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  1. #1
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    Nick's Post-Underclassman First Round Mock

    Now that the deadline for underclassmen entries into the 2011 draft has come and gone, we now know exactly whom we have to work with when it comes to making mock drafts. The 56 non-seniors who declared for this year's draft represents a new record, and their impact is obvious within the first few picks. Let's have a look at how things could shake up, shall we?

    1. Carolina Panthers: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
    -Auburn's Nick Fairley, Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers, and Georgia's A.J. Green strike me as the three main contenders for this pick. Fairley's exposure in the national title game combined with Carolina's need at the position may make him the early favorite.

    2. Denver Broncos: Patrick Peterson, DB, LSU
    -The Broncos could be shifting back to the 4-3 under new head coach John Fox, which would make Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers very intriguing here. But with Champ Bailey possibly leaving in free agency, drafting Peterson would help Denver replace talent with talent.

    3. Buffalo Bills: Marcell Dareus, DL, Alabama
    -The Bills still need pieces, particularly on the defensive line, if they're going to make a successful shift to the 3-4 defensive scheme. At Alabama, Dareus gained experience in the scheme and has earned a reputation as a disruptive force.

    4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
    -Terrell Owens is likely out in Cincinnati, and Chad Ochocinco is probably going to follow him at some point. Marvin Lewis has stated that he'd like to see a youth movement on the team; where better to start than the draft's premiere young receiver?

    5. Arizona Cardinals: Robert Quinn, OLB, North Carolina
    -Quarterback is a need for the Cardinals, but they may opt to pursue an experienced signal-caller in free agency. Doing so would allow them to go after an elite pass rusher to help their defense, and Robert Quinn could be the answer they're looking for.

    6. Cleveland Browns: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
    -Cleveland's hiring of defensive coordinator Dick Jauren means the Browns will be shifting back to a 4-3 defensive scheme. In doing so, they'll need a pass rushing defensive end. They'd be fortunate to find Bowers here, as he is the best one in the class.

    7. San Francisco *****: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
    -New head coach Jim Harbaugh is going to need some help at quarterback, but he might be able to find a workable stop-gap answer elsewhere (Josh Johnson, perhaps?). If the ***** opt to go another route, Nebraska's Amukamara would be an outstanding defensive selection.

    8. Tennessee Titans: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
    -I'm not as high on Gabbert as others, but he makes more sense for the Titans than Cam Newton or Ryan Mallett, since Tennessee won't want to risk drafting another quarterback with possible character concerns so soon after the Vince Young era.

    9. Dallas Cowboys: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
    -Anthony Spencer has been inconsistent for the Cowboys, and is entering a contract year. Rather than extend him, the Cowboys could elect to restock by drafting Miller, who has shwn the ability to really get after the quarterback.

    10. Washington Redskins: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
    -The Redskins have been looking for a franchise quarterback since Mike Shanahan came to town. With Donovan McNabb likely out and Rex Grossman far from a solution, Washington could view an electrifying player like Newton as the solution to their problem.

    11. Houston Texans: Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri
    -The hiring of Wade Phillips means the Texans will be shifting to a 3-4 defensive scheme. Connor Barwin is a good fit at one outside linebacker position, and by drafting Smith, the Texans will fill the other, allowing Brian Cushing to move inside with DeMeco Ryans.

    12. Minnesota Vikings: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
    -Well, the Brett Favre era in Minnesota has come to a close. The Tarvaris Jackson era likely has as well. The Vikings need to find a new franchise quarterback, and while a veteran might be intriguing, the strong-armed Mallett will be an option here.

    13. Detroit Lions: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
    -The Lions would have loved to see a cornerback like Amukamara slide here, but instead they’ll have to decide between a defensive end like Clayborn or a linebacker such as Akeem Ayers. Between the two, I think they’d choose Clayborn.

    14. St. Louis Rams: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
    -While the Rams made significant improvement in 2010, it’s clear they need more talent if they want to become a winning team. That includes wide receiver, where the Rams lack a dynamic #1 target for Sam Bradford. Alabama’s Julio Jones has all the tools teams look for in a top receiver.

    15. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
    -The Dolphins are losing faith in quarterback Chad Henne, but they may have enough confidence in him to pass on Jake Locker here. Instead, with Ronnie Brown likely headed to free agency, Miami could make a move on the top running back in this draft class.

    16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
    -The free agent signing of Aaron Kampman hasn’t paid dividends yet, and Derrick Harvey has purchased property in Bustville. The Jags haven’t had good luck addressing the defensive end position, but that’s exactly why they need to go back to the well and try to fix it with Kerrigan here.

    17. New England Patriots (f/OAK): Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
    -For too long now, the Patriots have tried to get by with aging veterans and stop-gap starters on defense. They’ve begun the youth movement in the secondary, but now need to add some help to their front seven. Ayers has the size and versatility to contribute in New England’s 3-4 scheme.

    18. San Diego Chargers: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
    -Jacques Cesaire and Travis Johnson are scheduled to hit free agency this offseason, so the Chargers would be wise to add some youth on their defensive line. Cameron Jordan played in a 3-4 scheme at California, so he would be a logical choice here.

    19. New York Giants: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
    -The Giants’ offensive line really let them down this season, so it’s time to make some changes. Drafting a potential left tackle in Sherrod would allow New York to move David Diehl back inside to guard, where he’s a better fit.

    20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
    -The Buccaneers spent their first two picks of the 2010 draft on defensive tackles, but now they need to add some talent to the defensive end spot. Watt offers a nice combination of size, quickness, and power, and will allow Tampa to be creative with their defensive front.

    21. Kansas City Chiefs: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia
    -Tamba Hali emerged this season as a quality pass rusher in the Chiefs’ 3-4 defense, but he has virtually no help at the other outside linebacker spot. Georgia’s Justin Houston is an exceptional prospect as a rush linebacker and should contribute early for the Chiefs.

    22. Indianapolis Colts: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
    -The Colts will think hard about improving their offensive line with this pick, but the defensive tackle spot has been in need of help for a number of seasons now. Paea should find a home in the starting line-up sooner rather than later.

    23. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
    -Dimitri Patterson made some quality plays this season, but the Eagles are likely better off moving him to their nickel cornerback position. That means finding an upgrade in the starting line-up, and Brandon Harris would be a nice pick-up in the late first.

    24. New Orleans Saints: Allen Bailey, DE, Miami
    -The Saints are going to need to start thinking about their personnel at defensive end. Alex Brown has not contributed much for them, and Will Smith is getting older. An athletic talent like Allen Bailey can find a spot in the mix early before eventually taking over a starting role.

    25. Seattle Seahawks: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
    -Neither Matt Hasselbeck nor Charlie Whitehurst should be considered long-term answers at the quarterback position. Pete Carroll had to gameplan for Locker while he was a coach at USC, and could get some inside info from Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian, a former USC coordinator.

    26. Baltimore Ravens: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
    -Baltimore could look for some more offensive help for Joe Flacco, but they could definitely benefit from some more talent in the secondary, particularly at cornerback. Texas has produced a number of quality NFL defensive backs, and Aaron Williams will be one of them.

    27. Atlanta Falcons: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
    -It’s becoming clear that the Falcons need some more weapons in the passing game besides Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. Maryland’s Torrey Smith may have the edge here because of his combination of size and speed, allowing him to bring an explosive element to the Falcons passing game.

    28. New England Patriots: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
    -The Patriots used their first pick at linebacker, and go back to the well with this pick by taking Cameron Heyward. At 6’5” and 288 pounds, Heyward has the ideal size to be effective as a five-technique defensive end and is versatile enough to succeed there.

    29. Chicago Bears: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
    -It was painfully obvious this season that the Bears need help along the offensive line, and the NFC Championship game was no different. Chris Williams is not the franchise left tackle they thought he’d be, but Solder has the athleticism to possibly become that player.

    30. New York Jets: Corey Liuget, DL, Illinois
    -The Jets’ defensive line is made up either of players no one has heard of or players who are nearing the wrong side of their career. Finding some youth for their 3-4 front should be a priority, and Corey Liuget is a name who is emerging as a potential first round defensive lineman.

    31. Green Bay Packers: Gabe Carimi, OL, Wisconsin
    -The value at outside linebacker isn’t great here, and the emergence of young players in the secondary has removed it from the needs list. Aaron Rodgers is becoming one of the elite quarterbacks in the league, so protecting him with more offensive line help would be a wise move.

    32. Pittsburgh Steelers: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
    -Jonathan Scott and Flozell Adams aren’t ideal answers for the Steelers at offensive tackle, so look for them to try and improve the position at some point in the offseason. If Boston College’s Castonzo is still on the board, he’d be a good fit on either side of the line.
    Last edited by Nick; -01-24-2011 at 07:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Nick's Post-Underclassman First Round Mock

    Nice mock, I like it.

    On relevant recent news, do you think the Bengals will look at QBs with the 4th overall since Palmer seems to have stated he won't play for Cincy anymore?

  3. #3
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    Re: Nick's Post-Underclassman First Round Mock

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    Nice mock, I like it.

    On relevant recent news, do you think the Bengals will look at QBs with the 4th overall since Palmer seems to have stated he won't play for Cincy anymore?

    In my previous mock, I had Cam Newton going to the Bills at the three-spot. This time around, the first QB to come off the board is Gabbert @ 8. Locker has slipped all the way to 25 in this projection, but I think he could still go Top 10. So it's going to be interesting to see how this QB class shakes out when the offseason is all said and done.

    If I'm a GM of a team in the top five, I'm probably a bit hesitant to use my first round pick on a QB this go-round, but the positional importance (and a possible rookie wage scale) may force their hands a bit. Seven of the top ten teams in this draft order could conceivably draft a quarterback, it's just going to be about whether or not they feel the value is there.

  4. #4
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Post-Underclassman First Round Mock

    Just posted my first Round 1 mock. We match on 5/32 selections!

  5. #5
    GROUND DOG 39's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Post-Underclassman First Round Mock

    I wouldnt say no to the Rams selection, wouldnt say no if Von Miller came our way. With all the No.1's the Texan's D has had, somebody isnt doing their job properly?
    Boy, Im so glad Locker decided to stay in school another year. We easily could have took him instead of Bradford back then.? Thank you G.O.D.

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