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Finhead's 2012 NFL Mock Draft: Version 1

A lot of things will obviously change because of free agency and the final draft order still hasn't been set, but I'll give it my best shot at this part. I'm going to refrain from doing a mock with trades for now. Besides, people tend to make very lopsided trades when they start involving players, such as those that suggest we could get a 2nd round pick for a package of Philip Merling (he's a free agent anyways) and Chris Clemons. I will factor a few things I think may happen via free agency though.

Picks with an * in front of them denotes picks that will be determined by a coin flip or the outcome of the playoffs. I didn't slate the playoff picks in order based on how they finished the regular season, but how I feel the postseason will play out. This post was written prior the Wild Card games being played. Teams losing during the Wild Card games will have picks 21-24 based on regular season record.

1) Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB: They do face uncertainty with their front office, head coach, andstill have no idea what they want to do with Peyton Manning. Owner Jim Irsay has promised Manning will be a Colt if he's healthy, but also admitted the Colts are in a "partial" rebuilding mode. That would start with a QB of the future.

2) St. Louis Rams - Matt Kalil, OT: Justin Blackmon would make a lot of sense, but the Rams need someone that can help keep Sam Bradford healthy and upright. Instead, I expect the Rams to look towards free agency at the numerous WRs available. If the Rams could get someone like Vincent Jackson in free agency and then Kalil in the draft, they will have a successful offseason. I do believe though that this is a good position for the Rams to look to trade down and get someone like Jonathan Martin. There is a slim chance they could trade down to #6 and still get Kalil as well.

3) Minnesota Vikings - Justin Blackmon, WR: Morris Claiborne is also a consideration and Kalil could go here if available. The Vikings may lean more towards Blackmon than Claiborne because they need to help Christian Ponder get weapons. Percy Harvin is not a #1 WR, but a duo of Blackmon and Harvin could help Ponder a lot. The pick could change obviously depending on free agency as well as there are numerous WRs and CBs available. This too is another position both the Dolphins and Redskins may look to trade for to get Robert Griffin III.

4) Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson, RB: Many don't like first round RBs, especially this high. Blackmon would be a great option to give McCoy a legitimate target if available. Richardson has terrific vision, speed, and power. He's worthy of a top 5 pick.

5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne, CB: Aqib Talib is facing legal trouble and Ronde Barber is aging and will be a free agent. Claiborne is the perfect fit for the Bucs.

6) Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III, QB: A great QB prospect that many Dolphin fans have been watching. His stock has been on the rise all year and goes up further with Matt Barkley returning to USC. The Redskins may trade up for him, but they'll get a great pick if they can sit at #6 andpick him. Many Miami fans will be pissed off the Dolphins didn't move up if the Redskins get Griffin at this spot.

7) Jacksonville Jaguars - Quinton Coples, DE: Aaron Kampmanis getting up there in age and may not be back. Matt Roth just wasn't the answer either. Coples would do very well to help solidify their defensive line and will give Jacksonville a good pass rushing threat for the next several years in a division that has Matt Schaub, Jake Locker, and potentially Andrew Luck.

*8) Miami Dolphins - Riley Reiff, OT: Much to the dismay of many Dolphin fans, Miami may look to the top of the draft on solidifying the RT position. Miami would love to get Griffin here if he's available and maybe even Coples if they convert to a 4-3, but with both gone, they go the best player available that happens to fill a hole.

*9) Carolina Panthers - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB: They may go with someone like Jonathan Martin as well, but they need help badly on the defensive side of the ball. Carolina allowed 8.4 YPA against the pass and Kirkpatrick could be a starter from day 1. He'd help fix their defense while their offense grows.

10) Buffalo Bills - Jonathan Martin, OT: A WRor LB could also be a target, but the Bills need help on the offensive line. Demetrius Bell is a free agent and has struggled to stay healthy. Martin could be an anchor for the next decade.

*11) Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Kuechly, ILB: Their defense has underperformed and Kuechly will help solidify the LBs. They will look to resign CB Brandon Flowers and hope that he and Brandon Carr will rebound from underwhelming years. Eric Berry returning will also help their secondary. An OT would be a great target for them, but the three top OTs may not be available.

*12) Seattle Seahawks - Devon Still, DE/DT: For better or worse, Pete Carroll does like Tavarris Jackson and I don't think Ryan Tannehill is on their radar this high in the draft. Seattle desperately needs help on the DL to help rush the QB. They'd be ecstatic if Coples fell this far. I just don't expect that to happen.

13) Arizona Cardinals - David DeCastro, OG: He's easily the best guard prospect in this draft and the Cardinals have a lot of holes to fill. They could look Vontaze Burfict or Courtney Upshaw with this pick too. Like Seattle, they'd snatch one of the top 3 OTs if they fell this far.

14) Dallas Cowboys - Alfonzo Dennard, CB: He was overshadowed by Prince Amukamara, but he is a very talented CB. He is fast and has fluid hips and can stick with fast WRs, but he's also powerful at the line when trying to jam WRs. A terrific prospect that can be a top NFL CB if he improves his footwork. His ability in run support could use improvement too.

15) Philadelphia Eagles - Vontaze Burfict, ILB: The weak link for the Eagles has been their LBs and FS, but they're not ready to give up on Nate Allen. Burfict would be an outstanding fit to improve their LB corps. Michael Floyd could be an option here if they've grown tired of DeSean Jackson.

16) New York Jets - Mark Barron, S: Courtney Upshaw also has a pretty good chance to land here, but the Jets have major holes at Safety and will have to pick and choose which safety they resign in free agency. They've had difficulty covering TEs and could land Barron to be a force in the middle of the field. Barron hasn't been very good in man coverage and may be a bit stiff, but he's been great in zone coverage with his ability to read the QB. His burst is able to make up for many of his mistakes when he is slow to turn and run with a receiver. He is very aggressive in run support, but he will overrun on the play at times.

17) Cincinnati Bengals - Janoris Jenkins, CB: He'd be a top 10 pick if he wasn't in trouble with the Gators. The Bengals have Leon Hall, but Nate Clements is 32 and has been inconsistent. Jenkins and Hall could quickly become one of the better CB duos in the NFL.

18) San Diego Chargers - Courtney Upshaw, OLB: A terrific OLB prospect who has been outstanding vs the run and is good in coverage. He has good pass rushing abilities with handwork capable of fending off blocks. He's a hard hitter that could force some balls loose.

19) Chicago Bears - Michael Floyd, WR: They Bears need help at OL and need to upgrade their WRs. Roy Williams just isn't a dependable WR. As much as they'd to address OL, it's just a bit high for someone like Zebrie Sanders. Floyd though would be a very good pick for them.

20) Tennessee Titans - Melvin Ingram, DE: Karl Klug has been the top pass rusher for the Titans with 7 and they need to get some help to get to the passer. CB could be a hole if they don't resign Cortland Finnegan, but I already project the top CBs to be gone.

*21) Denver Broncos - Jerel Worthy: They could use help at WR, but they're likely to give Demaryius Thomas more time and the combination of Eric Decker and Eddie Royal are serviceable. There is a chance Denver could go for Alshon Jeffery, but I like Worthy here. He's very powerful and is tough to move. He can occupy multiple blockers and has good pass rushing moves to get to the QB from the inside. With teams focusing on Worthy, Miller and Dumervil should face less attention.

*22) Cincinnati Bengals - Lamar Miller, RB: Cedric Benson hasn't been very effective despite his rushing yards and he's a free agent. Miller is a home run threat and is quick to hit the holes. Miller is also a tough runner to bring down. It's possible Cincy could go with a Guard or Center like Cordy Glenn or Peter Konz, but there is a thin market for RBs in free agency and the Bengals need an upgrade in the backfield more than they do on the line.

*23) New York Giants - Cordy Glenn, OG: The Giants offensive line has been going through transition. Look the once dominant offensive line to try and speed up their recovery by drafting Glenn, a mauler of a guard. He's a big man with long arms, but he is quick for his size. He stands up well and can get to the second level quickly. He will help get the Giants running game back on track.

*24) Detroit Lions - Zebrie Sanders, OT: The Lions, like many teams, need help on their offensive line and could also go with Peter Konz to place Dominic Raiola at center, but I think they'll try to milk another season out of their aging center while they address OT.

*25) Cleveland Browns (via Falcons) - Alshon Jeffery, WR: A tall WR that can get up and get the ball, the Browns opt to give Colt McCoy another weapon here. They could make a run at Ryan Tannehill here or opt for Kendall Wright as well. Jeffery is not a burner by any means and his route running could use improvement, but his ball skills in the air andhis wide catching radius will leave many teams enticed. He should be a great red zone target.

*26) Houston Texans - Kendall Wright, WR: They could also go for Dontari Poe here, but they should be satisfied with where their defense is at. Wright would finally give Houston a great complimentary WR for Andre Johnson.

*27) New England Patriots - Fletcher Cox, DE/DT: A versatile lineman that can thrive as a 4-3 DT or a 3-4 DE, Cox has athleticism and superb strength. He has pass rushing moves, but he mostly depended on his bull rush while at Georgia. He is at a good weight for either position, but he's capable of adding more weight at the pro level.

*28) San Francisco 49ers - Mohamed Sanu, WR: Braylon Edwards didn't performed as good as San Francisco hoped and will be a free agent. The 49ers could test the free agent market, but if unable to land a WR, Sanu would be a good fit. He doesn't have elite speed, but he's fast enough to be a vertical threat. He has very good hands, runs good routes, and is physical enough to get off the line.

*29) Pittsburgh Steelers - Dont'a Hightower, ILB: Dontari Poe could be another option if they look for a future NT, but the Steelers also need to inject some youth at ILB. Hightower has been a great leader on the Alabama defense and is another one of the great Alabama LBs.

*30) Green Bay Packers - Jared Crick, DE: The Packers could use an OLB opposite of Clay Matthews as well, but I think they go with a prospect they may have higher on the board. Crick can play a 4-3 DT or a 3-4 DE and though he doesn't great burst, he is relentless and has a variety of pass rushing moves at his disposal. He has very good hands and is tough to move off the line.

*31) Baltimore Ravens - Peter Konz, C: The Ravens need a center to take over for the aging Matt Birk. Konz, the best center in the class. If the Ravens can resign Ben Grubbs and draft Konz, they will have themselves one of the best interior lines in the NFL.

*32) New England Patriots (via Saints) - Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB: This would be the second versatile in the front seven player the Patriots would select. The Patriots could use Mercilus as a 4-3 DE with Cox as a DT or use Cox as a 3-4 DE and Mercilus as an OLB. Mercilus has a lot of talent and has piled on the sacks, but he has done so at the expense of leaving his assignments and leaving himself vulnerable for offenses to run by him. New England could hope to make him more disciplined in their system while taking advantage of his natural gifts.