IMO, there are 16 players who can not possibly fall out of the first round. They can test positive for marijuana at the combine like Percy Harvin, or could do an "Andre Smith", and completely walk-out of the combine and it wouldn't matter.
Nick Fairley, Da'Quan Bowers, Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamura, Gabe Carimi, Derek Sherrod, Brandon Harris, Akeem Ayers, Marcell Dareus, Cameron Jordan, Robert Quinn, Cameron Heyward, Blaine Gabbert, AJ Green, Julio Jones, and Mark Ingram will all be first round picks no matter what happens between now and the draft.
THEN, there are the players who will almost certainly be selected in the first, but 40 yard dash time, weight/height, and character may cause them to drop.
Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett certainly have first round talent, but also have character concerns at the one position it is hard to overlook, ( Quarterback) where increasingly teams are looking for the "first one in, last one to leave" work ethic.
Jake Locker is the only first round QB prospect eligible to play at the Senior Bowl, and better prove that his 55 % completion rate is more a reflection Washington's poor WRs.
Like Tebow proved, it "only takes one" and I expect all of the top 4 QBs to be drafted in the first, with Locker staying home in Seattle.
After very poor 2010 seasons, WR Jonathen Baldwin and RB Ryan Williams still have a chance to raise their stock if they have a great combine/pro-day (both are not eligible for the senior bowl).
Baldwin is in, but Torrey Smith just can't run fast enough to escape the Dareus Heywood-Bey comparisons.
Although 3 RBs were taken each of the last two years ( and is the average number taken over the last 10 years ) this year only Mikel Leshoure will join Ingram in the first round due to durability concerns with DeMarco Murray and Ryan Williams.
Four is the average number of CBs selected over the last 10 years, and is the exact number I anticipate this year, with Jimmy Smith beating out Aaron Williams for the final spot.
Safety has been an undervalued position over the last 10 years, coupling last years exceptional class, with this years poor class, I don't expect any safety to be a first round pick.
With more and more teams converting to a 3-4, both NT and OLB are needed. Unfortunately there are no first round worthy NTs (Paea is a 4-3 under IMO). However recent transformations in several college defenses have lead to two pro-ready OLBs Justin Houston, and Von Miller, neither is great in coverage but both have proven that they can get to the QB as a stand-up OLB.
I think the 2011 OT class has become underrated. The last time no OTs were selected in the top 10 was 2005. Lets put Sherrod to Dallas.
Concerns over arm length, hand size, foot speed, and weight issues have caused many Oline to drop, but I believe three more will overcome those concerns....
I have Tyron Smith, Anthony Castonzo, and Nate Solder all making it into the first, bringing the total to five, after only four were selected each of the last two years (teams "reached" for 8 in 2008)
Finally, there are the players with enough talent to be selected in the first round, but depending on their performace at the Senior Bowl, the combine, their pro-days, team needs and competition at their position will determine if they are drafted in the first or "slip" into the second round.
In my estimate there are 10-12 college D-lineman with the TALENT to be first round picks, (Aldon Smith and Robert Quinn may be drafted as OLBs) but OVERSUPPLY may not allow Ryan Kerrigan Stephen Paea, Allen Bailey, Adrian Clayborn, and JJ Watt to all make it into round one.
Competition should be great among them in the next few months, especially with projected 2nd or 3rd round picks Marvin Austin, Christian Ballard, Jurrell Cassey, Jerrell Powe, ect lurking.
My guess is Aldon Smith, Watt, and Bailey edge out Kerrigan, Paea, and Clayborn. (joining Bowers, Fairley, Dareus, Quinn, and the two Camerons)
Only once in the last 10 years has more than one ILB been a first round pick, and recently Rey Maualuga, James Laurinaitis, and Brandon Spikes(among others) have all found themselves in the second round.
I do not see either Martez Wilson or Greg Jones being first round worthy, unless Wilson proves he can be an OLB.
There has been at least one TE selected in the first round every year since 2001 (thats as far back as I went), but rarely more than one. If history repeats itself, one of Kyle Rudolph, Lance Kendricks, or DJ Williams will seperate themself from the pack.
My guess is Kyle Rudolph will be selected in the first.
Only once in the last 10 years (2008) has no interior lineman been selected in the first round, however there were never more than two (except for postion changes later in career).
I think Mike Pouncey (twin brother of pro-bowl Maurkice) will be the only first round pick, seperating himself from Stefan Wisniewski, Rodney Hudson, and any of the OT/OG "tweeners" (Love, Cannon).