Archive for category 2011 NFL Mock Drafts
1. Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton, QB, Auburn: The one player Carolina believes can turn the franchise around.
2. Denver Broncos – Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama: A “safe” pick that John Fox can build around as he takes over a monumentally porous defense.
3. Buffalo Bills – Von Miller, OLB, Texas AM: A dynamic pass rusher who is headed for NFL stardom.
4. Cincinnati Bengals – A.J. Green, WR, Georgia: A much-needed playmaker for an offense that Mike Brown still believes will be led by Carson Palmer.
5. Arizona Cardinals – Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU: With several talented, young passers already on the roster, look for Arizona to take a player they can immediately plug in. Patrick Peterson would give them a rock solid secondary, complementing Adrian Wilson and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
6. Cleveland Browns – Julio Jones, WR, Alabama: Colt McCoy needs a legitimate target in the passing game, and Jones should be a phenomenal west coast receiver. The Browns can target a defensive lineman in the second round.
7. San Francisco 49ers – Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri: The 49ers need to find a franchise quarterback, and Gabbert may be able to vault them to the top of the weak NFC West.
8. Tennessee Titans – Andy Dalton, QB, TCU: Reportedly, this pick is down to Nick Fairley and Andy Dalton. As quarterback is a huge need and Mike Munchak is an offensive coach, I’ll give Dalton the nod here in a shocker.
9. Dallas Cowboys – Tyron Smith, OT, USC: The Cowboys love some of the offensive tackles in this draft, and they desperately need somebody to replace Marc Colombo at right tackle.
10. Washington Redskins – Jake Locker, QB, Washington: The Redskins have only Rex Grossman at quarterback, and they love Jake Locker’s leadership and ability to throw on the run. Defensive needs can wait. All indications are that quarterbacks will be severely overdrafted in 2011.
11. Houston Texans – Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska: Everybody knows how bad the Houston secondary was in 2010, and they are lucky to have such a highly regarded cornerback prospect still available.
12. Minnesota Vikings – Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College: Bryant McKinnie severely regressed in 2010, and he may be replaced here as Leslie Frazier will have to try to rebuild his offense.
13. Detroit Lions – Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina: Quinn free-falls here due to the four quarterbacks taken in the top ten, and can bring fresh blood to a thin group of 7-techniques in Detroit.
14. St. Louis Rams – Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn: A rare talent who falls due to maturity issues will be happily scooped up by Steve Spagnuolo, who loves defensive linemen and needs to surround Chris Long with talent.
15. Miami Dolphins – Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida: A rising prospect who will likely wind up going in the top 20. He will help the ‘Phins rebuild a once dominant offensive line.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars – Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue: After missing on lots of risk/reward defensive line prospects, Jacksonville finally struck gold with Tyson Alualu, a high-motor overachiever. Following that blueprint with Ryan Kerrigan may reverse the fortunes of the Jacksonville defense.
17. New England Patriots – Cameron Jordan, DE, California: With the best offensive line prospects off the board, New England will look to help out Vince Wilfork with another tough defensive lineman in Cameron Jordan, who has experience playing in a 3-4 from Cal.
18. San Diego Chargers – J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin: A huge steal who can fill a big need for the Chargers.
19. New York Giants – Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois: With Barry Cofield potentially leaving as a free agent, the Giants have another excuse to draft a defensive lineman in the first round.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri: Another defensive lineman who slips down the draft board falls into the lap of the team that quite possibly is the most desperate for an athletic impact edge rusher.
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado: The Chiefs need to shore up their offensive line, but I also strongly considered Brooks Reed and Phil Taylor for this pick.
22. Indianapolis Colts: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin: The Colts lost their legendary offensive line coach, so they may actually have to rely on talent to protect Peyton Manning. Gabe Carimi should be a solid tackle for the rest of the Peyton era and beyond.
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado: The Eagles are very interested in Jimmy Smith, and they are reportedly warming up to his character issues. He is supremely talented and fills the team’s biggest need.
24. New Orleans Saints: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson: The Saints are one team that can afford to roll the dice on a player like Bowers, who fits the Saint scheme perfectly. He reminds me a lot of Will Smith.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa: Clayborn is probably the best available talent, and Seattle has a bunch of question marks at defensive end, although they could go in any number of direction with this pick, including quarterback.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona: Baltimore needs somebody besides Terrell Suggs to be able to get to the quarterback. Reed is considered in some circles to be a potential Clay Matthews 2.0.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA: The Falcons feel that they are still a piece or two away from being a Super Bowl caliber defense. They love the versatility and athleticism that Ayers brings to the table.
28. New England Patriots: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State: The more I hear, the more it looks like the Patriots are growing very concerned about their offensive line. Sherrod could be a decent option at right tackle is Sebastian Vollmer gets moved to left tackle.
29. New York Jets: Marvin Austin, DE, North Carolina: A supremely talented defensive lineman who will be a great fit as a member of Gang Green.
30. Chicago Bears: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami: An aggressive, confident, physical player who is an ideal fit in Chicago’s Tampa 2 system. He would fight Zack Bowman and Tim Jennings for the right cornerback job, and add to the overall depth at defensive back, which was a big problem against Green Bay for the Bears.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas: A natural fit for the Steelers, a team desperate for help at cornerback.
32. Green Bay Packers: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State: With Cullen Jenkins as good as gone, the Packers need help at defensive end, and Cameron Heyward embodies the tough, midwestern profile the Packers want in the trenches.
1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn: The Panthers seem to believe Newton is the player that can turn their franchise around. At this point, anybody else would be a big surprise here.
2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama: Denver has needs all over the place, but John Fox tipped his hand by cutting his best interior defensive linemen.
3. Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, OLB, Texas AM: Peterson or Gabbert could be the pick, but Miller fills a bigger need and the Bills coached him at the Senior Bowl, where he was sensational.
4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia: A quarterback is needed badly, but Mike Brown is too stubborn to admit that Palmer no longer has a future in Cincinnati.
5. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU: With so many young signal callers on the roster, I think Arizona will upgrade their defense here, where arguably the best player in the draft is still on the board.
6. Cleveland Browns: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama: Defensive end is also a huge need, but the talent evaluators in Cleveland are all offensive-minded and there is a much deeper defensive end class than receiver this year.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska: Gabbert is still on the board, but I think Jim Harbaugh truly believes in Alex Smith.
8. Tennessee Titans: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri: The Titans desperately need a franchise quarterback, and one falls into their lap here.
9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC: Dallas needs to do a lot better at right tackle, and they reportedly love Tyron Smith, who has a ton of potential.
10. Washington Redskins: Robert Quinn, OLB, North Carolina: With two passers and two receivers off the board, the Redskins need to add a blue chip defender with this selection. Robert Quinn would be an enormous upgrade over converted offensive lineman Lorenzo Alexander.
11. Houston Texans: Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri: Smith’s draft stock is rising quickly, and Houston needs some edge rushers for their new 3-4 defense.
12. Minnesota Vikings: Jake Locker, QB, Washington: The Vikings love mobile quarterbacks who can throw on the run, and there is no question that quarterback is their biggest need.
13. Detroit Lions: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson: Yet another piece to the puzzle for an improving Lions defense. Playing alongside Ndamukong Suh, Corey Williams, and Kyle Vanden Bosch should really help Bowers develop.
14. St. Louis Rams: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn: Fairley’s draft stock is dropping due to character concerns, but there’s no way he gets past the Rams at fourteen, who need a presence on the interior.
15. Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey, G, Florida: The Dolphin running game certainly isn’t what it used to be. However, the offensive line has as much to do with that as running back. Pouncey has a better chance to be a pro bowl player than Mark Ingram, and you want to take difference makers in the first round.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue: Once again, the Jags have serious problems getting to the quarterback. Ryan Kerrigan is a very, very good football player and will help out Tyson Alualu quite a bit.
17. New England Patriots: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin: Talent and need converge here as J.J. Watt is the dream pick here for the Patriots.
18. San Diego Chargers: Cam Jordan, DE, California: San Diego is falling in love with the 5-techniques in this class, and Cam Jordan can certainly help solidify an already talented defensive unit.
19. New York Giants: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College: Every starter on the Giant offensive line is at least thirty-years-old, so they should be in the market for some youth there. If they don’t, they’ll end up like the Redskins.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona: Tampa desperately needs to find a sack master, and I’d say Brooks Reed is regarded as that type of player as he keeps drawing comparisons to Clay Matthews.
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor: Scott Pioli always takes care of his defensive line first, and he needs to upgrade Ron Edwards in the middle. Taylor is one of the few 330+ pounders coming out of college that is always on top of his weight and can overwhelm smaller offensive linemen.
22. Indianapolis Colts: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado: There’s little doubt that the Colts will be looking to draft an offensive tackle early on. Nate Solder is a gifted athlete and has the chance to develop into a superb left tackle.
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado: Asante Samuel is 30, and the Eagles don’t have much to write home about behind him on the depth chart. Jimmy Smith can start at right cornerback from day 1 and eventually slide over to the left side.
24. New Orleans Saints: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State: The Saints reportedly love Cameron Heyward, and they certainly are in the market for versatile defensive linemen that they can move around a bit.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa: Seattle needs to do something about their anemic pass rush, and there’s good value still on the board.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin: The Ravens are serious about cutting ties with Jared Gaither and have been organizing visits with a bunch of pass protectors.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Justin Houston, DE, Georgia: The local product will be a big addition to a team that has only one impact defensive lineman in John Abraham, who turns 33 in a couple of weeks.
28. New England Patriots: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: Danny Woodhead and BenJarvus Green-Ellis aren’t bad, but Mark Ingram would be a big upgrade over the perennial committee of undersized, old, broken down backs in Foxborough.
29. New York Jets: Marvin Austin, DE, North Carolina: Shaun Ellis, the Jets’ only good 5-technique, will be 34 very soon, and they need young blood on their defensive line. Marvin Austin’s stock is rising again and his athleticism makes him a good fit for the 3-4.
30. Chicago Bears: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami: Tim Jennings got abused in the NFC Championship Game, and they could use an upgrade across from Charles Tillman. The Bears will love Harris’ competitiveness, physicality, and aggressiveness.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas: The Steelers have an elite run defense, but are far too thin at corner. If Ike Taylor bolts in free agency, the Steelers will be in big trouble defensively.
32. Green Bay Packers: Corey Liuget, DE, Illinois: Outstanding value here for the Packers as they get to replace Cullen Jenkins with a very similar type of player.
1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
At this point, indications are pointing towards Cam Newton. He is reportedly Carolina’s top-rated quarterback, and if they believe he will be a special player, there’s no way they pass him up.
2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Transitioning to a 4-3 defense, the Broncos will need to rebuild their defensive line in this draft. Marcell Dareus is widely regarded as the top lineman in this class.
3. Buffalo Bills: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
With Cam Newton off the board, expect Buffalo to take the best player available. Von Miller is an option here, but Patrick Peterson is generating an amazing amount of buzz among talent evaluators and should go very, very high.
4. Cincinnati Bengals: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
Carson Palmer’s return seems doubtful at this point, and the Bengals have nothing behind him. If they believe Gabbert will be a franchise quarterback, they will select him here. Admittedly, the availability of A.J. Green complicates things a bit.
5. Arizona Cardinals: Von Miller, OLB, Texas AM
The Cardinals have no pass rush, and a player like Von Miller is just what the doctor ordered in the desert. I believe Miller is atop Arizona’s wish list for this draft.
6. Cleveland Browns: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
With enormous needs at receiver and on the defensive line, the Browns have a huge dilemma as Nick Fairley, Robert Quinn, and A.J. Green are all still on the board. However, defensive line is a much deeper position in this class than receiver, and Jones gets the nod because he’s a better fit for Pat Shurmur’s west coast offense.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
While the 49ers will be looking to strike gold with a defensive end here, they are more desperate for an elite cornerback. Prince Amukamara will be a valuable piece of a secondary that needs to cut some aging, overpriced players.
8. Tennessee Titans: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
The Titans need to revamp their defensive line. Jason Babin could follow in Albert Haynesworth and Antwan Odom’s footsteps and bolt via free agency and he will need to be replaced. Robert Quinn has elite athleticism and pass rush skills and presents good value at eighth overall.
9. Dallas Cowboys: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
This sounds like a crazy pick, but it could happen. Jerry Jones loves receivers, and will go for an elite one whenever he can get his hands on one (T.O., Roy Williams, Dez Bryant). Patrick Crayton was traded early last year, Roy Williams is expected to be cut, and the Cowboys are becoming very concerned about Dez Bryant’s off-the-field issues. So, Miles Austin is left as the only good receiver that Dallas can truly count on to produce next season. If Green makes it down to nine, Jones will be quite tempted at the very least.
10. Washington Redskins: Nick Fairley, DE, Auburn
With so many needs all over the field and only two picks in the first four rounds, I expect Washington to draft the best player available. In this case, Nick Fairley is that guy.
11. Houston Texans: Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri
As the Texans make the switch to the 3-4 defense, they will need a top pass rusher. Aldon Smith has the elite length, burst, and athleticism that teams look for in pass rushers.
12. Minnesota Vikings: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
The biggest difference between the 2009 Vikings and the 2010 Vikings was not Brett Favre’s play but the play of the offensive line. Tyron Smith looks like a franchise left tackle at the next level and could even sit behind Bryant McKinnie or Phil Loadholt for a season if need be.
13. Detroit Lions: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
At this point, the Lions must realize that their offensive line must be improved for their talented skill players to flourish. Anthony Castonzo is the long, high-effort type of tackle that they look for in Detroit, and could allow Jeff Backus to slide over to the right side.
14. St. Louis Rams: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Nobody knows quite how far Bowers will fall after showing that his knee is a mess at his private workout. The Rams could be the team willing to take a chance on him, as they will have James Hall for at least one more season in case Bowers isn’t quite healthy. He and Chris Long could be quite the defensive end duo down the road.
15. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Unless free agency miraculously takes place before the draft and the Dolphins acquire a stud running back, it’s tough to envision a scenario where Mark Ingram is not selected here.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
I’m sure the Jaguars will consider a quarterback here, but with such talented defensive linemen still on the board, I don’t buy the Ponder or Locker chatter here.
17. New England Patriots: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
With the 5-technique being such a pressing need, New England would be thrilled if Watt were still on the board here. He’s a prototypical Patriot defender who can do a little bit of everything and make plays in unexpected ways.
18. San Diego Chargers: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple
It seems as though the Chargers have their hearts set on a defensive end in the first round. The only question is, which one? Jordan is the consensus top prospect available, but Muhammad Wilkerson is probably a better fit for their system.
19. New York Giants: Mike Pouncey, C/G, Florida
The Giant offensive line is getting quite old, and unless they want to end up like the Redskins, they will take a talented, young, and versatile lineman with this pick. Pouncey is a great fit here.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
When you get compared with Clay Matthews often enough, your draft stock will rise considerably. Don’t believe me? Ask Brooks Reed, who seems like the best player to bolster the Buc pass rush on the board.
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor
Scott Pioli always prioritizes the defensive line on draft day, and the Chiefs need a new nose tackle. Phil Taylor is a first round talent who, unlike many other recent nose tackle prospects, is on top of his weight.
22. Indianapolis Colts: Nate Solder, OT, Coloardo
The Colts have expressed an awful lot of interest in Solder recently, and it’s not hard to see why when you look at Solder’s incredible frame and natural athleticism.
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
Offensive line is arguably the biggest need for this Eagles team, and coincidentally, Andy Reid loves to take linemen in the first round. I’m buying the comparisons between Carimi and Jon Runyan as both are tall, thick, and nasty players who are more tough than gifted. He’s definitely not a reach at 23, at while he doesn’t have the most upside in the world, he’s a much safer pick than say Jimmy Smith or Brandon Harris.
24. New Orleans Saints: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
The way the Saints are built, the pass rush is extremely important. Therefore, they need to find a sack artist to pair with Will Smith. Adrian Clayborn is very much in the mold of Smith and Charles Grant, and should intrigue the Saints at 24th overall. Akeem Ayers and Justin Houston are strong possibilities as well.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
The Seahawks could go in any number of direction with this pick, but they need a big defensive end who is strong at the point of attack. Cam Jordan, who is remarkably still on the board, fits the bill and his slide ends here.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia
The vaunted Ravens defense is getting a little easier to crack every year. A lot of that has to do with inconsistent pass rush as Baltimore really only has one reliable rusher in Terrell Suggs. Justin Houston has extensive experience in a 3-4 defense and knows how to get to the quarterback.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
This isn’t the sexiest pick, but Corey Liuget is a very, very solid football player and Atlanta needs defensive linemen to complement and eventually replace John Abraham.
28. New England Patriots: Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
Bill Belichick loves drafting safeties high, and they could conceivably do so again. Brandon Meriweather is headed for some serious legal troubles, and they could use a stud to replace him.
29. New York Jets: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
Antonio Cromartie is unlikely to return, and Jimmy Smith is pretty much a carbon copy of him. Don’t expect Rex Ryan to be scared away by his character concerns here. He’s a top 10 talent.
30. Chicago Bears: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
Aaron Rodgers abused whoever wasn’t named Charles Tillman in the NFC Championship Game, and Tim Jennings needs an upgrade if the Bears expect to beat teams like the Packers, Falcons, and Eagles on a consistent basis. Brandon Harris is a tough cornerback who fits very nicely into Chicago’s cover 2 scheme.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
The run on corners continues as the list of teams destroyed by Aaron Rodgers and his weapons grows. Pittsburgh counts one good cover cornerback in Ike Taylor, who may not even return next season. Williams is a long, physical defensive back who would be a good fit in black and yellow.
32. Green Bay Packers: Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
This is essentially a luxury selection for the Packers. Akeem Ayers presents good value and could be an upgrade across from Clay Matthews or make overpaid inside ‘backers A.J. Hawk and Nick Barnett expendable. His versatility will be perfect for Dom Capers’ innovative 3-4 scheme.
1. Panthers – Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri: It’s hard to pass on the consensus top franchise passer in the draft.
2. Broncos – Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama: The Broncos need help everywhere on defense, but by resigning Champ Bailey and cutting their defensive tackles, there’s no question that Denver is tipping their hand with this pick.
3. Bills – Cam Newton, QB, Auburn: Chan Gailey, famous for his love of dual-threat quarterbacks, will undoubtedly be enamored with the charismatic Newton.
4. Bengals – Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU: Arguably the top talent in the draft can replace either Leon Hall or Jonathan Joseph, quality players due for big contracts in the near future.
5. Cardinals – Von Miller, OLB, Texas AM: An amazing athlete with superb production in college that fits a tremendous need in the desert.
6. Browns – A.J. Green, WR, Georgia: Cleveland’s offense is starved of talent at the receiver position, and Green is a dynamic playmaker.
7. 49ers – Nick Fairley, DE, Auburn: San Francisco is committed to improving its defensive line, and Fairley is not a reach here.
8. Titans – Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina: Ever since Albert Haynesworth left, Tennessee has been sorely lacking a disruptive defensive lineman.
9. Cowboys – Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska: Good value and Jerry Jones fills a tremendous need here.
10. Redskins – Julio Jones, WR, Alabama: A rising prospect who is the type of talent that can make Washington’s offense dangerous again.
11. Texans – Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri: Smith intrigues a lot of scouts with his amazing raw athleticism. He will be counted on in Houston’s new 3-4 defense.
12. Vikings – Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson: Bowers is seeing his stock plummet due to injury concerns, but would be an ideal replacement for Ray Edwards.
13. Lions – Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College: A steady, reliable pass protector is badly needed in Detroit.
14. Rams – Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue: A very productive college end whose stock is rising after impressive pre-draft workouts.
15. Dolphins – Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: It’s a cliche pick for a reason.
16. Jaguars – Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State: Without any can’t-miss prospects remaining, Jacksonville would be wise to find a challenger/successor for David Garrard.
17. Patriots – J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin: Your typical Bill Belichick defender who is versatile and around the ball.
18. Chargers – Cam Jordan, DE, California: San Diego is rumored to be absolutely in love with the former Golden Bear.
19. Giants – Tyron Smith, OT, USC: An amazing talent who will help the Giants get younger along the offensive line.
20. Buccaneers – Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona: As the Clay Matthews comparisons come flying in, Brooks Reed is seeing his draft stock soar. I see him getting drafted before Adrian Clayborn and Justin Houston.
21. Chiefs – Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor: GM Scott Pioli always takes care of the defensive line first in the draft.
22. Colts – Nate Solder, OT, Colorado: An athletic tackle to keep Peyton Manning upright.
23. Eagles – Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin: Philadelphia has to do a much better job of keeping their quarterbacks on their feet. Their downfall in 2010 was their inability to stop the blitz, and the offensive line will be a huge concern this offseason. Carimi can start at either right guard or right tackle from day 1 and has been drawing comparisons to former Eagle great Jon Runyan.
24. Saints – Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa: Expect the Saints to bolster their front four with this selection. Justin Houston, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Corey Liuget are also strong possibilities. Clayborn reminds me of Charles Grant.
25. Seahawks – Mike Pouncey, G, Florida: Seattle gets the best player available while filling a big need.
26. Ravens – Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia: Baltimore relies too much on Terrell Suggs to generate a pass rush. They need younger, more athletic rush linebackers on their defense.
27. Falcons – Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple: John Abraham is essentially a one-man-show for Atlanta’s defensive line at this point.
28. Patriots – Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland: A high-character player who is certainly the vertical threat New England missed after Randy Moss was traded.
29. Jets – Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado: Antonio Cromartie will probably not be a Jet in 2011, and Rex Ryan has the opportunity to replace him with a very similar player here.
30. Bears – Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State: Chicago needs to do a better job of protecting Jay Cutler, starting with replacing right tackle J’Marcus Webb.
31. Steelers – Brandon Harris, CB, Miami: Pittsburgh’s lack of depth in the defensive secondary was exposed on the biggest stage in all of sports. They’ll fix that up ASAP.
32. Packers – Corey Liuget, DE, Illinois: A top twenty talent falls right into Ted Thompson’s lap and Liuget will replace Cullen Jenkins perfectly.
1. Carolina Panthers: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri: Often times, it seems as though a non-quarterback will be drafted first overall. However, come draft day, you can count on teams taking signal callers when in doubt.
2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama: Denver is sniffing around Von Miller and Blaine Gabbert, but I fully expect they will take the best defensive lineman available.
3. Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, OLB, Texas AM: The Bills could take Cam Newton here, but Von Miller is the type of athlete scouts drool over, and Chan Gailey got a great look at Miller at the Senior Bowl.
4. Cincinnati Bengals: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU: With Jonathan Joseph hitting free agency and Leon Hall under contract for only one more season, Cincinnati has a great excuse to take the best player available.
5. Arizona Cardinals: Robert Quinn, OLB, North Carolina: The top talent at a position of weakness for the Cards.
6. Cleveland Browns: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia: The Browns desperately need a threat on the outside to make their offense dangerous. Green will remind them of Braylon Edwards without the drops or the attitude.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Fairley, DE, Auburn: San Francisco really wants an elite defensive line, and adding Fairley to a group that already includes Aubrayo Franklin and Justin Smith will accomplish their goal.
8. Tennessee Titans: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn: Tennessee is a quarterback away from returning to the playoffs, and he has the arm to get the ball to Kenny Britt and co. down the field.
9. Dallas Cowboys: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska: The Cowboys have nothing in the secondary, and they could allow Gerald Sensabaugh to walk.
10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama: Washington needs to land the biggest difference maker available with this spot on either side of the ball.
11. Houston Texans: Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri: Smith is an excellent pass rusher who could go higher than most anticipate. He will be a key piece in Houston’s transition to the 3-4.
12. Minnesota Vikings: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson: Expect Bowers to fall on draft day due to medical concerns, but Minnesota would be more than happy to pair him with Jared Allen.
13. Detroit Lions: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College: The new top offensive tackle prospect should go in the first half of round one, and Detroit is a great landing spot.
14. St. Louis Rams: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin: Steve Spagnuolo loves his defensive linemen, and he needs somebody to pair with Chris Long.
15. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: Simply too obvious of a partnering here.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue: The Jags are never afraid of adding defensive linemen when they need them.
17. New England Patriots: Tyron Smith, OT, USC: The Patriots need to get younger along the offensive line, and Tyron Smith is great value and has unlimited potential.
18. San Diego Chargers: Cameron Jordan, DE, California: Great value and Jordan fills a big need.
19. New York Giants: Mike Pouncey, C/G, Florida: Pouncey’s stock is soaring and the Giants need young talent to protect Eli Manning.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa: The Bucs will take the best pass rusher available.
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor: Scott Pioli will be itching to cement his defensive line in this draft.
22. Indianapolis Colts: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado: A very gifted pass protector as the Colts continue to build around Peyton Manning.
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin: The Eagles need to do a much better job of protecting the passer and Gabe Carimi would be an ideal right tackle for them. He fits the mold of a Reid offensive tackle perfectly, and the pick makes almost too much sense here.
24. New Orleans Saints: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois: New Orleans will be looking for somebody to pair with Sedrick Ellis up front.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State: It’s beginning to look like Christian Ponder will sneak into the first round while Jake Locker and Ryan Mallett will be on the outside looking in.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia: The explosive edge rusher Baltimore needs to complement Terrell Suggs.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple: Atlanta gets good value here, and they could certainly use another impact defensive lineman.
28. New England Patriots: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State: A strong, tough 5-technique that will thrive in New England under coach Bill Belichick.
29. New York Jets: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado: With Antonio Cromartie as good as gone, Rex Ryan will add another lanky cover man with serious character concerns to replace him.
30. Chicago Bears: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami: After Tim Jennings was shredded in the NFC Championship Game, the Bears should look to draft his replacement.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State: With a lot of questions on the offensive line, the Steelers should aim for some stability at the tackle position with this pick.
32. Green Bay Packers: Rahim Moore, S, UCLA: Without a slam-dunk pick, the Packers could add Rahim Moore, who will pair with Nick Collins and make the Green Bay secondary even tougher to crack.
- Carolina Panthers select Blaine GABBERT, QB, Missouri: The Panthers desperately need a quarterback, and Blaine Gabbert looks to be the top one available in most scouts’ eyes.
- Denver Broncos select Marcell DAREUS, DT, Alabama: The Broncos look to be leaning defensive tackle here, and Dareus had an outstanding showing at the combine.
- Buffalo Bills select Cam NEWTON, QB, Auburn: The perfect candidate to be “the guy” under Chan Gailey.
- Cincinnati Bengals select A.J. GREEN, WR, Georgia: Expect the Bengals to look for an alternative to the T.Ocho show in this draft, and Green has the talent of those two without the distractions.
- Arizona Cardinals select Von MILLER, OLB, Texas AM: Arizona needs to find guys who can put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and will buy comparisons to DeMarcus Ware.
- Cleveland Browns select Da’Quan BOWERS, DE, Clemson: Without any 4-3 defensive ends on the roster, Cleveland needs to come up with answers on draft day. They luck out with Bowers slipping out of the top five.
- San Francisco 49ers select Patrick PETERSON, CB, LSU: Peterson is a top five talent who fills a big need. The 49er corners are either slow, old, overpaid, or a combination.
- Tennessee Titans select Prince AMUKAMARA, CB, Nebraska: Tennessee needs secondary help and loves workout warriors. After running a 4.37 at 206 pounds, the Nebraska product fits the bill here.
- Dallas Cowboys select Nick FAIRLEY, DE, Auburn: Fairley, like Dez Bryant was a year ago, is simply too good to pass up here.
- Washington Redskins select Julio JONES, WR, Alabama: Washington could go in any number of directions, but Julio Jones would provide a much-needed spark to the offense and was outstanding at the combine.
- Houston Texans select Robert QUINN, OLB, North Carolina: Houston gets good value as well as a player who will help them transition into their new defensive scheme more seamlessly.
- Minnesota Vikings select Tyron SMITH, OT, USC: Once one of the top units in the league, the Viking offensive line alarmingly became a glaring weakness for this club in 2010.
- Detroit Lions select Jimmy SMITH, CB, Colorado: The Lions need a top cover man to truly be competitive in a division with Greg Jennings and Percy Harvin in it.
- St. Louis Rams select Aldon SMITH, DE, Missouri: The third consecutive Smith to be drafted is an intriguing prospect that Steve Spagnuolo will look forward to molding into a top pass rusher. Think Osi Umenyiora.
- Miami Dolphins select Mark INGRAM, RB, Alabama: Bill Parcells is not afraid to take running backs high in the draft, and Miami needs one badly. Interestingly, the Tuna drafted Mark Ingram in the first round in 1987.
- Jacksonville Jaguars select J.J. WATT, DE, Wisconsin: Jacksonville loves to draft defensive linemen, even if they are not perfect fits in a 4-3 system. Watt is too talented to slip out of the top half of round one.
- New England Patriots select Anthony CASTONZO, OT, Boston College: The Patriots will be looking for Matt Light’s replacement, and Castonzo is a local player whose stock is soaring.
- San Diego Chargers select Cameron JORDAN, DE, California: Reportedly, San Diego is leaning towards taking the top 5 technique available with their first pick.
- New York Giants select Mike POUNCEY, C/G, Florida: All five starting offensive linemen for the Giants are in their thirties, and it’s not wise to wait too long to groom their replacements (thank you Redskins).
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Ryan KERRIGAN, DE, Purdue: It’s quite obvious that Tampa is lacking a consistent edge rushing presence. Good value here as well.
- Kansas City Chiefs select Phil TAYLOR, NT, Baylor: Scott Pioli’s philosophy is if you need a defensive lineman, take one as early as possible.
- Indianapolis Colts select Nate SOLDER, OT, Colorado: Another finesse offensive lineman to protect Peyton Manning is never a bad investment.
- Philadelphia Eagles select Gabe CARIMI, OT, Wisconsin: Comparisons to Jon Runyan are valid as this 6’7″ monster is exactly what Big Red wants in his offensive linemen. Winston Justice needs to be upgraded at right tackle, and Carimi is not a reach at 23.
- New Orleans Saints select Akeem AYERS, OLB, UCLA: The Saints need upgrades on either side of Jonathan Vilma.
- Seattle Seahawks select Adrian CLAYBORN, DE, Iowa: Seattle’s pass rush fluctuated between inconsistent and non-existent in 2010, and Adrian Clayborn should not still be on the board with his talent.
- Baltimore Ravens select Rahim MOORE, S, UCLA: The Ravens need to find some playmakers to replace Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, or their defense will never be as intimidating as it once was.
- Atlanta Falcons select Justin HOUSTON, DE, Georgia: The local pass rusher is needed in Atlanta to produce across from John Abraham.
- New England Patriots select Muhammad WILKERSON, DE, Temple: 5 technique is a big area of concern for the Pats, and Wilkerson fits Belichick’s scheme like a glove.
- New York Jets select Corey LIUGET, DE, Illinois: With all the talented defensive linemen this year, Corey Liuget may find himself on the outside looking in on the top twenty selections. The Jets will be happy to snatch him up.
- Chicago Bears select Brandon HARRIS, CB, Miami: The Bears do not have a reliable starter across from Charles Tillman, and Brandon Harris has the confidence and physicality Chicago demands of their defenders.
- Pittsburgh Steelers select Aaron WILLIAMS, CB, Texas: On Super Bowl Sunday, the Steelers learned the hard way that you can never have too many good cover men.
- Green Bay Packers select Cameron HEYWARD, DE, Ohio State: Cullen Jenkins already has a foot out the door and will need to be replaced in the draft.
17. New England Patriots: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin. The Pats need to find some “power pigs” (as Jamie Dukes likes to call them) to play next to Vince Wilfork. Watt is a Belichick player all the way as well and could be off the board by this point.
18. San Diego Chargers: Cam Jordan, DE, California. Substitute “Chargers” for “Pats”, “Antonio Garay” in for “Vince Wilfork”, and “Norv Turner” in for “Belichick”.
19. New York Giants: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College. The Giants need to start thinking about replacing an aging group unless they want to end up like the Redskins, who failed to draft successors for Chris Samuels, Randy Thomas, Jon Jansen, and others.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue. The Bucs are in desperate need of a pass rusher, and luckily they have their choice between Kerrigan and Adrian Clayborn.
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor. The Chiefs need a nose tackle, and Scott Pioli will not hesitate to pull the trigger on any worthy defensive lineman.
22. Indianapolis Colts: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado. The Colts are expected to do whatever it takes to find some capable pass protectors this offseason. Nate Solder has the potential to be a great left tackle with his size and athleticism.
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin. The Eagles need to find an upgrade over Winston Justice at right tackle. Gabe Carimi comes from a great program and is a fits what Andy Reid wants out of his tackles.
24. New Orleans Saints: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA. The Saints have nothing next to Jonathan Vilma, and Akeem Ayers would certainly help the defense a lot.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami. Earl Thomas can’t fix the Seattle secondary alone, and Brandon Harris looked very good in drills at the combine.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia. The Ravens need a consistent pass rusher across from Terrell Suggs, and Justin Houston presents pretty good value here.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa. The best player available matches a big need.
28. New England Patriots: Mike Pouncey, G, Florida. New England gets good value here and Pouncey will provide insurance for an offensive line with a lot of questions to answer.
29. New York Jets: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple. The Jets have to bring in youth at a lot of different positions, and defensive end is a good place to start. Shaun Ellis won’t be effective forever.
30. Chicago Bears: Ben Ijalana, OT/G, Villanova. The Beats need to bring in some top talent to fix their offensive line, and Ijalana fits the Bears’ scheme. He can play anywhere on the line with the exception of center.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas. Even if Ike Taylor returns to the team, he will not be getting any younger and there are many questions behind him on the depth chart.
32. Green Bay Packers: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State: Heyward helped himself at the combine as he weighed in close to 300 pounds. He will be a great replacement for Cullen Jenkins, who is not expected to return to the team.