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Mock Monitor: 10.0


There were lots of changes to this week's Mock Monitor, and it should come as no surprise.

As the 2011 NFL Draft draws closer and closer, experts and analysts are hustling to make some of their final projections of the Draft season, and with that comes a lot of indecisiveness and second guessing — one of the reasons I don't envy them and I don't create one of my own.

To highlight: Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn maintains his consensus pick status with seven projections going his way. Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph makes a comeback charge, with the AJC's D. Orlando Ledbetter going away from his trend of picking DEs to project the Falcons selecting him at No. 27 overall.

Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi still has some believers, and we welcome Virginia CB Ras-I Dowling to his first appearance on the Mock Monitor.

One projection I find interesting is the sudden projections for Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward (pictured above). Ask a lot of people and you get mixed messages on him, simply because he's a tweener — although he's more of a mix between a DT and a DE in a 4-3 system.

I'm not sure that I agree he's the pick at No. 27, but I certainly wouldn't be against it. As far as DEs in this Draft go, he's about as close to a true 4-3 DE as it gets late in the first, along with Clayborn. He has great size at 6-foot-5, 294 pounds, and he has college awards for days after being a four-year starter on the Buckeyes defensive line.

However, some would argue that he's not a pure pass rusher, as is evidenced by just 14.5 sacks in those four years, and according to most, a pure pass rusher is what the Falcons need. That's primarily why I think he won't be the pick at No. 27, but he certainly has the potential to become a pass rusher. It just might be a bit of a project to get him to that point.

As always, let us know who you want the Falcons to pick in the first round below. Are you swayed by Heyward? Or has another prospect caught your eye? Vote below.

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