NFL Draft 2nd and 3rd Rounds Key Picks

At pick 35, the Cincinnati Bengals picked Andy Dalton. This may signal a new regime in Cincinnati. Although Carson Palmer backed out of his retiring threat with the drafting of A.J. Green it seems like the Bengals are picking up an insurance policy against him threatening this again.

At pick 36, the San Francisco 49ers picked Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is a solid quarterback and might fill that huge need the 49ers have. However, he may not be a franchise quarterback for a franchise accustom to Joe Montana and Steve Young.

At pick 51, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked Daquan Bowers. No I did not do a typo and he was drafted 41 or 31, he was drafted 51. In early Mock Drafts he was slotted as a number 1 overall pick and he dropped due to knee problems. This seems like a huge steal.

At pick 74, the New England Patriots picked Ryan Mallet. Mallet is a player with a gun for an arm and great general quarterbacking abilities. He has dropped because of behavioral concerns but if he learns under Tom Brady for a few years this could be a Steve Young/Joe Montana switch for the Patriots.

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2011 NFL Draft First Round

The NFL Draft started with a statement from the fans. A little over 20 minutes before the draft Roger Goodell came out trying to get a moment of silence for the tragedy in Alabama, however, before he could get a word in edge wise he was booed and greeted with chants of “Let them play!” and “We want football!”

But to the actual draft, the picks are as follows with my personal grades and justification for those grades.

  1. CAR – Cam Newton/QB/Auburn/B-
    Cam Newton is too risky to give an A grade to. He could be a bigger and more unstoppable version of Michael Vick or he could be Jamarcus Russel.
  2. DEN – Von Miller/OLB/Texas A&M/A
    Von Miller is simply one of the most explosive players in the draft. He is an insane talent.
  3. BUF – Marcell Dareus/DT/Alabama/B
    I mainly gave him a B because I was unaware of this guy but he seems to have pretty good numbers behind him. Although numbers can be deceiving.
  4. CIN – A.J. Green/WR/Georgia/A-
    A.J. Green is a great talent that was vital to Georgia. However, I do not like a pick this high in the draft because wide receivers simply do not get that many touches throughout a game.
  5. ARI – Patrick Peterson/CB/LSU/A-
    Many considered Patrick Peterson the best player in the draft, however, Whisenhut’s stead fast views of take the best player available may have hurt them here considering they desperately need a quarterback.
  6. ATL – Julio Jones/WR/Alabama/B-
    No disrespect to Julio Jones, in fact, his skills are what made this grade even a B-, but Falcons, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? You have Roddy White! You don’t need a wide receiver.
  7. SF – Aldon Smith/DE/Missouri/C-
    Someone please explain this pick to me because I don’t get it.
  8. TEN – Jake Locker/QB/Washington/C
    Jake Locker could be a very good talent but you good have easily waited on him. This is a big reach.
  9. DAL – Tyron Smith/OT/USC/B-
    He is a very good tackle and the Cowboys need a tackle. The only thing is he might be to skinny and might be pushed around.
  10. JAC – Blane Gabbert/QB/Missouri/B+
    Blane Gabbert has great skills but can he adjust to the NFL game. This was a solid pick because he can learn under Garrard for a couple of years, take over, and be turned into a franchise QB.
  11. HOU – J.J. Watt/DE/Wisconsin/A
    A great, great player out of Wisconsin. He is incredibly impressive and could be a stud for a Houston defense that needs some serious help.
  12. MIN – Christian Ponder/QB/Florida State/D+
    Very smart guy but a HUGE reach. He might have dropped all the way to the third round. Saying this is a questionable pick is being nice.
  13. DET – Nick Fairley/DT/Auburn/A+
    Although this does not fill a need I do not see anyone running inside on the Lions anymore. Fairley was considered the best player after the last College Football game in the draft. Due to some behavioral problems he dropped, however, his attitude might be a problem but he is a terrific talent.
  14. STL – Robert Quinn/DE/North Carolina/B
    Quinn was a top prospect but had to sit out the year for NCAA violations. Will that affect him? If not he seems promising.
  15. MIA – Mike Pouncey/C/Florida/B-
    A solid player although he is definitely the lesser of the two Pouncey brothers. He won’t be a bust but he wont be a star.
  16. WSH – Ryan Kerrigen/DE/Purdue/B+
    A guy with a tireless work ethic. He will be constantly improving and constantly getting better. He’s already pretty solid and just needs to work on a little more to become a stud.
  17. NE – Nate Soder/OT/Colorado/B-
    A solid player and I never question Belichick after he draft Tom Brady in the 6th round.
  18. SD – Corey Luiget/DT/Illinois/A-
    Luiget is legit! You know when you draft him you get a solid player. The Chargers got a steal here.
  19. NYG – Prince Amakumara/CB/Nebraska/A+
    Personally, I think Amakumara is the best corner back in the draft. He shut down Jake Locker who was picked 11 spots ahead of him. This was a huge steal.
  20. TB – Adrian Clayborn/DE/Iowa/B+
    Again, a solid pick, and a great guy. He overcame Erb’s Palsy and if he didn’t have this as a child he might have been picked in the top 10.
  21. CLE – Phil Taylor/DT/Baylor/B
    He will stuff up the middle against a division that runs the ball furiously. Holmgren knows what he is doing.
  22. IND – Anthony Castonzo/OT/Boston College/B
    Castonzo will day in and day out give you his all and you need that with someone protecting Peyton Manning. Castonzo was a great need filler for the Colts.
  23. PHI – Danny Watkins/OG/Baylor/C-
    I don’t want to bad mouth a service man too much so I’ll just say, I don’t see him being that amazing.
  24. NO – Cameron Jordan/DE/California/B+
    The Saints needed a pass rusher and they got a good one in Jordan.
  25. SEA – James Carpenter/OG/Alabama/F
    I hate giving an F because I don’t think you can fail with a pick. This was a fail. He was slotted late second round. I do not understand.
  26. KC – Jon Baldwin/WR/Pittsburgh/B
    Dwayne Bowe seems solid. Maybe they want some height. Not a bad pick, not a good pick.
  27. BAL – Jimmy Smith/CB/Colorado/B+
    He dropped this low because he had behavioral problems, however, the Ravens might be the best situation for him with having Ray Lewis as a mentor.
  28. NO – Mark Ingram/RB/Alabama/A+
    A Heisman Trophy winner at 28. Enough said. Great pick.
  29. CHI – Gabe Carimi/DT/Wisconsin/A-
    Big Wsiconsin man at 29. That sounds good to me.
  30. NYJ – Muhammad Wilkerson/DE/Temple/B-
    A guy with a huge wingspan, quite the physical specimen. The Jets know defense, lets see how this works.
  31. PIT – Cameron Hayward/DE/Ohio State/B
    A nice pick here as I said with the Jets they know defense, although, do they need a defensive player.
  32. GB – Derrick Sherrod/Mississippi State/B+
    The rich get richer. Sherrod is a very solid player and will greatly impact the Packers from the get go.

Important things to note:

There were 12 defensive lineman pick. That is an NFL record.

Andy Dalton and Daquan Bowers are still on the board.