Our community mock draft trudges along, as Roger Goodell, which translates to 'mock commissioner', heads to the podium, pick in hand for the Falcons:
With the 27th pick in the 2011 Daily Norseman Community mock draft, the Atlanta Falcons select...
Cameron Heyward, DE, (everyone say it with me)...THE Ohio State University. Woot woot!!
When mock interviewed after the mock selection, Heyward said "Hey, don't get me wrong. I'm happy to be picked by a great team with a good chance to go to the Super Bowl. I'm just worried I'm going to have to take a pay cut."
Way to make that a legitimate joke, Jim Tressel. Anyhow, Heyward is a good pick for the Falcons here. He had a monster junior year, but his production dropped off during his senior year. He had a dominant Sugar Bowl, and if he gets selected in the first round, it will be because of that game. In real life, though, I think the fans of the Falcons would riot if there was a first round caliber talent on the board from the University of Georgia and the Falcons didn't select him. But that's just me.
So now we move on, and quickly, before the NCAA runs with a fake quote from a fake interview. Next up is the NFL's equivalent of the Evil Empire, the New England Patriots. I'm not a fan of the Patriots, but I don't openly root against them, because I have a ton of respect for how owner Bob Kraft has built and maintained during an era in the NFL where parity has reigned supreme.
So what do the Patriots need? First priority is someone that knows how to cut Tom Brady's hair, but as far as I know, there are no blue chip hair stylists available in the first round. This is really a sound team with not a lot of needs, hence drafting so far back in the draft, but with offensive linemen Matt Light and Nick Kaczur having an up in the air future with the team, you can argue offensive lineman. They've had a fair amount of attrition at linebacker, so you could argue that position, and after trading away Randy Moss, they could also look to try and find another target for Brady. But in the Bill Belichick era, the Pats have done a fantastic job of not reaching for a need and staying disciplined in selecting the best player available. With the amount of picks the Patriots have, and the relatively few needs on their roster, I could see them moving around quite a bit, up or down, to target guys they want. The Patriots are as good as any team in doing that.
Where we stand so far:
- Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton, quarterback, Auburn
- Denver Broncos - Patrick Peterson, cornerback, LSU
- Buffalo Bills - Marcell Dareus, defensive tackle, Alabama
- Cincinnati Bengals - Blaine Gabbert, quarterback, Missouri
- Arizona Cardinals - Von Miller, linebacker, Texas A&M
- Cleveland Browns - A.J. Green, wide receiver, Georgia
- San Francisco 49ers - Prince Amukamara, cornerback, Nebraska
- Tennessee Titans - Nick Fairley, defensive tackle, Auburn
- Dallas Cowboys - Tyron Smith, offensive tackle, USC
- Washington Redskins - Julio Jones, wide receiver, Alabama
- Houston Texans - Da'Quan Bowers, defensive end, Clemson
- Minnesota Vikings - Jake Locker, quarterback, Washington
- Detroit Lions - Robert Quinn, defensive end, North Carolina
- St. Louis Rams - Cameron Jordan, defensive end, California
- Miami Dolphins - Mark Ingram, running back, Alabama
- Jacksonville Jaguars - J.J. Watt, defensive end, Wisconsin
- New England Patriots - Aldon Smith, defensive end/outside linebacker, Missouri
- San Diego Chargers - Ryan Kerrigan, defensive end, Purdue
- New York Giants - Mike Pouncey, offensive guard, Florida
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Adrian Clayborn, defensive end, Iowa
- Kansas City Chiefs - Anthony Castonzo, offensive tackle, Boston College
- Indianapolis Colts - Nate Solder, offensive tackle, Colorado
- Philadelphia Eagles - Gabe Carimi, offensive tackle, Wisconsin
- New Orleans Saints - Akeem Ayers, outside linebacker, UCLA
- Seattle Seahawks - Ryan Mallett, quarterback, Arkansas
- Baltimore Ravens - Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
- Atlanta Falcons - Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio STate