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steel.curtain's 2 Round Mock

Major changes from my last mock now that the combine is done. I've also added a second round. Hopefully in my next I'll add a third, but for now here you go.

Round 1:

1. Carolina Panthers: AJ Green WR, Georgia

Before the combine, this pick came down to Green or Fairley in my opinion. But Fairley's subpar combine made it easier to go with Green. He'll pair with (and eventually replace) Steve Smith to take attention away from the Panther's strong running game.


2. Denver Broncos: Patrick Peterson CB, LSU

The Broncos resigned Champ Bailey, but I still think it would be a mistake to pass on a talent like Peterson. Denver has nothing behind Bailey at CB and they have to get some youth in their secondary. Peterson should be a shutdown corner who is also a beast in the return game. 


3. Buffalo Bills: Marcel Dareus DT, Alabama

Dareus capitalized on Fairley's miscues at the combine and is now the top DT on most draft boards. The Bills should operate as if Ryan Fitzpatrick will be their QB for the foreseeable future. They need to retool their OL, but there aren't any OL worth the pick and Dareus is too good to pass on. Dareus could play 3-4 DE or DT if they decide to switch back to a 4-3


4. Cincinatti Bengals: DaQuan Bowers DE, Clemson

Mike Brown seems set on keeping Carson Palmer, so like the Bills, he should operate as if he has his QB. Bowers is an elite pass rusher and would pair nicely with Carlos Dunlap. With Bowers providing pressure on the QB, the Cinci defense should return to 2009 form.


5. Arizona Cardinals: Von Miller OLB, Texas A&M

The Cardinals are probably going to pursue a veteran QB rather than draft one, so they should be looking to rebuild their defense. Miller is the best 3-4 OLB in this draft, and would provide an immediate impact while learning from Joey Porter. Still, the Cardinals' defense is a few pieces away from being a solid unit.


6. Cleveland Browns: Robert Quinn DE, UNC

While Quinn hasn't seen football action since 2009 and didn't quite have the combine people expected from him, his tape speaks for itself. He's a top 10 pick and the Browns need a ton of new pieces in their transition to a 4-3 defense. The Browns might look at Julio Jones to give Colt McCoy some weapons, but its too early for him.


7. San Francisco 49ers: Blaine Gabbert QB, Missouri

I think San Francisco is in a good position to draft its franchise QB. They have a new coaching regime and a lot of talented young pieces on offense. That said Jim Harbaugh might have some confidence left in Alex Smith, in which case they would look at Fairley, Jordan or Amukamara with this pick. Gabbert is the best QB in this class though which is hard to pass up as a new coach.


8. Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley DT, Auburn

Tennessee could be looking at a good steal with Fairley here at #8. His stock has fallen after he came to the combine much smaller than expected, but he was dominant this year at Auburn. The Titans like to rely on their front four to create pressure, but their defense hasn't been the same since Albert Haynesworth left. Fairley would fit nicely bringing pressure up the middle.


9. Dallas Cowboys: Cameron Jordan DE, California

With Jason Garrett taking over, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Cowboys try to help their offense by taking the top OL available. Jordan is a great talent though and Dallas's DL could use a guy to eat up blockers so Demarcus Ware can get to the QB. Dallas also has to seriously consider Amukamara here too, as their secondary needs help.


10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones WR, Alabama

Washington will be very tempted to take Cam Newton, as the fan base is hungry for a franchise QB. I think Newton's bust potential is too big though, and Mike Shannahan knows better than to take a workout warrior for a QB. Jones had a great combine and is an immediate upgrade over anything they have at WR.


11. Houston Texans: Prince Amukamara CB, Nebraska

Wade Phillips is bringing the 3-4 defense to Houston, which means a lot of changes in the front 7. The Texans have very few pieces to run that scheme and will need this draft to bring in guys that fit. Still, this is one of the worst secondaries I've seen in a long time and Amukamara is a stud at CB.


12. Minnesota Vikings: Cam Newton QB, Auburn

I've said for a while now that Newton's bust potential is way too high to take in the top 10, but there's no way he slips past the Vikings. They need to move on from the Brett Favre era and there's no better way than to take a former Heiman winner and the most hyped player in the draft. Drafting a QB will also take pressure off Leslie Frazier and the notion that Minnesota as to win now.


13. Detroit Lions: Tyron Smith OT, USC

There was concern about Smith being too small to play OT, but he really helped himself by weighing in at over 300lbs at the combine. If Detroit keeps pretending their pass protection is good enough to keep Matt Stafford off the ground, their prized QB will be out of the league faster than David Carr. Something needs to be done.


14. St. Louis Rams: Akeem Ayers OLB, UCLA

The Rams were really hoping Julio Jones would fall to them, but his great combine pushed him into the top 10. Since there are no other receiving weapons worth it at #14 to give Sam Bradford, they look to help their defense. Ayers should fit in well with young James Laurinaitis to give them a solid LB core, while providing an edge rush to complement Chris Long.


15. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram RB, Alabama

Not a very original pick, but the talent meets a desperate need so the Dolphins need to take Ingram. The "other" former Heisman winner will give the Dolphins a workhorse in the backfield and take pressure off Chad Henne. I still think Henne can become a good QB, but he lacks confidence so a reliable run game should help a lot.


16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jimmy Smith CB, Colorado

A lot of people think the Jags need to draft an edge rusher with this pick, but they've invested a LOT of money at DE the past few years and none of them have worked out. I think getting Smith here would help their defense just as much, as he is a solid cover corner with great size at 6'2". Rasheed Mathis is getting old and their secondary needs young talent.


17. New England Patriots (via Raiders): JJ Watt DE, Wisconsin

Even with their 14-2 record, the Patriots have a lot of needs. They could take the top OL available, or get an edge rusher like Aldon Smith. But Watt is a perfect fit at 3-4 DE and they have very little talent on the DL other than Vince Wilfork.


18. San Diego Chargers: Aldon Smith OLB, Missouri

The Chargers could probably take anyone who fits in their front 7 and it would fill a need. Ever since Shawn Merriman was let go, the Chargers have been lacking an edge rusher. Smith is a good prospect who should provide the pressure that this defense needs.


19. New York Giants: Anthony Castonzo OT, Boston College

The Giants need some youth on the OL and Castonzo is the type of all around OT who could contribute early. He's equally good in pass or run blocking, and can play either LT or RT. New York also has needs at LB and in the secondary, but the talent doesn't meet the pick.


20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ryan Kerrigan DE, Purdue

Tampa is similar to Jacksonville in that their primary need is an edge rusher, but could also look at CB to replace an aging vet (in Tampa's case Ronde Barber). They took two DTs early last year in Gerald McCoy and Brian Price, so getting outside pressure would really help round out their DL. Kerrigan led the nation in tackles for loss last year while getting 12.5 sacks.


21. Kansas City Chiefs: Phil Taylor NT, Baylor

For all their success in 2010, I can't see them holding on to the division for 2011. They need another receiving threat to take pressure off Dwayne Bowe, another pass rushing threat to pair with Tamba Hali, and could use help on the OL. However, every 3-4 defense needs a cornerstone NT and Taylor should be just that. After putting away some character concerns from his past and dominating the Senior Bowl and combine, Taylor has solidified his 1st round status and is a great value here.


22. Indianapolis Colts: Nate Solder OT, Colorado

The Colts are about to make Peyton Manning the highest paid player in league history, which would look really foolish if they can't protect him and his career is cut short. Solder is the type of physical monster that should protect his blindside for the remainder of his career. At 6'8" and 319lbs, Solder's potential is too great to ignore.


23. Philadelphia Eagles: Gabe Carimi OT, Wisconsin

Much like Indianapolis, the Eagles need to make protecting Mike Vick a priority if they're going to continue the success they had in 2010. Carimi has a great frame at 6'7" and with some coaching could be a good LT. He's already a perfect fit at RT though, which works well for the left handed Vick. Carimi is also a run blocking beast.


24. New Orleans Saints: Adrian Clayborn DE, Iowa

DC Gregg Williams loves to bring the blitz, but he lacks a good pass rusher who can bring pressure by himself. Getting a guy like Clayborn will allow Williams to rely less on the blitz while getting more creative with them as well. Also, DE Will Smith will probably be facing a suspension.


25. Seattle Seahawks: Brandon Harris CB, Miami

After mocking Jake Locker to the Seahawks for a while now, I've changed course and have them upgrading their defense. FS Earl Thomas looks like a star, but he needs help in the secondary. He's a bit undersized, but Harris is a baller at CB and can make plays on his own.


26. Baltimore Ravens: Jonathan Baldwin WR, Pittsburgh

With all the 1st round CBs gone, the Ravens look to upgrade their receiving core to help Joe Flacco. The Ravens are well aware that their rival Steelers are weak in the secondary, and what better way to attack that than to bring in a massive WR to throw deep to. Baldwin has Calvin Johnson size, and would provide the deep threat that this offense lacks.


27. Atlanta Falcons: Torrey Smith WR, Maryland

Roddy White is a beast and has great chemistry with Matt Ryan, but his talent can only go so far if teams continue to double and triple team him. This offense lacks explosiveness and Smith is a great deep threat. The Falcons will also have to consider Justin Houston, as Jon Abraham is the only great pass rusher on this team and will be 33.


28. New England Patriots: Mike Pouncey C/G, Florida

Stephen Neal is retiring, Logan Mankins wants out, and RT Sebastian Vollmer is the only one left under 30. Many think Mike cannot play Center, while others think he could. I think he can be a good Center, but he'll a Probowl Guard. Either way, the Pats are getting desperate at Guard.


29. Chicago Bears: Derek Sherrod OT, Mississippi State

After the physical and verbal beating Jay Cutler took this year, the Bears' priority needs to be protecting him. Sherrod has the chance to develop into a good LT but will probably start on the right side. Chicago could also look at Muhammad Wilkerson to replace the recently cut Tommie Harris.


30. New York Jets: Justin Houston OLB, Georgia

For all the praise Rex Ryan's defense gets, there aren't many playmakers in the front 7. Ryan relies heavily on the blitz, but an elite pass rusher would make it easier to bring pressure. The Jets had success against Brady in the playoffs when they faked the blitz and still got pressure on Brady with only 4 rushers. Houston, who had 18.5 tackles for loss in 2010, would allow them to continue that. 


31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Rahim Moore FS, UCLA

This isn't a conventional pick for the Steelers, but it seems like classic Kevin Colbert to me. Taking a FS to replace Ryan Clark could help the pass defense just as much as taking a CB to replace Bryant McFadden. Plus, Moore is definitely the best player available at this point. He's a true ball-hawking safety who specializes playing centerfield and reading the QB. He could provide a blanket of coverage behind freelancing Troy Polamalu. Don't be surprised if they trade up to pair Mike Pouncey with his brother, but if they stay at 31 other options would be Ben Ijalana, Muhammed Wilkerson, and Aaron Williams.


32. Green Bay Packers: Muhammed Wilkerson DE, Temple

The Packers' biggest need is to find a pass rush specialist to play opposite Clay Matthews. But after missing out on most of the 1st round talent at rush linebacker, they need to work on the DL. Cullen Jenkins may leave in free agency, which would leave them with virtually nothing at DE. Even if Jenkins is resigned, they could use an upgrade over Ryan Pickett at the other DE position. They might also look at an OT to take over once Chad Clifton retires.


Round 2: 

33. New England Patriots (via Panthers): Mikel Leshoure RB, Illinois

After getting pieces on the offensive and defensive lines, the Pats look to get a weapon in the backfield. They've been getting by with guys like Lawrence Maroney and Benjarvis Green Ellis for years, and its time to get a real threat. 


34. Buffalo Bills: Martez Wilson ILB, Illinois

The Bills need new guys all over their defense. Wilson is a do-it-all ILB who can develop into a good leader in the middle of their defense.


35. Cincinnati Bengals: Titus Young WR, Boise State

While Bowers's talent was too good to pass up on in the first round, the offseason has to be about appeasing Carson Palmer for Cinci. Carson has gotten sick of working with divas at receiver, so Young will continue the youth movement.


36. Denver Broncos: Corey Liuget DT, Illinois

Switching back to a 4-3 defense, the Broncos need an inside force to work with Elvis Dumervil.


37. Cleveland Browns: Leonard Hankerson WR, Miami

The Browns have no weapons for Colt McCoy to throw to.


38. Arizona Cardinals: Danny Watkins G, Baylor

Alen Faneca wasn't quite the stopgap Guard coach Wisenhunt thought he would be.


39. Tennessee Titans: Ryan Mallett QB, Arkansas

With the luxury of sitting behind Kerry Collins for a year, Mallett will hopefully mature as a QB. He has a great arm, but needs to grow a bit more before taking over a team.


40. Dallas Cowboys: Benjamin Ijalana OT, Villanova

Protecting Tony Romo is their best chance to succeed. He's been getting manhandled since playing the Vikings in the 2009 playoffs.


41. Washington Redskins: Jake Locker QB, Washington

Locker is the type of QB Shannahan will want. He's hardworking and all the potential is there, but he needs more time.


42. Houston Texans: Cameron Heyward DE, Ohio State

They need guys who fit the 3-4 defense. Heyward has first round talent but falls because of a deep DL class.


43. Minnesota Vikings: Stephen Paea DT, Oregon State

Paea has some injury concerns, but has monster strength (combine record 49 reps on bench press) and can take over for Pat Williams.


44. Detroit Lions: Aaron Williams CB, Texas

Lions could take the BPA on defense for the rest of the draft and it would be a success. Williams will hopefully help out that awful secondary in Detroit.


45. San Francisco 49ers: Brooks Reed OLB, Arizona

They need help getting to the QB, Reed is a good fit at 3-4 rush linebacker.


46. Denver Broncos (via Dolphins): Stefen Wisneiwski C/G, Penn State

Denver was hoping Maurkice Pouncey would fall to them at 22 in the 2010 draft, but missed out on him to the Steelers. Wisneiwski is an upgrade over anyone they have at Guard or Center and should help their run game.


47. St. Louis Rams: Kyle Rudolph TE, Notre Dame

Rudolph is the best TE this year and would give Sam Bradford a nice safety net over the middle. They still need help at WR though.


48. Oakland Raiders: Marcus Cannon G/OT, TCU

At 6'5" and 358lbs, Cannon is the type of physical beast that Al Davis will love.


49. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jabaal Sheard DE, Pittsburgh

For all the money they've thrown at DEs the past few years, their pass rush is still terrible. Sheard will hope to end the drought.


50. San Diego Chargers: Allen Bailey DE, Miami

After getting a powerful edge rusher, the Chargers still need help on the DL. Bailey should transition to the 3-4 well.


51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Curtis Brown CB, Texas

Brown will be a good successor to Ronde Barber. He and Aqib Talib should make a good CB tandem for the next few years.


52. New York Giants: Bruce Carter OLB, UNC

The Giants have a good DL, but they need help pretty much everywhere else on defense. Carter could be a steal here after dropping because of injury concerns.


53. Indianapolis Colts: Marvin Austin DT, UNC

The second former Tar Heel in a row, Austin's stock dropped after missing the 2010 season due to suspension. Like Carter, he could be a steal in the second round and the Colts haven't had a dominant DT in years.


54. Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Burton CB, Utah

Other than Asante Samuel, the Eagles have nothing at CB.


55. Kansas City Chiefs: Tandon Doss WR, Indiana

The Chiefs pass offense ranked 30th in 2010. Doss will hopefully take some attention away from Dwayne Bowe, but Matt Cassel needs to step his game up.


56. New Orleans Saints: Mason Foster OLB, Washington

Foster is a good fit at OLB for the Saints, who need consistency from their defense. He'll immediately provide good depth and contribute on special teams.


57. Seattle Seahawks: Christian Ponder QB, Florida State

Hasselbeck is nearing the end of his career, and Charlie Whitehurst is not the answer. Ponder has a lot of work to do, but has a chance to be a good QB in a few years.


58. Baltimore Ravens: Dontay Moch OLB, Nevada

The Ravens need a pass rush specialist to help Terrel Suggs. Sergio Kindle could be that guy, but he might not be able to play football anymore.


59. Atlanta Falcons: Sam Acho DE, Texas

They need a DE to take over once Jon Abraham retires, and they could use pass rush help as it is.


60. New England Patriots: Joseph Barksdale OT, LSU

LT Matt Light is 33, and the rest of the line is in transition. Barksdale will probably play on the right side while current RT Sebastian Vollmer moves to the left when Light either leaves in FA or retires.


61. San Diego Chargers (via Jets): Randall Cobb WR/RB, Kentucky

The Chargers usually target tall receivers, and at 5'10" Cobb certainly doesn't fit the bill. Darren Sproles is probably going to leave in free agency though, and Cobb would be a cheaper great replacement as a scat back, slot receiver, and return man.


62. Chicago Bears: Drake Nevis DT, LSU

Tommie Harris's play deteriorated to the point that Chicago had to cut him. They need a new 3-tech DT to stuff the run and take attention away from Chicago's strong DEs.


63. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ras-I Dowling CB, Virginia

Dowling has first round talent but saw his stock drop because of speed and injury concerns. Well, he put to rest the speed concerns by running a 4.4 at the combine only to strain his hamstring in the process. His skill set fits what Pittsburgh asks of their corners almost perfectly, and he has a good chance to contribute early if he learns the playbook quickly enough.


64. Green Bay Packers: Clint Boling G, Georgia

Boling is a good fit for the Packers and should be able to start on day 1.

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