The rush LB class this year is very top heavy and lacks any sort of depth. Once you get outside of the top 6 to 8 prospects, you really don’t have many NFL prospects there. After the jump take a look at the breakdown of the Rush LB’s.
Finally got a 2 Round Mock done. I sprinkled in a few trades but this is more conservative than my last. Enjoy.
1. Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck QB, Stanford
Pretty much a foregone conclusion at this point.
TRADE: St. Louis Rams trade #2 pick to Washington for their 1st, 2nd and conditional 2013 2nd round pick.
2. Washington Redskins (from Rams): Robert Griffin III QB, Baylor
This is one of the more predictable trades I can remember as Washington moves up to get RG3. The 2013 pick will become a 1st round pick if RG3 leads them to the playoffs.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil OT, USC
The Vikings couldn’t be happier to see someone trade up for RG3 because then it means they get Kalil. He fills a big need and will protect Christian Ponder for the next 10 years.
4. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon WR, Oklahoma State
I’m going on the record now, the worst thing the Browns could possibly do is to trade up for Robert Griffin. He will just be another talented young QB with no weapons to work with that will FAIL MISERABLY. Taking an elite receiver like Blackmon will actually give whoever their QB is a chance.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Morris Claiborne CB, LSU
Tampa is in a good situation here since its unlikely any defensive players are taken in the top 4. Claiborne fills the biggest need for the Bucs and is the top talent available who’s not Trent Richardson.
Today I will rank the Rush LB class for the 2012 draft. This class lacks an elite pass rusher (see: Von Miller or Aldon Smith from 2011 as the definition of elite prospect) but has plenty of very good pass rushers. However, after the top 8, the dropoff is very steep in talent and potential.
1. Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama – Upshaw is the best pass rusher in the class. He combines a good set of moves, with good athleticism and great instincts.
2. Whitney Merciulus, DE/OLB, Illinois – Mercilus’ position is unknown (DE or OLB) but he is a fantastic pass rusher with good athleticism.
3. Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC – Perry has shot up draft boards after a strong season for USC. He is a very physical player with a good set of pass rushing moves.
4. Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina – Ingram is the most intriguing prospect in this draft. Is he going to be a DE or an OLB? Who knows, but what we do know is that he will likely be a very good pass rusher in the NFL. My player comparison for him would be Lamarr Woodley.
5. Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall – Curry is an intriguing prospect with a great set of pass rushing moves. He has excelled in Marshall’s defense as a DE but will likely switch to a OLB in the NFL.
All five of these prospects currently carry a first round grade from myself.
See the rest of the Rush LBs after the jump.
Well I have gathered enough information to publish another mock draft. This one is of the two round variety. Anywhere you see a ? next to team needs, that means I still need help with those teams. Once I gather all that information, I can begin expanding the draft to 3 and 4 rounds.
1. Indianapolis (2-14) – Team Needs: QB, OG, OC, 2CB, WR, SS, TE, DE, LB, RB – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford – This is an absolute no brainer and no explanation is really needed.
2. St. Louis (2-14) – 2OT, 2WR, 2OLB, FS, CB, DT, OC, RB, FB – Matt Kalil, OT, USC – This pick is basically a no brainer. The Rams will consider Justin Blackmon but a franchise LT is more important and more valuable than a franchise WR.
3. Minnesota (3-13) – LT, CB, WR, S, OG, 2LB, DT, FB, RB3 – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State – If Kalil is taken by the Rams, this pick will also be a no brainer. Blackmon is a beast and would give Jake Locker a franchise WR.
4. Cleveland (4-12) – QB, WR, RT, DE, CB, OLB, RB, OG, FS, DT, K – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor – Again, another no brainer. If Blackmon is off the board, the Browns will have to take the 2nd best QB in the draft and someone that fits perfectly in Pat Shurmur’s West Coast offense. He has great accuracy, is very mobile, and has great intelligence.
5. Tampa Bay (4-12) – 2CB, 2LB, RT, WR, OC, RB, LG, FB, DT, QB, K – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU – Another easy pick. The Bucs biggest need is finding a CB and Claiborne is the best CB in the draft class and could be better in coverage than Patrick Peterson was in coverage.
After the jump see the rest of this mock draft