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Need meets value


Every so often in the real NFL draft, need meets value and you have a happy, easy selection.

Every so often, it happens in mock drafts, too.

So, while the Seattle Seahawks' selection at No. 12 in the 2012 reader mock draft didn't come off completely without debate, there was certainly more agreement than normal this deep in the process – and that made for a pretty clear-cut day.

And here's the kicker:

The selection we offered up? Well, that even got praised a bit.

All in all, that was enough to make Day 12 a pretty good one around the reader/mock draft table, and though things did careen off course for a while with the expected and unavoidable Tim Tebow debate, that wasn't enough to spoil an otherwise glorious March afternoon.

It's not good form to lead with self-adulation, but we've never cared much for good form around these parts, so we'll get right to what I consider the day's highlight.

"John's right," Jackson Hart wrote. "Melvin Ingram should be the pick for the Seahawks at 12."

Atta boy, Jackson, and while we cleared off a permanent favored spot for Hart at the reader/mock draft table, we moved on and found that while support for Ingram – a defensive end from South Carolina –predictably was quite strong, it wasn't quite unanimous.

Luke Kuechly made sure of that.

Kuechly, a middle linebacker from Boston College, has gotten a lot of support from readers the last couple of days. That's hardly surprising. Like Jaguars General Manager Gene Smith, the readers tend to lean toward college productivity, and Kuechly was nothing if not productive at BC.

The readers have pushed hard for Kuechly at the last two selections, and with the Seahawks seemingly having a need in the middle, the push remained strong on Day 12.

"Luke Kuechly is a nice blend of BAP and need at 12," Joshua wrote. "The 'Hawks need help on offense, but there is not much value in offensive players available at this point of the draft."

Right though he may be, No. 12 just continues to feel high for a middle linebacker – a position that, like running back – seldom merits a selection in the first half of the first round these days. Another comparatively devalued spot also continued to get mentioned.

That was Stanford offensive guard David DeCastro, who continued to be a focal point of discussion despite the inconvenient fact that he already has been selected in this mock draft.

"In the real world, I think De Castro goes here," Brian L. Jones wrote, "But since he is gone from our mock I'll have to go with O-Man - Melvin Ingram."

Joshua, too, was pining for DeCastro, writing, "If DeCastro wasn't taken at 10th overall in this mock, then I'd throw him out there as well. He's going to be a solid OG in the NFL for many years to come barring any injuries. But since he's off the board, you take the BAP player that's left. Hence Ingram."

Not everyone was completely sold on Ingram, something that was evident when James from Jacksonville started theorizing about another player fast becoming a favorite among mockers and Jaguars followers.

"Seattle hauls in Stephen Hill of Georgia Tech," he wrote. "The good news is that Matt Flynn has been signed. Flynn should be a significant upgrade from Jackson and Whitehurst. Seattle's first order of business should be to get him a receiver to team up with the returning Sidney Rice. Hill might surprise people and end up being the best receiver in the entire draft."

Indeed he might, but although Hill has risen on draft boards it's still hard to see him going at No. 12. What's not as hard to see is Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin going this early or even earlier. The problem in out mock has been finding a team for Martin.

We offered up Martin the last two days, and although the readers went another way each day, Tom Landon theorized that Seattle's signing of Flynn could make this a landing spot for Martin.

"I see them picking OT Jonathan Martin from Stanford, to help protect their newly signed QB," Landon wrote.

In the end, though, there just wasn't enough argument to move the pick from Ingram, and many readers agreed with what we offered up Tuesday – that there was simply too much talent and need to go another direction.

"Ingram," JaguarGator9 wrote. "They need a pass rush badly. It's a very winnable division, so they'll need the rush to pull away from the opposing teams in the division."

As so often has been the case in this mock draft, what JaguarGator9 wrote made a lot of sense. Maybe it's because he's shown a tendency to agree with our offerings, or maybe he's just a visionary. Either way, on Day 12, the pick is Ingram to Seattle, meaning after 12 days the reader mock looks like:

1.Indianapolis | Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

2.Washington | Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

3.Minnesota | Matt Kalil, OT, Southern California

4.Cleveland | Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

5.Tampa Bay | Morris Claiborne, CB, Louisiana State

6.St. Louis | Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

7.Jacksonville | Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

8.Miami | Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

9.Carolina | Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

10.Buffalo | David DeCastro, G, Stanford

11.Kansas City | Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

12.Seattle | Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

That brings us to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 13. We're going to offer up linebacker/defensive end Courtney Upshaw of Alabama here. We might have gone Martin until the Cardinals re-signed Levi Brown, and now that he's back, Upshaw makes sense for a team needing some pass rush.

Have at it.

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