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Mock 1st Round Draft: 3-19-12

Originally as I was making this I had Ryan Tannehill going to Seattle as I thought Matt Flynn would surely follow his old Offensive coodinator, Joe Philbin to Miami. In which case I had three receiver coming off the board in a row in Justin Blackmon going to the Rams, Michael Floyd to the Jags, and Kendall Wright to the 'Fins. I figured the fins would be desperate to add weapons around Flynn, but now apparently those plans have changed and the results are below. Also note, I've intentionally included a few reaches.

1. Colts: QB Andrew Luck - Stanford
No explanation needed. This pick has been in the books for months

2. Redskins: QB Robert Griffin III - Baylor
Call me crazy, but I don't think the 'Skins mortgaged their 1st rounders for the next few years to get Kalil, Richardson or Claiborne.

3. Vikings: OT Matt Kalil - USC
Vikings Brass are thrilled that RG3's sweepstakes got as big as it was, as a franchise LT just landed right in their laps.

4. Browns: RB Trent Richardson - Alabama
Whether they admit it or not, the Browns lost out on the RG3 sweepstakes, and now they turn their attention to the running game. They just let Peyton Hillis walk to KC, Mario Hardesty has had recent health issues, and who knows what Chris Ogbonnaya can be. Regardless of how the Dawd Pounders feel about Colt McCoy, the Browns were still 28th in rushing last year and haven't had a true franchise running back since the team's return. Maybe if McCoy can get a real running game behind him, he may take a few steps forward.

5. Buccaneers: CB Morris Claiborne - LSU
The Bucs can't trust Aqib Talib to stay out of trouble and it seems Rhonde Barber has been about to retire for the last 1/2 decade. Whether he does or not remains to be seen, however, he's not getting any younger, and if they can get all three of Talib, Barber, and Claiborne on the field next year, their defensive backfield will be one of the best in the league.

6. Rams: WR Justin Blackmon - Oklahoma State
Pretty simple. Rams are thin at WR, Sam Bradford needs (or rather has needed) weapons around him to grow, Brandon Lloyd just signed on with New England, and Justin Blackmon is the best receiving prospect in the draft.

7. Jaguars: WR Michael Floyd - Notre Dame
A little high IMO to take Michael Floyd, but the Jags have been known to reach (as evidenced by the Tyson Alualu pick a couple of years ago). The Jags haven't had a legit #1 since Jimmy Smith, and Floyd is their best chance to snag one in this year's draft. Blaine Gabbert is at a critical juncture in his young career, he's already dealing with a coaching and philosophy change, and he needs more weapons around him than just Maurice Jones-Drew. This move not only helps their young QB, but also takes a little of the enormous pressure off of their franchise running back's shoulders.

8. Dolphins: QB Ryan Tannehill - Texas A&M
The 'Fins are in a pickle. At first it looked like Andrew Luck would take his talents to South Beach when the 'Fins were winless halfway through the season, but then they hit a bit of a hot streak. So much to the point that they were just far enough out of it not to be too appealing to the Rams so they couldn't trade up for RG3. Peyton Manning has denied them despite a strong push from the team and some of its alumni, and Matt Flynn just chose the Matt Hasselbeck trek to Seattle. Yikes. Matt Moore played well last year, but can't be trusted to lead Miami where it aims to be. It may seem farfetched, but with the Heat looking like they are heading for an NBA title and the Marlins re-branding themselves, opening a new stadium, and spending millions on sexy free agents, the 'Fins aren't exactly up to the "sexy standard" Miami seems to have set itself on for its sports franchises. The 'Fins need a QB in the worst way, and management has made it clear that they need one now. Miami can help themselves by adding Alex Smith to buy some time for Tannehill to develop. Tannehill is not ready to start on day one, but he has the best potential of the few remaining legit QB options.

9. Panthers: DE Quinton Coples - North Carolina
Julius Peppers? Who? Early reach picks cause arguably the best DE in the draft to fall to the local guys, and find a solid replacement for their former superstar DE. Somewhat ironic, both Peppers and Coples are alumni from UNC.

10. Bills: OT Reilly Reiff - Iowa
The Bills have needed O-Line help for a while and recently invested a hefty chunk of change and their future in the right arm of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Now they have to keep him healthy and upright, and help open running lanes for Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.

11. Chiefs: ILB Luke Kuechly - Boston College
The Chiefs just signed Eric Winston to be their RT, so their O-Line need can be set on the back burner for a bit. The Chiefs have a need at ILB, Kuechly looks like a difference maker, and is arguably the BPA at this point.

12. Seahawks: G David DeCastro - Stanford
DeCastro gives the 'Hawks their most promising Guard since Steve Hutchinson. With the recent signing of Matt Flynn, the heavy investment in Marshawn Lynch, and the fact that Robert Gallery is testing the FA waters, this pick makes sense for keeping their new QB upright and their stud RB happy.

13. Cardinals: DE/OLB Melvin Ingram - South Carolina
The Cards would love Luke Kuechly, but they will have to trade up for him. Ingram could prove to be an upgrade over 35 year-old Clark Haggans and is a versatile player.

14. Cowboys: ILB Dont'a Hightower - Alabama
Say what you want about Tony Romo's guts, the Dallas Defense was described at times last year as "embarrassing". Keith Brooking is past his prime and Bradie James' production took a huge hit last year (likely due to splitting time with Brooking). Hightower and Sean Lee would make a great duo at inside linebacker on Dallas' 3-4 Defense. If Dallas doesn't take Hightower, they risk helping a divisional opponent and facing him twice a year against the Eagles, who also need serious help at inside linebacker.

15. Eagles: DT Michael Brockers - LSU
The "Dream Team" failed miserably last year, and one of the biggest reasons for this failure was their lack of a push in the middle of their defense. They need D-Line and Linebacker help. With Hightower off the board, the Eagles take one of the best defensive lineman in the draft.

16. Jets: OLB Courtney Upshaw - Alabama
Rex Ryan's defense wasn't even close to the level he expected last year. He has made it known that he wants to add a pass rusher to his once vaunted defense and Upshaw is the best one available when the Jets pick.

17. Bengals: DT Devon Still - Penn State
The Bengals will have no shortage of options here. They could use D-Line help as they just lost Jonathan Fanene to New England. They could use O-Line help as Bobbie Williams is FA, and they don't have a bonafide Center so Cordy Glenn or Peter Konz are options here. They don't have any true sack specialists and Fanene was second on the team with 6.5 (Geno Atkins was first with 7.5). Devon Still was the Big 10 DPOY and has all the physical tools.

18. Chargers: DE Whitney Mercilus - Illinois
Chargers have a need for pass rushers, and Mercilus is one of the best left on the board. He was a one year starter in college so he will need time to grow. With the addition of Jarret Johnson, the Chargers can get by with Shaun Phillips or Travis LaBoy on the other side and start Mercilus out as a situational pass rusher, much like Aldon Smith of the 49ers last season.

19. Bears: CB Dre Kirkpatrick - Alabama
The Bears ranked 28th against the pass last season, and don't have a true #1 corner. Kirkpatrick can step in to the starting lineup as a legitimate upgrade over most of what the Bears currently have on the roster.

20. Titans: DE Vinny Curry - Marshall
This is a bit of a reach, but the Titans have lacked a dynamic pass rusher since they lost Javon Kearse. The Titans have reached in the past and have come away successful (RB Chris Johnson). Derrick Morgan is currently the only DE with significant playing time under his belt that is currently under contract. Curry has a great motor and excels at rushing the passer and is a great locker room presence.

21. Bengals: C/G Peter Konz - Wisconsin
Looking around the division, the Steelers have Maurkice Pouncey, the Browns have Alex Mack, and the Ravens are supposedly interested in Peter Konz. The Bengals don't have a real long term answer at Center, and Konz could be just that. Knowing that Konz won't get past the Ravens at 29 and the fact that there's a significant drop-off in talent after him, the Bengals take Konz and let him grow with their young franchise QB Andy Dalton.

22. Browns: S Mark Barron - Alabama
The Browns just lost a solid starter in Mike Adams to FA, and now Safety has become an area of concern for the Browns. While WR is still a need, the Browns can probably get one of Mohammed Sanu, Stephen Hill, or Alshon Jeffery at # 37 in Round 2.

23. Lions: OT Jonathan Martin - Stanford
Gosder Cherilus has not lived up to expectations at RT in Detroit. Even though Matt Stafford started every game last season, he has proven that the injury bug can hit him hard and if the Lions want to make any headway in the playoffs, Stafford must stay healthy.

24. Steelers: DT Dontari Poe - Memphis
The image of Ike Taylor being burned by Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas still burns in the minds of Steelers fans, so Stephon Gilmore is an option here. Janoris Jenkins is very talented but troubled, and with the not-so-distant Big Ben troubles, I don't think the Steelers take the chance. Dontari Poe is the BPA and fits the mold of a 3-4 NT. The Steelers complete their defensive line of the future with Ziggy Hood, Cameron Heyward, and Dontari Poe.

25. Broncos: DT/DE Fletcher Cox - Miss State
Perhaps it was Tim Tebow inspiration or divine intervention (although they seem to be advertised as one-in-the-same) but the Broncos defense curiously turned tough last season to keep the Broncos in a lot of games last season after being horrendous the year before. Momentum can only take you so far and when former First Round re-tread Brodrick Bunkley is your best DT, an upgrade couldn't hurt. That's where Cox comes in. He can play both DT or DE, so he is versatile, and the Broncos could use help at either.

26. Texans: OT Mike Adams - Ohio State
The Texans just cut starting RT Eric Winston, but they also lost their top 2 QB's to injury last year, and who knows what they could have been in the playoffs with Matt Schaub at QB. Even before last season, Schaub has had problems staying healthy, and Arian Foster could use the help. WR Kendall Wright is also an option here.

27. Patriots: CB Stephon Gilmore - South Carolina
It's widely known that the Pats are seeking CB help. Julian Edelman was a regular in their defensive backfield last year, which is a problem. Janoris Jenkins is also a possibility here since he is potentially more talented than Gilmore and Bill Belichick will keep him in line. The Pats are smart though, and go for the more sure thing.

28. Packers: DT Jerel Worthy - Michigan State
To put it lightly, the Packers don't have many holes on the offensive side of the ball. They could use a solid regular to put next to B.J. Raji in place of either Ryan Pickett or Jarius Wynn and Jerel Worthy is used to playing in the cold.

29. Ravens: G/T Cordy Glenn - Georgia
The Ravens simply could not afford Ben Grubbs and Evan Mathis chose to return to the Eagles. If Peter Konz were still on the board, he would be the pick, but he went at 21 to the Bengals. That said, the Ravens are going to be making a major investment in Joe Flacco in the very near future, which will make keeping him healthy paramount to the team's success. Jah Reid is an option for the Ravens at Guard, but he was viewed as more of a project player when he was drafted as well as the fact that he never played Guard at UCF. It's unknown whether the Ravens are completely sold on Michael Oher long term either. The Ravens have better backup plans in place to replace Jarret Johnson and Corey Redding in Paul Kruger and Arthur Jones/Pernell McPhee respectively. Cordy Glenn is a mammoth of a man at 6'5 348 pounds and possess surprisingly good athleticism and is equally solid in run blocking and pass blocking. He can play some OT if need be, but profiles better as an interior lineman. Glenn is most likely going to be the best option the Ravens will have at LG in 2012, as he is refined enough to be a week 1 starter.

30. 49ers: CB Janoris Jenkins - North Alabama
The 49ers have focused their FA efforts on improving the offense with the additions of Randy Moss and Mario Manningham. If they land Peyton Manning, they will be set on offense. The 49ers lack a true #1 Corner and it's unknown if Carlos Rogers will be able to replicate his solid play after getting his payday and having mostly average years in Washington. Jim Harbaugh proved he has the ability to get players, both troubled and not, to play their hearts out for him (Vernon Davis). A player like Jenkins would respond well to a coach like Harbaugh, and the 49ers add to an already tough defense.

31. Patriots: DE/OLB Nick Perry - USC
Perry has the potential to be an upgrade over some of the current OLB starters on defense, but he could probably use some seasoning before taking over the starting role.

32. Giants: DE Chandler Jones - Syracuse
The Giants need another DE to go across from Jason Pierre-Paul. With Chandler Jones, Justin Tuck moves back inside to DT and increase depth on the defensive line.

The opinions posted here are those of the administrator of this blog and his loyal readers. They are in no way official comments from the team, and should not be misconstued as such, even though he thinks he could do just as well or even a better job!

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