David Fulcher celebrates hearing his name during the draft (Photo: ASU)
House of Sparky's unique and Sun Devil-centric 2012 NFL Mock Draft finished the top 10 selections yesterday, and now it's time for the teams selecting in spots 11-20 to be put on the clock.
A quick refresher for those just coming in: we are using the current 2012 first round draft order and present team needs. The wrinkle is that the draft pool consists only of former Sun Devils throughout the program's history, with all players being viewed as if they were entering the draft after their final season at ASU. Got it? Good.
Let's begin with the Kansas City Chiefs on the clock.
11) Kansas City Chiefs: Jeremy Staat, DT
While they have some exciting playmakers on defense, the Chiefs need help up front, where they finished 26th against the run. With the 11th pick, they nab a strong and athletic defensive tackle to build around. Staat is a 6'5", 300-pounder with a non-stop motor that helped lead to him to the Morris Trophy as the conference's top defensive lineman.
12) Seattle Seahawks: Al Harris, DE
Having addressed their top concern at quarterback via free agency, the Seahawks look to build up their pass rush by taking Al Harris. The 6'5" 250 pound Harris is a terror for opposing quarterbacks, having notched 19 sacks in his final season, which earned him All-American honors.
13) Arizona Cardinals: Juan Roque, OT
Having made their decision at quarterback, the Cardinals now need to upgrade a terrible offensive line to keep him upright. They make a great selection in Roque, the dominate left tackle was a two-time All-Pac 10 selection and was a consensus All-American as a senior.
14) Dallas Cowboys: David Fulcher, SS
The Cowboys began addressing a weak secondary by bringing in cornerback Brandon Carr through free agency, and now bolster the backline with the dynamic Fulcher at safety. A player with cornerback speed and linebacker size (6'3", 235 pounds), Fulcher is a terror for opposing offenses. He is a three-time All-American selection and immediately upgrades Rob Ryan's defense.
15) Philadelphia Eagles: Ron Pritchard, LB
Last season, the Eagles were soft and underperformed. With this addition to their depleted linebacking corps, that will not be the case any longer. Pritchard is a playmaking linebacker who is equally adept at shutting down the run and the pass, and his great size (6'1", 235 pounds) is matched by his leadership ability, having been named team captain. He instantly makes the entire defense much tougher and ferocious.
16) New York Jets: Vernon Maxwell, LB
Continuing the linebacker run is Vernon Maxwell's selection by the Jets. New York is in need of attacking linebackers to fit their 3-4 scheme, and Maxwell's excellent pass rushing ability is an ideal fit. Over his career, the speedy linebacker notched 28 sacks and earned All-American honors three times. The 6'2", 233-pounder should become an instant impact player coming off the edge.
17) Cincinnati Bengals: Craig Newsome, CB
Defense continues to be the order of the day, but with players the caliber of Craig Newsome, it's hard to pass them up. A big cornerback (6'0", 190 pounds) with excellent coverage ability to blanket opposing receivers, Newsome will upgrade a Bengals' secondary in need of depth.
The Chargers continue to underachieve, and part of that comes from uneven offensive line play. San Diego hopes that their pick at No. 18 will remedy that. Standing at a prototypical 6'5", 330 pounds, Smith is a terrific pass protector, having only allowed a single sack during his final year, a feat that earned him All-American accolades.
19) Chicago Bears: Eric Allen, CB
With a perennially strong front seven, the Bears now look to add depth to a secondary short on cornerbacks. Thankfully for them, the ultra-talented Eric Allen has fallen to No. 19. His is an intelligent shutdown corner capable of taking an opponents top receiver out of the game, and should help an otherwise suspect secondary.
20) Tennessee Titans: Mike Richardson, DB
The Titan secondary is in disarray after losing their top cornerback, so they address the need by taking a two-time consensus All-American selection. Richardson, ASU's all-time leader in interceptions with 18, brings good size (6'0", 185 pounds) with dynamic talent and a nose for the football. He should be a starter from Day 1.
View picks 1-10 here. Picks 21-32 will be coming on Wednesday morning. Think a Sun Devil went too high, too low or not at all? Make your pick in the Comments section below.
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