Evan Silva

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Mock Draft 1.0: Blackmon Falls

Monday, February 06, 2012



11. Chiefs -- Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin

Coming from Stanford's run-first, pro-style offense, Martin made 37 starts on Luck's blind side. He is an athletic tackle with quick feet, and capable of playing either side. In K.C., left tackle Branden Albert is entering a contract year. Free agent right tackle Barry Richardson must be replaced. G.M. Scott Pioli remains committed to Matt Cassel, but the Chiefs will need to keep him upright and healthy if Cassel is to have any chance of fulfilling the potential the front office envisions.

12. Seahawks -- Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll's scheme stresses run stoppage at left defensive end, employing a "five technique" on the strong side of his 4-3 alignment. Seattle may lose incumbent Red Bryant to free agency, and is likely looking to upgrade after his disappointing contract season. While Still is a bit lighter in the pants (6'5/307) than Bryant (6'4/323), the upgrade in terms of pass-rush ability would be significant and welcomed for a defense that finished the season ranked 22nd in sacks.

13. Cardinals -- Stanford guard David DeCastro

The Cardinals may hope Martin falls to No. 13, but they need just as much help on the interior as Deuce Lutui enters free agency and incumbent right guard Rex Hadnot returns from a poor year. A first-team All-American, DeCastro projects as an instant difference maker at Hadnot's position.

14. Cowboys -- North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins

During Senior Bowl interviews, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones pinpointed the secondary as Dallas' greatest area of offseason need. Jenkins is feisty and physical, fluid in the hips with ball skills and a willingness to hit. Assuming his background checks out after three marijuana-related arrests at Florida, Jenkins won't struggle to be a top-20 choice. He'd be a day-one starter for the Cowboys.

15. Eagles -- Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright

The Eagles figure to look elsewhere if they re-sign free agent DeSean Jackson, but there are no guarantees after D-Jax's petulance caused in-season turmoil and his production sagged. Wright is a more versatile wideout than Jackson, having excelled both from the slot and out wide. With a 42-inch vertical and 4.3 speed, Wright is also the premier deep threat in this year's receiver class.

16. Jets -- Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon

Blackmon is a media darling after twice winning college football's Biletnikoff Award and scoring three touchdowns in the Fiesta Bowl, two on busted coverages and the third on a badly blown tackle. NFL teams will not grade Blackmon as a top-ten prospect after he runs a 4.55-4.60 at the Combine. Blackmon would fit in New York, however, as a physical, possession-type No. 2 receiver to book end Santonio Holmes. Free agent Plaxico Burress is certain to move on.

17. Bengals -- Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick

Cornerback has gone from Cincinnati's defensive strength to a weakness in the span of one year. Top corner Leon Hall is coming off a torn Achilles', and the Bengals were unable to replace 2011 free agent loss Johnathan Joseph. Kirkpatrick's January 17 arrest for marijuana possession may remove him from some teams' draft boards, but not Cincinnati's. A physical cornerback with rare length, Kirkpatrick would be a consummate fit for coordinator Mike Zimmer's press-man scheme.

18. Chargers -- Illinois outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus

Chargers GM A.J. Smith's pursuit of pass rush seems never-ending, but he's on the prowl once again this offseason. No pass rusher in the nation accomplished more than Mercilus in 2011. The Ted Hendricks Award winner led the NCAA in sacks (16) and forced fumbles (9), also pacing the Big Ten in tackles for loss (22.5). Mercilus is rough around the edges and must transition from college end to pro 3-4 outside linebacker, but his production will be difficult for Smith to overlook.

19. Bears -- Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd

While his run-after-catch skills aren't quite on par, Floyd's game resembles old Jay Cutler pal Brandon Marshall's more so than any draft-eligible wideout. At 6-foot-3, 229, Floyd is a physical specimen with experience at all three receiver positions, respectable 4.5 speed, and a work ethic that has resulted in annual improvement. Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice has prioritized finding a playmaking receiver this offseason. If Chicago emerges from free agency without one and Floyd is available at No. 19, the Bears' first-round draft card couldn't be turned in too quickly.

20. Titans -- Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe

Poe's collegiate resume doesn't jump off the page, but the athletic, 6-foot-5, 350-pound behemoth will be coveted on draft day. Titans defensive line coach Tracy Rocker is still in search of wide bodies to execute his scheme. While returning rookies Karl Klug and Jurell Casey flashed promise as first-year pass rushers at 300 pounds or less, Poe would add a new dimension as an immovable nose tackle capable of attracting double teams and swallowing up enemy ball carriers.

21. Bengals -- Boise State running back Doug Martin

The Bengals are moving on from free agent Cedric Benson, whose lack of versatility had limiting effects on coordinator Jay Gruden's West Coast offense. Martin is the anti-Benson as a skilled pass protector and smooth receiver with surprising power for a 5-foot-9, 219-pound runner. Also unlike Benson, Martin has speed to go the distance. He'll run in the 4.4s at the Scouting Combine.


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Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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