A lot of things continue to change with how scenarios are developing with the draft, as team continue to posture and spread rumors and put false information out there to be consumed. There is still hope that you could have some FA before the draft, but I think the chances are slim.
With that said, let's get it going with my 2nd mock draft.
1) Carolina - Cam Newton, QB, Auburn - GM Marty Hurney is apparently the only one on Jimmy Clausen side, and that is probably because he drafted the young man. Clausen really struggled last year and with a new coaching staff in place, QB looks like the position they will address with the 1st pick and Newton seems to be their guy at this moment.
2) Denver - Marcel Dareus, DT, Alabama - Denver begins the John Elway/John Fox era, and they address a defense last in the league in 2010 and switching from a 3-4 to 4-3 defense.
3) Buffalo - Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri - Buffalo could go in a number of directions, as the need to address there OL and the defense was horrible in 2010. Blaine Gabbert will have the luxury of sitting behind Ryan Fitzpatrick for a year as he learns to make the conversion from a spread QB to an NFL, pro style QB.
4) Cincinnati - A.J Green, WR, Georgia - Carson Palmer has said he will retire if he is not traded, and he has already sold his house in Cincinnati. IF one of the quarterbacks above drops, they could get very serious consideration. As it is, Terrell Owens will not be back and there is a good chance Chad Ochocinco will be gone as well.
5) Arizona - Von Miller, OLB, Texas A & M - At some point, it looks like Arizona will look to bring in a veteran QB, as they have both John Shelton and Max Hall on the roster. That being said, Ken Whisenhunt did show a lot of interest in both Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert. Miller addressess a huge need as Joey Porter is in decline.
6) Cleveland - Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina - The Browns are also making the move from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense. I had Da'Quan Bowers pegged here, but his Pro Day only caused more concerns about his knee and Quinn had a outsanding Pro Day.
7) San Francisco - Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU - Possibly the best player in the draft, Peterson comes in and replaces aging, high dollar Nate Clements and adds to an already solid young defense.
8) Tennessee - Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn - The Titans have to answer the quarterback question now that Vince Young has flamed out in Nashville and Kerry Collins is running on fumes. Also, the normally stout Titans defense collapsed down the stretch. The Titans now have Tracy Rocker, Auburn's former DL coach as the new DL coach in Tennessee and they bring in the explosive Fairley to join him.
9) Dallas - Tyron Smith, OLT, Southern Cal - The Cowboys have never used a 1st round pick on an OL in the Jerry Jones regime. I think they should go that way this time around as their OL is getting old and really struggled in 2010. It finally looks like the Cowboys will go this route, although J.J Watt could be a consideration as well as a CB.
10) Washington - Julio Jones, WR, Alabama - The Redskins need a lot and wide receiver is one of those positions. Jones gives them that big playmaker at WR they lack right now.
11) Houston - Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri - The Texans defense is terrible and now with Wade Phillips coming in to run the defense, they are now switching to a 3-4 scheme. I have seen Robert Quinn mocked here, but Quinn is coming off a year away from football and there are still medical concerns steming from the brain tumor that almost ended his career coming out of high school. Smith has a very high upside and possibly has the movement skill set to make the move to OLB.
12) Minnesota - Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson - Minnesota has a rather large hole at QB now that it finally looks like Brett Farve is now finally retiring and Tavaris Jackson will not be bought back. Jake Locker and Ryan Mallett would be a reach at this point in the draft. The Vikings are losing Ray Edwards at DE and Bowers drops to them and helps them fill a need.
13) Detroit - Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska - The Lions add to their defense with a top flight cornerback in Amukamara. They could ver easily add an offensive lineman, as they need to provide more protection for their young franchise QB, Matthew Stafford.
14) St. Louis - Cameron Jordan, DE, California - The Rams would be very happy if Julio Jones drops to them at this point in the draft. If not, then they add more talent to a defense that still needs talent.
15) Miami - Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkanasas - It looks like Miami is very serious about adding a QB in the draft. Mallett has already worked out for Miami with D.J Williams and will have another session with Miami. From a talent standpoint, he has 1st round ability, but has off the field issues that have dogged him through out the process. He has done a terrific job in interview with teams and answered all of their questions about his issues off the field. Christian Ponder is a prime consideration as well, and it would not surprise me if he is the pick. I am going with Mallett because the Dolphins want to be more of a vertical passing team, and that is not a strength of Ponder. If the Dolphins want a prime young QB, they will need to take on at 15th or if they are able to trade down in the 1st round, which would make taking Mallett a better value. Teams at 1-12 in the 1st round that don't take a QB will be looking to take on early in the 2nd round, and the top quarterbacks will likely be gone before the half way point in the 2nd round. I still believe Chad Henne will be Miami starting QB, as draft picks will be well behind with the CBA not in place and not knowing when you will be able to work with your draft picks or get them a play book. Still, Henne struggled tremendously last year, some of his doing and some due to a dreadfull job of game planning and play calling. Competition is a good thing, and Henne needs to step up. Who ever is the starting QB for Miami, the losing QB could provide depth and a valuable trading chip down the line.
16) Jacksonville - Ryan Kernigan, DE, Purdue - The Jaguars continue to rebuild there defensive line and add a player that can provide them with a much needed pass rusher and a guy with a non stop motor.
17) New England - Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama - New England is in a position to take the best player available, and with Fred Taylor gone, Ingram fits the bill.
18) San Diego - J.J Watts, DE, Wisconsin - If Watts is here, the Chargers will run to get the card up to Roger Goodell.
19) New York Giants - Anthony Castonzo, OLT, Boston College - William Beatty has struggled at OLT and Castanzo can come in and compete immediately for the starting OLT position.
20) Tampa Bay - Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa - Tampa Bay continues to add talent to a DL in need of talent and add a pass rusher opposite Geral McCoy. Clayborn would have probably been top 10-15 pick on 2009. His play really dropped in 2010 and there are some character issues, but he is a talent and Tampa has shown that they will overlook some character issues, see WR Mike Williams, who turned out to be a very good player for the Bucs this year.
21) Kansas City - Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor - To have a premier 3-4 defense, you need that bell cow at NT. Taylor can possibly be that bell cow for the Chiefs.
22) Indianapolis - Nate Solder, OLT, Colorado - The Colts OL has been a sore spot for a while now, and they need to protect the franchise, Peyton Manning. Charlie Johnson, the Colts OLT is a free agent and nothing special.
23) Philadelphia - Gabe Carimi, OLT, Wisconsin - Philadelphia gave up 52 sacks last year with Michael Vick as the starter for most of the year.
24) New Orleans - Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia - Mike Mayock is not a fan of the young man, but he did have a very good season for the Bulldogs this past season and had a very good combine. If the Saints can make sure his motor runs hot all the time, they could have a big contributor at OLB.
25) Seattle - Michael Pouncey, OG/OC, Florida - Seattle could possibly add a CB to address their weak pass defense or add an interior OL like Pouncey.
26) Baltimore - Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland - The Ravens need a deep threat at wide receiver and Smith fits the profile.
27) Atlanta - Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona - The Falcons desperately need a pass rusher opposite John Abraham, as the Green Bay game showed.
28) New England - Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State - The Patriots continue to add young talent to a defensive unit that started to perform better later in the year, but still has to improve.
29) Chicago - Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois - With Tommy Harris gone, the Bears have a need at DT. The offensive line certainly could use help as well, and OG Danny Watkins of Baylor could be a consideration as well.
30) New York Jets - Akeem Ayers, DE/OLB, UCLA - NT could be a consideration as well, but Rex Ryan would like to generate pressure on the quarterback without using as many blitzes as he has had to use.
31) Pittsburgh - Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado- One big weaknesses of a very good Steelers defense is cornerback, and it was exposed in the Super Bowl against Green Bay. OL could also be addressed and the Steelers could look to add youth on there DL as well.
Green Bay - Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT, Temple - It looks like the Packers could lose Cullen Jenkins in free agency and Wilkerson could come in and help fill the void at the 5 technique in Dom Capers 3-4 defense.
Miami remaining picks3) Edmond Gates, WR, Abilene Christian - Tremendous speed, take the top off the defense speed. Very productive with 158 career catches for 2,885 yards and 27 touchdowns. He averaged 18.3 yards per catch. Ran a 4.37 40 at the combine.
4) D.J Williams, TE, Arkansas - Miami wants a TE that can strecth the field and get down the seam of the defense. Williams can give Miami what David Martin gave them, a vertical threat. He also a high character guy.
5) John Moffitt, OG/OC, Wisconsin - Miami has had issues at OG and OC. Moffitt has played all 3 interior line positions and has the ability to pull and get to the 2nd level, something Miami wants in their OG.
6) Derrick Locke, RB, Kentucky - Locke can provide Miami a 3rd down back with explosive, game breaking speed. Good hands and good out of the backfield as a receiver, he also is a premier kickoff return guy. Rushed for 2,639 yards with 92 catches for 849 yards and 5 touchdowns during his career with the WIldcats. Ran a 4.42 40 at the combine.
7) Aldrick Robinson, WR/PR, SMU - Another vertical threat with great speed and highly productive in June Jones spread offense at SMU. The Dolphins worked him out recently and had him catch punts also. 181 catches for 3,314 yards, 30 touchdowns and a 18.3 yard per catch average.
7) Byron Maxwell, CB, Clemson - Another big DB from Clemson, and we know the Dolphins like big CB with speed. Similar to 5th round draft pick Nolan Carroll, as Maxwell comes in at 6'0 1/4, 202 lbs and ran a 4.46 40 at the combine.
7) Derrick Newton, ORT, Arkansas State - Miami has to be concerned with Vernon Carey and the status of his injured knee. Newton is raw, but he has very good athletic ability.
Miami has talked about adding speed to the roster, playmakers with speed. While Tony Sparano will have more input in the draft and personnel, this is Jeff Ireland's draft. My hope is that these guys can and will be on the same page in regards to talent aquisitions.
Also, I believe if Miami can get that coveted 2nd round pick back by trading down, I can see them taking a look at ORT Orlando Franklin of Miami or ORT Ben Ijalana of Villanova. Both are talented kids that can play at ORT or move to OG. As I mentioned earlier, Vernon Carey and the condition of his knee has to be a conern, especially with the large contract he has. RB Ryan Williams of Virginia Tech or DE/OLB Jabaal Sheard of Pittsburgh could also be a consideration, as they have worked both kids out.
I went with only 1 running back because there is interest in Carolina Panther FA RB DeAngelo Williams, and the interest is mutual. I think Miami will target Williams and you can combine him with possibly Ronnie Brown or go with Lex Hillard.
18 days until the draft and the suspense and excitment continue to build.
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