Welcome back everyone. We decided to simply consolidate the last two draft submissions into one giant Draft Extravaganza! Now the Houston Texans are on the clock. Our first ten picks can be found here.
The Big Socrates: With the 11th overall pick, the Houston Texans select, Robert Quinn, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, North Carolina.
Analysis: With the way the draft is rounding out, Quinn is easily the best player available at this spot. Switching to the 3-4 is going to be tough for already the worst defense in the league, but adding a talent like Quinn could definitely change the fortune for this team on D. The problem with Quinn is to try to figure out how much of the rust is there from sitting out for a season. Plus, he won’t have offseason workouts for awhile so it’ll be almost 2 solid years without any real competition to go up against (ruled ineligible along with Marvin Austin last season). He definitely has the physical tools to be a standup guy in a 3-4 though he played with his hand in the ground next to Marvin where they were quite the disruptive duo. In reality it might actually be Quinn, but I also see Jones here as well and while he’d definitely be the best player available, he’d be on offense, and I think he’d be an incredible addition playing opposite Andre Johnson. We shall see where my hometown Texans decide to go.
*Note-There’s also plenty of talk going around of the Texans making some moves to enter the Top 10 looking to either get Von Miller or Patrick Peterson. I would love the move up to get Patrick but I think if they try to load up for Von, they’ll be giving up way too much in the process.
Mark: Pick #12 The Los Angeles Vikings… errr, I mean Minnesota Vikings select Da’Quan Bowers, Clemson University
Analysis: First thing I have to say is that this may end up being the hardest pick to project. Like the Cowboys, the Vikings don’t have that many holes, so it’s hard to project in what direct they will go. Their biggest need is of course quarterback, but at this point in the draft, I don’t think there is a QB worthy of taking right here. Maybe they go with Jake Locker here, but I think it’s too early and personally I think Washington is taking him at ten. Maybe they’ll get lucky and Newton or Gabbert falls here (hey, those delusional Vikings fans thought Favre had another year in him right?), but I think Bowers is where they’ll end up going.
Which brings me to my next point: look how far Bowers has fallen in the past few months. This guy was being talked about as a potential #1 pick a few months ago. I know there are the scares about his knee, and also that he may be a one-year wonder who feasted on a not-so-stellar ACC. I had completely forgotten about him and figured he was already taken until I did a little be of research for this pick. Minny’s best bet may be to trade down and get some more picks, and get into a better position to draft a QB, but I’ll give them Bowers with the 12th pick.
MichaelYoungHistory: With the 13th overall pick, the Detroit Lions select, Tyron Smith, Offensive Tackle, USC
Analysis: So, Detroit really wants Prince Amukamara…like REALLY BAD.They also want Bowers to line up beside Suh and dominate. But, since both those guys are likely to be gone, I think they go offensive linemen and get a franchise-level tackle in Tyron Smith. Everyone has this guy as the top OL in the draft. He played at USC and though they havent been as scary in the past few years as usual, this guy was one of their standouts. Also, Matt Stafford has been getting better and better, but he’s very injury prone, so getting a big tackle to protect his blind side would be a great pick. They need a healthy Stafford to make anything happen this year…
TBS: With the 14th overall pick, the St. Louis Rams select… Corey Liuget, Defensive Tackle, Oregon State.
Analysis: The Rams want a big time weapon for Sam Bradford. Badly. The problem is that unless they move up in the draft, one of those top tier blue chip wide receivers (like Julio Jones) will be gone. As a result of that, they will probably be adding depth to their DLine which is good but could be great with Liuget. He’d be paired with other first round pick, defensive end, Chris Long. You get the feeling that St. Louis is on the verge and that this draft will be pivotal in deciding where they go from here.
Mark: With the 15th pick, the Miami Dolphins select Mark Ingram, Running Back, University of Alabama
Analysis: Every mock draft that I have read since the end of the NFL season has pegged Ingram to the Dolphins. Usually when this many people agree on something it doesn’t work out. Only way I can see Ingram not ending up in Miami is if they trade down. There are a lot of questions about the health of Ingram’s knees, but I think that is just a case of looking for ways to nit-pick at Ingram. There is also talks of this kid from Illinois being picked before Ingram. And I use the term “this kid” for a reason. Nobody has ever heard of him and he has one big game against Northwestern at Wrigley field and all of sudden he’s a first round pick. I’m not buying it. I think Miami would be foolish to pass on Ingram. Count me in the camp that Ingram is going to be GREAT. He dominated as freshman and sophmore and I think he may have been costing a bit this year in order to save himself for the pros. Ingram may be the last running back we see the Heisman in a very long time with the way the college game is gravitating toward the spread and do-everything quarterbacks. Ingram, in my opinion, is a can’t miss prospect.
MYH: With the 16th pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars select, Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
Analysis: Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have anywhere between 12-15 defensive linemen taken in the first round of this draft. Clearly, the getting is good if you need help on the D-line, and Jacksonville fits the bill. In their final five games in which they were chasing down a playoff spot, Jacksonville had only 3 sacks. They haven’t had a big-name pass rusher since…uh…Aaron Kampman? (injured all year last year, tore his ACL…again)
Kerrigan never stops working and was a 3 year starter at Purdue. He’d be a nice fit and may be starting week 1 next year (depending on the lockout). Also, there is some talk that Jacksonville wants the home-state kid in Christian Ponder to eventually replace David Gerrard, but I think they’ll try to snag a QB a bit later. Who knows…Ponder could even be there waiting for them in R2…
TBS: With the 17th pick, the New England Patriots select, Cameron Jordan, Defensive End, California
Analysis: The Patriots have two picks in each of the 1st 3 rounds. They have three drastic needs: DE (they have had no pass rush since letting go of Richard Seymour), WR (they thought they’d be ok without Moss but they need a field stretcher because when the Jets just played coverage, they had no chance of winning that game), and Oline (still need some added depth here). Cameron Jordan could be the man for the job. A big defensive end/tackle who can move up and down the line and fill the DE need. He finished his senior year with 12.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks and helped to lead that Cal defense to a near upset against Oregon who barely managed to score 15 points (they were averaging 50+).
Mark: With the 18th pick, the Los Angeles Chargers… sorry another slip, San Diego Chargers select Aldon Smith, Defensive End, Missouri
Analysis: Talk about a run on defensive linemen. The Chargers have had issues with their pass rush ever since Shawne Merriman quit juicing up. Smith will give them another piece for that front line that seems to be aging at a rapid pace. I can also see the Chargers going the Indy Colts route and continue drafting pieces for Phillip Rivers to throw too and berate when they mess up. If you remember, at one point near the end of last season they were signing practice squad players on Wednesdays and having to promote them to active roster on Sundays. You can never have too many weapons with a QB like Rivers.
One more note: look at some of the talent to come out of Missouri in the past drafts. Jeremy Maclin, Sean Weatherspoon, Gabbert, Smith, Chase Daniel… okay never mind that last one, but Gary Pinkel has found a lot of top talent, even if they weren’t highly regarded as recruits.
MYH: With the 19th pick, the New York Giants select, Anthony Castonzo, Offensive Tackle, Boston College
Analysis: So, I think the Giants want Mark Ingram, and they’d take them if he’s there. Bradshaw is a free agent (and had more fumbles than anyone in the league last year) and Brandon Jacobs is inconsistent as hell and does not have enough stamina to be “the guy.” They need someone to come in and split carries with him, especially if Bradshaw leaves. That being said, Ingram is the only RB worth taking this high. Without him, they’d go after a RB later in the draft (Ryan Williams, Mikel Leshoure, etc.)
In any other draft, getting the 2nd rated OL with the 19th pick would be a steal. Its still a nice pick, but since OL is considered a weakness for this draft, it won’t stand out to anyone. The Giant drafted Will Beatty awhile back, but so far he’s been pretty awful. Also, Tom Coughlin has ties to BC, so they’ll take a hard look at this guy. Castonzo had a great combine and is a good player, but the Giants will also be looking at Mike Pouncey.
TBS: With the 20th pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select, Justin Houston, Defensive End/Line Backer, Georgia
Analysis: The Bucs don’t have that many needs on offense besides perhaps a solid secondary receiver to Mike Williams. Defense is another issue. They don’t have very much of a pass rush to aid Gerald McCoy, last year’s 1st round pick. Justin can fill that role because he’s a tweener. He can play LB or DE. Both are needs for them. And now that Aqib Talib is in the news again for the Shootout at the OK Talib Corral, there’s a definite need for a replacement corner. Especially because they can’t continue to believe that the only good Barber twin (o_O to MYH) can sustain another oh….decade in the league. It’ll be interesting to see what they end up picking because you could also see them picking Jimmy Smith though I definitely don’t see them getting rid of Aqib with his problems and then drafting Jimmy with his issues off field (which I’ve heard he has but don’t know exactly what they are).
Mark: With the 21st pick in the NFL draft, the Kansas City Chiefs select, Mike Pouncey, Offensive Lineman, Florida
Analysis: Not sure what Belichick Jr (Todd Haley) has up his sleeve here. He may want to pull a Patriots and start drafting further and further down stock piling picks. I say he goes with strengthening the line and gets an interior lineman that can anchor a strong running game. We’ve have been Pouncey all draft, but have yet to pick. He has the potential to be the best player out of this group of lineman. With Jamaal Charles (who, might I add, I hated while he was at UT, but is another story for another day) and Thomas Jones, Matt Cassell will need a strong running game to build the play action passing game as he deals with another offensive philosophy change and Todd Haley screaming at him nonstop. I almost had the Chiefs taking Gabe Camiri, but I think Pouncey will end up being the better player and better fit for this team.
MYH: With the 22nd pick, the Indianapolis Colts select, Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
Analysis: This one is pretty simple: The Colts had some injuries on their O-Line that led to them having a hard time protecting the franchise, Peyton Manning, at times. Sure, they could use some weapons on the outside, as at times last year it felt like Peyton and 10 guys off the street vs. the league. Their WR’s are aging and they havent had a good RB since…since…uh…Anyway, they’ll look to address some playmakers on offense later in the draft, but as of now, they need to get an offensive lineman that can play if needbe. Oh, not to mention that their running game was ranked an awful 29th in the league last year…Yes, this pick is a no brainer.
Solder is arguably the best tackle left on the board, and fits the mold for the Colt’s OL of quickness as opposed to sheer size. Colorado had a decent running game the last few years and Solder was a big part of that.
TBS: With the 23rd pick, the Philadelphia Eagles select, Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
Analysis: The Eagles gave up 52 sacks last year. I hear those aren’t great numbers for an offense. Oh and by the way, that was with Mike Vick playing in most of those games. If Kevin Kolb were in there, he might’ve received another 2 or 3 concussions. With that said, offensive line is probably the best bet here. Wisconsin had one of the most monstrous offensive lines I’ve ever seen this year and was due in large part to Gabe here and other line mate, John Moffitt. Another possible selection is Jimmy Smith here as well because they have no one in their secondary that scares you aside from Asante Samuel.
Mark: With the 24th pick in the draft, the New Orleans Saints select Marvin Austin, Defensive Lineman, North Carolina
Analysis: The guy has the talent to be a top ten pick, but his Miami Vice party last summer got him and half his team suspended for the entire season (how is Butch Davis still employed at UNC after that fiasco… guess he’s thanking his lucky stars for the Tressel situation). The whole year off from football might worry some, but at the rate the lock-out is going, everyone could be having a year off coming up (deep breaths *please let there be football, please let there be football* exhale). The Saints are the type of team that is willing to take a risk on a player like Austin, and he should be a good fit in Gregg Williams defense. Also could see them getting another running back since they were pulling people out of the stands by the end of the Seattle playoff game but I don’t think Mikel Leshoure is worthy of a first round pick, so maybe in round two. Let’s face it…. they need defense….
MYH: With the 25th pick, the Seattle Supersonics (errrr…Seahawks) select, Jake Locker, QuarterBack, Washington
Analysis: So this pick seems like a no brainer. Had Jake Locker forgone his senior year and left to the NFL last year, most of the experts said he would have been the top pick, and definitely a top 5 guy. He instead went back to Washington, had an awful year, and is now projected as a late first rounder. He regressed as a passer this year and didn’t win much, including an awful 4-20 performance against Nebraska. Some have him going to New England, but I don’t think he drops that far. The Seahawks want Locker and will take him if he’s there, which I think he will be. Locker is a hometown guy (played at Washington) and is a tough-minded athletic qb. He has all the physical skills, but his only problem is a big one; accuracy. Colin Cowherd aptly summed up Jake Locker by saying he’s attractive b/c he runs like a linebacker, but the bad thing is that sometimes he THROWS like a linebacker too…YIKES.
Sure, Seattle has Matt Hasselbeck, but he’s had his share of struggles and injury problems. Also, this actually benefits Locker, who needs a few years behind an all-pro level guy in order to mature. Washington has no QB of the future (apologies to Clipboard Jesus aka Charlie Whitehurst). The fanbase would love this pick, and even if he isnt the starter, given Hasselbeck’s injury record, he’ll get his share of snaps this year. We’ll see if Washington and “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch can make the playoffs this year, but Locker won’t be a major part of that unless there’s an injury.
TBS: With the number 26th pick, the Baltimore Ravens select, Jimmy Smith, Cornerback, Colorado
Analysis: So I’ve toyed around with Jimmy Smith going to 3 other teams in previous draft submissions and this is where the guy finally comes off the board. Baltimore has had no great corner on this team since Chris McAlister and Gary Baxter were dominant back in ’04. That is an extremely long time with just meh corners and Ed Reed at safety. Jimmy Smith will be a solid corner for them. I think there is a wide gap between Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara, I think there isn’t much of a gap between these two former Big XII corners. Jimmy’s off the field issues may keep a lot of teams from selecting him in earlier selections in this 1st round, but if he tries any of that in Ray Lewis’, Terrell Suggs’, and Ed Reed’s locker room, it’ll be one of the last things he does. Trust me.
Mark: With the 27th pick, the Atlanta Falcons select, Adrian Clayborn, Defensive End, Iowa
Analysis: Guys, I’m gonna be honest with y’all: I don’t like this pick for Atlanta at all. Atlanta doesn’t have a good history of drafting defensive linemen, and Clayborn has a lot of question marks coming in, namely the nerve damage in his right shoulder that limits his movement and has limited his upper body strength. Clayborn has toughed it out and has excelled for a big time school, but I just think he’ll be able to do that at the NFL level. Atlanta also is looking at a corner in the first round, but Jimmy Smith is going right in front of them in this situation and I don’t think this is the right spot for Aaron Williams (truthfully, I hope he somehow ends up in Dallas if we don’t get Peterson or Prince). With all of his question marks, I think Clayborn could be another defensive line disaster for Atlanta. Nothing against him, it’s just that they all can’t be good picks. I think Atlanta would be smart to move down, trading the pick to one of the teams looking at QBs and gaining future first rounder.
MYH: With the 28th pick, the New England Patriots select, Akeem Ayers, Line Backer, UCLA
Analysis: This is the Pats’ 2nd pick in this round, and they have about 100 picks in the first few rounds. They’ve already gotten alot of calls about trading out of either this pick or their earlier one, so I think they’ll trade this pick away to a team that wants to move back some. That being said, if they do draft here, I think this is the guy. They’ve already drafted Cam Jordan in our mock draft so that addresses their D-line issues. They would love Mark Ingram here, but I don’t think he’ll be around this late, so they’ll get a RB in round 2 or 3. Ayers is a versatile guy that can give the Pats a little more of a pash rush from the outside. Some people have a 2nd round grade on the guy, but the pick fits here.
TBS: With the 29th pick, the Chicago Bears select, Derek Sherrod, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi State
Analysis: Offensive line, the Achilles’ heel for the Bears for easily the last several years. They would’ve addressed this last year had they not used their 1st round pick in the Julius Peppers trade. They need help here, BAD. Sherrod is the best Olinemen available at this position and it would make the most sense to grab him if he’s still here. Get Cutler some help to cut down on his picks. Another possible slot here could be cornerback and that could be ex-Longhorn Aaron Williams. Either or could work.
Mark: With the 30th (and my final pick, sad day) pick, the New York Jets select Phil Taylor, Defensive Lineman, Baylor University
Analysis: I think the Jets will be in a tough spot if none of the rush linebackers are left on the board by the time they pick. Rex Ryan knows how to get to the quarterback, but they still don’t have a stud end like he had with Terrell Suggs back in Baltimore. They don’t have any extra picks to move up and get get one of the last impact rushers. In the end, I think they may move down with one of the QB needy teams with early 2nd round picks (Tennessee, Washington, Cincinnati, and Minnesota come to mind) in order to get some extra picks (the Jets don’t have a 2nd round pick).
I went with Taylor in my pick because if they do decide stay, Taylor is the best 3-4 nose tackle available in the draft. He has huge talent and is huge himself, so he’ll eat up a lot of space and blockers, allowing Rex to do his thing with his pass rushes. His foot injury has been scaring some teams off, but since there won’t be football anytime soon (I think I’m gonna jump into a pile of old, broken, and jagged copies of past Madden games if we don’t have football Sundays) Taylor should have plenty of time to heal.
Final thought: ?ow sad is it that an Aggie and a Baylor Bear (and possibly two Bears if Danny Watkins is picked) could be chosen before a Longhorn? I blame Greg Davis and Garrett Gilbert.
MYH: With the 31st pick, the Pittsburgh Steelers select, Aaron Williams, Corner Back, Texas
Analysis: Ah, yes, the first Longhorn taken off the board well after the first Aggie. <Sigh> Anyway, as y’all saw in the Super Bowl, Pittsburgh’s weakness is their secondary, specifically their cornerbacks, and has been for awhile now. The Steelers, for all their sucesss, haven’t had a pro-bowl corner since 1996! They don’t have a shut down corner, and outside of Palomalu (who gets hurt a bit too much for their tastes) nobody scares anyone in that Pittsburgh secondary. Aaron Williams is a solid play-making corner, and even though the Longhorns struggled this season, their defense was pretty good in spurts. Aaron is also versatile enough to play some FS, and although Ryan Clark is great on ESPN, he’s not that good of a safety. Solid pick here for the Steelers. By all indication, Aaron is a hard-worker so he’ll fit right in.
TBS: Sad day, the mock draft is officially ending with my selection so without further adieu, with the 32nd pick, the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers select, Cameron Heyward, Defensive End, Ohio State.
Analysis: It’s hard to believe that the son of Ironhead Heyward may still be on the board at this point. Cameron is a great talent and showed it in stretches at OSU. The problem is that in between those stretches were extreme lapses where he absolutely disappears. So the question becomes, can he be dominant or even just appear to be on the field, all game? This move also makes sense in the fact that Cullen Jenkins will be a free agent and if they don’t resign him, they’ll need to replace him.
That concludes our draft! Make sure to tune in to the NFL Draft starting Thursday at 8PM Eastern and see how we stacked up. Oh, and #LiftTheLockout
-The Big Socrates, MichaelYoungHistory, and Mark Rodriguez
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