NFL Mock Draft 2011: Comparing the Latest Mocks from Around the Web

Ryan Braun@@rycotaincAnalyst IMarch 20, 2011

NFL Mock Draft 2011: Comparing the Latest Mocks from Around the Web

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    NEW YORK - APRIL 26:  The ESPN broadcast team of (L-R) Mel Kiper, Chris Mortensen, and Steve Young prepare for the 2008 NFL Draft on April 26, 2008 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, New York.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The countdown continues, and so does my draft coverage.

    A mere 38 days away from Round 1, we now take a broader, pundit-based look at the most likely choice for each team. It’s an attempt to see the world through a variety of perspectives, and out of them form a consensus—the pick most frequently reasoned by the experts.

    It’s supposed to be akin to a draft democracy.

    As such, this slideshow is brought to you by Doritos Extreme—snack strong.

Know Your Pundits

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    Rob Rang: March 14th, 2011

    Rang is a senior analyst and draft guru at, a partner of His NFL Draft analysis is widely distributed by The Sports XChange.

    Mel Kiper: March 9th, 2011

    Since 1984, Mel has provided expert analysis for ESPN's annual coverage of the NFL Draft. He frequently contributes to ESPN's SportsCenter and you can catch him on ESPN radio or on doing various articles and chat sessions. Legend has it that every hair Chris Berman loses attaches itself to Mel’s bouffant.

    Todd McShay: March 16th, 2011

    McShay is the director of college scouting for Scouts Inc. and he is a frequent contributor to ESPN’s draft coverage. He is the Anna Nicole Smith to Kiper’s (still virile) James Marshall.

    Pat Kirwan: March 13th, 2011

    Pat Kirwan began his NFL career in 1972 after coaching high school and college football. He spent eight years (1989-97) with the New York Jets, beginning as a defensive assistant coach and advancing to director of player administration, where he negotiated contracts and managed the team's salary cap. Before his time with the Jets, Kirwan was an area scout for the Phoenix Cardinals (1989) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1983-'86). In addition to writing for, Kirwan is a contributor to CBS Sports' NFL Today and is co-host on Sirius NFL Radio. He is the only analyst on our panel who could pass for Dave Wannstedt.

    Steve Wyche: March 10th, 2011

    Wyche is a 20-year veteran of sports journalism. He has covered the NFL, the NBA and college football for The Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Miami Herald and most recently, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wyche was born in Minneapolis, raised in St. Louis and educated at Howard University. I have nothing quippy to say about Steve Wyche—he just looks like a happy guy.

    Don Banks: March 9th, 2011

    Banks covers the NFL year-round and writes the popular "Snap Judgments" for Sports Illustrated. Banks also serves as's designated mock draft specialist.

    Ryan Braun: March 11th, 2011

    Ryan Braun works for Bleacher Report. He was a proponent of selecting David Terrell over Koren Robinson in the 2001 NFL Draft and he has never been paid any amount of money to professionally analyze anything. He is a frequent contributor to Studio City Yogurt.

1. Carolina Panthers (Needs: DT, QB, CB, OLB, DE)

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    ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 4: Blaine Gabbert #11 of the University of Missouri Tigers looks to pass against the University of Illinois Fighting Illini during the State Farm Arch Rivalry game on September 4, 2010 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri.
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Rang: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    Kiper: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    McShay: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

    Kirwan: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

    Wyche: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    Banks: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    Braun: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

    Consensus: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    Runner-Up: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

    Third-Party Analysis: I like Braun’s pick here. I can tell just by reading it that he is smart and particularly handsome.

    That said, it’s hard not to notice the Gabbert train gathering steam in the weeks leading up to the draft. I think the Panthers should be eyeing the top defenders—Dareus, Bowers and Peterson are all superior players to Gabbert—but I can’t deny there exists a sentiment that you must take a quarterback when given the opportunity. Ten of the last 13 No. 1 picks have been quarterbacks, and only one of the three non-QB-selecting teams had a hole at quarterback.

    Most outside the Clausen family think the Panthers have that hole, and for that reason I think Gabbert will be the pick.

    For the first time in recent memory, Carolina will keep us guessing up until Goodell calls a name, as their pick will be precluded from signing prior to the draft.

2. Denver Broncos (Needs: DT, LB, TE, DS, DE)

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 24:  Marcell Dareus #57 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 24, 2009 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Rang: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

    Kiper: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

    McShay: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

    Kirwan: Marcell Darues, DT, Alabama

    Wyche: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

    Banks: Marcell Dareus, DE/DT, Alabama

    Braun: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

    Consensus: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

    Runner-Up: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

    Third-Party Analysis: Again, Braun makes a strong argument (he’s very relatable).

    Peterson is the best defensive player in the draft, and quite possible the top guy overall. How 70 percent of our panel has him sliding to seven, I’ll never know.

    But if not Peterson, I think that Dareus is a great choice.

    In the past few weeks, he’s emerged as the top lineman in the draft. He ran a 4.93 at the combine (at 318 pounds!) and performed very well at his pro day. Meanwhile, the Fairley hype is dying down—Kiper (as of March 9th) is the last man still touting the Auburn tackle for the top three—and Denver is in desperate need of an upgrade on the defensive line.

    Peterson may be the best player, but for a team that finished last in nearly every defensive category, Dareus is the best fit.

3. Buffalo Bills (Needs: LOT, QB, 3-4 DE, 3-4 OLB, TE)

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    PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07:  Quarterback Garrett Gilbert #3 of the Texas Longhorns tries to tackle lineman Marcell Dareus #57 of the Alabama Crimson Tide who would score after intercepting the ball during the second quarter of the Citi BCS National Champio
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Rang: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

    Kiper: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

    McShay: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    Kirwan: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

    Wyche: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

    Banks: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

    Braun: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

    Consensus: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

    Runner-Up: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

    Third-Party Analysis: That’s enough of the Braun lead-ins (overexposed much?), but I’ll just end it with this. If there were a categorical designation of savants associated with the NFL Draft, he would probably be in it. 

    OK, it’s Dareus again. That can happen because we’re drafting by consensus so as to provide the pundits’ optimum scenario for each team. What’s interesting is that this pick is one of only six repeat picks in the entire mock. For a randomly compiled list, that is pretty incredible.

    For all the aforementioned reasons, I like Dareus at this pick. Buffalo had the worst run defense in the league last season and it is nearly as needy as Denver on the defensive line.

    But even taking all that into consideration, Rob Rang’s pick here is actually the most interesting to me. He says: “The Bills have gone out of their way to laud the play of incumbent starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, but are also believed to be very high on Newton’s potential…GM Budy Nix and coach Chan Gailey showed their willingness to gamble on athleticism last year with the selection of C.J. Spiller. Don’t put it past them to do the same this year should Newton be on the board.”

    It’s an intriguing pick because it’s a massive identity overhaul, and since the Bills aren’t winning anything in the next few years regardless, now would seem a plausible time to embark on such an endeavor.  

4. Cincinnati Bengals (Needs: QB, WR, DT, OT, RB)

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    ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 03: A.J. Green #8 of the Georgia Bulldogs pulls in this touchdown reception against Chris Hawkins #29 of the Louisiana State University Tigers at Sanford Stadium on October 3, 2009 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Imag
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Rang: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

    Kiper: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

    McShay: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

    Kirwan: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

    Wyche: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

    Banks: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

    Braun: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    Consensus: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

    Runner-Up: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

    Third-Party Analysis: Green is the most sensible pick—the one who best adheres to, then builds on, the status quo.

    The argument for the runner-up, be it ultimately Newton or Gabbert, is that Carson Palmer is not coming back. In fact, I would go so far as to say that A.J. Green’s selection is entirely contingent on Palmer’s return, and that is so far from a certainty that I’m surprised Green’s remained the consensus.

    One month ago, I thought there was no way the draft’s top receiver dropped past the Bengals.

    Now, I’m not sure how they take him.

5. Arizona Cardinals (Needs: QB, OLB, OT/OG, TE, CB)

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Von Miller of Texas A&M works out during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Rang: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

    Kiper: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

    McShay: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

    Kirwan: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    Wyche: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

    Banks: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

    Braun: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

    Consensus:  Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

    Runner-Up: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    Third-Party Analysis: I think there’s a pretty good chance the pick will be Von Miller, the outside linebacker out of Texas A&M.

    The alternatives are the quarterbacks, but it’s looking increasingly likely that at least one will be gone. Plus, with Larry Fitzgerald now in his prime, I’m not so sure the Cardinals won’t be looking for a veteran to ignite the passing game immediately. By the time Newton or Gabbert get up to speed, the league’s preeminent jump-ball threat would be 30.

    The Cardinals could desperately use an OLB, and the learning curve for the premiere sack artist in college football figures to be much smaller.

6. Cleveland Browns (Needs: DE, WR, DT, CB, OT)

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    AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 13:  A.J. Green #8 of the Georgia Bulldogs against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Rang: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

    Kiper: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

    McShay: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

    Kirwan: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

    Wyche: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

    Banks: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

    Braun: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

    Consensus: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

    Runner-Up: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

    Third-Party Analysis: Rang, McShay and Banks all have Bowers going to the Browns? I have to say that’s intriguing to say the least, and it’s one of the few scenarios in which the fall of a premiere guy perhaps overrides the sexiness of an A.J. Green pick. The Browns need at DE is every bit as great as their need at WR, and if he’s there, Bowers might be too good to pass up.

    One more note: If, as happens in both the Rang and McShay drafts, both Peterson and Bowers slip to the Browns, the choice has to be Peterson. He might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer (as we’ll be discussing in the next slide), but if the game plan is whittled down to "don’t let your guy catch the ball," I think he’s a Pro Bowler from Year 1 on.

7. San Francisco 49ers (Needs: QB, NT, CB, OLB, Big WR)

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    ATLANTA - DECEMBER 31:  Cornerback Patrick Peterson #7 of the LSU Tigers reacts after forcing a fumble and turnover by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the Chick-fil-A Bowl on December 31, 2008 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kev
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Rang: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

    Kiper: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

    McShay: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

    Kirwan: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A

    Wyche: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

    Banks: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

    Braun: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

    Consensus: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

    RUNNER-UP: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

    Third-Party Analysis: Braun and Kirwan are making a stand. As aforementioned, I don’t want the Browns passing on Peterson even for Bowers, and I find it hard to believe that five other teams would too.

    Except for testing low on the Wonderlic, Peterson has done nothing to merit a fall. Mel Kiper, speaking on behalf of our panel, provides the closest thing we get to an explanation: “There were a lot of comments questioning why I could see my No. 1 overall Big Board player dropping this far on draft day. In 1987, I had Rod Woodson rated similarly, and he fell to No. 10 overall. In 1989, Deion Sanders was far and away the best athlete on the board—he fell to No. 5. Champ Bailey was my best athlete and the top corner available in the 1999 draft, and he fell to No. 7.”

    I’m not so sure that his references are 100-percent applicable, seeing as how the most recent example he gave occurred 12 years ago, but I suppose the position-induced fall does happen.

    And boy could San Francisco use a cornerback (and/or a return man).

8. Tennessee Titans (Needs: QB, DT, ILB, OG, CB)

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Nick Fairley #90 of the Auburn Tigers warms up before taking on the Oregon Ducks during the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevin C.
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Rang: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

    Kiper: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

    McShay: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

    Kirwan: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

    Wyche: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

    Banks: Nick Fairley, DT, LSU

    Braun: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    Consensus: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

    Runner-Up: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    Third-Party Analysis: I think the logic for Fairley at this pick is ultimately tapping into something I tried to say in my last mock, namely that there are too many good players at the top of this draft for any of the top five teams to go after him.

    As dynamic as he can be, there are too many question marks.

    Talent-wise, Fairley is an absolute steal here for the Titans, but given their recent history with Albert Haynesworth, Vince Young and Pacman Jones, I still think it’s more likely we see Amukamara in Tennessee and the Auburn tackle in Dallas.

9. Dallas Cowboys (Needs: 3-4 DE, OT, ILB, DS, OG)

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 1: Defensive back Prince Amukamara #2 of Nebraska runs with the football during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Rang: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    Kiper: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    McShay: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

    Kirwan: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    Wyche: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

    Banks: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    Braun: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

    Consensus: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    Runner-Up: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

    Third-Party Analysis: This would represent a coup for the Cowboys. Still, it’s relatively likely to happen.

    Dallas employed the seventh-worst pass defense in the league last season, and as time takes its toll on Terrence Newman, they’re likely to get worse. Amukamara is a just a hair behind Patrick Peterson physically, he may be the more versatile player and he is definitely a safer pick. The Nebraska corner posted all 4.4 times at the combine, and according to Sporting News’ Russ Lande, he looked very smooth during his pro day. Pick No. 9 is as far as he’ll fall.

    Wyche is about 10 picks early with Castonzo. If Dallas goes OT here, I could only see them looking at Tyron Smith. He’s the tackle with the most athleticism and the highest upside, both typically staples of a Jerry Jones draft pick.

10. Washington Redskins (Needs: QB, NT, WR, OLB, ROT/OG)

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    ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 01: Julio Jones #8 of the Alabama Crimson Tide stiffarms Chris Rucker #29 of  the Michigan State Spartans during the Capitol One Bowl at the Florida Citrus Bowl on January 1, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Im
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Rang: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

    Kiper: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

    McShay: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

    Kirwan: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    Wyche: Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri

    Banks: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

    Braun: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    Consensus:  Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

    Runner-Up: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    Third-Party Analysis: Well, I’ll say this—either way the Redskins are making out. Julio Jones is a legit No. 1 and he is just a shade behind A.J. Green as the top receiver in this class, and J.J. Watt is an animal while fitting nicely in the 3-4.

    I think the Redskins' most pressing need is at defensive end (Vonnie Holiday is old and Adam Carriker is bad), but wide receiver is not far behind. Santana Moss, both aging and a free agent, was far and away the most productive receiver on the team last year. Julio Jones would instantly bolster the receiving corps, and his RAC ability makes him a great fit for Mike Shanahan’s offense.

    If only they had someone to throw him the ball.

11. Houston Texans (Needs: CB, FS, OLB, NT, SS)

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    BERKELEY, CA - OCTOBER 09:  Kevin Price #4 of the UCLA Bruins is tackled by Cameron Jordan #97 of the California Golden Bears at California Memorial Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Berkeley, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Rang: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

    Kiper: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    McShay: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

    Kirwan: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

    Wyche: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    Banks: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

    Braun: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

    Consensus: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

    Runner-Up: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

    Third-Party Analysis: Here’s a really interesting consensus/runner-up juxtaposition. Do you take Cameron Jordan, perhaps the steadiest, most reliable defensive end in this class, or Robert Quinn, the electric-but-undersized sack artist who hasn’t played in a year?

    Consensus says Jordan, who is a better fit for the 3-4.

    The Texans will also be in the market for a CB, but I doubt Amukamara falls to this pick.

12. Minnesota Vikings (Needs: QB, FS, OT, DT, C)

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    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies passes against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on September 18, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Cornhuskers defeated the Huskies 56-21. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Gett
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Rang: Jake Locker, QB, Washington

    Kiper: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

    McShay: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College)

    Kirwan: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

    Wyche: Cam Newton, OB, Auburn

    Banks: Jake Locker, QB, Washington

    Braun: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

    Consensus: Jake Locker, QB, Washington

    Runner-Up: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

    Third-Party Analysis: Mallett to the Vikings; this is my genius pick.

    For now, the genius stands alone.

    The justification for either Mallett or Locker here is almost identical, I just believe Mallett better fits what the Vikings want to do. Essentially, though, every pundit who chose a quarterback in this slot did so because of its presumed importance to the Vikings moving forward.

    And what I mean by that is simple: The Vikings need a quarterback immediately. However good Smith, Quinn or Castonzo might be, they won’t push Minnesota beyond eight wins if Joe Webb is their starter.

13. Detroit Lions (Needs: CB, WLB, SLB, OT, RB)

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    TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 7:  Tyron Smith #70 of the USC Trojans stretches before the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils on November 7, 2009 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.  USC won 14-9.  (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
    Jeff Golden/Getty Images

    Rang: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

    Kiper: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

    McShay: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    Kirwan: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

    Wyche: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

    Banks: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

    Braun: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

    Consensus: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

    Runner-Up: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

    Third-Party Analysis: Protecting Matthew Stafford is priority No. 1 in Detroit, and it’s quite possible the Lions will have their pick of the top tackles in this class. Both Solder and Smith offer significant upside, and both lack the requisite bulk to dominate from Day 1.

    Like the pundits, I think Smith gets the nod here, as he is just a tad more athletic and seems to have the body to add size naturally.

    Solder is 6'8", 319 pounds, but he has had trouble keeping that weight on.

    Amukamara would be nice, but I doubt he’s available.

14. St. Louis Rams (Needs: WR, OLB, DE, RB, OG)

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 26:  Julio Jones #8 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after a long reception against the Auburn Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Rang: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

    Kiper: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

    McShay: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

    Kirwan: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

    Wyche: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

    Banks: Aldon Smith, DE/LB, Missouri

    Braun: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

    Consensus: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

    Runner-Up: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

    Third-Party Analysis: I think everyone this side of Matt Millen believes that the Rams will take Julio Jones here, so the more pertinent question is regarding his availability.

    Should Jones get past Washington, I think St. Louis gets its man.

    Meanwhile, the ESPN boys combine forces to lift Liuget into the runner-up position. It’s nice to see Kiper and McShay working together, but that pick seems like it was birthed in the Bristol cafeteria—I’ve seen it nowhere else.

15. Miami Dolphins (Needs: RB, OG, QB, FS, ILB)

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07:  Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Rang: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

    Kiper: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

    McShay: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

    Kirwan: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

    Wyche: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

    Banks: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

    Braun: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

    Consensus: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

    Runner-Up: None

    Third-Party Analysis: Somehow, I feel like this means Ingram won’t be the pick.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars (Needs: FS, OLB, WR, QB, DE)

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    LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 30: Quarterback Taylor Martinez #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers tries to slip the grip of defensive end Aldon Smith #85 of the Missouri Tigers during first half action of their game at Memorial Stadium on October 30, 2010 in Lincoln,
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Rang: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri

    Kiper: Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri

    McShay: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri

    Kirwan: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

    Wyche: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

    Banks: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

    Braun: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

    Consensus:  Aldon Smith, OLB/DE, Missouri

    Runner-Up: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

    Third-Party Analysis: A few qualms with this one. Aldon is a very acceptable pick and who am I to argue with odds? But let me play Gerard Butler here for a second.

    Aldon Smith is a project—a little light for a DE, untested as a LB—and as such, he’s a riskier pick than either Kerrigan or Jordan. Smith is a top-notch athlete, but does he really blow the other two DEs so far out of the water that he negates their stability and relative lack of risk? That I’m not so sure of.

    Jacksonville could use a youth infusion on the defensive line, and Jordan seems to me to be the best option on the board.

17. New England Patriots (Needs: OLB, DE, OT, OG, RB)

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    MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 18: J.J. Watt #99 of the Wisconsin Badgers rushes against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Camp Randall Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin defeated Arizona State 20-19. Wisconsin defeated Arizona State 20
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Rang: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    Kiper: Ryan Kerrigan, OLB, Purdue

    McShay: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    Kirwan: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

    Wyche: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    Banks: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    Braun: Aldon Smith, DE/LB, Missouri

    Consensus: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    Runner-Up: Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue

    Third-Party Analysis: Watt is an absolute steal here, and he would represent a significant upgrade for the Patriots. He’s perhaps the best 3-4 end in the draft.

    I’m not quite convinced the consensus is accurate in assuming Watt will be available, but even should that turn out not to be the case, Kerrigan—essentially a lighter version of Watt—would be an excellent consolation prize.

18. San Diego Chargers (Needs: 3-4 DE, ILB, 3-4 OLB, ROT, WR)

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    Rang: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

    Kiper: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

    McShay: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple

    Kirwan: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

    Wyche: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

    Banks: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

    Braun: Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA

    Consensus: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT, Temple

    Runner-Up: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

    Third-Party Analysis: Rang and McShay have converted me here.

    Wilkerson may not project as a 3-4 end to every team, but he is versatile enough to play there for San Diego and he is a far superior player to Ayers.

    Wilkerson is extremely athletic and he was Temple’s MVP for the 2010 season, registering 70 tackles, 9.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss.

    Cameron Jordan at 3-4 end and Robert Quinn at 3-4 OLB are both interesting picks here, but I think the former is likely to be gone by this point while the latter is far more of a risk.

19. New York Giants (Needs: LB, C/LOG, TE, RB, DT)

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    Rang: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

    Kiper: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida

    McShay: Mike Pouncey, OG/C, Florida

    Kirwan: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

    Wyche: Mike Pouncey, C/G, Florida

    Banks: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

    Braun: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

    Consensus: Mike Pouncey, OG/C, Florida

    Runner-Up: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

    Third-Party Analysis: Braun is an idiot for second-guessing his initial sentiments on Tyron Smith. There’s no way he falls to the Giants here.

    As it were, the consensus predicts Mike Pouncey while the runner-up suggests the top eligible tackle.

    Everyone is on the right track here. Ultimately, I think OT is a greater need for New York, but they could use depth all across the line. I suppose with the ineptitude spreading throughout the unit, the Giants are actually granted some flexibility with this pick.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Needs: DE, MLB, CB, OLB, RB)

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    WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - SEPTEMBER 20:  Quarterback Dan LeFevour #13 of the Central Michigan Chippewas is tackled by Ryan Kerrigan #94 of the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on September 20, 2008 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Rang: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

    Kiper: Justin Houston, DE, Georgia

    McShay: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

    Kirwan: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri

    Wyche: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

    Banks: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

    Braun: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

    Consensus: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

    Runner-Up: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

    Third-Party Analysis: Kerrigan would immediately improve a pass rush that recorded only 26 sacks in 2010. Last year, the Academic All-American recorded 13 by himself, to go along with 70 tackles, 26 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles.

    At 6'4", 263 pounds, he is a little light for a 4-3 end, but he figures to make up for that with his elite strength. Kerrigan is one of the top weightlifters to ever come out of the Purdue program.

    Clayborn is the runner-up because he is the most talented guy save for Cameron Jordan, and Jordan is least likely to be there.

21. Kansas City Chiefs (Needs: NT, WR, ROT, ILB, OLB)

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    ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 21:  Justin Houston #42 of the Georgia Bulldogs against the Kentucky Wildcats at Sanford Stadium on November 21, 2009 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Rang: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

    Kiper: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

    McShay: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

    Kirwan: Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

    Wyche: Nate Solder, OL, Colorado

    Banks: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State

    Braun: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

    Consensus: None

    Runner-Up: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

    Third-Party Analysis: You know what they say—when in doubt, stick with the man with the least possible experience (his mind is less clouded).

    The Chiefs defense was significantly improved last season (11th in the league by way of points allowed versus 29th the year before), but they still struggled to get to the quarterback. Making matters worse, star sack man Tamba Hali is in franchise-tag limbo, and it’s unclear how the new CBA will affect his status.

    Houston was second among linebackers with 30 bench press reps at the combine, and he posted a 4.68 40 time (seventh among linebackers) while weighing in at 270 pounds.

22. Indianapolis Colts (Needs: OT, OG, DT, CB, SS)

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    CHESTNUT HILL, MA - OCTOBER 03:  Anthony Castonzo #74 of the Boston College Eagles congratulates teammate Montel Harris #2 after Harris scored a touchdown in the first quarter against the Florida State Seminoles on October 3, 2009 at Alumni Stadium in Che
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Rang: Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida

    Kiper: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

    McShay: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

    Kirwan: Mike Pouncey, C/G, Florida

    Wyche: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

    Banks: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

    Braun: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

    Consensus: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

    Runner-Up: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

    Third-Party Analysis: Castonzo is a great pick here. Solder would be even better, but he’s far more likely to be gone.

    As it is, Castonzo is smart, experienced and very well rounded. What he lacks in power and athleticism, he makes up for in nuance and know-how.

    The Colts haven’t drafted an offensive lineman in the first round since 1997, and they began to pay for it last season. This year, they take a step toward rectification.

23. Philadelphia Eagles (Needs: CB, OLB, ROG, OT, QB)

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    COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 10:  Offensive lineman Gabe Carimi #68 of the Wisconsin Badgers blocks against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on October 10, 2009 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Rang: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

    Kiper: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

    McShay: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

    Kirwan: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

    Wyche: Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois

    Banks: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

    Braun: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

    Consensus: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

    Runner-Up: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

    Third-Party Analysis: The Eagles' top need is either corner or OT, and in the pundits’ eyes Carimi is the most applicable prospect on the board.

    My only qualm with the giant Badger has to do with the relative lack of emphasis there was on pass blocking at Wisconsin. Carimi is a steamroller, but it remains a major question mark how he’ll fare outside of a run-heavy offense, and whether he’ll be able to handle NFL-level ends on the pass rush.

    Sherrod offers a less developed prospect, but one with more potential.

24. New Orleans Saints (Needs: DE, OLB, SS, DT, RB)

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    ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 03:  Justin Houston #42 of the Georgia Bulldogs against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Sanford Stadium on October 3, 2009 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Rang: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

    Kiper: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

    McShay: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

    Kirwan: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

    Wyche: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Perdue

    Banks: Justin Houston, LB/DE, Georgia

    Braun: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

    Consensus: Justin Houston, OLB/DE, Georgia

    Runner-Up: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

    Third-Party Analysis: The Saints desperately need to help out Will Smith by finding someone to rush off the alternate edge, and that’s what they’d be looking for from either Houston or Kerrigan.

    Houston emerges as the consensus on the heels of his strong combine performance.

25. Seattle Seahawks (Needs: OT, OG/C, QB, OLB, CB)

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    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 11:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies looks on against the Syracuse Orange on September 11, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Rang: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

    Kiper: Jake Locker, QB, Washington

    McShay: Jake Locker, QB, Washington

    Kirwan: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

    Wyche: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

    Banks: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

    Braun: Jake Locker, QB, Washington

    Consensus: Jake Locker, QB, Washington

    Runner-Up: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

    Third-Party Analysis: Rang and I essentially traded quarterbacks here.

    Just as I think Mallett best fits the Vikings, Locker seems a more likely match for the Seahawks. Mobile, strong-armed and potentially a good fit for the West Coast offense, Locker needs only to show improvement in his accuracy to become a capable quarterback.

    Matt Hasselbeck is not guaranteed to return, and while the Seahawks traded for Charlie Whitehurst only a year ago, they have given no indication since then that they’re grooming him for anything more than a backup role.

    Whitehurst is the owner of perhaps the best nickname in the NFL—“Clipboard Jesus."

26. Baltimore Ravens (Needs: CB, WR, OT, DE, FS)

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    AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 10: Jordan Shipley #8 of the Texas Longhorns wrestles for control of the ball with cornerback Jimmy Smith #3 of the Colorado Buffaloes for an incomplete pass on October 10, 2009 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Tex
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Rang: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

    Kiper: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

    McShay: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

    Kirwan: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

    Wyche: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

    Banks: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

    Braun: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

    Consensus: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

    Runner-Up: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

    Third-Party Analysis: This is from Todd McShay: “A player like Jimmy Smith is an option but Smith comes with character baggage and he isn’t worth the risk here.”

    My thoughts? As long as Ray Lewis is in that locker room, it becomes unthinkable not to fall in line with what the Ravens do defensively, with how hard they play. And because Lewis has affected the culture to such a strong degree, I doubt that will change even after he retires.

    Look at some of the Ravens' recent draft picks like Ngata and Suggs. Both were elite talents with character concerns. On the Ravens, they’re just elite talents.

    If he’s available, Jimmy Smith is the top pick here. The Ravens get their Chris McAlister back.

27. Atlanta Falcons (Needs: Rush DE, OLB, TE, WR, ROT/OG)

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    TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 28:  Defensive end Adrian Clayborn #94 of the Iowa Hawkeyes during the Insight Bowl against the Missouri Tigers at Sun Devil Stadium on December 28, 2010 in Tempe, Arizona. The Hawkeyes defeated the Tigers 27-24.  (Photo by Christian
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Rang: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

    Kiper: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

    McShay: Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia

    Kirwan: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

    Wyche: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

    Banks: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

    Braun: Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame

    Consensus: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

    Runner-Up: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

    Third-Party Analysis: I wanted to go with Kyle Rudolph as the runner-up, but seeing as how there were two corners selected, I figured that consensus defines CB as a more significant position of need. Thus, Aaron Williams.

    Clayborn is probably the premier talent on the board at this point. He’s big (6'4", 285 pounds), relatively fast (4.83 combine 40) and a legitimate three-down end.

    According to Todd McShay, Gabe Carimi called Clayborn the best DE he’s faced at the college level.

28. New England Patriots (Needs: OLB, DE, OT, OG, RB)

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    WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - SEPTEMBER 20:  Quarterback Dan LeFevour #13 of the Central Michigan Chippewas runs the ball past Ryan Kerrigan #94 of the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on September 20, 2008 in West Lafayette, Indiana.  (Photo by Ronald Mart
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Rang: Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor

    Kiper: Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami

    McShay: Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue

    Kirwan: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple

    Wyche: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

    Banks: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida

    Braun: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

    Consensus: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

    Runner-Up: Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor

    Third-Party Analysis: Again, I’m kind of amazed at how few repeat picks the "consensus method" has generated. Here we find the runner-up to the Patriots No. 17 pick falling to them at 28th. I think that means one way or another, the Patriots are drafting Ryan Kerrigan.

    He’d be an excellent fit in a defense that needs to boost its pass-rushing ability. Kerrigan registered 13 sacks last year, to go along with 70 tackles, 26 for loss. He projects to NE as a hybrid 3-4 DE/OLB.

29. Chicago Bears (Needs: LOT, DT, WR, C, OLB)

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    Rang: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

    Kiper: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

    McShay: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

    Kirwan: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

    Wyche: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

    Banks: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

    Braun: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

    Consensus: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

    Runner-Up: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

    Third-Party Analysis: Liuget is a legitimate top-20 talent, but he could see a fall simply on account of the strength of defensive linemen in this class.

    According to Rang: “His strength, surprising quickness and low center of gravity could make him an ideal fit for the Bears, especially with Chicago’s recent release of Tommie Harris."

    The Bears desperately need an OT, but McShay and Banks both admit that Sherrod is a bit of a reach at 29.

30. New York Jets (Needs: OLB, NT, DE, WR, OT/OG)

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    COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 07:  Defensive tackle Phil Taylor #11 of the Baylor Bears in action during the game against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Columbia, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Rang: Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

    Kiper: Rahim Moore, S, UCLA

    McShay: Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

    Kirwan: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

    Wyche: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

    Banks: Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

    Braun: Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

    Consensus: Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

    Runner-Up: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

    Third-Party Analysis: Kiper’s being stubborn here.

    The Jets need to address their defensive line if they want to continue defending as they have been the past few seasons. Kris Jenkins has not played more than six games in three years, and Taylor is the type of stout, wide tackle who could replicate what he does.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers (Needs: OT/OG, CB, NT, WR, TE)

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    Rang: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

    Kiper: Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor

    McShay: Orlando Franklin, OG, Miami (FL)

    Kirwan: Danny Watkins, G/C, Baylor

    Wyche: Ben Ijalana, OL, Villanova

    Banks: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

    Braun: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida

    Consensus: Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor

    Runner-Up: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida

    Third-Party Analysis: Pittsburgh could use help just about anywhere on the offensive line, and while Pouncey would make the better story, it’s quite possible that Watkins would be the better fit.

    The Baylor guard is versatile, mature and tough, and he would step in from Day 1 next to last year’s top pick Maurkice Pouncey.

32. Green Bay Packers (Needs: DE, OLB, OG, WR, RB)

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    Rang: Martez Wilson, ILB, Illinois

    Kiper: Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona

    McShay: Brooks Reed, DE/OLB, Arizona

    Kirwan: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

    Wyche: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

    Banks: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT/DE, Temple

    Braun: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

    Consensus: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT/DE, Temple

    Runner-Up: Brooks Reed, DE/OLB, Arizona

    Third-Party Analysis: I love the Wilkerson pick for the Packers. I’ve had it in each of my mock drafts so far. The Temple star is big, productive and exceedingly athletic. His versatility projects him well to any defensive front in the NFL.

    The biggest question mark now regards his availability. The closer we get to the draft, the more it looks like his potential will have him off the board closer to the middle of the first round.

    If he’s gone, a player like Brooks Reed becomes a viable option to take some of the pass-rushing pressure off Clay Matthews. McShay believes Reed has the “quick feet, violent hands and relentlessness it takes to succeed as a 3-4 outside linebacker.”