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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Patrick Peterson, Christian Ballard To Bills

My latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft has posted at, and you probably won't be surprised by the player that I've projected to the Buffalo Bills third overall; you've seen LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson in that slot many times, and he remains a serious contender to be picked at the Bills' No. 3 overall spot.

This week, however, I decided to spice up the conversations a bit by mocking two rounds, so I wanted to touch briefly on the Bills' second-round pick, Iowa defensive lineman Christian Ballard.

Ballard, to me, is a higher-upside version of last year's third-round pick, Alex Carrington - he's got ideal five-technique size and raw power, but is more of a penetrator at this point than a stack-and-shed defender. He might not be effective as more than a rotational guy right away, but long-term, he'd look great bookending Carrington in the Bills' 3-4 defense.

Yes, I also considered quarterbacks at both spots for the Bills: Cam Newton at No. 3, and Christian Ponder at No. 34.