[editor note] We like to think of ourselves as draft lovers and “experts” here at NFLmocks so I got to thinking, how would we stack up vs the experts? Well, Sayre and I are going to submit our final mock drafts to the Huddle Report, but I asked each of our writers to write a final mock draft and then we’d compare it and score it vs renowed draft experts. Our newest writer, Joe Owens chose to take on National Football Posts Wes Bunting.
Scoring is pretty simple. We’ll use the Huddle report method. One point for each player that actually goes in the first round (a possible total of 32 points). Then each player that is matched to the correct team will be worth an additional 2 points (for a total of 64 additional points). Simple, enough right? Joe’s picks will be bolded, Wes Bunting’s will be in italics. Now this is Wes Bunting’s mock that’s out right now today, Saturday April 16th. I’m sure as he gets more information he’ll come out with a final mock, but let’s see how they compare two weeks away. Joe’s words after the page break.
With the 2011 NFL Draft a little less than two weeks away. I thought I’d release my own mock draft. Now understand many the dynamics behind my picks may not be the most conventional but are based by what I think is a definite team need along with logical thinking. Several factors could influence logical thinking such as: where they might draft next year, what a teams most pressing need is or isn’t, if the coaching staff is a new coaching staff & plain old “gut feeling”. Now with that all being said let’s get it on!
1. Carolina Panthers select Patrick Peterson CB, LSU (Cameron Newton)- There is a good chance that the Panthers choose Cam Newton here but I believe with so many team needs Peterson would be more helpful from the start and in the long run. Cam newton needs to go somewhere he can sit for a season or two and not be thrown into the fire. On top of that I don’t believe any of this years class of quarterbacks are top ten picks but I’m sure a team or two will find themselves reaching. Plus there’s a good chance that the Panthers could find themselves right back atop next years NFL draft looking at what could be a more well rounded QB class.
2. Denver Broncos select Marcell Dareus DT, Alabama – (Same) With John Fox taking over at coach and him being a defensive minded coach Darius is the safe pick here. His teammate Nick Fairley has had one good year to date so that ranks him behind Darius in my opinion.
3. Buffalo Bills select Von Miller LB, Texas A&M - (Gabbert) I don’t believe the Bills will take a QB here due to last seasons emergence of Ryan Fitzpatrick. They will probably pick up a QB later in the draft but here they need a defensive playmaker to help a defense that was fifth worst in points given up per game surrendering 26.6 points a game last year.
4. Cincinnati Bengals select Cam Newton QB, Auburn -(Green) The Bengals could go in two directions here. Carson Palmer says he will not play another snap for the Bengals and the coaching staff seem to be tiring of Ochocinco’s antics but he is still signed through 2011. The Bengals have the option for the 2011 season in which they would have to pay Mad Chad 3.5 million in order to cut him lose which I don’t see happening, but if they did then they probably go A.J. Green and address the QB situation in a later round so this will be interesting come draft day. With only Jordan Palmer & Dan LeFevour I believe they go with Cam here.
5. Arizona Cardinals select Blaine Gabbert QB, Missouri -(Miller) Arizona has do something sooner rather than later if they plan on keeping Larry Fitzgerald happy and in Arizona. The Cardinals will probably try and sign a veteran QB or trade for one after a new CBA is in place that way Gabbert can sit behind him for a year or two but nonetheless its QB here at the fifth spot.
6. Cleveland Browns select A.J. Green WR, Georgia -(Jones) Cleveland needs a playmaker on offense to help out the sophmore quarterback Colt McCoy. This would also help out an already potent Cleveland run game by making defenses have to respect Green’s deep threat ability.
7. San Francisco 49ers select Robert Quinn DE, North Carolina -(Patrick Peterson) I’ve been hearing rumblings that San Francisco is absolutely in love with Quinn and wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on him here especially with Peterson & Von Miller off the board already. However the 49ers do have twelve picks in this years draft so if anyone can move up into Denver’s number two spot it would be the 9′ers where they would probably go Blaine Gabbert.
8. Tennessee Titans select Nick Fairley DT, Auburn – (Same) This could be a mistake for the titans going after a kid that made is name in a single season but desperately look to replace what Albert Haynesworth brought to the table when he played in Tennessee and this could be the guy. If Fairley isn’t taken here he could tumble quite a way down the board.
9. St. Louis Rams select Julio Jones WR, Alabama – (Cowboys-Smith) I firmly believe that the Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams will agree on a trade at this spot. Especially if Jones is still on the board. There are a few teams between this pick & St. Louis’s original spot of 14th that won’t hesitate to take Jones simply based on being the best player available.
10. Washington Redskins select Jake Locker QB, Washington (Quinn) Despite rumors of the Redskins trying to trade up like crazy the don’t have the ammo to get it done this year without wagering next years top picks as well so they reach to fill a need.
11. Houston Texans select Prince Amukamara CB, Nebraska – (Amukamara) One of the few no-brainers of the draft.
12. Minnesota Vikings select Tyron Smith OT, USC - (Aldon Smith) Minnesota will try and trade down & pick up Ryan Mallet later in the first round but if they are unable to then they go with the best player available.
13. Detroit Lions select select Da’Quan Bowers DE, Clemson -(Castanzo) To much value for the Lions to pass up here.
14. Dallas Cowboys select Gabe Carimi OT, Wisconsin – (Rams Bowers) The Cowboys could try & trade down yet again but if they don’t they stick with Carimi here who gets plugged in immediately at RT with Doug Free at the LT position The need isn’t at left tackle which is one of the main reasons they try & trade down again.
15. Miami Dolphins select Mark Ingram RB, Alabama – (Mike Pouncey) with Ricky Williams & Ronnie Brown both looking as if they won’t be back next year the Dolphins have to address the running back position
16. Jacksonville Jaguars select J.J. Watt DE, Wisconsin – (Kerrigan) Don’t think Jacksonville ever envisioned Watt falling to them here but they’ll take him & be happy to do so. Watt is big, strong, fast and has a motor that won’t quit making him a perfect fit for Jack Del Rio’s team.
17. New England selects Anthony Castonza OT, Boston College – (Jordan) Considered to be the most NFL ready of all the college O-linemen entering the draft this year & due to several question marks with the Patriots offensive line they will address one of the question marks here.
18. San Diego Chargers select Ryan Kerrigan DE/OLB, Purdue - (Watt) Rumored to be quickly flying up draft boards but apparently not flying up high enough. He can either play LB or DE filling two positional needs for San Diego
19. New York Giants select Mike Pouncey G/C, Florida - (Liuget) This is a toss up with the G-Men they really could go in any direction other than QB, WR or safety so probably best player available will be taken.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Cameron Jordan DE, California – (Adrian Clayborn)The kid from California has NFL bloodlines & fills a need at the defensive end position.
21. Kansas City Chiefs select Nate Solder OT, Colorado – (Phil Taylor) With Matt Cassel’s seemingly inability to feel the pass rush KC is overjoyed to draft someone to protect his blind side for years to come.
22 Indianapolis Colts select Corey Liuget DT, Illinois – ( Solder) Seems like the consensus pick here for Indy. They will have to address the offensive line situation later in the draft as they usually do by drafting O-linemen in the later rounds.
23. Philadelphia Eagles select Jimmy Smith CB, Colorado -(Jimmy Smith) Needing to fill the gaping hole on the other side of Asante Samuel
24. New Orleans Saints select Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa – (Cameron Heyward) The Saints are happy to get a quality pass rusher to add to Gregg William’s defense. Saints could try to trade down from this pick as well.
25. Seattle Seahawks select Ryan Mallet QB, Arkansas -(Locker) As if this one is a surprise to anyone. I still think in someway Mallet ends up in Minnesota on draft day but if he doesn’t & does in fact go to Seattle, it may be the best situation for him to thrive. Seated behind a veteran in Matt Hassellbeck will allow Mallett to take his time & learn how to become a pro. My pick as best QB in the draft if he, in fact, can learn to be a pro.
26. Baltimore Ravens select Justin Houston LB, Georgia - (Wilkerson) Rumored to really like the kid I could see Baltimore trading down out of round one & still being able to draft Houston. If they can’t trade down they may take OT Derek Sherrod instead at this spot.
27. Atlanta Falcons select Aldon Smith DE, Missouri – (Gabe Carimi) The Falcons could go WR here instead with Maryland’s Torrey Smith, but I think Aldon is to good to pass up here.
28. New England Patriots select Muhammad Wilkerson DT, Temple – (Danny Watkins)Very good production. 70 tackles and 9.5 sacks. Lots of upside. I don’t expect the Patriots to hold onto this pick but if they do this guy is a perfect fit.
29. Chicago Bears select Aaron Williams CB, Texas -(Derek Sherrod) with the likes of Sidney Rice potentially resigning Minnesota, Calvin Johnson & Greg Jennings all twice a year the bears need another corner.
30. New York Jets select Jonathan Baldwin WR, Pittsburgh – (Justin Houston) Both Santonio Holmes & Braylon Edwards are free agents. Who knows when free agency will happen. The Jets will go with the biggest & fastest wideout left on the board just in case
31. Pittsburgh Steelers select Danny Watkins OT, Baylor -(Mark Ingram) Its no secret that the Steelers need to upgrade the secondary & they will attempt to do that only later in the draft. Here they can’t pass up teaming up Watkins with last years 1st round pick Maurkice Pouncey for years to come.
32. Green Bay Packers select Kyle Rudolph TE, Notre Dame – (Ben Ijalana) With Jermicheal Finley’s contract due to expire after this year odds are that Green Bay isn’t going to pay him Vernon Davis money. This leaves the tight end spot as one area on a short list of concerns for Green Bay.
Some interesting picks from Joe and Wes Bunting. We’ll see who takes the crown. Follow us on twitter @nflmocks