AFC West: Kyle Rudolph

Putting a bow on Day 2

April, 29, 2011
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos will likely not get an impact player at their biggest area of need.

The Broncos have made four picks in the first three rounds of the draft and they have yet to take a defensive tackle. Denver bypassed Marcell Dareus at No. 2 and Marvin Austin and Stephen Paea in the second round. Several other defensive tackles went in the first three rounds.

Denver coach John Fox acknowledged that Denver still needs to find help at the position. He indicated it would be a target area once free agency starts. With the two best running games in the NFL in the AFC West -- Kansas City was No. 1 and Oakland was No. 2 in 2010 -- this is an area the Broncos have to address at some point.

Denver didn’t get a chance to take Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph in the second round, so keep an eye out for Portland State’s Julius Thomas. He is a former college basketball player.

Denver took Miami right tackle Orlando Franklin at No. 46. That's the last pick the Broncos got in the Brandon Marshall trade with Miami. Miami also sent Denver a second-round pick last year that Denver used in the trade to take Tim Tebow at No. 25. Franklin is expected to start as a rookie.

I’m surprised that San Diego GM A.J. Smith, a noted draft trader, used all five of his picks in the first three rounds. I thought he’d make at least one deal.

Being taken in the second round didn’t even “cross the mind” of new San Diego linebacker Jonas Mouton.

Some of the better prospects available heading into the fourth round include Oklahoma State running back Kendall Hunter, Texas linebacker Sam Acho, Fresno State linebacker Chris Carter and North Carolina linebacker Quan Sturdivant.

Scouts Inc. looks at it all

April, 28, 2011
Scouts Inc. has released its complete seven-round mock draft in an Insider piece. Let’s check it out:


Round pick Player Pos. School

1 2 Von Miller LB Texas A&M

2 36 Justin Houston DE Georgia

2 46 Kyle Rudolph TE Notre Dame

3 67 Jaiquawn Jarrett S Temple

6 186 Derrick Locke RB Kentucky

6 189 Cortez Allen CB Citadel

7 247 Pat Devlin QB Delaware

My take: It’s a strong class of players in the first four picks. Devlin is an interesting project.

San Diego

Round pick Player Pos. School

1 18 Muhammad Wilkerson DL Temple

2 50 Martez Wilson LB Illinois

2 61 Kelvin Sheppard LB LSU

3 82 Greg Salas WR Hawaii

3 89 Kendrick Ellis DT Hampton

6 183 Pierre Allen DE Nebraska

6 201 Anthony Gaitor CB Florida Int.

7 234 Joe Torchia WR Virginia

My take: The first five picks are very strong. The Chargers would instantly get better on defense and Salas is an intriguing receiver.

Kansas City

Round pick Player Pos. School

1 21 Nate Solder OT Colorado

2 55 Titus Young WR Boise State

3 86 Akeem Dent LB Georgia

4 118 Chris Carter LB Fresno State

5 135 Andrew Jackson OG Fresno State

5 140 Ian Williams DT Notre Dame

6 199 Julius Thomas TE Portland State

7 223 Shaun Chapas FB Georgia

My take: Young, Dent and Cart are all interesting value picks at their respective spots.


Round pick Player Pos. School

2 48 Johnny Patrick CB Louisville

3 81 Joseph Lefeged S Rutgers

4 113 David Arkin OG Missouri State

5 148 Jordan Cameron LB USC

6 181 Aldrick Robinson WR SMU

7 219 Nathan Enderle QB Idaho

7 241 Michael Smith OT Nebraska

My take: The focus on DBs and the offensive line early is smart. Enderle would be a terrific choice in the last round.
The latest mock drafts of ESPN draft gurus Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have been released in Insider pieces. Both Kiper and McShay go three rounds deep.

Let’s review the choices:

Denver, No. 2

Kiper’s pick: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

McShay’s Pick: Dareus

My thoughts: That’s what I’m thinking, too. Dareus is too special and he’d help this defense too much for Denver to bypass him.

San Diego, No. 18

Kiper’s pick: Muhammad Wilkerson, DL, Temple

My thoughts: Pass-rushers seem to last longer on Kiper’s board longer than they do on McShay’s board. San Diego would be very satisfied to get a player of Wilkerson’s ability at No. 18.

McShay’s Pick: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri

My thoughts: Smith would also be a solid pick and he may be even of a better fit than Wilkerson in San Diego.

Kansas City, No. 21

Kiper’s pick: Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA

My thoughts: McShay has Ayers going in the second round, long after the top pass-rushers. I think he will go in the first round. Perhaps Kansas City could trade down a few spots and grab him.

McShay’s Pick: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

My thoughts: I think the Chiefs would rather get a top pass-rusher, but they would be pleased to get a tackle of Carimi’s ability. But I think it would be a Plan-B scenario.

Oakland does not have a first-round pick. It traded its pick (No. 17) to New England for defensive tackle Richard Seymour in September 2009.

Second round


36. Denver Rahim Moore S UCLA

46. Denver (from Miami) Kyle Rudolph TE Notre Dame

48. Oakland Clint Boling OL Georgia

50. San Diego Randall Cobb WR Kentucky

55. Kansas City Orlando Franklin OL Miami (Fla)

61. San Diego (from NY Jets) Ras-I Dowling CB Virginia

My thoughts: This would be a solid round for each team. Denver’s defense would continue to get better with the best safety in the draft. The Chiefs would add yet another offensive lineman. The Raiders would address their top need and the Chargers would add two interesting skill players. Dowling could be a star.


36. Denver Rudolph

46. Denver (from Miami) Moore

48. Oakland Jimmy Smith CB Colorado

50. San Diego Allen Bailey DE Miami (FL)

55. Kansas City Kelvin Sheppard ILB LSU

61. San Diego (from NY Jets) Jonathan Baldwin WR Pittsburgh

My thoughts: It’s interesting that McShay and Kiper have the same two players going to Denver in the round at different spots. What sticks out in this group, though, is Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith going to Oakland. That would be a major score. Yes, Smith has big character questions, but he’d be worth the risk at No. 48 and be good insurance if Nnamdi Asomugha leaves in free agency. Kiper has Smith going much earlier than McShay. I like the choice of Bailey for San Diego, but Baldwin may be risky.

Third round


67. Denver Christian Ballard DL Iowa

81. Oakland Chimdi Chekwa CB Ohio St.

82. San Diego Marcus Cannon OT TCU

86. Kansas City Greg Salas WR Hawaii

89. San Diego (from Seattle) Akeem Dent LB Georgia

My thoughts: San Diego’s two picks here stick out. Cannon is massive and would be a good project. Dent could soon be a solid contributor.


67. Denver Quan Sturdivant LB North Carolina

81. Oakland Virgil Green TE Nevada

82. San Diego Lee Ziemba OT Auburn

86. Kansas City Tandon Doss WR Indiana

89. San Diego (from Seattle) Colin McCarthy LB Miami (FL)

My thoughts: Green is a great talent, but if Zach Miller stays, he won’t be needed. I also like Ziemba and Doss.

What’s your thoughts on all these projected picks? Fill up the comment section below with your thoughts.

McShay's 2011 mock draft

April, 28, 2010
Todd McShay doesn’t sleep. He already has his first 2011 mock draft up.

It is sure to change a bunch in the next 51 weeks based on performance, injuries and the underclassmen decisions.

Still, it’s an interesting look. He based his draft order on early projections by Scouts Inc. That’s sure to change as well. So, folks, just look at this as a fun exercise in late April with plenty to change in the next year.

No. 3 Kansas City, Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

My thoughts: I think a left tackle could be the choice. But I expect Kansas City to pick lower in the draft next year. Maybe the 9-13 range.

No. 13 Denver, Jerrell Powe, DT, Mississippi

My thoughts: The range and positions seems about right here.

No. 25, Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame

My thoughts: I expect San Diego to pick in the high 20s again. I think their targeted position will depend on how free agency plays out in 2011.

Oakland does not have a first-round pick next year because it sent it to New England for Richard Seymour. Scouts Inc. has the Raiders' pick being No.7. I think Oakland may be slotted in the 12-16 range next year.