2012 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Mock Draft post-Scouting Combine (with videos!)

2/28/12 in NFL   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

22. St. Louis Rams (projected trade with the Cleveland Browns, pick from Atlanta), Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

If St. Louis trades the No. 2 pick to Cleveland and gets Blackmon and a hulking defensive tackle, as well as other picks and future picks I think they would come away happy. The Rams need help in the middle of the defensive line and could target Worthy, Mississippi State's Fletcher Cox or Nebraska's Jared Crick with this pick. 

23. Detroit Lions, Mark Barron, S, Alabama

Barron's absence from the Combine and likely Alabama's pro day (see above for more details) might turn some teams off to him--but someone will take a chance on the draft's top safety. Who better than Detroit, who had a one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL last season? The Lions surrendered 946 pass yards in their last two games last season and play in a division with the Green Bay Packers, who love to spread the field and throw the ball. Perhaps Barron can help slow down the Pack.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers, Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia

Ben Roethlisberger got hit way too much last season, and the Steelers need him healthy. Don't be shocked if the Steelers target the best offensive lineman left on the board, and with Kalil, DeCastro, Reiff and Martin gone that is either Glenn, Iowa State's Kelechi Osemeli or Ohio State's Mike Adams. 

25. Denver Broncos, Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

This pick remains the same as the January Mock. The best security blanket for a young quarterback is a good pass-catching tight end, and Fleener is just that. Fleener didn't run at the Combine because of a bum ankle, but is expected to run at Stanford's pro day in three weeks. Right now he and Dwayne Allen from Clemson are neck-and-neck for the distinction of top tight end in the draft. If Fleener performs well on pro day, he could separate himself.

26. Houston Texans, Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

The Texans desperately need a wide receiver opposite Andre Johnson, and no receiver in the draft is trending up as quickly as Hill. Hill played in Georgia Tech's triple-option, run-first offense, so his numbers weren't that impressive in college, but his performance at the Combine sure was. He measured in at 6'4" 215 lbs. with 33 3/8" arms...and then he went and ran an official 4.36 40 (fastest among receivers) and looked great in drills. If the Texans want a different receiver they could opt for Jeffrey, Wright, Mohamed Sanu of Rutgers or Rueben Randle of LSU.

27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans), Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina

Patriots draft picks are incredibly difficult to predict, but I might as well guess Brown, since he is one of the most talented players left on the board. He ran a 4.50 official 40 at the Combine and has the ability to rush the passer off the edge in New England's 3-4 or play on the inside and rack up tackles against the run. 

28. Green Bay Packers, Fletcher Cox, DT/DE, Mississippi State

Green Bay has to go defense in the draft, given its prolific offense last season, but issues against the pass. The Packers have a solid linebacking core, but generated almost no pass rush from their down linemen last season. Cox has the versatility to play a few spots on the d-line, and could help the Packers get after the passer. 

29. Baltimore Ravens, Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama

Hightower is simply a tackling machine, and while defense is the Ravens' strength, they are an aging defense, so an infusion of young talent could be good for them. Hightower could slot in as the eventual successor to future Hall-of-Famer Ray Lewis. 

30. San Francisco 49ers, Alshon Jeffrey, WR, South Carolina

Jeffrey really could go anywhere from the top 10 to the third round and it wouldn't really shock me. The 49ers need a receiver who can stretch the field and open up the seams for Vernon Davis. Jeffrey is a strong receiver who can go up and get a deep ball, and in a way, he reminds of Boldin circa 2003. Sanu or Randle could be other options here as well.

31. New England Patriots, Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska

The Patriots' pass defense was not good last season. Yes, it was injury-riddled, but anytime you have to play a wide receiver (Julian Edelman) in the secondary it isn't a good thing. Dennard and South Carolina's Stephen Gilmore are the best corners left on the board here. Gilmore is a little faster than Dennard, but Dennard is slightly more physical, and I think that is the direction the Patriots will go with the pick. 

32. New York Giants, Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson

Allen could compliment tight end Jake Ballard, who tore his ACL in the Super Bowl, and his status for 2012 is unclear. Allen is an athletic tight end and should give Eli Manning another target to throw to, especially if Ballard isn't fully healthy and Super Bowl-hero Mario Manningham departs via free agency.

Other top prospects: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M; Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin; Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State; Jared Crick, DT/DE, Nebraska; Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall; Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers; Rueben Randle, WR, LSU; Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State; Orson Charles, TE, Georgia; Kendall Wright, WR/KR, Baylor; Andre Branch, DE, Clemson; Kelechi Osmeli, G/T, Iowa State; Stephen Gilmore, CB, South Carolina; Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois; Lamar Miller, RB, Miami. 
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2/29/12   |   Pat   |   5233 respect

"The Patriots' pass defense was not good last season."

Also, the sky is blue, water is wet, and bears defecate in the woods.