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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Complete Mock Draft

Here's the final version of my first mock draft – though in the past week, I've already changed my mind on some picks. But sticking with the original first part of the draft, here's one way things could happen – with no trades. I'll do another one Wednesday - full version - with any changes I see happening.

1. Carolina, Cam Newton, QB, Auburn - They could take a defensive tackle such as Marcel Darius, but I think Newton will be the guy.

2. Denver, Marcel Darius, DT, Alabama - A much safer pick than Nick Fairley.

3. Buffalo, Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M – Miller might be the surest thing in this draft.

4. Cincinnati, A.J. Green, WR, Georgia - If Newton isn’t there, the Bengals wait until later to grab a QB.

5. Arizona, Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU - The Cardinals need a QB, but pass on Blaine Gabbert.

6. Cleveland, Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina - The Browns need defensive front help.

7. San Francisco, Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska - The 49ers could be a prime trade partner looking to move down - hello Minnesota.

8. Tennessee, Nick Fairley, DT. Auburn - The Titans keep building up their defensive front.

9. Dallas, Tyron Smith, OT, USC - The Cowboys seem to be zoning in on Smith.

10. Washington, Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri - The Redskins can afford to give Gabbert a year to learn behind Donovan McNabb.

11. Houston, Julio Jones, WR, Alabama – Adding Jones to an already potent offense could make the Texans a playoff team in 2011.

12. Minnesota, Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple – I don’t expect the Vikings to pick in this spot. They’ll trade it for a QB, either an established veteran or moving up to get Blaine Gabbert.

13. Detroit, Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College – The Lions need to keep QB Matthew Stafford upright and healthy.

14. St. Louis, Cameron Jordan, DL, California – A receiver would fit better, but Jordan could immediately step into the rotation.

15. Miami, Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas – The first big surpise of the draft. Chad Henne and Tyler Thigpen are not the answer. The Dolphins would love to move down and make this pick.

16. Jacksonvillle, Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue – Kerrigan is the pass rusher the Jaguars have been lacking for several years.

17. New England, J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin – Watt is a perfect fit for a 3-4 defense.

18. San Diego, Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson – Bowers is a top-10 talent, but there are questions about the health of his knees. San Diego rolls the dice.

19. New York Giants, Mike Pouncey, G, Florida – Pouncey loses a bet with his brother, going one pick behind where the Steelers selected Maurkice in 2010.

20. Tampa Bay, Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa – The Bucs were terrible against the run last season and need help at end.

21.Kansas City, Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin – This is one tackle the Steelers have kept a close eye on. He doesn't fall to them.

22. Indianpolis, Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State – The mini-run on offensive linemen continues as the Colts try to keep Peyton Manning healthy for another three or four years.

23. Philadelphia, Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado – The Eagles like physical corners.

24. New Orleans, Nate Solder, OT, Colorado – Back-to-back Buffalos.

25. Seattle, Andy Dalton, QB, TCU – The Seahawks crave a QB and Dalton is shooting up the boards.

26. Baltimore, Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland – The Ravens badly need to add speed at wide receiver and Smith is one of the fastest players in the draft.

27. Atlanta, Christian Ballard, DE, Iowa – The Falcons need a pass rusher to work with John Abraham.

28. New England, Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama – Enough of the running back by committee stuff.

29. Chicago, Danny Watkins, G, Baylor – The Bears need offensive line help … badly.

30. N.Y. Jets, Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor – Back-to-back Baylor picks. Rex Ryan doesn't mind having some troubled character guys around.

31. Pittsburgh, Aaron Williams, CB, Texas – Williams has good size, decent speed and is an underclassman coming out of a major program.

32. Green Bay, Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State – A nice fit for a 3-4 defense.


Steve-O said...

I had hoped Nate Solder would drop to the Steelers but I think Williams is a good pick. I'm curious Dale, if Solder drops to the Steelers do you still think Williams is the pick?

Dale Lolley said...

I think the need at defensive back is greater than the need at offensive line. Also, the true need is at guard, not tackle - not that a young tackle couldn't play guard.

Anonymous said...

I love how bad the Ravens mangled their WR situation. Everyone assumed they were a lock for the Super Bowl when they paid a big price to get Boldin and then added Housh and Stallworth, but things are so dire they might have to burn a first-round pick on a WR just one year later.

Anonymous said...

I like it

Except for Bowers to the bolts. I have never seen him as an OLB, stricly a DE

If they want a pass rusher they will go for someone who's sure to be a linebacker in their system

Adam said...

Dale, any thoughts on the Steelers kicker situation?
Will they look to draft one?

datruth4life said...


Do you think Aaron Williams would be a better fit for this D than Ras-I Dowling? The only chink I see in Dowling's armor is that he was hurt his senior year. Williams has stiff hips and is a 4.55 CB at best. The last thing the Steelers need in their secondary is another CB (really a safety, like Keenan Lewis) with questionable speed that doesn't make any plays. Williams has 4 ints during his entire career and none this past year. I just don't see what everyone else sees with him being a fit with the Steelers. Dale, can you help me?

Dale Lolley said...

I just have a real problem taking a player in the first round with Dowling's injury history. I think the Steelers will, too. Could he be a better player? Sure. But it's a roll of the dice.
For every Curtis Martin or Terrell Davis - guys who had injury problems throughout their college careers - there are 10 if not 20 guys who continue that trend. And even a that, Martin was a third-round pick and Davis - if memory serves - was a fifth or sixth.
I think Williams is a better fit for the Steelers' zone defense than Brandon Harris. Neither is a great playmaker, but sometimes you have to settle for what's available.

marc said...

if the best CB they can get with their first pick is a 4.55 guy with good zone coverage they better take someone else.

marc said...

by the way, does it seem that Seattle is an ideal trading partner for teams looking to move up in the draft. no team after them is looking for a QB. they could slide back and still grab the same QB if they wanted to.

considering how unpredictable the draft can be, if the right guy falls down the ladder, maybe the steelers could jump up to grab someone.

Dale Lolley said...

I agree, which is why I have been saying they should look to move - up or down. I think where they are sitting at, the linemen will be gone and they'll be left with Williams or Harris. Both have warts.

Patrick said...

I was convinced Williams was the pick until Bouchette's recent article.

I'm starting to think trade down and hope Ijalana, Dowling or Williams is there.

I think even without a slight trade down, Ijalana or a DE could be the pick. I really don't like DE that early this year, but that might be the best value.

I'm rambling, but another option could be to take BPA at 31 and then move up in the second to grab Dowling/Williams/Moore/or best OL (assuming they take a CB at 31).

datruth4life said...


What pick at no. 31 isn't a roll of the dice? We're not talking top 10 here.

The two players I could see them trading up for would be Pouncey or Carimi. A sleeper for the Steelers at no. 31 could be LT/G James Carpenter from Alabama. I agree with Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network that Carpenter is the second best LT in this draft. If that is the case, and the fact that he could play next year at RG, is selecting him at no. 31 really a huge reach? I'd rather have him than Aaron Williams at that pick. I'm just not feeling taking a safety at pick no. 31. I'd rather just take Carpenter in the 1st round then trade up in the 2nd to grab Dowling or another CB.

Eric T said...


If Heyward is there, I think the Steelers should not pass on him. He seems like he is built for being 3-4 end. With the age/injury history of Smith and Keisel, I think there is a need, if not immediate, to continue to infuse youth and talent in that position. Heyward and Hood would make for a great foundation for years to come.

Robbie said...

The Steelers are in a really tough spot this draft. The players they're probably most interested in - the group of second-tier CBs and the group of second tier OTs - are all valued at around picks 45-85, meaning that anyone would be a reach at 31 and no one might be left at 95.

It would be ideal if they could somehow maybe trade their 1st and 4th round picks for another 2nd and another 3rd.

Steve-O said...

Every year there are a few top tier guys who slide to the bottom of 1st round and/or 2nd round. Lamaar Woodley comest to mind. To my way of thinking, the Steelers are in a good position. If they move up a little to fulfill a need it won't break the bank, if they stand pat they will get a solid if not spectacular player and if they drop back a little there is enough talent out there to maximize the value. This is a deep draft and any team that is banking on a saviour in the first round is missing the big picture.

Tiger said...

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