Round 1: 1-16 || Round 1: 17-32 || Round 2: 1-16 || Round 2: 17-32
*Underclassmen, **Redshirt Sophomores
Alabama DT, *Marcell Dareus – It is a must for the Patriots to get better up front on defense. They have Vince Wilfork, but outside of him, they have no one else. The old Patriots defense was built around their three down defensive linemen. Since they traded Richard Seymour to the Oakland Raiders, no one has filled in. Marcell Dareus is a guy that is scheme versatile and can come in and line up at the 5-technique. He has the thick lower body required to hold the point, and the hand and foot quickness to penetrate the backfield. With his experience in the 3-4, he’ll make the players around him better, and in a hurry. Mayo, Guyton, and Spikes will flourish behind Wilfork and Dareus.
Wisconsin DE, *J.J. Watt – The Chargers don’t have many needs on either side of the ball. Their offense and defense finished the season tops in the NFL. Nonetheless, they could use some improvement in their defensive front-7. J.J. Watt is a blue-collar player with an outstanding work ethic. Watt has the upper and lower body strength to anchor at the 5-technique, and the explosion and power to rush the passer. His play and character would fit in quite nicely with the Chargers.
Boston College OT, Anthony Castonzo – The Giants offensive line is old. They have been on a steady decline over the past couple of years. They are not protecting Eli like they use to, and their not opening up nearly enough holes for the running game. Castonzo comes from a long list of excellent Boston College linemen. He can add competition and depth to the offensive line, and eventually take over at either left or right tackle.
Iowa DE, Adrian Clayborn –The Buccaneers are coming along nicely. They went from a 4-12 team to a 10-6 team, in just a year. The offense is stacked with rookies that are performing beyond their years. The defense still has some holes in it. At this point, they do not do a great job at rushing the passer. They need a presence on the edge, and thats where Adrian Clayborn can help. Clayborn is a kid that can overwhelm linemen with his strength and nastiness. He possesses a good pass rushing toolbox, and is stout against the run. His production in 2010 tapered off from 2009, but he is still a first round talent.
Cal Berkeley DE, *Cameron Jordan – The Chiefs are in a poor position to fill their needs. At 21, the best receivers and offensive linemen are already off the board. The Chiefs need a nose tackle, but Phil Taylor doesn’t fit the character traits that Pioli/Haley look for in their players. So, which way do they go? They go with yet another defensive end. The Chiefs may be losing a few players in their defensive line rotation, so Cameron Jordan would be a nice pick here. It isn’t truly a position of need, but Jordan is the best player available that fits the Chiefs defensive scheme, and character needs. The former Cal team captain is a multidimensional player who has 3 years of experience playing in the 3-4. Jordan is a stud against the run. It is extremely difficult to move him off of his spot. Unlike most 5-techniques, Jordan is an explosive pass rusher that can rush from either the 5 or 3-technique. He can team up with Wallace Gilberry on 3rd/passing downs and wreck havoc on the pocket. Adding Jordan causes a trickle down effect. Getting more pressure up the middle helps Tamba Hali get more sacks, and helps the secondary cover for less time. Jordan is one of the safest picks in this years draft.
Mississippi State OT, Derek Sherrod – I have never seen Peyton Manning hit as much as he’s been hit this year. The lack of quality offensive lineman has hurt the Colts. Peyton is having to rush a ton of throws due to pressure. Those rushed throws have turned into 17 interceptions (5 returned for touchdowns). Adding an athletic and strong tackle will not only help Peyton and the passing game, but it will help their non-existent running game. Derek Sherrod is the most complete tackle in the NFL Draft. He can both pass protect and run block. Is very athletic and will most certainly excel at the Colts stretch run plays.
Wisconsin OT, *Gabe Carimi – The pass protection for Michael Vick was simply atrocious this season. Just because he is a running quarterback doesn’t mean you have to block less for him. If the Eagles tackles would of provided more of a pocket for Vick, maybe they would of gotten further in the playoffs. The Eagles fill a huge need here and draft a nasty offensive linemen, Gabe Carimi. Carimi is a mammoth. His specialty is run blocking, but he is also solid in pass protection. He will need to work on some technique flaws against speed rushers, but a solid mini and training camp should do the trick. He should be able to come in and open up running lanes for both Vick and McCoy, and help keep blitzers away from Vick.
Oregon State DT, Stephen Paea – The Saints could use a little more push up the middle when it comes to rush defense and pass rush. They ranked in the middle of the pack in both categories. Paea is one of the most disruptive defensive tackles in the nation. He is consistently double teamed, and still manages to find a way to collapse the pocket. He is quick and explosive, making it difficult for guards and centers to protect their gaps. In Greg Williams system, Paea can do some damage, and open up lanes for other players to do damage as well.
Colorado CB, Jimmy Smith I must admit, I’ve only seen the Seahawks play three times this year, two being playoff games. The thing that sticks out to me most was the fact that they have poor cornerback play. In week 12, Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe caught 13 passes for 170 yards, and 3 touchdowns. If their defense wants to take the next step, they must be able to stop teams number one receivers. Jimmy Smith is a big cornerback that sits at 6’2 205lbs. He has the athletic ability to cover smaller receivers, and the size to cover bigger ones. He’s also solid in run support. Rumor has it that he has only allowed 11 completions in the past two years. Those are insane numbers, Nnamdi-like numbers.
Boise State WR, Titus Young – Going out and getting Anquan Boldin and TJ Houshmandzadeh didn’t do much for the Ravens. Both dropped key balls during the final quarter of their playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s time for TJ to retire, and Derrick Mason is almost there with him. The Ravens offense needs to go out and get someone who can stretch the field, and cause matchup issues for defenses. Titus Young is an explosive player who eats up cushion and gets behind secondaries in a hurry. His route running is pin point and he is quite elusive in open field. He has work to do with his frame. He’ll have to add on some bulk, but that shouldn’t be a problem in an NFL strength and conditioning program. Young will have a great effect on the Ravens offense. With his skill set, he’ll require a ton of attention from defenses. No more 8-man fronts for Ray Rice, and more down field completetions for Joe Flaaco.
Georgia DE/OLB, *Justin Houston – The Falcons need someone opposite of Roddy White. Unfortunately, the only receiver who may warrant the 27th pick doesn’t fit the Falcons player character philosophies, and that’s Jonathan Baldwin. Since that is the case, they turn towards bolstering their pass rush. Outside of John Abraham, the Atlanta Falcons don’t have another pass rusher. Getting someone opposite of Abraham has to be a priority this offseason. GM, Thomas Dimitroff puts an emphasis on character, and Justin Houston excels in that area. He’s a team captain and an explosive force off the edge. He is somewhat of a tweener, but I’m sure he can add a little weight and retain his explosiveness. Houston finished the season second in sacks in the SEC, with 10. He’s a fiery guy who leads by example and voice. A better pass rush will cause a trickle down effect. The secondary will improve and the defense will cause more mistakes and turnovers.
Alabama RB, *Mark Ingram – I don’t care what anyone says, the Patriots need a running game. Everything can’t be placed on the shoulders of Tom Brady. The Patriots were at their best when they had some resemblance of balance. A strong running game keeps defenses honest and makes the play action much more effective. 2009 Hiesman award winner, Mark Ingram is the perfect fit for the Patriots. His vision, power, lateral quickness, and knack for gaining yards after first contact is what the doctor ordered. Wes Welker has been Tom Brady’s best friend for the past couple of seasons. Move over Welker and make room for Ingram.
Baylor DT, Phil Taylor – Kris Jenkins is about done playing in the NFL. He has now had 3 season ending knee injuries. The Jets can’t sit around and wait for Jenkins to heal up and hope that he stays healthy. They must go out and find his future replacement. Sione Pouha is a stud at the nose tackle, but he is getting up there in age. Phil Taylor is a guy that can come in and eat up blocks. For his size he has good athleticism. If Shaun Ellis leaves in free agency, Taylor could push Pouha to the 5-technique, and man the nose.
Pittsburgh WR, *Jonathan Baldwin – The majority of the Bears receivers are diminutive. Jay Cutler had great success with the 6’5” Brandon Marshall in Denver. I look for the Bears to get Cutler someone similar. Jonathan Baldwin is a big and physical receiver that has excellent ball skills and body control. He is just the guy to open up the bears offense. His route running and separation skills need improving, but that is the case for most college receivers.
Illinois DT, Corey Liuget – Before the season I would of said the Packers need to get a cornerback to play opposite of Charles Woodson. Tramon Williams has come in and has been the Packers best defender in the secondary. The Packers now need to look at their defensive line. Ryan Pickett is getting up there in age, Johnny Jolly is suspended and Cullen Jenkins can’t stay healthy. Corey Liuget has all the tools to be a stud in the NFL. He looks like a Green Bay Packer. His style of play and size is similar to the players currently in their defensive line rotation..
Villanova OT, Ben Ijalana – Ben Rothlisberger has been known to hold on to the ball in the pocket. The combination of that and poor tackle play, gets him killed week in and week out. He takes a ton of unnecessary shots. Now sometimes, holding on to the ball is a good thing. It gives him time to find Mike Wallace or Emmanuel Sanders streaking down the field. The Steelers need a tackle who can hold his block a tad bit longer, to give Rothlisberger time to do what he does. Ben Ijalana is a guy who doesn’t possess the height of the prototypical offensive tackle, but has exceptionally long arms and is a gifted blocker. If teams can get over his 6’4” height, he will make an instant impact on the edge.
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