2011 NFL Draft Thread (Pre-Combine Edition)

Now that underclassmen have declared, and some seniors are getting face-time for scouts at the college all-star games, I think we can start drooling over first-rounders and calling dibs on late-rounders.

I admit it. In the last few years I’ve become a total (amateur) draftnik. But with limited time, I have to mainly focus on my team, the 49ers. We sit at #7 in the first round. I don’t like any of the QBs that high, but our pass defense needs improvement. A pass rusher like Marcell Dareus or Robert Quinn, or the corner from Nebraska, Prince Amukamara, would be helpful. At this point, I’d go with Amukamara.

For a QB in later rounds, Ponder might be there in the 2nd (or 3rd). He’d be a good fit with the West Coast system Jim Harbaugh is going to run. However, I’ve been a Colin Kaepernick fan for years, now, and I officially call dibs on him and on Oregon receiver Jeff Maehl.

Link to Omni’s early Mock Draft thread.

It’s so refreshing to be so involved in the games being played (Go Packers!!!) that I have done little to no research about the draft at all. I know I want the Packers to grab a OT in the first round, a 3-4 OLB in the second, and then grab high risk/high reward guys. The one thing having so many injuries this year has taught us (GO PACKERS1!!) is that the Packers have some pretty good depth, so beyond those two positions, there’s no real catastropic needs. I’d love Sherrod, but he won’t be there at 32 (GO PACKERS!!!), so hopefully we’ll settle for Castonzo or Carimi. And that’s about the extent of my knowledge right now.

Oh yeah, GO PACKERS!!!

Ah, the real postseason - the Draft. I think the Lions are going to be looking at defense. Ideally, they’ll get one of the top tier cornerbacks. I get the feeling the guy from Florida will start rising up the boards.

Man, I wish we could draft Peterson, out of LSU. From what I hear, he’s clearly the best cornerback in this draft.

I haven’t seen anyone predict either Castonzo or Carimi lasting past the 25th pick. The Combine will change everything but there seems to be a shortage of first-round caliber OTs in the draft meaning that none will last to the Packers. Needless to say the Bears could very well be picking the last one a few picks ahead of the Packers. Ironically, no one has Sherrod projected in the first round so if these guys are right you might have a pretty good shot at him. Seems safe to say that at this point there’s very little clarity on who the top OTs are, which either means they’ll slide or a lot of teams will be disappointed with the player they draft.

I’m secretly hoping the Bears can land Corey Liuget at the end of the first round. I suspect that he’ll perform so well in the combine that he’ll end up a top 10 pick and DTs are always hot prospects so it seems unlikely that he’ll be available, but a guy can hope. There’s a history of 3-4 DTs sliding to the end of the 1st round, Ziggy Hood comes to mind, but less so with 4-3 guys. It’d be great to have an Illini with the Bears and he’d really be a great compliment to Peppers and be an eventual replacement for Harris.

I suppose a OT and a WR are more pressing needs. As noted OT might not be an option based on the lack of elite talent at the position and the apparent need across the league and there’s a huge drop off after the top 2 WRs who are probably top 15 picks. Tentatively I’ll be keeping a close eye on Jonathan Baldwin who’d be such an ideal fit for the Bears that I almost suspect that he’ll shoot up into the middle of the round after the combine.

In the later rounds, say the 4th, I’d love to see the Bears take a shot at a guy like Jacquizz Rodgers. He’d be a nice change of pace back for the Bears to pair with Forte. He fits the mold of the Martz offense and could be a nice option in short yardage because of his low pad level and burst, the kids got a nose for the end zone. He might be good enough as a rookie to send Chester Taylor packing to save some coin elsewhere.

The Bears need help on the interior of the O line too and while Pouncey would be the dream, it’s likely just that, a pipe dream. Rodney Hudson is listed as the second best Center and the ESPN scouting report on him is excellent. If that report is accurate it seems unlikely that he’d slide to the end of the second round but he’s a guy to watch. I think I’d rather have an LT to replace Omiyale in the 1st if we got the choice. Though like most interior lineman Hudson can play OG, something he’d probably start as in Chicago. Chris Williams perhaps needs to go more than Omiyale. Guards might slide more than Centers and perhaps the top rated one Orlando Franklin will last til the second round for the Bears if the other guys mentioned get gobbled up.

When the early scouting reports come out I’ll be watching for middle round values at CB, the Bears might lose a lot of depth in free agency, and WR because frankly we need to draft 2 or 3 of them even if we get a high upside guy in the 1st. We need bodies at DT since both Tommie Harris and Anthony Adams could be moving on and if Luiget doesn’t work out that’s probably where we should spend a second or third rounder. Also, locating a quality Punter is a goal. I doubt the Bears will do it, but I see no need to keep paying Maynard top dollar. Maybe they can lock up the top prospect in the 7th round.

If the Seahawks take Jake Locker at #25 I’m going to vomit.

That is all.

The Eagles are probably looking to upgrade their O-Line in the first round, so at 23, they’re a speed bump for anyone hoping to get Carimi or Pouncey or whoever late in round one.

They’re in a strange spot at the moment. They absolutely have the talent to compete for a Super Bowl next season, but they have glaring holes that will certainly prevent them from making it… yet the help they need they’re going to have to get early in the draft (and thus, they likely can’t plug all the holes in one off season). They really need help on the O-Line and at LB and RCB. Especially at linebacker now that they hired Washburn as the D-Line coach, though the Eagles never go linebacker early in the draft.

Or they can sign Asomugha, get healthy at LB, and lead the league in defense next season. We’ll see how they address it, should be interesting.

There seems to be quite a few good o-line prospects in this draft.

I’m really surprised at what seems to be the continuing devaluing of the RB position. Mark Ingram and Mikel Leshoure seem to be the only guys that are being talked about as 1st rounders. Is this just a thin year for prospects, or is this a reflection of the increasingly pass-oriented nature of the NFL?

It doesn’t seem that the RB position is valued any less than it has been in recent years. Only 3 guys went in the first round of the previous 2 drafts, 5 in 2008, and just 2 in 2007. I suspect that 2-3 will go in this draft as well.

The thing that stands out most to me is how heavy this draft will likely be on defense. There may be just 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 0 TEs, 4 QB (maybe less) and 4 OLs. This draft could be 2/3rds or more defensive players in round one.

It’s no secret the Browns need a WR (among many other things). I’ll be interested to see Julio Jones’s combine performance. I hate to drastically change the ranking of players based solely on their combine, but it happens every year. I do not think he can leapfrog AJ Green, but if the Bengals take Green, I wonder if Jones would be a decent pick for the Browns that high or if they could wait until the 2nd round and grab him.

Peter King posted a few things he asked Mel Kiper on his MMQB article:

I wonder if some of it isn’t also:

  • The brief productivity of many running backs (do I really want to pay first-round money for a guy who’s only going to give me a few good years?)
  • The number of good running backs in recent years who’ve been drafted in later rounds (or picked up as free agents)

Nick Fairley reminds me of Glenn Dorsey. And that’s not really a compliment.

Hey, did you guys hear that Von Miller killed a girl in the 90’s, tested positive for meth, and slept with his sister?

It’s true.

So all you teams ahead of the Packers should just not draft him, because he’ll be a bust. Just don’t pick him.

Didn’t that kid who slept with his sister actually get drafted last year?

No, it’s been a while since Brett Favre came into the league.


Tony Washington. He didn’t get drafted, or, as far as I could tell, even signed.

Well, now that the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl are in the books this thread is about all we have left besides the CBA discussion. Needless to say I’m killing time and starting to build wish lists in earnest on the heels of last nights game with an eye towards unseating the Packers and taking our revenge.

I thought this snippet from ESPN’s NFL Draft Buzz Blog was pretty spot on and is bizarrely close to the argument I made myself earlier in the thread.

I only take issue with his suggestion of Torrey Smith. Everyone seems to be talking him up but watching the video of him hasn’t impressed me. He looks like another version of the guys we already have. Fast, but unpolished with shaky fundamentals. He reminds too much of Heyward-Bey and he catches way to many balls in his body and waits for deep balls to fall to him instead of going up and attacking it. I want more size and more of an NFL ready product. Hankerson and Baldwin seem to fit the description better by they seem to have some maturity issues and I’m not sure they’ll do the necessary work inside. We’ll see, but I’m not liking the options at WR in the first round unless we get insanely lucky and Jones slides into the 20s.

I saw a few Pitt games and Jonathan Baldwin is an absolute stud when he shows up. But I also saw him play like he was asleep against ND. He would be an awesome big target for Cutler if they can keep him motivated.

I’m still just hoping AJ Green is available for the Browns. The only other team that might take him would be the Bengals, for reasons mentioned by IndyCar.

Yeah, the guy certainly can be amazing. Might be the highest upside guy in the whole draft. Those character concerns are worrisome and generally the Bears avoid those guys like the plague. I’m sure the draft coverage will crank up in the coming weeks and we’ll see plenty of video and hear more about the supposed work ethic issues with him and other WRs out there. I will say this though, motivation won’t be an issue in Chicago or most other NFL cities so I think the odds of him sleepwalking through games is slim. You just can’t coast in the NFL, plus he played under Wannstadt and a lot of guys seem to tune out when he’s around. Supposedly Larry Fitzgerald had is character concerns coming out of Pitt too and he turned out to be a gamer.

Is this our de facto NFL offseason thread? I only ask because I’m wondering if anyone has seen **SenorBeef **now that both Harrison and Rogers have left the Browns in roughly the same season, we might need to put a suicide watch on.