Ryan Lownes 3 Round Mock With Trades – April 26th

Written by Ryan Lownes on April 26, 2011

17. New England Patriots (from Oakland) New England Patriots

Robert QuinnRobert Quinn – DE – North Carolina
The Richard Seymour trade landed the Patriots this pick here in the middle of the first round. While the team appeared very ready to compete for a Super Bowl a year ago, New England has some holes to patch with multiple picks in the first two rounds. They may get lucky here, as an elite talent in Robert Quinn falls to them at seventeen. Though he is likely to go a bit higher, Quinn could fall do to a lack of 2010 tape, inflated stats the year prior, and potentially some medical questions. Still, he possesses incredible athleticism for his size, elite explosiveness, and more than enough fluidity to rush the passer from a “stand-up” role. The team would be overjoyed to have him fall into their laps here. Were they to go a different way with this pick, Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward fits. If they were looking at another outside linebacker, Justin Houston and Ryan Kerrigan would figure to be considered.

18. San Diego Chargers San Diego Chargers

Anthony CastonzoAnthony Castonzo – OT – Boston College
A slow start ultimately doomed the Chargers in 2010, as they failed to win the AFC West and make the playoffs. With three picks in the draft’s first two rounds, San Diego will be aiming to return to the playoffs next season with some new faces. Though the Chargers could go a number of ways with this pick, value seems best at offensive tackle. Anthony Castonzo is this class’ most NFL-ready pass protector, capable of playing either the left or right side. He has great size, feet, technique, and starting experience. If San Diego chooses to go another way with their pick, it is likely that they look to the front seven on defense. Outside linebackers Justin Houston and Akeem Ayers would surely tempt the team with this pick.

19. New York Giants New York Giants

Nick FairleyNick Fairley – DT – Auburn
Finally, the draft day free fall ends for National Championship star Nick Fairley. The Giants would be more than happy to welcome Fairley into their strong organization here with this pick. Surrounding him with positive influences and a winning team can only increase his chances of fulfilling his true potential. Despite falling due to concerns about his conditioning and character, he remains one of this class’ most gifted football players. His explosiveness, quickness, and violence make him an intriguing fit in the team’s front four. New York has to feel lucky to land him here despite not having a pressing need inside. If they choose to let Fairley slide further, the pick could instead be Alabama running back Mark Ingram. Additionally, the Giants could look to bolster the offensive line by selecting Gabe Carimi or Mississippi State’s Derek Sherrod.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Justin HoustonJustin Houston – OLB – Georgia 

Few Buccaneers fans could have anticipated their team becoming a contender as quickly as they did a year ago. Quarterback Josh Freeman looks like a star in the making and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy could be a cornerstone on defense. It was all too evident last season that McCoy, in particular, would benefit from front four help. Tampa Bay would be wise to add an end that fits their explosive, Tampa-2 mold. Justin Houston, though primarily a linebacker in college, appears to be one of this class’ most talented and dynamic pass rushers. His presence would give the team the edge rusher they so desperately lacked in 2010. If they choose to target a different end, Pittsburgh’s Jabaal Sheard is an excellent fit. Offensive line will be an option as well, with Gabe Carimi fitting their typical profile.

21. Miami Dolphins (from KC) Miami Dolphins

Mike PounceyMike Pouncey – OG – Florida
In this scenario, the Dolphins are forced to trade back up in the first round to secure their guy. Finally, this trading sequence nets Miami another valuable day two pick and ensures the team of landing the player they really want. While most agree that Mike Pouncey is an inferior NFL prospect to his brother, he has a similarly great combination of size, strength, and athleticism. In fact, many high level sources have claimed he is one of this draft’s surest bets. Though he played out of position this year at center, he showed the ability to pull, block on an island, and make the offensive line calls. He definitely struggled to snap the ball and move simultaneously however, which is why most project him to guard at the next level. For Miami, he could step in at center or either guard spot immediately. If the Phins go another direction with this pick, it could be a running back such as Mark Ingram or quarterback in Ryan Mallett.

22. Indianapolis Colts Indianapolis Colts

Stephen PaeaStephen Paea – DT – Oregon State
Last season seemed to mark the tides turning in the AFC South. Though the Colts once again took the division, their grip certainly loosened. Indianapolis’ window of opportunity is slowly but surely closing and a strong draft class will be needed to put this team back in the Super Bowl conversation. Stephen Paea is the type of trench player that can make his impact felt immediately for a contender. The stout tackle is quick and explosive, with tremendous power. He projects at either 1-Tech or 3-Tech in the team’s Tampa 2. The Colts’ primary need is at left tackle, so Derek Sherrod or Colorado’s Nate Solder would make sense.

23. Kansas City Chiefs (from Miami through Phi) Kansas City Chiefs

Phil TaylorPhil Taylor – DT – Baylor
No playoff team in the AFC faced tougher odds than the Chiefs, who went from picking in the top 5 a year ago to AFC West champions this season. They trade back here to add a fourth round pick in this draft. For years Kansas City’s 3-4 scheme has been held back by the lack of a big, space-eating nose tackle in the middle. In Phil Taylor, the team gets the big two-gap plugger they need. He’s huge, athletic, and plays with a high motor. Immediately, Taylor would step into a starting spot and fill the team’s greatest need. Recently, concerns have surfaced over his durability, so it would not be a shock to see him on the board much later than expected. The Chiefs could also look at a right tackle such as Gabe Carimi, a wide receiver like Pittsburgh’s Jonathan Baldwin, or an outside linebacker a la Akeem Ayers.

24. New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints

Mark IngramMark Ingram – RB – Alabama
A number of Saints fans are likely shaking their head as they see this pick in the late first round. While Pierre Thomas is back with the team and Chris Ivory is coming off an excellent rookie season, the future of the position in New Orleans is still in question. Mark Ingram is a more talented and natural runner than anyone currently on the offense. Though he does not fill a need per say, he comes into the NFL very ready to contribute for a Super Bowl contender. His physical ability is ordinary, but his running instincts, vision, balance, and burst are exceptional. He will need reps as a receiver and pass-blocker, but should be able to stay on the field for three downs early on. If the Saints choose not to go with a luxury pick here, they may instead prefer a Defensive Tackle such as North Carolina’s Marvin Austin. In an ideal world, New Orleans would trade down here to a quarterback needy team.

25. Seattle Seahawks Seattle Seahawks

Ryan MallettRyan Mallett – QB – Arkansas
The Seahawks shocked fans and NFL personnel alike by upsetting the Saints in the wild card round of the 2010 playoffs. Pete Carroll’s early success in Seattle is bittersweet however, as the team finished with a losing record and lacks the stability at quarterback to contend in the future. Ryan Mallett is one of this draft’s most polarizing prospects, with some grading him in the top ten while others say he is barely draftable. I tend to side with the former, drawing attention to his arm strength, poise, football IQ, and polish as a pocket passer. More so than any quarterback in this class, Mallett has the ability to step right into a starting role in the NFL. While Seattle would ultimately look like fools if they passed here, it is possible they choose to go defensive tackle or cornerback instead. Marvin Austin looks to be a viable option with this pick.

26. Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens

Gabe CarimiGabe Carimi – OT – Wisconsin
Having made major strides in 2009, it came as a surprise that the Ravens offensive line took a step back a year ago. Second year player, Michael Oher, did not adjust to left side quite as smoothly as many expected. Though they have a few needs that could be considered more pressing, it would not be a shock if Baltimore used their first round pick on a tackle. Gabe Carimi is tailor-made for the gritty AFC North. He possesses the size, grit, and power to assert himself early as a run blocker. While choppy at times, he seems to have more than adequate feet and athleticism for an NFL right tackle. If they choose a more need based approach, it seems as if a cornerback, defensive end, or outside linebacker would be the pick. Akeem Ayers and Cameron Heyward both fit the team’s profile.

27. Atlanta Falcons Atlanta Falcons

Ryan Kerrigan – DE – Purdue 

Ryan KerriganAfter falling short of an opportunity to play for the Super Bowl, the Falcons will be looking to make a splash early in this draft. One reason Atlanta was unable to stop the Packers in the playoffs was a lackluster pass rush. Expect the team to add talent and depth to their front four before taking the field in 2011. Ryan Kerrigan is a try-hard end in the Patrick Kerney mold. Though he lacks explosiveness and variety, his motor made him one of college football’s most prolific pass rushers. He is put in a position to succeed early here, playing across from John Abraham. If not defensive end, the Falcons may look to add a receiver capable of threatening both the slot and downfield such as Boise State’s Titus Young. They would love if a left tackle fell to them here, but it is unlikely they reach for the position.

28. San Diego Chargers (from NE) San Diego Chargers

Cameron HeywardCameron Heyward – DE – Ohio State
San Diego makes a move up the board here after talking to the Patriots over a potential swap for months. A Super Bowl does not appear outside the realm of possibility for the Chargers if they are able to make the right moves on draft day. The team is in dire need of front seven help and Cameron Heyward fills a gaping hole opposite Luis Castillo at 5-Tech. Heyward is a prototypical two-gap end with excellent size, power, and good quickness. Many feel he will drop on draft day, but he remains an very good fit in a traditional 5-Tech role. The Chargers could instead target an outside linebacker, with UCLA’s Akeem Ayers still on the board. Wide Receiver is a distant option for the team if they are to trade back into the first, with Jonathan Baldwin appearing to be the best fit.

29. Chicago Bears Chicago Bears

Nate SolderNate Solder – OT – Colorado
Few playoff stories were as widely discussed as the Bears’ offensive line woes and Jay Cutler’s injuries. There is little doubt that Chicago will look to add trench players early in the upcoming draft. This team has the talent to compete for a Super Bowl, but it is very unlikely they can return to the NFC Championship game without making changes to protect Cutler. Nate Solder may lack readiness, but his upside at left tackle is as high as any player in this class due to elite size and athleticism. While he lacks consistency and technique, he moves like a tight end. If he can survive early struggles, the sky will be the limit. Because Solder is raw, Chicago could instead favor a more polished tackle such as Derek Sherrod. If not offensive line, expect a defensive tackle with this pick.

30. New York Jets New York Jets

Akeem AyersAkeem Ayers – OLB – UCLA
Again, the Jets defied the odds by making a deep playoff run despite relatively average quarterback play during the regular season. Rex Ryan has officially given this team a personality and the confidence to exceed expectations. New York still must add depth and talent on the defensive side of the ball, with the front seven standing out as the primary area of need. Akeem Ayers, despite uneven college tape, possesses a very intriguing skill-set that translates best into a rush backer role at the next level. His instincts are shaky, but he moves well, is fairly explosive, and could excel with his responsibilities simplified. If the Jets choose to go for another outside linebacker, Arizona’s Brooks Reed may tempt them here. Ideally, New York will be able to find a trade partner and sell this pick to the highest bidder. Additional positions that could be addressed include: nose tackle, wide receiver, and safety.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers

Aaron Williams – CB – Texas
It didn’t take long for the Steelers to bounce back after missing the playoffs a year ago. Despite not being perfect, Pittsburgh clawed their way back to another Super Bowl with health issues lingering all the way. An offensive lineman may again be the top priority for the team, but if there’s value at the cornerback position, youth and talent is needed. Aaron Williams perfectly fits the team’s brand of defensive back. He offers size and physicality on an island, projecting as an instant impact man-corner that could help Pittsburgh right away. If the team does go offensive line, Marcus Cannon and Villanova’s Ben Ijalana fit their mold.

32. Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers

Danny WatkinsDanny Watkins – OG – Baylor
The Super Bowl champions enter this draft as confident as any team, having no glaring holes that must be filled. Green Bay is set to compete at a high level for a long time, with a solid offensive and defensive core. That is not to say the Packers could not make some improvements, of course. The offensive line has to be the biggest concern entering the 2011 season, so it would be somewhat of a surprise if the team chose not to go in that direction with their first pick. Danny Watkins is an excellent fit here, with the toughness, grit, technique, and athleticism to start immediately. He will likely play guard, but even left tackle is a possibility in Green Bay’s zone blocking scheme. If the Packers choose to wait on offensive line, they may instead look to add a capable outside linebacker such as Illinois’ Martez Wilson. A real surprise would be wide receiver, where Boise State’s Titus Young seems to fit their mold.

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.

Recent posts by Ryan Lownes