1) Carolina Panthers Select: Nick Fairley // DT // Auburn
- Fairley enters the draft as the hottest player in college football, ending the college football season with a dominant performance against the spread offense of Oregon in the BCS title game. Fairley is my clear-cut #1 prospect. He's explosive off the snap, shows great leverage in the run game and has powerful hands. He's a violent hitter, powerful tackler and lives in opposing teams backfields making a few tackles for loss each game. I'm not claiming Clausen is the answer; rather I'm saying the Panthers are gonna wait a year to take their future QB give Clausen one more chance at QB. A.J. Green is an option; to replace Steve Smith and be the next impact playmaker to help whoever is Carolina's future QB, but the real problem for this team is interior d-line. Nick Hayden and Derek Landri? C'mon now. Fairley can also improve that pass rush, and after Charles Johnson's breakout season and possibly the development of Greg Hardy the Panthers could have a solid defensive line.
2) Denver Broncos Select: Patrick Peterson // CB // LSU
- Tough, tough choice. Many will cry for Marcel Dareus, but I think people are gonna be really surprised when he falls come draft day. I think of him as a late round one/early round two caliber prospect who could go higher due to this being a weak class. He's not a good fit in the 3-4. Way to short arms, undersized, I'm not sure if he can hold blocks consistently in the NFL. Cam Jordan is a better option, but value is not worth it here. We can all agree that DE is the position of need here for the Broncos. So instead they go with an impact corner, and the #2 prospect in this draft - Patrick Peterson. Really physical, great in on-man coverage and he's a stout tackler along with being an elite return man. Champ Bailey may or may not come back. Perrish Cox is really talented (I had a top twenty grade on him last year) and I think he can be a star, but Peterson still provides versatility. If needed we could see him take snaps at FS in place of Brian Dawkins or SS in place of Reynaldo Hill if necessary. He's the best combo of need and value for a Denver defense that allowed a league worst 62 passing plays of over twenty yards. Peterson can certainly shore that up.
3) Buffalo Bills Select: Cam Newton // QB // Auburn
- Way to obvious of a pick here in my opinion. Talk all you want about needing a defensive end or a rush linebacker here, but neither provide the value. And the truth of the matter is Cam Newton is what Chan Gailey loves in a QB. Fitzpatrick did a great job this year and showed a lot of potential. And that's a positive because it makes this pick easier - Fitzpatrick can start in year one if necessary, while Cam learns the ropes. Regardless Gailey's offense utilizes a lot of spread elements, including a large percentage of snaps out of the shotgun. Heck while he was OC in KC he used a pistol offense with Tyler Thigpen for a significant portion of the year as the base formation - with great success I may add. Newton will not have as large a learning curve if he enters into Gailey's offensive system, and he is the ideal QB for that system. We all know about Newton, his rocket arm, incredible size/strength/speed combination and his infectious personality. I think the Bills will fall in love and pick him here as the first quarterback off the board.
4) Cincinnati Bengals Select: Da'Quan Bowers // DE // Clemson
- To me this pick here, with both A.J. Green and Da'Quan Bowers on the board (two ideal selections for Cincy) it becomes a matter of fiscal investment and potential at the two positions. Out wide the Bengals saw Jerome Simpson come on late, and have a slew of talented guys ready to break out in Jordan Shipley, Andre Caldwell and Quan Cosby. Throw in a really good tight end in Jermaine Gresham I think Cincy can afford to wait until round two to take a wideout. At defensive end Carlos Dunlap was very good as a rookie, surprising everyone. But opposite him nothing special. Antwan Odom is perennially hurt. Robert Geathers is the definition of mediocre and Michael Johnson, for all his athletic ability, has yet to put it all together on the field. Bowers makes sense. And fiscally the Bengals would rather spend top five pick $ on a defensive end than wide receiver, every team in the NFL would agree with that decision. The concern with Bowers is how he underachieved for two years at Clemson before exploding as probably the second best defensive player in CFB this year. People question his motivation, is he a guy who will only give it his all in a "contract" year? Regardless he's 6'4/270 with 4.6 speed and absolutely absurd strength. The ceiling on this guy is so high its darn near impossible to pass on him with a need for DE here.
5) Arizona Cardinals Select: Blaine Gabbert // QB // Missouri
- I am not a Blaine Gabbert fan at all. I have an early second round grade on him. He's coming out of a spread offense every bit as gimmicky as the on Cam Newton or Tim Tebow came out of. Good athlete, great arm stregnth - yes, but he lacks a lot of skills that make QB's elite as prospects. Seldom does he take more than one or two step drops, his footwork is nowhere near where it needs to be, and he really needs to improve his feel for the position. If he doesn't get rid of the ball early in his progressions he gets happy feet scrambles around and makes mistakes with the football. With all of that said, pro scouts are drooling over this guy because he's 6'5/235 with good speed and a rocket arm. The Cardinals do need a QB - badly, and John Skelton is certainly not the long-term solution. Left tackle is a need, and that's why I think Gabbert or Newton are the only QB's the Cardinals will take. Their offensive line needs to improve in pass protection, and Gabbert and Newton are the only QB's that combine value here and mobility (Jake Locker is not going top five folks). Prince Amukamara is also an option on a defense that was torched for 55 pass plays of 20 or more yards last year. Picking up a pass rushing OLB is also crucial.
6) Cleveland Browns Select: A.J. Green // WR // Georgia
- Best case scenario for the Cleveland Browns here. They need to provide Colt McCoy with playmakers. Green is the top wide receiver in this class and my #3 overall prospect. A consensus top five value. The Browns top receiver was Ben Watson - they need to get guys on the outside like Green. A bit of a lanky frame, and some injury problems are really the only downsides of Green. He's got elite body control, consistently wins one on one battles for the football in the air, elite route runner and the most underrated aspect of his game is his ability after the catch. Yeah, he's not a Julio Jones - he doesn't have that same strength, but he's is very tough and has a nasty stiff arm. For Georgia he went over the middle of the field and made plays for his QB consistently, something very few receivers with Green's down the field ability do. The Browns struggled last year, picking up only 42 passing plays of over 20 yards, near the bottom of the NFL. Green will improve that number next year. Cam Jordan and Prince Amukamara are options with the Browns needs at Free Safety and Defensive End.
7) San Fransisco 49ers Select: Robert Quinn // OLB // North Carolina
- Always hesitant to say a guy who didn't even play football last year will go on the top ten, but Quinn could do it. In 09-10 he was the best defensive end in the country for UNC, and he's explosive off the edge - really explosive. If he performs well at the combine he could go in the top ten, and I think he blows up - running in the low 4.6's and proving he's ideal for the 3-4 scheme as a rush LB. That's what I think the Niners will look at here. My best guess is that we are gonna see the Niners pick up a veteran QB and opt to go with a pass rusher here with Newton and Gabbert off the board. Manny Lawson and Ahmad Brooks are good, but not great along the edge. Yeah the Niners got pressure on the QB, but Quinn is an every down player who I think can improve that defense. A nose tackle is a need, but in this class there isn't a big guy who makes sense - especially this early in the first round. Quinn is really the pick by default over Prince Amukamara and Von Miller.
8) Tennessee Titans Select: Akeem Ayers // OLB // UCLA
- Toughest pick to mock so far. Do the Titans go QB? Reach for Jake Locker? Go for Ryan Mallett (who is a top ten guy IMO but scouts seem to hate him) despite all the character concerns? My guess is the Titans bring back Kerry Collins and look for a QB in the second round of this years draft. And the biggest need outside of QB for this Titans team? Outside Linebacker. Ayers is not worth a top ten pick, but he has a lot of potential. Freakish athlete who played some defensive end some outside linebacker for the Bruins last year in the 4-3. He's versatile, can play either DE position, and all 3 LB positions at the next level. His upside is through the roof, and I think after a great combine Ayers shoots up boards and the Titans opt to take him right here at eight. He's got a lot of talent and I like him in zone coverage. He's got fluid hips and is a playmaker who will make plays both in coverage and as a blitzer.
9) Dallas Cowboys Select: Cam Jordan // DE // Cal
- Jordan is gonna be one of the risers, in my opinion, come draft day. Remember Tyson Alualu? The shocking pick last year by Jacksonville, well Jordan played on that d-line with Alualu, and he was the better end. This year he really came alive with 12.5 tfl from a 3-4 defensive end position. He can hold his blocks well, he's got long arms, great size, powerful lower body and the Cowboys have a serious need at defensive end. Marcus Spears is a free agent, and even if he is returned I doubt Stephen Bowen will also be back - basically the Cowboys need to get better up front - as evidenced by their 4.3 ypc allowed and 27.2 ppg allowed. Jordan should allow DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer to run free and make plays in the backfield in both the pass and run game. Now Prince Amukamara could be the pick, him falling this far is certainly surprising, but the Cowboys need for a CB is not as much as people claim. Mike Jenkins was lockdown prior to this year, Terrence Newman is still solid and Orlando Scandrick is one of the top nickel corners in the NFL.
10) Washington Redskins Select: Ryan Mallett // QB // Arkansas
- Mallett's stock seems to be bottoming out, but come draft day I think he goes at the lowest #12 to the Vikings. He's got a rocket arm, beautiful deep ball and all the potential in the world. The Redskins still need playmakers on the outside (Santana Moss is a free agent anyway) so Julio Jones could be a pick here, but Mike Shanahan wants his QB. With McNabb not coming back he's going to get his QB here at ten, whether it be Mallett or Jake Locker. This is yet another team that could take Amukamara here, but I just can't see Shanny not getting his QB here. Rex Grossman has shown a lot of potential, but we saw what he is as a starter for the Bears - and it wasn't pretty. Shanahan's draft history pretty much gives this pick away.
11) Houston Texans Select: Prince Amukamara // CB // Nebraska
- I know, switching to a 3-4 under Wade Phillips means reshaping the front seven is key. With that said, Amukamara is too good to pass up here for the Texans. Yea, they took Kareem Jackson last year in round one, but the Texans had the worst secondary in football last year, allowing opposing QB's to put up a 100.5 passer rating, 4,280 yards, 33 TD's and only 13 picks against them. Amukamara is a physical corner who really showed off his skills last year against Texas in the Big 12 title game. This year he played well, and teams rarely threw the ball at him in the first place opting to go after Alonzo Dennard instead. He is active in the run game, and a top ten prospect who is not too far behind Patrick Peterson for corners in this draft class. Muhammed Wilkerson out of Temple is a potential pick as he would be the nose tackle for the Texans in their 3-4, or Von Miller as a rush LB off the edge.
12) Minnesota Vikings Select: Corey Liuget // DT // Illinois
- Meet Corey Liuget, you will be hearing a lot about him come draft day. As an OSU and Big Ten football fan, I saw a lot of Liuget this year and he impressed the heck out of me. He heads up that second tier of 4-3 DT's just ahead of Stephen Paea and Marcel Dareus. He is versatile, can play either DT position, and in a 3-4 NT and DE. Pushes the pocket consistently, powerful lower body and a playmaker. I love his effort, never gives up on the play. The Vikings need a QB, yes but who here? I can't think that Leslie Frazier is going to take Locker here - he's a defensive minded guy who knows that to make the Vikings as good as they can be they need to dominate on the defensive side of the ball. Kevin Williams had a bit of a down season, but he's still a top flight DT. Even so he needs to be rotated out more, and Pat Williams is 38 and struggling. Liuget can spell both until Pat Williams retires. Paea and Dareus are also options as is Von Miller, and Justin Houston.
13) Detroit Lions Select: Jimmy Smith // CB // Colorado
- The Lions desperately need a corner. Barring someone absolutely ridiculous dropping this far (like maybe Nick Fairley) the Lions have to go for a corner here. Chris Houston and Nathan Vasher should be, at best, nickel corners yet they are the two starters for the Lions. Smith gives them a potential #1 lockdown corner - something the Lions desperately need. Smith is 6'2/210 with legitimate 4.4 speed. He doesn't get much love playing on an atrocious Colorado team, but he reminds me a lot of Antonio Cromartie. Great in on-man coverage, sometimes is too passive in run support, great ball skills and has potential through the roof. The Lions have the foundation with Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Ndamukong Suh, and Louis Delmas are all potential all-pros. Picking a left tackle to protect Matt Stafford like Anthony Castonzo or a linebacker like Von Miller who can play downs on the outside or with his hand in the dirt as a defensive end is also a potential choice here.
14) St. Louis Rams Select: Julio Jones // WR // Alabama
- Might be the easiest selection yet. Julio could go as high as #6 to Cleveland, and it wouldn't be much of a reach there either. Sam Bradford has proven to be a future superstar at quarterback, but he lacks the talent around him, especially at wideout. Danny Amendola is a #3 receiver on most teams in the NFL. Jones is an impact player who will time in the low 4.4's in the 40 at 6'4/220 and ridiculous upper body strength. Problems with drops and injury issues are really his only question marks. His physicality after the catch is Brandon Marshall-esque. Yeah, DT is a need - there is a reason the Rams were seriously considering Ndamukong Suh last year, and Marcel Dareus makes sense as does Stephen Paea. With all that said the Rams need to make sure their big investment at QB has all the tools he needs to succeed. Jones is the guy who can make this happen.
15) Miami Dolphins Select: Ben Ijalana // OG // Villanova
- This a pick that may seem very surprising but makes sense when you look deeper. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are free agents, yes. With that said running backs are a dime a dozen, and rebuilding this offensive line into an elite run blocking group will provide whatever back the Fins choose to put back there a good chance for success. Jake Long is solid at left tackle but outside of that position a lot along the line is open to change. Ijalana is the pick because of his versatility. He plays LT for Nova, and I think he might be able to play there at the next level. But he's got the ability to kick inside to either guard spot (both needs) and can even play out at right tackle if needed. Remember Vlad Duccase? Ijalana is a more athletic, better version of Ducasse. Certainly Mark Ingram and Mikel LeShoure are options here, as is nose tackle Muhammed Wilkerson.
16) Jacksonville Jaguars Select: Jake Locker // QB // Washington
- I don't believe that David Garrard was the issue with the Jags last year - he was a solid and put up a 90.8 passer rating. With that said, Jack Del Rio very nearly lost his job this past year after missing the playoffs again. I expect him to make some drastic changes in an attempt to keep his job. That starts with QB. GM Gene Smith has said they want to acquire a QB, and this is a draft that has four guys likely to go in the first round. Locker is the last of them here, and I believe Jacksonville will take him. We all know the story on Locker. Big arm, great athlete, lacking production and accuracy. The Jags could opt to go with a corner here, as this is a serious need - especially in the AFC South. Watch out for a defensive end like Ryan Kerrigan here with uncertainty surround Aaron Kampman and his torn ACL as well as a DE to play opposite of him.
17) New England Patriots (f/Oakland) Select: Anthony Costanzo // OT // Boston College
- Costanzo is my top rated offensive tackle, and I think this pick makes a lot of sense here for the Pats. For a 14-2 team they have quite a few needs, and it starts with offensive tackle. Matt Light is a free agent, and even if he comes back the Pats need another bookend to go along with Sebastian Vollmer for their future. Costanzo can be the guy. Belicheck has somewhat of a history with taking BC guys (Dan Koppen, Ron Brace) and Costanzo is an elite pass protector. 3 year starter who has quick feet and can play either tackle position. Now a running back like Mark Ingram, deep threat wide out who can stretch the field like Torrey Smith to replace Randy Moss or a rush LB like Von Miller are all serious options here as well. Probably the second most likely pick is Mike Pouncey, but I don't think Pouncey has performed top a top twenty pick level so he the Pats will opt to pass on him here.
18) San Diego Chargers Select: Muhammed Wilkerson // DE // Temple
- Wilkerson has been the hot name in draft circles ever since he declared early. Now the real question here is how he's gonna be able to leapfrog guys like Marcel Dareus, Cam Heyward, Allen Bailey and Adrian Clayborn in the minds of the Chargers here. Well the Chargers have a big need along the front 3 at defensive end. But they also have a need at nose tackle. That's where Wilkerson comes in. 6'5/310, he's got the ability to play at the nose or at the end, and it starts with his ability to collapse the pocket. Ridiculously productive these past two years for Temple because he moves well laterally and finishes plays. I think he will be considered a late first rounder in a weak draft class at the nose tackle position that enables him to leapfrog some guys like Dareus (i think 4-3 limited) and Heyward (questions about consistency).
19) New York Giants Select: Tyron Smith // OT // USC
- Now is when the offensive tackles are gonna come flying off the board. This OT class is loaded with mid first round prospects, but it lacks an elite, sure thing cornerstone. If there's a guy in this OT class who would shoot up boards it would be Tyron Smith out of USC. Elite athlete who is so fluid in pass protection, has got really long arms and quick feet. Sometimes he lacks the explosiveness in the running game but you can't pass up a guy like Smith here at the Giants. The Giants know that while part of the problem with their turnovers was certainly on Eli Manning, but the offensive line had something to do with the struggles as well. Von Miller (who continues to fall) is an option here with Mathias Kiwanuka as a free agent and Miller as a versatile pass rusher who they can stand up or put at defensive end.
20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers Select: Marcel Dareus // DE // Alabama
- Call me crazy, but I really see Dareus falling around this far. He's undersized (6'1/290 is my estimation), has really short arms and at Bama was not asked to hold blocks on the edge nearly as much as I thought he was, or at least in the games I saw he wasn't. Frankly I think Dareus is 4-3 scheme limited. Anyway, Dareus gives the Buccaneers a much needed defensive end, and can provide some snaps at defensive tackle. The Buccaneers had a lot of trouble against the run (4.7 ypc allowed) need to improve that area of their roster, probably Tim Crowder, to make this team a playoff contender again. Dareus can definitely aide in this area. A linebacker whether it be Justin Houston or Von Miller makes sense here also for a defense that needs upgrades throughout.
21) Kansas City Chiefs Select: Von Miller // OLB // Texas A&M
- Miller's fall ends here. The Chiefs, while a playoff team, seem quite far from being a legitimate super bowl contender. With the Raiders charging hard the Chiefs need to improve over this offseason to maintain their status atop the AFC West. Tamba Hali and Mike Vrabel are free agents at OLB, and even if Hali is resigned getting another rush linebacker to play opposite him would be a smart move for the Chiefs. Miller has been arguably the most explosive pass rusher in CFB for the past two seasons. He has elite burst, great pursuit and though he needs to improve (Significantly) in the run game, his natural pass rushing ability makes him an attractive pick here for KC at 21. Derek Sherrod at offensive tackle is another option for the Chiefs as is a compliment to Dwayne Bowe at Tight End in Kyle Rudolph.
22) Indianapolis Colts Select: Stephen Paea // DT // Oregon State
- Tough, tough pick here for me. Looking at Bill Polian's draft history their two biggest needs, in my opinion, offensive line and cornerback are positions that Polian never addresses early in the draft. He has publicly stated that o-line is not too important and Indianapolis starts corners in Jerraud Powers and Jacob Lacey that were 3rd round and UDFA's. So defensive tackle is the logical pick. Looking at the Colts defensive scheme though, getting a penetrating tackle like Drake Nevis makes the most sense, but Stephen Paea adds a lot more value. Paea does make plays in the backfield, he's not a mobile player that the Colts like along the line however. He collapses the pocket and eats up blockers along the line. Potentially a guy like Cam Heyward could be taken here by the Colts and moved to defensive tackle as well.
23) Philadelphia Eagles Select: Derek Sherrod // OT // Mississippi State
- Frankly, Sherrod wasn't even on my radar heading into this season. But his performance this year, especially in games against Florida and Alabama was impressive enough for him to place himself into the first round range at offensive tackle. He's a powerful tackle who can seal the edge in the run game, and did so consistently for Mississippi State in their spread running game. The Eagles need help at right tackle, and Sherrod gives them a combination of athleticism and power in the run game that the Eagles love. A corner to play opposite of Asante Samuel is an option here as well.
24) New Orleans Saints Select: Aldon Smith // DE // Missouri
- The Saints are a tough team to pinpoint. Aside from Will Smith the Saints were unable to get consistent pressure on the QB, as evidenced by their mediocre 33 sacks as a team. Aldon Smith is the best natural pass rusher left on the board. He's one dimensional, a non-impact player against the run - and early on will have to be rotated in and out of games depending on down and distance, but his quickness and burst are way too much to pass up. He may put up 6-8 sacks as a rookie, but when learns to play the run properly he could be a superstar. Part of his intrigue is his ability to drop into coverage and make plays. I think that he can be used as both a linebacker and defensive end. Gregg Williams will have a field day with a talent like him, especially once he matures as a player. Mark Ingram is a sleeper guy to watch out for here.
25) Seattle Seahawks Select: Mark Ingram // RB // Alabama
- So why does Ingram fall all the way to twenty-five? Simply position. Running Backs are a dime a dozen, and many of the best RB's in the NFL (Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles, Michael Turner) were taken in the later rounds. Now why Ingram here for the Seahawks? I don't see a QB as the pick here, with all four first round QB's off the board. Offensive line is a big need for the Seahawks. Aside from Russell Okung I could see all four offensive line positions upgraded, Mike Pouncey and Nate Solder are serious options here. D-Line, OLB and the entire secondary are options here. But running back, while a luxury pick is where I see Pete Carroll going here because Ingram is on the board. Ingram is a top fifteen talent with great balance, toughness and production in a top-flight college football conference. Marshawn Lynch, even with his playoff performance, struggled all regular season. The Seahawks running game was atrocious (in part because of the o-line as well). Ingram can be an impact player for the Seahawks - right away too.
26) Baltimore Ravens Select: Aaron Williams // CB // Texas
- Talent-wise Williams is right there with Patrick Peterson atop this draft class for cornerbacks. He's 6'1/195 with 4.4 speed. But Williams has had his troubles on the field, at times losing discipline and giving up big plays and missing tackles in space. The Ravens need a corner like Williams though, and with him still available late in the first round I think the Ravens will snap him up. Chris Carr and Fabian Washington are free agents and the other corners are Lardarius Webb and Josh Wilson, mediocre at best. Williams can give the Ravens a potential #1 corner for the future. Offensive line is also a need, Gabe Carimi, Mike Pouncey, Rodney Hudson and Nate Solder are also options here.
27) Atlanta Falcons Select: Ryan Kerrigan // DE // Purdue
- Kerrigan has been absurdly productive over the past two seasons with 41 tackles for loss and 23.5 sacks, but the questions are with his athletic ability. His effort is unparalleled, and he showed up in big games (against OSU/Michigan/Wisconsin) with his best performances in his Purdue career, but he's probably going to time in the high 4.8's in the forty which pretty much limits him to a 4-3 DE. He isn't the ideal Falcons DE who has great speed off the edge, but the Falcons need a defensive end who can compliment John Abraham. Their lack of a pass rush was evident against the Packers in the playoffs, and Kerrigan can help remedy this problem. Kyle Rudolph as a tight end to replace Tony Gonzalez down the line is an option, as is an outside linebacker to replace the departing Mike Peterson.
28) New England Patriots Select: Cam Heyward // DE // Ohio State
- The Pats know the importance of building a solid front three in their 3-4 defense. This has been the one position where they have not hesitated to use early picks on taking the likes of Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren and Ron Brace within the first forty picks in the past six years. After trading away Richard Seymour its clear that defensive end is a need for this team. Heyward is the top 3-4 defensive end left on the board just ahead of fellow big ten ends J.J. Watt and Adrian Clayborn. His Sugar Bowl performance was one of the great performances of the bowl season and his bull rush is among the best in this draft class. Heyward is a high character player who fits the lunch pail hard working stereotype we see out of the Pats players.
*29) Green Bay Packers Select: Mike Pouncey // OL // Florida
- The Packers offensive line has improve from last year's debacle, but they still need work. Offensive Tackle is still a need even after drafting Bryan Bulaga last year because Chad Clifton is getting up there in years. However I think the Packers take Pouncey because of his versatility. Interior Line, both guard and center, are needs for the Packers and Pouncey can play both center and guard, though he's better suited for guard. He's not the prospect that Maurkice is, but in a weak draft class I think he could sneak into the first round here if the Packers don't go with an OT like Gabe Carimi or a pass rusher like Justin Houston.
*30) Pittsburgh Steelers Select: Gabe Carimi // OT // Wisconsin
- Nate Solder is considered in most circle the higher rated offensive tackle than Carimi, but Carimi is a Steelers type of player. Big Ben makes up for a lot of the faults along the Steelers offensive line with his ability to get out of sacks, but with Flozell Adams injuries on the right side, Max Starks season ending injury and both of those guys getting up there in age right tackle is definitely a need. Carimi is a mauling run blocker who Wisky consistently ran power running plays behind last year, but he lacks the quick feet to be an elite pass protector. I wouldn't be shocked to see this pick as Martez Wilson because James Farrior is 36, and it's tough to anticipate him playing more than a year or two before he calls it quits.
*31) Chicago Bears Select: Nate Solder // OT // Colorado
- In the Bears zbs Solder makes a lot of sense here. The Bears gave up a league leading 56 sacks, and that has to be remedied if the Bears want to stay among the NFL's elite. Chris Williams hasn't really panned out and Solder can play LT and allow Williams to move to right tackle or kick inside to a guard position. Solder is far from polished, but he's an elite athlete at left tackle and has the quick feet and long arms to be a potentially elite pass protector for Jay Cutler. A #1 wideout like Torrey Smith to give Jay Cutler a true go-to guy instead of a plethora of targets could make sense as well, as could an outside linebacker like Justin Houston.
*32) New York Jets Select: Justin Houston // OLB // Georgia
- Part of the reason Rex Ryan and the Jets have utilized exotic blitz packages with so much regularity is because of the lack of a consistent pass rusher at the outside linebacker spot in their 3-4. All three of their rush LB's (Bryan Thomas, Jason Taylor and Calvin Pace) are in their thirties and none are elite. Houston flourished when Georgia moved to a 3-4 this past year, and he's rising on 3-4 teams boards because of his speed off the edge and his playmaking ability as a pass rusher. A 3-4 defensive end like Adrian Clayborn or J.J. Watt would make sense with Shaun Ellis a free agent and getting up there in age. A wideout is an option with Braylon Edwards as a free agent this year, Brad Smith is a free agent as well and maybe picking up a Brad Smith lite in Randall Cobb here could be an option.
33) New England Patriots (f/Carolina) Select: Torrey Smith // WR // Maryland
- The Patriots lack of a down-field passing threat was exposed by the Jets. With no good 3-4 OLB's on the board, Smith can be the Randy Moss replacement the Pats need.
34) Buffalo Bills Select: J.J. Watt // DE // Wisconsin
- The Bills could look at an offensive tackle here, but most that provide good value are off the board. Instead Watt who provides best value and need combo.
35) Cincinnati Bengals Select: Jonathan Baldwin // WR // Pitt
- After passing on A.J. Green in the first round the Bengals opt to go with their wideout here in Baldwin a big receiver with good long speed.
36) Denver Broncos Select: Phil Taylor // NT // Baylor
- Certainly a reach but assuming the Broncos stay with a 3-4 defense they desperately need a true nose tackle with Jamal Williams really struggling.
37) Cleveland Browns Select: Jeremy Beal // OLB // Oklahoma
- The Browns need to find an impact pass rusher because they have really struggled at OLB finding guys who make can get after the QB. Beal isn't an exception athlete but he's a talented pass rusher with good effort.
38) Arizona Cardinals Select: Jason Pinkston // OT // Pitt
- Pinkston is one of the most underrated offensive lineman in a deep class. He's got great feet and is a good pass protector. The Cardinals need to protect their investment in Gabbert.
39) Tennessee Titans Select: Rodney Hudson // OG // Florida State
- The Titans want a QB here, but who? After the top four QB's its hard to warrant any QB to go here. Instead they go with an elite OG prospect in Rodney Hudson to replace Leroy Harris.
40) Dallas Cowboys Select: Quinton Carter // S // Oklahoma
- Alan Ball has been solid this year for the Cowboys, but Gerald Sensibaugh has been atrocious. RT is a need, but Carter can play both S positions and is coming off an elite senior season.
41) Washington Redskins Select: Stefen Wisniewski // C // Penn State
- The Skins have a ton of needs, but little will be known till we see what Dan Snyder does over the offseason. For now they take Wisniewski a versatile o-lineman who can play guard or center, both needs for the Redskins.
42) Houston Texans Select: Martez Wilson // ILB // Illinois
- With the switch to the 3-4 the Texans need a nose tackle as well as ILB and OLB's. The best player available at those three positions is Wilson, an uber talented freak athlete ILB.
43) Minnesota Vikings Select: DeAndre McDaniel // S // Clemson
- The Vikings opt to take a chance on Joe Webb or a veteran QB. Safety was a need last offseason but went un-addressed. McDaniel's stock fell after he was exposed some this year but still a playmaking safety.
44) Detroit Lions Select: Marcus Gilbert // OT // Florida
- After passing on Okung last year the Lions get a potential franchise OT in Gilbert, an elite athlete who can play on both sides of the line at OT.
45) San Fransisco 49ers Select: Brandon Harris // CB // Miami (FL)
- Harris falls a little because of a very good cornerback class, but he's a late first round talent who compares to Asante Samuel. Nate Clements has been a bust and needs to be replaced.
46) Denver Broncos (f/Mia) Select: Adrian Clayborn // DE // Iowa
- The Broncos continue to retool their defense by picking up Clayborn who faced constant double teams last year, but used a combination of power and technique to garner all-american honors.
47) St. Louis Rams Select: Drake Nevis // DT // LSU
- After passing on Suh last year the Rams fill the hole at defensive tackle this year with Nevis, a highly productive tackle out of LSU who consistently penetrates into opposing backfields
48) Oakland Raiders Select: Brandon Burton // CB // Utah
- With Nnamdi Asomugha likely leaving Oakland and unable to be franchise tagged corner becomes a massive need for the Raiders. Burton is a great athlete who will appeal to the Raiders.
49) Jacksonville Jaguars Select: Allen Bailey // DE // Miami (FL)
- Alualu was great as a rookie, but he played as a DT this past year. The Jags need a pass rusher along the edge to help out Aaron Kampman.
50) San Diego Chargers Select: DeMarcus Love // OT // Arkansas
- Love is a versatile O-lineman who has played all over, from RT to LG for the Razorbacks, he can take over for the struggling Jerome Clary at RT and should improve the Chargers running game.
51) Tampa Bay Buccaneers Select: Greg Jones // ILB // Michigan State
- Great leader who is very impressive in coverage and tackling in space. With Barrett Ruud's struggles this past year and him likely not being retained Jones can take over in the middle and fits well into the tampa-2 scheme.
52) New York Giants Select: Quan Sturdivant // LB // North Carolina
- Aside from Michael Boley the Giants had some problems with LB's this past year. Sturdivant fits well into the cover-2 scheme Perry Fewell utilizes thanks to his athletic ability and fluid hips in coverage.
53) Indianapolis Colts Select: Ahmad Black // DB // Florida
- Black is a typical Colts player, he can play SS for the likely departing Bob Sanders but is also a guy who has the ability to play some corner for the Colts as well.
54) Philadelphia Eagles Select: Curtis Brown // CB // Texas
- The Eagles have struggled to find a corner to play opposite of Asante Samuel, Brown can be that guy. Brown is a playmaker with elite speed who should shoot up boards come combine time.
55) Kansas City Chiefs Select: Tandon Doss // WR // Indiana
- The Chiefs passing offense really only had one valid receiving threat in Dwayne Bowe. Doss is the top pure WR left on the board, he has great hands but lacks the ability to create separation.
56) New Orleans Saints Select: DeMarco Murray // RB // Oklahoma
- Murray fits into the Saints offense very well. With Pierre Thomas likely gone and problems with injuries for Bush and Chris Ivory, Murray can be the guy for the future at RB.
57) Seattle Seahawks Select: Orlando Franklin // OL // Miami (FL)
- Franklin has played some OT and some OG, and the Seahawks need help at both positions providing versatility that makes him attractive to Pete Carroll here.
58) Baltimore Ravens Select: Randall Cobb // WR // Kentucky
- OLB is a need, but the Ravens WR group is aging quickly. Cobb is the definition of a playmaker and will be an impact player in the Slot and Wildcat.
59) Atlanta Falcons Select: Kyle Rudolph // TE // Notre Dame
- If Rudolph is still on the board here Falcons will snatch him up to ultimately be the replacement for Tony Gonzalez. If not for injury problems Rudolph would be a top fifteen pick.
60) New England Patriots Select: Mikel LeShoure // RB // Illinois
- Not in the Pats philosophy to go RB here, but I think they simply go BPA here and with LeShoure, a big back with breakaway speed, still on the board he's the choice.
*61) Green Bay Packers Select: Cliff Matthews // OLB // South Carolina
- Matthews is a round one talent who has been very inconsistent on the field. Elite athlete who will move up boards after the combine and can be a pass rusher opposite the other Matthews for Green Bay.
*62) Pittsburgh Steelers Select: Bruce Carter // LB // North Carolina
- I think Carter can be a great 3-4 ILB if he puts on some weight, injury + suspension causes him to fall this far. Will be the replacement for James Farrior.
*63) Chicago Bears Select: Chimidi Chekwa // CB // Ohio State
- Chekwa is a physical corner who fits what Chicago wants out of their corners. 4 year starter for Ohio State who got better each year.
*64) San Diego Chargers (f/NYJ) Select: Greg Little // WR // UNC
- Suspension dropped his stock, but a 1st round talent. Great size/speed combo fits the Chargers prototype for WR, and with Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd as free agents they may need a replacement.