2011 NFL Mock Draft – August Edition (Picks#11-20)

FYI: The 2010 draft order was in shambles because of trades (ex. Seattle and San Francisco both had two picks in the top 20) so I decided to award all picks back to the original teams to get a more accurate prediction for the 2011 draft.

UPDATE: From the first 10 picks that I posted, I wanted to make sure that you all knew the Patriots have the Raiders’ 2011 first round pick (which for the purposed of this draft was #8).  But, because of the uncertainty of how teams will play/finish the 2010 season, I am not accounting for any draft pick trades in this mock.

11. Chicago (7-9)

The Bears seem primed for a solid 2010 campaign.  Their defense can never be overlooked.  They had a decent unit last season, but the return of Brian Urlacher from a wrist injury as well as the addition of Julius Peppers should vault the Bears’ defense back into the upper echelon in the league.  Their offense should be a bit more explosive this season with the addition of Mike Martz as the offensive coordinator.  Jay Cutler’s big arm will certainly be taken advantage of in Martz’s system.  The problem with Chicago is that Cutler may have trouble finding players to throw to (well offensive players, because Cutler is certainly capable of throwing many good passes to defenders).  A big play wide receiver could be the missing piece that could help the Bears return to the playoffs in 2011.

SELECTION: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

12. Miami (7-9)

The Dolphins’ biggest area of weakness might be the outside linebacker position in their 3-4 defense.  Cameron Wake has shown glimpses of brilliance as a pass rusher in his limited action, but his ability to drop back into coverage a still a huge question mark.  Koa Misi was a second round pick in 2010 (8th overall in the round) draft, but he is making the transition from college defensive end to NFL outside linebacker, so his level of production remains to be seen.  That being said, the two best DE/OLB players have already been selected (Quinn and Miller) so filling another hole (3-4 defensive end) becomes a priority (opposite of Odrick of course).

SELECTION: Marvin Austin, DE/DT, North Carolina

13. San Francisco (8-8)

The San Francisco 49ers are poised for a run at the playoffs this season, pending some decent play out of quarterback Alex Smith.  Everything that I have been hearing out of San Francisco’s camp indicates that Smith looks good and is ready to go.  He does not have to be special, just limit the number of mistakes that he makes and let that vaunted defense and running game dominate the opponent.  I’m looking for the 49ers to finish somewhere in the top 5 in the league in overall defense, and would not be surprised if they end the season as the best unit in the NFL.  Their once questionable offensive line now looks like one of the best young units in the league with Joe Staley and rookie Mike Iupati holding down the left side and rookie offensive tackle Anthony Davis improving every game on the right.  The only two areas that the 49ers really could use help are defensive end and outside linebacker.  As I mentioned in the last pick, the top tier outside linebackers are gone, but this draft is deep in the DE/DT positions.

SELECTION: Allen Bailey, DE/DT, Miami

14. Denver (8-8)

The Denver Broncos strike me as nothing more than a mediocre team.  Their wide receiver situation is in complete chaos (rookie first round pick Demaryius Thomas hasn’t been able to stay on the field), their running backs can not stay healthy, they potentially have three starting quarterbacks on their roster, and their defense is still transitioning from a 4-3 to a 3-4.  Denver could use another wideout, corner back, to get younger at safety, and even an inside linebacker.  But, their most pressing need is where this draft is the deepest.

SELECTION: Adrian Clayborn, DE/DT, Iowa

15. New York Giants (8-8)

The Giants’ offense is pretty well off.  They have more pass rushers on their roster than the entire AFC East combined.  The addition of Antrel Rolle this off season helps to sure up a previously shaky secondary.  Kenny Phillips return from injury will also assist the defensive backs.  Their one position that is a glaring weakness was previously vacated by Antonio Pierce.

SELECTION: Greg Jones, ILB, Michigan State

16. Tennessee (8-8)

How the hell isn’t Jeff Fisher perennially considered the best coach in the NFL.  Ownership says, “Here is an unbelievable running back…and that’s all you’re getting.  Now, go win us at least eight games and if you make the playoffs that’s an added bonus.”  Their receiving corps has improved over the last couple of season by drafting Kenny Britt and Lavelle Hawkins, as well as the additions of Nate Washington and Justin Gage.  They certainly don’t need a running back, and I guess they have to live with Vince at quarterback.  They need to rely on rookie Derrick Morgan helping out their pass rush, because it is essentially non-existent.  But, they best way to counter a sub-par pass rush is by utilizing great corner backs.

SELECTION: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

17. Carolina (8-8)

I can’t envision the Panthers doing much this season.  If I played against them, I would throw 11 defenders in the box and dare Matt Moore to hit a wide open wide receiver.  But, until Jimmy Clausen develops there is not much room for improvement within that offense.  So, the focus shifts to improving on the defensive side of the ball, where safety may be their weakest position.

SELECTION: DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson

18. Pittsburgh (9-7)

The Pittsburgh Steelers are unraveling before our eyes.  Their quarterback can’t keep his hands to himself.  They traded away their best offensive playmaker in Santonio Holmes.  Their starting running back is made of glass and is bound to get broken at some point this season.  One position that they could really look to sure up is cornerback.  Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden are ok, but I think Pittsburgh could do better.

SELECTION: Ras-I-Dowling, CB, Virginia

19. Atlanta (9-7)

Matt Ryan is on all of my important fantasy teams this year, so naturally I am predicting a big season out of him.  Roddy White is a stud and Tony Gonzalez looks like he could catch touchdowns until he is 53.  Michael Turner is a bruiser (which scares me long term) but has at least three of four big years left in him.  Their offensive line is ok, but could use some improving.  Their defensive line is getting younger and more athletic, and the same holds true for the linebacking corps.  The addition of Dunta Robinson helps their secondary, but some room for improvement is still there.  I think that by this point in the draft, looking for the best available player is the way to go.

SELECTION: Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh

20. Houston (9-7)

The Texans will attempt to replace Dunta Robinson with rookie cornerback Kareem Jackson, but could use some help at safety also to help his transition.  They have one of the best young defenses in the league, and it might take one or two more good young players to put them into the elite category.  Their offense revolves around Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub, which didn’t turn out to be a terrible thing last season.  Wide receive, offensive line, and running back depth can all be addressed in the later rounds.

SELECTION: Rahim Moore, S, UCLA

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