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Mocking the Draft: 11-22 Sees First RB, TE, S off the Board

By Brettclancy @thebrettclancy

11. San Diego Chargers select G Jonathan Cooper

The Chargers were hoping Lane Johnson would fall to them, but with Arizona snatching him early and DJ Fluker a bit iffy this high, the Chargers go with Cooper and solidify the interior line. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes is a consideration, but Cooper’s the better bet.

12. Miami Dolphins select CB Xavier Rhodes

Honestly, I had to be talked into this one, but I can’t deny that it makes sense. The Dolphins need a starter at cornerback and Rhodes fits their scheme well. The free agent class of corners is looking better everyday, but most are looking for big money. If Keenan Allen goes off at his pro day, he might be too good to pass up, but for now I think the Dolphins will draft Rhodes with a close eye on WR’s Da’Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter who both possess the size (6’3 and 6’4 respectively) and talent to become number 1 receivers.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select OT DJ Fluker

I know, I just said Fluker was a reach at 11, but with Rhodes off the board adding a guy like Fluker at RT is a good move for the Bucs. The offense now flows through running back Doug Martin and Fluker excels in run blocking. There’s still plenty of pass rush help available, and that should be a consideration, but due to an early run on offensive lineman the Bucs decide to strike while the iron is hot.

14. Carolina Panthers select DT Sheldon Richardson

I believe that Richardson can do for the Panthers’ defensive line what Luke Kuechley did for the linebackers, which is to say that he will greatly improve the unit. Richardson’s a big (6’2, 294lbs)  athletic (40 time just over 5 sec with 32 in vertical) who will shoot up to the middle of the first following an impressive comine.

15. New Orleans Saints select DE/OLB Damontre Moore

After a somewhat disappointing combine (he only managed 12 reps on the bench) Moore sees his stock drop a little, as he falls into Rob Ryan’s lap at 15. “DaMonster” was a terror on the edge at Texas A&M and he provides an immediate boost to this Saints team.

16. St. Louis Rams select WR Keenan Allen

I mentioned that Allen is a candidate to rise quickly on draft day and might be long gone by the time the Rams pick, but I’d be looking for them to take the best receiver available, in this case it’s Allen, who provides Sam Bradford a legitimate number 1 target and eases the probable loss of Danny Amendola.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers select OLB/DE Barkevious Mingo

The somewhat raw, but undoubtedly talented Mingo, makes for a great addition to a Steelers team desperate for pass rush help. If Mingo is off the board his teammate Sam Montgomery put up a strong enough combine to warrant consideration. I also like this guy’s idea to add Ohio State Nose Tackle Johnathan Hankins if there ends up being an early run on pass rushers.

18. Dallas Cowboys selects DE/DT Star Lotulelei

Assuming the heart condition that forced Lotulelei to miss the combine is nothing serious (as is currently expected) he ends up a great fit for a Cowboys team looking to move to the 4-3 under Monte Kiffin. And hey, if Jerry Jones decides next year that he wants the team to go back to the 3-4, Lotulelei can do that too. (Bjoern Werner is also a consideration as the best 4-3 end available)

19. New York Giants select OLB/DE Ziggy Ansah

I originally had TE Tyler Eifert in this spot, but that’s really just not the Giants MO this early. Ansah on the other hand is exactly the kind of player the Giants like to take in the first round. Ansah is crazy athletic and while raw can you really think of a better place for him to learn the game than alongside Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck?

20. Chicago Bears select TE Tyler Eifert

With the top lineman off the board the Bears take the next best thing. Eifert’s not an especially talented blocker, but he could still prove invaluable in the passing game. With Johnny Knox’s health issue, and Devin Hester never really panning out as anything more than a returner Eifert provides the Bears with a valuable target in the middle of the field. The Mike Martz era held the Bears back from joining the trend of pass catching TE’s, drafting Eifert will mark it’s return.

21. Cinncinati Bengals select RB Giovanni Bernard

This is a bit of a reach, but I really like Bernard and in a somewhat iffy class of running backs he seems to be just what the Bengals are looking for; a speedy compliment to BenJarvus Green-Ellis who has displayed solid hands and pass protection skills. Bernard is a guy who, I think could even take over as the featured back at some point.

22. St. Louis Rams select S Eric Reid

Playing in the NFC West it never hurts to have help over the top. This may be a little high for Reid and I have him going before Kenny Vaccarro, but I think Reid’s aggressiveness fits Jeff Fisher’s defense better and makes him a perfect compliment to Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan. (I also considered combine superstar Terron Armstead here, but after a second thought he seemed too unproven this high…my point is with 2 first round picks both this and next year, expect the unexpected from the Rams.

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