Edward Benoit’s Super Sick NFL Mock Draft 2012
Self-proclaimed draft expert breaks down the first 16 picks
Published: Monday, April 16, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
If you’re like me (and you probably aren’t), you’re extremely excited for the 2012 NFL Draft. And with the real thing just around the corner, now’s the time of year where draftniks the Internet over begin formulating their mocks. Usually, these prove to be a tremendous waste of time because projecting beyond, like, the fifth pick of the first round gets really dicey. As the (ahem) reigning Spectrum Fantasy Football League champion, however, I feel it is my duty to give the world my best shot. Without further ado…
1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Stanford
This pick is pretty much set in stone and has been since the moment the Colts let Peyton Manning go. There is, however, a small but vocal contingent that clamors for Baylor’s Robert Griffin III at this pick. While RG3 is undoubtedly an incredible prospect, Luck’s accuracy (a 71.3 completion percentage playing on a less-than-talented Stanford team) and brains (he calls audibles at the line, and will soon be a Stanford grad) ultimately make him the pick.
2. Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III, Quarterback, Baylor
Another pick you can pencil in as a sure thing. The Redskins, after all, didn’t trade away three years’ worth of first round picks for nothing.
3. Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil, Offensive Tackle, USC
There’s recently been a lot of talk about the Vikings trading down out of this pick, but ultimately I don’t buy it. Kalil fills a huge need, and will automatically make Christian Ponder, Percy Harvin, and Adrian Peterson more effective.
4. Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson, Running Back, Alabama
Despite all the swirling rumors about the Browns wanting to deal this pick, I ultimately think they’re going to stay put. They already have a league-topping 13 picks in this year’s draft, plus Cleveland’s offense is perhaps the least talented in the league in terms of skill guys after the front office let Peyton Hillis go. Richardson would automatically give the Browns a running game again.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne, Cornerback, LSU
There’s a pretty good chance that both Aqib Talib and Ronde Barber might not be on the Bucs’ roster in the near future (the former because of jail, and the latter because of retirement), therefore rendering cornerback a pretty big need. The fact the Bucs play in the same division as Drew Brees, Cam Newton, and Matt Ryan should make this pick that much more obvious.
6. St. Louis Rams – Justin Blackmon, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma State
The Rams need a receiver; Sam Bradford can’t throw nine-yard ins to Danny Amendola forever and expect to win his team football games. Blackmon is the natural selection here.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (after trade w/ Jacksonville) – Riley Rieff, Offensive Tackle, Iowa
Fact: The Eagles’ top-heavy roster is built to win now. Fact: Jason Peters’ ruptured Achilles’ tendon is the biggest obstacle to the Eagles winning now. The Eagles, therefore, will ship their first round pick and one of their two second round selections the Jags’ way to grab Rieff, lest the Bills take him at 10, and skip the obligatory defensive lineman Philly has picked first in four of the last seven drafts. Jacksonville, meanwhile, has the luxury of being able to trade down while still being able to land a much-needed defensive lineman in a draft that’s deep at the position.
8. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill, Quarterback, Texas A&M
After totally whiffing on Manning, Flynn, and even Alex Smith (who is, like, the 28th-best passer in the league, yet still too good to consider playing in Miami, apparently), the Dolphins totally reach here for the inexperienced Tannehill.
9. New York Jets (after trade w/ Carolina) – Michael Floyd, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame
The Jets have been aggressive in the draft under GM Mike Tannenbaum; the team has traded up in the first round twice since he took over the position in 2006. The Jets really luck out here, as both Melvin Ingram and Michael Floyd are still on the board. Seeing as Tannenbaum is 100 percent accountable for the fiasco that is Mark Sanchez, it’s in his best interest to improve his offense with this pick.
10. Buffalo Bills – Luke Keuchly, Linebacker, Boston College