Scout.com Mock Draft: Fairley at the Top

DT Nick Fairley (Kevin C. Cox/Getty)

In the latest installment of Scout.com's mock NFL Draft, Nick Fairley takes the No. 1-overall position, Blaine Gabbert ousts Alex Smith and Julio Jones becomes the new go-to guy for Sam Bradford.

Round 1
1
Carolina Panthers
Player: Nick Fairley
Height: 6-4
Weight: 291
Hometown: Mobile, AL
College: Auburn
Class: 2011 JR
Position: DT
Rating:
Overall Rank: 4
Pos Rank: 2

Head Coach: Ron Rivera

2010 Record: 2-14

What They Have: DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart make up one of the best running back tandems around, Charles Johnson can rush the passer and Jon Beason is a tremendous middle linebacker.

What They Need: More help along the defensive line, a play-making wide receiver to possibly replace Steve Smith and a quarterback of the future, since it doesn't appear to be Jimmy Clausen.

Another Possibility: Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers

Never Considered: Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert

ANALYSIS: With Andrew Luck returning to Palo Alto for his junior year, the Panthers beef up with Fairley, who is being called another Ndamukong Suh.

Round 1
2
Denver Broncos
Height: 6-0
Weight: 219
Hometown: Pompano Beach, FL
College: LSU
Class: 2011 JR
Position: CB
Rating:
Overall Rank: 1
Pos Rank: 1

Head Coach: John Fox

2010 Record: 4-12

What They Have: Ryan Clady is a franchise left tackle, even if he doesn't protect the quarterback's blind side anymore since Tim Tebow is a southpaw, and Knowshon Moreno has proven to be productive when healthy.

What They Need: All kinds of help along the defensive line, speed at both inside and outside linebacker, especially since Robert Ayers looks to be a bust, and a play-making safety to replace Brian Dawkins, who is 37.

Another Possibility: Alabama DT Marcell Dareus

Never Considered: Georgia WR A.J. Green

ANALYSIS: The Broncos could be getting the next Champ Bailey in Peterson, as he has terrific ball skills and can also be a return man on special teams.

Round 1
3
Buffalo Bills
Height: 6-3
Weight: 280
Hometown: Bamberg, SC
College: Clemson
Class: 2011 JR
Position: DE
Rating:
Overall Rank: 14
Pos Rank: 5

Head Coach: Chan Gailey

2010 Record: 4-12

What They Have: Running back is set with the combination of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, Steve Johnson emerged as a go-to option at receiver and Kyle Williams might be the best defensive lineman you've never heard of before.

What They Need: Pass-rushing help at defensive end and outside linebacker is a must, a tight end to throw to would be a quality addition and another quarterback of the future has to be considered, even if Ryan Fitzpatrick still starts in 2011.

Another Possibility: Texas A&M LB Von Miller

Never Considered: Alabama DT Marcell Dareus

ANALYSIS: The Bills are in serious need of a pass rusher wreaking havoc off the edge to help Williams inside, and they get the best one on the board by far in Bowers.

Round 1
4
Cincinnati Bengals
Player: A.J. Green
Height: 6-4
Weight: 211
Hometown: Summerville, SC
College: Georgia
Class: 2011 JR
Position: WR
Rating:
Overall Rank: 5
Pos Rank: 1

Head Coach: Marvin Lewis

2010 Record: 4-12

What They Have: It wasn't that long ago when Carson Palmer was an elite quarterback, Cedric Benson is coming off back-to-back years of 1,100 yards and change on the ground and Johnathan Joseph is a great corner -- if he returns, of course.

What They Need: A receiver to replace the production provided by the soon-to-be-departed Terrell Owens, better pass rushers inside at tackle and outside at end and an injection of youth at both of the safety positions.

Another Possibility: Missouri QB Blaine Gabbrert

Never Considered: Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara

ANALYSIS: With Owens all but a memory and Chad Ochocinco (Johnson?) now 33 years old, perhaps Green can convince Palmer to stay put in the Queen City.

Round 1
5
Arizona Cardinals
Player: Von Miller
Height: 6-3
Weight: 246
Hometown: Desoto, TX
College: Texas A&M
Class: 2011 SR
Position: OLB
Rating:
Overall Rank: 3
Pos Rank: 1

Head Coach: Ken Whisenhunt

2010 Record: 5-11

What They Have: One of the few game-changing receivers in the league in Larry Fitzgerald, a difference maker along the defensive line in Darnell Dockett and an interception waiting to happen in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

What They Need: A legitimate quarterback that can get the ball consistently downfield to Fitzgerald, better blocking at every position available on the offensive line and an outside linebacker capable of putting pressure on the passer.

Another Possibility: Auburn QB Cam Newton

Never Considered: North Carolina DE Robert Quinn

ANALYSIS: One of the scouts' favorites this April, Miller is a sensational athlete and just may be able to do what an aging Joey Porter couldn't.

Round 1
6
Cleveland Browns
Height: 6-3
Weight: 319
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
College: Alabama
Class: 2011 JR
Position: DT
Rating:
Overall Rank: 2
Pos Rank: 1

Head Coach: Pat Shurmur

2010 Record: 5-11

What They Have: An offensive line led by a pair of Pro Bowlers in left tackle Joe Thomas and center Alex Mack, a bruising ball carrier in Peyton Hillis to pound it up the middle and a budding star at corner in Joe Haden.

What They Need: A No. 1 receiver to make some plays for young quarterback Colt McCoy, defensive line help inside and outside to smooth the transition from the 3-4 to the 4-3 and a pure right tackle opposite Thomas.

Another Possibility: North Carolina DE Robert Quinn

Never Considered: Auburn QB Cam Newton

ANALYSIS: Switching back to the 4-3 in 2011 after a failed 3-4 experiment, the Browns add a body to their defensive front with Dareus and hope for the best.

Round 1
7
San Francisco 49ers
Height: 6-4
Weight: 234
Hometown: Ballwin, MO
College: Missouri
Class: 2011 JR
Position: QB
Rating:
Overall Rank: 11
Pos Rank: 2

Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh

2010 Record: 6-10

What They Have: The offensive line is loaded with first- and second-round picks of recent vintage, Frank Gore is productive year after year despite little help at the skill positions and Patrick Willis is a special middle linebacker.

What They Need: The failure of former No. 1-overall choice Alex Smith can no longer be ignored, better players at outside linebacker would shift some of the burden away from Willis and Nate Clements isn't worth all that money at corner.

Another Possibility: Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara

Never Considered: Illinois DT Corey Liuget

ANALYSIS: New coach Jim Harbaugh has no ties whatsoever to Smith, so if he can't have Luck anymore like he did back at Stanford, he'll take a shot with Gabbert.

Round 1
8
Tennessee Titans
Player: Robert Quinn
Height: 6-4
Weight: 265
Hometown: North Charleston, SC
Class: 2011 JR
Position: DE
Rating:
Overall Rank: 6
Pos Rank: 2

Head Coach: Mike Munchak

2010 Record: 6-10

What They Have: Chris Johnson is one of the few 2,000-yard rushers in league history, Kenny Britt has a world of upside catching passes down the field and Jason Babin was one of the NFL's leading sackers last year with 13.

What They Need: Quarterback is a question mark since both Vince Young and Kerry Collins could be out the door, better play at D-tackle and D-end to help Babin is necessary and linebacker is also a weakness defensively.

Another Possibility: Illinois DT Corey Liuget

Never Considered: Colorado CB Jimmy Smith

ANALYSIS: The Titans already have a quality end in Babin, so maybe Quinn can be more productive on the other side of the line than Jacob Ford.

Round 1
9
Dallas Cowboys
Height: 6-3
Weight: 281
Hometown: Webster Groves, MO
College: Iowa
Class: 2011 SR
Position: DE
Rating:
Overall Rank: 24
Pos Rank: 7

Head Coach: Jason Garrett

2010 Record: 6-10

What They Have: Tony Romo remains a fantasy-friendly stat machine at the game's most important position, Dez Bryant is a star on the rise as both a receiver and a returner and DeMarcus Ware is a terror off the edge.

What They Need: Better offensive line play at both guard and tackle, corners and safeties that can slow the opposition down in the passing game and maybe another five-technique defensive end for depth.

Another Possibility: Colorado CB Jimmy Smith

Never Considered: Alabama WR Julio Jones

ANALYSIS: Ware could be even more dangerous rushing the passer if he had an elite five technique on the line on front of him, and Clayborn can play that spot.

Round 1
10
Washington Redskins
Height: 6-0
Weight: 206
Hometown: Glendale, AZ
College: Nebraska
Class: 2011 SR
Position: CB
Rating:
Overall Rank: 7
Pos Rank: 2

Head Coach: Mike Shanahan

2010 Record: 6-10

What They Have: What they hope is a left tackle for the next decade in Trent Williams, an elite pass rusher off the edge in Brian Orakpo and a Pro Bowl cornerback in DeAngelo Hall -- provided Jay Cutler is throwing the ball.

What They Need: A new quarterback to be excited about after the one-year disaster with Donovan McNabb, a nose tackle to anchor Jim Haslett's 3-4 scheme and a lot of help on special teams, which were downright despicable in 2010.

Another Possibility: Alabama WR Julio Jones

Never Considered: Colorado OT Nate Solder

ANALYSIS: Hall had a pretty pedestrian season if you take out the big Bears game, so the Redskins could still use a talented cover guy like Amukamara.

Round 1
11
Houston Texans
Player: Corey Liuget
Height: 6-2
Weight: 298
Hometown: Miami, FL
College: Illinois
Class: 2011 JR
Position: DT
Rating:
Overall Rank: 23
Pos Rank: 3

Head Coach: Gary Kubiak

2010 Record: 6-10

What They Have: A terrific passing game with Matt Schaub throwing and Andre Johnson catching, a running back in Arian Foster that made everyone forget about Steve Slaton and a dominant defensive end in Mario Williams.

What They Need: Both cornerbacks and safeties to bolster a secondary that allowed 33 touchdown passes, another outside linebacker to rush the passer in their new 3-4 approach and a zero-technique tackle to line up over the enemy center.

Another Possibility: California DE Cameron Jordan

Never Considered: UCLA LB Akeem Ayers

ANALYSIS: It seems as if the Texans draft D-linemen in Round 1 every year, but that doesn't change the fact that they need a player like Liuget inside.

Round 1
12
Minnesota Vikings
Player: Cam Newton
Height: 6-5
Weight: 248
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
College: Auburn
Class: 2011 JR
Position: QB
Rating:
Overall Rank: 10
Pos Rank: 1

Head Coach: Leslie Frazier

2010 Record: 6-10

What They Have: Maybe the best pure running back in the league in Adrian Peterson, a playmaker in the slot when Percy Harvin isn't battling migraines and a productive defensive line led by sack artist Jared Allen.

What They Need: A promising young arm to potentially stop the revolving door of veteran quarterbacks, corners and safeties to augment what was a banged-up secondary a season ago and a receiver to replace Sidney Rice if he departs in free agency.

Another Possibility: Temple DT Muhammad Wilkerson

Never Considered: Missouri LB Aldon Smith

ANALYSIS: Brett Favre is done, Tarvaris Jackson is gone and Joe Webb is raw, and while Newton is a roll of the dice, the Vikings need a boost.

Round 1
13
Detroit Lions
Player: Jimmy Smith
Height: 6-2
Weight: 211
Hometown: Colton, CA
College: Colorado
Class: 2011 SR
Position: CB
Rating:
Overall Rank: 16
Pos Rank: 3

Head Coach: Jim Schwartz

2010 Record: 6-10

What They Have: A quarterback in Matthew Stafford that everyone loves when he's actually on the field, a cornerback's worst nightmare in Calvin Johnson on the outside and the NFL's defensive rookie of the year: Ndamukong Suh.

What They Need: Some outside linebackers to slow down the merry-go-round at those two positions, at least one cornerback to help a pass defense that has been below par for years and more offensive linemen to protect Stafford in the pocket.

Another Possibility: UCLA LB Akeem Ayers

Never Considered: California DE Cameron Jordan

ANALYSIS: The Lions can't cover anybody in the secondary, and although it would be a steal to get Amukamara here, Smith isn't a bad consolation prize.

Round 1
14
St. Louis Rams
Player: Julio Jones
Height: 6-3
Weight: 220
Hometown: Foley, AL
College: Alabama
Class: 2011 JR
Position: WR
Rating:
Overall Rank: 9
Pos Rank: 2

Head Coach: Steve Spagnuolo

2010 Record: 7-9

What They Have: A home run in 2010 No. 1-overall pick Sam Bradford running the offense, one of the league's few remaining workhorse backs in Steven Jackson and an unquestioned leading tackler in James Laurinaitis.

What They Need: A primary target down the field to take advantage of Bradford's talent in the passing game, a safety to pair with Oshiomogho Atogwe and a weak-side linebacker that can run sideline to sideline.

Another Possibility: Missouri LB Aldon Smith

Never Considered: USC OT Tyron Smith

ANALYSIS: It looks like the Rams struck gold last year with Bradford under center, so get the young man some more weapons out wide -- Jones fits the bill.

Round 1
15
Miami Dolphins
Player: Akeem Ayers
Height: 6-3
Weight: 254
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
College: UCLA
Class: 2011 JR
Position: OLB
Rating:
Overall Rank: 25
Pos Rank: 3

Head Coach: Tony Sparano

2010 Record: 7-9

What They Have: An offensive line that is always going to be a strength when Jake Long lines up at left tackle, a receiving corps with a true alpha dog in Brandon Marshall and an out-of-nowhere phenom pass rusher in Cameron Wake.

What They Need: Another quarterback of the future since everyone soured on Chad Henne so quickly, a ball carrier to breathe new life into what used to be a great running game and another pass catcher to make Marshall's life easier.

Another Possibility: Alabama RB Mark Ingram

Never Considered: Temple DT Muhammad Wilkerson

ANALYSIS: Not ready to give up on Henne yet, at least not for Ryan Mallett or Jake Locker, the Dolphins get a big, strong linebacker in Ayers for the defense.

Round 1
16
Jacksonville Jaguars
Player: Aldon Smith
Height: 6-4
Weight: 263
Hometown: Raytown, MO
College: Missouri
Class: 2011 JR
Position: DE
Rating:
Overall Rank: 18
Pos Rank: 3

Head Coach: Jack Del Rio

2010 Record: 8-8

What They Have: A do-it-all running back in Maurice Jones-Drew that has a nose for the end zone, young talent at offensive tackle that should only be improved and an outside linebacker in Daryl Smith that led the team in tackles.

What They Need: A quarterback that can finally put an end to the roller-coaster ride known as the David Garrard Era, someone that can actually get after the passer consistently and a safety capable of taking away the big play.

Another Possibility: Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan

Never Considered: Washington QB Jake Locker

ANALYSIS: The Jaguars have drafted a lot of ends the last few Aprils with little to show for their efforts, so maybe Smith can help this team get to the QB.

Round 1
17*
New England Patriots
Height: 6-4
Weight: 287
Hometown: Chandler, AZ
College: California
Class: 2011 SR
Position: DE
Rating:
Overall Rank: 13
Pos Rank: 4

Head Coach: Bill Belichick

2010 Record: 14-2

What They Have: Tom Brady is the first unanimous MVP in league history, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez were both tremendous rookies at tight end and Vince Wilfork is an immovable object at nose tackle.

What They Need: A pass-rushing outside linebacker that has been missing for quite some time, offensive linemen at any and all positions provided they are versatile and a running back that can lend more support to Brady and Co.

Another Possibility: Colorado OT Nate Solder

Never Considered: UCLA S Rahim Moore

ANALYSIS: Probably the best player on the field during Senior Bowl workouts, offensively or defensively, Jordan can line up next to Wilfork as a five-technique end.

Round 1
18
San Diego Chargers
Height: 6-4
Weight: 267
Hometown: Muncie, IN
College: Purdue
Class: 2011 SR
Position: DE
Rating:
Overall Rank: 19
Pos Rank: 6

Head Coach: Norv Turner

2010 Record: 9-7

What They Have: Philip Rivers is a cold-blooded killer at quarterback no matter who he's throwing to, Antonio Gates is one of the game's most unique pass-catching weapons and Shaun Phillips is a handful off the edge.

What They Need: More linebackers, both inside and outside, so Phillips doesn't have to do it all himself, a five-technique defensive end that can hold the point of attack and a right tackle to mirror Marcus McNeill on the other side.

Another Possibility: UCLA S Rahim Moore

Never Considered: Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt

ANALYSIS: Kerrigan may have a little bit of Clay Matthews in him as a defensive end and/or outside linebacker, and every 3-4 scheme needs one of those.

Round 1
19
New York Giants
Player: Nate Solder
Height: 7-8
Weight: 319
Hometown: Buena Vista, CO
College: Colorado
Class: 2011 SR
Position: OT
Rating:
Overall Rank: 31
Pos Rank: 4

Head Coach: Tom Coughlin

2010 Record: 10-6

What They Have: Eli Manning has a plethora of skill-position talent at his disposal, both in the backfield and in the receiving corps, sacking the enemy passer continues to be a team strength and there is depth at safety.

What They Need: A talented linebacker can probably be an immediate starter at any of the three positions, cornerback is a concern because of injury and ineffectiveness and another offensive tackle wouldn't be a bad idea.

Another Possibility: Georgia LB Justin Houston

Never Considered: Alabama RB Mark Ingram

ANALYSIS: The first of a talented bunch of tackles to come off the board, Solder can help strengthen a line that has taken a beating since Super Bowl XLII.

Round 1
20
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Player: Tyron Smith
Height: 6-5
Weight: 307
Hometown: Moreno Valley, CA
College: USC
Class: 2011 JR
Position: OT
Rating:
Overall Rank: 12
Pos Rank: 1

Head Coach: Raheem Morris

2010 Record: 10-6

What They Have: A sensational young quarterback in Josh Freeman that is still somewhat anonymous across the country, a serious red zone threat in receiver Mike Williams and a promising D-tackle in Gerald McCoy, last year's No. 1.

What They Need: A pair of defensive ends that can make it easier on McCoy inside, a middle linebacker ready to step in and start assuming Barrett Ruud leaves via free agency and offensive linemen at every position.

Another Possibility: Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt

Never Considered: Baylor DT Phil Taylor

ANALYSIS: The O-tackle run is officially underway with Smith, as Freeman ended the 2010 campaign being protected by two bookends that were originally undrafted.

Round 1
21
Kansas City Chiefs
Height: 6-4
Weight: 315
Hometown: Linden, NJ
College: Temple
Class: 2011 JR
Position: DT
Rating:
Overall Rank: 26
Pos Rank: 4

Head Coach: Todd Haley

2010 Record: 10-6

What They Have: Running back Jamaal Charles has a chance to go the distance every time he gets his mitts on the ball, Dwayne Bowe rebounded to have a productive year as a pass catcher and Tamba Hali had 15 sacks.

What They Need: Yet another big body in the trenches to help top-5 picks Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson, Bowe would like a partner in crime to augment the passing game and depth at offensive tackle would be a wise move.

Another Possibility: Boston College OT Anthony Castonzo

Never Considered: Texas CB Aaron Williams

ANALYSIS: Dorsey and Jackson have combined for just five sacks in 75 games and could both be busts already, so maybe K.C. has more luck with Wilkerson.

Round 1
22
Indianapolis Colts
Player: Gabe Carimi
Height: 7-7
Weight: 314
Hometown: Monona, WI
College: Wisconsin
Class: 2011 SR
Position: OT
Rating:
Overall Rank: 15
Pos Rank: 3

Head Coach: Jim Caldwell

2010 Record: 10-6

What They Have: Peyton Manning is a quarterback and offensive coordinator rolled into one, Dallas Clark and Jacob Tamme should be a dynamite combo at tight end and pass rushers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are still terrific.

What They Need: An offensive tackle can give Manning more time and hopefully open more holes for a pitiful ground game, another receiver following injuries to Anthony Gonzalez and Austin Collie and more DBs would be welcome.

Another Possibility: Texas CB Aaron Williams

Never Considered: Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward

ANALYSIS: Manning can take of himself because he makes quick decisions, but if the Colts ever want to run the ball with any consistency, a mauler like Carimi helps.

Round 1
23
Philadelphia Eagles
Player: Tyron Smith
Height: 6-5
Weight: 307
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
College: UCLA
Class: 2011 JR
Position: OT
Rating:
Overall Rank: 12
Pos Rank: 1

Head Coach: Andy Reid

2010 Record: 10-6

What They Have: Michael Vick is again the NFL's most dangerous dual threat with his ability to throw and run, receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin have speed to burn and cornerback Asante Samuel has magnets for hands.

What They Need: Samuel must get some help in the secondary, both at corner and safety, more pass rushers are always necessary in such an aggressive scheme and offensive tackle could use an influx of talent.

Another Possibility: Miami CB Brandon Harris

Never Considered: Boston College OT Anthony Castonzo

ANALYSIS: The very first safety to hear his name called, if Moore can be just half the player Brian Dawkins was once upon a time, not even Eagles fans will boo.

Round 1
24
New Orleans Saints
Player: J.J. Watt
Height: 6-5
Weight: 290
Hometown: Pewaukee, WI
College: Wisconsin
Class: 2011 JR
Position: DE
Rating:
Overall Rank: 8
Pos Rank: 1

Head Coach: Sean Payton

2010 Record: 11-5

What They Have: A surgeon of a quarterback in Drew Brees that spreads the ball around beautifully, a receiving corps that seems to feature a new flavor of the week every Sunday and a leader at linebacker in Jonathan Vilma.

What They Need: The defensive line requires more bodies at both tackle and end, an outside linebacker to flank Vilma can contribute right away and it may be time to settle on a running back that can do it all and stay on the field.

Another Possibility: Baylor DT Phil Taylor

Never Considered: Mississippi State OT Derek Sherrod

ANALYSIS: Will Smith only got six sacks this past year, plus Alex Brown isn't starting caliber anymore, so Watt fills a need and is the best player available.

Round 1
25
Seattle Seahawks
Height: 6-5
Weight: 294
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
College: Ohio State
Class: 2011 SR
Position: DE
Rating:
Overall Rank: 27
Pos Rank: 8

Head Coach: Pete Carroll

2010 Record: 7-9

What They Have: The franchise traded for Marshawn Lynch last year and believes he's a difference maker, Russell Okung showed a lot of promise at left tackle as a rookie and fellow first-year pro Earl Thomas looked special at safety.

What They Need: Matt Hasselbeck played quite well in the postseason but can't be the quarterback forever, an interior offensive linemen can help Okung be at his best on the blind side and cornerback is a genuine concern.

Another Possibility: Florida C Mike Pouncey

Never Considered: Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett

ANALYSIS: Kentwan Balmer has played 43 NFL games and is yet to record even one sack, so Heyward is needed to help Chris Clemons get after the passer.

Round 1
26
Baltimore Ravens
Height: 7-7
Weight: 311
Hometown: Fork Union, VA
Class: 2011 SR
Position: OT
Rating:
Overall Rank: 20
Pos Rank: 2

Head Coach: John Harbaugh

2010 Record: 12-4

What They Have: Nobody told Joe Flacco that young quarterbacks don't win playoff games on the road, Ray Rice is nothing short of dynamic both rushing and receiving and Ed Reed has a nose for the football like few others.

What They Need: Another outside linebacker to take the pressure off Terrell Suggs, a true left tackle so Michael Oher can go back to what is a better spot for him on the right side and a receiving threat with serious speed.

Another Possibility: Pittsburgh WR Jon Baldwin

Never Considered: Illinois LB Martrez Wilson

ANALYSIS: With Oher most likely a better blocker at right tackle, Castonzo has a chance to headline in Flacco's new and improved version of "The Blind Side."

Round 1
27
Atlanta Falcons
Height: 6-3
Weight: 270
Hometown: Statesboro, GA
College: Georgia
Class: 2011 JR
Position: OLB
Rating:
Overall Rank: 28
Pos Rank: 2

Head Coach: Mike Smith

2010 Record: 13-3

What They Have: Matt Ryan throwing to Roddy White is a beautiful thing to watch in the passing game, Michael Turner is one of the toughest tailbacks in the league to tackle and John Abraham must be accounted for as a pass rusher.

What They Need: Defense, defense and more defense, including another end opposite Abraham to pull the plug on the Jamaal Anderson experiment, outside linebackers to support Curtis Lofton and more corners that can cover.

Another Possibility: Oregon State DT Stephen Paea

Never Considered: Pittsburgh WR Jon Baldwin

ANALYSIS: While the Falcons have a franchise quarterback, a punishing running back and a premier receiver, Houston is added to a D that lacks playmakers.

Round 1
28
New England Patriots
Player: Mark Ingram
Height: 6-9
Weight: 215
Hometown: Flint, MI
College: Alabama
Class: 2011 JR
Position: RB
Rating:
Overall Rank: 17
Pos Rank: 1

Head Coach: Bill Belichick

2010 Record: 14-2

What They Have: Tom Brady is the first unanimous MVP in league history, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez were both tremendous rookies at tight end and Vince Wilfork is an immovable object at nose tackle.

What They Need: A pass-rushing outside linebacker that has been missing for quite some time, offensive linemen at any and all positions provided they are versatile and a running back that can lend more support to Brady and Co.

Another Possibility: North Carolina LB Bruce Carter

Never Considered: Maryland WR Torrey Smith

ANALYSIS: The Pats are still smarting from the Laurence Maroney pick, but Ingram's rough running paired with Brady's pinpoint passing is intriguing to consider.

Round 1
29
Chicago Bears
Height: 6-5
Weight: 321
Hometown: Caledonia, MS
Class: 2011 SR
Position: OT
Rating:
Overall Rank: 22
Pos Rank: 5

Head Coach: Lovie Smith

2010 Record: 11-5

What They Have: Jay Cutler can spin the football as well as any quarterback in the league, Julius Peppers proved to be worth all that money at defensive end and the linebacking duo of Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs is scary.

What They Need: Any offensive linemen that can help keep Cutler upright in the pocket on passing plays, a penetrating defensive tackle since Tommie Harris is no longer a star and a cornerback that can both cover receivers and support the run.

Another Possibility: Baylor OG Danny Watkins

Never Considered: Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure

ANALYSIS: Since the Bears had bar none the worst O-line in football this past season, tackle is the only way to go and Sherrod had a great Senior Bowl.

Round 1
30
New York Jets
Player: Phil Taylor
Height: 6-3
Weight: 334
Hometown: Brandywine, MD
College: Baylor
Class: 2011 SR
Position: DT
Rating:
Overall Rank: 44
Pos Rank: 5

Head Coach: Rex Ryan

2010 Record: 11-5

What They Have: Mark Sanchez looks so bad at times but makes big throws when it counts in big games, LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene run the ball behind a terrific offensive line and corner Darrelle Revis can eliminate any receiver.

What They Need: A D-end sturdy enough to defend the run and speedy enough to rush the passer, an outside linebacker that can get to the QB without help from blitzers and a receiver since both Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards are free agents.

Another Possibility: Maryland WR Torrey Smith

Never Considered: Texas CB Aaron Williams

ANALYSIS: Nobody feared the Jets' D-line after Kris Jenkins got hurt in Week 1, and since he'll be 32 next year, Taylor might be the perfect replacement.

Round 1
31
Pittsburgh Steelers
Height: 6-0
Weight: 204
Hometown: Austin, TX
College: Texas
Class: 2011 JR
Position: CB
Rating:
Overall Rank: 30
Pos Rank: 4

Head Coach: Mike Tomlin

2010 Record: 12-4

What They Have: A winner of a quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, despite his somewhat unconventional way of doing things, a legitimate deep target in Mike Wallace that can burn past any corner and a defense that suffocates the running game.

What They Need: Better coverage in the secondary, definitely at corner but perhaps also at safety, a right tackle so Flozell Adams can finally be put out to pasture and more depth at linebacker -- linebackers are like oxygen in this system.

Another Possibility: Pittsburgh OT Jason Pinkston

Never Considered: Florida State OG Rodney Hudson

ANALYSIS: Super Bowl XLV solidified the fact that the Steelers do not have a cover man, so Williams can challenge Bryant McFadden and Ike Taylor.

Round 1
32
Green Bay Packers
Height: 6-10
Weight: 191
Hometown: Miami, FL
College: Miami (Fl)
Class: 2011 JR
Position: CB
Rating:
Overall Rank: 39
Pos Rank: 5

Head Coach: Mike McCarthy

2010 Record: 10-6

What They Have: The NFL's top young quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, a pass-rushing beast in Clay Matthews and one of the most versatile defenders around in Charles Woodson -- they have the Vince Lombardi Trophy, too.

What They Need: More cornerbacks for a scheme that calls for a lot of nickel and dime packages, a defensive end that doesn't mind letting Matthews get all the glory and another option or two for the O-line, preferably a tackle.

Another Possibility: Virginia Tech RB Ryan Williams

Never Considered: Oklahoma S Quinton Carter

ANALYSIS: Woodson is less corner and more wild card at this point of his career, so Harris can start off as a nickel and dime option until he's ready to be a starter.

* from Raiders


John Crist is an NFL Analyst for Scout.com, a voter for the Heisman Trophy and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America.

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