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    Nick's Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Consider it an early Christmas present! Since I'm only going to get busier between now and the holiday, I figured I'd pump out a quick Christmas mock to fill your stocking. Let's see how things have changed since the last projection, which I believe was around Thanksgiving.



    1. Carolina Panthers: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
    -A new head coaching staff will likely be taking over the Panthers, which means they won't be married to former second round pick Jimmy Clausen. Luck is completing 70.2% of his passes in Stanford's pro-style offense and has an outstanding skill set.

    2. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
    -The Bengals are likely going to be blown up this offseason, which means aging veteran receivers Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens may not be back. Green is not only the BPA here, but he gives Cincinnati an heir at receiver.

    3. Denver Broncos: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
    -We have no idea who is going to take over the sinking ship that is the Denver Broncos, so I'm not going to assume they're married to the 3-4 scheme. Clemson's Bowers is arguably the best defensive prospect in this class and deserves consideration here.

    4. Detroit Lions: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
    -The Lions made a lot of headway in 2010 with strong additions to their defensive line, but they still need to improve their secondary. Peterson could step into the starting line-up immediately while also helping with return duties if need be.

    5. Buffalo Bills: Marcell Dareus, DL, Alabama
    -Chan Gailey has found a way to light a fire under the Buffalo Bills, seemingly taking them out of the Andrew Luck contest. With so much defensive talent on the board, I expect them to look at someone like Dareus who can contribute in their developing 3-4 scheme.

    6. Arizona Cardinals: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
    -The Cardinals have one side of their defensive secondary set with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, but they could certainly use an upgrade over Greg Toler. Prince Amukamara is right there with Peterson at the top of this class.

    7. Dallas Cowboys: Nick Fairley. DL, Auburn
    -Auburn's Nick Fairley has really emerged this season as a force to be reckoned with. This athletic monster would be a nice fit on Dallas' defensive line next to another athletic force, nose tackle Jay Ratliff.

    8. San Francisco *****: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
    -If by now the ***** won't agree that Alex Smith is a bust, when will they? Finding a new quarterback of the future would be a wise move for San Francisco, and Ryan Mallett has the kind of arm that will stretch NFC West defenses.

    9. Tennessee Titans: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
    -I think the Titans would be stupid to choose Vince Young over Jeff Fisher, so I'm going to work under the assumption that Tennessee will need a young franchise signal-caller next year. Newton's stock is on the rise.

    10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
    -The Redskins will likely be in the market for a quarterback as well, but the value here just doesn't add up. Instead, I'd look for them to make a move for a receiver, especially if a talent like Jones is still on the board.

    11. Houston Texans: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
    Neither Antonio Smith nor Mark Anderson are scaring anyone on the other side of Mario Williams. North Carolina's Robert Quinn, who had 11 sacks and 19 tackles for loss in 2009, absolutely would.

    12. Minnesota Vikings: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
    -The Vikings are in a bit of a pickle here. With Favre probably headed for greener pastures, they'll be looking for a quarterback. Do they take Locker here, or do they improve on what has been a very underwhelming pass rush by taking the Hawkeyes' Clayborn?

    13. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
    -The emergence of Colt McCoy has been one of the better stories this season for the Cleveland Browns, but he's not going to make many more strides if the Browns don't give him someone like Blackmon to throw to.

    14. New England Patriots (f/OAK): Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
    -For a couple of seasons now, the Patriots have tried to get by without really addressing the massive hole they have at outside linebacker, but this may be the year it gets addressed. Ayers' size and versatility make him an intriguing option here.

    15. Seattle Seahawks: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
    -Matt Hasselbeck is having a rather poor season, and the Seahawks appear to be mistaken if they think Charlie Whitehurst is their quarterback of the future. Should Jake Locker be available here, he'll get an awfully long look.

    16. San Diego Chargers: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia
    -Is it too soon to call Larry English a bust? Maybe, but the former first round pick isn't even in the starting line-up, so San Diego needs to find a capable pass rusher to play opposite of Shaun Phillips. Enter Georgia's Justin Houston, who has nearly 20 tackles for loss this year.

    17. Indianapolis Colts: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
    -Peyton Manning has simply not been Peyton Manning this season, and while he certainly is responsible for some of that, his surrounding cast simply isn't what it used to be. The Colts need to bite the bullet and finally spend some resources in improving the OL.

    18. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
    -Ronnie Brown is in a contract year and is not running the ball well this season. Ricky Williams is doing a better job, but turns 34-years-old next May. The Dolphins could part ways with both veterans, should they add a stud like Ingram.

    19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
    -Tampa spent their first two picks of last year's draft on defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price. But since they still need help on the edges, it wouldn't be surprising to see them go back to the well and take another defensive lineman in round one.

    20. Green Bay Packers: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
    -Clay Matthews is a bonafide stud on one side of the Packers' 3-4 defense, but Green Bay could definitely upgrade the 'backer across from him, Frank Zombo. Miller's version of a down year in 2010 was still outstanding statistically (9.5 sacks, 14.5 TFL).

    21. St. Louis Rams: Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina
    -The Rams would have liked receiver help for their franchise quarterback, but aren't going to reach for the sake of it. Instead, they'll give James Laurinaitis some help by adding Bruce Carter next to him.

    22. Kansas City Chiefs: Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri
    -Tamba Hali is emerging as a special player on the Chiefs' defense, but unfortunately they don't have much talent at the other outside linebacker spot. Imagine how enthused the local fanbase would be with the addition of Smith.

    23. Jacksonville Jaguars: Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA
    -Jacksonville traded away former free safety Reggie Nelson, and now appears to be filling the position with cornerback Don Carey. Needless to say, an upgrade is needed here, and Moore has NFL instincts and production.

    24. New York Giants: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
    -The Giants' offensive line has been a big problem for them this season. Moving David Diehl back inside to guard where he belongs would be a nice start, but the Giants can't do that unless they find a tackle to replace him.

    25. Chicago Bears: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
    -I wouldn't rule out the Bears looking at wide receiver help, but the offensive line really does need to be addressed if Jay Cutler is going to have any success. Soldier combines elite size with a lot of athletic potential.

    26. New York Jets: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
    -The defensive end combination of Shaun Ellis and Mike Devito does not instill me with long-term confidence for the Jets. Cameron Jordan plays in a 3-4 defense at Cal, making his pro transition very easy.

    27. Philadelphia Eagles: Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida
    -Asante Samuel and Dimitri Patterson are a talented duo, but you can never have too many cornerbacks and the Eagles simply don't have much depth behind them. Jenkins has played well against top collegiate talent and is ready to make the jump to the pros.

    28. Baltimore Ravens: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
    -Josh Wilson has been a pleasant surprise late this season for Baltimore, but Baltimore is clearly in need of an infusion of talent in the secondary. You can bet fellow Hurricanes Ray Lewis and Ed Reed would be happy to welcome Harris into the fold.

    29. New Orleans Saints: Allen Bailey, DE, Miami
    -The defending Super Bowl champions aren't getting much production from their defensive ends, so they'll definitely be on the look-out for some help. Allen Bailey's athleticism and versatility would be a welcomed addition in New Orleans.

    30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
    -Offensive line could get a look here, but a guy of Cameron Heyward's talent would be hard to pass up, especially given Aaron Smith and Brent Keisel's age and Ziggy Hood's slow development.

    31. Atlanta Falcons: Jon Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
    -Roddy White is a stud at receiver for the Falcons, but Michael Jenkins has failed to take advantage by emerging on the other side. Adding Jon Baldwin to the Falcons receiving corps would make their offense that much more dangerous.

    32. New England Patriots: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
    -Some young talent is needed on the Patriots' three-man front next to Vince Wilfork, and Watt's combination of size, strength, and quickness make him a very intriguing prospect, especially if he's still available by this point in the draft.


  2. #2
    RAMarkable is offline Registered User
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    Re: Nick's Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Nick

    Good job as always, but do you really think the Rams will take Bruce Carter considering the fact that he underwent ACL surgery last week?

    Seems awful risky especially in the first round.


    WHAT SAY YE?

  3. #3
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMarkable View Post
    Seems awful risky especially in the first round.
    It's going to depend on the medical reports they get and how comfortable they are with it, but seeing as how they just last year spent the first overall pick on a quarterback coming off of two shoulder injuries and minimal playing time the previous season, I'm not sure drafting Carter a lot later in the first round would be that risky. But again, going to depend on the medical.

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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Updated First Round Mock Draft

    I'm a huge Carter fan, and I think he could be a Defensive Rookie of the Year type if he comes back 100% from his injury. That said, Allen Bailey would be awfully tempting at No. 21.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I'm a huge Carter fan, and I think he could be a Defensive Rookie of the Year type if he comes back 100% from his injury. That said, Allen Bailey would be awfully tempting at No. 21.
    Maybe, but personally I'm not as high on the idea of trying to turn an Allen Bailey or Cameron Heyward into the next Justin Tuck, and by that I mean a guy who found success part-time at DE and part-time at DT. I'd rather just find a true RDE and true three-technique tackle than risk repeating what happened with the Adam Carriker pick.

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    Re: Nick's Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Good mock, I like it for the most part, couple of questions though.

    The selection of Jake Locker: Do you see Carroll really going for the kid? I know he is a local hero and all that, but Carroll seemed to prefer pocket passers at USC, and I'm not sure he'd go to a guy like Locker who uses his legs more and isn't very accurate.

    Which brings me to my second question, do you see Gabbert getting drafted over any of these guys if he declares? So far he's having a pretty fine bowl game at halftime (over 20 completed passes for close to 300 yards, 1 int which was more of a good play by DB instead of a bad play by Gabbert). He's more the prototypical QB than Locker is, and Cam Newton is questionable as an NFL QB.

    Gabbert's stock seems to be on the rise despite his numbers being a bit down from last year, so I just wondered your thoughts on him, and if he would go over any of the other QB if he declares.

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    Re: Nick's Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Then again, Gabbert threw not only a stupid interception, but one that was returned and lost the game for Mizzou. Absolutely hideous decision. Perhaps not.

  8. #8
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    Re: Nick's Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    Then again, Gabbert threw not only a stupid interception, but one that was returned and lost the game for Mizzou. Absolutely hideous decision. Perhaps not.
    lol. Draft stock is such a fickle matter, isn't it?

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    The selection of Jake Locker: Do you see Carroll really going for the kid? I know he is a local hero and all that, but Carroll seemed to prefer pocket passers at USC, and I'm not sure he'd go to a guy like Locker who uses his legs more and isn't very accurate.
    On top of being a local guy who can get the fan base excited about the future of the organization, Locker has spent two seasons in Steve Sarkisian's offense. Sarkisian was the quarterbacks coach at USC under Carroll for the better part of the last decade, as well as the offensive coordinator for two years. So I think that would kind of give Locker a leg up in transitioning to the pros and going to an offense that likely shares some similarity to the one he was playing in in college. Ultimately I think the bigger factor for Carroll won't be Locker's accuracy but whether or not he's ready to admit the Whitehurst trade was a mistake.

    Quote Originally Posted by berg8309 View Post
    Which brings me to my second question, do you see Gabbert getting drafted over any of these guys if he declares?
    I currently view Gabbert as the fifth ranked quarterback in this class, assuming underclassmen declarations. I have a hard time right now seeing Gabbert being taken over the top four in this mock, though obviously things can change in the next four months. For instance, if Newton doesn't come out and Mallett bombs the interview process, I wouldn't be shocked to see Gabbert competing with Locker to be the second QB taken. You have to like the physical skillset he has to work with. But right now, I kind of view him as a guy who could sneak into the bottom half of the first round, the only problem being most teams in the late first round have their quarterback so the need isn't great. Miami or Jacksonville could be destinations I guess, but in this projection, I'd probably look more for him at the top of round two. I could see Cincinnati, Buffalo, or Arizona coming back at the top of the second round to grab him.
    Last edited by Nick; -12-29-2010 at 01:06 PM.

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    Re: Nick's Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Nick do you think it's possible we take a wr in the second round and if so do you think Michael Floyd would be available at #47? I really like Floyd and he fits the mold of the type of receiver we should be looking at.

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    Re: Nick's Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by mcpeepants232003 View Post
    Nick do you think it's possible we take a wr in the second round and if so do you think Michael Floyd would be available at #47? I really like Floyd and he fits the mold of the type of receiver we should be looking at.
    Floyd's a very physical receiver, 6'3" is a good size and he can make those nice catches. He has Anquan Boldin and/or Andre Johnson like potential. However, his injury history might be a serious concern to look at.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by mcpeepants232003 View Post
    Nick do you think it's possible we take a wr in the second round and if so do you think Michael Floyd would be available at #47? I really like Floyd and he fits the mold of the type of receiver we should be looking at.
    It's really impossible to say where the Rams may be taking a wide receiver, if they even take one at all. Is it possible Floyd lasts until the mid-late second round? Yes. I don't know if it's probable, but certainly it's possible.

    In recent years, the top Notre Dame players have come into the draft process with a lot of hype but have generally slipped down draft boards further than expected. With a slow 40-time and possible concerns about his injury history, I wouldn't be surprised to see Floyd fall into the second round.

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    Re: Nick's Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    It's really impossible to say where the Rams may be taking a wide receiver, if they even take one at all. Is it possible Floyd lasts until the mid-late second round? Yes. I don't know if it's probable, but certainly it's possible.

    In recent years, the top Notre Dame players have come into the draft process with a lot of hype but have generally slipped down draft boards further than expected. With a slow 40-time and possible concerns about his injury history, I wouldn't be surprised to see Floyd fall into the second round.
    thanks and I understand his injury history will make him drop but he's stayed healthy this entire year and when healthy he's definitely a force.

    I agree with the earlier posters assessment that he could be an Anquan Boldin type receiver who may not be a burner but possesses great hands and serious yac potential.

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    Re: Nick's Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Just wondering Nick, Bruce Carter instead of Travis Lewis?

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Nick's Updated First Round Mock Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    Just wondering Nick, Bruce Carter instead of Travis Lewis?
    Lewis had a down year and may be returning to school. Most view him as a second round pick were he to come out now, and while I think he has the potential to rise into the late first with a solid offseason, I don't think he's a factor for the 21st pick at this time.


    Just as a head's up, I have an updated first round mock up!

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