Mock draft: Columnist predicts top ten NFL Draft picks

Josh Rouse / Washburn Review

The Indianapolis Colts are on the clock for the 2012 NFL Draft, which kicks off April 26.

With that said, here’s how I see the first ten picks of the first round shaping up.

1. Indianapolis Colts: QB Andrew Luck, Stanford University-This is perhaps the most obvious pick in the entire draft, as Peyton Manning was let go in anticipation of the Colts taking Luck with the No. 1 overall pick. Luck has a terrific arm and all the intangibles you could hope for in an NFL quarterback. Most importantly, he is a great athlete. At the NFL Combine, he put up numbers similar to last year’s top overall pick, mobile Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. All in all, he has the makings of a future star if his offensive line can keep him on his feet at the pro level. With his athleticism, that shouldn’t be a problem.

2. Washington Redskins: QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor University-With the second most obvious pick in the draft, the Washington Redskins traded up for St. Louis’ No. 2 pick from the No. 6 spot, specifically to get a shot at snagging RG3.

Griffin is a terrific mix of size, speed and precision, completing 72.4 percent of his passes for 4,293 yards and 37 touchdowns, with only six interceptions, and rushing 179 times for 699 yards and 10 touchdowns his senior season. He is like a more accurate version of Michael Vick, which makes him one of the most dangerous picks in the draft.

3. Minnesota Vikings: OT Matt Kalil, USC-As a longtime Vikings fan, I would not be surprised to see the Vikings attempt to trade down in this situation. They have multiple needs, including wide receiver, cornerback and safety, but their most glaring issue has been the offensive line for the past few seasons.

If they hold on to this pick, they will most likely target this big beast to play left tackle. If they decide to trade down, they will either target Justin Blackmon or Morris Claiborne.

4. Cleveland Browns: RB Trent Richardson, University of Alabama-After losing their top runningback, Peyton Hillis, to the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency, look for the Browns to reload at this position. While they could benefit from adding a top-flight receiver, they probably would have taken Richardson even if Hillis had stayed.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Morris Claiborne, LSU-Despite an underwhelming performance on the Wonderlic test, this guy has a terrific football IQ. What’s more, the Buccaneers are always looking for a great cornerback to eventually replace Ronde Barber. While they do have troubled former-Jayhawk Aqib Talib, he is at best maybe one arrest away from obscurity.

6. St. Louis Rams: WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State University-An almost sure-fire stud at the next level, Blackmon seems like the perfect go-to guy for Sam Bradford. His mixture of size and speed gives him exceptional potential to become a great possession receiver in the next two or three years.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame-Most draft sources have South Carolina DE Melvin Ingram going to the Jags at the No. 7 spot. However, the Jaguars are notorious for making unusual first round picks (see Matt Jones, circa 2005). While either Ingram or North Carolina DE Quinton Couples would be ideal, this pick wouldn’t surprise me. Also, be aware that the Chiefs are looking for a quarterback and may trade up to grab Ryan Tannehill away from the Miami Dolphins.

8. Miami Dolphins: QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M-Assuming the Chiefs don’t trade up to No. 7, this seems like a done deal. Miami offensive coordinator Mike Sherman would love a chance to mentor his former Aggie quarterback at the pro level.

9. Carolina Panthers: DE Melvin Ingram, University of South Carolina-It’s either Ingram or Coples, simple as that. The Panthers need a pass rusher on the defensive line. They could decide to go for a defensive tackle like Dontari Poe of Memphis, but defensive end makes more sense.

10. Buffalo Bills: OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford University-The Bills took care of their defensive needs in free agency, so expect them to shore up their offensive line with this draft pick.