2011 NFL Two Round Mock Draft: All You Need To Know

Todd SingerContributor IJanuary 31, 2011

Fairley could be plying his trade in Carolina next season
Fairley could be plying his trade in Carolina next seasonRonald Martinez/Getty Images

 1.) Carolina Panthers- Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

In the BCS Title game, Fairley showed just why most scouts consider him a top 3 pick, constantly getting into Oregon’s backfield to disrupt plays. The Panthers have a lot of needs and, as such, could go several ways with this pick (don’t rule out a trade, either). Their current DTs are nothing to write home about and Fairley represents a significant upgrade. (Other Possibilities : Da’Quan Bowers, AJ Green, Patrick Peterson)

 2.) Denver Broncos- Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

Peterson is one of the top CB prospects to enter the draft in some time. It just so happens to coincide with all-pro Champ Bailey’s possible swan song in Denver. Denver could opt for defensive line help (they need a lot of it), but Peterson not only can adequately replace Bailey as a lockdown corner, he’s a huge boost to the return game, as well. (Other Possibilities: Da’Quan Bowers, Prince Amukamara, Marcell Dareus)

 3.) Buffalo Bills- Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

The Bills will be crossing their fingers that one of the top two defensive line prospects falls into their lap and, in this scenario, their wish is granted. Aaron Maybin has been a massive disappointment and the Bills need as many pass-rushers as they can get their hands on. When Kyle Williams is your leading sack “artist” at 5.5, it should speak volumes. (Other Possibilities: Blaine Gabbert, Marcell Dareus, Prince Amukumara)

 4.) Cincinnati Bengals- AJ Green, WR, Georgia

The Bengals could go one of several ways with this pick, but if Green’s still on the board when they pick, it’ll be tough to pass him up. With the distinct possibility that Cincinnati could part ways with BOTH Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco this off-season, Green will represent a new age in the Cincinnati passing game. It’s arguable that Green’s the safest pick in this draft and any time you have a chance to jump at grabbing perhaps the next Larry Fitzgerald, you don’t pass it up. (Other Possibilities: Prince Amukamara, Marcell Dareus, Robert Quinn) 

5.) Arizona Cardinals- Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

The fact that Quinn’s stock is still so high despite sitting out a year shows just how highly NFL teams covet elite pass rushers. The Cardinals are another team who desperately could use someone who can consistently get to the opposing QB. Joey Porter isn’t getting any younger and not many others on Arizona’s defense possess the capability of rushing the passer like Quinn does. (Other Possibilities: Prince Amukamara, Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton)

 6.) Cleveland Browns- Marcell Dareus, DE/DT, Alabama

I don’t usually forecast trades in my mocks because it’s a folly to try and figure out what NFL teams are thinking, but this is a spot where I could see Dallas trying to move up and snag Prince Amukamara before San Francisco gets their hands on him. In this scenario, with Cleveland keeping the pick, they could certainly use a multi-dimensional d-lineman and Dareus fits that bill. He can play either end or tackle which will allow whoever Cleveland’s new DC is quite a bit of flexibility. (Other Possibilities: Prince Amukamara, Adrian Clayborn, Von Miller)

 7.) San Francisco 49ers- Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

Amukamara is another elite CB prospect, not far behind Peterson, and the 49ers can definitely use help in their secondary. Nate Clements’ is on the wrong side of 30 and San Fran’s other CBs don't exactly scare opposing receivers. The Niners could also look for some defensive line help or a QB, but they can’t pass up someone with Amukamara’s value, who also happens to fill a big need. (Other Possibilities: Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton, Adrian Clayborn)

 8.) Tennessee Titans- Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

This is where things start to get interesting. With the consensus top 6 players off the board, teams will have to start taking a bit of a leap of faith with whomever they pick. Tennessee could use some help on the defensive side of the ball, but with Vince Young’s departure, they also have a gaping hole at signal-caller. The Titans might be jaded from taking another running QB after the Young debacle, but of all the NFL players past and present, Newton reminds me the most of a less-refined Steve McNair. He’s got a great arm, which is surprisingly accurate, and his running skills are well-documented. He might not come in and start right away, but having Chris Johnson behind him will certainly ease his growing pains. (Other Possibilities: Stephen Paea, Von Miller, Blaine Gabbert)

 9.) Dallas Cowboys- Nate Solder, T, Colorado

If this scenario plays out, the ‘Boys will find themselves between a rock and a hard place. With their two biggest needs being in the secondary and the offensive line and with Peterson and Amukamara already off the board, this would probably scream “trade down”. However, if forced to choose, they could certainly do worse than Solder. This is probably a bit high for him, but he’s the consensus best tackle in the draft. Although he’s a bit stiff at 6’9”, he profiles as a mammoth road-grader. (Other Possibilities: Adrian Clayborn, Von Miller, Ryan Kerrigan)

 10.) Washington Redskins- Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

The Redskins are another team who could use their QB of the future, after Donovan McNabb flamed out in what appears will be his only season wearing burgundy and gold. Experts are split wildly on Gabbert, some giving him a top 10 grade, while others are scared off by his inconsistency in college. One thing that everyone seems to agree on is Gabbert’s physical tools are there, so this seems like a job for Shanahan and Son. (Other Possibilities: Jake Locker, Julio Jones, Von Miller)

 11.) Houston Texans- Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M

With the Texans switching to a 3-4 under new DC Wade Phillips, they’re going to need a pass-rush presence off the end to complement Mario Williams. Miller is an athletic freak and would seem to excel in that role and, as an added bonus, he doesn’t even need to leave the state. Houston would love to improve their secondary, but there’s no one available who’s worth taking with this pick. (Other Possibilities: Ryan Kerrigan, Akeem Ayers, Aldon Smith)

 12.) Minnesota Vikings- Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State

For a team only one year removed from a NFC title game appearance, the Vikings sure have a lot of holes to fill. They could use help at QB, OL, DT (with Pat Williams’ expected retirement) and LB (with Ben Leber and Chad Greenway both FAs). In this case, they go with Paea, a highly-regarded DT, to serve as Williams’ immediate replacement. Minnesota’s defensive calling card is stopping the run and they need to make sure they don’t miss a beat in that area. (Other Possibilities: Ryan Kerrigan, Jake Locker, Akeem Ayers)

 13.) Detroit Lions- Tyron Smith, T, USC

Detroit could serve to upgrade their defense, however, their need for offensive tackles leave a lot to be desired. With franchise QB Matthew Stafford seemingly one drive into the turf from his arm disconnecting from his shoulder, it’d behoove Detroit to surround him with as much protection as possible. Smith is flying up draft boards and could very well be the first or second tackle off the board once April rolls around. (Other Possibilities: Akeem Ayers, Gabe Carimi, Anthony Castonzo)

 14.) St. Louis Rams- Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

The Rams surprised quite a few people this year, vaulting from the worst record in football to having a chance at winning the division on the last day of the season. Franchise QB Sam Bradford had quite the year, even after losing top target Mark Clayton in the season’s early weeks. While Danny Amendola is solid enough, the Rams need a true #1 target to help Bradford reach his optimal performance level. Jones isn’t as fast as you’d like your top wideout to be, but he’s not afraid to go across the middle and he’s always capable of the big play. (Other Possibilities: Mike Pouncey, Akeem Ayers, Cameron Heyward)

 15.) Miami Dolphins- Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue

Let me preface this pick by saying I think Miami could go with Mark Ingram here, but there are quite a few good value picks at RB later in the draft, so I can see them waiting. As far as QB goes, I could see them making a strong run at Kyle Orton, because of his familiarity with Brandon Marshall and there’s really no sure thing available here. In light of that, Kerrigan is the pick. Miami’s other OLBs, opposite Cameron Wake, were very uninspiring and they could use another edge rusher to complement Wake. Kerrigan can stand up or put his hand down, providing a good bit of versatility for this defense. (Other Possibilities: Mark Ingram, Jake Locker, Akeem Ayers)

 16.) Jacksonville Jaguars- Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri

The Jaguars are another team that could look at a QB, but, with David Garrard still around, they don’t have the luxury of selecting one with many other holes still to fill. With the Jags’ 2008 1st round pick Derrick Harvey looking like a bust, the Jaguars might want to try again on another young, athletic pass-rusher. Smith is coming off a 2010 season hampered by a broken leg, but is a fast-rising prospect. With no shutdown corners available here, Jacksonville could certainly use a reinvigorated pass rush to help their beleaguered secondary. (Other Possibilities: Akeem Ayers, Cameron Heyward, Jake Locker)

 17.) New England Patriots- Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

On the surface, this seems like a match made in heaven. Clayborn is a mercurial figure, but we know that if anyone can control these guys, it’s Bill Belichick. It just so happens that the Patriots have a burning need for a good, young DE to put next to Vince Wilfork and Clayborn probably represents the best value remaining on the board here.  (Other Possibilities: JJ Watt, Cameron Heyward, Mark Ingram)

 18.) San Diego Chargers- Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

The Chargers could go a few different ways here, but they badly need a replacement at DE for Jacques Cesaire. After an up and down season, Heyward displayed why scouts were so high on him with a terrific game in the Sugar Bowl. He’s got the size to play end in a 3-4 and would represent a significant upgrade to the defensive front. (Other Possibilities: Gabe Carimi, JJ Watt, Cameron Jordan)

 19.) New York Giants- Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA

The Giants could go with Mike Pouncey in this scenario, but they’ve needed a solid side to side LB. Ayers would plug that hole and could replace the aging Keith Bulluck, providing the Giants with a much needed boost in defensive speed and athleticism. He’s also not a liability in coverage, which has plagued the Giants in the past. (Other Possibilities: Mike Pouncey, Gabe Carimi, Anthony Castonzo)

 20.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Mike Pouncey, C/G, Florida

Tampa needs help on the interior of the line and it just so happens that the draft’s best interior lineman ends up on their front step. Pouncey is a very similar player to his brother, Maurkice, who made the Pro Bowl in his rookie year with Pittsburgh. This would further aid in the development of one of the league’s up-and-coming QBs, Josh Freeman. (Other Possibilities- Cameron Jordan, JJ Watt, Brandon Harris)

 21.) Kansas City Chiefs- Justin Houston, OLB, Kansas City

Kansas City could definitely use another edge rusher opposite Tamba Hali and Houston seems like a perfect fit here. Houston was 2nd in the SEC in sacks last season and brings an explosive rush off the edge. He excelled in the 3-4 in college, so adding him to the pro-bowler Hali could make Kansas City lethal to opposing QBs. (Other Possibilities: Gabe Carimi, Corey Liuget, Anthony Castonzo)

 22.) Indianapolis Colts- Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

Indianapolis was killed by injuries this year, but that still doesn’t account for the fact that they need help on the interior defensive line. Liuget is an interesting player who’s been all over the board, but he would provide good protection for Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis on the outside. After what the Jets did to them in the playoffs, they need to be able to stop the run more consistently. (Other Possibilities: Gabe Carimi, Derek Sherrod, Brandon Harris)

 23.) Philadelphia Eagles- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

Eagle fans have just about had it with Winston Justice and understandably so. The Eagles would like to bring in another bookend tackle to flank Jason Peters and Castonzo's the best of the bunch. He's arguably the 2nd best tackle in this class, so getting him at this juncture could be quite a coup. This pick would serve to make Michael Vick all the more dangerous. (Other Possibilities: Gabe Carimi, Brandon Harris, Cameron Jordan)

 24.) New Orleans Saints- Cameron Jordan, DE, California

New Orleans could look for a running back here, depending on whether or not they plan on bringing back Pierre Thomas and/or Reggie Bush, but they need to start by getting someone to replace Alex Brown opposite to Will Smith. Jordan is not only the best value left on the board, and he also happens to play DE. The Saints need to spend the off-season beefing up their defense and this is a good start. (Other Possibilities: Allen Bailey, Mark Ingram, JJ Watt)

 25.) Seattle Seahawks- Jake Locker, QB, Washington

Pete Carroll has come out and said that re-signing Matt Hasselbeck is the team’s #1 priority. Whether he’s telling the truth or not, the Seahawks are going to need to make a switch at QB in the very near future and Charlie Whitehurst is not the answer. Enter Locker, a local product who would have the added bonus of being a hometown hero made good. Last year, he was thought to be in the running for the #1 spot, so the ‘Hawks could be getting a steal here if he pans out. (Other Possibilities: Ryan Mallett, Gabe Carimi, Allen Bailey)

26.) Baltimore Ravens- Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh

Baltimore could use some upgrades on the defensive side of the ball, namely in the secondary, but they also have to prepare for the possibility that Derrick Mason might hang ‘em up. After watching TJ Houshmandzadeh drop a sure 1st down to end their AFC semi-final with the Steelers, the Ravens could use a young, big play WR across from Anquan Boldin. Enter Baldwin, who, with the right tutoring, has the size and speed to become one of the better young WRs in the league.  (Other Possibilities: Gabe Carimi, Torrey Smith, Derek Sherrod)

 27.) Atlanta Falcons- JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin

What was readily apparent this year was that, other than John Abraham, Atlanta has no other consistent threats to get to the QB. In the playoffs, Aaron Rodgers summarily picked apart the Atlanta secondary because he had all day to throw. Watt would solve that issue and more. He was very solid, in both the running and passing game, and has a non-stop motor that fans in Atlanta will love. (Other Possibilities: Torrey Smith, Rahim Moore, Allen Bailey)

 28.) New England Patriots- Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

The Pats are a team that doesn’t have many holes and, although they’d love to see Baldwin fall their way here, they settle for the next best value play in Ingram. Yes, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead had very good years out of relative obscurity, but Ingram represents an upgrade over both and could provide NE with its first true #1 back since Corey Dillon left town. (Other Possibiltiies: Torrey Smith, Bruce Carter, Ras-I Dowling)

 29.) New York Jets- Jeremy Beal, OLB/DE, Oklahoma

The one thing the Jets defense is missing is a consistent pass-rushing presence. Although Calvin Pace has been solid, the Jets are going to need a replacement for, or someone to platoon with, the enigmatic Brian Thomas. Beal is a very good pass rusher from the outside LB spot and could work wonders in Rex Ryan’s scheme. (Other Possibilities: Allen Bailey, Rahim Moore, Drake Nevis)

30.) Chicago Bears- Gabe Carimi, T, Wisconsin

The Bears offensive line has been a patchwork job all season, leaving Jay Cutler running for his life far more than Lovie Smith would like. Carimi is an absolute mauler and could slot right in on the Bears line, providing Cutler with more than adequate protection. The Bears could also look long and hard at Baldwin if he makes it this far. (Other Possibilities: Torrey Smith, Derek Sherrod, DeMarcus Love)

 31.) Green Bay Packers- Allen Bailey, DE, Miami (FL)

The Packers are another team that doesn’t look to need help in too many areas. However, they could certainly use an upgrade for end Cullen Jenkins. Allen Bailey has the size and ability to play a 3-4 end and he would be a terrific complement to BJ Raji along what would be a significantly revamped defensive line. (Other Possibilities: Mikel LeShoure, Rahim Moore, Bruce Carter)

 32.) Pittsburgh Steelers- Derek Sherrod, T, Mississippi State

The Steelers have plugged several holes on their offensive line admirably, but the time has come to pick up a long-term solution who can protect Ben Roethlisberger. Sherrod doesn’t grade out that far below the other tackle prospects, but he’s not as polished as some of the others above him. The Steelers might be able to afford Flozell Adams to start one more season while they fine-tune Sherrod to be his replacement. (Other Possibilities: DeMarcus Love, Ras-I Dowling, Mikel LeShoure)

 33.) New England Patriots- Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (FL)

The Patriots struck gold drafting Devin McCourty with their 1st round pick last year (he’s heading to the Pro Bowl in his rookie year), but their pass defense still struggled, thanks in large part to those other than McCourty. Harris is an extremely solid cover corner who could easily go in the 1st round. With these two youngsters headlining their secondary, Coach Belichick's defense could be back up to speed in no time.

 34.) Buffalo Bills- Drake Nevis, DT, LSU

This would be a dream come true for the Bills. A team in desperate need of defensive line help lands two of the top defensive lineman in this class. Nevis is a first round talent and some team may very well trade back into the 1st round to grab him if he lasts that long, but in this scenario, the Bills end up with an anchor and perfect complement to Da’Quan Bowers.

 35.) Cincinnati Bengals- Rodney Hudson, C, Florida State

The Bengals are another team only one year removed from winning their division and, yet, it seems like there’s a need to scrap a lot of things and start from scratch. One of the areas that need re-tooling is the interior offensive line. The Bengals weren’t nearly as successful running the ball this year which contributed to a lot of their offensive problems. Hudson is probably the 2nd best center in this class, behind Mike Pouncey, and he can step right in and serve as an immediate upgrade.

 36.) Denver Broncos- Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina

Austin has had his ups and downs, being suspended and then dismissed from the team, and his character remains a concern. However, his skill certainly doesn’t. The Broncos need to upgrade their porous defensive line and Austin can do just that. If John Fox can keep him in line and his head on straight, this could turn out to be quite the steal for Denver.

 37.) Cleveland Browns- Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

The Browns need to give young QB Colt McCoy some weapons to throw to; Ben Watson as your #1 receiving option just isn’t going to cut it. Smith is the best available wideout left on the board and would immediately vault to the #1 or 2 receiver on Cleveland’s depth chart, the minute he signed his contract.

 38.) Arizona Cardinals- Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

I believe Arizona will try to look more the FA rout to find themselves a QB, but if this scenario plays out, they’d be hard pressed to pass on Mallett. While he’s got some definite question marks, his arm is as strong as anyone’s and he’s a huge presence in the pocket at 6’7” (although he does take a very long time to get the ball up). Mallett would compete with Fordham grad John Skelton for the starting QB position next season and could have the job by mid-season.

 39.) Tennessee Titans- Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

The Titans lost a lot of talent off their defensive line when both Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch defected, via free agency. They started to build their line back up by taking Derrick Morgan in the 1st last year and they continue that trend by taking Taylor, the best remaining defensive tackle. The Titans defense had uncharacteristic problems giving up yards this year and they need someone stout in the middle to occupy blockers.

  40.) Dallas Cowboys- Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

Terrence Newman isn’t getting any younger and Orlando Scandrick is not a nickel corner on a championship caliber team. Dallas definitely needs some help in their secondary and they could stay in-state to meet those needs by taking Williams. Williams has phenomenal speed and, although he could start at the nickel, he could serve as the heir apparent to Newman.

 41.) Washington Redskins- Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia

The Redskins were another team that just got torched by opposing passing games and they need to give DeAngelo Hall some help in the secondary. Dowling doesn't have the greatest speed in the world, but he makes up for that with this tremendous size (6'2"). This should help him match up with the Dez Bryants, Jeremy Maclins, and Hakeem Nickses of the world.

 42.) Houston Texans- Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

The Texans had the WORST pass defense in football, so it’s a good bet they spend most of this draft trying to address that. Smith is another good, not great, corner with above-average cover skills. Either way, he still represents a tremendous upgrade for the porous Houston secondary.

43.) Minnesota Vikings- Benjamin Ijalana, G/T, Villanova

Although Steve Hutchinson has been a true warrior for the Vikings, it appears as if his best days are at an end. The Vikings rely so heavily on Adrian Peterson that they need an infusion of new blood into the offensive line. Ijalana is raw, but he’s got very good size and feet and could be starting for the Vikes before you know it.

 44.) Detroit Lions- Bruce Carter, LB, North Carolina

The Lions need help in multiple areas on defense, with OLB certainly being one. Carter was talked about as a 1st round pick, had he stayed in last year’s draft but a so-so Senior season caused his stock to drop. However, he still represents a significant improvement over Landon Johnson.

45.) San Francisco 49ers- Rahim Moore, S, UCLA

The 49ers continue to revamp their secondary with this pick. After taking Taylor Mays last year and Prince Amukamara with their 1st round selection, the Niners can finish solidifying their secondary with Moore, who’s got some of the best instincts in the draft.

 46.) Denver Broncos- Pernell McPhee, DE, Mississippi State

The Broncos run defense needs a complete overhaul and, what started with the selection of Marvin Austin, continues with Pernell McPhee. McPhee is big and powerful enough to play end in a 3-4 scheme and he should be an immediate improvement on a Broncos line that was just manhandled this season.

 47.) St. Louis Rams- Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech

The Rams continue to surround Sam Bradford with more weapons by taking Williams, who could very well be a late 1st rounder. Williams had a spectacular start to his career at Va. Tech and with Steven Jackson breaking down seemingly every year, the Rams need to start thinking about how to limit his carries and keep him fresh. Platooning Jackson’s power with Williams’ speed could give coach Steve Spagnuolo something similar to what he saw in New York with Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw.

 48.) Oakland Raiders- DeMarcus Love, T, Arkansas

The Raiders are the one team in this draft without a 1st round pick and they could definitely use some help at tackle. Love has prototypical tackle size and is pretty nimble for a guy his size. His presence would certainly allow for more success from Darren McFadden and Michael Bush.

 49.) Jacksonville Jaguars- Brandon Burton, CB, Utah

The Jaguars were among the worst teams in the league against the pass and after drafting a pass-rusher in the 1st, they address their secondary with their next pick. Burton has good size (6’0") and would fit in very nicely across from Rashean Mathis, about the only above-average player the Jaguars currently boast in their secondary.

50.) San Diego Chargers- Jason Pinkston, T, Pittsburgh

The Chargers need to replace Jeromey Clary at RT and Pinkston is the best remaining tackle on the board. The Chargers offense didn’t really miss a beat this season, but their run game suffered (although Mike Tolbert was a pleasant surprise). Beefing up the rest of the line should help keep Philip Rivers clean and give young RB Ryan Mathews room to run.

 51.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois

LeShoure could very well go much higher than this, but there just aren’t many teams with glaring holes at RB. Although Tampa got a breakout season from LeGarrette Blount last year, there’s not much in the way of depth behind him, with Cadillac Williams and Earnest Graham seemingly on the outs . LeShoure would represent a great value pick for the Bucs here and he would add another dimension to what is becoming a pretty solid offense.

 52.) New York Giants- Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame

The Giants could go for depth on the offensive line here, but guys like Adam Koets and Kevin Boothe held up very well when they were thrown into action this year. GM Jerry Reese loves to take the best player available and Rudolph also represents great value for the Giants here as the first TE taken. The Giants were never really able to find a spot for Travis Beckum and Rudolph is not only a better blocker, but he’s more of a true TE, as well as a potential big-play threat.

 53.) Indianapolis Colts- Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma

With Bob Sanders career in jeopardy, the Colts need to start thinking about an immediate long-term replacement. Carter is the best remaining safety on the board and his physicality will remind Colt fans a lot of Sanders. Of course, he doesn’t stop the run as well as Sanders did, but not many do.

 54.) Philadelphia Eagles- Curtis Brown, CB, Texas

The Eagles can't afford to keep employing sieves across from all-pro Asante Samuel, so it's time to replace Ellis Hobbs. Brown, like his teammate Williams above, has tremendous speed and at 6’0, has the requisite height to compete with the league’s taller receivers. Although he may be too raw to start right away, in time, he could be the #2.

 54.) Kansas City Chiefs- Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy

The Kansas City Chiefs have a tremendous top wideout in Dwayne Bowe, but not much else to speak of behind him. Jernigan is a small-school prospect, but Troy has enjoyed great success churning out NFL prospects in the past (Osi Umenyiora, DeMarcus Ware, Leodis McKelvin). He’s small (5’9), but has tremendous speed, which should complement Bowe nicely and give Matt Cassel an additional weapon.

 55.) New Orleans Saints- Robert Sands, S, West Virginia

The Saints safeties this year left a lot to be desired as veterans Darren Sharper and Roman Harper were either frequently injured or frequently getting burned. Sands has tremendous size, at 6’4”, and is a big-time hitter who will make defenders think twice about crossing the middle.

 56.) Seattle Seahawks- Orlando Franklin, G/T, Miami (FL)

The Seahawks need some help on their interior line and will probably have to replace one, if not both, of Chester Pitts and Stacy Andrews. Franklin is the best pure guard in this draft and, although he can play tackle in a pinch, Seattle’s best served with him playing inside. With a young QB in tow with their 1st pick, the Seahawks need to make sure they surround him with some talented linemen.

 57.) Baltimore Ravens- Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State

Willis McGahee mulled over retirement last off-season and, even when he decided to play, he wasn’t very effective. It’s very possible that he’ll either actually retire this time or Baltimore will move on to find a better complement to Ray Rice. Thomas was a touchdown machine at Kansas State and his hard-running style and elusiveness will help make Baltimore’s offense more dynamic, something it clearly was missing in its playoff game against Pittsburgh.

 58.) Atlanta Falcons- Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson

The Falcons could also use some help with depth along the interior defensive line. Jonathan Babineaux has been a fixture in Atlanta for quite some time, but his production has dropped. On the other side, Peria Jerry hasn’t displayed much of what caused Atlanta to make him a 1st round pick in ’09. Jenkins is a big time run stuffer and could slot right into the DT rotation in Atlanta.

59.) New England Patriots- Clint Boling, G, Georgia

The Patriots have to protect against Logan Mankins leaving in free agency and, after having addressed most of their pressing needs already, they can afford to compile depth. Boling is one of the best true guards in this draft class and should fit right in with the Patriots style of football.

 60.) Green Bay Packers- Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College

As we’ve seen, you can never have too many pass-rushers and the Packers have the luxury of being able to go that route with most of their others holes plugged. Herzlich is a tremendous story, having overcome cancer in his Junior season to return to a high level of play this year. He can get to the QB very quickly, but he can also hold his own against the run.

 61.) San Diego Chargers- Quan Sturdivant, ILB, North Carolina

With every one of the Chargers’ inside LBs becoming free agents, San Diego has to guard against possible defections by improving their depth. Sturdivant is a bit small, but very rangy and a solid tackler. Even if San Diego chooses to bring back Brandon Siler and Kevin Burnett, there will still be a place for Sturdivant.

 62.) Chicago Bears- Greg Little, WR, North Carolina

The Bears were expecting big things from Devin Aromashadu after his late season breakout in ’09, but he was pretty much invisible for most of the season. Although Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett have been very solid targets for Jay Cutler, the Bears need a big receiver who can go up and get it, which is what Little brings. Although he was kicked off his UNC team and he doesn’t have breakaway speed, his 6’3” frame could make him an ideal red-zone target for Mike Martz to utilize.

 63.) Pittsburgh Steelers- Marcus Cannon, G, TCU

The Steelers continue to upgrade their offensive line b y selecting the massive Cannon from Rose Bowl champion TCU. While the Steelers’ line has been more than adequate this season, it doesn’t mean that they couldn’t use an upgrade in several key positions or at least could use the depth. Cannon can certainly throw his weight around (360) and will be able to clear holes for Rashard Mendenhall.


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