Here is an early look at the projected top five picks in next year’s draft. Its no surprise that most mock writers see the Redskins going hard after Andrew Luck, Stanford. But is this what the Redskins will need most during their 2012 offseason? Obviously it is too early to tell, but its never too early to speculate.
Washington Redskins: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford Andrew Luck is the No. 1 prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft – for now. With Jim Harbaugh and three of his offensive linemen gone, Luck will find things much more difficult in 2011. Some of his flaws might get exposed. Of course, he could hang on to his No. 1 overall status like Peyton Manning and Sam Bradford, but that’s just the best-case scenario. At any rate, the Redskins failed to address the quarterback position in the 2011 NFL Draft, and Mike Shanahan is now selling us on John Beck. Yeah, like that’s going to work out. If Washington rolls with Beck, it’ll have the first selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. In that case, they’ll have a choice between Luck and Matt Barkley. By the way, I’m hoping my 2012 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings will be updated soon. Follow me on Twitter @walterfootball for news and updates.
Seattle Seahawks: Matt Barkley, QB, USC I have the Seahawks drafting second because I think Charlie Whitehurst is going to fail epically. If that’s the case, I’m sure Pete Carroll would assure owner Paul Allen that he can get his team back to the playoffs with his former collegiate quarterback. And for Carroll’s sake, I hope that “former collegiate quarterback” isn’t Matt Leinart. Matt Barkley could end up being the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Barkley threw 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions for a struggling USC team in 2010.
Tennessee Titans: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina The Titans spent a first-round pick on a defensive end back in 2010 (Derrick Morgan), but someone like Quinton Coples would definitely be in play because they don’t have anything across from Morgan. Coples and Morgan would be a dangerous bookend tasked to disrupt Peyton Manning and Matt Schaub. At 6-6, 272 pounds, Coples registered 15.5 TFL and 10 sacks for the Tar Heels in 2010.
Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC Bryant McKinnie has to be moved over to right tackle because he’s ineffective on the blind side at this stage of his career. Since the Vikings didn’t spend the No. 12 pick on Tyron Smith or Anthony Castonzo, they’ll have to wait until 2012 to find a new left tackle. Brother of Carolina Panther Ryan Kalil, the highly touted and athletic Matt Kalil is projected to be a top-five pick. He’s the reason Tyron Smith played right tackle in 2010.
Cincinnati Bengals: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford Protecting Andy Dalton has to be Cincinnati’s No. 1 priority. The Bengals have nothing at right tackle, so they can draft Jonathan Martin to play that side and eventually move him over to left tackle once Andrew Whitworth (30 in December) declines or moves on to another team. Martin (6-6, 305) had a phenomenal sophomore year shielding Andrew Luck’s blind side.