With the 24th Pick in the 2011 Dawgs By Nature Mock Draft, the New Orleans Saints Select...

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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).

Pos Team Player Pos School Drafter
1 Carolina Cameron Netwon
QB Auburn BrownDawg1409
2 Denver Marcell Dareus DT Alabama Bernie19Kosar
3 Buffalo Da'Quan Bowers DE Clemson discoinferno083
4 Cincinnati A.J. Green WR Georgia macdowellm03
5 Arizona Patrick Peterson CB LSU Browns town
6 Cleveland Cameron Jordan DE California golanbatrac
7 San Francisco Prince Amukamara CB Nebraska rufio
8 Tennessee Von Miller OLB Texas A&M iwearmocs
9 Dallas Nick Fairley DT Auburn Granville74
10 Washington Robert Quinn DE North Carolina Rounds94
11 Houston Aldon Smith DE Missouri rdy
12 Minnesota Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri Simmsinns
13 Detroit Tyron Smith OT USC BuenosAires_Dawg
Bernie19Kosar
14 St. Louis Julio Jones WR Alabama Don'tByBrownsQBJerseys
15 Miami Mike Pouncey OG Univ. of Florida jaws
16 Jacksonville Ryan Kerrigan DE Purdue sleepy042
17 New England J.J. Watt DE Wisconsin Onyx Lightning
18 San Diego Akeem Ayers OLB UCLA Adrock2099
19 N.Y. Giants Kyle Rudolph TE Notre Dame Red-Right-88
20 Tampa Bay Justin Houston OLB Georgia Legoman0721
21 Kansas City Anthony Castonzo OT Boston College Mehouf
OrangeAndBrownFever
22 Indianapolis Nate Solder OT Colorado PaduaDSP
23 Philadelphia Gabe Carimi OT Wisconsin booobs33
24 New Orleans Muhammed Wilkerson DT Temple Buckeye Brad
25 Seattle bross09
26 Baltimore Ecwingen
27 Atlanta Clinton Blankenship
28 New England Onyx Lightning
29 Chicago jharbdo
30 N.Y. Jets Roger Dorn
31 Pittsburgh
SpecialBrownie
32 Green Bay ScottJC
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