It's a wrap. Now that the 2010 season is in the books, organizations turn their attention to building a better team in 2011. Let's ignore all the CBA BS for now and focus on the upcoming draft. The All-Star games are over so we have a better idea of where the top guys are shaking out and we have the entire draft order set, so let's do it.
As always you can create a mock of your own over at DraftDebacled.com and you can find tons of other mock drafts at WalterFootball and DCProSportsReport. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments especially if you are a fan of one team and really disagree with the position or style of player drafted in this mock.
Patrick Peterson from LSU
The Panthers will take Peterson because he is a truly elite talent. The complexity a lockdown Cornerback affords a defense is something that their new DC, Sean McDermott, will love when they start using his blitz packages that he ran with the Eagles. A shutdown CB helps in 2 areas of the field, first by stopping a team's top WR and second because he makes the QB hold on to the ball too long and then the pass rush can get to him. Peterson is being talked about like he is one of the best in a long time.Fairley and Bowers will certainly get consideration here but it's much easier to find highly talented DTs and DEs later in the draft than it is to find once in a generation CBs.
Nick Fairley from Auburn
People say that Fairley is a one hit wonder and he takes plays off so that will hurt his stock. I'm not buying it. Fairley was dominant in every game that I saw him play and he even played multiple positions along the D Line. That versatility is going to be huge for him on draft day and compel the Broncos to take him 2nd overall. He'll pair nicely with Dumervil and be flexible enough to move to either the NT or DE spots depending on what front they are using.
Marcell Dareus from Alabama
The Bills could not stop anyone from running on them last year which was a problem because they were often behind in games and needed to preserve the clock. Dareus is more of a penetrating tackle than he is a run stuffer but there is more than one way to mess up a running attack. Dareus played against double teams and through injuries this season so he wasn't as dominant as he was last year but the talent is still there.
A.J. Green from Georgia
While I don't think the Bengals are going to trade Palmer, they are going to get rid of TO and OchoCinco. They have drafted a few good WRs in the last few years but nobody is close to Green. If they address their offensive line in the next round, they have the ability to pull off a very quick turnaround despite losing those marquee names.
DaQuan Bowers from Clemson
There is probably a very slim chance that Bowers falls this far because people love him and he has even drawn comparisons to Julius Peppers. While I don't think he is quite that good, he will almost definitely be a Top 5 pick. The Cardinals have Dockett and Campbell playing end now, Bowers is too good to pass up here. He'll be able to rotate in with those two guys and keep a fresh pair of legs attacking QBs all game long.