My first mock draft of 2011 is finally ready to make it’s debut with Newton at number one and a little suprise short fall for Blaine Gabbert. While mocking is no exact science, I did my best to create some realistic scenarios and also throw in some picks that may not be the most popular choices at this time. Be sure to leave some feedback in the comments section. Here is the debut of my 2011 NFL Mock Draft:
1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn – Newton’s physical attributes will be too much for Carolina to pass on. He may have some character concerns, but his skillset can change a franchise.
2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama – Denver needs help along the defensive line and Dareus is as good as it gets.
3. Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M – Perhaps one of the best linebacker prospects since Patrick Willis, Miller will make an immediate impact in the front seven.
4. Cincinnati Bengals: AJ Green, WR, Georgia – Cincinatti will try everything in their power to convince Carson Palmer to stay — that includes drafting the best receiver in this year’s draft.
5. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU – Peterson can team up with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and give the Cardinals a pair of dynamic, playmaking corners.
6. Cleveland Browns: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama - Many reports indicate that the Browns have Jones rated higher than AJ Green. In this scenario, they get their man and add a big time weapon for young Colt McCoy.
7: San Francisco 49ers: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska - San Francisco needs help at corner and Amukamara is the best option after Peterson.
8: Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley, DT, Aurburn – A talented defensive tackle with attitude problems? That fits Tennessee perfectly.
9: Dallas Cowboys: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson - The Cowboys have three defensive ends due to become free agents, so they add a top five talent who slipped.
10: Washington Redskins: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri – The McNabb experiment did not work out as well as Shanahan would have hoped, so he goes out and gets a quarterback that he can mold.
11: Houston Texas: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina - With the team transitioning to a 3-4 defense, they go out and get a guy who has been often compared to DeMarcus Ware.
12: Minnesota Vikings: JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin – Watt is a hard working guy who would be a nice compliment opposite Jared Allen.
13. Detroit Lions: Tyron Smith, OT, USC - Smith will get the honor of protecting Matt Stafford… they have to keep him healthy somehow.
14. St. Louis Rams: Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri – St. Louis would love to grab one of the top two wide receivers, but with both of them gone Steve Spagnuolo begins to stock up on guys in the front seven.
15. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama - Miami has young quarterbacks with shaky confidence, so they bring in a workhorse running back to take away some of that pressure.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue - The Jaguars have tried desperately to bring in a stud defensive end for a few years now. Hopefully Kerrigan can deliver.
17. New England Patriots (from Oakland): Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin – New England always manages to get value with their picks. Here they add the best offensive tackle in the draft.
18: San Diego Chargers: Cameron Jordan, DE, Cal – In my eyes, Jordan should be a top 15 pick. The Chargers get a steal here and add the local boy to their defensive line.
19. New York Giants: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College - Without any glaring holes, the Giants could go in a number of directions. Why not add the best available offensive tackle.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Justin Houston, DE, Georgia – Everyone is saying the Bucs are focusing on adding a premier defensive end and Houston is said to be one the guys on their radar.
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State – Paea’s injury has slowed him down this draft season, but the Chiefs need serious help at nose tackle and he will be their guy.
22. Indianapolis Colts: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado – The Colts have missed on a few of their last offensive lineman selections, so they try again with the athletic Solder.
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado – Ellis Hobbs retired and corner back is an obvious hole on the Eagles roster.
24. New Orleans Saints: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State – Heyward is a versatile defensive lineman who will be able to help out the Saints defensive line.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Mallet, QB, Arkansas – Surprised Mallet goes over Locker? The Seahawks are said to have some serious interest in Mallet and his cannon arm will get someone to take a chance on him in the first.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami - Harris may be better suited for the second round, but the Ravens need at corner is just too much for them to pass up
27. Atlanta Falcons: Allen Bailey, DE, Miami - Atlanta needs a guy opposite John Abraham and they are said to be warming up to Bailey.
28. New England Patriots: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa - The team could use some improvement along their front line in the 3-4. Clayborn had all of the skill to be a top ten pick, but he had a letdown his senior year.
29. Chicago Bears: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas - If the Bears don’t take Williams, he’ll likely go to the Steelers. They have some age at the position that they need to overcome.
30. New York Jets: Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA - Vernon Gholston and Calvin Pace were disappointments, so the Jets take a shot on Ayers.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida – This pick makes too much sense for too many reasons, which means it likely won’t happen.
32. Green Bay Packers: Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona – Simple. Clay Matthews 2.0.