casey Wiegmann will be 39 years old this season and may retire.
224. New York Giants – Tony Jerod-Eddie DT, Texas A&M
The Giants have a couple of free agent DT’s.