The 2011 NFL draft is now over which means we can go back and look at what we thought was conventional wisdom entering the draft. Here are some of the most popular mock draft picks that ended up being right.
The top six picks: For all the uncertainty surrounding the draft, lots of people had the first six picks right -- Cam Newton to the Panthers, Von Miller to the Broncos, Marcell Dareus to the Bills, A.J. Green to the Bengals, Patrick Peterson to the Cardinals and Julio Jones to the Falcons (yes, plenty of people thought this trade would happen). There was a time where some thought the Cardinals would go with QB Blaine Gabbert but by draft week most had settled on Peterson.
Tyron Smith to the Cowboys: This was picked early on by several writers, including Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News. It's sort of like last year where a lot of people thought the Cowboys would get WR Dez Bryant if he fell to them.
Mike Pouncey to the Dolphins: They used the 15th overall pick and most had their choice down to Pouncey, RB Mark Ingram or possibly one of the quarterbacks. In the end, Miami decided to go with the safe pick.
Ryan Kerrigan as the 16th pick: This one was a little strange. Arguably the most popular pick for the Jaguars and the 16th pick was Kerrigan. The Jaguars didn't draft him -- the Redskins did -- but he still went 16th.
Phil Taylor as the 21st pick: Again, a lot of people predicted this, but with the wrong team. The Chiefs were drafting 21st and Taylor was often mocked to them. The Chiefs instead traded out of that pick with the Browns, who then selected Taylor.
Jimmy Smith to the Ravens: I wasn't sure he'd fall this far but mock drafts repeatedly had Colorado CB Jimmy Smith landing in Baltimore with the 26th pick. He wasn't actually the 26th pick as the Ravens had passed but he did go to Baltimore with the 27th pick.
Those are the mock draft picks that I saw popping up pretty often that ended up being right. The best of the experts was Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock, who hit on nine first round picks.