NFL Mock Draft 2012: The Sporting News Predicts Buccaneers, Jaguars, And Dolphins To Draft Defense

The Sporting News recently published their correspondents mock draft on their web site. What was a bit surprising on that mock draft was that for the three Florida NFL teams, none of them selected offense players. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasn't as surprising with their choice as they were predicted to select cornerback Morris Claiborne of LSU with the No. 5 overall draft pick. The explanation comes via Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.

The Bucs have bigger needs than cornerback, but the chance to land a player who can immediately solidify their secondary for perhaps the next decade is too much to pass on.

The Bucs could always use a bit more stability on the defensive set, given Ronde Barber's age and Aqib Talib's off-field troubles.

With the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Sporting News predicted they would select defensive end Melvin Ingram from the South Carolina Gamecocks with the No. 7 overall pick. The explanation with that pick comes via Gene Frennette of the Florida Times-Union.

Ideally, the Jaguars would like to trade down, possibly to Seattle at No. 12 and take wide receiver Michael Floyd if available. Being stuck at No. 7, though, Ingram is the safer pick.

Jacksonville's pass rush a season ago was one of the worst in the league so getting some help there would be a good pick for the Jaguars to make. However, if the opportunity presents itself to trade down and acquire more picks, I don't think Jacksonville would deny that if the price was right.

The Miami Dolphins, whom a lot of mocks have predicted them selecting quarterback Ryan Tannehill from Texas A&M, were predicted to select defensive end Quinton Coples of the North Carolina Tarheels with the No. 8 overall pick. Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post claims that its too high to select a project like Tannehill.

Yes, the Dolphins need a young franchise quarterback, but don't expect them to use the eighth overall pick on developmental project Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins need instant impact players, and they can get an elite pass rusher in Coples.

The Dolphins could draft a player like Coples and then address the quarterback issue in later rounds. There are a pair of veterans on the roster for Miami right now so waiting til later rounds to not reach on a project quarterback could work in their favor.

The NFL Draft will begin on April 26 at 8 p.m. from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

For more on the Jacksonville Jaguars, visit Big Cat Country. For more on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, visit Bucs Nation. For more on the Miami Dolphins, visit The Phinsider. For more on all of the Florida teams, stay tuned to SB Nation Tampa Bay.

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