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2012 YDKF Mock Draft – NFC West

Our GMs for the NFC West teams share the reasons behind their picks.  Have a dispute?  Take it up in the comments or join us in the YDKF Forums.

ARIZONA CARDINALS

Rd 1 – (13) – Melvin Ingram – DE/OLB – South Carolina  Their most pressing need is a tackle, but with no adequate value on the board, they opt for the fan crush in Melvin Ingram. The Cards are desperate for a pass rush opposite of last year’s draft pick Sam Acho, and Ingram will certainly provide that for them.

Rd 3 – (80) – Nick Toon – WR – Wisconsin  The search for a new offensive lineman continues. Toon provides too much value to pass on here in the 3rd. The Cardinals have a collection of #3 receivers, and no legitimate #2 option opposite superstar Larry Fitzgerald. Toon has the ability to become that and more.

Rd 4 – (112) – Matt McCants – OT – UAB  Finally an offensive lineman. McCants is one of the few guys not slated in the first two rounds who has a chance to develop into a blindside protector down the line. He has the long arms and huge hands you look for in offensive lineman. He has solid footwork as well. If nothing else, he will provide adequate depth for the Cards’ lackluster OL.

Rd 5 – (151) – Jake Bequette – DE/OLB – Arkansas  One of my favorite late round guys this year. He has the measurables to make the transition standing up, and with the Cards’ need for pass rushers, I couldn’t pass him by any longer. Sure, they already snagged Ingram in the 1st, but as the Giants have proven twice in the past 5 years, you can never have too many pass rushers.

Rd 6 – (177) – Janzen Jackson – S – McNeese State  The Cardinals don’t have a ton of safety depth, and Jackson has a boatload of potential. He has plenty of concerns surrounding his dismissal from Tennessee, but this is the guy who was supposed to be the next Eric Berry. If he ever puts it all together, watch out.

Rd 6 – (185) – Gerrell Robinson – WR – Arizona State  I got a WR earlier and the Cards have several options, but this is a BPA pick late. He has lots of potential, and will be a contributor on special teams as well.

Rd 7 – (221) – Rhett Ellison – TE – USC  The Cards don’t have much in the way of TE depth behind an aging Todd Heap. Ellison is one of the guys I like to potentially develop as a solid role player and backup in their offensive scheme.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Rd 1 – (30) – Coby Fleener – TE – Stanford  Fleener? With Vernon Davis on the team already? Yep. Fleener adds a whole new wrinkle to the 49er offense. Fleener is already a Jim Harbaugh guy, seeing as he was recruited and played for him at Stanford. He can jump high, run fast and catch anything thrown his way, which will play well with Alex Smith at the helm. Plus nobody seems to be able to stop the two-headed TE attack that New England has perfected, so why not?

Rd 2 – (61) – Brian Quick – WR – Applachian State  Even with the signings of Mario Manningham and Randy Moss, the 49ers need a WR. Quick is a big strong kid with a high ceiling. His size enables him to work in the middle, something the 49ers haven’t had in a WR since T.O. left

Rd 3 – (92) – Ben Jones – C – Georgia Jones is a leader on the OL, which every team needs. He’s going to be a guy who sits behind Goodwin for a year and takes over next year. Technical blocker who can overpower a defender. High floor, low ceiling.

Rd 4 – (125) – Lucas Nix – RG – Pitt  Nix should take over at RG for the 49ers quickly. Big, strong and surprisngly quick off the snap. He can play in both a pass and run blocking setting, which is great for a pick at this juncture.

Rd 5 – (165) – Vontaze Burfict – LB – Arizona State  The black sheep of the 2012 draft. Once graded as high as a mid-first rounder, a series of missteps on his part have had disasterous repercussions. I personally put alot of that on the abysmul ASU program, but you can’t put his awful combine on ASU. Harbaugh is the kind of coach Burfict needs, one who won’t let him slack off and will push him to succeed in a way Dennis Erickson never did.

Rd 6 – (199) – Asa Jackson – DB – Cal Poly  Asa needs time to develop at the next level, which he will get in San Francisco. I liked his run defending, his speed and that he seems willing to learn. He has potential to be a very serviceable CB with his athletic ability.

Rd 7 – (237) – Braylon Broughton – DL – TCU Long, lengthy defender with the frame to pack on more weight. This is all about upside. Should provide solid depth as a 3-4 defensive end.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Rd 1 – (12) – Luke Kuechly – LB – Boston College  If the purpose of the draft was to find the best pure football players available, then Kuechly would be a top 3 pick. Luckily for me, it’s about running fast, team needs, and a bunch of other stuff too, which means I get a stud at #12. He’s the best pure LB in the draft by far, and there’s just no argument that can be made against this kid being at least a very good NFL player. He’ll slot right in the MLB spot for the Seahawks from day one.

Rd 2 – (43) – Chandler Jones – DE – Syracuse  A great value in the middle of the 2nd round, Jones is just the type of pass rusher that Seattle needs. Jones is a relentless rusher that’s going to be a lot better in time once he realizes how to use his body more effectively. They have the ability to rotate him in for his rookie year because of established starters at end returning.

Rd 3 – (75) – LaMichael James – RB – Oregon  Marshawn Lynch returning is a great boost for that franchise, but they could really still use more overall talent at the position, specifically a complementary back. LMJ is certainly no stranger to Pete Carroll, and he’d likely be happy to add an athlete of James’s caliber to what would be a dynamite backfield.

Rd 4 – (106) – Brandon Weeden – QB – Oklahoma St  This isn’t a luxury pick, it’s a perfect pick. Not only is this guy a 1st round type talent (that will go 2nd round because of the age), but he’s an ideal fit for a team in a very odd situation regarding the QB position. They obviously brought Matt Flynn in to start, which makes TJax expendable, so adding another QB would be smart. Now why not make that QB a guy with great physical talent that could very easily take a starting job instantly? The battle between he and Flynn would be fun to watch.

Rd 6 – (181) – Rishard Matthews – WR – Nevada  It’s all about value at this point, and Matthews is a Rd 3/4 type player. He’s got good size, consistency, and open field athleticism. The Seahawks don’t have the worst receiving corps in the world, but Matthews is good enough to get playing time right away.

Rd 7 – (225) – Coty Sensabaugh – CB – Clemson  Sensabaugh has a few advantages that put him over the other late round CBs. A brother that plays in the league means he understands what it takes to be a pro, and the fact that he went to Clemson means he’ll likely be better in the pros than he was as a Tiger.

ST. LOUIS RAMS

Rd 1 – (6) – Justin Blackmon – WR- Oklahoma State  This was a no brainer. The Rams need a receiver that can actually play if Sam Bradford is ever going to reach his full potential. Justin Blackmon has all the tools, including the attitude and the work ethic, to be great. I was considering a few players that could have potentially made it to #6, but ultimately receiver has been their biggest weakness for far too long.

Rd 2 – (33) – Mike Adams – OT – Ohio State  Despite a minor indiscretion at the combine, Adams has true left tackle potential. Roger Saffold does not look like the long term answer there, though his rookie success means he can start somewhere, and this pick allows me to move him to either the right side or LG depending on what else I’d find after this. I love the value/need matchup at this point, Adams has easy first round ability.

Rd 2 – (39) – Rueben Randle – WR – LSU  Another receiver already? Yessir, I’ve successfully turned a weakness into a strength. Blackmon and Randle compliment each other very well, and in terms of value it’s hard to beat a player of his caliber in Rd 2. To be honest, if we’re talking odds here, it’s really hard to imagine that one of these guys doesn’t turn out to be a good #1 receiver, in which case the other just has to be a quality starter and I feel like it works out. That said, I’d be surprised if both didn’t emerge as #1 types.

Rd 3 – (65) – Bobby Wagner – LB – Utah State  Smaller, faster LBs are the kinds of guys that Jeff Fisher has always won with in the past, and there’s no reason to change that now. Wagner has the aggressiveness and intelligence to excel inside or out, and will be a consistent force next to James Laurinaitis.

Rd 4 – (96) – Brandon Mosley – OT – Auburn  A guy that has all the tools to be a very good NFL RT, Mosley is a steal in the 4th round. While he has the ability to win the job as a rookie, it might be a sit and learn situation to get it all together, especially if Jason Smith gets another chance to hang around and do something (unlikely with the money owed, though).

Rd 6 – (171) – Brandon Hardin – S – Oregon State  Hardin has all of the physical tools to be a quality player, and if it wasn’t for the injury he suffered late in his career he wouldn’t be considered nearly this low. He’s a big guy that has experience at both CB and S, with great workouts proving his athletic ability.

Rd 7 – (209) – Edwin Baker – RB – Michigan State  Underrated back that didn’t have nearly the year people were expected, Baker is a true sleeper at the back end of the draft. He’s not the biggest guy in the world, but he certainly plays that way.

Rd 7 – (252) – Jermaine Kearse – WR – Washington  At this point, it’s about finding guys that can play and giving them a shot. Will Kearse ever reach his potential? Who knows, but he can at least come in, work on his concentration, and fight for a roster spot. He can play, but it’s just a matter of putting it together.

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