2011 NFL mock drafts were all the rage yesterday as some heavy hitters rolled out their picks for the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Rick Gosselin's mock draft predicted the fall of Clemson DE Da'Quan Bowers all the way to the St. Louis Rams at #14. Peter King's mock draft offered less of a surprise, predicting the Rams drafting Illinois DT Corey Liuget. But those aren't the only notable mock drafts out this week. The guys at NFL Draft Scout, via CBS Sports, rolled out their mock drafts this week too.
Both Rob Rang and Chad Reuter predicted a surprise pick for the Rams in their mocks this week. Surprises that I think most Rams fans would be pretty happy with as a Julio Jones consolation prize.
Auburn DT Nick Fairley's falling draft stock is the biggest surprise of Rang's mock draft. Fairley falls all the way to the Rams at #14 in this scenario. That seems unlikely, but would be a dream come true for the Rams who need a three-technique defensive tackle capable of pressuring quarterbacks. Rang on the pick:
With the top two receivers long gone, the Rams will likely turn their attention to a defensive line that Steve Spagnuolo and his staff worked wonders with last season. Former No. 2 overall pick Chris Long began to establish himself as one of the league's better young all-around defensive ends and the Rams coaxed strong seasons out of journeyman defensive linemen James Hall (10.5 sacks) and Fred Robbins. But both veterans are 34, meaning the Rams are likely to spend at least one top pick on a defensive lineman. Fairley is undeniably talented, but teams are terrified about his dubious work ethic and lack of fundamentals and he is in danger of slipping mightily on draft day.
Were Fairley to fall that far, it would hard to justify not picking him. Can the Rams coaching staff coax every last ounce of talent out of Fairley?
In the second round, Rang predicts the Rams drafting Pitt WR Jonathan Baldwin for an all-character concerns first two round performance.
Reuter sees North Carolina DE Robert Quinn falling to the Rams, another unlikely, but exciting possibility.
James Hall played well across from Chris Long last year, but Quinn's value as a pass-rusher is just too good to pass up.
Hard to argue with that. If Quinn is on the board, he's definitely one of the best available. Reuter goes Baldwin to the Rams in the second round as well.