Welcome to NFL Mock Draft round 3! I’ll be co-hosting an internet radio show for the round. Go here to listen
For round one go here
For round two go here
For our 2012 Mock Draft go here
By Paul M. Banks
1. Carolina, Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
n ’09 Baldwin, who goes 6-5, 225, caught 57 for 1,111 yards and 8 TDs. In ’10, the offense’s instability limited his production. However, he’s a giant physical freak and he’ll wow ‘em at the combine. For more with/about Baldwin go here
Rivals.com lists him as the 39th best player in college football, Sporting News picked him as the Big Ten’s “hardest hitter.” Jones is also ESPN.com’s 11th best player in the Big Ten. So obviously lots of football geeks think he’s a great linebacker, but how does he define what makes a linebacker great or not?
“The same thing you would see, a guy who makes plays every time, he’s consistent, he’s burning down the field, he’s everywhere. The guy who never takes a play off and if he does miss a tackler, he’s the guy who’s right there getting a tackle for a loss or a sack on the next play,” Jones responded.
Go here for more Bengals draft analysis
3. Denver, Orlando Franklin, G, Miami
Outstanding run blocker who gets off the ball quickly and is capable of holding up at the point or pulling and getting to the second level. Does a great job locating blitzers, staying home against stunts or helping out when not covered up. Can be tested when asked to mirror quicker pass rushers
4. Buffalo, Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
Jerry Rhome, a former NFL player and coach, has been working with Dalton since the season ended in January. He says he expects Dalton to play in the NFL 12 to 13 years.
5. Arizona, Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
Dowling probably could have come out last year, but stayed in and acquired another year of seasoning. He ran a 4.40 and has good size at 6-1
6. Cleveland Browns, Will Rackley, OL, Lehigh
A dominant force for Lehigh, he looked not like an FCS offensive lineman but a future NFL starter. Rackley made 40 consecutive starts to end his four-year career, the final three at left tackle after starting at right guard as a freshman.
Go here for more Browns draft analysis
7. Dallas, Chimdi Chekwa, DB, Ohio State Buckeyes
For more on Chekwa go here
8. New Orleans, James Carpenter, OT, Alabama
Carpenter grades out as a good pass blocker but just adequate in the running game. His game could benefit from some improved awareness in blitz pickup.
9. Houston, Jason Pinkston, OT, Pittsburgh
+ Strong initial punch to be dominant when locking his hands onto ends and extending his arms. Uses his size and length to take quicker rush ends around the pocket.
- Reaches and lunges and gets concrete feet, making him susceptible to secondary rush. Lacks great flexibility and relies too much on raw strength.
His footwork, strength and size on the edge should allow him to succeed, and let scouts see him as a very capable starter at the next level.
For a synopsis on NE’s draft prospects, and why they’re the most intriguing team in the league this April go here
11. Detroit, Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State
+ Great size and speed for the running back position. Breaks tackles and picks up yards after contact. Smart and patient runner, shows good vision and lets his blocks setup.
- Not overly quick, is a long strider. More of a power back, overall speed isn’t great. Runs too upright and might be hampered by leg injuries at the next level.
For more Lions Draft Analysis
12. San Francisco, DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson
McDaniel lacks the fluidity to cover the entire field. His instincts, reliable open-field tackling and impressive ball skills make him one of the few senior safeties in this draft worthy of top 100 consideration.
13. Tennessee, Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
This year, it’s Arkansas and former Michigan Wolverines quarterback Ryan Mallett. Remember the character concerns about Jimmy Clausen last year? Take that amount and square it, no cube it, and the equation equals Mallett’s reputation and draft stock. His coarse, somewhat hostile interaction with the media at the combine drew comparisons to Ryan Leaf, (For more on how he ended up go here) who earned the nickname “baby boy” for his insanely immature public blow-ups.
For more on Mallett go here
14. St. Louis, Tandon Doss, WR, Indiana Hoosiers
During the 2010 regular season, Doss led the Big Ten and finished fourth nationally with 175.8 all-purpose yards per game. He closed out the year with 63 receptions, 706 receiving yards, seven touchdowns, 1,016 kick return yards, 163 rushing yards and 49 punt return yards. The Indianapolis native’s 1,641 all-purpose yards rank seventh on IU’s single-season list. Doss also ranks sixth in single-season receptions and he became the sixth player in Big Ten history with 1,000 or more kick return yards in a single season, finishing the year with the fourth-best total in Big Ten history and the top total in Hoosier lore.
Go here for more Vikings draft analysis
15. Miami, Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State
The 5-7. 199-pound Hunter had excellent sophomore and senior seasons which sandwiched an injury-marred junior campaign. He had over 1,500 rushing yards in his sophomore season and again during his senior season as well as 33 total touchdowns in those two seasons combined. An ankle injury limited him as a junior, but Hunter bounced back and carried the ball 271 times as a senior. Hunter did have 37 career receptions at Oklahoma State. He’s drawn Brian Westbrook comparisons.
16. Jacksonville, Jordan Todman, RB, UConn
Todman, 5-foot-9, 193 pounds, piled up 1,695 yards rushing as a junior at UConn in 2010, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. In his career he rushed for more than 3,100 yards in three seasons, and caught 42 passes. He has decent 4.45 40 speed and is a tough runner who can also catch the ball. Todman was named Big East Offensive Player of the Year in 2010.
17. Oakland, Nate Irving, LB, NC State
+ Versatile linebacker who can play all the linebacker positions. Vocal leader on the field
- Not really know for his pass rushing ability, relies on his speed to get to the quarterback. Injury concerns,
18. San Diego, Dontay Moch, DE/OLB, Nevada
Absolutely slam-dunked the combine, to make a name for himself
19. NYG, Quan Sturdivant, LB, North Carolina
The overlooked member of the famed, but embattled UNC defense; could be the most NFL ready after Quinn among the stellar Tar Heel defenders
For more on Williams go here
21. Philadelphia, Kelvin Sheppard, LB, LSU
Buffalo Coach Chan Gailey was impressed by him at the combine.
“Shep is a pretty good force inside inside in there,” Gailey said. “He has really taken charge of the defense. He’s making all the calls for us on the defensive side. He’s doing a really good job of finding the football. He can come take on the run and he’s fast enough and aware enough to go cover up some pass situations. I think his instincts may be as good as anybody’s on the football field. He has great instincts. He’s a big, strong guy. I’ve been very impressed.”
22. Kansas City Greg Little, WR, North Carolina
Suspended for the entire 2010 season by the NCAA for maintaining an inappropriate relationship with an agent, NFL teams will be sure to check into Little’s background.
What doesn’t require much checking is Little’s talent.
23. Indianapolis Colts, Virgil Green, TE, Nevada
Did not make a load of explosive plays in college but has a high ceiling here due to his speed and hands. Shows good effort as a blocker and could improve technique but lacks natural size and strength to excel in this area.
For more Colts draft analysis
24. New Orleans, Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville
Good in both man and zone coverage, but excels in off-coverage.
25. San Diego, Kenrick Ellis, NT, Hampton
The 6-foot-5, 346-pounder has drawn second-round grades from several draft analysts.
Per a source, Ellis interviewed well at the NFL scouting combine and was accountable for past transgressions that got him dismissed from South Carolina (reportedly failed drug tests) before transferring to Hampton and being suspended for one game.
26. Baltimore, Jordan Cameron, TE, USC
His only significant playing time came in 2010, when he caught 16 passes in 12 games. He’s raw, but his athleticism is worth a flier in this round.
Here’s what USC and college football blog Gridiron Goddess had to say about Cameron:
Cameron is ranked 9th and rising for his position heading into the draft. He’s athletic and he had a great showing at the combine. (More on that in a second) The thing about Cameron, well he was a basketball player and he’s had limited playing time for the gridiron Trojans. 16 career catches and a single start do not make a broad base from which to evaluate him. Cameron is an athlete, but he’s barely a football player when compared to other Trojans in the draft. He’s got a lot to learn. That said, let’s talk about his combine showing. He finished second in the 40-yard dash at the tight end position.
At 6-5 and 254lbs, he ran a 4.59 in the 40 compared to the 1st place finisher’s 4.55. His vertical leap was 37.5. This combination is interesting as, despite Cameron’s overall lack of time on the football field for Troy, his #s display an ability to speed the hell down field like a bat out of hell and to get air- an especially useful skill when you’re in the red zone. This is exactly what teams need out of their tight ends. Cameron switched from wide receiver before the 2010 season. His sheer athleticism bodes well and frankly the type of conditioning and NFL style offense USC runs is beneficial in his evaluation. Lack of playing time or not, he has the raw skills and with the right development could make a massive impact on an NFL team.
Go here for more USC Trojans draft analysis
27. Atlanta, Colin McCarthy, LB, Miami
Has a chance to win a job as a starting middle or strong side linebacker. (Yes, even in Atlanta where there are some pretty good incumbents would be ahead of him) Has great size. Exhibits very good instincts diagnosing against the run and when asked to play in zone coverage.
28. New England Patriots, Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon
You’ve heard of him??!!! Of course, you have. He comes from that ridiculously talented family with four generations of NFL blood, and he was the anchor of that tenacious defense which took the Ducks to within a play of the national title.
For the definitive collection of Hot Oregon Cheerleader pictures go here
29. Chicago Bears, Jabaal Sheard, DE/OLB, Pittsburgh
Like almost every other player on Pitt, he was arrested in the past year. That is a cause for concern, especially in today’s NFL. Maybe he’d be better off in a smaller NFL market in a sleepy town with less distractions.
For more Bears Draft Analysis go here
Some big news about Bears QB Jay Cutler, and his his girlfriend Kristin Cavallari broke today, Go here for that.
And here for many pictures of Cavallari
30. New York Jets, Davon House, CB, New Mexico State
The WAC has produced a cornerback in the top 100 picks in four of the past five drafts, believe it or not. The Jets further develop depth by taking House this year. You’ll recall they picked Kyle Wilson, from the WAC’s Boise State last year in the first round.
31. Pittsburgh, Sam Acho, DE/OLB, Texas
Acho won the 2010 William V. Campbell Trophy, formerly known as the Draddy Trophy and commonly referred to as the “Academic Heisman.” He excelled in three sports in high school, tested out of 26 class hours before attending UT, and won multiple Academic All-American awards for his production and academic prowess.
This year’s Jason Pierre-Paul? You knew the comparisons were inevitable.
For more Packers Draft analysis go here
For round one go here
second round! go here to check that out.
For our 2012 Mock Draft go here
He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and FacebookFollow paulmbanks