Final 2012 NFL mock draft

Trades will likely shift the draft board, but here's a final look before they do

Updated: April 26, 2012, 4:18 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider

Editor's note: Updates have been added, shifting a number of picks.

I'm breaking my own rules for this one. Here's the deal: After talking with a lot of teams, my sense is the board is going to be shaken up a good deal by trades. I'm not talking about four or five major deals in the first round, but for these purposes, even one that falls inside the top 10 picks will alter the board. That's how it happened last year, even when it was no surprise that Atlanta moved up to get Julio Jones. So while I've always waited for the deals to be completed before putting them in a mock, I'm going to go ahead and put one in. I'll throw the first salvo this year before trades inevitably make a mess of any projection.

Also: Be sure to check back here over the next 24 hours, as I'll post updates based on new information I'm hearing leading up to the draft. It's been another fun year, so please tune in this weekend, and by all means, hop in the comments and let me know where you're certain I'm way off. As is always the case with the draft, I can only rate the prospects; projecting all the picks is like buying a lottery ticket.

* The asterisk denotes juniors and third-year sophomores.

More Kiper NFL draft content:

Final Mock Draft | 'Grade A' AFC Draft | 'Grade A' NFC Draft | Final Big Board
Top 5 players by position | Regrading the 2011 NFL draft



Indianapolis Colts

Record: 2-14

* Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

This we've known since the Colts wrapped up the NFL's worst record. I think where we're all really intrigued is what the Colts decide to do at No. 34. Do they go with an offensive piece (WR, TE) to help Luck, or do they try to shore up a defense that has huge needs in a couple of spots? I think right now I'd be more inclined to help my young QB, but we'll have to see how the value falls.

Washington Redskins (from Rams)

Record: 5-11

* Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

They gave up a lot, but in the end, the Redskins will get their man. I'm excited to see what RG3 can accomplish in D.C., and the work the Redskins did to add pieces to the wide receiving corps (regardless of the prices paid) will certainly make the transition easier. Great kid, big-time promise. Should be fun to watch.


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Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst