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2012 NFL Mock Draft, Version 2.0
11th November, 2011 - 1:38 pm

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By Jeff Risdon

I give a warm thanks to all who served on this Veterans Day.

The draft order here is based on how I think the rest of the season plays out after nine weeks of NFL football.

I've met with and talked to several regional scouts over the past few weeks. It's still early in the scouting process but these guys have pretty solid opinions formed on the players in their realms. But draft boards aren't even up yet for most teams, and projected needs are just that--projections, not reality. This is supposed to be for entertainment and light informational purposes, not a guideline or anything definitive. In other words, spare the personal insults and threats if you don't like what I projected for your team and/or favorite player. It's mid-November, the draft is in April. Keep that in mind.

Friendly reminder that this is a premature attempt to project what I believe the teams will do in the given situation. It does not necessarily reflect what I would do in the same situation.

1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford. He is the obvious choice with or without Peyton Manning going forward.

2. St. Louis Rams: Matt Kalil, T, USC. The Jason Smith pick has not panned out, and they must try again to get Sam Bradford better protection.

3. Arizona Cardinals: Quentin Coples, DE, North Carolina. Some think he is the best pass rusher in the draft, and this disappointing defense needs help.

4. Miami Dolphins: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma. The QB of the future is not currently on their roster, and the coach of their future will want a strong prospect to build around.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State. Blaine Gabbert needs a legit go-to receiver, and Blackmon has the physicality to excel in short or longer routes.

6. Cleveland Browns: Matt Barkley, QB, USC. I think the Browns brass will conclude that Colt McCoy is not the answer at QB and chase after golden boy Barkley. It is at this point I feel compelled to remind readers that this represents what I think the team will do, not what I would do if given the chance.

7. Washington Ethnic Slurs: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M. Mike Shanahan will love his arm, his mobility, and the fact he is not a finished product.

8. Denver Broncos: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU. Playmaking corner goes to a team that desperately needs one. Or two...

9. Minnesota Vikings: Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford. Martin is agile, smart, and tough, all qualities the Vikings can use up front.

10. Carolina Panthers: Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina. The team can no longer rely on Beason or Davis and must replenish the LB corps with a versatile athlete like Brown.

11. Seattle Seahawks: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor. Assuming Pete Carroll sticks around, the energy and collegial style of Griffin will be mighty appealing to a team that desperately needs a reliable leader.

12. Kansas City Chiefs: Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina. Ingram is the dynamic counter to Tamba Hali this defense needs, but this team has not fared well choosing defensive line talent.

13. Dallas Cowboys: Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson. He would play end in Dallas and provides the balanced force they need up front. Smart football player that finds the ball well.

14. Tennessee Titans: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina. Not the fastest guy but a great all-around wideout with the mentality this team likes, and a knack for making big plays when his team needs them most.

15. Cincinnati Bengals (from OAK): Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama. Allows the team to wash their hands of Ced Benson with a potentially more dynamic runner built to hold up in the rough AFC North.

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State. Could be the next Ray Lewis if he can ever get his head on straight. This defense needs his presence in the middle, where he could pair with Mason Foster to make an Urlacher/Briggs-like combo.

17. Buffalo Bills: Riley Reiff, T, Iowa. Not an elite linemen but not likely to bust either, Reiff has great arm length and footwork. He should be able to play either tackle spot, helpful for a line that could be in flux.

18. Philadelphia Eagles: Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame. The big physical thumper the Eagles desperately need in the middle of their defense.

19. New York Jets: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame. Big and physical, he plays like a shorter Plaxico Burress. The Jets need more red zone options and some more youth at the wideout position.

20. Chicago Bears: Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama. The defense is getting old up front, and Upshaw is the no-nonsense kind of rangy backer Lovie Smith covets.

21. Cleveland Browns (from ATL): David Decastro, G, Stanford. The Browns line has gone in steep decline, and the heady junior Decastro is ready to start right away as the prize for Julio Jones.

22. Cincinnati Bengals: Mark Barron, S, Alabama. Big, smart, and accustomed to a lot of responsibility, Barron would help bolster the weakest point of the strong young Bengals D.

23. San Diego Chargers: Ronnell Lewis, LB, Oklahoma. Edge pass rusher keeps improving his stock. The Chargers hope he erases some recent misses from memory.

24. Houston Texans: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor: Playmaking slot complement to Andre Johnson that is ready for action.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Adams, T, Ohio State. Fits the Steeler OL profile of being long and nasty. Stock continues to rise even as the Buckeyes continue their unsteady season.

26. Detroit Lions: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska. Good schematic fit that would see a lot of immediate action. I can see the Lions taking OL with their next three picks.

27. New England Patriots: Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia. Don't forget his father was a Belichick favorite in Cleveland, and Chase is an excellent tackler with an incredible football IQ.

28. New York Giants: Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson. Athletic seam-stretcher brings another big-play component for Eli Manning.

29. New England Patriots (from NO): Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State. He is potentially the kind of player Belichick hoped Haynesworth would be, an interior pocket collapsing agitator.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers. Smooth and sure-handed with great size, Sanu would fit nicely in Harbaugh's offense across from Crabtree and flanking Davis.

31. Baltimore Ravens: Zebrie Sanders, T, Florida State. Not as hyped as teammate Andy Datko, but scouts know Sanders is the better NFL prospect. Can understudy Bryant McKinnie until he's ready.

32. Green Bay Packers: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis. The NFL player he most reminds me of is Cullen Jenkins, a player the Packers sorely miss.

Round 2

33. Colts: Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall
34. Rams: Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia
35. Dolphins: Alameda Ta'Amu, NT, Washington
36. Eagles (from ARI): Keenan Robinson, LB, Texas
37. Jaguars: Kelechi Osemele, OL, Iowa State
38. Browns: Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M
39. Ethnic Slurs: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
40. Broncos: Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia
41. Vikings: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
42. Panthers: Devon Still, DT, Penn State
43. Seahawks: Kevin Zietler, G, Wisconsin
44. Chiefs: Jeff Allen, T, Illinois
45. Cowboys: Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State
46. Titans: Cam Johnson, DE, Virginia
47. Patriots (from OAK): Bruce Irvin, DE/OLB, West Virginia
48. Bucs: Coryell Judie, CB, Texas A&M
49. Bills: Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
50. Eagles: Brandon Washington, T, Miami FL
51. Jets: Billy Winn, DE, Boise State
52. Bears: Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri
53. Falcons: Matt McCants, T, UAB
54. Bengals: Miles Burris, LB, San Diego State
55. Chargers: Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa
56. Texans: Don't'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
57. Steelers: Ryan Steed, CB, Furman
58. Lions: Ryan Miller, OL, Colorado
59. Patriots: TY Hilton, WR, Florida Intl.
60. Giants: Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska
61. Saints: Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin
62. 49ers: Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
63. Ravens: Audie Cole, LB, North Carolina State
64. Packers: Brandon Jenkins, OLB/DE, Florida State

Jeff.Risdon@RealGM.com