AFC West: Ryan Bartholomew

AFC West mock draft (Take 3)

March, 2, 2011
With the NFL combine complete, we are going to do our third mock draft of the offseason. We will periodically do mock drafts leading up to the April draft after major events:

Here goes our third take:

2. Denver, DE, Da’Quan Bowers, Auburn: Denver will have a lot of choices, perhaps including LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, who is the new No. 1 player on Mel Kiper’s big board Insider. At this point, there are indications that Denver is leaning toward taking a defensive lineman. I think Denver is really interested in Bowers and think he could make a huge impact its defense.

Previous pick: Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley

18. San Diego, DE, Cameron Jordan, California: Jordan would be a great fit for the Chargers. He had a terrific combine and he is a high-character person. He will be popular. The Chargers will have to hope he is available. Jacksonville, at No. 16, and New England, at No. 17, could take Jordan. Getting him could require jumping up to No. 15.

Previous pick: Jordan

21. Kansas City, LB Justin Houston, Georgia: There are a lot of pass rushers available this year and the Chiefs should get a fine player to team with Tamba Hali. Houston is a good player who could be a good value pick here. He is rising up the draft board. This would be a quality choice by the Chiefs.

Previous pick: Aldon Smith, LB, Missouri

48. Oakland, Stefen Wisniewski, OL, Penn State: I’ve had Wisniewski at the spot in all three mocks. I’m not moving now. His uncle, former Raiders great offensive lineman Steve Wisniewski, is now on Oakland’s staff. Oakland coach Hue Jackson lauded Stefen Wisniewski at the combine and the offensive lineman said it would be “awesome” to be taken by the Raiders. Oakland could take a falling quarterback or someone like Syracuse center Ryan Bartholomew, who was a combine workout star. But we’re sticking with Wiz II for now.

Previous pick: Wisniewski
INDIANAPOLIS -- Keep this name handy in the next couple of months, Oakland Raiders fans: Ryan Bartholomew.

The Syracuse center is the early workout star at the NFL combine.

That is significant to Oakland. The Raiders love combine workout warriors, and they have a need at center. You have to consider Oakland an early favorite to pursue Bartholomew.

He led all players in the bench press competition Friday. Bartholomew did 34 repetitions of the 225-pound bench press. The average over the past three years for interior offensive linemen is 26.6 reps.

Saturday, Bartholomew clocked an unofficial 40-yard dash time under 4.9 seconds. These are tremendous numbers for a 6-foot-1, 305-pound offensive lineman. Bartholomew entered the combine considered a third- or fourth-round prospect. Now, he could shoot himself into the second round.

Oakland will likely consider centers with its first pick, No. 48.

Oakland pays attention to combine numbers as much as any team. Last year, Oakland drafted workout stars Jacoby Ford and Bruce Campbell.