2012 NFL Mock Draft-Free Agency and Trades Impact-March 16

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Lots has happened in the past week to change our Mock Draft. With the beginning of NFL Free Agency and some major trades going down, team needs have shifted as rosters continue to take shape and new holes develop when players leave. We also had a huge trade with the 2nd overall pick when the Redskins made their typical splash moving up to potentially grab RG3. I think he’ll be good, and for what Washington paid, he better be. The Rams should be able to rebuild with their bounty of draft picks. With Jeff Fisher bringing stability and leadership as head coach, I like their direction for the future even more than Washington who should get one of the best QB prospects in the country.

The Reskins pursuit of Baylor Bears quarterback Robert Griffin III (speaking here at a press conference during the NFL Combine) caused them to trade up to #2. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Depending on their opportunities and potential, rookies can have a huge impact both on their NFL teams and on fantasy leagues. It used to be smart to avoid rookie starters but Cam Newton, AJ Green, Julio Jones, and Andy Dalton have gone a long way to changing that perception. Consider your fantasy football team as well as your real team as you watch the prospects and mock drafts leading up to draft day.

Each FantasyCPR mock draft is featured in the mock draft databases at WalterFootball.comDC Pro Sports Report,  Sports Jabberhailredskins.com and fftoolbox.com. Each site keeps track of a huge number mock drafts all over the web, so if you’re a draft junkie they’re great places to get your fix of info… Clicking the link for the team will take you to the site on the Fansided network dedicated to that particular team and to get daily draft-dedicated coverage visit Fansided brethren nflmocks.com and withthefirstpick.com

Feb 26, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck stretches during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

1. Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck-QB-Stanford
Fantasy Impact: While the Peyton Manning saga continues, he’s no longer a Colt which opens up his QB spot for Andrew Luck to start from day 1 in the NFL. The Colts retained Reggie Wayne which will definitely help Luck’s numbers in year 1. I won’t end up with him in many drafts since it only takes one crazy owner to take him too early following Cam Newton’s big year for him to go off the board too early. I’ll wait until QB2 range not because I doubt his talent, but his team won’t be great and the risk is high. In keeper leagues, obviously his value is higher. He could be a top 10 QB next year, but I won’t be the guy to take him in that range this year.

2. Washington Redskins
Robert Griffin III-QB-Baylor
Analysis: The Redskins have made the big move of the draft trading a collection of 1st and 2nd round picks to move from 6 to 2 in order to take RG3. They’ve also invested heavily in the free agent market (as is their MO) bringing in Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan to give Griffin targets to throw too. If Griffin is starter from week 1 (as most are assuming, but I’m not sure is a given),  he’ll be a popular fantasy pick as “Cam Newton-part 2.” He’ll still be a rookie QB so to me there’s quite a bit or risk so I  won’t be drafting him as a QB1, but someone in most leagues probably will. I’d take him as a mid-low QB2 depending on whether Shanahan starts him early or makes him wait.

3. Minnesota Vikings
Matt Kalil-OT-USC
Analysis: Kalil shapes up to be an anchor for the Vikings line for years to come. Although it’s not a flashy skill-position pick, it’s the ideal scenario for Minnesota to pick up a piece they need to protect Christian Ponder going forward.

Jan 9, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back Trent Richardson (3) carries the ball against the LSU Tigers during the BCS National Championship game at the Louisiana Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE

4. Cleveland Browns
Trent Richardson-RB-Alabama
Fantasy Impact: If the Browns can trade back, they will. They are definitely a team that values draft picks and will gladly collect a few if some team is enamored with Justin Blackmon or one of the other players available at this spot. If they do keep it, they could use in on a Peyton Hillis replacement/upgrade. Hillis headed to KC in free agency, but Richardson is expected to be a versatile true number-1 back in the NFL and the Browns would love to be a run-the-ball, play defense kind of team. Ryan Tannehill may end up being the pick here, but his talent is so undeveloped at the QB position that I think he’s too much of a risk to take him at #4.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Morris Claiborne-CB-LSU
Analysis: The Bucs were the early free agent winners landing Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks, and Eric Wright. Wright and Claiborne would solve the CB issues and start the Schiano defensive era out solid.

6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins)
Justin Blackmon WR-Oklahoma State
Fantasy Impact: Blackmon will fit wherever he lands, but the Rams will get the dynamic wide-out to take the #1 WR place from Brandon Lloyd who will most likely land in New England or San Fra. There’s some draft guys saying that at 6-1 Blackmon may be “under-sized” but when you watch game tape he plays much much better. The Rams would be huge winners in this scenario picking up a slew of picks and still getting one of the guys they could’ve grabbed with the 2. Dynamic wide-outs with speed and ability to make people miss and pick up big YAC are hard to come by and Blackmon will make Bradford successful and vice versa for years to come.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars
Quinton Coples-DE-North Carolina  
Analysis: The Jags need a pass rush. They added Laurent Robinson (by overpaying) on the offense, but still need to adress the rush. Coples and Melvin Ingram are the 2 choices here, but Coples athleticism and size gets him the nod even though Ingram had a better combine and may be the “safer” choice

Nov 12, 2011; Iowa City, IA, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes left tackle Riley Reiff (77) during the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Kinnick Stadium. Michigan State defeated Iowa 37-21. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

8. Miami Dolphins
Riley Reiff-OT-Iowa
Analysis: The Dolphins made the curious trade of Brandon Marshall and now may need to use this pick on a wide out. Protecting Matt Flynn, or whoever they have at QB, still has to be the priority and Reiff is a great OT for pass protection and will be a big help in the running game as well clearing holes for Reggie Bush who has proven he can be the feature-back.

9. Carolina Panthers
Dontari Poe-DT-Memphis
Analysis: Poe is an immediate fix for the middle of the Panthers D line that was ravaged last year. This would set up a nice rotation with Sione Fua and Terrell McClain who were the Cats DT picks last year.

10. Buffalo Bills
Jonathan Martin-OT-Stanford
Analysis: Buffalo took a huge step towards fixing the pass rush by inking Mario Williams. I still think they may go Ingram here but they need help on the O-line as well and Martin’s the best available OT on the board.

11. Kansas City Chiefs
Luke Kuechly-LB-Boston College
Analysis: Kuechly was another huge winner at the combine. Coach Romeo Crennel builds his defenses around his LBs (see Bruschi, Teddy) and may not be able to pass up an elite defensive piece like this as he begins his tenure in KC. They need help on the O-line as well, but Kuechly is too good to pass up here.

12. Seattle Seahawks
 Ryan Tannehill-QB-Texas A&M
Fantasy Impact: Tannehill’s a raw talent, but in a couple years he should be the starter in Seattle if that’s where he heads.

November 26, 2011; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Melvin Ingram (6) and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) sack Clemson Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd (10) in the fourth quarter of the game at the Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks beat the Tigers 34-13. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

13. Arizona Cardinals
Melvin Ingram-DE/OLB-South Carolina
Analysis: ‘Zona needs help on the O-line, but in this scenerio all the top tackles are gone.

14. Dallas Cowboys
Mark Barron-S-Alabama
Analysis: Dallas filled a huge need signing Brandon Carr and now can use this pick on the top S in the draft.

15. Philadelphia Eagles
Michael Brockers-DT-LSU 
Analysis: As adverse to taking LB’s as he is, Coach Andy Reid loves stockpiling D-line talent and Brockers has incredible upside for a mid-round pick. He’s raw, but the Eagles will try and develop him into a pro-bowl talent in the middle of the D-line.

16. New York Jets
Courtney Upshaw-LB/DE-Alabama
Fantasy Impact: Upshaw’s a leader and a great pass-rusher. Rex Ryan loves his D and will most likely continue to stockpile talent on the defensive side of the ball.

Mar 7, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick (21) during pro day at the indoor practice facility at the University of Alabama. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland)
Dre Kirkpatrick

18. San Diego Chargers
Whitney Mercilus-DE-Illinois
Analysis: Mercilus has a small sample size, but could provide the pass-rush the Chargers D has been without since the Shawn Merriman era.

19. Chicago Bears
Cordy Glenn-OT/OG-Georgia
Analysis: After adding the WR they need through the Brandon Marshall trade, the Bears can turn their attention to their O-line need. Glenn offers nice flexibility and is a solid, safe pick.

20. Tennessee Titans
Janoris Jenkins-CB-Alabama State:
Analysis: Cortland Finnegan left to join Jeff Fisher in St. Loo; Jenkins fills the void.

21. Cincinnati Bengals
David DeCastro

Feb 26, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Michael Floyd participates in a catch and run drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta)
Michael Floyd-WR-Notre Dame
Fantasy Impact: The Browns can go Richardson early and grab whatever WR is still on the board with this pick. In this scenario, Floyd’s out there so he’s got to be the pick. Floyd would be a very nice receiver to complement Greg Little and develop into a red-zone target for whoever their QB is going forward. Floyd is the complete package and a great value at #22.

23. Detroit Lions
Nick Perry-OLB/DE-USC 
Analysis: A very nice value at this point in the draft that would further upgrade the D in Detroit.Getting a rush opposite of Cliff Avril.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Mike Adams-OG/OT
Analysis: Adams versatility, leadership, and footwork make him a nice fix for the O-Line protecting Big Ben. The Steelers have drafted plenty of Buckeyes, and I think he’s a great pick at this point.

NOV 25, 2011; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes running back Lamar Miller (6) runs for a touchdown against the Boston College Eagles in the first quarter at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE

25. Denver Broncos
Lamar Miller-RB-Miami
Fantasy Impact: If the Broncos can add Miller, he would become a huge part of the rotation in the run-heavy Denver offense. With McGahee and Moreno injury-prone, backfield depth is a must in their offense and Miller’s speed will give Denver another good option. Fantasy-wise his value would all depend on the number of carries he gets.

26. Houston Texans
Stephen Hill-WR-Georgia Tech
Fantasy Impact: If the draft falls out this way, it would be a no-brainer pick for the Texans to go receiver at this point. Hill had a huge combine, and looks to be the best fit for the Texans across from Andre Johnson. His college numbers are skewed due to the rush-based Yellow Jackets offense but as a rookie WR he’d definite have value if Matt Schaub can return healthy.

27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans)
Fletcher Cox-DT-Mississippi State
Fantasy Impact: Cox would reinforce the middle of the Pats line and could go much higher than this pick. He’d be a steal this late and would form a beastly tandem with Vince Wilfork.

28. Green Bay Packers
Devon Still-DT-Penn State
Analysis: Great value at this point and would help fortify the Pack’s D if they can help him get more motivated and play more consistently.

29. Baltimore Ravens
Peter Konz

30. San Francisco 49ers
Alshon Jeffery-WR-South Carolina
Fantasy Impact: Jeffery is a steal this late. He was expected to be the best receiver in the class before a tough 2012 where he was limited/derailed by QB issues. He and Crabtree could make the San Fran passing game way more dangerous as they complement Vernon Davis. Jeffery (or another young WR) could help Alex Smith be a solid QB2 again this coming year.

31. New England Patriots
Andre Branch

32. New York Giants
David Wilson-RB-Virginia Tech
Fantasy Impact: Many have the Giants going TE, and they could or they could wait and address that position at the end of round 2. If they can get Wilson or Miller, they could team replace Brandon Jacobs and get younger in their backfield. Wilson’s value could be huge in NYC’s offense if he can earn himself the carries.

Continue to Round 2


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