2011 NFL Draft- Mock draft part 2
I hope you all enjoyed part one of my mock draft, because I worked hard on it. To refresh you, here’s a recap of the picks I mocked:
1. Carolina (2-14) — Cam Newton, Quarterback (Auburn)
2. Denver (4-12) — Marcell Dareus, Defensive Tackle (Alabama)
3. Buffalo (4-12) — Von Miller, Linebacker (Texas A&M)
4. Cincinnati (4-12) — A.J. Green, Wide Receiver (Georgia)
5. Arizona (5-11) — Patrick Peterson, Cornerback (LSU)
6. Cleveland (5-11) — Robert Quinn, Defensive End (North Carolina)
7. San Francisco (6-10) — Blaine Gabbert, Quarterback (Missouri)
8. Tennessee (6-10) — Nick Fairley, Defensive Tackle (Auburn)
9. Dallas (6-10) — Tyron Smith, Offensive Tackle (USC)
10. Washington (6-10) — Julio Jones, Wide Receiver (Alabama)
11. Houston (6-10) — Aldon Smith, Defensive End (Missouri)
12. Minnesota (6-10) — Da’Quon Bowers, Defensive End (Clemson)
13. Detroit (6-10) — Prince Amukamara, Cornerback (Nebraska)
14. St. Louis (7-9) — Corey Liuget, Defensive Tackle (Illinois)
15. Miami (7-9) — Mark Ingram, Running Back (Alabama)
16. Jacksonville (8-8) — J.J. Watt, Defensive End (Wisconsin)
*For most of the guys the rest of the way, I haven’t seen any live games, only highlights (which always look impressive). I don’t know nearly as much about them because I have only read mock draft speculation (a lot of it) and my analysis is just analysis of other analysts’ analyses. At this point in the 2011 draft, I am expecting a run on lineman, who are very hard to understand without seeing them in action. A lot of the information from here on is based on combine data (40-time, bench reps, etc.) and the feel I get for these players based on draft shows, articles and websites. So don’t expect as much content about these players.
17. New England – from Oakland (8-8) — Mike Pouncey, Center (Florida):
If the draft happens like I’ve predicted so far, the Patriots will trade this pick to a team looking for one of the second-tier quarterbacks. That’s who they are. If they hold on to this pick, look for them to address the aging O-line problem with either Pouncey or Nate Solder of Colorado. I like Pouncey a lot because I think he has is secretly going to be one of the best players in this draft (see my top 11), and I think that the Patriots also have the same sort of innate nose for draft success. For the Patriots, he would probably move back to guard.
18. San Diego (9-7) — Cameron Heyward, Defensive End (Ohio State):
Heyward is a versatile threat who is capable of playing anywhere on the D-line in any front. San Diego was particularly good against the run last year (fourth-best), so Heyward will probably fit in best on the outside of most Charger schemes. His size at the ends will create some mismatches and can only improve the overall Charger defense. On a side note, I consider a lot of the best players left to be defensive lineman, and a lot of teams coming up with no super important needs, so get out your analogy umbrellas because I’m going to make it rain D-linemen.
19. New York Giants (10-6) — Nate Solder, Offensive Tackle (Colorado):
Solder isn’t really a sexy pick, but offensive tackles rarely are. The Giants need some help on the interior O-Line, and Solder has fantastic feet for the position. In case you haven’t heard, he started out as a tight end and then was converted to a lineman. I don’t know what the line is for this tidbit being mentioned in the first minute of post-selection television coverage, but I’d take it.
20. Tampa Bay (10-6) — Cameron Jordan, Defensive End (California):
There sure are a lot of Camerons in this draft. Cam Newton, Cameron Heyward and Cameron Jordan at least in my first-round mock. It’s truly baffling. Cam Jordan is an end that can get to a ball carrier and wrap him up better than almost any player in the draft. Good news for the Bucs, who were fifth-worst against the run last year.
21. Kansas City* (10-6) — Anthony Castonzo, Offensive Tackle (Boston College):
It’s a shame there aren’t more good linebackers in this class, because the Chiefs have a gigantic hole there. Castonzo can be paired with Branden Albert to bookend the O-line with two young and extremely talented tackles.
22. Indianapolis* (10-6) — Gabe Carimi, Offensive Tackle (Wisconsin):
Carimi is a monster. He’s 6’7” and close to 330. I think there’s a shot Indy looks to trade back here if teams are getting extra anxious to take a second-tier quarterback, but if they keep it, look for the Colts to protect an aging Peyton and a young backfield with this superhero-sized offensive tackle.
23. Philadelphia* (10-6) — Jimmy Smith, Cornerback (Colorado):
The Eagles are an interesting team in this draft because they don’t really have any severe needs. I think this is another pick that could be ripe for trade if the right player is available. I haven’t heard much about the possibility of a trade up for the Eagles, but if they could jump up to grab one of the two elite cornerbacks or maybe Pouncey, I think they’d have to at least consider it. Jimmy Smith is probably the best of the second-tier corners. His size (6’2”) and speed (4.40) should be attractive to any team looking to improve the secondary.
24. New Orleans* (11-5) — Ryan Kerrigan, Defensive End (Purdue):
Yes, I am a Saints fan. Yes, I like Ryan Kerrigan. A lot. No, I didn’t rig this draft to make sure Kerrigan fell to 24. Although the Saints are probably crossing their fingers that the ‘Phins pick a quarterback at 15 so Mark Ingram will fall to them, they can’t be too upset with Kerrigan, who can fit all the schemes and provide the kind of pass-rush pressure that forces bad throws and turnovers, which the defense has to have.
25. Seattle* (7-9) — Jake Locker, Quarterback (Washington):
I had to start picking quarterbacks eventually. I’d be very surprised if Locker actually fell to 25, but I’m not going to try to predict trades, so he does in this draft. In reality, the best quarterback left here will probably be Andy Dalton, who I would encourage the Seahawks to take, because I like him a lot. For this draft, Locker would be a nice fit for Seattle. He could learn for a season or two under Hasselbeck then take the reins when he’s ready.
26. Baltimore* (12-4) — Akeem Ayers, Linebacker/Defensive End (UCLA):
The Baltimore defensive buzzsaw has lost some teeth with age, but a player like Ayers seems like he would add some flexibility that could make the Ravens pretty dangerous. For a linebacker, he was a scoring machine last year, scoring three touchdowns. If that doesn’t interest the Ravens, I don’t know what will.
27. Atlanta* (13-3) — Adrian Clayborn, Defensive End (Iowa):
At this point, I think I’ve picked close to double-digits on the defensive line, and there’s only do much you can say about these guys. The first-round talents are all fast and strong and this year’s draft just seems particularly full of excellent-looking D-line players at the top. I can’t pretend I know much else about these guys, but I am going to stop writing unique reviews for all of them.
28. New England* (14-2) — Muhammad Wilkerson, Defensive End (Temple):
I tried not to predict players for this mock draft based on possible trades, but for this pick, it looks like I ended up considering one trade I don’t think will be made. Of the first three Pats picks (17, 28 and 33), this might just be the one they keep. Pick 17 is prime trading ground for a quarterback and with an entire night off to listen to trade ideas for the best players left at the start of the second round, 33 is all but assured to be swapped. Wilkerson is my personal best player left right now and the Patriots could use him, though don’t necessarily need him. Maybe the likelihood of the Pats actually drafting a player to keep at 28 will encourage them to take the best player available.
29. Chicago* (11-5) — Derek Sherrod, Offensive Tackle (Mississippi State):
Typically, there is a lot more O-line talent in draft classes than we see this year. For the Bears to be able to grab a guy with Sherrod’s size and strength would be ideal. It’s not often that a player like this is available this late in the first round, and Chicago has to capitalize on it. Because I think we all remember Jay Cutler getting sacked something like one out of every four plays last season. One of my best friends describes Chicago’s O-line as “on roller skates” and it’s horribly accurate. Sherrod won’t fix the problem by himself, but this is still a good situation for the Bears.
30. New York Jets* (11-5) — Justin Houston, Linebacker/Defensive End (Georgia):
Just like D-line, these D-line/Backer combinations are all starting to run together. I like this player, he’s versatile, et cetera. The only guarantee I’ll make about this pick is that the Jets fans will boo and then some reporter will ask one a question and America will once again be reminded that people from New England don’t speak English.
31. Pittsburgh* (12-4) — Aaron Williams, Cornerback (Texas):
I think it would be truly great if the Steelers could trade up or just cross their fingers really hard and end up with Mike Pouncey. They could use him and his brother has already established himself in the Steel City as an important part of the O-line. How realistic is that? I don’t know. But do I want it to happen? Absolutely.
32. Green Bay* (10-6) — Brooks Reed, Linebacker/Defensive End (Arizona):
In this mock draft, I have selected 15 players with some D-line capabilities. That’s too many. But I’ve got a fever and the only prescription is more D-line.
The moral of the story is that there are a whole bunch of great defensive linemen this year and there could be an awful lot of them that go in the first round this year. Also, look for my draft to fall apart somewhere in the early teens when teams start trading up to grab quarterbacks. I only have three going if no trades are made, but I can almost guarantee some team will get extra thirsty for Locker and Mallett and by the Seahawks pick at 25, Andy Dalton might even be off the board.
If you’ve been paying attention to this draft craze, join my NFL Draft contest and play along with me. I know you guys are reading the rules, I can see there are ton of hits on that page. Why don’t you just play with the rest of us? More entrants means more opportunities to see new perspectives on SpreeGoogs, and that sounds ok with me.