This is it. Our final mock draft of the offseason. When NFL Scout, Jayson Braddock and I started with our first mock draft back in January, we decided to approach the mock considering what we think teams SHOULD do with their selections rather than what they WILL do. Some looked at our picks a little funny—some were downright angry—but these days our mock draft is looking a little more mainstream as others have begun to see things a little more our way as we get down to the wire.
The only exception would be the quarterbacks. Blaine Gabbert is going 25th to the Seahawks in our mock—and has been for quite a while now—but remember, we don’t think he’ll actually fall that far. He could fall into the teens, however, and we wouldn’t be too surprised to see another quarterback taken ahead of him.
Our first quarterback off the board—and our favorite in this draft class—is Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick. When we put him 15th to the Dolphins in late January, there were some who brushed it off as merely trying to stir the pot, saying Kaepernick wouldn’t go until the middle rounds. These days, those same experts are looking at Kaepernick as a first or early second rounder. There are even some who now have him in the same spot we’ve had him for the last three-and-a-half months (#15 to Miami) on their latest mock drafts.
It goes to show how much mock drafts, and attitudes, change from January to April and why it’s worthwhile to consider what these teams will do in late April rather than what others are saying they’ll do in late January.
For the first time, our final mock draft leaves the first round untouched from a week ago. There are, however, changes in the second and third rounds.
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Xtra Point Football Final 2011 NFL Mock Draft
Please Note: We will be Hosting a LIVE CHAT during the 2011 NFL Draft. Please join us and take part in the discussion in the room. We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions as the 2011 NFL Draft progresses in real time.
1. Carolina Panthers- Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn Tigers: We’re sticking to our guns here and while Fairley may not come off the board first in reality, we still think it’s the best move for Carolina. Outside of an Andrew Luck-type of prospect, we’re not comfortable using a top ten pick on any of this year’s quarterback prospects. The Panthers need to upgrade their defensive line and Fairley is the best 4-3 tackle in this year’s class.
Previous Pick: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Other possibilities: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia; Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
2. Denver Broncos- Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama Crimson Tide: We believe that Nick Fairley would be the bigger playmaker in Denver’s 4-3 scheme, but Dareus isn’t far behind. Unlike everyone else who changed their mind after the combine, we still love what Fairley does on tape. With that said, the Broncos are hurting for defensive tackle help and Marcell will be an instant upgrade.
Previous Pick: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Other possibilities: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU; Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
3. Buffalo Bills- Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M Aggies: Miller is the best pass rusher in the draft this year and is arguably one of the top three prospects in the entire draft class along with Patrick Peterson and A.J. Green.
Previous Pick: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
Other possibilities: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU; A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
4. Cincinnati Bengals- A.J. Green, WR, Georgia Bulldogs: Green is an elite receiver that will ease the pressure on the quarterback no matter who it is. We don’t like the Bengals to take any quarterback this high. We feel that they have to take the best player available and get a playmaker in this draft. AJ Green is both of those things.
Previous Pick: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
Other possibilities: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina; Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
5. Arizona Cardinals- Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU Tigers: Peterson to the Cardinals hasn’t been the most common pick in other mock drafts, but it’s one we’ve had for quite some time. Arizona gets a lockdown corner to play opposite Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Where do you throw the ball if you’re facing this defense?
Previous Pick: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Other possibilities: Cameron Jordan, DE, California; Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
6. Cleveland Browns- Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina Tar Heels: There are some questions about Quinn’s health with the tumors he suffered. But after Green goes off the board, we believe that the Browns will chose to get a pass rusher over Julio Jones. If Quinn can stay healthy, he’ll cause havoc off the edge.
Previous Pick: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
Other possibilities: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama; Cameron Jordan, DE, California
7. San Francisco 49ers- Cameron Jordan, DE, California Golden Bears: New head coach Jim Harbaugh knows him from his days in the Pac-10 and we think Jordan is being vastly underrated leading up to the draft. He has a great swim move and can play end in either a 4-3 or 3-4 alignment. He has top ten talent even if he isn’t picked in the top ten.
Previous Pick: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
Other possibilities: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin; Prince Amukamara, S, Nebraska
8. Tennessee Titans- Julio Jones, WR, Alabama Crimson Tide: We liked Jones here last week before the latest Kenny Britt arrest. We love him here now. They’ll have to consider drafting a premier #1 receiver that can change games. If Britt is suspended, they’ll be extremely thin at the position.
Previous Pick: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Other possibilities: Prince Amukamara, S, Nebraska; J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
9. Dallas Cowboys- Prince Amukamara, FS, Nebraska Cornhuskers: Dallas needs help in the secondary at both cornerback and safety. We’ve been calling Amukamara a better safety than cornerback for a while now and others seem to be coming around to that way of thinking. He could still get his shot at corner in Dallas, but if that doesn’t work out he could move to free safety where we think he’ll be very good.
Previous Pick: Prince Amukamara, FS, Nebraska
Other possibilities: Tyron Smith, OT, USC; J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin Badgers
10. Washington Redskins- Tyron Smith, OT, USC Trojans: Mike Shanahan was at his best in Denver when he had an offensive line that was ideal for the zone blocking scheme and he could place any running back behind them. Drafting Tyron Smith the year after getting Trent Williams will give them the tackles for this scheme for the next 7-10 years. Athletic linemen also assist mobile quarterbacks, such as the ones Shanahan likes to draft.
Previous Pick: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
Other possibilities: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama; J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
11. Houston Texans- Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson Tigers: Bowers was rated by most as the premier talent of this year’s draft class until injury concerns surfaced. There are so many different reports out there on the severity of the injury that we believe a lot of the talk is just rumors being floated by teams hoping to cause him to slide. If he checks out with the Texans doctors and he actually slides this far, they’ll have a monster line with Mario Williams and Bowers.
Previous Pick: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Other possibilities: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami; J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
12. Minnesota Vikings- Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College Eagles: Minnesota needs to add an offensive tackle that can play sooner rather than later. Nate Solder will be the better offensive lineman in our opinion but he’ll take a little more time to be up to the NFL level. Castonzo will be ready to play game one at a high level.
Previous Pick: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
Other possibilities: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin; Nate Solder, Colorado
13. Detroit Lions- Nate Solder, OT, Colorado Buffaloes: Solder has been falling down draft boards lately, but if Smith and Castonzo are already off the board, Detroit could look to take the best available tackle to give Matthew Stafford some protection. If Detroit keeps their franchise quarterback healthy, they could surprise a few people and perhaps earn a wildcard berth or, dare we say, a division title.
Previous Pick: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Other possibilities: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin; Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
14. St. Louis Rams- Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois Fighting Illini: The Rams, Josh McDaniels, and Sam Bradford are hoping that Julio Jones slides to them at 14. When that doesn’t happen you can expect them to take Liuget, who’ll clog up the middle of the line and shut down the running game. Liuget is a playmaker that’ll make Chris Long’s job a lot easier.
Previous Pick: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
Other possibilities: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama; Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
15. Miami Dolphins- Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada Wolf Pack: Kaepernick is our favorite quarterback in this year’s draft class and we’re not sure why more people don’t like him as much as we do. Maybe considering his mobility conjures up images of mobile quarterbacks who cannot throw the ball, but Kaepernick has a great arm and is an accurate passer. He could develop for a couple of years, but we like him to emerge as the best quarterback in this class.
Previous Pick: Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
Other possibilities: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn; Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
16. Jacksonville Jaguars- Cam Newton, QB, Auburn Tigers: David Garrard has never been a top tier quarterback. Cam Newton will thrive behind the offensive line that the Jags started assembling. He’ll have to use his athleticism more than you would hope, but without Mike Sims-Walker back it doesn’t appear like they have a go-to guy on offense.
Previous Pick: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
Other possibilities: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri; Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
17. New England Patriots (from Oakland Raiders)- J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin Badgers: New England has six picks in the first three rounds, so they’re in a position to take whoever they like best. Luckily, the best player on the board also fills a need.
Previous Pick: J.J Watt, DE, Wisconsin
Other possibilities: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri; Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
18. San Diego Chargers- Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple Owls: The Chargers are like a rich guy that goes to look at new cars. They have it all; they have the luxury of getting best available in any round. Wilkerson will be their choice due to the depth of extremely talented 3-4 defensive ends this year.
Previous Pick: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple
Other possibilities: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa; Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
19. New York Giants- Danny Watkins, G, Baylor Bears: With Smith, Castonzo and Solder off the board, the Giants could look at Derek Sherrod or Gabe Carimi here, but instead we like them to take the best guard on the board.
Previous Pick: Danny Watkins, G, Baylor
Other possibilities: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State; Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama Crimson Tide: LeGarrette Blount was a steal last season. There are still concerns around the running back position, though. Cadillac Williams and Kareem Huggins are free agents. Blount isn’t an every-down back. He’s best when he’s combined with another back and he gets about 15-18 carries a game and the majority of those carries in the 4th when the defense is tired. Ingram/Blount would be a great combo and add to the extremely talented offense that they’re building with Josh Freeman, Mike Williams, and Arrelious Benn.
Previous Pick: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Other possibilities: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri; Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
21. Kansas City Chiefs- Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor Bears: Taylor could be a plug in the middle of the Kansas city defense. The Chiefs need to upgrade the nose tackle position—which has become more and more valuable as teams switch to the 3-4 alignment. Taylor is the best nose tackle prospect in this draft and at #21 overall could be a good value.
Previous Pick: Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
Other possibilities: Justin Houston, DE, Georgia; Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri
22. Indianapolis Colts- Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State Bulldogs: Peyton Manning is on the back slope of his career. They must protect him as if he was made of glass. Bringing in Sherrod would be the first step, but they should also look to add a few other linemen in this draft.
Previous Pick: Derek, Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
Other possibilities: Danny Watkins, G, Baylor; Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
23. Philadelphia Eagles- Brandon Harris, CB, Miami Hurricanes: Once considered a surefire first rounder, Harris is now in the second round of most mock drafts. We think he’s the second best cornerback in this draft behind Peterson, though, and think that some team will agree with us. The Eagles need help at corner and at 23rd overall, getting this year’s second best corner prospect isn’t bad.
Previous Pick: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
Other possibilities: Danny Watkins, G, Baylor; Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
24. New Orleans Saints- Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri Tigers: Smith will come off the edge and force pressure on the opposing quarterback unlike what any of the Saints opponents saw from them in 2010. I would expect Smith to start early and never look back. There’s not much depth at defensive tackle in New Orleans, or talent for that matter.
Previous Pick: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
Other possibilities: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue; Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
25. Seattle Seahawks- Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri Tigers: We think Gabbert is going to fall further than most believe. A team could trade up into the top three to take him, but if things stay as they are now, Gabbert could slide into the latter half of the top ten or even out of it to a team like Minnesota or Miami. He probably won’t fall to the Seahawks here, but we’re going by what we think these teams should do rather than what we think they will do. Seattle needs to find a successor to Matt Hasselbeck.
Previous Pick: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
Other possibilities: Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech; Jake Locker, QB, Washington
26. Baltimore Ravens- Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado Buffaloes: Baltimore could have been contending for the Super Bowl if they had any decent cornerbacks last season. Jimmy Smith has some questions concerning whether his heart is in it as a football player or if he just wants the celebrity that comes with it. Any team that gets him will get a playmaker for a couple solid years, but after his first free agent contract he may turn into an Albert Haynesworth and not put in the work anymore.
Previous Pick: Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
Other possibilities: Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami; Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA
27. Atlanta Falcons- Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue Boilermakers: Atlanta needs to find a pass rusher opposite John Abraham. Kerrigan is a good fit at defensive end in a 4-3 alignment like Atlanta’s. We don’t like him as a 3-4 outside linebacker as much.
Previous Pick: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
Other possibilities: Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami; Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia
28. New England Patriots- Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida Gators: We could basically repeat everything that we said about Peyton Manning right here. Pouncey will give Brady enough time to be able to throw the deep ball. When Brady has time in the pocket, that’s when he gets the ball to receivers over the top. Due to pressure last season, he missed a lot of those deep balls.
Previous Pick: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
Other possibilities: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA; Rodney Hudson, G/C, Florida State
29. Chicago Bears- Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin Badgers: The Bears have needs abound across the offensive line. They need a receiver, so Leonard Hankerson is a possibility here, but they need to first protect Jay Cutler.
Previous Pick: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
Other possibilities: Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami; Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
30. New York Jets- Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona Wildcats: Rex Ryan will rave about Reed and he would be extremely dangerous under his teachings. He’ll be a star in the league and if he goes to the Jets, he could grab about 8-12 sacks as a rookie.
Previous Pick: Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona
Other possibilities: Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami; Rodney Hudson, G/C, Florida State
31. Pittsburgh Steelers- Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa Hawkeyes: Pittsburgh could go a number of ways here. They could look at Curtis Brown at cornerback or could consider the best available interior lineman to upgrade the offensive line. We like them taking a value like Clayborn this late in the first round to upgrade the defensive line.
Previous Pick: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
Other possibilities: Rodney Hudson, G/C, Florida State; Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
32. Green Bay Packers- Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech Hokies: Ryan Grant is coming back, but how healthy will he be? Will he regain his old form again? James Starks stepped in for the injured Grant, but didn’t produce at the same level. The Packers are able to assume the worse and be prepared. Ryan Williams won’t be pressured to start right away. He’ll beat out Grant in the long run and should be the #2 going into the season. Williams and Grant would be hard for any defense to defend, especially when they have to worry about Aaron Rodgers and his receivers.
Previous Pick: Ryan William, RB Virginia Tech
Other possibilities: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia; Rodney Hudson, G/C, Florida State
33. New England Patriots (from Carolina Panthers)- Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA Bruins: The Patriots could consider Ayers late in the first round, but if he slips into the second, they’ll get even greater value.
34. Buffalo Bills- Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas Razorbacks: Windy conditions would be no match for Mallett’s big arm. Bills need to look to the future.
35. Cincinnati Bengals- Andy Dalton, QB, TCU Horned Frogs: Reports are that the Bengals like Dalton, but they could have to trade up to grab him.
36. Denver Broncos- Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Rudolph is a wildcard this year. He’s clearly the best tight end, but teams have so many other needs. If he falls to Denver here, they have to take him.
37. Cleveland Browns- Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami Hurricanes: Great value in the second round for Hankerson, and the Browns need to find help for Colt McCoy.
38. Arizona Cardinals- Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State Seminoles: Whisenhunt could view Ponder as the closest pocket passing quarterback to Kurt Warner.
39. Tennessee Titans- Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State Buckeyes: The Titans took Derrick Morgan a year ago and Jason Babin came up with a good season, but Babin is a free agent and the Titans could look to the draft for a replacement.
40. Dallas Cowboys- Curtis Brown, CB, Texas Longhorns: The Cowboys need to get better in the secondary and taking Amukamara in the first and Brown in the second is a good start. This could be a tackle as well.
41. Washington Redskins- Jake Locker, QB, Washington Huskies: The Redskins need to find a new passer and Shanahan likes mobile quarterbacks running the offense.
42. Houston Texans- Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA Bruins: We have Moore and Bowers both sliding in this Mock and Houston could be the beneficiary of both. Moore will help protect the corners by covering a ton of ground in centerfield.
43. Minnesota Vikings- Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina Tar Heels: Carter is a first-round talent who could slide into the second round because of injury concerns. Good value for the Vikings who need help at the position anyway.
44. Detroit Lions- Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia Cavaliers: The Lions are building quite the defense, but there are still a few areas that need help; cornerback is one of them.
45. San Francisco 49ers- Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia Bulldogs: The 49ers could look to address the pass rush in the first round with a guy like Robert Quinn, but if they wait and Houston falls to them here, they’ll snatch him up.
46. Denver Broncos (from Miami)- Greg Jones, ILB, Michigan State Spartans: The Broncos will look to add personnel that fits their switch back to the 4-3 alignment.
47. St. Louis Rams- Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh Panthers: The Rams may consider Torrey Smith here or pray that Leonard Hankerson falls to them, but Baldwin is talented receiver that would give Sam Bradford a big target in the passing game.
48. Oakland Raiders- Rodney Hudson, G/C, Florida State Seminoles: In our mind Hudson is a first round talent that is closer to Pouncey than most people realize. Steal to get him here.
49. Jacksonville Jaguars- Sam Acho, DE, Texas Longhorns: Jacksonville may have used their first several picks on defensive linemen last year, but the position remains an area of need.
50. San Diego Chargers- Taiwan Jones, RB, Eastern Washington: Jones is an off-the-radar guy, but we think he could go much, much higher than people think. He has a little Darren Sproles in him and Sproles is a free agent.
51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville Cardinals: Aqib Talib could be in a lot of trouble and Ronde Barber is in his mid-thirties.
52. New York Giants- Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois Fighting Illini: Almost gave them Mark Ingram in the first, but getting Leshoure here is a much better value.
53. Indianapolis Colts- Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina Tar Heels: Stopping the run has to be a goal of the Colts heading into next season. They play in a division that includes Maurice Jones-Drew, Arian Foster and Chris Johnson.
54. Philadelphia Eagles- Benjamin Ijalana, T/G, Villanova Wildcats: Mike Vick takes another risk with his health outside the pocket; it’s time that the Eagles make it less risky for him in the pocket.
55. Kansas City Chiefs- Jabaal Sheard, OLB, Pittsburgh Panthers: This is another team that could address their need at pass rush in the first round, but if they don’t they’ll have a few options in the second.
56. New Orleans Saints- Martez Wilson, ILB, Illinois Fighting Illini: The Saints will be able to start Wilson in the middle and kick Vilma to the outside with this pick. Martez has to become more physical, though.
57. Seattle Seahawks- Davon House, CB, New Mexico State Aggies: Kelly Jennings is expected to leave, meaning the Seahawks will probably use a high-round pick on a cornerback. House has been moving up draft boards.
58. Baltimore Ravens- Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland Terrapins: The Ravens need to inject some speed into their receiving corps.
59. Atlanta Falcons- Greg Little, WR, North Carolina Tar Heels: The Falcons need to find help opposite Roddy White. Little is extremely talented and could be picked as high as the second round despite missing last season due to the UNC scandal.
60. New England Patriots- Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State Wildcats: As good as New England is, this just doesn’t seem legal to give them all of these players. Thomas will get the bulk of the carries with fan favorite Danny Woodhead.
61. San Diego Chargers (from New York Jets)- Titus Young, WR, Boise State Broncos: The Chargers franchised Vincent Jackson, but Malcom Floyd is a free agent. Young could come in and play the slot. He’s got the potential to stretch the field.
62. Chicago Bears- Marcus Cannon, G, TCU Horned Frogs: If Chicago wants to stick with Jay Cutler, they have to make sure he’s comfortable in the pocket. Drafting Carimi and Cannon will have him sleeping like a baby at night…which suits him cause he tends to act like one during the day.
63. Pittsburgh Steelers- Stefen Wisniewski, C/G, Penn State Nittany Lions: Help along the interior line is going to be a target early in this year’s draft. Wisniewski would likely play guard next to pro bowl center Maurkice Pouncey.
64. Green Bay Packers- Jarvis Jenkins, DE, Clemson Tigers: The Packers will look for a pass rusher in the early rounds, but given those available in our mock, defensive end holds the better value.
65. Carolina Panthers- Tandon Doss, WR, Indiana Hoosiers: Whether the Panthers go with a quarterback in the first or stick with Jimmy Clausen for another year, they need to find some weapons in the passing game.
66. Cincinnati Bengals- Tyler Sash, SS, Iowa Hawkeyes: The Bengals get great play out of their corners, but now it’s time to get a strong safety to shore up the whole secondary.
67. Denver Broncos- Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh Panthers: Denver could use a change of pace back like Lewis behind Knowshon Moreno.
68. Buffalo Bills- James Carpenter, OT, Alabama Crimson Tide: Carpenter doesn’t have the quickest feet, but if he gets his hands on you, it’s over! Andy Dalton and C.J. Spiller on the roster both add value to this pick.
69. Arizona Cardinals- Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin Badgers: The Cardinals don’t have much at the tight end position. Kendricks was Wisconsin’s leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns.
70. Cleveland Browns- Quan Sturdivant, ILB, North Carolina Tar Heels: The Browns need someone to man the middle of the linebacker corps and Sturdivant may come out as the best of the bunch.
71. Dallas Cowboys- Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU Tigers: If Dallas doesn’t address the offensive line in the first two rounds, they’ll surly do so in the third.
72. New Orleans Saints- DeAndre McDaniel, SS, Clemson Tigers: Just like their 1st round pick, we have them getting another defensive player that can force turnovers with ease. McDaniel can play the run, but he has also had 8 interceptions in a single season.
73. Houston Texans- Dontay Moch, OLB, Nevada Wolf Pack: With Houston transitioning to the 3-4 defense, they’ll need to plug in guys who fit that scheme.
74. New England Patriots (from Minnesota Vikings)- Kendrick Ellis, NT, Hampton: Guess who’s back on the clock. The rich get richer here, as Belichek drafts their future at nose tackle who can split time with Vince Wilfork for the time being.
75. Detroit Lions- Mason Foster, OLB, Washington Huskies: Outside linebacker is another position that needs addressed on what is turning into a very good Detroit defense.
76. San Francisco 49ers- Chris Culliver, CB, South Carolina Gamecocks: The 49ers need to add some depth to the secondary and Culliver is a guy with good speed who’s being undervalued. He’s also played safety and the 49ers may look for an upgrade at that position, too.
77. Tennessee Titans- Colin McCarthy, ILB, Miami Hurricanes: The Titans have a few needs in the defensive front seven. McCarthy played three seasons at outside linebacker before moving inside, making him very versatile.
78. St. Louis Rams- DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma Sooners: Steven Jackson is a workhorse. Eventually he isn’t going to be able to carry the load. Murray is a 1st round talent with injury concerns. Sam Bradford will love him.
79. Miami Dolphins- Delone Carter, RB, Syracuse Orange: Miami would like to land Mikel Leshoure or Ryan Williams, but that won’t happen unless they trade back in the first to pick up more picks. Carter was a big reason for Syracuse’s success last year.
80. Jacksonville Jaguars- Deunta Williams, FS, North Carolina Tar Heels: The Jaguars need upgrades all over their secondary. Williams will be a great start. He covers a lot of ground and has a nose for the ball.
81. Oakland Raiders- Kendric Burney, CB, North Carolina Tar Heels: With Nnamdi Asomugha a free agent, the Raiders will have to find some players who can step in.
82. San Diego Chargers- James Brewer, OT, Indiana Hoosiers: The Chargers have to keep the stone-legged Rivers protected. Brewer is a big guy that should be a decent right tackle.
83. New York Giants- Lawrence Wilson, OLB, Connecticut Huskies: Outside linebacker is a position the Giants could address sooner, but get one of the draft’s best pure 4-3 outside linebackers in the third. Not bad.
84. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Nate Irving, ILB, North Carolina State Wolfpack: Raheem Morris is trying to rebuild that once-dominant Bucs defense. Irving could be the key piece in the middle.
85. Philadelphia Eagles- Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State Cowboys: The Eagles could look for a running back in the middle rounds to join LeSean McCoy in the backfield.
86. Kansas City Chiefs- Jake Kirkpatrick, C, TCU Horned Frogs: The Chiefs have to get younger at center; what better way than by selecting one of college football’s best centers?
87. Indianapolis Colts- Clint Boling, G, Georgia Bulldogs: Protecting Peyton Manning is priority number one in Indy. Boling would join Sherrod in forming a young nucleus of talent on the line of scrimmage.
88. New Orleans Saints- Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy Trojans: Fantasy football owners realize that every week a new Saints’ receiver has a huge game. The reason is that Brees doesn’t have a go-to guy. Colston is good, but not elite. Jernigan can stretch the field and give Drew a Jacoby Ford-type guy.
89. San Diego Chargers- Brandon Burton, CB, Utah Utes: The Chargers may look for another cornerback to add depth to the secondary.
90. Baltimore Ravens- Christian Ballard, DE, Iowa Hawkeyes: Upgrading the defensive end spot may be a goal of the Ravens and Ballard is a guy who would be a good value late in the third round.
91. Atlanta Falcons- John Moffitt, G, Wisconsin Badgers: With two starting guards in free agency, getting a talent like Moffitt in case either one leaves is a worthwhile goal for the Falcons, who need to ensure that Matt Ryan stays upright.
92. New England Patriots- Quinton Carter, FS, Oklahoma Sooners: Carter could add depth to the free safety position in New England, and Brandon Meriweather has just one more year on his contract.
93. Chicago Bears- Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU Tigers: Jay Cutler was at his best when he had a big target like Brandon Marshall. Toliver may not be Marshall, but he’s a big guy that should help the Chicago passing game.
94. New York Jets- Allen Bailey, DE, Miami Hurricanes: Once considered a fringe first round talent, his stock has plummeted because he didn’t test well. The tape shows that he makes plays and Rex Ryan will trust the tape.
95. Pittsburgh Steelers- Jalil Brown, CB, Colorado Buffaloes: Brown’s been overshadowed by former teammate Jimmy Smith, but he’d step in and compete for playing time early in Pittsburgh.
96. Green Bay Packers- Chris Carter, OLB, Fresno State Bulldogs: Dom Capers will always make sure he doesn’t have a shortage of linebackers that can get after the quarterback. Carter will be next in line.
97. Carolina Panthers (compensatory)- D.J. Williams, TE, Arkansas Razorbacks: The Panthers continue to add weapons to the passing game. They signed recently signed Jeremy Shockey, but he’s not a long-term solution.