Now that Free Agency has altered the landscape of the upcoming NFL Draft, the guys over at SB Nation have come out with a new revised version of their 2012 NFL Mock Draft to reflect the changes in team needs. The first is with the No. 5 pick owned by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They had previously been linked to Morris Claiborne of LSU, but they explain why running back Trent Richardson is a better choice.
Tampa Bay invested heavily in their offense last week. Richardson is the pièce de résistance. With Carl Nick opening holes for him and Vincent Jackson helping to keep defenses honest, the Buccaneers' offense could be very good in 2012. Morris Claiborne might be the pick here. The team signed Eric Wright for five-years, $37.5 million and expects Aqib Talib to return, so they might wait on a cornerback.
With Tampa Bay looking at other options, it enables Claiborne to slide down a little bit further down the board. He lands with the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 7.
Claiborne takes a precipitous fall in the first mock draft following free agency. Jacksonville is just fine with that. The Jaguars wisely re-signed Rashean Mathis, but he is 32 and recovering from a torn ACL. Claiborne is a brilliant cover corner with fine ball skills that should have an impact even as a rookie.
Finally the Dolphins, who aren't gifted a quarterback option that suits them. As a result, they take a defensive end who could help with their conversion to the 4-3 defense.
First, Jeff Fisher rejected them. Peyton Manning never really seemed to want anything to do with them. As a final insult, the Dolphins lost out to Seattle on Matt Flynn, despite Joe Philbin's ties to the quarterback. Watch for them to trade up as Ryan Tannehill gets more attractive as a consolation prize. Or, will they trade down for Brandon Weeden?
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