A Valentine’s buffet (that’s what you eat on Valentine’s, right?) for NFL Draft nerds: SB Nation’s first two-round 2011 NFL mock draft. Auburn Tigers DT Nick Fairley is still the expected No. 1 pick for the Carolina Panthers, as he has been for about a month now, but the two-round format really opens up the whole thing.
The Atlanta Falcons, picking No. 27 and No. 59, grab Wisconsin Badgers OT Gabe Carimi and Badgers TE Lance Kendricks. We know Thomas Dimitroff has never drafted a Big Ten player, so why not break that streak by picking two players from the same Big Ten school?
We’ve written about Carimi before in this stream. He’s an Academic all-conference and the draft’s best run blocker. You wouldn’t want him playing left tackle, but if Tyson Clabo must move on, I would not worry about Carimi replacing him.
Our other new Badger, Kendricks, isn’t an exceptional run blocker, which surprised me considering the offense he played in. He’s big and quick and has good hands, but a year (or two!) working with Tony Gonzalez would be very beneficial.