2011 NFL Draft: Picks 11-32
21. Cleveland Browns–Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor
NOT the sexy pick. Taylor should help swallow the run. The Browns seem to be aware that people run over them. In 2010, the Browns allowed 129.4 yards per game. That is as bad as it sounds. They ranked 27th. Good pick Cleveland!
22. Indianapolis Colts–Anthony Castonzo, LT, Boston College (pictured)
Positionally a great fit for the Colts, Castonzo will come in as the blind-side protector for Peyton Manning as a rookie. I just wasn’t as high on Castonzo. I liked Sherrod, MS State LT. It reallydoesn’t matter too much, Manning will have the ball out early and Castonzo is easily a talent upgrade off their current tackles. He may even play defensive tackle better than their guys.
23. Philadelphia Eagles–Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor
The Eagles upgrade a position that has seen a lot of flux in the last few years. They finally don’t have Shawn Andrews at guard and they vote to fix the situation long-term. At 26, Watkins enters in the league a little old for a rookie, but he will no doubt be able to play longer than other positions (RB). Watkins’ nast streak will help the Eagles persona of a pass-happy team. They need the nasty. They need to run the ball. LeSean McCoy is happy.
24. New Orleans Saints–Cameron Jordan, DT, California
I am most stunned that Jordan is available here over anyone else that dropped. Jordan was a top-15 pick on a bad day. Apparently this was a worse day. Saints get a steal! Long-term and short-term they have just slowed Michael Turner down. Looking back, teams must have gotten obsessed with the Almighty Sack Count. Jordan didn’t have that, but he did have effectiveness.
25. Seattle Seahawks–James Carpenter, RT, Alabama
If Christian Ponder wouldn’t have been chosen so high, this would have been the most “what?” moment of the draft. I still haven’t researched him, but for what it’s worth, I intend to. I can tell you that the Seahawks had invested in a top LT prospect in the 2010 draft. They had a young offensive guard/center in Max Unger (drafted 2009). This could start to be a good line to help out RB Marshawn Lynch and company. I wonder who will play QB.
26. Kansas City Chiefs–Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh (pictured above)
Does this remind anybody of WR Dwayne Bowe? Very good wr with some aspects that are elite combined with poor work ethic and a propensity to seem to not try hard late in games…it’s what they say. I don’t personally know him. I like Baldwin and think he can do well in KC. Matt Cassel may not get to be underrated and overhated anymore.
27. Baltimore Ravens–Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
WOW! He really did fall this far. Smith is a top-10 talent and based off of my limited viewing of cornerbacks, I place Smith slightly above Amukamara. Now, Smith does come with a bad reputation. He has supposedly gotten in trouble with the law a few times and supposedly has a few other things that would make teams “red-flag” him. That means he wouldn’t be drafted when there are similarly talented players still available and it’s because of his character concerns. Smith is a great corner and hopefully a certain LB name Mr Lewis explains life to him and gets him straight. I guess when you have a player like Ray Lewis, you can take liberties like this.
28. New Orleans Saints–Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Not my top-ranked RB but there is absolutely NO denial what he did to the SEC the past two years, primarily in 2009. Ingram was a wrecking ball and I applaud the Saints for this move. It includes the realization that their run-game is not what they want. Reggie Bush never became the pro player they wanted and Pierre Thomas doesn’t seem to get respected enough by the front office. I guess they always saw him as a bridge.
29. Chicago Bears–Gabe Carimi, OL, Wisconsin
Carimi played LT at Wisconsin but will probably play RT or guard for the Bears. I personally think he has a chance to be a Pro Bowl guard. It really doesn’t matter where he plays, he upgrades the line that got not one but two QB’s knocked out of the NFC Championship Game. Does anyone remember their game vs the Giants last year? That was bad. I thought Jay Culter was going to have to retire.
30. New York Jets–Muhammed Wilkerson, DT, Temple
Grea pick. Wilkerson is a quick-twitch big guy and that’s hard to find. They’ll plug and play this guy as fast as they can. YouTube him if ya want. He’ll be a stud and lineman should always be welcome to any organization.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers–Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
Heyward will switch to a 34 defense from a 43 defense, just as the above-listed Wilkerson will and it will be interesting to watch as their mindset has to change from beating a guy to get to the QB to pushing guys up so that a LB can get to the QB. Heyward likely won’t be forced to produce his first year. It’s a Steelers thing.
32. Green Bay Packers–Derek Sherrod, LT, Miss State
The Packers get a great player here to take over for current LT Chad Clifton after this season. They should be able to plug Sherrod at guard this season. The Rams did that with Orland Pace. If I remember correctly, he played LG his rookie season and moved to LT in his second. That worked out pretty well. Sherrod should be great there and if he fails at LT, he can play effectively in other spots on the line. Brian Bulaga will most likely remain at RT.
I plan on getting a few quick thoughts in on the second round soon. I hope you enjoyed these first few premature thoughts here.