Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III Remain on Top, Patriots’ 2012 Picks Shuffle Again in Mock Draft 8.0

Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III Remain on Top, Patriots' 2012 Picks Shuffle Again in Mock Draft 8.0There were some major changes in last week's mock draft, but the top-half of this edition stayed intact for the most part. However, things got a little more chaotic in the latter half, and as a result, the Patriots got two different picks yet again.

The first two picks have been set in stone for weeks, and the biggest drama now comes with the third selection, which the Vikings would be wise to try to shop. Yet, it wouldn't be a bad consolation if they managed to land a franchise-caliber left tackle. That type of drama should be in play all the way up to draft night.

For now, let's roll out Mock Draft VIII.

1. Indianapolis Colts

2011 Record: 2-14

Positional Needs: Quarterback, cornerback, guard, center, defensive tackle, wide receiver, outside linebacker, safety

The Pick: Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck

Analysis: Luck might generate more revenue for the Colts than if owner Jim Irsay won the Mega Millions drawing a couple weeks ago.

2. Washington Redskins

2011 Record: 2-14

Positional Needs: Quarterback, wide receiver, guard, cornerback, tackle, tight end, safety

The Pick: Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III

Analysis: If Griffin saves the Redskins, imagine the type of monument that owner Dan Snyder will erect for him in D.C.

3. Minnesota Vikings

2011 Record: 3-13

Positional Needs: Tackle, wide receiver, cornerback, safety, guard, outside linebacker, defensive tackle, running back

The Pick: USC tackle Matt Kalil

Previous Pick: Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon

Analysis: Kalil would be great, but the Vikings have so many needs that they'd be foolish not to field trade offers for this pick.

4. Cleveland Browns

2011 Record: 4-12

Positional Needs: Quarterback, wide receiver, running back, cornerback, defensive end, tackle, guard, outside linebacker

The Pick: LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne

Previous Picks: Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, Alabama running back Trent Richardson

Analysis: It looks like this is between Claiborne and Richardson, but the Browns could make their defense unique with two top-notch corners.

 

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2011 Record: 4-12

Positional Needs: Cornerback, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, wide receiver, tackle, guard, running back

The Pick: Alabama running back Trent Richardson

Previous Pick: LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne

Analysis: It's only a matter of time until LeGarrette Blount challenges Richardson to a steel-cage match for the starting job.

6. St. Louis Rams

2011 Record: 5-11

Positional Needs: Tackle, wide receiver, cornerback, guard, outside linebacker, safety, defensive tackle, running back

The Pick: Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon

Previous Pick: Alabama running back Trent Richardson

Analysis: Pair Blackmon with quarterback Sam Bradford for the next decade, and let the two go to work.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

2011 Record: 5-11

Positional Needs: Wide receiver, quarterback, cornerback, defensive end, safety, tackle

The Pick: South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram

Previous Pick: North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples

Analysis: This could be a landing spot for Michael Floyd, which would make sense, but there's too much of a need on defense.

8. Miami Dolphins

2011 Record: 6-10

Positional Needs: Quarterback, defensive end, outside linebacker, defensive tackle, inside linebacker, tight end, safety, wide receiver

The Pick: Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill

Previous Picks: Iowa tackle Riley Reiff, North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples

Analysis: General manager Jeff Ireland will reportedly be fired if he doesn't find a promising quarterback in the draft. While Ireland is partly responsible for the Dolphins' run of offseason misfortunes, he might not hate the idea of starting over somewhere else. It would serve as a twisted form of entertainment to see him sabotage Miami's draft on his way out.

9. Carolina Panthers

2011 Record: 6-10

Positional Needs: Defensive tackle, outside linebacker, inside linebacker, cornerback, safety, tackle, wide receiver

The Pick: Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox

Previous Picks: LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers, Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe

Analysis: The Panthers would be in a good spot to take the best defensive lineman available, which would be Cox or Quinton Coples in this mock. Since Coples is a huge boom-bust candidate, Cox looks like the sturdy pick.

10. Buffalo Bills

2011 Record: 6-10

Positional Needs: Outside linebacker, cornerback, tackle, wide receiver, inside linebacker, defensive end

The Pick: Iowa tackle Riley Reiff

Previous Picks: South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram, USC defensive end Nick Perry

Analysis: Who cares if this is a reach? The Bills have a need, and this is a nice way to address it.

11. Kansas City Chiefs

2011 Record: 7-9

Positional Needs: Tackle, defensive tackle, outside linebacker, quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, running back

The Pick: Boston College inside linebacker Luke Kuechly

Previous Picks: Alabama running back Trent Richardson, Iowa tackle Riley Reiff, Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox

Analysis: Scott Pioli was still with the Patriots when they drafted inside linebacker Jerod Mayo. That worked well.

12. Seattle Seahawks

2011 Record: 7-9

Positional Needs: Defensive end, defensive tackle, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, cornerback, guard

The Pick: North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples

Previous Picks: Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still, Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill

Analysis: If head coach Pete Carroll can keep Coples pumped and jacked, Seattle's front seven will have a major weapon off the edge.

13. Arizona Cardinals

2011 Record: 8-8

Positional Needs: Tackle, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, guard, wide receiver, tight end, quarterback, cornerback

The Pick: Stanford guard David DeCastro

Previous Picks: Boston College inside linebacker Luke Kuechly, Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin, Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw

Analysis: With so many possible directions, it's not a bad idea to take DeCastro, put him at guard and forget about that position for the next 10 years.

14. Dallas Cowboys

2011 Record: 8-8

Positional Needs: Cornerback, safety, guard, inside linebacker, defensive end, center, defensive tackle, outside linebacker

The Pick: Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe

Previous Picks: Stanford guard David DeCastro, Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick

Analysis: I wanted to send Mark Barron to the Cowboys, but I'll buy into the hype that they really want Poe.

15. Philadelphia Eagles

2011 Record: 8-8

Positional Needs: Defensive tackle, outside linebacker, safety, guard, wide receiver, cornerback, inside linebacker

The Pick: LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers

Previous Picks: Boston College inside linebacker Luke Kuechly, Alabama safety Mark Barron, Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still

Analysis: Momentum is building toward the Eagles taking a defensive tackle. Brockers has the most upside of those who remain, but if the Eagles want someone with more attacking ability, they might instead reach for Jerel Worthy.

16. New York Jets

2011 Record: 8-8

Positional Needs: Outside linebacker, safety, tackle, defensive tackle, wide receiver, tight end

The Pick: Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd

Previous Picks: Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin

Analysis: The Jets didn't go after Peyton Manning because they do truly believe in Mark Sanchez, and they think he can raise his game with better weapons. Floyd would definitely aid that progression.

17. Cincinnati Bengals

2011 Record: 9-7

Positional Needs: Cornerback, running back, wide receiver, safety, guard, defensive end

The Pick: South Carolina cornerback Stephen Gilmore

Previous Picks: North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins, Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd, Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick

Analysis: The Terence Newman signing was nice, but it's not the answer. The Bengals should jump at the opportunity to take the second cornerback off the board.

18. San Diego Chargers

2011 Record: 8-8

Positional Needs: Outside linebacker, safety, cornerback, wide receiver, tight end, guard, tackle

The Pick: Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw

Previous Picks: Stanford guard David DeCastro, Georgia tackle Cordy Glenn, USC defensive end Nick Perry, Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus

Analysis: The Chargers should be happy to address a major need by landing the first pure 3-4 outside linebacker in the draft.

19. Chicago Bears

2011 Record: 8-8

Positional Needs: Defensive end, wide receiver, tight end, tackle, guard, safety, cornerback, running back

The Pick: USC defensive end Nick Perry

Previous Picks: Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd, Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright

Analysis: It's a really nice way for a young defensive end to develop when he's lined up across from Julius Peppers. Perry will get a ton of one-on-one matchups.

20. Tennessee Titans

2011 Record: 9-7

Positional Needs: Guard, center, cornerback, safety, outside linebacker, defensive end, wide receiver

The Pick: Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick

Previous Picks: Stanford guard David DeCastro, Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus, Boston College inside linebacker Luke Kuechly

Analysis: Kirkpatrick gets bumped down the totem pole to the third cornerback in this week's mock draft.

21. Cincinnati Bengals

2011 Record: 9-7

Positional Needs: Cornerback, running back, wide receiver, safety, guard, defensive end

The Pick: Alabama safety Mark Barron

Previous Picks: Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd, Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright, Clemson defensive end Andre Branch, North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins, South Carolina cornerback Stephen Gilmore

Analysis: The Bengals would be wildly excited to come out of the first round with Barron and Gilmore. Big upgrade in the secondary.

22. Cleveland Browns

2011 Record: 4-12

Positional Needs: Quarterback, wide receiver, running back, cornerback, defensive end, tackle, guard, outside linebacker

The Pick: Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright

Previous Pick: Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin, Georgia tackle Cordy Glenn, North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins, USC defensive end Nick Perry

Analysis: The Browns shouldn't worry about taking a quarterback with this pick because there are too many uncertainties with the next tier at the position. If they tank the season with Colt McCoy, they'll be in line to get Matt Barkley next year.

23. Detroit Lions

2011 Record: 10-6

Positional Needs: Cornerback, safety, tackle, center, defensive end, outside linebacker

The Pick: Georgia tackle Cordy Glenn

Previous Pick: Ohio State tackle Mike Adams

Analysis: Same deal as always, this will come down to the best cornerback or offensive lineman available.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

2011 Record: 12-4

Positional Needs: Tackle, guard, defensive tackle, cornerback, inside linebacker, running back

The Pick: Alabama inside linebacker Dont'a Hightower

Previous Pick: Georgia tackle Cordy Glenn

Analysis: The Steelers need offensive linemen, but they've only used one first-round pick on the O-line in the last nine years.

25. Denver Broncos

2011 Record: 8-8

Positional Needs: Defensive tackle, inside linebacker, safety, cornerback, wide receiver, running back

The Pick: Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy

Previous Picks: Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe, LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers

Analysis: Worthy will add some ferocity to the middle of Denver's line.

26. Houston Texans

2011 Record: 10-6

Positional Needs: Wide receiver, right tackle, guard, outside linebacker, defensive tackle, safety, cornerback

The Pick: LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle

Previous Picks: Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright, Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill

Analysis: Randle overtakes Hill on the draft board as the fourth best receiver available.

27. New England Patriots

2011 Record: 13-3

Positional Needs: Safety, outside linebacker, defensive end, wide receiver, cornerback

The Pick: North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins

Previous Picks: Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still, LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers, Alabama safety Mark Barron, Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus

Analysis: By talent alone, Jenkins would be a top-10 pick, but his baggage — four kids with three women, multiple arrests that led to the boot from Florida, and recently firing his agents — raises plenty of questions. If the Patriots are comfortable with him, they could land a goldmine.

28. Green Bay Packers

2011 Record: 15-1

Positional Needs: Outside linebacker, defensive end, safety, cornerback, running back

The Pick: Clemson defensive end Andre Branch

Previous Pick: Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still

Analysis: Outside linebacker Clay Matthews needs a little help. If last season proved anything, it's that even the best pass rushers can't do it by themselves.

29. Baltimore Ravens

2011 Record: 12-4

Positional Needs: Inside linebacker, wide receiver, tackle, center, safety, outside linebacker

The Pick: Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler

Previous Picks: Wisconsin center Peter Konz, South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery

Analysis: The Ravens should be able to add a comparable receiver to Jeffery in the second round, so they turn their attention to one of the draft's best interior linemen with this pick.

30. San Francisco 49ers

2011 Record: 13-3

Positional Needs: Guard, cornerback, wide receiver, defensive tackle, safety, outside linebacker, quarterback

The Pick: Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still

Previous Picks: South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, Georgia tackle Cordy Glenn, Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler, North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins

Analysis: The 49ers probably don't have any hardcore needs to fill in the draft, and loading up on depth is a nice luxury to have.

31. New England Patriots

2011 Record: 13-3

Positional Needs: Safety, outside linebacker, defensive end, wide receiver, cornerback, defensive tackle

The Pick: Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus

Previous Picks: Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, Clemson defensive end Andre Branch, LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers, Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still, South Carolina cornerback Stephen Gilmore, Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy

Analysis: Mercilus slid way down the board this week, and this would be a dynamite first round for the Patriots if they came away with the nation's best sack artist and a top-notch cornerback like Janoris Jenkins.

32. New York Giants

2011 Record: 9-7

Positional Needs: Inside linebacker, tight end, safety, cornerback, guard, defensive tackle, wide receiver

The Pick: Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin

Previous Pick: Wisconsin center Peter Konz, Virginia Tech running back David Wilson, Georgia tackle Cordy Glenn

Analysis: This was between Martin and Nebraska outside linebacker Lavonte David. There might not be a right answer between the two for the Super Bowl champs.

Fallen Out: Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill, South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery

Click here to see photos of potential first-round picks >>

Previous Mocks: Mock Draft 1.0Mock Draft 2.0Mock Draft 3.0Mock Draft 4.0Mock Draft 5.0, Mock Draft 6.0, Mock Draft 7.0

Have a question for Jeff Howe? Send it to him via Twitter at @jeffphowe or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

Photo via Flickr/blaizezephyr

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