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3rd Day Cupid-2011 NFL Draft Analysis

by Jared Belson on Apr. 30, 2011

Back with the 3rd installment of the draft day cupid picking the pairings that I loved and those that I didn't from Day 3 of the 2011 NFL Draft broken down by rounds (See Day 1 and Day 2 Analysis), with again much more love than hate in this draft:

Loved:

 

Round 4:

Cincinnati-Clint Boling:

-For a team that was likely going to start 34-year old Bobbie Williams this year, this pick should feel like a coup for them. They have some prospects on the outside of their line, but on the interior they were lacking and Boling should instantly give them credibility. Cincinnati was a perfect fit for Clint Boling and his versatility as a lineman.

Cleveland-Owen Marecic:

-I was going to love this pick no matter who got him. These are the type of players that help you win championships; Guys who are willing to do whatever it takes to help the team. Marecic played not only one of the most physically demanding positions in football at fullback, but also played linebacker and excelled at the position. In this day and age, you are not going to find many players who are capable or willing to do that, and to have a guy like that on your team will make everyone work harder.

Philadelphia-Casey Matthews:

-He may not be his brother Clay, but that shouldn't matter. As an individual player, he was one of the key reasons for Oregon's success this year. He'll be a great fit in Philadelphia on special teams and to compete for the middle linebacker spot of the future.

Honorable Mention:

Arizona-Sam Acho: Arizona needed pash rush pretty badly, and they got arguably the best senior pass rushers in the Big 12.

Tampa Bay-Luke Stocker: Truthfully, is Kellen Winslow really that reliable for Tampa Bay? They got a dynamic player to replace him and a much better blocker to boot.

Denver-Quinton Carter: Rahim Moore plays next to Dawkins this year, and Carter takes Dawkins' spot next year. Denver secured their future at safety in one fell swoop.

Houston-Rashad Carmichael: What was a concern for Houston before the draft, should no longer be with Carmichael, Brandon Harris, and the 4 cornerback draft picks from the last two drafts on their roster.

 

Round 5:

Tampa Bay-Ahmad Black:

-Black was an extremely productive player at Florida and might have been overlooked a little this year due to the year that Florida had. But don't be mistaken because Ahmad Black could easily become Tampa Bay's opening day starter at safety. While that may not be saying much, since a strong presence at that position was a big need for Tampa Bay, that should only highlight the beauty of this pairing.

Minnesota-Brandon Burton:

-Minnesota's secondary was not it's strongest point by any means last year. Some of that blame could be put on reaching for cornerbacks in the last two drafts. This year they let one fall to them, and came away with a steal in Brandon Burton. While some teams in this draft might have questioned his maturity, his playing ability should not have been, and Minnesota should reap the benefits of Burton's fall.

Atlanta-Jacquizz Rodgers:

-For a lot of teams this could have been a bad pick. For Atlanta it was a great pick. A few years ago they had tremendous success when they were mixing in a quicker Jerious Norwood at running back, and now they can do the exact same with Rodgers and a bruising Michael Turner. If Jacquizz is even a tenth as productive as he was at Oregon State, Atlanta will be very happy with this pick. 

Honorable Mention:

New England-Marcus Cannon: If Cannon didn't have cancer, he could have been the James Carpenter of this draft sneaking up into the 1st round. Unfortunately, his illness dropped him down to the 5th. Assuming a successful recovery though, he could provide New England a very stable future to go along with Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer.

Cincinnati-Robert Sands: Despite his height, there's no denying his talent level, and with Cincinnati needing help at safety, Sands was a great pick.

Baltimore-Chykie Brown: If a guy is playing behind Aaron Williams and Curtis Brown can anyone hear him? Baltimore will find out.

 

Round 6:

NY Giants-Greg Jones:

-Greg Jones might have been the most productive middle linebacker in college football the past 3 years, and a huge reason for Michigan State's emergence as a powerful Big Ten football team. Unfortunately, that doesn't always translate to being a high draft pick. Yet it is players like him, who surprise and become the leaders of championship teams. Antonio Pierce was the middle linebacker for the Giants when they won the Super Bowl, and he went undrafted in 2001. Greg Jones could have a similar impact as Pierce did 4 years ago.

Green Bay-Ricky Elmore:

-People in Green Bay wanted Brooks Reed on their team to play opposite of Clay Matthews because he reminded people of Matthews in terms of style of play and even how they looked. However, it was argued by some that Ricky Elmore was a better natural pash rusher than Reed at Arizona, but it was Elmore's lack of ideal NFL intangibles that held him back. The Packers will be able to test that theory though and see if Elmore could be the best of the 3 Arizona defensive ends that were drafted.

Kansas CIty-Jerrell Powe

-The Kansas City Chiefs have a great defensive line especially with the addition of Allen Bailey. However, they would be most effective if they had a true nose tackle to put in between Glenn Dorsey and Tyson Jackson. Jerrell Powe might not seem like much of a prospect, but he could be their answer at the nose and finalize a strong front-3, to open up the outside for other rookie Justin Houston.

Honorable Mention:

San Francisco-Ronald Johnson: The 49'ers needed to take some pressure off of Michael Crabtree and give whoever will be their quarterback some extra weapons.

Minnesota-Ross Homan: Chad Greenway is a free agent this year, and if for some reason they lose him, Homan will lessen the blow. Otherwise, he'll be a great fit to play at either of the other two linebacker positions.

Arizona-Quan Sturdivant: Adding Daryl Washington last year wasn't enough, but now Sturdivant gives them a formidable middle linebacker duo for the future.

 

Round 7:

New Orleans-Greg Romeus

-We had him as one of the top prospects of this draft at one point after a successful start to his career at Pitt, but injuries held him back and allowed Jabaal Sheard to shine. If Romeus can get healthy though, he could give New Orleans another great option to rush the passer.  Add in Cam Jordan, and there's a possibility that they drafted both defensive ends of the future in this draft.

Atlanta-Cliff Matthews:

-Many people wanted Atlanta to address their future at defensive end during the first two days, but they might have done on the 3rd day in the 7th round. Cliff Matthews might not have been the type of player that South Carolina thought he would become this year, but he still has that same potential and could develop into the edge rusher they want to replace John Abraham.

Carolina-Lee Ziemba:

-At times I thought Ziemba would be underrated, then I thought he might be overrated. When Carolina got him in the 7th round, I had to go with the latter and say that he is underrated. Someone had to block for Cam Newton at Auburn and Ziemba was one of the best at doing so. Now Carolina gets a guy who they know can handle blocking for Cam Newton, and help him to be comfortable out on the field.

Honorable Mention:

Philadelphia-Stanley Havili: I think Havili was a better fullback prospect than the two players who went before him, and Owen Schmitt will have quite a battle on his hands when training camp opens up.

Denver-Jeremy Beal: Productive player at Oklahoma and if he stays healthy could provide some extra young pass rushing to mix in with Von Miller

Seattle-Malcolm Smith: Smith was a great player on an underachieving USC team this year, but Pete Carroll clearly knows what he has in Smith since he coached him two years back.

 

Didn't Love: 

(It's hard to hate the late round picks, because teams are not risking much, and they end up proving people dead wrong year after year, but I'll give a few.)

 

Round 4:

Tennessee-Jamie Harper:

-This reminds me of their Chris Henry pick a few years back, except 2 rounds later with much less risk. Harper has a lot of upside but with Chris Johnson and Javon Ringer in front of him, he might not even get a chance to develop it.

Honorable Mention:

Jacksonville-Chris Prosinski: Seemed like a big reach here especially with better safety prospects still on the board.

 

Round 5:

Kansas City-Gabe Miller:

-If they were going for an outside linebacker to rush the passer, Chris Carter might have been the better choice. Considering they already filled both types of defensive ends, I think this might have been overkill, especially with better prospects still available.

 

Round 6:

Oakland-Richard Gordon:

-With Oakland's propensity to pick the fastest player at each position, this pick makes sense. Yet Virgil Green was just as much of an athlete and a much better tight end prospect, especially with Gordon's injury history. Time will tell if his athletic ability will convert to productivity in the NFL.

 

Round 7:

San Diego-Andrew Gachkar:

-It's hard to kill a team for their 7th round pick, but I'll do what i can. San Diego is listed here mainly because if they wanted a linebacker they had their choice of players who are much more likely to carve out an NFL career. They already reached for Jonas Mouton, so if they are going to take two linebackers, they want to make sure they hit on at least one.