Evan Silva

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Mock Draft 1.0: Blackmon Falls

Monday, February 06, 2012



22. Browns -- USC defensive end Nick Perry

The Browns determined quickly that 2011 No. 37 overall pick Jabaal Sheard's best position is left end, and Sheard held down the fort effectively with 8.5 rookie-year sacks and a team-high five forced fumbles. Right end remains a glaring need in Cleveland, however, and Perry could fit the bill as a 250-pound rusher with quick-twitch athleticism and speed to give left tackles fits.

23. Lions -- Ohio State left tackle Mike Adams

Incumbent Lions left tackle Jeff Backus is entering his age-35 season without a contract, and coming off surgery to repair a torn biceps muscle. Right tackle Gosder Cherilus is in the last year of his rookie deal. It's past time G.M. Martin Mayhew began taking offensive line upgrades seriously. While Adams' consistency has come under fire, the 6-foot-7, 323-pound prospect has as high a ceiling as any pass protector in this year's draft. In a best-case scenario, the Lions could get one more season out of Backus and turn to Adams on Matthew Stafford's blind side by 2013.

24. Steelers -- Georgia guard/tackle Cordy Glenn

Glenn needs technical work and many teams will project him to guard, but the Steelers value effectiveness over mechanics with a preference for big bodies. At 6-foot-6, 346 with 35-inch arms, Glenn is a ready-made Steelers lineman. He'd be a Week 1 starter in Pittsburgh, at guard if Willie Colon stays outside or tackle if Colon moves to the interior. Another option would be to keep RT Marcus Gilbert in place, kick Colon to guard, and start Glenn on Ben Roethlisberger's left side.

25. Broncos -- Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox

It's a credit to outgoing defensive coordinator Dennis Allen's staff that Denver applied consistent pressure in 2011 with no pass-rush threat from the interior. Broncos defensive tackles combined for four sacks, and they all came from rotational lineman Ryan McBean. Starter Brodrick Bunkley is a free agent, and the Broncos should consider anything they get from injury-prone Ty Warren a bonus in 2012. While Cox is an angular inside presence at 6-foot-4, 295, he could at least be an upgrade on McBean while working to fill out his frame. Cox has a ways to go as a run defender.

26. Texans -- South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore

Houston defensive coordinator Wade Phillips likes his cornerbacks physical, aggressive, and to play press-man. Drawing Quentin Jammer comparisons for his size (6'1/193) and fondness for disrupting routes at the line, Gilmore would be a more than adequate replacement for free agent CB Jason Allen. This pick could also make up for 2010 first-round bust Kareem Jackson.

27. Patriots -- LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers

The Pats primarily ran a 4-3 defense in 2011, but coach Bill Belichick likely would have preferred to be more "multiple." While Brockers has not yet developed a pass-rushing repertoire, he is a power player at 6-foot-6, 306 and just turned 21 years old. Brockers would play five-technique defensive end in 3-4 looks, providing a considerable talent upgrade on Brandon Deaderick.

28. Packers -- Miami running back Lamar Miller

Green Bay waddled through the 2011 season with a pedestrian backfield, averaging under 4.0 yards per rushing attempt. Missing was a homerun-hitter at tailback capable of exploiting lanes created by a lethal passing attack. With Ryan Grant entering free agency and 2011 third-round pick Alex Green failing to earn playing time before a torn left ACL, running back is a need area for the Green and Yellow. Miller has 4.3 jets and run skills to diversify one of the NFL's top offenses.

29. Ravens -- Wake Forest wide receiver Chris Givens

It's no secret that Baltimore's offense sputtered in 2011 due to the receivers' continued struggles to create separation. Torrey Smith flashed improved route running down the stretch, but remains a project entering his second season. Anquan Boldin's game is eroding going on age 32, and Lee Evans will be a roster bonus casualty. A surefire Combine riser, Givens has drawn Antonio Brown comparisons as a dangerous downfield threat who beat out higher-profile wideouts like North Carolina's Dwight Jones and N.C. State's T.J. Graham for first-team All-ACC honors in 2011.

30. 49ers -- Alabama safety Mark Barron

Barron is a methodical, intelligent safety with experience at both free and strong. A playmaker on the ball, Barron recorded 12 interceptions at Alabama, learning pro-style concepts in the back end of Nick Saban's 3-4. He was a two-time first-team All American. Two of San Francisco's top three safeties are free agents (Dashon Goldson, Reggie Smith), and Barron is a value pick at No. 30.

31. Patriots -- Appalachian State wide receiver Brian Quick

Quick generated mixed Senior Bowl reviews, but his regular season tape was indicative of a top-50 prospect, and his long-term upside is as high as any wideout who will be drafted. A vicious crack-back blocker with vertical tools, Quick is an unselfish player in the Patriots' mold. New England's offense forces defenses to leave outside receivers in single coverage, but they currently lack the personnel to exploit potential mismatches. This was especially evident in Sunday's Super Bowl loss, as Deion Branch and Chad Ochocinco were non-factors at a time they needed to step up with Rob Gronkowski hobbled. Quick could be the answer.

32. Giants -- Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly

New York essentially played the 2011 campaign without a middle linebacker. Ex-starter Jonathan Goff missed the season with a torn ACL, the Greg Jones experiment predictably failed, and street free agent signee Chase Blackburn closed out the year "starting," but was removed from as many packages as possible. In oft-used nickel sets, the Giants employed three safeties with rookie Jacquian Williams and Michael Boley as the lone two linebackers. Kuechly could turn a weakness into a strength. He is an incredibly efficient tackler and athletic enough to play on all three downs.

Just Missed: South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery, Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden, Arizona State LB Vontaze Burfict, North Carolina LB Zach Brown, LSU WR Rueben Randle, Boise State S George Iloka, Virginia Tech RB David Wilson, Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard, Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy, Clemson DT Brandon Thompson, Notre Dame S Harrison Smith, Arizona State QB Brock Osweiler, Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu, Washington RB Chris Polk, Nebraska DT Jared Crick, Alabama LB Dont'a Hightower, Georgia TE Orson Charles, Clemson TE Dwayne Allen, Washington DT Alameda Ta'amu, Wisconsin C Peter Konz, Iowa State T/G Kelechi Osemele.



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



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