2011 NFL Mock Draft Version 2.0 by: “The Better Looking Mel Kiper”

Version 1.0 of the mock has been blowing up lately (last I checked I pulled in over 1,000 views by 4pm on Tuesday alone), so I’ve been catching a lot of heat from “The Better Looking Mel Kiper” fans to update the mock and put out version 2.0.  As I’ve been telling Scottie, if you create a mock, they will come view it.  But, these things take time and you can’t rush greatness, so get off my back…

DISCLAIMER #1: The draft order has been determined as of 1/19/11.  Obviously, the playoffs are not finished yet, so the placement of the final four picks is still to be determined.  The final four picks will be placed based on where I think each team will finish.

DISCLAIMER #2: Contrary to popular belief, I can not see more than 11 days into the future.  Therefore, if 12 days from now it becomes very obvious that something will occur in the draft that I did not account for, don’t hold it against me…I’m only partially superhuman.

DISCLAIMER #3: This is a Brett Favre-free mock draft.  Favre has no influence on which players will be selected where.  At no point in this draft will I name a team the “Favre’s.”  Although Favre’s sister tried to shuttle some meth my way recently, I refused on the basis of principle.  I’m pretty confident that by the time you are done reading this draft, Favre will have revoked his retirement papers and tried to make moves on other masseuses, but I’m not letting it affect me.

DISCLAIMER #4: Although I try my hardest, I can not possibly be as stupid with draft picks as some teams.  Yes, Carolina, Detroit, Cincinnati, Arizona, Tennessee, Miami, and Oakland, I am talking to you.  I try to predict where players will go, but sometimes I can not dumb myself down enough to know what the aforementioned idiotic teams will do.

DISCLAIMER #5: All I can ask of you is to sit back, get comfortable wherever you are, have an open mind, read through the whole mock, realize that Mel Kiper and Todd McShay obviously read this and let my knowledge influence their mocks, and let me know if you have some input.  Let’s do it…

1. Carolina (2-14)

This may very well be the toughest #1 overall pick to predict since I’ve been putting these mocks out (2008).  There is no definitive #1 overall quarterback that the NFL draft is used to.  No Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford, or JaMarcus Russell (it’s painful just typing that).  What is even crazier is that there isn’t a Jake Long or Mario Williams type either.  At 2-14, your team needs are virtually irrelevant because you could probably use an upgrade at every position.  The players worthy of a top selection consist of a wide receiver in A.J. Green, a cornerback in Patrick Peterson, a defensive tackle in Nick Fairley, and a defensive end in Da’Quan Bowers.  For me, it’s narrowed down to either A.J. Green or Patrick Peterson for the top spot.  There are few positions that allow for immediate impact aside from cornerback and wide receiver.  My head is telling me Green, but with new defensive minded coach Ron Rivera at the helm, I’m going with my gut.

SELECTION: Patrick Peterson, CB LSU

2. Denver (4-12)

Denver, it is time to say thank you to the football gods.  John Elway has actually brought some of his fourth quarter magic with him to the Broncos front office.  The Broncos have seemingly been transitioning to a 3-4 defense for about 6 years now, but have yet to find a dominate nose tackle or defensive end to build around.  There is no shot anyone would ever consider taking a nose tackle this high in the draft, even Oakland isn’t that stupid.  Nick Fairley is considered by most to be the best player in the draft, period.  One concern that some have with Fairley, pointed out to me by my man Scottie, is that he can be considered a one year wonder.  In 2009, Fairley recorded only 28 tackles and one sack compared with his 56 tackles and 12 sacks in 2010.  That is the risk that needs to be taken with these high picks.  But, imagine the disruption that Denver’s defense could cause in 2011 with Fairley eating up 8 blockers and Elvis Dumervil and Robert Ayers coming off of the edge.

SELECTION: Nick Fairley, DE/DT Auburn

3. Buffalo (4-12)

I feel the need to apologize to the Bills.  All season I was encouraging them to tank games so they could get the #1 overall pick and grab Andrew Luck.  Well Buffalo, you must have known something I didn’t because all of your hard work has Luck back at Stanford and the Bills picking third.  Good hustle guys!  Anyways, the Bills, like the Broncos, are in the midst of the transition to a 3-4 and really don’t have the players to do it.  Fairley would fit in wonderfully with their defense, but he’s off of the board.  I would be reluctant to select an edge rushed like Bowers because they missed so badly on Aaron Maybin in 2009.  The emergence of Steve Johnson alongside Lee Evans diminished the need for a wide receiver.  What to do?  Use the draft depth in 3-4 defensive ends and outside linebacker to your advantage.  Marcel Dareus may be the best 3-4 defensive end in the draft (Fairley included) simply because he is a beast and he is familiar with the 3-4 scheme.

SELECTION: Marcel Dareus, DE/DT Alabama

4. Cincinnati (4-12)

Gotta love the Bengals.  A year after winning the AFC North they remember that they are the Bengals and finish 2010 with a dismal 4-12 record (they had to win 2 out of their last 3 games to get that record).  Cincinnati has needs all over the field.  T.O. and Chad Ochocinco may both gone by they start of the 2011 season.  Carson Palmer looked terrible all season.  Andre Smith is looking like a bust.  Their defense is decent, but not the unit that it was in 2009.  I truly believe that Marvin Lewis and Carson Palmer have both had enough of Ocho’s antics, so how about taking the most talented receiver in the draft to replace him?

SELECTION: A.J. Green, WR Georgia

5. Arizona (5-11)

The popular pick here to the Cardinals is Blaine Gabbert, the quarterback out of Missouri.  I agree, the Cardinal’s quarterbacks were all horrendous this past season, but as bad as they were the Cards still had a chance to win the division until week 14 or something crazy like that.  I can’t imagine that Ken Whisenhunt wants to go through the transition of trying to bring a rookie quarterback along again this season (Max Hall and John Skelton last season).  It is much more likely that the Cards go after a veteran free agent quarterback that can help their team immediately (or trade for a guy like Kevin Kolb).  The Cardinals were near the bottom of every offensive and defensive statistical category this past season, but in my opinion they need to become younger and more dynamic on defense.  Joey Porter can be a huge pain sometimes, but he was also one of the best pass rushers of the past decade.  Porter could help Da’Quan Bowers make his transition to a rush linebacker in the NFL (Porter made the same transition coming out of Colorado State).

SELECTION: Da’Quan Bowers, DE/OLB Clemson

6. Cleveland (5-11)

Cleveland made some strides this season, but it wasn’t enough for Eric Mangini to keep his job (can someone hire this guy so he NEVER goes on ESPN ever again).  Colt McCoy looked good when he played this season, so that would dispel rumors that the Browns would be looking to pick up a quarterback with the 6th pick.  Joe Haden had a good rookie campaign and really came on towards the end of the season.  Everyone knows what Peyton Hillis did in 2010, and while I’m skeptical that he won’t be able to have a repeat performance in 2011, he is still serviceable.  If A.J. Green somehow falls down to #6 and Cleveland doesn’t pick him, Mike Holmgren should be fired.  Otherwise, finding defenders than can get to the quarterback should be Cleveland’s top priority.  Robert Quinn was once considered the #1 overall prospect for the 2011 NFL Draft.  After being suspended for the entire season, he is still a top 10 prospect.  That should show you how awesomely athletic this guy is.

SELECTION: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB North Carolina

7. San Francisco (6-10)

San Francisco, I’m officially done with you.  Yes, Jim Harbaugh is going to make a good NFL head coach, but you got rid of my favorite coach in NFL history.  Pulling your pants down in front of your entire team in the locker room…classic.  Ranting about Vernon Davis in a press conference…awesome.  Proclaiming that you will play with 10 players the entire game if one guy doesn’t buy it…amazing.  Telling Troy Smith that you have eaten his children because he threw an interception…great.  Anyways, there is no shot that Patrick Peterson falls to seven, but luckily for San Francisco Prince Amukamara would likely be the top cornerback taken in most other drafts.  At 6’1″, 205 lbs, Amukamara is big and physical, but also has the speed to run with wide receivers.  Prince provides an immediate boost to the 49ers already decent defense.

SELECTION: Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska

8. Tennessee (6-10)

I’ve seen so many mock drafts that have Cam Newton going 8th overall to the Titans.  Isn’t is awesome that Cam Newton is most often compared to Vince Young?  Yes, that’s a great idea for the Titans, because the Vince Young experiment worked out so wonderfully the first time around.  Anyways, the Titans could go a lot of different directions with this pick.  Kerry Collins is a free agent, so their quarterback is currently Rusty Smith.  I think that it is much more likely that the Titans pick up a veteran quarterback to fill that void rather than starting over with a rookie.  The Titans had the 29th ranked pass defense in the NFL, but I don’t see cornerback as a huge issue for them.  In my opinion, their biggest area of need defensively is on the defensive line.  Jason Babin lead the Titans with 13 sacks this past season but he is a free agent and it will likely take big money to keep him around.  Ryan Kerrigan is the first unanimous All-American at Purdue since 1980.  He has forced a Big Ten record 14 fumbles in his career.  In 2010 he had 26 tackles for a loss and 12.5 sacks.  At 6’4″, 260 lbs. Kerrigan has the body to put on another ten pounds and could become a dominant pass rusher in the NFL.

SELECTION: Ryan Kerrigan, DE Purdue

9. Dallas (6-10)

Dallas’ 6-10 finish to the 2010 season comes to a surprise to almost all of us football fans, as many thought Dallas would be picking the high 20’s after having a successful season.  But, that’s why they play the games and Dallas sits at #9 in the 2010 draft.  Marcus Spears is on his way to free agency, so depth on the defensive line is an issue for the Cowboys.  If Amukamara drops to nine he would be a great pick for the ‘Boys to accompany Mike Jenkins and an aging Terrance Newman in the secondary.  Some think that wide receiver is a need position, but with the amount of money that Dallas has invested in Roy Williams, Miles Austin, and Dez Bryant I just don’t see it.  Cameron Jordan is a beast at the end position.  At 6’4″, 285 lbs Jordan has the ability to get to the quarterback (5.5 sacks in 2010) and stop the run (62 tackles, 12.5 tackles for a loss in 2010).  Jordan has experience in a 3-4 system so he should be able to contribute in Dallas right away.

SELECTION: Cameron Jordan, DE California

10. Washington (6-10)

The Redskins are a mess.  Donovan McNabb is allegedly coveted by Mike Shanahan but was benched for the last couple of games last season.  Albert Haynesworth is apparently still going to be a member of the Redskins in 2011 even though neither he nor Shanahan wants him there.  Unless the ‘Skins plan  on building their franchise around Rex Grossman, I have to believe that quarterback is their biggest area of need.  I’m not as high on Blaine Gabbert as everyone else seems to be, but honestly I’ve only watched a little bit of tape on him, so I’m not completely familiar with him.  But, Shanahan is saying his prayers and thanking the big man upstairs that nobody in the top 9 reached for Gabbert and he fell into Washington’s lap at 10.

SELECTION: Blaine Gabbert, QB Missouri

11. Houston (6-10)

I had very high hopes for the Texans in 2010.  I was looking over my preseason playoff picks for 2010-2011 a few days ago and realized that I had the Ravens beating the Texans in the AFC championship game.  Terrible, I know.  Anyways, Houston’s pass defense can be described on one word: pathetic.  Rookie corner Kareem Jackson had a mediocre season, but when your best secondary player is a rookie cornerback, I’m not sure if you can expect much success.  With Wade Phillips heading to Houston to run the Texans’ defense, it is unknown whether they are sticking with a 4-3 or moving to a 3-4.  I would like to see them stick with the 4-3 because I don’t really see guys like Mario Williams, Amobi Okoye, and Brian Cushing fitting into a 3-4 (Cushing moving inside gives me an A.J. Hawk vibe).  If the Texans move to a 3-4 they will need to draft some players to fit that scheme, but for now I’m planning on them sticking to the 4-3.  As I mentioned earlier, their secondary is pathetic so help there is desperately needed.  They could also use help at wide receiver and outside linebacker, but those needs can be addressed later in the draft.  Brandon Harris is a bit of a reach here, but he fills a huge need for Houston.

SELECTION: Brandon Harris, CB Miami

12. Minnesota (6-10)

My gut is telling me that Donovan McNabb is going to be on a plane to Minnesota at some point this off-season, but that is a post for another day.  The Vikings need help at quarterback, wide receiver, defensive tackle (assuming Pat Williams may retire), outside linebacker, cornerback, and safety.  Off those positions, the most dire needs are probably at quarterback and cornerback.  The old adage goes, when a new regime begins it is usually accompanied by a new quarterback.  I’m actually a fan of Tavaris Jackson, but it seems that he is falling out of favor in Minnesota.  Many people think Cam Newton would be the selection for Minnesota here, but I truly believe that once the combine rolls around Jake Locker is going to be able to prove how amazing of an athlete he is.  Locker had a tough 2010 season, but the weapons that he was working with weren’t even close to those that Newton and Mallett had.  If Locker can improve his accuracy, he could be a very good quarterback in the NFL.

SELECTION: Jake Locker, QB Washington

13. Detroit (6-10)

I want to be one of the first to congratulate the Detroit Lions.  The 2011 NFL draft marks only the second time since 2001 that the Lions are picking outside of the top 10.  I also want to give myself some credit for acknowledging before the season started that this Lions team is better than many people had predicted.  Getting Matthew Stafford back next season along with keeping Jahvid Best healthy could immediately translate to 8 wins, but why stop there?  N-Suh was a great pick for the Lions last draft as he is likely to be the 2010 NFL defensive rookie of the year.  The Lions have needs on the offensive line, at wide receiver, cornerback, linebacker, and defensive end.  I think that Brandon Harris would be the selection is he was still available, but Harris is already off of the board.  I have an inner desire to say that Julio Jones will be the selection here because Jones and Calvin Johnson on the field at the same time would be awesome to see.  Sadly, I don’t think that is going to happen, and the dominate defensive ends are off of the board.  Offensive tackle is a great choice to help protect the fragile Stafford.

SELECTION: Gabe Carimi, OT Wisconsin

14. St. Louis (7-9)

I can’t think of a better way to help out a young quarterback than to draft a big-time wide receiver.  Take Matthew Stafford for example.  Through his first two years in the NFL, if he is in trouble he just throws the ball up towards Calvin Johnson and Megatron goes and gets it.  The Rams need help all over the field, especially on defense.  To be honest, with the talent that they have, I’m not really sure how the hell the Rams won seven games.  At this point, with all the help that the Rams need, taking the best player available is the way to go.  Julio Jones has been tagged as the next big thing since he stepped foot on the Alabama campus.  Although he was bumped down the board by A.J. Green, Jones is still a great talent that is deserving of the 14th pick.

SELECTION: Julio Jones, WR Alabama

15. Miami (7-9)

To be honest, I’m not sure where to start with the Dolphins.  Sparano is on a short leash down in Miami, so blowing the team up and starting over may not be the best move, although I think it may be necessary.  I’m not sure is Chad Henne has what it takes to get the job done in the NFL.  Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown are both free agents and it is unknown whether either will be back for the Dolphins.  Brandon Marshal underperformed this season.  Their defense was pretty good, but they could use help at inside linebacker and safety.  In my mind, Mark Ingram makes the most sense here.  Ingram isn’t fast enough to have game-breaking ability, but he is smart and not afraid to run between the tackles, which is something that Ronnie Brown has been plagued by since his array of injuries.

SELECTION: Mark Ingram, RB Alabama

16. Jacksonville (8-8)

I can’t stand the Jaguars.  Come on guys, make up your minds.  Do you want to be terrible and basically get a brand new team and coaching staff, or do you want to be decent and contend for a playoff spot every year?  Seriously, the Jags are the most bi-polar team in the NFL.  The Jags could use a quarterback, need help at wide receiver, defensive end, linebacker, cornerback, and safety.  Similarly to the situation in Miami, Jack Del Rio is on a short lease, so a quarterback change is probably not the best move for him.  Von Miller is so talented that they actually created a position just for him at Texas A&M called the “joker” position.  Miller essentially had free rein to simply create havoc on defense, and that sounds like something the Jaguars could use.

SELECTION: Von Miller, OLB Texas A&M

17. New England – from Oakland (8-8)

As I’ve said in nearly all of my previous mock drafts, there is a higher chance that my man CV is going to start throwing up 225 on the bench at the combine than there is of me being able to predict what the Patriots will do in the draft, but I’ll take a crack at it.  The needs that I’ve identified on this Patriots team are at running back, wide receiver, offensive line, defensive end, outside linebacker, and cornerback.  The main positions that need to be addressed early in the draft are wide receiver, outside linebacker, and defensive end.  I mentioned previously that this draft is stocked with 3-4 outside linebackers and defensive ends.  Some of the names that warrant consideration here are Adrian Clayborn, JJ Watt, Cameron Heyward, Aldon Smith, and Justin Houston.  Either one of these guys would be an upgrade at each of their respective positions.  The direction that they should go is the position that is their most pressing need, outside linebacker.  UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers is one of the few players in the draft that has the size to play 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL, and has actually played linebacker in college.  At 6’4″, 250 lbs, Ayers has the size, strength, and speed to contribute immediately.

SELECTION: Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA

18. San Diego (9-7)

Losing Vincent Jackson could open a huge hole at wide receiver on the Chargers’ offense, but Philip Rivers and co. did pretty well this past season without Jackson for the majority of the year.  Jacques Cesaire is a free agent after this season, and even if he wasn’t the Chargers could use an upgrade on the defensive line.  I feel like the Chargers never really filled the void that opened after Olshansky left for the Cowboys.  With the depth in this draft, 2011 is the year to do it.

SELECTION: J.J. Watt, DE Wisconsin

19. New York Giants (10-6)

The situation in New York is like a ticking time bomb.  It all starts with Tom Coughlin.  He may very well be the most overly dramatic/emotional coach I have ever seen.  Every time the camera takes a look at Coughlin he’s throwing papers, yelling at guys, looking dumbfounded, or just giving up.  It makes for some great television, but I wouldn’t enjoy it so much if I was a Giants fan.  Then you have Antrel Rolle saying that he would rather go play for Rex Ryan.  Bad move dude.  The Giants just paid you a hell of a lot of money to not be that productive, and this is how you thank them?  The three biggest need areas for the Giants in my opinion are at cornerback, linebacker, and offensive line.  William Beaty has been non-existent since he arrived in New York.  The Giants have yet to find a linebacker to replace Antonio Peirce.  If Ayers was still around, he would probably land in New York.  Without a corner worth the 19th pick, offensive line becomes the default selection.

SELECTION: Anthony Costanzo, OT Boston College

20. Tampa Bay (10-6)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may have been the most surprising team of the 2010 NFL season.  I said before the season started that I liked the way coach Morris was going about his business down in Tampa and I also liked some of the young pieces that they had in place, but even I didn’t see a 10-6 team coming out of Tampa.  Although the Bucs had a great, they need to string together another 2-3 good drafts to keep the success going.  The Buccaneers were tied for 30th in the NFL with 26 sacks on the season.  Getting a pass rusher in the top of the 2011 draft needs to be one of their top priorities.  Other needs that I see are at wide receiver, outside linebacker, and on the interior of their offensive line.  With the depth at defensive line in this draft, the Bucs should be able to get a pass rusher at #20.

SELECTION: Aldon Smith, DE Missouri

21. Kansas City (10-6)

Similarly to the Buccaneers, not many people expected the Chiefs to have the success that they had in 2010.  The Chiefs ousted perennial AFC West champion San Diego to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004.  Although the Chiefs lost, playoff experience is always a plus for a young team like the one in Kansas City.  The Chiefs relied heavily on the run game in 2010, and when they didn’t run the ball it most likely ended up in the hands of Dwayne Bowe.  Without another receiving threat, the Chiefs could use to add some depth to the wide receiving corps, as well as grabbing a nose tackle, offensive line depth, another safety to play alongside Eric Berry, and another corner to play alongside Brandon Flowers.  Drafting a big nose tackle to strengthen their front three could help vault the Chiefs defense to the next level.  Stephen Paea is considered by many to be the only nose tackle prospect in the first round, but Paea isn’t just a run stuffer.  The Oregon State product has the ability to plug holes as well as get after quarterbacks.

SELECTION: Stephen Paea, DT Oregon State

22. Indianapolis (10-6)

It seems to me that every season the Indianapolis Colts have several needs on the defensive side of the ball and yet they often avoid drafting defensive players early in the draft.  Granted, last year Jerry Hughes was the Colts first round selection, but Hughes managed only 6 tackles in 12 games this season, and he plays a position that the Colts already have two Pro Bowl players at.  On defense, the Colts need help at defensive tackle (they ranked 25th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game), cornerback, and outside linebacker.  Offensively, the Colts need help along the offensive line, and could always use to add depth at wide receiver.  It is well-known that the Colts prefer almost all of their defenders to be fast, providing them the ability to play a very effective “Tampa 2″ defensive scheme.  You can’t get much faster than by drafting a college defensive end to play defensive tackle in the NFL.  Cameron Heyward was an absolute monster through his years playing defensive end at Ohio State, but at 6’5”, 290 lbs, Heyward definitely has the body to put on 10 lbs and play defensive tackle in the league.

SELECTION: Cameron Heyward, DE/DT Ohio State

23. Philadelphia (10-6)

The Philadelphia Eagles may be the NFC team that I am most familiar with because one of my roommates is a die-hard Eagles fan.  Philadelphia’s playoff game against the Packers exposed a couple of huge weaknesses that the Eagles need to address in the draft.  Offensive line is a major area of need for the Eagles, as well as linebacker, cornerback, and I believe that they could use a big back to compliment LeSean McCoy.  Resigning Mike Vick should be the Eagles’ top priority this offseason, and that would make Kevin Kolb expendable.  Trading Kolb could bring the Eagles some players to fill their holes, or draft picks to give them more opportunities to bring in even more young players.  Whatever the Eagles decide to do, the 2011 offseason is one of the most important over the franchise’s last ten years.  Derek Sherrod is a prototypical right tackle.  With Michael Vick as your quarterback, keeping rushers out of the pocket isn’t as high of a priority as it is on other teams.  Sherrod is a bruising run blocker and is serviceable in the run game.

SELECTION: Derek Sherrod, OT Mississippi State

24. New Orleans (11-5)

The New Orleans Saints were bounced from the 2010 playoffs earlier than nearly everyone expected.  The Seattle Seahawks exposed the Saints run defense, and showed that when you make a team one-dimensional on offense, everyone is beatable.  The Saints rushing offense was one of the worst in the NFL, and with Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush hurt for the majority of the season, you can understand why.  Both Bush and Thomas are free agents after this season, and it is looking more and more likely that neither will be back with the Saints next season.  Therefore, running back will become the New Orleans’ biggest priority this off-season.

SELECTION: Mike Leshoure, RB Illinois

25. Seattle (7-9)

The Seahawks fans of the world should be ecstatic with what Pete Carroll was able to do with the Seahawks in the 2010 NFL season.  The talent level in Seattle certainly didn’t warrant them being 7-9, so making the playoffs provided sort of a catch-22 for the ‘Hawks.  At pick 25, it becomes less likely that your first round pick will be able to help your team immediately, but the picks are still very valuable.  Matt Hasslebeck is a free agent this season, and I’m not betting any money on Charlie Whitehurst being able to win games in the NFL, so quarterback is a huge need area for the Seahawks.  Along with quarterback, the Seahawks have needs at running back (pending the future of Marshawn Lynch), wide receiver, offensive line, and cornerback.  With Ryan Mallett still available, and Pete Carroll now having the confidence from the Seahawks owner, Mallett’s talent may be undeniable at #25.

SELECTION: Ryan Mallett, QB Arkansas

26. Baltimore (12-4)

The Baltimore Ravens caught a bad break this post season, similarly to the Patriots.  It may be the most difficult task in all of sports to play one NFL teams three times in one season.  By that time, each team knows the other’s tendencies, secrets, philosophy, etc.  I thought that the Ravens were talented enough to make it to the Super Bowl this year, but they have enough youth on their team to make a run at the title next year.  Defensively, the Ravens have needed to get a cornerback for quite some time now, so that is one of their biggest needs.  They also have needs at outside linebacker (pending the health of Sergio Kindle) and wide receiver.  Without a cornerback worthy of a first round pick left in the draft, wide receiver becomes their biggest need assuming that Houshmanzadeh is heading out-of-town.  At 6’5″, 225 lbs, Jonathan Baldwin is a physical specimen that can run like a wideout and jump up to catch any ball thrown his way.  Baldwin would be a great compliment to Boldin and Mason.

SELECTION: Jonathan Baldwin, WR Pittsburgh

27. Atlanta (13-3)

The Atlanta Falcons outperformed expectations for the 2010 regular season, but underperformed in the post season getting eliminated in the divisional round by the Packers.  The Falcons have a great nucleus.  They have a quarterback to build around in Matt Ryan, a bruising runner in Michael Turner, and an elite wideout in Roddy White.  Defensively, Curtis Lofton is a great piece to build around and John Abraham had a great season.  Dunta Robinson got paid a lot of money this off-season to shut down opposing wideouts, but the Falcons finished the regular season with the 22nd ranked pass defense in the NFL.  Cornerback is a need position for the Falcons, as is wide receiver, offensive line, and linebacker.  Aaron Williams has been on my radar for three years now, so at 27 this is a need selection for the Falcons.

SELECTION: Aaron Williams, CB Texas

28. New England (14-2)

As i mentioned earlier, there is a higher chance that my man PC is hooking up with a chick out at the bar than there is of me predicting what the Pats will do with their draft picks.  I’m confused by these so-called “experts” that are predicting that the Pats are going to take a running back with the 28th pick.  BenJarvus Green-Ellis gained just over 1,000 yards this season on only 229 carries.  That is an average of 4.4 yards per carry.  What more do you want out of your running back?  At pick 28, the Patriots could look at defensive linemen, wide receivers, offensive linemen, or simply the best player available.  The Patriots become very luck at #28 that the 2011 draft is so deep.  Adrian Clayborn was considered to be a lock top 10 pick before the season started at is a steal is 28.  Belichick also has ties with Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, so the Pats will know all about Clayborn before they pick him.

SELECTION: Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa

29. New York Jets (11-5)

God, I hate the Jets.  I have to try to not let my hatred for the Jets influence who I have them selecting, but its tough.  Contrary to usual Rex Ryan defenses, the 2010 Jets have had trouble getting to the quarterback.  Shaun Ellis, who had a huge game against the Pats, is a free agent upon the completion of this season, so the Jets two biggest need areas are along the defensive line and at outside linebacker.  Justin Houston finished 2010 second in the SEC with 10 sacks, and at 6’3″, 260 lbs he looks like a great fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

SELECTION: Justin Houston, DE/OLB Georgia

30. Chicago (11-5)

Even though the Chicago Bears are in the NFC Championship game this season, they still have plenty of holes.  Surprisingly, even with Mike Martz at the helm, the Bears ranked 30th in the NFL in passing yards per game.  They need help along their offensive line, at wide receiver and at cornerback.  With the wide receiver pool depleted, offensive line should be the way to go for Chicago.

SELECTION: Nate Solder, OT Colorado

31. Pittsburgh (12-4)

I love Mike Tomlin.  That guy can flat-out coach.  Roethlisberger has come off of his four game suspension earlier this season pretty flawlessly and is now playing some of the best football of his career.  Mendenhall is a flat-out beast, and Mike Wallace is one of, if not the fastest wide receiver in the NFL.  Defensively, Ziggy Hood is playing great in place of seasoned defensive lineman Aaron Smith and Troy Polamalu is playing unbelievably.  Similarly to the Bears, the Steelers still have holes even with their success.  But, at #31, with Mike Pouncey still available, the Steelers have fallen upon a dream scenario.  Maurkice Pouncey is the best young center in the game and bringing in his brother to play guard ill give the Steelers a great young nucleus to build their line around.

SELECTION: Mike Pouncey, C/G Florida

32. Green Bay (10-6)

Even with all of the injuries that they have endured throughout the entire season, the Packers have managed to come through all of those difficult times and win the Super Bowl.  After the completion of the Super Bowl, it’s back to business preparing for next season.  The Packers could use to add a running back, an offensive lineman, a defensive end, and a rush linebacker.  With Cullen Jenkins headed towards free agency, defensive end will become a position that needs addressing.

SELECTION: Allen Bailey, DE/DT Miami

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2 Responses

  1. Good mock. Better than that idiot mcshay. Btw i throw up 225 in my sleep. Get on my level

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