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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Round Three

Last update: Thursday, April 28, 2011, 3:30 PM. Final update.
Next update: Thurs evening. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

This 2011 NFL Mock Draft order is based on the official 2011 NFL Draft Order.

  1. Carolina Panthers: Orlando Franklin, G, Miami
    Standard protocol after drafting a franchise quarterback is to give him an offensive lineman or a brand-new weapon to work with. Carolina needs to find an upgrade on its front unless it wants Cam Newton to be sacked half a dozen times every week like Jimmy Clausen was last year.

  2. Cincinnati Bengals: Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State
    If Cedric Benson isn't re-signed as a free agent, Cincinnati will need a new running back. Bernard Scott (sub-200 pounds) is not an every-down runner.

  3. Denver Broncos: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
    So, the Broncos draft a quarterback after all. This is a weird pick. I didn't want to drop Ryan Mallett any further - I tried, but couldn't fit him in the second round - and John Elway may like his raw ability enough to select him in the third round. Remember, even though they have Tim Tebow, new regimes mean new quarterbacks.

  4. Buffalo Bills: Sam Acho, DE/OLB, Texas
    If the Bills can't land Von Miller at No. 3, they'll look for a pass-rusher in one of the next couple of rounds. They're moving on from Aaron Maybin, and Shawne Merriman is no lock to do anything next year.

  5. Arizona Cardinals: John Moffitt, G/C, Wisconsin
    The Cardinals need to find multiple upgrades for one of the worst offensive lines in football.

  6. Cleveland Browns: Jurrell Casey, DT, USC
    Once again, the Browns will be looking for 4-3 personnel. Shaun Rogers and Kenyon Coleman were both released earlier this offseason, opening a big void next to Ahtyba Rubin.

  7. Dallas Cowboys: Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville
    As mentioned in Round 1, the Cowboys have issues in their secondary; they surrendered an average of 319 passing yards in the seven weeks prior to letting John Skelton win on a fourth-quarter drive. Even Rex Grossman torched them.

    I can't imagine Terence Newman being around much longer. Newman, 33 in September, struggled last year and will be due $8 million in 2011.

  8. New Orleans Saints: Mason Foster, OLB, Washington
    Strongside linebacker isn't a huge need for the Saints right now, but it will be if they don't retain free agents Danny Clark, JoLonn Dunbar and Marvin Mitchell. And even if they do, there's room for improvement.

  9. Houston Texans: Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
    Despite taking Kareem Jackson in the first round of last year's draft, Houston still must address the cornerback position. Jackson has to improve, while Glover Quin would be better served as the nickel or free safety.

  10. New England Patriots: Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia
    New England acquired this pick from the Vikings in the Randy Moss trade.

    Given their pass-rushing issues, it shouldn't surprise anyone if the Patriots double dip at rush linebacker this April.

    I mocked Justin Houston to the Patriots at No. 28 in my previous update. It was revealed Tuesday morning, however, that Houston failed a drug test at the Combine, so he's likely to fall to Rounds 2-3.

    With that in mind, the Patriots could definitely still be interested in Houston if he falls to this spot. Last year, they took a chance on Aaron Hernandez, who similarly failed a drug test in Indianapolis. Houston presents incredible value here, and he's a great fit in Bill Belichick's defense.

  11. Detroit Lions: Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina
    The Lions always go with the best player on their board as long as it makes sense for them. In this scenario, their strategy will also fill a big need; Julian Peterson, who struggled at times last season, has been released. Detroit needs to find a replacement.

    Bruce Carter is a really talented player who would be a first-round prospect if it weren't for a torn ACL. The Lions are reportedly really interested in Carter.

  12. San Francisco 49ers: Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa
    If the 49ers pass on Blaine Gabbert at No. 7, they'll be looking for a quarterback on Day 2. Ricky Stanzi is being talked about as someone who would fit in really well in Jim Harbaugh's system.

  13. Tennessee Titans: Greg Little, WR, North Carolina
    Greg Little has major character issues, but the Titans won't care. Little would be a great fit on this team because he can help Chris Johnson with his tremendous blocking and field-stretching abilities.

  14. St. Louis Rams: Clint Boling, G, Georgia
    The Rams continue to build around Sam Bradford. They can bolster his protection and improve the running game by finding an upgrade over Adam Goldberg, who played miserably at right guard in 2010.

  15. Miami Dolphins: Dontay Moch, DE/OLB, Nevada
    As mentioned in the first round, the Dolphins will be looking for some pass-rushing help across from Cameron Wake. This could allow them to move Koa Misi inside.

    Dontay Moch is a project, but the Dolphins may think they can coach him up to be one of the next great pass-rushers in the NFL.

  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Marcus Gilchrist, CB/FS, Clemson
    Jacksonville has to upgrade both safety spots in addition to the cornerback position. After all, there's a reason the Jaguars finished 31st against the pass.

    Marcus Gilchrist is a team captain and a three-year starter.

  17. Oakland Raiders: Chimdi Chekwa, CB, Ohio State
    The remainder of Nnamdi Asomugha's contract has been voided, so one of the league's top cornerbacks is now a free agent. The Raiders will need a replacement.

    Chimdi Chekwa has the height and speed that Al Davis covets. Chekwa ran a 4.38 at 6-0, 191, showing "great playa" qualities.

  18. San Diego Chargers: Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State
    Darren Sproles is a free agent. Kendall Hunter is not Sproles, but he's a pass-catching, change-of-pace back who could serve as a substitute.

  19. New York Giants: Luke Stocker, TE, Tennessee
    New York could stand to improve the tight end position; Kevin Boss is a decent player, but he's nothing special. Luke Stocker is a steal in the middle of Round 3.

  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greg Romeus, DE, Pittsburgh
    The Buccaneers double dipped at defensive tackle and wide receiver last April. They could do the same at defensive end in the 2011 NFL Draft considering how much they need help at the position.

  21. Philadelphia Eagles: Christian Ballard, DE/DT, Iowa
    The Eagles may look for a mid-round weapon at defensive tackle for Jim Washburn. Christian Ballard is one of the top players available and fits Jim Washburn's system. Ballard failed a drug test at the Combine, but Andy Reid will give him a second chance.

    Pick change; previously Terrell McClain, DT

  22. Kansas City Chiefs: Chris Carter, DE/OLB, Fresno State
    The Chiefs have only one reliable pass-rusher. Adding a solid complement across from Tamba Hali would take Kansas City's defense to the next level.

    In a top-heavy but thin pass-rushing draft class, someone like Chris Carter (16 TFL and 10 sacks in 2010) could emerge as a second-round pick. Carter had an outstanding 1.59 10-yard split in his 40-yard dash.

  23. Indianapolis Colts: Tyler Sash, SS, Iowa
    Melvin Bullitt is a free agent and Bob Sanders was recently released. Strong safety has suddenly become a huge need.

    An Iowa safety to replace another Iowa safety? Bill Polian does love his Big Ten players.

  24. New Orleans Saints: Kenrick Ellis, NT, Hampton
    The Saints just signed Shaun Rogers, but they need a long-term solution next to Sedrick Ellis. And besides, Kenrick Ellis is one of the best players available.

  25. San Diego Chargers: Shareece Wright, CB, USC
    The Chargers acquired this pick from Seattle for Charlie Whitehurst.

    Cornerback isn't San Diego's greatest need, but the team needs depth at the position. Plus, Brandon Burton is one of the top players available.

  26. Baltimore Ravens: Casey Matthews, ILB, Oregon
    The Ravens should obtain some competition for Jameel McClain. Ray Lewis will be 36 in May, so Baltimore will need to find a successor as well.

    Baltimore has expressed interest in Casey Matthews, who might go earlier than most think because of his bloodlines.

  27. Atlanta Falcons: DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma
    Michael Turner has carried the ball 340-plus times twice in the past three years. He really looked worn down toward the end of last season, failing to gain more than four yards per attempt in any of his final six contests.

    The Falcons need to take the burden off Turner and find a talented successor for him.

  28. New England Patriots: Edmond Gates, WR, Abilene Christian
    Upgrading the pass rush and the offensive line are two of the three things the Patriots need to accomplish this offseason. The third is finding a receiver who can stretch the field.

    New England has met with more than a dozen receivers in the past month or so, meaning Bill Belichick is fully interested in upgrading the position. One of the wideouts he met with, by the way, was Edmond Gates, who happens to be the top player available.

  29. Chicago Bears: Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State
    The Bears will be searching for an upgrade at receiver sometime early in the 2011 NFL Draft. They've shown a ton of interest in Austin Pettis.

  30. New York Jets: Tandon Doss, WR, Indiana
    It doesn't seem like the Jets will be able to re-sign both Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards. If one walks, New York will need a new wideout.

  31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Colin McCarthy, LB, Miami
    It would not be an NFL Draft if the Steelers didn't pick a linebacker.

  32. Green Bay Packers: Taiwan Jones, RB, Eastern Washington
    Ryan Grant is entering his contract year. James Starks looked great during the team's Super Bowl run, but has a long injury history. Brandon Jackson is a free agent. The Packers should find some running back help in the middle rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft.

    Taiwan Jones had an incredible Pro Day, running a 4.29 40 and notching an 11-foot broad jump. He looked great catching passes in the drills, so he could go in the second round.

  33. Carolina Panthers: Terrell McClain, DT, South Florida
    I had Carolina picking defensive tackles to open and close the third round in a previous update; that's how dire the position is for the Panthers.

    Pick change; previously Drake Nevis, DT

    2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 4

    2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 5

    2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 6

    2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 7

    Back to 2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 1

    Back to 2011 NFL Mock Draft - Round 2

Leave a comment

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Jeff 12-30-2010 05:07 pm (total posts: 1)
24     33

Why do you have the jets still with their second round pick?
The chargers will get it next year after cromartie has met playing time requirements this year. Also with the emergence of antwan barned I dont think they'll pick a rush linebacker in the first round.
cody 12-30-2010 05:02 pm (total posts: 1)
30     24

Why would the Texans take dares over bowers if dareus is under performing in college?
Ryan W 12-30-2010 04:53 pm (total posts: 1)
30     29

LE isn't Baltimore's biggest need. Cory Redding is solid, and they have developing players like Arthur Jones, Paul Kruger (who at times has shown he can get to the QB), and Lamar Divens. This is a position where maybe free agent depth could be brought in, but I don't see them using their first pick on an end and unless a top players really falls then I don't see why they would add another project to this group. Next summer when Redding's contract is up and neither of those other guys showed any starting potential then I think they could use a high pick on the position.

Easily the two biggest needs are CB, RT, OLB. Sergio Kindle's career is probably over and they have no depth behind Johnson and Suggs. Plus Johnson isn't a great pass rusher, though he's awesome against the run. Marshall Yanda is a good player, but he's better at guard then tackle. I think Gaither will walk this off season, Chester and yanda will be back, but they'll look for a starting right tackle, move Yanda back to guard, and Chester will be with the 2nd team.
Alejandro 12-30-2010 04:38 pm (total posts: 5)
25     25

Hey what do you know about Jeremiah Masoli is he going to go into the draft?
Donnie 12-30-2010 04:28 pm (total posts: 3)
23     23

@Brandon-maybe because Bowers is not the best DL in the draft your just another goober and if I was Walter I would put 80% of you in his jerks of the week
Donnie 12-30-2010 04:25 pm (total posts: 3)
23     24

If you idiots had half a brain you would see under the Miami pick he explains why Gabbert is not on here, it is because he said he is staying you goobers
matt 12-30-2010 04:21 pm (total posts: 1)
22     21

what bout any mizzou players. gabbert is most likely going to go pro and him and luck are the top two qbs and then they have have a couple good cbs
Brandon 12-30-2010 03:54 pm (total posts: 1)
18     17

How can you put any other defensive lineman over Bowers?
Chinns 12-30-2010 03:54 pm (total posts: 3)
25     35

Where is villanova's Mr. Everything Matt Szczur? With the progression of the wildcat offense in the NFL, and the fact that pat White was a second round pick because of it that should at least make Szczur a third rounder
Logan 12-30-2010 03:53 pm (total posts: 1)
22     30

How about greg salas he is a great reciver
Gailey 12-30-2010 03:38 pm (total posts: 3)
21     22


Fitzpatrick is not the solution for 2 reasons:

1). He's old; and

2). He's gay
Elliot 12-30-2010 03:33 pm (total posts: 1)
19     26

Where is Blaine Gabbert?!?! He's a projected first rounder if he comes out!
mr. olden days 12-30-2010 03:20 pm (total posts: 2)
32     30

i am a human being with a lot of problems, so dont make fun of me being 6-11 and 124 pounds ok! damn it sorry fort that about i need meds bad ok? patriots are the best watch them vs. the dolphins ok !!!!!!!!!
jesus 12-30-2010 03:17 pm (total posts: 2)
34     22

invisibulman 12-30-2010 03:06 pm (total posts: 4)
29     31


Yes, strong safeties come up in run support... Ask the Steelers how important this is. The Colts saw the same effect with and without Bob Sanders. The Colts cover two system places much more value on a versatile safety than DTs who are generally tasked with rushing the passer. I'm not saying that a new SS will make the Colts an elite Run D, but in that system it will do more than adding a DT.

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