Welcome to the 2nd Annual Dolphin Shout Mock Draft written by John Bleech and brought to you by GamblingNerd.com.
It seems as though Quarterbacks couldn't possibly be discussed anymore throughout the draft process. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are outstanding prospects, and it's rare to find two QBs this talented in a single class, much less one. Luck is said to be the best QB to enter the draft since the QB he will replace in Indianapolis, Peyton Manning.
RG3 brings a unique blend of athletic ability and intelligence that I don't believe the NFL has never seen. A world class athlete, he was once a hurdler and brings incredible speed to the QB position (4.41 40), while still being a true pocket passer.
These two definitely look the part to become franchise QBs and difference makers in the NFL. And if they aren't.............they sure have me fooled (especially Luck).
While everyone knows the destinations for Luck and RG3, Ryan Tannehill's landing spot is far from definite.
Will Cleveland take him at four? Will Miami take him at eight? Will Kansas City take him at 11? Will a team trade up to get him? Will he fall more than most are projecting?
It's tough to know. With Tannehill going from QB, to WR, and back to QB, he only had 19 starts in his college career (12-7 record). With this lack of experience, it makes him tough to judge and will have some teams scared to take him near the first half of the first round. His decision making has been questionable, but this is something that can be coached and improved with time.
What Tannehill has that cannot be coached: work ethic, size (6'4” 221 lbs.), ability to throw on the run (as well as he does), and elite arm strength. These things do not necessarily makeup a franchise QB, but they're definitely attributes of one.
If I'm Cleveland would I take him at four? I don't think so. And it's mainly because of that risk, when they can draft the elite talent at RB, Trent Richardson.
If I'm Miami would I draft Tannehill at eight? Yes, I would. Miami does in fact need a pass rusher, and a number one wide receiver, but I don't think there's a must have prospect when they're on the clock. In my opinion, Tannehill needs to sit a minimum of two years. Miami is in the position to do just that, while being developed under the right personnel. Miami is a perfect fit, and gives Tannehill the best chance to succeed.
Here is my 2012 Mock Draft. With the new rookie pay scale, there will be much wheeling and dealing (as usual), destroying this mock. At the very least, I hope you enjoy the mock and find some of the picks interesting.
Bleech's 2012 Mock Draft
1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
- One of the best NFL prospects to ever enter the draft. The Colts will transition from Peyton Manning, to the best prospect to come out since he entered the draft in '98.
2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis) - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
- RG3 brings a unique skill set to the QB position and is a perfect fit for Mike Shanahan's bootleg offense. I believe he's the franchise QB Washington has been searching so long for, and I think he will look like a better, well-polished Michael Vick.
3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, OT, USC
- A franchise left tackle is one of the toughest positions to find and Minnesota desperately needs to protect Christian Ponder, who the Vikings hope is their franchise QB. While CB Morris Claiborne is intriguing, with the tough QB competition in the NFC North, Kalil will not be able to be passed up.
4. Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
- Cleveland needs a RB, number one WR, and a franchise QB, amongst other positions. In my opinion, Richardson is most definitely the best prospect on the board at this point. He will provide a much needed run game, which will in turn improve the passing game. Even with the downgrade the RB position has had in the NFL, he is an every down back and is one of the exceptions. The best RB prospect to come out since Adrian Peterson.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
- Ronde Barber is 37, Aqib Talib has all sorts of problems off the field, and Claiborne just happens to be one of the five elite players in this draft.
6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington) - Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.
- Sam Bradford needs a number one receiver as much as any other QB in the league. While I don't think Blackmon is an elite talent, I do think he is a valid number one receiver and will help the Rams offense greatly.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
- This would be the first “eye-opener” of the draft. I don't think Gilmore is a top ten prospect, but I've heard a couple of insiders say the Jags believe he's worthy of a top ten pick. This is very believable if one looks at GM Gene Smith's draft history, who likes extremely safe picks. DE Melvin Ingram is also a very likely choice.
8. Miami Dolphins - Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
- It's tough to predict where Tannehill will be drafted. I can see some team trading up for him, whether it be Miami (who wouldn't trade up far, if at all), Kansas City, or Cleveland (with their second 1st round pick), and I can also see him falling a bit. Miami is under a new regime, bringing in head coach Joe Philbin, defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle, and offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, who was Tannehill's college head coach. Miami is in good position to take Tannehill, as they can sit him as long as needed, while continuing to be developed under Sherman, along with Philbin. I think Miami is the best chance for him to succeed since he can sit that much needed time, and he is also best suited for the west coast offense.
9. Carolina Panthers - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
- Quinton Coples is one of the poster boys for this year's “boom or bust” prospect. He had 17.5 sacks over the past two seasons, but his performance in his senior season was inconsistent. This is a red flag to many teams, and Carolina might very well go with Melvin Ingram, or DT Fletcher Cox. When Coples has “it” turned on, he's definitely the top pass rusher of this class, as he has elite talent and size (6'6”, 285 lbs.). I think he might remind Carolina of their former first round pick, Julius Peppers.
10. Buffalo Bills - Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
- Buffalo has made the moves to vastly improve their defense, now they need to do what it takes to vastly improve their offense. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is in dire need of weapons to throw to, as Steve Johnson is all he has. At 6'2”, 220 lbs., two straight 1,000 yard receiving seasons, and 37 career TDs at Notre Dame, Floyd has the makings of an elite receiver. Even with the Bills signing Steve Johnson to a big contract, he has shown a lack of maturity, and needs another receiver to keep the attention off of him. If not Floyd, I think OT Riley Reiff is a big possibility.
11. Kansas City Chiefs - Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
- Kuechly is one of the safest picks in this draft, accumulating an astonishing 532 total tackles (only 13 short of the NCAA FBS record) in his three years at Boston College. Though his stats speak for himself, Kuechly is a no-brainer here.
12. Seattle Seahawks - Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
- Seattle has a solid defensive line, but needs a consistent pass rush. Chris Clemons has been the only player to show that and the athletic Ingram could be a great complement to him. Ingram had 19 sacks, 26 tackles for a loss, and 3 TDs in his past two seasons, and all in the dominant SEC.
13. Arizona Cardinals - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
- Arizona re-signed left tackle Levi Brown, but desperately need improvement at guard, and mainly right tackle. Some don't see Reiff as a left tackle, but the Cardinals could plug him in at ROT and possibly replace Levi Brown at LOT down the road.
14. Dallas Cowboys - Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
- I'm not very confident Barron will still be on the board here, but if he is I feel confident he's the pick. Impact performers are much needed in Dallas' secondary and Barron might very well be that player. Solid safeties are hard to find and Barron would be a great, versatile piece in Rob Ryan's scheme.
15. Philadelphia Eagles - Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi St.
- I could even see Philly trading up for Cox, if he gets past Carolina. Cox is known as the best pass rusher of this DT class and is one of the safer picks. If they stay at 15 and Cox is there, they probably skip to the podium.
16. New York Jets - Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis
- Poe blew up the Combine and I think Rex Ryan would love to see him fall. Poe has rare athleticism for his size, as the 346 pounder ran a 4.98 in the 40 yard dash. The Jets have been on the lookout for a replacement at nose tackle since Kris Jenkins retired and Sione Pouha is 33. Poe needs to be coached up and can sit behind Pouha until it's his time.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland) - David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
- Cincy could go with CB Dre Kirkpatrick, but I think DeCasto is the highest player on their board at this point and is great value here. He fills a top need, is a future Pro-Bowler, and can be their starter for the next decade.
18. San Diego Chargers - Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
- The Chargers desperately need help on the offensive line, along with an improved pass rush. The Chargers ranked 23rd in sacks in 2011, tallying a total of 32. San Diego signed Jarret Johnson, but need fresh legs at OLB. Upshaw comes out of Nick Saban's “pro-ready” defense, has had good production, and is just a good football player. Many worry he doesn't have an ideal fit, but at 270 pounds, is a powerful force coming off the edge.
19. Chicago Bears - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
- I expect Chicago to address the defensive line in the first round. The Bears could very well go with a DE, but I think Brockers would be the highest player on their board. Brockers hasn't come close to his potential and the dominating run stopper could be plugged in at nose tackle from day one.
20. Tennessee Titans - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
- With Courtland Finnegan's departure to St. Louis, CB is probably Tennessee's biggest need. Kirkpatrick is a physical player, and fits just what the Titans are in need of. Kirkpatrick tested positive for marijuana during the draft process, but Nick Saban does a good job of talking up his players.
21. Cincinnati Bengals - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
- Mike Brown makes it a priority to acquire weapons for the QB, and Wright would complement Cincinnati's 2011 first round pick, AJ Green, immensely. Racking up 108 receptions, 1,663 yards, and 14 TDs in 2011, Wright is great in space and would help keep the pressure off of Green, and more importantly, QB Andy Dalton.
22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta) - Jonathon Martin, OT, Stanford
- Cleveland's hearts might be broken with Wright coming off the board, and only one pick ahead. The Browns desperately need a go to guy at WR and they could possibly go with a high potential guy like WR Stephen Hill, but Cleveland has to address the offensive line at some point early in the draft. Martin is a safer pick and is a good fit for Cleveland's zone blocking scheme.
23. Detroit Lions - Cordy Glenn, OG/T, Georgia
- Detroit's number one need is probably CB, but I'm not too sure they want the baggage that comes with Janoris Jenkins. The Lions also need major improvement on the O-line. I think Glenn is best suited as a guard, but can also play right tackle, and would be an immediate upgrade.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
- Pittsburgh and Baltimore will both be salivating over Hightower. Captain of the 2012 National Champs, he fits just what Steeler defense is all about. He's a big, tough, physical player, with tons of leadership qualities.
25. Denver Broncos - Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan St.
- Denver's obvious top need is DT. While Worthy was the most penalized defensive lineman in 2011, he has the size and potential to be a solid starter.
26. Houston Texans - Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
- With the players left at this point, I think Houston might take a “gamble” with a developmental player like Hill. The Texans are in need of another receiving threat opposite of the elite, but injury prone Andre Johnson, and while Hill is raw, he can turn into the next successful Georgia Tech receiver. He has an outstanding blend of size and speed (6'4”, 215 lbs., 4.38 40), and while he didn't have many catches (accredited to playing in the triple option), he averaged 29.3 yards per catch in 2011.
27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans) - Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
- History tells us the Pats will trade one of their first round picks. It would be absurd for them to once again ignore their need for a pass rusher. Perry is a strong rusher off the edge, and is versatile enough to play both DE and OLB in New England's hybrid scheme.
28. Green Bay Packers - Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise St.
- Clay Matthews dropped from 13.5 sacks in 2010, to six in 2011. The largest factor in that is Green Bay's lack of pass rushers. Not only is McClellin a good pass rusher, he's an all-around good linebacker, and football player.
29. Baltimore Ravens - Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse
- Jones is very athletic and versatile, but his knee injury could have him fall. Baltimore doesn't have any glaring needs, but they could certainly use a pass rusher opposite of Terrell Suggs.
30. San Francisco 49ers - Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
- This makes sense in a few ways: San Fran runs a good many two TE formations, Delanie Walker is in his contract year, and Jim Harbaugh knows more about Fleener than any other coach in the NFL, and might highly covet him. Fleener is yet another dangerous weapon to help Alex Smith succeed. If not Fleener, I think OG Kevin Zeitler out of Wisconsin is a fair bet here.
31. New England Patriots - Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
- Jenkins is definitely a top three CB in this draft if one just watches his film, and is argued by some to be the best cover corner in this draft. His off the field issues are another story. He would easily be much higher than this if it weren't for all of his baggage. New England has taken chances on players with character issues over the years and could possibly take a chance on him.
32. New York Giants - Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
- The G-Men enhance their strong point even more. NYG need O-linemen more than anything, but Osi Umenyiora might not be back, and if he is it won't be for long. Either way, a team can never have enough pass rushers, especially when they are utilized as well as the Giants'. Mercilus started off his college career quietly, but led the FBS in sacks with 16 in 2011, which could definitely lead to him being taken earlier than this.
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