2011 NFL Draft: 4th round Updated 4/21
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98. Carolina Panthers: QB Ricky Stanzi, Iowa-
I don’t know if the Panthers are sold on the long term future of Jimmy Clausen. While I don’t think they will opt for a QB in round 1, they will keep their eye on the midround guys. Stanzi has some upside, and was extremely productive as a senior in college. Good value for this pick.
99. Seattle Seahawks (from New England via Denver): G/T DeMarcus Love, Arkansas-
The Seahawks need to upgrade their offensive line, if they hope to win the West again. They have needs at guard, and possibly at RT, which means Love versatility is a plus. Personally I like Love more as a guard, and see that as the better fit.
100. Buffalo Bills: TE D.J. Williams, Arkansas-
The Bills have not had a productive tight end for quite some time and I’m guessing this is the year that they fix that. Williams gives Buffalo an athletic pass catcher who should be able to contribute immediately. Not only can he benefit Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he can be a good young player to develop alongside Ponder. Williams isn’t the biggest tight end in the world, but he has a good work ethic and is capable of being a starter in this league.
101. Cincinnati Bengals: RB DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma-
With their QB, WR and DT needs now filled the Bengals can look to acquire their running back of the future. Cedric Benson is a free agent, and while I expect the Bengals will look to resign him, he is on the downside of his career as it is. Murray is a good value pick here, who has the potential to develop into a star running back. Right now I think Murray is more hype than actual talent, but the potential is there, and the Bengals are a team that likes to gamble.
102. Cleveland Browns: DE Sam Acho, Texas-
The Browns need to add a pass rusher early in this draft and they luck out as Acho slides to them in the 4th round. Acho could potentially go higher, but he doesn’t fit every system, and there are questions whether or not he is a tweener. In the 4th round though, he offers great value and could be the pass rusher Cleveland desperately needs.
103. Arizona Cardinals: CB Johnny Patrick, Louisville-
The Cardinals have addressed most of their major needs, so this is more of a value pick right here. Patrick is a guy who could easily go 20 picks higher so they are getting a good value here, while at the same time addressing a lesser need. The Cards have good starting corners, but lack the depth to matchup against top notch offenses.
104. Philadelphia Eagles (from Washington):SS DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson-
The Eagles could need a new SS if Quinton Mikell leaves, and McDaniel would be the top one on the board at this spot. As a side note this would mean the Eagles would have received both of their starting safeties (Nate Allen last year) for Donovan McNabb, which they should be quite pleased with.
105. Houston Texans: OLB Chris Carter, Fresno State-
Defense, defense, defense! I know some might hate to see yet another defensive pick, but their offense wasn’t the problem last season. Carter gives them another pass rusher to help alleviate the pressure on their corners and safeties.
106. Minnesota Vikings: WR Austin Pettis, Boise State-
The Vikings will need another weapon if Sidney Rice leaves via free agency this offseason. Even if Rice is retained, Minnesota’s receiver depth could use some fresh blood. Pettis is a tough receiver that at times gets overshadowed by his teammate Titus Young.
107. Detroit Lions: CB Jalil Brown, Colorado-
After adding their offensive lineman in round 1, the Lions need to add as many defenders as possible in this draft. In particular they need help in their back 7. Brown got overshadowed by his more highly touted teammate (Jimmy Smith), but he is a very talented corner in his own right. Good value here for Detroit.
108. San Francisco 49ers: RB Shane Vereen, California-
With Brian Westbrook not likely to return the 49ers will be in the market for a, small quick back out of the backfield. Vereen is a good outside runner and should be a nice complement to Gore and Dixon. He will give the 49ers a good all purpose back who can help on special teams as well.
109. Tennessee Titans: OLB Lawrence Wilson, Connecticut-
The Titans could use an upgrade at outside linebacker, and although Wilson might not be ready to start he would add much needed depth and should develop into a starting role.
110. Dallas Cowboys: FS Quinton Carter, Oklahoma-
In addition to adding a corner the Cowboys could use an upgrade at free safety. Carter is a good value pick here and gives Dallas someone who should at least be the 3rd safety as a rookie.
111. Miami Dolphins: WR Vincent Brown, San Diego State-
This needs to be an offensive draft for the Dolphins and jumping on the 4th round receiver bandwagon would seem like a good idea. Miami is set with their starting two receivers, but they could use a third option to help jump start their offense. Brown caught just about everything thrown his way at the Senior Bowl and would be a fine addition to the Dolphins.
112. St. Louis Rams: FS Marcus Gilchrest, Clemson-
The Rams lost O.J. Atogwe this offseason and need to find a replacement somewhere in the middle rounds of the draft. Gilchrest is a converted corner so the ball skills are there, he just needs to work on his angles of pursuit and tackling some. He has the potential to be a starting FS in the league and should challenge for that role as a rookie.
113. Oakland Raiders: TE Virgil Green, Nevada-
Given all the big contracts they’ve handed out of late, I don’t know if the Raiders have the resources to pay big money to their tight end Zach Miller. If that’s the case look for them to target a replacement in the mid rounds. Green is a typical Raiders pick, as he is off the charts with his workout numbers. While there is some concern of him being slightly overrated, I think he is worth the risk in the middle of the 4th round and should be a good pickup for Oakland.
114. Jacksonville Jaguars: LB Greg Jones, Michigan State-
The Jaguars could go a couple different directions here, but adding a quality outside linebacker seems to make the most sense. Jones has fallen slightly some, but he has always played his heart out on the field. I think he is a good fit for Jacksonville and could potentially start early next season.
115. San Francisco 49ers (from San Diego): FS Chris Culliver, South Carolina-
The 49ers could use more help in their secondary and Culliver is the best free safety on the board at this point. I like Culliver’s upside and I really do believe he can become a starter at the next level.
116. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State-
Tampa could be in the market for a small shifty back to complement Blount this season. I love Rodgers, but I doubt he gets picked much higher than this due to his bad timed speed. Bucs fans shouldn’t worry though as, he plays quite a bit faster than the stopwatch suggests.
117. New York Giants: OLB K.J. Wright, Mississippi St.-
The Giants biggest weakness is the play of their outside linebackers, so adding Wright here would be a good fit. This could be a slight reach for New York, but one that I think is worth making.
118. Kansas City Chiefs: C Tim Barnes, Missouri-
The Chiefs starting center is going to be 38 years old, it might just be time to think about a replacement. Barnes has some upside and should develop into a starting caliber guy.
119. Indianapolis Colts: S Ahmad Black, Florida-
I know some will say that Black isn’t big enough to hold up as a starting strong safety, but you have to love the kid’s heart, ball skills, and football I.Q. I think he will be just fine at the next level, and I don’t see the Colts having any problems with his diminutive size. Bob Sanders their former star safety wasn’t known for his size, yet he was one of the best safeties in the league when healthy.
120. Philadelphia Eagles: OT Jah Reid, UCF-
If Marcus Cannon ends up at guard (either short or long term) the Eagles could use a young RT to develop. Reid has a lot of size and potential, and looks to be a good fit for Philly.
121. Jacksonville Jaguars (from New Orleans): S Jeron Johnson, Boise State-
The Jags need to double up at safety in this draft class, and Johnson is a good pick for this spot. I like him at either strong or free safety and think that he will team up with Moore to give the Jags a very respectable safety tandem. With all these additions on defense the Jaguars, really could have something special in the next year or two on that side of the ball.
122. Buffalo Bills: (from Seattle): G Steve Schilling, Michigan-
Buffalo needs to keep upgrading their offensive line, particularly if they plan on grooming a young quarterback.
123. Baltimore Ravens: ILB Kelvin Shepard, LSU-
The Ravens need to start thinking about life after Ray Lewis, and groom his replacement. Shepard is a good fit here and I think he has future starting potential. Baltimore add quality depth here, and possibly has the successor to the greatest player in Franchise history.
124. Atlanta Falcons: DE Pernell McPhee, Mississippi St.-
The Falcons need to make sure they don’t ignore their defense this offseason as they look to retool for another playoff run. Defensive end is their primary need area, as they need to create more consistent pressure on the quarterback. McPhee is sliding somewhat, but he is a good value at this pick and should at least be a rotational player as a rookie.
125. New England Patriots: FB Owen Marecic, Stanford-
I know the Patriots aren’t one to utilize their FB, but up until last season they weren’t a team who really utilized their tight ends in the passing game and look what happened. Marecic, fits the Patriots mold as this guy is literally going to do everything for them; run, block, catch, play special teams, and don’t be shocked if they line him up on a defensive package or two. Marecic drops given the little value people place on FB’s, but he is one really good player and the type of guy the Patriots would love.
26. New York Jets: NT Ian Williams, Notre Dame-
The past two seasons the Jets lost their starting NT in week one, and while their backups handled the job well, they need to add quality depth to that position. Williams isn’t just your traditional space eating nose tackle, but he gets excellent leverage and holds up at the point of attack.
127. Chicago Bears: CB Rashard Carmichael, Virginia Tech-
For the Bears to win the North again and make another run at the Super Bowl, they will need to get past Aaron Rodgers. Which means having as many talented corners as possible is a pretty good idea. Carmichael offers good value here, and has good upside. He doesn’t run the fastest or look the best in drills, but when he’s on the field you know he can play.
128. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Buster Skrine, Chattanooga-
Ditto…The Steelers know first hand what it is like to have to face the Packers and their receivers. Pittsburgh has to improve this secondary as they can’t rely solely on the pass rush.
129. Green Bay Packers: RB Derrick Locke, Kentucky-
The Packers could use a 3rd down back complement to James Starks and Ryan Grant next season. Also, Grant could very well be gone after next year, which will make the Packers backs extremely thin. Locke gives Green Bay a quick back who should help on special teams and in the passing game as well.
130. Tennessee Titans (Compensatory pick): WR Jeremy Kerley, TCU-
With Kenny Britt‘s recent legal troubles I don’t think the Titans can have to many WR’s, even if Britt isn’t suspended or cut, Kerley would be a good fit as a slot receiver and give Mallet another weapon to play with.
131. Green Bay Packers (Compensatory pick): OT/OG Lee Ziemba, Auburn-
The Packers need to add some depth to their offensive line, and while Ziemba isn’t a star by any means he should be able to be a competent reserve as a rookie and eventually develop into a RT/RG (I like him more as a guard, but I don’t right off him staying at tackle).