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Mel Kiper's 2011 Mock Draft (Update): Surprise picks and more of the same

In other breaking news, Mel Kiper's mock draft is out, his last one before the 2011 NFL Draft kicks off tonight. Kiper definitely puts some surprises in there this time. However, the hair's pick remains status quo for the St. Louis Rams.

We'll delve into it right after the jump.

First, let's take the Rams' pick at #14. As hinted above, Kiper stays with his prediction of Illinois DT Corey Liuget. Here's the hair on his pick:

A selection I'm sticking with from the previous mock, Liuget is a relentless player who displays leverage, power and the ability to locate the ball well against both the rush and the pass. He fills an immediate need at defensive tackle in St. Louis. I think St. Louis would jump if Jones was still around, but I don't see one of the top wideouts falling so far. And again, the Rams' biggest position of need doesn't offer a sensible value matchup here. I also can see the Rams going for an outside linebacker at this spot. If they're that intent on a pass-catcher with their first pick, the Rams could also trade off the pick.

I guess you can say he's a man of his convictions. And it's worth remembering that he saw Jimmy Clausen as a better QB than Sam Bradford last year. How does the rest of his draft shake out?

1. Carolina - QB Cam Newton
2. Denver - OLB Von Miller
3. Buffalo - DT Marcell Dareus
4. Cincinnati - WR A.J. Green
5. Arizona - Patrick Peterson
6. Cleveland - Julio Jones
7. San Francisco - QB Blaine Gabbert
8. Tennessee - Nick Fairley
9. Dallas - DE Cameron Jordan
10. Washington - DE Robert Quinn
11. Houston - DE Aldon Smith
12. Minnesota - QB Jake Locker
13. Detroit - OT Tyron Smith
14. St. Louis - DT Corey Liuget
15. Miami - OL Mike Pouncey
16. Jacksonville - DE Ryan Kerrigan
17. New England - DT Muhammad Wilkerson
18. San Diego - DE J.J. Watt
19. New York Giants - OT Anthony Castonzo
20. Tampa Bay - CB Prince Amukamara
21. Kansas City - OT Gabe Carimi
22. Indianapolis - OT Nate Solder
23. Philadelphia - CB Jimmy Smith
24. New Orleans - DE Da'Quan Bowers
25. Seattle - QB Andy Dalton
26. Baltimore - LB Akeem Ayers
27. Atlanta - DE Adrian Clayborn
28. New England - RB Mark Ingram
29. Chicago - OT Derek Sherrod
30. New York Jets - DT Phil Taylor
31. Pittsburgh - CB Aaron Williams
32. Green Bay - OG Danny Watkins

I guess the biggest surprise is how far Prince Amukamara falls in Mel Kiper's mock draft. That seems like an awful big slide. Remember, a mock yesterday speculated on the Rams picking Prince, and you have to think he'd be a better player available in this scenario than Liuget...especially with DTs Marvin Austin and Terrell McClain still on the board. 

Bowers sure fell far in this mock. New Orleans is a turf team, something that got red flag. Still, it's hard to pass on talent like Bowers. 

Obviously, this is just one man's take on it all. For the Rams, this scenario would make for some difficult choices, like Bowers or Amukamara. The more I look at the mock drafts with Jones off the board, the more I like the idea of trading down.