2011 NFL Mock Draft
Picks No. 17 to 32
- The 2011 Final Mock Draft -
Picks No. 1-16
17. New England (from Oakland) - Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA
TEAM NEEDS: 1) RB 2) DE 3) LB
The Pick Might Be: Anthony Castonzo. It'll be tempting to take the Boston College product and keep him at home. Bill Belichick will look to the pass rush first, and then give a long though to solidifying the line.
The Pick Should Be: In 2012. This is where Belichick will start to work his yearly magic to package this pick for future considerations, while knowing he still has a shot at a top talent at the 28.
The Pick Will Be: Akeem Ayers. Belichick loves active athletes who can fly all over the place, and considering the defense could use another dangerous outside linebacker, Ayers wouldn't be much of a reach here. However, if the Pats keep their picks, he could be had at the end of the first round.
18. San Diego - Anthony Castonzo, OT Boston College
TEAM NEEDS: 1) OLB 2) WR 3) DE
The Pick Might Be: Akeem Ayers. If the UCLA playmaker is still on the board, he'd be the desperate need pick for a Charger defense that has to start addressing the linebacker situation. A pass rusher is a must.
The Pick Should Be: Da'Quan Bowers. While not the smallish athletic pass rusher the Chargers might like, he can line up and be productive in any scheme. He had no problems getting to
the quarterback last year.
The Pick Will Be: Anthony Castonzo. It would be a perfect situation. The offense needs a right tackle to help keep Phil Rivers upright and healthy, and Castonzo could ease his way in before eventually moving over to the left side.
19. NY Giants - Mike Pouncey, C Florida
TEAM NEEDS: 1) LB 2) DT 3) C
The Pick Might Be: Gabe Carimi. Right pick, right team, right time. The big Badger is exactly the type of bruising lineman who'd fit in well on the Giant offensive front.
The Pick Should Be: Corey Liuget. The defensive front could use more bodies for the interior rotation. Liuget wouldn't necessarily be an anchor, but he wouldn't have to be. Remember, the Giants were at their best when the defensive line was destroying everything it its way.
The Pick Will Be: Mike Pouncey. While any one of a number of tackles would work, the Giants need someone with the versatility to play any spot on the offensive interior. Center is an issue and Pouncey would start right away.
20. Tampa Bay - Da'Quan Bowers, DE Clemson
TEAM NEEDS: 1) DE 2) CB 3) LB
The Pick Might Be: Adrian Clayborn. The Hawkeye star will almost certainly go somewhere in the back half of the first round, but the Bucs aren't going to take a chance on Clayborn, who has health issues, when Da'Quan Bowers is still on the board.
The Pick Should Be: Da'Quan Bowers. It's time. At some point the pick has to be about pure value, and Tampa Bay would be getting a top five caliber talent on the cheap.
The Pick Will Be: Bowers. For all the great talent recently put together for the defensive front, the Bucs were miserable at getting to the quarterback last year. Bowers would be fantastic when paired next to Gerald McCoy.
21. Kansas City - Gabe Carimi, OT Wisconsin
TEAM NEEDS: 1) WR 2) OT 3) LB
The Pick Might Be: Adrian Clayborn. The defensive front needs more of a push to get into the backfield. A big body for the interior would be nice, but Clayborn would be a good value selection.
The Pick Should Be: Gabe Carimi. In desperate need of right tackle help, Carimi could be a superstar on the Chief line. He'd be great for the KC ground game.
The Pick Will Be: Carimi. The Chiefs were at their best in recent years when the offensive line was among the best in football. There should be a few good tackle options left, and Carimi would be a bit of a steal.
22. Indianapolis - Nate Solder, OT Colorado
TEAM NEEDS: 1) OT 2) WR 3) Backup QB
The Pick Might Be: Derek Sherrod. The Colts love Big Ten guys and would dream of Gabe Carimi sliding down this far.
Sherrod would be an athletic second option who'd start right away.
The Pick Should Be: Ryan Mallett. Peyton Manning is 35 and the franchise has to come up with a succession plan. The troubled Mallett could be brought in to learn at the feet of the master for a few years in an Aaron Rodgers-Brett Favre type of pick.
The Pick Will Be: Nate Solder. The Colts have time for one or two more big pushes for the Super Bowl. It's not going to happen unless Manning gets more time
23. Philadelphia - Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa
TEAM NEEDS: 1) LB 2) CB 3) OG
The Pick Might Be: Jimmy Smith. Philadelphia never seems to worry about anything other than pure talent. While Smith has his issues, he'd be an instant starter and big-time playmaker on the other side of Astante Samuel.
The Pick Should Be: Justin Houston. The defense doesn't need a defensive end but it could use more linebacker help. Houston would be the type of pass rushing terror who'd fit the Eagle mold to a T.
The Pick Will Be: Adrian Clayborn. While hybrid prospects like Houston are a thought, the Eagles need a pure defensive end to rotate with the banged up Brandon Graham. Clayborn would be a part of a strong end rotation.
24. New Orleans - Muhammad Wilkerson, DE Temple
TEAM NEEDS: 1) RB 2) DE 3) S
The Pick Might Be: Corey Liuget. Expect the entire clock to be used up if Liuget is still on the board. The Saints need more bulk and more help on the interior, and the Illini playmaker would fill an instant hole as a key starter right away.
The Pick Should Be: Mark Ingram. The ground game could use a healthy young back to take the pressure off Drew Brees. Ingram wouldn't have to be a workhorse, but he'd be a devastating 15-carry back in this attack.
The Pick Will Be: Muhammad Wilkerson. It could be any one of a number of pass rushers here, but if Wilkerson is still on the board, he'd be snapped up as an instant impact player on the outside.
25. Seattle Seahawks - Corey Liuget, DT Illinois
TEAM NEEDS: 1) QB 2) DT 3) WR
The Pick Might Be: Derek Sherrod. Right offensive tackle is a need pick and Sherrod would be a far better selection for the Seahawk offense than Gabe Carimi or Nate Solder if they slid this far.
The Pick Should Be: Corey Liuget. It's time. He's too good an interior pass rusher to fall any further than this, even if defensive tackle isn't the most glaring need.
The Pick Will Be: Liuget. The defense started to crumble late last year and got pushed around way too easily. Getting a live, talented body for the rotation is a must at some point.
26. Baltimore - Jimmy Smith, CB Colorado
TEAM NEEDS: 1) DE 2) CB 3) S
The Pick Might Be: Cameron Heyward. Versatile, he wouldn't have to be the star of the line like he would be at other places. However, he'd be a key factor inside or out working around Haloti Ngata.
The Pick Should Be: Mark Ingram. Ray Rice is nice, and the Ravens have gotten all the mileage they can out of a few backs in the rotation, but Ingram would be the centerpiece type of back to take the pressure off of Joe Flacco.
The Pick Will Be: Jimmy Smith. Not only do the Ravens need a corner, but they need a big corner. Smith brings the size and the potential to move inside to safety in a few years.
27. Atlanta - Cameron Heyward, DE Ohio State
TEAM NEEDS: 1) DE 2) OT 3) WR
The Pick Might Be: Adrian Clayborn. If he's still around and on the board, the Falcons wouldn't be able to not snatch him up. A slider because of ongoing concerns about his Erb's
Palsy, he's fine and would be exactly what the Falcon line would need,
The Pick Should Be: Cameron Heyward. If he's still on the board, he'd be the versatile lineman needed to be a part of the rotation. He wouldn't have to be the star and he'd flourish having to make a few key plays a game.
The Pick Will Be: Heyward. A nice luxury pick for Atlanta, the coaching staff can use Heyward where needed as a key piece of the defensive puzzle. He might turn out to be a cog in the system, but he'll be an important one.
28. New England - Mark Ingram, RB Alabama
TEAM NEEDS: 1) RB 2) DE 3) LB
The Pick Might Be: Way down the line. It's Bill Belichick on draft day. If he doesn't package away the 17, the 28 is almost certainly gone.
The Pick Should Be: Mark Ingram. That shiver you might have felt is the New England offense with a real, live running back. The BenJarvus Green-Ellis/Danny Woodhead thing was cute. but it's time for an upgrade.
The Pick Will Be: Ingram. The word you're looking for is yeeeeeeesh. Only New England would get the No. 1 back in the draft this late.
29. Chicago - Derek Sherrod, OT Mississippi State
TEAM NEEDS: 1) OT 2) WR 3) DT
The Pick Might Be: In the second round. GM Jerry Angelo can't get rid of this pick fast enough. Multiple picks are a must for a team that might have been close to the Super Bowl, but has several huge holes.
The Pick Should Be: Derek Sherrod. The Bears need a No. 1 wide receiver, they need to get younger at linebacker, and they need a big body for the interior of the defensive front. More than anything else, though, they need to keep Jay Cutler from getting his head used like a punching bag.
The Pick Will Be: Sherrod. After biffing the Chris Williams pick a few years ago, the Bears finally fill the ten-mile wide hole at tackle.
30. N.Y. Jets - Phil Taylor, DT Baylor
TEAM NEEDS: 1) DT 2) LB 3) DE
The Pick Might Be: Justin Houston. The Jets could use an outside linebacker who can get to the quarterback. Houston could be a steal here.
The Pick Should Be: Phil Taylor. There are other good defensive linemen down the line, but there are few nose tackles who are a more perfect fit for what Rex Ryan wants for his defensive interior.
The Pick Will Be: Taylor. Bu-bye Kris Jenkins, hello to the new massive body to sit in the middle
of the Jet line for the next decade.
31. Pittsburgh - Aaron Williams, CB Texas
TEAM NEEDS: 1) OT 2) CB 3) DT
The Pick Might Be: Brandon Harris. While he's not a pure No. 1 shut down corner, he's a tough playmaker who'd flourish in the Steeler secondary. He fits the type.
The Pick Should Be: Benjamin Ijalana. Keeping Ben Roethlisberger from getting creamed needs to start becoming more of a priority. Getting Maurkice Pouncey last year was a start,
and the massive Ijalana would be a huge help, literally.
The Pick Will Be: Aaron Williams. The Steeler secondary has to upgrade the corners. The Super Bowl wasn't the only time the secondary struggled.
32. Green Bay - Justin Houston, DE/OLB Georgia
TEAM NEEDS: 1) DE 2) LB 3) RB
The Pick Might Be: Mikel Leshoure. No, James Starks isn't the long term answer and neither is the banged up Ryan Grant. No, they're not.
The Pick Should Be: Benjamin Ijalana. The Packers went heavy on the offensive line over the last few years, and they could always use more big bodies, especially at guard, to keep Mr. Rodgers from getting flattened.
The Pick Will Be: Justin Houston. It would be a perfect situation for the Georgia star. He wouldn't have to be the man, but he'd draw heat away from Clay Matthews as a pure pass rushing specialist.
- The 2011 Final Mock Draft -
Picks No. 1-16