The 2012 NFL Draft is still a ways away, but there is no end to the permutations and possibilities. While everyone seems fairly certain that Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck will be the No. 1 overall draft pick, two of his teammates are heavy favorites to also be selected in the first round. Offensive tackle Jonathan Martin and offensive guard David DeCastro are drawing attention from several teams.
The latest mock draft at Draft Tek has Martin and DeCastro being selected back-to-back in the first round. Draft Tek predicts that the Arizona Cardinals will take Martin as the No. 13 overall selection. Here is their take:
Arizona left tackle Levi Brown gave up 40 QB pressures and 11 sacks this year. That was good enough to be fourth most in pressures and third most in sacks. Right tackle Brandon Keith fared a little better, giving up five sacks and 24 pressures which put him 31st and 37th in the league, respectively. Offensive tackle is by far and away the biggest need for the Cardinals, who have to provide protection for either Kevin Kolb or John Skelton, no matter who wins the starting job. Jonathan Martin is a guy that was the consensus number two draft-eligible OT in this class when the season started. That being said, he had a bit of a down year, struggling with speed rushers, which has caused him to fall down boards. He's still a top 20 talent in this class though and plays the all-important LT position. After protecting Andrew Luck's blindside, look for Martin to be protecting John Skelton's next year.
Draft Tek suggests that with the very next pick, the Dallas Cowboys will select DeCastro as the No. 14 player.
The pipe dream was fun while we smoked it, but this week CB Kirkpatrick is a top ten pick and there is quite a drop-off in talent to Dennard . . . thus, it's the "People's Choice" Stanford's David DeCastro, the #1 OG in this year's draft class. DeCastro is smart, athletic and possesses a mean streak. The interior of the Cowboy OL definitely needs an upgrade, as the youth conversion project continues. New OC/OL coach Bill Callahan has his OT bookends in Smith and Free but if OG Montrae Holland (UFA) shows up overweight again, the roll call includes the oft-injured Kyle Kosier, Derrick Dockery (UFA), David Arkin (last year's 4th round selection who the coaches say needs to get stronger?) and Bill Nagy (last year's 7th round selection who did not start at Wisconsin due to his affinity for riding scooters) to line up either side of centers Costa and Kowalski. Will Dallas invest yet another 1st round choice on the OL? Looks to me like they have to!
It would certainly be an interesting development if the Stanford teammates were selected back-to-back. We will just have to wait and see how it all ultimately shakes out.
For all news and information regarding the Stanford Cardinal, please visit Rule of Tree. For updates and analysis on the 2012 NFL Draft, head on over to Mocking the Draft.