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2011 NFL Draft: Top 25 Best Players Who Should Be Available on Day Two

Zach KruseSenior Analyst IJanuary 9, 2017

2011 NFL Draft: Top 25 Best Players Who Should Be Available on Day Two

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Running Backs Ryan Williams and Mikel Leshoure Top the List of Likely Day Two Talents in the 2011 NFL Draft

    What do Desean Jackson, Ray Rice, Sidney Rice, LaMarr Woodley and Greg Jennings all have in common?

    For starters, they've all been to the Pro Bowl, but each was also selected in the second round of the NFL draft.

    They are proof of the inexact science of the draft—the fact that the best players don't always get drafted in the first 32 picks. So while a big deal is always made over the first round of the draft, you can't overlook the next day of picks when looking for the next Pro Bowl draftee. 

    Here are 25 of the best prospects who should sneak out of the first round and into day two of the NFL draft.

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S Rahim Moore, UCLA

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    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    Important Measurables

    6-1, 196 pounds, 4.62-second 40-yard dash 

    Why he'll be available

    Moore is the best safety in this draft, but that doesn't guarantee that he goes in the first round. Unless a team desperately wants to upgrade the back line of their secondary, taking Moore in the first 32 picks is a reach. 

    Who might take him

    Minnesota Vikings: They had problems at safety throughout 2010 and could use another playmaker in the secondary with Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford within their division. 

    Jacksonville Jaguars: Safety ranks as one of their top needs, and he makes a lot of sense at No. 49. 

    New Orleans Saints: Definitely a long-shot to get to No. 57, but I doubt the Saints would pass on taking Moore. 

TE Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame

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    Important Measurables

    6-6, 265 pounds, 4.78-second 40-yard dash

    Why he'll be available

    Rudolph has the talent to make the first round, but there just isn't a big need at tight end for most of the teams picking towards the end of the round. A big target with reliable hands, he'll make a team picking on day two happy he fell. 

    Who might take him

    Denver Broncos: Not the most pressing need, but Denver's offense could use a pass-catching tight end for whoever is under center in 2011.

    Buffalo Bills: Like in Denver, tight end isn't the highest need on their list. If they are going with best player available, however, Rudolph fits that mold. 

    New York Giants: I can't see him getting to pick 52, but the Giants would have a replacement for Kevin Boss if he did.

DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State

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    Important Measurables

    6-1, 303 pounds, 49 bench-presses at 225 pounds (combine record)

    Why he'll be available

    Paea has a real shot at the first round, and he's not just a workout warrior—that strength transfers over to his tape. With such a deep class along the defensive line, however, it's likely that Paea will slip past the first 32 picks and into the early second round. 

    Who might take him

    New England Patriots: He could go off the board with the first pick of the second round if the Patriots decide to select a player at that spot. 

    Cincinnati Bengals: I think his best fit is at defensive end in a 3-4, but he could still be disruptive in Cincinnati's 4-3. 

    Buffalo Bills: His strength and surprising explosiveness off the ball makes him an ideal fit to play the five-technique. 


CB/S Aaron Williams, Texas

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    Important Measurables

    6-0, 205 pounds, 4.56-second 40-yard dash

    Why he'll be available

    The size and skill set suggests he should be in the first round discussion, but Williams' lack of a set position hurts his stock. A team on day two won't mind giving him time to figure out whether he fits best at safety or cornerback.

    Who might take him

    Dallas Cowboys: The secondary couldn't stop anyone in 2010 and a versatile player like Williams could bring aid.

    Houston Texans: The worst pass defense in the NFL needs all the help it can get.

    Detroit Lions: Williams would be another safe pick for a growing talent pool in Detroit. 



OT/G Marcus Cannon, TCU

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    Important Measurables

    6-5, 358 pounds, 33 bench-presses at 225 pounds

    Why he'll be available

    Don't let his massive frame fool you—Cannon is also a surprisingly good athlete and can move in space. Still, concerns about his overall awareness and conditioning will keep him out of the first round.

    Who might take him

    Indianapolis Colts: If the Colts don't get an offensive lineman in the first round, Cannon could be their guy in the second. 

    Minnesota Vikings: Is he any different than Phil Loadholt? Even with the comparison, Cannon would help upgrade a poor interior line.

    Seattle Seahawks: Cannon can help aid the Seahawks in rebuilding their offensive line long-term.


WR Randall Cobb, Kentucky

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    Important Measurables

    5-11, 196 pounds, 4.46-second 40-yard dash

    Why he'll be available

    Despite his ability to line up at receiver, running back, returner or quarterback, Cobb is still a reach in the first round. On day two, however, there might not be a more well-rounded prospect for teams to look at.

    Who might take him

    St. Louis Rams: With talented second year quarterback Sam Bradford at the helm, St. Louis needs to do all it can to give him ample weapons to work with.

    Jacksonville Jaguars: They are thin at receiver and Cobb probably has enough talent to start right away.

    Green Bay Packers: They'd likely have to trade up to get him, but the Packers would love to get the versatile Cobb to fill several roles in 2011.

RB Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Important Measurables

    5-9, 212 pounds, 4.61-second 40-yard dash

    Why he'll be available

    As it stands currently, Williams is at-worst the consensus No. 3 running back in this draft. With so many backs available in the middle rounds who can be good players, however, it's likely no team will reach to snag one in the first round. 

    Who might take him

    New England Patriots: They could use one of their two second round picks to solidify the running back position long-term.

    Washington Redskins: Williams fits a need in Washington and fits their running scheme too.

    Green Bay Packers: I doubt Williams would fall into the second round if he got to Green Bay at No. 64.

G Clint Boling, Georgia

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Important Measurables

    6-5, 308 pounds, 28 bench-presses at 225 pounds

    Why he'll be available

    Boling is an experienced lineman who played both guard and tackle at Georgia. While he gives the effort needed and shows solid technique, his lack of pure strength up front makes him a day two pick.

    Who might take him

    Indianapolis Colts: His experience and ability to pass-protect make him a solid pick for the Colts.

    Philadelphia Eagles: Andy Reid loves picking offensive lineman early, and Boling fits the profile.

    Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks need to keep adding talent to the offensive line.

RB Mikel Leshoure, Illinois

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Important Measurables

    6-0, 227 pounds, 4.59-second 40-yard dash

    Why he'll be available

    There's no doubting he has the talent to crack the first round, but Leshoure might suffer from a bevy of good backs in the middle rounds. If he falls, a team in the second round will likely find their No. 1 runner. 

    Who might take him

    New England Patriots: Leshoure is a better fit for the Patriots than is Ryan Williams. 

    New York Giants: They'd get great value at a position where they could use another playmaker.

    St. Louis Rams: How many more miles does Steven Jackson have? Leshoure would give them insurance and a long-term answer at running back. 

WR Titus Young, Boise State

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    Important Measurables

    5-11, 174 pounds, 4.53-second 40-yard dash

    Why he'll be available

    Young has the speed and run-after-the-catch-ability to make an immediate impact for an NFL team at either receiver or returner. He's still a little undersized, however, and also has some behavioral issues.

    Who might take him

    St. Louis Rams: Young would give Sam Bradford and the Rams a home run threat in the slot.

    Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs need to continue to add weapons to a passing offense that failed down the stretch.

    Green Bay Packers: He could provide another passing option for Aaron Rodgers and also be the return man they need.


LB Bruce Carter, UNC

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    Important Measurables

    6-2, 241 pounds, 25 bench-presses at 225 pounds

    Why he'll be available

    A top-15 pick heading into 2010, Carter's stock fell after he tore his ACL in November. If he can recover from his injury, however, he has the athleticism to be an impact OLB in the 4-3 defense.

    Who might take him

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carter would add more talent to a young defense that is slowly getting better.

    New York Giants: They have a clear need at linebacker and Carter would bring added athleticism to the existing group.

    Chicago Bears: Adding Carter to the linebacking duo of Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs would be a big upgrade.

OT/G Benjamin Ijalana, Villanova

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    Important Measurables

    6-4, 317 pounds

    Why he'll be available

    He dominated his competition at Villanova and should become a starting NFL tackle or guard, but there are concerns about Ijalana. He had double hernia surgery in the offseason, and lacked top-level competition in the FCS. 

    Who might take him

    Arizona Cardinals: They need help at both guard and tackle, and Ijalana could potentially develop into a starter at either spot. 

    Buffalo Bills: No team needs a left tackle more than the Bills.

    New England Patriots: His versatility on the offensive line makes him an attractive option for Belichick and company. 


WR Leonard Hankerson, Miami

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    Important Measurables

    6-2, 209 pounds, 4.43-second 40-yard dash

    Why he'll be available

    Hankerson has been a steady riser and generally improved his level of play each year he was in school. Still, his game lacks suddenness and his hands have let him down on occasion.

    Who might take him

    Kansas City Chiefs: He would make a tall and productive combination with Dwayne Bowe in KC.

    Atlanta Falcons: Not the most pressing need, but you can never have enough weapons in the passing game.

    St. Louis Rams: It's tough to rule out any receiver for the Rams in the first two rounds.

DE Christian Ballard, Iowa

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    Important Measurables

    6-4, 285 pounds, 4.8-second 40-yard dash

    Why he'll be available

    He often gets overshadowed by Adrian Clayborn, his teammate at Iowa, but Ballard outplayed him on several occasions this past season. He's a day two prospect because of his size and effort isn't always there on tape. 

    Who might take him

    San Francisco 49ers: Ballard would give the 49ers an athletic end/tackle 'tweener for their defensive line.

    Chicago Bears: Without Tommie Harris, Chicago might be in the market for a lineman like Ballard. 

    Denver Broncos: If they don't take Marcell Dareus in the first round, Ballard could be an option sometime in the second.


WR Torrey Smith, Maryland

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    Important Measurables

    6-1, 204 pounds, 4.43-second 40-yard dash

    Why he'll be available

    Smith can absolutely fly, but speed alone doesn't mean you're going to be an impact receiver at the NFL level. His lack of polish in route running and occasional lack of consistent hands should put him in the second round.

    Who might take him

    Baltimore Ravens: Smith would give Joe Flacco and the offense a home run threat on the perimeter.

    St. Louis Rams: Again, most of the top receivers should be in play for the Rams.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: They struck gold with Mike Williams last draft, and teaming him with Smith in 2011 could help push Josh Freeman over the top. 

DE Allen Bailey, Miami

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    Important Measurables

    6-3, 285 pounds, 27 bench-presses at 225 pounds

    Why he'll be available

    The definition of a workout warrior, Bailey looked the part during offseason showings. His big frame and athleticism should mask his inconsistent production and ensure he is a day two pick.

    Who might take him

    San Francisco 49ers: Bailey could play several different spots for the 49ers along the defensive line.

    Pittsburgh Steelers: You'd have to think that Dick Lebeau could find a spot for him in his 3-4 defense.

    Chicago Bears: If he put on a little more weight, Bailey could play the role of departing lineman Tommie Harris.


CB Brandon Harris, Miami

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Important Measurables

    5-9, 190 pounds, 4.53-second 40-yard dash

    Why he'll be available

    Harris has as good a chance as anyone on this list of cracking the first round. He plays bigger than his size and is likely the fourth best cornerback, but teams could be scared off by his height and some of the bad tape he put out this past season.

    Who might take him

    Houston Texans: Any player who has coverage skills in the first few rounds should be under consideration for Houston. 

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: With Aqib Talib's future in jeopardy, the Bucs might want to pick an insurance corner. 

    Oakland Raiders: No. 48 is the Raiders first pick, and a player like Harris could be the safe choice they need at that spot.

LB Martez Wilson, Illinois

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    Important Measurables

    6-4, 250 pounds, 4.49-second 40-yard dash

    Why he'll be available

    It's hard to find players with the combination of size and speed that Wilson has. He projects to be an outside linebacker in the NFL, however, a position he didn't play at Illinois. 

    Who might take him

    San Diego Chargers: His athleticism could make him a disruptive rush linebacker for the Chargers.

    New Orleans Saints: Wilson would likely flourish in Gregg Williams' pressure-heavy defense.

    Arizona Cardinals: Ken Whisenhunt needs all the pass rushers he can get in Arizona.


CB Curtis Brown, Texas

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    Important Measurables

    6-0, 185 pounds, 4.53-second 40-yard dash

    Why he'll be available

    There are some that think Brown is coming into this draft as a better prospect than his teammate Aaron Williams. Even if that is true, Brown would still be a likely second round pick. 

    Who might take him

    Oakland Raiders: Brown would likely be another safe pick for the Raiders at No. 48. 

    Pittsburgh Steelers: Their secondary was exposed in the Super Bowl, and they might lose a player or two yet from that group.

    Green Bay Packers: Cornerback isn't their biggest need, but Charles Woodson isn't getting any younger.

OT Orlando Franklin, Miami

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    Important Measurables

    6-6, 316 pounds, 26 bench-presses at 225 pounds

    Why he'll be available

    He's a monster of a man, can be dominant in pass protection and has a mean streak in him. Even with all those physical gifts, his level of play wasn't consistent enough to warrant a first round grade. 

    Who might take him

    Buffalo Bills: Franklin might be better suited for right tackle, but Buffalo needs help protecting their quarterback.

    Indianapolis Colts: Keeping Peyton Manning upright over his final stretch has to be priority No. 1 for the Colts.

    Philadelphia Eagles: Quarterback Michael Vick can eliminate offensive line mistakes, but the Eagles would be wise to help a unit that struggled on occasion in 2010. 


DE/OLB Jabaal Sheard, Pittsburgh

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    Important Measurables

    6-3, 263 pounds, 4.68-second 40-yard dash

    Why he'll be available

    Sheard has the length, build and pass-rushing moves to be an impact OLB in a 3-4 defense. His lack of explosiveness off the line and his arrest before the season pushes his stock back into day two.

    Who might take him

    San Diego Chargers: He could help set the edge and rush the quarterback for an already good defense.

    New England Patriots: One of their needs is rush linebacker, and his production at Pitt has to be attractive.

    San Francisco 49ers: They still need help getting after the quarterback. 


WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh

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    Important Measurables

    6-4, 228 pounds, 4.52-second 40-yard dash

    Why he'll be available

    What's not to like on paper? Baldwin has a huge frame, can run and isn't afraid to make plays over the middle. His character and off the field issues will likely keep him out of the first round. 

    Who might take him

    Washington Redskins: If they don't get Julio Jones in the first round, Baldwin could be a fine consolation prize. 

    St. Louis Rams: It's a broken record by now.

    Minnesota Vikings: If they think Sidney Rice is leaving, they might be inclined to find his replacement.


CB Ras-I Dowling, Virginia

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    Important Measurables

    6-1, 200 pounds, 4.46-second 40-yard dash

    Why he'll be available

    He would have gotten first round consideration if it weren't for a disastrous senior season. Injury issues will drop him into the second round despite a solid overall game.

    Who might take him

    Pittsburgh Steelers: Their defense would get a solid tackler and press-corner for their suddenly-ailing secondary.

    Green Bay Packers: He fits the mold of Charles Woodson better than most prospects available.

    Philadelphia Eagles: Injuries have hurt the Eagles secondary and Dowling would give them plenty of depth.


OG Rodney Hudson, Florida State

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    Important Measurables

    6-2, 295 pounds, 27 bench-presses at 225 pounds

    Why he'll be available

    Hudson was a dominant guard in the ACC, and his skill sets screams 10-year NFL starter. Even so, his size, or lack there of, might scare teams off enough to drop him into the second round. 

    Who might take him

    Tennessee Titans: This team was at its best when they dominated both lines of scrimmage.

    Arizona Cardinals: Early in the second round, Arizona should be looking for the best player available—Hudson could be that guy.

    Detroit Lions: Hudson would be another solid player to help the Lions along the offensive line.


C Stefen Wisniewski, Penn State

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    Important Measurables

    6-3, 313 pounds, 30 bench-presses at 225 pounds

    Why he'll be available

    He has the bloodlines, intelligence and experience at guard and center to be an immediate NFL starter. However, worries about his footwork and ability to finish blocks will keep him out of the first round. 

    Who might take him

    Oakland Raiders: He's another safe pick who would likely be the opening day starter somewhere on Oakland's offensive line.

    New York Giants: They need help on the interior of their offensive line. 

    Seattle Seahawks: Wisniewski could be an immediate starter at either guard or center for Seattle. 


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