NFL Films guru Greg Cosell is one of the most respected analysts in the game today. He crunches more tape by 9 a.m. than most so-called experts crunch all month. Cosell rolled out his first ever 2012 NFL Mock Draft, first ever mock draft period, using a slightly different approach that is sure to give fans plenty of water cooler fodder.
Cosell based his picks purely on his own study, matching the players with the teams and their respective draft spots. The results will surprise any reader.
Starting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cosell goes with North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
5. Tampa Bay: Remember what I said about Minnesota. It applies to the Bucs as well. In the NFC South, they must defend Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton. If they expect to be competitive, they must cover on the perimeter. They select the best pure man-to-man cover corner in the draft, Janoris Jenkins. If you watched him at Florida in 2010 matched against AJ Green, Julio Jones and Alshon Jeffery, you know what I mean.
Jenkins is likely to slide on draft day because of off-field concerns, but few question his talent.
For the Jacksonville Jaguars Cosell goes with another cornerback, this time the one that is likely to be one of the first four picks in reality, LSU's Morris Claiborne.
7. Jacksonville: The Jaguars select the third corner in the top 7 picks, Morris Claiborne. Claiborne played both press and off coverage at LSU, and he also played in the slot. Claiborne was more of a mirror or shadow press man corner, much like Champ Bailey has been in his career. Claiborne was a smooth efficient mover, but he was not as physical as Gilmore, and I don't believe he provides the same slot versatility as a blitzer and run support defender.
I doubt any Jags fan would complain much if their team had the chance to draft Claiborne.
Cosell's pick for the Dolphins is a more realistic possibility, one that has been discussed plenty in recent weeks, Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
8. Miami: What I'm about to say certainly applied to Cleveland as well, but I could not pass on such a special player as Richardson at #4. If you have a top 15 NFL quarterback (give or take) you can compete for division titles and by extension, championships. If you don't, it's very difficult. Think about the top 15 in the NFL right now, and you'll realize it's a fair statement. That logic leads me to Ryan Tannehill for the Dolphins. In fact, over time, I believe he has a chance to be significantly better than Top 15.
Tannehill could very well fall to the Dolphins, or he could get picked in the top five.
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