Liskiewitz: Final Three-Round Mock Draft

Josh Liskiewitz offers his final, three-round mock draft, including analysis of each pick and extended commentary on whom the Detroit Lions might select in rounds one, two and three.

1. Carolina Panthers  Cam Newton, QB Auburn

Newton has the flashy star appeal to put fans in the seats – the only question is whether he’ll fill Bank of America Stadium for 4 years or 14 years…

2. Denver Broncos  Marcell Dareus, DT Alabama
 
Dareus has the outstanding power to consistently shed blockers and, when healthy, the quickness to threaten the passer.
 
3. Buffalo Bills   Tyron Smith, OT USC
 
Buffalo has needed a LT since Jason Peters, and Smith has the potential to be elite.
 
4. Cincinnati Bengals  AJ Green, WR Georgia
 
The Bengals wisely pass on Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert in favor of the top player on their board.
 
5. Arizona Cardinals  Von Miller, OLB Texas A&M
 
The Cardinals have several holes to fill on their defense, and taking the top pass rusher in the draft is the perfect place to start.
 
6. Cleveland Browns  Julio Jones, WR Alabama
 
If the Browns are going to fully commit to 2nd year QB Colt McCoy, they need to put weapons around him.  Jones has the outstanding combination of size and athleticism Cleveland has been missing at WR.
 
7. San Francisco 49ers  Patrick Peterson, CB LSU
 
The 49ers stick to their board by taking the LSU CB.  Peterson has all the physical tools to be one of the top players in the league at his position.
 
8. Tennessee Titans  Blaine Gabbert, QB Missouri
 
The Titans feel fortunate to find the top QB on their board still available at pick #8, and waste no time handing in their card.
 
9. Dallas Cowboys  Nick Fairley, DL Auburn
 
Fairley falls to the Cowboys because of off the field concerns, but he has elite potential on the field because of his rare combination of size and explosiveness. 
 
10. Washington Redskins  Jake Locker, QB Washington
 
Head coach Mike Shanahan loves big armed athletic QBs, so he jumps on Locker early hoping his intangibles will help him overcome his accuracy and decision making issues.
 
11. Houston Texans  Cameron Jordan, DE California
 
The Texans must make the playoffs this year if the front office and coaching staff is to stay in tact, and Jordan is a sure fire stud and possibly the most NFL ready player in this draft class.
 
12. Minnesota Vikings  Da’Quan Bowers, DE Clemson
 
The Vikings are willing to gamble on Bowers despite concerns about his knee, as he has elite potential not seen at DE since Mario Williams.
 
13. Detroit Lions   Prince Amukamara, DB Nebraska
Michael DiJulio's Take: Amukamara plays a physical brand of football. In fact, the former Nebraska standout often earns comparisons to Darelle Revis for his style of play. Amukamara brings a combination of size and strength to match up against today’s behemoth wide receivers and won’t last past Detroit at 13.
 
The Lions are desperate for secondary help, and believe they have their man in Amukamara.
 
14. St. Louis Rams  Corey Liuget, DT Illinois
 
With the top receivers off the board the Rams wisely address the interior of their defense, which is in need of an explosive, physical presence.
 
15. Miami Dolphins  Ryan Mallett, QB Arkansas
 
The Dolphins know they’re gambling with this pick, but they are desperate for a franchise signal caller and are intrigued by Mallett’s passing skills.
 
16. Jacksonville Jaguars  Ryan Kerrigan, DE Purdue
 
While there are other defensive ends still on the board that may have higher ceilings, Kerrigan is the safest bet and his motor is very reminiscent of Aaron Kampman.
 
17. New England Patriots  Robert Quinn, OLB North Carolina
 
The Patriots must upgrade their pass rush in this draft, and Quinn has the size they covet and the raw potential to be on of the best in the league if he can improve his consistency.
 
18. San Diego Chargers  JJ Watt, DE Wisconsin
 
The Chargers need help all over their front seven on defense, and choose Watt because of his size and competitiveness. 
 
19. New York Giants  Anthony Castonzo, OT Boston College
 
Castonzo brings the top notch competitiveness that the disappointing Will Beatty has yet to show in New York.
 
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Aldon Smith, DE Missouri
 
The Bucs are fortunate to find one of the top athletes still on the board and hope Smith can become the cornerstone of a very young defense.
 
21. Kansas City Chiefs  Jabaal Sheard, OLB Pittsburgh
 
The Chiefs are tempted to reach for a nose tackle here, but wisely opt for Sheard, who is the pass rushing presence opposite Tamba Hali Kansas City is in need of.
 
22. Indianapolis Colts  Nate Solder, OT Colorado
 
The Colts know what position they’re taking with this pick, but struggle over which tackle left on the board to take.  They opt for Solder, who has the most raw athletic potential of the remaining candidates.
 
23. Philadelphia Eagles  Danny Watkins, OG Baylor
 
The Eagles have a similar debate in their war room, and decide on the versatile and highly competitive Watkins over the more recognizable name.
 
24. New Orleans Saints  Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa
 
Clayborn has the strength to be an elite run stopper and the versatility to slide inside to rush the passer.
 
25. Seattle Seahawks  Christian Ponder, QB Florida State
 
The Seahawks hope that Ponder’s health issues are behind him, and that his athleticism and intangibles translate to long term stability for the position and the franchise.
 
26. Baltimore Ravens  Jimmy Smith, CB Colorado
 
The Ravens need to get bigger at corner and Smith has the elite combination of size and athleticism to be on of the very best in the league.
 
27. Atlanta Falcons  Kyle Rudolph, TE Notre Dame
 
After a successful pro day and medical recheck, the Falcons are quick to jump on Rudolph, who is easily the most complete TE prospect in this draft.
 
28. New England Patriots  Kenrick Ellis, DL Hampton
 
If the draft falls this way I fully expect New England to trade this pick.  However for this exercise, they surprise by taking an immensely talented defensive lineman with a troubled past that was expected to drop him out of the first round.
 
29. Chicago Bears   Mike Pouncey, OL Florida
 
The offensive line remains one of the biggest question marks in Chicago, so the Bears take the top interior lineman left on their board with their first pick.
 
30. New York Jets   Muhammed Wilkerson, DE Temple
 
With the top pass rushing OLB prospects off the board, the Jets look to upgrade their defensive line instead.
 
31. Pittsburgh Steelers  Gabe Carimi, OT Wisconsin
 
Carimi may not be a premier athlete but he has bulk and competitiveness the Steelers covet, and would be a solid long term solution at right tackle.
 
32. Green Bay Packers  Cameron Heyward, DE Ohio State
 
The Packers can’t believe their luck and waste no time ending day one by selecting Heyward.  He is a high motor, high character prospect that brings the physical presence the Jets need up front.
 
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SECOND ROUND
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33. New England Patriots  Ryan Williams, RB Virginia Tech
 
Williams has the versatility and explosive playmaking ability that the Patriots love at RB.
 
34. Buffalo Bills   Colin Kaepernick, QB Nevada
 
Buffalo’s patience pays off as they believe they’ve found the future face of their franchise in round 2.
 
35. Cincinnati Bengals  Stephen Paea, DT Oregon State
 
The Bengals are heartbroken to see Kaepernick and Mallett off the board, but wisely take the best available player here instead of reaching for another signal caller.
 
36. Denver Broncos  Drake Nevis, DT LSU
 
The Broncos were debating between Paea and Nevis with this pick, so Cincinnati made their decision for them.
 
37. Cleveland Browns  Jarvis Jenkins, DT Clemson
 
The Browns need defensive linemen that fit their new 4-3 defense, so Jenkins is a natural fit at this point in round 2.
 
38. Arizona Cardinals  Martez Wilson, ILB Illinois
 
The Cardinals continue to upgrade the athleticism of their linebacking corps by selecting the talented but inconsistent Wilson.
 
39. Tennessee Titans  Randall Cobb, WR Kentucky
 
With the continual off the field problems of Kenny Britt, the Titans quickly address the issue by adding the explosive Cobb to their WR corps.
 
40. Dallas Cowboys  Derek Sherrod, OT Mississippi State
 
The Cowboys weren’t expecting to see Sherrod available at this point, so they waste no time selecting the athletic offensive tackle.
 
41. Washington Redskins  Torrey Smith, WR Maryland
 
The Redskins please the locals by taking Smith, a well built receiver with excellent athletic upside.
 
42. Houston Texans  Phil Taylor, DT Baylor
 
The Texans actually considered taking Taylor in the first round, so they are shocked to him still on the board in round 2.  He is a perfect fit at nose tackle in their new 3-4 scheme.
 
43. Minnesota Vikings  Marvin Austin, DT North Carolina
 
The Vikings continue the youth movement on their defensive line after having missed out on the top QB prospects.
 
44. Detroit Lions   Bruce Carter, OLB North Carolina
North Carolina's Bruce Carter
Josh Liskiewitz's Take: Carter is a first round talent that will fall to at least the second round because recent ACL surgery.  As long as the knee checks out, his talent out-weighs the risk and makes him well worth pick No. 44.  He has the size, athleticism and instincts to be a highly productive starter at any of the three linebacker positions for Detroit.
Measurables: 6'1, 241
(InsideCarolina.com/Jim Hawkins)
 
Carter may not be ready to contribute immediately, but the Lions have their long term success in mind with this pick.
 
45. San Francisco 49ers  Justin Houston, OLB Georgia
 
Houston is one of the more explosive athletes in the draft but he must improve his consistency drastically if he is to ever reach his full potential. 
 
46. Denver Broncos  Aaron Williams, CB Texas
 
The future at CB for the Broncos is filled with uncertainty, so they take Williams and hope they can develop his untapped potential.
 
47. St. Louis Rams  Leonard Hankerson, WR Miami
 
Sam Bradford will be elated with this pick, as he now has a go to receiver that can not only stretch the field but work between the hashes as well.
 
48. Oakland Raiders  Dontay Moch, OLB Nevada
 
No surprise that the Raiders take the top athlete on the board at a position they need to upgrade.
 
49. Jacksonville Jaguars  Ras-I Dowling, CB Virginia
 
The Jags find a bargain in Dowling, who will start immediately at corner in Jacksonville.
 
50. San Diego Chargers  Akeem Ayers, OLB UCLA
 
The Chargers hope Ayers can live up to his potential and become a dangerous pass rusher off the edge.
 
51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mikel LeShoure, RB Illinois
 
The Bucs get tremendous value with this pick.  LeShoure will share the load with LeGarrette Blount, and will be particularly valuable on 3rd down.
 
52. New York Giants  Stefan Wisniewski, OL Penn State
 
The Giants continue to add youth to their offensive line with the consistent and versatile Wisniewski.
 
53. Indianapolis Colts  Mark Ingram, RB Alabama
 
The Colts hope Ingram can stay healthy and become the inside running presence they have sorely missed in recent years.
 
54. Philadelphia Eagles  Curtis Brown, CB Texas
 
The board sets up perfectly for the Eagles, as they get perfect value at a position of great need.
 
55. Kansas City Chiefs  Jon Baldwin, WR Pittsburgh
 
The Chiefs draft another Pitt Panther, this time the talented and well built receiver in Baldwin
 
56. New Orleans Saints  Christian Ballard, DL Iowa
 
The Saints continue to rebuild their defensive line, drafting the college teammate of their first round pick.
 
57. Seattle Seahawks  Chris Carter, OLB Fresno State
 
The Seahawks need to improve their pass rush, so they take one of the stars of East West Shrine week hoping that his athleticism and versatility will be the perfect fit for their hybrid defense.
 
58. Baltimore Ravens  Jerrel Jernigan, WR Troy
 
The Ravens desperately need offensive weapons capable of stretching the field, and Jernigan is exactly this kind of player.
 
59. Atlanta Falcons  Greg Little, WR North Carolina
 
The Falcons need a viable #2 to line up opposite Roddy White, and hope Little’s physical skill set will help him eventually take on this role.
 
60. New England Patriots  Rodney Hudson, OL Florida State
 
The Pats are starting to lose some of their long time pieces along their offensive line, but solid picks like Hudson will go a long way toward keeping New England on top of the NFC East.
 
61. San Diego Chargers  Rahim Moore, SAF UCLA
 
The Chargers know they can’t rely on free agent pickup Bob Sanders to remain healthy, so they add Moore to the secondary hoping he sit as a rookie and learn from one of the best in the game.  
 
62.  Chicago Bears  James Brewer, OT Indiana
 
The Bears continue to upgrade their offensive line.  Brewer has the size and athleticism to potentially start at either tackle position.
 
63. Pittsburgh Steelers  Richard Sherman, CB Stanford
 
Sherman has only two years of experience at corner but has the size and physicality the Steelers love on the edge. 
 
64. Green Bay Packers  Brooks Reed, OLB Arizona
 
The Packers wanted to add another pass rusher and Reed has the nonstop motor Green Bay loves.
 
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THIRD ROUND
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65. Carolina Panthers  Jurrell Casey, DT USC
 
Casey slips a bit because of his size, but his explosiveness off the ball is exactly what the Panthers need on the interior of their defensive line.
 
66. Cincinnati Bengals  Andy Dalton, QB TCU
 
The Bengals finally get their QB.  Dalton is not on the same level physically as some of the other QBs in this draft, but his intelligence and intangibles have front offices intrigued.
 
67. Denver Broncos  James Carpenter, OT Alabama
 
The Broncos need health and stability at right tackle, and the tough, hard-nosed Carpenter should bring just that.
 
68. Buffalo Bills   Mason Foster, LB Washington
 
Foster has the versatility to play MIKE or WILL for the Bills, a versatility they have needed in recent years because of injury issues.
 
69. Arizona Cardinals  Curtis Marsh, CB Utah State
 
The Cardinals would love to find a stable #2 CB opposite DRC, and feel they’ve found just that with the talented but untested Marsh.
 
70. Cleveland Browns  Allen Bailey, DE Miami
 
Bailey may not be the most explosive player off the ball but if he learns to play with more consistent leverage he will improve Cleveland’s run defense.
 
71. Dallas Cowboys  Rashad Carmichael, CB Virginia Tech
 
Mike Jenkins had a disappointing 2010 in Dallas, so the Cowboys draft Carmichael hoping he can push Jenkins as a rookie, and eventually become their other starting corner.
 
72. New Orleans Saints  Jacquizz Rodgers, RB Oregon State
 
Rodgers could prove to be the steal of the draft, as his skill set as a runner is very comparable to Maurice Jones-Drew’s. 
 
 
 
 
73. Houston Texans  Buster Skrine, CB Chattanooga
 
While small in stature, Skrine is an excellent athlete and would bring a much needed aggressiveness to Houston’s secondary.
 
74. New England Patriots  Orlando Franklin, OT Miami
 
The Pats are happy with Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle, but need to look to the future on the blind side.  Franklin was very inconsistent in college, but New England feels they can harness his superior athletic skill set.
 
75. Detroit Lions   Stanley Havili, FB USC
Josh's Take: With so many other needs it may seem odd to target a FB in round 3, but Havili is much more than just a lead blocker.  He has the athleticism to run effectively inside and out, and would be a highly productive receiver out of the backfield as well.  He is capable of being as productive an every down player as Peyton Hillis of Cleveland.
 
Havili is not your typical fullback, as he is an excellent runner both inside and outside the tackles, and will be one of the best pass catchers at his position the minute he puts on an NFL uniform.
 
76. San Francisco 49ers  Titus Young, WR Boise State
 
The 49ers need a vertical threat to their passing game.  Young should be able to provide this for them, as well as his ability to be a game changing returner.
 
77. Tennessee Titans  Casey Matthews, LB Oregon
 
The Titans need to add young talent to their linebacking corps and while Matthews isn’t in the same league athletically as his older brother in Green Bay, he brings the passion and work ethic Tennessee loves.
 
78. St. Louis Rams  DJ Williams, TE Arkansas
 
Another excellent receiving threat for Sam Bradford.  Williams is a better blocker than people give him credit for, and he is a constant threat to stretch the seams.
 
79. Miami Dolphins  Daniel Thomas, RB Kansas State
 
The Dolphins offense is based heavily around their run game, so they are elated to get great value her with Thomas, as both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams may be on their way out of Miami.
 
80. Jacksonville Jaguars  William Rackley, OG Lehigh
 
Rackley has the natural bulk and quickness off the snap to start in the NFL, but he must improve his footwork and flexibility first if he is to warrant this high a selection by Jacksonville.
 
81. Oakland Raiders  Daniel Kilgore, OG Appalachian State
 
This is an “Al Davis pick” that will actually pay off in the long run.  Kilgore is an excellent athlete and plays with a nasty streak, and has the versatility to play anywhere on the line except for left tackle.
 
82. San Diego Chargers  Greg Jones, LB Michigan State
 
Jones has the strength and toughness to start on the inside for the Chargers’ 3-4 defense.
 
83. New York Giants  KJ Wright, ILB Mississippi State
 
The Giants love big, physical linebackers and they hope that Wright can play the MIKE roll that they have struggled to fill losing Antonio Pierce after the 2009 season.
 
84. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Shareece Wright, CB USC
 
Wright is a physical corner and willing run defender – a solid fit for Tampa Bay’s cover two-based defense.
 
85. Philadelphia Eagles  Jason Pinkston, OT Pittsburgh
 
Pinkston is an underrated tackle prospect that is capable of starting immediately for the Eagles at right tackle.
 
86. Kansas City Chiefs  Jurrell Powe, DT Mississippi
 
The Chiefs luck out, as they did not expect to find a legitimate starting nose tackle prospect still on the board at this point in the draft.
 
87. Indianapolis Colts  Colin McCarthy, OLB Miami
 
The Colts love athletic linebackers that can make plays in pursuit, and McCarthy fits that mold perfectly.
 
88. New Orleans Saints  Lawrence Wilson, OLB Connecticut
 
After bulking up their defensive line the Saints turn toward the linebacking corps, which must get younger and faster – drafting Wilson accomplishes both.
 
89. San Diego Chargers  Marcus Cannon, OT TCU
 
Now that the Chargers have addressed every major defensive need, they need to look toward the offensive line.  Cannon is capable of playing right tackle and either guard spot. 
 
90. Baltimore Ravens  Ben Ijalana, OL Villanova
 
The Ravens gamble on Ijalana hoping he can eventually start at left tackle opposite Michael Oher, who is clearly better suited on the right side.
 
91. Atlanta Falcons  Taiwan Jones, RB Eastern Washington
 
This pick may surprise some but the Falcons need an explosive compliment to the bruising Michael Turner in their backfield.
 
92. New England Patriots  Jerrard Terrant, SAF Georgia Tech
 
Terrant’s off the field issues look to be a thing of the past, and is on the field performance in 2010 makes him one of the best, and most versatile safety prospects in this year’s draft.
 
93. Chicago Bears   Quinton Carter, SAF Oklahoma
 
Carter is an excellent in the box safety and the Bears hope they can develop his pass defense skills in order to make him a complete player.
 
94. New York Jets   Sam Acho, OLB Texas 
 
The Jets must upgrade their pass rush in this draft, and Acho is the best specialist left on the board at this point in the third round.
 
95. Pittsburgh Steelers  Pernell McPhee, DE Mississippi State
 
McPhee is a solid 5-technique prospect, thus a natural fit in Pittsburgh.  The Steelers have done an excellent job in addressing their biggest weaknesses on day 1 and 2 of the draft.
 
96. Green Bay Packers  Allen Bradford, RB USC
 
The Packers take the best RB left on their board.  Bradford is one of the sleepers at his position in the draft, and could out-produce several of the RBs chosen before him.
 
97. Carolina Panthers  Jordan Cameron, TE USC
 
The Panthers take a gamble on the super athletic Cameron, hoping he can become their version of Jimmy Graham, last year’s basketball player-turned promising NFL TE who was drafted by the Saints.
 

Michael DiJulio contributed to this article


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