Scout.com Mock Draft: Ponder a Panther
QB Christian Ponder (Steve Cannon/AP)
QB Christian Ponder (Steve Cannon/AP)
Scout.com NFL Analyst
Posted Feb 23, 2011


In the latest installment of Scout.com's mock NFL Draft, Christian Ponder gets Round 3 going, Mark Herzlich continues his comeback and K.J. Wright needs to learn Rex Ryan's defensive scheme.

Round 3
65
Carolina Panthers
Height: 6-2
Weight: 229
Hometown: Colleyville, TX
College: Florida State
Class: 2011 SR
Position: QB
Rating:
Overall Rank: 40
Pos Rank: 5

Head Coach: Ron Rivera

2010 Record: 2-14

What They Have: DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart make up one of the premier 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 receiver to possibly replace Steve Smith and a quarterback of the future, since it certaintly doesn't appear to be Jimmy Clausen based on what we saw in 2010.

Another Possibility: Utah CB Brandon Burton

Never Considered: Oklahoma State RB Kendall Hunter

ANALYSIS: Everything Clausen wasn't in college, both on the field and off, Ponder did well for himself at the Senior Bowl and is a terrific student in the classroom.

Round 3
66
Cincinnati Bengals
Stefen Wisniewski Penn State and a lion
Height: 6-3
Weight: 313
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
College: Penn State
Class: 2011 SR
Position: C
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 3

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: Miami DE Allen Bailey

Never Considered: Boston College LB Mark Herzlich

ANALYSIS: The best pure center in the draft since Mike Pouncey is better off at guard, Wisniewsi can help a Cincinnati O-line pieced together with free agents.

Round 3
67
Denver Broncos
Player: Ahmad Black
Height: 5-10
Weight: 184
Hometown: Lakeland, FL
College: Florida
Class: 2011 SR
Position: S
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 6

Head Coach: John Fox

2010 Record: 4-12

What They Have: Ryan Clady is a franchise left tackle, even if he does not 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: North Carolina LB Quan Sturdivant

Never Considered: Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett

ANALYSIS: Denver's transformation on defense continues, with Black a hard-hitting addition alongside Patrick Peterson, plus Champ Bailey was just re-signed.

Round 3
68
Buffalo Bills
Michael Dwyer/AP
Height: 6-4
Weight: 244
Hometown: Berwyn, PA
Class: 2011 SR
Position: OLB
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 16

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: Alabama OT James Carpenter

Never Considered: Kentucky WR Randall Cobb

ANALYSIS: Herzlich, a cancer survivor and quite possibly the best story of any prospect in the draft, is added to a Buffalo front seven that must get tougher.

Round 3
69
Arizona Cardinals
Player: Ryan Mallett
Height: 6-7
Weight: 253
Hometown: Texarkana, TX
College: Arkansas
Class: 2011 JR
Position: QB
Rating:
Overall Rank: 32
Pos Rank: 4

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: Kentucky WR Randall Cobb

Never Considered: Utah CB Brandon Burton

ANALYSIS: Finally coming off the board after a precipitous fall, Mallett can still start right away for a team that looked terrible at quarterback for all of 2010.

Round 3
70
Cleveland Browns
Player: Allen Bailey
Height: 6-3
Weight: 285
Hometown: Darien, GA
College: Miami (Fl)
Class: 2011 SR
Position: DE
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 10

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: Louisville CB Johnny Patrick

Never Considered: Oklahoma RB DeMarco Murray

ANALYSIS: Continuing their switch back to the 4-3 from the 3-4, the Browns hope Bailey benefits outside from having first rounder Marcell Dareus inside.

Round 3
71
Dallas Cowboys
Height: 6-0
Weight: 190
Hometown: League City, TX
College: Utah
Class: 2011 JR
Position: CB
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 10

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: Temple S Jaiquawn Jarrett

Never Considered: North Carolina LB Quan Sturdivant

ANALYSIS: Burton can compete for time immediately in a Dallas secondary that isn't getting much from previous first-round picks at the cornerback position.

Round 3
72*
New Orleans Saints
Height: 5-7
Weight: 199
Hometown: Tyler, TX
Class: 2011 SR
Position: RB
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 4

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: Nevada LB Dontay Moch

Never Considered: Wisconsin TE Lance Kendricks

ANALYSIS: Hunter isn't another Reggie Bush, as he's much more compact and has a better chance of withstanding the down-to-down punishment at tailback.

Round 3
73
Houston Texans
Height: 5-11
Weight: 191
Hometown: Deland, FL
College: Louisville
Class: 2011 SR
Position: CB
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 13

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: Indiana WR Tandon Doss

Never Considered: Texas DE Sam Acho

ANALYSIS: Three choices, three defensive players, which makes sense for a team that can score with anybody in the league but can't seem to stop anybody.

Round 3
74**
New England Patriots
Player: Randall Cobb
Height: 5-10
Weight: 191
Hometown: Alcoa, TN
College: Kentucky
Class: 2011 JR
Position: WR
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 3

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: Virginia CB Ras-I Dowling

Never Considered: Hampton DT Kenrick Ellis

ANALYSIS: Brady didn't miss a beat after New England got rid of Randy Moss last year, but he could use another target outside to accentuate his tight ends.

Round 3
75
Detroit Lions
Player: Dontay Moch
Height: 6-1
Weight: 248
Hometown: Chandler, AZ
College: Nevada
Class: 2011 SR
Position: OLB
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 6

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: Boise State WR Austin Pettis

Never Considered: Wisconsin OG John Moffitt

ANALYSIS: The Scouting Combine is already buzzing with anticipation for Moch's 40-yard dash time, which should be simply off the charts for a linebacker.

Round 3
76
San Francisco 49ers
Height: 6-1
Weight: 198
Hometown: Chesapeake, VA
College: Virginia
Class: 2011 SR
Position: CB
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 6

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: Oklahoma LB Jeremy Beal

Never Considered: Alabama OT James Carpenter

ANALYSIS: The 49ers got their quarterback of the future in Round 1 and another running back in Round 2, so it's time to address the other side of the ball.

Round 3
77
Tennessee Titans
Height: 6-5
Weight: 346
Hometown: Lake Worth, FL
College: Hampton
Class: 2011 SR
Position: DT
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 11

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: Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick

Never Considered: Ohio State CB Chimdi Chekwa

ANALYSIS: While Ellis has off-the-field concerns and hurt his draft stock as a result, he's a monster of a man with a ton of ability if he gets his head straight.

Round 3
78
St. Louis Rams
Height: 6-0
Weight: 213
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
College: Oklahoma
Class: 2011 SR
Position: RB
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 6

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: Iowa S Tyler Sash

Never Considered: Miami LB Colin McCarthy

ANALYSIS: Jackson has a lot of miles on his odometer and could use a more consistent ball carrier behind him on the depth chart, and Murray provides that.

Round 3
79
Miami Dolphins
Height: 6-5
Weight: 233
Hometown: Turlock, CA
College: Nevada
Class: 2011 SR
Position: QB
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 7

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: Oregon State RB Jacquizz Rodgers

Never Considered: Temple S Jaiquawn Jarrett

ANALYSIS: If the Dolphins can squeeze one more year out of Henne, that gives them time to develop the raw skills Kaepernick brings to the huddle at QB.

Round 3
80
Jacksonville Jaguars
Height: 6-0
Weight: 191
Hometown: Clermont, FL
College: Ohio State
Class: 2011 SR
Position: CB
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 8

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: Miami LB Colin McCarthy

Never Considered: TCU QB Andy Dalton

ANALYSIS: Rashean Mathis isn't nearly the cover corner he was once upon a time, and the Jaguars gave up a lot of bigs plays in the secondary this past year.

Round 3
81
Oakland Raiders
Player: John Moffitt
Height: 6-4
Weight: 319
Hometown: West Haven, CT
College: Wisconsin
Class: 2011 SR
Position: OG
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 6

Head Coach: Hue Jackson

2010 Record: 8-8

What They Have: Darren McFadden finally looks like one of the next great ball carriers in this league, Zach Miller is an underrated pass-catching tight end and Richard Seymour is a Pro Bowler again on the defensive line.

What They Need: More offensive linemen, whether they play inside or outside, a cornerback ready for the unenviable task of possibly replacing the sensational Nnamdi Asomugha and another tight end to go with Miller.

Another Possibility: USC CB Shareece Wright

Never Considered: Indiana WR Tandon Doss

ANALYSIS: It's never a bad idea to add another offensive lineman when your approach revolves around running the ball and big passing plays down the field.

Round 3
82
San Diego Chargers
Player: Tandon Doss
Height: 6-2
Weight: 201
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
College: Indiana
Class: 2011 JR
Position: WR
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 13

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: Lehigh OG Will Rackley

Never Considered: Oregon State RB Jacquizz Rodgers

ANALYSIS: Despite the fact that Vincent Jackson got the franchise tag in San Diego, he sat out most of 2010 and could very well do the same thing in 2011.

Round 3
83
New York Giants
Height: 6-1
Weight: 241
Hometown: Oakboro, NC
Class: 2011 SR
Position: MLB
Rating:
Overall Rank: 46
Pos Rank: 2

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: Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas

Never Considered: Iowa S Tyler Sash

ANALYSIS: The G-Men are rather unimpressive at all three linebacker positions, so Sturdivant is a quality addition in the middle from that talented UNC D.

Round 3
84
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sam Acho (Getty Image)
Player: Sam Acho
Height: 6-2
Weight: 262
Hometown: Dallas, TX
College: Texas
Class: 2011 SR
Position: DE
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 11

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: LSU LB Kelvin Sheppard

Never Considered: USC CB Shareece Wright

ANALYSIS: They don't play the Cover 2 anymore, but the Bucs still run a 4-3 system that puts a premium on edge pressure, and Acho had a nice Senior Bowl.

Round 3
85
Philadelphia Eagles
James Carpenter
Height: 6-4
Weight: 321
Hometown: Hephzibah, GA
College: Alabama
Class: 2011 SR
Position: OG
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 5

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: Nebraska DE Pierre Allen

Never Considered: Oklahoma LB Jeremy Beal

ANALYSIS: Vick's ability to create something out of nothing masked the fact that the Eagles weren't great along the offensive line, so Carpenter fills a need.

Round 3
86
Kansas City Chiefs
Height: 6-1
Weight: 238
Hometown: Clearwater, FL
College: Miami (Fl)
Class: 2011 SR
Position: MLB
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 5

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: LSU OT Joseph Barksdale

Never Considered: Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi

ANALYSIS: McCarthy is a pure inside linebacker and gives the Chiefs better depth behind their current pair of starters, Jovan Belcher and Derrick Johnson.

Round 3
87
Indianapolis Colts
Height: 6-0
Weight: 198
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
College: Temple
Class: 2011 SR
Position: S
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 2

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: Virginia Tech CB Rashad Carmichael

Never Considered: Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas

ANALYSIS: Even if former Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders hadn't been cut last week, the Colts need help at safety and hope they get it with Jarrett.

Round 3
88
New Orleans Saints
Player: Tyler Sash
Height: 6-0
Weight: 211
Hometown: Oskaloosa, IA
College: Iowa
Class: 2011 JR
Position: S
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 5

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: Connecticut LB Lawrence Wilson

Never Considered: Boise State WR Austin Pettis

ANALYSIS: Veteran leader Darren Sharper doesn't figure to be back in 2011, so Sash can compete for playing time behind Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins.

Round 3
89***
San Diego Chargers
Height: 6-1
Weight: 300
Hometown: Long Beach, CA
College: USC
Class: 2011 JR
Position: DT
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 8

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: Georgia Tech S Jerrard Tarrant

Never Considered: Stanford FB Owen Marecic

ANALYSIS: The best player on the board at this point and going to the team closest to where he played college ball, Casey adds some muscle to the D-line.

Round 3
90
Baltimore Ravens
Player: Jeremy Beal
Height: 6-2
Weight: 262
Hometown: Carrollton, TX
College: Oklahoma
Class: 2011 SR
Position: OLB
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 9

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: Utah State CB Curtis Marsh

Never Considered: California RB Shane Vereen

ANALYSIS: There is too much pressure on Suggs at the outside linebacker position, so Beal would be a smart addition on the other side of the front seven.

Round 3
91
Atlanta Falcons
Austin Pettis
Height: 6-3
Weight: 209
Hometown: Orange, CA
College: Boise State
Class: 2011 SR
Position: WR
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 12

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: Pittsburgh DE Greg Romeus

Never Considered: Mississippi State LB K.J. Wright

ANALYSIS: Also filed under "too much pressure," it's about time the Falcons found themselves another wide receiver that can alleviate the burden on White.

Round 3
92
New England Patriots
Player: Will Rackley
Height: 6-3
Weight: 309
Hometown: Riverdale, GA
College: Lehigh
Class: 2011 SR
Position: OG
Rating:
Overall Rank:
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: Stanford FB Owen Marecic

Never Considered: Nevada TE Virgil Green

ANALYSIS: Pick No. 6 in the first three rounds, the Patriots now have two terrific young interior line prospects in Rackley and second rounder Mike Pouncey.

Round 3
93
Chicago Bears
Height: 5-6
Weight: 196
Hometown: Rosenberg, TX
College: Oregon State
Class: 2011 JR
Position: RB
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 10

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: Nebraska WR Niles Paul

Never Considered: Washington LB Mason Foster

ANALYSIS: Because the Chester Taylor addition in free agency appears to be a waste of money, Rodgers can be a complement to Matt Forte on the ground.

Round 3
94
New York Jets
K.J. Wright
Player: K.J. Wright
Height: 6-3
Weight: 246
Hometown: Olive Branch, MS
Class: 2011 SR
Position: OLB
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 10

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: LSU WR Terrence Toliver

Never Considered: Virginia Tech CB Rashad Carmichael

ANALYSIS: Always in need of pass-rush pressure from every angle, the Jets put Wright at outside linebacker in their 3-4 and perhaps dial down the blitzing.

Round 3
95
Pittsburgh Steelers
Player: Jerrell Powe
Height: 6-2
Weight: 335
Hometown: Waynesboro, MS
College: Mississippi
Class: 2011 SR
Position: DT
Rating:
Overall Rank:
Pos Rank: 12

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: California RB Shane Vereen

Never Considered: Connecticut LB Lawrence Wilson

ANALYSIS: Pittsburgh is aging along the defensive line, which is so important in its system and allows the linebackers to make the majority of the big plays.

Round 3
96
Green Bay Packers
Height: 6-0
Weight: 230
Hometown: Hilliard, FL
College: Kansas State
Class: 2011 SR
Position: RB
Rating:
Overall Rank:
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: Washington LB Mason Foster

Never Considered: Oregon LB Casey Matthews

ANALYSIS: While James Starks was good in the playoffs, he wasn't great and Ryan Grant is coming off an injury, plus Thomas has the look of a classic pounder.

* from Redskins
** from Vikings
*** from Seahawks


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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Cowboys will add help on the O-line
 -by CowboysToday.com  Feb 22, 2011
49ers have plenty of needs at Combine
 -by NinersDigest.com  Feb 23, 2011

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