Updated 9 / 27 / 2011
It's been a while since we've updated here but with the NFL wrapping up Week 3 we felt it necessary to bring you the most up to date projection of the 2012 Draft.
Obviously a lot will change before April but look no farther than our earliest 2011 mocks to see just how many of the names stay the same. All underclassmen who are eligible are included until they announce otherwise.
Our order is based on our current NFL standings except for the playoffs teams which are lifted from our NFL Season Predictions which you can find here : AFC / NFC / Playoffs. As the season progresses into a larger sample size only current standings will be reflected.
Next Update : Weekly or bi-weekly until the 2012 Draft
Previous Updates : 4/18/11
1.) Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck - QB - Stanford
Peyton Manning is likely out for the season and at this point his career is in real jeopardy. With Kerry Collins now likely out for at least a couple weeks sets this offense back even more. Curtis Painter isn't the answer and it may take bringing in another veteran like David Garrard to keep the Colts out of the basement. Obviously this decision will come down to Manning's long term health situation. If they believe he will return in 2012 at 100% and play at his usual level for the next 5-6 years then it's very possible the Colts will hold this pick hostage for the highest bidder. Either way Luck will being going in this slot no change there.
Andrew Luck was a lock to go #1 last year - and not in that Jake Locker or Matt Leinhart way, I'm talking a stone cold mortal lock. Luck is the best quarterback prospect to come along since Peyton Manning. He brings a strong arm and deadly accuracy to go along with above average mobility. What truly sets him apart however is his intelligence and work ethic. Whenever your game preparation draws to comparisons to that of Manning, Brady and Brees your doing something right. A legit once in a decade prospect I will be shocked if I move his name off this line at any point.
2.) Kansas City Chiefs
Matt Barkley - QB - USC
Matt Cassell is done. The Chiefs will not be able to pass on a franchise level quarterback with this selection. The offense has some interesting pieces and if they inject a play maker at QB this is a team that could turn it around quickly. Obviously injuries are also playing a part in their awful start this season but they could turn out to be a blessing in disguise if it helps them land an elite talent like Barkley.
The Trojan signal caller is off to an awesome start in 2011. Barkley may be a notch below Luck but he's a premier QB prospect in his own right. He has the ability to make all the throws and has the advantage of being a 3 year starter in a pro style offense. Great arm strength and the ability to change speeds and put touch on the ball. Has prototypical NFL size and brings great intangibles to the table. Barkley has said that he wants to lead USC to a bowl game, which won't be possible this season due to sanctions. Does that mean he returns for his Senior year? It's possible but how much Lane Kiffin can he handle?
3.) Minnesota Vikings
Matt Kalil - OT - USC
Things have detiorated quickly for a franchise that was very close to a Super Bowl just a couple years back. Sooner or later the ball will be handed to Christian Ponder in Minnesota, Donovan McNabb is on his last leg that's apparent at this point. It's customary to add a franchise left tackle when investing in a 1st Round QB like Ponder. Couple that with the availability of a superior talent like Kalil and this seems like a match made in heaven.
Kalil is a prototypical LT prospect who has been in the top 5 of this class since high school. He also comes from good stock as his brother Ryan Kalil is a very good center for the Carolina Panthers. He's the type of big, smart, athletic Left tackle prospect that simply does not slip out of the top 10. It'll be considered an upset if he's even available by this selection.
4.) Seattle Seahawks
Vontaze Burfict- LB - Arizona St.
This is the worst case scenario for the Seahawks, to be picking after both the franchise QB talents have been taken. A lot of people will mock Landry Jones to them at this point but to me Jones is closer to a 2nd round talent than being taken in the top 5. Obviously they could panic and still go QB but the smart play would be to look elsewhere. Lofa Tatupa was released before the season and Aaron Curry is nearing being benched so there is a need for an impact linebacker on this defense.
Burfict has been up and down a bit this season but his natural ability and physicality isn't up for discussion. We saw Von Miller rise up draft boards after the season last year and I expect the same for Burfict this season. If he can stay focused and play within himself Burfict is the best defensive player available in this draft. Rare physical skills, versatile enough to play any linebacker position. Has had some behavioral problems but to me his intensity and constant high energy level is a good thing. In the right system and with good coaching your looking at a potential super star.
5.) Cincinnati Bengals
Quinton Coples- DE - North Carolina
The Bengals went offense heavy early in the 2011 draft. and both Green and Dalton have shown flashes this season. They just need more time to gel. That being said they are sure to struggle this season. Cedric Benson may be almost done so Trent Richardson could be an option. However back-up Bernard Scott is an underrated viable option. Carlos Dunlap looks like a keeper on one end, but this defensive front could still use some retooling. Expect the Bengals to address the defense here.
Coples had a breakout Junior season and has some insane measurables (6'6 / 276) He'll draw some comparisons to Julius Peppers and is at a position coveted high in the draft. He isn't in the same freak athletic category as Peppers but should be able to anchor the 3-4 defense as a 5 technique. Commands constant double teams so his teammates Donte Paige-Moss and Zach Brown might get more stats but Coples is a main reason why. If he can command those same double teams at the next level Carlos Dunlap could see his sack totals increase even more.
6.) Miami Dolphins
Jonathan Martin - OT - Stanford
The Dolphins are a mess and there is little doubt that this coaching staff is on it's way out. Chad Henne has taken a lot of heat but he has played pretty good so far this season. Is there really a better option available here? Robert Griffin, Brock Osweiler and Landry Jones are the 3 names fighting to be the 3rd QB off the board right now in my opinion. All of them have question marks and are closer to being developmental QB's. That being said a new coaching regime may opt to get "Their Guy" and go QB. I've long been mocking Trent Richardson here to be the every down back but Daniel Thomas looks like a keeper. The real issue on this squad right now? The offensive line.
Jake Long is as good as it gets at LT, but the RT spot is a mess. Jonathan Martin is looked at as a LT prospect but he could be a dominate force on the right side. The guy in charge of protecting Andrew Luck's blindside opened up a lot of eyes during the 2010 college season. The 6'6 / 305 pounder displays great athleticism for a player his size. Must continue to work on his technique. This years offensive tackle class will outshine 2010's - in hype anyway. Martin joins Kalil and Reif as possible top 10-15 selections.
7.) St. Louis Rams
Justin Blackmon - WR - Oklahoma St.
Sam Bradford is in the midst of a Sophomore slump. A lot of that may have to do with the fact that he lacks quality weapons around him. They have been looking for a true #1 WR since Tory Holt was in his prime. They are in luck with a plethora of talented pass catchers in this draft. The Blackmon / Jeffery debate will rage right up till the raft much like A.J. Green and Julio Jones last season. I've been squarely in the Jeffery camp but Blackmon's production is just too hard to ignore at this point.
Blackmon has a NFL body right now, he's a well built physical pass catcher who should be hard to bring down at the next level. Has a flare for dramatic, making seemingly impossible catch after catch. Prolific wideout catches everything thrown his direction. Would of likely been a top 15 pick in 2011, hard to see him falling out of the top 10 this time around. Understands route running and displays top notch body control. I can't help but see a little Larry Fitzgerald in his game. The Alshon Jeffery / Justin Blackmon debate will continue to rage and expect their names to be called very close to each other.
8.) Carolina Panthers
Alshon Jeffery - WR - South Carolina
With Cam Newton in the fold it'll be time to add some weapons for him to get the ball to. Steve Smith has had a hot start to this season but is in the twilight of his career. A career that has saw him miss time due to injury again and again. The strength of Cam Newton's passing game is getting the ball down field. A big Andre Johnson-esqu pass catcher like Jeffery would provide a huge weapon with which to stretch the defense.
Jeffery has elite height, and knows how to use his frame in his favor. Has great body control for a player his size. His leaping ability and wing-span make him a huge target and almost impossible cover in 1 on 1 situations. A young quarterback like Newton doesn't have to throw the perfect ball everytime because Alshon can go and get it. We've seen what a red-zone weapon Calvin Johnson has turned into, catching jump ball after jump ball at it's highest point. Jeffery has that same potential.
9.) Jacksonville Jaguars
Dre Kirkpatrick - CB -Alabama
The good news? Several of the Jags positions of key needs should be available at this selection. The bad news? They have several positions of need. it makes sense to supply Blaine Gabbert with a franchise tackle prospect like Riley Reiff. It also wouldn't be out of question to target a #1 WR option like Michael Floyd. They also have an obvious need for a shut down corner. The Jags have been among the most unpredictable teams come draft time the last few seasons so for now I'll give them Dre who is the highest rated of those 3 on my board.
Kirkpatrick seems to be the consensus top corner in this class. Kirkpatrick oozes athleticism and has the blend of size/speed NFL teams are looking for. Has great man to man skills and should be a very good cover corner. Big physical corner should be successful in a variety of schemes. Good ball skills and shows a willingness to get his nose dirty. The best of a talented bunch of Crimson Tide prospects.
10.) Denver Broncos
Robert Griffin III - QB - Baylor
Things that we know for sure. 1.) Kyle Orton isn't the long term answer in Denver. He was shopped in the pre-season and the fans will be in a mini revolt after this team finishes under .500. 2.) Tim Tebow has been completely ruled out by this current organization and will likely be cut by the time this selection is made. So where does that leave the Broncos? They have to give their fans something an exciting prospect like Robert Griffin may be the answer. We saw Cam Newton rise to the top of the draft last season because of his physical gifts, could Griffin have a similar rise?
I'm out on a limb here putting Griffin in the top 10 but he's played outside of his mind so far this season. He's 70/82 for 962 yards, 13 TD's and 0 interceptions. Those numbers are mind boggling for a guy most thought would have to move to WR to extend his playing days past Baylor. Newton went #1 overall with legit accuracy concerns, RG3 has been scary pinpoint thus far. He has shown vast improvement in a short amount of time, which should tell NFL teams that he has even more room to grow. Doesn't have great height for an NFL QB, but if he's a legit 6'2 that isn't too bad. Has amazing speed, we're talking track speed. A good arm and shows a competitive streak which is a must in a pro quarterback.
11.) Cleveland Browns
Michael Floyd - WR - Notre Dame
The Browns have seemingly been trying to find a legit #1 threat forever now. Cribbs has shown flashes but isn't a sure handed possession type guy. I loved the Greg Little selection last season but he's still adjusting. Massaquoi isn't the answer either. Floyd is used to being double teamed and still having double digit catches as he has become the focal point of the Notre Dame offense. Thanks to the trade with the Falcons last season the Browns will have two picks in the 2012 first round. It makes sense to use the first one on Floyd to help add some talent to this offense.
Floyd is a big target with sure hands. I've seen the Brows receivers drop some easy balls this season in key situations. You can expect Floyd to make those catches. Doesn't have elite speed but doesn't need it with his leaping ability and physical nature. Should open up the field to get the ball into the hands of Cribbs and Little in different situations without being the primary ball catchers. Floyd has some off the field issues but it doesn't seem to be anything serious. More than anything he looks immature, which let''s be honest how many big time WR's could be called that over the years?
12.) Chicago Bears
Riley Reiff - OT - Iowa
Jay Cutler gets sacked more than a 3rd graders lunch. Now he may deserve some of the blame for holding onto the ball too long but the bottom line is this Chicago offensive line must protect him. Last season's 1st rounder Gabe Carimi looks like a keeper on the right side but they could still use a franchise talent on the left side. WR is also an option but with Blackmon/Jeffery/Floyd all gone already expect them to address the o-line. Again.
Reiff represents the 3rd blue-chip offensive tackle prospect in this draft class, and could easily see his stock soar to the top of this board. The latest prospect in the long history of Hawkeye big men to hit the NFL. He's very agile for a man his size and strong in pass protection. He needs to show improved upper body strength and could probably stand to improve his technique in run blocking. Has a public intoxication arrest on his record, but doesn't sound like a red flag.
Trent Richardson - RB - Alabama
You can expect Jim Harbaugh and the Niners to do everything in their power to move up and get Andrew Luck. If that fails and they are out of quarterback options they could just go for the best player available. I know Frank Gore is looked at as a franchise running back but he has dealt with injuries for most of his career. He missed 5 games last season and has only a 2.5 ypc avg. through 3 games this season. 7 seasons of being an NFL featured back is harboring on a lifetime. Obviously Alex Smith must be replaced at QB but panicking here and selecting Landry Jones could only set them back farther. This is a team built around running the ball, Richardson gives some instant juice to this offense and could possibly extend Gore's career by taking away some carries.
The unanimous top RB prospect in the country for the 2012 draft. Richardson has a unique blend of power, size, acceleration and breakaway speed. Displays good balance, vision, lighting quick cuts and the ability to be a pass catching threat. Mark Ingram was a legit 1st round draft prospect and Heisman Trophy winner and Richardson still demanded close to a equal 2 back system. This year with the offense falling squarely on his shoulders Richardson should have a Heisman type season himself. RB's have become less and less valuable because of their short shelf life and reliance on 2-back systems in the NFL but Richardson is the rare back worth a top 15 selection
14.) Washington Redskins
Stephon Gilmore -CB- South Carolina
The Redskins have looked a lot better than I thought they would back in April. I'm not ready to anoint them as a winning team just yet but they obviously have some quality pieces. At some point a QB will be needed but we saw Shanahan shun Blaine Gabbert last season, expect the same this season. The strength of this team is their defense, but the secondary could stand a couple upgrades. DeAngelo Hall has had a hot and cold career, he's electric but is also known for making big mistakes. A lock down prospect like Gilmore could make the front 7 even more dangerous.
Amazing athlete that at time has shown his hand as a wildcat QB. Has great size for an NFL corner and has all the tools your looking for in a shut down type corner. Displays great hips and is a threat to take it the distant every time he gets his hands on the ball. Quarterbacks have been shying away from him but when he does pick off a pass he's probably the biggest playmaker at the position in the nation. Just looks like an NFL level athlete.
15.) New York Giants
Luke Kuechly - ILB - Boston College
The Giants just can't get or stay healthy. With injuries piling up on the defensive side of the ball depth has become an issue. The Giants have done a solid jb of rebuilding that once proud defensive front on the fly by adding young pass rushers like Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul. Linebacker seems to be the most desperate need considering they never really replaced Antonio Pierce. A do it all player like Kuechly with a huge football IQ could be an instant plug and play player.
Kuechly won't floor you with his measurables like Vontaze Burfict but he's the most instinctual defensive player in this class by far. A tackling machine Kuechly plays with a high motor and should quickly become a leader on defense for which ever team ends up with him. Has great vision and is rarely caught out of position. Would re-team with former BC linebacker Mark Herzlich.
16.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Morris Claiborne - CB - LSU
The Bucs are a talented young team and should only continue to get better on the field over the next few seasons. They should continue to add to the defensive side of the ball. Aqib Talib is one of the most talented corners in the NFL but they could use another corner to play across from him. Buccaneers all time great Ronde Barber is in the twilight of his career and will be 37 years old by the time next season starts.
Claiborne has replaced Patrick Peterson at LSU and the Bayou Tigers haven't missed a beat. Not the physical presence that Peterson was (who is?) but is a true lock down corner prospect. Blanketing receivers Claiborne could be lethal as a #2 corner for the Bucs, with the larger Talib covering the larger receivers. Has good speed and has even shown a knack for returning punts. Athletic and displays good technique, good hips finding the ball quickly. This is a talented corner class he must continue his high level of play to assure a first round slot.
17.) Tennessee Titans
Brandon Thompson - DT - Clemson
Tennessee could go in several different directions here. WR is an interesting option especially with Kenny Britt's history of issues. Linebacker, cornerback, safety, all make sense at the end of the day though expect the Titans to just go with the best player available if the draft breaks this way.
The Titans could use a play maker like Thompson along the defensive line. Many have been waiting on Jerel Worthy or Marcus Fortson to to step up and claim the #1 defensive tackle slot but both are off to sluggish starts this season. Thompson is a consistent disruptive force who brings prototypical size to the position.
18.) Cleveland Browns
(From Atlanta - The Julio Jones Trade)
Jared Crick - DT/DE - Nebraska
Jabaal Sheard has been a revelation for the Browns thus far. Consistently getting pressure on the passer and causing havoc in the backfield. Phil Taylor has also played well above his expereince. This is a defensive front that could go from bad to good very quickly if another piece is added. After spending the first pick on offense it makes sense to address the defensive line here. Adding other big time presence like Crick could be perfect.
Crick is a big bodied physical end that can play multiple positions along the defensive front. His ability to command double teams should open up more sack opportunities for Sheard and the rest of the pass rushers. Brute strength and should appeal to 3-4 teams as well because he could be a 5-technique in the league. Isn't flashy but brings a workman type field presence and consistent play.
19.) Oakland Raiders
Alameda Ta'amu - DT -Washington
The Raiders are low on draft picks this season, having already gave up their 2nd-4th rounders. They could go in several different directions but the defensive line has some age and expiring contracts so it may be time to add a talented young DT. Cornerback and offensive line could also be targeted but with the Raiders no one ever really knows anyway. Don't rule out Oakland trading out of this slot to help add some picks on day 2.
Massive prospect at 6'3 / 337. Ta'amu will be coveted by teams that run the 3-4 since he is a legit nose tackle prospect. While the Raiders run the 4-3, Alameda will still be a huge space eater. Shows good technique and good mobility for a man his size. Trying to overcome a broken hand but should be 100 percent by the time the combine roles around. Look for his stock to hang around the mid to late first round since nose tackle prospects always get hot around draft time.
20.) Buffalo Bills
Courtney Upshaw - LB - Arkansas
The Bills are off to a roaring start this season thanks pretty much entirely to a suddenly high powered offense so expect them to go defense early in the 2012 draft. They could go defensive line again to finish off their remodeled 3-4 front or even cornerback where they could use some depth They could use a linebacker in the 3-4 rush mold.
Upshaw has been a major factor for the stout Bama D. Talented Crimson Tide backer Upshaw qualifies as the best player available who fills a need for the Bills .Versatile linebacker has great speed and displays solid instincts. His best NFL position is probably on the outside as rusher. Would be an instant upgrade for the Bills and should start from day one.
21.) Arizona Cardinals
Donte Paige-Moss - OLB - North Carolina
The Cardinals defense is in shambles they had a few problems stopping Tavaris Jackson in week 3 so obviously changes must be made. The linebackers in their 3-4 look are either past their prime or never had one. The NFC West is pretty much devoid of play-off caliber teams so if the Cards can somehow fill some of their major needs they should be able to contend for the foreseeable future.
Paige-Moss is still a little raw but he could have as much potential as anyone in the draft. He has the perfect blend of talents that 3-4 teams are looking for in a stand up rush backer. He has a nose for getting to the quarterback and is very athletic. Playing on the opposite side of Quinton Coples should lead to a huge sack season for Moss, and there is little doubt he will ace the combine. Has dealt with maturity issues while at UNC so he needs to keep his nose clean.
22.) New York Jets
Devin Taylor - OLB - South Carolina
The Jets entire game-plan is based on being able to get pressure on the quarterback. It's the what the whole team is built around. When they fail to get pressure and confound opposing signal callers the Jets don't win many ball games. While they could address the defensive line especially after the way Run DMC gashed them in week 3, I believe last years first rounder Muhammed Wilkerson will turn into a keeper. A stand up rusher to pin his ears back and get to the QB would be right up Rex's alley.
This 6'7 monster emerged in a big way last season for Gamecocks defense. Has the ability to rush the passer or drop into coverage which makes him a big asset for a 3-4 defensive scheme like that of the Jets. His frame and long arms makes him a threat to knock down passes at the line of scrimmage. Has already added nearly 25 pounds since coming to campus but must continue to add strength to a lanky body build. If he continues to progress as offenses now gear towards focusing on stopping him he could find his way into the 1st round come next April.
23.) Baltimore Ravens
Donta' Hightower - LB - Alabama
Ray Lewis can't play forever and eventually the Ravens will have to break in a new MLB. Adding a plug and play piece like Hightower who can contribute right away at all the linebacker positions should help bolster the always strong (but aging) Ravens defense. Not out of the question for them to target a corner here either. A guy like Chase Minnefield or Cliff Harris could be intriguing. To me though Hightower just looks like a Raven.
The on the field leader for the best defense in the nation Hightower is yet another talented Crimson Tide linebacker. Polished, versatile hardworking. Went back to Alabama for his Senior season despite having a 1st/2nd grade on most boards. Makes plays all over the field, has drawn comparisons to former Crimson Tide backer Rolando McClain currently of the Raiders.
24.) Dallas Cowboys
Alfonzo Dennard - CB -Nebraska
The Boy's have been hit with the injury bug early and often this season. When healthy this is a high scoring offense and a dangerous defense. If their is a weakness on the defensive side of the ball it is definitely at the cornerback position. Luckily for Jerry Jones and the Dallas front office thisisshaping up to be on one of the deepest CB drafts in recent memory. It could be considered a mini upset if Dennard is still available at this point. I dont know how they could pass him up here.
Dennard paired with Prince Amukamara last season to form a deadly cornerback duo. This season he will be left to show what he can do as the main man and thus far opposing quarterbacks are shying away. Not as crazy athletic as some of the names above him but Dennard understands the game as good as anyone. A physical corner who has very good ball skills Alfonzo appears to be the complete package. A legit shut down corner prospect.
25.) Philadelphia Eagles
Cordy Glenn - OL - Georgia
Everyone realizes the Eagles need help at linebacker. The rag tag bunch of mid round picks and undrafted free agents composing the starting linebacking core cannot be allowed to continue. That being said that o-line still looks like swiss cheese and as long as your paying your 5'9 QB 100 million dollars you have to try and protect him the best you can. Even though they went with Danny Watkins in the first round last season adding another talented guard prospect to keep Vick upright has to be appealing.
Glenn is simply a massive human being. Unless your watching on a 60' inch widescreen it can be hard to fit him on your TV screen. At 6'5 / 350 Glenn is a huge space eater. Versatile linemen who the Eagles could get creative with possibly kicking him out to right tackle. With a line that seems to be in constant flux a guy who can play either guard position or even tackle is too much for Philly to pass up.
26.) Detroit Lions
Zach Brown - OLB - North Carolina
Yea we aren't surprised by the Lions 3-0 start but honestly many people who follow the NFL closely really are? This is an almost for sure playoff squad as long as the key elements (tron,mega and stafford, matt) stay healthy. Over the past few drafts we've seen them capitalize on talented defensive players who seemingly fall into their laps. Now that the rebuilding of the defensive line is over it would make sense to add a talented young linebacker as they look forward to building one of the premier defenses in the league.
Speedy linebacker with NFL size Brown has waited his turn on a Tar Heel defense loaded with NFL prospects. Now in a full time starting job the Senior is flourishing with 2.5 sacks on the season so far and flying around the entire field making tackles. A protypical 4-3 linebacker Brown has even shown the ability to drop into coverage, coming up with 3 picks last season. Must continue his high level of play but a strong as expected combine should cement him in round 1.
27.) Houston Texans
Brandon Lindsey - DE/OLB - Pittsburgh
The Texans are having a few growing pains adjusting to their new 3-4 scheme. Last season they found a 5 technique to anchor one side of their new three man front in J.J. Watt. Expect them to focus on filling in more parts of the new look defense with some rushing linebackers. Safety is also an option here and guys like Robert Lester, T.J. McDonald are interesting but the position just isn't as valuable.
Lindsey is a prototypical stand up backer in Wade Phillips 3-4 look. 6'2 / 250 Lindsey is a physical specimen with a knack for getting to the QB. He recorded 10 sacks last season and already has registered 3 this year. The guy seems to be constantly in the backfield disrupting the offense. The linebacking options in this draft are plentiful for both 3-4 and 4-3 teams so Lindsey must continue his high level of play to stay in the first round conversation.
28.) Pittsburgh Steelers
Kelechi Osmele - OL - Iowa State
In the days of old it was rare to see multiple interior linemen go in the first round. However with the recent success of guys like Maurkice Pouncey and the seemingly inability for teams to protect their quarterbacks the act has become en vogue. Add in the new rookie wage scale and teams no longer feel obligated to select the big money positions in the first round, especially later first. The Steelers offensive line has been in flux lately and adding a versatile piece like Osmele could be too much to resist.
Osemele is a fast rising Junior who is versatile enough to play either tackle or guard. Has been dominant at times and could end up going much higher than this. Shows nice technique and knee bend at his massive size (6'5 / 335). Effective in both pass protection and run blocking, he brings the complete package. He will be too good to pass up here.
29.) Green Bay Packers
Billy Winn - DE - Boise St
The Packers are loaded but if you want to nit pick they could use a talented young 5-technique. I was very impressed with Billy Winn in his season debut against Georgia. He got the best of fellow first round prospect Cordy Glenn quite a few times. That performance opened my eyes and with his versatility to kick outside and take on 2 blocks as a 5-technique in Green Bay's 3-4.
30.) San Diego Chargers
Janoris Jenkins - CB - North Alabama
Quentin Jammer will be 33 years old by the time the 2012 NFL season rolls around. Which means it may be time for the Charges to add some youth to the secondary. With WR, OL, and LB all possibilities as well San Diego will most likely go with the best player available on their board.
Jenkins likely would have been a first round selection had he chose to enter the 2011 draft, so the Chargers are getting great value with this pick as well. A ball hawking play maker who always seems to attack the ball before his offensive opponent has a chance. Displays great hip swivel and good leaping ability. Lacks the height to be an elite top 10 prospect, but could play in the NFL immediately. Great instincts in the secondary. Was booted off the Gators team after a few bouts of immaturity and some run ins with the law. I was a little surprised to not see him enter the supplemental draft, perhaps he wants to show front office people he's ready to handle the NFL life by spending another year maturing at the college level.
31.) New England Patriots
Manti' Teo - ILB -Notre Dame
What are the chances that the Pats actually hold onto both of their first round picks? Perhaps this is the year they should. Over the past few seasons Belichick and his scouts have whiffed on quite a few prospects in the mid rounds. They HAVE to fix this defense. Their linebacking core has just not lived up to expectations and could use another talented piece. Manti' Teo could share one of the inside backing spots in the 3-4 with Jerod Mayo and together the pair could be quite formidable. If New England is serious about sticking to a 4-3 look Mayo could possibly kick out and play the OLB role.
The Patriots type of player. Polished, versatile hardworking. This draft class could potentially be the beefiest at Inside Linebacker we've seen in a very long time and when the dust settles none might be more talented that Manti Teo. An athletic tackling machine who is NFL ready right now Te'o is the full package at ILB.
32.) New England Patriots
(From the Saints - Mark Ingram Trade)
Chase Minnifield - CB - Virginia
The Patriots could go in several directions here but it's so hard to read Belichick I'm just giving them the best player that kinda makes sense. The Patriots have had some issues with the corners they've drafted over recent years (save of course for Devin McCourty) so it could make sense to go after another young blue chip corner in Minnifield who is likely the best player available here. Besides what are the chances the Pats keep this pick anyway?