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He's a machine! Big Jay files one final mock draft of the season, a two rounder with trades. I think this might be my favorite mock of the year from him, and one of the better ones I've seen period. I also happen to like the idea of trading up, and think it's the smartest move the Steelers can make this year given the state of their roster. Check it out and like always, share your feedback. - Michael B. -
1. Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton QB, Auburn
Team Needs: DT/WR/QB/OG/TE/DE
The Charlotte Observer has reported that the Panthers will take an offensive player here. As Adam Schefter of ESPN has reported, there's an 80 percent chance that the Panthers will select Auburn's Cam Newton with the first pick in the 2011 NFL draft. The writing's on the wall, sorry Panthers fans.
2. Denver Broncos - Marcell Dareus DE/DT, Alabama
Team Needs: DT/CB/SS/OLB/RT
After releasing Jamal Williams and Justin Bannan DT is by far Denver's biggest need. Dareus is a complete player and one of the best DT prospects in years, second only to Ndamukong Suh.
3. Buffalo Bills - Von Miller DE/OLB, Texas A&M
Team Needs: OT/DE/OLB/WR/CB
Cam Newton would be head coach Chan Gailey's wet dream but unfortunately he's not available. Gailey loves athletic players and they could really use some pass-rushing help given that Aaron Maybin looks like a total bust and Shawn Merriman's playing ability has fizzled out.
4. Cincinnati Bengals - A.J. Green WR, UGA
Team Needs: DE/WR/SS/RB/QB
Carson Palmer sounds serious in his desire to be traded or retire but stubborn team owner Mike Brown looks like he's going to call Palmer's bluff; hence Blaine Gabbert will not be picked. There have been many rumors that this draft will be primarily focused on offense for the Bengals. T.O. won't be resigned and Chad Johnson will be released or traded at some point. Green is an elite talent and would fill a need.
5. Arizona Cardinals - Patrick Peterson CB, LSU
Team Needs: QB/LT/OLB/OG/CB
Coach Whisenhunt is in hot water and cannot afford to have another year with a struggling rookie QB. When the lockout is over they will aggressively trade or Kevin Kolb or sign Marc Bulger so that means no Blaine Gabbert. Peterson is the number one prospect on my teams' draft boards and with Von Miller gone he's the best alternative.
Cleveland gets picks 10, 41
Washington gets picks 6, 70
6. Washington Redskins (via Cleveland Browns) - Blaine Gabbert QB, Missouri
Team Needs: QB/WR/NT/DE/RT/OLB/CB/FS/RG/OC
While Washington really can't afford to trade up the fact remains that they also can't afford to go into the 2011 season with Rex Grossman as their starting QB. Gabbert is the proto-typical QB for head coach Mike Shanahan's offense as he has a strong arm and is very mobile, and they must get ahead of the 49ers to draft him.
7. San Francisco 49ers - Robert Quinn DE/OLB, UNC
Team Needs: QB/CB/OLB/DE/FS
With Gabbert gone this will come down to Quinn and Prince Amukamara. Nate Clements and Shawntae Spencer need to be replaced but S.F. has absolutely no pass-rush.
8. Tennessee Titans - Nick Fairley DT/DE, Auburn
Team Needs: QB/LG/OC/ILB/DE
It's too early for the next tier of QB's to come off of the board. Tennessee's new D-line coach Tracy Rocker also coached Fairley at Auburn.
9. Dallas Cowboys - J.J. Watt DT/DE, Wisconsin
Team Needs: OT/CB/FS/OG/DE/SS
This pick will come down to Tyron Smith, Anthony Castonzo, Mike Pouncey (but only if they trade back), and J.J. Watt. Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News says that Watt will be the pick.
10. Cleveland Browns (via Washington Redskins) - Julio Jones WR, Alabama
Team Needs: WR/DT/DE/RT/OLB/CB
Cleveland moves back four spots and still gets the player that's number one on their board.
11. Houston Texans - Aldon Smith DE/OLB, Missouri
Team Needs: NT/OLB/FS/CB/SS/WR
This pick will come down to Smith and Prince Amukamara. The rumor is that the Texans will not spend back-to-back first round picks on a CB.
12. Minnesota Vikings - Jake Locker QB, Washington
Team Needs: QB/RG/SS/FS/CB/DE/OC/DT
Like Washington the Vikings cannot afford to pass on a QB. They only have 2010 late round pick Joe Webb on the roster.
13. Detroit Lions - Prince Amukamara CB, Nebraska
Team Needs: CB/OLB/LT/OC/RB/SS
Prince is going to be number one on Detroit's draft board.
ST. Louis gets picks 18, 61
San Diego gets pick 14
14. San Diego Chargers (via St. Louis Rams) - Cameron Jordan DT/DE Cal
Team Needs: OLB/DE/ILB/DE/WR
What they need is a DE or an OLB, but I doubt A.J. Smith is ready to admit that Larry English is a bust. The number one player on the Chargers draft board is J.J. Watt, unfortunately he's gone. Jordan would still be a great replacement for Jacques Cesaire.
Miami gets picks 20, 51
Tamps Bay gets picks 15, 79
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via Miami Dolphins) - Ryan Kerrigan DE, Purdue
Team Needs: DE/ILB/CB/RT/OG
Tampa Bay's biggest need is for a DE, actually they could use 2 DE's. They move here to get Kerrigan as he would assuredly be taken by the Jags.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars - Brooks Reed DE, Arizona
Team Needs: DE/FS/SS/CB/WR
Like the last draft the Jags take a player that is considered a reach by others but fits exactly what they are looking for. GM Gene Smith loves high character, multi-year starters.
17. New England Patriots (via Oakland Raiders) - Tyron Smith OT, USC
Team Needs: OG/LT/OLB/DE/WR/RB
Unless they trade back the Patriots are going to take the best offensive lineman on the board. Current LT Matt Light is a 33 year old free agent.
18. St. Louis Rams (via San Diego Chargers) - Corey Liuget DT, Illinois
Team Needs: WR/RG/FS/DT/WLB/RB
With St. Louis' prize prospect Julio Jones no longer on the board at 14 they get better value for Corey Liuget by trading back. Gary Gibson is horrible at defending the run.
19. New York Giants - Anthony Castonzo OT, Boston College
Team Needs: LT/OC/RB/OLB/OG
Like the Patriots the Giants will take the best O-lineman available. It'll come down to Castonzo and Mike Pouncey.
Miami gets picks 31, 63
Pittsburgh gets picks 20, 146
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (from Miami Dolphins via Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - Mike Pouncey OG/OC, Florida
Team Needs: RG/CB/OT/DE/P/NT
It's destined to happen. Pittsburgh gets the twin brother of current Pro Bowl OC Maurkice Pouncey, and fills a huge void at RG.
21. Kansas City Chiefs - Nate Solder OT, Colorado
Team Needs: NT/OLB/WR/OC/RB
K.C. needs an upgrade at LT, allowing them to move Brandon Albert to OG or RT. Apparently they really like Solder.
22. Indianapolis Colts - Gabe Carimi OT, Wisconsin
Team Needs: OT/OG/DT/WR/SS
Indy will take the best O-lineman available. Bill Polian has a thing for Big10 players.
23. Philadelphia Eagles - Jimmy Smith CB, Colorado
Team Needs: CB/OG/OLB/SS/RT
Jimmy Smith is likely the top player on Andy Reid's draft board.
24. New Orleans Saints - Da'Quan Bowers DE, Clemson
Team Needs: DT/OLB/DE/RB/RT/SS
N.O. will take the best D-lineman available and won't pass up the chance to get Bowers.
25. Seattle Seahawks - Muhammed Wilkerson DT, Temple
Team Needs: CB/QB/SS/RT/OC
Wilkerson fits exactly what the Seahawks are looking for from a D-lineman.
26. Baltimore Ravens - Cameron Heyward DT/DE, OSU
Team Needs: CB/RT/RG/DE/WR/ILB
Cameron Heyward is the top player on Baltimore's draft board.
27. Atlanta Falcons - Adrian Clayborn DE, Iowa
Team Needs: WR/OG/OT/SS/CB/TE/DE
Kyle Rudolph would be a tempting option but Atlanta has bigger needs at DE, WR, and on the offensive line and despite his Erb's palsy Clayborn is a better prospect than Rudolph.
New England gets picks 45, 108 + 2012 2nd round pick
San Francisco gets pick 28
28. San Francisco 49ers (via New England Patriots) - Christian Ponder QB, FSU
Team Needs: QB/CB/DE/FS
This is about the point where teams with a high second round pick and QB needs start to jump up to secure what's left of the second tier of QB prospects. N.E. has already had a first round pick so I'm sure they are giddy to sell this one off to the highest bidder. S.F. has the fire power to pull off a trade with 12 total picks in this draft. Ponder is very accurate and fits the style of offense that new head coach Harbaugh runs.
29. Chicago Bears - Derek Sherrod OT, Miss. State
Team Needs: OT/OG/DT/OC/WR
Chicago will take the highest rated O-lineman.
30. New York Jets - Phil Taylor NT, Baylor
Team Needs: OLB/DE/NT/CB/K/WR
The Jets have serious issues along the defensive line and will take the best prospect available with Taylor who is considered far and away the best NT in this draft class.
31. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh Steelers) - Mark Ingram RB, Alabama
Team Needs: QB/RB/FS/TE/LG
Miami's needs didn't match with the top talent available at 15, plus they get to re-coup the second round pick they gave up in the Brandon Marshall trade. Miami will then trade back again to get better value for their needs, acquiring another second rounder in the process. Here they take Ingram, who they've been linked to throughout the entire draft process, at a much better value and worth a chance given his possible knee issues.
32. Green Bay Packers - Akeem Ayers OLB, UCLA
Team Needs: OLB/LG/RB/DE/OT/WR
Green Bay is in a prime trading position because some team will want to jump ahead of the day two trading to secure their QB. Unfortunately the prime trading partner would be Tennessee, but they sit behind Arizona who's biggest need is also the Packers biggest need and at this point there's only one pass-rusher left with a first round grade. So the Packers stay put, take Ayers, and secure a fearsome tandem with Ayers and Clay Matthews.
New England gets picks 35, 134
Cincinnati gets pick 33
33. Cincinnati Bengals (from New England Patriots via Carolina Panthers) - Andy Dalton QB, TCU
Cincy jumps ahead of Buffalo to make sure they grab their guy Andy Dalton, who new OC Jay Gruden loves.
34. Buffalo Bills - Colin Kaepernick QB, Nevada
Current starting QB is decent but nothing spectacular. If Gailey misses out on Cam Newton in the first he'll definitely be looking to take Kaepernick as he has the strong arm and athletic ability that Gailey is infatuated with.
35. New England Patriots (via Cincinnati Bengals) - Torrey Smith WR, Maryland
New England lacks a burner who can stretch the field vertically. Smith ran a 4.37 40 at the combine.
36. Denver Broncos - Marvin Austin DT, North Carolina
Denver needed multiple DT's and strikes it rich here getting Austin, who's a top-15 talent but falls due to character concerns stemming from dealings with an agent that cost him his final season at UNC. Having Dareus and Austin at DT, and putting Robert Ayers at RE and Elvis Dumervil at LE would give the Broncos one of the best D-lines in the NFL after having one of the worst in 2010.
37. Cleveland Browns - Brandon Harris CB, Miami
Cleveland needs a solid number two CB across from Joe Haden and GM Mike Holmgren likes taking CB's early.
38. Arizona Cardinals - Benjamin Ijalana OG/OT, Villanova
The Cardinals have one of the worst O-lines in all of football, luckily they get someone who's considered a fringe first rounder in the second round.
39. Tennessee Titans - Ryan Mallett QB, Arkansas
Tennessee can't afford to not take a QB here. Mallett will need to sit a year and learn behind Kerry Collins. He has the size and arm strength of a top five pick, but he still needs a lot of work on his throwing motion and footwork.
40. Dallas Cowboys - Ras-I Dowling CB, Virginia
OG and OT are much bigger needs at this point but Dowling represents a greater value here than James Carpenter, Orlando Franklin, or Marcus Gilbert, all of whom fit the Cowboys blocking scheme. Terrence Newman will be 33 years old this coming season and Mike Jenkins is a pass-interference machine.
41. Cleveland Browns (via Washington Redskins) - Stephen Paea DT, Oregon State
Cleveland has to add players to the D-line for their conversion to the 4-3 defense.
42. Houston Texans - Rahim Moore FS, UCLA
Houston won't pass up the chance to take the best FS after cutting Eugene Wilson.
Minnesota gets picks 59, 91
Atlanta gets pick 43
43. Atlanta Falcons (via Minnesota Vikings) - Kyle Rudolph TE, Notre Dame
Rudolph is the number two guy on Atlanta's big board and could possibly be chosen by them in the first round. He won't be there at pick 59 so they trade up here.
44. Detroit Lions - Stefen Wisniewski OC/OG, Penn State
The Lions always take BPA and they need an upgrade over Dominic Raiola at center.
45. New England Patriots (via San Francisco 49ers) - Justin Houston DE/OLB, UGA
New England has to find a pass-rusher. Houston will slip out of the first round now as it's come to light that he failed a drug test for marijuana at the combine, however the Patriots can afford to take a chance on him. They drafted Aaron Hernandez last year who was in the same situation and was not considered a first round talent.
46. Denver Broncos (via Miami Dolphins) - Mikel Leshoure RB, Illinois
When Knowshon Moreno is hurt, which is a lot, and out of the line up Denver's ground game is non-existent. Plus new Head Coach John Fox likes to use a multiple-back system.
47. St. Louis Rams - Randall Cobb WR, Kentucky
After missing out on Julio Jones in the first round they have to take a WR in the second round.
48. Oakland Raiders - Davon House CB, New Mexico State
Team Needs: CB/RT/LG/OC/TE/WR
When Oakland cut Nnamdi Asomugha this pick became pretty easy to predict. They will have to take the best CB available. After giving Oakland a lot of respect for their 2010 draft I thought that as a franchise they had finally righted the ship, but after cutting Nnamdi Asomugha and giving Stanford Routt a 3-year/32mil contact I'm convinced Al Davis is no longer on his meds. House has the size (6'1", 200lbs.) and speed (4.35 40 time) that the Crypt Keeper covets.
49. Jacksonville Jaguars - Aaron Williams CB, Texas
This pick will be the top rated CB or Safety prospect available. Williams ran a decent 40 time (4.52) but didn't look very fluid in his drills which will probably facilitate his switch to Safety.
50. San Diego Chargers - Jonathan Baldwin WR, Pittsburgh
The Chargers love tall, big-bodied WR's. Vincent Jackson will probably be traded at some point, while Malcolm Floyd and Legedu Naanee are both free agents.
51. Miami Dolphins (via Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - Danny Watkins OG, Baylor
Miami needs all the help they can get on the interior of the O-line.
52. New York Giants -Ryan William RB, Virginia Tech
Ahmad Bradshaw can't stay healthy for an entire season.
53. Indianapolis Colts - Rodney Hudson OG, Florida State
Indy needs all the help they can get on the O-line.
54. Philadelphia Eagles - James Carpenter OG/OT, Alabama
Philly needs to overhaul the right side of their O-line.
55. Kansas City Chiefs - Leonard Hankerson WR, Miami
K.C. has no one to play opposite of Dwayne Bowe.
56. New Orleans Saints - Martez Wilson ILB, Illinois
The Saints need to replace Scott Shale. Drafting Wilson would allow them to move Jonathan Vilma to Shale's spot at WLB.
57. Seattle Seahawks - Orlando Franklin, OG, University of Miami
Sean Locklear is a 30 year old free agent.
58. Baltimore Ravens - Jabaal Sheard DE/OLB, Pittsburgh
Baltimore is always going to take the BPA, and they need a pass-rush threat aside from Terrell Suggs. They can't wait and see Sergio Kindle is going to be ready to play.
59. Minnesota Vikings (via Atlanta Falcons) - Quan Sturdivant LB, UNC
Minnesota has so many needs that they have to trade back to acquire more picks. Here they take the number one rated linebacker for a 4-3 defense to replace free agent Ben Leber.
60. New England Patriots - Will Rackley OG, Lehigh
New England continues to improve its O-line. The protection of Tom Brady is paramount to their success.
61. St. Louis Rams (from San Diego Chargers via New York Jets) - Orlando Franklin OG, Miami
One way of helping prolong the career of Stephen Jackson is to get him some better blocking up front. They seriously need an upgrade at RG over Adam Goldberg.
62. Chicago Bears - Drake Nevis DT, LSU
Chicago needs to replace Tommy Harris.
63. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh Steelers) - Sam Acho DE/OLB, Texas
Miami needs a consistent pass-rush threat across from Cameron Wake. Drafting Acho would allow Miami to move Koa Misi to the inside to replace Channing Crowder.
64. Green Bay Packers - Jarvis Jenkins DT/DE, Clemson
Cullen Jenkins is a free agent and Johnny Jolly can't seem to stay out of trouble.
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