The New York Jets got excellent value with their 30th selection in the first round by selecting Temple defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson. Most people didn’t expect him to fall this far in round one and Mel Kiper Jr promptly called it “arguably the best pick of the first round.”
Wilkerson is 6’4, 315 pounds and has the versatility to move back and forth between tackle and end on the Jets defensive line. Rex Ryan must be thrilled for the opportunity to mold Wilkerson into the Jets version of Haloti Ngata. They badly needed to improve their depth on their defensive line and get younger at the position. There is a very good chance Wilkerson will move right into the starting line-up, especially if Shaun Ellis doesn’t come back next year. He could slide over to defensive end or the Jets could move Sione Pouha out to end. Wilkerson will likely see time at both positions, regardless.
TOJ’s first ever running NFL Draft commentary, follow for instant feedback on each pick —
1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, Quarterback, Alabama – The only logical choice for the Panthers, who weren’t going anywhere with Jimmy Clausen under center. Look at the other quarterbacks in this division, they had to make this pick.
2. Denver Broncos: Von Miller, Linebacker, Texas A&M – Denver desperately needed help on defense. Miller arguably provides the most instant impact on defense of anybody on the board. It looks like Tim Tebow will get a shot to be the guy for the Broncos.
3. Buffalo Bills: Marcell Dareus, Defensive Tackle, Alabama – Buffalo decides to go defense instead of addressing their quarterback position. I still wouldn’t be surprised to see them trade up into late in the first round to attempt to add a quarterback. How long can the Ryan Fitzpatrick era go on? I’d be more worried about the Dareus pick if we didn’t have that Nick Mangold guy.
4. Cincinnati Bengals: AJ Green, Wide Receiver, Georgia – All the talent without all the drama of Chad Ochocinco or Terrell Owens. I wonder if this will help convince Carson Palmer to stick around?
5. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson, Corner, LSU – Some help for selfish Kerry Rhodes in the secondary. Peterson should be a star…probably not an Island…but a star.
6. TRADE – Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones, Wide Receiver, Alabama – The Falcons offered up a ton to grab some support for Matt Ryan and Roddy White. Their offense is going to be a handful for a long time with White and Jones on the outside. Cleveland got a nice haul in this deal, gaining a 1st and 4th rounder next year.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Aldon Smith, Defensive End, Missouri – No quarterback for the 49ers. I think Jim Harbaugh is hoping for 3-13 so he can draft Andrew Luck next season. Smith will provide an instant boost to a 49ers defense that is pretty good already.
8. Tennessee Titans: Jake Locker, Quarterback, Washington – A bit of a surprise here. Clearly the Titans got tired of Vince Young’s antics, Kerry Collins’ age and Rusty Smith’s awfulness.
9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, Offensive Tackle, USC – A smart pick for the Cowboys who need to improve their protection so Tony Romo can make it through a whole season.
10. TRADE – Jacksonville Jaguars: Blaine Gabbert, Quarterback, Missouri – A bold move by the Jaguars who finally realized they were never going to get where they wanted in the AFC South with the inconsistent David Garrard under center.
11. Houston Texans: JJ Watt, Defensive End, Wisconsin – Houston probably should have thought about improving their secondary because the last time I checked things like this were happening:
12. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Ponder, Quarterback, Florida State – Very surprised to see Ponder go this high but the Vikings clearly knew they weren’t going anywhere with Tavaris Jackson under center. The bottom line is that Ponder was a reach and they could have traded back for him. You never want to hear comparisons to Chad Pennington on draft day and I loved that guy.
13. Detroit Lions: Nick Fairley, Defensive Tackle, Auburn – The Lions are building something serious on defense right now, with Ndamukong Suh up front along with Fairley, who shouldn’t have fell this far.
14. St. Louis Rams: Robert Quinn, Defensive End, North Carolina – A good pick for an improving St. Louis defense, who are disappointed they couldn’t get their hands on one of the big time receivers.
15. Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey, Center, Florida – The Dolphins improve their offensive line instead of looking to add Mark Ingram. Not a bad move by the ‘Fins who are hoping to get their version of Nick Mangold…without the hair.
16. Washington Redskins: Ryan Kerrigan, Defensive End, Purdue – A solid, safe pick for the Redskins who will improve a defense that has some quality pieces on it.
17. New England Patriots: Nate Solder, Offensive Tackle, Colorado – Clearly New England got tired of seeing things like this —
18. San Diego Chargers: Corey Liuget, Defensive Tackle, Illinois – Wouldn’t have minded seeing the Jets get Liuget, regardless he is a good, versatile player who will improve the Chargers front seven.
19. New York Giants: Prince Amukamara, Corner, Nebraska – Clearly the Giants have some Revis Island envy…can’t say I blame them. A good value pick who will improve their defense.
20. Tampa Bay Bucs: Adrian Clayborn, Defensive End, Iowa – Good value for the Bucs here, who needed to boost their defensive line. Happy to see that Muhammad WIlkerson is still on the board.
21. TRADE Cleveland Browns: Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor – Arguably the most popular player linked with the Jets during the months of mock drafts goes to the Browns. Surprised he went before Wilkerson, who becomes the favorite for the Jets along with Akeem Ayers.
22. Indiannapolis Colts: Anthony Castonzo, Offensive Tackle, Boston College – Peyton Manning is thrilled Castonzo fell this far to the Colts who get a steal with the 22nd pick.
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Danny Watkins, Guard, Baylor – Might have been a bit of a reach here with some of the talent still on the board but the Eagles are never shy about improving their offensive or defensive front. The guy is already 26 years old though.
24. New Orleans Saints: Cameron Jordan, Defensive End, California – Fell a little further than expected but the Saints certainly needed the help up front after their pathetic display against the Seahawks in the playoffs last year.
25. Seattle Seahawks: James Carpenter, Offensive Guard, Alabama – Um…who? Surprised they didn’t opt for Andy Dalton. How can they be that confident in Matt Hasselbeck or Charlie Whitehurst?
26. Kansas City Chiefs: Jonathan Baldwin, Wide Receiver, Pittsburgh – Anybody who watched the Chiefs playoff game last year knows how bad they needed help at wide receiver, Baldwin might have been a slight reach but he addressed a major need and has a great combination of size and athleticism.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Jimmy Smith, Corner, Colorado – Not a surprise pick. Smith has character issues but is a top ten talent who will be a great fit on the Ravens defense.
28. TRADE – New Orleans Saints: Mark Ingram, Running Back, Alabama – Ingram is a hard downhill runner who Sean Payton will get the most out of. There is plenty of uncertainty surrounding both Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas so a good move for New Orleans.
29. Chicago Bears: Gabe Carimi, Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin – I think we can all agree the Bears badly needed to improve their offensive line.
30. New York Jets: Muhammad Wilkerson, Defensive Tackle, Temple – Much more to come…
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Cameron Heyward, Defensive End, Ohio State – Another defensive lineman. Heyward is a polished player who should contribute right away.
32. Green Bay Packers: Derek Sherrod, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi State – Can’t argue with the champs.
No, Da’Quan Bowers in round one? Wow.
One last dump of mock drafts and a few other video clips and notes to get you prepared for tonight —
Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
Derek Sherod, OT, Mississippi State
Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
Mocking The Draft
Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona
Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
NY Daily News (Mehta)
Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
ESPN NY (Cimini)
Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
Turn On The Jets (Malvisi)
Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
Turn On The Jets (Myself)
Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
SB Nation NY (Celletti)
Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
The Jet Report (Rosenthal)
Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
The Green Lantern (Capellini)
Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
It is about that time
A few final notes/predictions…
- Cam Newton is going number one.
- Blaine Gabbert is going number three to Buffalo.
- Miami is taking a quarterback in the first round.
- New England will trade up for Cameron Jordan.
- The Giants will take Gabe Carimi.
The amount of speculation and rumors has reached such a high level right now that it has me counting the seconds until 8 PM so we can see what actually happens. Actually, the draft has been one-upped by the decision of the NFL to follow the legal rulings against them (their record in court in starting to resemble the Panthers record on the field last season) and open the doors to all team facilities tomorrow…so let’s hope it is hopping in Florham Park, as the Jets look to get over the hump of the AFC Championship Game, where their season has ended the past two years. There is also talk free agency and trades could be open by Monday morning…which means the amount of NFL news coming out in the next few days could make all of our computers explode.
When it comes to the Jets, they have consistently been linked with two players over the past few months, Phil Taylor and Akeem Ayers. Personally, I don’t think Taylor will end up being the guy. As a matter of fact, here are my thoughts on what will happen with that 30th pick tonight:
Jets Stay Put at #30 (70%) – If Muhammad Wilkerson happens to fall this far, I think the Jets jump on him and hope Rex Ryan turns him into his next Haloti Ngata. However, in the likely case that Wilkerson is gone, I think it is between Akeem Ayers and Brooks Reed, with Cameron Heyward being an option if both are off the board.
Jets Trade Back (30%) – The Jets trade back into the second round with one of the quarterback hungry teams who are looking to move to #30. In this spot, the Jets could look at Stephen Paea or Jabaal Sheard. Perhaps, they will catch a break and still be able to snag Ayers, Reed, or Heyward if they don’t move back too far.
Final Prediction – In the end, I think the Jets end up with Ayers who didn’t blow anybody away with his combine numbers but produced on the field at a major program, which is more important than any workout.
AJ’s final mock draft before the festivities kick off this extended weekend…
1. Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton
Everyone has Newton going with this pick, and I can’t argue.
2. Denver Broncos- Marcell Dareus
Denver had a thrilling competition with the Texans last year for the league’s worst defense, I was really tempted to put Patrick Peterson in this spot as that is what I would do but it seems the Broncos like Dareus more. Denver might also look to trade out of this spot, if the price is right.
3. Buffalo Bills- Blaine Gabbert
Buffalo looks to land their franchise QB. Chan Gailey will let Gabbert sit at least the first half of the season behind Ryan Fitzpatick before giving him a shot.
4. Cincinnati Bengals – AJ Green
The best WR in the draft, doesn’t get out of the top five. It will be interesting to see how the circus in Cincinnati plays out this year.
5. Arizona Cardinals- Von Miller
Miller experiences a bit of a slip, but should feel a lot better going to Arizona than Buffalo or Cincinnati. The Cardinals get a very nice consolation prize with the top two QB’s off the board, and new defensive coordinator Ray Horton gets a new toy to play with.
6. Cleveland Browns – Julio Jones
The Browns have a tough choice between Jones or Robert Quinn, I’m going to go with Jones here, Mike Holmgren will want to improve the offense ASAP, and Jones is a physical receiver who will be able to get open over the middle for Colt McCoy.
7. San Francisco 49ers – Patrick Peterson
I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I dropped Patrick Peterson any lower; he is the best player in this draft and is prime for a long and prosperous career.
8. Tennessee Titans – Nick Fairley
Once a contender for the #1 pick, the buzz on Fairley has cooled off a bit, but that does not mean the kid can’t play. While the Titans could look in different directions, I don’t think they will be able to pass up on him, even if he does have football character issues, which are the worst variety in my opinion.
9. Dallas Cowboys- Tyron Smith
The Cowboys are a bit handcuffed into drafting an OL and the best one will still be on the board with the #9 pick.
10. Washington Redskins- J.J. Watt
The Redskins pick up a very talented player here who is versatile enough to move back and forth between the 5 and 3 techniques. However, look for the Redskins to perhaps trade out of this pick, they apparently really like Jake Locker, so if they think they could move back, pick up some extra picks, and get Locker I think that’s what they will do. They could also potentially trade back into the 1st round with the Jets if Locker is available at 30.
11. Houston Texans-Robert Quinn
The Texans war room is ecstatic that Quinn, a definite top ten talent, drops to them at 11. Quinn on the other hand is not happy at all and will use this as motivation for an explosive season and an even more successful career.
12. Minnesota Vikings – Anthony Costanzo
The Vikings pass on a couple of high quality defensive prospects to fill a pressing need at Tackle. Costanzo is the top rated tackle at this point and the BC Offensive Line reputation speaks for itself.
13. Detroit Lions- Prince Amukamara
The Lions find themselves in unfamiliar waters this year as they pick outside of the top ten. But fear not, they still are able to land a very highly touted CB.
14. St. Louis Rams – Aldon Smith
The cat is out of the bag that the Rams would love to have Julio Jones playing for them next year, but with him off the board St. Louis drafts a player who is able to get to the QB.
15. Miami Dolphins – Mike Pouncey
In my first mock I had Ingram at this spot to help the Dolphins running game, but Pouncey has the opportunity to improve their running game just as much if not more than Ingram. Pouncey comes in and starts day one for the Phins and replaces my least favorite player in the AFC east not named Tom Brady, Richie Incognito.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars- Ryan Kerrigan
The Jaguars try to bounce back from one of the most perplexing picks since Darius Heyward-Bey in Tyson Alula. Like the Jets, the Jags have an aging defensive line and will need to infuse some youth (and talent) sooner or later.
17. New England Patriots – Cameron Jordan
Jordan is the best available DE at this point in the draft and will fit well in a Belichick defense (who doesn’t). The Patriots continue to reload on the defensive side of the ball and put more pressure on the Jets to sure up their offensive line.
18. San Diego Chargers – Corey Liuget
The Chargers are fortunate to get Liuget at this point in the draft who has tremendous upside and will be able to make an impact in 2011. Liuget plays both the run and pass very well.
The boring team in New York misses their guy in Pouncey but is still able to find a quality lineman in Gabe Carimi. It seems that offensive line is the pick here for the Giants and they will take the best available linemen whether he plays guard or tackle.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Da’Quan Bowers
Da’Quan Bowers’ draft stock has been like a game of shoots and ladders. Lately, he’s been riding the biggest shoot on the board but finally lands in Tampa Bay, and for the second year in a row the Bucs get a very talented defensive line prospect.
21. Kansas City Chiefs – Derrick Sherrod
Sherrod should be able to step into the right tackle role that the Chiefs so desperately need. If nothing else, Sherrod has experience on his side playing 50 games and only missing three to injury.
22. Indianapolis Colts- Nate Solder
Solder is a monster at 6’8’’ 319 pounds and should be able to help the Indianapolis running game that struggled all of last year. While the trendy thought is that the Colts will pick up a QB with this pick, I don’t think they pull that trigger yet and instead address a more pressing need.
23. Philadelphia Eagles- Brooks Reed
The Eagles are pretty much set on the offensive side of the ball and while they need a tackle, with Sherrod and Solder off the board, a OL would be a reach at this point.
24. New Orleans Saints- Adrian Clayborn
Defensive end is a big need for the Saints and Clayborn is a great value pick at 24. Clayborn’s battle with Erb’s Palsy, which leaves him temporarily paralyzed in the upper arm, has been well documented in the last couple of months which is why he drops this far, but he is a top 15 talent that has overcome a lot in his life and will continue to defy odds as a Saint.
25. Seattle Seahawks- Jake Locker
While I think Mallet is probably the third best QB prospect in this draft, he seems to be doing everything wrong and might even slip into the third round. Locker is an extremely athletic player that Pete Carroll will love to have on his team. Accuracy is a concern which is why he goes this late in the 1st round.
26. Baltimore Ravens- Jimmy Smith
Jimmy Smith is an exceptional talent that has been hurt by “character issues,” meaning he got drunk in college. (OMG!) He is an absolute steal at this pick as he can go toe for toe with Prince Amukamara.
27. Atlanta Falcons- Justin Houston
The Falcons take a bit of a gamble with Houston, as the biggest concern with him is his motor.
28. New England Patriots- Mark Ingram
Ingram is a tough back who will compliment everyone’s favorite story Danny Woodhead in New England’s offense. Ingram has been dropping like a ton of bricks lately but he finds a home with New England.
29. Chicago Bears- Danny Watkins
There is no getting around it in Chicago, Jay Cutler has gotten ROUGHED UP during his time in the Windy City and the Bears need to do something about it immediately.
30. New York Jets- Muhammad Wilkerson
Why not? This would be a huge steal for the Jets at this point as teams seem to really like Wilkerson’s skill set. He is exactly what the Jets need and offers a lot more hope than Phil Taylor who is practically already drafted by the Jets if you look around different mock drafts.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers – Phil Taylor
Taylor doesn’t slide after the Jets pass on him as the Steelers defense looks to avoid the curse of Super Bowl losers and get back to the playoffs.
32. Green Bay Packers – Cameron Heyward
Cameron Heyward got out of Ohio State at just the right time and his luck continues as the defending Super Bowl champions draft him with the last pick in the first round. Dom Capers will coach the heck out of Heyward and he should fit well in his defense.
“Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable”
– Oscar Wilde
BREAKING NEWS: There are riots erupting in front of the Garden…Knicks fans are calling for D’Antoni’s head. I can hear the chants from the Village…they want it hung from the rafters of MSG, mustache and all. They are products of their environment you see, spoiled by the defense of the Jets…Sorry, let’s stick to basketball…it’s been so long…no trades…free agency…stasis…visions of the Arctic Circle……..
Is it a waste of time to try and write about the NBA Playoffs while watching the NBA Playoffs? That’s a meta question indeed. As per the writer’s contractual obligations, I must perform. Even under duress of utter boredom.
Tim Duncan is on my television. He is not dunking, he is not driving, just standing around, waiting for someone to shoot. I am attempting to watch the Spurs with some sort of excitement. It is not easy, as I am continuously waiting for Duncan to get a block and run it down the court for a glass shattering dunk…I am trying. Lord I am trying.
In my previous article I meant to discuss the vortex of doom surrounding NY sports teams as a result of Steinbrenner’s deal with the devil, which would cost all other teams championships, playoff wins etc…yet I refrained for fear of being right. So what happens? Billups shoots his knee cap off into the front row, Stoudemire has his back go out on him and Carmelo has to play with a bunch of dudes that wouldn’t even see the floor on a team like Boston or LA. On a scale of difficulty, I would crank this one up between trying to talk your way out of a DUI (Braylon!) and convincing your girlfriend that the playoffs are more important than the series finale of Glee.
Knick Fans: Calm down you Fanta looking freaks. It is my personal belief that we should give D’Antonio a shot next year. Then boot him off to the swamps if we can’t at least get a 4 seed.
Let’s see what this system of offensive insanity can do with all three stars having some actual time to get together and work out some sets, defensively and offensively. No one cares to think how hard it would be if you lost your two most important players in a playoff series against the three sages and the goblinboy (does Rondo look like Willem Dafoe or am I crazy?) especially when it is a point guard and a power forward/center hybrid who could make Kevin Garnett look like an old man on the post up. Although when Billups is aging and Stoudemire’s knees are as reliable as an Alfa Romeo on a cross country road trip, there may not be time left for such experiments.
All things must pass however, D’Antoni is off to go alligator hunting, OKC should give Denver one last beat-down. The Spurs look like a team being fitted for burial suits, the Bulls will live and die by the ankle of Derrick Rose.
The Magic have looked out of sorts except for Dwight Howard’s facial hair (No More Smiles), and I think the Hawks have proved that 3/4 stars (Johnson, Smith, Horford) can get you out of the first round when the other team goes 1 for 243 from 3. Dallas looks slow and old despite Dirk, although I hope they advance to have their it handed to them by the Lakers. Lastly, the Sixers outwilled the Knicks to at least get one win. That’s like watching the fat kid pass you in the annual mile run in middle school. It leaves scars you can’t see.
There was only one team swept in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, your New York Knicks. Then again, there was only one team running out a backcourt of Roger Mason and Antony Carter in crunch time. Yes, the Knicks have an the injury excuse to fall back on. No Chauncey Billups. A banged up Amare Stoudemire but in the end, they are only excuses.
The Knicks should have won both game one and two. Unfortunately, they still haven’t learned how to execute when it matters the most. They then made the mistake of patting themselves too hard on the back for playing tough in Boston and decided to lay down in front of their home fans for games 3 and 4.
We know this: Toney Douglas isn’t the point guard of the future. Landry Fields hit the rookie wall harder than anybody in recent memory, throwing the 2-guard position into question and the Knicks still need another big body or two to be taken seriously as a contender.
The Knicks are back to being relevant, which is nice. Yet, the grace period is over now. One and done in the playoffs isn’t going to cut it anymore…not with two players like Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
Other round one thoughts —
– You have to respect the effort being put forth by both the Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers. Neither team will win their series but both have given teams substantially better than them everything they can handle.
– Yes, Atlanta has exceeded everyone’s expectations but I also do think Orlando is a good match-up for them. Maybe I am not giving them the respect they deserve but I don’t think they are a serious threat to Chicago in round two.
– Portland/Dallas has been a physical, entertaining series that should end up going to seven games. Everybody has defended their home-court so far, which bodes well for the Mavericks who have shown they deserve more respect than they received before the playoffs started.
– The Western Conference is wide open. I guess you could say Oklahoma City is probably the favorite right now with how bad the Lakers have looked but Memphis is going to be a handful for the Thunder in round two, if they finish off San Antonio.