We have another guest writer here at SS&O, this time being the talented “draft guru” Tyler Propst, (@TylerPropst). This is truly a quality piece, as I know many hours were spent to round it out. And if you like “in-depth” pieces, this is the place to be. Look for Tyler later in the year for more Seahawks and NFL coverage. Without further adieu, the 2012 Seattle Sports & Otherwise Mock Draft…
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford)
Luck is the consensus number one pick. He has been labeled a “once in a generation” prospect by many scouts and at this point, I would have to agree with them. Luck already has experience in a pro-style system, which should make his transition to the Colts an easy one. He consistently audibles out of bad plays, makes all of the right progressions, and dissects defenses with ease. Luck draws many comparisons to Peyton Manning, the man he is set to replace come April 26th.
2. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor)
The Redskins mortgaged the future of their franchise to obtain the second overall pick, and will no doubt take RG3 come draft day. Griffin is a natural playmaker that possesses outstanding deep ball accuracy. He has the ability to extend plays with his feet and should provide a much needed spark to a stagnant Redskins offense.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil (OT, USC)
Kalil was a dominant right tackle in college. He is easily the best tackle in this class, and should solidify the right side of the Vikings line for years to come. This is the first step in rebuilding an aging offensive line in Minnesota.
4. Cleveland Browns: Trent Richardson (RB, Alabama)
Richardson is a rare talent that possesses a mix of power and open-field elusiveness. He’s a dynamic back with outstanding balance and vision, and can make an impact early for the Browns. Richardson will give them a serious running threat, and should open things up nicely in the passing game for McCoy.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne (CB, LSU)
Claiborne is the premier corner in this draft. He is an instinctive football player that can come in and start right away for Bucs. His natural playmaking ability and cover skills instantly upgrade a troubled Buccaneers secondary. Ronde Barber is in the twilight of his career. It’s time to replace him.
6. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon (WR, Oklahoma St.)
Brandon Lloyd is gone, which makes drafting a receiver the obvious choice here. Bradford is a talented quarterback, but he will not succeed until the Rams get him a number one target. Blackmon will immediately make this team better. He has great hands, runs great routes, and can beat jams on the line of scrimmage. This guy is a legit vertical threat that will draw double teams right away at the next level.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinton Coples (DE/DT, North Carolina)
Questions about Coples motor have dropped his stock a bit, but I don’t see the Jaguars passing up on this much talent here. Coples was dominant in college, and he could turn out to be an even better pro. Coples is talented enough to start right away and should help the Jags pass rush woes.
8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill (QB, Texas A&M)
The Dolphins inability to bring in a free agent quarterback makes this pick an obvious one. Mike Sherman (Tannehill’s former head coach) is now the offensive coordinator in Miami. Tannehill is not worth the 8th pick, but quarterbacks are scarce, and the Dolphins are desperate. He has a good arm and above average mobility, but will take time to develop into the full time starter.
9. Carolina Panthers: Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame)
Steve Smith’s career is nearing its end, which makes Floyd an obvious pick here. This 6-3 receiver gives Cam Newton a much needed deep threat and provides a replacement for Smith when he retires. Floyd is an exceptional receiver and should make an impact early.
10. Buffalo Bills: Riley Reiff (OT, Iowa)
Reiff was a very solid left tackle in college, but projects to be a better right tackle at the next level. The Bills took care of their defensive needs by acquiring Mario Williams during free agency, which leaves the offensive line as their top priority in round one.
11. Kansas City Chiefs: David DeCastro (OG, Stanford)
DeCastro is a top-tier guard prospect that could eventually become the best player in this draft class. He is a physical specimen and will provide the Chiefs with a much-needed upgrade on the interior of their offensive line. Kansas City needs to protect a recovering Matt Cassel, so adding a blue-chip guard here seems like the logical decision.
12. Seattle Seahawks: Luke Keuchly (ILB, Boston College)
The Seahawks defense was impressive last season, but the loss of David Hawthorne makes linebacker a serious need for the Hawks. Keuchly is a tackling machine, racking up an astounding 532 tackles in just three years at Boston College. He is a top 10 talent that falls due to team needs, which works out perfectly for the Seahawks here.
13. Arizona Cardinals: Melvin Ingram (DE/OLB, South Carolina)
Ingram is an intelligent, high motor defensive end that will add pass rush to an already stout Cardinals Defense. Ingram has violent hands, and gets off the line of scrimmage with a sense of urgency. The Cardinals could go offensive line here, but Ingram is simply too much talent to pass on at this point.
14. Dallas Cowboys: Mark Barron (SS, Alabama)
The Cowboys are desperate to for help in the secondary at this point, and if Barron falls to them at 14, they should have no reason to pass on him. Barron is by far the best safety in this class and will step in and start day one for the Cowboys. He’s an in-the-box safety that excels against the run, as he makes great reads and is a sure tackler with great closing speed.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Fletcher Cox (DT, Mississippi St.)
The Eagles need a presence on the interior of their line alongside Cullen Jenkins. Cox is an impressive talent with an outstanding motor and ability to stop the run. The Eagles have struggled against the run in recent years, and Cox could be the future star of an aging Eagles defense.
16. New York Jets: Courtney Upshaw (DE, Alabama)
The Jets lacked pass rush last year and it must be addressed in the first round. Upshaw was a 3-4 OLB in college, but will come in and play DE for the Jets. Upshaw is ruthless. His high motor and natural ability to get to the quarterback make him an excellent pick here for Rex Ryan and the Jets.
17. Cincinnati Bengals: Dre Kirkpatrick (CB, Alabama)
Cincinnati surprised some people last year, making the playoffs with rookie QB Andy Dalton at the helm. The Bengals will look to improve on the defensive side of the ball, as most of their offensive woes were solved in last year’s draft. Kirkpatrick is a physical press-coverage corner that should translate well to the NFL. He’s 6-3 and is fast enough to keep up with nearly all outside receivers. Nice addition here.
18. San Diego Chargers: Dontari Poe (DT, Memphis)
Poe is a space eater that will drastically improve the Chargers defensive line. Poe is very talented, and although his tape isn’t great, he does all the little things well. Playing for Memphis did not benefit him, as he consistently took on double teams due to the lack of talent around him. Poe has outstanding strength and quickness, which leads me to believe he can become great a force on the interior of the Chargers line for years to come.
19. Chicago Bears: Whitney Mercilus (DE, Illinois)
Mercilus is a gifted pass rusher that led the nation in sacks this past season. He’s quick off the ball, and has an assortment of pass rush moves in his arsenal. He should pair well with Julius Peppers now, and will replace him when Peppers retires.
20. Tennessee Titans: Stephon Gilmore (CB, South Carolina)
The Titans decided to let Courtland Finnegan walk, which makes improving their secondary a major need in the first round. Gilmore is arguably the best pure cover corner in the draft. His smarts, agility, and smooth hips make him one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Jonathan Martin (OT, Stanford)
Martin is a very intelligent player that comes out of a highly touted Stanford system. He’s great against the run, but does struggle in pass protection on occasion. He is a talented kid that should bolster the right tackle position for the Bengals for many years to come.
22. Cleveland Browns: Kendall Wright (WR, Baylor)
The Browns addressed the ground game with the fourth pick, and will address the passing attack here. Wright is an explosive player that will finally give Colt McCoy a true number one target. He has exceptional hands, outstanding speed, and the ability to make plays after the catch. The Browns offense should definitely improve with the addition of two new playmakers.
23. Detroit Lions: Michael Brockers (DT, LSU)
Just a red-shirt sophomore, Brockers is merely scratching the surface of his true potential. This guy is a freakish athlete that could have been a top ten pick next year had he chosen to stay in school. Brockers can take on double teams and has the ability to shed blockers at the line of scrimmage. He does need work in the pass rush department, but that will come with time. Pure value pick here.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dont’a Hightower (ILB, Alabama)
Hightower fits the mold of a Pittsburgh linebacker perfectly. He’s big, he’s fast, and he can really hit. Hightower called the shots for Alabama, and was a tackling machine for the Crimson Tide. His size and athleticism are exceptional, which will make his transition to the NFL a rather easy one.
25. Denver Broncos: Jerel Worthy (DT, Michigan St.)
Worthy was a fantastic player in college. His power and enormous build allow him to beat double teams on occasion. He holds the line well and possesses the ability to shed blockers and made tackles at the line of scrimmage. The only knock against Worthy was his inconsistency. The Broncos focused heavily on offense in free agency, so expect to see the Broncos go defense on draft day.
26. Houston Texans: Stephen Hill (WR, Georgia Tech)
Hill’s stock soared at the combine shortly after the 6”4’ receiver ran a 4.38 forty time. That kind of speed is almost unheard of for receivers of that size, and the fact that he displayed great hands didn’t hurt either. The red flag on Hill is that he only caught 28 passes last season. Many would be alarmed by such limited production, but the scouts aren’t. Georgia Tech’s offense is known to make receivers disappear, as half a dozen receivers are usually involved on any given night. This guy has incredible upside, and with the injury issues that plague Andre Johnson, snagging Hill here is a must.
27. New England Patriots: Nick Perry (DE, USC)
Perry is a very talented football player that also tested off the charts at the combine. He had solid production at USC, and should be able to help the Patriots in third down packages next season. He is a little stiff in the hips and needs to add more moves to his arsenal, but has the potential to be a very solid defensive end in this league.
28. Green Bay Packers: Andre Branch (DE, Clemson)
Outside of Clay Mathews, the Packers struggled to generate any sort of pass rush last season. Branch is another late first round DE prospect that will most likely see action on third down during his rookie campaign. This is talented prospect that has somewhat flown under the radar thus far, but is a guy that could make an impact right away.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Peter Konz (C, Wisconsin)
Matt Birk is getting old and will need to be replaced in the near future. Konz is a prototypical Wisconsin technician that possesses outstanding feet and rarely gets beat on the inside. The Ravens had some issues with their offensive line last year, so taking Konz here is pretty much a lock.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Devon Still (DT, Penn St.)
Though it may not seem like it, the interior of the 49ers defensive line is aging fast. They boasted one of the most dominant defenses in the league last year, and they will only better with the addition of Still here. He is a guy that has great lower body strength and the ability to stuff the run on a consistent basis. Devon Still fits the 49ers defensive scheme perfectly.
31. New England Patriots: Janoris Jenkins (CB, North Alabama)
The Patriots have always been able to put up points, but their ability to prevent them has been a problem for the last several years. Jenkins is arguably the most talented corner in this draft and should be able to compete for a starting spot right away. Off the field issues have plagued his draft stock, but if anyone can get Jenkins on the right track, it’s Bill Belichick.
32. New York Giants: Coby Fleener (TE, Stanford)
The Giants had two of their tight ends go out with injuries late last year, so taking Fleener here is the most sensible option. Fleener does not block particularly well, but excels at stretching the field vertically. He has great hands and can take shots over the middle without a problem. Fleener would start day one, and could provide another big target for Manning next season.