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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Tyron Smith Of USC Continues His Climb In First Round

The 2011 NFL draft is now less than a month away, and teams are beginning to fine tune and finalize their draft boards, trying to figure out whom to pick, and where. In the latest mock draft on SB Nation by Brian Galliford, Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert is the new number one pick. In addition, a pair of local players are projected to be picked in the first round.

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USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith continues to rocket up the charts, and is now projected by Galliford to be picked ninth overall by the Dallas Cowboys. "The more time passes pre-draft, the more this Smith-to-Dallas idea makes sense," Galliford writes. "Smith is awfully unproven in that it's not yet clear he'll be able to sustain his weight, but he's also awfully talented - and Dallas has a need at tackle."

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Meanwhile, Akeem Ayers continues to vacillate near the bottom of the first round, and is now projected to be picked 30th by the New York Jets. Says Galliford: "In Rex Ryan's defense, he'd be an outside linebacker capable of blitzing and dropping into coverage."

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