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.