Our annual 2011 NFL Mock Draft, with picks made by each of SB Nation's NFL team bloggers, is in full swing. The latest pick in to the podium: the New Orleans Saints, at No. 24 overall.
With the 24th overall pick in the 2011 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, the New Orleans Saints select Muhammad Wilkerson, defensive tackle, Temple.
Dave Cariello of CanalStreetChronicles.com explains the choice, and our own Dan Kadar reacts to it, after the jump. Make sure you're grading this pick for the Saints, and checking out Canal Street Chronicles for all of your Saints needs.
Dave Cariello explains: Nearly every single Saints fan would agree that the team’s biggest need for improvement this off-season is in the pass rushing department. Wilkerson’s scouting report would have us believe he’s just the man for the job. So far this off-season, many mock drafts have Wilkerson already off the board by the time the Saints are set to pick. It would be a crime for me to pass up the opportunity to take him here for New Orleans. Sedrick Ellis has been holding his own on the inside of the defensive line, but he needs some help, and the Saints have lacked depth at the position for years. Hopefully, Wilkerson puts an end to that problem. He’s known to be scheme diverse, so the Saints could even move him over to defensive end as needed. Only a junior, I’m confident the Saints coaching staff has what it takes to mold and develop Wilkerson to be a top NFL talent.
Dan Kadar reacts: Unless the Saints think Will Smith and Alex Brown are going to revert to their old form, it would be hard to see them passing on end rushers like Aldon Smith and Justin Houston if they're available. While neither have the power that New Orleans typically looks for in end prospects, the upgrade they'd give their pass rush is tremendous.
This is not to say Wilkerson is bad or he wouldn't help the pass rush. But Smith and Houston would have a much greater impact. [Muhammad Wilkerson Scouting Report]
Mocking the Draft's Top 5 Remaining Prospects
|9||Aldon Smith||DE||Missouri||scouting report|
|13||Justin Houston||OLB||Georgia||scouting report|
|14||Stephen Paea||DT||Oregon State||scouting report|
|15||Mikel Leshoure||RB||Illinois||scouting report|
|16||Cameron Heyward||DE||Ohio State||scouting report|
2011 SB Nation NFL Writers' Mock Draft - RESULTS
|1||1||Carolina Panthers||Blaine Gabbert||QB||Missouri||story|
|2||Denver Broncos||Von Miller||OLB||Texas A&M||story|
|3||Buffalo Bills||Patrick Peterson||CB||LSU||story|
|4||Cincinnati Bengals||A.J. Green||WR||Georgia||story|
|5||Arizona Cardinals||Cam Newton||QB||Auburn||story|
|6||Cleveland Browns||Marcell Dareus||DT||Alabama||story|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||story|
|8||Tennessee Titans||Nick Fairley||DT||Auburn||story|
|9||Dallas Cowboys||Tyron Smith||OT||USC||story|
|10||Washington Redskins||Robert Quinn||DE||North Carolina||story|
|11||Houston Texans||Julio Jones||WR||Alabama||story|
|12||Minnesota Vikings||J.J. Watt||DE||Wisconsin||story|
|13||Detroit Lions||Da'Quan Bowers||DE||Clemson||story|
|14||St. Louis Rams||Corey Liuget||DT||Illinois||story|
|15||Miami Dolphins||Mark Ingram||RB||Alabama||story|
|16||Jacksonville Jaguars||Christian Ponder||QB||Florida State||story|
|17||New England Patriots||Gabe Carimi||OT||Wisconsin||story|
|18||San Diego Chargers||Cameron Jordan||DE||California||story|
|19||New York Giants||Mike Pouncey||G/C||Florida||story|
|20||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Ryan Kerrigan||DE||Purdue||story|
|21||Kansas City Chiefs||Phil Taylor||DT||Baylor||story|
|22||Indianapolis Colts||Anthony Castonzo||OT||Boston College||story|
|23||Philadelphia Eagles||Jimmy Smith||CB||Colorado||story|
|24||New Orleans Saints||Muhammad Wilkerson||DT||Temple|
|28||New England Patriots|
|30||New York Jets|
|32||Green Bay Packers|