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2012 Backward NFL Mock Draft

Last update: Friday, April 17, 2012.

This is our fourth-annual backward mock draft. It's what it sounds like: What would the 2012 NFL Draft look like if the order were reversed? Whom would the Giants take with the first pick? My annual Backward NFL Mock Draft is listed below.

Go here for my 2012 NFL Mock Draft or here for my 2013 NFL Mock Draft.

  1. San Francisco 49ers: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
    TRADE! OK, some of you might think I'm nuts right now. Barely anyone creates a backward mock draft, but of the few people who do, I'm willing to bet that I'm the only one who predicts trades in them.

    Now that I've addressed my insanity, let me talk about the trade. Andrew Luck has to be the first pick. The Giants won't take him, but his former head coach would. The 49ers would have to trade two first-round picks, a pair of second-rounders and some other stuff to move up from No. 3 to No. 1, but it would be worth it. Luck is the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning, and he projects to be an Aaron Rodgers clone. I'd say that's a slight improvement over Alex Smith.

  2. Cleveland Browns: Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor
    Another trade! This time, the Browns move up from No. 11 to No. 2 and also thrown in No. 29, next year's first-rounder and some other early-round selections.

    This makes sense for both sides. Bill Belichick loves to move down, so he'd love to pick up extra picks and end up with three first-rounders. The Browns, meanwhile, are desperate for a franchise quarterback. They tried to move up in the real draft but didn't offer enough to the Rams. Perhaps they underestimated the price the Redskins were willing to pay. If so, maybe Mike Holmgren learned his lesson.

  3. New York Giants: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
    The Giants still get their man despite moving down two spots. They really need help at tackle, and they're landing arguably the top non-quarterback in the class (take note, Vikings). William Beatty can't stay healthy and James Brewer, a fourth-round pick in 2011, hasn't played yet. Landing Kalil would really bolster Eli Manning's protection.

  4. Baltimore Ravens: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
    The Ravens are a disgrace. They have the best quarterback in the NFL, yet they do Joe Flacco a disservice by surrounding him with an aging Anquan Boldin and a butterfingered Torrey Smith. Horrible. Just horrible.

    OK, in all seriousness, Baltimore is desperate for a No. 1 receiver. The media is trying to create some competition for Blackmon in Michael Floyd, but the Oklahoma State product is the unquestioned top wideout in the class.

  5. Green Bay Packers: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
    It was a really close call between Trent Richardson and Morris Claiborne. Both fill needs, but the former is the better prospect.

    I guess it's a good thing for the rest of the league that the NFL Draft isn't ordered like this. Can you imagine how sick Green Bay's offense would be with Richardson complementing Aaron Rodgers and his receivers?

  6. New England Patriots: Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
    The last of the six elite prospects goes to the Patriots. Cornerback isn't a major need for New England, but Bill Belichick can afford to go pure "best player available" in this spot because he has two other first-round picks.

  7. Houston Texans: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
    It's no secret that the Texans are desperate for a receiver. They wouldn't take 10 seconds handing in their card if a stud like Michael Floyd were somehow available to them. And as the pick is announced, you can bet that at least a dozen defensive coordinators would suffer panic attacks. How do you stop an offense featuring Andre Johnson, Arian Foster, Floyd and Owen Daniels?

  8. Denver Broncos: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
    This is another instance in which a big need matches up with a top prospect in this backward order. The Broncos are desperate to find a defensive tackle, and Fletcher Cox's stock has risen enough that it'll be surprising if he falls out of the top 10.

  9. Pittsburgh Steelers: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
    I've had the Steelers picking Dont'a Hightower for months in my real 2012 NFL Mock Draft, so why not give them a better inside linebacker? Kuechly's a blue-chip prospect and is arguably the top player on the board. He could go as high as No. 9 in the real draft and is unlikely to fall past the teens because he's so good.

  10. Detroit Lions: Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
    Riley Reiff goes 10th in both my real mock and this backward edition. The Lions always pick the top player available, and it's conceivable that they could have him as the best available prospect on the board. Reiff would fill an obvious need at left tackle, a position that has eluded Detroit for a very long time.

  11. New England Patriots: Melvin Ingram, DE/OLB, South Carolina
    New England's second pick in the 2012 Backward NFL Mock Draft (via the Robert Griffin trade) can be used to fill a big need with one of the top players available. The Patriots are desperate to find a pass-rushing upgrade, and Melvin Ingram has the bulk and the versatility that Bill Belichick loves out of his outside linebackers.

  12. Cincinnati Bengals: David DeCastro, G, Stanford
    I don't understand how some people believe that David DeCastro will fall on Draft Day. There's a good chance that he will be the top guard in the NFL over the next decade. He can also play center. Blue-chip prospects like him don't fall. I have him at No. 11 in my real 2012 NFL Mock Draft, and I'm going to slot him at No. 12 in the backward edition. The Bengals need help at the guard position.

  13. Tennessee Titans: Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis
    The Titans will probably select the top defensive lineman available unless a surprise prospect falls to them. The player fitting that description is Dontari Poe. He'd be a nice complement next to Jurrell Casey. Current starter Sen'Derrick Marks needs to be upgraded.

  14. Chicago Bears: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
    The middle of the backward mock can be boring at times because the picks in the real mock match up. That's the case here. As I wrote in my real mock, "The Bears need a pass-rusher across from Julius Peppers, who also happens to be a talented defensive end out of North Carolina. The front office may believe that Peppers could be a great tutor for Coples."

  15. San Diego Chargers: Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
    There's a chance Mark Barron could fall to San Diego on Draft Day. If this happens, he's not slipping past them. The Chargers have a huge need at strong safety; they haven't had a stud there since Rodney Harrison. Barron is definitely one of the top prospects available.

  16. Cincinnati Bengals: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
    Cornerback is a need for Cincinnati. Nate Clements, who turned 32 in December, was inconsistent this past season. Meanwhile, Leon Hall won't be ready to play next year because of his torn Achilles.

    This will be either Stephon Gilmore or Dre Kirkpatrick. The former appears to have moved ahead in the consensus big board.

    Go to 2012 Backward NFL Mock Draft: Picks 17-32

    Sorry for cutting this into two halves; I've received complaints about load times and putting the mock draft on two pages saves bandwidth.

Real 2012 NFL Mock Draft

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03-10-2013 02:18 am (total posts: 9)
4     5

Sagar 03-09-2013 04:24 am (total posts: 1)
4     5

That's what mocks are for though, isn't it? See what works and what doesn't. Trust me, never penanld to go so OF heavy, but the value felt like it was there, so I stuck with it.Coincidentally, the projections had me finishing first or second (don't remember which). I probably am higher on Rios than many other people are, which is why I took him at that spot. I didn't think he'd get back to me and I actually have him valued a few spots higher than some of the OFers that went before him.
Glecia 11-10-2012 03:15 pm (total posts: 1)
12     15

Bibliography1)Blakenship, Mark. How Social Media Can And Should Impact Higher Education. Education Digest 76.7 (2011): 39-42. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Nov. 2011.This article eexrolps the ways in which the social media have effected the way students learn. It looks a tth euse of social media in their daily lives and in the classroom to see how social media is reshaping the way we think about education and the way the mind works.2)Brown, Arnold. Relationships, Community, And Identity In The New Virtual Society. Futurist 45.2 (2011): 29-34. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Nov. 2011.Arnold Brown eexrolps how social media effects relationships, community, and identify and how this affects the way we connect to one another emotional and socially in way unimaginable only a few years ago.3)McGrath, Michael. Technology, Media, And Political Participation. National Civic Review 100.3 (2011): 41-44. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Nov. 2011.This article eexrolps the many ways in which the social media has increased political awareness and participation by its easy of access and its ability to spread messages quickly.4)Jacobsen, Wade C., and Renata Forste. The Wired Generation: Academic And Social Outcomes Of Electronic Media Use Among University Students. Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking 14.5 (2011): 275-280. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Nov. 2011.The authors of this article look at the effectiveness of the social media being used in campus situations, from extra-curricular to in class room scenarios.5)Costanza-Chock, Sasha. Digital Popular Communication: Lessons On Information And Communication Technologies For Social Change From The Immigrant Rights Movement. National Civic Review 100.3 (2011): 29-35. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Nov. 2011.Costanza-Chock eexrolps the ways in which digital communications have been used as tools for activism. The authors looks at the ways in which the growth of easy communication has brought many, previously lesser issues, to the forefront of society’s conscious as major debates.
Rayonna 09-08-2012 06:32 pm (total posts: 2)
12     12

I'm not quite sure how to say this; you made it exretmely easy for me!
Will 06-29-2012 03:17 pm (total posts: 1)
13     14

I would have loved to see the Bills take Brooks Riley in the 2nd round, I do see the value in Aaron Williams. One of the things I liked about this draft was the guys the Bills did not draft, mlniay a QB. My
Alejandra 06-15-2012 10:42 am (total posts: 1)
17     20

Great article but it didn't have everything-I didn't find the kticehn sink!
Buster Cherry 05-09-2012 04:35 pm (total posts: 1)
24     23

Got the Lions pick right
Mitch 04-19-2012 06:37 pm (total posts: 1)
20     23

If Walter is predicting trades in this draft he'd trade down a little bit so he can land Ingram or Cox and an extra second rounder
Jared 04-19-2012 03:48 pm (total posts: 1)
52     23

Ha the Bengals get the same 2 guys even in the backwards mock
Codename Dutchess 04-18-2012 06:55 pm (total posts: 1)
25     39

What's the point of a backwards mock? Fans of Super Bowl teams upset that they have to pick way down at the end of the first?
pete 04-17-2012 10:08 pm (total posts: 1)
64     22

i like it
Kenny 04-17-2012 09:59 pm (total posts: 1)
29     43

Draft order error - The skins should be picking at 27 in this mock.
Give it a rest 04-17-2012 09:39 pm (total posts: 1)
192     29

For those of you who are whining about the point of this all - it's a thought experiment. So, in that, it's an interesting thing to look at.
Moreover, on a practical side, it is analyzing the relative positions of various prospects. When you change up when teams are drafting, but keep the same pool of prospects, it opens up new ways to view the prospects.
Lastly, it's not like this link tricked you. What the hell did you think "backward mock draft" meant? That everything was written backwards? If you read this article and still complained about the point of it, you're the idiot.
Leo 04-17-2012 09:28 pm (total posts: 1)
59     54

Kuechly is not necessarily a better pick than Hightower. Especially for a team like the Steelers. Kuechly is not nearly aggressive enough. When is the last time you saw a Steeler linebacker who didn't take on blocks or fill the hole at the LOS. Kuechly is a very good MLB but not a fit for every team. He would have much more value for a finess defense who won't ask him to blitz or make big plays in the running game. If he sticks to zone coverage and moving sideline to sideline rather than playing down hill he will do very well.
Tom Brokaw 04-17-2012 07:27 pm (total posts: 1)
189     29

Why on earth would the Steelers pass on David DeCastro for Luke Kuechly?

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