By Don Banks
April 29, 2011
2011 NFL Second-Round Mock Draft
That's right, a second-round NFL mock draft. And for the second consecutive year, thanks to the league's switch to prime time and a three-day draft format. Thursday night's eventful first round will be a tough act to follow, but there are plenty of big names and big needs left on our draft board. Let the guessing game begin anew:
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33 OLB Jabaal Sheard Pittsburgh Sr. 6-3 254
Being the Patriots, they could put this pick up for auction and try to stockpile a third first-round pick in 2012. But if New England stands pat, look for a defensive front-seven player who can be a versatile cog in its 3-4 formation.
34 DE Da'Quan Bowers Clemson Jr. 6-3.5 280
The Bills need pass rush and would have to finally break Bowers' freefall. Anyone ever dream Buffalo's defensive line could come away with Alabama tackle Marcell Dareus and Bowers?
35 QB Andy Dalton TCU Sr. 6-2 215
The Bengals get their quarterback of the future, and present. Come to think of it, Dalton will now get to hide all that orange hair under an orange helmet.
36 DL Marvin Austin North Carolina Sr. 6-1.5 309
With Von Miller at outside linebacker and Austin in the middle of the Broncos defensive line, Denver's switch back to a 4-3 formation just got considerably more feasible.
37 DE Justin Houston Georgia Jr. 6-3 270
The Browns are another team going back to a 4-3, and this would give them first-round defensive tackle Phil Taylor and the athletically gifted Houston to build around.
38 OLB Akeem Ayers UCLA Jr. 6-2.5 254
Getting help at outside linebacker was a must, and the Cardinals would consider themselves fortunate to find a first-round talent like Ayers waiting.
39 DL Stephen Paea Oregon State Sr. 6-1.5 303
After passing on Nick Fairley in the first round in favor of quarterback Jake Locker, landing the combine bench-press champ, Paea, is an impressive consolation prize.
40 CB/S Aaron Williams Texas Jr. 6-0 204
The Cowboys opt for the home-state star to address their glaring need for improvement at cornerback.
41 QB Colin Kaepernick Nevada Sr. 6-4.5 233
The Redskins get a big, strong-armed quarterback who can move around and deliver the ball accurately on the run.
42 CB Ras-I Dowling Virginia Sr. 6-1.5 198
With no Patrick Peterson or Prince Amukamara in the first round, the Texans get their beleaguered secondary a little help.
43 DL Christian Ballard Iowa Sr. 6-3.5 283
The Vikings reached for the quarterback in the first round, and then wisely decide to turn their attention to an aging defensive line.
44 CB Brandon Harris Miami Jr. 5-9.5 191
The Lions couldn't pass up the chance to snatch a falling Nick Fairley in the first round, but Harris is a need pick who should help tighten things up in the secondary in Detroit.
45 CB Johnny Patrick Louisville Sr. 5-10.5 191
The 49ers got one of the draft's best edge rushers in Aldon Smith, but they're likely to target a replacement for veteran cornerback Nate Clements in the second round.
46 TE Kyle Rudolph Notre Dame Jr. 6-6 259
With defense understandably getting the early attention in Denver, why not find a big, pass-catching target at tight end for Tim Tebow?
47 WR Torrey Smith Maryland Jr. 6-1 204
The Rams need to stretch the field speed at receiver, and weren't in position to select Julio Jones in the first round. Besides, I like the good karma of St. Louis drafting another receiver named Torrey.
48 QB Ryan Mallett Arkansas Jr. 6-6.5 253
He's big, has a rocket of an arm, and comes with a less than stellar off-the-field reputation. Sounds like a Raiders quarterback of yore to me.
49 WR Titus Young Boise State Sr. 5-11.5 174
The Redskins find themselves a speedy receiving weapon to pair with the quarterback they just took at No. 41 (Colin Kaepernick).
50 OLB Martez Wilson Illinois Jr. 6-3.5 250
The Chargers have been underproductive at linebacker in recent seasons, and the versatile Wilson carried one of the more solid second-round grades at his position.
51 LB Bruce Carter North Carolina Sr. 6-1.5 241
The Bucs add another building block to their defensive improvement project.
52 C Stefen Wisniewski Penn State Sr. 6-3 313
With the Giants offensive line showing some age in spots, Wisniewski provides depth and a succession plan for one of New York's interior positions.
53 OL Clint Boling Georgia Sr. 6-4.5 308
Why stop the rebuilding of the Colts offensive line with just first-round tackle Anthony Castonzo? With Indy about to pay Peyton Manning a record contract, you need more than one young lineman to keep him protected.
54 S Marcus Gilchrist Clemson Sr. 5-10 195
The Eagles smartly addressed their shaky offensive line in the first round, but the secondary needs to have some love shown.
55 OT Marcus Gilbert Florida Sr. 6-6 330
The Chiefs didn't spend their first-round pick on an offensive right tackle as expected, but Gilbert gets that need addressed with K.C.'s next selection.
56 RB Mikel Leshoure Illinois Jr. 5-11,5 227
With their wealth of second-round picks (three), the Patriots are in prime position to pick the running back of their choice and maybe curb their running back by committee approach.
57 WR Greg Little North Carolina Sr. 6-2.5 231
Little was rising up teams' boards as the draft approached and we see him going in the second round. The Seahawks go for help at a skill position, but not quarterback.
58 S Rahim Moore UCLA Jr. 5-11.5 202
The Ravens know Ed Reed can't play forever, and another one of their safeties suddenly likes to box.
59 WR Randall Cobb Kentucky Jr. 5-10.5 191
He's no Julio Jones, but maybe Cobb and Colt McCoy can add some spark to the Browns passing game.
60 DL Allen Bailey Miami Sr. 6-3 285
Just another versatile player who stands to upgrade the Patriots' 3-4 defensive front.
61 G Ben Ijalana Villanova Sr. 6-3.5 317
The Chargers don't like to pass on highly rated talent, even if it's not at the most critical of need positions.
62 WR Leonard Hankerson Miami Sr. 6-1.5 209
The Bears find a potential home-run receiving threat waiting for them at the bottom of round two.
63 OT Orlando Franklin Miami Sr. 6-5.5 316
The Steelers offensive line gets a much-needed infusion of youth.
64 RB Ryan Williams Virginia Tech So. 5-9.5 212
They just missed out on Mark Ingram in the first round, but Williams gives the defending champs a potential backfield star.

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