With the 24th pick in the 2011 Dawgs By Nature Community Mock Draft, the New Orleans Saints select...
Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
This selection and write-up was made by Buckeye Brad:
The Saints' biggest need is help in the pass rush so most mock drafts have them picking a DL or OLB. Many Saints fans want Ryan Kerrigan, Akeem Ayers, or Justin Houston, but all those players are gone by this pick so I'm looking at the remaining defensive line prospects available here. Two defensive ends from the Big Ten, Adrian Clayborn and Cameron Hayward, are still on the board and both are very intriguing prospects, but both players also come with questions marks. Both players were thought to be possible top 10 picks coming in to this season but didn't dominate as often as expected which lowered their draft stock. Both also have lingering medical issues and Clayborn also has had off-the-field issues, so Wilkerson looks like the better pick here.
Wilkerson is a guy who most fans probably hadn't heard of coming out of Temple, and I hadn't either until the last couple months of draft discussion, but he dominated the MAC this season at Temple. He's a big guy at 6'4" and 315 lbs. but is quick to the backfield. Last seaons he had 70 tackles, 13 TFL, 9.5 sacks, 3 pass breakups, and 2 forced fumbles, so he's a playmaker from the defensive line position. Had he been playing in the Big Ten instead of the MAC he'd been getting much more publicity for his play. He has all the tools of a top-10 pick, and would probably be one next year if he didn't leave early, which makes this a great value pick for the Saints here.
The Saints have a need at the DT position with Remi Ayodele a free agent. They signed Shaun Rogers but he's not a long-term solution and we all know he has trouble staying healthy, so Wilkerson should be part of the rotation along the defensive line. If Rogers is playing significant minutes then the Saints can bring Wikerson along slowly as he adapts to playing against bigger O-lineman in the NFL. But he has the tools to be a dominating player within a couple years for the Saints.
I know the Browns are trying to get younger on the defensive line, but the Saints have the opportunity to make some big improvements on their defensive line. They key factor is that Shaun Rogers might be a bit more motivated and healthy, and if not, your fallback and rotation guy here is Wilkerson.
The Seattle Seahawks are on the clock next (email will be sent to bross09).
|7||San Francisco||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||rufio|
|8||Tennessee||Von Miller||OLB||Texas A&M||iwearmocs|
|10||Washington||Robert Quinn||DE||North Carolina||Rounds94|
|14||St. Louis||Julio Jones||WR||Alabama||Don'tByBrownsQBJerseys|
|15||Miami||Mike Pouncey||OG||Univ. of Florida||jaws|
|17||New England||J.J. Watt||DE||Wisconsin||Onyx Lightning|
|18||San Diego||Akeem Ayers||OLB||UCLA||Adrock2099|
|19||N.Y.||Kyle Rudolph||TE||Notre Dame||Red-Right-88|
|20||Tampa Bay||Justin Houston||OLB||Georgia||Legoman0721|
|21||Kansas City||Anthony Castonzo||OT||Boston College||
|24||New Orleans||Muhammed Wilkerson||DT||Temple||Buckeye Brad|
|28||New England||Onyx Lightning|