SB Nation’s latest 2011 NFL mock draft is out and excellent as always, with not much changed since last week as far as the NFC South goes. Nick Fairley still goes No. 1 to the Carolina Panthers, the Atlanta Falcons still grab Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints are both again given defensive linemen.
More novel is Mocking The Draft’s five-round mock draft featuring draftnik delegates in charge of making each team’s selections. I think Falcons fans are gonna like much of this one.
Round one sees USC OT Tyron Smith to Atlanta. Smith is expected to go anywhere from the top 10 to the end of the first. He’s a ridiculous athlete, but the biggest question is his strength. He’s reportedly added 20 pounds since he checked in at 280 to begin his junior year. There’s that j-word — the Falcons don’t draft many juniors, but an UPSIDER like Smith would be very tempting.
I like the Allen Bailey pick in round two. The Miami Hurricanes big man is versatile, playing mostly DE but some DT in pass rush situations, a trait the Falcons love in defensive linemen. He even played LB as an underclassman. I’m burying the lede here, though — he once killed an alligator with a shovel. He’s also a junior.
We discussed Wisconsin Badgers TE Lance Kendricks last week. He’s a good receiving tight end who needs to improve as a run blocker.
Kentucky Wildcats RB Derrick Locke would be an exciting pickup, giving the offense some speed and Mike Mularkey a multi-talented weapon to tinker with.
Michigan St. Spartans DB Chris L. Rucker is a new name around these parts. You can bet Thomas Dimitroff is not satisfied with the team’s cornerback depth chart. And with the team losing Erik Coleman, safety depth is going to be a consideration — hey look, another versatile player who can play more than one spot.