Bengals News

Never In The Nati 2012 NFL Mock Draft – Pre-Agency Edition

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6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU. A month ago, Tampa Bay was the first confusing pick in the draft. Now, it looks pretty clear. The Bucs are rather unexpectedly losing both their starting cornerbacks; Aqib Talib is looking at jail time and Ronde Barber will probably throw in the towel. While Raheem Morris was rightfully quoted saying ‘the offensive had no explosion’ due to the realization that LaBount’s football IQ is the same number as his total completed passes on the year. While both a running back and a cornerback are needed, that explosive element alluded to can be grabbed in later rounds. Sure, Trent Richardson could be the next Adrian Peterson, but it’s still a gamble at number 6. Morris Claiborne is not. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tampa Bay doubles-down on corners and selects a second in the form of Stephen Gilmore or Alfonzo Denard in the next round also. Round three will be where the Bucs upgrade their backfield, not here.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor. Jacksonville is a hard team to mock, but Kendall Wright makes a lot of sense here for a few reasons. First, Gene Smith is sticking with Blaine Gabbert despite his tendency to wet himself in the face of a blitz. It’s largely assumed that this is because if Gabbert proves to be a failure, then Smith will find himself out of a job. Therefore a young stud wide receiver will be the most obvious way to get the sophomore QB more productive. Also, Wright has the character traits that Smith has been uncompromising on. Despite not having a break-out Combine performance, Wright has plenty of outstanding tape; certainly enough to warrant this pick without calling it a reach. However, reports that the Mustachioed Man, Shahid Khan, is taking a more active roll in personnel decisions than the previous owner, so Michael Floyd might pop here or even Justin Blackmon if he slips.
8. Miami Dolphins – Quinton Coples, DE, UNC. Newly hired Joe Philbin announced that he wants to move to a 4-3 from the 3-4. With the top two quarterbacks and top two offensive tackles off the board, Quinton Coples is a perfect complement across from Carmeron Wake. However, the real test of what Miami will do is going to be forecasted in how they attack their quarterback situation. The ‘Fins will have to more-or-less secure all other needs prior to going into the Draft, which will mean a big fish being landed in free agency. If they lose out on Matt Flynn or Kevin Kolb if Peyton Manning lands in Arizona, Stephen Ross might get crazy and draft Ryan Tannehill here.
9. Carolina Panthers – Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis. Carolina couldn’t stop the pass last year at all. Everything from pass rushing to the secondary was horrible. The Panthers will make out big if they just take the best defensive player available. Unfortunately, that’s not that clear at this juncture. Dre Kirkpatrick or Janoris Jenkins would be great additions at corner, but both have sorted histories with drugs, making them bit gamble this early in the Draft. On the line, defensive tackle is the biggest need. Michael Brockers was mocked as high as here at one point, but showing up fat and happy to the Combine will drop him out of the first round unless there is a team that thought Albert Haynesworth just didn’t have the proper motivation. Devon Still could work, but I think the Panthers will reach just a bit and get the Dancing Bear, Dontari Poe. After having a sick Combine showing, Poe will certainly see his stock rise, possibly all the way into the top ten. Easily suitable as a nose tackle, Carolina probably won’t change the way they do business, but Poe probably won’t mind learning a 4-3 either. Nonetheless, the Panthers may assess that none of these guys warrant the number nine pick, leaving them to trade down with a team hungry for Trent Richardson.
10. Buffalo Bills – Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina. This is admittedly a bit of a reach, but the Bills greatest need is upgrade at pass rusher. Last year no one on the squad recorded more than 5.5 sacks, which is pretty abysmal for a team that plays against Tom Brady twice a year. While Melvin Ingram is a bit small for the position, the Combine really showcased the explosive qualities that will make him a starting caliber player at the next level. Also, after reading the Buddy Nix tea leaves, the pick feels more and more like its’ preordained. Unlike Carolina, I would be surprised to see Buffalo trade this pick down with a team looking to jump up and grab Trent Richardson. The Bills fixate on players and tend to get tunnel vision to the point where they exclude prudence and options – see CJ Spiller and Ryan Fitzgerald.
11. Kansas City – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama. Kansas City fans are going to have a great Draft Day, no matter how you mock it. Here, the Chiefs have the choice between offensive tackle Jonathan Martin and running back Trent Richardson. Just missing the top ten, Richardson is going to Kansas City who cannot afford to let this gem slip by. The consensus number one player on the board at this point, Richardson may not fill the biggest need for KC, but he does fill a need. Jamaal Russell is only going to be as good as his recovery, and adding a running threat like Richardson is only going to open things up for Matt Castle. While the Chiefs primary need for an upgrade at offensive line goes unaddressed in the first round, the slight downside of a second round tackle is well worth the unlimited upside of this year’s premier running back.
12. Seattle Seahawks – Devon Sill, DT, Penn State. Now that all the hub-bub over Seattle making a major reach for Ryan Tannehill has died down, far more realistic thoughts about this draft pick can be had. Seattle has several areas to work on, to include the quarterback position, but overall the Seahawks aren’t that bad off. However, the only good thing that can come from having the NFC runner-up is in your division is that ’49ers’ Head Coach Jim Harbaugh is sticking with his quarterback, Alex Smith. Pete Carroll has got to love that upgrading his defensive line, which is debatably his biggest need outside of quarterback, can also serve a double-duty by pushing Smith out of the pocket and exploiting his inter-divisional nemesis’s biggest weakness.