Ryan Lownes 3 Round Mock With Trades – April 26th

Written by Ryan Lownes on April 26, 2011




– Miami gets: 1st Round Pick #23, 3rd Round Pick #85, 4th Round Pick #120
Philadelphia gets: 1st Round Pick #15

– Kansas City gets: 1st Round Pick #23, 4th Round Pick #120
Miami gets: 1st Round Pick #21

– New England gets: 2nd Round Pick #50, 3rd Round Pick #89, 2012 3rd Round Pick
San Diego gets: 1st Round Pick #28

– New England gets: 4th Round Pick #106, 2012 1st Round Pick
Minnesota gets: 2nd Round Pick #33

1. Carolina Panthers Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton – QB – Auburn
Cam NewtonIt is hard to say if the decision has been made in Carolina as to who will be the first overall pick. The list of needs for the Panthers is a long one that includes several key positions such as: defensive end, defensive tackle, cornerback, and wide receiver. The team’s Achilles heel a year last season, however, was the play at the quarterback position. Jimmy Clausen did not prove himself enough to deter the Panthers from taking the top quarterback on their board. Cam Newton has the upside to be a franchise signal-caller. His college resume is small but highly decorated and his physical tools are unparalleled. He will need some time to develop, but Newton offers the franchise a true face and direction moving forward. Carolina may decide that Cam is too risky to warrant such a lofty selection and may instead target LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green, or Alabama Defensive Tackle Marcell Dareus.

2. Denver Broncos Denver Broncos

Marcell Dareus – DT – Alabama 

Marcell DareusThere is little doubt that the Broncos will target a defensive player with their first pick at second overall. The team is in dire need of help in the front seven and starters will need to be added on the interior defensive line. With Robert Ayers and Elvis Dumervil penciled in as starters on the edge, drafting a defensive tackle early will be a top priority. Marcell Dareus is a very big, stout, defensive lineman with excellent athleticism and light feet. He projects as an instant starter at defensive tackle in 4-3 schemes and could be a disruptive force in the backfield for years. The team could also look at cornerback Patrick Peterson or Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller with this pick. If available, it’s hard to say if Auburn’s Cam Newton would entice the new coaching regime in Denver.

3. Buffalo Bills Buffalo Bills

Von MillerVon Miller – OLB – Texas A&M 

Many would argue that quarterback is the most pressing need in Buffalo, but filling out their 3-4 defense with a pass rushing linebacker may be the higher priority here. After striking out on Aaron Maybin in 2009, the Bills would have to be sure to draft the position again this high. Von Miller looks to be as safe a pick as any in this draft. He excelled as a rush backer in college and is as explosive as they come. His ability to get after the quarterback would instantly upgrade Buffalo’s chances to fight for a wild card spot. The team could also go quarterback, where Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert would be the pick. A 5-tech such as Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt or Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers could be tempting if they choose to go with another defensive position

4. Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati Bengals

AJ Green – WR – Georgia 

AJ GreenIt’s no secret that Marvin Lewis’ Bengals will be targeting offense early in the NFL Draft after a disappointing 2010 campaign. They’d surely take a long look at Newton were he available, but the next best offensive move would be to take a true #1 wide receiver such as A.J. Green. The team is in dire need of a young primary receiver to complement Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham, two impact rookies from this past season. Green is an extremely gifted and fluid athlete with excellent size, speed, and a huge catching radius. Though not a traditional west coast offense fit, he brings an elite deep threat to a team starving for big plays. Other options for Cincinnati’s fourth pick include quarterback Blaine Gabbert, cornerback Patrick Peterson, and defensive tackle Nick Fairley.

5. Arizona Cardinals Arizona Cardinals

Blaine GabbertBlaine Gabbert – QB – Missouri
Despite rumors of trading up to get their man, the Cardinals stay put here and land their franchise quarterback. The team looks to be in a position to fight for a division title if they are able to get steady play from the position. While Blaine Gabbert needs time in my opinion, he would be counted on to start immediately in Arizona. He possesses the size, mobility, arm, and intelligence to become a very solid NFL starter, but mental toughness will be a question. This is the ideal situation for the team here and Gabbert would more than likely be the pick here if he fell to them. Other options on draft day include Patrick Peterson and North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn.

6. Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns

Da’Quan Bowers – DE – Clemson 

Da'Quan BowersWith the exit of coach Eric Mangini also comes the abandonment of the Browns’ largely unsuccessful 3-4 defensive scheme. A front seven player will more than likely be Cleveland’s top priority early in the NFL Draft. Da’Quan Bowers has been rumored to be slipping lately, but personally I do not buy it. The meniscal injuries do not appear to be serious or long-term. His injuries may scare some teams off; but when healthy, Bowers is a dominant player with size, closing speed, and three-down ability. He instantly gives Cleveland a building block along the defensive line for their new 4-3 scheme. The team could target a different defensive end in North Carolina’s Robert Quinn. Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones and LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson.

7. San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers

Patrick PetersonPatrick Peterson – CB – LSU
If neither Newton nor Gabbert fall to San Francisco here, expect the Niners to look defense. They have to be happy that Patrick Peterson falls all the way to seventh overall. The team has desperately lacked a playmaker in the defense backfield and it’s uncertain how many good years Nate Clements has left with the 49ers. Peterson is a rare athlete and gifted ball-hawk at cornerback. Early in his career he could be one of the leagues premier punt returners in addition to a starting corner. Though this pick would be a steal, there are some other ways San Francisco could go here. Wide receiver Julio Jones may be appealing if they want to go offense. The team may also consider adding a 5-tech such as Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt and California’s Cameron Jordan.

8. Tennessee Titans Tennessee Titans

Julio JonesJulio Jones – WR – Alabama
Tennessee produces the first big shocker of the opening stanza as they bypass larger needs at quarterback and defensive tackle. The Kenny Britt situation will be one to keep an eye on for Titans fans, as he will likely serve a suspension to start the 2011 season. Julio Jones gives the team another bonafide option at wide receiver, where they lack talent and depth. While his concentration was an issue at times in college, Jones has terrific size, speed, and toughness. He projects as an instant impact player on offense or special teams and is among the most dynamic players in this class with the ball in his hands. If they go quarterback, it would likely be Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett. Cornerback is an option and they may consider Nebraksa’s Prince Amukamara. At this point, most expect them to take Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley.

9. Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys

Tyron SmithTyron Smith – OT – USC
Few teams were as disappointing in the 2010 season as the Cowboys. Dallas had problems along the offensive line and in the secondary all year. According to most sources, the team’s first pick will be used to address one of those areas. Tyron Smith did not play any left tackle in college, but he projects to the blind side in the NFL. He lacks elite bulk, but is an outstanding natural athlete with light feet. His frame is far from maxed out and he appears to have elite size potential. If not on the left side, Smith would crack the Cowboys lineup at right tackle right away. Dallas may instead target cornerback Prince Amukamara or a defensive end such as J.J. Watt or Cameron Jordan.

10. Washington Redskins Washington Redskins

JJ Watt – DE – Wisconsin 

JJ WattThe Redskins are yet another team that would ideally like to add a young signal-caller with their first pick. It is unlikely that Mike Shanahan will be reaching to get his guy here with so much defensive talent to be had early in this draft. J.J. Watt was the talk of the defensive line group at the NFL Combine after showcasing surprising athleticism and feet for a 290-pound end. He burst onto the scene this past season in the Big Ten where he recorded 21.5 tackles for loss. His length and power should make him an effective defensive end in any scheme. Watt would fill an enormous void at 5-tech for the Washington defense and projects as an early contributor. Other possibilities with the tenth pick include: outside linebacker Robert Quinn and Washington quarterback Jake Locker.

11. Houston Texans Houston Texans

Prince Amukamara – CB – Nebraska 

Prince AmukamaraIt appears the Texans must address their secondary if they are looking to compete next season, as they finished dead last in pass defense in 2010. Despite having spent a first round pick on Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson a year, the team could absolutely target the position high in the draft again in 2011. Prince Amukamara is the consensus second ranked corner in the class behind Peterson, but there is not as wide a gap as some think. Prince has some very impressive tape and is the complete package with excellent size and athletic ability. He instantly upgrades Houston’s pass-defense in a division where Peyton Manning has ruled through the air for years. Additional options for the Texans include linebacker Robert Quinn or even potentially a game-breaker such as wide receiver Julio Jones. They would also look at defensive ends Aldon Smith and Cameron Jordan.

12. Minnesota Vikings Minnesota Vikings

Cameron JordanCameron Jordan – DE – California
There is little doubt the Vikings would prefer to add a quarterback here, but new head coach Leslie Frazier may look defense if it presents a better value. With Ron Edwards’ future with the team in jeopardy, Minnesota could look to draft a big, athletic end in their mold. Cameron Jordan has good burst, power, and quickness. His versatility makes him very appealing here as he could also rotate into the 3-Tech spot. If they decided to go quarterback it could be Jake Locker or Ryan Mallett here. Were they looking for more of a pure pass rusher, Robert Quinn would be the pick.

13. Detroit Lions Detroit Lions

Aldon SmithAldon Smith – DE – Missouri 

After landing a building block a year ago in Ndamukong Suh, the Lions will likely try to fill out their defense early in this draft. Starting spots will be available at cornerback, linebacker, and defensive end. Aldon Smith would be a good pick for Detroit here. He possesses the length, power, and straight line speed to develop into a very effective pass rusher in a 4-3 scheme. It is possible they favor Robert Quinn at defensive end. Offensive line is another area of concern and Boston College left tackle Anthony Castonzo could be tempting.

14. St. Louis Rams St. Louis Rams

Corey LiugetCorey Liuget – DT – Illinois
The Rams took a huge step forward last season after rookies Sam Bradford and Roger Saffold immediately established themselves as very capable young players. There are still a lot of gaps that must be filled, but St. Louis looks to be an organization with aright future. The front four figures to be addressed early on draft day. Corey Liuget is a very athletic lineman with light feet and impressive power. He has the potential to be a very disruptive 3-tech in the Rams’ 4-3 scheme. There is a chance the team goes with a cornerback here, likely Colorado’s Jimmy Smith. They may also look at a defensive end such as Robert Quinn.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami) Philadelphia Eagles

Jimmy SmithJimmy Smith – CB – Colorado
In this scenario, the Eagles trade up yet again to land their guy in the first round. The Dolphins will be shopping this pick because they have several holes to fill on offense, but only two picks on Thursday and Friday. Philadelphia uses this pick to add a player many consider to be this draft’s most naturally talented cornerback. Jimmy Smith has drawn comparisons to Nnamdi Asomugha due the his size, athleticism, and confidence. His technique will need some work and some teams may have doubts about his character, but Smith will command early attention on draft day due to his talent level. This appears to be a very good fit as the Eagles must add size and ability at the cornerback position. If the team chooses not to go corner in the first, they may look to address the offensive line. Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi is a typical Andy Reid lineman that could fit in the first round.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars

Jabaal SheardJabaal Sheard – DE – Pittsburgh
At last year’s draft, the Jaguars shocked fans and experts alike by going out on a limb for Tyson Alualu at tenth overall. While many analysts bashed the pick, Alualu lived up to that spot on the field as a rookie. This year, do not be surprised to see Jacksonville go out on a limb again. Jabaal Sheard has been overlooked in the draft process, but rushes the passer with tremendous variety and a non-stop motor. He is among this class’ most natural and diverse pass rushers. There have been some questions about his character after an isolated off-the-field incident, but he is very competitive and a team leader in the locker room. It is possible the Jaguars target a different defensive end such as Robert Quinn or Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan. The team desperately needs help at linebacker and cornerback, but the value does not match up here.

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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