Here is my way too early 2012 mock draft. I have given almost no thought to the order outside of the top-10, and as you will see I only have one different playoff team. Nobody can predict the NFL season, and I doubt that there were many that said that Carolina would be picking first overall in 2011. It is just is too tough to know.


1) Oakland Raiders: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
(No first round pick in 2011)

I do have the Raiders picking first overall because they have an iffy offensive line, iffy quarterback corps, and they are losing a ton of people to free agency. The three other teams in the division have also gotten better this off season, while the Raiders have taken a few major steps back, so don't be shocked to see the team bottom out. I hate having the "shoe in QB" at the beginning of the year, but Andrew Luck really is the only pure elite QB right now.... Or is he?

2) Buffalo Bills: Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State
(Drafted Marcell Dareus in 2011)

Ok, so it is kind of a reach, but if Andy Dalton can be a 'steal' at 35, then Kellen Moore can go here. Kellen Moore has a career record of 38-2 as a starter, and is only eight wins away from beating Colt McCoy's record for most wins in a career, and it is plausible that he could actually hit the 50-win mark. Statistically Moore is out of this world. In his three years as a starter he has a 68% completion rate, 8.9 YPA, and 99 touchdowns to only 19 interceptions.

Kellen Moore has some experience under center, he actually has a pretty good arm (a guarantee from with 40 yards, and can put it 60 yards out if you saw the end of the Nevada game). He is actually very good at getting away from defenders, and he is able to pinpoint on the run. Some will say that he faces crappy teams every week, but with wins against TCU, Oregon (twice), Virginia Tech, Nevada (twice), and a few other good teams, it is dumb to say that he has beat nobody. He also will get his shot this year when he opens (essentially) at Georgia.

The only knock you can find on him is that he is only 6'0 and 190 pounds. He will have to bulk up some, and he will be a liability in height, but I'm pretty sure all of his intangibles could outweigh the tangibles for a team if they look at him as the next Drew Brees.

3) Arizona Cardinals: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
(Selected Patrick Peterson in 2011)

I guess the Kolb/Bulger plan didn't work. Even if they get the vet they want, the offensive line might be the worst in football, and the team needs to address.

4) Seattle Seahawks:  Matt Barkley, QB, USC
(Selected James Carpenter in 2011)

I unfortunately believe that the seahawks are in for a bad 2011 season. The team reached to fix their OL on day one and two in the 2011 draft, but I would be willing to bet that the poor efforts on the team were more because Charlie Whitehurst, Mike Williams, Marshawn Lynch, etc. just aren't any good. The team has to find a new QB and start building around him, and it only makes sense to make it a cliche pick like Matt Barkley.

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5) Denver Broncos: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
(Selected Von Miller in 2011)

I think that the team might sit and groom Tebow in anticipation of actually competing in 2012, and I would love to see what Tebow could do with Alshon Jeffery. To say it simply, when I make my player ranking and big board soon Alshon Jeffery will be at the top. I am not buying into the top-10 South Carolina hype, but from what I have seen of Jeffery I think he could honestly be the best receiver in the NFL.

He doesn't have amazing speed, but at 6'4, 230 pounds he is pretty fast. You have to remember that Larry Fitzgerald is technically a slower receiver in the league if you look at 40-times, but there is just something about Jeffery. He catches a lot of passes on an average team against top notch competition. He uses a freakish wingspan to box out defenders, and he catches the ball at the perfect point. He does have a few flaws, but they are all fixable, and I would love to have a guy like Jeffery.

6) Washington Redskins: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
(Selected Ryan Kerrigan in 2011)


It feels a little silly mocking four QB's this early in the 2012 draft, but there were so many teams that needed a QB in the 2011 draft that skipped the need completely.

7) Miami Dolphins: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

The team might just be the type to bring in a veteran to win now, but they really will have to look at a complete stud rusher like Richardson.

8) San Francisco 49ers: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
(Selected Aldon Smith in 2011)

I really wasn't surprised that Prince Amukamara fell in the 2011 draft. There were a lot of reports that the team would match the team's best receivers up with Dennard in practice because he was the better corner.

9) Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
(selected Phil Taylor in 2011)

I think Alshon Jeffrey has the most potential in the draft, but I also think that Blackmon is one of the most unstoppable receivers I've seen in a while.

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10) Tennessee Titans: Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
(Selected Jake Locker in 2011)

It is weird how much NFL talent is comping from UNC recently. I can't wait to see how they transition to the NFL after such high draft picks.

11) Cincinnati Bengals:Kelechi Osemele, OT, Iowa State
(Selected AJ Green in 2011)

Andrew Whitlock is better suited at RT and while he didn't allow a lot of sacks on the blind side he did give up seven penalties. He also was arguably the worst NFL tackle in 2009 so there is no guarantee that he will be great in 2011. The team might really fall in love with a monster like Kelechi Osemele here who is a 335 pound (although wears it well) beast.

12) Dallas Cowboys: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
(Selected Tyron Smith in 2011)

I am still mildly shocked that the Cowboys drafted Tyron Smith with their first pick, but I definitely love the move. The team still could use some help at corner though and a guy like Kirkpatrick could shine in 2011.

13) Minnesota Vikings: Jonathon Martin, OT, Stanford
(Selected Christian Ponder in 2011)

I really think the team's best offensive need is on the OL. If the team selects an upgrade at LT. This would move McKinnie over and Loadholt in which upgrades three different positions.

14) Detroit Lions: Vontaze Burflict, MLB, Arizona State
(Selected Nick Fairley in 2011)

The Lions pure BPA draft strategy is one I just don't personally understand, but adding impact players is sometimes hard to complain about.

15) Jacksonville Jaguars: Travis Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma
(Selected Blaine Gabbert in 2011)

I am a little higher on Travis Lewis than most, but I really think Lewis could be one of the top-5 best overall prospects in the draft. He is a versatile linebacker that will fit in the 4-3, and in the 3-4, but Gene Smith will love his four years as a starter.

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16) Carolina Panthers: Donte Paige-Moss, DE, UNC
(Selected Cam Newton in 2011)

The team needs to find their Julius Peppers replacement, and a guy like Donte Paige-Moss could be a decent option.

17) San Diego Chargers: Courtney Upshaw, DE/LB, Alabama

If the Chargers miss the playoffs they will absolutely need to look for new pass rushers with this pick.
 
18) New York Giants: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
(Selected Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska)

This is another team the likes to draft the best player available at a relative need. Luckily for them Reiff might be the BPA and fill the biggest need.

19) Houston Texans: Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M
(Selected JJ Watt in 2011)

If the Texans defense works out well transitioning to the 3-4 defense, and if that happens then the team will have to look for problems elsewhere. The team needs to find a receiver across from Andre to relieve some of the pressure for the offense. If you look at teams that two Super Bowl teams from last year (Packers, Steelers) you would see that they are both insanely deep at receiver. The Texans are not.

20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
(Selected Adrian Clayborn in 2011)


The team likes to go defense early, and I am actually shocked that they didn't go CB in the 2011 draft much. Ronde Barber turns 89 this offseason, and Aqib Talib doesn't look to be back in 2011, so it is a huge need.

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21) Kansas City Chiefs: Manti Te'o, MLB, Notre Dame
(Selected Jonathon Baldwin in 2011)

There were a few offensive tackles that I think could go here, but the defense might also benefit from a luxury like Manti Te'o.

22) St. Louis Rams: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
(Selected Robert Quinn in 2011)

The team looked at defensive tackle in the 2011 draft but never got one. If a guy like Worthy falls here then it will be hard for them to pass.

23) Indianapolis Colts: Michael Brewster, OC, Ohio State
(Selected Anthony Castonzo in 2011)

Jeff Saturday turns 36 this June and back up Jacques McClendon is better fit to play guard.

24) New England Patriots (From New Orleans): Andre Branch, DE/LB, Clemson
(Selected Nate Solder in 2011)

This is the first of the team's 1st round picks. The team skipped pass rushers in 2011 and they really need to find one here.
 
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25) Chicago Bears: Cliff Harris, CB, Oregon
(Selected Gabe Carimi in 2011)

The Bears need receivers badly, but have ignored the position for two straight drafts. I don't expect that to change here, but Cliff Harris is an intriguing corner from Oregon.

26) New York Jets: Devin Taylor, DE/LB, South Carolina
(Selected Muhammad Wilkerson in 2011)

The Jets have had a slight need at rush linebacker for the last few years and addressing it here could be a good move for the team.

27) Philadelphia Eagles: Marcus Forston, DT, Miami
(Selected Danny Watkins in 2011)

Andy Reid has no problem drafting linemen and the team could actually use another force inside.

28) New England Patriots: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
(Drafted Nate Solder in 2011, Andre Branch earlier)

I really don't understand why so many people think the Patriots are ok at receiver. Edelman, Price and Slater are special teamers and backups at best. Brandon Tate hasn't shown his full potential, Deion Branch is old and inconsistent and Wes Welker is a stud. The team needs a guy that can stretch the field effectively and they just don't have one.
 

29) Cleveland (from Atlanta): LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
(Selected Phil Taylor in 2011, Justin Blackmon earlier)
 

LaMichael James is the perfect change of pace back for Peyton Hillis, and just imagine what the offense could do if you plugged a guy like him into the mix.

30) Pittsburgh Steelers: Shaun Prater, CB/S, Iowa
(Selected Cameron Heyward in 2011)

Sure the Steelers just drafted two corners in the 2011 draft, but the team like having an extra weapon in the backfield given who is available. Prater is also capable of playing safety too.

31) Green Bay Packers: Jared Crick, DE/DT, Nebraska

(Selected Derek Sherrod in 2011)

Defensive end isn't the biggest need in the draft, but if the Packers can make the Super Bowl again then they won't have too many guys to choose from with this pick, and it could provide some needed depth.

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32) Baltimore Ravens: Janzen Jackson, FS, Clemson
(Selected Jimmy Smith in 2011)

If I had to pick one team for the 2012 season that I think could reach the Super Bowl because of their draft efforts it is the Baltimore Ravens. Jimmy Smith should improve the team right away, The team also added some capable receivers, and other great depth, and they have what it takes to win.

Just a few others to keep your eyes and ears on are:

Knile Davis, RB Arkansas
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
Bobby Massey, OT Ole Miss
Nate Potter, OL, Boise State
Matt Reynolds, OT, BYU
Zach Brown, OLB, UNC
Baker Steinhuler, DT, Nebraska
Janoris Jenkins, CB, Miami
Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Mike Daniels, DT, Iowa
Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas