2011 NFL Mock Draft 4.0 (Picks 17-32)


17. New England Patriots (f/Raiders): Cameron Jordan, DE, California

The Pats have had issues at defensive end all season long, but there are plenty of options on the board. Jordan gets the nod due to his impressive showing at the Senior Bowl.

18. San Diego Chargers: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

The Chargers don’t have an awful lot of needs, but they don’t have a real bookend tackle across from Marcus McNeill. Tyron Smith is undersized, but is supremely talented and has great athleticism.

19. New York Giants: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida

I really don’t see Mike Pouncey getting past the Giants at 19. Big Blue wants to reestablish their running game, and their offensive line is getting quite old and fragile. However, Mark Ingram is still on the board and could be the pick here if Brandon Jacobs or Ahmad Bradshaw is let go.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

If the Bucs make the jump from pretender to contender, somebody will have to step up and generate a consistent pass rush. That player probably isn’t on the roster yet, which is why I expect Tampa to pick a pass rusher in April.

21. Kansas City Chiefs: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor

Scott Pioli always drafts defensive linemen in the first round if it is an area of need. This year, the Chiefs need to upgrade Ron Edwards at the nose, which means big Phil Taylor should be the selection here.

22. Indianapolis Colts: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

Liuget should not be falling this far, but he never squeezed into the top 15. Therefore, the Colts will gladly grab him although he isn’t a perfect fit for their scheme.

23. Philadelphia Eagles: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

The Eagles’ explosive offense struggled down the stretch because they could not afford Michael Vick time to throw the ball down the field. They need upgrades at center, right guard, and right tackle. Carimi can play either guard or tackle and is just they type of player that Andy Reid loves.

24. New Orleans Saints: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

The Saints have hinted that this pick will be used on a front seven defender. Unfortunately, Ryan Kerrigan, Aldon Smith, Adrian Clayborn, and Akeem Ayers are all gone, but Muhammad Wilkerson is a difference maker who is an impressive physical specimen.

25. Seattle Seahawks: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

Seattle could use an explosive playmaker on offense, but they also could use a playmaker anywhere on the field for that matter. J.J. Watt simply makes things happen from the defensive end spot and has the talent and size the Seahawks want in a strong side end.

26. Baltimore Ravens: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

Most people have mocked corners to the Ravens, but it’s too easy to break down the Baltimore defense if you give enough attention to Terrell Suggs. An effective bookend rusher across from him is what the doctor ordered for Baltimore.

27. Atlanta Falcons: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

Atlanta doesn’t have all that many needs, but they do need to add another playmaker for Matt Ryan to throw to. Outside of Roddy White and the regressing Tony Gonzalez, the Falcons don’t have anybody who will scare anybody down the field. Torrey Smith is dynamite in a bottle and will add a new dimension to the Atlanta attack.

28. New England Patriots: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

Every year, Bill Belichick seems to get a player in the draft that should have gone WAY before he really was drafted. That player could be Mark Ingram this year, who will thrive in the Patriot offense.

29. New York Jets: Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh

Indications out of New York is that Braylon Edwards is going to be allowed to walk this offseason. Jonathan Baldwin is a similar tall, physical wideout who can win jump ball situations and stretch the field.

30. Chicago Bears: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

The Bear offensive line was a clear weakness for Chicago in 2010, and if they want their offense to be consistently dangerous in the playoffs, they will need to find a new pair of tackles. Castonzo will be an immediate upgrade at right tackle who can eventually slide over to Cutler’s blind side.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

Year to year, top to bottom, the Steelers are always among the league’s most complete teams. This year is no different, but they need to add depth to their secondary as William Gay and Bryant McFadden aren’t cutting it. Aaron Williams is a very talented player who doesn’t need to start from day 1 necessarily.

32. Green Bay Packers: Christian Ballard, DE, Iowa

Cullen Jenkins can’t wait to get out of Green Bay, and without him, the defense just isn’t as dominant as it could be. Christian Ballard is quicker and more athletic and can develop into a similar type of impact player.

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