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  1. #1
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    Nick's "Not So Luck-y" Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Well the first twenty picks are set in stone, and the big announcement of the day is consensus #1 overall pick Andrew Luck has elected to return to Stanford rather than test the waters of the NFL.

    There are pros and cons to either direction Luck could have gone, but from a draft perspective, it definitely shakes up everything from the top down. Here's one very quick projection as to how things could be affected by the sophomore's decision...


    1. Carolina Panthers: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
    -With Luck out of the picture, the Panthers go with the next most talented prospect in Green. They'll give Clausen a year to make his case as this team's QB of the future, and if he fails, they'll have a stud weapon for the next QB they draft.

    2. Denver Broncos: Patrick Peterson, DB, LSU
    -I initially had Bowers going here, but I think it could just as easily be Peterson. Widely considered one of the draft's elite prospects, Peterson has the skillset to excel at both corner and safety, both areas where the Broncos could need young talent.

    3. Buffalo Bills: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
    -It's going to be a race to see who the first quarterback off the board is now that Luck is staying. Right now, because of the season that he's had and what will likely be some impressive offseason workouts, I'm going to give Newton the nod.

    4. Cincinnati Bengals: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
    -The Bengals would have loved to see Green slip here, but since he didn't, they'll settle for Bowers, an outstanding all-around defensive end whom the Bengals could pair with emerging talent Carlos Dunlap.

    5. Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
    -Value is going to be an ongoing issue for the quarterbacks in this class, but positional need could push them up draft boards. Mallett has an outstanding arm that will help stretch NFC West defenses, especially given the talent he's throwing to.

    6. Cleveland Browns: Nick Fairley, DL, Auburn
    -Fairley has been unbelievably productive for Auburn this season, and the Browns lack some serious talent on the defensive line. He should be able to come in and be an immediate contributor.

    7. San Francisco *****: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
    -Do you take the second of two stud cornerbacks, or do you reach for the third best quarterback here? While San Fran needs to find a QB of the future, I think Amukamara is the smarter choice in this situation.

    8. Tennessee Titans: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
    -The decision to end the Vince Young era could put the Titans in position to take a passer, but Jeff Fisher is on the hot seat and might elect to go with a veteran free agent. Tennessee's defense needs help as well, and Dareus would finally fill the hole left by Albert Haynesworth.

    9. Dallas Cowboys: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
    -The Cowboys have an outstanding outside linebacker in DeMarcus Ware, but they could use an upgrade on the other side of him. Robert Quinn is a great pass rusher with the potential to play standing out as a rush linebacker.

    10. Washington Redskins: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
    -The Redskins need to find better pieces for their 3-4 defense, and Jordan already plays in one at Cal. The good schematic fit might cause Jordan to be taken higher than some would expect.

    11. Houston Texans: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
    -Hiring Wade Phillips as the new Houston defensive coordinator means a switch to the 3-4, and that means adding some players who can rush the passer from the OLB position. Miller would be a great fit.

    12. Minnesota Vikings: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
    -Might be a little high for Gabbert now, but the Missouri passer does have a lot of great tools to work with and could rise up draft boards with a good offseason. The Vikings will likely be moving on both from Favre and from Tavaris Jackson.

    13. Detroit Lions: Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida
    -Detroit would have loved with Peterson or Amukamara, but winning late in the season has dropped them down the selection order. Still, they'll come away with a potential shut down corner in Jenkins.

    14. St. Louis Rams: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
    -Anyone who has been paying attention this season has noticed the Rams' lack of dynamic weapons at the WR position. Blackmon has been incredibly productive at the college level, and would give Sam Bradford a stud to grow with.

    15. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
    -Quarterback is an option here, as the Dolphins aren't completely on the Chad Henne bandwagon. But it's possible that Ronnie Brown will be gone in free agency, and Ricky Williams is no longer a lead back. Ingram just makes too much sense.

    16. Jacksonville Jaguars: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
    -The Jaguars tied for second worst in the league in sacks, so they need to make some improvements along their defensive line. Watt is an underclassman who combines size, strength, and the ability to penetrate.

    17. New England Patriots (f/OAK): Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue
    -The days of New England getting by on cast-offs is over. Their weaknesses on defense are finally catching up with them, and an infusion of young talent is needed, especially at outside linebacker.

    18. San Diego Chargers: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
    -Vincent Jackson may be gone this offseason as a free agent, so the Chargers would like to replace talent with talent. Jones fills a need and is great value near the bottom part of the top twenty.

    19. New York Giants: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
    -The Giants' offensive line has not been solid this season. Grabbing Sherrod to man the left tackle position will allow David Diehl to move back inside to guard where he belongs.

    20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
    -The Bucs invested their first two picks of last year's draft on defensive tackles, but could go back to the D-line this year by taking a much needed end.

    21. Seattle Seahawks: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
    -Local hero Jake Locker finds a home in Seattle, where Matt Hasselbeck is winding down and Charlie Whitehurst shouldn't be counted on to be the team's future quarterback.

    22. Kansas City Chiefs: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
    -Tamba Hali has had an amazing season, and in order to maintain his production, the Chiefs need to find other weapons on defense to help him out. Ayers has the size and versatility to be that weapon.

    23. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
    -Peyton Manning had an off year, in part due to injuries to the talent around him, but I think the state of the offensive line is starting to catch up with him. Adding a stud to protect the franchise star will be a must.

    24. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
    -Dimitri Patterson has been a nice story this year, but he's probably better suited to be a nickel back for the Eagles. Brandon Harris could compete immediately for a starting job in that secondary.

    25. Green Bay Packers: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia
    -Clay Matthews is an absolute beast, but the Packers would benefit from adding another outside linebacker to make plays on the other side. Houstin is a great fit for the 3-4 scheme.

    26. New Orleans Saints: Allen Bailey, DE, Miami
    -The Saints could use help either at defensive tackle next to Sedrick Ellis or at defensive end where they lack youth. Bailey has the potential to play at either spot, so he could be a nice fit here.

    27. Chicago Bears: Nate Soldier, OT, Colorado
    -Protecting Jay Cutler needs to be a Chicago priority in 2011, especially in the Mike Martz offense. Chris Williams has seemingly busted as an offensive tackle, so let's see what the athletic Nate Soldier can do.

    28. New York Jets: Cameron Heyward, DL, Ohio State
    -The Jets didn't look as good this season as their HBO swagger would have led you to believe, and one of the areas they could look to improve upon is their personnel on the defensive line.

    29. Baltimore Ravens: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
    -Josh Wilson and Fabian Washington seem to be trading roles in the Baltimore secondary. Really, neither of them are adequate starters. Aaron Williams of Texas is nice value here.

    30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Gabe Carimi, OL, Wisconsin
    -Pittsburgh has another AFC North title under their belt, but there are improvements that could be made. The right side of the line could use some help, and Carimi could play at guard or tackle.

    31. Atlanta Falcons: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
    -Roddy White is one of the best receivers in the league, but the Falcons are waiting for Michael Jenkins to take advantage of White's attention and emerge. Floyd can push him for the starting job, while giving Atlanta a great trio of weapons.

    32. New England Patriots: Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida
    -The Patriots may have a hole at right guard, if Stephen Neal elects to retire. Mike Pouncey has experience at center but would be a great fit at guard for the Pats.


  2. #2
    berg8309's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's "Not So Luck-y" Updated First Round Mock Draft

    I just can't see Whisenhunt using a 1st round pick on a QB for the Cardinals. Whisenhunt needs wins now, which means a vet QB, and he will need that high first to fill in other holes on the roster. They certainly need a QB, but an established coach on the hot seat probably isn't going to use the #5 draft pick for a guy they plan to sit on the bench.

    Also, I'm not sure Newton will go that high. He has a lot of hype, but I think his stock as a passer will drop in the offseason and he'll be surpassed by the likes of Mallet and Gabbert who are more prototypical passers.

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    Re: Nick's "Not So Luck-y" Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    I just can't see Whisenhunt using a 1st round pick on a QB for the Cardinals. Whisenhunt needs wins now, which means a vet QB, and he will need that high first to fill in other holes on the roster. They certainly need a QB, but an established coach on the hot seat probably isn't going to use the #5 draft pick for a guy they plan to sit on the bench.
    Yep, a veteran is also a possibility. Wouldn't be surprised to see Bulger go there, to be honest.

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    Also, I'm not sure Newton will go that high. He has a lot of hype, but I think his stock as a passer will drop in the offseason and he'll be surpassed by the likes of Mallet and Gabbert who are more prototypical passers.
    I think with Luck out of the picture, it's a wide open competition for the top spot. Newton has the chance to shine in a national title game, which helped propel Vince Young to the top of his draft class at QB. You can make cases against just about any of them, but I think the combine has the potential to help Newton the most, if he does the individual workouts but saves the positional stuff until his pro day. But yeah, the top spot is there for any of them to take, really.

  4. #4
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's "Not So Luck-y" Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Its really tough to project the QBs. First, with Luck out of the mix, you have to question if there are any true Blue Chip prospects. Also, there are a lot of veterans who could be in play, including Marc Bulger, Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick or Kevin Kolb, Vince Young and Kyle Orton.

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