Heights Sports 2012 NFL Mock Draft
Featuring Former BC Linebacker Luke Kuechly
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
17. Cincinnati - Quinton Coples, DE, UNC - This will be another case of a team going with the best player available. Standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 285, Coples will bring power and speed to a defensive line needing an effective young player who can get to the quarterback.
18. San Diego - Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa - Most teams picking early in the draft are at least decent up front, which is why Reiff falls this far, but the Chargers aren’t. They’ll need Reiff blocking for Rivers right away, and he spent all of last season at Iowa showing he’s ready for the challenge.
19.Chicago - Nick Perry, De/OLB, USC - The Bears could use an offensive lineman or maybe a wideout, but pairing Perry with Julius Peppers on the defensive line is just too tempting, especially when facing elite passing attacks like the Lions and Packers.
20. Tennessee - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama - The Titans need to replace Cortland Finnegan, and the Alabama corner faced some of the best offenses in the country. Tennessee has other needs, but Kirkpatrick is too good to ignore.
21. Cincinnati - Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois - Mercilus had an incredible season in the Big 10 last year, making him a sure-fire first-rounder and another much-needed upgrade for a mediocre Bengal defense.
22. Cleveland - Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia - Glenn can play almost anywhere on the offensive line, and will hopefully be able to keep Colt McCoy on the field rather than the sidelines. There are other O-linemen available, but Glenn could end up being a steal.
23. Baltimore - Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama - Although he’s had plenty of issues off the field, the Ravens are a great fit for the extremely talented Jenkins. Ray Lewis and the rest of the Baltimore defense should help maximize his very high potential.
24. Pittsburgh - Dont’a Hightower, LB, Alabama - Just like Jenkins fits the Ravens’ defensive model, Hightower will be a perfect fit for the bruising Steel Curtain. He should be a staple of the Steelers defense for the long haul.
25.Denver - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor - Almost anyone could snag Wright before the Broncos get a shot at him, but Peyton Manning would love to have another target in Denver, and there’s no doubt Wright can fill that role.
26. Houston - Rueben Randle, WR, LSU - Scouts are still debating whether Wright or Randle is the better pro prospect, but the Texans will be happy with either receiver this late in the draft. Putting the speedy Randle next to Andre Johnson will be a nightmare for opposing defenses.
27. New England - Michael Brockers, DT, LSU - Far too good a player to still be around at this point, the Patriots make the easy decision to draft Brockers and steal a franchise defensive lineman for the long-term future.
28. Green Bay - Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State - His 4.6 40 at a massive 260 pounds is impressive enough for Green Bay to draft McClellin and put him alongside AJ Hawk, making an already tough defense even tougher.
29. Baltimore - Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin - The Ravens need to upgrade at the center position, and the big man out of Wisconsin is their best bet for a long-term solution. He could easily be protecting Joe Flacco for a long time.
30. San Francisco - Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin - At 6-4 315, Zeitler has the build to be a starter on opening day for San Francisco. The offensive line is one of the few spots where the 49ers need help, and Zeitler can fill that hole for the Super Bowl contenders.
31. New England - Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame - The Patriots need some help in their secondary, and if they don’t trade up to take someone else, Smith is the best option for them. He started four years for the Irish, showing his ability to both cover and tackle well consistently.