Thursday, April 26, 2012

Final Mock Draft ....

The NFL Draft begins tonight amid trade rumors, smokescreens, intrigue and idiots.  It's the one night where Mel Kiper's Hair and a bunch of weed-smoking 22-year old punks come together in a perfect cacophony of fun. It's the one event all year where all 32 teams congregate, and coaches and GMs applaud decisions that will eventually get them fired.  When else will JaMarcus Russell be compared to John Elway, or Patrick Willis be ranked 10 spots below Dwayne Jarrett and Quinn Pitcock?  It's a ballyhoo of errant insight and downright deceit. It's awkward, idiotic, and unpredictable. It's awesome. 

Here is my final 2012 Mock Draft  …

1.  Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford - Will be in the 'Best QB' conversation within 5 years. 
2. Redskins - Robert "The Bubble Screen" Griffin, QB Baylor - Will be a backup QB within 5 years. 
3. Vikings - Matt Kalil, OT, USC - All the ballyhoo becomes anticlimactic; Kalil was the pick all along. 
4. Browns - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama - Could end up picking Blackmon and then a RB at pick #22, but Richardson is the better prospect and I think Mike Holmgren knows it. 
5. Bucs - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU - Best player available meets a huge need; no brainer if he's available. 
6. Rams - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State - Ditto. 
7. *TRADE* Jags send this pick to Philly, who gives them #15 and two 3rd rounders.
7. Eagles - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State - Perfect fit in the much-maligned "wide nine" formation. 
8. Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M - Just because I would pass on Tannehill doesn't mean Miami will. 
9. Panthers - Luke "Drag Out Of Bounds" Kuechly, LB, Boston College - This pick has to be defense, and Kuechly seems to have the intangibles that teams love. 
10. Bills - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa - Gotta protect the $59 million investment, even if it's a bad investment. 
11. Chiefs-  David DeCastro, G, Stanford - Building upon their strength as a running offense. 
12. Seahawks - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame - Seattle's defense is a mess, but they've gotta give Matt Flynn someone to throw to. 
13. *TRADE* With their top 4 targets off the board, Cardinals give this pick to the Jets for #16 and a 5th rounder. 
13. Jets - Mark Barron, S, Alabama - Nice move leapfrogging Dallas, who also wants Barron. 
14. Cowboys -  Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina - The offense is stacked; the secondary needs an overhaul. 
15. Jaguars- Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina - Pretty nice when you can move back 8 spots and still get the guy you want. 
16. Cardinals - Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia - Gotta protect the $63 million investment, even if it's a bad investment. 
17. Bengals - Quinton Coples, DE, UNC - They pick again in 4 spots, so they can afford to take the BPA here, which is Coples. 
18. Chargers - Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Illinois - They've got to develop a pass rush, especially since the division now goes through Peyton Manning. 
19. Bears - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU - Sounds like Chicago's incurably worthless defensive line coach - Rod Marinelli - will get to pick whichever defensive lineman he wants at this point. 
20.   Titans - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech - Most mocks have a DT or DE or CB here, but I think Munchak has to go offense. Giving Locker a chance to succeed is Munchak's best chance of keeping his job. Plus, Hill is a stud. 
21. Bengals - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama - Between this pick and #17, they'll go CB and DE. It's almost a guarantee. 
22. Browns - Ashlon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina - Just a hunch. I'm not impressed by Baylor's Kendall Wright and I don't see why Cleveland would want him this early.
23. Lions - Dont'a Hightower, MLB, Alabama - I've been beating this drum completely by myself for weeks; I have literally not heard one other person mention Hightower to the Lions. But if Schwartz and Lewand have a draft M.O., it's being unpredictable $and taking whoever they perceive as the Best Player Available, even if, and especially if, it does not fit a need. They want fans to say "Huh??? .... ohh ... okay ... yeah, that might work...!"  

From my Youtube scouting process, Hightower is absolutely the best player available.  To me, he's the 4th best prospect in this draft, behind Luck, Kalil and Claiborne. He's a freaking stud, and I don't know why he's not getting the hype of a top 10 pick. I hope this happens, but I think the pick will probably be a pass-rusher instead, maybe Courtney Upshaw or Chandler Jones.  I'm pretty sure it won't be a CB or OT; Schwartz is stubborn about upgrading those positions in free agency. 

24. Steelers - Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis - He could go in the top 10, but he could fall this far. He's a great fit at DE in the 3-4. 
25. Broncos - Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame - The best way to help Peyton Manning is improve the defense; Peyton will be fine if all he has is Decker, Tamme and Willis McGahee's corpse. 
26. Texans - Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford - Houston's O-line got plundered in free agency, and Martin helps them patch it up. Protect that investment! (Arian Foster, $43 million) 
27. *FAILED TRADE* Belichick attempts to trade this pick to the Saints in exchange for their wiretapping technology, but the trade is vetoed by David Stern. Reluctantly, the Pats select ...
27. Patriots - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor - Tom Brady's not getting any younger. If you can't play defense, might as well try to outscore the other team. 
28. Packers - Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama - Put this pothead under the tutelage of Charles Woodson for a few years and you might end up with a great pro. He's got the talent. 
29. Ravens - Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin - They've gotta patch the interior of the offensive line and keep Ray Rice happy. Not a sexy pick, but a smart pick. 
30. 49ers -Doug Martin, RB, Boise State - With all the "Kill Frank Gore's Head!" chatter this offseason, it might make sense to find a fresh, explosive companion in the backfield. 
31. Patriots - Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State - Back to back Boise players. 
32. Giants - Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State - Probably the best player available.  

Who will the Lions take at pick #54? 
My ideal pick would be OLB Lavonte David from Nebraska, or safety Harrison Smith if he falls. But if we spend the first pick on a pass rusher, this pick will be an offensive skill position player. Maybe RB Lamar Miller from Miami.  

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