I wasn't going to do another mock draft as I was started to get burnt out on all the draft coverage already but after seeing some awful mocks, I feel it is my duty to create a mock draft that doesn't have a 4-3 DT going to a 3-4 team, the same player going twice in the same round and doesn't have players that are coming back for the seniors years being drafted anyways. All kidding aside, I'm really doing this because I need to kill sometime between Big 10 tournament games. GO BIG BLUE
1. Carolina Panthers- Patrick Peterson CB LSU- I have been putting Nick Fairley at the #1 spot in every single draft but I just think he isn't worthy of being the top pick and isn't the lock that PP is. To me, Peterson is the next Charles Woodson while Nick Fairley could be the next Ndamkong Suh or maybe the next DeWayne Robertson or Ryan Sims. Also, it's hard to pass up on the idea of having Chris Gamble on one side and PP on the other in this pass happy NFL, especially in a division with Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman.
2. Denver Broncos- Nick Fairley DT Auburn- Anytime you switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3 it's important to get your type of D-linemen that fit your defense. The Broncos' defensive tackles recorded a grand total of 24 tackles and 0 sacks. In the 4-3, you need that stud DT who can not only draw double teams but also wreak havoc in the backfield and Fairley proved on the 3 biggest stages(Iron Bowl, SEC Title game, BCS Title game) in college football that he can do that.
3. Buffalo Bills- Marcell Dareus DT Alabama- Perfect fit for a 3-4 defense(assuming that don't try to switch back to the 4-3 again). Already has experience in the 3-4 and should be ready to start right away. Not the flashy pick but the smart one.
4. Cincinnati Bengals- AJ Green WR Georgia- With Ochocinco and TO on their way out, the Bengals need a deep threat/ go-to guy to take the pressure of whoever the quarterback is and the running game as well. Quarterback may be a bigger issue with Carson Palmer threatening to retire but no QB is worthy of being picked in the top 10 and Green just has too much potential to pass up here. Plus, he will sell jerseys and help fill seats which is really all owner Mike Brown cares about.
5. Arizona Cardinals- Von Miller LB/DE Texas A&M- Pretty easy pick here. Cards need a edge rusher for their 3-4 defense and Von Miller is the best one in the draft. They need a quarterback but they can sign somebody or trade for either Kolb or Kyle Orton. Drafting a rookie who may or may not be a bust and probably won't be ready to start right away is not the answer. Best thing to do for the Cards would be to sign a veteran if they can't get Kolb and draft a QB in the 2nd round like Mallet, Locker or Dalton.
6. Cleveland Browns- Da'Quan Bowers DE Clemson- Going into this draft, I believe there are two players the Browns are hoping falls to them. One is AJ Green and the other is Bowers. The Browns are switching to the 4-3 defense and need a defensive end to get after the quarterback and Bowers has Julious Peppers potential.
7. San Francisco 49ers- Aldon Smith OLB/DE Missouri- The 9ers had just 6.5 sacks from both 3-4 edge rushers last season and that just isn't good enough. Aldon Smith is rising on most scouts board and seems to be more of a sure thing than Robert Quinn. Smith missed about a month of the 2010 season due to a broken right leg but still managed to record 48 tackles including 10 for loss and 5 sacks. Has great explosion off the line to blow by his man but also has a great bull-rush.
8. Tennessee Titans- Cam Newton QB Auburn- Bud Adams will be making this pick and will take down anyone on his coaching staff who isn't on the Cam-Train. All kidding aside, the Titans need a franchise QB and Newton could be that guy or at least get fans excited. Either way, Bud Adams can expect profits to go up in Nashville.
9. dallass cowboys- Prince Amukamara- I really hope Prince doesn't land here because he is an incredible player with Revis potential. Terrence Newman is past his prime and Mike Jenkins mouth is bigger than his game. A part of me thinks they will pass on Prince because he doesn't play in the BIG 12 South or SEC but who knows.
10. Washington Redskins- Phil Taylor NT Baylor- This isn't a case of drafting the best player available, it's a case of drafting a dire need that is in really short supply this draft. Phil Taylor definetley has the size to be a nose tackle at 6'4 337. His best asset is his strength as he has the ability to push back double teams or spin out of them with a surprisngly good athleticism and outstanding balance. I don't think there is another nose tackle in the draft worth building a 3-4 defense around so even though this pick will be torn apart in the comments, it is the right pick.
11. Houston Texans- Cameron Jordan DE California- Anytime you switch to the 3-4, you have to start buidling up your 3-man front. Jordan already has more experience than the majority of his teammates in the 3-4.
12. Minnesota Vikings- Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri- I don't think the Vikings are planning to draft Gabbert, but if he is still here I think they pull the trigger on him. Joe Webb is the starter in 2011 but Gabbert will have a chance to take his job away. The Vikings need a franchise QB and they just uped their chances of having one with either Webb or Gabbert eventually being that guy.
13. Detroit Lions- Tyron Smith OT USC- Akeem Ayers is a possibility here at the outside linebacker spot, but I think he reminds scouts of Ernie Sims which will scare the Lions from taking him in any round let alone the 1st. Smith has the most potential of any offensive tackle in the draft though he may not be ready to prove that for another year or two, which is ok because current left tackle Jeff Backus is still holding up well but will turn 34 this season and probably one has one or two more good years.
14. St. Louis Rams- Julio Jones WR Alabama- Simple. Rams need a deep threat. Jones is the best or second best deep threat in the draft. Sam Bradford shows signs of a personality after he gets his deep threat.
15. Miami Dolphins- Mark Ingram RB Alabama- Dolphins need a RB badly with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams possibly on the way out. Mikel LeShoure had the better combine but Ingram had the better career. Ingram played againist 8-man box defenses in the toughest conference and still put up numbers worthy of his Heisman Trophy. His 4.6 40 time means about as much as Tedd Ginn's combine numbers.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars- Ryan Kerrigan DE Purdue- Last year the Jaguars had a chance to draft either Derrick Morgan or Jason Pierre-Paul to help boost their pass rush and instead they took a 3-4 DE Tyson Alualu to be their 4-3 DT. In 2010 the Jags DE's combined for 9 sacks while Alualu had just 3.5 sacks. The Jags can't afford to pass on a pass rusher again.
17. New England Patriots- JJ Watt DE Wisconsin- The Pats 3-4 defense needs an upgrade at LDE as both Brandon Deaderick and Myron Pryor combined for just 21 tackles and 2.5 sacks. After Cameron Jordan, JJ Watt is the next best 3-4 DE which appears to be the Pats #1 need.
18. San Diego Chargers- Robert Quinn DE UNC- Fall a lot farther in my mock than most, but I think his suspenion that cost him the 2010 season, questions about his strength and his inconsistency of getting off the snap will drop him a little bit. With that being said, Chargers reap the benefits here getting a college DE to be their edge rusher opposite of Shaun Phillips where the pass rush seemed to be lacking all season.
19. New York Giants- Nate Solder OT Colorado- This will be the first and only time he will be in my mock draft(sorry couldn't resist). The Giants offensive line which was their key to winning the Superbowl a few years ago is all entering their 30's and will need to start drafting players to eventually replace him. Nate Solder is a top 10 talent according to some scouts and is too good to pass up for the G-men.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Adrian Clayborn DE Iowa- The Bucs have drafted so well the last couple of years that there young core of players have progressed quicker then anyone could have expected. Having said that they need to bolster their pass rush and Clayborn will do just that and potentially do it right away.
21. Kansas City Chiefes- Mikel LeShourse RB Illinois- This pick is about the future and protecting Jamal Charles. If the Chiefs want to continue to run the ball as much as they do, they will need a replacement for the 32-year old Thomas Jones. Mikel LeShoure, like Jones, is a hard-nosed inside runner who will get the tough yards and carries to spell Charles for years to come.
22. Indianapolis Colts- Anthony Castonzo OT Boston College- Colts showed last year that their offensive line needs to be upgraded and Costanzo is the best player available.
23. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES- Jimmy Smith CB Colorado- This pick would drastically change if the owners and union would of agreed on a new CBA and the Eagles signed Nnamdi. Since that didn't happen and we may not be able to sign Nam until June or July, we have to get a corner now in case we strike out in free agency. Most scouts have the Eagles taking a RT but I'm not ready to give up on Winston Justice just yet and we could get a decent RT or RG in the second round. Jimmy Smith is exaclty what I want in a corner. He's got great size at 6'0 or 6'2 depending on which website you look at, 200+ lbs and he has the speed to match with his 4.4 40 at his pro day. I believe he is the next shut down corner, he has allowed just one first down in man coverage in his final 2 season at CU. The only question for us is will he actually last this long.
24. New Orleans Saints- Marvin Austin DT UNC- The Saints need a beast in the middle of their line that can wreak havoc in the backfield and Austin is the best 4-3 DT available here in my opinion over both Liuget and WIlkerson. His one year suspension might keep him out of the first but his explosion(4.8 40) and outstanding pro day will not be forgotten come draft day.
25. Seattle Seahawks- Ryan Mallet QB Arkansas- When Dan Marino was drafted late in the first round in 1983, he was passed up by several teams including his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers due to off the field issues that no one seemed to understand. I believe Ryan Mallet is the same case. Great arm, great potential and any excuse that a team has for not drafting him that needs him will be their loss and Pete Carroll's gain.
26. Baltimore Ravens- Mike Pouncey OG Florida- Too good to pass up here. Best interior lineman in the draft, can play all 3 interior line positions. The Ravens should find a spot for them on their line right away.
27. Atlanta Falcons- Brandon Harris CB Miami- With Brent Grimes reportedly going to test free agency depending on the new CBA, the Falcons should take Harris here. Harris has looked like a legit starting corner in the NFL. Great speed, ability in zone and man. The only question is will be continue to be abused by bigger receivers like he was againist Michael Floyd?
28. New England Patriots- Akeem Ayers OLB UCLA- Projected to be a 4-3 OLB, but he has the pass rushing skills to make it as a 3-4 edge rusher. The Pats need an edge rusher to compliment Jermaine Cunningham on the other side and Ayers could be the steal of the 1st round. They do have a couple other needs, but they have another pick coming at #33 so the rich will just keep getting richer, until the playoffs at least.
29. Chicago Bears- Stefan Wiesnewski C Penn State- Olien Kruetz is starting to show signs of age and will need to be replaced in 2012. Wiesnewski is the best proven center in the draft and if he is anything like his dad, he should be a 10-years starter.
30. New York Jets- Justin Houston OLB Georiga- The Jets pass rush was way too inconsistent for a blitz happy defense coached by a Ryan. Geogria switched to the 3-4 which allowed Houston to be an edge rusher and get some needed experience the 3-4. He thrived in the new defense racking up 18 tackles for loss and 10 sacks.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers- Derrick Sherrod OT MIssissippi State- When Flozell Adams is your starting RT, it's time to draft a replacemnet. Enough said.
32. Green Bay Packers- Christan Ballard DE Iowa- At 6'4 288 has the size to make the transition from 4-3 end to 3-4 end. He saw time at both DT and DE in the 4-3 which showed how capable he is being a 3-4 defensive end.
To anyone who wants to rip on any of my picks, I have no problem with that. Your insults help me improve my mock drafts in the future while also bringing me back down to earth. However, do not insult my picks without a explanation and who you would take or why it was a bad pick. Anyone can call someone a dumbass over the internet without reason.