Thursday, April 5, 2012
AFC North version: Kiper's mock draft 4.0
By Jamison Hensley
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. offered his fourth 2012 mock draft this week. You'll need an Insider subscription to view the entire draft, but here's a look at the AFC North part of it:
4. Cleveland Browns
Kiper's first mock draft: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Kiper's second mock: Robert Griffin III
Kiper's third mock: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Current mock: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Hensley's comment: As everyone knows by now from my Wednesday blog, I'm behind the Browns taking Richardson. He will instantly become the centerpiece of that offense.
17. Cincinnati Bengals
Kiper's first mock draft: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Kiper's second mock: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Kiper's third mock: Dre Kirkpatrick
Current mock: David DeCastro, G, Stanford
Hensley's comment: If the choice is between Kirkpatrick and DeCastro, I believe the Bengals will go with DeCastro. The draft's best guard will make an immediate impact as a starter.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Kiper's first mock draft: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (Fla.)
Kiper's second mock: David DeCastro, G, Stanford
Kiper's third mock: Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia
Current mock: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Hensley's comment: Not sure I'm sold on this pick, even though the Bengals need an eventual replacement for Nate Clements. Gilmore is fast and aggressive, but there are questions whether he has the strength to play man coverage in the NFL.
22. Cleveland Browns
Kiper's first mock draft: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Kiper's second mock: Kendall Wright
Kiper's third mock: Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska
Current mock: Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia
Hensley's comment: I think it's going to be hard for the Browns to resist taking a wide receiver at this spot. Glenn is an intriguing choice because he can play anywhere on the line, and the Browns need help on their right side.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Kiper's first mock draft: Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
Kiper's second mock: Dontari Poe
Kiper's third mock: Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
Current mock: Dont'a Hightower
Hensley's comment: This spot makes a lot of sense which is why most mock drafts are linking Hightower to the Steelers. His leadership and experience in the 3-4 defense makes him the best candidate to fill the void left by the release of James Farrior.
29. Baltimore Ravens
Kiper's first mock draft: Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State
Kiper's second mock: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Kiper's third mock: Peter Konz
Current mock: Peter Konz
Hensley's comment: I understand putting Konz here for the Ravens. He could immediately start at left guard and be groomed to replace veteran center Matt Birk. But the Ravens can't have any medical red flags with Konz, who has dealt with ankle injuries during his college career, for them to take him in the first round.