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2011 NFL Mock Draft Gives Jabaal Sheard To Falcons, Blaine Gabbert To Panthers

In SB Nation's weekly 2011 NFL mock draft, the Atlanta Falcons get yet another new pass rusher: Pitt's Jabaal Sheard. While Brian Galliford admits a player with "a checkered past" would be a departure from Thomas Dimitroff's practiced personnel philosophy, Sheard looks to be too big of a talent to pass up at No. 27.

Sheard was suspended from the Panthers in July 2010 for incurring assault charges after taking part in a fight, though he was reinstated once his charges were reduced to a misdemeanor. However, he once also received an award for helping an elderly woman escape a burning building, so it's not like we're talking about an irredeemable menace or something.

On the field, he's definitely a pass-rushing weapon, though his versatility will limit his every-down effectiveness. He does sound like a possible long-term replacement for John Abraham, but I think this draft is deep enough at the position that the Falcons can find a pass rusher without an arrest record, as is clearly their preference.

Elsewhere around the NFC South, Carolina takes Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert at No. 1, the Buccaneers grab Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan (though they may need to think about going CB now), and New Orleans gets Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn again.

For more NFL Draft, visit Mocking The Draft. For more Atlanta Falcons, visit The Falcoholic.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.