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TheMorningZoo's 1st in depth Mock of the year

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  • TheMorningZoo's 1st in depth Mock of the year

    -Obviously I will re-do the order once the weekend finishes, have been working on this the past week. I wanted to do three rounds, but I am burnt and just want to get it out there. Constructive Criticism always welcome!

    Carolina Panthers-A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
-I am very torn on this pick right now. Most of my Mocks do not change very often with player selections unless the void has been filled (FA, Trade, Retirement, etc.) and I think this pick is 50-50 right now with Green and Fairley. Two things right of the bat-Green is an “ELITE” WR Prospect and has the same value of a Larry Fitzgerald or Calvin Johnson in past Drafts. Fairley on the other hand in my eyes is a one-year wonder with not much Division 1 experience who has potential character/attitude problems (amongst other red flags). No doubt Fairley is a gamer in his own right and showed up big this year for Auburn. Now looking at the Panthers organization as a whole their are many glaring holes that need to be filled and Ron Rivera has a tall task at hand. His Quarterback situation is a lingering question mark, the O-Line he inherits was in shambles this past year (although they have been solid previously) and while people like to think Julius Peppers absence should be targeted, it is the interior of the Defensive Line that needs the most help. Charles Johnson put together an under the radar but solid season and Everett Brown might be coming around as he got four sacks towards the end of the year. Rivera has made comments about his Quarterback situation but I don’t believe they will reach for a signal-caller with the first pick. Free Agency is another option with a Quarterback such as Kyle Orton or Kevin Kolb, but look for the Panthers to stick with Clausen and bring in more weapons for the Team going forward. Maybe Clausen takes a hike next year and the new QB has a dangerous weapon with AJ Green or potentially Clausen starts to grow and develops chemistry with the new found target. A.J. Green as mentioned is an Elite WR possessing a blend of size, speed and hands. With Steve Smith possibly on the way out-look for the Panthers to make the Offense their number one concern come Draft Day! 

    Denver Broncos-Patrick Peterson, DB, LSU
-How the mighty have fallen! Not too long ago Denver was considered one of the more respected Franchises in football and was always contending on the field year in and out. Well turns out in less than two years Josh McDaniels caused a train-wreck and John Fox should be able to turn it around quickly. The main concern is what Defense will be run, but with Fox always running a 4-3 (and Denver having some personnel) it shouldn’t be a problem to switch back after a failed attempt at the 3-4. Bowers is mocked frequently to the Broncos, but Dumervil and Ayers can man the End positions and never look back. People often forget Dumervil played DE at Louisville and even his first years in the league and was quite productive in spot time (8.5 sacks ’06/ 12.5 sacks ’07). With Champ Bailey aging and hitting FA it remains to be known if he will stay with Denver. Even if he does their is the potential “move to Safety” chatter going around so Corner could be a position of need for the Broncos. Tie that in with the fact Parrish Cox might be headed to Prison for Rape Allegations, Denver should focus on their Secondary first-and potentially targeting their interior Defensive Line second. Peterson is an ELITE Defensive Back who has amazing size (6’1, 222), speed (4.4) and will aid in run support. He also adds value in the return game!

    Buffalo Bills-Nick Fairley, DL, Auburn
-Defense wins championships! With that being said, Buffalo is a long away from a championship and they might as well start re-tooling the front seven at the top of this year’s Draft. Buffalo made the switch to the 3-4 and acquired some pieces to the puzzle through the ’10 Draft (NT Torrel Troup, DE Alex Carrington) but they have yet to fully contribute. Quarterback is a hot topic in Buffalo but in my opinion Fitzgerald is a game manager and can play the remaining year of his contract while the Bills either look in the later rounds of this year’s Draft (or look towards next year: Luck, Barkley, Jones). With Marcus Stroud on his way out, their will be a void at one of the End positions. Not mentioned earlier is that Buffalo’s Defensive scheme is a “hybrid” 3-4 with some 4 down “wrinkles”. Nick Fairley receives the nod over Marcel Dareus even though Dareus offers more flexibility for schemes based on being a terror in the backfield and wreaking havoc much like last year’s top pick Ndamakong Suh. Fairley has his question marks however both about his game and himself as a person. Fairley only really shined one year and came from a JuCo to Auburn. In addition he is known for “dirty” play, work ethic, and overall intelligence. Regardless of the boom-bust factor, if Fairley continues to improve as he did this year- “ the sky is the limit”. Buyer Beware!

    Cincinnati Bengals-Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
-Bengals get the shaft in this Draft scenario as they would be ecstatic for A.J. Green or even take Fairley as a consolation. Bowers is no slouch in his defense-but like Fairley he is more of a one year wonder. Clemson has put out some great Defensive End prospects within the past few years in the late Gaines Adams and Phillip Merling. The Cincinnati situation is difficult as they could use help along the Offensive Line first and foremost but no Tackles are worth the fourth spot. Julio Jones would be a slight reach and I do not think they will be getting rid of Carson Palmer anytime in the near future (*1/23 Palmer is threatening to retire if he is not traded). Back to Bowers-he has beastly size at 6’4 and 280 pounds and reportedly runs a 4.6/4.7 forty. He is stout at the point and shows exceptional pursuit and amazing quickness. He doesn’t have a repertoire of pass rushing moves and mainly relies on his brute strength to get by lineman and he will be facing better Offensive Tackles than the ACC offers week in and out. Bowers should be a solid player in the NFL but does have some bust factor to him as well. 

    Arizona Cardinals-Robert Quinn, OLB/DE, North Carolina 
-From contender to pretender in a matter of a year-Arizona has some re-tooling to do before they win the NFC West let alone become competitive. Quarterback initially was a strong consideration in some of my early Mocks, and still COULD be but overall I feel Whiz will make a run to get Donovan McNabb and work on improving the Defense and Offensive Line positions. The ‘Cards took NT Dan Williams last year with their first rounder and have to solid Ends in Dockett and Calais Campbell (although he had a down year). The Linebacking core as a whole is aging and minus Daryl Washington could use some young blood. Corner is also a position that can be targeted as DRC is inconsistent and their is not much else. However the old saying goes “Get your Franchise Quarterback, Protect the investment (LT), then go get a Pass Rusher” I think the Cardinals will target one of the year’s most intriguing prospects in Robert Quinn. Quinn missed the whole year sitting out due to the NCAA but people forget how much of a physical freak and player he is! Quinn like Bowers has great size at 6’5 and 270 pounds and is an athletic freak with a rare initial burst off the LOS. It is yet known if he can transition to the 3-4, but he reminds me of Shawne Merriman physically and should be able to make the transition.

    Cleveland Browns-Marcell Dareus, DL, Alabama
-How many years has Cleveland been running the 3-4? The answer is “attempting” to run the 3-4, and “too long”. The Browns have been trying to run the 3-4 Defense ever since Romeo Crennel arrived and still DO NOT have proper personnel in place and should scrap the idea and move towards a 4-3. Even if they do decide to stick to the 3-4 or play hybrid schemes, Marcel Dareus is their man! Dareus has good size and bulk for an interior lineman (6’2/6’3, 306lbs) and has surprising quickness for a man his size. He was more productive during ‘Bamas National Championship run than this year, but this could be contributed to many factors. Dareus shows the ability to hold the line at the point, shed blocks, and collapse the pocket-three things that are rare for a Defensive Lineman to fully possess. Look for the Browns to peg Dareus the pick come April.

    San Francisco 49’ers-Jake Locker, QB, Washington
-The Alex Smith project should officially be over and look for San Francisco to go a new direction under Jim Harbaugh. I think instead of going FA, San Francisco opts to find a solid West Coast Quarterback Via the Draft. Their are several prospects who could flourish and they can be found in different rounds of the Draft. Jake Locker, Christian Ponder and Ricki Stanzi are the three I feel could fit in with Harbaugh’s Offense seamlessly. Locker’s stock has taken a hit since last year, but the talk of him becoming a Second Round selection is nonsense! How does a player go from potential number one pick to a second rounder? Yes I understand the low-completion percentage, but he literally had NO Offensive Line to work with his ENTIRE tenure at Washington-and only until recently started receiving some playmakers. Locker has been schooled for two years under Sark in his Pro-Style Offense but did not make the huge leap we though he would his Senior year. However he possesses incredible speed and quickness, a strong arm, and has impeccable intangibles and leadership qualities in addition to his great work ethic. Let’s face it, their is a reason the Ryan Leaf’s and JaMarcus Russell’s flame out in the NFL. They can get by so far in college on their physical attributes, but once they hit the league you must work hard at your craft to succeed! Harbaugh has worked with Josh Johnson and made him an outstanding Quarterback at the University of San Diego in the Division 1-AA ranks and as we all know the Andrew Luck story. Look for Harbaugh to take Locker under his wing and turn him into a star in San Francisco.

    Tennessee Titans-Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
-Bud Adams had his work cut out for him with the one major decision that would decide the Titans future for the next few years. Vince Young or Jeff Fisher? I think he made the right decision sticking with Fisher and sending Young packing. Now the next question is do they address the Defense with their first pick or target a Quarterback? Jason Babin might be re-signed and if he is they better hope he wasn’t a one year wonder. If not they may target another DE to play opposite the recovering Derrick Morgan. But in the end I think like the 49’ers they opt to target a Quarterback in this year’s Draft instead of searching for one in the Free Agent market. Mallett should do well in Tennessee behind their Offensive Line, and should also open up the Playbook with his Cannon Arm. His intelligence has been questioned in addition to his attitude, but to be honest I don’t believe it can be worse than Vince Young. Plus these are just accusations and rumblings, nothing is concrete yet and he still has yet to interview. Like the majority of prospects Mallet does fall under the Boom-Bust factor, but Jeff Fisher has been around a long time and should be able to keep Mallett in his good graces. Look for Tennessee to select a Quarterback with their first pick, whether it be Mallett or not!

    Dallas Cowboys-Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
-Easy decision for Jerry Jones to make here with one of the “premier” Corners still on the board. With Terrence Newman turning 33 by the start of next season and Mike Jenkins poor play this past year the Secondary is upgradeable for the Cowboys. Amukamara by some is considered the best “pure” Corner in this year’s Draft, but I still feel PP has him by a slight edge. Amukamara has good height for a Corner at 6’1 and is about 205 lbs. While he doesn’t have Elite speed or recovery, he is a very physical Corner who can be asked to apply pressure and make tackles one-on-one and in open space. One of the safer prospects in this Draft, Amukamara should be a solid Corner for 10 years+

    Washington Redskins-Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
-The Donovan McNabb experience failed in DC, and I think he packs his bags and heads West to Arizona (where he lives in the Offseason mind you). Looking forward as a Redskins fan their isn’t much excitement with Rex Grossman and John Beck as your Quarterbacks, so I could see the ‘Skins taking a signal caller such as Blaine Gabbert with the 10th overall pick but I see too many question marks. Gabbert in my eyes should have stayed for his senior year. I do like him as a prospect but because many of the Quarterbacks in this class are not sure fire “Franchise” Quarterbacks, his stock is inflated. I think he is a solid 2nd Rounder and could slip into the first with good workouts / interviews. The Draft is a crapshoot, why take a chance when you can get the finished/proven product with a WR such as Julio Jones? Jones was a star before he even stepped foot in Tuscaloosa and is the clearcut 2nd Wideout behind his SEC counterpart A.J. Green. Jones is a physical Wide Receiver who will block and reminds me of a young Terrell Owens physically. With Devin Thomas not panning out in Washington, and Malcolm Kelly not really having much of an effect either-the Redskins need a top notch Wide Receiver. Santana Moss is aging and Anthony Armstrong isn’t exactly a world-beater anyways, so Julio Jones could make instant gratification for Shannahan’s Offense! 

    Houston Texans-Stephen Paea, NT, Oregon State
-Might be a shocker to some but let me explain my logic first. The Texans have been drafting Defensive Lineman in the first for what seems to be centuries now (Babin, T. Johnson, Okoye, M. Williams) and have not had much success outside of SUPER MARIO Williams. With the arrival of Wade Phillips the Texans will be switching to a 3-4 Defense that scheme wise is a 1 gap (unlike 2 gap ran by Bellicheck, etc.). The 1 gap relies on more explosive and athletic lineman than a two gap which requires the DL to control two gaps and be more stout at the point (generally larger specimen as well). While a nice Outside Linebacker such as Von Miller might make some sense, it all STARTS in the trenches in the 3-4. 3-4 personnel are becoming more sought after in recent years (Tyson Jackson, B.J. Raji, Dan Williams) because they are few, far, and in between. So as stated it starts up front with the Nose Tackle to anchor the Defense, and the Texans could use Oregon State’s Stephen Paea who is a solid all-around prospect on the D-Line. Paea can play Nose in either a 4-3 or 3-4 and while he may seem to be a workout warrior, his production matches his physical skill. Paea uses his stout, compact size to create leverage against opposing Offensive Lineman in addition to his fast-twitch quickness and agility. Paea should be able to add some bulk to his frame and really flourish in Wade’s system.

    Minnesota Vikings-Blaine Gabbert, QB, Mizzou
-I have felt that regardless of this season’s outcome Brett Favre would retire either way. Now the Vike’s have to move on and decide their direction at Quarterback. They are still going to be a run-first team offensively, so bringing in a young Quarterback could be similar to the Jet’s situation with Sanchez. Just need him to manage the game while he learns, and lean on the playmakers to do the dirty work. That being said I feel Gabbert or Ponder would be a good fit for the Vike’s Offense and Gabbert is gaining steam heading into the combine. I myself see him as a Fringe First Round option and more of a solid Second Rounder, but due to the premium and run on Quarterbacks he should rise up draft boards. Some scouts feel he is underrated, that Mizzou’s Spread system hindered his development (better fit for a conventional Offense essentially). I think regardless of system Gabbert does bring a lot of goodies to the table as a prospect. His triangle numbers for a QB are good: Solid size paired with good mobility. This year Gabbert’s numbers were down compared to the ’09 Season, but he did lose some of his weapons on Offense (Danario Alexander, Jered Perry, and Derrick Washington). Gabbert is known to have the “deer in headlights” effect and has happy feet in the pocket. Regardless of where he is drafted, Gabbert presents a nice set of tools to work with at the Pro-level, but he also has his share of concerns.

    Detroit Lions-Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
-Ever since Millen was ousted Detroit has been becoming more competitive and drafting very well (Suh, Stafford, Pettigrew, Delmas)! Even with Ndamakong Suh’s impact, Detroit’s Defensive Line and Secondary are two areas of concern. A Pass Rusher would be nice for the Lions, and would bring an insurance policy in case KVB goes down again. On the contrary, the Secondary could use a boost with rivals Cutler and Rodgers slicing it up twice a year. Just glancing at Detroit’s Corner situation, they are made up of has been’s and busts. Vasher was solid early in his tenure in Chicago but hasn’t been good in quite some time. Chris Houston was ran out of Atlanta, and Tye Hill was a bust in St. Louis. This would bring Brandon Harris into the fold. Harris is a solid Cornerback who should be able to start from Day 1. While Harris doesn’t have the most fluid hips or “Elite” instincts, he does possess amazing intangibles. He is a hard-worker, coachable, has a high football IQ, sticks with receivers and will get his had in on the play. Harris should instantly upgrade Detroit’s Defense and make a name for himself in the NFL.

    St. Louis Rams-Allen Bailey, DL, Miami
-The Rams are in a tough situation sitting at 14 for numerous reasons. Justin Blackmon decided to return to school and had been pegged the “surefire” pick for the Rams. Julio Jones is off the board which is a realistic possibility come Draft Day and Jonathan Baldwin is a reach in the early teens. The Rams second areas of concern are the Defensive Line, Offensive Guard and Outside Linebacker. With obviously no interior lineman worth a mid first round grade and not much value at the Outside Linebacker position I think the Rams decide to target the Defensive Line. They have a few options, they can go D-End with the flashy hometown product in Aldon Smith or possibly the non-stop motor in Ryan Kerrigan. Chris Long really flourished this year and could use another bookend across from him, but the interior of the line is still a larger concern. Allen Bailey is an intriguing prospect for numerous reasons. He is often labeled a “workout warrior” but he does have the production to back up his freakish measurables. Standing 6’4 and weighing anywhere from 270-285, Bailey reportedly runs a 4.6 40 and has 8 % body fat. Bailey has played all along the Defensive Front at Miami at both Defensive End and Tackle, but was initially a Linebacker recruit in High School. Bailey is a bit raw, but once he settles into a set position should be able to really hone is skill. Now one main question about Bailey as a prospect, is he a “3-4 DE, 4-3 DT, or 4-3 DE”? Although I view Bailey as an UT in the Rams Defense, he could line up all over the front and offers what I term “flexibility”. He can be used by Spags in a similar fashion to what Justin Tuck was in New York. 

    Miami Dolphins-Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
-Under normal circumstances I felt Mark Ingram could be a lock to either the ‘Phins or Patriots, but with Chad Henne underperforming and Newton’s stock rising-it seems like Miami might be a destination for Big Cam. With Ricky and Ronnie’s situation unclear and a deep draft for Runningbacks, Miami can address the position during a later round in the Draft. As mentioned Henne is not the answer and Newton brings some nice tools to the table, but also has his flaws as well. We all know about his story at Florida and going to Blinn CC before taking over at Auburn in which he really did everything he could as far as his stock and prospect status are concerned. Miami rolls the dice here and decides to go with the project, Cam Newton. One thing you can’t teach is moxy. Newton can throw a team on his back and make plays to keep them in contention much like Vince Young, but the NFL is a whole new animal. Obviously we all know how capable of a runner is and his elusiveness in the pocket allows plays to be extended. His short range accuracy is good and he has a strong arm, but his mechanics and footwork can get sloppy. Newton is a wildcard who needs work, but has great upside if put in the right situation. One of the more polarizing prospects in the Draft, look for Cam Newton to be your typical “Boom/Bust” prospect to come from this year’s Draft!

    Jacksonville Jaguars-Stefan Wisniewski, C, Penn State
-One thing is for sure for the Jaguars come Draft Day, expect a Wild Card pick with Gene Smith as GM. Many initially scoffed at Gene Smith’s selections in the two previous Drafts when he opted to target the Offensive Line in ’09 (Eugene Monroe/Eben Britton) and Defensive Line in ’10 (Tyson Alualu/D’Anthony Smith). Many felt Tyson Alualu was a fringe first rounder and felt he was a giant reach for the tenth overall selection at which he was taken. Gene Smith has proven he does his homework and grades prospects on strict criteria in order to become a Jaguar. Work ethic, leadership, character, production, experience are all important factors for what Smith looks for in a prospect, and their are several prospects that fit that bill this year. While Aaron Kampman was solid prior to tearing his ACL for the second consecutive year, the Jaguars could target potential End Ryan Kerrigan with the 16th overall pick, or possibly Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt. The Secondary is an area of concern but in a draft deep with Corners and Safeties-the Jaguars can look for help later in the draft. Quarterback is another Wild Card but with the top selections off the board and depth much like the Secondary the Jag’s can target a signal-caller after the first round. One unsung position that is in need of some rejuvenation is Center. Brad Meester who has played his whole career in Jacksonville is no spring chicken and will be 34 by the time the season rolls around. With the youth movement along the Offensive Line, it would only make sense to bring in his heir and groom him for the future. Stefan Wisniewski has NFL bloodlines as many know and can play both Center and Guard. Wisniewski is not the flashiest pick but should be a solid starter and contributor for years and has top-notch intangibles in addition to his many other accolades. Stefan garnered All-Big 10 and All-American honors while in Happy Valley, was a Team Captain and was a three time Academic All-American. Playing wise Wisniewski has good size (6’3, 306) in addition to being durable and experienced. Wisniewski is not the most dominating Center to play the game, but is a master technician and will not quit!

    New England Patriots-Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue
-I tend to view Kerrigan solely as a Defensive End but in certain situations can play Outside Linebacker in the 3-4. I believe he fits what New England is trying to do on Defense perfectly, and can fill the void left from Mike Vrablel’s departure to Kansas City two years ago. Play-wise Kerrigan reminds me of Chris Long and Patrick Kerney, but less athletic/explosive. Kerrigan is a “blue-collar” lineman who comes to “work” everyday and puts forth great effort. While his ceiling might not be very high with Kerrigan, “what you see is what you get” and he has a very high floor. Led the Big 10 in sacks this year and was the defensive player of the year in the conference over other highly regarded prospects such as Cameron Heyward and J.J. Watt. Kerrigan brings good size, instincts, work ethic and top-notch intangibles to the table and should be a mainstay wherever he lands come draft day.

    San Diego Chargers-Cameron Jordan, DE, CAL
-The Chargers are one of the more talented teams in the NFL that usually seem to find players through the Draft to fill in spots rather than spend money on high-profile Free Agents. This year is an interesting one for San Diego as their really is no GLARING hole on the roster but several areas that can be upgraded. If Vincent Jackson is not resigned it will be a big loss for San Diego and his replacement could potentially through the Draft but with Michael Floyd returning to school and Green and Jones obviously off the board the Chargers need to target other areas of need first. Right Tackle , Outside Linebacker and Defensive End are the three areas that could be upgraded. Norv likes Jeromey Clary who has shown glimpses here and there, but overall should be upgraded but most likely won’t. Larry English has not produced as we would have hoped but he came from a smaller D-1 school and is still making the transition to OLB so it is too early to scrap that experiment. That leaves us with Defensive End. Jacques Cesaire is now a Free Agent and has not been overly impressive so it is time to find his replacement. Cameron Jordan is the most Pro-Ready DE for the 3-4 and would be a perfect fit into San Diego’s Defense. The CAL product played exclusively in the 3-4 during his college tenure and brings a blend of size, experience, and intangibles to the position. It would not be surprising to see his stock soar within the coming months as Tyson Jackson’s did a few years ago but would be a steal for the Chargers at #18.

    New York Giants-Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
-Like the Chargers one pick before, the Giants are one of the most talented teams in the league with few glaring holes. Along the Offensive Line both Center and Left Tackle could use upgrading as David Diehl gave up almost half of the sacks allowed by the G-Men’s O-Line the entire year (7.5) ! With potential Center prospect Wisniewski off the board and several attractive Tackles up for grabs-look for New York to bring in a Left Tackle to help revamp the Offensive Line! The next issue after deciding which Tackle is the best fit for the Giants. Between the Big 3 (some say potential 5 including Smith and Solder) I do not feel Carimi would be ideal, and it would come down to Sherrod and Castonzo. Sherrod’s stock really soared this year and while he does not have the same hype as Jason Smith of Baylor did a few years ago, the rise in notoriety is very similar. Castonzo was a mainstay along Boston College’s line for FOUR years! He started as a True Freshman at Right Tackle protecting Matt Ryan at a mere 260 pounds! After his Freshman year he moved over to the Left side where he still remained through this year. Now between the two they both have their pro’s and con’s, with the biggest difference in my eyes is Sherrod has more upside but Castonzo has a higher floor. Both prospects are similar in that they are “safe” prospects and may never been considered Elite but should have solid careers. I believe with Tom Coughlin’s style of play and familiarity with the BC program, Castonzo will be the selection. Castonzo played in a Pro-Style Offense at BC and has the “BC Pedigree” like many other greats that have passed through the ranks to the NFL. Castonzo might never be the slam-dunk All-Pro like Joe Thomas or Jake Long, but he should have a solid tenure and be a mainstay at Left Tackle for years. He possesses prototypical size at the position and does all the little things right. His intangibles are top notch and like Ryan Kerrigan and Wisniewski discussed earlier has very similar character/player traits both on and off the field. Castonzo’s main area of concern is his “strength”, is not known to be a mauler in the run game and potential concern against speed rushers. Without a doubt Castonzo should be a solid lineman, but may take a year of seasoning with an NFL strength program to fully reap the benefits of his play

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Aldon Smith, DE, Mizzou
-During last year’s Draft, Rahim Morris took two DT’s with the first Tampa’s first two selections in the Draft with Gerald McCoy and Brian Price. McCoy turned it on at the end of the year, and overall was impressive as a rookie. However the Defense is still in need of help at several positions namely Defensive End, Inside Linebacker and Corner depth as Ronde Barber is 36. With Defensive End being the biggest hole and most sought after position value wise after Quarterback and Left Tackle, I think we can assume the Buc’s will target one of the stud Ends with the 20th pick. Many people feel Adrian Clayborn is a lock and is a definite possibility and while he is one of the more “balanced” ends if you will, I think they go for the youngster in Aldon Smith. Clayborn had a down year in which he could have really elevated his stock to potentially a top 5 pick, but instead showed a lack of ability to make plays and get to the Quarterback. He projects as a Left End in the 4-3 and some feel could be a “5 tech” in the 3-4. Aldon Smith however is a rising star who decided to leave Missouri early to pursue the NFL. Had Smith returned he may have been a top 5 lock next year but is still a sure-fire 1st round talent. Smith has the versatility to play in a 4-3 or 3-4 (OLB), but would most likely excel in the 4-3 right off the bat. While Smith is a bit raw as a prospect, he possesses insane athleticism at the End position and should really flourish in the NFL as he refines his technique. Scott and others have compared him to last year’s physical freak at Defensive End Jason Pierre-Paul, and the comparison is spot on in my opinion. Look for Smith to come in and continue the re-loading process on the Defensive front under Raheem Morris and fill the void that has been left since Simeon Rice departed Tampa Bay.

    Kansas City Chiefs-Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
-Kansas City made big strides this past year and is only a few pieces from being one of the top young teams in the league. Last year KC drafted playmakers who were able to step in and play like veterans from the get-go. Eric Berry, Dexter McCluster and Tony Moeaki will all be household names soon enough and look for the Chiefs to replicate the success they had with this year’s draft. The two main positions that KC will target with their first round pick will be Outside Linebacker and Wide Receiver. With the two needs being equal and the top WR’s off the board, KC might not feel Jonathan Baldwin merits their need over a top Pass Rush Specialist to play opposite Tamba Hali. Von Miller is just what the Chiefs could use to wreak havoc on opposing Quarterbacks and bring a respectable pass rush to Kansas City. Miller’s stock is very skewed with some Draftniks feeling he is a clear cut top 10 prospect where others feel he is a solid 2nd rounder. Miller is viewed by many as a one-trick pony who uses his speed and athleticism to get around opposing Offensive Tackles. This worked in college but will NOT work in the NFL. Miller also has questions about his size, whether he has the bulk and heigh to take on these Offensive Lineman. My feeling is he did it in the Big 12 where some of the biggest Offensive Lineman hail from, and he can do it in the NFL. The combine will really help Von’s stock so it will be a waiting game to see how he tests and grades out. Play-wise Miller has a great motor and is a hard worker with uncanny athleticism, so expect Miller to transition to the NFL well. The only thing holding Miller back is his physical stature, but other OLB’s such as Elvis Dumervil show not to judge a book by it’s cover!

    Indianapolis Colts-Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
-It is a new year and Offseason for the Colts but generally the same questions are popping up that have in recent years. Will Indianapolis ever find a Franchise Left Tackle for Peyton Manning? Can the Colts ever actually select a legit Defensive Tackle? These questions have been beaten like a dead horse the past few years as the Colts have whiffed on both Offensive and Defensive Lineman in recent drafts (Ugoh/Moala). One thing that is sure-this year’s draft is deep at both positions and while the Colt’s may not get a “sure-fire” Franchise player, they have a lot of variety to choose from. Both positions have equal need but being that the Colts rely on Peyton Manning it is important to “protect the investment”. With Manning being in the twilight of his career it is of the utmost importance to find a suitable Tackle to protect his blindside. With Charlie Johnson hitting Free Agency and only being a stop-gap solution, the Colt’s have several potential prospects who “fit the bill”. This year’s crop of Offensive Tackles is rather underwhelming compared to previous years, and while they may never be “all-pro” or in the upper echelon of Tackles-they generally should all have solid careers and help out their respective teams. With Castonzo off the board we have a few lineman left who generally people feel are 1st round worthy. These prospects include Derek Sherrod, Gabe Carimi, Tyron Smith and Nate Solder. Out of these prospects the only potential Tackle who I feel fits Indy’s needs would be Sherrod. Carimi is a king-sized lineman who CAN play Left Tackle but is very similar to Jake Long as a prospect in that people doubt his ability to play on the left side in the league. Tyron Smith is CURRENTLY undersized per NFL standards and never did play Left Tackle at USC (Matt Kalil had the honors). While he has the most upside and is the most intriguing, Indy needs a quick fix and he may not be ready to go as of Day 1. The last prospect, Nate Solder is gaining a lot of hype as of late and does have insane measurables. However for how “athletic” he is-he was a turnstile at CU and is known to be a better run-blocker than pass-blocker. Now how can someone who is so “athletic” and has to much potential as a pass-blocker not really excel? It could be footwork, technique (knee bend), or even his height (6’9) working against him as smaller D-Ends use leverage better. So for all these reasons listed and the fact I feel Sherrod is the best fit REGARDLESS, he should be the pick. Sherrod capped a solid tenure at Mississippi State and helped turn around a stagnant program in the SEC to an up and comer. Sherrod has prototypical NFL size at 6’6 and 305 pounds. Sherrod started for three years at MSU and even played as a true Freshman and has a vast amount of game experience. Not much else can be said about Sherrod as he is one of the safer picks along the Offensive Line. If you are in need of a Tackle with experience, durability, technique and the athleticism to play Left Tackle in the NFL-Derek Sherrod is your man!

    Philadelphia Eagles-Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
-Philly has a few areas that can be targeted with their first pick, namely being Offensive Line, Outside Linebacker or Corner. With Brandon Harris off the board and Akeem Ayers being deemed to “soft” by many teams, Philly should take a look at the crop of Offensive Lineman. The left side of the Eagle’s line is intact but the right side is a joke. Winston Justice who I was very high on a few years ago keeps proving again and again he should not be starting in the NFL, and it is time to demote him permanently. Any Reid generally likes his lineman to be “king-sized” and my man Gabe Carimi sure fits the bill. Towering at 6’7 and almost 330 pounds, the reigning Outland Trophy winner is everything you want your prototypical Right Tackle to be. Their are doubters who feel Carimi is restricted solely to the right side or at Guard, but I feel he has the ability to play both Left and Right Tackle in the NFL. He might excel more on the right side and does have many of the same questions about his game as Jake Long did when he was coming out as a prospect. Regardless of which side he plays in the NFL, Carimi would man the right side for the Eagles which is Vick’s blindside. It is imperative this position is upgraded and Carimi could be a stalwart and combine with Jason Peters to be one of the better bookend Tackle tandems in the NFL. Carimi is a mauling lineman who took over for Joe Thomas in Madison as a Freshman. Carimi is tough, experienced, and should be able to step in Day 1 and start. Carimi could be the tackle Philadelphia has been lacking on the right side since Jon Runyan had departed and Carimi would fill the void immediately. 

    New Orleans Saints-J.J. Watt, DL, Wisconsin
-New Orleans can use several picks to patch up their Defensive Front, but the Defensive Line should be the main concern come first pick. Both D-Tackle and End are interchangeable in terms of need with Tackle slightly edging End in terms of need. However with Stephen Paea off the board who seems to be a consistent prospect mocked to the Saints and no real value at the Tackle position prospect wise to speak of, the Saints should look at the Ends. Left on the Big Board is Adrian Clayborn and J.J. Watt. How Watt is still left is mind-boggling as I truly feel he is a top 20 talent. Clayborn’s decline is well-documented as he had a down year but he still is a force to be reckoned with. Watt on the other hand has positional flexibility with the talent to play on either a 3-4 or 4-3 front and his best football is ahead of him. Having transferred to Wisconsin as a Tight End, Watt only played two years on the Defensive Line so he presents great upside as a prospect. Along Wisconsin’s front he played End at 6’6 and 292 pounds and was a stalwart who was leaned upon heavily. Watt is physical, explosive and aggressive with a non-stop motor. He is a blue-collar lineman that is relentless and never gives up! For being such a large Defensive End he is a true playmaker on the D-Line and leads through example. With the debacle in Seattle it is time for New Orleans to upgrade their Defense and start with taking a star like Watt!

    Seattle Seahawks-Adrian Clayborn, DL, Iowa
-The Seahawks had a roller coaster year and squeaked into the Playoffs surprisingly. What is even more fascinating is the first round win over the reigning World Champion Saints! However the Seahawks were soon exposed in Chicago, but overall Pete Carroll’s first year back in the NFL could be considered a success. The record wasn’t anything to note, but playing hard down the stretch and getting a playoff win against a good team is positive. The Seahawks have a lot of areas that can use immediate upgrading, especially on the Defense as they switched from a pure 4-3 to a hybrid 4-3/3-4 like Carroll ran at USC. Some players are playing out of position (Red Bryant, Aaron Curry) but are actually providing sufficient results (Bryant). Regardless Seattle should look to use this Draft to fill in the pieces to the puzzle and focus on perfecting Pete’s strategy. Before I detail Seattle’s Defensive concerns, most feel that Quarterback and Offensive Line are positions that need to be targeted. Come Draft day the QB scenario can play out in many different ways, but for now Seattle will focus on the front seven. An Offensive Lineman like Tyron Smith could be brought in as well to fit the ZBS implemented by Seattle last offseason before Alex Gibbs bolted. But because of Defensive mismatches and the talent available it is too much to pass up. In Carroll’s hybrid defense a “Leo” is used to rush the passer. This is an area in addition to Left Defensive End that can be upgraded immediately. Some prospects like Justin Houston could project to Leo, but with a talent like Adrian Clayborn available who would have been a top pick in last year’s draft it is too much to pass up. Clayborn had a well-documented slide this year as his production dipped severely (11.5 sacks ‘09/3.5 sacks ’10) but he is still one of the better talents in this year’s draft. Clayborn adds versatility as he can play in a 4-3 or 3-4, but most likely would be better starting as a Left End in a 4-3. He is stout against the run and can hold the point. Not known as an “elite” pass rusher, Clayborn can still get to the passer but don’t confuse him with Julius Peppers or Mario Williams. Clayborn is a solid lineman that isn’t the flashiest player but can get it done week in and out. His versatility, strength/power, nasty demeanor, experience and run support will help Seattle improve their Defense ten-fold. Many expected Clayborn to blow up the 2010 season and while he did not meet the hype, he is still a solid 1st round selection.

    Baltimore Ravens-Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
-The Ravens need to work on a few areas of their Defense and Corner is one of their top concerns. Defensive End, Inside Linebacker and Corner are all areas that should be targeted through the draft with End and Corner most likely being the largest need. Even though Cameron Heyward is available and would fit great schematically, I think they could use a physical Corner like Smith as the Ravens do not have a true No. 1 and a bunch of CB’s are about to hit FA. Smith is physically a big corner at 6’2 and 205 pounds in addition to playing physical. He is very athletic, smart, and would fit best in a press coverage scheme. He doesn’t have many flaws as his technique can be fixed and he needs to become more patient. He has the potential to become a true No. 1 and should light up the combine only increasing his stock. While this draft is certainly deep in D-Line and Corner prospects, look for the Ravens to address these positions during the first few rounds.

    Atlanta Falcons-Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
-The Falcons do not have too many needs come draft day, as most of their needs are more depth concerns. They could use a new Tackle as Tyson Clabo is a Free Agent and Sam Baker is inconsistent. A Defensive End is most likely the No. 1 concern, but with most of the top Ends off the board Atlanta can look elsewhere for value. Wide Receiver and Tight End could use some love as well-Gonzo is not going to be around forever and Atlanta could use a pick to take a top Tight End like Kyle Rudolph, or as mentioned target a new Wide Receiver like Jonathan Baldwin or Torrey Smith. I believe Torrey Smith will really rise come draft day and we all know he will put out freakish workouts. Baldwin coming into this year was mocked as high as the mid first round to such teams as the Redskins, but a poor year combined with some character concerns will drop his stock. The Falcons already have a big bodied Wide Receiver who Baldwin compares to favorably in Michael Jenkins as well, but that is not the sole reason for passing up on him. Torrey Smith on the other hand has been praised as the “next Roddy White” comparison wise, but I feel Smith is faster/more athletic but doesn’t catch nearly as well. He is known to body catch and use his arms and not his fingers. This of course is something that can be worked on and you can not teach speed/measureables so Smith will be a hot commodity. Smith is a better prospect at receiver than fellow Maryland alum and former first round pick of the Raiders, Darrius Heyward-Bey and should be able to be a solid #2 option for many teams in the NFL. 

    New England Patriots-Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
-As usual the Patriots do their dealings year in and out and accumulate a plethora of draft picks. I would not be surprised come draft day that the Pat’s are busy on the phone lines trading down even more! The Pat’s have had recent success with trading out of the 1st round and picking up some solid prospects in the second (Chung, Vollmer, Gronk, Cunningham, etc.). But with a late first round selection and some “marquee” names still on the Big Board-I think the Patriots decide to stay at the 28th spot and target Cameron Heyward. Heyward is an enigma, going into the year he was expected to blow up and be a sure-fire top 15 pick but he was inconsistent and COULD slide on draft day. I still feel besides Cameron Jordan (1) that Heyward is tied with Marcel Darreus as the second best prospect for the 3-4 at End. Darreus offers flexibility as a prospect being able to slide in and out, whereas Heyward is most likely better in a 30 front than inside or at LE in the 40. Their is a lot to like about Heyward as a prospect, he comes from NFL bloodlines and is a “king-sized” lineman at 6’5 and 290 pounds. He should be able to put some bulk on his frame as the Pat’s 2 gap system relies on their lineman to be larger and take on the double teams compared to Wade Phillip’s 1 gap penetrating 3-4 system. Heyward has a lot of experience after starting 4 years at OSU and has NO red-flags concerning his work ethic or character. The only downside to Heyward is he is not the greatest athlete, but “5 techs” are not known as the most nimble of lineman. All in all Heyward can come in and produce from Day 1 for Bill Bellicheck and Co.

    Green Bay Packers-Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia
-While Offensive Tackle could be an area of concern as Chad Clifton is towards the end of his career, a dynamic Pass Rusher like Justin Houston is too hard to ignore! The Packers have few holes and can use depth at Corner and Wide Receiver, but as mentioned both Offensive Tackle and Outside Linebacker seem to be the consensus for top selection. We all know how much of a terror Clay Matthews is-but he can not do it all himself. With a rising prospect like Houston on the board the Packers would be lucky if he lasts till the 29th overall selection. Even though the Georgia program had a down year, Houston was one of the lone bright stars. He exploded onto the scene with 15.5 TFL, 9 sacks and 35 QB hurries through just nine games! He previously had seven sacks during the 2009 season. Houston has typical size at 6’3 and 260 pounds and is working on improving his 40 yard dash which currently is 4.64 seconds. This might be a want instead of a need, or a luxury pick-but pairing Houston with Clay Matthews could form the best pass rushing OLB combo in the league for years to come!

    New York Jets-Jeremy Beal, OLB, Oklahoma
-While currently the Jets are stacked at WR, Braylon Edwards will be a Free Agent come Off-Season and the Jets may not want to pony up the cash to keep him in New York. Jonathan Baldwin could make sense, but being that Rex loves his Defense-I think they target a potential 5 tech or Pass Rusher. With most of the “premier” D-Lineman off the board, New York decides to reach just a little and take Jeremy Beal of Oklahoma. Beal is an intriguing prospect as he played both Linebacker and finished on the Defensive Line at Oklahoma during his tenure. He was a decorated three year started for the Sooners who re-wrote OU’s record books for career sacks and TFL. Beal possesses good size (6’3, 270) but isn’t the most agile of individuals. He however is a playmaker who has a knack for getting to the Quarterback and is known for making big plays. The Jets could use help and Beal is someone who can bring the Pass Rush, unlike the failed experiment formerly known as Vernon Gholston.

    Pittsburgh Steelers-Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
-Pittsburgh’s draft choice should really come down to either Offensive Line or Corner in the first round. Along the line they can use both help at Tackle and Guard, but I don’t feel Solder is an ideal fit and Pouncey is living off his brother’s name. Don’t get me wrong, Mike Pouncey will be selected in the first three rounds-but he is hardly the prospect his brother was and I am not talking just about him being a Center. With Ike Taylor scheduled to become a Free Agent and Pitt’s only real cover corner, they can use an upgrade like Texas’s Aaron Williams to come in and start from Day 1. Texas is known to produce quality Defensive Backs and Williams is just another stud in a long line of players to transcend to the Pro ranks. Williams combines good size (6’1, 190 lbs) with top end speed. He has no off the field issues and has great character which Pittsburgh emphasizes with their players. Williams should be able to blossom into a true No. 1 Corner as his physical attributes and work ethic are top notch. He struggles in run support and can be susceptible to jukes and double moves, but with good coaching he can improve in these areas.

    Chicago Bears-Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pitt
-Hands down the biggest area of concern for the Bears is the Offensive Line. However with recent praise from Mike Martz on Ja’Marcus Webb’s improvement at Right Tackle and the potential re-signing of Olin Kreutz, will Offensive Line be a priority? Don’t get me wrong I feel Webb and Omiyale should NOT be starting in the NFL and that Kreutz’s best years are long gone. But at this position with the top lineman off the board that fit the Bear’s criteria, they might have to look elsewhere for first round value. Mike Tice likes his lineman big and physical, which is why I do not feel Tyron Smith or Nate Solder would be good fits. Both have their question marks about size in addition to Solder’s technique and Smith’s lack of experience at the Left Tackle position. Marcus Cannon and Mike Pouncey are possibilities but would make more sense in the second round. That being said the Bears can also use help at Wide Receiver and Corner. Cutler does not have a bonafide #1, nor a big red-zone target and with a talent like Baldwin available it would only make sense to bring him to Chicago. Baldwin had an amazing Junior campaign for the Panthers, but fell off his senior year and failed to meet expectations. He has his fair share of character concerns, but with a Quarterback like Jay Cutler tossing him the ball we should forget about those comments regarding Sunseri. Baldwin is a massive WR with body control and hands that should bring Chicago a true No.1 which they have been missing for so long.

    * And for the record Mark Ingram goes first pick to the Pat's in the second 

  • #2
    I think Wisniewski is unusually high.

    But I do like Atlanta's pick.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Master Exploder View Post
      I think Wisniewski is unusually high.

      But I do like Atlanta's pick.
      Oh no doubt it is high, but it would be a Gene Smith pick I feel. Alualu had about a similar grade as Wisniewski, and he went top 10.

      I think Wisniewski could go to a variety of teams: Patriots, Giants, Bears, and the Jags in the first round-we will just have to wait and see

      And onto the falcons-yeah I think Torrey Smith will rise, some might even think it the Rams might take a look but I think that is a little early as of right now


      • #4
        Very good Patriots draft. I'd probably go OL with #33, but I can't argue with Ingram because of his value at that point. Great job on this one!

        Originally posted by ElectricEye
        I'm a whiny little kunt. Feel sorry for me as I go masturbate to a picture of my mom dressed as a teletubby.


        • #5
          Love the Locker pick.I do hope we draft him .SF needs a QB bad .


          • #6
            Nice Pats mock. I agree that I hope the Pats go OL at 33. Can't argue with the value of Ingram though.

            +rep for the one billion word mock
            -Boston Red Sox-New England Patriots-Boston Celtics-


            • #7
              Good Bears Pick


              • #8
                The first two picks for New England are great. I see Ingram as a luxury that the Patriots can't afford right now. BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 4.4 yards per carry, over 1000 yards, and scored 13 touchdowns without fumbling the ball behind an offensive line that the team will most likely be significantly overhauling in the near future. Someone like Nate Solder or Tyron Smith would be a solid pick.


                • #9
                  good KC pick


                  • #10
                    I am fine with Gabbert. Good work.


                    Originally posted by JordanTaber
          's rocket surgery now, folks.


                    • #11
                      If Ingram is still there at the end of round 1, I would definitely want the Saints to trade up for him. Heck, I would even take him at #24 over Watt and I like Watt a lot.


                      • #12
                        Kerrigan and Cam Heyward is pretty much perfect for the Pats.


                        • #13
                          Yeah Ingram I feel has a high chance of landing with the Dolphins, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him fall as well. I don't bother doing trade up scenarios as they are not realistic.

                          In regards to the Ingram to Pats, I did consider mocking Solder. He could play RT as Vollmer slides back to the Left side to take over for Matt Light. With Woodhead tearing it up as the season progressed, he and BenJarvus did form a nice 1-2 punch. Ingram still would be a solid workhorse and accountable back however.


                          • #14
                            Gabbert to the Bengals

                            RIP themaninblack


                            • #15
                              Perfect Phins pick!

                              Dolphins Dream Draft: 1. Jaylon Smith 2. Artie Burns 3. Landon Turner



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