Since we're at the midway point of the 2011 NFL season, some teams and their fans can begin to have a reasonable idea as to what spot they'll be drafting in and who they'll be selecting on April 26th 2012.So where will your favorite team be selecting? What positions do they need most? And who will they select? Let's take a look as I help guide you through the 2012 NFL draft so you can get a better idea of what's in store for your team's future.
Mock Draft After Week 8
Underclassmen noted with a *
Pick – Team (Needs)- Player – Position – School
1 – Indianapolis Colts (QB, DB, LB) – Andrew Luck* – Quarterback – Stanford
The Colts have ignored their future at quarterback because having a first ballot hall of famer has allowed them to up to this point, but Peyton Manning's neck injury has to make you wonder how much longer he can be the Colt's #1 guy. And who better for Luck to learn under than the hardest worker in the NFL?
2 – Miami Dolphins (QB, RB, DL) – Landry Jones* – Quarterback – Oklahoma
Jones is a big (6'4, 216 lbs) prototypical passer and even though I think that defense is a bigger problem for the Dolphins than quarterback, success in the NFL is dependent on having a franchise QB.
3 – St. Louis Rams (DB, WR, OLB) – Morris Claiborne* – Cornerback – LSU
This is just a little higher than I think Claiborne will actually go on draft day, but the rams may pass on Oklahoma State Wide Receiver Justin Blackmon this high now that recently acquired Brandon Lloyd has proven to be productive.
4 – Arizona Cardinals (DE, OT, DB) – Quinton Coples* – Defensive End – North Carolina
The Cardinals pass rush is severely lacking and Coples is an instant upgrade, Matt Kalil is also a possibility at this position to help protect Kevin Kolb's blind-side.
5 – Jacksonville Jaguars (WR, OT, DB) – Justin Blackmon* – Wide Receiver – Oklahoma State
Rookie Quarterback needs weapons on offense and Blackmon, who has been touted as a better prospect than former teammate Dez Bryant, should bring a significant boost to the lowest scoring offense in the AFC.
6 – Minnesota Vikings (OT, DB, WR) – Matt Kalil – Offensive Tackle – USC
A potential franchise left tackle, Kalil is an absolute beast (6'6 295) that will protect the blind side of Quarterback Christian Ponder for the next 10-15 years. I really like how Ponder has looked so far, so I don't expect the Vikings to have a pick this high come April 26th.
7 – Carolina Panthers (LB, DB, OL) – Manti Te'o* – Inside Linebacker – Notre Dame
The worst scoring defense in the NFC needs impact players and Te'o is considered by most to be the safest bet in the draft. He is a natural leader and could take control of this defense from day one.
8 – Denver Broncos (QB, OL, DB) – Matt Barkley* – Quarterback – USC
The quarterback of the future isn't on this team (sorry Tebow fans), Barkley should be a good prospect in the NFL but this team needs to do a complete rebuild. Head Coach John Fox has his work cut out for him.
9 – Seattle Seahawks (QB, LB, DL) – Vontaze Burfict* – Linebacker – Arizona State
When the leading tackler on your team is a safety (Earl Thomas, 47 tackles) you need to get some help up front. Burfict is an inside/outside threat that can make an impact anywhere on the field, but don't be surprised if Head Coach Pete Carroll trades up to take his former Quarterback at USC Matt Barkley.
10 – Cleveland Browns (RB, WR, DB) – Trent Richardson* – Running Back – Alabama
The Browns running game is terrible, Montario Hardesty struggles with injuries and Peyton Hillis' breakout season in 2010 looks like a aberration. Quarterback Colt McCoy needs an impact running game to help open up the offense and Richardson is an explosive playmaker.
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