After Marshawn Lynch's Tecmo Bowl-esque run in this year's playoffs, it's easy to see which side of the ball the Saints will be focusing their attention on. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Apologies for the delay, folks. . .forgot today was my turn in the rotation. After all, it's been a while since I've been free to do one of these.
After the closest vote that we've had to date in the 2011 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, Roger Goodell once again makes his way to our fake podium to announce the Eagles' selection with the twenty-third selection.
With the twenty-third pick in the 2011 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select. . .
Gabe Carimi, offensive tackle, Wisconsin.
Carimi's margin of victory over Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith was just one vote. Congratulations to him on being fake drafted by fake Andy Reid and company.
With that, we move on to the New Orleans Saints. . .where, depending on who you ask, Drew Brees may or may not have overcome the Madden Curse last season. Sure, he didn't get injured or anything crazy like that, but he did throw twice as many interceptions as the previous season, and led his team to a loss against the only team in NFL history to make the playoffs with a losing record. But offense isn't the problem in New Orleans. . .it's the defense.
The Saints will most certainly be looking at the defensive side of the ball in the 2011 Draft, and especially so early on. They could use help at all three levels of the defense. . .not necessarily as starters, but as depth or to replace players they could potentially lose in free agency. Their linebacking corps lost Scott Fujita in the previous season and missed Jonathan Casillas for the majority of 2010. Scott Shanle is also a free agent and could leave once he's able.
Along the defensive line, the Saints were fairly solid again, but could lose tackle Remi Ayodele to free agency as well. Even if Ayodele stays around, they could use another big body in the middle of the defensive line.
In the secondary, safety Roman Harper is unsigned, and there's no depth behind him and Malcolm Jenkins as it sits right now. Also, both of their starting cornerbacks missed time with injuries in 2010.
So, the Saints have some options on the defensive side of the ball that they could pursue with the 24th overall selection in our draft. Which direction will they go?
1) Carolina Panthers - , QB, Auburn
2) Denver Broncos - Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
3) Buffalo Bills - Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
4) Cincinnati Bengals - Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
5) Arizona Cardinals - Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
6) Cleveland Browns - A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
7) San Francisco 49ers - Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
8) Tennessee Titans - Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
9) Dallas Cowboys - Tyron Smith, OT, USC
10) Washington Redskins - Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
11) Houston Texans - Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
12) Minnesota Vikings - Jake Locker, QB, Washington
13) Detroit Lions - Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
14) St. Louis Rams - Cameron Jordan, DE, California
15) Miami Dolphins - Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
16) Jacksonville Jaguars - J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
17) New England Patriots, OLB, Missouri
18) San Diego Chargers - Ryan Kerringan, DE, Purdue
19) New York Giants - Mike Pouncey, G, Florida
20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
21) Kansas City Chiefs - Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
22) Indianapolis Colts - Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
23) Philadelphia Eagles - Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
With the twenty-fourth pick in the 2011 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, the New Orleans Saints select. . .
Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor (18 votes)
Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois (30 votes)
Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State (21 votes)
Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA (48 votes)
Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia (18 votes)
Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado (34 votes)
Brandon Harris, CB, Miami (FL) (6 votes)
Aaron Williams, CB/S, Texas (6 votes)
Rahim Moore, S, UCLA (13 votes)
Other (please specify in comments) (8 votes)
202 total votes