BIRDLAND – With the 27th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Falcons will select Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward.
The set of defensive ends for the upcoming draft is talented and one will slip to the Falcons. Offensive tackle, cornerback and possibly wide receiver will also be considered with the 27th pick.
Heyward had elbow surgery this offseason and hasn’t been able to lift for NFL scouts. However, there is plenty of tape of him destroying Big Ten offenses.
Pro Football Weekly’s Nolan Nawrocki is not a big fan of Heyward’s. Nawrocki is the scribe who had the scathing review of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. In the Pro Football Weekly’s 2011 Draft preview, Nawrocki wrote this about Heyward:
“Looks like Tarzan and does not play like Jane, but will always leave evaluators wanting more. Overrated and Overhyped.”
Heyward is 6-foot-5, 294-pounds. Has started 43 of 52 games in four seasons at Ohio State. He recorded 163 tackles, 37½ tackles for loss, 15½ sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Also, in Mock 4.0 we have Newton going to Carolina with the top pick. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert is headed to Cincinnati, Ryan Mallett to Minnesota and Jake Locker to Seattle.
“I don’t think there’s a Matt Ryan or Sam Bradford in this class,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said. “What do I mean by that? At the time that those quarterbacks came out, last year with Bradford and two years ago with Matt Ryan. . .I just had no doubt in my mind those guys were ready mentally and physically to contribute in the NFL.”
Some are starting to place Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones ahead of A.J. Green in their mock drafts. That’s a mistake.
“Throw the combine numbers out and just study the tape of these two receivers,” McShay said. “Julio Jones is very, very, very good, but A.J. Green is special. I think he’s at a different level.”
Well, I got a little ambitious for this Mock draft and went ahead and made all of the picks for the Falcons.
PROJECTED 2011 ATLANTA FALCONS DRAFT PICKS
First Round: 27 – Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
Second Round: 59 – Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy
Third Round: 91 – James Carpenter, OT, Alabama
Fourth Round: 124 – Akeem Dent, LB, Georgia
Fifth Round: 158 – Bilal Powell, RB, Louisville
Sixth Round: 192 – Pat Devlin, QB, Delaware
Seventh Round: 209 – Ricardo Lockette, WR, Fort Valley State. 228 – Julius Thomas, TE, Portland State. 229 – Byron Maxwell, CB, Clemson.
LAST POLL RESULTS: Who should the Falcons select with the 27th pick in the draft?
* Trade out of the first round and amass picks (40%, 266 Votes)
* Missouri DE Aldon Smith (37%, 247 Votes)
* Pittsburgh WR Jonathan Baldwin (15%, 100 Votes)
* Mississippi State OT Derek Sherrod (8%, 60 Votes)
Total Voters: 673
1. Carolina: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn: I found it instructive that Carolina general manager Marty Hurney spoke up after the shameless bashing of Newton by Pro Football Weekly.
2. Denver: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama: He’s a prototype defensive tackle.
3. Buffalo: Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M: After whiffing on Aaron Maybin with the 11th pick in 2009, Chan Gailey gets a legitimate defender in Miller.
4. Cincinnati: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri: The Bengals QB situation is up in the air with Carson Palmer demanding a trade.
5. Arizona: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn: The Cardinals need to add some more bite to their defense.
6. Cleveland: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia: The Browns have to surround Colt McCoy with some weapons.
7. San Francisco: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU: He could take over as the 49ers’ press cornerback.
8. Tennessee: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson. The Titans hope to get perhaps the top pass rusher in the draft.
9. Dallas: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska. The Cowboys need help in the secondary and will go for the big cornerback here.
10. Washington: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin: Started his college career as at tight end at Central Michigan. He played hockey in his youth.
11. Houston: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina: He worked out as a standup linebacker for 3-4 teams during his workout at Carolina’s Pro Day and was impressive.
12. Minnesota: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas: The Vikings have to make a move at quarterback and they decide to roll the dice on Mallett’s big arm.
13. Detroit: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College: The Lions have to get some protection for Matthew Stafford.
14. St. Louis: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama: The Rams get a weapon for quarterback Sam Bradford.
15. Miami: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: The Dolphins look to improve their rushing attack.
16. Jacksonville: Cameron Jordan, DE, California: Steve Jordan, his father, was a six-time Pro Bowler at tight end for the Vikings.
17. New England: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado: He’s a massive anchor at 6-foot-8 ¼ and 314 pounds.
18. San Diego: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri: They Chargers get some help for their defense. Smith could contribute as a pass rusher immediately.
19. New York Giants: Tyron Smith, OT, USC: The Giants can’t pass up this blend of athleticism and power.
20. Tampa Bay: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue: The Bucs drafted defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price last season. This year they try to get some help at defensive end.
21. Kansas City: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin: Projects as a right tackle in the NFL. He played left tackle for the
22. Indianapolis: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois: The Colts elect to get a disruptive force for the middle of their defense.
23. Philadelphia: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado: He is rugged with his hands in press coverage. He is a tall corner at 6-2 3/8.
24. New Orleans: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa: “Clayborn’s stock has dropped to a certain extent because of that arm situation,” Kiper said. “He’s dropped to the late first round.”
25. Seattle: Jake Locker, QB, Washington: He will get a chance to sit and watch Matt Hasselbeck for a year or two. Locker is athletic, but needs to work on his accuracy.
26. Baltimore: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami: He was a three-year starter for the Hurricanes.
27. Atlanta: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State: Some are worried that he’s adding weight while rehabbing from an elbow injury.
28. New England: Mike Pouncey, C, Florida: The Patriots stay along the line here.
29. Chicago: Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor: Is shooting up draft boards. Started his career at Penn State, but transferred after running into some legal problems.
30. New York Jets: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia: The Jets are counting on Houston developing into a big-play artist.
31. Pittsburgh: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State: The Steelers have to improve their offensive line.
32. Green Bay: Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech: He’s a hard-charging runner, who’ll fit in the offense nicely.
Akeem Ayers , LB, UCLA
Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
Titus Young, WR, Boise State
Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois
Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
Danny Watkins, OL, Baylor
Martrez Wilson, LB, Illinois
Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog