At long last, the 2011 NFL Draft is here. I may be doing an hours-long jig at my desk in preparation.
Given that today's the big day, I thought I'd unveil what promises to be a horribly wrong mock draft conceived by yours truly. In preparing this, I took months worth of reading, writing and conversing with those with tenuous connections to the team to craft a draft I feel will hit most of the marks as long as the Falcons stay put. I fully recognize that it's not likely they will, but hey! Live and learn.
After the jump, explore my mock and share yours. We're only hours away!
1st Round, 27th pick: DE Justin Houston, Georgia— Fills a need. Talented, athletic defensive end with near-elite pass rushing potential.
2nd Round, 59th pick: WR Jerrel Jernigan, Troy— Explosive receiving threat with the versatility to help out on special teams. Addresses a lot of offensive concerns.
3rd Round, 91st pick: RB Alex Green, Hawaii— May be a mild reach, but the Falcons will do that when they like a player. Green is a supremely well-rounded back who would be an awesome fit as a backup to Michael Turner.
4th Round, 124th pick: TE Rob Housler, Florida Altantic— Small school product has great wheels and enough talent to eventually become a starter. Hoping he makes it this far.
5th Round, 158th pick: LB Mike Mohamed, California— The team is clearly enamored with the gritty Mohamed, and may have him higher on their draft boards than any other team. He projects as Lofton's backup and a guy who can kick outside if the Falcons need him to.
6th Round, 192nd pick: S Joe Lefeged, Rutgers— Lefeged's projected to go all over the map, so this is far from a lock. But I like Lefeged's talent and speed, and I think he could be a very valuable backup if he makes it this far. Safety is definitely a possibility in the late rounds, if not a priority.
7th Round, 209th pick: OT David Mims, Virginia Union— One of my deep sleepers for the draft, Mims is absolutely enormous (6'8", 331 pounds) and could be at minimum a valuable backup tackle. With his size and athleticism, he might be more than that.
7th Round, 229th pick: OG Stephen Schilling, Michigan— Late round run on offensive linemen, but the Falcons thrive here. Schilling isn't the most physically talented lineman likely to be available here, but he plays with a nasty streak and he's a high character guy. I think he's a good fit.
7th Round, 230th pick: CB Justin Rogers, Richmond— He could join fellow Spider Lawrence Sidbury on the team. I'll admit that I don't have a great feel for where guys like Lefeged and Rogers are going to go, but I could see him lasting until near the end of the draft. He picked 13 passes in college and has some upside, and Dimitroff just can't resist adding one more corner.
So that's my mock draft. Share yours!