Stone Sour's Rand tackles mock draft
Josh Rand might have cut his teeth listening to Mötley Crüe and Kiss, but the Stone Sour guitarist also grew up loving football. The lifelong Atlanta Falcons fan, and devout "Madden NFL" player, is an astute student of the game.
Rand first came together with Corey Taylor and Shawn Economaki as teenagers in a high school band in Des Moines, Iowa. Taylor, who then formed Stone Sour when he was 19, would go on to front Slipknot. By the time Stone Sour was reactivated in 2002, Rand's love of Dream Theater, Metallica and Iron Maiden had prompted his switch from bass to guitar that landed him a spot in the band.
Since then, Stone Sour has gone on to release a pair of certified gold albums and become regarded as a legitimate full-time band, not just a Corey Taylor side project. Currently on the road, headlining the Avalanche Tour in support of their third album, "Audio Secrecy" (iTunes | Amazon), Rand put his football acumen to the test by compiling a mock 2011 NFL draft exclusively for The Life:
1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
Maybe not the right choice at No. 1, but Newton will give a face to the franchise and that will at least be good for the box office.
2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DE/DT, Alabama
The top 3-4 end in the draft, Dareus is ready to be a run-stuffing monster in the NFL.
3. Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, DE, Texas A&M
Buffalo probably has more pressing needs than linebacker, but Miller is too good to pass up.
4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
Terrell Owens isn't coming back; Chad Ochocinco might be following him out the door. They can't pass on the 6-4 receiver who ran a 4.5 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.
5. Arizona Cardinals: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
Delivering the ball to Larry Fitzgerald, while also being competent enough to stimulate a running game, would greatly improve their inconsistencies.
6. Cleveland Browns: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
Quinn is a stud pass rusher. With the Browns switching to a 4-3 defense, they are sorely lacking guys who can come off the edge in that formation.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
The best player in the draft and a gift for the 49ers at No. 7.
8. Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Since losing Albert Haynesworth to free agency, the Titans' defense has slipped. Fairley is nearly a spitting image of Haynesworth.
9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
Losing QB Tony Romo to injury effectively killed Dallas' season. So, they need to fix that, and Smith is a good way to start.
10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
The Redskins have swung and missed, trying to improve their receiving corps for years. Jones may finally fix the problem.
11. Houston Texans: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
Amukamara is a physical corner, with a nice combination of size and speed, who can become a true shutdown cornerback.
12. Minnesota Vikings: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Bowers is coming off a nation-leading 15½ sacks and was once viewed as the No. 1 pick. But questions arose about his injured knee and suddenly his value plummeted.
13. Detroit Lions: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Castonzo has firmly established himself as one of the top tackles in the draft, and someone needs to protect Lions QB Matt Stafford.
14. St. Louis Rams: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
They need someone to take some of the carries off RB Steven Jackson so they don't burn him out. As they say, a good running game helps a young QB.
15. Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
I'm going with the top guard available, who also gets a draft status bounce based on brother Maurkice's rookie success.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
The 6-foot-4, 263-pounder Kerrigan is solid across the board and a good fit in a 4-3 scheme.
17. New England Patriots (from Oakland): J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
Watt is a blue-collar, tough-as-nails guy who would be a great situational pass rusher for Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
18. San Diego Chargers: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
San Diego needs to retool its defense, particularly its three-man front.
19. New York Giants: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
Solder will likely be just behind Smith on most draft boards. Getting the second-best offensive tackle in this class with the 19th pick is a great value.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
The Buccaneers need a pass-rushing defensive end. Clayborn is a strong possibility, if Tampa Bay is satisfied with his off-field development.
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri
The 6-4, 258-pound junior has the potential and toughness to be an elite pass rusher at the next level.
22. Indianapolis Colts: Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor
Protecting QB Peyton Manning had never been an issue in all these years -- except last year. The Colts could use an upgrade at three spots (LT, RT, RG).
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
Jordan has the versatility and athleticism to excel as a 3-4 defensive end, but can also be a strong edge rusher in a 4-3 scheme.
24. New Orleans Saints: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
The Saints often have issues on defense, especially in terms of not getting to the quarterback. Heyward will give them speed on the outside.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
At 6-2, Smith is the tallest of the top corner options, has strong man-to-man cover skills, and is considered in some circles to be the top player at his position.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
Harris showed he is the most technically sound of the group, and the most ready to step in and play right away.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
The Falcons must give WR Roddy White a tag-team partner and QB Matt Ryan another weapon. And Smith could end up going with Notre Dame TE Kyle Rudolph.
28. New England Patriots: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
The versatile 6-4, 255-pound Ayers can also drop into coverage.
29. Chicago Bears: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
QB Jay Cutler was mincemeat for opponents' pass-rushers. Chicago simply can't wait to any longer to draft an offensive lineman.
30. New York Jets: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor
Doesn't it seem like the draft talk for years has been about the Jets looking for nose tackle Kris Jenkins' replacement?
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
Williams is a gifted athlete who is a bit raw, but many teams also believe he can play free safety, which only adds to his value late in the first round.
32. Green Bay Packers: Justin Houston, DE, Georgia
Houston was second in the SEC with 10 sacks and one of the so-called winners at the combine, as the 6-3, 270-pounder ran a pair of sub-4.7 40s.
Roger Lotring is an author, freelance writer and radio show host based in Connecticut.
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