Donahue: 2012 NFL Mock Draft, 2.0
Earlier in the week, I updated my NFL mock draft. Now it's Brendan Donahue's turn. Here are the first 10 picks in his mock draft (see full first-round here):
1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
This is already a done deal according to owner Jim Irsay. Luck has been rated as the best QB prospect since John Elway so this is pretty much a no-brainer especially now that the Colts have made it clear that they are clearing house and going into a full rebuilding mode.
2. St. Louis Rams - Matt Kalil, OT, USC
I still think the Rams will be trading out of this pick but for this mock let's assume they stay. Rumors have them targeting a WR in free agency so I now believe they go with the franchise left tackle to keep former No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford upright long enough to get the ball to his wide receivers. If they fail to land a WR before the draft, they may still be tempted to go with Blackmon but Kalil may be too much of a sure thing to pass up.
3. Minnesota Vikings - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
The Vikings have made it clear they want Christian Ponder to be their starting QB going forward and what better way to help him succeed then by adding the most prolific wideout in the draft. Blackmon has absolutely dominated college football the past 2 years amassing 232 receptions for 3,304 yards and 38 touchdowns combined.
4. Cleveland Browns - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
The Heisman winner has been rapidly moving up draft boards and could eventually move up to #2 come draft day but for this mock were going to assume everyone drafts where they are slated and the Browns would be very happy to draft RGIII here. I think they are ready to concede that Colt McCoy is not a franchise QB in the NFL and will jump at the opportunity to add one here.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Based on how the Bucs finished the year, they could clearly use help in just about every area. With Blackmon off the board however, I look for them to add the best cornerback available in Morris Claiborne. A big physical corner who is also considered the best cover corner in the draft is exactly what they need as they battle in the same division with the air attacks of the Saints and Falcons.
6. Washington Redskins - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
If the draft plays out this way the Redskins will be very disappointed to say the least. They desperately want to land a star QB but this is too high to draft Tannenhill or Foles so expect them to look to trade down or be very active if Peyton Manning becomes available. For this mock, we're going to assume they stay here, and if so, they will take the 6-3 Kirkpatrick to go up against Nicks and Bryant in the NFC East. I know Kirkpatrick got in trouble last week but a little trouble never seemed to bother owner Daniel Snyder before.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
I would love to make a splash here and say the Jaguars take Michael Floyd but I don't think they can pass up on the best pass-rusher in the draft as the Jags really struggled to get to the QB last year. At 6-6, Coples reminds me a bit of JJ Watt where even if he can't get to the QB on a play he has the length to disrupt the passing lanes and is big enough to still be effective against the run.
8. Miami Dolphins - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Another team disappointed that they aren't able to land a franchise QB at this spot in the draft. Instead they will give Matt Moore another year as their starter and do their best to protect him with the best right tackle in the draft. Reiff will be immediately plugged in as the starter and will bolster a young and improving offensive line.
9. Carolina Panthers - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
The Panthers certainly didn't struggle on the offensive side of the ball with the surprise performance of rookie QB Cam Newton; however, Carolina pretty much struggled in every aspect on the defensive side of the ball. Brockers should be able to help not only stopping the run but also being disruptive enough with penetration to affect the opponents passing game as well.
10. Buffalo Bills - Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama
At times the Bills were, dare I say explosive on offense last year. The defense really let them down in games that the offense clearly put up enough points to win so look for them to add the explosive Courtney Upshaw that anchored one of the best defenses in college history.
For his full first-round mock, click here.