Before you get all huffy and puffy about a mock draft being published one week into the new 2011 NFL season, hear me out. First and foremost, if you're like me, you probably don't keep too close an eye on who are considered to be the top prospects in the next year's draft until these dudes are in shorts and working out at The Combine. That's disappointing every year. And while I doubt I'll be tuning in to too many college football games due to time constraints, I'm going to try to make it a point to see how many of these guys I can catch this next two and a half months, even if just for a quarter or two at a time.
Also worth noting is that Big Jay, who rocked our draft coverage along with seton hall and steelers (and others) last spring, sent this to me late last week hoping I would post it before the start of the season. Didn't happen.
So, don't get too worked up about where he's slotted various teams. Really, the only thing Jay might want to have a mulligan on is slotting the Colts into a playoff berth again. I'm assuming he had this fleshed out before it became increasingly clear that Peyton Manning was probably not going to play much, if any, in 2011. As for the other teams, well, one week of action shouldn't cause anybody to veer away from their preseason predictions.
The bottom line though is not dissecting the draft order but trying to learn a thing or two about various teams' needs, as well as to start gathering information on who might be worth watching when some meaningless Big 10 or ACC game this fall.
Many thanks as always to Jay for the fine work.
-Michael B. -
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. Will Luck withstand the pressure and prove his choice of returning to school was a good one? Will another quarterback like Barkley or Landry Jones leapfrog over Luck? 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. Cincinnati Bengals - Matt Kalil OT, USC
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. I gave serious thought to giving them UNC DE Quinton Coples but a cornerstone left tackle should trump a defensive lineman every time. Matt Kalil has the potential to be a franchise cornerstone for a long time and was the reason that 2010 top 10 draft pick Tyron Smith played on the right side of the line at USC.
3. Oakland Raiders - Dre Kirkpatrick CB, Alabama
2011 1st Draft Pick: Stefen Wisniewski OC/OG, Penn State
Team Needs: QB/LG/TE
Mocking for Oakland is extremely difficult. Al Davis is crazy and unpredictable. He has a supreme love for measureables, particularly at cornerback, and Kirkpatrick is 6'3" with 4.4 speed. It'll be a slight reach but an adequate replacement for Nnamdi Asomugha. This early in the draft there is only a couple of options the Raiders could go with if they take someone else. DE Quinton Coples will probably put on a clinic during the combine, and if for some reason Alshon Jeffery can run a 4.4 40 (which he won't) he would be in the running as well.
4. Carolina Panthers - Alshon Jeffery WR, South Carolina
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Cam Newton QB, Auburn
Team Needs: WR/O-line depth
The Panthers drafted Cam Newton but he's a huge work in progress but because they want to avoid a QB controversy he'll probably be given the starting job by week one. As such they are going to struggle. 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. 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.
5. Denver Broncos - Quinton Coples DE, UNC
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Von Miller DE/OLB, Texas A&M
Team Needs: DT/CB/RT/RB
Heading into the 2011 draft Denver's biggest need was at defensive tackle and they failed miserably to address it, so coming into 2012 it has to be given some consideration. However they also have a need at cornerback. Champ Bailey is still playing at a high level now but he'll turn 34 years old the summer after the 2012 draft and Perrish Cox has been released. Head coach John Fox established a strong running game in Carolina by having two first round picks at the position, and with how injury-prone Knowshon Moreno has been it would make sense to take a long look at Trent Richardson. He could be the power compliment to Moreno that Jonathan Stewart was to DeAngelo Williams. While someone like DT Jerel Worthy would fill a bigger need Coples is the superior talent and Fox loves taking pass-rushers, so why not try and strike gold with another UNC product?
6. 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 is now in Seattle, Ray Edwards is in Atlanta, and Ben Leber is in 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.
7. Buffalo Bills - Riley Reiff OT, Iowa
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. And speaking of quarterbacks, the Bills have a roster full of other team's rejects. Chan Gailey may have faith in Ryan Fitzpatrick right now but we'll see what happens when the season ends and Buffalo ends up with another top 10 pick. Andrew Luck will be long gone but Barkley and/or Landry Jones should still be on the board. Barkley would be a good fit for Gailey's offense. After finally giving up on Aaron Maybin the Bills will need to find his replacement as well as a replacement for the departed Paul Posluszny. This draft class is rich with ILB talent as well as with pass-rushing OLB's that fit in well with a 3-4 defense.
8. Tennessee Titans - Jerel Worthy DT, Michigan State
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Jake Locker QB, Washington
Team Needs: LG/OC/DE
As with most of the teams drafting in the top half of the 2012 draft the Titans will have experienced some growing pains breaking in a rookie QB. They elected not to resign Jason Babin and will need to replace his production. If he is available Quinton Coples would be a perfect option. Another way to upgrade their pass rush is with a great defensive tackle, and that's where Worthy comes in. He get's double-teamed on every play and still manages to be disruptive.
9. Washington Redskins - Matt Barkley QB, USC
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Ryan Kerrigan DE, Purdue
Team Needs: QB/RT/CB/RG/OC
For all the picks Washington had in the 2011 NFL draft they still have a huge hole left to fill. They failed to secure a quarterback which means they'll enter the season with Rex Grossman or John Beck as the starter. I know they had their moments in the preseason but seriously, it was the preseason. Barkley has gotten progressively better every season and would be a good fit for the style of offense that Mike Shanahan likes to run. They have so many holes to fill that it could basically be a best player available type of situation.
10. Cleveland Browns - Justin Blackmon WR, Oklahoma State
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. Blackmon would've been a top 20 pick had he decided to forgo his senior season and has a chance to be the first WR off of the board in 2012. Colt McCoy is going to need as many weapons as possible if the Browns are ever going to contend with the Steelers and Ravens in the AFC North.
11. San Francisco 49ers - Donte Paige-Moss DE/OLB, North Carolina
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 to a 1-year deal it's still going to be an issue. But with the talent available DPM makes the most sense. They could pair him with 2010 first round pick Aldon Smith as well as with Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman and form one of the best young linebacking corps in the NFL. If they do go with a cornerback there are many options including VT's Jayron Hosley, South Carolina's Stephen Gilmore, or Oregon's Cliff Harris. In addition to that they could also replace Anthony Davis, who has been a complete bust since being a first round pick.
12. Arizona Cardinals - Brandon Jenkins DE/OLB, Florida State
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. Brandon Jenkins was a terror last season and if he keeps up that pace this season he'll be well worth a top 15 pick. 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. If Jonathan Martin or Riley Reiff make it this far I think they would pounce on either of them, and address their pass-rushing issues in the second round.
13. Detroit Lions - Vontaze Burflict LB, Arizona State
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Nick Fairley DT/DE, Auburn
Team Needs: CB/LT/OLB/OC/SS
By taking Nick Fairley over Prince Amukamara the Lions showed that they really will draft talent over need. Heading into the 2012 draft cornerback will still be the Lions primary need. However I seriously doubt they will pass-up on a talent like Burflict. He's an absolute stud and one of the best LB prospects since Patrick Willis. He's scheme versatile and can play any linebacker position. I know they signed Stephen Tulloch and Justin Durant in the offseason but it didn't stop them from taking Fairly when they already had Suh and Corey Williams. If the Lions coaching staff can teach Burflict some self control there's no limit to how good he can be.
14. Jacksonville Jaguars - Stephon Gilmore CB, South Carolina
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Blaine Gabbert QB, Missouri
Team Needs: DE/FS/SS/CB/WR
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. However given the Jaguars track record they will probably take another defensive end. They also need true number one WR but with Jeffery and Blackmon both off of the board that need will have to wait until the second round.
15. Miami Dolphins - Landry Jones QB, Oklahoma
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Mike Pouncey OG/OC, Florida
Team Needs: QB/FS/OG/TE
If they're at pick 15 again it will signal the end of the Chad Henne era in Miami, and maybe even the end of the Tony Sparano era as well. As long as one of the top 3 quarterbacks are available I can't see the Dolphins going in any other direction. But just for the sake of argument if they do go in another direction I could see them taking Alabama RB Trent Richardson. They lost Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown in free agency and will depend on the oft-injured Reggie Bush and rookie Daniel Thomas this season.
16. Dallas Cowboys - Alfonzo Dennard CB, Nebraska
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. Given the lack of talent available for Dallas' other needs they almost have to go with a cornerback here. The only alternative would be to select an upgrade over Anthony Spencer, especially with the wealth of pass-rushers in this draft.
17. Houston Texans - Jeff Fuller WR, Texas A&M
2011 1st round Draft Pick: J.J. Watt DT/DE, Wisconsin
Team Needs: NT/FS/WR
Houston did a great job picking players for their new 3-4 defense in the 2011 draft and free agency and as such should only have a couple of holes left to fill at strong safety and at nose tackle. Unfortunately there aren't any players at those positions that are worthy of a selection here so the focus will have to shift to the offense. As of right now it's a reach but Jeff Fuller makes the most sense for the Texans. He would draw a lot of the attention off of Andre Johnson and he's a pretty good WR in his own right. He's great in the short passing game and would compliment Johnson very well. If 2011 second round pick Brooks Reid doesn't develop as an OLB the Texans could take advantage of the surplus of pass-rushers and take Courtney Upshaw or Devin Taylor, or take an ILB like Luke Kuechly and move Brian Cushing to OLB.
18. San Diego Chargers - Courtney Upshaw DE/OLB, Alabama
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. Upshaw is a 260lbs defensive end who will probably convert to 3-4 OLB. He had 7 sacks and 14 tackles for loss in 2010.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jayron Hosley CB, Virginia Tech
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.
20. Chicago Bears - Cliff Harris CB, Oregon
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. OSU OC Michael Brewster will definitely garner some consideration but it would still be a slight reach. 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 a player like Harris. He's a bit of a trouble maker but he has top 15 talent and is hard to pass up here at 20. He's also an excellent return man and could take over for Devin Hester as he continues to take on a more prominent role on offense.
21. St. Louis Rams - Marcus Forston DT, Miami
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Robert Quinn DE/OLB, UNC
Team Needs: FS/DT/RB
St. Louis' biggest needs heading into 2012 will be at free safety to replace the released O.J. Atogwe, at right guard to replace a horrible Adam Goldberg, and at defensive tackle to replace Gary Gibson who is too undersized and can't hold up against the run. Forston is the best available prospect who fits any of those needs. He's a very athletic 310lbs. and will probably be a better prospect come draft day than was Corey Liuget whom the Rams were reportedly very interested in during the 2011 draft. Even though they signed Ben Leber to upgrade the WLB spot they could still give some serious consideration to UNC's Zach Brown.
22. New York Giants - Trent Richardson RB, Alabama
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. However Trent Richardson is the best talent available and will probably be a better player than his 2011 counterpart Mark Ingram. Ahmad Bradshaw his injury issues and Brandon Jacobs big body is bound to wear down. Zach Brown would be the perfect fit for their defense.
23. Indianapolis Colts - Michael Brewster OC, Ohio State
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Anthony Castonzo OT, Boston College
Team Needs: RT/OC/WR
Indy did a phenomenal job filling their offensive line needs in the 2011 draft but depending on whether they play Ben Ijalana at right guard or tackle they'll still have one more hole to fill there. Plus Jeff Saturday will be a 36 year old free agent in 2012. At wide receiver Reggie Wayne will be 33 years old this coming season, Anthony Gonzalez can't seem to stay healthy, and Austin Collie may be forced to retire if he gets another concussion. As is tradition the Colts will almost assuredly take an offensive player in the first round of the draft. At this point Michael Brewster is hands down the best interior lineman in the 2012 draft.
24. Kansas City Chiefs - Morris Claiborne CB, LSU
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Jonathan Baldwin WR, Pittsburgh
Team Needs: OT/RB/CB
Kansas City has several needs along the offensive line. The fans can defend Brandon Albert all they want but the fact remains that he would be a better fit at guard or right tackle. They signed Jared Gaither in the offseason but if his back issues linger they'll need an upgrade at tackle again. Defensively they'll have an issue resigning both Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr as both will be free agents. Like Alfonzo Dennard with Prince Amukamara, Morris Claiborne held up extremely well last year after being overly targeted while opposing teams avoided throwing towards Patrick Peterson.
25. New York Jets - Devin Taylor DE/OLB, South Carolina
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. Taylor terrorized opponents in the SEC last season accumulating 7.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss. Offensively they still need a right tackle after they cut Damien Woody and they could use upgrades at guard as well. Don't be surprised to see the Jets and their bold head coach to make a move upward to secure the pass-rusher they want. Vontaze Burflict seems like the type of player that Rex Ryan would love.
26. Cleveland Browns (via Atlanta Falcons) - Chase Minnifield CB, Virginia
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Phil Taylor NT, Baylor
Team Needs: RT/DT/OLB
Having taken care of their biggest offensive need with their first pick, now the Browns can focus on continuing to add player to their new 4-3 defense. In 2010 they beefed up the defensive line by adding Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard but still have some holes left to fill. If Eric Wright doesn't bounce back from a poor season the Browns will be looking to replace him. Chase Minnifield's father Frank Minnifield was a pro-bowl cornerback for the Browns in the 80's and 90's.
27. Philadelphia Eagles - Nate Potter OT, Boise State
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Danny Watkins OG, Baylor
Team Needs: CB/RT
After Philly's offseason spending spree they shouldn't enter 2012 with a whole lot of holes to fill. One issue would be at right tackle. They signed Ryan Harris but he'll be out for the entire season with an injury. Protecting Vick's blindside must be their top priority. Potter had a great first game against some top SEC competition against UGA.
28. Baltimore Ravens - Jared Crick DT/DE, Nebraska
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. With the players available this pick will come down to Crick or Notre Dame ILB Manti Te'o. Right now I'm giving the nod to Crick as he's the only 3-4 defensive end with first round potential and they can still get a quality ILB in the second round like Alabama's Dont'a Hightower or TCU's Tank Carder.
29. New England Patriots - Michael Floyd WR, Notre Dame
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Nate Solder OT, Colorado
Team Needs: OLB/DE/WR
The Patriots still need a true number one wide receiver. They also need a five technique defensive and a pass-rushing outside linebacker but they need both of those before coming into the 2011 draft and bypassed both needs. The top wide receiver on the board is Floyd, who had mid-first round talent but because of some DUI trouble will still be on the board at the end of the first round. Belichick does not take converted defensive ends in the first round because of their high bust rate so that's not really an option and with Jared Crick already gone it's too early to take Texas DE/DT Kheeston Randall.
30. New England Patriots (via New Orleans Saints) - Robert Lester S, Alabama
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 replacement for the recently released Brandon Meriweather. For now Lester is the top rated safety in the class and is versatile enough to play both the free and strong positions. He is considered a slight reach here but given the Patriots recent drafting methods they may view him more highly than others. They could also draft an offensive guard to solidify their front. 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. Pittsburgh Steelers - Manti Te'o ILB, Notre Dame
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Cameron Heyward DE, OSU
Team Needs: NT/RG/ILB
Every fan in Steelers nation will be screaming for an offensive lineman or a cornerback, chanting the same thing for the last few years. 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. And they 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. Right now it could be considered a tossup between Te'o and BC's Luke Kuechly. I'm giving the nod to Te'o because he better fits the Steelers mold of selecting bigger linebackers.
At any rate, either of them could be considered the best players on the board. Of course other options would include either Iowa State's Kelechi Osemele or UGA's Cordy Glenn to fill the void at right guard or anywhere else as they are both very versatile, or Washington's Alameda Ta'amu to be the heir to Casey Hampton at nose tackle.
32. Green Bay Packers - Luke Kuechly LB, Boston College
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Derek Sherrod OT, Miss. State
Team Needs: OLB/LG/DE
Green Bay will really only have one need when the 2012 draft rolls around. After letting Cullen Jenkins sign with Philly this offseason they will most likely let the troublesome Johnny Jolly walk when he's a free agent in 2012. They could go for Texas' Kheeston Randall but will not pass up Luke Kuechly if he's available. I've seen some mock drafts that have him going much earlier than this but ILB's have a tendency to fall on draft day. He has a non-stop motor and would be a welcome addition to an already great defense as well as an upgrade over Desmond Bishop. After losing Daryn Colledge, Jason Spitz, and Mark Tauscher they could also go with the best offensive lineman available as well.
33. Seattle Seahawks- Zach Brown OLB, UNC
After releasing Lofa Tatupu Seattle will need to find a replacement.
34. Cincinnati Bengals- Vinny Curry DE/OLB, Marshall
Cincy's two biggest needs at this point are defensive end and running back. Curry is a speed rusher who would be better served playing OLB in a 3-4 defense but that didn't stop Cincy when they drafted Dontay Moch.
35. New England Patriots (via Oakland Raiders)- David DeCastro OG, Stanford
They drafted Marcus Cannon who's still at least a year away from being able to play but who knows how quickly he'll be re-acclimated to football.
36. Carolina Panthers- Kheeston Randall DE/DT, Texas
Carolina has no depth on the defensive line and will rely on mid-round rookies to start this season.
37. Denver Broncos- Alameda Ta'amu NT, Washington
Denver has to get some defensive tackle help from somewhere.
38. Minnesota Vikings- Ryan Broyles WR, Oklahoma
Minnesota could not retain Sidney Rice and they have to find a legitimate number one WR.
39. Buffalo Bills- Michael Egnew TE, Missouri
A pass-catching TE is essential to Chan Gailey's offense.
40. Tennessee Titans- T.J. McDonald S, USC
Tennessee could use an upgrade over Chris Hope.
41. Washington Redskins- Baker Steinkuhler DE/DT, Nebraska
Washington's defense could use an upgrade over Adam Carriker and Mike Shanahan has seemed to have grown an affinity for Nebraska players.
42. Cleveland Browns- Travis Lewis OLB, Oklahoma
Cleveland needs to continue to find players for their conversion back to the 4-3 defense. Lewis is the BPA and would be an upgrade over Scott Fujita.
43. San Francisco 49ers- Kelechi Osemele OG/OT, Iowa State
Anthony Davis has been a major bust to this point. One more poor season and it'll be over for him. Besides that San Fran could use some injury insurance for Joe Staley and incase they don't resign Chilo Rachal.
44. Philadelphia Eagles (via Arizona Cardinals)- Kawann Short DT, Purdue
Andy Reid is starting to collect D-linemen like his rival Giants. Short is somewhat of a sleeper who should climb the board as the season rolls along.
45. Detroit Lions- Levy Adcock OT, Oklahoma State
For Matt Stafford's sake I really hope Detroit picks an offensive lineman at some point early in the 2012 draft.
46. Jacksonville Jaguars- Juron Criner WR, Arizona
The Jags have lacked a legitimate number one WR since Jimmy Smith.
47. Miami Dolphins- Bruce Irvin DE/OLB, West Virginia
Koa Misi started the 2010 season hot then went cold. If he can't step it up in 2011 the Dolphins will need a replacement.
48. Dallas Cowboys- Ray Ray Armstrong S, Miami
Dallas' safety play in 2010 was atrocious. Jerry Jones seems like the type that would fall in love with Armstrong's potential.
49. Houston Texans- Josh Chapman NT, Alabama
Houston will need to fill the couple of holes left on their defense, like getting a quality nose tackle here or taking Ray Ray Armstrong or T.J. McDonald if either of them are available.
50. San Diego Chargers- Andrew Datko OT, FSU
I know they resigned Jeromey Clary but they can't continue to have him starting, he needs to be replaced.
51. 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 interesting to refer to the Bucs backs as "LeRunning backs".
52. Chicago Bears- Ben Jones OG/OC, UGA
The Bears need to continue revamping their offensive line. Jones is a four year starter at center in the SEC but has the size and power to play guard as well.
53. St. Louis Rams- Mohamed Sanu WR, Rutgers
Sam Bradford needs a true number one WR.
54. New York Giants-Sean Spence OLB, Miami
Spence is the perfect linebacker for DC Perry Fewell's defense.
55. 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.
56. 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.
57. New York Jets- Mike Adams OT, Ohio State
Going into the 2012 draft the Jets shouldn't have too many pressing needs except for a pass-rushing OLB and at right tackle to replace Damien Woody.
58. Atlanta Falcons- Orson Charles TE, UGA
2011 1st round Draft Pick: Julio Jones WR, Alabama
Team Needs: TE/OG
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.
59. Philadelphia Eagles- Keenan Robinson OLB, Texas
As previously mentioned the Eagles don't have a lot of needs after their free agency spending spree. One area of need left is at WLB.
60. Baltimore Ravens- Nico Johnson LB, Alabama
Nico Johnson is versatile enough to play any linebacker position in a 3-4 defense and the Ravens need an heir to Ray Lewis.
61. New England Patriots- Brandon Lindsey DE/OLB, Pittsburgh
I have to believe that the Patriots will upgrade their pass-rush at some point.
62. New Orleans Saints- Eddie Whitley S, Virginia Tech
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. Pittsburgh Steelers- Cordy Glenn OG/OT, UGA
Do I need to mention what the Steelers should be targeting here? It's O-line help for sure. Cordy Glenn is massive at 6'5, 348lbs. but is surprisingly athletic. He had a rough first outing in his debut at left tackle against Boise State but is just the sort of guard that Steelers fans should covet, especially those that were screaming for the team to draft Marcus Cannon. Glenn probably won't be able to play left tackle in the pros but could play either guard position or even right tackle if needed.
64. Green Bay Packers- Brandon Thompson DT, Clemson
The Packers lost Cullen Jenkins to free agency and will probably let Johnny Jolly walk next year.