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Saturday, April 16, 2011

SKOHRboard & Stangs League 2011 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 11-14

It's Day Three of the SKOHRboard & Stangs League Mock Draft here and we'll be bringing you four more picks this morning.  Could we see even more QBs taken this early?  Are there even any more left?

We have highly qualified NFL experts who have each been assigned the role of temporary GM for several NFL teams and we will go through the first two rounds selecting the best players for our respective teams.  While you follow along, I'd like to urge you to give us your feedback and please feel free to lobby for your respective team's GM to pick whatever player you feel is best suited to them.

Here are the GMs for each team.

Mutombo - Seattle, Carolina, Cleveland, Detroit, San Diego, Atlanta, Green Bay
Justin! - Minnesota, Denver, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, New Orleans
Joel - New York (G), Buffalo, Tennessee, Miami, Kansas City, Chicago, Oakland
Jeremy - Pittsburgh, Houston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Jacksonville, Indianapolis, 
SKOHR -  Philadelphia, Arizona, Washington, Baltimore, New England, New York (J)

>>SKOHRboard & Stangs Mock Draft 2011, Houston Texans
Pick #11, Cameron Jordan, DE, California<<
by Jeremy 

The Texans brain-trust is ready to jump off the ledge of a tall building after watching both of their coveted prospects at corner go off the board at picks 6 and 7. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be another corner worthy enough to take at 11; the Texans are furious at themselves for being unable to trade up with the Browns or Bengals. It'll have to be a bit longer before they get someone capable of helping out in the secondary, so the target is thus the man from Cal capable of playing the 3-4 two-gap defensive end or the five-technique defensive lineman in the 4-3. It couldn't hurt that the blood of an NFL player already pumps through his veins, as his father was a Pro Bowl for the Vikings in the early '80s. Jordan makes the most sense here due to his experience in the 3-4, as he will be stepping into a similar role in Wade Philip's new defense. 

Jordan is an absolute brick wall in the running game. His versatility will be a major reason he stays on the field in the beginning of his career, as he'll be able to shuttle along the line. Likewise, his extremely long arms and massive hands, excellent speed, and prototypical size make him an ideal candidate for a shameful defensive unit. His biggest strength, however, is his nonstop motor. He goes hard every down, and that should help invigorate a crummy defense. It's easy to point to the dreadful secondary and make them the scapegoat, but this defense was terrible all over: they were fourth worst in points allowed, third worst in yards allowed, and tied for ninth worst in sacks. Jordan isn't as big of a threat at a pass rusher as some of his peers, but they don't have his pursuit skills, his gap integrity, or his pedigree. It's too bad he isn't versatile enough to play corner though.

>>SKOHRboard & Stangs Mock Draft 2011, Minnesota Vikings
Pick #12, Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas<<
by Justin!

The Minnesota Vikings have a ton of needs. QB is top priority, and while we were expecting Gabbert and Newton to both be gone, we were really hoping that Jake Locker would fall to the 12th spot. Coach Leslie Frasier is already on record saying that the Vikings will be looking into a QB in the first two rounds. With pressing needs along the offensive and defensive line as well as cornerback, the Vikings have a lot of directions that they can look to and get great value. Most mock drafts have them targeting a rush end to help out Jared Allen in light of Ray Edward’s impending free agency. It’s considered the safe pick to target someone like JJ Watt of Wisconsin, Da’Quan Bowers of Clemson, or Robert Quinn of UNC, to name a few. And while I admit that those guys would all look fantastic in purple – and really, who doesn’t? – this draft is absolutely loaded with defensive ends. As John Clayton pointed out in an excellent article for ESPN, in the last four drafts, 17 defensive ends have been taken in the first round, and only 1 has been a Pro Bowler: not exactly the greatest return on investment. Guys with first-round talent but second-round grades like Jabaal Sheard of Pittsburgh will be available at this need position in time for the Vikings second pick. Another pressing need is at the offensive tackle position. As far as how I feel about taking a tackle here, let me just refer to the 2008 NFL Draft. Miami selected Jake Long, a three-time Pro Bowler who has had an excellent career so far. Then again, so has Matt Ryan, the guy that went two picks after him. The Dolphins are another team that could be trying to address the quarterback position this April. With six teams in need of a quarterback before the next pick, the Vikings cannot afford to risk letting a potential franchise guy slip by, so they have to take the best quarterback available. 

Ryan Mallett has not had the greatest offseason as far as public relations are concerned. Rumors abound about drug abuse, and he certainly botched his media session at the Combine. Whether deserved or not, several flags have been attached to Mallett’s draft profile. Now I have never had a conversation with the kid and maybe he is the immature drug abuser that they say he is, but let me just say that this wouldn’t be the first time and won’t be the last that teams have floated out stories about bad character or lingering injuries so that a player’s draft stock will slip, followed by those same teams who were privately decrying the player’s attitude to snatch him up in an instant. Mallett does have some established areas of concern. At 6’7 and with a 5.37 forty time, Mallett makes for a big, slow target. A lot of times tend to shy away from QBs that they consider too tall, and with the Vikings offensive line trending downward last season, Mallett could be in line for receiving a lot of punishment if he can’t get the ball out in time. Then again, at 6’5 and no noticeable agility, Peyton Manning has never been troubled by his frame; likewise, Tom Brady’s 5.23 forty time didn’t hinder his NFL career. Mallett doesn’t have the speed or athleticism of guys in this draft class like Cam Newton, Jake Locker, or Colin Kaepernick: he just has that rocket arm. Doug Farrar of Football Outsiders recently described Mallett as "a statue with a cannon attached." Mallett will come in and be one of the strongest-armed QBs in the league, which is great news for those receivers streaking down the field and even better for Adrian Peterson: teams will have to respect the deep ball with Mallett under center. Mallett’s height will also be an advantage to his teammates because with his over-the-top release, the ball comes out 8 feet from the ground. He also has hands the size of Yao Ming’s (12 inches across), so ball control shouldn’t be too much of a concern. 

There’s a lot not to like about Mallett, but he could be the savior of this offense. Locker might be a better fit and we would almost certainly take Locker over him, but Mallett has an arm that his fellow draftmates would kill to have. That being said, if I were truly the Vikings GM I would be on the phone with the Patriots right now, trying to get their 1st round pick (#17) and see if I could get that 3rd round pick (#74) that was surrendered in the Randy Moss trade. 

>>SKOHRboard & Stangs Mock Draft 2011, Detroit Lions
Pick #13, Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado<<
by Mutombo

I know this pick will surprise some people as most have Smith dropping to the 20's, but with Amukamara already taken, Detroit has to take the best player at their biggest need position, which is Cornerback. In 5 years, Jimmy Smith may be the biggest steal in this draft, as off field concerns have dragged his name thru the mud. However, Smith is the most pure shut down corner in the draft and Detroit needs a shut down corner desperately. 

Detroit finally showed some flashes last year that it is a team on the rise, and I was pretty shocked to see them picking all the way at 13th overall, as they probably picked in the top 10 for the past decade. Matthew Stafford's health is key to the continued success in Detroit, and the O-Line will have to improve in order to protect him, which is why they must consider Castonzo here. However, they have bigger needs in the interior of their line than at tackle, and can address that in the 2nd round hopefully. Detroit will pick the best player available whether its Prince Amukamara dropping down to them or Jimmy Smith as selected here by Dikembe, a defensive end like Cameron Jordan or Robert Quinn, or even a O-Tackle like Anthony Castonzo.

>>SKOHRboard & Stangs Mock Draft 2011, St, Louis Rams
Pick #14, Julio Jones, WR, Alabama<<
by Justin! 

As the Lions put in the 13th pick of the draft, the GM of the St. Louis Rams has to pinch himself. Is this really happening? In a burst of speed that would make the scouts in the room take notice, the St. Louis war room sprints as one to the podium, selecting the dynamic physical specimen that Sam Bradford so desperately needs: Alabama WR Julio Jones. 

Jones was a monster in the SEC, starting off as the SEC Freshman of the Year and second-team All-SEC in 2008, All-SEC first team in 2009 and helped his team win the national championship, and All-SEC first team in 2010. He had a great college career, but he was absolutely FANTASTIC at the combine. His measurables were absolutely through the roof, running a 4.39 and leaping an 11-foot-3 broad jump while being nearly two inches taller and 18 pounds heavier than the average WR at last three combines. He is a big, strong, fast receiver that has drawn comparisons to Terrell Owens and Michael Irvin. His elite size and speed make him impossible to press at the line. Jones will be an immediate contributor the second he signs his contract. Sam Bradford finally has a weapon after suffering through a season-ending loss featuring Danario Alexander, Laurent Robinson, Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson (with Mark Clayton on IR). Jones will also allow the Rams to be a real passing threat, and he and Bradford should become BFFs right away. On top of that, his presence will allow Steven Jackson to play without 8 in the box for the first time in his professional career.

So far the SKOHRboard & Stangs League 2011 NFL Mock Draft looks like this

#1 Carolina - Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
#2 Denver - Marcel Dareus, DT, Alabama
#3 Buffalo - Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
#4 Cincinnati - AJ Green, WR, Georgia
#5 Arizona - Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
#6 Cleveland - Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
#7 San Francisco - Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
#8 Tennessee - Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
#9 Dallas - Tyron Smith, OT, USC
#10 Washington - Jake Locker, QB, Washington 
#11 Houtson - Cameron Jordan, DE, California
#12 Minnesota - Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
#13 Detroit - Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
#14 St. Louis - Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

Tomorrow we'll have

#15 Miami - Joel
#16 Jacksonville - Jeremy
#17 New England - SKOHR
#18 San Diego - 

Stay tuned to SKOHRboard for more mock draft action every day until the NFL Draft kicks off on April 28th.   

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Justin! said...

I'm slowly talking myself into the Ryan Mallett era if this actually does come to pass. Quarterbacks are really flying off the board in our mock

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