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Showing newest 35 of 47 posts from April 2011. Show older posts
Showing newest 35 of 47 posts from April 2011. Show older posts

Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 2 Reactions

Following the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft, here are some of my personal reactions. An inordinate amount of cornerbacks and defensive linemen, however I was impressed with a few times that took impact linebackers; the New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, and Dallas Cowboys.

New Orleans Saints
Martez Wilson working out at the annual NFL Scouting Combine
Who Dat Nation continued to take the cake in terms of the NFL Draft, grabbing both Martez Wilson and Johnny Patrick in the 3rd round. Wilson, a 6'4 250 lbs versatile linebacker, is a freakish athlete that runs a 4.5 40 yard dash. Wilson was my 39th best player in the draft, and I was shocked to see him last all the way to the 3rd round. Martez has been projected by some as a 3-4 rush backer due to his athletic ability, and Im sure Greg Williams has some exotic blitzes in mind with Wilson. Johnny Patrick is a corner I have been very high on throughout the draft process, as a solid all around corner with shutdown coverage skills. Plays equally effective in press man and off coverage, providing depth and starter ability down the road.

Nate Irving, a fiery competitor and high intensity player
Denver Broncos
After drafting arguably the best player in the draft in Von Miller, the Broncos continue to build a solid nucleus of defensive talent and starters; drafting Rahim Moore in round 2 provides Denver with the top safety in the 2011 draft. Moore is an instinctive, ball hawking safety, who plays with a lot of confidence and simply makes plays. In the 3rd round the Broncos then selected Nate Irving, ILB from North Carolina State. Irving should come as no surprise, being my top mike linebacker in the 2011 draft and the only inside linebacker I graded as a 2nd round draft pick. Irving also plays with excellent instincts and a high level of confidence; Nate Irving is a sure tackler who brings a lot of pop under his pads, as well as an innate ability to rush the passer from the inside linebacker position. Broncos also added offensive tackle Orlando Franklin from Miami. A 1st round talent, inconsistency pushed Franklin back to the 2nd round; that being said, Franklin provides a nasty, mean demeanor, and elite physical tools to work with.

Dallas Cowboys
Bruce Carter leaping for an interception
Jerry Jones broke his managerial long streak of failing to draft an offensive lineman in the 1st round of an NFL Draft last night with the drafting of Tyron Smith, and in day 2 of the 2011 NFL Draft made solid, value based selections that feature high upside. In the 2nd round, the Cowboys had targeted Bruce Carter as a special game changing type of talent that they simply could not pass up. Once considered a premier, top ten draft pick, a knee injury abruptly ended Carter's final collegiate season and put a damper on his draft stock. Carter has unbelievable athletic ability and a knack for the big play, he can play any linebacker position and will provide D-Coordinator Rob Ryan with an elite playmaker from within the box. 3rd round selection Demarco Murray is in my mind one of the more fully rounded running backs; dynamic runner, excellent pass catcher and route runner, good in pass protection, and was arguably the best back production wise coming out of Oklahoma University. Here's a scouting report I wrote on Murray last December. Murray has pure playmaking ability and finally stayed healthy his senior season. Will be an instant plug and play 3rd down back for Dallas, adding a receiving threat from the backfield and another tool for Tony Romo's success in 2011.

Day 1 Winners and Losers


Jacksonville Jaguars

It was very surprising that Gabbert was not the 2nd quarterback chosen in the draft, and the Jaguars benefited from him falling to them at #10. He will be able to spend time studying on the bench behind David Garrard, and will not be rushed into the starting role, something I don’t think any of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft can handle. There are many needs on the defensive side of the ball, but when a potential franchise quarterback falls into your lap, you have to pull the trigger.

Detroit Lions

I can’t think of a single draft that had Fairley going to the Lions, but now that it has happened, it looks awfully good on paper. Lining up Suh and Fairley will give Qb’s nightmares for years to come, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Jay Cutler was already actively looking for a trade out of the division. The secondary still needs work, but may not be as big an issue if the opposing quarterbacks are constantly finding themselves on the ground.

New York Giants

Your Royal Highness, Prince Amukamara, fell farther than expected and the Giants couldn’t be more pleased about it. They get a very talented corner to help a defense that was toasted by both the Eagles and Packers which left them out of the playoffs. Solidifying the secondary to compliment an already elite pass rush is just what the Giants need to get them back into the Super Bowl.

Buffalo Bills

No it’s not a mistake, the Bills this year actually managed to pick a solid 1st round choice. After the disastrous picks that were Marshawn Lynch and Aaron Maybin in 2007 and 2009 respectively, and the misguided pick of CJ Spiller to a team that already had two solid running backs in 2010, the Bills went with Marcell Dareus, who will shore up what was an awful defense last year. Perhaps most importantly, Dareus is a guy who can start right away, and without a lot of downside, which the Bills need considering their past draft failures.


Atlanta Falcons

After having the best record in the NFC and then embarrassingly trounced at home by the Packers in the playoffs, the Falcons made a knee-jerk reaction by trading so high up in the draft. Julio Jones is a fine player and a solid pick, but the price to get him was far too high, and he isn’t a player that is the difference between perennial playoff team and Super Bowl champion. Giving up 2 first round picks, a second rounder and 2 fourth round picks is way too much for someone who isn’t even the best wide-receiver in this draft. Patience is the key in the NFL, but the Falcons want a Super Bowl now, and it may be very costly to them in the future.

Minnesota Vikings

Easily the reach of the draft, Christian Ponder wasn’t predicted to go in the 1st round, but somehow finds himself a Viking with the 12th pick. The Vikings desperately needed a quarterback, but if they really wanted Ponder they should have traded down. Instead they have a quarterback who is far from a sure thing, as well as an aging team that could use youth at a lot of positions. Once one play away from the Super Bowl, the Vikings have taken quite a tumble, and look like they might be in the cellar of the NFC North for at least a couple of years.

Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton is a very divisive person with about half of NFL fans believing he will be a star, and the other half thinking he will be the next JaMarcus Russell. You can count me as part of the latter half because I think there are just too many questions surrounding the character, intelligence, and ability of Newton to make him the top overall pick in the draft. To me it would have made more sense to either trade down, or go with Miller, Green, or Dareus, three players who can play right away and are about as close to sure things as you get with rookies. The Panthers just used a high draft pick on Clausen last year, and if they really feel like he isn’t going to pan out, just bite the bullet for one more year and get Andrew Luck next year, who is far and away better than any Qb in this year’s draft. I think this pick will end up setting the Panthers back for the awhile.

Chicago Bears

The Bears don’t find themselves in the “losers” list because of their draft picks, but because of the mess they caused with the Ravens. The Bears initiated a trade with the Ravens to take their spot, but somehow didn’t send anyone to inform the NFL that the trade had taken place, effectively making the Ravens run out of time and lose one spot in the draft. Not only will the Bears likely be faced with some sort of repercussion from the NFL, but it reflects terribly on them as an organization and could force some teams to shy away from trying to trade with the Bears in the future.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

#32 Pick Packers Select:


Packers Perspective: They were going to go after the best available player regardless, and it also hapeened to be one of there semi-needs.

Keiths take: Has all the talents you look for in an offensive lineman and should be a guy they can develop into a possible left tackle.

ABs take: The top rated offensive lineman in my evaluations, I feel Sherrod gives Aaron Rodgers a solid starting left tackle for the next 10 years. Sherrod has tremendous feet and a great understanding of the game.

Who they should have picked: I think RB Ryan Williams should have been a guy they looked at.

#31 Pick Steelers Select:


Steelers Perspective: A luxury pick for the Steelers, and a good one Heyward was once thought of as a top 10 pick.

Keiths take: Had games where he was unstoppable if they can get the most out of his talents he should be a great player.

Who they should have picked: They could have gone with a number of players here but I thought they needed some help at defensive back surprised they did not go Aaron Williams.

#30 Pick Jets Select:


Jets Perspective: He will be a great fit at defensive end for the Jets.

Keiths take: Very underrated prospect that has all the skills to become a disruptive player.

Who they should have picked: I think Wilkerson was a real good fit for the Jets.

#29 Pick Bears Select:


Bears Perspective: The Bears needed to add some depth to help out their run game, Carimi comes from a school known for producing top lineman.

Keiths take: I am very surprised that the Bears, who have not had a first round pick the last two years did not try for a flashier pick. I like the decision Carimi should be a solid player.

Who they should have picked: It would be cool to see Bowers and Peppers on the same line.

#28 Pick Saints Select:


Saints Perspective: They end up getting their running back for good value in the late rounds.

Keiths take: Saints are having a great draft Ingram and Cam Jordan both in the late rounds? Great day.

Who they should have picked: Made a smart move their team should be much more balanced next season.

#27 Pick Ravens Select:


Ravens Perspective: They get a big, fast, talented corner.

Keiths take: I think Smith is a great fit for the Ravens defense which has a lot of man coverage and bump and run.

Who they should have picked: I like CB Brandon Harris a little more than him, but Smith may fit better.

#26 Pick Chiefs (Jumped over Ravens) Select:


Chiefs Perspective: They wanted another playmaker to help out Cassel, and they got a big one in Baldwin.

Keiths take: I think he could be a great deep threat and red-zone threat, but I don't know if he is an all-around receiver.

Who they should have picked: I would probably rather have Hankerson or Titus Young.

#25 Pick Seahawks Select


Seahawks Perspective: They wanted to add some depth on the offensive line, there has been a run on lineman so he was the available.

Keiths take: I think they really should have added someone that can make plays for them on offense or defense, they don't have any real young explosive players.

Who they should have picked: I thought they may have tried to get TE Kyle Rudolph, a big body that can make plays over the middle.

#24 Pick Saints Select:


Saints Perspective: They needed another end opposite of Will Smith, they get great value with Cameron Jordon at 24.

Keiths take: I thought Jordan was a lot more talented then some of the defensive ends that have gone off the board so great pick.

Who they should have picked: I think they really should have gone Ingram, they needed a running back to balance their offense. But Jordan is a great player in his own right.

#23 Pick Eagles Select:


Eagles Perspective: They add a very talented lineman that is versatile enough to play different positions

Keiths take: You just new the Eagles were going to select offensive or defensive line so not much surprise. Watkins definitely a great prospect the age thing is overrated.

Who they should have picked: I think a cornerback maybe Brandon Harris would have been the better pick but you can never have too many good offensive lineman.

#22 Pick Colts Select:


Colts Perspective: They needed to get some help on the offensive line and Castonzo was a great value here.

Keiths take: I think Castonzo is a great fit and may be the most ready offensive lineman coming out.

Who they should have picked: Good pick, I though they may surprise some people and go Ingram but I think Castonzo was the right move.

#21 Pick Browns (trade from Chiefs) Select:


Browns Perspective: They get a big defensive lineman that can take up space and free up linebackers.

Keiths take: Surprised he went in the first round and to a 4-3 team. I think they were a lot of guys that would have made more sense.

Who they should have picked: Bowers, Castonzo, or Wilkerson would have made more sense to me.

#20 Pick Bucs Select:


Buc's Perspective: An all-around good defensive lineman that should help out the young Buc's line.

Keiths take: I think Clayborn was an underrated player that may not be a 10+ sack guy but he will be very solid.

ABs take: Thick and powerful from the defensive end position, Clayborn is an explosive tackler and player at 280+ lbs and provides versatility along the defensive line (can kick inside as well as start outside at DE).

Who they should have picked: Bowers must have a serious, serious knee problem if he is he is being passed up by all these teams that need a defensive end.

#19 Pick Gaints Select:

Prince Amukamara

Giants Perspective: They get a guy with top 10 talent at the 19 spot great steal.

Keiths take: Very surprised a guy that was a shut down corner that measured out as good as anyone fell this far.

ABs take: Crowd chants, "We want Prince! We want Prince!" come to fruition as the Giants get an elite cover corner with excellent value at pick 19.

Who they should have picked: Great pick, they are going to have a very solid defense next season.

#17 Pick Patriots Select:

Nate Solder

Patriost Perspective: They could lose both OT Matt Light and OG Logan Mankins so they needed to add some offensive lineman

Keiths take: I don't love the pick Solder is not as ready as a guy like Castonzo.

Who they should have picked: Castonzo or Bowers seemed like the better pick but it is tough to questions the Pats.

#16 Pick Washington Redskins select

Redskins Perspective: They draft a highly productive pass rusher from Purdue, who can get after the QB

ABs take: My personal favorite prospect of this entire draft class, Kerrigan is the best big time pass rusher aside from Von Miller. A blur collar, hard working guy, who is a class act, the Redskins begin building a locker room of high character players. They get a leader, a producer, and a good football player.

Who they should have picked: Could have used Prince Amukamara here to fill a big CB need; either way the defense needs revamping, still a good pick.

#15 Pick Dolphins Select:


Dolphins Perspective: They get the best interior lineman, and maybe the best overall lineman in the draft.

Keiths take: I thought Pouncey would be the pick here, if he ends up being as good as his brother than this is a great pick.

Who they should have picked: I think this was the right move, he should be a starter from day one.

#14 Pick Rams Select:


Rams Perspective: They get one of the most athletic players in the draft in Quinn, he has top 10 talent.

Keiths take: Great Pick. They probably would have liked to add some offense but he is probably the best available.

ABs take: The best player available, a top ten talent, Robert Quinn adds an elite pass rusher to a weak Rams defense.

Who they should have picked: I think Bowers would have been a better fit for their team but they get a great athlete on defense.

#13 Pick Lions Select:


Lions Perspective: Great value pick, they may have gotten the best player in the draft at 13.

Keiths take: There defensive line is going to be scary for a lot of years to come.

ABs take: Unreal defensive tackle combo now with Ndamakung Suh and Nick Fairley. Wow, Detroit is going to stomp some folks.

Who they should have picked: i think they should have gone with Nick Fairly or try and trade down, because they could have gotten Locker later but still a good pick.

#12 Pick Vikings Select:


Vikings Perspective: They needed a quarterback so they made sure they got their guy.

Keiths take: WOW. Shock of the draft, I understand that they need the quarterback, but they know there is more than 1 round right? They really over hyped Ponder.

ABs take: Biggest surprise and reach of the draft, the Vikings' biggest is QB after losing Brett Favre to retirement. Ponder is the most ready to start in day 1, and Leslie Frazier must have been wowed by Ponder's football acumen.

Who they should have picked: Fairly or Bowers would have been great picks here, not sure why they drafted Ponder so earlier.

#11 Pick Texans Select:


Texans Perspective: They add a guy with great size, and a great heart.

Keiths take: Very Surprised they went JJ instead of a guy like Quinn, I like Watt but I don't think he was worth being drafted this early.

ABs take: Number 11 on my overall draft board, JJ Watt meets best player available criteria and overall draft positional value. Add that to the fact that Wade Phillip's new 3-4 defense requires a premier 5 technique defensive end, and you have yourself a solid 1st round draft pick

Who they should have picked: I think you they could not have gone wrong with Prince or Quinn

#10 pick Jacksonville Jaguars (trade from Washington)


Jaguars Perspective: They get a future QB that can sit and learn.

Keiths take: I don't like Gabbert, but he is going into a good position. He can sit and learn and has some weapons there around him.

Who they should have picked: I would say a Robert Quinn if you are going to trade up to this spot

#9 Pick Cowboys Select


Cowboys Perspective: They finally add some youth to their offensive line and may be able to keep QB Tony Romo healthy.

Keiths take: Smith has tons of upside and I think could be very good left tackle in a few years.

ABs take: Tyron Smith fills an immediate need at the offensive line, adds youth and talent to an aging position, and ultimately brings along high upside for future development.

Who they should have picked: Prince Amukamara. The Cowboys need secondary help i think Prince is worthy of a top 10 pick.

#8 Pick Titans Pick:


Titans Perspective: They shock everyone by going with a guy a guy no one thought would go top 15

Keiths take: I think Locker will be the best quarterback in the class, so I am not as surprised to see him go so early.

Who they should have picked: i think they should have gone with Nick Fairly or try and trade down, because they could have gotten Locker later but still a good pick.

#7 Pick 49ers select


49ers Perspective: They bring in a guy that can do a lot of things for them including get after the quarterbacks.

Keiths take: Aldon Smith was one of my favorite players in the draft I am surprised to see him go so early but I think he may be worth it.

Who they should have picked: Surprised they didn't go with a quarterback or CB here their two biggest needs but they must have seen something in him.

#6 Pick Atlanta Falcons (trade with CLE)


Falcons Perspective: They needed to move up in order to bring in a top receiver versus waiting and not getting their guy.

Keiths take: I think Green is a lot better player than Jones so if your going to move up into the top 6 might as well find a way to move up two more spots right? Either way they got their guy.

Who they should have picked: Great move getting a top receiver the big question is how much did they give up and was it worth it?

Note: they gave up 2 first rounders, a second rounder and 2 fourths

#5 Pick Cardinals Select


Cardinals Perspective: Even though their biggest need is QB, in the long run it is better to go with the best player available.

Keiths take: I think that Peterson is the best player in the draft so I am for this pick. In my opinion Peterson is a better Antrel Rolle. He could end up at cornerback or safety for the Cardinals

Who they should have picked: I really thought they would try and get QB Blaine Gabbert, who I am not a huge fan of, so this was a great pick.

#4 Pick Bengals Select:


Bengals Perspective: They get the top playmaker in the draft, may be the best receiver to come out since Calvin Johnson

Keiths take: I really like AJ Green, I think he is going to be a special player in the NFL. If Carson Palmer comes back I would guess that Green will probably end up as rookie of the year.

Who they should have picked: Very good pick again, hopefully this can convince Palmer to show back up in Cincinnati.

#3 Buffalo Bills Select:


BIlls Perspective: They get an elite defensive lineman, who should make an impact right away.

Keiths take: I like the pick a lot from the Bills. Not the typical flashy pick from them.

Who they should have picked: The Bills could have gone with a bunch of different guys, I think this was the right move.

#2 Pick, Broncos Select:


Broncos Perspective: Bring in the best pure pass rusher to help sure up the worst ranked defense.

Keiths take: I really like Von Miller, but I think he would fit better as a 3-4 OLB rather than a DE in the 4-3. But he is a versatile player that will make any defense better.

Who they should have picked: You really can't go wrong with Miller. Should be scary to see him and Elvis Dumervil rushing the passer.

#1 Pick Pathers select:


Panthers Perspective:The Panthers were looking to make a splash in the draft, and that is exactly what they did in getting Cam Newton, he is explosive, dynamic and most importantly a winner.

Keiths take: I still believe in QB Jimmy Clausen and I think that Cam Newton is a project pick that is similar in many ways to QB Vince Young.

Who they should have picked: CB Patrick Peterson, there are a lot of needs on the Panthers, I believe they should select the best player available and in my opinion that is CB Patrick Peterson.

AB's Top 125 prospects for the 2011 NFL Draft

Big Board 11

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

McG's 2011 NFL Mock Draft

1. Carolina Panthers (2-14) – QB Cam Newton, Auburn – After ranking last in almost every offensive category and shuffling through different quarterbacks all season, the Panthers were really hoping that QB Andrew Luck would enter the draft. While the best option may be to give QB Jimmy Clausen another opportunity, I don’t think the Panthers are willing to have another season like there last one. There are a lot of different opinions on Newton, but there is no question that the Heisman winner has the talent to become a special player and is a winner. The question is can he develop into an NFL quarterback and run a pro-style offense.

2. Denver Broncos - CB Patrick Peterson, LSU - John Fox's first job as the

Broncos new head coach, will be to re-vamp the defense. The Broncos allowed the most points, and yards in the NFL last year. The Broncos could use this pick to fill a number of needs, but I think they may just go with the best player available and that is Peterson. At 6-feet, 219-pounds and a 4.34 in the 40, Peterson posses some of the best physical talents in the draft. It will be hard for anyone to pass up on Peterson who could become a shut-down corner or top safety.

3. Buffalo Bills - QB Blain Gabbert, Missouri - The Bills have a track record of drafting risky big name guys (CJ Spiller, Aaron Maybin, John McCargo, J.P. Losman, Willis McGahee). I think this year will be no different. Every season players with physical tools, like Gabbert, shoot up draft boards during their post season workouts. At 6’5” 234 lbs. and a 4.62 in the 40 yard dash, Gabbert impressed scouts with his athleticism and ability can make all the throws. If the Bills are smart they will would try and trade down, because many teams are looking to
land a big name quarterback, and the Bills have a lot of needs.

4. Cincinnati Bengals - WR A.J. Green, Georgia - The biggest concern for the Bengals is obviously the trade demands of starting QB Carson Palmer. It looks like the Bengals, however, are going to stand firm and not trade the star quarterback. Drafting a top receiver may help pursued Palmer back on to the team. Green is probably the best receiver to come out since Calvin Johnson in 2007. Green has great size, speed and route running ability and will probably be a ROY favorite from day one.

5. Arizona Cardinals - OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M - Since switching to the 3-4 defense, the Cardinals have been searching for that dominate pass rushing OLB. They brought in a number of players but have not had great production. The perfect scenario for the Cardinals is to have Miller drop to them at 5. Miller has skyrocketed up draft boards because of his amazing athleticism and ability to get after the quarterback. Over the last two years Miller registered 39 TFL, and 27.5 sacks. He would be the perfect fit in Arizona.

6. Cleveland Browns - DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama - The Browns did not have a wide receiver last year that had over 500 yards receiving or over 3 touchdown catches, so they may be targeting A.J. Green or Julio
Jones with this pick. If Green is not available they will probably try and bring in some help for the defensive line. Dareus is one of the top prospects in this draft because of his great size and athleticism. Dareus' talents may best be summed up by his play in the national championship game.

7. San Francisco 49ers - CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska - Although the 49ers had a terrible record, they probably have the most talented team in the NFC West. I would not be surprised to see new Head Coach Jim Harbaugh come in and make the 49ers a playoff team in his first year. The one position that Coach Harbaugh has to be taking a long look at is cornerback. CB Nate Clements has lost a step, and they need to add a playmaker in the secondary. Amukamara has tons of potential and is a guy that is some what under the radar, he would be a great addition for the 49ers.

8. Tennessee Titans - DT Nick Fairley, Auburn - The Titans have been looking to bolster the middle of their defensive line ever since they lost DT Albert Haynesworth. Fairley was considered the top prospect in the draft
for a long time, but his stock dropped because of concerns about him beingh a one-year-wonder and after weighing in smaller (if 6-foot-4, 291-pounds is small) than most expected. Fairley would be a great fit for the Titans, he knows how to get up field and cause havoc in the backfield.

9. Dallas Cowboys - DE Cameron Jordon, California - The biggest concern for the Cowboys has to be adding talent and depth to the offensive and defensive lines. With Jerry Jones running things you never know what direction they will go in, but drafting Jordan may be the best move. Jordan posses great size and strength and would be a perfect fit for the Cowboys 3-4 scheme. Jordan has been shooting up the boards since his performance at the senior bowl and combine, it would not be surprising to see him end up in the top 10.

10. Washington Redskins - QB Jake Locker, Washington - Its been a long fall for Locker, who most believed would be the first overall pick in the draft had he come out last year. Locker is now considered by many to be a late first -second round pick. With so many teams needing quarterbacks this year, I think a team like the Redskins may reach to get their quarterback. Locker has tons of potential, and I think would be a great quarterback in Mike Shanahan's offense. Locker is a great athlete that throws well on the run, and I think he will develop into the best quarterback in this years class. This would be my surprise pick of the first round.

11. Houston Texans - DE/OLB Robert Quinn, North Carolina - The Texans secondary got torched once again last year even after they spending their 2010 first round pick on CB Kareem Jackson. They may once again target cornerback, but a bigger concern may be bringing in another guy that can get after the quarterback. Quinn is a great athlete, that can put pressure on the quarterback. Even though he sat out all last year, his 19 TFL, and 11 sack season as a sophomore are all some GM's will need to watch.

12. Minnesota Vikings - DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson - The Vikings had a big decision on who to franchise tag this off-season. Instead of paying the ridiculous one year salary to DE Ray Edwards or the injury prone WR Sidney Rice, the Vikings decided to franchise OLB Chad Greenway. This was probably the right move, but leaves Edwards and Rice as possible free agents. If that is the case then Da'Quan Bowers would be a perfect fit. Bowers is the complete defensive end, he can rush the quarterback, stop the run and he has the physical tools to start right away. The knee injury has really hurt his stock, but Bowers is a definite top 5 talent and would look awfully good opposite of DE Jared Allen.

13. Detroit Lions - OT Tyron Smith, USC - It seems like every year people are talking about the Lions finally drafting a franchise left tackle. This may be the year the Lions finally bring a tackle in. The draft does not have an elite tackles like in the previous years, but it has some great guys that are probably being over looked. The Lions will probably have a chance at pick 13 to choose from a number of guys. Smith is a great athlete at tackle who almost looks more like a tight end. He probably has the most upside of the tackles in the draft and could come in and play either right or left tackle for the Lions.

14. St. Louis Rams - WR Julio Jones, Alabama - Rookie QB Sam Bradford had a great first season, but
what made it so impressive was who he did it with. Other than RB Steven Jackson, it is hard for even the most die-hard football fan to name other players on the Rams offense. The Rams really need a go to weapon at receiver. Many people believe the Rams are targeting Alabama standout Julio Jones. At 6'3" 220 lbs. Jones is a big physical playmaker. The one question teams had about him was his top end speed, he answered those questions with a blazing 4.39 in the 40. It will be hard for teams to pass up a reciver with all the physical talents that Jones posses.

15. Miami Dolphins - C/OG Mike Pouncey, Florida - For a team that went 7-9 last year in the talented AFC East, the Dolphins have a lot of questions. They could lose both running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams and there are concerns with QB, O-line, and safety. The Dolphins could look at a number of guys with this pick, but I think Pouncey may be their best option at 15. Pouncey is a great player in his own right, but he is really benefiting from his twin brother Maurkice's success. Pouncey will be a guy that can come in right away and start with no problems, and even though some may think that it is a reach to draft a guard at 15, a lot of teams wished they did not pass up on Maurkice last year.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars - DE Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue - The Jaguars never really had anyone that could consistently get after the quarterback last year. They were in the bottom of the league in sacks and the team leader only had 5. There are plenty of defensive lineman to choose from in this years draft, Kerrigan may not be the flashiest, but he is a great all around player. The Jaguars made the mistake of drafting a flashy defensive end, Derrick Harvey, with their 8th pick in 2008 and he has ended up being a bust so they may shy away and go with the safer pick in Kerrigan.

17. New England Patriots (from: OAK) - DE/OLB Aldon Smith - The Patriots, per usual, are stacked with draft picks, this year they have two in each of the first three rounds. With so many picks, look for to possibly move up and get a top pass rusher like Von Miller or even WR AJ Green. If the Patriots stay at 17, they would love to see Aldon Smith fall to them. Smith is exactly the type of player the Patriots are looking for because he is so versitle. He can rush the passer standing up, he can drop back in coverage, put a hand down and rush as a defensive tackle or defensive end. He is a guy that is similar in many ways to former Patriot Willie McGinest.

18. San Diego Chargers - DE J.J. Watts, Wisconsin - It is still hard to fathom how a team that was statistically the best in the NFL on offense and defense did not make the playoffs. It will be tough for the Chargers to get any better in the off-season, and there are not many holes on the roster. One spot they will be looking to add depth is the defensive line. Watts would be a perfect fit as a 3-4 defensive end for the Chargers. At 6-foot-6, 292-pounds, Watts has excellent size and strength and would help make the stout Charger defense even better.

19. New York Giants - OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College - The offensive line was not a real problem last year for the Giants, but it is a position that they need to instill some youth. 4 of the 5 starting offensive lineman are over 30. The Giants have showed they can win as long as they can run the ball and protect QB Eli Manning, so it is never a bad thing to have too many offensive lineman. Castonzo comes from a school known for producing top lineman. He is 4-year starter, that is big, tough, smart player that should have no problem transitioning to the NFL.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- DE Adrian Clayborn - The Bucs have one of the youngest, and most exciting teams in the NFL. They seemingly came out of no where last year and got production from young guys like QB Josh Freeman, WR Mike Williams, and RB LeGarrette Blount. They added a lot of depth to the interior of their defensive line, but they will definitely be targeting defensive ends in this draft. Look for the Bucs, who ranked 2nd to last in getting to the quarterback last year, to possibly move up and nab a top defensive end. If they stay at 20, then Clayborn may be a guy they target. Clayborn is a big, strong, versitile defensive end. He is not a pure pass rusher, but he will make plays because of great instincts and high football IQ.

21. Kansas City Chiefs - OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin - The Chiefs had an unbelievable season last year. They really found a lott of great pieces on both sides of the ball, and as long as QB Matt Cassel continues to play well (after the departure of OC Charlie Weis) they should be a playoff team for many years to come. The one glaring need for the Chiefs for the last couple of years has been offensive lineman. This may finally be the year they bring some guys to help protect their franchise quarterback. Carimi comes from another school known for producing top end offensive lineman. He is a typical Wisconsin lineman, big, strong, blue-collar attitude. He should be an big upgrade on the Chiefs offensive line.

22. Indianapolis Colts -DT Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple - It is hard to evaluate the Colts needs for this year because they are coming off a season that was riddled with injuries. I am going to stick with a position they have need for a very long time, defensive tackle. I have predicted that the Colts would draft a DT in the first round for a long time now. Every year they seem to avoid the defensive tackle position I think this may finally be the year. Wilkerson is shooting up draft boards because teams see the unlimited upside in the 6-foot-4, 315-pound lineman. He is someone that could help the Colts 25th ranked rush defense and help get after the quarterback.

23. Philadelphia Eagles - CB Brandon Harris, Miami - The Eagles may be hurt the most by the lockout. There are many teams in need of a quarterback and would give up a lot of picks to acquire QB Kevin Kolb. If

they stay at spot 23, look for them to draft a CB or offensive/defensive lineman. They place a very high value on the men in the trenches and are not afraid to use high picks on them. Harris is a complete corner, he has great covers skills, and is not afraid to come up and hit. I think he is a very underrated prospect because of his size.

24. New Orleans Saints - RB Mark Ingram, Alabama - The Saints had a very good team last year and probably were talented enough to repeat as champions if they had a dependable running back. The Saints had a slew of injuries and really had to rely on veterans and career back ups. Their offense became very one dimensional and that is one reason you saw Drew Brees throw a career high 22 interceptions, while attempting a career high 448 passes. Ingram is just a good football player. Nothing about him
jumps off the page, but he has great vision, balance, and awareness. He would really help stabilize the Saints offense.

25. Seattle Seahawks - QB Christian Ponder, Florida St. - The Seahawks were in the bottom of the league in almost every statistical category, yet they were still able to defeat the reigning super bowl champions in the playoffs. Their biggest problem has to be consistency, especially from the quarterback position. I think with this pick the Seahawks have to be targeting a quarterback for the future. Ponder would fit well in a west-coast offense, he is accurate, has a quick release and is a good athlete.

26. Baltimore Ravens - CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado - The Ravens may have been the most talented and complete team last year. But they may only go as far as QB Joe Flacco will take them. So with this pick they may try to add some depth on offense. But if Smith is still available I would be surprised if the Ravens do not jump at the opportunity to get him. There are only a few people with Smith's physical skill set that can play cornerback. Smith is 6'2" 211 lbs. and can run in the mid 4.4's. He would be a great fit in Baltimore.

27. Atlanta Falcons - WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh - WR Roddy White has really emerged as one of the top receivers in the NFL. Unfortunately for the Falcons and QB Matt Ryan, White is really the only playmaker they have at receiver. Baldwin is a guy that has been compared to Randy Moss at times. He is 6'4 1/2" and ran a 4.50 at the combine. He has great ball skills and leaping ability and would present a big target for any quarterback.

28. New England Patriots - OG Danny Watkins, Baylor - You can never be certain about anything that the Patriots will do on draft day, but my guess is that at some point in the first three rounds they will target some offensive linemen. There are a lot of questions marks on their offensive line with both OG Logan Mankins and OT Matt Light possibly becoming free agents. Watkins is a proto-typical Patriot, he is hard working, smart, and plays with a mean steak. The one negative about him is his age, he is 27, but I think most teams are worried about the here and now, rather than if he will be able to produce in ten years.

29. Chicago Bears - DT Corey Liuget, Syracuse - The Bears have not had a first round draft pick since 2008, so look for them to make a splash with this pick. The biggest need may be offensive line, but I think the Bears may look else where. With their franchise defensive tackle Tommie Harris recently being released Liuget may be the move. Liget is another guy that has really jumped up draft boards, he could end up any where from in the top 15 to late second round. He could come in and help fill the void left by Harris.

30. New York Jets - Justin Houston, Georgia - The Jets and Rex Ryan are known for putting pressure on the opposing quarterback. Last year without a true pass rusher that meant a lot of all out blitzes. The biggest need for the Jets in this draft is a guy that can put up sack numbers. Houston really came on strong last year notching 10 sacks and 18.5 TFL. He has the physical tools to produce in the Jets system and could immediately help them out.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers - CB/S Aaron Williams, Texas - The Steelers secondary was really exposed by Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl. I think the Steelers will be targeting defensive backs early and often in the draft. With this pick they have to go with the best guy corner or safety available and that is probably Aaron Williams. Williams would be a great fit at corner for the Steelers. He is an aggressive, physical corner that would fit well in their defensive scheme.

32. Green Bay Packers - OT Nate Solder, Colorado - Even if the Packers did not add one player in the off-season they would once again be Super Bowl favorites. The players coming back from injuries alone make the Packers an even scarier team. This is really a luxury pick for the Packers and in typical Ted Thompson fashion they will go after the best player on their board. Solder has a lot of upside at tackle and will probably be gone by this point. If he is still available this would be a great fit for the Packers. Solder is a guy that could eventually become the Packers franchise left tackle.