Ryan Lownes’ Latest Mock Draft

Written by Ryan Lownes on September 15, 2011

17. Kansas City 


Alfonzo Dennard – CB – Nebraska


After taking two steps forward a season ago, I expect the Chiefs to take a step back in 2011. Kansas City did a nice job addressing needs through April’s draft, but it will likely be a couple years before those young players are integrated fully. Dennard fits the team’s mold of physical cornerbacks. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in toughness, competitiveness, and willingness to tackle.

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 


Michael Floyd – WR – Notre Dame


At some point this season, the Buccaneers will realize Arrelious Benn and Dezmon Briscoe are unreliable options in the passing game. While offensive line may be a more pressing need, a top flight wideout may take young quarterback Josh Freeman to the next level. Michael Floyd is a tremendous talent with size, body control, and the ability to pick up yards after the catch.

19. Chicago Bears 


Riley Reiff – OT – Iowa*


The Bears wisely addressed needs along the offensive line when they made Gabe Carimi their first round pick in April. Moving forward, protecting Jay Cutler appears to be the team’s top priority. Chicago adds a blind side protector here in Riley Reiff. Though he lacks girth and does not generate significant movement in the run game, Reiff is an excellent pass blocking prospect from a respected program.

20. Dallas Cowboys 


Jared Crick – DE – Nebraska


Though it is no secret the Cowboys will be seeking help in the defensive backfield, it would be hard for Jerry Jones to pass on value here. Switching to Rob Ryan’s brand of 3-4 makes 5-tech a position in need of an upgrade. Jared Crick offers Dallas an instant starter and potential difference-maker on the defensive front.

21. Detroit Lions 


Cliff Harris – CB – Oregon*


It appears the Lions’ rebuilding phase has come to an end. Detroit will compete this season in the NFC North and will look to patch a few holes next offseason to contend for Super Bowls. They did not add a top cornerback in free agency, so the team still needs help in the secondary. Harris is a terrific athlete, equally effective on defense and special teams. Once he gets on the field and returns to 2010 form, he will again be considered a first round talent.

22. St. Louis Rams 


Lamar Miller – RB – Miami*


Though their running game should be formidable this season, the Rams lack youth and durability in the backfield. Lamar Miller is an electric back who would form a dynamic tandem with veteran Steven Jackson. Though he is just a redshirt sophomore, Miller has shown excellent burst, speed, and power during his time at Miami. With the football program under fire, it would not be a surprise to see him bolt for the NFL.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers 


Cordy Glenn – OG – Georgia


The offensive line woes seem to be continuing this season for the Steelers. For years, Pittsburgh has struggled to find consistency and durability in the trenches. Cordy Glenn has struggled to pass block on an island at left tackle for Georgia, but in the NFL he will likely be moved back inside to Guard where he belongs. Glenn is enormous and has very good in-line strength, he would step in as a starter immediately for the Steelers.

24. Houston Texas 


Ryan Broyles – WR – Oklahoma


Though many assume the Texans will continue to emphasize defense on draft day, Houston could use this pick to add the final piece to their offense. Ryan Broyles is a remarkably productive college receiver that has shown the ability to do a number of things on the field. He can play outside, he is excellent in the slot, and he will contribute on special teams as a return man. Broyles could elevate the Texans’ offense from ‘very good’ to elite.

25. San Diego Chargers


Jeff Fuller – WR – Texas A&M


With Vincent Jackson set to be an unrestricted free agent after the season, San Diego will have to start considering the future at the wide receiver position. Listed at 6’4 220, Jeff Fuller fits the Chargers prototype of big receivers. Fuller has shown superb body control, hands, and is a good route runner for his size. He gives Philip Rivers a reliable target for years as San Diego aims to make a run at the Super Bowl.

26. Cleveland Browns (f/ Atlanta)


Morris Claiborne – CB – LSU*


The Browns struck gold when they selected Joe Haden in the first round of the 2010 draft. Despite Haden’s success, however, Cleveland remains thin at the cornerback position. Morris Claiborne is a tremendous athlete with closing speed and quickness. He has proven himself as one of the nation’s elite at the position and looks to be capable of competing for a starting spot immediately in the NFL.

27. New York Jets 


David DeCastro – OG – Stanford*


Under Rex Ryan the Jets have been to two straight AFC Championship games. When he arrived in New York he planned on winning with a stifling defense and power running game. In recent years, the Jets rushing attack has slowed and it is clear the offensive line could be upgraded. DeCastro is an athletic guard that moves very well in space and finishes blocks. He has the perfect mentality to jump-start New York’s run game.

28. Philadelphia Eagles 


Zach Brown – OLB – North Carolina


The Eagles were extremely active in free agency this past year, addressing needs at cornerback and on the defensive line. Unfortunately, Stewart Bradley chose to bolt for Arizona, leaving Philadelphia reliant on rookie Casey Matthews to start. Zach Brown may be more of a weak-side backer, but he is too intriguing a fit in the team’s Tampa 2 scheme to let slip here. Brown is an incredible athlete with rare speed and unlimited upside.

29. Baltimore Ravens 


Manti Te’o – ILB – Notre Dame*


The Ravens look to take over control of the AFC North this season, but the defense is not what it once was in the front seven. Despite their consistent success defensively, Baltimore has struggled to find a stable inside backer next to Ray Lewis since Bart Scott’s departure. Manti Te’o appears to be a great fit displaying instincts, range, and tackling ability in the middle at Notre Dame.

30. Green Bay Packers 


Billy Winn – DE – Boise State


The reigning Super Bowl champions have very few holes (if any) to fill on paper. Green Bay appears set for another deep playoff run this season and has put together a deep, young, and talented roster. With key contributor Cullen Jenkins leaving in free agency, defensive end will be a question this season as Mike Neal hopes to fill the void. Billy Winn has size, quickness, and anchor strength along with the versatility to move up & down the line.

31. New England Patriots  (f/ New Orleans)


Courtney Upshaw – LB – Alabama

On paper, the Patriots roster is as deep and talented as any in the league. With another exceptional draft class, New England appears capable of making deep playoff runs every year until Tom Brady’s play deteriorates. Courtney Upshaw is the type of big, versatile linebacker the team could use in the front seven. He has lined up all over the place in Tuscaloosa and would be a real asset in Bill Belichick’s defensivescheme scheme.

32. New England Patriots 


Juron Criner – WR – Arizona


It appears as if Tom Brady has not peaked as a quarterback quite yet. The Patriots are considered odds-on favorites to be the Super Bowl champions and their lethal passing attack is expected to take them there. Wide receivers Wes Welker, Deion Branch, and Chad Ochocinco are all on the wrong side of 30, however. Criner offers New England the height and speed to threaten the field vertically in a way they have not been able to since Randy Moss’ departure.

Ryan Lownes

Ryan is currently an undergraduate student at Ohio University pursuing a degree in Sport Management. He has been attending the NFL Draft in New York City since 2005 and has aspirations of a career in scouting. He is currently a draft writer and analyst on the Draft Breakdown team, posting his latest rankings, mock drafts, scouting reports, and more. Be sure to follow Ryan on twitter for year-round NFL Draft analysis.

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