|Can they co-exist? Or is Peyton going to take his talents to South Beach?|
The NFL regular season is over, thankfully for the 10 teams we will be looking at today. These 10 teams stunk this NFL season, oh sure there were bright spots from some of their youth, but they all need a lot of help. Where do NFL teams look for help more than any other place? The NFL draft of course. So even though none of the college players have gone through the combine or even finished some of their bowl seasons, I'll be making my picks for the top 10. I know it's early, and I know that this will probably look little like my final mock draft come April, but I don't care. It is fun to talk NFL draft so without the full amount of information needed let's make some underprepared top 10 picks.
1. Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck QB, Stanford
There will be new blood at coach, general manager and after the draft there will be new blood at quarterback as well. Andrew Luck cannot be passed up even if you have Peyton Manning coming back next year. There will be a ton of money invested in the two QB's if the Colts keep Manning around, but it could be worth it as Manning may never be fully back to his old self and for the Colts to not have another amazingly horrible year like 2011/12 they will need a good backup plan. Luck will be that plan.
2. St. Louis Rams - Justin Blackmon WR, OK State
What helps a young QB more than anything? Probably a good offensive line, so you'd maybe think Matt Kalil should be the pick and he very well could be, especially with the very fragile Bradford being the QB for the Rams. But if you ask Andy Dalton, he may say a physically dominating WR, like his AJ Green in Cincinnati. With that in mind the Rams will go with Justin Blackmon, coming off a great bowl performance against Stanford, and give Bradford a nice 1-2 punch at WR to throw to in Brandon Lloyd and the rookie Blackmon.
3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil OL, USC
The Vikings luck out that Andrew Luck is in this draft and that the Rams need a WR more than a lineman. They get an amazing talent that could be a 10 year starter at LT for them in Matt Kalil with the 3rd pick. The Vikings may shop this pick around though, especially if Robert Griffin III impresses in combines and has teams vying for position to try to snag him. The Vikings need a lot of help all over the field so getting a bunch of assets in a trade instead of just one major asset like Kalil at #3 may make a lot of sense.
4. Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson RB, Alabama
Colt McCoy may never be a superstar, but using the #4 pick on Robert Griffin III doesn't seem like a great choice here for a team that could use other things in rebuilding with McCoy being young and looking serviceable. They go with Richardson, cut ties with Hillis and hope McCoy makes a jump with a full off season with the coaching staff, something he did not have last year with the lockout after a promising rookie campaign.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Morris Claiborne CB, LSU
Blaine Gabbert looked lost at times at QB, but he will get another shot at it next year for the Jags. Claiborne is a great talent, and will be a game changer for the Jags in the secondary. The Jaguars also need a lot more than just one player, and if Robert Griffin III is falling like I am predicting here, the trade chitter chatter will be heating up and the Jags maybe able to complete a deal to get them more assets with a team like Washington.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dre Kirkpatrick CB, Alabama
A new coach will be in town and Tampa will add depth behind the very old Ronde Barber by acquiring the other SEC CB in Dre Kirkpatrick from Bama. Tampa hopes Jacksonville can pull a deal for RG-III and Claiborne can drop to them, but will be happy to take Kirkpatrick if the Jags snag Claiborne first.
7. Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III QB, Baylor
Grossman...Beck....Grossman...no..no...Beck. STOP! Robert Griffin III steps in and is the QB of the future for the Redskins and lets the always indecisive Shanahan go back to driving fantasy owners crazy by switching running backs every game. Griffin brings the Heisman and a lot of excitement with him and could get the Skins back into contention if he can perform like some of the rookie QB's did this year for the likes of Cincinnati and Carolina.
8. Miami Dolphins - Riley Reiff OL, Iowa
Draft another stud lineman and then go trade for Peyton Manning and bring the thrill back to Miami. That is my game plan for Miami. Keep up with the trend set by the other pro franchises in the city and bring in the big stars and make a splash.
9. Carolina Panthers - Quinton Coples DT, UNC
Offensively the Panthers have a ton of weapons as it seems the Cam Newton risk has become a huge reward. Taking the pre-combine best defensive tackle in Coples will help anchor their suspect defense. Panthers need to get their defense solidified and then could be a serious playoff contender next year, Coples is a start.
10. Buffalo Bills - Melvin Ingram OLB, South Carolina
One of the worst defenses in the league needs to keep getting players to stop the bleeding. After getting the DT position filled last draft with Marcell Dareus the Bills will now look at the LB position and go after Melvin Ingram. The Bills have a great offense, but not great enough to overcome their defense. Ingram isn't the full answer but should help.
There you have it, the top 10 picks for the 2012 NFL Draft. STOB will be doing a lot more NFL Mock Drafts before the Draft happens in April so be sure to check us out early and often.
Ben's New Year's Resolution of posting everyday in 2012: 3-3 (already probably ahead of 85% of other resolutions made this year by people across the world)