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2012 NFL RapidReports Mock Draft


After weeks of speculation about where the teams they cover will direct their first-round efforts, the embedded NFL RapidReporters at CBSSports.com had a chance to lead some mythical war room debate and project the way the dominoes would fall Thursday night.

Among other surprises, our RapidReports team sees the Browns defying NFL convention and taking a running back in the top five, the Rams and Dolphins pleasing their fans by drafting much-needed playmakers, and players like Memphis DT Dontari Poe and Ohio State OT Mike Adams falling out of the first round entirely.

A caveat worth mentioning: we didn't allow our GMs-for-a-day to trade up or down, so no passing the buck possible for the purposes of this exercise.

NFL RapidReports Mock Draft
1. Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: Indianapolis severed its ties to four-time MVP Peyton Manning in March and now stands ready to select his replacement. Viewed as perhaps the best quarterbacking prospect in nearly two decades, only time will tell if Luck can deliver on his "Peyton-esque" promise. -- Tom James
2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis)
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: The Redskins haven't had a franchise QB in forever and long ago fell in love with the Heisman Trophy winner. His athleticism makes him an excellent fit in Mike Shanahan's bootleg offense. Griffin has the chance to do what he did at Baylor: turn around a program. -- John Keim
3. Minnesota Vikings
Matt Kalil, LT, USC: The Vikings long debated whether to protect young QB Christian Ponder with Kalil or draft LSU CB Morris Claiborne to battle the excellent QBs in the NFC North. Without a decent trade offer materializing, the Vikings take Kalil and lock up the most talented LT in the draft. -- Joe Oberle
4. Cleveland Browns
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: The Browns ignore the typically short shelf life of an NFL RB and select the player generally regarded as the best RB in the draft. Richardson is immediately the team's best skill position player and transforms the ground game while aiding the passing attack as well. -- Marty Gitlin
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Morris Claiborne, CB, Louisiana State: Claiborne scored woefully low on the Wonderlic test (reportedly 4 out of 50), but has remained high on the Bucs' list for several reasons: He was a great college player, his former college position coach, Ron Cooper, is now with Tampa, and the Bucs need a CB. -- Scott Purks
6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington)
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State: The Rams get their guy and don’t have to pay him like the second overall pick. Blackmon’s addition would give the Rams the playmaker on the outside that they desperately need. -- Ron Clements
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina: With Justin Blackmon off the board, the Jaguars will try hard to trade down here. With that not happening in this draft, the Jaguars solidify an already strong secondary by choosing Gilmore over Mississippi State DE Fletcher Cox. -- John Oehser
8. Miami Dolphins
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M: The pressure to take a QB will be overwhelming. Yes, Miami might be overpaying, but this pick could help GM Jeff Ireland keep his job for another year, and it could soothe an irate fan base. Tannehill will likely sit and learn this season. -- Chris Perkins
9. Carolina Panthers
David DeCastro, G, Stanford: Boston College LB Luke Kuechly is a tempting prospect who would fill a void at an injury-plagued position. But if Marty Hurney does not deal down to stockpile picks, the GM will snare DeCastro to help protect the franchise, Cam Newton. -- Jeff Hawkins
10. Buffalo Bills
Cordy Glenn, OT, Georgia: The Bills prefer offensive linemen with ideal size, and Glenn has plenty of it at 6-foot-5, 345 pounds (and an arm length of nearly 36 inches). Though some believe Glenn is a better fit at guard, Buffalo likes his footwork and believes he projects as a LT in the pros. -- Mark Ludwiczak
11. Kansas City Chiefs
Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College: With QB Ryan Tannehill and G David DeCastro gone, the focus for Chiefs GM Scott Pioli is trading out of the spot. If that fails, then his attention falls to the defense where he'll consider Fletcher Cox and Melvin Ingram, but he will take the safest choice. Productive on the field, Kuechly also embodies all the intangibles Pioli says are important to success. -- Bob Gretz
12. Seattle Seahawks
Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina: With DE/DT Fletcher Cox and DE Quinton Coples still on the board, Seattle gets its choice of the top three defensive linemen in the draft. The Seahawks are in need of help with their pass rush and Ingram’s size fits the mold of the “LEO” end in Pete Carroll’s defense, similar to DE Chris Clemons. Ingram also has the versatility to move inside to tackle on passing downs, which is an added plus. -- Curtis Crabtree
13. Arizona Cardinals
Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa: Despite the temptation of WR Michael Floyd, the Cards address a longtime need, drafting a lineman in the high rounds for the first time since 2007. Like many Big Ten lineman, Reiff excels at run blocking but questions remain about his quickness and lateral movement in pass protection. With RT Brandon Keith unsigned, Reiff will compete for a starting job. -- Craig Morgan
14. Dallas Cowboys
Fletcher Cox, DE, Mississippi State: The Cowboys love this scenario, considering Cox might be one of the only players in the draft they’d consider trading up for. It’d be hard to pass on Alabama safety Mark Barron, but Cox could immediately step in, giving the defense some much-needed youth and athleticism at the DE position. -- Nick Eatman
15. Philadelphia Eagles
Michael Brockers, DT, LSU: The Eagles need help on defense and Brockers will step right into the d-line rotation. Alabama S Mark Barron is a tempting choice, but coach Andy Reid needs to win now and the 6-6, 322-pound Brockers will have an immediate impact. -- Kevin Noonan
16. New York Jets
Mark Barron, SS, Alabama: The Jets need help in many areas. Even with the free agency acquisition of S LaRon Landry, they still need help in the secondary -- especially since Landry is injury prone. A powerful tackler, Barron also offers the speed and explosiveness that the team lacked in 2011. -- Lisa Zimmerman
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland)
Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame: Andy Dalton and A.J. Green share a high five as a legitimate No. 2 threat falls to them. Floyd can offset double- and triple-teams which suffocated Green the second half of last season. Cincinnati thinks about CB Dre Kirkpatrick here, but opts for Floyd and hopes the Alabama corner slips to them at 21. -- Paul Dehner Jr.
18. San Diego Chargers
Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Illinois: San Diego was 23rd in the league last season with only 32 team sacks. Chargers top brass, including owner and team president Dean Spanos, identified improved pass rush as the team’s main concern for this offseason. Mercilus should be the solution: he led the nation in sacks (13.5) and forced fumbles (eight) in 2011. -- Dan McLellan
19. Chicago Bears
Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina: If the 6-6, 285-pound Coples fell this far, the Bears would have North Carolina bookends on the defensive line with Julius Peppers on the other side. There are questions about whether Coples is a motivated player, but the Bears heard this about Peppers before signing him and found them to be entirely untrue. -- Gene Chamberlain
20. Tennessee Titans
Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin: Though the Titans haven't selected an OL in Round 1 since 1993, the selection of Konz would fill one of their most pressing needs. Konz is athletic, moves well in space and is comfortable in a zone scheme. Konz gets the nod narrowly over Alabama CB Dre Kirkpatrick and USC DE Nick Perry. -- Matt Rybaltowski
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama: Marvin Lewis loves first-round corners and finds a perfect fit in Kirkpatrick. CB Leon Hall is coming off an Achilles injury and 32-year-old CB Nate Clements enters the final year of his deal, but this pick replenishes elite talent at the position into the future. -- Paul Dehner Jr.
22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta)
Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor: The Browns are intrigued by the speed of Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill, but conclude that Wright is more polished and NFL-ready. Desperation for a speedy scoring threat drives the decision to snag Wright, who drastically improved his terrible combine 40 time at his Pro Day. -- Marty Gitlin
23. Detroit Lions
Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford: Martin is a proven pass blocker -- a must for protecting franchise QB Matthew Stafford -- and his run blocking ability will help a Lions' O-line that struggled to open holes last season. A baggage-free past makes him a better option than other available choices like confessed marijuana user Janoris Jenkins, for a Lions' team dealing with offseason drug-related issues. -- John Kreger
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama: Sure, they need a NT to start for Casey Hampton (ACL surgery), but workout warrior Dontari Poe told a different tale on the tape study that Mike Tomlin covets: Poe got pushed around at Memphis. The Steelers see a potential replacement for ILB James Farrior in Hightower, who they believe could start for years to come. OT Mike Adams of Ohio State also was a consideration, but the Steelers need an OG ... which they can find in the second or third rounds. -- Chuck Finder
25. Denver Broncos
Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State: John Elway wants to find at least three players who can contribute immediately from this year's draft, and Worthy's more refined skill set -- particularly in the pass rush -- gives him the edge over Dontari Poe. But don't be surprised to see the Broncos swap the pick; Elway said Monday the Broncos are open to deals and would prefer to trade down rather than up. -- Andrew Mason
26. Houston Texans
Bobby Massie, OT, Mississippi: With the WR position deep in talent, the Texans can use this pick on Massie, who will compete with Rashad Butler for the starting RT role. At 6-6, 316, Massie is a durable banger who would fit well within Houston's zone blocking style. -- Brandon Williams
27. New England Patriots (New Orleans)
Devon Still, DT, Penn State: Bill Belichick will first try like crazy to deal this pick to a team, like the Browns, that is looking for a quarterback like Brandon Weeden. If the Patriots stay put, there are a ton of names that fans will clamor for, including OLB types like Nick Perry and Andre Branch. But Belichick never takes the obvious player. The Patriots need more tall beef up front, and Still fits the bill. -- Greg Bedard
28. Green Bay Packers
Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State: Versatile and productive, McClellin, whose blend of size (6-3, 260 pounds) and speed (4.63-second 40-yard dash) would be a magic bullet for an impotent pass rush, fits in Dom Capers’ defense. Hard-working and intelligent, McClellin, who grew up on an Idaho farm, also fits in blue-collar Green Bay. -- James Carlton
29. Baltimore Ravens
Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama: If Upshaw is available at pick 29, the Ravens will consider this a steal. With OLB Jarret Johnson (Chargers) gone, the Ravens could add another pass-rushing OLB to pair with Terrell Suggs. If a top prospect isn't available, Baltimore may choose to trade back and accrue picks. -- Jason Butt
30. San Francisco 49ers
Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin: The free fall of Memphis DT Dontari Poe continues. GM Trent Baalke said if the 49ers have players at different positions ranked similarly, ‘need’ becomes the tiebreaker. So while Stanford TE Coby Fleener, Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill and Poe are intriguing prospects, the team goes with Zeitler to fill its gap at RG. -- Kyle Bonagura
31. New England Patriots
Trumaine Johnson, CB/S, Montana: This is outside the box, but the Patriots do like Johnson and they have a screaming need beyond this season for a CB/S. Still think if the Patriots likely make one selection in the first round that it's Devon Still from Penn State. But if they do make two picks, then they'll take Johnson higher than other teams would. -- Greg Bedard
32. New York Giants
Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech: The Giants could fill a need by drafting Ohio State OT Mike Adams or Stanford TE Coby Fleener, however, in the unlikely event that he falls this far, Hill would be too good to pass up. Hill could help fill the void left by WR Mario Manningham, but that’s not why they’d draft him. The Giants go for value, not need, and Hill (6-4, 215) would be the best athlete remaining on the board. -- Alex Raskin


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