2011 Mock NFL Draft: Review

Tag: 2011 NFL draft

4May 2011
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2011 Mock NFL Draft: Review

I can’t wait to see Patrick Peterson play in the NFL.

I put up a mock NFL draft last Thursday before the first round started, and of course I went back to see how I did.  For comparison’s sake, I also included Mel Kiper’s final mock draft picks.  I did not look at Kiper’s mock draft before I made my choices, so any similarities are completely coincidental.

1 point for the correct team and draft slot
.5 points for the correct team
.5 points for the correct draft slot

1. Carolina Panthers
Me: Cam Newton (1)
Kiper: Cam Newton (1)
Actual pick: Newton
I still don’t like this pick, but I thought it would happen.  The Panthers now have two douchebag quarterbacks.  I hope both of them fail in the NFL.

2. Denver Broncos
Me: Marcell Dareus
Kiper: Von Miller (1)
Actual pick: Miller
This is a good pick by the Broncos.  I seriously considered choosing Miller for this spot, but I figured the Broncos could still get a good edge rusher at the beginning of the second round.  Good nose tackles are harder to come by, which is why I put Dareus here.

3. Buffalo Bills
Me: Blaine Gabbert
Kiper: Marcell Dareus (1)
Actual pick: Dareus
The guys on the teevee keep saying that the Bills like Ryan Fitzpatrick, which is fine . . . but I don’t think Fitzpatrick is a Super Bowl quarterback.  They need to upgrade the position at some point, whether that comes in free agency or next year.

4. Cincinnati Bengals
Me: A.J. Green (1)
Kiper: A.J. Green (1)
Actual pick: Green
Hooray for choosing correctly!  If the Bengals are going to have any chance of winning in the near future, it will be with Carson Palmer at quarterback.  Green seems like a good guy, and his personality probably meshes with Palmer’s better than Chad Ochocinco’s.

5. Arizona Cardinals
Me: Patrick Peterson (1)
Kiper: Patrick Peterson (1)
Actual pick: Peterson
The Cardinals seem to dig talented defensive backs in the first round (Antrel Rolle, Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie) and that infatuation continues.  I’m a tiny bit surprised that the Cardinals didn’t pick Blaine Gabbert.  I didn’t expect Gabbert to still be available at #5, and it doesn’t seem like the Cardinals have a franchise quarterback on the roster.  Some suspect that Kevin Kolb will end up in Arizona before the next season starts, so maybe QB isn’t a need for them if that’s the case.

6. Cleveland Browns Atlanta Falcons
Me: Julio Jones (.5)
Kiper: Julio Jones (.5)
Actual pick: Jones
I don’t really understand this choice for the Falcons.  They could have picked a complementary receiver to Roddy White later in the draft, but they don’t really need two elite receivers.  I think Jones will be a good player in the NFL – if he can stay healthy – and he can help them run the ball, too, but I don’t really see him as pushing them over the hump and getting them to the Super Bowl.

7. San Francisco 49ers
Me: Prince Amukamara
Kiper: Blaine Gabbert
Actual pick: Aldon Smith
This is a little bit of conference/team bias, I guess, but I don’t trust a defensive lineman that comes out of Missouri.  The Big 12 isn’t exactly known for defense, and Missouri hasn’t been a powerhouse when it comes to producing NFL defensive talent.

8. Tennessee Titans
Me: Nick Fairley
Kiper: Nick Fairley
Actual pick: Jake Locker
The Titans got rid of a mentally unstable, mobile, inaccurate quarterback in Vince Young for a . . . mentally stable, mobile, inaccurate quarterback.  I think this was a huge reach for the Titans.  Locker seems like a quality individual, but I just don’t see him being successful there.  They need a lot of pieces around him.

9. Dallas Cowboys
Me: Tyron Smith (1)
Kiper: Cameron Jordan
Actual pick: Smith
I think Smith will be a good left tackle in the NFL, but he needs to add some weight and get a little stronger.  He reminds me a little bit of D’brickashaw Ferguson of the Jets, a skinny-ish guy with great mobility.

10. Washington Redskins Jacksonville Jaguars
Me: Von Miller
Kiper: Robert Quinn
Actual pick: Blaine Gabbert
I like the idea of the Jaguars drafting a quarterback in the first round, because I don’t think David Garrard will last much longer as a solid starter in the NFL.  But in my opinion, the Jaguars gave up a little too much to move up six spots; they might have been able to draft Christian Ponder or Andy Dalton at #16, but they obviously valued Gabbert quite a bit more than those other guys.

11. Houston Texans
Me: J.J. Watt (1)
Kiper: Aldon Smith
Actual pick: Watt
Suck it, Kiper.

12. Minnesota Vikings
Me: Jake Locker
Kiper: Jake Locker
Actual pick: Christian Ponder
Right position (quarterback), wrong guy.  I figured the Vikings would take a quarterback, but I didn’t think Ponder would go this high.  He’s probably a second round talent, but quarterbacks are overvalued right now because teams can’t win without good quarterbacks in today’s NFL.  He’s definitely a gamble this high.

13. Detroit Lions
Me: Anthony Castonzo
Kiper: Tyron Smith
Actual pick: Nick Fairley
There are literally four players I hate in this draft – Cam Newton, Fairley, Ryan Mallett, and Justin Boren – and of course my favorite NFL team had to pick one of them.  I guess I’ll root for him not to be a bust, because I’m still a big Lions fan.  But Fairley is a dick.  Ugh.

14. St. Louis Rams
Me: Corey Liuget
Kiper: Corey Liuget
Actual pick: Robert Quinn
I don’t have much to say about this one.  I’m not extremely familiar with Quinn, since he didn’t play in 2010.

15. Miami Dolphins
Me: Robert Quinn
Kiper: Mike Pouncey (1)
Actual pick: Pouncey
The Dolphins need offensive linemen.  I guess Pouncey counts.  I think he’s going to struggle against NFL nose tackles.  Jon Gruden and Mel Kiper were impressed with Pouncey’s mobility, but NFL centers don’t pull very often at all, unless they’re named Dermontti Dawson.  So what’s the point?  Bad first round pick, in my opinion.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars Washington Redskins
Me: Ryan Kerrigan (.5)
Kiper: Ryan Kerrigan (.5)
Actual pick: Kerrigan
Right player, right spot, wrong team.  To me the Redskins are perhaps the most boring team in the NFL with the ugliest uniforms, so any thoughts I have about this pick just disappear into the void.  Yawn.

17. New England Patriots
Me: Gabe Carimi
Kiper: Muhammad Wilkerson
Actual pick: Nate Solder
Right position (offensive tackle), wrong guy.  I think Solder’s a good pick, because he’s a little more athletic than a lot of the guys the Patriots have had on the offensive line.  If they’re going to continue to run their pro-style spread and protect Tom Brady, then they need a tackle who can move well and stay in front of some 3-4 outside linebackers.  Solder’s thin, though.  He needs to get a lot thicker.

18. San Diego Chargers
Me: Muhammad Wilkerson
Kiper: J.J. Watt
Actual pick: Corey Liuget
Right position (defensive tackle), wrong guy.  I didn’t think Liuget would still be on the board, so the Chargers got a little bit lucky here.  Good choice.

19. New York Giants
Me: Nate Solder
Kiper: Anthony Castonzo
Actual pick: Prince Amukamara
New York is where highly drafted cornerbacks go to die.  I thought Amukamara had some potential, but he will surely be cursed due to his selection by the Giants.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Me: Da’quan Bowers (.25)
Kiper: Prince Amukamara
Actual pick: Adrian Clayborn
Right position (defensive end), wrong guy.  Clayborn should be a good strongside end for the Buccaneers.  I like this choice for a good, young team.

21. Kansas City Chiefs Cleveland Browns
Me: Aldon Smith
Kiper: Gabe Carimi
Actual pick: Phil Taylor
Jon Gruden really loved saying “Phil Taylor from Baylor.”  Taylor plays a little soft, in my opinion.  I know he’s a huge guy and looks the part of a nose tackle, but he’s just not as stout as I would like to see in a nose man.

22. Indianapolis Colts
Me: Derek Sherrod
Kiper: Nate Solder
Actual pick: Anthony Castonzo
Castonzo was rated as maybe the #2 offensive tackle in the draft, so to get him at #22 is a pretty good deal for a team that really needs help on the offensive line.

23. Philadelphia Eagles
Me: Jimmy Smith
Kiper: Jimmy Smith
Actual pick: Danny Watkins
Watkins seems like a great kid, but I have to be honest . . . he just doesn’t look like a great football player.  He just looks a little bit raw, and I’m not a fan of drafting “raw” in the first round, especially when “raw” is already 26 years old.

24. New Orleans Saints
Me: Akeem Ayers
Kiper: Da’quan Bowers
Actual pick: Cameron Jordan
Jordan should be a very good player for the Saints, but we’ll probably never hear about him very much because he’s a 3-4 defensive end.

25. Seattle Seahawks
Me: Marvin Austin
Kiper: Andy Dalton
Actual pick: James Carpenter
To be honest, I wasn’t familiar with Carpenter prior to the draft.  But I know the Seahawks need offensive linemen, so at least it addresses a need.

26. Baltimore Ravens Kansas City Chiefs
Me: Cameron Heyward
Kiper: Akeem Ayers
Actual pick: Jonathan Baldwin
Baldwin is a very good talent, and he tested faster (4.49 in the forty) than I would have expected from watching him play at Pitt in college.  His size should be a great asset, but I’m not a big fan of Baldwin’s personality and character.  If he can keep his nose clean, the Chiefs have a really explosive offense.  Wow.

27. Atlanta Falcons Baltimore Ravens
Me: Justin Houston
Kiper: Adrian Clayborn
Actual pick: Jimmy Smith
The original version of my mock NFL Draft actually had Smith going to the Ravens, but I gave Smith to the Eagles at the last minute and did some rearranging.  Smith just looks like a Baltimore Raven.  Hopefully his off-the-field issues don’t follow him to Maryland, because I think he could be a Pro Bowler for them.

28. New England Patriots New Orleans Saints
Me: Mark Ingram (.5)
Kiper: Mark Ingram (.5)
Actual pick: Ingram
I don’t share a lot of people’s optimism about Ingram.  I think he’s a fine pick for the Saints, who need a running back.  With their passing offense and Sean Payton calling the plays, Ingram should be very solid.  But I’m not expecting greatness from the kid.

29. Chicago Bears
Me: Danny Watkins
Kiper: Derek Sherrod
Actual pick: Gabe Carimi
The Bears are another team that I think is extremely boring, and I don’t really care what they do.  Carimi’s more of a run blocking right tackle, so I’m not sure he fits what Chicago is trying to do.  If they change offensive philosophies and get back to running the ball, he could fit very well.

30. New York Jets
Me: Adrian Clayborn
Kiper: Phil Taylor
Actual pick: Muhammad Wilkerson
Wilkerson slipped a little bit, too.  I figured he would get picked by the Chargers at #18, but Liuget slipping to #18 allowed the Jets to get Wilkerson here.  I like the pick, but I hate Rex Ryan, so I have mixed emotions.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers
Me: Aaron Williams
Kiper: Aaron Williams
Actual pick: Cameron Heyward
Heyward fits perfectly in Pittsburgh’s front seven, but this pick makes no sense to me.  Pittsburgh’s offensive line and secondary aren’t very good, but they picked a 3-4 defensive end, which to me is not a difficult position to fill.  I typically like what the Steelers do in the draft, and obviously, they’ve been one of the best teams in the NFL for the past couple decades.  So I guess I shouldn’t argue, but it’s just an odd choice.

32. Green Bay Packers
Me: Mikel Leshoure
Kiper: Danny Watkins
Actual pick: Derek Sherrod
The Packers offensive line is getting a little bit older, and it makes sense to protect the franchise quarterback.  I’m not a huge fan of Sherrod, but addressing the LT position isn’t a bad idea.

Me: 6.75
Kiper: 7.5

I gave myself a .25 point boost because I said Da’quan Bowers would be picked by the Buccaneers.  Of course, he wasn’t chosen until the second round because of his knee injury, but it was still the Bucs who selected him.  Even without that little nudge, though, I was within a point of the NFL draft “expert.”  I had a few picks that were the right position but the wrong player, so I had some narrow misses there.  Oh well.  Not too shabby for being a random college football blogger . . .

. . . but not too good, either.

It was fun, though.

2May 2011
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NFL Draft Review: Michigan-style

Why do I have a picture of Joe Cocozzo?

#61.  Michigan linebacker Jonas Mouton was drafted by the San Diego Chargers.  Mouton was the first Michigan player chosen by the Chargers since offensive guard Joe Cocozzo in 1993, who was selected in the third round (#63 overall).

#74.  Arkansas quarterback (and former Wolverine) Ryan Mallett was drafted by the New England Patriots.  He has first round talent but an undrafted free agent level of maturity, so he probably couldn’t have asked for a better situation.  Sure, I bet he would have loved first round money, but now he gets to sit behind and learn from Tom Brady for a few years.  If he learns well, he could become a franchise quarterback when Brady moves on or retires.

#201.  Michigan offensive lineman Steve Schilling was drafted by the San Diego Chargers.  This is the first time multiple Michigan players have been chosen by one team since . . . 2008, when the Miami Dolphins picked offensive tackle Jake Long in the first round and quarterback Chad Henne in the second.

DT Greg Banks, OG Justin Boren (Ohio State), OT Perry Dorrestein, LB Obi Ezeh, OG John Ferrara, DE Eugene Germany (Central Washington), LB Kevin Leach, LB Cobrani Mixon (Kent State), FB/LB Mark Moundros, DE Adam Patterson, CB James Rogers, DT Renaldo Sagesse, TE Martell Webb

30Apr 2011
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How well do scouting services predict the NFL Draft?

Two-star J.J. Watt was voted Overachiever of the Year by NFL general managers.

It’s always interesting to take a look at which of the recruiting services does the best job of predicting future success.  Just looking at first round picks isn’t the most in-depth study, but it’s an indicator of accuracy.  The results:

1. Cam Newton: Rivals 5-star, Scout 4-star,
2. Von Miller: Rivals 4-star, Scout 4-star
3. Marcell Dareus: Rivals 3-star, Scout 4-star
4. A.J. Green: Rivals 5-star, Scout 5-star
5. Patrick Peterson: Rivals 5-star, Scout 5-star
6. Julio Jones: Rivals 5-star, Scout 5-star
7. Aldon Smith: Rivals 3-star, Scout 3-star
8. Jake Locker: Rivals 4-star, Scout 4-star
9. Tyron Smith: Rivals 5-star, Scout 5-star
10. Blaine Gabbert: Rivals 5-star, Scout 4-star
11. J.J. Watt: Rivals 2-star, Scout 2-star
12. Christian Ponder: Rivals 3-star, Scout 3-star
13. Nick Fairley: Rivals 3-star, Scout 3-star
14. Robert Quinn: Rivals 4-star, Scout 4-star
15. Mike Pouncey: Rivals 4-star, Scout 4-star
16. Ryan Kerrigan: Rivals 3-star, Scout 3-star
17. Nate Solder: Rivals 3-star, Scout 2-star
18. Corey Liuget: Rivals 4-star, Scout 4-star
19. Prince Amukamara: Rivals 3-star, Scout 3-star
20. Adrian Clayborn: Rivals 4-star, Scout 4-star
21. Phil Taylor: Rivals 4-star, Scout 4-star
22. Anthony Castonzo: Rivals 2-star, Scout 2-star
23. Danny Watkins: Rivals 4-star, Scout 2-star
24. Cameron Jordan: Rivals 3-star, Scout 3-star
25. James Carpenter: Rivals 4-star, Scout 4-star
26. Jonathan Baldwin: Rivals 5-star, Scout 5-star
27. Jimmy Smith: Rivals 3-star, Scout 3-star
28. Mark Ingram: Rivals 4-star, Scout 3-star
29. Gabe Carimi: Rivals 3-star, Scout 3-star
30. Muhammad Wilkerson: Rivals 2-star, Scout 2-star
31. Cameron Heyward: Rivals 4-star, Scout 4-star
32. Derek Sherrod: Rivals 4-star, Scout 4-star

The average star rating for first round picks, as rated by Rivals.com:  3.72

The average star rating for first round picks, as rated by Scout.com: 3.56

5-stars: 7
4-stars: 12
3-stars: 10
2-stars: 3

5-stars: 5
4-stars: 13
3-stars: 9
2-stars: 5

You’ll notice that each of the 2-stars chosen by the recruiting services plays offensive or defensive line.  This is not a surprise.  As high schoolers fill out and grow, it’s very difficult to project how their bodies will mature.  J.J. Watt, a 6’5″, 220 lb. high schooler, developed into a 6’6″, 292 lb. first round pick.

Smaller players develop sooner physically, so it’s somewhat expected that cornerbacks and wide receivers are predicted with more accuracy.  A kid who’s faster than everyone at 18 years old will probably still be faster than everyone when he’s 21.  Picks #4 through #6 were a wide receiver, a cornerback, and a wide receiver, all three of whom were unanimously chosen as 5-star prospects by the recruiting services.

30Apr 2011
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Jonas Mouton, San Diego Charger

Jonas Mouton wheeee!

Michigan senior linebacker Jonas Mouton was drafted in the second round (#61 overall) by the San Diego Chargers on Friday night.  He will likely play inside linebacker for the Chargers.

Congratulations to Jonas Mouton!

28Apr 2011
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2011 Mock NFL Draft

This is my only chance to use this.  I present to you: Jaime Edmondson.

I can’t be much worse than the “experts” at predicting draft choices (last year I picked four selections correctly, so I’m kind of awesome at this), so here goes nothing.

1. Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton – QB – Auburn
I’m only putting Newton here because everyone under the sun thinks the Panthers will choose him.  I would never in a million years draft Newton #1, and they just spent a first round pick on Jimmy Clausen.

2. Denver Broncos
Marcell Dareus – DT – Alabama
Dareus is widely considered to be the top defensive lineman in the draft, and the Broncos could use some stoutness in the middle.  I wouldn’t use this high of a pick on a guy who probably won’t be able to produce much of a pass rush, but I’m just a guy on the internet.

3. Buffalo Bills
Blaine Gabbert – QB – Missouri
The Bills would be reaching to get Gabbert this high, but the team needs a franchise quarterback.  Teams don’t win in the NFL without good quarterbacks, and Gabbert’s hair is luscious, so he’s got that going for him.

4. Cincinnati Bengals
A.J. Green – WR – Georgia
The Bengals could use a guy to complement and eventually replace Chad Ochocinco.  And it might serve to help convince Carson Palmer to stick around Cincinnati for a little while longer.

5. Arizona Cardinals
Patrick Peterson – CB – LSU
In my opinion, Peterson is the best player in the entire draft.  He’s a steal if he’s still around when the Cardinals pick.

6. Cleveland Browns
Julio Jones – WR – Alabama
Well, the Braylon Edwards experiment didn’t work.  Time to try again with a wide receiver.

7. San Francisco 49ers
Prince Amukamara – CB – Nebraska
Just a guess.

8. Tennessee Titans
Nick Fairley – DT – Auburn
I actually like Auburn, mainly because Bo Jackson was my favorite athlete as a kid.  However, I hate both of Auburn’s top two prospects, Newton and Fairley.  But the Titans lost Albert Haynesworth recently, so they need another a****** defensive tackle.

9. Dallas Cowboys
Tyron Smith – OT – USC
The Cowboys won Super Bowls in the ’90’s by having the league’s best offensive line, so it would behoove Dallas to rebuild that line.  Smith looks like the best tackle in the draft.

10. Washington Redskins
Von Miller – OLB – Texas A&M
The Redskins need a quarterback, but this is too high to take Jake Locker.  I could see them trading back to take Locker, Ponder, or Dalton later in the first round.  However, I think they’ll take Quinn if they stay at #10.

11. Houston Texans
J.J. Watt – DE – Wisconsin
I just have a gut feeling (probably an incorrect one) that the Texans will draft another Badger.

12. Minnesota Vikings
Jake Locker – QB – Washington
The Vikings need a quarterback, and the guys on the current roster certainly aren’t the answer.  This is too high for Locker, too, but I think somebody will take a chance on him, inaccurate though he may be.

13. Detroit Lions
Anthony Castonzo – OT – Boston College
Please, please, please . . . draft an offensive lineman.  I do not like Jeff Backus at left tackle, and the Lions always seem to pass on linemen in favor of skill players.

14. St. Louis Rams
Corey Liuget – DT – Illinois
I don’t know.

15. Miami Dolphins
Robert Quinn – DE – North Carolina
My friend, who’s a big Dolphins fan, thinks the team will draft Quinn.  I have no reason to disagree.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars
Ryan Kerrigan – DE – Purdue
The Jaguars took a couple athletic busts in the first round a couple years ago (Derrick Harvey, Quentin Groves), so maybe it’s time to draft a steady, powerful end.  Bill Parcells likes him, and that’s good enough for me.

17. New England Patriots
Gabe Carimi – OT – Wisconsin
The Patriots need to strengthen their offensive line and keep Tom Brady healthy.  Carimi would seem to fit the profile of New England offensive linemen.

18. San Diego Chargers
Muhammad Wilkerson – DT – Temple
There’s always some small-school guy who sneaks up on you.

19. New York Giants
Nate Solder – OT – Colorado
The Giants offensive line is getting old.  And maybe a good offensive line will make Eli Manning not suck quite so much.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Da’quan Bowers – DE – Clemson
Bowers should probably go higher based on talent, but I keep hearing about his knee issue.  Somebody will probably take a chance on him in the first round, though.

21. Kansas City Chiefs
Aldon Smith – LB – Missouri
A lot of people think Smith will go higher, but I just couldn’t find where he would fit.

22. Indianapolis Colts
Derek Sherrod – OT – Mississippi State
Just like the Giants, the Colts have a patchwork offensive line and could use some help there.  They could go in a lot of directions, though – particularly anywhere on defense except DE.

23. Philadelphia Eagles
Jimmy Smith – CB – Colorado
The Eagles have always seemed to be good at the cornerback position, going back to the mid-’90’s.  And that’s worked well for them, so they might as well try to continue the tradition.

24. New Orleans Saints
Akeem Ayers – LB – UCLA
The Saints have been weak at linebacker for a few years.  Maybe they’ll finally address the need.

25. Seattle Seahawks
Marvin Austin – DT – North Carolina
The Seahawks have a serious need at tackle, and Austin has first round talent.

26. Baltimore Ravens
Cameron Heyward – DT – Ohio State
I hope Heyward drops from the first round to, say, the CFL.  Probably a pipe dream, though.

27. Atlanta Falcons
Justin Houston – DE – Georgia
He’s from Georgie, see?  And Atlanta’s from Georgia, too.  It’s a match made in Georgia.

28. New England Patriots
Mark Ingram – RB – Alabama
I don’t think Ingram is going to be a great NFL running back, but he’s one of those guys who just gets the job done.  And those are the types of players that New England seems to like.

29. Chicago Bears
Danny Watkins – OG – Baylor
Is there any team more boring than the Bears?

30. New York Jets
Adrian Clayborn – DE – Iowa
Clayborn seems like he would be a good fit in the 3-4 scheme, and I can’t see him falling out of the first round.  I almost put Phil Taylor here.  I wonder if I’ll regret that decision.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers
Aaron Williams – CB – Texas
The Steelers secondary sucks.

32. Green Bay Packers
Mikel Leshoure – RB – Illinois
I don’t think the Packers want to rely so heavily on Aaron Rodgers to win games for them for the rest of his career.  He’s great and everything, but it would be nice to be able to run the ball once in a while, too.