NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: A general view of the Draft stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

2011 NFL Draft Reactions: How Do The Fans Feel About Their New Acquisitions?

One thing is certain about the NFL draft: fans have an opinion. Here's what many football fans are saying across SB Nation's network of blogs.

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2011 NFL Draft Results: Run On QBs Helped Lions Snag Nick Fairley

The Detroit Lions used the No. 2 overall pick on DT Ndamukong Suh last year and, in the 2011 NFL draft, went with a defensive tackle again selecting Auburn DT Nick Fairley. Lots and lots of people love this pick for the Lions and it's easy to see why. Fairley, simply put, is a beast. Character concerns aside, this guy can play.

SB Nation's Pride Of Detroit passes along a quote from Lions GM Martin Mayhew indicating that the Lions were hopeful the run on quarterbacks -- four were selected in the 12 picks ahead of the Lions -- would allow Detroit to land Fairley.

In our mock draft yesterday, we went through some scenarios and we were hopeful that he would fall to us. We felt like the need for quarterbacks might push him down some. He was very high on our draft board and I think he really helps our defensive line - our defense as a whole. Very physical guy. He gives our defense a physical presence and we have a great tandem - actually three great defensive tackles with Corey Williams, Suh and Nick Fairley.

Suh and Fairley on the same line. Wow. Just wow. A very good defensive line has the potential to turn into a great defensive line. 

Check out Pride Of Detroit to see what Lions fans are saying about that massive defensive line. 

The first round of the 2011 NFL draft is in the books. Check out SB Nation's recap of first round draft picksNFL draft grades and our round 2 mock draft as we prepare for another day of NFL draft festivities. Also be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL draft hub and Mocking The Draft to stay caught up on all things NFL draft. 

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NFL Draft Grades: Christian Ponder Brings Mixed Results For Vikings Fans

The Minnesota Vikings were expected to draft a quarterback or acquire one through free agency if/when that hits. They opted for the 2011 NFL draft and selected Florida State QB Christian Ponder. 

The pick has brought about a mixed bag from Vikings fans. Check out what SB Nation's Daily Norseman has to sayabout the pick:

We needed a quarterback, this is true...but I must say, this pick is pretty shocking. Most people had Ponder as a late first round or early second round pick. With guys like Prince Amukamara and Andy Dalton still on the board, we chose...Ponder.    

Not exactly a ringing endorsement. 

Daily Norseman ran a poll asking fans to grade the pick and the results vary. 33 percent of fans gave the first round an A, 15 percent give it a B, 16 percent give it a C, 14 percent give it a D and 20 percent give it an F. So it's hard to draw any conclusions over those results other than to say Vikings fans are split on what they think about Ponder at the 12th pick.

Check out Daily Norseman for more reactions to the Christian Ponder selection.

The first round of the 2011 NFL draft is in the books. Check out SB Nation's recap of first round draft picksNFL draft grades and our round 2 mock draft as we prepare for another day of NFL draft festivities. Also be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL draft hub and Mocking The Draft to stay caught up on all things NFL draft. 

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NFL Draft Grades: Blaine Gabbert Trade A Hit For Jaguars Fans

When your fan base desperately wants a quarterback of the future, and your GM makes a bold move to trade up in the NFL draft to acquire one, it's bound to make some people happy.

That's the way Jacksonville Jaguars fans are feeling on Friday morning, one night after GM Gene Smith moved from the 16th to the Washington Redskins' 10th pick in the 2011 NFL draft to acquire QB Blaine Gabbert.

In a poll posted at SB Nation's Big Cat Country, 80 percent of Jaguars fans approved of the move, eight percent thought they gave up too much and 10 percent wanted to go defense. Though most fans liked the move, it does come with some questions, writes Big Cat Country.

The big question for Jaguars fans now is what happens at the quarterback position? Taking a quarterback in the top 10 is going to cost quite a bit, especially without a rookie wage scale. On top of that David Garrard is set to make about $8 million in the 2011 salary. The big question will be if the Jaguars plan to let Blaine Gabbert sit for a while during his rookie season or if they want to play him right out of the gate. Typically, top 10 draft picks at the quarterback position play in their rookie season, but the Jaguars are in a situation where it's only necessary if they want it.    

I like the move because it sets the tone in Jacksonville. They needed a quarterback of the future and they went up to get one. I like that aggressiveness, especially for a quarterback.

Check out Big Cat Country for more reactions to the Blaine Gabbert trade.

The first round of the 2011 NFL draft is in the books. Check out SB Nation's recap of first round draft picksNFL draft grades and our round 2 mock draft as we prepare for another day of NFL draft festivities. Also be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL draft hub and Mocking The Draft to stay caught up on all things NFL draft. 

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2011 NFL Draft Results: Cowboys Protect Tony Romo With Tyron Smith Pick

The Dallas Cowboys made the move most expected them to make with the ninth pick in the 2011 NFL draft -- OT Tyron Smith. He's been far and away the most popular mock draft pick so the selection hardly surprises anyone.

SB Nation's Blogging The Boys has had some time to brace for the pick and notes QB Tony Romo when talking about Smith's impact.

Current Cowboys right tackle Marc Colombo had a very poor year in 2010 and might be in decline. Injuries and age are catching up, so the Cowboys could no longer trust him to be their only option at RT. The health of Tony Romo is paramount to the Cowboys hopes in 2011.    

You can only go as far as your quarterback takes you. And your quarterback can't take you anywhere if he's not healthy, as the Cowboys learned last year. 

It's not exactly related but I think back to the Cowboys of the '90s with this move. Back then, Dallas had one of the best offensive lines in history and, if you don't remember, did pretty well. Jerry Jones was there in that time and understands the value of a top tier offensive line. This is a nice, safe pick for Dallas.

Check out Blogging The Boys for more on the Cowboys first day in the draft. 

The first round of the 2011 NFL draft is in the books. Check out SB Nation's recap of first round draft picksNFL draft grades and our round 2 mock draft as we prepare for another day of NFL draft festivities. Also be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL draft hub and Mocking The Draft to stay caught up on all things NFL draft. 

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2011 NFL Draft Grades: Jake Locker To Titans A Draft Day Surprise

After the Atlanta Falcons traded up with the Cleveland Browns for WR Julio Jones, the next biggest surprise of the 2011 NFL draft was the Tennessee Titans selecting QB Jake Locker with the eighth overall pick. QB Blaine Gabbert was still on the board and he was widely expected to be picked ahead of Locker.

Titans fans are in an obvious pickle when it comes to trying to grade this pick. On the one hand, you like the intangibles, the leadership and the athleticism he brings. By many accounts, his best football is ahead of him. On the other hand, you don't like that he completed just 55 percent of his passes last season at Washington. 

Via Music City Miracles:

I have been saying for weeks now that you should take your guy at quarterback no matter what the value is. Sure it would have been nice for the Titans to be able to trade back and get more picks and still get him, but there is no guarantee that he would have been there later.    

MCM does note, however, the leadership that he brings which will "be a breath of fresh air" after QB Vince Young. 

So how do you grade this pick? The potential is there, sure, but is the price worth the risk? I'll grade this an incomplete until we can figure out which way Locker's career will go.

Check out Music City Miracles for more on Jake Locker in Tennessee.

The first round of the 2011 NFL draft is in the books. Check out SB Nation's recap of first round draft picksNFL draft grades and our round 2 mock draft as we prepare for another day of NFL draft festivities. Also be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL draft hub and Mocking The Draft to stay caught up on all things NFL draft. 

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NFL Draft Grades: 49ers Fans Aren't Sure What They Have In Aldon Smith

The 2011 NFL draft came down to the seventh pick and the San Francisco 49ers were on the clock. My money was on QB Blaine Gabbert as the pick but I was wrong. The 49ers decided to stick to defense and selected Missouri DE Aldon Smith.

49ers fans aren't quite sure what they have in Smith. I suppose the grade would be incomplete. Via Niners Nation:

I have to say in a way I'm relieved that it wasn't Blaine Gabbert, who I feel is the second-coming of Alex Smith, maybe worse.  Aldon Smith (who interestingly enough has the name A. Smith) was a good player and should get into the 3rd down pass rush rotation immediately, but I wonder if he can stand up and shed, slide down the line, make plays in the run game, and most importantly, can he cover?

The potential is there with Smith, there's no doubt about that. But there's just not a ton of game tape to go on. Plus, Smith is coming off of a broken leg. It's an interesting pick and smells like a boom or bust pick. 

For now, 49ers fans aren't sure how to grade their pick.

Check out Niners Nation for more reaction to Aldon Smith in San Francisco. 

The first round of the 2011 NFL draft is in the books. Check out SB Nation's recap of first round draft picksNFL draft grades and our round 2 mock draft as we prepare for another day of NFL draft festivities. Also be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL draft hub and Mocking The Draft to stay caught up on all things NFL draft. 

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2011 NFL Draft Results: Falcons-Browns Trade For Julio Jones May Be Too Steep

The Atlanta Falcons made the trade of the 2011 NFL draft when they went from the 27th pick all the way into the top 10 to the sixth pick. With the pick they took Alabama WR Julio Jones but the price was steep -- 2011 first, second and fourth round pick, and their 2012 first and fourth round pick. 

A bold move, to say the least, by GM Thomas Dimitroff. SB Nation's The Falcoholic describes it as an "audacious" move by Dimitroff.

It's an audacious move, one that flies in the face of everything the team has done in its careful quest to build a championship team over the last three years. It's a move that will define Thomas Dimitroff's tenure in Atlanta, fairly or not.    

Dimitroff comes from the New England school of thought which usually results in acquiring more picks -- not giving them up. That's why this is a surprise. 

So what do Falcons fans think about the move?

They're split. In a poll at The Falcholic, 55 percent of fans love Jones but aren't crazy about the cost it took to acquire him. 27 percent of fans unequivocally love it. 

Check out The Falcoholic for more reactions to the Falcons blockbuster trade.

The first round of the 2011 NFL draft is in the books. Check out SB Nation's recap of first round draft picksNFL draft grades and our round 2 mock draft as we prepare for another day of NFL draft festivities. Also be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL draft hub and Mocking The Draft to stay caught up on all things NFL draft. 

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2011 NFL Draft Results: Patrick Peterson Is A Cardinal Favorite

Many figured the Arizona Cardinals would be in the market for a quarterback come Thursday night when their turn came to pick in the 2011 NFL draft. Despite having QB Blaine Gabbert as the top-rated quarterback on their board, the Cardinals used the fifth pick in the draft on CB Patrick Peterson out of LSU.

Peterson was the No. 1 rated player on several draft boards so for the Cardinals to get him at No. 5 makes it look like a steal. Cardinals fans at SB Nation's Revenge Of The Birds clearly agree.

He was rated at the top of many draft boards, so having him fall to the Cardinals is potentially the steal of the draft. He has the size and speed. 

It's a big day for the Cardinals. Not only do they get the top cornerback in the draft, but we also may have a little clarity on their future quarterback plans. By not selecting Gabbert, I think they tipped their hand that one of the veteran quarterbacks that hit the free agency market will make their way to Arizona. QB Marc Bulger perhaps?

Check out Revenge Of The Birds to see what Cardinals fans are saying about the pick. 

The first round of the 2011 NFL draft is in the books. Check out SB Nation's recap of first round draft picksNFL draft grades and our round 2 mock draft as we prepare for another day of NFL draft festivities. Also be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL draft hub and Mocking The Draft to stay caught up on all things NFL draft. 

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2011 NFL Draft Results: A.J. Green Excites Some Bengals Fans

The Cincinnati Bengals first round of the 2011 NFL mock draft consisted of the one player everyone thought they would select: Georgia WR A.J. Green. He was the best receiver in the draft and with uncertainty surrounding WR Chad Ochocinco and WR Terrell Owens, this moves makes sense.

Green has long been connected to Cincinnati so Bengals fans have had months to debate the pick. SB Nation's Cincy Jungle asked their fans what they thought of the pick and just over half -- 52 percent -- say they "love" the pick. 37 percent said it was "alright" and 9 percent said they didn't like it. 

Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden was more than pleased with the selection:

"I feel like I just woke up at Christmas and got to open my favorite present."

About half of the Bengals fan base agrees with him.

One noteworthy event for the Bengals was the non-trade with Atlanta. The Falcons were reportedly looking to move up into the Bengals spot but Cincy didn't feel the value was right. Our Bengals blog has all of the trade talk summed up here.

The first round of the 2011 NFL draft is in the books. Check out SB Nation's recap of first round draft picksNFL draft grades and our round 2 mock draft as we prepare for another day of NFL draft festivities. Also be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL draft hub and Mocking The Draft to stay caught up on all things NFL draft. 

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2011 NFL Draft Results: Marcell Dareus Has Overwhelming Approval From Bills

The first round of the 2011 NFL draft has come and gone. QB Cam Newton went first to the Carolina Panthers and LB Von Miller went second to the Denver Broncos which means Mike Mayock's favorite player in the draft. DT Marcell Dareus, went third to the Buffalo Bills.

Dareus can play all three positions along the Bills defensive line and joins an already young group. I hope I'm not ridiculed for saying this but the Bills defensive line has a ton of potential. Via Buffalo Rumblings:

Though most Bills fans had written off this possibility for months, Dareus became the favorite to be picked by Buffalo starting 24 hours ago. In that time frame, the likes of Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, Mike Mayock, Rick Gosselin and Nolan Nawrocki all projected Dareus to Buffalo in their final mock drafts.    

Buffalo was always the wildcard in this draft because I thought they were a possibility for a quarterback, or even a receiver. In the end, it was Dareus, a safe pick and, according to the latest poll at Buffalo Rumblings, a popular pick.

A whopping 96 percent of readers approve of the Bills decision to draft Dareus. Not a bad approval rating, huh?

Check out Buffalo Rumblings for more on the Bills and their draft plans.

The first round of the 2011 NFL draft is in the books. Check out SB Nation's recap of first round draft picksNFL draft grades and our round 2 mock draft as we prepare for another day of NFL draft festivities. Also be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL draft hub and Mocking The Draft to stay caught up on all things NFL draft. 

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2011 NFL Draft Results: Von Miller Already A Broncos Favorite

The Denver Broncos spent the second overall pick on LB Von Miller in Thursday night's round one of the 2011 NFL draft. Miller is clearly the best linebacker in the draft and arguably the best defensive player as well. He's fast, strong and freakishly athletic.

SB Nation's Mile High Report has a lot of happy fans. In a poll asking whether they approve of the Miller selection, 52 percent love it, 42 percent like it and just five percent hate it. Clearly, Miller gets the seal of approval from Broncos nation.

Some say Miller reminds them of former Kansas City Chief Derrick Thomas. If so, it's fitting that he went to the AFC West to play for John Elway, who was sacked by Thomas, a Hall of Famer, more than any other player.

Speaking of Elway, he wasted no time reminiscing about those good old days in a conference call with reporters following the pick:

Von is the first step of bringing back the old Orange Crush defense that you're all used to seeing.

Mile High Report figured this pick was coming -- he was their pick in SB Nation's mock draft.

Check out Mile High Report to see how Broncos fans are feeling this morning after the Miller pick.

The first round of the 2011 NFL draft is in the books. Check out SB Nation's recap of first round draft picksNFL draft grades and our round 2 mock draft as we prepare for another day of NFL draft festivities. Also be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL draft hub and Mocking The Draft to stay caught up on all things NFL draft. 

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NFL Draft Results: Cam Newton Pick Leaves Panthers Fans Split

The Carolina Panthers didn't surprise anyone on Thursday night selecting Auburn QB Cam Newton with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft. The Panthers say they received no offers for the pick and owner Jerry Richardson signed off on it hours before the draft. 

Panthers fans at SB Nation's Panthers blog, Cat Scratch Reader, have been talking about Newton for months. All along he's been one of the 2-3 candidates for the top pick so that he was the actual pick should be of little surprise.

The reaction to the pick has been split. Cat Scratch Reader conducted a poll with 36 percent grade the pick as A and 24 percent as a B. 12 percent say it's a C while seven percent say it's a D. There were 18 percent of fans that grade it as an F. So that's 60 percent of their readers who agree with the pick and nearly 40 percent that rate it a C or worse. 

I thought this quote sums it up well:

The selection not only highlights the need for the Panthers to find a franchise quarterback, but also the philosophical shift the organization has undergone. A franchise known for playing it safe and hedging their bets decided to go all in on a player whose upside could be unmatched as a quarterback, and make him a player the NFL has never seen before, while revolutionalizing the QB position.

With great risk comes great reward. You have to take a few risks if you want to be great so we'll see if this is one of those risks that pays off for the Panthers. 

Check out Cat Scratch Reader to see what Panthers fans are saying.

The first round of the 2011 NFL draft is in the books. Check out SB Nation's recap of first round draft picksNFL draft grades and our round 2 mock draft as we prepare for another day of NFL draft festivities. Also be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL draft hub and Mocking The Draft to stay caught up on all things NFL draft. 

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