“Way too early” first round mock – June 7th

Written by Aaron Aloysius on June 6, 2010



17. Pittsburgh Steelers

Jared Crick – DE/DT – Nebraksa

With Aaron Smith getting older and more injury-prone, the Steelers could use a talented long-term replacement. Crick is more than capable of filling that role, ensuring that Pittsburgh continues to dominate in the trenches.

18. Philadelphia Eagles

Ryan Williams – RB – Virginia Tech

The Eagles could use a more physical complementary back to LeSean McCoy, who wore down towards the end of last season. The organization brought in Mike Bell to fill that role, but he’s only under contract for one season, and Williams is much more talented than the journeyman RB.


19. New York Giants

Anthony Castonzo – OT – Boston College

The Giants have long contemplated moving Dave Diehl back inside to guard, and drafting Castonzo finally allows them to do so. If everything goes well, Castonzo and ’09 2nd rounder Will Beatty could be the Giants’ bookend tackles for the next ten years.

   

20. Houston Texans

Jerrell Powe – DT – Ole Miss

Houston could use a powerful plugger in the middle of their defense, and Powe appears more than capable of filling that role. At a surprisingly explosive 6’2", 330 lbs., Power could end up going much higher than this, but he’ll have to answer questions about his intelligence and work ethic.

21. Tennessee Titans

Kyle Rudolph – TE – Notre Dame

Bo Scaife appears to be wearing out his welcome in Tennessee, which could leave the Titans searching for a long-term solution at tight end. In Kyle Rudolph, the Titans get a potentially elite receiving TE who could stretch the middle of the field and help Vince Young progress as a passer.

22. San Francisco 49ers

Von Miller – OLB – Texas A&M

Manny Lawson is in the final year of his rookie deal, and the team could be in the market for a pass rush upgrade. Unless Ahmad Brooks impresses this year, the team will have to find a better complement to Parys Haralson next offseason, and Miller would be a very good addition.

23. Dallas Cowboys

Matt Reynolds – OT – BYU

The Cowboys like their linemen big and physical, and the 6’6", 320 pound Reynolds certainly fits the bill. Though he’s probably ideally suited as a right tackle, Reynolds could push Doug Free for the job of protecting Tony Romo’s blindside. Wherever he lines up, he’ll open up running lanes for the Cowboys’ running backs.

24. New England Patriots

Jonathan Baldwin – WR – Pittsburgh

With Randy Moss’s future in New England in doubt, the Patriots add another vertical threat for Brady in Jon Baldwin. The 6’5" receiver averaged close to 20 yards per catch last year, and he’s set to have an even bigger season this fall. However, he’ll need to answer questions about his commitment to the game and ability to beat press coverage. Ultimately, those concerns could dampen his draft stock, making him a very good risk/reward pick for the Patriots.



25. New York Jets

Allen Bailey – DE/DT – Miami

A physical freak who displays impressive straight-line speed and power, Bailey would fit nicely in Rex Ryan’s attacking defense. Though he needs to improve his hand play and work on being a more consistent force, Bailey couldn’t end up in a better situation than playing for the Jets.

26. Atlanta Falcons

Greg Romeus – DE – Pittsburgh

The Falcons could use a powerful defensive end who can be equally effective on running and passing downs. Enter Greg Romeus, whose 6’6", 270 pound frame and good explosiveness should make him a quality three down defender in Atlanta’s defense. Though he may never be an elite pass rusher, Romeus should help Falcons fans forget about big-time bust Jamaal Anderson.

27. Green Bay Packers

Aaron Williams – CB – Texas

Charles Woodson (33) and Al Harris (35) are getting up there in age, which makes adding a young, physical corner a priority for Green Bay. Aaron Williams could provide that presence, preventing the Packers from ever being burned as badly as they were in last year’s playoff game against the Cardinals.

28. Indianapolis Colts

Marvin Austin – DT – North Carolina

Considered by many to be a potential top ten pick, Austin may be knocked down by concerns about his work ethic and strength at the point of attack. But he’ll outplay his draft slot if he lands in Indy, where the penetrating d-tackle can explode upfield and make plays. 

29. New Orleans Saints

Greg Jones – LB – Michigan State

This offseason, the Saints failed to find a suitable replacement for Scott Fujita, but Greg Jones eventually could fill that void. The instinctive but undersized linebacker would be a great addition to the Saints’ defense; his ability as a blitzer would be an especially nice touch in Gregg Williams’ pressure defense.

30. San Diego Chargers

Bruce Carter – LB – North Carolina

Stephen Cooper may leave via free agency, leaving a whole in the middle of the Chargers’ 3-4 defense. The uber-athletic Carter could replace Cooper, making plays both on defense and as a special teams demon.

31. Minnesota Vikings

Christian Ponder – QB – Florida State

If 2010 is the final season of the Brett Favre saga, the Vikings will go into the offseason looking for a capable replacement. Fortunately, they have the opportunity here to nab Christian Ponder, whose skill set best fits the Vikings’ West Coast Offense. In addition, Ponder’s smarts could help him assume an immediate starting role.

32. Baltimore Ravens

Da’Quan Bowers – DE – Clemson

Bowers wasn’t consistently productive for the Tigers last year, and concerns about his consistency could weigh down his draft stock. But the Ravens haven’t been afraid of taking gambles on supremely talented prospects, and they do so again in taking Bowers here. If they’re lucky, he’ll turn out to be the defensive counterpart to Michael Oher.

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Aaron Aloysius

Aaron began closely following the draft in 2005. Since then, he’s overcome an Al Davis-like obsession with workout numbers, instead focusing on the qualities and traits visible on prospects’ tape. See all posts by Aaron Aloysius.