Behind the Steel Curtain's 2012 NFL Mock Draft, Mid-2011 Season Edition

Many thanks to bigjay for putting this three-round mock draft together for us. Like I said about the last one he published, focus on the prospects, not where he's penciled teams in on the draft board. Many thanks to Jason for the hard work and thorough research.

-Michael B. -

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1. Seattle Seahawks - Andrew Luck QB, Stanford

2011 1st round Draft Pick: James Carpenter OG/OT, Alabama
Team Needs: QB/CB/ILB

If Seattle does hold the first pick in the draft it'll raise an interesting question. Does Pete Carroll take Andrew Luck or his home grown USC star Matt Barkley. As last year showed Carroll holds no allegiances to USC alum when he took Earl Thomas over Taylor Mays. The Seahawks let Matt Hasselbeck walk in free agency, instead opting for Tavares Jackson. While Hasselbeck is far past his prime he knows the offense and would have been a better choice than Jackson who I expect to falter this season. Going into the draft and holding the first pick this will have to be a quarterback. As of right now Luck is the prize of this draft and the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning and the Seahawks would be fools to pass him by.

 

2. Miami Dolphins - Matt Barkley QB, USC

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Mike Pouncey OG/OC, Florida
Team Needs: QB/FS/OG/TE

If they pick here it will signal the end of the Chad Henne era in Miami, and maybe even the end of the Tony Sparano era as well. Henne is already out for the year and things will not go any smoother with Matt Moore at the helm. There's no debate as far as what position the Dolphins will pick, only who they'll pick if Andrew Luck is off of the board. At this point Barkley is the better option over Oklahoma's Landry Jones.

 

3. Indianapolis Colts - Matt Kalil OT, USC

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Anthony Castonzo OT, Boston College
Team Needs: RT/OC/WR

The Colts have been built around Peyton Manning so protecting him is their top priority. I know they drafted Anthony Castonzo in 2011 but he could, and probably should after watching him this season, be moved to the right side. Even if Andrew Luck is available I don't see the Colts taking him, maybe a small chance that they would, because with Manning they are in win-now mode. If they do go in any other direction it'll probably be for UNC DE Quinton Coples. Robert Mathis will be a 31 year old free agent this coming offseason, Dwight Freeny will be a 33 year old free agent the following offseason, and so far Jerry Hughes is looking like a bust.

 

4. Minnesota Vikings - Jonathan Martin OT, Stanford

2011 1st Draft Pick: Christian Ponder QB, FSU
Team Needs: RG/SS/FS/DT

The Vikings lost a lot of starters to free agency. Sidney Rice went to Seattle, Ray Edwards to Atlanta, and Ben Leber to St. Louis. In addition to that they cut Bryant McKinnie because he showed up to camp at 400lbs. That's a lot of holes to fill. Minnesota could go in any number of directions but they really need to find a quality left tackle to protect Christian Ponder's blind side for the foreseeable future. They went from first to worst in a single season and have a lot of rebuilding to do and could go in any number of directions. With Chris Ponder's injury history they need to do everything they can to protect them, and Jonathan Martin has been doing just that for Andrew Luck at Stanford. If they go in another direction it would be to replace what they lost with Sidney Rice, then it's a question between South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery and Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon.

 

5. St. Louis Rams - Justin Blackmon WR, Oklahoma State

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Robert Quinn DE/OLB, UNC
Team Needs: FS/DT/RB

St. Louis' downfall so far this season has been their inability to protect Sam Bradford. Unfortunately with Kalil and Jonathan Martin off of the board they can't do anything about it here. Next they need someone who can be a game changer and stretch the field vertically. That's why I'm mocking them Blackmon and not Alshon Jeffery. They also need a lot of help in the secondary and could take Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick but the depth at cornerback is better than at the wide receiver position.

 

6. Kansas City Chiefs - Landry Jones QB, Oklahoma

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Jonathan Baldwin WR, Pittsburgh
Team Needs: OT/RB/CB

I'm sure a lot of Chiefs fans won't agree with this pick but the truth is out there, Matt Cassel is terrible. Signing him was a mistake. It's time to cut ties and start over with a new QB while you have the chance to draft one. If they do stick it out with Cassel they could go in a number of directions. They still need to upgrade the left tackle position because Brandon Albert would be much better at guard or right tackle. Last year's first round pick is already looking like a huge mistake and as such they could be in the hunt again for a wide out to compliment Dwayne Bowe and Alshon Jeffery would be the big-bodied equivalent to Jon Baldwin without all of the drawbacks like Baldwin's terrible attitude.

 

7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Quinton Coples DE, UNC

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Blaine Gabbert QB, Missouri
Team Needs: DE/FS/SS/CB/WR

This pick will be dependent on whether or not Jack Del Rio is the head coach in 2012 or not. If he is then it'll be Quinton Coles if he's on the board. Del Rio loves his pass rushers and defensive end is a need for them. They could also use some major help in the secondary. With the exception of Rashean Mathis, who'll be a 32 year old free agent in 2012, the Jaguars have one of the worst secondaries in all of football. And if they lose Mathis this pick will absolutely have to be a cornerback.

 

8. Carolina Panthers - Alshon Jeffery WR, South Carolina

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Cam Newton QB, Auburn
Team Needs: WR/O-line depth

The only dependable wide receiver on the Panthers roster is Steve Smith who will be 33 years old shortly after the 2012 NFL draft. They also signed Legedu Naanee from San Diego but he's not going to be enough. Jeffery is a monster at 6'3", 234lbs. who presents a nightmare match up against any secondary. At wide receiver it'll come down to Jeffery or Justin Blackmon if he's available. Carolina recently gave up on DE Everette Brown and could give a long look in their backyard at Quinton Coples to pair with Charles Johnson.

 

9. Denver Broncos - Trent Richardson RB, Alabama

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Von Miller DE/OLB, Texas A&M
Team Needs: DT/CB/RT/RB

This may be a little early for him but it makes a lot of sense for Denver to draft Richardson. First off, Knowshon Moreno doesn't seem like he's going to live up to his potential. Secondly, John Fox had a great tandem of running backs in Carolina with DeAngelo Williams and Jon Stewart. He took Stewart, a bigger back, with the 13th pick of the first round then, so taking Richardson here isn't farfetched. Richardson is better than his Heisman trophy predecessor Mark Ingram and would help elevate the quarterback debate/issues going on in Denver. On the defensive side they need to invest some draft picks at the defensive tackle position as well as at cornerback. They don't have much at the position except for Champ Bailey and he'll turn 34 years old the summer after the draft.

 

 

10. Arizona Cardinals - Riley Reiff OT, Iowa

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Patrick Peterson CB, LSU
Team Needs: LT/OLB/FS

Arizona's two biggest needs will be to upgrade the pass-rush and the offensive line. The combo of Clark Haggans and Joey Porter is just ridiculous. They drafted Sam Acho who will probably man one spot, but they'll need someone to man the other. The Cards also need to give some serious upgrades to protect their investment in Kevin Kolb. Coach Whisenhunt has stuck by Levi Brown but he is not left tackle material. Given the talent drop-off after Reiff and the fact that they could still get a quality pass-rusher in the later rounds I can't see them taking anyone else. Just for the sake of argument though they could/may take ASU linebacker Vontaze Burflict. He would certainly be a fan favorite and he can play any linebacker position, and in any defensive scheme.

 

11. Cleveland Browns - Luke Kuechly LB, Boston College

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Phil Taylor NT, Baylor
Team Needs: RT/DT/OLB/WR

Cleveland drafted Greg Little in the second round of the 2011 NFL draft and he'll be a nice addition to a very underachieving WR core but they still need a legitimate number one WR. Unfortunately the only two wide receivers worthy of this pick are long gone. Additionally there are no more tackles that could fill the hole on the right side. They could take Jerel Worthy to pair with 2011 first round pick Phil Taylor but Kuechly is the high character, high motor type of player that will appeal to Mike Holmgren. Kuechly is a tackling machine and would really help the Cleveland defense.

 

12. Philadelphia Eagles - Vontaze Burflict LB, ASU

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Danny Watkins OG, Baylor
Team Needs: CB/RT

Absolutely none of Philly's wants/needs match up with the talent available. They need to upgrade the offensive line in several places, In the secondary Jaiquawn Jarrett made a lot mental errors in the preseason and subsequently hasn't seen much playing time during the regular season. As far as wants go Andy Reid is pretty well stocked at cornerback and defensive line. Given his recent penchant for athletic quarterbacks he could shock the world and take Baylor QB Robert Griffin. Griffin has makes huge strides in his game this season and would a perfect replacement for the oft-injured Mike Vick. I know Andy Reid doesn't put much stock in linebackers but it's been a big need for years and without any other prospects to fill their other positions of need he'll take one here. Burflict is an absolute stud and one of the best LB prospects since Patrick Willis. He's scheme versatile and can play any linebacker position.

 

13. Cincinnati Bengals - Dre Kirkpatrick CB, Alabama

2011 1st round Draft Pick: A.J. Green WR, UGA
Team Needs: DE/CB/RB

Cincy got their franchise wide receiver and supposed franchise quarterback in the first two rounds of the 2011 NFL draft. But in the AFC North any rookie QB is going to have some growing pains when facing the Ravens and Steelers defense each twice a year. During the preseason Andy Dalton didn't shown much. As such they'll likely have another early pick in 2012. With the talent available it'll come down to DE Brandon Jenkins or CB Dre Kirkpatrick with all of the tackles and Trent Richardson already off of the board. After losing Jonathan Joseph to free agency they'll get a great replacement in Kirkpatrick who is 6'3" with 4.4 speed and is very solid in against the run.

 

14. Dallas Cowboys - Morris Claiborne CB, LSU

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Tyron Smith OT, USC
Team Needs: CB/FS/DE/SS

Dallas did a good job of filling their offensive line needs in the 2011 NFL draft but they still have big needs in the secondary. Terrence Newman will be 34 years old before the start of the 2012 season, Mike Jenkins is an absent-minded pass-interference machine and Alan Ball was routinely burned last season. Fortunately for Dallas the 2012 crop of cornerbacks is very top heavy so they'll be able to get a quality CB in the middle of the first round.

 

15. Cleveland Browns (via Atlanta Falcons) - Brandon Jenkins DE/OLB, FSU

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Phil Taylor NT, Baylor
Team Needs: RT/DT/OLB

In the 2011 draft they beefed up the defensive line by adding Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard but still have a hole left to fill. Brandon Jenkins is a pass-rushing nightmare and would complete a defensive line overhaul. They could look to take a cornerback to pair with young phenom Joe Haden like Stephen Gilmore or Jayron Hosley. It wouldn't surprise me to see them trade this pick to someone looking to take advantage of the crop of pass-rushers and cornerbacks and take the top wide receiver of the next tier in the latter half of the first round.

 

16. New York Jets - Courtney Upshaw DE/OLB, Alabama

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Muhammed Wilkerson DE, Temple
Team Needs: OLB/RT

Adding Muhammed Wilkerson and Kendrick Ellis in the 2011 draft will certainly help with their pass-rushing issues but the Jets still need upgrades at OLB. Offensively they still need a right tackle after they cut Damien Woody and they could use upgrades at guard as well. Upshaw is looking like he may be the best 3-4 outside linebacker in this draft class and would be a great fit for Rex Ryan's defense. With no tackle talent available I can't see this pick being anything else besides a pass-rusher.

 

 

17. Oakland Raiders - Stephon Gilmore CB, South Carolina

2011 1st Draft Pick: Stefen Wisniewski OC/OG, Penn State
Team Needs: QB/LG/TE

Mocking for Oakland is extremely difficult. Al Davis was crazy and unpredictable but now that he's died I have no idea how Oakland will draft. Gilmore is big and has a lot potential but he gives up some big plays. The Raiders need to secure their quarterback of the future. Unfortunately the big 3 are gone. If Robert Griffin continues to shine this season he could see himself end up in the first round, and would definitely be an Al Davis-style pick.

 

18. Tennessee Titans - Michael Floyd WR, Notre Dame

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Jake Locker QB, Washington
Team Needs: LG/OC/DE

The Titans have a hole at defensive tackle after moving Jason Jones to end when Jason Babin left for free agency so taking Jerel Worthy here would make a lot of since. Offensively they have to open up the offense to get their money's worth from Chris Johnson and that means adding more weapons to take the pressure off. Floyd has proven to be a game breaker this season putting his troubled past behind him. Adding him with Kenny Britt and having Nate Washington in the slot would do a lot of good towards opening running room for Johnson and help in Jake Locker's development.

 

19. Chicago Bears - Michael Brewster OC, Ohio State

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Gabe Carimi OT, Wisconsin
Team Needs: OG/OC/WR

Chicago did a good job of addressing their needs on both the offensive and defensive lines in the 2010 draft but there's still work to be done. Offensively they still need a guard and center to complete the overhaul of the O-line. Defensively the Bears biggest issues are in the secondary. They lost Danieal Manning in free agency and Tim Jennings will be a free agent in 2012. The Bears need to do all they can to contend with the potent passing offense of the Packers and will need to add to their secondary. With the top two cornerbacks already gone they'll be much better off slightly reaching for the best center in the draft class than going with Cliff Harris or Jayron Hosley. Brewster is the complete package and would fill the void left by the departure of Olin Kreutz, and would let them side Chris Spencer over to guard. Chicago needs to do everything it can to protect Jay Cutler.

 

20. New York Giants - Zach Brown OLB, UNC

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Prince Amukamara CB, Nebraska
Team Needs: OC/RB/OLB/OG

The Giants got a steal when Prince Amukamara fell to them in the 2011 draft but they failed to address a majority of their needs. They still need a left tackle because William Beatty hasn't worked out, they had to cut Shaun O'Hara and Rich Seubert, and their linebacking corps still needs an overhaul. Zach Brown is the perfect fit for Perry Fewell's defense. He is an amazing athlete with no holes in his game.

 

21. San Francisco 49ers - Jayron Hosley CB, Virginia Tech

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Aldon Smith DE/OLB, Missouri
Team Needs: CB/DE/OC/NT

Heading into 2012 the 49ers biggest need will definitely be a cornerback. They finally cut ties with Nate Clements and even though they signed Carlos Rogers it was only to a one year deal. They also need a pass-rusher to compliment rookie Aldon Smith and may take one if Jenkins or Upshaw are available. In addition to that they could also replace Anthony Davis, who has been a complete bust since being a first round pick but can find good right tackles in the second round.

 

22. San Diego Chargers - Ronnell Lewis DE/OLB Oklahoma

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Corey Liuget DT, Illinois
Team Needs: OLB/ILB/RT

Personally I thought that the Chargers had a poor 2011 draft. Corey Liuget is not a good fit as a five technique defensive end and they over reached for their two second round picks. Heading into 2012 maybe GM A.J. Smith will finally admit that Larry English is a bust because they really need to upgrade their pass-rush. Lewis has been a beast this year and has seen his stock rise. Even still he may be a slight reach and San Diego could go for West Virginia's Bruce Irvin, or they could go in another direction and take the best tackle available and finally upgrade over Jeromey Clary.

 

 

23. Washington Redskins - Jared Crick DT/DE, Nebraska

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Ryan Kerrigan DE, Purdue
Team Needs: QB/RT/CB/RG/OC

Washington has a lot of holes to fill along the offensive line but unfortunately there aren't any players that fit Shanahan's zone blocking scheme, although they could take Stanford's David DeCastro but it would be a reach. It would also be a reach to take any of the available wide receivers. Jared Crick is the only player available that fills a need and is worth the pick. He would replace a disappointing Adam Carriker and shore up Washington's front seven.

 

 

24. Pittsburgh Steelers - Manti Te'o ILB, Notre Dame

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Cameron Heyward DE, OSU
Team Needs: NT/RG/ILB

Different mock, same pick. Every fan in Steelers nation will be screaming for an offensive lineman or a cornerback, chanting the same thing for the last few years. Trust me I've been one of those many fans screaming for either. But the truth of it is that the Steelers do not value the cornerback position as much as they should, or as much as the Steelers fans think that they should. They resigned Ike Taylor to a long-term deal that will keep him in black and gold for at least a few more years. They also have a slew of young potential type players at the position that will be given every opportunity to succeed or fail. As far as the O-line goes, the Steelers showed in 2010 that it is a priority with the drafting of Maurkice Pouncey but they've also shown time and time again that they will not over reach for a player and will indeed take the best available player that fits any sort of need, be it immediate or for the near future. Regardless of how awful out offensive lines has looked so far this season the Steelers put a premium on some positions over others. That's why they took Jason Worilds in the second round even though they had James Harrison (who was only a year removed from winning defensive player of the year) and LaMarr Woodley at OLB. And they also took Chris Carter in the fifth round this year. It goes to show how important the linebacking positions are to the Steelers organization. It's also why even though they currently have Stevenson Sylvester grooming to take over for James Farrior, who'll be 37 years old by the 2012 draft, they still won't hesitate to take another ILB if they feel one is currently the best player on the board. Te'o fits the mold of a Steelers linebacker. He's a tackling machine and still athletic enough to drop back into coverage. If they do fill an immediate need it would be with UGA's Cordy Glenn who is a beast of a lineman and can play tackle or guard, or Stanford guard David DeCastro who is a tough, intelligent, and gritty player. Defensively it seems like Casey Hampton has really lost a step and as such the Steelers could take Washington's Alameda Ta'amu. As always the Steelers could trade back for better value but by now everyone should realize that since the AFL/NFL merger the Steelers have never not had a first round pick.

 

25. Buffalo Bills - Bruce Irvin DE/OLB, West Virginia

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Marcell Dareus DE/DT, Alabama
Team Needs: OT/OLB/WR

The Bills had a very solid 2011 NFL draft, getting great value for a majority of their picks. However they still have several holes to fill. The biggest is all along the offensive line. If they ever want to climb out of the NFL basement the Bills will have to find a way to protect their quarterback. Defensively they need to upgrade their pass-rush. Irvin is an undersized, but tough, speed-rusher who seems like a Chan Gailey kind of guy.

 

26. Detroit Lions - Chase Minnifield CB, Virginia

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Nick Fairley DT/DE, Auburn
Team Needs: CB/LT/OLB/OC/SS

Detroit has a habit of taking the best player available regardless of need. It's why they have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL but also have one of the worst offensive lines in addition to one of the worst secondaries. The best player on the board at this point is Jerel Worthy but I cannot see any way that they take another DT for a third year in a row. It's not like Matt Millen is still running the team. With the talent on the board cornerback makes the most sense, now it'll be up to the Lions to decide who's the best available. It'll come down to Alfonzo Dennard, Cliff Harris, Janoris Jenkins, and Minnifield. Harris and Jenkins have both had issues with the law and Dennard has missed most of the season so far with an injury. Minnifield is the son of a former Pro-bowler and is better than previous Virginia alums Ras-I Dowling and Chris Cook.

 

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Alfonzo Dennard CB, Nebraska

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Adrian Clayborn DE, Iowa
Team Needs: CB/RT/OG/OC

Tampa Bay has finally solidified their defensive line spending first and second round picks in back to back years on defensive tackles and ends, now hopefully they can turn their attention elsewhere. Going into 2012 the cornerback position is going to be a huge area of need for them. Rhonde Barber will be 37 years old by the time the 2012 draft rolls around and who knows what's going to happen to Aqib Talib as he may be going to jail at some point. Offensively the Bucs need some serious upgrades on the O-line at right tackle and along the interior. Apparently they are very high on Dennard after watching him while scouting Prince Amukamara.

 

28. Houston Texans - Alameda Ta'amu NT, Washington

2011 1st round Draft Pick: J.J. Watt DT/DE, Wisconsin
Team Needs: NT/OG/CB

Surprisingly Houston has a pretty loaded roster. They do need an upgrade at the nose tackle position over Shaun Cody. In the secondary it looks like Kareem Jackson is on the verge of being a bust but will probably be given another year, and behind him they do have rookie Brandon Harris. Offensively they are pretty solid as well but could use a couple upgrades along the offensive line. So it'll come down to NT's Josh Chapman and Alameda Ta'amu, guard David DeCastro, or one of the top remaining cornerbacks. Drafting Ta'amu would put the finishing touches on a rebuilt defense. Wade Phillips has a reputation for preferring smaller nose tackles but that's only because Jay Ratliff in Dallas is an anomaly as 285lbs. players are not normally that stout against the run.

 

29. Baltimore Ravens - Janoris Jenkins CB, North Alabama

2011 1st Draft Pick: Jimmy Smith CB, Colorado
Team Needs: OC/ILB/CB/FS/NT

I was really torn about this pick. As far as immediate need goes it would definitely have to be the offensive line. During the preseason it was a real issue and may be for the entire season. Michael Oher has been moved back to the right side because he wasn't working out at left tackle. They signed Bryant McKinnie after he was cut by the Vikings for showing up to camp weighing 400lbs. and will not be a permanent solution. But as we've seen for a while now the Ravens do not draft for need. It's likely they may go defense, needing an heir to Ray Lewis and possibly a replacement for Sergio Kindle if he can't rebound from a serious head injury. On the D-line Kelly Gregg is gone and Cory Redding will be a free agent, and the Ravens could probably use an upgrade over him anyway. Even after drafting Jimmy Smith last year the Ravens still have some issues in the secondary. Jenkins has the talent of a top 15 player but has slid because of character concerns but the Ravens history has shown that they are willing to look past things like that.

 

30. New England Patriots (via New Orleans Saints) - David DeCastro OG, Stanford

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Nate Solder OT, Colorado
Team Needs: OLB/DE/WR

There's almost no chance the Patriots use both of their 2012 first round picks. It's likely they'll find someone to give them a ridiculous deal for this selection. But since I don't do trades I'm going with a DeCastro to upgrade the right guard spot and solidify their offensive line. He's just the sort of tough, intelligent, and blue-collar type that Belichick would love. They drafted Marcus Cannon but he won't play in 2011, maybe not even in 2012 either, and may not ever play to the level he once did.

 

31. New England Patriots - Jerel Worthy DT, Michigan State

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Nate Solder OT, Colorado
Team Needs: OLB/DE/WR

As previously stated the Patriots will most likely not use both of their first round picks. Here they have the luxury of taking the best player available and someone who should've gone much higher but fell due to how many teams now employ a 3-4 defense. And while the Patriots do employ a 3-4 as well they also use a hybrid with some 4-3 looks.

 

32. Green Bay Packers - Andrew Datko OT, FSU

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Derek Sherrod OT, Miss. State
Team Needs: OLB/LG/DE

Green Bay has the luxury of not really having any holes to fill. They do still need a pass-rusher to play opposite of Clay Matthews and will need to prepare for the day that Charles Woodson finally retires. Offensively they could continue to stockpile linemen. If they keep Derek Sherrod at guard they'll still need to find an heir to Chad Clifton at left tackle, or someone to play right tackle if Bryan Bulaga moves to the left side. Weighing needs with the talent available Andrew Datko makes the most sense. It may seem like overkill but it's the sort of move that will keep Aaron Rodgers among the elite for the foreseeable future.

 

Round 2:

 

33. Seattle Seahawks- Cliff Harris CB, Oregon

With the exception of Earl Thomas Seattle's secondary is atrocious.

 

34. Miami Dolphins- Cordy Glenn OG/OT, UGA
Miami needs an upgrade over Richie Incognito at left guard and over Marc Columbo and right tackle.

 

35. Indianapolis Colts- Nick Foles QB, Arizona
So Peyton Manning is human after all. I know next year is another season and Manning may be healthy by then but they need a serious contingency plan if his body starts to break down in a hurry. Foles has all the tools needed to be a good QB in the NFL and a couple of years behind Manning would be great for his development.

 

36. Minnesota Vikings- Juron Criner WR, Arizona
Minnesota could not retain Sidney Rice and they have to find a legitimate number one WR.

 

37. St. Louis Rams- Casey Hayward CB, Vanderbilt
The Rams secondary is awful.

 

38. Kansas City Chiefs- Dont'a Hightower ILB, Alabama
I thought the Chiefs had one of the better 2011 drafts in terms of filling needs with quality players. One of their biggest needs on defense in 2012 will be at ILB. They could definitely use an upgrade over Jovan Belcher.

 

39. Jacksonville Jaguars- Ryan Broyles WR, Oklahoma
The Jags have lacked a legitimate number one WR since Jimmy Smith.

 

40. Carolina Panthers- T.J. McDonald S, USC

Carolina has to upgrade its secondary.

 

41. Denver Broncos- Brandon Thompson DT, Clemson
Denver has to get some defensive tackle help from somewhere.

 

42. Philadelphia Eagles (via Arizona Cardinals)- Robert Griffin III QB, Baylor
I mentioned it earlier but Griffin is climbing a lot of draft boards and would be a good fit for Andy Reid's offense. Vick can't stay healthy and Reid needs another QB like Kevin Kolb to play back-up until his stock is high enough to trade him.

 

43. Cleveland Browns- Mike Adams OT, Ohio State
Tony Pashos is one of the worst starting right tackles in the NFL and the Browns need a replacement. If not for his suspension Adams would likely be a late first round pick.

 

44. Philadelphia Eagles- Kelechi Osemele OG/OT, Iowa State
The Eagles need a right tackle and Osemele could play tackle or both guard positions.

 

45. Cincinnati Bengals- Lamar Miller RB, Miami

Cedric Benson will be a 29 year old free agent next year.

 

46. Dallas Cowboys- Devin Taylor DE/OLB, South Carolina

Anthony Spencer will be a free agent and has only started playing well in a contract year.

 

47. Atlanta Falcons- Orson Charles TE, UGA2011 1st round Draft Pick: Julio Jones WR, Alabama

2011 1st round Draft Pick: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Team Needs:

In 2012 Tony Gonzalez will be gone. Charles is a local product who can step in right away as a pure pass-catching tight end.

 

48. New York Jets- Levy Adcock OT, Oklahoma State
The Jets have a pressing need at right tackle since they released Damien Woody.

 

49. New England Patriots (via Oakland Raiders)- Ray Ray Armstrong S, Miami
They need to find a replacement for Brandon Meriweather.

 

50. Tennessee Titans- Ben Jones OC,
Tennesseeneeds to upgrade the interior of their offensive lines to help the running game. Jones is the emotional leader for Georgia's offense and a 4-year starter in the always tough SEC.

 

51. Chicago Bears- Travis Lewis OLB, Oklahoma
The Bears need to start thinking about the future of their linebacking corps. Brian Urlacher will be 34 years old in the offseason, Lance Briggs is getting old and asking for a new contract, and Nick Roach needs to be replaced now.

 

52. New York Giants-Dwayne Allen TE, Clemson

I'm sure Eli Manning misses having a dependable tight end.

 

53. San Francisco 49ers- Chase Thomas OLB, Stanford
San Fran could use a compliment to pair with Aldon Smith. Coach Harbaugh should be very familiar with Thomas who is a very solid player with a lot of upside.

 

54. San Diego Chargers- Coryell Judie CB, Texas A&M
Quinton Jammer will be 33 years old next season and there's talk of moving him to safety.

 

55. Washington Redskins- Mohamed Sanu WR, Rutgers
Santana Moss is old and Washington needs a legitimate number one wide receiver.

 

56. Pittsburgh Steelers- Barrett Jones OG/OT, Alabama
Do I need to mention what the Steelers should be targeting here? It's O-line help for sure, especially since I don't have them taking a guard or tackle in the first round. Like UGA's Cordy Glenn, Jones was an All-conference caliber player at guard last year but move to left tackle for the 2011 season. He has been a stand out at tackle due to his run-blocking ability but because of Alabama's run-heavy scheme we don't get to see a lot of Jones' pass-blocking prowess. It's likely that Jones will play guard in the NFL but could also play right tackle as well.

 

57. Buffalo Bills- Markelle Martin S, Oklahoma State
The Bills could use an upgrade at strong safety.

 

58. Detroit Lions- Kevin Zeitler OG, Wisconsin
For Matt Stafford's sake I really hope Detroit picks an offensive lineman at some point early in the 2012 draft.

 

59. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- LeMichael James RB, Oregon
The Bucs let Cadillac Williams walk in free agency because of LeGarrette Blount but Blount doesn't offer much in the way of speed or receiving ability. Plus it would be fun to refer to the Bucs backs as "LeRunning backs".

 

60. Houston Texans- Mark Barron SS, Alabama
Houston has transformed their defense but could still use an upgrade at the strong safety position.

 

61. Baltimore Ravens- Kheeston Randall DE/DT, Texas
Baltimore likes to go best player available and Corey Redding will be a free agent.

 

62. New Orleans Saints- Robert Lester S, Alabama

2011 1st round Draft Picks: Cameron Jordan DE/DT, Cal/Mark Ingram RB, Alabama
Team Needs: RT/ILB

The game against the Packers showed that the Saints defense needs some work. Roman Harper was burned several times.

 

63. New England Patriots- Brandon Lindsey DE/OLB, Pittsburgh
I have to believe that the Patriots will upgrade their pass-rush at some point.

 

64. Green Bay Packers- Josh Chapman NT, Alabama
The Packers lost Cullen Jenkins to free agency, will probably let Johnny Jolly walk next year, and 32 year old Ryan Pickett will probably be released in the offseason.

 

Round 3:

 

65. Seattle Seahawks- Nico Johnson LB, Alabama
Seattle may end up trading Aaron Curry.

 

66. Miami Dolphins- Tyler Eifert TE, Notre Dame
A rookie QB's best friend is a tight end.

 

67. Indianapolis Colts- Melvin Ingram DE/DT, South Carolina
Indy loves undersized pass-rushing lineman. If Ingram can add some weight without losing his athleticism he could end up in the first round.

 

68. Minnesota Vikings- Tydreke Powell DT, UNC
Minnesota needs some youth on the interior of the D-line.

 

69. St. Louis Rams- Eddie Whitley S, Virginia Tech

The Rams secondary needs multiple upgrades.

 

70. Kansas City Chiefs- Peter Konz OC/OG, Wisconsin
The Chiefs O-line could use some upgrades. Konz can take over for Casey Wiegmann at center or moved to guard if Rodney Hudson pans out.

 

71. Jacksonville Jaguars- Brandon Boykin CB, UGA
The Jags must improve their secondary.

 

72. Chicago Bears (via Carolina Panthers)- Kawann Short DT, Purdue
Chicago needs to upgrade the defensive tackles.

 

73. Denver Broncos- Lavonte David OLB, Nebraska
Denver has to improve their run defense.

 

74. Arizona Cardinals- Vinny Curry DE/OLB, Marshall

Arizona's OLB tandem of Clark Haggans and Joey Porter isn't cutting it.

 

75. Cleveland Browns- Jeff Fuller WR, Texas A&M
Cleveland finally gets a player that can be a legitimate number one WR.

 

76. Philadelphia Eagles- Andre Branch DE, Clemson
The Eagles need a contingency plan if Brandon Graham doesn't come back from his knee injury.

 

77. Cincinnati Bengals- Marcus Forston DT, Miami
Pat Sims will be a free agent and Cincy could use some D-line depth.

 

78. Dallas Cowboys- Baker Steinkuhler DE/DT, Nebraska
Dallas could use an upgrade at DE.

 

79. Atlanta Falcons- Nate Potter OT, Boise State

The Falcons can no longer depend on Sam Baker to protect Matt Ryan's blindside.

 

80. New York Jets- Dwight Jones WR, UNC
Derrick Mason and Plaxico Burress are not long-term solutions at WR.

 

81. Oakland Raiders- Forfeited after selecting Terrelle Pryor in the supplemental draft.

 

82. Tennessee Titans- Keenan Robinson OLB, Texas
Will Witherspoon will be 32 years old next season and Barrett Ruud was signed to a one-year deal. Robinson would team with current rookies Colin McCarthy and Akeem Ayers to give the Titans a good young core for the future.

 

83. Chicago Bears- Ryan Miller OG, Colorado
The Bears inability to keep Jay Cutler Clean and upright is by far their biggest issue. Miller could be one of the big sleepers of the draft.

 

84. New York Giants-Bob Massie OT, Ole Miss.

The Giants need to start rebuilding their O-line.

 

85. San Francisco 49ers- Billy Winn DT/DE, Boise State
Justin Smith is starting to get old.

 

86. San Diego Chargers- Ricky Wagner OT, Wisconsin
San Diego cannot keep Jeromey Clary at right tackle for another season.

 

87. Washington Redskins- Tank Carder ILB, TCU
London Fletcher can't play forever.

 

88. Pittsburgh Steelers- Kenny Tate SS, Maryland
Steelers Nation needs to start considering life after Troy Polamalu. Given his injury history and his devotion to his faith and family I doubt Troy will hang on until he has absolutely nothing left in the tank. Not to mention soon to be 32 year old Ryan Clark who was signed to a front-loaded contract last offseason. Tate is a phenomenal athlete who is currently playing a hybrid safety-linebacker position which should give him a head start on the kinds of things he can expect to do in Pittsburgh and who better to train under while he waits his turn to play than Troy? Tate is 6'4", 220lbs. and will have to trim down a little to play safety In the NFL but while he does that he'll serve the team well on special teams.

 

89. Buffalo Bills- Tanner Hawkinson OT, Kansas
The Bills need to upgrade their O-line.

 

90. Detroit Lions- Sean Spence OLB, Miami
The Lions need some long-term answers at linebacker.

 

91. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Nigel Bradham OLB, FSU
Geno Hayes will be a free agent this offseason.

 

92. Houston Texans- Nick Toon WR, Wisconsin
No more defensive picks for the Texans. Nick Toon is one of the best players available about would be a solid number two to Andre Johnson.

 

93. Baltimore Ravens- Chris Polk RB, Washington
BPA, Polk would be the long-term answer to replace Rickey Williams as Ray Rice's back-up.

 

94. New Orleans Saints- Kendall Reyes DT, UConn
Aside from Sedrick Ellis the Saints have a bunch of old rentals at DT.

 

95. New England Patriots- Chris Rainey RB/WR, Florida

As always, by the time the Patriots get to the third round they've already had enough picks to just take the best player available. Rainey is a lightning fast hybrid RB-WR. Do the Patriots need one of either, no they don't, but he'll be another toy at Tom Brady's disposal.

 

96. Green Bay Packers- Devon Still DE/DT, Penn State

I know I have them drafting a D-lineman in the last round but somewhat like the Patriots the Packers have the luxury of taking the best available player. While drafting Chapman would allow the Packers to let Jolly walk in free agency, drafting Still would allow them to release Ryan Pickett and save them $10mill over the next two years.

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