2011 NFL Mock Draft: Mocking the First Round (Picks 17-32)

Sean Reid@@Seanzie_Contributor IApril 10, 2011

2011 NFL Mock Draft: Mocking the First Round (Picks 17-32)

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27:  Cam Newton looks on during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    It's time for part two of my 2011 NFL Mock Draft. In part one, Cam Newton went first overall, and the Bills probably screwed something up.

    At the beginning of part two, we have the New England Patriots with their first of two first-round picks. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that they'll trade one, if not both, of their picks because that's simply what they do. Nevertheless, that doesn't translate to Mock Drafts, so I'm going to continue to pretend as though trades don't happen in the NFL Draft.

    Without further adieu, let's get into part two.

No. 17: New England Patriots (via Oakland Raiders): OLB/DE Ryan Kerrigan (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

    Needs: WR, OL, DE, OLB, CB

    Previous Record: 14-2

    The Patriots are perhaps the best team in the NFL at manipulating the draft. They consistently move up and down, gaining more picks and getting versatile players that fit their system. It's like clockwork under Bill Belichick. This year though, the Patriots have eight picks in the first four rounds, so perhaps they'll stay put for once.

    Statistically, the Patriots had a bad defense in terms of yardage. However, the Patriots committed an astoundingly low 10 turnovers as a team, and forced 38, ranking best in the league. What's that mean? The offense is so efficient that the defense is put on the field more often than they'd like, and teams rack up meaningless yardage against them. Still, the Patriots were dreadful at getting pressure on the QB. Because of Belichick's schematic genius, this team can manufacture pressure, but when Mike Wright leads your team with 5.5 sacks you need an upgrade. To that end, I think the Patriots will draft hybrid OLB/DE Ryan Kerrigan from Purdue.

    Kerrigan is a surprising athlete who has a nonstop motor. He's faster than most people think, and is able to get off the line extremely quickly. This translates well when moving from a 4-3 DE to a 3-4 OLB. I think he'll quickly become the best pass-rusher the Patriots have.

No. 18: San Diego Chargers: OT Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin)

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    PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Offensive lineman Gabe Carimi #68 of the Wisconsin Badgers warms up prior to playing the TCU Horned Frogs in the 97th Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Needs: OL, DE, ILB, CB

    Previous Record: 9-7

    The Chargers were a statistical anomaly in 2010; they were No. 1 in both offensive and defensive yardage and yet missed the playoffs. How is this possible? A little bit of bad luck and the inability to create turnovers. Another problem the Chargers have? The inability to keep Philip Rivers upright. The QB was sacked 38 times last year, which is poor compared to other elite passers like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. San Diego has needed an upgrade at right tackle for a long time, and I think they select monstrous OT Gabe Carimi to shore up that side of the line.

    Carimi has the Wisconsin/Big Ten pedigree, and is an absolute load at 6'7" and 314 lbs. He'll protect Rivers and help Ryan Mathews have an even bigger impact in his second year.

No. 19: New York Giants: OLB Akeem Ayers (UCLA)

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    PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Linebacker Akeem Ayers #10 of the UCLA Bruins in the game with the Houston Cougars at the Rose Bowl on September 18, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  UCLA won 31-13.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Needs: OL, OLB

    Previous Record: 10-6

    What the Giants really need is for Eli Manning to stop throwing interceptions like it's going out of style. Manning threw 25 INTs last year, effectively destroying the Giants' playoff hopes despite having such a talented and deep team around him. The Giants honestly don't have many needs outside of linebacker and getting a young offensive lineman to groom. OLB Akeem Ayers seems like a bit of a reach here, and I could see the Giants trading back to get him later, but Keith Bulluck is 34, and MLB Jonathan Goff was a bit underwhelming.

    Ayers can play all three LB positions and has played DE in the past, providing versatility that any NFL head coach loves to have. He's extremely athletic and instinctual. At times he has lapses in coverage and isn't as sure of a tackler as you would like, but he's the best option for what the Giants need.

No. 20: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DE Cameron Jordan (California)

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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

    Needs: WR, OL, DE, CB, S

    Previous Record: 10-6

    The Bucs are a young team on the upswing. Josh Freeman is for real, LeGarrette Blount seems like a keeper, and Mike Williams is a stud at WR. The triumverate is there. Still, the Bucs could use more WR depth and definitely need improvements on the interior of their OL and at RT. The biggest problem the Bucs had last year was an inability to rush the passer from their front four. Stylez G. White and Tim Crowder are simply not going to get it done. DE Cameron Jordan is easily the best DE prospect left on the board and helps in that regard.

    At 6'4", 287 lbs., Jordan has the size. He also ran a 4.37 second shuttle, presenting a big burst off of the edge. His presence, along with the health of Brian Brice and the overall solid depth of the DL will allow last year's No. 3 overall pick Gerald McCoy to flourish. In the Cover 2 scheme that the Bucs run, pressure from the line is put at a premium, and Jordan is a beast.

No. 21: Kansas City Chiefs: OLB/DE Brooks Reed (Arizona)

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05:  Defensive end Brooks Reed #42 of the Arizona Wildcats celebrates after stopping the USC Trojans on the final play on December 5, 2009 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. Arizona won 21-17.  (Photo by Ste
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Needs: WR, OL, NT, OLB, S

    Previous Record: 10-6

    The Chiefs were much-improved mostly because of the steady play of Matt Cassel. It's amazing how much QB play matters in the NFL nowadays. Still, the Chiefs need to give him more options to throw to outside of Dwayne Bowe, Tony Moeaki and Jamaal Charles. Another WR would be nice, but unless Torrey Smith makes an unforeseen jump to this point in the first round, I can't see a worthwhile one being chosen here. GM Scott Pioli is a smart guy; he's going to make the best pick based on value. Right now, that guy is OLB/DE Brooks Reed who is shooting up draft boards.

    Tamba Hali has been proven to be prolific as a pass-rusher, but there's a logjam of overachievers on the other side. Brooks Reed has moved from a second or third-round pick to a late-first based on his offseason body of work. The term "motor" gets thrown around a lot (I'm guilty), but this guy really does have no quit in his body. He's absolutely relentless and is a nightmare for offensive lineman. If he pans out like most think he will, Reed and Hali will be terrorizing QBs for years.

No. 22: Indianapolis Colts: OT Nate Solder (Colorado)

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    BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 04:  Brian Orakpo #98 of the Texas Longhorns rushes against Nate Solder #78 the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on October 4, 2008 in Boulder, Colorado. Texas defeated Colorado 38-14.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Needs: OL, DT, OLB, CB

    Previous Record: 10-6

    I've been saying it for a long time, but the Colts offensive line simply isn't as good as advertised. They seem to be able to mesh together a decent line filled with undersized guys who can pull quickly and work the trap runs that the Colts love, but they're simply overmatched most of the time. Peyton Manning is able to mask many of those deficiencies with his quick release and pocket presence, but as he enters the later stages of his career, protecting him because much more important.

    OT Nate Solder is a behemoth at 6'8", 320 lbs. However, he was a tight end coming into Colorado, and still retains a lot of his athleticism. He would be absolutely perfect for the Colts.

No. 23: Philadelphia Eagles: CB Jimmy Smith (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

    Needs: OL, ILB, CB

    Previous Record: 10-6

    The Eagles may be second to only the Patriots when it comes to the draft process. They always seem to get guys that make impacts early, and are adept at moving around in order to get the guys they need and pickup extra picks later in the draft. If they don't move though, they need to close the gaping hole on the other side of CB Asante Samuel. Jimmy Smith would go a big way in helping against the big-time passing offenses of the NFC East.

    Smith is a big, physical corner who could match up with the likes of Hakeem Nicks, Dez Bryant and Roy Williams. I think he's NFL ready, and the Eagles need someone who is.

No. 24: New Orleans Saints: DT Corey Liuget (Illinois)

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    Needs: DE, DT, OLB

    Previous Record: 11-5

    The Saints are a good all-around team with some young players waiting in the wings. However, outside of TE Jimmy Graham, they didn't really draft any impact players last year. I think the Saints could go in one of two directions: Mark Ingram or Corey Liuget. They can't go wrong either way. They have players at RB (Chris Ivory, Pierre Thomas, and Reggie Bush), but they don't have the stud workhorse they need. They also need help stopping the run and getting pressure up the middle. DT Corey Liuget could help in a rotation with Sedrick Ellis and Shaun Rogers.

    Liuget is projected to go higher by many, but I think that he may fall a bit, simply because I believe there are bigger needs and better players ahead of him. I don't see the next coming of Warren Sapp with this guy, but he is a solid pass-rushing DT. He would work well alongside Rogers.

No. 25 Seattle Seahawks: DT/DE Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple)

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    Needs: QB, WR, DE, DT, CB

    Previous Record: 7-9

    The Seahawks were the first team with a losing record to ever make the playoffs. That dubious distinction seemed much worse until they beat the Saints. I think the Seahawks are a solid team, but they have many needs on both sides of the ball. Mike Williams has been a revelation, but depth is weak outside of he and TE John Carlson in terms of playmakers. Corner is another need outside of Marcus Trufant after the trade of Josh Wilson. Still, I think the most glaring weakness is along Seattle's defensive front. The Seahawks run a strange 4-3/3-4 hybrid with four down linemen, but basically three DT's and one rush end. With guys like Kentwan Balmer and Jay Richardson starting down the stretch, it's a position that needs shoring up. DT Muhammad Wilkerson seems like the perfect guy for the system

    Wilkerson was a hybrid DE/DT in college, and is a lean 315 lbs. He has the ability to get after the quarterback (evidenced by his 9.5 sacks last year), and stuff the run (68 tackles). Again, he's another interior DL who falls a bit from where many people think he'll go. I think the amount of depth at the position dictates such a drop.

No. 26: Baltimore Ravens: DE Adrian Clayborn (Iowa)

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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

    Needs: DE, DT, CB

    Previous Record: 12-4

    The Ravens don't have a ton of needs, and I think they'll go for the BPA on defense this year. They could use a CB or even go for Mark Ingram, but with the precipitous drop of DE Adrian Clayborn—formerly projected as a top-10 pick—the Ravens will be in prime position to upgrade their defensive front.

    If Terrence Cody is able to show improvement and Sergio Kindle is able to come back from a skull fracture, the Ravens will continue to inject young talent into their still stout defense.

No. 27: Atlanta Falcons: RB Mark Ingram (Alabama)

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 26:  Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide rushes for a touchdown 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

    Needs: DE, DT, OLB

    Previous Record: 13-3

    Yes, I realize the Falcons are set at RB with Michael Turner and the solid Jason Snelling. But they simply are not in a position to pass up a talent like Alabama RB Mark Ingram. Turner has carried a huge load over the past three seasons, and based on what we know historically about RBs, his effectiveness is coming to an end sooner rather than later.

    Ingram is a RB very similar to Turner. Both have large legs, low centers of gravity and the uncanny ability to work through traffic with both power and shiftiness. In Atlanta, Ingram wouldn't have to carry the load immediately (like when he worked behind Glen Coffee as a freshman), and would be able to get 100 to 150 touches per season through his first couple seasons as a complimentary back. The Falcons are talented enough to keep him stabled for year or two.

No. 28: New England Patriots: OT Derek Sherrod (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

    Needs: WR, OL, DE, CB

    Previous Record: 14-2

    With Ryan Kerrigan already on board, the Patriots can look to fill some needs elsewhere. New England has some questions along the offensive line, with the re-signing of Matt Light still being an issue and the impending retirement of Stephen Neal. Plus, the Pats' OL was handled in the playoffs by the Jets, despite Rex Ryan's switch to three man rushes and more coverage-based looks for a majority of the second half. That said, I think the Patriots will take the best OL on the board, OT Derek Sherrod of Mississippi State.

    Sherrod has started 34 games over his collegiate career, and has been a run-blocking monster. I think he'd probably start on the right side, and Sebastian Vollmer would be moved to left tackle.

No. 29: Chicago Bears: CB Brandon Harris (Miami)

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    DURHAM, NC - OCTOBER 18:  Eron Riley #15 of the Duke Blue Devils grips the ball as he is tackled by Brandon Harris #1 of the Miami Hurricanes at Wallace Wade Stadium on October 18, 2008 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Needs: WR, OL, DT, CB, S

    Previous Record: 11-5

    The Bears were a surprising entrant into the NFC Championship game, and were it not for a Jay Cutler injury, they may have very well been in the Super Bowl. However, there's a void on the other side of Charles Tillman, and it's a hole I think the Bears would like to fill. CB Brandon Harris was called by Deion Sanders the best cornerback in the class. While I don't think that's necessarily true, Harris is an athlete who plays extremely fast in pads, and will be able to help cover guys like Percy Harvin and Greg Jennings in the NFC North. Plus, he's got the Miami defensive back pedigree.

No. 30 New York Jets: DT Phil Taylor (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

    Needs: DE, NT, OLB

    Previous Record: 11-5

    The Jets fell short of reaching the Super Bowl as boisterous head coach Rex Ryan predicted, but this is still a very good team with very few serious holes to fill. I think one place they'd really like to get stronger is at NT. Kris Jenkins hasn't been able to stay healthy, and Sione Pouha—while serviceable—is 32 years old. DT Phil Taylor is a wide-load who fits the bill of a space-eating, run-clogging 3-4 NT.

No. 31: Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Aaron Williams (Texas)

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    AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Cornerback Aaron Williams #4 of the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Needs: RB, OL, CB

    Previous Record: 12-4

    After the absolute surgeon work performed by Aaron Rodgers in the Super Bowl on the Steelers defensive backfield, it's high time the Steelers upgraded at CB. Ike Taylor is solid, but there's no one else worth a starting NFL job on the roster at CB. I'm not 100 percent solid on CB Aaron Williams of Texas, but he's the best CB still available, and he fulfills the positional need.

No. 32: Green Bay Packers: DT/DE Stephen Paea (Oregon State)

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    PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 06:  Derrick Coleman #33 of the UCLA Bruins runs away from Stephen Paea #54 of the Oregon State Beavers during the second quarter at the Rose Bowl on November 6, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Needs: RB, DE, OLB, S

    Previous Record: 10-6

    The Super Bowl Champions will come into the 2011 NFL season (assuming there is one) as the deepest team in the league. They feature enviable depth at nearly every position. Any pickups this offseason almost seem like the franchise is just bolstering and already impressive roster. There are rumors that Cullen Jenkins will not be returning, however. While Johnny Jolly and B.J. Raji are damn good players in their own right, the Packers would be missing a third piece of their defensive line. Enter DT/DE Stephen Paea.

    Paea is unbelievably strong, setting the record for bench press reps at the combine, benching 225 pounds an astounding 49 times. He reminds me a little of Haloti Ngata, and I think he might actually be an upgrade over Jenkins in the long run.


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    NEW YORK - APRIL 22:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell looks on as he stands on stage during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    So that's it, there's the last of the 32 picks of my mock draft. Obviously, there were some noticeable omissions, such as Jake Locker, Cameron Heyward, Justin Houston, Marvin Austin, Torrey Smith and Rahim Moore. I think those are all guys who can go in the first, but based on the way my mock draft was shaking out, I just didn't foresee them going there.

    The NFL Draft will be something to cherish this year, as there may not be any more football news for some time in the following weeks and months. It's difficult to think about a potential lack of football, but it's slowly becoming a reality.

    As always, it was fun to look at potential picks. I'm sure I'll get 90 percent of the picks wrong, and there will be 10+ trades completely making my mock draft look bad. I think there's only one certainty though.

    Whomever the Bills draft will be a bust.