Mocking 2012 NFL Draft Round 1

BY YI! SPORTS STAFF

Things should get interesting somewhere around the No. 3 pick in Thursday night's NFL draft.

You know the deal. This draft took place Tuesday. Let’s do the damn thang.

1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford – The NFL told teams not to announce their picks in advance, so that’s just what the Colts did. In other news, Luck has already been sued.

2. Washington Redskins – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor – The Skins gave up a ton to move up to the No. 2 spot to grab the eclectic Heisman winner. The only question that remains is what number (3?) Griffin will be wearing Week 1.

3. Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil, T, USC – Lots of talk of the Vikings trading this pick away once the right offer presents itself. If they don’t, we think they’ll play it safe and pick up some protection for Christian Ponder, opting to wait until Round 2 to bulk up the secondary.

4. Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama – Yi!’s resident Cleveland fan Brian Ruddock insists the Browns will trade down. They could swap with St. Louis and drop to No. 6. Regardless of who picks here, the best running back in the draft by a mile goes fourth overall.

5. Tampa Bay Bucs – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU – The Vikings could get fancy at No. 3 and take this SEC stud, but if they don’t, count on the Bucs making Claiborne the first draft selection under the rule of new coach Greg Schiano.

6. St. Louis Rams – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State – The Rams are sticking with Sam Bradford. It would be nice if he had someone to throw to this year.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina – If the consensus “top 6” are all off the board, the Jags will have plenty of options and could certainly trade down. Whether it’s them or someone else picking here, we’re feeling Ingram will be the selection.

8. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M – Owner Stephen Ross failed to make a splash with his head coaching hire or in free agency. The Fins reach a bit to grab a quarterback with potential, even if Tannehill is the Chris Bosh of this year’s Big 3 QBs.

9. Carolina Panthers – Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State – The Cats have a bunch of needs, but this is probably their biggest. The versatile defensive force would be a solid addition for Cam Newton and Co.

10. Buffalo Bills – Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa – The Bills could continue to bulk up their defense or even pair wide receiver Michael Floyd with Stevie Johnson. But improving their protection is key, even though Reiff might have to start on the right side of the offensive line.

11. Kansas City Chiefs – David DeCastro, G, Stanford – The Chiefs could go in a number of directions, and it will surely be tempting to consider pairing strong safety Mark Barron with Eric Berry. DeCastro is the option if they want to play it safe.

12. Seattle Seahawks – Luke Kuechly, ILB, BC – The Seahawks fill a need at linebacker, and at a great value.

13. Arizona Cardinals – Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford – Larry Fitzgerald would love another wide receiver to open up some space for him, but Kevin Kolb would really love to avoid another concussion. The Cards recognize this and take the best offensive lineman on the board.

14. Dallas Cowboys – Mark Barron, SS, Arkansas – The Cowboys secondary was shakier than Tony Romo playing Operation last year. Late reports suggested there was no way Barron will fall to Dallas at No. 14. I guess we will find out Thursday night.

15. Philadelphia Eagles – Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse – Given their success drafting players out of ‘Cuse in the past, the Eagles go all-in on trying to find the next Jason Pierre-Paul.

16. New York Jets – Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama – Not the most talented player left, but he fits the 3-4 well and can help on the defensive line. He can also help fill in for Bart Scott, who is older and angrier than Clint Eastwood.

17. Cincinnati Bengals – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama – Marijuana charges (since dropped)? Sign us up! The Bengals thank the Raiders for the extra pick and add a much needed piece to their secondary.

18. San Diego Chargers – Cordy Glenn, T, Georgia – The Chargers need to protect Phil Rivers so he can continue to yell at his teammates.

19. Chicago Bears – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame – The Bears are both elated that the Fighting Irish receiver falls to them and immediately pissed they traded for Brandon Marshall.

20. Tennessee Titans – Stephen Gilmore, CB, South Carolina – After losing Andre Johnson’s punching bag, Cortland Finnegan, to free agency, the Titans grab a replacement.

21. Cincinnati Bengals – Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina – Given the relative security of Kirkpatrick, Cincy takes a chance on the high-risk, high-reward on the pass rusher out of Chapel Hill.

22. Cleveland Browns – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor – Assuming the Browns don’t trade down and grab Blackmon, they take Wright to improve a wide receiver corps that wouldn’t have any starters on the Dillon Panthers.

23. Detroit Lions – Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois – The Lions continue their recent trend of bulking up their defense, and Whitney is utterly mercy-less as he joins Ndamukong Suh in stomping on offensive linemen for many Thanksgivings to come.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama – Is it ominous that the Steelers are choosing between two players whose names start with “Dont”? Hightower is chosen over the upside but question marks of Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe. The Steelers love them some linebackers, especially ones who get fined a lot.

25. Denver Broncos – Michael Brockers, DT, LSU – In choosing between Brockers and Poe, the Broncos opt for the one who played best when the lights were brightest.

26. Houston Texans – Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech – Though tempted to replace Mario Williams, the Texans remember they did alright without him last season. They opt for the speedy receiver who can open things up for Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and Arian Foster out of the backfield.

27. New England Patriots – Shea McClellin, DE, Boise State – It wouldn’t shock anyone to see the Patriots trade down, but we think they’re more likely to do that with the No. 31 pick. After Bill Belichick briefly flirts with Coby Fleener and  thoughts of a 3-TE offense, he remembers the Pats’ inability to rush the quarterback and chooses to address that instead.

28. Green Bay Packers – Nick Perry, DE, USC – The Packers hope to improve their pass rush so opposing quarterbacks won’t be able to do their own Aaron Rodgers impressions every Sunday.

29. Baltimore Ravens – Dontari Poe, DT, Memhpis – Nevermore! After years of having the franchise’s literary ties distorted by Michael Oher and Michael Lewis, the Ravens restore some order, grabbing this Poe so their fans don’t have to deal with that other one.

30. San Francisco 49ers – Rueben Randle, WR, LSU – With a stout defense, the Niners grab Randle to help the passing game. After all, Randy Moss is still a huge question mark and Michael Crabtree is in hiding from Gregg Williams.

31. New England Patriots – Harrison Smith, FS, Notre Dame – The Pats originally planned on trading down, but when Smith falls to them, they decide to stay put and grab him. Anything that might help avoid using Julian Edelman in the secondary again this year.

32. New York Giants – Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford – Jerry Reese almost always grabs the best available, and Fleener may not be here. An offensive line upgrade would be nice, but with Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum rehabbing knee injuries and Martellius Bennett still an unproven starter, the Giants grab the athletic tight end.

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Author: R. Byrnes

Ryan is the founder and editor-in-chief of Yi! News.

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