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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Tyron Smith Of USC, Akeem Ayers Of UCLA Moving Up In First Round

The NFL scouting combine is a mere three days away, so before the week-long football meat market takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, it's time to see where the top college talent is projected to end up in the NFL. The final pre-combine 2011 NFL mock draft is up at SB Nation, and Brian Galliford offers his thoughts and predictions of the first round. A pair of local players, Tyron Smith of USC and Akeem Ayers of UCLA, are climbing the charts.

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Smith, the offensive tackle from the Trojans, has been steadily moving up the charts in Galliford's rankings. Three weeks ago, Smith was projected to be drafted 29th to the Bears; last week, Smith was slated to get picked 18th by the Chargers. Now, Galliford has Smith getting drafted 12th, by the Vikings:

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Smith may not be the most talented lineman this year, but it's very close - and if he weighs in at or around 300 pounds at the NFL Combine, he could be the first OT gone.

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Ayers, the Bruins' outside linebacker, has moved around in the first round in Galliford's mock drafts. Ayers was first slated 17th, then 19th, but is now picked to be drafted 13th, by the Lions:

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There are definitely better value picks that the Lions could make here, but Ayers would fill one of the team's bigger needs while offering versatility and very few on-field weaknesses. He'd start immediately for a Detroit team on the rise.

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For more information on these future NFL football players, and more, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles and Bruins Nation.