What a week, Peyton Manning signs with the Denver Broncos, Tim Tebow traded to the New York Jets and the New Orleans Saints suffered the worst set of penalties in NFL history for bounty-gate. In the Mock Draft world, this week also made an impact. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was all quiet. With the Steelers focusing on the draft, so will we at Steelers 101. Over this weekend, we will update the first round (post Manning) and complete second and third rounds tomorrow and Sunday. Feel free to interact with Steelers101 on the picks by commenting on the post, on our facebook fan page or on twitter @Steelers_101.
1. Indianapolis Colts – QB Andrew Luck – Stanford
Luck is the top prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft and a pro-ready quarterback. With the Colts clearly in rebuilding mode, there is no doubt that they will be selecting what they hope is their next franchise quarterback.
2. Washington Redskins – QB Robert Griffin III – Baylor
Though he has primarily been used in a spread offense quarterback, Griffin has a tremendous skill-set and has flashed the ability to be successful in any offense. He is a tremendous athlete and should be a good fit in Washington’s West Coast attack. If there is a downside, it is his overall size causing durability concerns.
3. Minnesota Vikings – CB Morris Claiborne – LSU
The Vikings need a lot and finding a shutdown cornerback can go a long way in helping them defend some of the explosive offenses in the division. Claiborne has the ability to man their secondary for years to come.
4. Cleveland Browns – WR Justin Blackmon – Oklahoma State
The Browns need weapons for whoever is taking snaps on offense. Blackmon has the combination of size, speed and hands to be a starter on day one.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – RB Trent Richardson – Alabama
Richardson makes a lot of sense. He is a solid performer and has a versatile skill-set featuring a combination of vision, power and speed. (There is also a strong possibility of a trade at this point).
6. St. Louis Rams – LT Matt Kalil – USC
Kalil is a versatile lineman who can play anywhere along the offensive line. The Rams will look for him to step in and become a bookend left tackle for years to come.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – DE Quinton Coples – North Carolina
The Jaguars need a pass rusher. While not as talented as former North Carolina DE Julius Peppers, Coples fits the bill and will be a solid addition to their defensive line for years to come.
8. Miami Dolphins WR Michael Floyd – Notre Dame
The Dolphins need a wide out. Floyd is a big, physical wide receiver with a knack for scoring in the Red Zone, something that could help their offense immediately.
9. Carolina Panthers – DT Fletcher Cox – Mississippi State
Cox is a big and physical run stuffer, who could come in and immediately pay dividends for the Panthers. After a strong combine, he is rising up some draft boards at the ever-fluid defense tackle position.
10. Buffalo Bills – LB Luke Kuechly – Boston College
The Bills add a solid Inside Linebacker. He has tremendous athletic ability and is the most complete prospect at a position that is not very deep this year.
11. Kansas City Chiefs – NT Dontari Poe – Memphis
Poe is a versatile defensive lineman, who is steadily climbing draft boards after a tremendous NFL Combine. At 6-5, 345 pounds, Poe has a rare combination of size, speed and strength to anchor any spot on the defensive line.
12. Seattle Seahawks – DE Nick Perry – USC
The Seahawks roll the dice on the talented pass rusher from USC to anchor their defense for years to come.
13. Arizona Cardinals – T Riley Reiff – Iowa
Reiff can step in at right tackle and help solidify the offensive line, something that they have been missing over the past few seasons. Also this pick could be moved it the price is right, with the Cardinals not having a second round selection after trading for QB Kevin Kolb last offseason.
14. Dallas Cowboys – CB Dre Kirkpatrick – Alabama
Kirkpatrick is a talented cornerback with winning pedigree. Once considered a top-five pick, he finally finds a home with the Cowboys.
15. Philadelphia Eagles – DT Devon Still – Penn State
After trading for a solid Middle Linebacker, Andy Reid continues to focus on the defense. Still is a big and tough Defensive Tackle that could give the Eagles defense some needed depth.
16. New York Jets – LB Courtney Upshaw – Alabama
The Jets need an upgrade to their pass rush and the 6-2, 265 pound Upshaw has the talent to fill that void. Also this pick could be moved it the price is right, with the Jets not having a fourth round selection after trading for QB Tim Tebow.
17. Cincinnati Bengals (From Oakland) – OG David DeCastro – Stanford
DeCastro is widely considered the safest pick in this years draft and is the most complete offensive line prospect available. The three-year starter has the ability to fit into any system and should help solidify the young Bengals offense for the next decade.
18. San Diego Chargers – OLB Melvin Ingram – South Carolina
Ingram is a versatile hybrid defensive end / outside linebacker, who has a solid combination of size, speed and power. He should be an upgrade on the outside and give the Chargers some added pass rush abilities to combat a pass happy division.
19. Chicago Bears – OT Jonathan Martin – Stanford
Martin could be the Left Tackle that the Bears have been searching for. At 6-6, 305 pounds, Martin has the athleticism to succeed in any scheme. When you combine hime with 2011 first rounder OT Gabe Carimi, QB Jay Cutler should have a smile on his face for the next few seasons.
20. Tennessee Titans – OG Cordy Glenn – Georgia
Glenn has been rising up draft boards after a tremendous combine performance where he demonstrated outstanding athletic ability. Last season, the Titans struggled to run the ball and Glenn could step into an already talented offensive line and make it even better.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – DE Michael Brockers – LSU
The Bengals need a boost along their defensive line and Brockers has the ability to provide it. Yes, he struggled at the combine (dropping out of the projected Top 10), but he was productive on tape and the Bengals often due some unexpected things.
22. Cleveland Browns (From Atlanta) – QB Ryan Tannehill – Texas A&M
The Browns decide to wait and it pays off. Although raw and rather inexperienced as a quarterback, Tannehill is athletic, big and physical, with a solid skill-set and could develop into a long-term starter.
23. Detroit Lions – CB Janoris Jenkins – Northern Alabama
The Lions needs secondary help and the talented Jenkins will help. Jenkins fits the bill as a potential shutdown field cornerback. Yes, there are some Red Flags, but when did that ever deter the Lions.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – TE Coby Fleener – Stanford
While many mock drafts have the Steelers going defense, one look at their roster as it stands for 2012 shows exactly why they need to go offense. While Fleener may not be an imeadiate need, he is the best offensive talent available at this pick featuring rare size and speed for the position. It is a copycat league, and Fleener could team with Heath Miller to become the Steelers version of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. This is also a prime spot for a trade, as the Steelers may decide to grab an extra selection and position themselves closer to the value of their needs.
25. Denver Broncos – C Peter Konz – Wisconsin
The Broncos landed the biggest fish in free agency, by inking QB Peyton Manning. Now they need to build the offense around him. Konz is the best center in the draft and has the ability to be an upgrade from day one.
26. Houston Texans – WR Kendall Wright – Baylor
The Texans need help at wide receiver. In Wright, they get a player that is often compared to Carolina Panthers wide out Steve Smith for his ability to make a big play.
27. New England Patriots (From New Orleans) – S Mark Barron – Alabama
The Patriots need help at safety. Barron is the top rated Safety in a weak class and should be snatched up at this point. As fans know, a trade is a possibility any time that the Patriots are on the clock and there is a decent chance they deal one of their two first round picks this season as well.
28. Green Bay Packers – CB Stephon Gilmore – South Carolina
The Packers defense has some age need to add some depth. Gilmore, is a big 6-1, 193 pound cornerback with the ability to succeed in multiple schemes and a tremendous value.
29. Baltimore Ravens – LB Dont'a Hightower – Alabama
The Ravens are in a position to build depth and slowly start preparing for the future. Hightower is big and physical and fits like a glove, having gained experience in Nick Saban's pro-style 3-4 alignment.
30. San Francisco 49ers – OG Kevin Zeitler – Wisconsin
The 49ers are a solid team and are building through the draft. While they may prefer a cornerback or wide receiver here, there is no value. Instead, they continue to build their offensive line with Zeitler. A versatile lineman, he is quietly rising up draft boards after an impressive pro Day.
31. New England Patriots – DT Kendall Reyes – Connecticut
Reyes can play both end and tackle for the Patriots, allowing them to continue to be a hybrid front. If there has not been a trade yet, a trade is a real possibility here.
32. New York Giants – OT Mike Adams – Ohio State
The Giants could go many ways, but in the end, the Giants grab an offensive tackle to help them continue to build along the front line. Adams has prototypical size for a offensive tackle and is finally starting to tap into his potential.
Please check back tomorrow for the second round of our 2012 Mock Draft. Over the next few weeks leading up to the draft, we will be completing all seven rounds and would appreciate all feedback.
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