2011 NFL Mock Draft With Projected Trades: Newton, Six QB’s Go In First


1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, Quarterback, Auburn

I don’t think the Panthers are going to pass up the opportunity to take a potential “franchise” quarterback. I don’t know if Newton can be that guy, but his ceiling is very, very high. The Panthers seem to really like him, and the hype is all around him right now as the top pick in the draft.

**Trade: Broncos trade 2nd pick to Arizona for 5th pick, 2nd round pick, 5th round pick**

2. Arizona Cardinals (from Denver): Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

The Cardinals are in danger of losing their biggest playmaker–Larry Fitzgerald–to free agency next year. They do not have an answer at quarterback currently on the roster, so they have to either make a move for someone (Kevin Kolb is Larry Fitzgerald’s personal favorite) or they have to make a bold move and draft one high. Gabbert has a lot of question marks, but he could be the piece that keeps Fitzgerald in town.

3. Buffalo Bills: Von Miller, Linebacker, Texas A&M

Big time pass rusher to a defense that doesn’t currently have a legitimate pass rush option on the roster. The Bills invested a couple of picks in developmental linemen last year, and now they bring in one of the top pass rushers in this year’s crop.

4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, Wide Reciever, Georgia

I don’t think Green is worthy of this pick, but I think he could certainly be drafted this high. There is also word that the Bengals might like Julio Jones, but I think Green gets the nod.

5. Denver Broncos (from Arizona): Marcell Dareus, Defensive Tackle, Alabama

This is a no-brainer pick here. The Broncos love Dareus, and they don’t have any starting defensive tackles. Dareus is an elite run stuffer and a very good pass rusher with quickness and solid intangibles.

6. Cleveland Browns: Nick Fairley, Defensive Tackle, Auburn

Fairley becomes the cornerstone of the Browns’ new 4-3 defensive alignment and could challenge for the rookie of the year award. He has some character concerns, but has a ton of talent.

7. San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Peterson, Cornerback, LSU

Possibly the best talent in the entire draft. Peterson has size, speed, and elite ability. He could go much higher than this, but is a no-brainer for the 49ers.

8. Tennessee Titans:  Robert Quinn, Defensive End, North Carolina

Big time pass rush specialist that could be the biggest steal of this year’s draft. Was regarded as the top prospect heading into the year, and when you watch him from his sophomore games (19 years old) he absolutely dominates and has excellent instincts.

9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, Offensive Tackle, USC

Unbelievable athlete. Losing Tony Romo killed the Cowboys’ season (among other things). Smith has the potential to be dominant, or he could flame out quicker than the Cowboys can blink. They might go for a less risky option (Amukamara) here.

10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, Wide Receiver, Alabama

Could be a big play receiver in Mike Shanahan’s offense. This is a high pick to use on a wide receiver, but that is arguably the Redskins’ biggest weakness offensively (outside of QB).

11. Houston Texans: Prince Amukamara, Cornerback, Nebraska

High character player, low-risk player with this pick. The Texans make a solid selection to upgrade their anemic secondary.

12. Minnesota Vikings: Da’Quan Bowers, Defensive End, Clemson

Great value pick at this point in the draft. Bowers was potentially the 1st pick in the draft, and he presents the Vikings with an excellent option opposite Jared Allen as the strong-side defensive end.

13. Detroit Lions: Cameron Jordan, Defensive End, California

Jordan could be the next rookie pro bowl player in the NFL, and with the rest of the talent on the Lions’ defensive line, he could be a real force. He could be the ideal strong-side end next to Ndamukong Suh. Excellent value choice here.

14. St. Louis Rams: Corey Liuget, Defensive Tackle, Illinois

The Rams are a wild card. They could trade up or down, or go for a defensive end or offensive guard here. They could go so many ways with this pick, but Liuget seems like a nice fit for Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme.

15. Miami Dolphins: Ryan Mallett, Quarterback, Arkansas

Mallett has some character concerns, and doesn’t fit Bill Parcells’ mold for drafting quarterbacks, but he’s no longer there and in charge, and the Dolphins need a guy who can sling the ball downfield. Mallett could be a huge steal here, or he could be a giant bust.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, Defensive End, Purdue

The Jaguars LOVE Kerrigan, and he fits their style perfectly. This is a very solid pick for them, and he adds a very sound pass rush option.

17. New England Patriots (f/OAK): J.J. Watt, Defensive End, Wisconsin

Perfect fit for the Patriots’ defensive scheme. Blue-collar player with excellent athleticism.

18. San Diego Chargers: Muhammad Wilkerson, Defensive End, Temple

Under the radar for a 300 pound defensive tackle/end prospect who can rush the passer. Might take a year to see the results on this guy, but he would be a good fit for the Bolts.

19. New York Giants: Anthony Castonzo, Offensive Tackle, Boston College

Solid pick, could play the left or right side, and adds some much needed talent to the Giants’ offensive line.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Aldon Smith, Defensive End, Missouri

Big time pass rush option here, the Bucs need to add speed off the edge. This is the perfect way to do it with a good value in Aldon Smith.

**PROJECTED TRADE: Bengals trade 2nd round pick (35th overall), 3rd round pick (68th overall), and future 3rd round pick (2012) for the Chiefs’ first round pick (21st overall)

21. Cincinnati Bengals (from KC): Jake Locker, Quarterback, Washington

Chiefs don’t see the value on their board, and Pioli dips into his New England roots. The Bengals get their quarterback of the future, and make a big time trade to get back into the first round to take Locker.

22. Indianapolis Colts: Nate Solder, Offensive Tackle, Colorado

Keep Manning upright. That should be the goal this offseason after signing him to a record contract.

23. Philadelphia Eagles: Gabe Carimi, Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin

The Eagles could go a number of directions here, but Carimi is the type of big offensive lineman that Andy Reid likes, and he could start immediately for them.

**PROJECTED TRADE: Tennessee Titans trade 2nd round pick (39th overall), 3rd round pick (77th overall) and future (2012) draft pick for New Orleans Saints’ first round pick (24th overall)

24. Tennessee Titans (f/NO): Christian Ponder, Quarterback, Florida State

The Saints’ board didn’t fall the way they wanted, so they put their pick up for sale to the highest bidder. Tennessee moves up and takes the pro-ready Ponder who is Wes Bunting’s top rated quarterback in the draft.

25. Seattle Seahawks: Andy Dalton, Quarterback, TCU

Reportedly, the Seahawks have Dalton as a first round graded quarterback on their draft board. He would be an interesting pick here.

26. Baltimore Ravens: Torrey Smith, Wide Receiver, Maryland

The Ravens add speed to their receiver corps, and at the same time add a big time playmaker. Smith could have a huge impact as a rookie.

27. Atlanta Falcons: Justin Houston, Defensive End, Georgia

Houston is one of the best pass rushers in the draft, and he will push for the starting job right away in training camp.

28. New England Patriots: Brooks Reed, Outside Linebacker, Arizona

Another interesting pick for the Pats who revamped their defensive line earlier, and now upgrade the pass rush with Brooks Reed.

29. Chicago Bears: Mike Pouncey, Guard, Florida

Offensive line coach Mike Tice allegedly told Pouncey, “We’ll see you at training camp.” Do you need any more reasoning for this pick? If so, watch a highlight reel of the amount of times Jay Cutler was sacked.

30. New York Jets: Cam Heyward, Defensive End, Ohio State

Injury forces Heyward to the bottom of round one, where he becomes a mega-steal for the New York Jets.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Rodney Hudson, Guard, Florida State

Powerful guard who added weight this offseason and would bring an excellent talent alongside Maurkice Pouncey. I don’t know if he has Pro Bowl potential like Pouncey, but he can be a very solid starter.

32. Green Bay Packers: Adrian Clayborn, Defensive End, Iowa

GREAT value here. Clayborn isn’t as big as you’d like for a 3-4 end, but he can set the edge and anchor.

Follow us on twitter @NFLmocks