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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Latest Projections Have USC's Tyron Smith 13th, UCLA's Akeem Ayers 28th In First Round

The 2011 NFL Draft is a little more than four weeks away. The annual event is scheduled for New York April 20-23, and whether the invited players show up or not, it is four days worth of entertainment. A pair of local products are among those scheduled to be picked in the first round by Brian Golliver in his latest mock draft for SB Nation.


Tyron Smith of the USC Trojans is projected by Golliver to be the 13th pick in the first round to the Detroit Lions. Smith, who has had solid workouts this offseason, would be expected to protect Matthew Stafford's blind side. The offensive tackle from Moreno Valley started 12 games in his junior season for USC, and is tabbed as "super raw" but with upside by Golliver.


Akeem Ayers of the UCLA Bruins, meanwhile, struggled in his workouts and at the combine, and for a brief time fell out of sight of the first round. However, Golliver now has the outside linebacker going 28th to the New England Patriots. "People have been put off by Ayers' pedestrian athletic workouts this off-season," said Golliver, "but he's an instinctual, versatile defender - which makes him perfect for New England."


For more USC and UCLA football news, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles and Bruins Nation.