Updated 2011 NFL Mock Draft: 1/31/11

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The Senior Bowl week has resulted in several prospects seeing a big jump in their draft stock.  This week features a few of those prospects making their debut in our mock draft.  One surprise is Ryan Mallett falling out of the 1st round mainly because I was unable to find a good fit from him.  I could see the Titans making a move for him if they go in that direction.  Check back tomorrow as we mock the 2nd round of the draft! Please be sure to check out DCsports report for a great mock draft database.

Nick Fairley- DT- Auburn

I am firmly on-board the Nick Fairley hype train.  Fairley will be a great complement to a defensive line that features an emerging Charles Johnson.  Ron Rivera will love the way that Fairley can penetrate the pocket and wreak havoc.

Da’Quan Bowers- DE- Clemson

John Fox and new defensive coordinator Dennis Allen are likely to make the switch to a 4-3 defensive scheme.  Bowers is worthy of this pick due to his ability to rush the passer but also hold strong against the run.  The duo of Bowers and Dumervil will give offensive coordinators nightmares.

Patrick Peterson- CB- LSU

There is going to be a ton of buzz following the combine after Peterson runs a stellar 40 yard dash.  Peterson is not just an athlete, he can be a true shutdown corner which is becoming increasing more valuable in the NFL.  The Bills have a lot of needs but Peterson represents the best value at this pick.  A name that will get a lot of attention at this spot will be Von Miller but the recent struggles of Aaron Maybin may stop the Bills from pulling the trigger on Miller.

AJ Green- WR- Georgia

It appears more and more likely that both Chad Ochocinco and T.O. will not be returning which leaves a major void at the wide receiver position.  Adding Green will allow the Bengals fans to quickly forget the controversial Ochocinco.  Green has the skill level and talent to be considered for the top 0verall pick!

Blaine Gabbert- QB- Missouri

The Cardinals are desperate for a quarterback and need to go in that direction with this selection.  While I don’t feel comfortable selection any of the quarterbacks this early the Cardinals don’t have a choice.  Gabbert is the top quarterback on my board and has a ton of upside, however, he needs time to develop.  Arizona would be wise to use this selection to get their quarterback of the future and then use free agency to get a short term fix.

Robert Quinn- DE/OLB- UNC

The word around the NFL is that the Browns will make the switch to a 4-3 defensive scheme which means they will need to fill some vacancies.  The first area they need to address is finding a primer pass rusher and Robert Quinn fits the mold.  Quinn is arguably the top pass rusher in this draft and has the ability to ease the transition.

Von Miller- OLB- Texas A&M

Miller went into last week’s Senior Bowl with some questions but he answered every one with his play on the field.  Miller’s ability to rush the quarterback is something the 49ers lacked.  Miller’s addition could make this defense an elite group and help Harbaugh make a playoff push in his first season.  San Fransisco could use a quarterback but would be wise to go with the safer pick here and address the quarterback position in the later rounds.

Marcel Dareus-DT- Alabama

Dareus is the most complete defensive tackle in this draft class.  He has the ability to play the role of a 2 gap or 1 gap defensive lineman and that versatility will really help his draft stock.  This pick could easily be a quarterback like Cam Newton and that might depend on who the head coach is come April.  Will owner Bud Adams want to make a splash with this pick?

Prince Amukamara- CB- Nebraska

Dreams do come true!  The Cowboys get a top 5 talent at pick number 9.  Amukamara is not only a great talent but also fits a position of great need.  Amukamara will start from day 1 and give the Cowboys what Mike Jenkins was unable to give, a lock down corner.

Cam Newton- QB- Auburn

I do not have Newton rated even close to this position but a mock draft is about predicting what might happen.  It’s obvious that the Redskins will be looking to add a quarterback this offseason and Shanahan is not afraid to take on a project.  Newton’s big arm and athletic ability fits the mold of a Shanahan quarterback.

Cam Jordan- DE- California

The addition of Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator will bring a new scheme to Houston.  This change also means that the Texans will be searching for players to fit the new 3-4 system.  Jordan is the ideal candidate to fill one of the 5 technique positions because of his ability to play 2 gap football.  Jordan’s rise up the draft boards may not be finished and he could be long gone at this point in the draft.

Tyron Smith- OT- USC

The one of the many problems the Vikings faced last season was poor pass protection.  It doesn’t matter who your quarterback is  if you can not protect him.  Tyron Smith is my top rated offensive lineman and he has major upside as a left tackle.  Smith boasts the best balance and footwork in this year’s tackle class.

Akeem Ayers- LB- UCLA

Ayers is a great talent that would help the rebuilding of this Lions defense.  He is a quick linebacker that can cover sideline to sideline and hold up in coverage.  The Lions have a great need at the linebacker position to this is a perfect fit.

Julio Jones- WR- Alabama

Sam Bradford had a sensational rookie season and now its time to give him more weapons.  Jones is a big target with deceptive speed which will allow the Rams to stretch the field.

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