The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

2011 NFL Mock Draft, Version 1.0: Is Cam Newton the Favorite for No. 1 Overall?

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Jonathan Bales

***Note:  Click on highlighted players to read full scouting reports and view game videos.

1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

The evidence seems to be piling up that the Panthers are interested in Newton.  The new coaching staff doesn’t seem fond of Jimmy Clausen, and head coach Ron Rivera personally attended Newton’s Pro Day.  The Panthers are also reportedly not sold on any of the defensive linemen prospects.  With little reason to bluff at the top of the draft, all signs point to Newton.

2. Denver Broncos: DaQuan Bowers, DE, Clemson

The Broncos could also select Patrick Peterson here, but new head coach John Fox always seems to covet top-tier defensive ends.  If Denver goes defensive tackle, I think Marcell Dareus will be the choice over Nick Fairley due to concerns about the latter prospect’s work ethic.

3. Buffalo Bills:  Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

Peterson will probably be the top prospect on many teams’ draft boards.  He’s simply a stud and, if things don’t work out at cornerback for some reason, he could always move to safety.  Blaine Gabbert is an option here, but I think the Bills will select Cam Newton or a defensive player over the Missouri signal-caller.

4. Cincinnati Bengals:  Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

Are Carson Palmer’s retirement threats real?  I actually think so.  The relationship between Palmer and the Bengals seems beyond repair, and Cincy might figure they should grab a potential franchise quarterback while they are in position to do so.

5. Arizona Cardinals: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A and M (My ‘ampersand’ key is currently under construction.)

Many experts might have Robert Quinn going ahead of Miller, but I think teams will have some concerns about Quinn’s health (he has a benign brain tumor).  Miller is an explosive athlete who will aid a Cardinals’ pass-rush in desperate need of an upgrade.

6. Cleveland Browns:  Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

A.J. Green or Julio Jones?  The Browns need to add speed to their receiving corps, and Jones’ 40-yard dash time could put him ahead of Green on some teams’ boards.  Will Jones’ fractured foot cause him to drop?  I don’t think so.

7. San Francisco 49ers:  Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, UNC

Like I said, some teams will be scared about Quinn’s health.  Others won’t, and the Niners will sure hope Quinn checks out medically.  If he’s on the board, I can’t see San Fran passing.

8. Tennessee Titans:  Nick Fairley, DT/DE, Auburn

Many people will be surprised to see Fairley drop this far, but he might actually plummet farther.  There are major questions about Fairley’s attitude and work ethic.  There’s no doubting he’s capable of dominant play at times, however, so he might fit well in Tennessee.

9. Dallas Cowboys:  Marcell Dareus, DT/DE, Alabama

I personally think the Cowboys should select an offensive tackle in the first-round.  I’d prefer a trade down at this point, but if that doesn’t happen, my selection would be USC’s Tyron Smith.  Many claim he’s “too small” and won’t hold up on the right side, but I disagree.  The Cowboys have plenty of beef inside–athletic linemen are the future.  Plus, Smith has shown he’s capable of adding plenty of mass to his frame.

It isn’t as if I’d be irate over the selection of Dareus, however.  I actually have him rated No. 2 overall on my Big Board (to be published soon).  You might argue that the Cowboys should always take the best player available, but that’s not actually the case.  In reality, teams rarely take the highest player on their board.  They take the highest player at a position of need and the one who creates the largest potential overall draft value.

Dareus certainly plays a position of need for Dallas, but I think the Cowboys could acquire superior overall value by selecting an offensive tackle in the first round and a defensive end in the second.  As you’ll see by the end of this mock draft, I don’t think any top tackles are going to fall into the second-round.  A Tyron Smith/Muhammad Wilkerson combination looks a whole lot better than a Marcell Dareus/’anyone else in round two’ duo.

10. Washington Redskins:  A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

Either Green or Jones will almost certainly be on the board at this point, and I think the ‘Skins will jump all over whoever is left.  They might also look at defensive linemen, but I think Green’s value will intrigue them.

11. Houston Texans:  Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

Amukamara helped himself at the Combine more than just about anyone, so he could be off of the board by this point.  Houston’s secondary is atrocious, however, so they’ll be looking for help.  They might even reach on Jimmy Smith if Amukamara is gone.

12. Minnesota Vikings:  Jake Locker, QB, Washington

This is my first major surprise of this particular mock.  There are reports that Minnesota is very interested in Locker, with local newspapers even claiming they would be shocked if the first-round ends with Locker landing in Minnesota.  It’s possible the Vikings will try to trade back into the latter portion of the first-round for Locker, but I think he’s a legitimate option here.

13. Detroit Lions:  Tyron Smith, OT, USC

This is a dream scenario for the Lions.  There are teams picking ahead of Detroit that need offensive tackles (Dallas included), but the abundance of top-tier prospects at other positions (along with the three quarterbacks already drafted) allows the Lions to select their top-rated offensive tackle.

14.  St. Louis Rams:  Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri

Smith is receiving very little hype, but I’m confident he’s going to be a top 20 selection.  The Rams have quite a few holes to fill, but none is more glaring than defensive end.  While some have projected Smith as a 3-4 outside linebacker, I see him purely as a 4-3 end.

15.  Miami Dolphins:  Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

Is there anyone else to consider here?  If the ‘Phins let free agents Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams walk, they will obviously be desperately thin at running back.  I think running back is perhaps the most overrated position in football, but when your current starter is Lex Hilliard, you have issues.

16.  Jacksonville Jaguars:  Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

I’m not personally a Kerrigan fan, but he just seems like a good fit in Jacksonville, doesn’t he?  The Jaguars could actually look quarterback here, so Locker and Ryan Mallett are also options.

17.  New England Patriots (from Oakland):  Cameron Jordan, DT/DE, Cal

This is a long way for Jordan to fall, but there aren’t many 3-4 teams in between Dallas and this pick.  If Dareus doesn’t drop to No. 9, don’t be surprised to see Jordan go to the Cowboys.  Either way, you know the Pats will have interest in such a diverse player.

18.  San Diego Chargers:  J.J. Watt, DT/DE, Wisconsin

The Chargers reportedly have a ton of interest in a few of this year’s second-tier 3-4 defensive ends: Jordan, Watt, and Cameron Heyward.  I think Heyward is a reach here and with Jordan off of the board, Watt seems like a surefire pick.

19.  New York Giants:  Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

I hope Castonzo doesn’t go to New York because I like him a lot, but the Giants are in a great spot to choose from a variety of quality tackles.  They’ll take their favorite, whether it is Castonzo, Carimi, Sherrod, Solder, or even Ijalana.

20.  Tampa Bay Bucs:  Justin Houston, DE, Georgia

Houston is a bit of a polarizing player, as will be evidenced when I publish my Big Board.  He’s undersized to play defensive end, but that could work out just fine in Tampa.  He’ll be a terror off of the edge for awhile.

21.  Kansas City Chiefs:  Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor

If Taylor goes to Kansas City, he’ll give the Chiefs one of the most devastating 3-4 lines in the league.  Taylor, Glenn Dorsey, and Tyson Jackson (and even Tamba Hali at times)?  Yikes.

22.  Indianapolis Colts:  Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

I don’t think Sherrod is the top offensive tackle left, but he fits well in Indy.  The Colts reportedly met with Sherrod at the Combine, so there’s some interest.

23.  Philadelphia Eagles:  Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

If the Eagles trade Kevin Kolb before the draft, they could end up with another pick in the first-round.  If so, this selection of Jimmy Smith becomes a whole lot more likely.  Then, Philly will be less hesitant to pull the trigger on a player with character concerns.

Together, Smith and Asante Samuel will make up the worst tackling cornerback duo in the history of the Milky Way Galaxy (I’m assuming there is life on other planets, even within our own galaxy, and they play “American” football).   Actually, I think one of them got into our league. . .

 

***Note:  The last time I “bashed” Pat McQuistan, I literally got an e-mail from one of his family members calling me an *sshole (that’s actually true).  How she sent it 3,000 light-years almost instantaneously I’ll never know. . .

24.  New Orleans Saints: Corey Liuget, DT/DE, Illinois

The more I watch Liuget, the more I see him as a three-technique player.  He’d be a heck of a run defender as a five-technique in Dallas, but not much else.  He’s a slightly worse Marcus Spears, in my opinion, which won’t please Cowboys fans one bit.  The good news is he’s too Liuget to quit.

25.  Seattle Seahawks: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

I know Harris’ poor Combine showing has most dropping him out of the first-round, but I’m not so sure.  Teams seem to value game tape more and more in recent years (as evidenced by Bruce Campbell’s historic fall last season).  Watch Harris’ game tape (below) and tell me you don’t see first-round talent (unless you really don’t see it, in which case I actually don’t want to hear from you).

26. Baltimore Ravens:  Ben Ijalana, OT/OG, Villanova

Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome values versatility, which is exactly what Ijalana brings to the table.  He’s not being mentioned much as a first-round pick (and I really hope he falls to Dallas in the second), but he should be.  Mark my words: he could be the best offensive lineman out of this class when it’s all said and done.

27. Atlanta Falcons:  Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

I’m not that high on Ayers, but the Falcons really need to bolster their defense.  They over-performed last season.  Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn could also be on the radar here.

28. New England Patriots:  Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida

With the 17th, 28th, and 33rd overall selections, the Pats have a lot of freedom.  That means Pitt’s Jonathan Baldwin may be on their radar, even in the first-round.

I think they’ll love Pouncey’s toughness and versatility, though.  Like Casey Matthews, Pouncey is getting pub for having a talented brother in the NFL.  Unlike Casey Matthews, Mike Pouncey can play well.

29. Chicago Bears:  Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

Because teams view Carimi as “only” a right tackle, he will probably drop a bit come draft day.  I think that’s unwarranted.  Carimi is probably the most NFL-ready of all the offensive tackles, and while he may not possess the incredible upside of someone like Tyron Smith, selecting a “sure thing” in the first-round is never a bad idea.

30. New York Jets:  Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

Clayborn is probably a top 15 talent, but one of his arms is shorter than the other.  That’s scary to a lot of NFL teams.  I don’t notice the difference on film, although Clayborn generally plays just one side of the field.  That could cause Rex Ryan to pass, but Ryan might also value Clayborn’s pass-rush ability as a five-technique enough to overlook his shortcomings.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers:  Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

This seems like a no-brainer for Pittsburgh.  They need an offensive tackle of the future to protect Big Ben, and Solder is the last of the “top-tier” tackles left on the board.  Note: I personally think Solder is a third-round talent. . .I’m just assuming not every NFL team will feel the same.

32. Green Bay Packers: Cameron Heyward, DT/DE, Ohio State

Predicting the Packers’ selection is very difficult.  They don’t have many holes, but they do have a couple of free agents at defensive end.  If they allow them to walk, Heyward is a real possibility.  I would take Temple’s Muhammad Wilkerson ahead of him, but I think most NFL squads will rate Heyward higher.

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23 Responses to 2011 NFL Mock Draft, Version 1.0: Is Cam Newton the Favorite for No. 1 Overall?

  1. Vince_Grey says:

    If Dareus is available at 9, we need to take him and go forth with the picks we have. (Unless we trade down in the 2nd, but I wouldn’t be fond of that idea, because the best value’s in the entire draft are usually in the top 3rd of the 2nd round)

    It’s not that I’m opposed to trading down in the 1st for more picks, but sometimes you shouldn’t try to get too cute with your draft choices. Dareus is, IMO, the best player in the draft, bar none, and he fills a need area. (I don’t consider DB’s to be viable high pick candidates)

  2. Vince_Grey says:

    “The good news is he’s too Liuget to quit.”

    Wah wah wahhhhh. Please, do NOT quit your day job…

    If Dareus is gone and we trade down to say, the lower end of the 1st round, would be ok with taking Ijalana there?

    If the draft goes as yous say, here are my winners and losers:

    WINNERS: Dallas, Detroit, Giants, Jets, Bears, Pats, Chiefs, Ravens

    LOSERS: Panthers, Bills, Texans, Tampa Bay, Falcons

  3. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    The best value for this draft is in the top 10 picks than in the bottom half of the 1st round through about midway through the 2nd round. Picks 11-20 are essentially reaches. There are a few good 4th round prospects (RB and FB) as well.

    Dareus would be a good selection at #9 but would agree that a trade down (to # 20 eventually) would be ideal. There the Boys should select Ijalana.

    With whatever pick they receive for trading down, they should couple that pick (let’s say it’s a 3rd round pick) with their 2nd round pick and move up to 33rd (the Patriots always seem to want to trade down). There, they should select Rahim Moore (FS), Aaron Williams (FS/CB), Christian Ballard (DE) or Muhammad Wilkerson (DE).

    Jerrel Jernigan should get a thought here for a moment but only if there’s a well constructed plan for the numerous WRs on the team (like cutting Hurd, Holley and Manual Johnson). Also, Steve Wiesnewski might be a thought as well although Jerry will draft 2 O linemen w/ his 1st 2 picks.

  4. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    That’s “Jerry WON’T draft 2 O linemen…”

  5. Vince–This is my day job, so thanks for the compliment haha

    I would consider the winners of my own mock to be Detroit, NYG, Tampa (love Houston), Kansas City, Seattle, Baltimore, and Chicago, and the losers to be Denver, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and all that selected a QB.

  6. Tyrone–Of the second-round prospects you mentioned, I’m really only high on Wilkerson. I think the ‘Boys will get a FS before the draft and I have Ballard only 52nd on my board, which I PROMISE will be posted tomorrow.

  7. Vince–Missed your question on Ijalana…YES YES YES. I have NO problem taking Ijalana in the teens. Actually, if I could have ANY scenario at all, it would be for Dallas to move back and select either Smith/Ijalana (although Ijalana will prob be the only one of them to still be available). I think he’s an impact player at RT from day one.

  8. Vince_Grey says:

    My ideal scenario would be to take Dareus in the 1st, then the best O-lineman available in the 2nd, then a couple of DB’s in the later rounds, along with maybe a slot receiver. Another O-lineman and D-lineman would be nice as well.

    Wish we had more picks, but I don’t want to lose Dareus to get them.

    Unfortunately, I’m beginning to think Dareus will be gone by the time our pick comes along. I think the Browns or the Titans will go for him.

    Agree about all the QB’s, though I admit Gabbert’s beginning to grow on me, just a little. I still wouldn’t take him, or any of the others, in the 1st. I also think some team is going to blink and take Ryan Mallett in the 1st, and that’s a train wreck waiting to happen. Not so much for his attitude as because I see him as another Drew Bledsoe, only not nearly that good. Tall QB’s who can’t move are generally cannon fodder in the NFL.

  9. Jimmy says:

    Johnathon, I’m extremely relieved you didn’t have Prince as the pick. I can’t remove that Justin Blackmon beatdown from my head. It’s hard to argue though with Terrence getting up in age. I like Marcel as the pick b/c of the value with him dropping this far, but b/c of the depth at D-line in the top third of this draft I think Tyron Smith is the best pick and the one I would be most happy to see. RT, I believe, is our biggest need by a longshot.

    I think Rob Ryan gives Jenkins the confidence boost he needs to rebound and we can wait until the 3rd or 4th round to select Ras-I or someone similar. I really like Chris Culliver, but I truly believe we will pick up Michael Huff in Free Agency when that time comes. I also think we will resign Sensabaugh.

    I also wouldn’t mind trading down a bit for Costanzo b/c he showed at the Senior bowl he can play Guard and Tackle. We then let Sam Young show what he’s got and if that doesn’t work Costanzo plays RT and if it does work he plays Guard. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone. I think this plan would also work with Carimi, and maybe even better b/c of his bigger body.

    Last thing, some people have Nick Fairley dropping to and sometimes beyond Dallas. I’m not one of them, but if so, do you think it’s a no brainer to take him and does he fit better in Dallas as a 5 tech or backup to Jay?

    Thanks for the great reading. I’m a flight student in Army recovering from ankle surgery and the boring desk job they have me doing in the meantime is made much more bearable with your site.

  10. Scott says:

    I think Dareus is a good pick and I’d be happy with that, but I also like the idea of moving down to pick an OT.

    What are some reasonable scenarios you could see that a team would want to move up into the #9 spot, to pick the remaining WRs ahead of the Skins, or Amakamura, where we could get into position to get Smith or Ijalana for decent value? And then what would that yield us in return picks?

    If we could manage get one of the top OTs and get another 2nd rounder in the process, that would be a good draft.

    I hope we don’t take Moore in the 2nd round, seems like he might be 3rd round talent but the safety class is so poor that he’s overvalued. demand > supply. Better to fill that need thru FA.

  11. VG–My only issue with that is the top OL in the second-round probably won’t hold value. There’s quite a large drop-off after that top-tier, and the more I look at it, the less I think one of them will be available.

    Jimmy–This isn’t to say Prince won’t be the pick, but I do see Dallas looking in a different direction. Like you, I would love a trade down for an OT like Castonzo (or even Ijalana).

    As far as Fairley, he is definitely not a backup for Jay. He’s a five-technique all the way, but NO, I do not think selecting him is a no-brainer. He’s a risky pick with an inconsistent motor, IMO, and first-round picks should possess high floors. I wouldn’t go nuts if he landed in Dallas, but I’d definitely prefer the trade-down scenario you mentioned.

    And thanks so much for the kind words. A flight student sounds like an awesome time…how did you break your ankle?

  12. Scott–Awesome question. I might do a post on this, but to sum it up, I think the Cowboys are in a great position for a move down. Dareus, Fairley, Bowers, and Jones/Green are all guys who could fall (at least one of them will) that other teams will be interested in moving up for. With Washington right behind us, teams will want to jump them for a WR, or even a QB like Gabbert if he’s still on the board.

    I’d love to move down to, say, the 14th spot of St. Louis. They could look to move up to grab either Jones or Green (if one is off the board at that time). That move down would yield right around a third-round selection. The Cowboys will still be able to grab a guy like Smith (or more likely Castonzo there).

    If they want to move further, the Pats may look to move up from No. 17. That would cost them a mid-second, or two mid-thirds (not saying they have that…just giving you an idea). I think moving anywhere past 17 would be a risky proposition. Personally, I want to come out of the first-round with either Smith, Castonzo, or Ijalana. Ijalana should still be there, but who knows?

  13. Pingback: Why Selecting Best Player Available in NFL Draft a Myth | Dallas Cowboys Times

  14. Scott says:

    Jonathan,

    rabblerousr has a good post on Blogging the Boys that basic responds to the question I posed…

    http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2011/3/11/2044668/dallas-cowboys-2011-draft-best-options-trading-down

    First he presents a case that top picks are overvalued in the conventional draft value chart so trading down is a sound idea.

    Then he looks at various potential trade partners, and concludes that the Rams are the most likely…

    “The Rams, on the other hand, appear to be a perfect fit. Its easy to envision that they’d want to give up some premium picks to land either one of the top two receivers, A. J Green and Julio Jones, to give Sam Bradford a shiny new weapon, or a top defensive tackle. Its even possible that they’d be interested in trading up for a dropping Robert Quinn or Da’Quan Bowers. In any draft, a staggering variety of trading possibilities exist. If I were a betting man, however, my money for the 2011 edition would be on a Dallas move to # 14. It just makes the most sense.”

    If we could trade back to #14, pick Smith there, and get an extra 3rd rounder out of the deal, that would be a great start to a successful weekend.

  15. Scott says:

    sorry, this is the St. Louis trade he suggests according to the draft value chart…

    St. Louis 14 + 78 + 111 (1372) for Dallas 9 + 171 (1374)

  16. Scott–Your trade-down scenario is exactly my dream start to the draft. Even with Dareus on the board, I would look to move back to the mid-teens and select either Tyron Smith or Ben Ijalana. I also wouldn’t be disappointed with Castonzo. With three really talented players with LT/RT versatility, the move seems like a no-brainer to me, if Dallas can pull it off.

    If you didn’t read my article on BPA, check that out. It explains why I REALLY think grabbing a first-round OT and waiting on a DE until at least the second-round is the key to a successful draft.

  17. Vince_Grey says:

    JB – I agree there’s more of a drop off in OL prospects than DL prospects, but I also feel that Dareus has, by far, the highest floor and a pretty high ceiling as well. Unless he gets hurt, I don’t see any way this guy’s not a Pro Bowl regular for a long time.

    BTW, I’ve read and heard some who say in a 3-4, a DE, no matter how talented, is little more than a guy to take on blockers and free up LB’s.

    I could not disagree more with this. If a 3-4 DE can make plays by penetrating and/or shedding blockers, and pass rush, either with power, or speed, or both, any DC worth a damn will figure out a way to use him in that manner, and not just as some “blocker-eater”.

    There’s a reason 3-4 DE Bruce Smith was a great play maker pass rusher and 3-4 DE Marcus Spears was not: Talent.

    IMO, Dareus is the safest pick, AND he fills a need, so I say it’s worth the price of possibly not landing a top OL who’s NFL starter ready next season.

    All this is likely a moot point however. I absolutely feel now there’s virtually no possibility he drops anywhere near the 9th pick.

  18. Vince–Agreed on Dareus’ floor/ceiling…he’s a far more consistent player than Fairley and VERY scheme-diverse. I am beginning to think he’ll go ahead of Fairley because of the latter trait.

    If the ‘Boys do land Dareus, you won’t see me upset. This is a guy I’ve liked all offseason, beginning with my first draft article of 2011. He’s No. 2 on my board, meaning his potential value could override the VORP of the OT position. It sure would be nice to somehow head into the draft with a FS and OT already signed, wouldn’t it? If the team can focus on getting into position to draft Dareus or even Taylor (I’m still not 100 percent on Ryan actually keeping Ratliff at NT), it sure would be a luxury. Of course, the price has to be right in free agency, and it’s unlikely the Cowboys will be able to secure a top-level FS and RT.

  19. Omar says:

    Lets see…my first round looks a bit different.

    Carolina – Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri

    The Panthers invested a second round pick in Jimmy Clausen, and I think they should go for AJ Green here to give Clausen a chance, and have someone for the next guy if Clausen doesn’t work out. However, a new regime probably means a new quarterback. In that case, Gabbert is the most NFL ready and the least likely to bust, they’ll select him.

    Denver Broncos – Marcel Dareus DT

    All the draftnicks say that Dareus has the highest floor of anyone in the draft. Denver’s in the middle of switching schemes, Dareus will help that tremendously. They have other needs, and there’s other players with more upside, but the Broncos have traditionally been a more conservative organization (Josh McDaniels not withstanding) and this is a pretty safe pick, good value, high floor…solid pick here

    Buffalo – Cam Newton QB Auburn.

    I agree, I don’t see JaMarcus Russell in him. Chan Gailey, from what I’m told, is good with QBs. And if anyone can work with Newton its Chan. The Bills need help at the gate, and Newton can excite a fan base with his massive size and tremendous athleticism. They have Fitzpatrick there to fill in until Newton’s ready.

    Cincinnati – AJ Green WR Georgia

    Palmer’s retirement threats are likely real, although if they’re not Green will provide him with a tremendous weapon and may cause him to rethink his decision. If not, the Bengals can trade him to another team needing a QB and the next guy will have a top flight WR waiting for him. (The obvious trade is McNabb for Palmer)

    Arizona – Da’quan Bowers DE Clemson.

    If the above mentioned scenario actually happens they’ll probably trade down, likely with Dallas, so they can take Peterson…but assuming no trades selecting a guy many people see a lot of Julius Peppers in would be a nice consolation. He’ll be a terror off the edge in Arizona and help give them some semblance of a pass rush

    Cleveland – Julio Jones WR Alabama

    Cleveland’s committed to Colt McCoy, and they need to give him some weapons. Jones had a great combine and a very productive career at Alabama. He’ll instantly provide him with a decent deep threat, not to mention a WR who can provide an option for him over the middle. Peyton Hillis can’t do all the work in Cleveland, they need other help at the skills position.

    San Francisco – Von Miller OLB Texas A&M

    The 49ers already have the best LB in the league in Patrick Willis, now they can add a top flight passrusher to provide some pressure to the opposing QB. They have other needs, and they to would likely look to trade back in this situation, but assuming no trades…this is the pick

    Tennessee – Nick Fairley DT Auburn

    The Titans need some help in the middle of the line. They don’t have anything that remotely resembles a pass rush on that team. Fairley’s a prick and somewhat of a “one year wonder” but he’ll help them immediately in the pass rush department.

    Dallas – Patrick Peterson CB LSU

    Assuming he falls out of the top three, I think they’ll move up to get him…but again assuming no trades. I am a Cowboys fan, so this scenario is a bit of a “dream come true” for me…but the secondary sucks, it needs help. Peterson provides it. The “depth” allows them to slowly work Peterson in, not that they’d need to, but he fits well with the team and he’ll help an abysmal secondary. Easy pick right here, Jerry Jones is snapping both ankles stumbling over himself to get this pock in.

    Washington – Robert Quinn DE UNC

    There really isn’t much left for Dan Snyder right here. However, Quinn is a monster, and him and Orapko can provide lots of problems for Offensive Coordinators everywhere. They have many needs, starting with trying to find a way to make nice with their highest paid player and Donovan McNabb, but Quinn’s too good to pass up here.

    Houston – Prince Amukamara CB Nebraska

    Houston’s secondary is beyond god awful. I think Kareem Jackson was the worst CB in football last year. I’m not as high on Amukamara as others, but he provides a much needed upgrade in the secondary.

    Minnesota – Ryan Mallett QB Arkansas

    Yes, I know. He’s a shithead, immobile, less athletic than some of you are, but he’s big, strong, tough, and has a huge arm. I don’t see him as Ryan Leaf, Minnesota typically likes big armed tough QBs. He’ll make great use out of Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice, and at the very least make fewer game losing decisions than their last QB

    Detroit – Tyron Smith OT USC

    This is tough, I love Smith…but he’s a great fit in Detroit. Matthew Stafford is a good QB when healthy, they need to protect him and keep him upright so he can finally start getting Megatron some fantasy points. He’s the best OL in the draft, IMO. No brainer here.

    St. Louis – Gabe Carimi OT Wisconsin

    Again, they need a WR, so they’d also probably like to move back. At anyrate, Rodger Staffold looks to be the LT of the future. They have a good asset in Sam Bradford, so they need to protect it. Smith wouldn’t be a bad pick, but I see them investing in Bradford with this pick.

    Miami – Mark Ingram RB Alabama

    I think you nailed this one.

    Jacksonville – Ryan Kerrigan DE Purdue.

    Like most of the teams, they also need an upgrade in the pass rush. They’re great against the run, so Kerrigan’s size won’t hurt them too much. They have Alualu to help Kerrigan’s lack of size. They also need a QB sooner or later, so there’s always that option too.

    New England (from Oakland) – Cam Jordan DE California

    Their defense has been pretty bad the past few seasons, and while they have some pieces they need more DLmen, especially since Seymour left. Cam Jordan can provide that kind of impact in the future, and he’ll probably bring Belicheck and Brady another Lombardi sometime soon.

    San Diego – Aldon Smith OLB Missouri

    Their defense rated number one in the league, as did their offense. There’s a few different ways they can go. Getting someone to replace Merriman’s production in his good years would be a good start. Smith is a freak, he had a down year and the Chargers are lucky to get him here.

    New York Giants – Nate Solder OT Colorado.

    Reese took a risk on a physical freak last time out with JPP, why not do it again with Solder?

    Tampa Bay – Justin Houston DE Georgia

    They got a good player in McCoy, facing a DL with McCoy and Houston could remind Bucs fans of the good old days with Sapp and Rice. If they get Houston, the Drew Brees and Matt Ryan better watch out.

    Kansas City – Anthony Costanzo OT Boston College

    They could go Taylor here, but the defense is fine as it is. They could instantly upgrade the OL here with Costanzo. He’ll provide Cassell with a bit more time to improve on the 30th ranked passing offense.

    Indianapolis – Derek Sherod OT Mississippi State

    You hit the nail on the head. JB.

    Philadelphia Eagles – Jimmy Smith CB Colorado

    The Eagles have an all world offense, and not too many holes in general. They might need someone else to play opposite Samuel, and Smith’s a good pick here.

    New Orleans – Adrian Clayborn DE Iowa

    I personally think that Clayborn is a better fit in the 43 than the 34. He’ll be a good fit in New Orleans helping out the run defense and the pass rush.

    Seattle – Jake Locker QB Washington

    Seems like the perfect fit. Seattle needs a QB, Pete Carroll knows a lot about Locker from his days coaching in the Pac-10. They could go in other directions here, but I think Locker is a good pick here.

    Baltimore – Brandon Harris CB Miami

    Baltimore’s defense isn’t what it used to be. Their pass rush isn’t the same, and they need someone who is capable of covering the better WRs in the league. Ed Reed is good, but he’s the last line of defense, not the first. They need something else

    Atlanta – Akeem Ayers OLB UCLA.

    Atlanta needs help defensively. Ayers is pretty much their best option at this point. Honestly, I see them trading out of the first to a team that wants to select Christian Ponder, but assuming no trades…Ayers is the pick.

    New England – JJ Watt DE Wisconsin

    New England’s defense isn’t what it used to be, and they’re still living off their reputation. However, they have some good parts and aren’t that far away from being a good defense again. JJ Watt looks like Ivan Drago. This is pretty far for him to fall, but he’ll be another good 34 DE in New England.

    Chicago – Aaron Williams FS Texas

    Again, they’ll probably trade down, but there’s no guards worth taking, so they may as well take a FS. They have a great pass rush, but an iffy secondary.

    New York – Leonard Hankerson WR Miami

    Cam Heyward is an option here too, but the Jets are going to lose one of Braylon Edwards and Sanantonio Holmes. Hankerson had a great Senior Bowl and his stock is rising. Mark Sanchez is a fairly mediocre QB who is making a living off of playing on a team with a great defense, great weapons, a good running game, and in New York. If they want to keep Sanchez a viable starter they need another WR.

    Pittsburgh Mike Pouncey OG Florida

    Perfect fit here, Pittsburgh’s OL sucks and he gets to play with his bro.

    Green Bay – Cam Heyward DE OSU

    They don’t have many needs so they can afford to take a risky pick with lots of upside here. I’m sure Capers will have fun with a freak like Heyward.

    Side notes: Lots of different takes here, but I think all of these picks are realistic. I also see SF trading back into the first round for Christian Ponder. They can keep him upright and he has Gore and Crabtree as weapons. A QB is the only thing keeping them out of the playoffs.

  20. Omar–This is awesome. Thanks for taking the time to write down all of your thoughts.

    I have heard Carolina is going to take Newton or no QB, but of course there’s a lot of bad info out there right now. I don’t think Bowers fits into AZ’s scheme, and apparently teams are really worried about his health. I also have heard Seattle isn’t interested in Locker, but Ponder is a possibility there.

    Other than that, I agree with your mock. Really nice work. I like the Hankerson pick in the first-round…if that happens you look like a genius. I still wouldn’t bet against Phil Taylor and Brooks Reed in the first.

  21. Omar says:

    As to Bowers, if that doesn’t happen you can probably swap him and Nick Fairley. I have a feeling Tennessee is still missing Kearse, and Bowers seems like a suitable replacement.

    As far as Taylor and Reed go, you’re completely right about Reed. Maybe the Jets will take him instead of Hankerson if they actually believe in Mark Sanchez becoming an average QB. As far as Taylor goes, the big landing spots I see for him are Dallas, Kansas City, and maybe Washington. He’s a NT in the 34, New England, Pittsburgh, and New York have people in place. Scott Pioli needs to work on rebuilding the OL, and there’s other NT prospects that can fall to him such as Stephen Paea. Furthermore, there will be teams in the bottom of the first looking to trade out. However, if Anthony Costanzo falls to him, he pretty much has to pull the trigger.

    With all teams that need a QB, there’s plenty of GMs that will be willing to reach for a QB. QB, more than any other position, is an exception to the draft rule. All it takes is one team to like the guy, and that same team to think that there’s another team that will also take him, in order for a team to reach. That is the position where it is important to get your guy. Positions like DE? Jordan, Watt, meh…all pretty similar players. RT? Carimi, Sherrod, Smith…they’ll all work just fine. There may not be that difference in skill between say Cam Newton and Ryan Mallet, but the difference in their ability to fit a system is huge.

    Ryan Mallett may be a first class shithead, but in the Sugar Bowl Cam Heyward single handedly knocked DeMarcus Love into the third round or later with his performance. The Arkansas WRs dropped five passes and there were no fewer than seven passes that should have been caught. He played a lot better than what people give him credit for. With his arm he WILL be a first round talent. I think he’s a good fit in Minnesota, a new coach, a good running game in place, a good WR corps in place, and a good defense…I think he can succeed there. If he wins a few games in the NFL and is around big names like Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen maybe that will cause him to take his career more seriously.

    Christian Ponder is kinda similar to Chad Pennington, but with a bit stronger arm. Accurate, strong work ethic, and a sharp as a tack. He’d fit several more conservative west coast offenses such as SF, Seattle, Arizona, and Minnesota.

    With all these QBs rising, that’s good for the Cowboys. That means that fringy first round talents will fall to the second. Stephen Paea, Cam Heyward, Phil Taylor, Ben Ijalana, Moore, Rodney Hudson, and Muhammad Wilkerson.

  22. Pingback: 2011 NFL Mock Draft, Version 2.0: A New Pick for Dallas | Dallas Cowboys Times

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