|Patrick Peterson from LSU |
The Panthers will take Peterson because he is a truly elite talent. The complexity a lockdown Cornerback affords a defense is something that their new DC, Sean McDermott, will love when they start using his blitz packages that he ran with the Eagles. A shutdown CB helps in 2 areas of the field, first by stopping a team's top WR and second because he makes the QB hold on to the ball too long and then the pass rush can get to him. Peterson is being talked about like he is one of the best in a long time.
|3.||Marcell Dareus from Alabama |
The Bills could not stop anyone from running on them last year which was a problem because they were often behind in games and needed to preserve the clock. Dareus is more of a penetrating tackle than he is a run stuffer but there is more than one way to mess up a running attack. Dareus played against double teams and through injuries this season so he wasn't as dominant as he was last year but the talent is still there.
|7.||Blaine Gabbert from Missouri |
New Head Coach Harbough is familiar with good QBs and has a knack for developing talent. Gabbert has the ability to be a great QB in the NFL and Harbough would be a great coach to bring it out of him. Hopefully they don't make the same mistake of so many top QBs before him and put him in there too soon. Fortunately the 49ers revamped their OLine last year so he should be relatively protected when they do put him in. He'll also have good targets in Morgan, Crabtree, Davis, and Gore.
|8.||Cam Newton from Auburn |
Vince Young and Jeff Fisher are both gone which means that the Titans need a new QB and if Owner Bud Adams liked Vince Young, he will love Cam Newton. Newton is going to need a lot of work much like Gabbert, but probably even more. Newton has all the physical tools and looks like he is athletic enough to learn how to play the position as well as anyone. The Titans have to figure out over the next few months whether he can understand how to play QB in the NFL.
|9.||Prince Amukamara from Nebraska |
This has to be the absolute dream scenario for the Cowboys. They NEED to find a replacement for Mike Jenkins who might have been one of the most embarrassing CBs in the NFL last season. The Prince isn't as athletic as Peterson but he is a complete Corner who will be an immediate upgrade across from Terrence Newman.
|11.|| ||Von Miller OLB from Texas A&M |
Von Miller has been one of the top OLB's in College Football for the last two years and really solidified that reputation at the Senior Bowl when he continually wowed scouts with his explosion and agility. The success of Clay Matthews could also inspire teams to look for the next pass rushing OLB specialist and Von Miller is exactly that. He would be huge in Houston's new 3-4 and would be an incredible nucleus of young defensive talent with Williams, Ryans, and Cushing. There should also be some good CBs in the 2nd round that they can pair with last year's first round pick Kareem Jackson.
|17.||Cameron Heyward DE from Ohio State|
This pick is going to be a DE. I give the nod to Heyward instead of Jordan or Watt because of his continued dominant play and versatility. Heyward is also more athletic than the other two. The Pats need help at the Defensive End position and the Offensive Tackle position. Fortunately they have 900 picks in the first three rounds this year and 3 picks in the top 33 overall. I'm pretty sure they'll be able to fill whatever holes they have with this year's bounty.
|26.||Brandon Harris OLB from Miami|
How is it that the Ravens almost always have one of the top players in a position of need fall right into their laps? The Ravens absolutely need help at CB and lots of people have Harris as the #3 guy. This pick is almost a no-brainer for Harbough. WIth all of the talent from the U already in their defense this guy will have quite a support system in place and could probably step in immediately.
|27.||Kyle Rudolph TE from Notre Dame|
After watching Atlanta get eliminated from the playoffs this year Tony Gonzalez looked like a very tired man. He's discussed retirement before and I think he has at best one year left. In order to get a jump on finding their next Tight End I think the Falcons will go after the best prospect in this year's draft, Kyle Rudolph. Rudolph is more of a pass catcher right now but he is not a bad blocker either. If he gets to learn behind Gonzalez for any time at all it would be very beneficial for Rudolph.
|28.||Akeem Ayers OLB from UCLA|
The Patriots are another team that just always seems to be in the right place at the right time in terms of great players at positions of need falling into their lap. It does help when you have 2 picks in each of the first 3 rounds though. They completely luck out here as Ayers who could be a top 15 pick slides to them at 28. Ayers is super athletic and can play OLB in either scheme which helps the Pats because they really like to switch it up. He and Heyward would both likely be able to step in and start right away.
We had a pretty good conversation going after the last mock, so let me know your thoughts in the comments and we can get another one started here. I'll be doing the next Mock after the combine in a few weeks and it might even be my first 2 rounder of 2011 (!), so stay tuned.
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