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View Full Version : Anyone have Mel Kiper's final mock draft?


Tx Longhorn
04-28-2011, 04:48 PM
I don't have Insider and honestly have no aspirations to get it.

Was hopeful someone would be willing to post it.

Dutchrudder
04-28-2011, 04:59 PM
Top 11:

Carolina Panthers

Record: 2-14
* Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

Is he the top player on my Big Board? No. But it's hard to blame a franchise in Carolina's position for falling in love with the extremely high ceiling of Newton. As I said when I projected him here before, there are immediate needs, and there is a decision that you believe will change the direction of your franchise for years to come. While I'm not certain Carolina isn't still listening for the right offer for this pick -- if you've heard me at all lately, you'll know I see this is one of the more unpredictable top 10's I can ever remember -- if the Panthers really see Newton as a transformative player who can be both a Pro Bowl quarterback and face of the franchise who draws a lot of buzz, they make this pick. If talent alone was all they were concerned with, Newton would be an easy choice. But this pick also requires a belief in his development and maturity. Will the Panthers have the patience to let him develop on the bench?

Denver Broncos

Record: 4-12
Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M

Based on what I know, there are several guys that have been and will be in play here on the defensive side of the ball. But if you want dynamic upside, it's hard to go wrong with Miller. In Denver, he can be the SAM linebacker, a devastating option when the Broncos want to get after opposing QBs. Miller is a smart, explosive, natural pass-rusher with the speed to track down QBs and also drop into coverage, then play the run down the line. Miller is a special talent and is a common pick as the rookie who can provide the most immediate impact.

Buffalo Bills

Record: 4-12
* Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

There are several guys Buffalo could take here to bolster its defense, but Dareus makes a lot of sense. A scheme-versatile player who can be a disruptive, penetrating force as an interior lineman, or a fantastic pass-rusher as a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, he's a safe pick. He doesn't have remarkable quickness, but his agility and versatility at a full 319 pounds is the stuff of an elite lineman. Saying that a guy is the top defensive lineman drafted in this class is to say a lot.

Cincinnati Bengals

Record: 4-12
* A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

We know that Cincinnati is still dealing with questions at quarterback, but whether the Bengals' answer is to trade Carson Palmer, somehow keep him or perhaps try to import the likes of Kevin Kolb, Matt Hasselbeck, Donovan McNabb or someone else, they'll need to help whoever will be throwing the ball in 2011 and beyond. This is one I'm sticking with -- by drafting the best pure pass-catching talent in the draft, they help the QB, and also fill holes from obvious departures. Green is an immediate starter and a rare big-time, physical, fast receiver who has the route-running skills and understanding to help right away.

Arizona Cardinals

Record: 5-11
* Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

This is a spot where I'll stamp a big "TRADE POSSIBILITY" tag on my notes as the picks start to come off the board. But if the Cardinals don't make a move for a pick that could turn into Kolb or some other veteran quarterback, Peterson is the guy they should take. He's the best overall talent in the draft, the No. 1 player on my Big Board and, even if he's not dealt, well, is it so bad to have the best player in the draft all the way down at No. 5?

Cleveland Browns

Record: 5-11
* Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

Jones is by far the best consolation prize in the draft, as the Ohio franchises combine to clear the board of the top wideouts. This is a guy Colt McCoy will love. Jones' size and speed combination is the best in the draft at the position and his development as a wideout over the past year shows a determination and work ethic that will be loved by the coaching staff. The Browns need a true No. 1 at wide receiver, and if healthy, Jones can be that guy. A gifted athlete, what you love about Jones is that he blocks as hard as he runs routes. He played hard while in pain last season at Alabama.
San Francisco 49ers

Record: 6-10
* Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

I picked Peterson to fall to this point in my previous mock draft, but I don't think he gets there this time around. He offers too much trade leverage. This time, I think Gabbert lands here. While Jim Harbaugh has taken the dignified route and stated how much he wants to work with Alex Smith, I think it's pretty fair to assume the Niners will be looking for a long-term solution for their new coach. Harbaugh's track record says he should have confidence he can turn Gabbert's solid skill-set into something at the NFL level. Like Newton, this isn't a quarterback you want starting games in 2011, but if San Francisco is patient, Gabbert is a player it can build with.
Tennessee Titans

Record: 6-10
* Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

I'll stick with Fairley here. As I've said before, defensive line probably falls lower on the list of team needs behind the obvious question of who will be taking snaps, but it's not a minor need. And to get the most productive interior lineman in the college game last year, a player who was simply unblockable against really good competition, is a solid get for the Titans at No. 8 overall. Fairley gives you immediate help at a key position and he offers the value of a top-five pick. Disruptive versus both the run and the pass, he will help this defense now and the Titans can look for a linebacker later on. Why has Fairley fallen? For me, it's just mainly because of the fact that, while brilliant in that one season, he has less of a body of work. But he's by no means dropping on talent questions.
Dallas Cowboys

Record: 6-10
Cameron Jordan, DE, Cal

UPDATE: Now indications that USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith could be taken here.
---

A shift from the previous mock, where I had the Cowboys targeting a corner. This is a team that needs to find solutions on front seven and Jordan offers a lot of versatility. Think about lining up a dynamic pass-rusher who can take on double-teams as a 3-4 defensive end and forcing the offense to make a decision on doubling him or DeMarcus Ware. There are questions in the Dallas secondary, but we know so much of what gets exposed down the field starts with what you're not doing up front. I can see Dallas moving off this pick, but I like Jordan if the Cowboys stay put.
Washington Redskins

Record: 6-10
* Robert Quinn, LB, North Carolina

In our Hot Button series earlier this week, I said I believe that given his versatility and remarkable skill-set, Quinn could make the biggest immediate impact of any player in the draft. This is a guy who could be a feared pass-rusher off the edge in a 4-3 alignment, with the size and strength to take on blocks and hold up against the run, or an almost impossible guy to block consistently in the 3-4. Washington could also move down to maximize picks, but if Quinn had played last season for North Carolina, I truly believe we're talking about a possible No. 1 overall pick. That's a lot of value to get at No. 10.
Houston Texans

Record: 6-10
Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri

The Texans have needs all over the defensive side of the ball and I also think they're looking to move off this pick for the right package of picks. But if they can't get a deal done and stick at No. 11, Smith represents a ton of upside for a defense that really needs to add some pass-rushing help opposite the great Mario Williams. Again, a lot of the problems in the Houston secondary started up front. I think they should find the tools Wade Phillips needs to get to opposing quarterbacks in his scheme, and Smith will remind him of Ware, a real matchup headache to be used on the edge of that 3-4.

Dutchrudder
04-28-2011, 05:00 PM
Next bunch:

Minnesota Vikings

Record: 6-10
Jake Locker, QB, Washington

This pick comes with a caveat: I think the Vikings will actively be looking to move down and get Locker later. But if they do get him here, what they get is a guy with an exceptional package of skills and intangibles. Locker's struggles last year and his fall in the eyes of evaluators is well-covered ground, but what's kept him as a first-round option is a big-time arm, athleticism that matches that of Newton, a solid work ethic and the kind of moxie and leadership skills coaches crave. Accuracy will be the question until Locker is able to answer definitively that it should not be a concern with his play on the field, but there's plenty to like.
Detroit Lions

Record: 6-10
* Tyron Smith, OT, USC

UPDATE: If Smith is off the board to Dallas, I think the Lions will then go with Prince Amukamara.
---

If the board were to play out this way, Detroit would be facing a really difficult decision. The Lions could be looking to move down, and here they would be with the second-best cornerback and the top offensive tackle as options. While they need to address the secondary, I think they could end up with Smith because they know this team can't take off unless they can protect Matthew Stafford. Smith is a step in that direction. If the offense can continue to improve and stay on the field, this team can be tough.
St. Louis Rams

Record: 7-9
* Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

A selection I'm sticking with from the previous mock, Liuget is a relentless player who displays leverage, power and the ability to locate the ball well against both the rush and the pass. He fills an immediate need at defensive tackle in St. Louis. I think St. Louis would jump if Jones was still around, but I don't see one of the top wideouts falling so far. And again, the Rams' biggest position of need doesn't offer a sensible value matchup here. I also can see the Rams going for an outside linebacker at this spot. If they're that intent on a pass-catcher with their first pick, the Rams could also trade off the pick.
Miami Dolphins

Record: 7-9
Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida

Right now, I'm making this pick almost as a placeholder. I think this team will trade down. We've talked about the Dolphins taking a shot at Mark Ingram with this pick, but they are one of the true wild-card teams in this process. I can see them moving down for a quarterback (Ryan Mallett?) or going several other directions. If they do go with Pouncey, they will get the top interior lineman on the board, a guy who can help any team. Versatile and solid, with obvious bloodlines.
Jacksonville Jaguars

Record: 8-8
Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue*

Earlier in the draft process, Kerrigan was saddled with the tweener tag, but that's not the worst problem in the world. Guys like DeMarcus Ware have heard the same and went in a similar range. What Kerrigan can do is line up on the edge and cause problems in opposing backfields. The Big Ten is loaded with talent at the tackle position and nobody could consistently stay in front of this guy. Jack Del Rio will love his relentlessness and motor, and quarterbacks will learn quickly to find out where he's lined up while going through reads. Jax needs the pass-rush, and Kerrigan can help.
New England Patriots (from Oakland)

Record: 14-2
* Muhammad Wilkerson, DL, Temple

UPDATE: More speculation than sources on this, but if Cameron Jordan of Cal is available here, I think the Patriots might make that pick.
---

I have 3-4 defensive end among the top three needs for the Patriots and this is precisely the kind of value pick the Patriots are known for. Wilkerson is a player who I don't think would escape the top-10 picks if he stuck around Temple for another year, but he simply dominated the competition in 2010 and is ready for this shot. He fits in well as a 3-4 defensive end and can really create havoc.
San Diego Chargers

Record: 9-7
* J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

UPDATE:: If the Patriots take Jordan instead of Wilkerson with the No. 17 pick, you could see Wilkerson land with the Chargers. He fits the scheme well as a 3-4 defensive end.
---

It wouldn't at all suprise me to see Watt taken much earlier. I've had him as high as the No. 6 overall pick during this process, and he has that mix of relentlessness, size, talent and awareness that any coach would love. A fiery pass-rusher in either the 3-4 or 4-3, at 290 pounds Watt should be able to supplement this defensive line from the defensive end position.
New York Giants

Record: 10-6
Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

UPDATE: Indications are the Giants may prefer to take Nate Solder of Colorado with this pick, instead of Castonzo. Either case makes sense.
---

The Giants really can't avoid the fact that despite needs elsewhere, namely linebacker, if they don't add youth and talent to their aging offensive line, they could be in a lot of trouble. While I could see the Giants going for another lineman (see: Chiefs pick), in Castonzo they get more in terms of positional value and the kind of durable, smart player who can give them production at a premium position right away. This gives the Giants a chance to move David Diehl inside and solve a couple problems with one pick.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Record: 10-6
Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

UPDATE: If Amukamara is taken by Detroit at No. 13, Da'Quan Bowers would be perfect for what Tampa needs with their pass rush. I'd expect him to land here in that scenario.
---

Given how highly I think of him, I feel bad seeing Amukamara fall this far. But in a need game, there's always a player who falls a bit on draft night. For various obvious reasons, Tampa is now looking very thin at cornerback, and while before I saw the Bucs targeting a defensive end, if Amukamara somehow was still sitting here at No. 20, it'd be a pretty easy pick to make when you combine the need with the value.
Kansas City Chiefs

Record: 10-6
Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

The Chiefs have a need here, and if they want to get back to that power running game that's defined them over the years, Carimi is a safe pick. Todd Haley will like a player with his versatility and power, and the Chiefs will have an immediate plug-and-play. Carimi has gone up against some of the best and handled them. Scott Pioli runs a good show, and this is a smart pick as the Chiefs continue to build a team on the rise.
Indianapolis Colts

Record: 10-6
Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

One more pick that stays at least relatively the same from previous mocks, I just really like the fit. The Colts have to improve on the offensive line and even while Peyton Manning is a maestro working out of the shotgun, they need to be able to do more both in the run game and in pass protection. I had another O-lineman here in previous mocks, but Solder also offers a smart, athletic tackle who has been consistently rated as a first-round option. Indy has brought in some quarterbacks to work out, but Solder is more of an immediate help to a team still thinking about titles.

Dutchrudder
04-28-2011, 05:01 PM
last bit

Philadelphia Eagles

Record: 10-6
* Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

UPDATE: If available, Philly might go with Gabe Carimi, the offensive tackle out of Wisconsin, with this pick. Would be a natural fit.
---

Philly really needs help in the secondary. Smith has a ton of upside -- some teams have him rated higher than Amukamara -- and was a shutdown guy at Colorado. We've heard the questions about his attitude, but based on what I hear from teams, that's not a huge issue. Fluid, fast, instinctive and skilled, he fills a need for Philly and can be on the field early.
New Orleans Saints

Record: 11-5
* Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

UPDATE: If Bowers is indeed taken by the Bucs with the No. 20 pick, expect to see J.J. Watt picked here. He'd be a great fit on the edge of the 4-3.
---

Like Amukamara falling to No. 20, I have reservations seeing Bowers this far down the board, but it's a numbers game. I also think that while I'm pretty confident in his future given what I know of his medical reports, any injury chatter will scare off a few teams. What you have in a healthy Bowers, however, is a truly gifted pass-rusher, the kind of guy who is scheme-versatile and has big-time athleticism to go with an arsenal of moves. The Saints need help in the pass rush. If Bowers lands here, they should be thrilled.
Seattle Seahawks

Record: 7-9
Andy Dalton, QB, TCU

There is talk that Seattle would be happy to move off this pick, but if not, Dalton is a guy who makes a lot of sense. A darling of the draft process, Dalton has impressed with his accuracy, smarts, better-than-expected arm strength and the suspicion that he might be as ready or more than any other QB in the draft to step in and manage an NFL offense. Seattle might need a guy like that sooner than it'd like given the question mark at quarterback. Locker is clearly an option here if he's still around, but for this exercise, he isn't, and Dalton is the fit.
Baltimore Ravens

Record: 12-4
* Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

Another team I suspect will trade down, or try hard to. That said, the Ravens' aging linebacking corps could use an infusion of youth, and if Ayers is available here, he's enough of a talent and a fit that he could tempt them to stay put. Ayers is a versatile guy who can pick up a lot next to the man in the middle and can do everything you need early with the potential to develop into something more.
Atlanta Falcons

Record: 13-3
Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

One more I'm sticking with. The Falcons are a solid team without a true glaring need, but a 4-3 defensive end with the ability to rush the passer and great awareness and discipline against the run can help them in 2011. That's Clayborn in a nutshell. His coaches rave, as do players that have had to face him. He has good size, a reputation for relentlessness and the respect of his peers. Atlanta could look for a wideout to diversify an attack that went too often in one direction last year, but Clayborn is the better value here.
New England Patriots

Record: 14-2
* Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

The Patriots are unfailingly unpredictable, even more so this season because they can cover a wide variety of needs throughout the first four rounds, where they know they'll get value. But there's no question they could use a talent such as Ingram, particularly this late in Round 1. Ingram is a gamer, a guy who can help the running game now. He's a Bill Belichick type of player, but his pad level, balance and ability to explode from contact are traits any coach would love.
Chicago Bears

Record: 11-5
Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

I'm not ready to go against the grain and say the Bears will pass on the best offensive lineman available here. They could, but this makes a lot of sense. Chicago needs to be able to get more out of the run game, and while they can throw the ball, fans can say all they want, but they know Jay Cutler was taking far too many hits and dealing with too much pressure to be consistently successful, particularly given what he's throwing to. Sherrod offers a lot of value and is at a position of greater need than wideout. Protect the quarterback first.
New York Jets

Record: 11-5
Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

We've discussed the possibility of taking a safety at this spot, but I don't think the Jets would be wise to neglect early talent at a position they really need to address. Taylor is a player that holds up as that immovable anchor against the run, a guy who can eat up blocks and let the linebackers in Rex Ryan's system run free. Ryan has to infuse some talent to his defensive front and Taylor should be able to hold up at a position where they Jets have dealt with a lot of bad health.
Pittsburgh Steelers

Record: 12-4
* Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

This is one more I'll stick with from the last mock. Williams is the classic young, talented risk-taker at the cornerback position. He has a ton of natural ability, likes to steal a look into the backfield and turn errant passes into six points going the other way. While some see him ultimately becoming a great cover safety, I think he's a got a shot to be coached into a really good cover corner. Dick LeBeau was a great cornerback and would do well working with a talent like Williams.

Dutchrudder
04-28-2011, 05:02 PM
last bit

Philadelphia Eagles

Record: 10-6
* Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

UPDATE: If available, Philly might go with Gabe Carimi, the offensive tackle out of Wisconsin, with this pick. Would be a natural fit.
---

Philly really needs help in the secondary. Smith has a ton of upside -- some teams have him rated higher than Amukamara -- and was a shutdown guy at Colorado. We've heard the questions about his attitude, but based on what I hear from teams, that's not a huge issue. Fluid, fast, instinctive and skilled, he fills a need for Philly and can be on the field early.
New Orleans Saints

Record: 11-5
* Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

UPDATE: If Bowers is indeed taken by the Bucs with the No. 20 pick, expect to see J.J. Watt picked here. He'd be a great fit on the edge of the 4-3.
---

Like Amukamara falling to No. 20, I have reservations seeing Bowers this far down the board, but it's a numbers game. I also think that while I'm pretty confident in his future given what I know of his medical reports, any injury chatter will scare off a few teams. What you have in a healthy Bowers, however, is a truly gifted pass-rusher, the kind of guy who is scheme-versatile and has big-time athleticism to go with an arsenal of moves. The Saints need help in the pass rush. If Bowers lands here, they should be thrilled.
Seattle Seahawks

Record: 7-9
Andy Dalton, QB, TCU

There is talk that Seattle would be happy to move off this pick, but if not, Dalton is a guy who makes a lot of sense. A darling of the draft process, Dalton has impressed with his accuracy, smarts, better-than-expected arm strength and the suspicion that he might be as ready or more than any other QB in the draft to step in and manage an NFL offense. Seattle might need a guy like that sooner than it'd like given the question mark at quarterback. Locker is clearly an option here if he's still around, but for this exercise, he isn't, and Dalton is the fit.
Baltimore Ravens

Record: 12-4
* Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

Another team I suspect will trade down, or try hard to. That said, the Ravens' aging linebacking corps could use an infusion of youth, and if Ayers is available here, he's enough of a talent and a fit that he could tempt them to stay put. Ayers is a versatile guy who can pick up a lot next to the man in the middle and can do everything you need early with the potential to develop into something more.
Atlanta Falcons

Record: 13-3
Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

One more I'm sticking with. The Falcons are a solid team without a true glaring need, but a 4-3 defensive end with the ability to rush the passer and great awareness and discipline against the run can help them in 2011. That's Clayborn in a nutshell. His coaches rave, as do players that have had to face him. He has good size, a reputation for relentlessness and the respect of his peers. Atlanta could look for a wideout to diversify an attack that went too often in one direction last year, but Clayborn is the better value here.
New England Patriots

Record: 14-2
* Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

The Patriots are unfailingly unpredictable, even more so this season because they can cover a wide variety of needs throughout the first four rounds, where they know they'll get value. But there's no question they could use a talent such as Ingram, particularly this late in Round 1. Ingram is a gamer, a guy who can help the running game now. He's a Bill Belichick type of player, but his pad level, balance and ability to explode from contact are traits any coach would love.
Chicago Bears

Record: 11-5
Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

I'm not ready to go against the grain and say the Bears will pass on the best offensive lineman available here. They could, but this makes a lot of sense. Chicago needs to be able to get more out of the run game, and while they can throw the ball, fans can say all they want, but they know Jay Cutler was taking far too many hits and dealing with too much pressure to be consistently successful, particularly given what he's throwing to. Sherrod offers a lot of value and is at a position of greater need than wideout. Protect the quarterback first.
New York Jets

Record: 11-5
Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor

We've discussed the possibility of taking a safety at this spot, but I don't think the Jets would be wise to neglect early talent at a position they really need to address. Taylor is a player that holds up as that immovable anchor against the run, a guy who can eat up blocks and let the linebackers in Rex Ryan's system run free. Ryan has to infuse some talent to his defensive front and Taylor should be able to hold up at a position where they Jets have dealt with a lot of bad health.
Pittsburgh Steelers

Record: 12-4
* Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

This is one more I'll stick with from the last mock. Williams is the classic young, talented risk-taker at the cornerback position. He has a ton of natural ability, likes to steal a look into the backfield and turn errant passes into six points going the other way. While some see him ultimately becoming a great cover safety, I think he's a got a shot to be coached into a really good cover corner. Dick LeBeau was a great cornerback and would do well working with a talent like Williams.