This was our pick last time and we're sticking to it. He'll fit perfectly into Pittsburgh's 3-4 defense, and he'll pump a bit of youth into a Steelers unit that needs to start planning for the future.
DT, Penn State
We once had Denver taking Wright here, and we said it was a case of the heart wanting an offensive toy for Peyton Manning and the head wanting a defensive upgrade. Well, seeing as Wright will be off the board at this point, John Elway and Co. will need to use their heads. The Broncos have one of the more promising young defenses in the NFL, but they still have some needs – particularly at tackle. Still was arguably the best player at his position last season, but his inconsistency has scared some teams off. Denver won’t be one of those teams.
One of our first round surprise picks. Even though it’s becoming a generally accepted fact that Houston goes wide receiver here, we still don’t see the point. Yes, Andre Johnson being hurt did show just how lacking the roster was in terms of reliable receiving options, but that’s not the team’s most pressing concern. Defense is the team’s most pressing concern. After losing Mario Williams, this squad needs to address the other side of the ball before upgrading at the skill positions. While some see Curry as more of a second round talent, we think his 24 sacks in 45 games at Marshall, as well as his ability to poke the ball away from opposing offenses will make him a very valuable contributor at the next level.
We once had the Patriots taking Still here, but seeing as the Broncos went and spoiled that, the Super Bowl runner-ups will just have to settle for the next best defensive tackle available. Brockers has great talent and a lot of potential, but there are some legitimate questions about how consistent he will be able to be at the next level. Still, if anyone can squeeze the best out of a player that could go either way in the pros it’s undoubtedly the Patriots.
DT, Michigan State
More of the domino effect at work with this pick. We previously had the Packers taking Brockers here, but seeing as he’ll be gone by this point, the next best defensive tackle will get snapped up by 2011’s best regular season team. Last year, a lot of Green Bay’s defensive holes were covered up by the secondary’s ability to pick off opposing passers. (Led the league in interceptions.) Those holes being covered up doesn’t mean that they didn’t exist, though. Worthy would be a good first step to shoring up a defensive unit that’s not as solid as a lot of folks who didn’t watch the Packers play last year seem to think it is.
Our first round shocker. Everyone has Barron going No. 14 to the Cowboys at the latest, with some even suggesting Dallas might trade up. We think it's all bluster and pre-draft misinformation. Barron's tumble will be one of the draft night's biggest shockers. (Because of the hype he's gotten over the last week, not because it's actually all that shocking.)
Another pick that remains unchanged. The 49ers’ defense is solid, so at this point it’s all about making Alex Smith feel comfortable and making him forget about the pursuit of Peyton Manning during this past offseason. Even if he reverts back from his surprisingly solid 2011 showing this year, having two massive targets like Fleener and Vernon Davis to throw to will make that step back feel much more miniscule that it would have otherwise.
The Patriots will have already grabbed a defensive stud by this point, so this pick will be all about taking the best player available. Konz is a fantastic prospect that New England will be able to utilize in the O-line for years to come.
RB, Virginia Tech
Because the Giants love players who can flip. This is all about who you have as the second best running back in the draft. We have Wilson above Doug Martin. Some folks disagree. This guy has impressive speed, put up 1,709 yards and nine touchdowns last year, and seems like a better fit for the defending champs than Martin would be. That being said, this one could go either way.