I, Jason Lundquist, am a 40-something, sports nut and I’ve been a huge fan of the draft for the last 15 years or so. I am a big fan of the Minnesota Vikings and really started following the draft the year we passed on Warren Sapp due to the supposed drug issue and instead drafted Derrick Alexander. Great call, guys. Anyway, I’ve been doing my own 1st round mocks for about the last 10 years and can say just like it’s never been a better time for beer drinkers, it’s never been a better time for draft fans. I am certainly not a writer, nor do I work in the media. I am a regular working stiff just like most. I am just a big fan of everything NFL and for me, the draft is the best part of it.
2012 NFL Mock Draft Updated on 04/27/2012
First, let me say that as a Vikings fan, I’ve been forced to have "draft on the brain" since like, October. What a brutal season. Next, I am not a scout, I don’t watch a lot of tape outside of games but I read reports and mocks ad nauseum. I’ve noticed that a lot of NFL Draft writers will say that their mocks are how teams SHOULD draft and not how they WILL draft. You know what, I am not smart enough to tell a team how they should draft. I think most fans just want a good ol’ estimated guess on who their team WILL pick. That’s where research and a good, gut feeling comes in. A trade for RG3 in the top 4 seems like a good possibility but I am going to lay off trades for now. So, here it is:
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, QB-Stanford
A lot has changed since I put together my first mock on Superbowl Sunday. This one hasn’t. Recently, RG3 has been saying that he thinks he is worth the #1 pick. Maybe in other years, not this year. Even though the Colts have a TON of needs, as the 2011 season showed us, what better way to start the rebuilding process than with a franchise QB? Even if he doesn’t turn out to be ALL that is advertised, his floor is probably like a top 10-12 NFL QB. He has great size, plenty of arm and is actually quite athletic. He has also taken most snaps under center and is ready to play. He will be the Day 1 starter for Indy and if the pick is as advertised, will remain the starter for the next decade and a half.
2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Well, I had the Rams taking Kalil in my last mock and was one of the few that didn’t think a deal would get done to move down. I guess I know why I was one of the few. Regarding RGIII, it would be hard not to be pumped if you were a Skins fan. The guy is just about how you would draw up a QB in 2012. Very athletic, has an arm cannon sitting on his shoulder, is cerebral and lit up scoreboards in a good conference. He is a bit on the slight side and injury could be a concern but that’s just nitpicking. Quarterbacks with his ability to run usually lack accuracy or have a hard time ever becoming a "throw first" QB. Neither will be an issue as he was extremely efficient at Baylor and threw the ball all over the field. It will be interesting to see if Shannahan can keep his reputation as a developer of QB’s because if RGIII isn’t great in a few years, it will all be on Shanny.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, LT, USC
The trade between the Rams and Redskins paves the way for Spielman and Co. to make the easy pick and take Kalil. Whether you are talking about biggest need or BPA, you can argue Kalil meets both criteria. There have been rumblings of Claiborne and it’s easy to know why, we are talking about the worst secondary in the league (also has little depth). But in the end, you are committed to Ponder and the kid got killed last year. The O-Line won’t be fixed overnight but Kalil is a step in the right direction.
4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Once Cleveland hired Brad Childress as OC, you had to look at Richardson. This is a team that wants to take some pressure off of McCoy to at least see what they have. Richardson will be a workhorse from day one. They could look at Blackmon but there will be quality WR’s available at 22. A combination of Richardson and a guy like Wright or Hill would be a significant upgrade in talent on the offensive side of the ball. I think Blackmon would be a mistake. If you’re not going TR, you could pair Claiborne with Joe Haden to form an elite CB tandem but I just don’t believe that will happen. Even though RB’s have been devalued, Richardson is rare enough to warrant the #4 pick.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Greg Schiano is probably the type of coach that would like to build in the trenches. There just aren’t such players that grade out here. In my prior draft, I had Reiff as an option and would be a good upgrade over Trueblood but he can probably be had in the teens or 20’s now. The Bucs did sign Barber for one more year but how long can that last? Talib’s trial has been pushed back to June and you would have to think that a suspension is coming even if the case is dissmissed. Claiborne is the last of the elite guys in my mind. Tampa could look at WR in the 2nd round and Sanu is interesting there due to the Rutger’s connection.