Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Welcome to the 3rd annual 2011 NFL Mock Draft from nkysportsworld.blogspot.com
This year features a 3 round mock draft and with the draft less than 10 days away on April 28, 2011 lets get started! Enjoy!

1. Carolina (2-14): Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn
Many believe that Cam Newton is slowly solidifying himself as the #1 pick in the draft. This is not necessarily because he is the best player but because of the unwritten NFL rule that if you pick at the top of the draft and don’t have a franchise QB, you need to go get one.

2. Denver (4-12): Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
This draft is stacked at the defensive line position and the Denver Broncos grab the cream of the crop in their weakest position. Dareus is a very very good player who 319 lb frame will help solidify the Broncos defensive line immensely.

3. Buffalo (4-12): Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
After a spectacular NFL combine last month, many people considered Von Miller to be the best player in the entire draft. If Carolina steers away from Newton, don’t be surprised to see Miller go #1. Miller is the full package of size and speed and will fit greatly in a weak Buffalo defense.

4. Cincinnati (4-12): Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
I could see Cincinnati going a number of different ways with this pick. I wouldn’t be surprised or unhappy to see AJ Green here. I wouldn’t balk at the idea of Patrick Peterson either if he falls, since Joseph may be gone and Peterson is considered the best overall player. I think the best QB’s of this draft sit at the top of round 2 and would love to see the Bengals grab a position of need outside QB here at #4. I firmly believe Newton and Gabbert both have bust written all over them and would be upset by selecting either. Fairley is another one year wonder, but gives the Bengals a mean streak player who can get after the quarterback.

5. Arizona (5-11): Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
Gabbert would be a dream come true for Arizona if he fell all the way to #5. With the flop of Derek Anderson last year and the small upside of late round pick John Skelton, Arizona is still searching for the signal caller that can mesh with Larry Fitzgerald and bring the team back the playoffs.

6. Cleveland (5-11): Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Bowers is the best DE in the draft and an intriguing player who could find himself going anywhere from #1-10. I think the furthest he falls is to Cleveland at #6 simply because of his upside. Bowers has been struck by injuries especially to the knee but can provide an elite player to a mediocre Browns pass rush.

7. San Francisco (6-10): Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
The SF 49ers would be salivating to see Peterson fall into their lap this late in the first round. Cornerback is the team’s biggest need and Peterson is by far the best. He just may be the best player in the entire draft. His size and speed mold him into a potential shut-down corner for many years. His ability as a return specialist is also an added bonus if a team finds the need to utilize him as such.

8. Tennessee (6-10): Cameron Jordon, DE, California
Im sure Tennessee wishes Bowers would fall to them here, however, they instead select the next best DE available in Jordon. Jordon is a big strong end who has the ability to play inside along the interior or slide outside and rush the quarterback. Jordon’s arrival could add to the Titans long line of DE’s of late who have made a living at getting to the quarterback.

9. Dallas (6-10): Anothony Costonzo, OT, Boston College
It was evident after last season and the injury to Tony Romo that the greatest need for the Cowboys this season was along the offensive line. Dallas could select USC OT Tyron Smith here, but Costonzo is a more intelligent and fundamentally sound player who can play the blind side and protect Romo from another injury plagued season.

10. Washington (6-10): AJ Green, WR, Georgia
The Washington Redskins have more needs than Jamarcus Russell in a buffet line. For this reason, they go with best player available and that is AJ Green. Green is the top WR and has the potential making of an Andre Johnson type receiver. He is a big physical receiver who can get down the field, drops few passes, and scores a ton of touchdowns. Now all he needs is a QB to throw to him.

11. Houston (6-10): Robert Quinn, OLB, North Carolina
Houston sits in a pretty good position to take the next best player available on the defensive side of the ball. With a stacked offense and very few true needs across the board, Houston may take a flyer on a player such as Quinn. He has tremendous upside and potential to be a force in the 3-4 defense but has a great deal of question marks after sitting out all of last season for NCAA infractions.

12. Minnesota (6-10): Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Julio Jones ran a blistering 40 yard dash at the NFL combine and that was with a broken foot. Jones is an excellent athlete, but this recent injury brings questions to his durability. Jones has the potential to be an all-pro wide receiver and with question marks surrounding Percy Harvin as well as the potential loss of Sydney Rice, Minnesota could use a weapon to stretch the field on the offensive side of the ball.

13. Detroit (6-10): Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
You can never have too many cornerbacks. The problem with Detroit is that they hardly have any at all. With CB as their biggest need, Detroit would run to the podium to select Amukamara, who is easily the 2nd best CB in the draft and has proven through the NFL combine that he can be an elite player.

14. St. Louis (7-9): Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
St. Louis would love to see Julio Jones fall to them at #14, but I don’t think that will be the case. Instead, St. Louis goes after their second biggest position of need along the defensive line. Liuget is a bit undersized but very versatile and an excellent pass rusher who will be a large upgrade next to Fred Robbins on the defensive line.

15. Miami (7-9): Ryan Kerrigan, OLB, Purdue
Ryan Kerrigan is the type of player that every team wishes to have. He was in school 4 years and a 3 year starter at Purdue. He was a team captain with a high motor and blue collar attitude, but most of all no character issues. Kerrigan will fill a need along the Miami defense with his strong work ethic and ability to rush the quarterback.

16. Jacksonville (8-8): JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin
JJ Watt is potentially the best 3-4 DE in the entire NFL draft. In the same mold of Kerrigan, Watt is a high motor player with a blue collar attitude. He will tremendously help an ailing Jacksonville front line that had only three sacks the final five games of the regular season in 2010.

17. New England (14-2) -- from Oak: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
Smith has been linked to Dallas at #9, but could fall to NE here if Dallas goes in a separate selection. However, don’t be surprised to see Smith and Costonzo flip flop here. Smith is a massive offensive tackle projected to play the left side. His size and speed would be well served to protect Tom Brady, especially with the recent hold out problems along the line in NE last year. Either way, Belichek turns a number of offensive lineman into pro-bowlers in a short time frame.

18. San Diego (9-7): Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri
San Diego would love to see JJ Watt fall to them, but would settle for a 3-4 OLB like Smith. Smith is an athletic pass rusher with raw athleticism and is a lock for the top 20. He is a potential double digit sack artist in waiting, even though his numbers at Missouri didn’t rate as highly due to some missed game action last year.

19. New York Giants (10-6): Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Mark Ingram is the best player available at this point and just the type of bruising hard nosed running back Tom Coughlin likes. With questions surrounding Brandon Jacobs last season and the always growing need for multiple serviceable running backs, the Giants may jump on Ingram. If it weren’t for question marks surrounding Ingram’s knee, the former Heisman trophy winner would have been a top 5 pick.

20. Tampa Bay (10-6): Justin Houston, DE, Georgia
Tampa Bay needs help now at the defensive line position. Houston overwhelmed at the NFL combine and has been shooting up draft boards. His ability to play both the DE and OLB position makes him a viable candidate to be a versatile option in a 4-3 setting.

21. Kansas City (10-6): Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
Kansas City may surprise some people here with the pick of Taylor, but with a number of defensive lineman flying off the board early they may get desperate to fill a large need. Taylor a big space filling tackle who is projected closer to the middle of the 2nd round but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him slide up some draft boards with the run on defensive lineman.

22. Indianapolis (10-6): Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
Indianapolis doesn’t have a great deal of needs but would love to add depth to their offensive line. Don’t be surprised if Carimi is the pick here, but Sherrod is a very intelligent and athletic tackle. He has the agility to fit into the Colts’ zone blocking scheme and was very good in a difficult SEC stacked with pass rushers. Though he may start at right tackle, Sherrod will eventually evolve to play the blind side.

23. Philadelphia (10-6): Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
Smith is a potential lock-down corner who would have been a potential top 10 pick if not for a variety of character issues. Smith is the 3rd best CB in a class with a large drop off after the first three. Philadelphia desperately needs a shut down corner and has never shied away from character concerns in the past.

24. New Orleans: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
Clayborn is an interesting player with great upside. He has minor character issues, which combined with injury concerns and down year last year could see him slip potentially out of the first round. New Orleans has a potent offense and the ability to wait on a player learn and mature for a few seasons. If Clayborn reaches his full potential, he could be a first round steal.

25. Seattle (7-9): Muhammed Wilkerson, DT, Temple
Wilkerson is a bit of an unknown after playing college at Temple and may be better suited as a DE in the 3-4 rather than a DT. However, as a 6’4 315 pound lineman he also has the potential to be a clog and anchor at the point of attack in the run game.

26. Baltimore (12-4): Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
The Ravens have very few needs and are attempting to solidify depth through the NFL draft. For this reason, they may reach for a young WR in order to infuse some new blood in a quickly aging receiving corp. Hankerson is not a game changing WR with blistering speed, but more of a dependable possession receiver that could be well served learning the ropes from some of Baltimore’s vets. Don’t be surprised to see Baltimore trade back for more picks here or draft Jimmy Smith is he’s available.

27. Atlanta (13-3): Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
Atlanta has what may be the best offense in the NFL. Their biggest need remains an upgrade at LT from Sam Baker. Solder is the best available OT and projects to a well developed pass blocker on the left side allowing Matt Ryan to better utilize his offensive weapons.

28. New England (14-2): Jason Pinkston, OG, Pittsburgh
New England is the only team with two first round picks and utilizes their second straight pick on the offensive line here. This pick is another attempt solidify pieces around Tom Brady and re-establish the run game.

29. Chicago (11-5): Stephen Wisniewski, OC, Penn State
Wisniewski is the only center projected with a first round grade. They would love for one of the top offensive tackles to slip to them, however, the draft doesn’t fall that way this time. Wisniewski has the potential to play center or guard at the NFL level which may help his stock.

30. New York Jets (11-5): DeAndre McDaniel, SS, Clemson
McDaniel is probably more suited as a 2nd round pick and a bit of a reach here, but New York has the biggest need in the safety position and McDaniel is the best of the bunch. McDaniel ran a poor 4.63 in the 40 yard dash, but has excellent tackling and highlight reel hitting ability that fits perfectly into Rex Ryan’s in the box style defense.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4): Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
Pittsburgh is another team craving CB help and hoping one of the big three falls. Instead, they reach for a player in Harris with an average skill set hoping he can be coached to play a stout defense. If Pittsburgh looks for more of a burner, CB Davon House may go here after his 4.35 40 yard dash.

32. Green Bay Packers (10-6): Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
Carimi may go earlier, but would fit nicely with the NFL Super Bowl Champs. Carimi is a massive body and more of a run mauler type of offensive tackle, but is one of the few tackles in this draft who could play the left side and do so as a rookie from day one.

1. New England (from Carolina): Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois
2. Buffalo: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
3. Cincinnati: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
4. Denver: Mason Foster, OLB, Washington
5. Cleveland: Martez Wilson, ILB/OLB, Illinois
6. Arizona: Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
7. Tennessee: Davon House, CB, New Mexico State
8. Dallas: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
9. Washington: Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
10. Houston: Christian Ballard, DE, Iowa
11. Minnesota: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
12. Detroit: Brooks Reed, DE 4-3, Arizona
13. San Francisco: Jabaal, Sheard, OLB, Pittsburgh
14. Denver (from Miami): Marcus Gilbert, OT, Florida
15. St. Louis: Marcus Cannon, OG, TCU
16. Oakland: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
17. Jacksonville: Kelvin Sheppard, ILB, LSU
18. San Diego: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
19. Tampa Bay: Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida
20. New York Giants: Brandon Fusco, OC, Slippery Rock
21. Indianapolis: Jack Kirkpatrick, OC, TCU
22. Philadelphia: Allen Bailey, DE, Miami (FL)
23. Kansas City: Titus Young, WR, Boise State
24. New Orleans: Akeem Ayers, ILB/OLB, UCLA
25. Seattle: Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
26. Baltimore: Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
27. Atlanta: Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech
28. New England: Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State
29. San Diego (from NY Jets): Quan Sturdivant, ILB, North Carolina
30. Chicago: KJ Wright, ILB, Mississippi State
31. Pittsburgh: Benjamin Ijalana, OG, Villanova
32. Green Bay: Sam Acho, OLB, Texas

1. Carolina: Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
2. Cincinnati: Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA
3. Denver: DJ Williams, TE, Arkansas
4. Buffalo: Luke Stocker, TE, Tennessee
5. Arizona: Brandon Burton, CB, Utah
6. Cleveland: Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
7. Dallas: Danny Watkins, OT/OG, Baylor
8. New Orleans (from Washington): Orlando Franklin, LOT, Miami
9. Houston: Jarvis Jenkins, DE, Clemson
10. New England (from Minnesota): Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego State
11. Detroit: Jeremy Kerley, WR, TCU
12. San Francisco: Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
13. Tennessee: Ricki Stanzi, QB, Iowa
14. St. Louis: Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State
15. Miami: Jordan Todman, RB, Connecticut
16. Jacksonville: Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
17. Oakland: Demarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma
18. San Diego: Rodney Hudson, OG, Florida State
19. New York Giants: Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina
20. Tampa Bay: Colin McCarthy, ILB, Miami
21. Philadelphia: Tyler Sash, SS, Iowa
22. Kansas City: John Moffitt, OC, Wisconsin
23. Indianapolis: Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
24. New Orleans: Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville
25. San Diego (from Seattle): Mark Herzlich, ILB, Boston College
26. Baltimore: James Carpenter, OT, Alabama
27. Atlanta: Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin
28. New England: Dontay Moch, OLB, Nevada
29. Chicago: Jerrell Powe, DT, Mississippi
30. New York Jets: Chris Hairston, OT, Clemson
31. Pittsburgh: Shareece Wright, CB, USC
32. Green Bay: Curtis Marsh, CB, Utah State
33. Carolina (Compensatory): Sione Fua, DT, Stanford

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Another area D1 school could be on the horizon

Northern Kentucky University has a rich tradition in Division II athletic history. In the last 15 years the NKU Men's Basketball has been the National Runner Up twice, the Women's Basketball team has won two championships, Men's Soccer won the National Championship this fall and the Women's Soccer team was the National Runner Up in 2000. And the golf, tennis, volleyball and baseball teams have won multiple Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships. NKU President Jim Votruba confirmed yesterday that discussions have begun with the NKU Board of Regents to apply to become a Division I school. He views this move as a great marketing and branding opportunity for the University.

The Division I discussion has been going on for some time at NKU. In the past NKU lacked the facilities appropriate for Division I. That has all changed now. The Bank of Kentucky Center is more than equipped for Division I sports. A state of the art soccer field was just opened last fall. A new softball facility has just opened. And, the tennis courts and baseball fields are currently being upgraded. To make the move to DI the school does need to have 14 athletic programs, so NKU has to add one more sport. Because of major costs, that discussion will not include football. They are leaning towards adding a women's track and field team.

If you're wondering what conference NKU may land with, there are two in discussion. The Ohio Valley Conference seems most likely. There are natural rivalries in that conference. The OVC already has Murray State, Morehead, and Eastern Kentucky University. And, football is not a requirement. NKU seems like a natural fit. NKU would enter the OVC as the largest school in the conference. The other possibility that has been mentioned is the Horizon League, now made famous because of the Butler Bulldogs. Recently a few DII teams have moved to Division I without acquiring any conference approval (i.e. Cal State Bakersfield) and are now an Independent school begging for a conference invitation. President Votruba said that NKU will not move until a conference has accepted the university.

The University plans on applying for Division I this fall. All arenas would have to approved and a conference move approved. The earliest that we may see Division I basketball in Highland Heights, KY is the 2012-13 season. There is usually a 4 year transition period before schools can compete for DI championships. I'm sure we'll see more information soon.