Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Mel's first mock
By Paul Kuharsky
This just in: Mel Kiper's first mock draft.
It's an Insider piece, but I was granted special clearance to tell you his AFC South picks.
Titans, eighth: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
Miller has the reputation of a big-time sack artist but his game is more diversified than he gets credit for. What Miller brings in Week 1 is a great third-down option. A gifted edge-rusher, he can get to the quarterback, but you can also mix it up and drop him into zone coverage, where he has speed and developing awareness at the position. A solid tackler, Miller will only get better in the 4-3 system as he adjusts to the NFL game.
Kuharsky on fit: I’d have no issue with the Titans having three new starting linebackers in 2011. Will the top backer be better than the second quarterback or second defensive tackle?
Texans, 11th: Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri
A late addition to the Big Board, Smith's declaration moved him up among draft-eligible pass-rushers. Smith is more athlete than refined pass-rusher at this stage, but he has a great wing-span and is a perfect size and speed combination to develop as an outside linebacker. We know Houston has to address the defensive side of the ball and Smith is the kind of high-upside player that will fly up the board as personnel people start seeing the tape. He'll improve a weak pass rush.
Kuharsky on fit: The Texans need to stock up at linebacker with their move to a 3-4, so Smith could make sense. Especially if there is no super value defensive back here.
Jaguars, 16th: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
Jacksonville worked on its defensive line last offseason and via the draft, and Clayborn offers a final piece to solidify a good unit. A powerful edge-rusher, Clayborn batters opposing linemen with a relentlessness that makes him among the most difficult players to prepare for. Smart and disciplined enough to hold the edge, he's a perfect fit for the Jacksonville system.
Kuharsky on fit: I like the sound of it. But the Jaguars need a quarterback, a linebacker, a corner and at least one safety. Would this amount to a luxury pick?
Colts, 22nd: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
The Colts need to strengthen their offensive line in order to reclaim the running game and keep heat off Peyton Manning, who will be 35 when the 2011 season kicks off. Castonzo offers stability as a versatile tackle who will never miss a snap. He could add some bulk, but that's not the most difficult area to address. With well-above-average smarts, awareness and work-rate, he'd fit well in Indy at a position the Colts need to fill.
Kuharsky on fit: Sounds great. But a guy who sounds great isn’t usually the way the Colts go. In this scenario, Castonzo is the third offensive lineman and second tackle off the board.