It’s February, and that means we’re getting closer and closer to the 2011 NFL Draft. The Senior Bowl is out of the way, and the next big happening is the NFL Scouting Combine starting on February 23rd. As we continue, we provide you with Keet Bailey’s 2011 NFL Mock Draft.
NFL Soup has been dedicated to featuring new mock drafts each month. With all of the college football athletes that are officially staying out of the picture, we can get a much clearer idea of where these prospects will go in the 2011 NFL Draft.
While you’re here, check out all of our other 2011 NFL Draft coverage:
If you can’t get your franchise quarterback with the number one overall pick, then why not get another huge position of importance: pass rusher. Fairley is a dominant penetrator with a high motor who’s aggressive play is looked down on by some. But the Panthers need a dominant defensive tackle on that defensive line that has struggled to stop the run or even get to the quarterback
Denver needs a lot of help defensively, and while they have Champ Bailey, who has succeeded this year, he is aging, and they still need another corner on the other side. Peterson has game changing ability as he’s able to shut down receivers and is a ball hawk. He’s also a very solid tackler who isn’t afraid to make a play behind the line of scrimmage. He’s just the aggressive defender the Broncos need.
Buffalo is high on their pass rushers, especially after acquiring Shawne Merriman in mid-season. But those pass rushers can’t get to the quarterback if the defensive line can’t do their job. Dareus is a dominant space eater as a natural five technique in the 3-4 system, that Buffalo just doesn’t have the personnel for.
What a conundrum the Bengals have on their hands. Carson Palmer wants out, badly. What better to convince him to stay than give him a dominant possession receiver who doesn’t drop passes, and is a football player rather than an entertainer. Chad Johnson may be back, but Terrell Owens won’t be. Johnson isn’t the premier receiver he once was, and it’s time for the Bengals to move on.
It’s sad when the blind can see what the Cardinals coaches could not, which is terrible quarterback play. Gabbert has a big arm, and has excellent mechanics as a project for the Cardinals. With downfield receivers like Steve Breaston and Larry Fitzgerald, they need somebody that can get the ball to them. It’s clear that losing Kurt Warner has hurt the Cardinals more than they ever imagined.
Say what?! Da’Quan Bowers falling to six? Yeah, it could happen. The key here is the Cincinnati Bengals biting on A.J. Green. Cleveland has desperately needed a stud pass rusher since they made their comeback in 1999. With the recent switch back to the 43 defense, Dick Jauron will salivate over the opportunity to grab the pass rusher that people have compared to the likes of Reggie White, Bruce Smith, and Michael Strahan.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the 49ers need help in the secondary. Nate Clements is aging, and Shawntee Spencer/Tarell Brown just aren’t getting it done. Amukamara gives them a solid press corner who tackles well, and can play physical against some of those bigger NFC receivers.
The Titans defensive line isn’t bad, but when you have a chance to draft a special player like Cameron Jordan, you jump on it. Jordan is too versatile to pass on as he can play defensive end, and defensive tackle. He can penetrate, and he can take up space. You name it, Cam Jordan can do it. The Titans opt to stay away from Cam Newton after having fears of another Vince Young issue.
Let’s face it. Dallas’ defensive line was an utter disappointment. Their 34 defense was exposed in 2010, as they struggled to effectively stop the run consistently, and generate a pass rush to help out the young secondary. Clayborn gives them a perfect five technique player that can step in right away and make an impact.
This pick is going to surprise a lot of people. However, there’s no guarantee that Santana Moss is re-signed, and they still need a legit possession receiver like Jones (right). Moss worked the slot quite a bit in 2010, in which he broke out for a surprisingly effective season. The combination of Jones and Moss will give Donovan McNabb a fail proof wide receiver corps to make plays with.
Welcome Wade Phillips to Houston. He doesn’t have to make an out of state trip, and he’s instilling his highly touted 34 defense to the Texans who have had more defensive problems than the 1999 Cleveland Browns. Von Miller is a true 34 outside linebacker. With Mario Williams playing the five technique, he won’t be a pass rusher, and they’ll need Miller to come off of the edge and be a terror to opposing quarterbacks.
Enter the Cam Newton project in Minnesota. Newton gets to utilize his surprisingly solid passing skills with receivers like Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice. The plays he can make on his feet added to the combo of Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart will make teams drown in fear.
Alright Detroit, you’re starting to become a contender. You’re a solid secondary, and a healthy Matthew Stafford away from being a winning team. So let’s grab Brandon Harris to shore up one of the corner spots, so you guys can stop giving up so much yardage in the air. Harris is a very solid man coverage corner who has excellent change of direction and ball skills.
The Rams are cursing profusely in the War Room after Washington nabbed their top target in Julio Jones. But don’t fret. The Rams managed to improve their pass rush immensely in 2010, so why not grab a gap stuffing defensive tackle and stop giving up over 4.5 yards per carry to opposing running backs? Sounds like a win/win scenario to me.
Miami has a few holes they need to get figured out, but drafting Mark Ingram will fill a big need. Ingram is the physical, but speedy running back that fits perfectly in their system. He knows how to run the wildcat and there’s a good chance that the Dolphins will only be able to re-sign one of either Ricky Williams or Ronnie Brown. Mark Ingram is destined to take his talents to South Beach.
The Jacksonville Jaguars registered 26 sacks on the season in 2010. How sad is that? But there was some upside. They have a slew of potential pass rushers, but why not get a guy that’s as talented as Robert Quinn? You’d think with their recent defensive end draft history that they’d shy away from the pick, but it just makes too much sense to keep trying to fix the biggest problem on the team.
This is a no brainer for the Patriots which fell victim to a young defense that was a big reason for their early exit from the 2010 NFL Playoffs. They lack a dominant pass rusher, and they fix that problem with Justin Houston who is a physical pass rusher with solid speed off of the edge.
How do you improve on being the best on both offense and defense? I didn’t think that was possible, but it’s clear that the defensive line needs some help. Since losing Igor Olshansky to free agency, the Chargers defensive line hasn’t been as dominant. Cam Heyward fits the five technique better than most defensive ends in the draft. He’s physical at the point of attack and can take up space.
Kareem McKenzie is slowing down, and David Diehl has been slowed down by injuries himself. Castonzo is a solid pass blocker who’s not too shabby in the run game as well. He could easily be groomed to play either tackle position in the next year or two, and help shore up the end on the offensive line.
Last year the Buccaneers grabbed Gerald McCoy who is an excellent penetrator but also can stuff the gaps in the run game. But they still need an effective pure pass rusher. Kerrigan (pictured) gives them a non-stop motor guy who gets upfield in a hurry and has a nice speed rush as well as bull rush to make an impact and help improve on that measly 26 sack number from 2010.
The Chiefs need to figure out who’s going to play right tackle, and they also need to make a decision on whether or not Branden Albert is effective enough on the left side. Solder gets a great push in the run game, and may be best suited for the right side as it is. Solder could give the Chiefs that extra push they need in the run game, as well as protect the front of their 60 million dollar investment of Matt Cassel.
Injuries, injuries and more injuries. The Colts just can’t find that left tackle to keep the pressure off of Peyton Manning. Manning’s quick release keeps him from being sacked, but the rush just gets to the backfield much too quickly, and was a big reason for Peyton Manning to have to force throws. Sherrod is a nice pass blocker who could be groomed to play the left tackle spot and give the Colts a bookend tackle for years to come.
The Eagles could use more consistent guard play, and what better than to have a versatile offensive lineman like Marcus Cannon? Cannon is a monster at 350 pounds and is athletic enough to play offensive tackle at the next level as well. Cannon could shore up either guard spot. Cannon’s versatility will be coveted, as he can also play both tackle positions.
Ballard could play both defensive end and defensive tackle. His versatility makes him an intriguing option for the Saints who could move him around as the situation calls for it. He’s an excellent penetrator who has good agility and can move well laterally. He’s a big body that does need to improve his strength.
The loss of Red Bryant should not have hurt the Seahawks as badly as it did. But a healthy Bryant added to the penetrating skills of the agile Drake Nevis could help out that struggling secondary. The Seahawks pass rush was just mediocre and quite inconsistent. They lacked pressure from the interior line, and getting a guy like Nevis could fill that void.
Baltimore’s defense was great as usual, but they just weren’t themselves this year in the pressure department. They were 27th in the league in getting to the quarterback, and it hurt their secondary at times as they failed to get pressure. Jabaal Sheard is a top notch pass rusher who is very physical, and also very quick off the line. He’s going to rise up draft boards.
Ideally, the Falcons would like to go with a pass rusher here as that was a big problem for them. But you can’t pass up the versatile Rahim Moore who could play either FS or cornerback for them. I’m not crazy about Thomas DeCoud, personally, and they lack a true ball hawk that can play centerfield.
I still maintain that it’s unfair for the Patriots to have multiple first round picks year in and year out, but it is what it is. The Patriots continue to shore up that defense with help on the defensive line. Losing Richard Seymour hurts, but the move made a lot of sense. They can grab Watt who’s a big body in the mold of the Steelers’ Aaron Smith who dominates as a five technique player.
Need cornerback help? How about a corner that’s physical and can make plays against the run? Look no further than grabbing Jimmy Smith who sneaks into the first round here. Smith is a physical specimen who is a very special player overall. The Bears would love to get some offensive line help, but they can’t pass up on Smith to help bring youth to that struggling secondary.
Out of Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards, most likely Edwards is on the outs. While Smith is similar to Holmes in terms of overall ability, it’s important for the Jets to maintain weapons for young Mark Sanchez. Smith is a quick receiver who can stretch the field, and also make plays after the catch.
What a perfect story this is. What’s not to love about twin brothers playing for the same high school offensive line, college offensive line, and then joining each other in the NFL? The Steelers drafted Maurkice Pouncey in the 2010 NFL Draft to shore up the center position, but injuries, and poor play will force them to stick with drafting on the interior line.
So they drafted Bryan Bulaga in the first round last year. What of it? Bulaga has been effective on the right side for the Packers and may be best sticking there. While Smith is a smaller, zone blocking-esque tackle, his pass blocking skills are quite great, and with Chad Clifton still having a few years left, they could afford to groom Smith and have bookend tackles for Aaron Rodgers.
33. New England Patriots (from Carolina) – Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State
One may question this pick with the way BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead have played, but the Patriots have to want a true feature back in that system with Tom Brady. Thomas can do it all, as he has exceptional ball skills out of the backfield, and can run well north and south. He’s one of the best backs in this draft and quite underrated.
34. Buffalo Bills – Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
The Bills offensive line needs help in general. They have spent a lot of high draft picks on the defensive positions and haven’t focused on the offensive line enough. They could stick Carimi on the right side immediately and groom him to play left tackle eventually as well.
35. Cincinnati Bengals – Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
Cincinnati needs some work on the defensive line, especially at defensive tackle. Paea would give them a dominate penetrator who forces double teams at times. The Bengals need work in stopping the run, and Paea lined up next to Domata Peko could be fierce.
36. Denver Broncos – Marvin Austin, DE/DT, North Carolina
What an interesting pick this is. The Broncos will most likely switch back to a 43 defense, so they’ll get a great penetrator in Marvin Austin to help bolster the defensive line. If they do end up sticking with the 34, Austin should have no problem making the transition to the five technique.
37. Cleveland Browns – Titus Young, WR, Boise State
Young is the perfect West Coast Offense receiver that Colt McCoy needs to succeed. He’s excellent after the catch as he makes people miss in the open field, and generally he catches everything throw his way.
38. Arizona Cardinals – Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
Alright, so you have Steve Breaston, Larry Fitzgerald, and now Blaine Gabbert. Why not improve a position that they’ve struggled with? Ben Patrick isn’t getting it done. Rudolph is a pure pass catching tight end that can make plays after the catch, and is an excellent red zone target.
39. Tennessee Titans – Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina
Tennessee continues to improve that defense by getting an exceptional sideline to sideline tackling machine. Carter is a smart leader who can make plays in coverage as well, and is the ideal 43 strongside linebacker, but is versatile enough to play all three positions.
40. Dallas Cowboys – Deunta Williams, FS, North Carolina
The Cowboys need help in the secondary, which is no secret. Why not start by getting a natural play maker back there? Williams is an above average tackler who excels in zone coverage, and could possibly play a bit of strong safety if needed.
41. Washington Redskins – Jake Locker, QB, Washington
Surprise! I didn’t want to spoil the pick earlier, but Washington loves Locker, and he’s a great fit to learn behind McNabb. He gets Santana Moss and Julio Jones to start off his career, which certainly could be a lot worse.
42. Houston Texans – Stefen Wisniewski, OG/C, Penn State
Grabbing Wisniewski isn’t the sexy pick, but it’s the smart pick. He can play guard or center at the next level and is extremely intelligent and an offensive leader. He could kick Chris Myers to left guard and make an impact immediately.
43. Minnesota Vikings – Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
Why not improve the linebackers a bit? Ayers is a bit raw, but has fantastic upside. He can make plays all over the field, and he can rush the passer. He’s above average as a coverage linebacker and could be great with Chad Greenway and Co.
44. Detroit Lions – Rodney Hudson, OG, Florida State
We’d love to go defense again, but the interior line must improve for Detroit. Hudson can play center or guard, and he is very intelligent, with fantastic upside. He could come in right away and make an impact.
45. San Francisco 49ers – Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
Let’s focus on getting a pass rush in San Francisco. Manny Lawson clearly hasn’t lived up to his first round grade from a few years ago, and Aldon Smith is a gem, albeit quite raw. He’ll need to be groomed for a season, but he could make a huge impact as a 34 outside linebacker.
46. Denver Broncos (from Miami) – DeAndre McDaniel, SS, Clemson
It’d be in the Broncos best interest to keep improving that secondary. They get a play maker in Patrick Peterson, and now they get a safety who’s a force against the run, and isn’t too shabby in zone coverage as well.
47. St. Louis Rams – Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
What a steal for the Rams here. Their secondary needs quite a bit of work, and they grab a very talented all around corner in Williams who could most likely make an immediate impact.
Mallett’s character issues cause him to free fall, and Al Davis can’t avoid not drafting this big arm who has the talent to succeed, and has the downfield receivers as well. Davis doesn’t care what he does in his spare time, so long as he can throw the ball far.
49. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
This is an interesting pick for the Jaguars who will be without Mike Sims-Walker. They will grab the project that is Jon Baldwin who doesn’t seem to play 100% all the time, and struggles with separation, but is quite the physical specimen.
50. San Diego Chargers – Ben Ijalana, OG/OT, Villanova
Why not improve the offensive line with an extremely versatile lineman? Ijalana is special as he can play both guard and tackle positions. He may be the best as a right tackle, but he could kick inside if needed as well.
51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State
Alright, so LeGarrette Blount is for real. But in a two running back league, you need a compliment to him, and the Cadillac is out of gas. Hunter is a fast, but still physical smaller back who will excel on third downs in pass protection and catching out of the backfield.
52. New York Giants – Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois
This is a surprising pick for the Giants. But I believe the Brandon Jacobs era will come to an end either this season or the next. LeShoure is the perfect big back that compliments Ahmad “Fumbles” Bradshaw.
53. Indianapolis Colts – Ahmad Black, SS, Florida
Bob Sanders can’t be relied on after his injury history. But we know he can play, and so can Black. Black comes as the entire package, minus the injuries.
54. Philadelphia Eagles – Quan Sturdivant, LB, North Carolina
The Eagles still could use some youth and depth with their linebackers and Sturdivant gives them a versatile tackling machine who excels in coverage.
55. Kansas City Chiefs – Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego State
Cassel has his possession receiver in Dwayne Bowe, so why not get him his speedy counterpart? Dexter McCluster isn’t going to be a top notch #2, but he can still work the slot, while Brown and Bowe give opposing secondary’s fits.
56. New Orleans Saints – Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech
Injuries killed the Saints running backs this season, and while Chris Ivory is talented, as well as Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, etc. they can’t be relied on. Williams is a nice all-around runner who’s excellent between the tackles.
57. Seattle Seahawks – Rashad Carmichael, CB, Virginia Tech
The Seattle secondary is just bad. I feel bad for the lone bright spot, which was rookie Earl Thomas. So let’s get him some help with the speedy corner from Va Tech who can make plays.
58. Baltimore Ravens – Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
Baltimore could use a physical corner with good ball skills. Their secondary has kept them from finishing out some ball games, and it needs to be improved.
59. Atlanta Falcons – Steven Friday, DE, Virginia Tech
Here’s where the Falcons improve that pass rush. Friday is very underrated but will shoot up draft boards with his pure pass rushing ability.
60. New England Patriots – Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami (Fl.)
Hankerson to the Patriots gives them a nice possession receiver, and if anybody can fix the case of the dropsies, it’s Belichick and Company.
61. San Diego Chargers (from New York Jets) – Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin
This is more of a luxury for the Chargers. But when you have these extra picks you can grab these guys. Kendricks gives them an athletic play making tight end that can make plays, and allow them to use more two tight end sets.
62. Chicago Bears – Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor
Hooray for offensive line help! Jay Cutler thanks the Bears front office for giving them a legit option in the interior line. Watkins can be groomed to play center as well for when Olin Kreutz hangs up the cleats, if that ever happens as well.
63. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jeron Johnson, CB, Boise State
The Steelers lack depth at corner, and really can’t continue to keep Bryant McFadden as their #2 corner. Johnson could be groomed in slowly as a nickelback and take over later in the 2011 season.
64. Green Bay Packers – DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma
Ryan Grant and James Starks could make a nice combo, but there isn’t much breakaway ability there. Murray can make plays, and has good speed, as well as third down value.
65. Carolina Panthers – Greg Jones, LB, Michigan State
This may be a surprising pick as the Panthers already have one of the better middle backers in the league in Jon Beason. But Jones could improve in coverage and move to a strong side linebacker as he is an excellent sideline to sideline tackler with excellent football intelligence.
66. Cincinnati Bengals – Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware
It’s time for Cincinnati to get a QB to groom. Carson Palmer will be back, and Devlin can sit a year or two and learn behind the cerebral veteran. Just don’t watch Palmer actually throw the football because he clearly can’t do it anymore.
67. Denver Broncos – D.J. Williams, TE, Arkansas
The Broncos tight end play recently has been absolutely terrible. They have quite a few wide receiver options, but they lack a pass catching tight end. Young Tim Tebow needs a check down guy that can make plays.
68. Buffalo Bills – Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
I wasn’t kidding when I talked about the Bills improving that defensive line. Wilkerson gives them a big bodied nose tackle that can play next to Dareus and help that front seven shut down the run and get to the quarterback.
69. Arizona Cardinals – DeMarcus Love, OT, Arkansas
Love would be an excellent project tackle for the Cardinals. He’s best suited for the right side, but one day he could make the switch if he learns how to play better in pass protection.
70. Cleveland Browns – Davon House, CB, New Mexico State
Eric Wright was disappointing in 2010, and Sheldon Brown isn’t much better. House is a very underrated corner coming from a smaller FBS program. House has excellent change of direction, as well as solid ball skills.
71. Dallas Cowboys – Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
Dallas goes back to work on the defensive line getting a great nose tackle to groom. Taylor is a fantastic run stuffer who can play effectively as a zero technique.
72. New Orleans Saints (from Washington) – Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon
Matthews could give the Saints that extra athlete in the linebacker corps that can cover, and be instinctive. Matthews has a nice football IQ, and would be able to step in to start after one season.
73. Houston Texans – Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State
I think it’s smart for the Texans to get a compliment for Andre Johnson. Kevin Walter just isn’t getting it done and Jacoby Jones isn’t consistent enough. Pettis isn’t extremely fast, but he is generally sure handed.
74. New England Patriots (from Minnesota) – Cliff Matthews, DE/OLB, South Carolina
The Patritos grab the best player available here in Cliff Matthews who could be moved to a pure pass rushing role as a 34 outside linebacker.
75. Detroit Lions – Martez Wilson, ILB, Illinois
The Lions need help at linebacker, and Wilson is a versatile guy who’s played on the outside and inside at Illinois. He’s quite athletic, but can be a punishing tackler.
76. San Francisco 49ers – Bilal Powell, RB, Louisville
We know that Frank Gore has some injury problems at times, and Anthony Dixon doesn’t look to be anything more than a situational and short yardage back. Powell is effective between the tackles with his explosiveness to hit the hole.
77. Tennessee Titans – Jason Pinkston, OG/OT, Pitt
The Titans grab some interior line help with Pinkston who played his best football at right guard. Pinkston could help shore up the run game.
78. St. Louis Rams – Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky
The Rams hate to wait until round three to grab a play maker, but they sure do get a steal in Randall Cobb. While he’s raw, he is electric when the ball gets in his hands, and has the speed to stretch the field, or make plays after the catch.
79. Miami Dolphins – Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
We’re not sure if the Chad Henne era is over already, but I’m guessing he gets another year. So why not groom a young quarterback with a good football IQ, and work on his arm strength?
80. Jacksonville Jaguars – Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
David Garrard isn’t going to get it done in Jacksonville. But he’s just decent enough so that the Jags can groom a young quarterback in Kaepernick that has a strong arm and can make plays with his feet.
81. Oakland Raiders – Robert Sands, FS, West Virginia
This is Al Davis falling in love with how Sands measures up. Sands is a 6’5 free safety who can make plays, but needs to focus on understanding the difference between a pass and a run.
82. San Diego Chargers – Brandon Burton, CB, Utah
The Chargers can use depth here with Burton who can be physical against the run game, but does a nice job playing the ball well when it’s in the air.
83. New York Giants – Jerrell Powe, DT, Mississippi
The Giants want to improve their depth on the defensive line. What better to do that than to grab a big, gap stuffing nose tackle? Powe is effective against the run, and takes up space. He could play NT in a 43 or a 34 defense.
84. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Omar Bolden, CB, Arizona State
So other than Aquib Talib, who do the Buccaneers have to play the corner position? They have no depth. So they’ll grab Bolden who’s a physical press coverage corner who’s a relentless tackler.
85. Philadelphia Eagles – Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson
The Eagles want to add some depth to that defensive line. Jenkins gives them a two dimensional tackle who can penetrate if need be, but is best in stuffing gaps.
86. Kansas City Chiefs – Kenrick Ellis, DT, Hampton
The Chiefs defense has made incredible strides. But they still need depth at defensive line, and they need a true standout nose tackle. Ellis may not rise this high, but he’s quite the stud and fills a position of need for Kansas City’s 3-4 defensive front.
87. Indianapolis Colts – Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
The Colts need depth at corner, and it wouldn’t hurt for them to develop one into a starter. Brown has all of the physical tools and ability to be a productive corner. Sometimes he just has mental lapses and will give up a big play.
88. New Orleans Saints – Kendric Burney, CB, North Carolina
The Saints could use a bit more depth at the corner position. Burney would give them an excellent physical corner who can shut down the short/intermediate routes as a nickel back and possibly compete with Patrick Robinson and Jabari Greer for a starting spot.
89. San Diego Chargers (from Seattle) – Shane Vereen, RB, Cal
Darren Sproles won’t be back, and the Chargers want to fill that void with another smaller scat back type who can make plays out of the backfield and spell Ryan Mathews.
90. Baltimore Ravens – Alex Wujciak, ILB, Maryland
The Ravens grab Wujciak who is a bigger, physical presence in the middle of the defense. He can learn behind one of the greatest inside linebackers to have played the game in Ray Lewis.
91. Atlanta Falcons – Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU
The Falcons have Roddy White making all of the plays. But they lack a short/intermediate receiver who can make the catch, and maybe add a bit of yards after catch advantage as well. Toliver catches a lot, and has a big frame.
92. New England Patriots – Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU
Barksdale is one of the better pass protectors in the late 3rd/early 4th, and the Patriots grab him to groom just in case they lose Matt Light. Barksdale is an efficient run blocker as well, getting to the second level in a hurry.
93. Chicago Bears – Sam Acho, DE, Texas
The Bears need a bit more youth at defensive end. Sam Acho can be effective if he’s coached properly, and what better a teacher and peer than Julius Peppers?
94. New York Jets – Brooks Reed, DE/OLB, Arizona
Reed made a name for himself at the Senior Bowl making nice plays in pursuit and getting to the quarterback. The Jets are still looking for a dominant pass rusher, and they can grab Reed as a nice high motor project.
95. Pittsburgh Steelers – Orlando Franklin, OG/OT, Miami (Fl.)
Once again, the Steelers opt for offensive line help. Franklin could play right guard or right tackle and shore up one of the spots. He was once thought of to be a first round talent.
96. Green Bay Packers – John Moffit, OG/C, Wisconsin
Green Bay grabs Moffitt here because of his versatility. He may be able to make the transition to center, and he gets a great push in the run game, which is something that they need help with big time.
97. Carolina Panthers – Quinton Carter, FS, Oklahoma
Carolina needs to improve that secondary if they want to even start to win some more games. Their corners are solid, but they still need help over the top.
98. Seattle Seahawks (from New England through Denver) – Jeff Maehl, WR, Oregon
What better than to get some wide receiver depth with the lunch pail guy in Maehl. He’s a fantastic downfield blocker, he runs solid routes, and he catches everything.
99. Buffalo Bills – Marcus Gilbert, OT, Florida
The Bills still need to work on patching up that offensive line, and Gilbert gives them a nice project to play on the right side, or possibly kick in to the guard spot.
100. Cincinnati Bengals – Justin Boren, OG, Ohio State
The interior line for the Bengals is laughable at best. Boren may be a bit of a reach here, but you can’t discount his ability to get leverage in the run game, and bowl people over.
101. Cleveland Browns – Jurrell Casey, DT, USC
The Browns have Ahtyba Rubin playing nose tackle, but they still need a penetrating pass rushing guy next to him. Casey is a bit raw, but he has excellent natural ability to get through the line and make a play.
102. Arizona Cardinals – John Clay, RB, Wisconsin
The Cardinals opt to go for a bruising running back and hope to keep Beanie Wells healthy as well to have an excellent short yardage/red zone combo. Hightower can still handle the third down role.
103. Philadelphia Eagles (from Washington) – Jalil Brown, CB, Colorado
The lack of depth at corner for the Eagles is a big reason why they struggled in the NFC Wild Card game. Brown gives the Eagles a physical press corner who can tackle well.
104. Houston Texans – DeMarcus Van Dyke, CB, Miami (Fl.)
The Texans need secondary help, and that’s nothing new. Van Dyke is has excellent athletic ability, exceptional change of direction skills, as well as straight line speed. However, he needs to add a bit of meat to play in Wade Phillip’s smashmouth 34 defense.
105. Minnesota Vikings – Jeremy Beal, DE, Oklahoma
The Vikings add a pass rushing project to their already solid defensive line. Beal has all of the talent, but he falls due to lack of focus and football IQ. He would be an excellent project for Leslie Frazier.
106. Detroit Lions – Allen Bailey, DE, Miami (Fl.)
Bailey’s raw ability makes him a solid pick here. The Lions need a bit more depth on a much improved defensive line, and Bailey could spell guys at either DT or DE, with a bit more weight as well.
107. San Francisco 49ers – Karl Klug, DE, Iowa
Klug is a guy who’s going to impress at the combines. His excellent strength and space eating ability makes him an intriguing option to play as a five technique in the NFL.
108. Tennessee Titans – Lawrence Guy, DT, Arizona State
It’s tough to figure out why the Titans grab Guy here after drafting Cameron Jordan, but they can’t resist passing on the athletic ability that Guy brings as a defensive tackle. Jordan and Guy could be nasty together.
109. Dallas Cowboys – James Brewer, OT, Indiana
The Cowboys need to address the right side of the line badly. They can’t seem to get any consistency. Brewer is a tall, wide tackle who is a stud in the run game, and can improve in pass protection.
110. Miami Dolphins – Sione Fua, DT, Stanford
Fua gives the Dolphins some help on the defensive line. He is a space eater who gets low and has good leverage. He may be able to bulk up and play the nose at the next level just like he did at Stanford.
111. St. Louis Rams – Chris L. Rucker, CB, Michigan State
The Rams opt to grab Rucker who’s more of a physical cornerback. He isn’t afraid to come in and make a tackle, and he does a good job in short/intermediate situations. He’s likely a nickel corner at the next level, but the potential is there.
112. Oakland Raiders – Dontay Moch, LB, Nevada
Hard to believe that Moch falls this far, but his lack of a football IQ is a big reason for it. Still, you can’t let a guy that runs at Moch Speed fall down terribly far. Al Davis loves his workout warriors.
113. Jacksonville Jaguars – Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville
The Jags still need some help at corner, and Patrick gives them a guy who plays well in man coverage, and gets a good break on the ball out of the quarterbacks hands.
114. San Francisco 49ers (from San Diego) – Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
Ponder isn’t great, but he has some of the same skills as Alex Smith. Smith and Ponder could work together under new head coach Jim Harbaugh and attempt to develop into much better quarterbacks.
115. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mark Herzlich, OLB, Boston College
It’s hard to resist Herzlich who was a potential Top 15 draft pick just two years ago. But he’s slowed down thanks to his struggles with cancer. While he’s not the same guy he once was, there’s no reason he can’t work up to it. He would give the Buccaneers a tackling machine.
116. New York Giants – Lawrence Wilson, OLB, UCONN
The Giants take a flier on Wilson who looks to be a solid grab as a pure coverage linebacker. He’d be more situational as he isn’t going to stop the run or anything, but he does have the athleticism to make plays while the ball is in the air.
117. Kansas City Chiefs – Clint Boling, OG/OT, Georgia
The Chiefs continue with the offensive line help by grabbing Boling who could play either guard or tackle on the right side. He’ll need to sit for a year and learn the position at the NFL level, but the potential is there.
118. Indianapolis Colts – Anthony Gray, DT, Southern Miss
Gray gives the Colts a big body in the middle of those quick defensive ends to take up space and stuff the gaps against the run. We all know that the Colts can’t stop the run, but getting Gray in there could help change that.
119. Philadelphia Eagles – Will Hill, FS, Florida
The Eagles select Will Hill as a project safety here. He is raw, but has natural athletic ability and leaves more to be desired. He’ll be a situational guy for a year or two, but he could emerge into an every week starter.
120. Jacksonville Jaguars (from New Orleans) – Tyler Sash, SS, Iowa
Sash brings a nice physical presence to the Jaguars secondary. He’s a force against the run, but also has very solid skills against the pass as well. He has soft hands in the secondary, and makes plays.
121. Buffalo Bills (from Seattle) – Greg Little, WR, North Carolina
The Bills still need to improve that passing game just a touch more, and grabbing the raw potential of Little is a good start. Little is a former running back who has only played receiver for a couple of seasons, but he showed excellent natural ability.
122. Baltimore Ravens – Ronald Johnson, WR, USC
Derrick Mason is aging, Donte Stallworth is useless, and T.J. Houshmanzadeh isn’t the same guy he was in Cincinnati. Johnson gives them a breath of fresh air as a short/intermediate guy that can run after the catch.
123. Atlanta Falcons – Nick Claytor, OT, Georgia Tech
Claytor is a tackle with a lot of raw potential in which a lot of people questioned his decision to leave early. But he has the talent to be a standout left tackle in the NFL, but he’ll need to put on a bit of weight, and gain more strength.
124. New England Patriots – Mason Foster, LB, Washington
The Patriots are just toying with our minds now by grabbing some of the defensive studs later in the draft. Foster’s knock is shedding blocks, but he can still play sideline to sideline, and make plays. The Patriots can groom him into a solid situational inside backer.
125. New York Jets – Jermale Hines, FS, Ohio State
Eric Smith has improved quite a bit, but the same can’t be said for Brodney Pool. Hines is a solid centerfielder who can come up and help out in run support as well, when needed.
126. Chicago Bears – Brandon Fusco, C, Slippery Rock
Fusco can be groomed behind Olin Kreutz who is 33 years old. He still has a lot of playing time left, but Fusco could be play guard for a bit and learn the ropes and fill in for injuries.
127. Pittsburgh Steelers – Ugo Chinasa, DE/OLB, Oklahoma State
Pittsburgh has made a name for themselves with developing pass rushers, and why not take a nice project with the last pick in the fourth round? Chinasa is a big, physical guy at 6’5 260. He has solid athleticism and could turn into a monster.
128. Green Bay Packers – Mike Mohamed, LB, Cal
The Packers will experiment with Mohamed who is a great wrap up tackler and physical player. Mohamed isn’t afraid to blitz and get into the backfield, but he does need work on getting off of blockers.
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