The 2011 NFL Draft is only a few weeks away which means teams are finalizing their boards and spreading some false information. It is at this point of the draft season where we hear tons of stories about teams scheduling workouts and other information intended to mislead other franchises. This information will impact a lot of mock drafts. Below is my latest mock with some adjustments but likely little surprises. Keep coming back the next 3 days as I will post the 2nd roundWednesday, 3rd round Thursday, and team grades Friday. As always be sure to check out our Scouting Reports for the most in depth info on each prospect..
- Unless an offer to trade down presents itself it appears likely Newton will be the selection. Newton will give the Panthers a player with tremendous upside. However, this pick may take several years to pay off as Newton is anything but a finished product. It is still possible that the Panthers go defense with this selection.
- Dareus's versatility is what makes him a good fit for this position. The Broncos need a lot of help in the interior of the defensive line. Dareus has the ability to either penetrate the pocket or stuff the run.
- Miller has game changing potential with the ability to get after the quarterback. Buffalo could go in several different directions but Miller might be the safest pick. I get the feeling that Buffalo is completely comfortable with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the quarterback position.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (4-12)- Blaine Gabbert- QB- Missouri
- Bengal fans are hoping that the organization heads come to the realization that Carson Palmerwill never play for the Bengals again. If thats the case Gabbert would mean the future at the quarterback position. The NFL is all about quarterback play.
5. Arizona Cardinals (5-11)- Patrick Peterson- CB- LSU
- The Cardinals are sitting in a tough spot here because both top quarterbacks are off the board. Von Miller is also a likely target but he is also got at this point. However, all is not lost because Peterson might be the best overall talent in this draft class.
- Bowers is still under the spotlight because of concerns over a knee injury. However, he has the potential to anchor the Browns defensive line for years. Cleveland is switching to a 4-3 defense but lacks the proper pieces and adding Bowers would be a great starting point.
7. San Francisco 49ers (6-10)- Robert Quinn- OLB/DE- North Carolina
- The 49ers defense has a lot of great talent but they struggled to generate a consistent pass rush. The addition of Quinn might be the missing piece to take this defense to the next level.
- Fairley is on a bit of a slide but he would be a steal here for the Titans. Tennessee could use someone that is able to penetrate the pocket and create pressure in the backfield.
- Dallas has problems along their offensive line especially at tackle. Smith has the ability to step in right away and start at right tackle with the potential to develop into a left tackle. Smith's athletic ability combined with his balance make him the top tackle prospect in this class.
- At this point, Green represents great value at a position of need. Washington has a need at the wide receiver position and Green is a potential gamebreaker. This selection will help the upcoming transition at the quarterback position.
- The Texans secondary is among the worst in the NFL so this pick makes a ton of sense. Amukamara has top 10 talent combined with excellent technique. He would be an immediate upgrade over the current players on the roster.
- Sidney Rice is a potential free agent and we saw last year what his presense on the field means to the Vikings. Jones gives Minnesota another big bodied wide receiver that will open things up underneath for Percy Harvin.
- This Lions team has made strides but still has a lot of holes to fill before they can make a playoff run. They could look to address the offensive line but at this point Watt represents more value. Watt will add another talented player to what could be a dominating defensive line.
- Unfortunately both AJ Green and Julio Jones are off the board so St. Louis needs to go in a different direction. Aldon Smith represents someone with the potential to develop into a dominate pass rusher. However, there is still a lot of questions surrounding what position is the best fit.
- No matter who the quarterback is in Miami they will need to depend on a solid running game. Both Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown are declining so adding Ingram would help rejuvenate the running game.
- Jacksonville is still looking to solve their pass rushing struggles and Houston is a pass rushing specialist. The fact that he weighed in at 270lbs and showed a strong lower half has me feeling comfortable about him playing defensive end.
- Jordan is a great fit for New England's defensive scheme at the 5 technique position.
18. San Diego Chargers (9-7)- Muhammad Wilkerson- DE/DT- Temple
- There are more than a handful of teams looking to upgrade at the 5 technique position and San Diego is among that group. Wilkerson possesses the ideal skills to fill that role and contribute early in his career.
19. New York Giants(10-6)- Gabe Carimi- OT- Wisconsin
- The Giants offensive line is aging and becoming less effective. This unit needs an infusion of youth and talent which Carimi represents. Carimi could be a dominate right tackle and fit in the Giants run first scheme.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-6)- Brandon Harris- CB- Miami
- The secondary for the Bucs is a major question mark with the recent off the field issues for Aqib Talib impacting the depth. Harris has the ablity to contribute early and has a clean off the field history.
- The running game was a major factor in the Chiefs playoff run and that continued success is dependent on the offensive line. Pouncey has the potential to be a very good interior offensive lineman and help keep the arrow pointing up.
22. Indianapolis Colts (10-6)- Anthony Castonzo- OT- Boston College
- Peyton Manningstruggled a little last season when he was faced with pressure. Castonzo is an athletic tackle that excels in pass protection.
- I can see the Eaglesgoing in any number of directions depending if there is a free agency period and how it shakes out. Either way the cornerback position is an area of need and Smith represents a player with high upside.
24. New Orleans Saints (11-5)- Corey Liuget- DT- Illinois
- This pick is more about best player available than need. However, Liuget would give the Saints a tackle that can penetrate but also hold up against the run.
- The Seahawksare looking very closely at every available quarterback option. If a new CBA is not in place by the draft they may need to use their first pick on a quarterback. Mallett possesses a big arm and Pete Carroll isn't the type of person to be scared off by some personality question marks.
26. Baltimore Ravens (12-4)- Nate Solder- OT- Colorado
- The offensive line started to show some weaknesses last season with injuries taking there toll. Solder may needs some time to develop but he has great potential.
27. Atlanta Falcons (13-3)- Ryan Kerrigan- DE/OLB- Purdue
28. New England Patriots (14-2)- Brooks Reed- OLB- Arizona
- Reed is a fast rising prospect and would give the Patriots another pass rushing option off the edge. The Pats have a ton of early selections so they have a shot to really bring in some impact players.
29. Chicago Bears (11-5)- Danny Watkins- G- Baylor
- This pick could be prime real-statefor a team looking to move back into the first round. At this point all the top tackles are off the board but the interior of the line stil needs help.
30. New York Jets (11-5)- Phil Taylor- NT- Baylor
- This would be a dream scenario for the Jets. Taylor is the best nose tackle in this draft and would fill a position of need for the Jets. Taylor has the potential to really develop into a game changing defensive tackle.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)- Steven Paea- DT- Oregon State
- Casey Hamptonis getting up there in age and Paea has the ability to step in and take some snaps. Pittsburgh could go in several different directions including offensive line.
32. Green Bay Packers (10-6)- Adrian Clayborn- DE- Iowa
- Green Bay is looking at some turnover at the defensive end position and Clayborn can bring some depth and talent.