Friday, April 29, 2011

Round 1 Draft Grades: AFC West

Denver Broncos (2): Von Miller, OLB Texas A&M                                      Grade: A+
           Freakish athlete with elite pass rushing skills.  Combine him with the return of Elvis Dumerville, and the worst ranked defense has to get better.  It would have been difficult for Denver to screw this up with the entire defensive draft board available to them, but they didn't.  Good pick.

San Diego Chargers (18): Corey Liuget, DT Illinois                                      Grade: C-
          I understand that the Chargers probably did not expect Liuget to be available, but he doesn't fit the system in place in San Diego.  With Cameron Jordan and Muhammed Wilkerson still on the board, two experienced players in a 3-4 system, this was a knee jerk reaction to talent versus fit.  Can Liuget make the transition from a 4-3 DT to a 3-4 DE?  I have my doubts.

Kansas City Chiefs (26): Jonathan Baldwin, WR Pittsburgh                         Grade: B
         KC got to move up one spot in the draft for free, but reached a little on Baldwin.  The Chiefs did address a need, but not a very pressing one.  The main benefit of drafting Baldwin is that he is an above average run blocker down the field, and KC loves to run the football.  Good pick, but not great.

Oakland Raiders (-):  N/A                                                                               Grade: F
         As a Chargers fan, I could not resist the temptation to give the Raiders an F for not having a first round draft pick, which they traded for Richard Seymour.  Even though Seymour has been great for Oakland, they are not close enough to the Superbowl to justify the trading of a #1 draft choice.

Round 1 Draft Grades: AFC South

Tennessee Titans (8): Jake Locker, QB Washington                                              Grade: C
         There was not a bigger Jake Locker supporter in 2010 than me, but he regressed as a passer this year at Washington.  It was not all his fault for his WR dropped as many passes as they possibly could, but Locker's accuracy in the pocket while under pressure was poor.  In the NFL, defenses try to knock the QB off the spot, but keep them in the pocket.  Taking a QB in this spot was not a bad idea for the Titans, but Blaine Gabbert was still on the board and should have been the pick.

Jacksonville Jaguars (10 via trade): Blaine Gabbert                                              Grade: B+
          It was simply shocking that Gabbert was the third QB off the board, but Jacksonville is thanking all 9 teams below them and snagged Gabbert at a discount.  Gabbert will have the opportunity to sit and watch another mobile quarterback in Gerrard navigate the pocket.  Hopefully for Jacksonville, Gabbert has more throwing skills than Gerrard.  Great pick, but didn't address any glaring needs.

Houston Texans (11): J.J. Watt, DE/OLB Wisconsin                                             Grade: A
        Perfect pick for new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.  Phillips' philosophy to protect a poor secondary is to have a superior pass rush, and with Mario Williams on one side and J.J. Watt on the other, AFC south QB's should be worried.

Indianapolis Colts (22): Anthony Castonzo, OT Boston College                            Grade: A
        The rich get richer.  Perfect fit, perfect pick, perfect situation.  Castonzo has all the tools to protect Peyton Manning until Manning retires.  Manning got hit and took more sacks than almost every other year.  The face of the franchise needed some protection and the second best tackle fell right into their laps.  Slam dunk.

Round 1 Draft Grades: AFC North

Cincinnati Bengals (4): A.J. Green, WR Georgia Grade: A+
It is time to usher in a new era in Cincinnati, and A.J. Green got them off to a flying start. There were rumors that the Bengals were going to trade with the Falcons and let A.J. Green go to Atlanta, but kudos to Mike Brown for staying put and drafting one of 4 or 5 elite prospects. Maybe the influx of good, young talent will convince Carson Palmer to return to the team.

Cleveland Browns (21 via two trades): Phil Taylor, DT Baylor Grade: D
Cleveland decided to pass on Julio Jones and take their chances on getting skill players later in the draft by trading down from 6 to 27. Then, the Browns decided to trade up and lose some of the picks they just acquired when they traded down to secure a nose tackle when they are going to use a 4-3 defense. Why? I understand that the Ravens, Steelers, and Bengals (who they see six times a year) run the ball, but why get extra picks, then lose extra picks to get a guy who doesn't fit the defensive scheme?

Baltimore Ravens (27): Jimmy Smith, CB Colorado Grade: B
Jimmy Smith, on the field, is a top 15 talent, but he comes with a plethora of off the field issues. To compound this problem, the Ravens (who were slated to draft at #26) let the clock run out on their pick, which allowed Kansas City to draft Jonathan Baldwin ahead of them, for free. The Ravens have since filed a complaint with the NFL that the Bears accepted a trade but did not follow through, which is why the clock ran out. The NFL may give the Ravens extra picks at the expense of the Bears post facto, which would be a very interesting development. Ultimately, the Ravens got the guy they wanted and he fits the scheme perfectly. Just wish he didn't have the character issues.

Pittsburgh Steelers (31): Cameron Heyward, DE/OLB Ohio State Grade: C
I do not think that Heyward has the motor to succeed in the NFL. He is decent against the run, but he is not big enough to shed NFL grade O lineman blocks. If there was a place he was going to succeed, I would've predicted it would have been in Green Bay, Pittsburgh or Baltimore so he has his best chance to succeed. I have my doubts, though.

Round 1 Draft Grades: AFC East

Buffalo Bills (3): Marcell Dareus, DT Alabama Grade: A+
The Bills have been my favorite punching bag over the past few years but today they hit a grand slam by landing the most NFL ready prospect in this year's class. Dareus can tackle, rush the passer, occupy blockers, and shed blockers. Dareus has an unparalleled strength and speed combination when compared to anyone in this year's draft class. With Buffalo moving to a hybrid 4-3, 3-4 combination, Dareus' versatility was a no brainer. Great pick.

Miami Dolphins (15): Mike Pouncey, C/G Florida Grade: B
This is a solid pick, but nothing spectacular. Obviously, the Dolphins still think they can move forward with Chad Henne at the helm, and solidified the interior of the offensive line by picking Pouncey. It will be interesting to see if Miami can upgrade some of the skill positions later in the draft. Mikel Lashoure and Ryan Williams may be available to help out the aging and often injured backfield of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams (neither of whom are a guarantee to return next year). Kyle Rudolph might be available for the Dolphins to pick, which would give them a good duo with Fasano.

New England (17): Nate Solder, OT Colorado Grade: B-
With so many pass rush options on the board, the Patriots went with an OT, which is not a horrible decision, but not the best one. Cameron Jordan was still there as was Muhammed Wilkerson, both of whom already played in 3-4 systems at Cal and Temple respectively. I'm not saying I disagree with Bill Belichek, but I sure am thinking it very loudly.

New York Jets (30): Muhammed Wilkerson, DE/DT Temple Grade: A+
Great pick at a great spot. Played at a 3-4 at Temple and could've used another year, but Rex Ryan will be happy to teach Wilkerson for a year before implementing him as Kris Jenkins' replacement in a year or two.

Round 1 Draft Grades: NFC West

Arizona Cardinals (5): Patrick Peterson, CB LSU Grade: A+
The ONLY guy in the draft that improves your team on two sides of the ball from day one. Peterson is one of the few "can't miss" prospects at the cornerback position and will also make a huge difference in the Cardinals' return game. One of the only low risk, high reward picks.

San Francisco 49ers (7): Aldon Smith, DE Missouri Grade: B+
The first real surprise of the draft when San Francisco went with a man from Missouri not named Blaine Gabbert. Smith is one of the best pass rushers in this draft, but is not so great against the run, which is an area in which San Fran struggled last year. Look for San Fran to make a push for one of the three quarterbacks expected to be selected in the second round in Andy Dalton from TCU, Colin Kaepernick from Nevada, and Ryan Mallett from Arkansas.

St. Louis Rams (14): Robert Quinn, DE/OLB North Carolina Grade: A
Steve Spagnuolo had success with the Giants when he had four pass rushers to rotate in and get after the quarterback. Looks like Quinn adds to St. Louis' already established pass rushers in Chris Long and Adam Hall and the developing George Selvie to form of of the most fearsome foursomes of pass rushers in the NFL.

Seattle Seahawks (25) James Carpenter OT/OG Alabama Grade: C
A tackle in college, Carpenter really helped himself at the senior bowl when he lined up at guard and was effective. This versatility ultimately led to Pete Carroll picking Carpenter. Only problem with this pick is that it is at least one round too early. High risk, mediocre reward. Yikes.

Round 1 Draft Grades: NFC South

Carolina Panthers (1): Cam Newton, QB Auburn Grade: C
I feel badly for the Panthers. Andrew Luck was supposed to be available but he decided to go back to Stanford. Newton has some talent, but this is the Panthers swinging for the fences. Only problem is, the best home run hitters get one home run every 10 at bats. Carolina fans better start hoping that this is in the 10% and not the 90% or else the Panthers may be faced with an even more difficult decision next year when Luck (and Matt Barkley) will be available.

Atlanta Falcons (6 via trade): Julio Jones, WR Alabama Grade: A-
I love Julio Jones, but Atlanta gave up a gaggle of picks for him. I hesitate giving the Falcons an A+ only because of how many picks they gave up. This is a case where the Falcons believe they are "one guy away." I just hope that it doesn't go as badly as San Diego's "one guy away" guy last year in Ryan Matthews.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (20): Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa Grade: B-
If this was the 2010 NFL draft, getting Clayborn at #20 would have been an A+, but it is 2011, and this is the Not For Long league. Clayborn is a great story overcoming a childhood disease to become an NFL athlete, and a first rounder to boot, but Da'Quan Bowers was still available and the Bucs did not take him. Right position, but the wrong guy.

New Orleans Saints (24): Cameron Jordan Grade: B+
(28 via Trade): Mark Ingram A+
New Orleans had one of the most successful first rounds this year because they took two great athletes. Cameron Jordan was one of the highest rated 3-4 DE/OLB, but New Orleans took him as a pass rushing DE. I'm intrigued to see how Gregg Williams decides to use Jordan, but I'm sure that Williams loves the fact that he has an elite pass rusher and that he has to "find a way" to utilize him. Mark Ingram was the right move at the right time. As I said last night, Ingram and Reggie Bush will be the newest version of Thunder and Lightening. Ingram gives the Saints a legit between-the-tackles runner who is excellent in short yardage and goal line sets. Drew Brees' job just got a lot easier.

Round 1 Draft Grades: NFC Northo

Minnesota Vikings (12): Christian Ponder, QB Florida State Grade: D+
I think this is a double whammy in picking the wrong QB at the wrong time. Ponder is not a great athlete who lacks precision passing in big spots and the ability to throw the deep ball. The only defense for Ponder is that he can step in and start right away, and looking at Minnesota's depth chart at QB (Ponder, Tavaris Jackson, and Joe Webb), Ponder may actually be #1! The Vikings must have been trying to trade back, but failed, and were forced to draft the top QB on their board. I just question why Ponder was ahead of Andy Dalton.

Detroit Lions (13): Nick Fairley, DT Auburn Grade: A+
When you look at all the great teams in the NFL, the phrase "if they don't have the best ____, it's the next best." What that means is: Each great team is one of the best in the league at something. The Lions are taking the framework of the Minnesota Vikings defense and are building from the inside. Good luck running inside with Fairley and Suh occupying space. Not to mention Kyle Vanden Bosch coming around the outside. This defensive line is going to be scary. This is the first time in a long time where I wrote a paragraph about the Lions and failed to mention Calvin Johnson. Damn, almost made it.

Chicago Bears (29): Gabe Carimi, OT Wisconsin Grade: A
Carimi translates better as a right tackle instead of a left tackle, but is a perfect fit for Chicago. Carimi is a mauler and the Bears need help blocking both the run and the pass. Jay Cutler may actually survive the entire game with Carimi helping with protection.

Green Bay Packers (32): Derrick Sherrod, OT Miss State Grade: B-
Best available offensive tackle and, as I said last night, it's never a bad idea to protect Aaron Rodgers. It's not a sexy pick, but it will get the job done...kinda like the city of Green Bay...

Round 1 Draft Grades: NFC East

One of the most competitive divisions in football had a very competitive draft. Here are my grades in the order they drafted in the first round.

Dallas Cowboys (9): Tyron Smith, OT USC Grade: B+
One of the picks that I got dead right, but I still think that the Cowboys wanted to move back and couldn't strike a deal. Protecting Tony Romo should and is priority #1 and they picked the best tackle prospect in the draft. However, they knew that they could have had Smith later in the first round and could have acquired more draft picks in the process. That is the only thing preventing my grade to be in the A range.

Washington (16 via trade): Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB Purdue Grade: A-
Washington did what Dallas couldn't and that was acquire extra draft picks while drafting a player they had near the top of their board. Kerrigan is a perfect fit lining up opposite Brian Orakpo to form one of the better young pass rushing duos in the NFC. Washington still has work to do at the QB position, but there are a few free agents out there and a couple of good round 2 prospects. Ryan Mallett and Colin Kaepernick could be available for the 'skins at the 9 spot in the second round. Stay tuned.

New York Giants (19): Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska Grade: B
I'm not as high on this pick as others because the Giants drafted more of what they already had. In year one, Amukamara will only make a difference on special teams, and maybe in nickel and dime packages. Amukamara has work to do on the pro level despite his superb talent. The player is great, but the team did not address need here, hence the B.

Philadelphia Eagles (23): Danny Watkins, OG/OT Baylor Grade: B
I had Watkins as a tweener between late first and early second round talent. The Eagles went with a high character guy who will be ready to start tomorrow, whether it be at guard or at the right tackle spot (remember with a lefty QB the right side is the blind side). Not the most talented guy available when they picked, but can start right away and will be a great leader in the future. Besides, he's Canadian, how bad can it be?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

...And finally..

The Super Bowl Champs select OT Derek Sherrod. Look for Bulaga to shift over to the left side when Chad Clifton moves on. Didn't have any glaring needs so extra insurance for Aaron Rogers is never a bad idea. Check back tomorrow for my first round grades.

The Steelers have set another record...

by drafting the 12th Defensive lineman in the first round. Cameron Heyward from Ohio State has found a good home. Heyward will help in the run game immediately. Doesn't hurt that his father played for Pittsburgh.

With the 30th Pick...

The Jets go with Muhammad Wilkerson. Good fit. Still think Bowers deserved this spot.

Does Rexy go sexy?

Will Rex Ryan take a chance on Da'Quan Bowers? Scary to think of that pass rush. Bowers would a perfect candidate to replace Jason Taylor. If you told the Jets that they would get Ohio State's Cameron Heyward at the beginning of the night, the Jets would have been happy with that. It's time for the best talent to go to best scheme for his skill set.

..Ain't that some stinky cheese

Green Bay, like Tampa Bay with Prince Amukamara, have to be upset that New Orleans traded in front of them to take Mark Ingram.

A Bear of a pick

Would be surprised if Gabe Carimi isn't finally off the board. Mike Tice loves Carimi's skill set and it fits perfectly with the running game of Chicago. That's right...a Mike Martz offense runs the ball. Matt Forte and Jay Cutler will rejoice.

Why does anyone trade with New England?

It should be outlawed to trade with these demons. The Patriots now have 3 seconds and 2 thirds this year, and 2 firsts next year. Here's a bold prediction: The Patriots will trade at least one of their first round draft picks next year.

...or Mark Ingram

The Saints get significantly better by pairing Ingram with Reggie Bush in the NO backfield for the newest addition of Thunder and Lightening.

...and New England is being New England

New England has traded the 28 pick...shocking. The Saints are now on the clock and this smells like Da'Quan Bowers.

Baltimore finally picks

After a snafu with the Bears (oh, my!), the Ravens have finally selected...Jimmy Smith. Perfect fit. Including the character issues.

KC taking advantage of Baltimore's "pass"ing game

KC ran up and picked ahead of Baltimore and took Jonathan Baldwin to line up opposite Dwayne Bowe. Another solid receiver with size and speed.

Ravens out of Time

Baltimore has let the clock run in the works?

A mind boggling pick...

The Seattle Seahawks and their new O-line coach, Tom Cable, have drafted an O-line. That, in itself, is not surprising, but the choice is James Carpenter. This was a mid-to-late second rounder who is being drafted ahead of a maulers like Gabe Carimi. With Okung already on the left side, the right side is the running side, and Carimi is perfect in that role. Very surprising.

Another anti-system pick

Cameron Jordan appears to be going to the Saints. This is one of the most 3-4 ready guys going to a 4-3 team...

Is it finally time for Bowers

New Orleans is pinching itself to see Ingram AND Bowers here. If Bowers doesn't go here he may slip to the second round.

Philly pick doesn't get booed

Isn't it great to see that Philly can cheer about something...even if they were Canadian firemen.

With the 23rd pick...

The Eagles take Danny Watkins the Canadian!!!! Philly obviously went with a high character guy and will probably try to convert to tackle.

Philly has an interesting pick

With Jimmy Smith and Gabe Carimi still there, Philly has the opportunity to fill one of their needs. How many players with character issues will Andy Reid take? It worked out well with Mike Vick so far, but every time there are major character issues, you are playing with fire.


Back on the right track with Castonzo. Feels good.

Colts have to be happy

With Anthony Castanzo still on the board, Peyton Manning and the rest of the Colts will not take too much time selecting the OT.

Wrong again.

Cleveland traded down then back up and they obviously had Taylor in mind. Looks like Dick Jauron wants another Shaun Rogers. A little odd with Bowers still on the board. Once again, Bowers' knee must be in multiple pieces at this point.

Another Trade...

The Chiefs have traded their pick to Cleveland. Gotta Be Bowers.

With the 20th pick...

Tampa Bay goes with Adrian Clayborn. Where is Da'Quan Bowers going to go? New Orleans? Cleveland? That knee must be a bigger concern than initially reported.


Tampa has to be peeved that the Giants took Amukamara right from underneath them. Surprised that they didn't move ahead of the Giants. The Chargers were begging to get out of their slot. This could be a spot for Da'Quan Bowers

Fans know best

Looks like Giants fans will get there wish and Prince Amukamara will be a Giant. Shocking he fell this far.

Giants fans want Prince

...and I don't think it's the artist formerly known as...I expect more booing as the Giants will look long and hard at OT Anthony Castonzo

San Diego Surprisee

Of course I get my favorite team wrong. It looks like it is going to be Corey Liuget. San Diego has needed to replace Jamaal on the inside, but Liuget is more of a 3 technique guy. Look for Liuget to be a bookend.


San Diego's front office was probably on its knees hoping and praying the Pats didn't take Cameron Jordan, I would be shocked if that isn't the Chargers pick here.

With the 17th pick...

New England will protect their QB with Nate Solder, the monster Buffalo from Colorado. A mountain of talent to match the frame. Is someone afraid of the Jets pass rush?

With the 16th pick...

The Redskins correctly calculated that they could get their pass rusher later in the first round and are lined up to take Ryan Kerrigan. If I'm wrong here, then Dan Snyder has fooled me again.

With the 15th pick...

Miami continues to improve its running game with G/C Mike Pouncey from Florida. The pick makes sense with the scheme and, like Tony Sporano, is not sexy.

With the 14th pick...

The St. Louis Rams get a top 10 talent in Robert Quinn. Steve Spagnuolo couldn't resist another pass rusher. Good value at 14.

Where does Prince go?

One of the great mysteries now is where does Prince Amukamara fall to? My thought is that he slips to the Bucs at #20.

Lucky #13...

The Lions look like they are going to take Fairley. Great value pick. Detroit looks like they are trying to mirror Minnesota's defensive success by beefing up the defensive line. The Lions now have one of the most promising defensive lines with Vanden Bosch, Suh, and now Nick Fairley. Fairley can learn how to play every down from Suh.

How long until Andy Dalton?

With this recent run of QB's, teams like Buffalo and Cincinnati may have to trade back into the first round to get Andy Dalton, the last legitimate QB talent left. Look for another trade very soon.

With the 12th pick

The Vikings do indeed take the QB Christian Ponder. This is alarming. Free agency isn't a sure thing, but it's got to be better than this...

Vikings to make everyone ponder?

Latest rumors have Christian Ponder being picked #12....this would be another mistake.

Not-so-bold prediction

Vikings will not take long to select Robert Quinn. Perfect fit opposite Jared Allen.

With the eleventh pick...

J.J. Watt gets to line up on the other side of Mario Williams and go after opposing QB's. Looks like Indy will have no choice but to focus on the OL.

Texans Two Step?

With Aldon Smith gone, will Houston trade back to get more picks and dedicate them to building Wade Phillips' 3-4 system? Lets find out...

With the tenth pick...

the Jacksonville Jaguars have put Blaine Gabbert out of his misery. The Jags have their most legit QB prospect since Byron Leftwich.

Another trade coming

Looks like Washington, like Dallas, will play it safe in the first round. Looks like Washington is going to trade this pick. Rumor has it that it is Jacksonville.

With the ninth pick...

The Dallas Cowboys go conventional with an OT Tyron unconventional move for Jerry Jones.

What Would Jerry Do?

How can Jerry Jones shake the draft up more than what Tennessee just did? Look for another trade here. Chargers may want to move up to secure Cameron Jordan.

With the eighth pick...

Tennessee selects Jake I'm stunned. This pick is a symbol of the Titan franchise...unstable. First time in nearly two decades where Jeff Fisher had nothing to do with the draft...and I'm afraid that it shows.

With the seventh pick...

We get our first surprise with Aldon Smith. Looks like first year coach Jim Harbaugh was not bluffing when he said he loves Alex Smith.

With the sixth pick...

The Atlanta Falcons have mortgaged this year's and next year's draft to get Julio Jones. Lining him up opposite Rhoddy White gives two vertical options. Slight concern about the dropped passes and durability, but his superior run blocking will make Michael Turner happy.

Atlanta still trying...

Atlanta is still trying to move up 20 spots. Would love to see what the cost for this type of jump up is. I'm guessing 2011 first, second, and fifth and 2012 first round.

With the fifth pick...

The Cardinals take the most talented player available in Patrick Peterson. Watch out NFC West, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Patrick Peterson are a formidable tandem on the outside. This team is a pass rusher and a QB away from the division championship.

May see a trade here...

Rumors have Atlanta wanting to move up here. I would not be surprised if Washington wants to jump up and get ahead of Cleveland to get Julio Jones.

With the fourth pick...

The Bengals move on from the TOcho show and move forward with A.J. Green and Jordan Shipley. Look for the Bengals to look for another WR either in free agency or in the middle of the draft. If Leonard Hankerson slips to the third round look for the Bengals to scoop him up.

With the third pick...

The Buffalo Bills get my top rated player. Great pick. Great value. Great fit. Bills fans should be excited.

With the second pick...

The Denver Broncos select Von Miller. Gotta love the emotion. Could be the Patrick Willis of OLB.

Being John Fox

With every defensive player on the board, John Fox has to be salivating over his options.

With the first pick...

Carolina picks another QB bust. He will battle Ryan Leaf for the most iconic bust.

Carolina is on the clock

...and mistake #1 is going to be made.

Cam's on the phone!

Cam Newton is on the phone and he just got a great deal on a laptop!

Unlucky Mock Draft: The Final (rounds 1 and 2)

The Reason why my final mock draft is only two rounds is because the practice of mock drafts is already pretentious and predicting what will happen past pick 64 is utterly ridiculous. The first two rounds are more predictable than the last five. I do think that there will be somewhere between 3-6 trades involving first round picks. Look for Cincinnati, Arizona, St. Louis, New England (of course), San Diego, and Baltimore to be movers and shakers in the first round. Without further adieu, here are my first two rounds sans any trades that may happen.


1. Carolina Panthers: Marcell Dareus, DT Alabama
Alternative 1: Cam Newton, QB Auburn.
Alternative 2: Patrick Peterson, CB LSU.
Alternative 3: A.J. Green, WR Georgia.

2. Denver Broncos: Von Miller, OLB Texas A&M
Alternative 1: Patrick Peterson, CB LSU.
Alternative 2: Cam Newton, QB Auburn.
Alternative 3: One of the two elite DT (Dareus or Fairley) if available.

3. Buffalo Bills: Cam Newton, QB Auburn
Alternative 1: Marcell Dareus DT, Alabama
Alternative 2: Patrick Peterson CB, LSU
Alternative 3: Blaine Gabbert, Missouri

4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR Georgia
Alternative 1: Julio Jones WR, Alabama
Alternative 2: One of the two elite QB (Newton or Gabbert)
Alternative 3: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB North Carolina

5. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson, CB LSU
Alternative 1: Blaine Gabbert, QB Missouri
Alternative 2: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB North Carolina
Alternative 3: Trade back to take Prince Amukamara or a 5 technique pass rusher

6. Cleveland Browns: Julio Jones, WR Alabama
Alternative 1: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB North Carolina
Alternative 2: Nick Fairley, DT Auburn
Alternative 3: Tyron Smith, OT USC (big reach)

7. San Francisco 49ers: Blaine Gabbert, QB Missouri
Alternative 1: Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska
Alternative 2: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB North carolina
Alterantive 3: Nick Fairley, DT Auburn

8. Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley, DT Auburn
Alternative 1: Jake Locker, QB Washington
Alternative 2: Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska
Alternative 3: Mike Pouncey, C Florida (big reach)

9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT USC
Alternative 1: Trade back to target an OT (Castonzo or Carimi)
Alternative 2: Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska
Alternative 3: J.J. Watt, DE/OLB Wisconsin

10. Washington Redskins: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB North Carolina
Alternative 1: Trade up to get one of top two QB (Newton or Gabbert)
Alternative 2: Trade back to target one of second tier QB (Locker or Dalton)
Alternative 3: J.J. Watt, DE/OLB Wisconsin

11. Houston Texans: Aldon Smith, DE/OLB Missouri
Alternative 1: Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska
Alternative 2: Trade back to target pass rusher (Kerrigan or Watt) or CB (Jimmy Smith)
Alternative 3: Cameron Jordan, DE/OLB California

12. Minnesota Vikings: Da'Quan Bowers, DE Clemson
Alternative 1: Trade back to target second tier QB (Locker or Dalton)
Alternative 2: Jake Locker, QB Washington
Alternative 3: Cameron Jordan, DE/OLB California

13. Detroit Lions: Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska
Alternative 1: Anthony Castonzo, OT Boston College
Alternative 2: Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB Purdue
Alternative 3: Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA

14. St. Louis Rams: Corey Liuget, DT Illinois
Alternative 1: Trade up to target WR (Jones)
Alternative 2: Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa
Alternative 3: Jimmy Smith, CB Colorado

15. Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey, C/G Florida
Alternative 1: Mark Ingram, RB Alabama
Alternative 2: Jake Locker, QB Washington
Alternative 3: Trade back to target second tier QB (Locker, Dalton, or Mallett)

16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Cameron Jordan, DE/OLB California
Alternative 1: Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB Purdue
Alternative 2: Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA
Alternative 3: Trade back for second tier QB (Locker or Dalton)

17. New England Patriots (via OAK): J.J. Watt, DE/OLB Wisconsin
Alternative 1: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT/DE Temple
Alternative 2: Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB Purdue
Alternative 3: Trade back to target OT (Castonzo)

18. San Diego Chargers: Muhammed Wilkerson, DT/DE Temple
Alternative 1: Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB Purdue
Alternative 2: Gabe Carimi, OT Wisconsin
Alternative 3: Trade back to get OT (Carimi or Castonzo)

19. New York Giants: Anthony Castonzo, OT Boston College
Alternative 1: Game Carimi, OT Wisconsin
Alternative 2: Mark Ingram, RB Alabama
Alternative 3: Brooks Reed, DE Arizona

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB Purdue
Alternative 1: Brooks Reed, DE Arizona
Alternative 2: Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa
Alternative 3: Jimmy Smith, CB Colorado

21. Kansas City Chiefs: Gabe Carimi, OT Wisconsin
Alternative 1: Brooks Reed, DE Arizona
Alternative 2: Phil Taylor, DT Baylor
Alternative 3: Trade back to target DT (Phil Taylor)

22. Indianapolis Colts: Nate Solder, OT Colorado
Alternative 1: Derrick Sherrod, OT Miss State
Alternative 2: Jimmy Smith, CB Colorado
Alternative 3: Trade up to get Tyron Smith (not likely, Solder is a slam dunk here)

23. Philadelphia Eagles: Jimmy Smith, CB Colorado
Alternative 1: Derrick Sherrod, OT Miss State
Alternative 2: Brandon Harris, CB Miami
Alternative 3: Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA

24. New Orleans Saints: Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa
Alternative 1: Derrick Sherrod, OT Miss State
Alternative 2: Marvin Austin, DT North Carolina
Alternative 3: Trade back to target OLB (Ayers or Bruce Carter)

25. Seattle Seahawks: Jake Locker, QB Washington
Alternative 1: Andy Dalton, QB TCU
Alternative 2: Derrick Sherrod, OT Miss State
Alternative 3: Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA

26. Baltimore Ravens: Brooks Reed, DE Arizona
Alternative 1: trade back to target CB (Aaron Williams, Brandon Harris, Ras-I Dowling)
Alternative 2: Derrick Sherrod, OT Miss State
Alternative 3: Cameron Heyward, DE Ohio State

27. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Rudolph, TE Notre Dame
Alternative 1: Bruce Carter, OLB North Carolina
Alternative 2: Cameron Heyward, DE Ohio State
Alternative 3: Aaron Williams, CB/S Texas

28. New England Patriots: Mark Ingram, RB Alabama
Alternative 1: Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA
Alternative 2: Derrick Sherrod, OT Miss State
Alternative 3: Trade back to target pass rusher (Jabaal Sheard or Allen Bailey)

29. Chicago Bears: Derrick Sherrod, OT Miss State
Alternative 1: Danny Watkins, OG Baylor
Alternative 2: Marvin Austin, DT North Carolina
Alternative 3: Trade back to target WR (Johnathan Baldwin or Torrey Smith)

30. New York Jets: Phil Taylor, NT Baylor
Alternative 1: Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA
Alternative 2: Marvin Austin, DT North Carolina
Alternative 3: Justin Houston, OLB Georgia

31. Pittsburgh: Aaron Williams, CB Texas
Alternative 1: Brandon Harris, CB Miami (FL)
Alternative 2: Danny Watkins, OG Baylor
Alternative 3: Trade back to target OL (Watkins)

32. Green Bay Packers: Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA
Alternative 1: Danny Watkins, OG Baylor
Alternative 2: Cameron Heyward, DE Ohio State
Alternative 3: Johnathan Baldwin, WR Pittsburgh


1 (33). New England Patriots (via CAR): James Carpenter, OG Alabama
2 (34). Buffalo Bills: Justin Houston, DE Georgia
3 (35). Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton, QB TCU
4 (36). Denver Broncos: Marvin Austin, DT North Carolina
5 (37). Cleveland Browns: Stephen Paea, DT Oregon State
6 (38). Arizona Cardinals: Christian Ponder, QB Florida State
7 (39). Tennessee Titans: Brandon Harris, CB Miami (FL)
8 (40). Dallas Cowboys: Cameron Heyward, DE Ohio State
9 (41). Washington Redskins: Torrey Smith, WR Maryland
10 (42). Houston Texans: Ras-I Dowling, CB Virginia
11 (43). Minnesota Vikings: Rahim Moore, S UCLA
12 (44). Detroit Lions: Benjamin Ijalana, OT Villanova
13 (45). San Francisco 49ers: Bruce Carter, OLB North Carolina
14 (46). Denver Broncos (via MIA): Jabaal Sheard, OLB Pittsburgh
15 (47). St. Louis Rams: Jonathan Baldwin, WR Pittsburgh
16 (48). Oakland Raiders: Colin Kaepernick, QB Nevada
17 (49). Jacksonville Jaguars: Tandon Doss, WR Indiana
18 (50). San Diego Chargers: Martez Wilson, OLB Illinois
19 (51). Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Johnny Patrick, CB Louisville
20 (52). New York Giants: Titus Young, WR Boise State
21 (53). Indianapolis Colts: Clint Boling, G Georgia
22 (54). Philadelphia Eagles: Will Rackley, G Lehigh
23 (55). Kansas City Chiefs: Randall Cobb, WR Kentucky
24 (56). New Orleans Saints: Mason Foster, ILB Washington
25 (57). Baltimore Ravens: Mikel Leshoure, RB Illinois
26 (58). Seattle Seahawks: Leonard Hankerson, WR Miami (FL)
27 (59). Atlanta Falcons: Allen Bailey, DE Miami (FL)
28 (60). New England Patriots: Greg Little, WR North Carolina
29 (61). San Diego Chargers (via NYJ): Kelvin Sheppard, ILB LSU
30 (62). Chicago Bears: Rodney Hudson, C Florida State
31 (63). Pittsburgh Steelers: Orlando Franklin, G Miami (FL)
32 (64). Green Bay Packers: Dontay Moch, DE/OLB Nevada

Monday, April 4, 2011

Unlucky Mock Draft #2

This is going to be the most interesting NFL draft in the past 20 years because of the implications of the lockout. With teams not being able to fill needs via free agency before the draft, we may see more 'best player available' picks and 'low risk' picks. NFL teams will not even be able to sign their draft picks or give their draft picks a playbook or an off-season workout routine. The latter two items will also effect young players from last year's draft in Fantasy Football next year. Players like Sam Bradford who enjoyed stellar rookie seasons will not be able to further their knowledge of the NFL game with any of their coaches - a vital step in the development process. In the case of Sam Bradford, his new coach will be the now infamous Josh McDaniels. Last time I checked McDaniels' system is not for the uneducated. What this means for this year's draft is that teams may opt for the most NFL ready player and hope that they can fill their needs in free agency. I believe that this is a better system for the players anyway, but that is for another article at another time: now lets get to the picks!

  1. Carolina Panthers: Marcell Dareus, DT Alabama. Previous pick: Nick Fairley, DT Auburn. Change in person, but not position. I refuse to give into the notion that the Panthers have given up on Jimmy Clausen after a portion of last year with the worst team in the league. This is also the first of many 'most NFL ready' picks. In fact, the reason for the switch in players is because Dareus is the most NFL ready defensive tackle. Fairley does have more of an upside, but with questions about his work rate and motivation, the Panthers will go the safe route and draft Dareus, who is no slouch.
  2. Denver Broncos: Patrick Peterson, CB LSU. Previous pick: Patrick Peterson, CB LSU. No changes here. The Broncos need a lot of help everywhere after Josh McDaniels royally misfired on Tim Tebow last year. If the Broncos were a starving family last year, they traded water and bread for a nice bottle of wine and tried to pass the wine off as an essential when they traded three draft picks for Tim Tebow. This year, they go with possibly the most athlectic player in the draft and someone who will have the opportunity to learn from one of the greatest players to play the position he plays in Champ Bailey before becoming his successor. Furthermore, Peterson will help day one on special teams. Another safe pick and a good fit.
  3. Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, LB Texas A&M. Previous pick: Blaine Gabbert, QB Missouri. The first major change in philosophy. I have argued that the Bills will go with a QB despite the semi breakout season of Ryan Fitzpatrick last year. However, with the lockout stunting any development in young players who need serious coaching, like a spread QB, the Bills are forced to go with a player who is NFL ready day one. Von Miller has steamrolled up the mock draft boards because of his ability to get to the passer as an edge rusher. Since the bills are moving to a hybrid between a 3-4 and 4-3 defense, having the best 5 technique player in the draft can not hurt. This would also be one of the smarter picks the Bills have made since the A.J. Smith era.
  4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR Georgia. Previous pick: Da'Quan Bowers, DE. Could go a number of ways with this pick. The combination of Carson Palmer threatening retirement and the lockout paralyzing free agency has created a vacuum where no one can tell if Cincinnati will have a QB next year, which makes Gabbert or Newton possibilities here. Only problem is I don't believe either QB option in the draft has the goods to start day one, especially with the diminished coaching the work stoppage has created. Wide Receiver is another need with the like departure of Chad Johnson (no longer Ochocinco) and Terrell Owens. Jordan Shipley and Chad Simpson did not do terribly at the end of last season, but they need a home run threat on the outside no matter who is the QB next season, and that's where Green makes the most sense. Another player who is ready to start on day one.
  5. Arizona Cardinals: Blaine Gabbert, QB Missouri. Previous pick: Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska. Arizona would not be any worse at QB last year. If you didn't know the value of Kurt Warner before last year, it became abundantly clear with each incompletion from Max Skelton. Arizona also needs to improve its linebacking core because Karlos Dansby no longer lurks behind Darnell Dockett. If Von Miller was here they would've taken him as a safe pick and hope for a Donovan McNabb, but the Cardinals can still sign a free agent QB to be a stop gap until Gabbert takes over. Arizona can hope for the creation of a rookie weight scale from the lockout, which would make Gabbert's contract more affordable even if they do sign a free agent QB to go along with drafting Gabbert.
  6. Cleveland Browns: Da'Quan Bowers, DE Clemson. Previous pick: A.J. Green. If Green is still available at #6, the Browns will draft him. Julio Jones has also impressed in the combine and in the Alabama Pro Day and could be a viable option, but with Dick Jauron now leading the transition to a 4-3 defense, Bowers fits perfectly as a pass rushing defensive end. Look for Cleveland to address the gaping hole at WR early, possibly even in round 2, with the selection of a Randall Cobb from Kentucky or Jonathan Baldwin from Pittsburgh.
  7. San Francisco 49ers: Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska. Previous pick: Marcell Dareus, DT Alabama. San Francisco needs to improve is pass defense and Amukamara was an All American last year without having one interception. Interpretation: he locked down anyone he covered. There wasn't a QB in the Big 12 (including Gabbert) who was willing to pick on his side of the field. Another instance of a draft pick that will start on day 1 (as a nickel back at the very least).
  8. Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley, DT Auburn. Previous pick: Cam Newton, QB Auburn. Tennessee had an internal struggle between its QB and its head coach and chose to side with neither and got rid of both. Even though gambling on Cam Newton may prove to be a great value pick here, I don't think the Titans will set themselves up for the same power struggle between QB and head coach so they will go with the other Auburn star in Fairley to help bolster a porous rush defense.
  9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT Southern California. Previous pick: Robert Quinn, DE North Carolina. Gambling on a defensive end that barely played last year may not be in the cards for the Cowboys, who desperately need to protect Tony Romo. Even though Smith shouldn't be a top ten pick, (I have him rated in the 15-25 range of the first round) the reach is a worthwhile one. If I were Romo, I would be writing anonymous letters to the Cowboys front office demanding some protection. Broken collar bones hurt. A lot. Additionally, the Cowboys had arguably the most talented set of running backs, and did next to nothing with them because they had to break tackles before reaching the line of scrimmage. Tyron Smith has emerged as the most complete offensive tackle with the highest ceiling.
  10. Washington Redskins: Cam Newton, QB Auburn. Previous pick: Jake Locker. I concede that having Jake Locker at 10 previously was comical. This time, everything breaks nicely for Washington to gamble on another player with a checkered past (i.e. Albert Haynesworth). With the departure of Donovan McNabb and the perpetual failure that is Rex Grossman as the potential #1 QB going into next year, it would be irresponsible of the Redskins to not look at QB with their first selection. Coach Mike Shanahan loves to run the football and he now could have a dual threat QB to go along with Clinton Portis in the backfield. Newton could be what Shanahan wanted Jake Plummer to be in Denver. Julio Jones is another option here if both Newton and Gabbert are gone.
  11. Houston Texans: J.J. Watt, DE Wisconsin. Previous pick: Von Miller, OLB Texas A&M. Houston's greatest need is pass defense. They were a fantasy dream come true. Every QB that played against them looked like a pro bowl QB (even Kerry Collins lit them up). New defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has made a living using an effective pass rush as his primary pass defense. J.J. Watt is the second only to Von Miller as a 5 technique OLB/DE in a 3-4, which Phillips uses exclusively. Additionally, pairing Watt with Mario Williams with added support from Connor Barwin and Brian Cushing will have Wade Phillips salivating and offensive lines trembling in their collective boots.
  12. Minnesota Vikings: Robert Quinn, DE North Carolina. Previous pick: Nate Solder, OT Colorado. Even though OT is the biggest need for the Vikings, Quinn's upside is too much to pass up at #12. Going into last year, Quinn was a projected top 5 pick in this year's draft. Potential has become a dirty word in the NFL draft, but Quinn's got loads of it. With the potential departure of Ray Edwards, Jared Allen will need some help getting to the QB in Minnesota's never blitz pass rush. Solder still is an option here, which would give Minnesota the opportunity to have the best offensive line in the league again with McKinnie, Hutchinson, and Loadholt anchoring the young Solder.
  13. Detroit Lions: Nate Solder, OT Colorado. Previous pick: Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA. Another team that is filled with that dirty p word...potential. Matthew Stafford has had difficulties staying healthy, but when he's playing, he's playing well. One way to keep a star QB on the field is protect him with a good offensive line. Solder has elite size and quickness and could be the best O-lineman in this year's draft when all is said and done. The Lions would love it if Amukamara fell to them because the defensive backfield was atrocious last year, but there is no value here after the first two CB. Look for the Lions to try to address this need if Brandon Harris from Miami (FL) is available in the second round.
  14. St. Louis Rams: Julio Jones, WR Alabama. Previous pick: Julio Jones, WR Alabama. The Rams will waste no time handing in this selection. Jones could easily be taken before this pick, but if he is here, there is no doubt in my mind that St. Louis will take him. Dynamite pick.
  15. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB Alabama. Previous pick: Mike Pouncey, C/G Florida. This pick could swing either way between Ingram or Pouncey. Miami has shown in the past that they are built from the inside-out with selections on the offensive and defensive lines in the first round the past couple of years. With that being said, naming a solid skill player on Miami is difficult, especially with Ricky Williams entering free agency and Ronnie Brown aging and injury prone. If Miami had confidence that a player like Ryan Williams from Virginia Tech would fall to them in a later round, then they would go offensive line here, but I have no such confidence so they will go with the top running back on the board.
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Aldon Smith, DE Missouri. Previous pick: Adrian Clayborne, DE Iowa. Same idea as last mock but different prospect. I'm buying into the hype machine on Aldon Smith even though a player like Ryan Kerrigan passes my eye test better. Jacksonville got a taste of a good pass rush last year with Aaron Kampman, but can not expect the same this year without some help. Smith's skill set also fits well in coach Jack Del Rio's system
  17. New England Patriots: Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB Purdue. Previous pick: Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB Purdue. I still strongly doubt that New England will keep their draft picks where they are. The Patriots have the unique ability to make a trade in the draft despite the lockout due to their gaggle of picks in rounds 1-3. They have the ability to move as high as they would like and I believe that if they want Von miller badly enough, they will trade up to get him as high as #1. New England is a good pass rusher away from the super bowl, but for the sake of this mock draft, we will keep them at 17 and get the best available player that gets into the opponents backfield in Kerrigan (led the nation in tackles for loss last year).
  18. San Diego Chargers: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE Temple. Previous pick: Tyron Smith, OT Southern California. San Diego has a couple of options here. They need to improve both sides of the line, particularly the front 3 in the 3-4. Names like Cam Jordan from Cal, Akeem Ayers from UCLA, and Adrian Clayborne from Iowa also come to mind, but Wilkerson fits the mold of a book end in the 3-4. Has the ability to eat up blocks freeing up the pass rushers on the edge and the ability to shed blockers and make plays in the run game. Watching game tape against Penn State (Temple's biggest game) showed me what Wilkerson could do against top level talent.
  19. New York Giants: Mike Pouncey, C/G Florida. Previous pick: Mark Ingram, RB Alabama. If Ingram is still on the board, they Giants will look long and hard at him, but with him off the board in this draft, the interior of the offensive line is another need for the Giants' run game. The Giants love to pull their interior O lineman in the running game and Pouncy has shown great athleticism to get to the second level and block linebackers. Additionally, his athleticism with help in New York's screen passing game. Pouncey, like his brother last year drafted at the same spot, will turn out to be one of the best value picks in this draft.
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Justin Houston, DE Georgia. Previous pick: J.J. Watt, Wisconson. Tampa Bay made some great strides last year, especially with their youth movement. Gerald McCoy and Brian Price have solidified the interior of the Bucs defensive line for years to come. This year, it is time to add some pass rush to the original Tampa 2. There aren't that many legitimate 4-3 defensive ends, but Houston is one of them.
  21. Kansas City Chiefs: Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA. Previous pick: Aldon Smith, DE Missouri. Ayers had one of the underwhelming performances at the combine, but he still passes my eye tests when watching him in game. He is a ball hawking linebacker that has the ability to both cover and rush the quarterback. He is better suited as a 4-3 weak side linebacker, but I'm sure Romeo Crennel can get creative enough to utilize him effectively. Could be in the same mold as a Mike Vrabel, but with more athleticism.
  22. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Castonzo, OT Boston College. Previous pick: Anthony Castonzo. Castonzo is the safest of the offensive tackles because of his superior intelligence, which will come in handy when Peyton Manning and Jeff Saturday call their multitude of audibles. Additionally, Manning will be turning 35, and protecting that aging investment should be priority #1, 2, and 3.
  23. Philadelphia Eagles: Gabe Carimi, OT Wisconsin. Previous pick: Gabe Carimi, OT Wisconsin. Carimi May be the best pure run blocking tackle in the draft and could start on either side for many teams. Most prognosticators have Carimi fitting in best on the right side of the offensive line, which in Philly's case, would be Mike Vick's blind side. The Eagles have a phenomenal running game, partly because of Mike Vick, but improving the offensive line will only make the running game better. In addition, with a better running game comes a better play-action passing game. The Eagles offense is scary enough as is, but can only get better with better line play.
  24. New Orleans Saints: Adrian Clayborne, DE Iowa. Previous pick: Stephen Paea, DT Oregon State. The Saints need help with the pass rush and the offensive line. The best available O-lineman would be Derrick Sherrod, but that's a little bit of a reach at 24, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it happen. However, Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams had to blitz far too much for his liking, and that is saying something. Clayborne is the best available pass rusher here and has a good skill set for a 4-3 defensive end.
  25. Seattle Seahawks: Jake Locker, QB Washington. Previous pick: Justin Houston, OLB Georgia. This is perhaps the most difficult pick to project because Seattle is a mess at a few positions. A lot of lenforget that this team did not even break .500 with its playoff win vs. New Orleans. Matt Hasselbeck's future in Seattle and in the NFL is limited and would give Jake Locker a great mentor on how to go about everyday life as an NFL QB. Not to mention the media friendly home grown QB that will keep butts in the seats of Qwest Field.
  26. Baltimore Ravens: Jimmy Smith, CB Colorado. Previous pick: Brandon Harris, CB Miami. Elite talent with elite baggage. Having strong leaders like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed already in place is the only reason why Baltimore will think of drafting Smith. The elite size and speed combination doesn't hurt either.
  27. Atlanta Falcons: Cameron Jordan, DE/OLB California. Previous pick: Cameron Jordan, DE/OLB California. Jordan is the only guy who I have dropping for no reason. He has the skill set and the pedigree to succeed in the NFL, but I just don't see many teams taking him before Atlanta. The Falcons don't have many glaring needs but preparing for the inevitable injury to John Abraham can't be a bad idea and Jordan presents tremendous value as a late first round pick.
  28. New England Patriots: Corey Liuget, DT Illinois. Previous pick: Ryan Williams, RB Virginia Tech. Once again, I strongly doubt that the Patriots picks will remain stable. History has taught us that the Patriots are always looking to move in the draft. If they stay here, they may take the best player available, which would be Liuget. Most people have him going far earlier in the draft, but due to team needs and I have him dropping to the late first round. If they Pats draft Liuget it would allow Vince Wilfork to have the flexibility to move outside and be a DE as well as a DT. Liuget also is a manchild in eating blocks and shedding them.
  29. Chicago bears: Derrick Sherrod, OT Mississippi. Previous pick: Aaron Williams, CB Texas. Another instance where I'm wavering between previous and current pick. Sherrod is not a first round talent but is a first round need for the Bears who let Jay Cutler get hit far too often, as evident in the playoff game against Green Bay. Cutler does need to work on his decision making but having a good offensive line is a nice cheat sheet.
  30. New York Jets: Marvin Austin, DT North Carolina. Previous pick: Allen Bailey, DE/OLB Miami. Even though the Jets are used to being without Kris Jenkins anchoring the defensive line, that does not mean that they have replaced him or are grooming anyone to do so. It is time that they draft someone who has the ability to fill in and limit the load on Jenkins and, eventually, take over.
  31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Williams, CB Texas. Previous pick: Kyle Rudolph, TE Notre Dame: The Steelers would love to get an offensive tackle here, but there simply isn't one. They could look for another versatile interior lineman like they did last year with Pouncy, but Williams would solve a greater need. Some think that Williams is better suited as a safety, but if he can cover from the safety position or the cornerback position that would give Troy the Hair more freedom to roam.
  32. Green Bay Packers: Cameron Heyward, DE Ohio State. Previous pick: Cameron Heyward. Heyward has the talent to be a top 20 pick in the draft, but lacks the mental make up. Green Bay is a great place to be a football player (similar to Columbus, Ohio) and the city will help Heyward early by not being too critical of any shortcomings or laziness. Additionally, if Clay Matthews speaks, people tend to pay attention even if out of fear. Remember, he's been fined for having biceps that scare quarterbacks!