It Feels So Good to be Mocked by You (Round Two!)
33. New England Patriots (from Carolina) — Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA
Carolina losing this pick is an obvious pain for a team that finished with just two wins. And for New England, they continue to acquire draft picks. While it’s likely at some point the Patriots trade down, there is no way to project that (I personally think this will be the pick that they trade…33rd overall is a heavily valued pick). Either way, since I’m not projecting trades, the Patriots make a move for safety Rahim Moore. Brandon Merriweather’s off-season trouble is just the tip of the iceberg of a player that is severely overrated and struggled in coverage last year. Bill Belichick loves competition, and Moore is the type of ball hawk who can provide.
34. Buffalo Bills — Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
An extremely good consolation prize for Buffalo after missing out on Cam Newton, Chan Gailey can get a quarterback of similar playing style but who is a more natural passer. Still, Kaepernick has his obvious flaws–including the system he comes from, a long release, and a lanky frame. He’s been adding weight, but there is no telling how that will affect his game at the next level. Buffalo may have to trade into the late first to get Kaepernick, but I expect Buffalo to come away with a quarterback within these first 34 picks.
35. Cincinnati Bengals — Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
Dalton’s stock has had a Kellen Clemens-esque rise over the past few weeks with ESPN’s Trent Dilfer going so far as to say he guaranteed that Dalton won’t get out of the first round. If teams trade into the back-end of the first, it’s not at all out of the question that Dalton gets drafted. He’s a prime fit for Cincinnati’s new West Coast Offense under Jay Gruden. The Bengals have no choice but to add a quarterback in some form, since the position is totally depleted with or without Carson Palmer.
36. Denver Broncos — Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
The Broncos have enough needs, that even though I believe John Elway doesn’t like Tim Tebow, I also believe that they’d rather grab a mid-round developmental player and let Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow battle it out for the top job. The Broncos offense was gutted by Josh McDaniels, but still managed to produce in his pass-happy offense. Even so, the Broncos are not a team that is anywhere close to short-term or long-term success unless Tim Tebow turns into a franchise quarterback.
37. Cleveland Browns — Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
He’s not a spectacular athlete, and his lack of versatility (i.e. inability to play LB in a 3-4) will likely cost him a bit of money. He could go as high as 16 to Jacksonville, but with the probable draft day fall of Da’Quon Bowers its going to push some of the pass rushers with round one grades into round two. Kerrigan is a high-motor, high-intensity player who follows in a long line of good Purdue pass rushers. He’s not in the same mold as Shaun Phillips or Cliff Avril in style, but he will, at worst, be a good starting left end in the NFL.
38. Arizona Cardinals — Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
The speedy Aaron Williams can join an already athletic Arizona secondary that may also need help at safety depending on the health of Adrian Wilson.
39. Tennessee Titans — Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
Austin would have been a top ten pick if he had played during the regular season. I don’t like him as much as predecessor Cam Thomas, but Austin is a better pass rusher.
40. Dallas Cowboys — Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
Dowling’s athleticism was on display at his recent pro day, confirming that he’d be able to stay at press corner early in his career. Dowling has the size to play safety like former Cavalier Chris Cook and Hokie Jimmy Williams. Dowling’s athleticism would really suit him in a 3-4 man-to-man based defense which is what Rob Ryan will likely run.
41. Washington Redskins — Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami (FL)
Hankerson is looking like a solid number two, maybe a borderline number one. The Redskins would do well to come away with Julio Jones in the first round, but it’s unlikely that they do.
42. Houston Texans — Deunta Williams, S, North Carolina
No safety has yet to emerge as a top prospect, and that’s unlikely to change in the final weeks leading up to the draft. Williams won’t wow anyone with his natural talent, but he’ll force a few turnovers at the next level. He’s in the same mold as San Francisco’s Da’Shon Goldson.
43. Minnesota Vikings — Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
The most controversial quarterback in this draft? It seems like a title that everyone’s competing for. The best natural quarterback, but also supposed to be the biggest head case. Mallett could go late in the first, but more than likely is a second round pick for a team that runs a vertical based offense to capitalize on Mallett’s monstrous arm and frame. He’s going to need a good pass blocking line, because not only does Mallett struggle with pressure, but he’s a statue in the pocket.
44. Detroit Lions — Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
Detroit has no choice but to address their offensive line in the first round, but the secondary is easily the biggest weakness on Detroit’s defense. I’m not a huge fan of UT players, but Brown is as gifted as they come (aren’t all UT players?).
45. San Francisco 49ers — Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia
I’m not a big Houston fan, but he’s incredibly gifted. He’s got Vernon Gholston’s physique, but with incredible edge speed. He doesn’t have any pass rushing moves, so he’s going to need some help if he ever wants the chance to succeed.
46. Denver Broncos (from Miami) — Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma
I’m not his biggest fan, but a good off-season has landed Carter in the second round. At 6’1” 208 and good in coverage, Carter reminds me a bit of Kerry Rhodes (just smaller). Carter needs to improve his tackling and the angles he takes to become a truly solid NFL safety.
47. St. Louis Rams — Titus Young, WR, Boise State
Incredibly speedy, Young possesses more than enough athleticism to cause secondaries fits at the next level. He won’t be an immediate success, but if used similar to DeSean Jackson in his rookie season Young could have rookie of the year potential.
48. Oakland Raiders — Devon House, CB, New Mexico State
With Aso and Michael Huff both likely leaving Oakland, the Raiders are going to be looking at adding some new athletic defensive backs, and House is as athletic as they come in the secondary.
49. Jacksonville Jaguars — Stefan Wisniewski, C, Penn State
He’s moved into the role as top center in the draft and could sneak into the first round, but centers are not in high demand in 2011 anyway. He gets great leverage off the snap, but he’s also not a super athlete.
50. San Diego Chargers — Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
He’s got first round talent, but it doesn’t always show up on tape. Ayers is good enough in coverage to play linebacker in either a 3-4 or a 4-3. He’s a great pass rusher, but not always the best finisher. He reminds me in a lot of ways of Calvin Pace.
51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Brandon Burton, CB, Utah
Burton is a very good cover corner who could fit in just about any system thanks to his size and tackling skill. The Bucs don’t know if Ronde Barber is returning, and Aqib Talib is in danger of never playing football again. The Bucs want to address the DE position again at some point, but ignoring the threat of losing both their top corners is not an option.
52. New York Giants — Mason Foster, OLB, Washington
He’s big, fast, and can really hit. Foster’s a compact, disciplined run defender with athletic talent to play weakside or in the middle. He’s like a cross of Jonathan Vilma and Lance Briggs. If pure 4-3 linebackers like Foster were more in demand he’d probably be a first round pick. The Giants experiment with Clint Sintim is failing hard right now, and he’s likely better suited for a 3-4.
53. Indianapolis Colts — Marcus Cannon, OG, TCU
Cannon is a mammoth mauling linemen who will likely play guard in the NFL, but could kick outside to right tackle in a pinch. This 350 pound beast has surprisingly good footwork. There’s actually a chance Cannon goes as high as 29 to Chicago, so the value here is too hard to pass up.
54. Philadelphia Eagles — James Brewer, OT/OG, Indiana
Brewer is an athletic tackle who people compare to last year’s Indiana line prospect Rodger Saffold. He’s a bit more athletic than Saffold, but not quite as refined in pass protection.
55. Kansas City Chiefs — Jabaal Sheard, DE/OLB, Pittsburgh
Sheard’s great workouts have likely cemented his grade as a second round pick. He’s a talented enough pass rusher, but has been inconsistent on the field.
56. New Orleans Saints — Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois
A big power back who should remind you of Rashard Mendenhall (though not quite as agile), Leshoure could go as high as the first round, but he plays a position that is undervalued in today’s NFL. Leshoure has the speed to hit home runs, but won’t necessarily make people miss. Think a more athletic (and smarter) version of LaGarrette Blount.
57. Seattle Seahawks — Adrian Clayborne, DE, Iowa
This is a really far fall for a guy who possesses enough talent to be a Top 15 pick, but Clayborne is probably strictly a 4-3 DE and has a checkered background that will cause his stock to fall. Still, Seattle isn’t locked into anyone at end, and can’t pass up on a talent like Clayborne.
58. Baltimore Ravens — Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky
Cobb is a more natural receiver then former utility man Dexter McCluster, but Cobb is still going to be used very much in wildcat packages. He’s a game changer on the field, and if Baltimore can’t get Torrey Smith, then it’s substitute for a big-play offense should be wildcat packages that feature Ray Rice and Randall Cobb.
59. Atlanta Falcons — Jernel Jernigan, WR, Troy
Jernigan is a speedster who will compliment Roddy White and add much needed speed to a slow-moving Falcons offense, but he’s a ways away from contributing.
60. New England Patriots — Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU
Barksdale could play either side of the tackle box, and pairing him with stud Sebastian Vollmer will inevitably lead to one of the most well-rounded lines in New England. Barksdale is a true technician with great strength and is very well-rounded. He could start from day one, with his only real weakness being that he is not great at any one thing, but good at many things. In a versatile offense like New England’s, you can’t ask for much else.
61. San Diego Chargers (from New York Jets) — Greg Little, WR, North Carolina
Some have thought that Little may go undrafted because of character flaws, but he is an outstanding athlete who is the body of a linebacker. With the futures of Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd both unsettled, the Chargers have to address wide receiver early.
62. Chicago Bears — Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina
One of the many outstanding athletes to emerge from UNC, Bruce Carter is recovering from a torn ACL and has not been able to workout this off-season. Had Carter been able to work out, he may have snuck his way into the first round, even at a position that is not as important in today’s NFL.
63. Pittsburgh Steelers — Marcus Gilchrist, CB, Clemson
The uber-talented corner reminds me a little of Perrish Cox in terms of his inconsistencies on tape. But when you watch Gilchrist play up to form, he’s a first round pick. Let’s just hope he doesn’t have the same legal woes as Cox.
64. Green Bay Packers — Sam Acho, DE/OLB, Texas
I’m not a huge Acho fan. He’s lanky–enough that even at 263 he could afford to add some more weight. He lacks pass rushing moves, and really needs refinement in his technique, but his a superb athlete and I don’t doubt that Dom Capers could do wonders with this type of natural athlete.
Round three to be up tonight! Stay tuned…