2011 NFL Mock Draft: Who Goes Where And Why

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Mark Ingram- RB- Alabama

Some may argue that the Dolphins should consider taking a quarterback as fans think Chad Henne is not the answer or is Tyler Thigpen. Henne though has proven he can be productive in the NFL and maybe a vote of confidence from the Dolphins is exactly what he needs to get back on track. Running backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams chances of returning to the team are not the highest and given the uncertainty of free agency this year Miami decides to take the best running back in the draft in Alabama’s Mark Ingram. DeAngelo Williams is set to become a free agent and will not return to the Carolina Panthers, the Dolphins have expressed a strong desire to sign the one time elite back.

Cameron Jordan- DE- California

The Jaguars have allotof needs, too many to get into depth about. One of those needs though is defensive end after Aaron Kampman, their prized free agent acquisitionlast season, suffered his second major ACL injury in as many seasons. Cameron Jordan is the best defensive end still available and certainly helps them fix a very broken pass rush.

Nate Solder- OT- Colorado

If I was a betting man I would say that New England will trade down from this spot, which is their usual M.O, but let’s just assume that they stay and make a pick. There are some needs on the defensive line and in the linebacking core but given that Matt Light and Logan Mankins are both scheduled to become free agents it’s possible that the Patriots will notbe able to resign both. Nate Solder is the second best tackle in draft according to most analyst’s and by all accounts should have gone sooner in the draft. He fills a need and is a slight steal at seventeen.

Adrian Clayborn- DE- Iowa

The Chargers run a variable type 3-4 defense and while statistically they were good, offensively and defensively last season, they failed to make the play-offs. Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd could potentially depart in free agency but Rivers has proven he can be productive throwing to anybody, including the kid selling popcorn in the stands. A more glaring need is the defensive line where a whopping seven playersare scheduled to become free agents, hence the selection of a defensive end.

Tyron Smith-OT- USC

Williams Beatty has struggled as the starting left tackle and while it is tempting for the Giants to consider signing one of the availableILB or OLB left, Smith fills a much bigger need and will surely play a much more prominent role next season as he should be able to step in and start from day one.

Ryan Kerrigan- DE- Purdue

Raheem Morris was able to take one of the youngest teams in the NFL and reel off a ten win season to everyone’s amazement. Had they notbeen in the same division withthe Saints, who are a better team, they likely would have made the post season. Their secondary is clearly the strength of their defense and they now have some viable weapons on offense led by third year quarterback Josh Freeman. An Achilles heel for the Bucs last season was the rush defense, ranked 28th in the league, so the defensive line must be addressed. Kerrigan shined at the Senior Bowl and is one of the more elite defensive ends left in the draft. His addition helps the Buccaneers pass rush and certainly the rush defense.

Derek Sherrod- OT- Mississippi State

Four dire needs for the Chiefs – TE, OT, DT and OLB – all need to be addressed and looking at the available talent here at 21 the best available is offensive tackle Derek Sherrod.

Corey Liuget- DT- Colorado

The Colts, hobbled throughout the season at wide receiver and tight end, still managed to win their division and make the playoffs before losing to the New York Jets. Indianapolis needs some good offensive lineman but maybe more so need to improve their defensive line as rush defense was once again a liability. It just so happens defensive tackle Corey Liuget is still left and is among the best players still available.

Brandon Harris- CB- Miami

Finding depth on the offensive line, runing back, and linebacker should be priorities for the Eagles with so many impending free agents at these positions. Corner Ellis Hobbs is also slated ot hit free agency but likely Philadelphia will try and retain his services. Last season they were around the middle of the pack when it came to pass defense ranking 15th overall. If there is one thing we have learned in the modern NFL it’s that you can’t have too many healthy corner backs in such a pass happy league.

Mikel LeShoure- RB- Illinois

New Orleans is not necessarily coming off of a bad season but they did fail to win their play-off game ending their bid to repeat as Super Bowl champs. Early on in the season the team struggled with massive injuries to starting running backs and now with Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush possibly on the way out drafting a good, young runner makes allot of sense. Mikel LeShoure is still available here and a pick at twenty-four is the perfect spot to take the former Illinois running back. It’s arguable that the Saints needs to address DE and DT both here considering the lack of a true pass rush and a sixteenth ranked rush defense in 2010, LeShoure however is still the better player at 24 then any of the available defensive lineman.

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  • http://whodatdish.com Joshua

    I do agree that the Saints need a RB extremely bad that can carry the load without risk of injury, but, and its a big BUT, the saints need to go defensive line for their first round. I would say for them to pick up Heyward from Ohio State or even J.J Watt from Wisconsin, despite his knee injury. I do say that IF you are going to go for a RB in the first round then the only, and I MEAN ONLY RB you go for is INGRAM from Bama. That is it, Leshoure is great I will give him that, but if you use your 1st round draft to go RB again, after a bust that Bush has been, then you go INGRAM, and NO ONE ELSE. I do understand you see Miami taking INGRAM, so by that you go defense instead of offense, there will be tons of talent later on in the draft for the saints to pick up for the RB position, or even Leshoure will be there in the 2nd round. So my prediction, GO DEFENSIVE LINE TO COMPLIMENT WILL SMITH, AND ELLIS, AND THEN AND ONLY THEN AFTER YOU FIX THAT HOLE YOU WORRY ABOUT YOUR RB. BECAUSE THE SAINTS WILL SCORE POINTS NO MATTER WHO THEY RUN, BUT WE NEED TO GET BETTER PRESSURE AND BETTER RUN DEFENSE TO REALLY ESTABLISH OURSELVES AS THE LEADER OF THEN NFC SOUTH, AND I SEE WATT OR HEYWARD DOING THAT FOR US. I WILL SAY I DO HOPE THAT THE SAINTS USE THEIR LAST PICK AND TAKE JASPER FROM LSU, BECAUSE HE IS THE PRIME DEFINITION OF CLUTCH KICKER.

    • Keith Null

      Joshua-

      I agree with you and do think the Saints need to upgrade at defensive end, defensive tackle and even outside linebacker.

      However the Saints will not reach for a player just because they have a need for a specific positon. They have proven they are not afraid to take the best players availible.

      Look at last years draft when everyone bagged them for taking Florida State cornerback Patrick Robinson in the first round when everyone said they needed a linebacker.

      After that of course they would move one to select a tight end and offenisve tackle, again two positions they seemed to be in great shape.

      Going through this mock it just so happened LeShoure was there at 24, when in fact he carries a higher grade than the 24th spot.

      Yes, both Watt and Heyward were still availible, but from the view point of who was the highest rated players availible it was without questions LeShoure.

      It would be nice to get Ingram bur I doubt he will still
      be around when the Saints pick at 24.

      A little background on LeShoure and he starts to look better and better.

      -Averaged six yards per carry last season
      -Rushed for almost 1700 yards
      -Scored 17 rushing touchdowns
      -Stands 6-foot-1, weighs 230 pounds and had been called the “premier power/speed combo back” in the draft.

      Given Ivory’s injury, Bush’s contract and Thomas’ injury and contract situation I’ll take LeShoure any day of the week.

  • Russ D.

    Great mock, well thought out. The best I’ve seen yet.

    • Keith Null

      Russ-

      Thank you my friend and please stay tuned into Whodatdish.con as we continue updating our mocks and covering the draft.

      Keth, Lead Writer

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  • AK47

    Where’s Akeem Ayers lol? He’s definitely a first rounder and if he’s available when the Saints pick at 24, you best believe we’re grabbing him

  • NJ Saintsman

    I’d much rather see the Saints draft a pure pass rusher with their #1 pick. Those guys are usually gone in the first 15 picks, but this draft is so deep in defensive front-7 players that a really good one (Clayborn, Aldon Smith, Houston, Kerrigan) could fall to us at 24. Watt & Heyward are nice players, but lack the speed & pure pass-rush ability of the four I mentioned. The Saints have a history of finding RB’s much later and there are several good FA possibilities (D. Williams, A. Bradshaw, R. Brown) available. We also need to draft a tackle or guard early to eventually replace Stinchcomb or Nicks if (god forbid) we lose him. At LB, because of an ACL injury, a great talent like Bruce Carter could fall to the late 2nd or early 3rd round. I think he would pay major dividends down the road.

  • Frank

    Agree Dareus would be a nice addition to their DL…but, the three highest team priorities are CB, OLB/pass rusher and QB. Harbaugh’s not thrilled with this QB crop…the guy he really wants is still at Stanford. So, I’d expect them to pick either Amukamara or Von Miller. I think it’s also very possible they’d pull the trigger on Ponder, maybe in 2nd or 3rd rd, depending how he ascends draft boards. Still, I wouldn’t be disappointed if Dareus was there at #7.

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  • Matt

    Regarding the Chiefs, neither OT or TE is considered by anyone to be an “urgent” need. We drafted TE Tony Moeki last year (who proved to be a stud) and both of our young, OT’s continue to play better.

    However you are right that NT and OLB are needs.

    The Chief’s 3-4 defense still lacks a real NT to plug the middle and demand double teams. The Chiefs also need a second, quality OLB to rush the passer opposite Tamba Hali.

    The other two positions which the Chiefs need to address are WR and OC.

    When Dwayne Bowe got shut out last year, the Chiefs offense struggled to find a capable no. 2

    Likewise, when we played opponants with large and physical defensive lines (Raiders and Ravens) the center of our line caved in.

    So you got it half right-

    NT, OLB, OC and WR.

    Those are the Chiefs four most pressing needs.

  • twodog51

    I agree that Mark Ingram from Alabama would be the only running back I’d consider in the first round. I really like Akeem Ayers from UCLA or Justin Houston from Georgia but they both may be gone by the time we pick. I say we draft the BPA in the first then try to pick up a Linebacker in the second round. Add a Safety in the third. Then an OT. Save the last pick for the LSU kicker and give Heartly some Competition when camp starts.

  • Waldoon

    Interesting Mock. Don’t see NE taking Solder for two reasons 1) Tackle – NE has their left tackle of the future currently playing right tackle Sabastien Volmer. 2) Guard – The consensus is that Solder looked horrid at guard at the Senior Bowl and there are best Guards and Right Tackles available later in the draft. NE will take at DE at 17 if they keep the pick.

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  • Josh

    Corey Liuget is coming out of Illinois not Colorado.

    • Keith Null

      Josh-

      Yep, Illinois not Colorado – oversight on my behalf.