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Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Five-headed 2nd-round mock draft

By Mike Reiss

Dual Mock Draft

Welcome to the ESPNBoston.com "five-headed" second-round mock draft.

Building off of last week's "four-headed" first-round mock, we're continuing this week with the second round.

"PatsFanTRichter", "Mr. Scratch", "401PATSFAN" and "gln826", four regulars in the comments section who add terrific insight to this blog, will join me in doing the selecting. The picks will be made in the comments section of the blog and then I'll cut-and-paste them into the main area of the blog.

Let's proceed in that order for making the picks -- Mike Reiss, "PatsFanTRichter", "Mr. Scratch", "401PATSFAN" and "gln826"-- as we make our way through the second round.

Here we go...

33. New England (Mike Reiss) -- RB Mikel Leshoure (Illinois) -- They could use some offensive line help and Baylor guard/tackle Danny Watkins, who at 26 is one of the older players in the draft, could be a consideration. But Bill Belichick mentioned that this draft has more tackles who project to guard than the norm, so there could be better value a bit later. Cornerback Brandon Harris is another prospect that showed up on the radar for this pick, although it was interesting to hear Belichick note that this draft has more bigger corners than the norm, and Harris isn't one of them. Most analysts seem to be in agreement that the Patriots won't make all three picks they have in the top 33 -- a trade would be consistent with their modus operandi -- but assuming they do, the feeling here is that they will focus on one of the draft's higher-rated, impact running backs at this spot. They are in good shape with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead, but need to fill out the remaining two spots on the depth chart while also keeping the future in mind.
First-round picks: DL Cameron Jordan (17), OLB Jabaal Sheard (28)

34. Buffalo (PatsFanTRichter) -- OT Benjamin Ijalana (Villanova) -- Even with the selection of Von Miller early, the Bills have several weaknesses on their roster to address. A quarterback is a possibility, but head coach Chan Gailey and general manager Buddy Nix seem to have placed their faith in Ryan Fitzpatrick, so they opt instead to protect him with Ijalana, the long-armed tackle from Villanova. While somewhat short for a tackle, Ijalana is athletic enough to have dominated his competition at the FCS level, and has been talked about as a potential first-round pick in some quarters.
First-round pick: OLB Von Miller (3)

35. Cincinnati (Mr. Scratch) -- WR Jonathan Baldwin (Pittsburgh) -- The offensive rebuild continues. Baldwin/Shipley/Gresham would give them some nice weapons to surround new QB Blaine Gabbert as it's unlikely Carson Palmer and the TOcho show will return. Brandon Harris is tempting here, but the Bengals should be planning to pull out the stops to keep Johnathan Jospeh in the fold.
First-round pick: QB Blaine Gabbert (4)

36. Denver (401PATSFAN) -- DT Marvin Austin (North Carolina) -- Missing all of 2010 potentially knocked him out of the first round. His strong showing at the Shrine game and Combine keeps him from falling any longer. At 6-foot-3 and 300-plus pounds, he moves really well and he would be a good selection for a defense going from a 3-4 back to a 4-3 defense.
First-round pick: DL Marcell Dareus (2)

37. Cleveland (gln826) -- DT Stephen Paea (Oregon State) -- Cleveland needs more at defensive tackle as they convert back to the 4-3 defense, so addressing that area is critical. The d-line is where it all starts from. Another option is Illinois inside linebacker Martrez Wilson, but needing to shore up the run defense in the AFC North is critical.
First-round pick: WR A.J. Green (6)

38. Arizona (Mike Reiss) -- QB Ryan Mallett (Arkansas) -- This works out nicely for the Cardinals, who didn't get a crack at two top passers in the first round (Cam Newton to Carolina at 1; Blaine Gabbert to Cincinnati at 4) and have a big need at the position. So do you choose Mallett, Jake Locker, Andy Dalton or Christian Ponder? Given the assets the Cardinals already have on offense -- starting with vertical threat Larry Fitzgerald at receiver -- the rocket-armed Mallett might be the best fit. While some teams might have off-field/non-football specific concerns with Mallett, Arizona could be the type of lower-key NFL environment that makes him a good fit and limits some of that risk. Another consideration was MLB Martez Wilson.
First-round pick: OLB Robert Quinn (5)

39. Tennessee (PatsFanTRichter) -- QB Jake Locker (Washington) -- Tennessee has to address the quarterback position after jettisoning Vince Young and Jeff Fisher. New head coach Mike Munchak would probably like to add a body along the offensive line to bolster a running game that took a few steps backwards in 2010, but the Titans have expressed interest in Locker, and he possesses many of the attributes they like at the position, given his height, athleticism and strong arm. Despite his flaws in terms of accuracy and decision-making, Locker seems likely to go higher than this, but the Titans will gladly take a chance on a prospect that was formerly considered a favorite to go first overall at this point in the draft.
First-round pick: DL Nick Fairley (8)

40. Dallas (Mr. Scratch) -- CB Brandon Harris (Miami) -- The Cowboys' secondary was awful last year and Terrence Newman turns 33. They're also a team that is not likely going to be able to do much with the pricey free agency crop of CB's because of the amount of money they already have on their books. Harris would give them someone who could probably step in and play nickel right away.
First-round pick: OT Tyron Smith (9)

41. Washington (410PATSFAN) -- QB Colin Kaepernick (Nevada) -- Donovan McNabb's out the door as soon as a CBA is reached. Does Rex Grossman make this team a contender? Of course not. QB has to be the pick. Kaepernick fits from on scheme perspective -- classic Shanahan QB, big, mobile, with a huge arm. He is 6-foot-6, 225 pounds and ran a 4.53 40-yard dash. He's a good athlete and will be utilized in Shanahan's bootlegs like he did with both Jay Cutler and Jake Plummer.
First-round pick: WR Julio Jones (10)

42. Houston (gln826) -- OLB Akeem Ayers (UCLA) -- With the switch to a 3-4 defense, Houston needs OLB's that can be flexible in the run and passing game. Ayers has showed he can rush the QB as well as drop into zone coverage. Playing opposite Brian Cushing makes Houston's OLB's a solid tandem for many years to come. Another possible option here is WR Torrey Smith.
First-round pick: CB Prince Amukamara (11)

43. Minnesota (Mike Reiss) -- QB Andy Dalton (Texas Christian) -- Brett Favre is retired (for real this time) and the Vikings need a quarterback to build around for the long-term. While they could still sign a free agent, this is their chance to develop a player at the game’s most important position. With the run on quarterbacks beginning, they can’t afford to wait any longer – it’s either Dalton or Florida State’s Christian Ponder here.
First-round pick: DL J.J. Watt (12)

44. Detroit (PatsFanTRichter) -- FS Rahim Moore (UCLA) -- Despite the glaring need for a tackle to protect former first overall pick Matthew Stafford, the Lions opt to to bolster their porous secondary. The Lions are staunch adherents to the best-player-available draft strategy, and none of the available tackles at this spot offer enough value to move them ahead of more highly rated players at other positions. Moore needs to add some bulk, but his upside is high, and he was very productive as a junior with 10 interceptions. Aaron Williams is another borderline first rounder they could consider, and linebacker is a possibility as well.
First-round pick: DE Da'Quan Bowers (13)

45. San Francisco (Mr. Scratch) -- QB Christian Ponder (Florida State) -- I don't know you really want the 5th QB in a QB run like this but when you have Jim Harbaugh coming in and not much at the spot and a good chance there won't be much by the time it gets back to you. The way the board lies, it would be difficult to go elsewhere.
First-round pick: CB Patrick Peterson (7)

46. Denver (401PATSFAN) -- WR Leonard Hankerson (Miami) -- Value pick here at 46 for Denver. Debated going CB but I'm assuming that's addressed with pick 67. Hankerson is a big-play WR with good size and speed. Catches the ball with his hands withput letting the pass into his body. Attacks the ball at the highest point. Known for being a coachable, hard working kid. Not a finished product and he'll need tough coaching because at times he has lapses in his concentration.
First/second-round picks: DL Marcell Dareus (2)/DL Marvin Austin (36)

47. St. Louis (gln826) -- WR Randall Cobb (Kentucky) - QB Sam Bradford needs some serious weapons when your starting WR's are Brandon Gibson and Laurent Robinson. Cobb also has carried the ball out of the backfield which gives the new OC McDaniels a huge weapon. There is no other option here.
First-round pick: DE Aldon Smith (14)

48. Oakland (Mike Reiss) -- G/T Danny Watkins (Baylor) -- The Raiders have some questions up front and while they have some in-house candidates, Watkins represents good value here. Some have predicted he could be drafted in the first round. The reason he slips this far is his age (26).
First-round pick: None (traded for Pats for Richard Seymour in 2009)

49. Jacksonville (PatsFanTRichter) -- OC Stefen Wisniewski (Penn State) -- The Jaguars look likely to load up on defense in this draft, and could stand to address the quarterback position, but Wisniewski is too good a player to pass up here. Center Brad Meester had a solid 2010, but will be 34 when the season starts and has struggled with significant injuries in recent years. Wisniewski was a productive three-year starter and three-time Academic All-American, and has NFL bloodlines, as his father and uncle Steve Wisniewski both played in the league. Secondary or linebacker prospects could be in play as well.
First-round pick: DE Ryan Kerrigan (16)

50. San Diego (Mr. Scratch) -- WR Torrey Smith (Maryland) -- Vincent Jackson is taking up the franchise tag, Malcolm Floyd and Legedu Naanee are free agents and I'm not thinking Patrick Crayton is really worth $2.35 million. Smith would fit well in that vertical offense.
First-round pick: OL Gabe Carimi (18)

51. Tampa Bay (401PATSFAN) -- LB Martez Wilson (Illinois) -- Wilson had a great senior season in 2010. He amassed 112 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 INT & 15 tackles for loss. This selection is made with the idea of him playing MLB if Barrett Ruud isn't retained. Or he could kick outside, where he'll be an immediate upgrade over Geno Hayes/Quincy Black. Wilson's a smart player able to learn multiple positional duties. Uses his long arms (34 5/8 inches) to keep blockers off his body and not be swallowed up. Presents special teams value, too.
First-round pick: OT Anthony Castonzo (20)

52. N.Y. Giants (gln826) -- CB Ras-I Dowling (Virginia) -- The Giants' defensive backs cost them from making the playoffs. Aaron Ross has become a non-factor over the past 2 seasons. Dowling is a fast physical CB who will help in the run game. He will be a starter right away for the Giants.
First-round pick: C/G Mike Pouncey (19)

53. Indianapolis (Mike Reiss) -- C Rodney Hudson (Florida State) -- This sets up as a draft to decisively address the offensive line, while protecting quarterback Peyton Manning better than they did last season. They get the tackle in the first round and now have a young interior lineman to groom for when Jeff Saturday retires.
First-round pick: OL Derek Sherrod (22)

54. Philadelphia (PatsFanTRichter) -- OL Marcus Cannon (TCU) -- The Eagles aren't a team with many glaring holes, but their offensive line needs some help. Andy Reid loves the big, mauling-type linemen, and they don't come much bigger than Cannon. His high degree of athleticism for his size will likely tempt the Eagles into trying him at right tackle, even though he'd project to guard for most teams in the league. Rumors of testicular cancer seem to have been debunked, although there's still some speculation about the matter. Orlando Franklin could be another option, if Cannon's health is too great a concern.
First-round pick: CB Jimmy Smith (23)

55. Kansas City (Mr. Scratch) -- OT James Carpenter (Alabama) -- Kansas City's biggest need is in the middle on the ball both ways (C and NT) but there really isn't much value there at this spot. It's a tough call doubling up at OT but it is a position of need and if they are trying to get Brandon Albert back to OG it would make sense. WR and DE/ OLB are also strong possibilities but both picks could be a little bit of a reach.
First-round pick: OT Nate Solder (21)

56. New Orleans (401PATSFAN) -- OL Clint Boling (Georgia) -- Athletic. Versatile. Reasonably good strength. Very solid pass blocker. Quick pass set. Good short area quickness and footwork. Good length. Solid knee bender. Very solid lateral movement and slide. Redirects reasonably well. Solid short area flexibility and change of direction. Gets good position and seals off the action well. Solid hand placement. Can control his man once locked on. Good run blocker. Can get movement in the running game. Plays with a good low center of gravity. Plays with reasonably good leverage. Solid anchoring strength. Can pull and get to the second level. Does a solid job getting in the way of defenders in space and sealing them from the ball. Steady and reliable. Good motor, stays active until the whistle. Plays with a mean streak. Will get some looks at Right Tackle as well.
First-round pick: DE/OLB Justin Houston (24)

57. Seattle (gln826) -- OL Orlando Franklin (Miami) -- Seattle has never really recovered from losing their All-Pro OG Steve Hutchinson. They have struggled in the running game since then, so adding Franklin to a line that already features Russell Okung can restore Seattle to a power running game with Marshawn Lynch at RB.
First-round pick: DL Corey Liuget (25)

58. Baltimore (Mike Rodak) -- CB Davon House (New Mexico State) -- Baltimore has struggled in the back end of their defense for the past few seasons, and at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, House is a cornerback who will return some physicality to the Ravens' secondary. Offensive tackle is another need, but a run at the position in the four picks prior has depleted the talent available at this pick for the Ravens.
First-round pick: DE Cameron Heyward (26)

59. Atlanta (PatsFanTRichter) -- DE Adrian Clayborn (Iowa) -- Despite multiple concerns about Clayborn as a prospect (a 2009 assault charge, Erb's Palsy in his right arm and his decline in production last year), the Falcons wouldn't spend much time on the clock before turning in the card for Clayborn. The two biggest things they'll be looking to address in this draft are weapons for Matt Ryan and a young, pass-rushing end to groom. John Abraham will be 33 when the season starts, and the Falcons need more production from the other end of the line. A wide receiver like Titus Young or Edmund Gates is another possibility.
First-round pick: TE Kyle Rudolph (27)

60. New England (Mr. Scratch) -- OT Marcus Gilbert (Florida) -- Another Meyer/ Florida product, Gilbert has the tools to be a very solid, long-term RT. Team leader, good character, solid work habits. This isn't the sexiest draft, but the Patriots don't usually have sexy drafts. However, this isn't the greatest value draft and they usually are tremendous in that regard. But if you don't like the picks in these spots, don't worry too much. New England probably won't select at 17, 28, 33 or 60 in this year's actual draft.
First/second-round picks: Cameron Jordan (17)/Jabaal Sheard (28)/Mikel Leshoure (33)

61. San Diego (401PATSFAN) -- DL Christian Ballard (Iowa) -- Versatile, plays everywhere on the defensive line. Good size and bulk. Athletic. Good speed. Solid pass rusher. Fires off the ball. Explosive. Reasonably good length and average arm length. Active hands. Very good burst. Plays with very solid leverage. Holds up reasonably well at the point. Generally stays low and can get under opponent's pads. Good arsenal of moves. Solid swim and spin moves. Adequate bull rush. Solid lower body strength. Shoots gaps. Fights through double teams. Good balance. Plays the run well. Very good lateral movement. Makes plays up and down the line. Can pursue the ball. Chases the ball to the sidelines well. Makes plays all over the field. Good tackler. Hard hitter. Good effort. Good motor. Well conditioned. Very disciplined. Durable, has not missed a game since the start of the 2008 season. Schematic versatility, compares to Tyson Alualu, a good fit as a five-technique and at under tackle in a 4-3 scheme.
First/second-round picks: OL Gabe Carimi (18), WR Torrey Smith (50)

62. Chicago (gln826) -- DE Allen Bailey (Miami) -- There is an obvious need at OT, but there isn't a tackle worth it at this pick. On defense, with Julius Peppers doubled-teamed and no pressure generated from the opposite side of the defensive line, the Tampa-2 defense struggles. Bailey is a perfect fit for Chicago's defense.
First-round pick: CB/FS Aaron Williams (29)

63. Pittsburgh (Mike Rodak) -- OL Will Rackley (Lehigh) -- Even after adding Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey in the first round last season, the Steelers still remain weak elsewhere on their offensive line. Adding Rackley, who has some position versatility, will continue to re-stock an offensive line in need of help.
First-round pick: DT Phil Taylor (31)

64. Green Bay (PatsFanTRichter) -- DT Jarvis Jenkins (Clemson) -- The Packers need size and depth up front, as Cullen Jenkins is a likely departure and Johnny Jolly is facing drug charges. B.J. Raji has developed into a force inside, and adding a big-bodied end to flank him with Mike Neal could make the Packers even more stout up front. Receiver is another possibility, as is offensive line.
First-round pick: OLB Brooks Reed (32)