With The 17th Pick, in the 2011 NFL Draft, The New England Patriots Select ...

Updated: April 28th

 

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This draft is going to be another tough Draft to figure out. With Andrew Luck predictably staying in school, there is no clear Number one.  

Picks 1-11

PICKS 12-23

PICKS 23-33

 

Team

My Picks: 

(U)- Unofficial

Key Needs: Red Indicates: Team FA whose contracts would normally be resolved during FA.

Team Moves: $- FA on CBSsports.com, but not other sources. 

1.

Panthers

*Cam Newton- 

QB Auburn

6-5, 248, 4.58-4.59(U),

21 years old,

DT, DE, QB?, RB, TE, OC, WR, TE, DE, DT, WR, OL, OL, LB, DL. TE

Key F.A. Signed:

Jeremy Shockey TE

Ryan Kalil OC 

Key F.A. in Limbo:

Matt Moore QB

Keith Null QB

DeAngelo Williams RB

David Clowney WR

Dwayne Jarrett WR

Dante Rasario TE

Jeff King TE$

Rob Petiiti OT

Ryan Kalil OC (Tagged)

Charles Johnson DE

James Anderson DE $

Abdul Hodge MLB

Richard Marshall CB

Thomas Davis SS $

The Team: Their top need is at D-Tackle, and if I were them I would be relentless investigating Dareus and Fairly. With Fairly probably fitting their old scheme better, and Dareus maybe fitting Rivera's scheme better. However, if they are not convinced that Clausen is a Franchise QB, then they have to take Gabbert here. I seem to be in the minority among NFL pundits. I like Clausen. He was not good in 2010. However, I saw the game he was forced into as a freshman, and he was absolutely retched. He played QB like I play QB as a freshman, and there is no greater insult than that;-) So I wasn't surprised he struggled as a rookie. usually when guys struggle with the transition to college football, they then struggle with the transition to NFL football. However, to many pundits are saying the Panthers don't like Clausen. With a new coach coming in it could be time to for this franchise to reboot. They are now super invested in Clausen, as they only spent a 2nd on him. Taking Gabbert here could them a Brees/Rivers situation San Diego had a few years back. Having two young QBs to develop is never a bad thing. Give them a year or two together and then sell on off to the highest bidder. 

The Player: Newton is by far the top enigma in the Draft. He has great on field character, and anyone who says different is flat wrong. he is a great leader who took control of an Auburn team, that nobody thought was a contender, and led them to a Championship. However, his off the field character is a serious concern. Teams have to judge how he will react when he is suddenly and instantly a millionaire. I think he needs a year sitting on the bench to develop, so this lockout will actually be beneficial for him, as you can't expect a rookie QB to start in the NFL next season if the lockout goes past June. He is nice faker, and seems to enjoy the trickeration part of the game. He has a really nice short motion on his quick release. He gets the ball next to his head and snaps it with excellent velocity. He can put nice zip on the ball. I think he is smarter guy than given credit. He went from Junior college phenomena to Championship SEC quarterback in one season at Auburn, and by the end of the season he was in complete control of the offense. He did a nice job staying in the pocket and throwing in the eye of the storm. He always looks in control, despite all the chaos swirling around him. He sees the field better than he is given credit. He can play action, waggle to his right, stop, and throw an accurate ball across the middle of the field. He can hit the deep out with NFL accuracy and velocity. He really has a nice accurate arm. Then he runs. Once he decides to go, he is something to see. He can make 'em miss and knock 'em down. He runs with terrific power. He can lower his head and just crush defenders on the second level. He has a strong NFL arm and runs like a FB, which is why I think the only guy you can compare him to is Josh Freeman. If he can develop Freeman's work ethic he will turn out to be better than Freeman. I am not a big fan of running QBs in the NFL, but I do like the way he runs. I also like how he tried to stay in the pocket more and throw in the Championship game. When he sees that 1st down marker he just lowers his head and smashes his way forward for a 1st down. He doesn't always throw the prettiest ball when he has to step up into the pocket. however, but by the end of last season he was stepping up and looking to throw rather than just taking off. Great short yardage runner. However, running the QB Draw was a waste of his NFL development. He really has nice touch on his deep throws. He throws the medium and deep throws very well. He threw a 30-yard pass to the TE in the Championship Game, and could not have placed the ball any better. He does a better job finding the 3rd or 4th receiver than given credit.

I thought he was exceptional in the Championship Game. I think he takes a lot of undo criticism. This past season was his first in division 1, and he played in the SEC. His development from first game to last was exceptional. I like how he stayed in the pocket and used his feet to gain time for his WR rather than just taking off.  His arm may not be as strong as Gabbert's or Mallet's, but it is strong enough and he has a shorter more compact release than both QBs. I am not a big fan of running QB, but when he takes off he is like a runaway freight train.    

The Reason: The Rivera has to decide who he wants to hitch his legacy to, Clausen or Gabbert. A head coach and his starting QB's careers are always completely entwined with each other. If you are not completely sold on Clausen, you better take a QB here. If you think you lead a Franchise in the NFL without a franchise QB, you are doomed to repeat the greatest folly of HCs and GMs throughout history.     

Second Choice: *Marcell Dareus DT

2.

Broncos

Von Miller- 

OLB Texas A&M 

6-2, 245, 4.49(U), 37",10'6", 6.7 3-C, 

DT, CB, DL, DL, TE, ILB, RB, DB, CB, OLB, TE, OG, ORT, 

Key F.A. Signed:

Champ Bailey CB

Key F.A. in Limbo:

Laurence Maroney RB

Daniel Coats TE

Dan Grankowski TE

John Nalbone TE

Ryan Harris OL

Ronald Fields DL

Le Kevin Smith DL

Marcus Thomas DL

Kevin Vickerson DL

Champ Bailey CB

Chevic Jackson CB

Key F.A. Released:

Daniel Graham TE

Jamal Williams DL

Justin Bannan DE

The Team: Word coming out of Denver is that they have settled on Von "My Main Man" Miller. And I don't blame them since he is my top rated player, and they guy I thought was the best player in college over the past two seasons. 

The team is in excellent position here. They need to rebuild their front seven, and the top two prospects in this Draft look like D-Linemen who can step right in help their defense next season. Remember, John Fox is a 4-3 guy, and his first priority will be to get players who can fit his scheme.  

The Player: 4/12 Relatively Speaking, Einstein Would Be Proud- My Von Miller Opus.

Von Miller was my favorite edge rusher from last year. He has been struggling early in the season, but it looks like he is getting back on track. He has been playing more at OLB and is out in space more, so it will help his development as Pro, but hurt him this season. Now's the time to look at players who don't quite fit into NFL measurements, but play big, like Von Miller and Mark Ingram. Miller is listed at 6-2 240, but he plays strong as an ox, and is relentless. If they drafted Miller with their first pick, I would be doing cartwheels. In Texas A&Ms Bowl game last year he made a series of plays on a goal line stand that was unbelievable. First he stopped a run as the ROLB. Then he line up at RDE, he leveraged under the OLT and shrugged him aside, then the FB ran smack dab into him and he caught him and then threw him aside, and tackled the RB for a loss. It was an unbelievable display of strength and leverage for a 240 pound edge rusher. To take on the OLT and the FB and still make the tackle to save a TD. Then he lined up on the right side again as an edge rusher, and of course the QB waggled to the opposite side, then decided to run it in as the goal line appeared open by the Cone. Miller ran all the way across the field and dragged down the QB from behind before he could get in the endzone. It was the best display of speed and strength from an edge rusher I saw all last season. Unfortunately, he really exploded at the Senior Bowl where everybody could see what I've been saying for two years, and now looks like a top ten pick. He made a lot of money at the Senior Bowl were I thought his performance was overrated. Nobody likes Von Miller more than me, which you see when I break some film for you guys. However, what he showed at the Senior Bowl was he could step back a few yards and play the Will or the Sam in a 4-3. Whippee! It was an impressive display of his athleticism and smarts, and he by no means looked out of place playing 4-3 Linebacker. However, playing him at 4-3 Linebacker would be a waste of talent. What he does better than anybody in this Draft is turn the corner in the passrush. I have seen a lot passrushers who fooled me because of their burst and ability to get up field quickly (read: Eric Curry and Vernon Gholston here), but couldn’t bend and turn the corner. I have never seen a player who could turn the corner more consistently than Miller. He is such a great natural athlete, and he really showed he cover as well as any LB during the Senior Bowl practices. He looks so smooth moving backwards, not that I really care. Nobody uses their hands and feet together in balance in this Draft than Miller. His agility and body control is otherworldly. He can come around the corner lower than anybody I’ve ever seen. He sometimes looks like he is crawling on the ground towards the QB. Terrific speed running with TEs and RB in coverage. He played WLB as a freshman. Then two years at D-End, and then this past season as a 3-4 OLB.         

The Team: Why take a mere mortal when you can get a man who can bend light;-) 

Second Choice: Macell Dareus DT

3.

Bills

*Marcell Dareus-

DE LSU

6-3, 319, 

4.94-4.92 (U), S-1.66-1.71(U), 

27 Reps

OLT, QB, DE, ILB, OLB, S, CB, DE, CB. OLB, TE, S CB, and an F-ing QB, 

Key F.A. in Limbo:

James Hardy WR

Mike Caussin TE

Scott Chandler TE

Cornell Green OT

Mansfield Wrotto OL

John McCargo DT

Akin Ayodele LB

Chris Kelso OLB

Paul Posluszny ILB

Drayton Florence CB

Cary Florence CB

Donte Whitner SS $

Key F.A. Releases:

Marcus Stroud DT

The Team The Bills miss out on the best pass rusher in the Draft, darn! However their punishment is that they get the best pure 3-4 D-end I have ever seen.

The Player: Dareus has hands that can almost match Suh's. He likes to impact the O-Tackle, punch, and then make his move. Heavy hands. Terrific lower body power! Amazing burst off the line for a guy his size. Huge guy who is more slippery than you would think possible. Amazing lateral quickness when he lines up in the Guard-Center gap, and has a great Rip move to get past the OC. He steps inside to D-Tackle sometimes in Alabama's hybrid 4-3, but he was primarily a Left 3-4 D-End. He will also lined up at left D-End in Alabama ’s hybrid 4-3. His ability to use his hands and hips with power, balance, and quickness and to shed multiple blockers is excellent. He can string the OT down the line, shed him, take on the FB way out on the edge, shed him, and still tackle hit the RB. He was double teamed at the POT consistently, and he just did not give ground. He might not make the tackle, but it is near impossible to dig this guy out on running plays when he plays and stays low. Plays with perfect two-gap technique. he was better in 2009, and was named MVP of Championship game. Tough as nail. Played with bad elbow in BCS CG with a bad elbow and dominated all game. He has a nice quick Swim, and deadly power-Rip. When he is stalemated sometimes, he will drop back into a LOS spy and try and to get into the passing lane by eyeing the QB . Does a nice job getting his hand up when QB is throwing. He has a nice move through the double team, where he swims over one blocker and then Rips past the second. He has some herky jerky shoulder moves on the rush, and can combo that with a vicious shoulder punch that can knock the ORT 3-yards back. Great power in his hips, thighs and feet. he has an other worldly burst off the snap and can just fly around the ORT. He sometimes stands up at the snap and can get powered out when the ORT gets under his pads on the run play. He will chops, punch, and fight the ORT, and then suddenly burst past him. He will sometimes hop up on the snap at the end of game when he gets tired, and that gets him into trouble quickly. It is amazing sometimes how a guy his size can burst to the corner so quickly. He has a terrific inside slap to power Rip, which is such a vicious move in combo with his quick feet. When he is on he looks unstoppable. He is such a smart passrusher, and does a great job combo off multiple moves. Notes from 2010 BCS Championship Game: He does a nice job submarining under O-Linemen in goal line situations. He played D-tackle to start off the game in the BCS CG. Texas ran right at him on the opening series and he stopped it dead. On the goal line he powered down the Line and got in on the tackle on the Dive run away from him on the first play, and shrugged aside the OG and made the tackle on the 2nd down. He has such a powerful lower base. He made the biggest defensive play in the biggest game when he grab a bad shuffle pass out of the air and returned it for a touchdown at end the first half and put Alabama up 24-6. He just keeps O-Linemen moving backwards consistently. He has such great power and explosion of the snap. He just keeps shoving, pushing, and punching the OG’s backwards in the passrush. He also shifted over to right D-Tackle in the BSC game which I hadn’t seen him play on the right side of the line before. Smart rusher who can just stop, redirect, and let the O-Linemen jerk backwards when he reads Draws or Screens.  Seriously, why do teams bother trying to run to his side. He has powerful and can toss the TE to the ground and destroy the RB. he also line up at 4-3 Right D-End a few times. Was double and even triple teamed in the 2nd half, and was still able to fight forward through the extra blockers.  

Marcell Darius is the man. His ability to play D-End in a BB-type 3-4 and still consistently harass the QB is beautiful to watch. He plays with such great power in his hands and hips it is amazing. He can hold off the O-Linemen with his hands, read the play, and then shrug him aside with amazing power form his hips, hands, and feet, it is remarkable. He is the best pure 3-4 D-End prospect I have seen.     

The Reason: They have settled in on Fitzpatrick as their QB, and are happy to sit here and tale Dareus or Miller, whoever falls. 

Second Choice: Von Miller

4. 

Bengals

*AJ Green- 

WR Georgia

6-2 5/8, 211, 

4.48-4.51 (U), 34.5”,

34 3/8”, Arms, 

QB? WR? DT, RB, CB, WR, ILB, OL, DE, OL, OL, WR, LB, DB, DB, 

Key F.A. in Limbo:

Cedric Benson RB

Brian Leonard RB

Terrelll Owens WR

Kirk Chambers OT

Evan Mathews OG

Dhani Jones ILB

Johnathan Joseph CB

Chiedum Ndukww S

Roy Williams SS $

The Team: This might be the first trade we see. They have three players on the board who can change this Franchise for the better: Green, Gabbert, and Fairley. Which means they can easily trade down 3 slots and are guaranteed to get one, and might be able to trade down 4 or 5 spots and still get on of the three. The problem with trading down is that you need a partner to trade up. The two assets on the board right now are Green and Gabbert. Green is currently the hottest player in the Draft, and some have him as the top player in the Draft. However, the real carrot is Gabbert. if the 49ers want to start the rebooting of their Franchise properly, they have to get a QB right here right now. But, Gabbert doesn't make it past the Cards, even though past incompetence tells us that are doomed to pass on the QB at 5 and continue down on their spiral of mismanagement. However, even the Cards can't be so incompetent that if the Draft Gods shine down on them next Friday and hand they Gabbert, they can't pass on him, can they? I say no. So if they don't want Gabbert, and I am saying they don't, word out of Cincinnati is that want one of the 2nd Round West Coast QBs, which probably means Gruden really like Dalton. So if they feel safe passing on Gabbert they can trade down with San Fran for say a simple 2nd if they don't get greedy, and get Julio Jones (who is a perfect fit for the West Coast offense) or Fairley at 7. Cleveland will not pass on Green so they will lose him, and if Gabbert isn't on the Board the Cards could easily take Fairley.  

If Fairly is on the board can the Bengals pass on him? I just don't see how? Especially if Marvin Lewis has any say in it. Lewis made his bones as a D-Coordinator and it's time get back to his roots and start his defense attacking again. Domata Peko, Pat Sims, and Geno Atkins are not the answer inside at D-Tackle. Peko is good against the run, but not explosive. Sims has been a slow starter, off the line that is. Akins is explosive off the Line, but can't play consistently because he gets tired. Locking Fairly into a DT position would make all those guys look better.   

The Player: Green does a nice job catching the ball over his head. He does a nice job adjusting to the ball in the air. When you talk about a guy who can control his body and speed this is the guy. When you talk about a guy who can play in different gears this is the guy. When you talk about a guy who can reach top gear, and then drop his weight and make a sharp break on an In, Out, Flag, or Post this is the guy. I admit, he is such a smooth athlete that I tend to underrate him. He is just so smooth in everything he does. 

Green has been on track for a first round pick since high school. he has the size and speed, and he has the best hands of any WR I've ever seen He does a nice job catching the ball over his head. He does a nice job adjusting to the ball in the air. When you talk about a guy who can control his body and speed this is the guy. When you talk about a guy who can play in different gears this is the guy. When you talk about a guy who can reach top gear, and then drop his weight and make a sharp break on an In, Out, Flag, or Post this is the guy.

The Reason: Fairly is a super explosive force of nature, who keeps having his character questioned. Sounds like a Bengal to me.     

Second Choice: *Julio Jones WR 

5.

Cardinals

*Patrick Peterson-

CB LSU

6', 220, 4.32-4.37(U),

QB, OLB, ILB, NT, WR, OT, OG, TE, OLB, CB, RB, OL, NT, TE

Key F.A. in Limbo:

Steve Breston WR

Onrea Jones WR

Stephen Spach TE

Alan Faneca OG

Alan Branch NT

Gabe Watson NT $

Justin Miller CB

Matt Ware SS

The Team: You can always count on the Cards to do something wacky. Word out of Arizona is that they are going to pass on the QB and stick with Skelton. 

Once Warner left so did the winning. This teams biggest flaw throughout it's history has always been it's inability to get a winning QB. This is their chance. However, word out of Phoenix is that they love Skelton and Hall, and don't want to take a QB here. I disagree, but not taking a QB here sure fits in with their history of misery. I guess the owner really didn't enjoy going to the Super Bowl a few years back. If you want to pretend that Skelton is the answer at QB, then LB and passrush become their biggest need. Plus, it has been indecision at the QB position that has devastated this Franchise for decades. So it's not surprising that indecision to which defensive scheme to use is hurting this franchise. They hop back and forth between a 3-4 and 4-3 more times then a wife looking at new dresses. The good news is the Miller can play in either scheme nearly as effectively. He will be a ROLB in the 3-4 or the 4-3, and might actually help the indecision of scheme work. 

The Player: The one things I really like about Gabbert is that he seems to get better as the game goes on. When he can step into the pocket he can really get get the ball the the receiver between defenders with nice zip and accuracy. Does a good job on the play action, and then throwing it quickly. Does a great job hitting the WR in full stride on the Slant and let him keep running down field. They run a lot of quick play actions on the Bubble screen, which he has to do fast, or the WR is cooked, and he fakes and get the ball out there quickly. He is a terrific athlete who can run with the ball. However when he is in the Spread offence to catch, peek, and pitch, if he can't get it to his 1st or 2nd option, his feet panic, and once his feet panic he never seems to get the ball off accurately or at all. Even when he resets his feet, he just can't seem to gather himself. He can however take off and he will pick up yards on the scramble. He does a nice job on the 3-step planting and throwing. When he throws like that in rhythm he throws a beautiful NFL ball. Likes the trickeration and takes bride in play fakes. When he can step into the throw he can riffle it between two defenders with terrific velocity. Too often he takes the shotgun snap and just stands there staring at a guy and then throws the ball, that would be a disaster in the NFL. However, I think he looks his best when he takes a 3-step drop from the shotgun snap. I don't like how he looks when he catches, peeks, and pitches. However, when he can 3-step and get his feet moving in a practiced fashion everything just looks better and smoother. He stands up right, hops forward, and when his 1st read isn't there his feet don't panic, they are already moving so they are calm and step up and allow him to throw a perfect pass 20-30 yards down field. I think the calmness in his feet show he will have an easier time transitioning to the NFL than I first thought. He looks like an NFL QB when eh can 3-step. He will, sometimes, look off the Safety, but usually just tries to riffle it to his first option. He does a nice job on the play action, and will sometime go into a 5-step drop after, and throws a nice accurate ball off his 5-step with pressure at his feet. Like I said about his 3, when his feet are moving backwards in a 3 or 5 step drop, he just looks more natural and he doesn't panic in the face of the rush or when there is no one to throw to. Hits the quick out with perfect placement. He does a nice job slicing the ball between two Linebackers in the middle of the field. When he is calm in the pocket and can step into the throw he can pitch it fast and accurate. Even when he gets pressure that forces him out of the pocket when he is 2 or 3 stepping, his feet  don't panic and he can calmly run forward and gain some yards. When he can 2 or 3 step and step into the throw, he makes NFL throws after NFL throws, and hits guys consistent between two defenders. I just hate his feet when he catches, peeks, and pitches. However, I love his feet when he 2,3, or 5 steps in the pocket.

Gabbert has a really nice arm. He can put some RPM on his fastball. However, he can take some heat off as well. In the NFL you have to be able to throw the off speed pitches. He made one throw in the Bowl game that I still remember. The right WR ran a post pattern. When he cut towards the post he left the CB a step behind him, and cut between the LB and the Safety. The LB took a deep drop and was positioned right in the lane Gabbert needed to to throw. So Gabbert had to put a little arch on the ball to get it over the LB. However, the Safety was coming up and he couldn't throw it to high or to soft. He placed that ball perfectly into the WR hands, over the LB, under the Safety, and just in front of the CB. It was a perfect NFL throw about 25-yeads down field. If you can consistently make that throw, you can make a lot of money in the NFL. He also has that riffle that can shoot a bee bee into the gut of a well cover receiver. He can turn wind up and get the ball out and to the WR with as much zip as he needs. The problem is that he is a Spread QB, which me he catches, peaks, and pitch. He needs a lot of work on his footwork. He primarily catches the ball, peeks at the coverage, and takes one or two quick steps towards the receiver and throws. His biggest problem is that his first read isn't viable his feet panic. His career rests in his feet. He is the real deal. He has NFL talent written all over him. Has a riffle for an arm, and when he is hot he can hit guys all over the field. He has improved as a leader, and student of the game, according to his coach. He also says he is as smart as it gets. And like I always say if a QB has all the physical skills his success mostly rests on the work-ethic, leadership, and mental intangibles. Immaturity has been a problem for him earlier, and he should stay in school and dominate his senior season and he would have been considered for the top pick. He also has the touch to loft it over the Linebackers right in the middle of the field. He can throw the ball so accurately when he is on. He has a legit NFL arm, and he has the touch that can't be taught. When he misses he doesn’t miss by much. He has that knack for putting the ball where his receivers can get it, and the defender has to make a better play to get it. That my friend is called accuracy. Through the ball to the opposite side of the body to where the defender is. The more I watch him play the more I like him. He is a very intelligent kid. You can see he is smart and intense in his eyes. With his arm, accuracy, and smarts, if he works hard enough and becomes a leader he is easily the top QB prospect in this Draft. His only question for me is: is he a first-in, first-out guy?    

The Reason: If they pass on Gabbert here, they will show again why they are perennial losers.  

Second Choice: *Nick Fairley   

1

6.

Browns

*Julio Jones

WR Alabama

6-2 3/4, 220, 4.43-4.39(U), 11’3”, 38.5”, 17 reps, 

ILB, DL, OT, DE, TE, OLB, OL, OLB, OL, TE, DE, OLB, CB, OL, OL, LB, DB, QB, 

Key F.A. Seriously?:

Phil Dawson K (Tagged)

Seneca Wallace QB

D'Qwell Jackson Lb

Key F.A. in Limbo:

Seneca Wallace QB

Cliftin Smith RB

Chansi Stucky WR

Demetrius Williams WR

Garret Mills TE/FB

Robert Rotal TE

Alex Smith TE

John St. Clair OL

Floyd Womack OL $

Tony Pashos OT $

Billt Yates OG

Shaun Rogers DL

David Bowens DE

Kenyon Cloeman DE

Robaire Smith DE

Eric Alexander LB/ST

Eric Barton ILB

Matt Roth OLB $

Chris Gocong OLB $

Brandon McDonald CB

DeAngelo Smith CB

Eric Wright CB

The Team: The Browns have a new coach and a new offense. The HC of the CBs Pat Shurmer is a full out West Coast guy who loves big tall West Coast WR. That is Julio Jones. They drafted two WRs I really like Robiskie and Massaquoi, but they have not work out as well as expected. They both look like nice complimentary receivers, but not number one guys. They both are very skilled WR who lack a little speed, but I think they both will fit better in the West Coast Offense. If the Browns got a Number One West Coast WR that would improve their entire receiving Crew, as both Robiskie and Massaquoi are big guys who can battle it out for the 2nd and 3rd receivers. This pick will probably come down to Jones or Nick Fairley. They are also completely switching the defense from a 3-4 to a 4-3 and will certainly be needing a DT. Cleveland fans are in for a big shock next season as they have completely change offensive and defensive philosophies, and that is going to take time to make two such huge adjustments. It will be almost impossible for them not to moving backwards next season, which of course isn't the worst thing in the world with Luck looming in the background.      

The Player: Julio is a great blocker. Great natural athlete. He makes it all look so easy sometimes. Very physical WR. Extremely strong and tough. Near impossible for little DBs to tackle him in the open field, and he consistently seems to knock them on their butts. He has nice hips, and makes nice forceful cuts on the comeback. Excellent hand catcher, and catches the ball with his hands away from his body consistently in 2010. Very quick hands. He can hold out and not signal the CB the ball is coming, and then snap his hands up and grab the ball in a flash like Moss does. It can look funny when the little CB tries to muscle him, and he just shrugs them off like a ladybug, turns, and is wide open catching the ball. he gets down the field deep fast. He likes to use a shoulder shake n' bake  to fool the Safety on the deep Post. Great competitor with great competitive speed. It can be tough to see on patterns sometimes, but when he runs an end-around he flies by defenders like an Eagle who just spotted a rabbit. He will lineup on the line like a TE, and Alabama will run the ball, usually to the opposite side. Comes off the snap a little slow, but gets out on CB nicely to block, but will whiffs sometimes. Does a nice job getting out to the safety and getting his way 20 yards down field when they are running the ball when he is lineup like a TE. Was a marvel as a freshman, and struggled a lot as a sophomore with drops and a bad QB, who really was not very good on 2009. Looks like he found his mojo again as a Junior, with some maturation by the QB. Currently leading the SEC in career receptions by active players with 125. He has terrific quick feet, and can motor down quickly and turn for a quick hitch. Big and strong, and when he is running with the ball his straight-arm hurts DBs. Runs great routes, and knows how to create separation with fakes, deeks, and sharp cuts. It looks like his bobble-it is from his sophomore year is over. The terrific hands he showed as a freshman returned for his junior year. 

Jones is just an amazing athlete. He had a bad start on his forty at the Combine, and still ran an unofficial 4.43 forty. 179 catches for 2,653 Yards and 15 TDs. Jones had work extra hard for his yards. He played in a primarily running offense where he was blocking a lot more than running patterns. He is such a physical receiver, but he plays with such excellent body and speed control. He is amazing in the open field, and is as dynamic with the ball in his hands as anyone one in this Draft. He is such so big and strong that people often don’t realize how fast and dynamic he is. I can’t tell you how many times I saw him blocking DBs 20-40 yards down field. He does a nice job coming back to the ball, and keeping his big body between the ball and the DB. He needs to work on extending his hand out more. He sometimes lets the ball into his body too much, and I think that’s why he had so many drops as a sophomore. Sterling Sharpe called it, “Lazy hands.” I liked that.  

The Reason: A West Coast WR for the new West Coast Head Coach.   

Second Choice: *Nick Fairly DT 

7.

49ers

*Blaine Gabbert

QB Missouri

6-4 3/8, 234, 21, 4.63, 4.61,   

QB! QB, WR, DL, OLB, CB, OC, QB, OG, NT, ILB, OLB, RB, WR, DB,  

Key F.A. in Limbo:

Alex Smith QB

Troy Smith QB

Brian Westbrook RB

David Baas OG/OC

Aubrayo Franklin NT/DT

Demertric Evans DL

Ray McDonald DE

Takeo Spikes ILB

Manny Lawson OLB

Tearell Brown CB

The Team: The San Francisco Franchise is in complete disarray, and will remain in shambles until the QB situation is resolved. They have to find one of these guys and develop him into the NFL QB. Signing Harbaugh was a nice start towards developing a franchise QB. They have been looking for a Shutdown CB for years, and it looks like they will finally find him.

The Player: Peterson is an amazing talent. His list of accolades this past season is staggering: the Chuck Bednarik Award (Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year), SEC Defensive Player of the Year (by Coaches), the Jim Thorpe Award (The Best Defensive Back in college), and SEC Special Teams Player of the Year (By Coaches). He averaged almost 30 yards per return on kickoffs, and just a hiccup over 16 yards per return on punts. Not that I think that matters, because this is a guy you want shutting down WRs on the leftside not returning kicks. But it goes to show what a great athlete he is. He is explosive and fearless returning kicks and punts. My biggest criticism of him is his refusal to Fair Catch the ball on Punt Returns. A practice that nearly got him killed a few times. I would never, under any circumstance, ever, put this guy out as a Punt Returner and watch him break his friggin' neck because he refuses to Fair Catch. At over 6' and around 220 pounds, he is as pure a cover Corner as I have seen. His speed, quickness, and reactions skills are unheard of for a guy his size. I hate the term "Shutdown Corner", and very rarely use it. However, he has the potential to be the biggest Shutdown Corner the NFL has ever seen. He is bigger than Asomugwa and Woodson, and has their natural smarts, instincts, and athleticism.  

He has that knack for staying on a WR's hips. He has the size and can hit like a Safety. Plus, he has the pure athleticism of the top CBs in the NFL. He should be a top five pick. However, lately the top CBs have slid out of the top five, and I think this trend might continue

The Reason: Merry Christmas Mr. Harbaugh.         

Second Choice: Robert Quinn DE/OLB 

 8.

Titans

*Nick Fairley-

DT Auburn

6-3 7/8, 291, 4.86-4.82(U), S-1.76-1.78(U)

QB, QB? DE, QB, LB, DT, LB, DL, S, OG, OG, OLB, TE,  OL, DT, 

Key F.A. in Limbo:

Kerry Collins QB

Vince Young QB?

Chris Simms QB

Randy Moss WR

Mark Jones WR

Bo Scaife TE

Leroy Harris OG

Nevin McCaskill OL

Jason Babin DE/OLB $

Dave Ball DE $

Stephen Tulloch MLB

David Thornton OLB

Chuck Cecil S

The Team: The Titans can't pass on Fairley here. They have been struggling inside since Haynesworth left, and Fairley, though he has a different style game than Haynesworth, he could be as good. 

The Titans have developed a great situation at D-End. they drafted two young guys, developed them, and it looks like they have finally come into their own. Oops, both Dave Ball and Jason Babin are Free Agents. They really need a QB, LB, and DT more. 

The Player: Fairley is a Junior college guy who took a year to adjust to the SEC, but man did he adjust! To say he has developed quickly from last season into a great D-Tackle is an understatement. He is a mean one–gapper who has burst, balance, and feet that a guy his size just shouldn’t have. Watching him move his feet through the bags at his Proday was jaw dropping. Agility, bend, and interior quickness in such a big guy is something we haven’t seen in a while. Teams that want penetrators will be drooling all over this guy. He is the best penetrating D-Tackle in this Draft, period. Tends to get tired in games sometimes and stand up. He is not the stoutest D-Tackle in the Draft, and when he gets high he can look real bad real fast. However, when he plays and stays low I don’t think any scout would disagree there is not a more explosive penetrating prospect in this Draft. He has really long arms and when he is on, he extends them so well and jolts the O-linemen, and then uses his quickness to scoot around him.  Plus, he is mean-mean-mean, and he is not the QB's friend on the field, and that is nice asset in a D-Lineman.  He was not great in 2009. However, he was great this past season, and in the most important game if the season, the BCS Championship Game, he was truly great. Great chop and puncher. He comes off the snap low and attacks the O-Lineman's hands. His Slap Rip might be the best move I've seen so far this year. Though Suh did it more with power, and Fairley does it more with quickness. Like Suh did last year, he can make OG's look ridiculous, when they try and block him one-on-one. He is taken off the field a lot more than Suh though, which is a little disappointing. It is probably a little unfair to compare him, because Suh is the best. But he is best I've seen since... well, Suh... last year. He likes to go low and submarine O-Linemen on Goal line stand. He has the quickness to slip past the OG before he can react. He is such a good hand fighter that if you don't get your hands on him you can't touch him. And when he hits the QB watch out! Those are the QB hits that win games. He has an amazing Rip  that he uses to split the double, and can still hit the quarterback. When he comes off the snap low and with arms extend he is a force. He sometimes burst into the backfield to fast to read what is happen and whiffs on the ball carrier. He doesn't always recognize as quickly as you'd like, but when he sees it, he can be impossible to stop him. Nice strength at the POT . Great blast off the line, and he quickness and explosion off the line is what makes him special. He blast off the line and into the backfield so quickly he can look untouchable. I like how he moves down the line laterally on run plays, Slapping, chopping , and punching any arm or hand that gets near him all down the line. Sometimes he looks tired and grabs onto O-linemen and stalemates himself. He has a lot of moves to disengage once he sees where the play is going, including a text book Rip. He is at his best when he can play the 3-techinique and just burst to the QB. His best position in the NFL will be as a 3-techique. He reminds me of Warren Sapp, and has Sapp's amazing burst off the line.

Fairly looks like he has Warren Sapp's blast off the line. I like how he holds off the OG on inside runs on the opposite side, and slowly drags his way in front of the RB. I love his Push-Pull/Swim combination, which seems to just incapacitate any OG in front of him. He really plays in excellent balance: He does a nice job extending his spider arms while getting knocked backwards: he keeps his body in balance, his shoulders square, feet shuffling, and somehow re-anchoring while staying in front of the ball carrier. he when he stays and plays low, he has a great blast off the snap with arms moving up and his hands always attacking. He startles OGs with his quick Swim off the snap, he can leave them looking at air. I love how he hand fights and slides down the line to the Point of Attack. His ability to get under the shoulder the OG is trying to protect might be his best asset. Then again, when he is in full attack-mode, his startlingly quick blast off the line is clearly his best asset. He might be the best pure 3-technique prospect I've seen since Warren Sapp. He needs to be in a system that allows him to just blast off the line as much as possible. He would be much less explosive in a two-gap defense. When he is tripled (I'm startled by this and I'm not trying to block him), on one play against Oregon, he Swam over the OG, Swam over the Center, and then Ripped to his right past the other OG, and charged to the QB while all three guys looked like school children running after the ice cream track. Startling. he sometimes has trouble locating the ball, but also seems to play smarter as the game wears on. Play Action, Screens, and Misdirection seemed to kill him in the first half against Oregon, then in the 2nd half he seemed to read it all near flawlessly. Sometimes he half-drops and plays that weird LOS Spy that Suh made so popular last year. He was just pure brute force in the Championship game smashing puny humans all over the field like the Hulk. Then he seemed to get a little lazy in the 4th when it looked like they had the game. Until suddenly Oregon was back on the comeback trail, and on their finally drive he started harassing the Oregon QB again. He has a reputation for laziness, and being a one year wonder, but man what a one year!  

Farley was a force of nature this year. He exploded off the coast of Alabama and never slowed down. He might be a one year wonder, but he plays with such power and balance with his hands hips and feet that any coach would gladly take him on their team.  

The Reason: If is rare (and funny) to see a free agent leave a team and see it have such devastating effects on both teams. Usually it has a bad effect on one team. I can't remember ever have seen it destroy both teams (except for the fact that Snider has already destroyed the Skins;-) This could finally repair the damage down by Haynesworth. 

Second Choice: *Robert Quinn DE/OLB

9.

Cowboys

*Tyron Smith-

OT USC

 6-5, 307, 29 Reps,     36 3/8” Arms! 

11” Hands, 

84 5/6” Wingspan

DB, WR, DE, S, OL, OLB, OL, S, OL, LB, DE, DL 

Key F.A. in Limbo:

Miles Austin WR

Kyle Kosier OG $

Doug Free OT

Marcus Spears DE

Stephen Bowen DE

Alex Daniels DE

Gerald Sensabaugh SS

The Team: Jones has been talking about taking a D-End. I don't believe him. If he allows Jason Garret any input in the Draft it will be a an O-Tackle. The problem is that I have both Watts and Cameron Jordan falling down to 17, and three of the top four O-Tackles falling to 17. If is willing to take a 2nd to trade to 17, he will still be able to garner a D-End or an O-Tackle. Everybody in the top ten is looking to trade down, and this maybe the first spot where a deal could be worked out. 

More and more Draftnics have Smith going here, and he has enough potential to go here, and the Cowboys have enough need to take him here. 

The Player:  Spider Arms.

The Reason: If seem like this pick to perfect to ever happen. They have to get at minimum a starting ORT in this Draft, and here he is. Plus, with the plethora of DBs in the 2nd and 3rd Rounds, they should have problem finding a couple of DBs later.    

Second Choice: *JJ Watts DE

10.

Redskins

*Robert Quinn-  DE/OLB 

North Carolina

6-4, 265, 4.73-4.67(U), S-1.63-1.69(U), 9'8", 34", 22 Reps, 

QB, QB, RB, OLB/PR, CB, RB, WR, CB, DE, ILB, OT, OC, OG, DB, DB, OL, RB, WR, Owner, 

Key F.A. in Limbo:

Oshiomogho Atogwe S

Key F.A. in Limbo:

Rex Grossman QB

John Beck QB

Larry Johnson RB

James Davis RB

Andre Brown RB

Mike Sellers FB

Santana Moss WR

Jammal Brown OT $

Casey Rabach OC $

Kedric Golston DE

Rocky McIntosh LB

Carlos Rogers CB

DeAngelo Hall CB $

Key F.A. Releases:

Quitin Portis RB

Derrick Dockery OG

The Team: I would be shocked if the Redskins picked here. They can drop down 7 spots and still pick up a 2nd, and still get a QB, RB, or a D-End at 17, or trade down again and pick up a 3rd or 4th.         

The Redskins have on the roster: Rex Grossman (Who I don't think can lead the franchise, but the Shanahans do), John Beck (has thrown a pass in the NFL to date, but is developing) and Donovan McNabb (Who I think can lead the Franchise, but the Shanahans clearly despise him and word out of Washington is that they want to release him, which would be typical folly for this Franchise). So the need for a QB is not so desperate. Certainly not as desperate as Arizona, San Fran, Tennessee, Minnesota, and Miami. It comes down to two needs here: help the QB or help the passrush. It seems to me they will be picking between Jones and Quinn. The good news for Skin's fans is that this looks like a prime pick to trade. In order to trade, you have to have a trading partner. With Jones, Quinn, and even Locker still on the board that is three players who are worth trading up for by a number of teams, including the Pats. The Pats have the connection in Shanahan, an overstock of picks, and should have interest in both Jones and Quinn. 

Who knows what this organization is going to do? Word coming out of Washington last season was that they loves Locker. If they loved him last year why wouldn't they love him this year. This Franchise will continue to spiral into chaos until they can find a legit QB to lead this team. Word out of Washington is that the Shanahans love-love-love  Rex Grossman, Eek!

The Player: Hey, Remember Me- Quinn.

The Reason: Pats get their man here. 

Second Choice: *Julio Jones WR

11.

Texans

Jimmy Smith- 

CB Colorado

6-2, 211, 4.38-4.44(U), 24 reps, 

 

*Aldon Smith

OLB/DE Missouri 

6-4, 270, 4.74-4.76(U), S-1.71, 35.5" Arms,

DEFENSE!!! 

Key F.A. Signing:

Owen Daniels TE

Derrick Ward RB

Shaun Cody DT

Key F.A. in Limbo:

Derrick Ward RB

Vonta Leach FB

Jacoby Jones WR

Kasey Studdard OG

Tank Taylor DT

Kevin Bentley MLB

Zac Diles OLB

Bernard Pollard S

The Team: The worst pass defense in the NFL last season. Philips is the new D-Coordinator. They are switching to the 3-4, and will be looking for edge rushers. They have to get a NT. They have  a great offense, but the defense has defeated their playoff chances for the past five years. They have to take their highest rated defender with hopefully every pick in this Draft. They might be able to get Ellis from Hampton in the 2nd and 3rd. They could reach for Aldon Smith or JJ Watts. They love Amukamara. They have to get a passrusher or two to defeat the edges in passing situations.

The Player: He has that knack for causing chaos, and his Draft stock mirrors that knack. He had multiple alcohol troubles and rumors of positive weed tests. Some say he is the best Press Corner in the Draft, over Patrick Peterson. That is a bit much, but. AL Davis is rumored to be trying to trade up into the 1st Round because he likens him to Asomugha. 

This guy is an amazing athlete. He has the size, speed, and that knack for shadowing receivers. He needs some technique work as he tends to bail on is backpedal a little early and shuffle rather then attack, but is such a great athlete he was able to more than get away with it in college. Is almost as big and fast as Peterson, and some have him rated ahead of Peterson. His problem is that he is one of those guys that trouble just swirls around, like the eye of the storm. What you have to remember though is that he has never crossed into the storm himself and gotten in trouble. His Character Concerns are all blown in from the people around him, which can be just as deadly, but he himself has not crossed that line. From a purely talent perspective he is on pare with Amukamara, and some scouts think Peterson. He has some issues. He has amazing feet, and so can cheat of his technique a little in college and get away with it. he tends to bail on his backpedal to early, and with his speed, hips, and great transition he shouldn't bail so early. he also ahs a tendency to bail and shuffle his feet when the WR cuts to the middle of the field.

Smith is a tall and lean D-End, but he has big thigh and a nice bubble butt. He can really uses his long arms well. Heavy hands and can give the OT a nice punch. Gets double a lot. A little long legged, but has a nice burst off the edge. Not a speed rusher but more of a long armed rusher. Does a nice job extending his arms to keep blockers off his body. Will get too high sometimes. he does a nice job fighting inside on the Dive. He is not a burst inside slasher like a lot of DE/OLB in this Draft, but more of a hand fighting force. He needs to get stronger in the upper body. He does a nice job using his strong hands on the push-pull and can shrug the OG to the side and burst forward. Doesn't always burst off the ball with explosion. Sometimes reading the play slows him down. Team player who will burst inside grapping the OT and OG when their is a blitz from the outside to set him free. Rushes a lot from the inside, and seems to get his best pressure form the inside. He has some shake n bake in his shoulders from the inside, and use a great chop and slap on the OG's arms and hands. He doesn't always rush on passing downs, and will sometimes stay at the LOS and spy on the QB. He has a nice Rip on the OG. he burst into the OG OT gap and slams into the OT on the twist inside when he is rushing as a DT. He does a good job reading the screen He too often looks like he is reading rather than attacking. I'd like to see him attack more. he has the speed and the hands to get the edge. he can turn the corner. He is a t his best rushing form the inside when he can use his hands and long arms and attack up field. He reminds me of Willie McGinest. He’s 6-5, 265 pounds, has very long arms, and is a little stiff, just like McGinest. He is a little long legged, has a knack for getting to the quarterback, and doesn’t have elite feet, just like McGinest. He played inside and outside in college, he hits the weights hard, and has more athleticism then his awkward frame would indicate, just like McGinest. He’s only 20 years old and has a lot of potential and development in front of him. If I’m BB and he is still on the board at 10, 12, 13, or 15. I never think they should trade up, and I wouldn’t complain on bit if they look to trade up for a kid he could develop into the next Willie. With the redskins desperately looking to trade out of pick number 10, the Pats extra picks, and BB’s new friendship with Shanahan, it would certain make all the Pat’s whiney Trade-Up Fans happy to get to ten and grab Smith. He has that near perfect body for a 3-4 Edge Rusher. His long arms and lean body give him such an advantage passrushing. He had 17 Sacks, 36.5 TFL, 7 PBU, and 112 in the past two season despite being injured for the first half of last season. He is a long lean long-armed passrusher that looks like the prototype edge-rusher in a BB defense. He has heavy hands and gives a nice punch. he was also very effective when the moved him inside to rush from the D-tackle position. He was just to quick for O-Guards in college, and in that way he reminds me of a taller longer-armed Justin Tuck. As explosive as he can look moving forward, he doesn't look as natural moving backwards. Despite how explosive he can look as an interior rusher, he is not the stoutest against the run. He can get too high sometimes in run defense. He is still very young, and doesn't have a ton of experience. He Redshirted as a freshman, and only started 21 games in college. But, all the clay is there to be molded into a superior passrusher, and not just an edge rusher as he was so effective rushing inside.   

Aldon Smith is one of the hottest prospects in the Draft right now. He has such a nice burst off the edge. He is a little stiff, and BB has to be comfortable with his ability to bend and turn the corner on the rush. His long arms give him a lot of advantage over the other passrushers. He got  lot of Sacks coming right up the middle where he didn't have to Turn The Corner, and that makes me a little nervous. I am going to have to do a Reel Review of him, and see him TTC before I trade up for him. He showed he could get low with a nice angle around a Cone-pad at his Proday, which is nice but not in the heat of battle. He showed nice form in the RIP, which he likes to use inside. He also showed he can get out of balance when he Dips and tries to turn that corner.  He has a nice punch to the outside shoulder of the OLT, which is always nice for bending the corner. More and more teams seem to be seeing him as a D-End and not an OLB. I have heard a lot of the risk of conversion guys. Well, all conversion guys carry a risk. When you take a D-End who never played backwards, there is a risk when you make him a LB. I don’t see why he is more of a risk than any other D-Ends. Look at McGinest, he played Nose Tackle as a Junior. Now that is a conversion. His blast off the Line is really something to see. The more I watch him blast off the line the more I like him on the Pats. He sometimes gets too high, and when he does he gets himself out of balance. He really needs to play and stay low. He is a little long legged.     

The Reason: A few years back the took a CB with attitude issues (at 7? Crap I can't remember) Dunta Robinson, and that worked out very well.   

Second Choice: Cameron Jordan  

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