Jan
04

The Sports Agent Blog 2011 NFL Mock Draft

2011 NFL Mock Draft Last Updated: April 27th, 2011

My Big Board and Top 5 are both based soley off of my personal assessment of the players.  This Mock Draft is based on several factors;  the team’s draft history/style, management/coaches, team needs, as well as my assessment on the individual player and what I would personally do if I had the final say.  Follow me on Twitter for updates.

Round 1

1. Carolina (2-14) – QB Cam Newton ~ Auburn – Agent: Bus Cook – You know what they say, “New regimes means new quarterbacks.” Head Coach Ron Rivera and General Manager Marty Hurney both have been reported to really be enamored with the Heisman Trophy winner. This is a very risky move in my opinion, yet I can see where the Panthers would be coming from if they made this pick. Newton has everything you can ever want on paper (the size, athleticism, speed, college production), but that isn’t what is concerning about him. Being able to handle the responsibility of a franchise on his shoulders, with millions of dollars, and very few people he can trust around him is my biggest concern. Newton was in trouble once at Florida for stealing a laptop and then lieing about it, as well as allegedly cheating on tests. At Auburn we all know about his father being accused of basically pimping his son out to whichever University threw the most money at him. Which if it was actually true, it’s awfully hard to imagine Newton not knowing about any of it. At the end of the day, I see Carolina leaving the past in the past and selecting Newton #1 overall. This pick should be spent on more of a sure thing (Dareus, Peterson, Green) or traded down. I get the feeling both Newton and Blaine Gabbert are not worthy of the top 10 picks but will undoubtably go within the top 10.

2. Denver (4-12) – DT Marcell Dareus ~ Alabama - Agent: Todd France - Vice President John Elway and Head Coach John Fox have both said their goal of getting younger on defense is their main objective. Denver recently cut their two starting defensive tackles, Jamal Williams & Justin Bannan, leaving them with virtually nothing at the position. Dareus has the ability to come in and start right away as a 3 technique in the newly installed 4-3 defense. Picking Dareus here would fill the teams biggest need, provide excellent value, and make the transition from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense much easier. One thing you can bank on with this pick is it being a defensive player to come in and improve the 2010′s 32nd ranked unit.

3. Buffalo (4-12) – LB Von Miller ~ Texas A&M – Agent: Athletes First - The Buffalo Bills switched from the 4-3 to the 3-4 defense last year without the proper personnel to do so. The Bills need to get pressure on the quarterback, period. They have QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is just 28. He was extremely productive last season and can be the team’s starter for another 2-4 years. I would feel very comfortable drafting a quarterback later in this draft or even waiting until the future. Miller addresses their biggest need; defense. The Bills ranked 27th last season in sacks with only 27. For rush linebacker in their 3-4 defense they have Aaron Maybin (who appears to be one of the biggest draft busts of all-time) & Chris Kelsay, who is nothing more then an average 4-3 defensive end. Miller fits the biggest need on the defense, especially with Dareus gone. Miller won the Butkus award as the nation’s top linebacker and has showed he is supremely athletic (running a 4.49 at his pro day), as well as productive (registering 28 sacks the last two seasons).

4. Cincinnati (4-12) – QB Blaine Gabbert ~ Missouri – Agent: Creative Artists Agency – The Bengals have been in off-season turmoil due to the fact that their franchise quarterback wants out and has demanded he get his wish, or he is retiring. With the implementation of a new Offensive Coordinator in Jay Gruden, it is time to find the signal-caller of the future. While WR A.J. Green is much more of a finished product, a receiver’s value pales in comparison with a quarterback’s; especially in today’s game. Gabbert has the tools and ability to fit perfectly into this west coast style scheme for the Bengals. WR Chad Ochocinco still has a decent shot at returning, plus I like the fact that they have young talent at receiver (Andre Caldwell, Jerome Simpson, Jordan Shipley) and a legitimate tight end (Jermaine Gresham) to act as a security blanket for the rookie.

5. Arizona (5-11) – CB Patrick Peterson ~ LSU – Agent: Patrick Lawlor – Arizona has the pick of the litter here with the two best overall players available for their choosing: CB Patrick Peterson and WR A.J. Green. While pairing Green with all-world WR Larry Fitzgerald is enticing and could bring them right back to where they were while WR Anquan Boldin was there, a player of Peterson’s magnitute at a more premier position should win out. The Cardinals do have a very good corner on their roster in CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, although he can be inconsistent. This pick gives them two top flight, ultra-talented corners who would allow this team to go after a veteran quarterback once free agency begins. It also will allow them to find a much-needed pass rusher later in the draft. Peterson is too special to pass up here.

6. Cleveland (5-11) – WR A.J. Green ~ Georgia - Agent: Creative Artists Agency - Current Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi played with Green in college and knows what he can do on the football field. Green would come in from dot 1 and make an immediate impact to a paper thin receiving core. Cleveland has two young receivers in Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie, yet neither compare to the talent A.J. Green possesses. This pick would give new Head Coach Pat Shurmur’s offense a great addition, as well as a superstar in the making at receiver. This pick simply fills too big of a need, and holds too much value to not happen if Green were available. Keep an eye on Da’Quan Bowers here as well, if the Browns brass sticks with what they’ve seen on tape and if they love him (which I’m sure a few teams do).

7. San Francisco (6-10) – DE Robert Quinn ~ North Carolina – Agent: Carl Carey - The 49ers hired Greg Manusky as their defensive coordinator who comes over from the Chargers where he was linebackers coach. San Diego stockpiled pass rushers and he will want to do the same in the Bay Area.  As of now the team has average pass rushers at best, with LB Manny Lawson being their top option. The key to this pick is the fact that Lawson is an unrestricted free agent. Quinn is arguably the most gifted pass rusher in the entire draft (along with Von Miller) and projects as a dominant pro. If the 49ers can look past the fact that Quinn missed all of last season due to a suspension, don’t expect a potential sack artist of this level to fall past them. Keep an eye on CB Prince Amukamara here or the first trade of the draft.

8. Tennessee (6-10) – DT Nick Fairley ~ Auburn - Agent: Brian Overstreet - The Titans would be in a great position here to add one of the top talents in this draft. Prince Amukamara or Julio Jones could go here, but I think at the end of the day, with the Titans style of play on defense, Fairley will be too good to pass up. In the beginning of the draft process this year, Fairley was said to be a potential top 2 pick. After time, character concerns have plagued the former Auburn Tiger. Tracy Rocker was Fairley’s mentor and coach at Auburn and is now the Defensive Line Coach in Tennessee. This would be the best possible landing spot for Fairley and he knows it. I have questions about his ability to hold up against the run and the fact that he had only one successful college season in his life. At the end of the day, his talent & potential merits top 10 consideration and the Titans may be the one team who can get his potential to rise to the surface on the next level.

9. Dallas (6-10) – OT Tyron Smith ~ USC - Agent: Lock, Metz, and Malinovic - The Cowboys biggest need is along their offensive line. Although drafting Smith here would be a considerable reach, the former USC Trojan has immense potential and could start on the right side before switching over to the left. I think J.J. Watt or Cameron Jordan are strong possibilities here as well. If Bill Polian’s draft strategy of “We’re assuming all of our unrestricted free agents will not be back” carries through the rest of the league, then this pick makes even more sense. If there is no CBA reached before the draft the Cowboys have several offensive lineman hitting free agency, including the team’s best tackle (Doug Free). Marc Colombo on the other side is a servicable player but the team is in desperate need of an upgrade. Smith has the flair, potential, size, and measurables that Dallas so highly covets. This guy would look good with a star on his helmet in 2011.

10. Washington (6-10) – WR Julio Jones ~ Alabama - Agent: SportsTrust Advisors - Jones is the absolute best player available, although DE J.J. Watt or Cameron Jordan are huge possibilities here as well. Jones has great size (6’3” 220 pounds), very good speed (4.38), a tremendous blocker, and is a warrior who battles through injuries. He also is very polished in his route running and would give the Redskins some much needed youth at the position. Starting receiver Santana Moss is past his prime, so there needs to be an upgrade here. The team likes WR Anthony Armstrong a lot, but they lack a true number one go-to guy and Julio Jones embodies everything that type of player is.

11. Houston (6-10) - DE/OLB Aldon Smith ~ Missouri- Agent:  - Creative Artists Agency – The 30th ranked defense from 2010 will be switching schemes (from a 4-3 to a 3-4) and lack a prototypical 3-4 pass rush specialist. Smith is an extremely intriguing prospect because of his lightning fast hands, daddy long legs he has for arms (35 3/8 inches), quick lateral movement, and an intense desire to hit the quarterback. His run defending has a lot of room for improvement, but this can be worked on by getting stronger and more technically sound. He is very young, and many say if he stayed another year at Missouri he would’ve been a top 10 pick in 2012. Newly hired Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips (previously the Head Coach of the Cowboys) would love to have his own version of DeMarcus Ware in cross-town rival Houston.

12. Minnesota (6-10) – CB Prince Amukamara ~ Nebraska – Agent: Todd France – I have had QB Jake Locker going here for a while now, but hear me out first. With the 43rd overall pick the Vikings can surely have one of the top 6 quarterbacks in this draft, presumably – Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, or Colin Kaepernick. If they absolutely love Locker they could trade up at the end of the 1st and get him. (Unless Mike Shanahan pulls a fast one and snags him at 10). With these being distict possibilities, Amukamara is simply the best player available, period. The team has aging/decling CB Antoine Windfield and the often injured/inconsistent Cedric Griffin. This is a team that is not in a rebuilding phase, so taking the player who can help them immediately would be a wise decision. It also helps that Head Coach Leslie Frazier is a former defensive backs coach who would love to mold this kid into a shutdown corner.

13. Detroit (6-10) – OT Anthony Castonzo ~ Boston College – Agent: Creative Artists Agency – The team knows it, the fans know it, I know it, and QB Matthew Stafford knows it; protecting their 41.7+ million dollar investment (that’s just in guaranteed money) is the team’s #1 priority this off-season. LT Jeff Backus could possibly fill-in for one more year while Castonzo plays the right side, althought he would start for my team at left from day one. Protecting the team’s only real hope at breaking out of the basement of the NFL is much more of a requirement then adding depth to the defensive line. Castonzo is a stout tackle who is equally skilled vs the run and pass. This pick is a no-brainer in my mind.

14. St. Louis (7-9) – DE Da’Quan Bowers ~ Clemson - Agent: BTI Sports Advisors - After the college football season people were talking about Bowers going #1 overall. This would be a gigantic drop for the nation’s leading sack artist from 2010, but has a high chance of happening. Bowers knee injury has teams majorly concerned. Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo is a defensive guy who cannot get enough of a pass rush. He built a defensive line empire in New York with the Giants, with depth all over the place. In St. Louis they are far from having this, and Bowers has potential to give them two bookends (the other being Chris Long). Right now, DE James Hall is the other starter who had a phenomenal year in 2010 with 10.5 sacks, but he is 34 years old. Defensive tackle is a bigger need for the Rams, but none of the guys available carries the value that Bowers does at 14. By selecting the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, the defensive line would all of a sudden have depth, and the chance of being truely special at getting after the quarterback.

15. Miami (7-9) – OG/C Mike Pouncey ~ Florida – Agent: Lagardere Unlimited – The Dolphins want to be a 60-40 running football team. They can’t do that without the big men up front to control the line of scrimmage. Pouncey has tremendous versatility, with the ability to come in at center or either guard position. The Dolphins also could go with the commonly mocked RB Mark Ingram here or even reach for a quarterback (Ryan Mallett?) but the wise move in my opinion would be to go with Pouncey. The possibility of him coming in alongside LT Jake Long and being anything close to his brother Maurkice could propel this offense to places they couldn’t imagine a year ago.

16. Jacksonville (8-8) – DE Ryan Kerrigan ~ Purdue – Agent: Athletes First - Jacksonville has soon to be 32 year old Aaron Kampman as their top pass rusher, who is also coming off a torn ligament in his knee this up coming season. Aside from him is a major hole, so defensive end is a huge need for the Jaguars. Kerrigan is one of the safest picks in this draft and holds tremendous value this late. He was one of the most productive players in Purdue history, and is the best out of this defensive end class at stripping the football once he reaches the quarterback Another factor that makes this position the likely choice for Jacksonville; their defense ranked 28th overall and 30th in sacks last year. Kerrigan can immediately help in both departments and Head Coach Jack Del Rio needs all the help he can get this year; time is running out for the former USC Trojan alum.

17. New England – from Oakland (8-8) – DE J.J. Watt ~ Wisconsin – Agent: Creative Artists Agency - This pick seems to be a no-brainer if Watt were to fall this far. At 6’6” 292 pounds, Watt will remind the Patriots of a guy they are all too familiar with – Steelers DE Aaron Smith. Watt is able to fit right in on New England’s 3-4 base defense and he will provide an instant influx of youth and versatility to an aging defensive line. The Patriots have more draft picks then any team in the NFL this year, grabbing Watt first will set them up for a potentially fantastic draft class.

18. San Diego (9-7) – DE Cameron Jordan ~ Cal - Agent: Octagon - San Diego simply needs another defensive lineman for their 3-4 defense. Aside from Luis Castillo, the team has Jacques Cesaire, who is an unrestricted free agent and on the wrong side of 30. Jordan is 6’4″ 287 pounds and has the ability to get to the quarterback and take on the double team. He even has shown flashes of handling dropping into coverage, so you can see the tremendous possibilities he brings to a defense’s arsenal. This pick would solidify the Chargers front seven and allow them to address the rest of their team needs from here on out. San Diego would be wise to take a safe pick such as Jordan, but don’t be surprised if GM A.J. Smith takes a bigger risk, such as CB Jimmy Smith.

19. New York Giants (10-6) - RB Mark Ingram ~ Alabama – Agent: Lagardere Unlimited – The Giants can afford to take the best player available at this point and Ingram is exactly that. Ingram’s father played for the Giants at the height of his career as well. His bruising, between the tackle style suits the rugged NFC East to a tee. The team’s top two runningbacks are both free agents. RB Brandon Jacobs has had major attitude issues, while RB Ahmad Bradshaw has had injury and fumble issues while in New York. The former Heisman Trophy & National Champion brings the pedigree, style of play, and attitude as a runner that the Big Blue covets.

20. Tampa Bay (10-6) - DE Adrian Clayborn ~ Iowa – Agent: The Institutes for Athletes – Tampa Bay is lacking an edge pass rusher as bad as anything on their young defense. Last year they drafted two defensive tackles with their first two picks, this year they will be addressing the end spot early. Clayborn has questions about his Erb’s Palsy disease, which ironically has created zero problems for him since childhood. He has gained a reputation as a technician who gets by with superior effort and intangibles. He has overcome adversity throughout his young life and has been doubted a lot leading up to the draft. This sounds to me like the exact recipe for the kind of player Head Coach Raheem Morris loves.

21. Kansas City (10-6) – OT Gabe Carimi ~ Wisconsin – Agent: Premier Sports – Carimi is a classic Badger lineman; techniqually sound, mean, big (6’6″ 323), and very physical. He is also versatile and could come in from day one as a right tackle, solidifying a glaring hole on the Kansas City offense. Carimi fits the mold of a Scott Pioli type of player and is my favorite tackle in the draft. Keep an eye on NT Phil Taylor and LB Akeem Ayers here as well.

22. Indianapolis (10-6) – OT Nate Solder ~ Colorado – Agent: Athletes First – General Manager Bill Polian has built winning teams for decades and rarely makes a bad decision in the draft. Last season he passed on in-state product OT Rodger Saffold from Indiana and he went on to be one of the top rookie performers in the NFL last season for the Rams. Having also failed on a previous highly selected tackle (Tony Ugoh), you know Polian wants revenge in the worst way. Solder has the best size/athleticism combo of any tackle in this draft but is very raw. The team could ease him into things by putting him on the right or start him as Peyton Manning’s blindside protector from day one. There’s no way Polian can whiff on offensive tackle three times, is there?

23. Philadelphia (10-6) – CB Jimmy Smith ~ Colorado - Agent: Drew Rosenhaus - The Eagles desperately need someone to cover the opposite side of CB Asante Samuel. Smith is a great press man corner which would compliment Samuel’s zone brilliance very nicely. Smith is 6’2″ 200+ pounds and can matchup physically with anybody. His character concerns are legitimate, but his talent makes up for it, especially this far down in the first round. The potential of having two pro bowl caliber corners on the field does a lot for a defense, just ask the Super Bowl Champions.

24. New Orleans (11-5) - DT Cory Liuget ~ Illinois – Agent: Impact Sports - The Saints have one very good defensive end in Will Smith;  he’s been suspended for a banned substance before in his career, is going to be 30 by the start of 2011, and has also been arrested before. On the other side Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams has gotten a pass rush by committee the last couple seasons. At defensive tackle the team has multiple free agents, including their #1 guy Anthony Hargrove. The line has more holes then swiss cheese and they need to fill one of them early in this draft. Liuget holds too much value at this point to be passed up.

25. Seattle (7-9) – QB Ryan Mallett ~ Arkansas – Agent: J.R. Carroll – Seattle couldn’t reach an agreement with veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck before the season ended and will most likely let the soon-to-be 36 year old walk. Mallett is a risk in a lot of ways, some of which are way overblown. His character concerns especially. It also is worth noting that Head Coach Pete Carroll is a risk taker who will do his homework on Mallett. Mallett has been one of the most productive college quarterbacks in the nation over the last few seasons and has incredible size and arm strength. Mel Kiper has said Mallett’s arm strength is in the top 5 over the last 30 years. Greg Cosell said on twitter that Mallett has the best NFL skill set in the draft. Not only does he have a cannon, he has tremendous touch on his passes. He will need a good offensive line to create a pocket for him to throw out of. His presence inside the pocket is also elite, but he cannot get away from much pressure very well. Seattle has his blindside protector already in place which they can build off of. Mallett could go as high as #15 to Miami as well.

26. Baltimore (12-4) - DE Cameron Heyward ~ Ohio State – Agent: SportsTrust Advisors - The Ravens need another starter along their 3-4 defensive line, especially with the rapid decline of Cory Redding last season. Heyward fits into what Baltimore is all about – extremely tough, hardworking, and a non-stop motor. Heyward can come in and start right away and start; bringing tons of versatility and NFL pedigree as well. GM Ozzie Newsome is one of, if not the best in the business. Newsome will not let Heyward’s ability and potential slip by, especially at such a big need.

27. Atlanta (13-3) - TE Kyle Rudolph ~ Notre Dame – Agent: Athletes First - The Falcons have the aging Tony Gonzalez who has considered retiring before deciding to return for one more run at it. The Falcons run two tight end sets as much as any team in the NFL, so Rudolph would be a stellar #2 for a year before stepping in the following season as QB Matt Ryan’s new security blanket. Rudolph had a great pro day; measuring in at 6’6″ 258, 19 reps of 225, 34.5 inch vertical, and running a solid 4.75. He is the real deal and has the intangibles that GM Thomas Dimitroff covets. Simply a very solid pick for a very solid drafting football team.

28. New England (14-2) - OL Danny Watkins ~ Baylor – Agent: Lock, Metz, Malinovic – The Patriots will have their eyes open early in this draft for Logan Makins replacement, or another player just like him. Watkins is one of the most intriguing prospects in the 2011 NFL Draft. He grew up in Canada playing hockey his whole life and was a firefighter before ever playing a down of football. He started at Baylor the last two years at tackle but projects best as a guard at the next level. He has great balance, violent hands, is able to anchor really well, and finishes blocks. Watkins is the type of player teams like because he doesn’t have many bad habits and is very coachable. He is 26 years old which can scare some teams, but he has only been playing football for two years. Sounds like a Bill Belichick player if I’ve ever heard of one.

29. Chicago (11-5) - DT Phil Taylor ~ Baylor ~ Baylor – Agent: All-Pro Sports – There aren’t many teams who will feel comfortable enough with Taylor, due to him being kicked out of Penn State for being involved in an on-campus brawl. The Bears are one team who are not afraid of bringing anybody in, as long as they have the talent to back it up. Taylor is a mammoth of a man at 6’3″ 334 pounds, who could come in and give them the vital centerpiece that this defense needs after letting Tommie Harris go this past off-season. I love the idea of Taylor being under the wing of one of the game’s greatest teachers – Rod Marinelli.

30. New York Jets (11-5) - DE Muhammad Wilkerson ~ Temple – Agent: Chad Wiestling – The Jets are one team who are not afraid of bringing anybody in, as long as they have the talent to back it up. Wilkerson is a small-school guy who is very versatile and productive at 6’4″ 315 pounds. Current NT Kris Jenkins tore his ACL once again last year and will be 32 during the 2011 season. Wilkerson is a lot like a young Trevor Pryce; who is currently on the roster. Drafting Wilkerson adds much needed depth and would ensure the Jets defense remains among the very best in the NFL for years to come.

31. Pittsburgh (12-4) – OT Derek Sherrod ~ Mississippi State – Agent: Bus Cook – The Steelers would love to add a starter at right tackle and part ways with the very old Flozell Adams. Sherrod is a versatile guy as well which the Steelers love in their lineman. He can come in from day one and solidify the team’s offensive tackle position, giving them bookend tackles (the other being Max Starks).

32. Green Bay (10-6) – LB Akeem Ayers ~ UCLA – Agent: Chuck Price – The former UCLA Bruin was simply one of the best all-around linebackers in the nation last season. He can play the run and pass with equal effectiveness and he possesses a very under rating pass rush arsenal. I love his size (6’3″ 254) and willingness to take on blocks. He has a high football IQ that you see when you watch him play. His workouts without pads on weren’t breathtaking, but that won’t matter as much as everyone says it will. Especially not for one of the very best in the business (GM Ted Thompson) at recognizing talent in overlooked places.

Round 2

1. New England – from Carolina (2-14) – LB Brooks Reed ~ Arizona – Agent: Priority Sports –  New England would love to have a guy who many scouts compare to Clay Matthews. If you remember, last season the Patriots passed on drafting Matthews, so this could be their revenge on the rest of the NFL. Reed plays with an outstanding motor, he possesses all the intangibles you look for, and has big-time explosion off the line. These are qualities that define a New England Patriot football player, so this pick just makes a lot of sense.

2. Buffalo (4-12) – QB Jake Locker ~ Washington – Agent: Athletes First – The Bills Head Coach Chan Gailey loves working with mobile quarterbacks and if Locker slipped this far they would jump all over him. Locker has a big-time arm, escapability that Gailey loves, and the intangibles to succeed in Buffalo. Plus he is used to playing in the cold. This would be a tremendous draft for the Bills if they could come away with Von Miller & Jake Locker with their first two picks.

3. Cincinnati (4-12) – CB/S Aaron Williams ~ Texas – Agent: Creative Artists Agency – The Bengals could go a number of ways at this point, although I’m not sure anybody presents as much value as Williams does. The team has a legitimate unrestricted free agent that they could easily lose this off-season in CB Jonathan Joseph. Selecting Williams here gives them a potential replacement for Joseph, or even a starting safety from day one, which is maybe the weakest position on the entire Bengals team.

4. Denver (4-12) – DT Stephen Paea ~ Oregon State – Agent: Athletes First - I have the Broncos selecting DT Marcell Dareus with the #2 overall pick and Paea would solidify the interior of their line. All of a sudden the team’s weakest link would be replenished and set for years to come. Paea is extremely athletic for a guy his size (6’1” 303). Paea is as strong as an ox (setting the combine record with 49 reps of 225) and is nearly impossible to move out of his position. Paea could possibly elevate the Broncos defense to another level.

5. Cleveland (5-11) – DT Marvin Austin ~ North Carolina – Agent: Maximum Sports - Cleveland is moving over to the 4-3 defense and they desperately need an achor in the middle of their line. Austin is a guy who has extremely impressive measurables (6’2” 309, 38 reps of 225 and a 4.80 40 yard dash). He also has made great strides in rebuilding his character during this off-season, with brilliant performances in all the events he has been involved in so far (Shrine Game, Combine, Pro Day).

6. Arizona (5-11) – LB Justin Houston ~ Georgia – Agent: Lagardere Unlimited – A guy who otherwise has been clean throughout his college career shouldn’t experience a gigantic drop in his draft status from one failed drug test. WR Percy Harvin failed his combine drug test and still went high, I expect Houston’s immense potential to weigh out here as well. The Cardinals desperately need to replace LB Clark Haggans & Joey Porter. Houston is 6’3″ 270 pounds and comes around the edge with scary speed. He could make a defense a whole lot better very quickly. Playing such a high value position in the 3-4 makes him too valuable, especially at this point in the draft.

7. Tennessee (6-10) – QB Andy Dalton ~ TCU – Agent: Select Sports Group – Dalton is a guy who teams have absolutely fallen in love with. In Tennessee, with a new regime, they are in desperate need of a leader the team can rally around. Only QB Colt McCoy has won more football games in Division I history then Andy Dalton has at TCU. Dalton would be the polar opposite personality of Vince Young, which is probably exactly what this franchise needs.

8. Dallas (6-10) – S Rahim Moore ~ UCLA - Agent: Impact Sports - Dallas has been dreadful at the safety position for years and will be seeking a ballhawk in this draft. Moore had 11 interceptions the last two years at UCLA and could finally give the Cowboys a reliable guy at safety. Moore also holds tremendous value at #40 overall.

9. Washington (6-10) – QB Colin Kaepernick ~ Nevada – Agent: XAM Sports -  Kaepernick is big (6’5″ 233) with an even bigger arm, and last year he became the only quarterback in Division 1 history to pass for over 10,000 yards and rush for over 4,000 in a college career. Head Coach Mike Shanahan could envision Kaepernick as being a blend of Jake Plummer and Jay Cutler – two players who fit his offense perfectly. Kaepernick could reap the benefits of going to this system, and this may be the best possible landing spot for the NCAA record setting QB from Nevada.

10. Houston (6-10) – CB Brandon Harris ~ Miami - Agent: Infinite Sports Concepts – Harris is a guy who could sneak into the bottom of the first round. He had the best combine out of all the corners, especially in the drills. Harris plays with a big-time swagger and is fearless in run support. Houston had the 32nd ranked pass defense in the NFL last season and would be elated to fill such a huge need with excellent value in Harris.

11. Minnesota (6-10) – QB Christian Ponder ~ Florida State – Agent: SportsTrust Advisors – If the Vikings pass on QB Jake Locker early, then they will surely look for QB Brett Favre’s replacement with this pick. Of course a trade up for a quarterback is a distinct possibility as well, I won’t predict trades in this mock (shooting into the dark). Ponder is a very accurate quarterback who makes smart decisions. He also has great intangibles and has been called a leader by everyone who knows him.

12. Detroit (6-10) – DE Jabaal Sheard ~ Pittsburgh - Agent: Rosenhaus Sports - The Lions hit the lottery last year on drafting Ndamukong Suh and DE Kyle Vanden Bosch is solid but getting older. Sheard is a guy who had great post-season workouts, and would fit a big need for the Lions. This is about where many people expect Sheard to go come draft day.

13. San Francisco (6-10) – DE Allen Bailey ~ Miami - Agent: Terry Watson – Bailey is basically an athletic freak, he is 6’3” 285 pounds, ran a 4.76 at the combine, benched 225 27 times, and posted a 36.5 inch vertical. He also has 34 inch long arms, which he uses very well to keep offensive lineman off of him. He had so much hype at the “U” that it was nearly impossible for him to live up to it since teams focused so much of their attention on him. The 49ers need to upgrade their three man front badly, Bailey is an ideal fit for the 5 technique.

14. Denver – from Miami (7-9) – RB Mikel LeShoure ~ Illinois – Agent: Blueprint Sports Group – Denver needs a compliment to RB Knowshon Moreno (especially since he can’t seem to stay healthy), Leshoure ran a 4.56 at the combine and posted a 38 inch vertical. He has the ability to get to the edge and once he gets to the second level, it’s like a bowling ball hitting pins. In Head Coach John Fox’s offense, a power runningback is a must have, so Leshoure (6’0″ 227) makes the most sense here.

15. St. Louis (7-9) – WR Torrey Smith ~ Maryland – Agent: Drew Rosenhaus – The Rams would love to be able to draft Julio Jones at #14 but I don’t see that being a possibility unless they trade up to take him. Assuming they don’t and address a need along their defensive line, Smith could very easily be the pick here. The Maryland product has very good measurables (6’1″ 204, 4.43 40, 41 inch vertical) and does not drink or smoke. He is a high-character guy who will give future Pro Bowler Sam Bradford a much needed weapon to add to his arsenal.

16. Oakland (8-8) - LB Bruce Carter ~ North Carolina – Agent: Champion Pro Consulting – The Raiders went linebacker with their first pick last year and I see them doing the same again this year if Carter were to fall this far. At UNC, Carter was tabbed as one of the athletic freaks of the team and for good reason, this guy has sideline to sideline speed and at 6’2″ 240, the size/speed combo that Owner Al Davis loves in his linebackers. Carter can come in and have a starting position from day one because of the hole at outside linebacker. This would be one more piece to plug into one of the more underrated defenses in the league.

17. Jacksonville (8-8) -  WR Leonard Hankerson ~ Miami – Agent: Lagardere Unlimited – Jacksonville let their #1 receiver Mike Simms-Wallace go via free agency this off-season and they were already a weak receiving core. Hankerson is a legitimate red-zone threat and was one of the most productive receivers in Miami’s rich history. He could come in and give this offense a much needed presence to keep some pressure off the team’s best player – RB Maurice Jones-Drew.

18. San Diego (9-7) – WR Greg Little ~ North Carolina – Agent: Octagon - The Chargers have WR Vincent Jackson who isn’t guaranteed to be coming back, as well as other free agents at the position. Little is rising up draft boards with superior athleticism and strength, as well as some of the best hands in the draft. Don’t be surprised if GM A.J. Smith found a replacement for Vincent Jackson here and bid him farewell.

19. Tampa Bay (10-6) – CB Ras-I Dowling ~ Virginia – Agent: Sunny Shah – Ras-I Dowling is a special athlete at corner; he’s 6’1” 198, ran a 4.40 at the combine, and he is an extremely competitive player. The Bucs have Aqib Talib who is a supremely talented guy but simply can’t stay out of trouble and his chances could be running out (how haven’t they already?). CB Ronde Barber is close to being a senior citizen so the team needs to add depth and a likely starter sooner rather then later.

20. New York Giants (10-6) – LB Martez Wilson ~ Illinois – Agent: Professional Sports Planning – This could allow the Giants to not re-sign Chase Blackburn (who is an average starter at best) and go with the big (6’4” 250) fast (4.44) and athletic (36 inch vertical) Wilson. This kid could sneak into the bottom of the first based off his combine alone, but his tape isn’t as tantalizing. This is a perfect landing spot for him, giving the Giants great value, while filling a need as well.

21. Indianapolis (10-6) - CB Curtis Brown ~ Texas – Agent: Allegiant Athletic Agency - The Colts still need another corner to come in and play nickel. Brown was under the radar all season long but was very underrated at Texas and has great size. He could come in and give the team competition at a vital position. This pick allows them to improve their chances on competing against the tremendous passing games sprouting across the NFL.

22. Philadelphia (10-6) – OT Jah Reid ~ Central Florida - Agent: Derrick Fox Inc. – At 6’7″ 327 pounds, Reid has a massive body and the tenacity needed to succeed at this level. The Eagles need somebody to come in and compete with Winston Justice and potentially replace him. Reid is still a raw prospect and could sit on the bench for a year while developing. Andy Reid loves big, nasty offensive lineman and his staff could mold him into a solid starter.

23. Kansas City (10-6) – WR Jonathan Baldwin ~ Pittsburgh – Agent: Priority Sports - The Chiefs desperately need another playmaker across from Dwayne Bowe. Baldwin is a guy that I’m sure a couple teams have fell in love with and he could be a guy who goes much higher or much lower then people expect. With a stellar performance at the combine, running a 4.50 at 6’4” 228 pounds, he has the makings of a true #1 receiver.

24. New Orleans (11-5) – LB Mason Foster ~ Washington – Agent: Caric Sports – When you talk about poor linebacking core’s in the NFL, it doesn’t get much worse then what is in the Big Easy. Aside from LB Jonathan Vilma, this team desperately needs an upgrade. LB Scott Shanle is serviceable, but Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams is tired of “serviceable” at this position. Foster is one of the best run defending backers in this class and was a leader at Washington. He would come in from day one and provide youth & a much needed upgrade to this aggressive defense.

25. Seattle (7-9) – C/G Stefen Wisniewski ~ Penn State – Agent: Eastern Athletic Services – The Seahawks need to replace C Chris Spencer, who can’t stay healthy. Current OL Max Unger is a guy I scouted at the 2009 Senior Bowl and was a much better guard then center in my opinion. Wisniewski is a better suited center, so this pick fills a need for the Seahawks and gives them a pro ready lineman from the get go.

26. Baltimore (12-4) – OT Joseph Barksdale ~ LSU – Agent: Sunny Shah – General Manger Ozzie Newsome is one of the very best at what he does. He drafts guys based off of their tape, not letting their measurables carry too much weight. Barksdale has the size (6’5” 325) to match up in the supremely physical AFC North and the technique to start sooner rather than later on the next level. He is very sound against the run and pass and can play either tackle position. With current Ravens OT Jared Gaither’s health in question, this is more of a luxury pick that would solidify the Ravens offensive line.

27. Atlanta (13-3) – WR Randall Cobb ~ Kentucky – Agent: SportsTrust Advisors - Atlanta is letting WR Brian Finneran go, WR Harry Douglas has only been hurt & underachieved lately, and WR Michael Jenkins is painfully inconsistent. Opposing teams will begin to double team & rotate coverage more and more towards WR Roddy White’s side, making the offense more predictable. Before this happens, Atlanta has a chance to add a weapon opposite White’s side. Cobb is a dynamic playmaker who can turn on the burners and fly, make people miss, and go the distance anytime he touches the ball. His style of play would add another dimension to this offense and possibly elevate them to new heights next season. GM Thomas Dimitroff knows how to find the diamond in the rough prospects, Cobb is exactly that.

28. New England (14-2) – RB Ryan Williams ~ Virginia Tech – Agent: Malik Shareef – When you are as successful of a team as the Patriots are, come draft day, you are able to draft for value a little more then the average team who would have to address needs first. I love how hard Williams runs, his underrated hands, and willingness to block. Getting a guy like Williams here is a pure steal. New England always likes to have a stable of tailbacks and with Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris, and Kevin Faulk all unrestricted free agents this guy would be an upgrade over all of them.

29. San Diego – from New York Jets (11-5) – LB Quan Sturdivant ~ North Carolina – Agent: Athletes First –  The Chargers three middle linebackers (Kevin Burnett, Stephen Cooper, and Brandon Siler) are all free agents. San Diego will most likely re-sign one of them if not two. Sturdivant was a big-time playmaker at North Carolina and is a very intruiging prospect. He is 6’1” 241, and plays a hard-nose, downhill style football; a perfect pedigree for the 3-4 ILB position.

30. Chicago (11-5) - OG/OT Ben Ijalana ~ Villanova – Agent: Eastern Athletic Services – Offensive Line Coach Mike Tice wants a player to mold into a guy who can protect QB Jay Cutler for the future. Ijalana was a star at Villanova and offers tons of versatility. Ijalana would be a great addition to a struggling Bears offensive line who needs help at both guard and tackle.

31. Pittsburgh (12-4) – OL Will Rackley ~ Lehigh - Agent: SportsStars - Pittsburgh needs a versatile offensive lineman to add to the mix. Last season injuries once again desimated their offensive line and they need to add depth in this draft. Rackley can play multiple positions and has garnered tons of interest from teams at his pro day.

32. Green Bay (10-6) - WR Titus Young ~ Boise State – Agent: Pro Sports Planning - The Packers will be looking for Donald Driver’s replacement. Young is a burner who can bring a dimension to this offense that they simply don’t have (elite speed). This is a prime example of the rich getting richer and gaining pure value at the end of the 2nd round.

Mock friends: No Limit Sportsline | Da Bears and Bulls | NFL Draft Dog

  • Brasho

    Are you kidding me? Christian Ponder in round 1? Over Gabbert and others that are far better? The Bucs passing on a DE for a safety when they hae their top 2 guys coming back next season? Adrian Clayborn a top 3 pick? Ryan Kerrigan not a first rounder? What planet are you from? Maybe you are a real agent, and you’ve already signed some of the more questionable picks you’ve made here.. well, if that’s the case, let me be the first to tell you that you are delusional.

    • Dominic Perilli

      If you took your time to look, you would see that I have Gabbert as the #2 QB off the board.

      Why would the Bucs need a DE if they have a solid DT duo in Gerald McCoy and Brian Price coming back? They obviously need help in the secondary. Are you comfortable with Sean Jones?

      I’ll give you the Kerrigan error. He’ll be in the first round in the next update.

      And I hate to rain on your parade but I’m not an agent :(

  • DRF

    How in the world do you have Clayborn to Buffalo in the top 3? he’s done nothing but drop his stock out of the top 5 all year.. Second, just because the Buc’s have McCoy and Brian Price DOESN’T mean they won’t take a DE, in fact it’s almost unfathomable that you would think that.. They need a DE in Tampa so having two DT’s wouldn’t matter. Also, Ponder might climb in to round 1, but not all the way up to 15, that’s just a little bit early in my opinion… How can you have a potential top 10 player like Dareus fall all the way to 21? Not gonna happen… Akeem Ayers also will be off the board well before the 32nd pick.

    • Dominic Perilli

      All fair points but don’t you think the Bucs should help out their cause in the secondary before handling the DE position?

      • bob

        a better pass rush makes your secondary look better

        • Dominic Perilli

          It wouldn’t be very beneficial to sweep the secondary issue under the rug.

  • Gino

    Prince Amukamara will not go in the top 10. he is way, way, overrated in these early mocks. Against Oklahoma State, he was beaten deep four times. Blackmon just abused him. He cannot cover a top flight NFL receiver. He just can’t. Even if he was as good as his biggest fans suggest, he will not go ahead of Peterson. Clayborn is lazy. He will go high, but not that high. I like your having Cam Newton and Janoris Jenkins in the top 10. Baldwin to the Chiefs at 25 is a winner too. Good job, keep it up.

  • Keith

    Umm. What happened to Rodney Hudson to where he wouldn’t be towards to the top of this list?

  • Raindogzilla

    If Nick Fairley was still available at #4 and the Bengals opted for Green over him, I would burn my jersey. Okay, seriously, good as Green is, we can pick up a Jon Baldwin, a Torrey Smith, or even a Tori Gurley later on to augment Simpson, Caldwell, Shipley and Gresham. Fairley, on the other hand, could give the entire defense an identity and a flat out meanness that it currently lacks. Good mock otherwise.

    • Dominic Perilli

      I see your point. This is mostly preliminary. Mocks change ALOT as it gets closer to April. Lots of things can happen.

      Thanks for reading.

  • tulsajim

    julio jones is not the 6th rated player in this draft, a total reach,, baldwin no way in hell

  • Dominic Perilli

    Tell me which portions of the mock that you are having trouble with and I will gladly ease your concern.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FRKAEIA2MOTPFCR3FYADUP6YIU Mark

    The Patriots take a RB and a WR in the first round? Must be different Patriots than I know. Their defense couldn’t get of the field for much of the year – worst in 3rd down stops – and they have issues at guard looking forward, and keeping Brady upright is job one.

  • Misaege

    I disagree Gabbert’s the most NFL-ready of this year’s QB crop. Harbaugh’s not all that impressed with the so-called first rd candidates…were Luck still in this draft they’d all slip considerably. Be that as it may, JH is going to sign at least one vet QB to be his starter. Agree, he’ll draft a QB, but not in the 1st rd. It’d make sense to pick Ponder…for one, he’s already familiar with the WCO. His transition to the NFL should be easier than a guy like Gabbert, Locker, take your pick of the rest. The major knock on him’s been his health…but now he’s 100% healthy. If Von Miller’s still there at #7, look for SF to take him. If not, Quinn or one of the top CB’s is likely to be the choice.

    • Dominic Perilli

      What do you think about SF’s chances of trading for Eagles QB Kevin Kolb?

  • Bthorn86

    Hey everybody, this is a brand new mock draft! I hope you guys (and girls) enjoy it, and your opinion is highly encouraging to hear so please leave some feedback. Thank you and stay tuned for round two!

    • Brtlngk

      I think the Jets would go OLB or S first round. A lot of drafts have the Jets going Rahim Moore , Brooks Reed, Justin Houston, and even Akeem Ayers in the first round. What do you think of the possibility of the Jets going for any of those guys?

      • Brandon Thorn

        Well I think that all four guys you just named would be excellent fits in the Big Apple. Rahim Moore would be a slight reach in my opinion at #30. Houston reminds me (and many other scouts) of Vernon Gholsten. I think this possibility, along with him being gone anyway in my mock, make it unlikely. Brooks Reed is a real interesting guy, who would be available there. I could see them reaching a little bit on Reed because he reminds people so much of Clay Matthews.

        With that being said, of every prospect available, Phil Taylor presents the most value as well as intrigue in my eyes. The guy is in the mold of a young Kris Jenkins. Jenkins was an absolute beast in his youth and if the Jets could have a force at nose tackle, it would open up so many other things for that defense. I love the idea of Taylor being under Rex Ryan and in that defense.

  • Envenable

    Brandon, you are a football genius. You really are so talented. Keep up the great work!

  • http://twitter.com/NFLGM TheNFLManager.com

    Good mock. I’m not sure that the Packers need a Safety with Morgan Burnett and Charlie Peprah also on the Roster with Nick Collins… I could see them going Brooks Reed, Derek Sherrod, etc.

    • Brandon Thorn

      thanks for the comment, I agree with you, I actually made changes to the mock before seeing this comment but I went along the same lines as you’re thinking.

  • Pete

    THe bengals have a new OC and WR coach. Those are 2 pretty big changes. Not that it matters, they will still mess it up.

    • Brandon Thorn

      I was just referring to them not having anybody different in the decision-making department. (I think they need to hire a General Manager)

  • TommyBoy

    Did you know that only 5 teams gave up less sacks than the Detroit Lions? The offensive line is not perfect, but it is way better than the back 7 on defense. With the defensive shortcomings, I would love to see the Lions draft all defense this year. Here’s to the Prince falling to 13.

    • Brandon Thorn

      Great stat TommyBoy, I could definitly see Detroit going with one of the stud defensive ends with that pick (Ryan Kerrigan, Aldon Smith) or even Jimmy Smith. Based on who they have at those positions, who’s available, and the fact that Matt Stafford absolutely needs a premier left tackle, that’s why I have Smith going there for now. Backus is a decent starter at left but he is getting old, and if they could upgrade him with a potential bookend tackle, I think that would be a pretty smart route.

      • TommyBoy

        BT, normally I would agree, I believe that an NFL team should draft one OL every draft, that’s where it’s won and lost. However, with Julian Peterson getting cut and the barren wasteland of what we call cornerbacks, defense is the most palatable option. I agree, it appears that it is not a good spot for a CB selection, but a good DL or LB may be there. I would love to see Kerrigan under Vandenbosh’s wing.

  • Lltbball99

    Whether or not the Saints will draft a C/G in any round I don’t know, but to say they will to replace Goodwin for some reason makes me mad. It tells me the person didn’t do their homework. The Saints drafted Matt Tennant last year and they like him. He’ll be the Center of the future. The Saints could use another G as a backup, especially with the uncertainty with the CBA and Carl Nicks maybe being a FA or RFA, but I would hope the Saints address their much bigger needs on D than drafting a backup C/G whom may not play at all. Of course everything hinges on the CBA and free agency.

    • Brandon Thorn

      Thanks for the feedback on this pick. The reason I have Rodney Hudson projected here is based on more then saying the Saints will replace Goodwin. I just said that they could let him go if Hudson was their guy, that’s all. The fact that Goodwin is an unrestricted free agent and is 32 years old makes him disposable if they could bring in somebody younger, who they feel can be a starter for them soon, like I feel Hudson will be in the NFL. I remember Matt Tennant from Boston College and that the team traded their 4th rounder this year, to select him in last year’s draft. As I’m sure you know, Tennant started 3 years at BC and was very solid there, he’s a really intriguing guy. By drafting Hudson, the team would be essentially bringing in the insurance of having a viable backup to Tennant; as well as stiff competition for the job. Then if Tennant were to win the job, Hudson would backup 3 positions on the line.

      You made a great point with the new CBA as well. After reading more into the Saints needs, as well as you reminding me of Tennant being there, you may see a change in my next update of the mock. I’m just not sure there are many better versatile lineman in this whole draft, so this pick would carry great value to any NFL club.

      I appreciate the comments, please continue to follow my work!

      • Lltbball99

        Drafting Hudson as a backup for 3 positions does seem nice, but I don’t think they can afford that kind of luxury for a 2nd round pick. With all the help they can use at LB and D-line, I would hope they address that first. The Saints draft best player available and Hudson could be that guy, I really don’t know. The Saints’ draft last year surprised the heck out of me. I didn’t expect a CB and an OT to be their first 2 picks. So, I know I’ll be surprised this year and I probably won’t like it, but who knows. I trust the Saints’ front office.

        • Brandon Thorn

          I hear what you’re saying. I hope they address their defensive line or linebacker position as well. We have a lot of time until draft day and there will surely be a lot more updates to this mock. Especially with Da’Quan Bowers pro day coming up, that could create a huge shift in everything. Stay tuned!

  • http://twitter.com/PhoenixRogue86 Nate McGee

    You say Dareus has “versatility”. My question is, as what?
    Let’s break down a few things
    Physically –
    Slow 40 speed
    Does not have the same strength to push on the middle of offensive lines every play (as can be seen by his bench pressing)
    Short arms so he’s not going to be able to have leverage on the offensive linemen.

    Play –
    He put up nearly the same stats as a starter that he did as a backup. There was no improvement from year to year. He’s a situational pass rusher, and a glorified run blocker. He is not the same kind of DT that Fairley is in the slightest. Dareus has the career outlook of a Ted Washington, run stuffer yes, he’s not going to be the pass rushing threat we need in the middle though. He’s purely mediocre.

    • Brandon Thorn

      Nate, what you have stated about Marcell Dareus is extremely flawed. You ask what makes Dareus versatile? He can start at 3-4 end, nose tackle, or a 4-3 defensive tackle. That right there makes him FAR more versatile then Nick Fairley who could only start as a 4-3 defensive tackle. As far as the bench press numbers you throw out there, let me ask you, what shows a defensive tackle’s strength more – how many times he pushes a bar in the air or how many times he blows offensive lineman up? Gerald McCoy put up 23 reps at last year’s combine (1 less than Dareus) and he went in the top 3. Warren Sapp put up 17 reps of 225 at his combine. So now, does bench press mean as much to you? It’s impressive sure, but it doesn’t define or even measure a football player anywhere near that the tape does.

      The fact that you just compared Marcell Dareus to Ted Washington is laughable. Dareus has short arms? His arms are 33 3/8 in length, Fairley’s are 34 3/4. You’re telling me that about an inch of arm length is going to make him not able to “leverage against the offensive lineman”?.

      Lastly, sacks are meaningful, and very impressive. For a defensive tackle, they don’t mean as much. If you watched Alabama the last two years, there were dozens and dozens of times that Dareus knocked the quarterback on his back and didn’t get a sack (and it wasn’t a late hit like some of Fairley’s knockdowns). If you watch Dareus in college and say that is “purely mediocre” there is a huge disconnect between what you have seen and what I have seen.

      • http://twitter.com/PhoenixRogue86 Nate McGee

        Dareus is a glorified run defender. Thus why he’d be a NT, thus why he’d be on par with Washington. His 5-6 sacks per season isn’t going to transition to the next level because he’s never played inside. He doesn’t have the strength or push that Fairley has which will get him past the OG and C at the next level. Carolina runs a 4-3 system. Fairley fits it perfectly. You don’t draft a glorified run stopped which Dareus is with the #1 pick overall. You need the pass rush, which Dareus hasn’t displayed. McCoy had 3 sacks last year. Suh had 10. Fairley is more Suh than Dareus is. Dareus who is more McCoy will never have that many sacks, EVER. Fairley blew up the line every week in Auburn, he and Dareus PLAYED THE SAME COMPETITION. Fairley owned the offensive line this year, Dareus did not.

        Marcell Dareus and Ted Washington are/were NTs. You said yourself, that would be the position he would play in a 4-3. In Washington’s final year at Louisville, he had 7 sacks. (One more than Dareus entire year as a starter) and then never had more than 4.5 his entire NFL career. Dareus isn’t going to turn into some prototypical pass rushing 4-3 DT. He’s not going to put up 6 sacks a year at the next level.

        Let’s talk about living around the QB this past year shall we?
        Fairley had 12 sacks, 21 TFLs, and 21 QB Hurries (you know almost getting to the QB)
        Dareus had 5 sacks, 11 TFLs, and 10 QB Hurries.

        Yeah, your dozens and dozens of times didn’t hold up very well.

        • Brandon Thorn

          I disagree with so much of what you are saying that I wouldn’t know where to start. You calling Dareus a “glorified run defender” is absurd. You explaining to me football logic like I’m new to the sport is offending. You completely ignored how I made nearly every point from your first post backfire on you. You just posted that Carolina runs the 4-3, they will run just as much 3-4 as 4-3, Ron Rivera just got finished running the 3-4 in San Diego for years. He will incooperate both of them into this defense.
          *I didn’t say Dareus would play NT in the 4-3, there is no such thing. It’s a 1 technique and a 3 technique, the NT is a term reserved for the 3-4.
          *If you go around and ask ten scouts who resembles Suh more, Fairley or Dareus, you will get 10 saying it is Dareus. I’m beginning to think you are rambling at this point.
          *Saying Dareus never has played inside is ridiculous. A 3-4 defensive end plays inside virtually every play. You obviously do not have any games recorded, and do not study any film. You sound like the type of fan who is stuck in what he’s heard or seen from a handful of football games, not the whole picture.

  • http://twitter.com/PhoenixRogue86 Nate McGee

    Couple more notes:
    Bowers has too many injury issues with his knee to stay a top 10 pick. You don’t take a player of that much liability that high in the draft.

    Watt is better than Kerrigan, Kerrigan would be lucky to reach that high.

    Wilkerson should be a lot higher, higher than Liugett and Taylor at least. Dude is a freaking beast.

    • Brandon Thorn

      I’m not so sure what “too many injury issues with his knee” you are talking about. He is having his pro day on April 1st, we’ll see how he does then. Did you know that this knee injury is a torn meniscus and he tore it on November 6th against N.C. State, but played out the remainder of the season without missing a single game? I’m not too concerned about this one injury at all. Plenty of previous top 10 picks have had injuries in their college careers.

      Watt is better than Kerrigan, at what position? As a 3-4 defensive end or a defensive tackle sure. As a 4-3 defensive end, Kerrigan has proven throughout his entire college career that he is way above J.J. Watt. Watt had 11 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in his career at Wisconsin. That’s not bad at all. Kerrigan had 32 sacks and 14 forced fumbles. He’s the Big Ten’s All-Time leader in forced fumbles, and 2nd in Purdue history in sacks. So based off of their production, it isn’t even a discussion. Kerrigan & Watt both have prototypical size for their respective positions. Kerrigan & Watt both worked out great at the combine, Kerrigan was even more impressive though. He ran a 4.67 at 267 pounds (he’s now 273), he had 31 reps of 225 compared to Watt’s 34, only he did it weighing 23 less pounds then Watt. Lastly, and most importantly, just turn on the film, watch every game of their career (not that I have had that luxury, but I’ve seen a bunch of their games) and you cannot possibly tell me that J.J. Watt is close to the pass rusher Kerrigan is. They both are good against the run, and both will play different positions in the NFL.

      Wilkerson dominated at Temple University against the MAC. While there have been many players who have been very good at the NFL level that came from weak competition in college, let’s not jump the gun here. Wilkerson is a very intriguing prospect who could easily be drafted in the first round. He easily could be drafted at the end of the 2nd or beginning of the 3rd too. Have you seen Phil Taylor play football? He out-weighs Wilkerson by 20 pounds and can move like he’s 30 pounds lighter. There is no way that he is so easily better then Taylor & Liuget, I haven’t seen it. He’s right on line with both of those guys.

      • http://twitter.com/PhoenixRogue86 Nate McGee

        Bowers – Have you been living under a rock? Every news writing source is writing about Bowers’ knee and how it hasn’t been progressing back to health as quickly as expected. Many players have had injuries in the top 10 picks, but there has been nothing close to a knee injury. Broken hands, and broken bones in the feet are one thing, a screwed up knee effects every aspect of a DEs game. He won’t have the same burst, he won’t have the same push and strength on the outside. That knee becomes a target for any offensive player trying to make a block. The last time a player injured his knee and then went into the draft was Willis McGahee. He dropped from surefire top 5 pick down to pick 23. Knee injuries are taken seriously in this league.

        Watt – Watt has been a defensive end his entire career. He has the strength to excel at a 4-3 end on one on one matchups. He doesn’t have the size to play DT, so why you are considering him a DT is beyond me. The sack differential between the two would be considered great by your standards, however, Kerrigan played two entire season longer than Watt (4 vs 2 years) while playing in a 4-3 defense which allows DEs more ability to actually get to the QB. In a 3-4 a DE has to be more run conscious, and use his power to overcome multiple linemen. They aren’t free to go after the QB at their own volition. Thus, their sack numbers suffer because of it. If you look at 10 yard splits, which matters in terms of DEs, Watt had a 1.64, while Kerrigan had a 1.61. You want to know what this tells me? Kerrigan is slow for his weight class. If a guy can go nearly as fast when he’s nearly 30 pounds over him, it means he’s going to have a greater impact off the line because the OL wouldn’t be able to handle his size and speed. Kerrigan would be similar to a LB trying to play DE at the next level. He’d be man handled at the next level against the much greater sized OT. Funny thing is about the “bench reps” you berrate me for using it for a DT who needs all the strength he can get coming off the line and getting to the QB, yet you use it for DEs? Talk about hypocritical here. Weight has nothing to do with strength btw. If it did, Dareus who is oh… 319 pounds would’ve lifted a lot more than both, instead he had 24 reps, which is a lot less than both.

        Wilkerson – Then look at his tape against out of conference games, such as Wilkerson versus Penn State. He’s dominated your Big Ten schools as well you know. Wilkerson won’t reach the second or third round. To think that is absurd. You’d be completely ignoring his game film, his combine work and his pro day today. Wilkerson is a 315 pound 3-4 DE, 4-3 DT that has been running circles around Liuget (who has been disappointing thus far) and is possibly on par with Taylor if not better than. Taylor is built like a NT, he doesn’t have a consistent burst off the snap, and rarely goes outside of the tackle box to make up for many plays. He also does not have the endurance, as you could see in many games this season (I’ve gotten get to watch Big 12 games due to location). Wilkerson has night feet which give him the speed at 315 off the snap to get to the QB. He’s a pure pass rushing DT/DE while Taylor is more accustomed to run defense with a little bit of bull rush every now and then. Taylor is a poor mans Nick Fairley.

        • Brandon Thorn

          *Again, you are making yourself sound really incompetent about football. J.J. Watt is 6’6″ 292 pounds, you’re telling me you are beyond yourself because he isn’t “big enough” to play defensive tackle at the next level? Enough said.
          *The sack differencial would be considered great by my standards? 32 sacks to 11 sacks is great by most people with common football sense.
          *You said Kerrigan would be “mandhandled” by offensive tackles at the next level. He is 273 pounds, are you kidding me? Do you know how many outstanding pass rushers there are in the NFL that weigh less then him? Go look at a roster before you speak, gain some knowledge about the subject matter.
          *Did you ignore my whole explanation of the bench press? Did you read the part about Warren Sapp benching 225 17 times weighing over 300 pounds?

          The last thing I will say, is that you’re telling me that because Bowers had the knee injury he won’t or can’t be a dominant pass rusher at the next level? Osi Umenyiora torn his meniscus and just had 11.5 sacks after rehabbing it. Kyle Vanden Bosch has torn his ACL twice, he is continually one of the most underrated players in the game. Bowers injury is something plenty of players have come back from just fine. The only issue with this injury is the fact that he may have embelished his recovery time.

          • http://twitter.com/PhoenixRogue86 Nate McGee

            – JJ Watt is 6’6 292, which is very undersized for a DT. You can see what similar guys do at that size by looking at someone like Nick Hayden, who is one inch shorter, and same weight. He doesn’t get the same push on the inside that many DTs do. He and Watt are undersized to play DT.
            - I already told you, your sack standards completely ignore the fact that KERRIGAN PLAYED TWO MORE YEARS THAN WATT. 32 to 11 is a great differential if you completely ignore facts.
            - You want to know the difference between Kerrigan’s situation and guys like Jared Allen and Dwight Freeney who are similar size? Kerrigan has stiff hips, he does not threaten the corner like other pass rushers. He doesn’t have good closing speed. He also lacks agility, and being able to counter the pass-rush if he is faked out. All the guy truly has is strength which he uses with his bullrush, however, he has trouble disengaging blocks at the NCAA level. The guy isn’t the next coming of Jared Allen.
            - You explanation of bench press was “look at the film”. Wow, great explanation. Warren Sapp also wasn’t a top 10 pick because of his poor combine performances. Fairley = Stronger than Dareus. Dareus has a better push, thus why his sack numbers are through the roof.

            - Did I say anything about Bowers not being able to play at the next level? No. Did I say his draft stock is going to take a hit because of his knee injury? Yes. Teams will be concerned with the linger effects with his knee injury because they will be concerned with how much of an impact he will actually have. Osi, and Kyle were already on teams with elongated contracts. Bowers hasn’t played a down in the NFL, teams aren’t going to be jumping to take him top 10 if they don’t think he’s going to be healthy out of the gate. Cleveland isn’t going to take an injured DE #6 overall after that injured DE just came off of a knee injury. It’s that simple. When they could potentially take Green, or Peterson (yes I know they took Haden last year) they aren’t going to draft an injured player.

          • Brandon Thorn

            Kerrigan the last two years – 25 sacks
            Watt – 12 sacks

            It still isn’t even close, I didn’t ignore any facts at all.

            Thanks for your feedback

          • http://twitter.com/PhoenixRogue86 Nate McGee

            Kerrigan = 4-3
            Watt = 3-4

            I already told you the scheme difference for the DE. It’s the same damn thing others are arguing for Dareus. Oh he didn’t get the numbers of sacks that Fairley did because he was on the outside. Well, if Dareus didn’t get the numbers because he was on the outside, then Watt wouldn’t get the numbers either. It’s an either or situation here. Either Watt’s numbers are effected by being in a 3-4 or Dareus is that bad where he put up worse stats as a starter than he was as a backup.

            I also included Kerrigan’s major drawbacks, which you didn’t deny.

          • Brandon Thorn

            Every drawback you said about him I completely disagree with. I really don’t think you watched a lot of his games and broke them down. You may be going off his workout in t-shirt in underwear, I’m not sure. How exactly is Dwight Freeney similar in size to Kerrigan when he’s 6’1″?
            “Kerrigan has stiff hips, he does not threaten the corner like other pass rushers. He doesn’t have good closing speed. He also lacks agility, and being able to counter the pass-rush if he is faked out. All the guy truly has is strength which he uses with his bullrush, however, he has trouble disengaging blocks at the NCAA level”

            He has trouble disengaging blocks at the NCAA level? That is such a ridiculous statement that it doesn’t merit a response.

            He doesn’t theaten the corner like other pass rushers and doesn’t have a counter rush move? How exactly did he have more sacks then ANYBODY IN THIS DRAFT. haha I’m done arguing with you, you’re rambling, you’ve been rambling repeatedly. People said these same type of things about Terrell Suggs when he came out because he ran a 4.7 and didn’t time well at the combine. Give me a break and go watch the film. Your accusations have NO backing.

            This last thing will truely show people who read this how incompetent you are :

            “Well, if Dareus didn’t get the numbers because he was on the outside, then Watt wouldn’t get the numbers either. It’s an either or situation here. Either Watt’s numbers are effected by being in a 3-4 or Dareus is that bad where he put up worse stats as a starter than he was as a backup.”

            Watt – 11.5 sacks
            Dareus – 11 sacks
            BOTH IN TWO SEASONS, that is proof that you are RAMBLING. Go falsly accuse someone else’s website.

            You shouldn’t even begin to compare Watt and Dareus, just because you can’t argue Watt and Kerrigan anymore don’t compare two totally different players. Just because Dareus and Watt played similar roles does not mean they are the same player. ANYBODY who watched their careers knows that.

          • http://twitter.com/PhoenixRogue86 Nate McGee

            You are a freaking loon.
            Freeney and Kerrigan are of similar weight, thus their size is similar. I said size, we’ve been constantly talking about weight. We aren’t talking height here.

            Many scouts, and reputable sports sites have broken down Kerrigan’s game and have agreed on his trouble on getting off blocks. I’m not pulling shit out of my ass here. Which you obviously are if you haven’t even watch the tape to show the guy has weaknesses.

            How does he not threaten the corner and counter move? It’s called bullrush you freaking moron. What the hell do you think Fairley has been using in his career. A pure bull rush up the middle using his strength to move back blockers. He doesn’t have the speed to get around the corner, he takes the corner with him. Thus is the way of the bullrush. You keep trying to say “I’m rambling” in order for others to disregard me, but it only makes you look like a tool.

            You ignore solid facts, you come up with BS responses that garner no support to your cause. Don’t come to the ESPN boards if any criticism brings out the defensive two year old in you.

            You are now taking my arguments out of context, just like usual. Many individuals like yourself argue that Dareus didn’t put up the same production as Fairley because Fairley is in a 4-3, while Dareus is in a 3-4. Thus being in a 3-4 effects one’s pass rushing ability. This brings about the question whether the defensive scheme effects ones true statistics. If Dareus underperforms as a 3-4 DE, then the same can be said of Watt’s numbers. If Watt was in a 4-3 his numbers would be exponentially larger. But no, you don’t even consider this, you think… oh look he’s rambling, he’s saying Watt and Dareus are the same person. No, I’m not you freaking retard, I’m pointing out that the defensive scheme has an effect on overall production, and yet you completely miss this point because you are more worried about your pride than actually putting out accurate information.

          • Brandon Thorn

            If J.J. Watt was in a 4-3 and his numbers would be “exponentially larger” why didn’t you mention the same for Dareus? I don’t know what you have been talking about with a player’s size, but in my eyes, size is a combination of height and weight, if a player a 6’1″ 270 and another is 6’4″ 270 they aren’t that close in size. Weight is one part of it, so it would be accurate to say they are close in weight, not size. My point is that a bullrush at defensive end on the division 1 level will not get you 32 sacks, you have to have the speed, pass rush moves, agility, strength, and burst to get there. But instead of cussing and stooping down to your level, let’s leave it alone. By the way, my mock, big board, and top 5 are all over ESPN message boards and they are doing just fine.

            Have you even taken into account what my mock draft is based on? Have you seen my big board? Where is Fairley ranked on there compared to Kerrigan? I am simply defending Kerrigan because you are undervaluing his ability by a LARGE margin. And to say I haven’t provided accurate information and come up with information with no backing is absurd. That makes me want to ignore all future posts from you.

            It all comes back to your original posts that I made you look like you didn’t know what you were talking about and you flipped out.

            “You say Dareus has “versatility”. My question is, as what?
            Let’s break down a few things
            Physically –
            Slow 40 speed
            Does not have the same strength to push on the middle of offensive lines every play (as can be seen by his bench pressing)
            Short arms so he’s not going to be able to have leverage on the offensive linemen.”

            Dareus has more versatility then Fairley, that much is obvious just based off watching their film. Fairley is a 4-3 defensive tackle, period. Dareus is a 4-3 DT or a 3-4 end.
            Slow 40 speed? a 4.92 at 319 is considered GREAT.
            Short arms? his arms are ONE inch shorter then Fairley’s.
            24 reps says he doesn’t have the strength to push the middle of the line? This right here makes it painfully obvious that you did not watch a lot of him in college. Gerald McCoy last year is a perfect example, he pushed the pocket and got tremendous pressure and he put up 23 reps last year, seriously, you are the one who is looking like a fool here. It started from the beginning, nothing has changed.

          • Brandon Thorn

            This should end the conversation of who really doesn’t have any clue what they are talking about.

            Your assessment of Marcell Dareus
            “Short arms so he’s not going to be able to have leverage on the offensive linemen.”
            “Slow 40 time”

            Dareus arms – 33 3/8
            Ndamukong Suh – 33 1/2
            Gerald McCoy – 33 3/4

            Dareus 40 time – 4.92
            Suh 40 time – 4.98
            McCoy 40 time – 4.96

            So….those two things you said, on what grounds were you standing on by saying Dareus ran a slow 40 time or has short arms? Whatever credibility you had was never here on sportsagentblog, that much was clear from the beginning.

  • Anonymous

    Enjoyed your comment about the Niners having a screw loose if they didn’t take Peterson…I think he’ll be their guy if he’s still around at #7. Only different scenario is if they get a trading partner who’s willing to give up a high draft pick for Peterson…which may allow Harbaugh to have a shot at Ponder or Locker. Yes, he did attend Dalton’s pro day, but he also made Gabbert’s and had a private workout w/Kaepernick. He and GM Baalke are leaving no stone unturned in their search for a QB.

    • Brandon Thorn

      Hey CSNinerFan, thanks for the feedback, it’s much appreciated. Of course there are many trades that could possibly happen, and if Peterson does fall to them at #7 they will field some offers. I’m not sure they should execute a trade though, Peterson addresses a major need for them and is arguably the best player in the draft. I would take him and press on. I am rooting for Harbaugh in San Fran though, I love how he has been studying Bill Walsh’s offense and legacy as much as he has. I read Bill Walsh’s biography “The Genius”, it really gave me a huge respect for what he built there.

      Da’Quan Bowers pro day on April 1st is going to determine a lot for my future updates to the mock as well, I can’t wait to see how he does. I think Robert Quinn should be looked at starting at the 49ers pick too, he could really help a lot of teams.

      • Frank Castle

        Good mock for the Texans. The 1st Rd. will come down to Quinn, Prince, Aldon Smith, and Cam Jordan. The 2nd Rd will come down to Stephen Paea, Rahim Moore, Brandon Harris, or Allen Baily.

        I would like a trade down for the 28th and NE 2nd and start the draft off with Rahim Moore, Stephen Paea, and Sam Acho. This would really add value to a underachieving D-Fense.

        By the way, there is 0 chance of the 49ers drafting Blaine Gabbert. The want Patrick Peterson or will settle for Quinn or Prince. They are locked in on Dalton TCU

        • Brandon Thorn

          Thanks a lot for the feedback Frank. I have to disagree with you on Gabbert. There hasn’t been any talk of this happening because not many people think he will even be available. If he was, I think he is the perfect fit for Jim Harbaugh’s offense. He’s a west coast QB all the way around and that is exactly what they need.

  • tulsajim

    don’t think browns take og in round 2 got one in round 3 last year that got hurt but are very high on plus no de on roster going to 4-3 so sheard going to browns in round 2 makes a lot of sense

  • tommyboy

    Well, now that the Lions are drafting the Prince, I am a happy man! If this holds true, then I will consider this draft a success. However, if both Bowers and Prince are available, then it would not surprise me to see the Lions take a chance on Bowers’ knee. Schwartz loves him some linemen.

  • http://twitter.com/soup1963 nate

    There is nothing legitimate about Jimmy smith’s character issues. Standard smoke screen BS. So he smoked some weed his freshman year. Kid hasn’t had any sort of trouble since 2008.

    • Brandon Thorn

      Yea, smoked some weed and had two alcohol related incidents as well. Not too big of a deal but it’s a cause for concern sure. If you think I am knocking him down for his character, you haven’t seen my big board

  • Fujirama24

    I can’t see arizona taking quinn, I don’t think he can play the OLB in a 3-4 Aldon smith would be a better bet

  • Mlebenbom

    Worst mock ever. First of all the Lions do not have a big need at DE that is low on there list of needs. Try CB, LB, OL, WR, RB, S, DL in that order. If the Lions pick 13th in the second round not 12th and they will not pass up on Carter, Dowling, Wilson etc. Players that fill big needs. Put he crack pipe down and stop being a Lion hater to set the draft up the way you want it to fall.