The NFL Draft takes place in a few weeks starting April 28th and running through April 30th. If you missed my mock picks 1-10 or picks 11-21, then click on those links to get caught up. Here are the final picks for the 1st round of my 2011 NFL Mock Draft.
22) Indianapolis Colts – Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
I think they’ll be very tempted to go offensive line with this pick, but with Liuget on the board, they take the 3-technique DT and gamble they can snag an o-linemen in the 2nd.
23) Philadelphia Eagles – Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
The Eagles need help on the line, and Carimi is the safest lineman left on the board. Corner Jimmy Smith is a possibility.
24) New Orleans Saints – Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Running back isn’t a pressing need for the Saints, but if Ingram slips this far I think they pull the trigger. Reggie Bush could be a free agent, and has durability concerns as does all the other Saints runners.
25) Seattle Seahawks – Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
The Seahawks could go in few different ways, as they need help at DT, CB, and QB. Wilkerson at 6’4″ 315 is very good against the run.
26) Baltimore Ravens – Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
The Ravens are looking for 5-technique DE to bolster their defense, and Heyward is the best one left on the board.
27) Atlanta Falcons – Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia
Houston played both 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB at Georgia, but the Falcons want the fast and powerful Houston to rush the passer with his hand on the ground. The Falcons do drop their DE’s into coverage on occasion, so his experience as a OLB will help.
28) New England Patriots – Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
After going defense earlier, I think the Pats take a chance on a player that might have the most potential of all the left tackles in this draft class.
29) Chicago Bears – Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
The Bears need help on the o-line, but with all the top prospects gone I think they go defense. And even though Reed is considered smallish at 263, the Bears don’t mind because he’s fast with a 4.68 40 (3rd best of the DL prospects) and a 4.28 short shuttle (also 3rd best), but also strong with 30 reps on the bench.
30) New York Jets – Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
The Jets have to be thrilled that Ayers made it to them at 30. Adding another pass rushing OLB is fine for head coach Rex Ryan.
31) Pittsburgh Steelers – Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
Smith has some character issues, but the Steelers have a veteran defense that will reel him in. He has size (6’2″ 212) and speed (4.46 40) that Pittsburgh would love at his position.
32) Green Bay Packers – Danny Watkins, OL, Baylor
The Packers will not reach for need, but will go with the best player available on their board. Aaron Williams, the DB from Texas is a possibility, as is going receiver.