2011 NFL Mock Draft: A 1st-Round Mock Draft for People with Common Sense

J. BatovskyCorrespondent IApril 28, 2011

2011 NFL Mock Draft: A 1st-Round Mock Draft for People with Common Sense

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers scrambles against Brandon Bair #88 of the Oregon Ducks during the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Common sense isn't as common as many people believe it to be. Nowhere is this truer than in an NFL team's front office.

    For many of these "professionals," watching tape and using common sense take a back seat to the NFL scouting combine, a player's private workout or colleges' pro days, awards, hype and recommendations that decision-makers get from college coaches or others close to a college program.

    In my eyes, there are five things that are important when examining a potential draft pick.

     

    Game-Day Performance

    How has this guy played on the field? Does he give you the desired results? Does he take plays off?

     

    Practice Habits

    What does this guy bring to the team at practice? Does he put in extra work in the film room/weight room and is he on time and reliable? Do the other players enjoy being around him?

     

    Health

    Has he been a durable player, and when hurt does he play through it? Are there any major red flags as to his physical health?

     

    Compatibility and Coachability

    Do his skills fit your scheme? How developed is he in his technique? Is he open to criticism? Can he handle the complexity of your playbook?

     

    Character

    Does this guy think the world revolves around him? Is he respectful to everyone including opponents? Does he have his own little entourage? Does he constantly make excuses? What kinds of decisions does he make on and off the field? Is it about him or the team?

     

    That is a common-sense approach to drafting an NFL player. I'll never be swayed if one guy runs a 4.42 40 and another runs it in 4.52 if the "slower player" dominated the competition in college. If you can get a release off the line, run crisp routes and have great hands, you're my guy.

    We've all seen what happens when teams fall in love with the workout warriors...B-U-S-T.

    I have included a few trades in my first round because they make sense for the teams involved.

    Welcome to my world.

1. Carolina Panthers: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07:  Marcell Dareus #57 of the Alabama Crimson Tide sacks quarterback Jarrett Lee #12 of the Louisiana State University Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Imag
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Panthers are in a tough spot. I can't argue with that. They will make it even tougher by making the pick everyone is anticipating.

    Selecting a quarterback with massive character questions first overall is dangerous in itself not only for the team, but also for the franchise as a whole. Add to it that Cam Newton has no experience in an offense as complicated as the one he will be trying to learn in the NFL. Can he make his reads and make quick decisions? I'm not so sure.

    People seem to forget that two much more NFL-ready quarterbacks will be at the top of the draft in 2012. This year's presumed top man Andrew Luck from Stanford and Matt Barkley from USC should both available.

    The Panthers are better off selecting Marcell Dareus to shore up the middle of that defense and giving Jimmy Clausen a full season under center. If Clausen doesn't perform, the Panthers switch to plan B in 2012.

    See what I mean? Common sense.

2. Denver Broncos: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10: Nick Fairley #90 of the Auburn Tigers sacks Darron Thomas #1 of the Oregon Ducks in the fourth quarter of the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. (Ph
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The Broncos were hoping that Marcell Dareus was going to be here for their pick. Common sense stole him from the Mile High City. So where does that leave them?

    Regardless of the fact that Dareus is off the board, the Broncos' primary need is still defensive tackle. With new coach John Fox switching back to a 4-3 scheme, having playmakers at defensive tackle is essential. Look what Detroit and Tampa Bay were able to do last season by adding some talented interior defensive linemen.

    Some people may feel this is too high for Fairley. I wholeheartedly disagree. There is always a question about so-called one-hit wonders like Fairley. In Fairley's case that one hit was a chart-topper.

    He has a bit of a mean streak to him as well, so he could help turn that Broncos defense back into an Orange Crush.

3. Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, OLB, Teaxas A&M

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    ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  Jordan Jefferson #9 of the Louisiana State University Tigers throws under pressure from Von Miller #40 of the Texas A&M Aggies during the AT&T Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on January 7, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by C
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    The Bills are here at No. 3 with a slightly different view of those teams above them. Having Cam Newton available with this pick wasn't expected, but it really doesn't change their strategy.

    Quarterback isn't as pressing of a need as the outside linebacker position and more importantly a pass rusher. That allows them to have no qualms about picking Von Miller with this pick.

    Some people have graded Miller the highest of any player in this draft. His speed, athleticism and dominant pass rush will give the Bills exactly what they need.

    One interesting note was that Miller chose to go to the Senior Bowl when he was under no obligation to do so. He was already going to be a high pick, but he participated anyway and dominated all week long showcasing his focus, hard work and competitive nature.

4. Cincinnati Bengals: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

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    TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 28:  Quarterback Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Missouri Tigers throws a pass during the Insight Bowl against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Sun Devil Stadium on December 28, 2010 in Tempe, Arizona.  The Hawkeyes defeated the Tigers 27-24. (Photo by
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    This might be a bit of a surprise to some people. Virtually everyone I see has Gabbert going No. 5 to Arizona. Carson Palmer is done in Cincinnati. He wants out plain and simple. The front office could make it a smooth process or they could botch it up like they do with pretty much everything else.

    You're probably wondering what about A.J. Green? If you have no one to throw him the ball, he would become like one of those wooden duck decoys. Instead you'll have a new, young quarterback that will have a solid running game and can get the ball to your talented young tight end.

    There will be a number of very good wide receivers available at the top of Round 2, so the Bengals can nab one there if they so choose.

    At No. 4 Gabbert is exactly what the Bengals need.

5. Arizona Cardinals: Robert Quinn, OLB, North Carolina

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    CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 07:  Thaddeus Lewis #9 of the Duke Blue Devils is sacked by Robert Quinn #42 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at Kenan Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    I think the Cardinals brass may have just soiled themselves. No Blaine Gabbert? They forgot that this is my world of common sense.

    I'm sure the Cardinals will quickly get over their disappointment and get on with their decision. Obviously Cam Newton is still there, but Gabbert was the guy they wanted if they were to pick a quarterback here.

    What the Cardinals have been sorely lacking is any semblance of a consistent pass rush. That's why they made the decision to take Robert Quinn.

    Yes, it's that Robert Quinn, the guy who was suspended for all of 2010 by the NCAA for taking benefits from an agent and lying to NCAA investigators. That was something he did, not necessarily who he is. From all other accounts he works hard and has overcome a lot of adversity in his life. 

    His skills perfectly fit the Cardinals scheme, and he is a relatively easy choice here.

6. Cleveland Browns: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

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    AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 13:  A.J. Green #8 of the Georgia Bulldogs fails to pull in this reception against Richard Samuel #22 of 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

    Is it just me or does it seem like A.J. Green is actually flying in that picture?

    After some modest success in 2010, Cleveland's Colt McCoy needs a few offensive weapons to see if he is going to be the guy in Cleveland for a while. Taking wide receiver A.J. Green here at No. 6 is a good start.

    Green is off the charts athletically and has the experience of playing in a pro-style passing attack at Georgia. As with most young receivers, he can get a little lazy at times and isn't always crisp with his routes.

    That doesn't mean he's a Randy Moss-type deciding which snaps he should actually play. From all indications Green is well grounded and does not resemble anything close to a diva on the field or off.

    The Browns will have the opportunity to address their needs at defensive line, offensive tackle or cornerback at the top of Round 2.

7. San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

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    BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 20:  Patrick Peterson #7 of the Louisiana State University Tigers nearly intercepts a pass in the final seconds against Markeith Summers #16 and Korvic Neat #28 of the Ole Miss Rebels as time expired at Tiger Stadium on November
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    With only one quarterback, David Carr, under contract for 2011, there is obviously a big need at QB for the Niners. They're not comfortable with Cam Newton here, so they chose to go with the best player on their draft board.

    Patrick Peterson could easily have gone in the top five. He is rated by many as a top-three player. San Francisco was terrible against the pass last season, so adding a shutdown-type of corner will give their defense a huge boost.

    He has everything you want physically in a cornerback, but he also has the mental makeup to be successful. Peterson works hard, is extremely confident in his abilities and displays a very short memory after getting beaten on a play.

    Jim Harbaugh is using common sense here. This is a solid pick.

8. Tennessee Titans: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

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    AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 18:  Michael Dyer #5 of the Auburn Tigers against Da'Quan Bowers #93 of the Clemson Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    All things being equal, Da'Quan Bowers would not be around for this pick. He would have been taken in the top four. Unfortunately for Bowers, things aren't equal.

    While he has as much talent as any other player in the draft, he has a medical red flag. Bowers tore the meniscus in his left knee. While the rehab seems to have gone well, there have been reports about additional issues that have come up.

    Earlier today in an interview with National Football Post, Bowers refuted claims some have made about the integrity of that knee including the need for microfracture surgery and that he's prone to arthritis:

    "It's all overblown. None of that stuff is true. My knee wasn't as bad as people made it seem. I'm not going to dwell on that. The organizations know. They have every medical record. They know what type of player I am. My film speaks for itself. There's no reason for any team not to have me on their draft board."

    Bowers is a high-character guy, an extremely hard worker and a good teammate. I'll take his word for it here.

9. St. Louis Rams (from Dallas): Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

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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

    This is my very first detour in the draft order. The Cowboys traded out of this spot to allow the Rams to move up and snatch a weapon for quarterback Sam Bradford away from the Washington Redskins picking at No. 10.

    The Cowboys were willing to move back a few spots because they were well aware they would still be able get one of several players they wanted at offensive tackle or defensive end at No. 14.

    The Rams getting Julio Jones here is a coup. He was a guy they coveted, but figured the Redskins were going to take him at No. 10. When the opportunity to move up arose, the Rams snatched it.

    I hear these words a lot when people talk about Julio Jones: work ethic, fearless, solid, tenacious blocker, physical, playmaker and toughness. There are more, but I'm going to stop right there.

    The point is that there isn't much Jones doesn't do well. In fact he can also help immediately in the return game.

10. Washington Redskins: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

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    LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 30: Cornerback Prince Amukamara #21 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers breaks up a pass intended wide receiver Wes Kemp #8 of the during second half action of their game at Memorial Stadium on October 30, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    With the massive ego that Mike Shanahan has, there is no doubt in my mind that he would seriously consider Cam Newton here. I refer to Shanahan's ego because he believes he could build a castle out of a pile of dung. Daniel Snyder would probably pay him to do it too.

    Common sense says Newton isn't the guy here. A guy they had targeted, Julio Jones, just went to the Rams. Washington then has to weigh their need versus best player on the board scenario. They need help with the pass rush, but they also need guys that can cover.

    The choice here is easy for me. Prince is coming to Washington.

    He has great size and speed and is aggressive. Amukamara has the ability to play various coverages and techniques quite well, and he has a nose for the football. He's everything you want as a cornerback in the NFL.

    Just as an aside, the words common sense (in that order) are foreign to 'Skins owner Daniel Snyder, so I'm insanely confident this won't be their choice.

11. Houston Texans: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Jordan Webb #2 of the Kansas Jayhawks is sacked by Aldon Smith #85 of the Missouri Tigers during the game on November 27, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Houston, we have a problem. The problem is that the guy the Texans wanted just went to the Redskins. So, where do they go from here?

    The consolation prize for the Texans is Aldon Smith. They project Missouri's DE Aldon Smith as an outside linebacker making him their choice at No. 11.

    If Connor Barwin, who I was high on last year, is back healthy, pairing him with Smith on the outside should cause a lot of problems for opponent's blocking schemes. I still haven't even mentioned Mario Williams. Block that!

    Smith's biggest weakness right now is that he needs to get stronger. I'm pretty sure that's something he's been working on and will continue to work on. He's not a lazy hump.

12. San Diego Chargers (from Minnesota): J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

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    MADISON, WI - SEPTEMBER 18: J.J. Watt #99 of the Wisconsin Badgers hits Steven Threet #14 of the Arizona State Sun Devils at Camp Randall Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin. Wisconsin defeated Arizona State 20-19. (Photo by Jonathan Danie
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Vikings took a look around and chose this as the way to go. I don't really blame them. Had Aldon Smith still been in this spot, they may have made him their choice.

    The Chargers looked at their board and J.J. Watt was their guy. The previous trade by Dallas muddied the waters as to if Watt would make it to No. 18. A.J. Smith didn't think so. He saw the Cowboys snapping up Watt at No. 14, so he pulled the trigger.

    J.J. Watt is a prototypical 3-4 defensive end. I've heard a few people say that he's a little light. My response to that is, "You have a weight room right?" See it's just , common sense.

    Watt is exactly where he needs to be physically and mentally. You can read his scouting reports, but he does everything well, and is always working to get better. Just follow him on Twitter @JJWatt and you'll see what I mean.

    He lives by the mantra Dream Big, Work Hard.

13. Detroit Lions: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

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    The Lions obviously have numerous needs, but with the top cornerbacks off the board they switched their focus to the offensive line, more specifically offensive tackle.

    Tyron Smith ranks highly, but the Lions just love the makeup of Boston College's Anthony Castonzo. He is the most well-rounded of the top prospects and his intelligence and strong work ethic don't hurt either.

    Castonzo is another in a line of Boston College linemen, both offensive and defensive, that are tough, hardworking and will hit you in the mouth more than once..

    That attitude is one that the Lions have lacked. They got some of it back last year on defense and now they'll got some on offense as well.

14. Dallas Cowboys (from St. Louis): Tyron Smith, OT, USC

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 26:   Quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans throws a pass as Tyron Smith #70 blocks Jesse Feagin #98 of  the Washington State Cougars during the second quarter of the college football game at the Los Angeles Memorial C
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    San Diego out maneuvered Dallas to get JJ Watt at No. 12, but the Cowboy's next choice was still there for the taking.

    Tyron Smith is one of the youngest players in the draft, but he still played three seasons at USC. The majority of his snaps were on the right side in college, but most think he projects as a left-tackle in the NFL.

    Smith played light in college, but weighed in at 307 lbs. at the Combine. Unfortunately he was unable to work out as he was still recovering from a knee injury.

    The bottom line is this. Smith is extremely athletic and has the rare body control and foot quickness of elite left-tackles. He's gotten bigger and stronger since the college season ended which shows he's willing to work.

    He has unlimited potential.

15. Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey, C, Florida

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    NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 01:  Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators hugs teammate Mike Pouncey #55 after scoring a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisana Superdome on January 1, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    The Dolphins are looking for a running back. Picking any here would be a real reach. Trading back and still hoping to snag Mark Ingram or Mikel LeShoure is a possibility.

    While Mike Pouncey is not his twin brother (or is he?), he is still a pretty good football player. The Dolphins have needs at both center and guard, so this guy would be ideal.

    Pouncey is athletic and versatile and equally good as a run or a pass blocker. He has had some issues making shotgun snaps, so that is always a consideration when deciding where he's going to play.

    He's hard working, physical and always plays to the whistle.

    Definitely a solid pick.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 16:  Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans eludes the rush of Cameron Jordan #97 of the California Golden Bears during the first quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 16, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Har
    Harry How/Getty Images

    For the Jaguars, need and the best player available converge for this pick.

    Aaron Kampman was brought in last year and provided a spark to the Jags pass rush. Unfortunately he tore his ACL for the second time and his playing future is in doubt. Cameron Jordan is exactly what this defense needs.

    Jordan has a well-rounded game and is versatile, so he should have no problem playing in the Jaguars 4-3 scheme.He should be able to come in and contribute to his new team right from the start. He has evolved into a hard-working, energetic and fun guy to be around.

    Jordan has great bloodlines as his father Steve played tight end in Minnesota for 13 seasons.

    This pick makes perfect sense, common sense even.

17. New England Patriots: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

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    BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 06:  Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide avoids a tackle by Karnell Hatcher #37 of the Louisiana State University Tigers at Tiger Stadium on November 6, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Ima
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    This pick came down to three positions: running back, defensive end and outside linebacker. As always the Patriots could have moved back, but they felt they could get the player they wanted here and move back from the 27th or 33rd picks if they wanted.

    Mark Ingram is one of the top two running backs in this draft. The odds are he would not have made it to No. 27, so Bill Belichick selected him here.

    While the 2010 season was a little disappointing for Ingram, he continued to prove why he will have a successful career in the NFL.

    Ingram has ideal size, superb vision and is great between the tackles. He does lack the home run threat many teams covet, but his style fits well in the Patriot's offensive system. He catches the ball well and protects it even better.

    He is an ideal fit with the Patriots.

18. Minnesota Vikings (from San Diego): Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers scrambles against the Oregon Ducks during the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Peters
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    I have made some of my feelings known about Cam Newton up to this point, and I don't back off of any of what I said. I do think that at No. 18, the Vikings should make this pick.

    I agree  that Newton is an amazing athlete while also bringing good footwork and mechanics to the table. The mental part of the game is where he may struggle the most.

    Both the college and pro games have a limited number of truly qualified quarterback coaches and mentors. That's one of the reasons why you see so many players with so much promise fail miserably. Minnesota needs to have someone that will strictly focus their attention on Cam Newton. That is the only way I believe he will succeed.

    Attention must also be given to what Cam is doing off the field and who he is doing it with. You might ask what is there to do in Minnesota that he could get in trouble doing? Go ask Jared Allen and Duante Culpepper and see what they have to say.

    If Newton can progress significantly in the mental aspect of the game, the Vikings will have gotten a draft day steal.

19. New York Giants: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

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    Besides Muhammad Wilkerson, Liuget may be the best defensive player to go in the first round you've never heard of.

    As a Wisconsinite, I have seen this guy up close and personal. Not as personal as Wisconsin's offensive line, but close. He has been a disruptive force in the Big Ten for several years now.

    Liuget is versatile and can play either tackle in a 4-3 scheme or possibly even end in a 3-4. He is explosive off the line and completely relentless.

    Where Liuget stands out over other defensive tackles is in knowing how to use his hands (I just hope he didn't learn it from Albert Haynesworth). He is able to disengage blockers quickly which is essential for interior pass rushers.

    This is the perfect fit for both player and team.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

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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

    There are a few teams that will be surprised that Kerrigan is still on the board at No. 20. The Buccaneers are one of those teams.

    The Bucs are ecstatic to see Kerrigan fall to them, and they have absolutely no reservations about making this pick.

    While Kerrigan may be slightly limited athletically, his preparation, instincts, intelligence, motor and leadership more than make up for it.

    Kerrigan takes well to coaching, so he will work hard and do whatever he is asked. He's a team guy, and it's never about him. All he will do is help your team win games.

    Who wouldn't want a guy like that?

21. Kansas City Chiefs: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

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    The are no wide receivers available at this point that make any sense. Going for one here would be a massive reach. We're used to having one of those in every first round, but without Al Davis around who's going to make one of that proportion? It won't be the Chiefs.

    Muhammad Wilkerson and Adrian Clayborn are possibilities here, but offensive tackle is where they see a prime need. Charlie Weis is now the offensive coordinator, so he needs some big bodies up front so he can work his magic.The Chiefs feel Nate Solder has the biggest upside of the available prospects

    Solder began his career at Colorado as a tight end, but it didn't take too long to figure out a position switch was a good idea. Solder progressed so well that, for the past three seasons, he has been the starter at left tackle.

    I see people saying that his height may be a detriment at this point, but they fail to realize that he will be going against NFL linebackers and defensive ends and that, on average, they are taller than their collegiate counterparts. Sure he's taller, but so is everyone else.

    Solder needs refinement in his technique and footwork, but he's coachable and he'll be just fine.

22. Indianapolis Colts: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

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    TAMPA, FL -  JANUARY 1: Lineman Gabe Carimi #68 of the Wisconsin Badgers sets to block  against the Tennessee Volunteers in the 2008 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium on January 1, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  The Volunteers won 21 - 17. (Photo by Al Mess
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    This is a tough decision for Indy as there are two players available that fit their needs at offensive and defensive tackle. In the end there can be only one.

    Gabe Carimi is the choice here. He's not a pretty boy, and he doesn't pretend to be one. I've heard some people say he's a jerk and he's arrogant. When other players have said similar things coming out, they have been hailed as "supremely confident in their abilities". Apparently 300+ lb. Jewish guys are just arrogant. Who knew?

    Other people don't believe he can play left tackle in the NFL. When Peyton Manning is dropping back, you don't normally need five seconds to throw the ball.

    One of my all-time favorites is when people say that they see him on the ground a lot on film. They obviously don't understand the concept of the zone blocking scheme. On every run there will be offensive linemen on the ground, by design.

    At least the Colts know what they're doing, and that's all that matters. They clearly have common sense.

23. Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 15:  J.C. Brignone #70 and Derek Sherrod #79of the Mississippi State Bulldogs get ready on the line of scrimmage during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 15, 2008 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    With Carimi now off the board, Sherrod is the guy for the Eagles. He'll most likely start on the right side with a possible switch to the left in the future if all goes well.

    Sherrod is an athlete pure and simple. He has excellent footwork to go along with superb body control and positioning. Sherrod prides himself on understanding body positioning and blocking angles to get his job done more efficiently.

    Sherrod is a great kid and already quite mature which is always nice to see coming out of any college program.

    He will need some coaching to improve his body positioning and leverage and more time in the weight room to increase his overall strength.

    Andy Reid is going to love this kid.

24. New Orleans Saints: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

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    IOWA CITY, IA - OCTOBER 23: Defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn #94 of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes puts pressure on quarterback Scott Tolzien #16 of the Wisconsin Badgers during the first half of play at Kinnick Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Iowa City,
    David Purdy/Getty Images

    Sean Payton and the Saints were overjoyed when they saw Clayborn slip past the Colts and Eagles. He's exactly the type of player they are looking for.

    While he's not a dominant jump off the the page kind of player, he's solid in just about every aspect of his game. He's not going to beat himself.

    He's obviously played against a high level of competition in the Big Ten, so he's pretty much seen it all. Nothing he sees on the field will shock him.

    He uses his hands well to shed blockers, but he needs to be more aware and be able to read and react more quickly. Clayborn also needs to improve his strength and use of leverage.

    Clayborn is smart, tough and durable, but he will probably need some extra "encouragement" to keep that body of his in top shape.

25. Seattle Seahawks: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

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    BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 07:  Wide receiver Jeff Fuller #8 of the Texas A&M Aggies makes a reception against the defense of Jimmy Smith #3 of the Colorado Buffaloes during NCAA college football action at Folsom Field on November 7, 2009 in Boulder, Colorado
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The masses in the Pacific Northwest will be screaming for Jake Locker here, and it is a possibility. He may be the safer pick, but Jimmy Smith has virtually no ceiling. His potential is practically limitless.

    Before we go any further, everyone is aware of his off the field soap opera part of his life. It really was like some sort of bad movie. All of it happened several years ago, but it is an interesting saga. You can look it up to get the gory details. Smith seems to have gotten his life back in order since all of that transpired.

    He has great size and speed and is versatile. Smith can play man, press as well as zone coverage. He also has the instincts needed to be a successful corner in the NFL. While he didn't intercept a lot of passes at Colorado, he certainly has the ability to do so.

    Smith has matured as a football player as evidenced by the leadership he showed at Colorado and his dedication to his studies in the film room.

    Common sense says he's worth the risk here.

26. Baltimore Ravens: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

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    ATHENS, GA - NOVEMBER 27:  Justin Houston #42 of the Georgia Bulldogs sacks quarterback Tevin Washington #13 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Sanford Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Ozzie Newsome is salivating at the moment. Not because he's hungry but because Houston is now in Baltimore.

    Teams that play the 3-4 are always looking for those pass rushing outside linebackers. Houston played defensive end at Georgia until the Bulldogs switched over to the 3-4 in 2010. In that respect Houston already has some experience as an OLB, but he is still a work in progress.

    One thing just about everyone agrees on is that Houston is ready to contribute immediately as a pass rusher. He still needs to work on his coverage skills as well as improving his strength and technique against the run.

    Being able to draft an immediate contributor at No. 26 overall is a beautiful thing.

27. Buffalo Bills (from Atlanta): Jake Locker, QB, Washington

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    LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 2:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies throws a pass against the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 2, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.    (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The Falcons smartly chose to trade out of this spot and allow the Bills to draft their quarterback. The Falcons will now own the Bills second round selection No. 34 overall.

    The Bills got the quarterback they were looking for in Jake Locker. He may be the only one of the top quarterbacks in this draft that will have the luxury of being able to learn the position before ever having to be thrown into the fire. Ryan Fitzpatrick is the starter, and that is undisputed.

    Locker is extremely athletic and can run with the best of the quarterbacks in this draft. I would still consider him a quarterback first and runner second. He played on some really bad teams at Washington, so his statistics aren't as pretty as those of some of other prospects.

    He's got the arm strength for the NFL and throws a nice deep ball. He struggles with his footwork which causes his accuracy to be hot and cold, but his delivery is smooth. Did you get all that?

    He is the only of the First Round quarterbacks that has significant experience playing both under center and in the shotgun. Locker will need to be coached up both on his footwork and reading and recognition of coverages to have significant success.

    Buffalo made a shrewd move here, and common sense says they have a keeper.

28. New England Patriots: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple

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    There is always the possibility of the Patriots trading out of here if someone is looking to nab one of the other quarterbacks or possibly Cam Heyward or even Aaron Williams. Instead Bill Belichick chose to stick here and select Wilkerson.

    Wilkerson played defensive tackle in college, but many believe he has all the requisite skills to play at end in the 3-4 scheme. In New England he won't have to step in right away and will be able to learn the end position without much pressure on him.

    He's going to need some work in the weight room and learn how to use his hands more effectively to shed blocks. With refinement of some his techniques, he could be creating big headaches for teams as soon as this season.

    While the reward may be a year or two away, there seems to be very little risk here.

29. Chicago Bears: Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina

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    CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 7:  Marvin Austin #9 of the North Carolina Tar Heels pressures Thaddeus Lewis #9 of the Duke Blue Devils at Kenan Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    When you're picking at this spot in the draft, you have the room to take a chance now and then. Common sense says the Bears should pick Marvin Austin. I think I actually felt some of you cringe when I said that, but you'll come around.

    Austin didn't play at all for North Carolina in 2010, and it wasn't due to an injury. He was suspended by the NCAA for accepting benefits from an agent. He did come back to play in the East-West Shrine Game and was in shape which was a good sign.

    Austin's maturity has been questioned as have been his focus and consistency. He has all the physical tools to be a successful d-lineman in the NFL, but he will need strong leaders around him. I think that is taken care of with Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and Julius Peppers playing on the same side of the ball.

    Austin is a classic boom or bust guy. If you hit on him, the NFC North just got a bit more physical. If you miss, you'll hear a sigh of relief from the Lions, Vikings and Packers.

30. New York Jets: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor

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

    The Jets could trade back here, but there are a couple players they like. Their major needs are pretty much all on defense. One player on their board stands out for good reason. The guy is ginormous. Phil Taylor is a total beast.

    Guys as big as Taylor, 6'3 335 lbs., don't grow on trees. Ones that can play like Taylor are endangered species. He is an ideal fit for a 3-4 team in need of a true nose tackle. The Jets have Kris Jenkins, but as we already know it's only a matter of time until he goes down hard.

    Taylor had some issues early in his college career while at Penn State and was dismissed from the team. That is well into his past, and Taylor has turned the page.

    Now Taylor needs some work on his technique. With a little coaching this guy could end up being a real force for the Jets.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor

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    The odds are that Mike Tomlin and the Steelers will be choosing between offensive line and cornerback at this spot. I'm sure they will entertain offers, but I think they know exactly where they would like to go.

    How's that for back-to-back Baylor draftees? Watkins is an interesting story and ideal for a team like the Steelers. He only started playing football four years ago at Butte College in California. After two seasons there, he went to Baylor for two more seasons.

    The odd thing about it all is that he is now 26 years old. Some might say he's too old, but teams like the Steelers realize he is also mature. He was a firefighter and THEN became a football player. You don't see that everyday.

    Watkins should be ready to go from day one. Give him his playbook, get him in the weight room, coach him up and there you have an instant starter on the offensive line.

    Okay so maybe it's not that easy, but for some guys it's close.

32. Green Bay Packers: Brooks Reid, OLB, Arizona

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    Being in the position the Packers find themselves in should make all Packer fans around the world smile. Picking No. 32 is almost like receiving a second Lombardi Trophy, almost.

    This pick is prime real estate for trading, and we all know that Ted Thompson gets a giddy feeling when he gets a call on draft day. He may get giddy, but I doubt you'd ever hear him giggle. That's okay though because Thompson could probably pluck a starting outside linebacker out of the local roach motel.

    As with every team, the Packers have some needs, but they also have the luxury drafting the top player left on their board. I think everyone that followed the Packers saw just how important having a plethora of pass-rushing outside linebackers is in their 3-4 scheme. Without Frank Zombo and Erik Walden where would the Packers have been?

    Ted Thompson's choice here is Brooks Reid from Arizona. It's not because he looks like Clay Matthews or has a similar story. It's because Reid can run and rush the passer effectively. If he doesn't play much initially from scrimmage, watch the punt and kick coverage teams. He'll be on them, all of them.

Stay Tuned for Round 2

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    RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 28:  Christian Ponder #7 of the Florida State Seminoles drops back to throw a pass in pressure with Terrell Manning #35 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack giving chase during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium on October 28, 2010
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Round 1 of Common Sense Drafting is in the books. It will be interesting to see if any of these NFL front office people have learned anything since last year. I think it's highly unlikely. It's possible Ted Thompson may have learned how to smile, but only in front of a mirror in a locked room with no windows.

    Beggars can't be choosers I guess. But why can't they? Aren't people always telling you that you can be whatever you want to be? So, if you're a beggar why not be a chooser? It's a free country.

    I'm not sure what happened there, but look for Round 2 of Common Sense Drafting on Friday. I'll also be be posting other things as well in the upcoming days.

    Tell your friends about Common Sense Drafting and what it can do for them. They'll appreciate it almost as much as I will.