2012 NFL Mock Draft V5.0: Picks 8-15 (Gallery)
8. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill
QB, Texas A&M
You certainly can’t blame Tannehill for his hype-driven rise up the charts, but that doesn’t make this whole situation any less puzzling. A month ago the Texas A&M product was barely a first rounder, now he could potentially go at No. 4 (he won’t, though). The Dolphins need a quarterback so this sort of makes sense but, really, they have better quarterbacks on the roster already. Miami will take Tannehill. Miami should take Reiff if he's still on the board.
9. Carolina Panthers: Dontari Poe
Predictably, a national debate has erupted about whether Poe is as good as his Combine numbers indicate he is. The short answer: no, he isn’t. That being said, Ron Rivera is going to want to address defense and Poe would fill pretty big hole in that defense. This is a classic high risk, high reward pick.
10. Buffalo Bills: Quinton Coples
DE, North Carolina
Nobody seems to have any imagination anymore. We got a lot of flak last time around for saying that Buffalo would make this pick despite the Mario Williams signing, and we’re sticking to our guns. The Bills have a history of going after the best player available even if they don’t have a particularly huge need at the position, and Coples would fit the bill in that regard. Not only will Buddy Nix pull the trigger on this, but it will be so successful that Williams and Coples will come together to form one of the fiercest pass rushing duos in the league. Book it.
11. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Kuechly
LB, Boston College
The Chiefs don’t need a linebacker, per se, but the powers that be know full well that this is the smartest pick out there for them. Kuechly is the best linebacker available in this draft, and while he’s not a threat to get after the quarterback, his instinct and smarts make him a top-10 talent that K.C. will happily scoop up at No. 11.
12. Seattle Seahawks: Melvin Ingram
DE, South Carolina
The Seahawks had two major weaknesses heading into the offseason, and they addressed one of those weaknesses by picking up Matt Flynn. Now, it’s time to focus on nabbing a pass rusher. Certain physical qualities make Ingram a less desirable pick than Coples, but he may actually end up being the more reliable player when it’s all said and done.
13. Arizona Cardinals: David DeCastro
Given how awful Arizona’s offensive line is, they’ll happily pick up any upgrade available regardless of who's actually leading the offense. At the same time, after failing to add Peyton Manning to their ranks this past offseason, the Cardinals have probably made their peace with Kevin Kolb being the starting quarterback heading into next year. How do you help ensure a quarterback’s success? Give him some protection.
14. Dallas Cowboys: Dre Kirkpatrick
Kirkpatrick was a beast in college, and it’s still a little shocking that a marijuana charge that was eventually proven to be nothing is actually hampering his stock in some people’s eyes. Without a doubt, he’s the second best corner available in this draft. Dallas seriously needs to upgrade its secondary, and adding Kirkpatrick would be a good move en route to making that happen.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Fletcher Cox
DT, Mississippi State
Is there a team out there that’s tougher to read going into a draft than the Eagles? It was assumed that Philadelphia would take a linebacker here, but the addition of DeMeco Ryans obviously changes that. Andy Reid figures to go defense with this pick, and Cox would seeminglybe the best not-completely-unnecessary defensive player that the Eagles could nab with this selection. That being said, with this squad – you never know.