AFC East: Cameron Jordan

Double Coverage: Bills at Saints

October, 24, 2013
10/24/13
12:00
PM ET
Williams-BreesUSA TODAY SportsMario Williams and the Bills' defense will attempt to slow down Saints QB Drew Brees.
The New Orleans Saints (5-1) are one of the NFL's most dominant home teams (3-0 this year, 32-11 since 2008). They've also won four straight games following bye weeks. So Sunday's matchup against the Buffalo Bills (3-4) certainly seems like a favorable one.

However, the Bills have proven to be a tough out. They're coming off of a 23-21 victory at Miami. All but one of their games has been decided by a touchdown or less. And they'll bring one of the NFL's most disruptive pass rushes into the Superdome, led by Mario Williams.

Injuries will be a key issue, especially on offense. Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (foot) and Bills running backs C.J. Spiller (ankle) and Fred Jackson (knee) all are battling ailments.

ESPN.com Saints reporter Mike Triplett and Bills reporter Mike Rodak break down the matchup:

Triplett: I saw that Williams and the Bills' pass rush certainly delivered last week with a game-changing sack and forced fumble in the fourth quarter to beat the Dolphins. How good is that pass rush? And do you think the Bills' defense overall is capable of slowing down Drew Brees and the Saints' high-powered offense?

Rodak: Mike, the pass rush has been the strength of what has been a banged-up defense. Williams has 10 sacks this season and the Bills are disrupting 20.1 percent of opponent dropbacks (measured by sacks, passes defensed, interceptions and batted balls), which is second to the 7-0 Chiefs (26.5 percent).

As for facing the Saints' offense, I think the Bills are better equipped for the challenge now than they would have been earlier this season. With Jairus Byrd and Stephon Gilmore back from injuries and being eased into action, the Buffalo defense will have its best playmakers on the field. Still, we're talking about a middle-of-the-pack defense that has yet to have everything click. The run defense has struggled and the Bills have shown a tendency to give up the big play at times. The Saints will have their chances.

I haven't had a chance yet to watch the Saints live this season, but I can tell you that those who were left in the Ralph Wilson Stadium press box two weeks ago had their eyes glued to that Saints-Patriots thriller. If the Saints pull that out, they're 6-0. Can we attribute their success early this season entirely to Sean Payton's return, or is there more to it?

Triplett: Payton's return is a huge part of it. Essentially, the Saints have been proving that their 7-9 season in 2012 was a fluke. I think many people nationally forgot just how good this offense was in 2011, when Graham and Darren Sproles emerged as weapons for them. They went 13-3 that year and set the NFL record for yards gained. Now, they're back in their comfort zone with Payton back as one of the NFL's best game planners and motivators.

This year, the biggest surprise is how well the defense has been playing after such an abysmal performance in 2012. New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, young pass-rushers Cameron Jordan and Junior Galette and the entire secondary have been huge for them. And I think it's legit.

Speaking of coaches, Mike, I have to ask about the impact Doug Marrone is making there. He has ties here after serving as Payton's first offensive coordinator and offensive line coach from 2006-08.

Rodak: Indeed, Marrone does have ties to New Orleans, not only as a coach, but also as a player. He was asked about it Monday and, probably trying to keep the focus on this week's game, didn't wax nostalgic about his time there, but simply said it was a good experience in his progression to becoming an NFL head coach.

As far as what he has done in Buffalo, I'd say it's so far, so good. But naturally as a first-year coach, the jury is still very much out on him. A lot will depend on how EJ Manuel performs when he returns this season and then beyond. But most importantly, Marrone has been able to avoid distractions or controversy, like what we saw with the Greg Schiano-Josh Freeman situation after Schiano made the jump from the college game. This seems to be a tight-knit locker room and a team that has closely contested each of its games this season.

Mike, there's a pair of recent first-round picks in Kenny Vaccaro and Jordan who have helped anchor the new-look Saints defense under Ryan. Tell me about what they've done, but also about what holes on defense the Bills might exploit.

Triplett: Jordan has been the Saints' defensive MVP so far. In fact, he was probably their defensive MVP last year, too. But this year he's starting to gain national attention for the impact he's making as a power pass-rusher and standout run defender. He's a big athlete at 6-foot-4 and about 290 pounds. So he's a good fit at 3-4 end but also at 4-3 end, where he's essentially lined up for most of this year since they play so much nickel and dime. Jordan has five sacks, a forced fumble and 24 hurries, according to Pro Football Focus.

Vaccaro, meanwhile, has been fun to watch since Ryan moves him around so much (deep safety, in the slot, blitzing, sometimes even at linebacker and corner). It's similar to the way the Pittsburgh Steelers use Troy Polamalu, though Vaccaro is obviously not at that level yet. He's still developing, but he's played almost every snap this year and has made several impact plays.

If the Bills' run game is going strong, that could give the Saints a few problems. Their run defense hasn't been their strength. But it's something they've been willing to sacrifice while making it a priority to prevent big plays. The Bills need to keep this game close so they're not forced to play catch-up -- which is no easy task. Do you think they've found some stability with Thad Lewis at quarterback? Or might we see Matt Flynn instead this week?

Rodak: They've definitely found some stability with Lewis at quarterback. While I don't think there's much of a chance that Lewis remains the starter when Manuel returns, it's not a stretch to say that Lewis has actually played better than the rookie. He has shown better accuracy on some of his passes and also seems more willing to drive the ball downfield when he needs to. His statistics haven't blown anyone away -- he ranked in the bottom third of the NFL in QBR in each of his two starts -- but the Bills seem more than happy with what they're getting out of him.

Flynn was inactive Sunday against the Dolphins, six days after arriving in Buffalo. I think the Bills would ideally like to have him as their backup instead of undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel. But as far as surpassing Lewis, I think that would take a collapse by Lewis over the next few games and an impressive showing by Flynn in practice.

Mike, how do you see this game playing out? Do you expect Graham to be available for the Saints?

Triplett: I think Graham will be highly questionable all week. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he's out or limited, which would obviously put a dent in the Saints' offense. But I still think Brees has enough weapons -- starting with Sproles, Marques Colston and Pierre Thomas in the passing game -- to move the ball and put up close to 30 points or more.

If New Orleans scores early and forces Buffalo to play catch-up, the Bills could really be in trouble. And if the Saints are the ones who have to play catch-up, they've proven they can do that. Buffalo's best chance is to control the clock with its run game, win the turnover battle and force the Saints to settle for field goals.

.
The New England Patriots are coming off their first loss of the season, and questions are mounting about the team’s revamped offense. There are no such questions right now for the New Orleans Saints, who are 5-0 and have looked like one of the NFL’s best teams.

That sets the stage for Sunday's highly anticipated matchup between these teams at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

“They’re a good solid football team all the way around. They’ve been impressive,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said of the Saints. “We’re going to have to play a good 60-minute football game on Sunday; that’s what it is going to take.”

In some ways, the Patriots will see a mirror image of themselves when looking at the Saints.

“I’ve said this before, when we started in 2006, we tried to look closely at the franchises that were having a lot of success and study closely what they were doing. New England was one of the main ones we looked at,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “These guys have been to five Super Bowls and won three [under Belichick]. That is pretty amazing.”

Patriots reporter Mike Reiss and Saints reporter Mike Triplett break it down:

Reiss: Let’s start at the top with this one, Mike, and focus on the coaches. Patriots followers know they have one of the best coaches in the history of the game. Now in his 14th season, Belichick has the Patriots consistently contending. For the Saints, what stands out from here is what a difference it’s been to have Payton back on the sideline this season. What is it about Payton that makes him one of the NFL’s best coaches, and how has this turnaround from last year’s disappointment unfolded?

Triplett: You’re right to start there. It’s remarkable how much of an impact Payton’s return (and his absence last year) has made on this team. Earlier this season, I would've answer that question by talking more about intangibles. Having Payton in charge clearly gives the Saints a confidence and puts them in a comfort zone that was lost last year. I think that helped them win two early games that came down to the wire. But lately, it’s Payton’s offensive genius that has been making the biggest impact. He’s always stood out as arguably the best schemer and playcaller in the NFL. And that’s been on full display the past two weeks – first when the Saints picked apart the Miami Dolphins at home on a Monday night, then when they won last week at Chicago with a patient, ball-control game plan. Giving Payton toys like Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles in recent years – not to mention quarterback Drew Brees – has been almost unfair to the rest of the league.

Since we’re on the subject, can you try telling me, in this brief format, what makes Belichick special? The Patriots seem to keep winning even while switching out 50 players on their roster over the years. I know that’s something the Saints have always admired and tried to emulate.

Reiss: Mike, I think the foundation of Belichick’s success has been what we remember from the start of Super Bowl XXXVI, in the Superdome, prior to the Patriots’ upset victory over the Rams in the 2001 season. The Patriots were introduced as a team before that game, as we all remember. There are obviously a lot of reasons for Belichick’s success, and books have been written about it, so it’s nearly impossible to narrow it down in a few sentences. But that’s where I’d start – the focus on the complete team in a salary-cap era that makes it hard to remain competitive year in, year out. There are many layers to that, and it obviously helps to have a quarterback like Tom Brady, but Belichick is also a teacher at heart. So team-first, where the 53rd player has a similar level of importance as a player in the 1-10 range. Then the fact he's a teacher with an incredible knowledge of football.

This week, there has been plenty of teaching as it relates to how they might be able to slow down the Saints’ offense. What has been the most effective approach you’ve seen teams employ against Graham and Sproles?

Triplett: There haven’t been many effective approaches against Graham. The Chicago Bears last week followed the formula that has worked best against the Saints over the years – a lot of Cover 2 zone defense that forced the Saints to settle for checkdown passes. But the Saints did a better job than I can ever remember of staying patient, settling for those short throws and avoiding turnovers. And Brees still completed 10 passes for 135 yards to Graham. Tampa Bay’s defense rattled the Saints in Week 2 by hitting Brees a lot with a good rush from their front four. But Graham still caught 10 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown. And if a team wants to totally take Graham away, like Miami did in Week 4, the Saints are happy to exploit that, too. Sproles had seven catches for 114 yards in that game before Graham caught a single pass. And Graham still finished with four catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns.

So how do you think the Patriots might approach it? They do have a better defense than most of the ones the Saints have faced this season.

Reiss: In a flip of the script that we had mostly seen from 2007 to 2012, the Patriots’ defense is carrying the team right now. The Patriots rank second in the NFL in points allowed per game (14.0 avg.), and that includes a Week 1 touchdown the Bills scored on a long fumble return. The key, from this view, has been the Pro Bowl-level play of cornerback Aqib Talib. As for this specific matchup, I’ve wondered about the possibility of Talib on Graham, similar to how we saw him almost exclusively cover Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson (Week 3) and Bengals receiver A.J. Green (Week 5). Usually you don’t see a cornerback matched up against a tight end, but maybe that outside-the-box thought is something the Patriots consider this week. Regardless, I expect the Patriots to be in their sub defense for most of this game. Their big linebackers don’t look like a good matchup against Sproles, so it’s imperative to get more speed on the field. I could see their top draft choice, speedy and athletic linebacker Jamie Collins, used more this week with Sproles in mind.

Speaking of defense, tell us more about how the Saints are getting it done on that side of the ball.

Triplett: Obviously a ton of credit goes to new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. He’s been pushing all the right buttons as a schemer and a motivator. Players have loved playing for him for both reasons. It’s reminiscent of the years when Gregg Williams was here, when they played with a ton of confidence. And he mixes up formations quite a bit – blitzing on occasion, but also rushing only two or three guys at times. Last week he caught the Bears off-guard early with some blitzes he hadn’t shown much yet. Just as key, though, has been the emergence of young pass-rushers Cameron Jordan and Junior Galette. Jordan is a power-rushing 3-4 end, and Galette a speed-rushing 3-4 outside linebacker. But they’ve mostly lined up on the edges of a four-man rush. When teams can count on their four-man front as much as the Saints have this season, any scheme will be successful. The talent in the secondary is also solid across the board, especially now that they added veteran corner Keenan Lewis and rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro.

So what will they be facing in Brady this week? I know he hasn’t looked like himself at times, but I’m still expecting him to hold his own in this high-profile duel with Brees.

Reiss: The Saints will see a frustrated Brady, and that’s often a dangerous Brady. The Patriots scored just six points in Sunday’s loss to the Bengals, and Brady’s streak of 52 straight games with at least one touchdown pass was snapped. That had a Saints tie-in, of course, as Brees holds the record at 54 straight games. Brady is obviously still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and is as competitive as they come. I’m sure he’s aware that in three previous games in which he’s squared off against teams led by Brees, he’s 0-3. Brees has thrown eight touchdowns in those games, compared with three for Brady. Furthermore, Brady has thrown three interceptions in those games, while Brees hasn’t thrown a single pick. Obviously, the quarterbacks don’t face off against each other, but knowing Brady’s competitiveness that still doesn’t sit well with him. Expect his best, and the potential return of tight end Rob Gronkowski would obviously help.

I was curious about your thoughts on how the Saints might look different, if at all, when playing outdoors. Obviously they are awfully tough in the Superdome, but last week’s game in Chicago didn’t seem to affect them.

Triplett: The Saints have definitely had a few off-days outdoors over the years, especially in colder weather or rain (playoff losses at Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco come to mind). They’ve had a lot of good days in those elements, too, though. They have the best road record in the NFL since 2009 (23-11, one more win than the Patriots). And they’ve got two outdoor wins this season (the Chicago game and an ugly 16-14 win on a rainy day at Tampa Bay). So I don’t think it will be some sort of mental hurdle, and it’s not like they’re lost when they’re outside of the Superdome. But it will certainly be a hurdle they have to overcome. They’re definitely even more dangerous at home.

I was stunned to see how dominant New England has been at home, by the way (31-3 since 2009). Brees rattled off that statistic Wednesday – obviously it’s one that’s been drilled into players this week. What makes the Patriots so good at home?

Reiss: When I think of decisive home-field advantages, with the crowd truly dictating aspects of the game such as false-start penalties, I wouldn’t put Gillette Stadium in the same category as a place like Seattle. But like you said, home has been good to the Patriots, and I think the comforts of being in that environment, coupled with having good teams, getting better as the weather gets colder, acing critical situations and playing in a division where the other three teams have fallen on some hard times in recent years has contributed to that as well. I’m guessing that Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, who grew up in nearby Medway, Mass., might agree with the thought that Sunday has all the elements for what can make this a special time of year in New England for fans of the game: crisp but comfortable fall weather and two talented, well-coached teams playing at a high level going head-to-head. I’m excited for it, Mike. What about the matchup are you most looking forward to?

Triplett: Easy. Brees vs. Brady. I’m sure I could give a more “under the radar” answer. But watching two of the best quarterbacks of all time going head-to-head is as good as it gets. And I think both of them will be fired up for this one for different reasons. Should be an intense fourth quarter.

.

One more reminder that it's all guesswork

April, 28, 2011
4/28/11
7:43
PM ET
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- With the Buffalo Bills drafting first in the AFC East (again), I'll be reporting Thursday night from their facility.

Who do you think they'll select third overall?

Before blurting out your answer, take a look at this amusing research from the Buffalo Bills media relations crew.

They charted 160 mock drafts over the past year. Here are the guesses:
That's an awful lot of incorrect guesses and a good reason I don't do a mock draft.

One last look at AFC East mocks

April, 28, 2011
4/28/11
3:17
PM ET
With the start of the NFL draft hours away, let's take a final glance at AFC East projections.

The last roundup includes ESPN experts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, Sports Illustrated writer Don Banks, the National Football Post's Wes Bunting, Dallas Morning News writer Rick Gosselin, CBSSports.com senior writer Clark Judge and NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock and Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly.

No. 3 Buffalo Bills
  • Kiper's pick: Marcell Dareus, Alabama defensive tackle
  • McShay's pick: Marcell Dareus, Alabama defensive tackle
  • Banks' pick: Blaine Gabbert, Missouri quarterback
  • Bunting's pick: Marcell Dareus, Alabama defensive tackle
  • Gosselin's pick: Marcell Dareus, Alabama defensive tackle
  • Judge's pick: Marcell Dareus, Alabama defensive tackle
  • Mayock's pick: Marcell Dareus, Alabama defensive tackle
  • Nawrocki's pick: Marcell Dareus, Alabama defensive tackle
No. 15 Miami Dolphins
  • Kiper's pick: Mike Pouncey, Florida center
  • McShay's pick: Mike Pouncey, Florida center
  • Banks' pick: Mike Pouncey, Florida center
  • Bunting's pick: Mike Pouncey, Florida center
  • Gosselin's pick: Mike Pouncey, Florida center
  • Judge's pick: Mike Pouncey, Florida center
  • Mayock's pick: Mike Pouncey, Florida center
  • Nawrocki's pick: Mike Pouncey, Florida center
No. 17 New England Patriots (from Oakland Raiders)
  • Kiper's pick: Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple defensive lineman
  • McShay's pick: Cameron Jordan, California defensive end
  • Banks' pick: Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson defensive end
  • Bunting's pick: Cameron Jordan, California defensive end
  • Gosselin's pick: Cameron Jordan, California defensive end
  • Judge's pick: Mark Ingram, Alabama running back
  • Mayock's pick: Cameron Jordan, California defensive end
  • Nawrocki's pick: Christian Ponder, Florida State quarterback
No. 28 New England Patriots
  • Kiper's pick: Mark Ingram, Alabama running back
  • McShay's pick: Brooks Reed, Arizona defensive end
  • Banks' pick: Mark Ingram, Alabama running back
  • Bunting's pick: Mark Ingram, Alabama running back
  • Gosselin's pick: Danny Watkins, Baylor guard
  • Judge's pick: Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin tackle
  • Mayock's pick: Jake Locker, Washington quarterback
  • Nawrocki's pick: Danny Watkins, Baylor guard
No. 30 New York Jets
  • Kiper's pick: Phil Taylor, Baylor nose tackle
  • McShay's pick: Akeem Ayers, UCLA outside linebacker
  • Banks' pick: Phil Taylor, Baylor nose tackle
  • Bunting's pick: Phil Taylor, Baylor nose tackle
  • Gosselin's pick: Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State tackle
  • Judge's pick: Adrian Clayborn, Iowa defensive end
  • Mayock's pick: Akeem Ayers, UCLA outside linebacker
  • Nawrocki's pick: Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple defensive lineman

Kiper evaluates our AFC East reader mock

April, 27, 2011
4/27/11
9:15
PM ET
Mel KiperHoward Smith/US PresswireMel Kiper largely agreed with AFC East readers and the blog's mock draft.
U.S. Department of Labor analysts have confirmed Mel Kiper is the second-busiest man in the country this week and would have been first had the president not felt compelled to hold a weird news conference Wednesday.

Even with Kiper's heavy workload -- imagine how much care must go into crafting his final notes and hair the night before the draft -- he took the time to share his thoughts on our AFC East reader mock draft.

We verified our first round Wednesday with a long-form certification process: a six-week, pick-a-day reader vote.

Kiper's intrepid editor, Chris Sprow, caught up with him to go over the AFC East reader mock draft.

Here are Kiper's thoughts:

  • It's hard to argue with any of the top three picks here. If the trade domino doesn't fall, no reason this couldn't happen.
  • I'm going to stick with A.J. Green to the Bengals. Blaine Gabbert makes some sense, but if they still believe there's hope they can somehow hold onto Carson Palmer, they don't make that pick. But this could be one they are still undecided on, which is a theme this year.
  • If Green isn't there for Cleveland, I don't expect them to pass on Julio Jones, which means I don't think he's still there at No. 10 for the Redskins.
  • I like the pick of tackle Anthony Castonzo to Detroit because my gut says they know protecting Matthew Stafford is priority No. 1. I just think they might still see Tyron Smith there.
  • Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will love Robert Quinn if he's around with the 11th pick. If Quinn is not, Aldon Smith could go that high. His tape is phenomenal in spots.
  • J.J. Watt and Cameron Jordan are perhaps the most interchangeable picks, so these picks don't seem off at all for the Patriots and Chargers. Could play out that way.
  • I'm not as high on Derek Sherrod as some, but would love to be proven wrong. I just think he's there past Philly at No. 23. Slight reach for me.
  • Danny Watkins is a definite possibility at No. 28, but I think New England can go in so many different directions because of how many picks they have.
  • No Jake Locker? No Andy Dalton? I wouldn't count on it.

The last point lends itself to the nature of our project. We began six weeks ago, and quarterback buzz always ramps up as we draw closer to the draft.

Mock drafts also can't accurately factor trade scenarios, and those kinds of draft-day maneuvers will dictate where quarterbacks are drafted after Cam Newton and Gabbert.

It was nice of Kiper and Sprow to share some bonus analysis for us. Much thanks.

It won't be long until we find out how well we did.

Patriots, Bills on clock together in our mock

April, 27, 2011
4/27/11
9:57
AM ET
With the 32nd pick in the 2011 AFC East reader mock draft, the Green Bay Packers select ... Akeem Ayers, outside linebacker, UCLA.

We wrapped up the first round with another slim margin. Ayers, a strong candidate for several previous spots, finally found a home -- but by one vote over Georgia outside linebacker Justin Houston.

We have a complete first round, but with two more picks still to make Wednesday(read below).

First, here's our rundown ...
  1. Carolina Panthers: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton
  2. Denver Broncos: Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus
  3. Buffalo Bills: Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller
  4. Cincinnati Bengals: Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert
  5. Arizona Cardinals: Louisiana State cornerback Patrick Peterson
  6. Cleveland Browns: Georgia receiver A.J. Green
  7. San Francisco 49ers: Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara
  8. Tennessee Titans: Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley
  9. Dallas Cowboys: USC tackle Tyron Smith
  10. Washington Redskins: Alabama receiver Julio Jones
  11. Houston Texans: North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn
  12. Minnesota Vikings: Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers
  13. Detroit Lions: Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo
  14. St. Louis Rams: Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget
  15. Miami Dolphins: Alabama running back Mark Ingram
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith
  17. New England Patriots: Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt
  18. San Diego Chargers: California defensive end Cameron Jordan
  19. New York Giants: Florida center Mike Pouncey
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan
  21. Kansas City Chiefs: Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi
  22. Indianapolis Colts: Colorado tackle Nate Solder
  23. Philadelphia Eagles: Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod
  24. New Orleans Saints: Temple defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson
  25. Seattle Seahawks: Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith
  26. Baltimore Ravens: Miami cornerback Brandon Harris
  27. Atlanta Falcons: Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn
  28. New England Patriots: Baylor offensive lineman Danny Watkins
  29. Chicago Bears: North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin
  30. New York Jets: Arizona defensive end Brooks Reed
  31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Texas cornerback Aaron Williams
  32. Green Bay Packers: UCLA outside linebacker Akeem Ayers

Upon the suggestion of a couple readers, I made the call to extend our mock by forecasting the Patriots' and Bills' picks at Nos. 33 and 34.

Reader mrf042579 made an excellent observation about that decision:
Tim, anyway you could make the Bills pick on Thursday end before the actual draft starts? I think if votes are still being allowed after the start of the real draft, it could potentially mess up the last pick of our mock (as in people voting after the draft starts for a player the Bills wouldn't pick if they don't actually take Miller at #3).

Consider it done. I'll ask for both selections here.

Please place your nominations in the comments section below this article, and make it clear which player you're sending to which team.

The Patriots and Bills are on the clock together. And then we're finished.

Pack up the reader mock? Think again ...

April, 26, 2011
4/26/11
9:16
AM ET
With the 31st pick in the 2011 AFC East reader mock draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select ... Aaron Williams, cornerback, Texas.

Slim pickings, for this one.

Only two prospects were nominated, Williams and Baylor defensive tackle Phil Taylor. Williams won by a vote.

But what caught my attention in the comments section were requests from readers frankb1031 and yehya. They asked to extend our mocktastic project to include the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills with the 33rd and 34th picks.

What a great idea that works out perfectly. We can maintain our daily pace and reveal the Bills' selection Friday, when the second round takes place.

Yonder reads our up-to-date mock draft board ...
  1. Carolina Panthers: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton
  2. Denver Broncos: Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus
  3. Buffalo Bills: Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller
  4. Cincinnati Bengals: Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert
  5. Arizona Cardinals: Louisiana State cornerback Patrick Peterson
  6. Cleveland Browns: Georgia receiver A.J. Green
  7. San Francisco 49ers: Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara
  8. Tennessee Titans: Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley
  9. Dallas Cowboys: USC tackle Tyron Smith
  10. Washington Redskins: Alabama receiver Julio Jones
  11. Houston Texans: North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn
  12. Minnesota Vikings: Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers
  13. Detroit Lions: Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo
  14. St. Louis Rams: Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget
  15. Miami Dolphins: Alabama running back Mark Ingram
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith
  17. New England Patriots: Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt
  18. San Diego Chargers: California defensive end Cameron Jordan
  19. New York Giants: Florida center Mike Pouncey
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan
  21. Kansas City Chiefs: Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi
  22. Indianapolis Colts: Colorado tackle Nate Solder
  23. Philadelphia Eagles: Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod
  24. New Orleans Saints: Temple defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson
  25. Seattle Seahawks: Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith
  26. Baltimore Ravens: Miami cornerback Brandon Harris
  27. Atlanta Falcons: Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn
  28. New England Patriots: Baylor offensive lineman Danny Watkins
  29. Chicago Bears: North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin
  30. New York Jets: Arizona defensive end Brooks Reed
  31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Texas cornerback Aaron Williams

The Green Bay Packers are on the clock with the final selection of the first round.

Drop your suggestions in the comments section below or vote under the link on my Facebook page.

Readers like Reed to Jets in AFC East mock

April, 25, 2011
4/25/11
8:34
AM ET
With the 30th pick in the 2011 AFC East reader mock draft, the New York Jets select ... Brooks Reed, defensive end, Arizona.

Readers came through with a flurry of suggestions that evolved into an interesting race.

UCLA outside linebacker Akeem Ayers was the early leader. Baylor nose tackle Phil Taylor generated slower, steadier action.

But Reed proponents came on late for a convincing victory. Others to get attention were UCLA safety Rahim Moore and Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea.

A lot of Pac-10 love there.

Regular voter zack10bearden weighed the options:
Akeem Ayers is probably the best pass rusher left, but I don't think he is angry enough for a Rex Ryan defense. They need Phil Taylor to make their current pass rushers better. The key to these 3-4 type defenses is the nose tackle and DEs making the OLBs better.Phil Taylor is a better value at 30

Reader willparuta21 wrote:
Brooks Reed is a monster. He has to be the pick here. Fastest split 10 time out of any DE at the combine. Everyone know that the only way to win the AFC East is if you can pressure Tom Brady. Brooks Reed will help the Jets do that from both the down lineman and outside linebacker position!

Our weeks-long project almost has reached its conclusion.

This is where we stand ...
  1. Carolina Panthers: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton
  2. Denver Broncos: Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus
  3. Buffalo Bills: Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller
  4. Cincinnati Bengals: Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert
  5. Arizona Cardinals: Louisiana State cornerback Patrick Peterson
  6. Cleveland Browns: Georgia receiver A.J. Green
  7. San Francisco 49ers: Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara
  8. Tennessee Titans: Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley
  9. Dallas Cowboys: USC tackle Tyron Smith
  10. Washington Redskins: Alabama receiver Julio Jones
  11. Houston Texans: North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn
  12. Minnesota Vikings: Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers
  13. Detroit Lions: Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo
  14. St. Louis Rams: Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget
  15. Miami Dolphins: Alabama running back Mark Ingram
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith
  17. New England Patriots: Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt
  18. San Diego Chargers: California defensive end Cameron Jordan
  19. New York Giants: Florida center Mike Pouncey
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan
  21. Kansas City Chiefs: Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi
  22. Indianapolis Colts: Colorado tackle Nate Solder
  23. Philadelphia Eagles: Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod
  24. New Orleans Saints: Temple defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson
  25. Seattle Seahawks: Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith
  26. Baltimore Ravens: Miami cornerback Brandon Harris
  27. Atlanta Falcons: Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn
  28. New England Patriots: Baylor offensive lineman Danny Watkins
  29. Chicago Bears: North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin
  30. New York Jets: Arizona defensive end Brooks Reed

The Pittsburgh Steelers are on the mock clock with the 31st pick.

Even though we've gone through all the AFC East clubs, let's sprint through the finish line on these last two choices. Please submit your Steelers recommendation in the comments section below this article or in the underneath the link on my Facebook page.

Jets finally up in AFC East reader mock

April, 22, 2011
4/22/11
8:07
AM ET
With the 29th pick in the 2011 AFC East reader mock draft, the Chicago Bears select ... Marvin Austin, defensive tackle, North Carolina.

Similar to the New England Patriots' selection at No. 28, there was a wide variety of nominations. Eight players were mentioned for the Bears. The first seven ballots cast named six players.

Austin barely beat out Maryland receiver Torrey Smith, with readers reasoning the Bears will need a replacement for Tommie Harris.

That brings us to the New York Jets with the 30th selection.

What direction will they go? Outside linebacker? Defensive line? Safety? Tackle? Wide receiver?

They can have anybody except these 29 prospects ...
  1. Carolina Panthers: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton
  2. Denver Broncos: Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus
  3. Buffalo Bills: Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller
  4. Cincinnati Bengals: Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert
  5. Arizona Cardinals: Louisiana State cornerback Patrick Peterson
  6. Cleveland Browns: Georgia receiver A.J. Green
  7. San Francisco 49ers: Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara
  8. Tennessee Titans: Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley
  9. Dallas Cowboys: USC tackle Tyron Smith
  10. Washington Redskins: Alabama receiver Julio Jones
  11. Houston Texans: North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn
  12. Minnesota Vikings: Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers
  13. Detroit Lions: Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo
  14. St. Louis Rams: Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget
  15. Miami Dolphins: Alabama running back Mark Ingram
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith
  17. New England Patriots: Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt
  18. San Diego Chargers: California defensive end Cameron Jordan
  19. New York Giants: Florida center Mike Pouncey
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan
  21. Kansas City Chiefs: Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi
  22. Indianapolis Colts: Colorado tackle Nate Solder
  23. Philadelphia Eagles: Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod
  24. New Orleans Saints: Temple defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson
  25. Seattle Seahawks: Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith
  26. Baltimore Ravens: Miami cornerback Brandon Harris
  27. Atlanta Falcons: Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn
  28. New England Patriots: Baylor offensive lineman Danny Watkins
  29. Chicago Bears: North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin

Now it's up to the Jets with the AFC East's final draft choice.

Please tack your suggestion in the comments section under this article and provide your reason. I'll pull out a few of the more compelling thoughts and reprint them when I reveal the pick on Monday morning.

Patriots snag Watkins in AFC East mock

April, 21, 2011
4/21/11
8:09
AM ET
With the 28th pick in the 2011 AFC East reader mock draft, the New England Patriots select ... Danny Watkins, offensive lineman, Baylor.

Despite a surprisingly low number of votes, this was the most varied nomination process of our project. Ten players were presented for the second of New England's first-round draft picks. The first eight ballots cast named six different prospects.

Watkins, who can play guard and tackle, emerged as the choice ahead of Arizona defensive end Brooks Reed and Georgia outside linebacker Justin Houston. Others to get multiple votes were Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward, Texas cornerback Aaron Williams and even Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett.

Many predicted the Patriots would trade out of this slot.

Reliable mock voter zack10bearden wrote:
No question they trade this pick. Too many teams will want to give up too much to get back into the late 1st for a reach at QB. Then they will use the 1st overall pick in the second round on Justin Houston. If by some freakish miracle they actually take this pick it will likely be Houston which only means they will have traded the 33 overall pick instead.

Patriotslove12 liked the idea of Watkins to bolster a line with a couple question marks. Right guard Stephen Neal retired. Pro Bowl left guard Logan Mankins is unhappy.
If they don't trade down from this spot, I can see them selecting Danny Watkins from a value standpoint. He is most likely rated behind only Pouncey at his position on the Patriot's board, whereas there has already been a run on OT's.

Watkins has a great story. He's a Canadian who used to be a firefighter and didn't start playing football until 2007 at Butte Junior College.

With three picks to go, here's our rundown so far ...
  1. Carolina Panthers: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton
  2. Denver Broncos: Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus
  3. Buffalo Bills: Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller
  4. Cincinnati Bengals: Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert
  5. Arizona Cardinals: Louisiana State cornerback Patrick Peterson
  6. Cleveland Browns: Georgia receiver A.J. Green
  7. San Francisco 49ers: Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara
  8. Tennessee Titans: Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley
  9. Dallas Cowboys: USC tackle Tyron Smith
  10. Washington Redskins: Alabama receiver Julio Jones
  11. Houston Texans: North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn
  12. Minnesota Vikings: Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers
  13. Detroit Lions: Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo
  14. St. Louis Rams: Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget
  15. Miami Dolphins: Alabama running back Mark Ingram
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith
  17. New England Patriots: Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt
  18. San Diego Chargers: California defensive end Cameron Jordan
  19. New York Giants: Florida center Mike Pouncey
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan
  21. Kansas City Chiefs: Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi
  22. Indianapolis Colts: Colorado tackle Nate Solder
  23. Philadelphia Eagles: Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod
  24. New Orleans Saints: Temple defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson
  25. Seattle Seahawks: Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith
  26. Baltimore Ravens: Miami cornerback Brandon Harris
  27. Atlanta Falcons: Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn
  28. New England Patriots: Baylor offensive lineman Danny Watkins

The Chicago Bears hold the 29th selection. For those unfamiliar with their needs or the players still hanging around our imaginary draft board, feel free to do some research on ESPN.com's draft page.

Once you've done that, drop your choice in the comments section below this article.

We're almost done, folks.

Mockout: Ingram to Pats? Dalton to Fins?

April, 20, 2011
4/20/11
3:32
PM ET

In honor ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay releasing an updated mock draft Insider Wednesday, why not take a look at a bunch of them?

This roundup also includes the latest first-round forecast from ESPN expert Mel Kiper Insider, the National Football Post's Wes Bunting, NFL Network analyst Charles Davis, Sports Illustrated senior writer Peter King, Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly, CBSSports.com analysts Rob Rang and Chad Reuter and Buffalo News reporter Allen Wilson.

No. 3 Buffalo Bills

  • Kiper's pick: Von Miller, Texas A&M outside linebacker
  • McShay's pick: Blaine Gabbert, Missouri quarterback
  • Bunting's pick: Blaine Gabbert, Missouri quarterback
  • Davis' pick: Von Miller, Texas A&M outside linebacker
  • King's pick: Von Miller, Texas A&M outside linebacker
  • Nawrocki's pick: Cam Newton, Auburn quarterback
  • Rang's pick: Von Miller, Texas A&M outside linebacker
  • Reuter's pick: Blaine Gabbert, Missouri quarterback
  • Wilson's pick: Von Miller, Texas A&M outside linebacker

No. 15 Miami Dolphins

  • Kiper's pick: Mark Ingram, Alabama running back
  • McShay's pick: Mike Pouncey, Florida center
  • Bunting's pick: Mike Pouncey, Florida center
  • Davis' pick: Mike Pouncey, Florida center
  • King's pick: Andy Dalton, Texas Christian quarterback
  • Nawrocki's pick: Ryan Mallett, Arkansas quarterback
  • Rang's pick: Mark Ingram, Alabama running back
  • Reuter's pick: Mark Ingram, Alabama running back
  • Wilson's pick: Mike Pouncey, Florida center

No. 17 New England Patriots (from Oakland Raiders)

  • Kiper's pick: Cameron Jordan, California defensive end
  • McShay's pick: Anthony Castonzo, Boston College tackle
  • Bunting's pick: Cameron Jordan, California defensive end
  • Davis' pick: Anthony Castonzo, Boston College tackle
  • King's pick: Mike Pouncey, Florida center
  • Nawrocki's pick: Anthony Castonzo, Boston College tackle
  • Rang's pick: J.J. Watt, Wisconsin defensive end
  • Reuter's pick: Aldon Smith, Missouri defensive end
  • Wilson's pick: Cameron Jordan, California defensive end

No. 28 New England Patriots

  • Kiper's pick: Justin Houston, Georgia outside linebacker
  • McShay's pick: Mark Ingram, Alabama running back
  • Bunting's pick: Danny Watkins, Baylor guard
  • Davis' pick: Akeem Ayers, UCLA outside linebacker
  • King's pick: Trade out with the Tennessee Titans
  • Nawrocki's pick: Mark Ingram, Alabama running back
  • Rang's pick: Danny Watkins, Baylor guard
  • Reuter's pick: Cameron Heyward, Ohio State defensive end
  • Wilson's pick: Mark Ingram, Alabama running back

No. 30 New York Jets

  • Kiper's pick: Cameron Heyward, Ohio State defensive end
  • McShay's pick: Phil Taylor, Baylor nose tackle
  • Bunting's pick: Justin Houston, Georgia outside linebacker
  • Davis' pick: Phil Taylor, Baylor nose tackle
  • King's pick: Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple defensive lineman
  • Nawrocki's pick: Akeem Ayers, UCLA outside linebacker
  • Rang's pick: Phil Taylor, Baylor nose tackle
  • Reuter's pick: Jabaal Sheard, Pittsburgh defensive end
  • Wilson's pick: Justin Houston, Georgia outside linebacker

Patriots back on clock in reader mock

April, 20, 2011
4/20/11
9:58
AM ET
With the 27th pick in the 2011 AFC East reader mock draft, the Atlanta Falcons select ... Adrian Clayborn, defensive end, Iowa.

For the record, Clayborn's closest competition was Georgia outside linebacker Justin Houston.

Now quickly on to more important matters.

The New England Patriots are on the clock for their second of two first-round draft choices. Readers had them drafting a defensive end 17th overall.

Where will the Patriots go here?

These are the players off the board ...
  1. Carolina Panthers: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton
  2. Denver Broncos: Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus
  3. Buffalo Bills: Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller
  4. Cincinnati Bengals: Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert
  5. Arizona Cardinals: Louisiana State cornerback Patrick Peterson
  6. Cleveland Browns: Georgia receiver A.J. Green
  7. San Francisco 49ers: Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara
  8. Tennessee Titans: Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley
  9. Dallas Cowboys: USC tackle Tyron Smith
  10. Washington Redskins: Alabama receiver Julio Jones
  11. Houston Texans: North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn
  12. Minnesota Vikings: Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers
  13. Detroit Lions: Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo
  14. St. Louis Rams: Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget
  15. Miami Dolphins: Alabama running back Mark Ingram
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith
  17. New England Patriots: Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt
  18. San Diego Chargers: California defensive end Cameron Jordan
  19. New York Giants: Florida center Mike Pouncey
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan
  21. Kansas City Chiefs: Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi
  22. Indianapolis Colts: Colorado tackle Nate Solder
  23. Philadelphia Eagles: Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod
  24. New Orleans Saints: Temple defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson
  25. Seattle Seahawks: Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith
  26. Baltimore Ravens: Miami cornerback Brandon Harris
  27. Atlanta Falcons: Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn

In reality, the Patriots are strong candidates to trade out of this -- or any -- spot. But for the purpose of compiling a mock draft, projecting the trade partner and the return assets aren't feasible.

So please pick the best player.

The suggestion boxes are open in the comments section below this article or beneath the link on my Facebook page.

More cornerback love in AFC East mock

April, 19, 2011
4/19/11
9:10
AM ET
With the 26th pick in the 2011 AFC East reader mock draft, the Baltimore Ravens select ... Brandon Harris, cornerback, Miami.

Readers felt the Ravens' biggest need was at cornerback. With Jimmy Smith taken off the draft board one pick earlier, Harris was the next one in line.

Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward also received a healthy number of votes but fell a few short in our mission to draw up the most accurate first-round mock we can.

Here's where we stand with six picks to go ...
  1. Carolina Panthers: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton
  2. Denver Broncos: Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus
  3. Buffalo Bills: Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller
  4. Cincinnati Bengals: Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert
  5. Arizona Cardinals: Louisiana State cornerback Patrick Peterson
  6. Cleveland Browns: Georgia receiver A.J. Green
  7. San Francisco 49ers: Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara
  8. Tennessee Titans: Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley
  9. Dallas Cowboys: USC tackle Tyron Smith
  10. Washington Redskins: Alabama receiver Julio Jones
  11. Houston Texans: North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn
  12. Minnesota Vikings: Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers
  13. Detroit Lions: Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo
  14. St. Louis Rams: Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget
  15. Miami Dolphins: Alabama running back Mark Ingram
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith
  17. New England Patriots: Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt
  18. San Diego Chargers: California defensive end Cameron Jordan
  19. New York Giants: Florida center Mike Pouncey
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan
  21. Kansas City Chiefs: Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi
  22. Indianapolis Colts: Colorado tackle Nate Solder
  23. Philadelphia Eagles: Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod
  24. New Orleans Saints: Temple defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson
  25. Seattle Seahawks: Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith
  26. Baltimore Ravens: Miami cornerback Brandon Harris

The Atlanta Falcons hold the 27th selection and are up.

Please drop your nomination in the comments section below this article. Facebook friends can cast their ballots on my page under the link.

As a reminder, you can visit ESPN.com's draft page if you'd like to research team needs and top prospects with analysis from Mel Kiper, Todd McShay and Scouts Inc.

AFC East reader mock down to final seven

April, 18, 2011
4/18/11
8:40
AM ET
With the 25th pick in the 2011 AFC East reader mock draft, the Seattle Seahawks select ... Jimmy Smith, cornerback, Colorado.

Smith has been nominated for many previous picks but never generated enough votes to get the nod. He barely earned this spot ahead of Washington quarterback Jake Locker.

Of the five players readers nominated, three were quarterbacks. Ryan Mallett of Arkansas and Christian Ponder of Florida State also were mentioned.

Seven slots remain to be filled in our mock project. Two of them belong to the AFC East's playoff teams from last year, the New England Patriots at No. 28 and the New York Jets at No. 30.

As a reminder of what we're doing, readers are voting each weekday to choose which prospects will represent the AFC East blog in a mock draft. After the real draft next week, we'll compare our mock to those from ESPN draft experts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay to see how we fared.

Here's what out first round looks like so far ...
  1. Carolina Panthers: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton
  2. Denver Broncos: Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus
  3. Buffalo Bills: Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller
  4. Cincinnati Bengals: Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert
  5. Arizona Cardinals: Louisiana State cornerback Patrick Peterson
  6. Cleveland Browns: Georgia receiver A.J. Green
  7. San Francisco 49ers: Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara
  8. Tennessee Titans: Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley
  9. Dallas Cowboys: USC tackle Tyron Smith
  10. Washington Redskins: Alabama receiver Julio Jones
  11. Houston Texans: North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn
  12. Minnesota Vikings: Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers
  13. Detroit Lions: Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo
  14. St. Louis Rams: Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget
  15. Miami Dolphins: Alabama running back Mark Ingram
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith
  17. New England Patriots: Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt
  18. San Diego Chargers: California defensive end Cameron Jordan
  19. New York Giants: Florida center Mike Pouncey
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan
  21. Kansas City Chiefs: Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi
  22. Indianapolis Colts: Colorado tackle Nate Solder
  23. Philadelphia Eagles: Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod
  24. New Orleans Saints: Temple defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson
  25. Seattle Seahawks: Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith

The Baltimore Ravens are on the clock with the 26th choice.

Please drop your recommendation in the comments section below this article. Those who get their links to the AFC East blog via my Facebook page can submit a nomination under the link there.

AFC East mock takes first non-BCS player

April, 15, 2011
4/15/11
8:30
AM ET
With the 24th pick in the 2011 AFC East reader mock draft, the New Orleans Saints select ... Muhammad Wilkerson, defensive end, Temple.

Readers fired a shotgun at the remaining names on the draft board. Ten players -- all on defense -- were nominated for the Saints' selection. The first non-BCS player in our mock came out on top.

Wilkerson still won comfortably because most nominees received just one or two votes. Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn came in second.

I want to thank everybody for keeping the momentum on our mock endeavor. We're about to hit the homestretch, with the last two AFC East picks coming up next week -- the New England Patriots and New York Jets.

What we have ...
  1. Carolina Panthers: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton
  2. Denver Broncos: Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus
  3. Buffalo Bills: Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller
  4. Cincinnati Bengals: Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert
  5. Arizona Cardinals: Louisiana State cornerback Patrick Peterson
  6. Cleveland Browns: Georgia receiver A.J. Green
  7. San Francisco 49ers: Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara
  8. Tennessee Titans: Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley
  9. Dallas Cowboys: USC tackle Tyron Smith
  10. Washington Redskins: Alabama receiver Julio Jones
  11. Houston Texans: North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn
  12. Minnesota Vikings: Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers
  13. Detroit Lions: Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo
  14. St. Louis Rams: Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget
  15. Miami Dolphins: Alabama running back Mark Ingram
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith
  17. New England Patriots: Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt
  18. San Diego Chargers: California defensive end Cameron Jordan
  19. New York Giants: Florida center Mike Pouncey
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan
  21. Kansas City Chiefs: Wisconsin tackle Gabe Carimi
  22. Indianapolis Colts: Colorado tackle Nate Solder
  23. Philadelphia Eagles: Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod
  24. New Orleans Saints: Temple defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson

The Seattle Seahawks are next up with the 25th selection.

I'll count up the votes left in the comments section below this article and any left on my Facebook page and reveal it Monday.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider