The 2012 NFL draft is three weeks away, and though most teams have solidified their draft boards barring a few tweaks after prospects visit, the “silly season” of draft rumors is really starting to heat up.
Need an example? How about the rumblings that the Colts are undecided about the first pick?
But hey, I love mock drafts as much as you do, so allow me to contribute to the silly season with my third mock draft of the offseason. And remember, these are called “mock” drafts for a reason. Try not to take them too seriously.
1. Colts: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford. The Colts say Robert Griffin III won’t visit Indy. Why should he waste his time? They’re taking Luck.
2. Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor. Washington is already going gaga for Griffin. So have analysts such as Jon Gruden and Merrill Hoge.
3. Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC. The Vikings need upgrades at receiver and cornerback but it would be foolish to pass on the draft’s top tackle.
4. Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama. The value of running backs dominates the Richardson discussion, but they can find a wideout later.
5. Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU. Who cares about Wonderlic scores? Can he learn the defense and can he play? That’s what matters.
6. Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State. The Rams desperately need a star wide receiver to help young QB Sam Bradford find his way.
7. Jaguars: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame. Ideally, the Jaguars would trade down and take Floyd, but will he last through the top 10 picks?
8. Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M. On paper, this looks to be a no-brainer, but I can’t say for sure if the Dolphins actually like this kid.
9. Panthers: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State. Five or six defensive tackles could go in Round 1, but it’s unclear which teams favor whom.
10. Bills: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa. They boosted their pass rush in free agency and lack a QB for the long haul, but tackle is their greatest need.
11. Chiefs: Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College. The Chiefs could go with a defensive tackle here or select Kuechly, a tackling machine in college.
12. Seahawks: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina. Coples is a top-10 talent in the eyes of most draftniks and he would fill a need in Seattle.
13. Cardinals: Cordy Glenn, OT/G, Georgia. This monstrous man played left tackle and both guard spots in college. They’ll stick him somewhere.
14. Cowboys: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama. Despite signing Brandon Carr in free agency, the Cowboys are still lacking at cornerback.
15. Eagles: Mark Barron, S, Alabama. There has been a void in the Eagles secondary since they let Brian Dawkins walk a couple of years ago.
16. Jets: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina. Rex Ryan’s defense, while still pretty good, took a step back last season compared to 2010.
17. Bengals: David DeCastro, OG, Stanford. Beefing up the interior line should be a higher priority than adding a running back or wide receiver.
18. Chargers: Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama. They solidified the blind side with Jared Gaither, so their focus could be on the pass rush.
19. Bears: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State. After trading for Brandon Marshall and his baggage, they give Jay Cutler more support elsewhere.
20. Titans: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina. After losing Cortland Finnegan in free agency, the Titans have a soft spot at cornerback.
21. Bengals: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU. Brockers is viewed by many draft gurus as a project player with top-10 talent and plenty of upside.
22. Browns: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor. Getting Richardson and Wright will finally give Colt McCoy a fair chance to prove himself as a passer.
23. Lions: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford. The Lions, who this week had two players busted for drug possession, need a squeaky-clean prospect.
24. Steelers: Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama. If the Steelers can’t get an offensive lineman they like, they would do well in selecting Hightower.
25. Broncos: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis. His stock is falling among draft gurus now that they have looked at his tape, but the potential is there.
26. Texans: Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson. Their defense was stout without Mario Williams, but adding another pass rusher never hurts.
27. Patriots: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC. The Patriots may trade this pick and Perry might not last this far, but in this mock, they’re a nice match.
28. Packers: David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech. They could nab Peter Konz before the Ravens pick, but either way the ground game needs a boost.
29. Ravens: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin. After losing Ben Grubbs, they can plug Konz in at guard and move him to center down the road if needed.
30. 49ers: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama. They have shown this offseason that they’re not afraid to gamble -- and this would be a big one.
31. Patriots: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina. They signed Brandon Lloyd to stretch the field. Imagine if they drafted this tall target, too.
32. Giants: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford. The Giants lost two tight ends in the Super Bowl, but neither has the big-play ability that Fleener has.
- Oklahoma State Cowboys
- Indianapolis Colts
- New England Patriots
- Trent Richardson
- Robert Griffin III
- Peter Konz
- Baylor Bears
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Cleveland Browns
- Detroit Lions
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Minnesota Vikings
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Los Angeles Rams
- Tennessee Titans
- Baltimore Ravens
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Miami Dolphins