I received many e-mails and tweets about my 2012 NFL Mock Draft and the upcoming NFL Draft in general. To share the answers to the questions publicly, I decided to start up a mailbag column. Pass along your NFL draft questions and comments. I'll put together a mailbag periodically that answers questions/comments sent via email [email protected] or on Twitter @draftcampbell.
From Reginald, Belmont, Michigan
"Lions Mock: I love Cordy Glenn and Lavonte David in the first 2 rounds. Excellent talents and positions of need. I am unsure of DeQuan Menzie. Seems like a tweener who is stuck inbetween positions...a lot like Amari Spievy I like his style but think he is a bust pick. Michael Brewster in Round 4 is worth a shot since at one point I really liked him."
Menzie is an underrated prospect. He had a strong 2011 season. He was in man coverage constantly and did a good job of not allowing separation. Teams tested Menzie as they avoided Dre Kirkpatrick. I think he could play free safety, and that helps him in a weak safety draft. I think that Menzie will reward whichever team uses a mid-round pick on him.
From Dario in Milan, Italy
"Would you still mock a DE to Miami if they landed Peyton Manning in free agency? Wouldn't [Iowa offensive tackle Riley] Reiff make the most sense at 8 overall to bookend Jake Long (according to me the most compelling reason for number 18 to go to South Beach)?"
That is a good point and I see your logic. Marc Columbo was terrible at right tackle for Miami last year. He routinely allowed his quarterback to take hits and get pressured. The Dolphins should upgrade the position regardless of Manning signing with them. However, landing Manning makes it even more critical. An aging quarterback with a neck condition is going to need top-notch pass protection. Thus if they sign Manning, I agree that they will be more likely to use their first-rounder on the offensive line instead of a defensive end.
From twitter and @vinocreilly1
"Did Michael Floyd graduate from ND? If he went to a SEC school you wouldn't even hear about him underage drinking?"
I believe that Michael Floyd did graduate from Notre Dame. I remember during the 2011 season and it was stated that he was on schedule to graduate in December. I don't agree that if Floyd went to an SEC school his arrest would be swept under the rug. Georgia tight end Orson Charles just got a DUI and that was quickly reported. The character concerns with Janoris Jenkins, a former Florida Gator, are clearly a big issue and are not being ignored. Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick made news with his arrest although the charges were dropped. Beyond the SEC, Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon has not gotten a pass for his DUI arrest in 2010. Currently, Floyd has made strides in addressing his past problems with NFL teams and he could go as high as the seventh-overall pick to Jacksonville.
There was a lot of feedback about Ryan Tannehill at four to the Browns. While @believeland24 wrote on twitter: "The first half of your first round is, IMO, the most realistic I've seen on any site all draft season. Well done," many others didn't agree with those sentiments. Considering the vehement reaction, I'll address Tannehill being projected at four.
There are a lot of signs that are pointing toward Tannehill being the Browns quarterback, if they draft one. Head coach Pat Shurmur raved about Tannehill, while Browns head hancho Mike Holmgren wasn't willing to deal the picks needed to land Robert Griffin III at the second-overall pick. Fox Sports' John Czarnecki reported that the Browns were confused with how to use Griffin. Sources have indicated to me that the Browns are comfortable with Tannehill. By the sounds of it, Cleveland is a real mess with too many cooks in the kitchen. On the offensive side of the ball they have Holmgren meddling with the Shurmur and his coaching staff, which features newly added offensive coordinator Brad Childress. Perhaps the Browns could trade down a few spots and select Tannehill, or move up from the 22nd overall pick to take him. Either way, the signs are pointing to Tannehill being their new quarterback if they draft one.
From Nathan in Springfield, Illinois
"Charlie, You have the Bears draft looking like this... 1 - OT Johnathan Martin, 2 - TE Coby Fleener, 3 - S Brandon Taylor, 3 - DE Chandler Jones, 4- OLB Keenan Robinson. For starters, I love the Jonathan Martin pick. There is no way the Bears can pass on him if he's there. But I think the Bears HAVE to look at their interior o-line with one of those two third round picks. And they have put two third round picks into Safeties with Cris Conte and Major Wright in the last two drafts, they can't invest another in Brandon Taylor. I am also against the Coby Fleener pick, but as you have things falling there isn't another good pick for the Bears at that spot. I happen to think that they should look at Kevin Zeitler, Rueben Randle, or Philip Blake (although this would be a significant reach)."
The Bears could look to sign some interior line help in free agency. It is nearly impossible to find a top left tackle on the open market, but they should be able to sign some upgrades at guard and/or center. Even though they have third-rounders invested in Wright and Conte, Wright hasn't been very good. Brandon Meriweather and Craig Steltz are free agents, so regardless they need some depth. Many teams in the league believe you need three good safeties each season because of injuries and rotational purposes. If the Bears sign a veteran than they can scratch off safety for draft day. Sources told me that Mike Tice wants to get the tight end more involved in the Bears offense as Mike Martz hated the position. They traded away Greg Olsen, so they need another receiving tight end. Kellen Davis had 18 receptions for 206 yards last year. A tight end like Dwayne Allen or Fleener would add another dimension to their offense and allow a more dangerous double tight end set.
From Beau in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
"I am a big fan of your mock draft. Who is a guy from a smaller school (not from one of the power 6 conferences) the Packers might take in the draft. Ted Thompson always seems to draft guys like this, that shock most of the non-draft experts worlds. Maybe the saftety from Boise St. or Wolfe from Cincy? Do you think the packers will draft either (Ohio State center Mike) Brewster or (Michigan's David Molk) if they last till the 4th round?"
There are a few players that I think would fit Green Bay who are from non high profile schools. Cincinnati defensive end/tackle Derek Wolfe would be a phenomenal fit as a five technique defensive end in the Packers 3-4 defense. Wolfe could provide size, physicality and pass rushing ability on the edge. Two more smaller-school prospects who could be a good options for the Packers are Coastal Carolina cornerback Josh Norman and Montana cornerback/safety Trumaine Johnson. Thompson prefers taller cornerbacks and Norman (6-0) and Johnson (6-2) both fit that criteria. I think that Brewster or Molk could be picks in the fourth round, but what happens in free agency will have a big impact on if the Packers need to draft a center.
From Tom in Cleveland, Ohio
Is there a run-stuffing DE (not DT) for a 4-3 that is good value between 30-40th pick? At this pick, I'd expect this could be a lineman who could play every down. This could be a left-end or somebody who could move to that side.
There are three defensive ends who should go on the second day of the draft that fit the bill as tough run defenders. Arkansas defensive end Jake Bequette (6-5, 275) is strong at the point of attack. He also offers some pass rush ability with 10 sacks in 2011. Another end worth considering is Virginia's Cam Johnson. He didn't have big tackle production with 30 tackles in 2011, but he is a stout defender at the line. If Wolfe is drafted into a 4-3 defense he could play end on running downs and rush the passer from tackle in passing situations. Wolfe (6-5, 295) has the flexibility to do that.
Now that the combine is over and the free agent frenzy has died down (still quality free agents out there, though), I'll do another mock. Four rounds with trades. It's pretty likely that I have some players that are both too high and too low in regards to where they are being projected, but I did the best I could based on need, best player available, where I'd take these players, character concerns and where I think they'll be taken.