NFL Mock Draft: No Luck, No Problem

Lee NoeContributor IIJanuary 6, 2011

NFL Mock Draft: No Luck, No Problem

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    Happy New Year everyone! This is the third installment of my mock draft series leading up the the 2011 NFL Draft in April. The final selection order for the Draft has been determined, so I figured it was time to get cracking. Countless changes have been made since my previous mock, but don't fret; the snoody comments and occasional bashes will still be made!

    Sit back and get your popcorn ready because mock draft 3.0 is only a click away!

No. 1 Carolina Panthers

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    Georgia wide receiver: A.J. Green

    I was 20 picks into this mock when the Andrew Luck news came out, time to start over... 

    It doesn't really matter all that much because I've said all along that the Panthers would be smart to take the best wide receiver prospect in the past decade (excluding Calvin Johnson).

    Other options:

    Clemson defensive end: Da'Quan Bowers

No. 2 Denver Broncos

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    LSU cornerback: Patrick Peterson

    At the moment, Peterson is hands down the best corner in this class, but Prince Amukamara isn't far behind him.

    Denver has had issues at numerous defensive positions throughout the year, but the recent allegations concerning cornerback Parrish Cox, and contract disputes with Champ Bailey almost make this pick a certainty. Cox has been changed with sexual assault and will most likely be serving time in prison. Bailey has said publicly that he is tired of all the change in Denver. Since he is nearing the end of his solid career and wants nothing more than to win a championship at this point in time, he will likely head to a team with Super Bowl hopes such as Baltimore or Atlanta.

    Other options:

    North Carolina 3-4 linebacker: Robert Quinn

    Auburn 3-4 defensive end: Nick Fairley

No. 3 Buffalo Bills

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    Arkansas quarterback: Ryan Mallett

    What a twist! Yes this is a bit of a curve ball but the Bills have shown us in recent years that they are truly unpredictable. The only thing we can predict about the Bills decisions, is that they're unpredictable. Some may say that Mallett doesn't fit Chan Gailey's system, but I disagree. Mallett has slightly underrated mobility, and he has the best arm in this year's class (in my mind at least). He plays in the spread offense at Arkansas, and go figure, Gailey has been running a shotgun/spread heavy offense all year.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick has done an admirable job this year, but he still shows why he was a 7th round pick with his poor decisions and lack of a Mallet-caliber arm. If Gailey could turn Tyler Thigpen and Fitz into respectable players, just imagine what could become of Ryan Mallett.

    Personally, I don't think this pick will be the defensive end or linebacker that most Bills fans would like. Buffalo just re-signed Shawne Merriman and have a ton of money invested in their porous defensive line. With so much cash invested in guys like: Torrell Troup, Marcus Stroud, Kyle Williams, Dwan Edwards, Spencer Johnson (most overpaid player in the NFL that isn't named Chris Kelsay), Alex Carrington, and even John McCargo, I can't see them dumping additional millions into the line without ridding themselves of a couple of these guys (namely Stroud, McCargo, and Johnson).

    Other options:

    Auburn 3-4 defensive end: Nick Fairley

    Auburn quarterback: Cam Newton

    Georgia wide receiver: A.J. Green

No. 4 Cincinnati Bengals

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    Clemson defensive end: Da'Quan Bowers

    Depending on personell moves during the offseason, this pick could be Cam Newton rather than Bowers. Cincinnati desperately needs to change their culture, they need to stop bringing in the NFL's problem children and start getting some guys that can work together. Assuming Marvin Lewis remains with the Bengals next season, Carson Palmer will likely hold onto his job. That doesn't rule out the possibility of the Bengals using their second round pick on a guy like Florida State's Christian Ponder or even trading up for Jake Locker if he falls to the bottom of the first round.

    Carlos Dunlap has been a pleasant surprise for the Bengals this year, recording 9.5 sacks on the year. He alone is responsible for 30% of the Bengals dismal 27 sacks on the year. I realize that Antwan Otom hasn't played for the majority of the year, but he was a non-factor in the four games he did play in. He has shown in the past two seasons that he cannot stay healthy or clean. Bowers makes more sense than you would think.

    Other options:

    Auburn quarterback: Cam Newton

    Auburn defensive end/tackle: Nick Fairley

    Georgia wide receiver: A.J. Green

No. 5 Arizona Cardinals

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    Auburn quarterback: Cam Newton

    I can't put into words how much I dislike Cam Newton. He is a gimmick quarterback just like Vince Young, what has he amounted to? Regardless, Arizona needs to find a signal caller in this year's draft, seeing as they neglected to do so last year (don't even try and tell me that Max Hall and John Skelton are good). Newton has upside, but he has character concerns and like I said before, he's a gimmick.

    Arizona needs help at almost every defensive position, so it will be interesting to see what they decide to do throughout free agency and in the Draft.

    Other Options:

    Nebraska cornerback: Prince Amukamara

    Georgia wide receiver: A.J. Green

No. 6 Cleveland Browns

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    Oklahoma State wide receiver: Justin Blackmon

    Earlier in the year this would have been Julio Jones, but Blackmon has been stellar this season. The problem with Blackmon is that he is something of a "one-year-wonder," by which I mean he may not be able to make the full on transition to the NFL right away.

     

    Other options:

    Auburn 3-4 defensive end: Nick Fairley

    North Carolina 3-4 linebacker: Robert Quinn

No. 7 San Francisco 49ers

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    Nebraska cornerback: Prince Amukamara

    Yes, I know that new regimes usually mean new quarterbacks, but there isn't one worth taking at this spot. Jake Locker needs a stellar combine and pro day in order to even be considered a top 10 pick anymore.

    The 49'ers have had secondary issues for a few years now, mostly due to the aging of former Pro Bowler Nate Clements. He is nearing the end of his career and could use someone to replace him in the near future, Amukamara is that man. Although he's been in the shadow of Patrick Peterson all year, Amukamara is not a bad consolation.

    Other options:

    Auburn 3-4 defensive end: Nick Fairley

    Washington quarterback: Jake Locker


No. 8 Tennessee Titans

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    Auburn defensive tackle: Nick Fairley

    With Vince Young on his way out of Tennessee, this pick could easily be a quarterback such as Jake Locker. The reason I think the Titans will forgo a first round QB is because Jeff Fischer was brought back to win, and win now. If he takes Locker, they are waiting at least a couple years for playoff or even Super Bowl contention (assuming he is even a capable NFL stater).

    Fairley has been a monster all year for Auburn, and though I have him at no. 8 right now, I believe he will be picked a bit higher. The Titans could go a number of different ways though, if a guy like Amukamara or Bowers fall, they could be targets as well.

    Other options:

    Washington quarterback: Jake Locker

    Alabama wide receiver: Julio Jones (unlikely)

    North Carolina defensive end: Robert Quinn

No. 9 Dallas Cowboys

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    Alabama 3-4 defensive end: Marcell Dareus

    The Cowboys could use help at corner, but they would be reaching here. Dallas is a solid team (as much as I hate to admit it), trading down would give them an extra pick or two that could fill some holes. Since I cannot predict trades, Dareus is my best player available that fills a need for the Cowgirls.

    Dareus has had a decent season, but hasn't lived up to his preseason hype. Regardless, he will be a top 10 pick due to his potential and measurables.

    Other options:

    Washington quarterback: Jake Locker (new coach = new quarterback, also Romo sucks)

    Miami cornerback: Brandon Harris

    Mississippi State offensive tackle: Derek Sherrod

No. 10 Washington Redskins

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    North Carolina 3-4 rush linebacker: Robert Quinn

    Can you say defensive machine? Imagine a Redskins defense with Quinn on one side and Orakpo on the other, I just died a little on the inside. Depending on the McNabb situation and how free agency goes, this pick could end up being Jake Locker (who was on Washington's list last year).

    Other options:

    Washington quarterback: Jake Locker

    Alabama wide receiver: Julio Jones

    Miami cornerback: Brandon Harris

No. 11 Houston Texans

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    Purdue defensive end: Ryan Kerrigan

    He led the league in TFL this year and has the sacks to go along. Kerrigan is a senior as well, meaning he has that extra year of experience that the underclassmen who declare do not (obviously).

    Either way, the Texans need help at just about every defensive position. They could opt for another corner (although I think youth is their problem there), also a safety tweener such as Ras-I Dowling or linebacker Travis Lewis would make sense in trade down scenarios. 

    With Wade Phillips now at the defensive helm, a 3-4 defense could be implemented... this could really screw up the Texans defense.

    Other options:

    Miami cornerback: Brandon Harris

    Iowa defensive end: Adrian Clayborn

    Alabama wide receiver: Julio Jones (potentially BPA)

No. 12 Minnesota Vikings

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    Washington quarterback: Jake Locker

    Some might think Blaine Gabbert belongs here, or in the first round for that matter, but I don't agree. Just because the guy has the size and a strong arm doesn't mean he is a top 15 pick. I see Gabbert being a late first round pick at the moment, but hey the NFL Combine could tell a different story.

    With Leslie Fraiser in as the head coach of the Vikings, he will likely disregard T-Jax and Joe Webb as candidates (although Jackson wasn't bad). He will likely want to pick a guy he can win with, and that could be Jake Locker. Locker has played on a dismal Washington team that has no talent whatsoever, yet he is still able to win games. I have a hard time gauging Locker because of his subpar teammates, but he strikes me as a J.P. Losman type of guy; he can throw the deep ball, has accuracy issues, and likes to run (a lot). He'll be better than Losman without a doubt, plus he looks good in purple...

    Other options:

    Iowa defensive end: Adrian Clayborn

    Wisconsin defensive end: J.J. Watt (maybe a bit early)

    Miami cornerback: Brandon Harris

    Oregon State defensive tackle: Stephan Paea

No. 13 Detroit Lions

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    Miami cornerback: Brandon Harris

    Detroit needs a solid corner in a bad way, they could even trade up and grab Amukamara if they like him enough. Harris isn't too bad a consolation though, and he'll do just fine with Louis Delmas covering the middle of the field. Though, the Lions could also opt for a defensive end...

    Other options:

    Iowa defensive end: Adrian Clayborn

    Wisconsin defensive end: J.J. Watt

    Texas A&M DE/OLB: Von Miller

    Oklahoma outside linebacker: Travis Lewis

No. 14 St. Louis Rams

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    Alabama wide receiver: Julio Jones

    Too bad for Bradford and the Rams... but the Seahawks really shut them down on offense. For Bradford to lead the Rams into the playoffs, he needs a true receiving threat, not Denario Alexander.

    Other options:

    Florida cornerback: Janoris Jenkins

    Oklahoma linebacker: Travis Lewis

No. 15 Miami Dolphins

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    Missouri quarterback: Blaine Gabbert

    Ew. That is all I can say about Blaine Gabbert being talked about as a first round pick. People are nuts, but the guy does actually have potential.

    Miami seems to have given up on Tony Sparano and Chad Henne, so whether or not Sparano is back he'll need someone to inspire the fans who are flocking to the Miami Heat. Personally, I like Chad Henne, and I think he is a solid quarterback who just had bit of a sophomore slump. Regardless, the staff seems to dislike him, and will probably move on with him as a backup or without him altogether.

    Other options:

    Texas A&M 3-4 rush linebacker: Von Miller

    UCLA 3-4 outside linebacker: Akeem Ayers

    Florida cornerback: Janoris Jenkins

No. 16 Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Iowa defensive end: Adrian Clayborn

    Disregard Clayborn's subpar season, and try and focus on his potential. He was considered a top 10 pick for the majority of the season, but hasn't lived up to the hype as of late. Clayborn is a machine who will help out Jacksonville's abysmal pass rush.

    Other options:

    Wisconsin defensive end: J.J. Watt

    Oklahoma outside linebacker: Travis Lewis

    Florida cornerback: Janoris Jenkins

No. 17 New England Patriots (from Oakland)

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    Texas A&M 3-4 rush linebacker: Von Miller

    Perfect fit for Von Miller here, although I see in as top 15 talent. Miller is small for a rush linebacker (6'2" 240) but makes up for that with his explosion on the snap, and his intelligence on and off the field. Miller is a character guy who can play at a high level... maybe Cincinnati could use him too.

    Other options:

    California 3-4 defensive end: Cameron Jordan

    Alabama running back: Mark Ingram

No. 18 San Diego Chargers

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    UCLA 3-4 outside linebacker: Akeem Ayers

    Ayers has had an extremely solid campaign his season, and looks to be a no-brainer top 25 pick. He is great in coverage, but needs some work on his pass-rushing skills, which is what San Diego will be looking for. The only concern I have with Ayers is that he appears extremely thin for a 3-4 outside linebacker.

    Other options:

    California 3-4 defensive end: Cameron Jordan

    Pittsburgh wide receiver: Jonathan Baldwin

No. 19 New York Giants

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    Oklahoma outside linebacker: Travis Lewis

    Fairly perfect fit here for Lewis, he goes to a solid team with a solid defense that he can make a difference for. Perry Fewell may be on his way out as defensive coordinator, but Lewis will make fans forget about him quickly. Lewis is by far the best 4-3 linebacker in this class.

    Other options:

    None

No. 20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Wisconsin defensive end: J.J. Watt

    I'm still not sold on J.J. Watt as a definite first rounder, until his combine performance at least. Nonetheless, he has played very well this year and has been moving up boards quickly as of late.

    Other options:

    Florida cornerback: Janoris Jenkins

    Mississippi State offensive tackle: Derek Sherrod

    Wisconsin offensive tackle: Gabe Carimi

    Miami defensive end/tackle: Allen Bailey

No. 21 Seattle Seahawks

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    Florida cornerback: Janoris Jenkins

    Seattle could use this pick on Mike Pouncey, but I think they will try and patch up their sketchy pass defense. Kudos to Seattle for making the playoffs at 7-9, you're astounding!

    Other options:

    Florida guard: Mike Pouncey

    Wisconsin offensive tackle: Gabe Carimi

No. 22 Kansas City Cheifs

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    Georgia 3-4 rush linebacker: Justin Houston

    Kansas City is tricky, they usually pick for need over BPA, but nose tackle Jerrell Powe isn't worth a first round pick. The next need on their list would have to be with linebacker or wide receiver, and seeing as how Matt Cassell has done with the talent around him, focus should be turned to finding a replacement or compliment for Tamba Hali.

    Other options:

    Florida guard: Mike Pouncey (Brian Waters is an old man)

    Pittsburgh wide receiver: Jonathan Baldwin

No. 23 Indianapolis Colts

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    Oregon State defensive tackle: Stephen Paea

    I'm not a fan of Paea, but he was a solid collegiate athlete. Indy can't stop the run to save their lives, but they have a ton of money invested in their line already through Freeney, Mathis, and Hughes (wasted pick). They could opt for a safety or trade out, which looks like a wise decision at this point.

    Other options:

    Virginia cornerback/safety: Ras-I Dowling

    UCLA safety: Rahim Moore

    Alabama running back: Mark Ingram

    Mississippi State offensive tackle: Derek Sherrod

No. 24 Philadelphia Eagles

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    Florida guard: Mike Pouncey

    This pick could be an offensive tackle as well, depending on the team's faith in Jason Peters and Winston Justice. Either way, Michael Vick gets hit way too often for him to stay healthy all year. Also, Ellis Hobbs is likely done after another neck injury, so corner is an option as well.

    Other options:

    Utah cornerback: Brandon Burton

    Mississippi State offensive tackle: Derek Sherrod

    Miami defensive end/tackle: Allen Bailey

No. 25 Green Bay Packers

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    Alabama running back: Mark Ingram

    Rejoice Green Bay! Your savior has arrived, and his name isn't Ryan Grant. Ingram has been preached by fans and coaches since his Heismen winning season a year ago, and with good reason. Ingram is a powerful runner who can handle the workload in Green Bay, which will make that offense even scarier than it is right now.

    Other Options:

    Utah cornerback: Brandon Burton

    Mississippi State offensive tackle: Derek Sherrod

No. 26 New Orleans Saints

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    Miami defensive end: Allen Bailey

    Bailey is an absolute monster on the line. He rarely takes plays off, and is never invisible on the field, a real high-motor guy. The Saints could use a defensive tackle here, and depending on their plans, could have Bailey kick inside (although I doubt this will happen). The Saints are a solid team all around, they could use a linebacker in round two though.

    Other options:

    Ohio State defensive end/tackle: Cameron Heyward

    California defensive end/tackle: Cameron Jordan

    Notre Dame tight end: Kyle Rudolph

No. 27 New York Jets

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    Ohio State 3-4 defensive end: Cameron Heyward

    This is actually the best thing for Heyward, he goes to a team with a strong defense, and one that has plenty of veterans to guide him. No one doubts Heyward's talent, it's all a matter of tapping his potential and intensity. I feel like they could afford to gamble here...

    Other options:

    California 3-4 defensive end: Cameron Jordan (safer pick)

    Pittsburgh wide receiver: Jonathan Baldwin

    Oklahoma 3-4 rush linebacker: Jeremy Beal

No. 28 Baltimore Ravens

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    Virginia cornerback: Ras-I Dowling

    Most don't see him as a first round pick, but I think Dowling is pretty underrated. He has great size (6'2" 200), but his 40 time is a concern by most reports. With his size (and apparent lack of speed), he could kick over to safety to relieve Ed Reed who has been contemplating retirement for a couple years now.

    Other options:

    Mississippi State offensive tackle: Derek Sherrod (depending on the Jared Gaithier situation)

    Utah cornerback: Brandon Burton

    Oklahoma 3-4 rush linebacker: Jeremy Beal (depending on the Sergio Kindle situation)

No. 29 Chicago Bears

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    Mississippi State offensive tackle: Derek Sherrod

    Finally! Sherrod will probably be picked higher, but he lands here for the time being. We have all been witness to Chicago's offensive line woes this season, hopefully Sherrod can make a difference.

    Other options:

    Wisconsin offensive tackle: Gabe Carimi

    Colorado offensive tackle: Nate Solder

    Boston College offensive tackle: Anthony Castonzo

No. 30 Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Wisconsin offensive tackle: Gabe Carimi

    Some see Carimi as a left tackle, but I'm not sold. I see him being a solid mauler on the right side, which is great news for the Steelers running game... maybe not for Big Ben.

    Other options:

    Boston College offensive tackle: Anthony Castonzo

    Colorado offensive tacke: Nate Solder

    Utah cornerback: Brandon Burton

No. 31 Atlanta Falcons

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    Notre Dame tight end: Kyle Rudolph

    This is a toss up between Rudolph, Jeremy Beal, Cameron Jordan, and Brandon Burton at this point. Rudolph seems to make the most sense if Tony Gonzales retires. If he doesn't, Burton will probably be the pick.

    Other options:

    Utah cornerback: Brandon Burton

    Oklahoma defensive end: Jeremy Beal

    California defensive end/tackle: Cameron Jordan

No. 32 New England Patriots

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    Boston College offensive tackle: Anthony Castonzo

    Let me start off by saying that the Patriots are trading geniuses, and if they wanted to do so, they could steal each and every pick away from every team without them even noticing, but seeing as though Bill Belichick is such a nice guy, he restrains himself to SIX picks in the first three rounds.

    Anyways, Matt Light is most likely on his way out, meaning that Sebastian Vollmer will kick over to the left side, leaving the less-skilled Castonzo to play on the right. It's a win-win scenario! Don't forget, they have the next pick too...

    Other options:

    Colorado offensive tackle: Nate Solder

    Penn State guard: Stefen Wisniewski

    Pittsburgh wide receiver: Jonathan Baldwin

    California 3-4 defensive end: Cameron Jordan

Conclusion

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    Well there you have it, a complete team by team first round mock draft. Check back in a couple weeks for an updated version that will take into consideration players who don't declare and updated standings due to playoffs.

    Don't forget to leave your thoughts, questions, and concerns!