2011 NFL Mock Draft (with trades): Where Will Jake Locker Land?


1. Carolina Panthers- Cam Newton, Quarterback, Auburn

Carolina claims that they aren’t sure who they will take with the first pick on April 28, but I believe most people know who is on top of Carolina’s draft board.

The Panthers are going to take Cam Newton. If this team wants to contend, they need to take a risk. Newton’s potential is through the roof. If they pass on him, and Newton ends up being a stud, they will regret it until the dawn of time.

With the way Carolina’s quarterback situation looks right now, there’s a great chance Newton could be starting on day one, whenever that may be.

2. Denver Broncos- Marcell Dareus, Defensive Lineman, Alabama

This pick is nearly a guarantee. Denver might entertain Patrick Peterson and Von Miller, but the Broncos have their cornerback situation set, and Von Miller is not a good fit for the Broncos’ defensive scheme.

The Broncos only recorded 23 sacks last year, dead last in the NFL. Obviously that number would have been much better had Elvis Dumervil not missed the entire season, but Denver still needs defensive lineman.

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

Blaine Gabbert is a serious possibility here, but Von Miller is one of those defensive players that aren’t to be passed on. Plus, the Bills could use a few pass-rushers anyway.

Some say Miller is the best hybrid linebacker to ever come out of college, He’s been compared to Clay Matthews of the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. Von will be a 10+ sack guy in his rookie season.

4. Cincinnati Bengals- A.J. Green, Wide Receiver, Georgia

Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens are both free agents, and I don’t see either one of them returning to Cincinnati next year. Both are far past their prime, so it’s time to move on.

A.J. Green is a tremendous receiver. I’ve seen several mock drafts that have Julio Jones going before Green because of his ability to run after the catch. Don’t buy in to it. Green is the superior prospect.

5. Arizona Cardinals- Patrick Peterson, Cornerback, LSU

Patrick Peterson is arguably the best player in this draft, which is a great sign for the Cardinals. Arizona’s secondary is pedestrian at best, therefore Peterson fills a big need.

With Blaine Gabbert still on the board, Arizona may consider taking him. However, I believe they’ll sign Marc Bulger as a stop-gap and mentor to John Skelton.

6. Cleveland Browns- Julio Jones, Wide Receiver, Alabama

With Patrick Peterson now off the board, Cleveland will switch their focus to the offensive side of the ball. The Browns’ receivers are the worst in the NFL, by far.

If the Browns want Colt McCoy to be their franchise quarterback, they need to find him some weapons. Julio Jones is a great start.

7. San Francisco 49ers- Blaine Gabbert, Quarterback, Missouri

I wouldn’t honestly be surprised if the 49’ers opted to pass on Gabbert, but he’s too talented of a prospect to pass up on. Even if San Fran does bring back Alex Smith, there’s a strong possibility that he will fail to impress again.

I’m on the bandwagon of people that believe Gabbert is a better prospect than Cam Newton. To me, he’s more polished and NFL ready, but his potential isn’t as high.

8. Tennessee Titans- Jake Locker, Quarterback, Washington

The Titans are going to have a pathetic situation at quarterback next year if they fail to address the position in either the draft or in free agency. Seriously, Rusty Smith isn’t going to get you wins.

This could be a serious reach by the Titans here, but they might have to. Jake Locker is a Brett Favre clone. Additionally, I don’t see him being that inaccurate in the NFL. Locker’s receivers at Washington weren’t anything to write home about.

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

I do believe that the Cowboys have serious interest in J.J. Watt, but Dallas has a much more pressing need on their offensive line. If you don’t remember, Tony Romo missed over half of the season because his line couldn’t block.

Tyron Smith is easily the best tackle in this draft. There were reports that he was going to slide because he was undersized, but Smith showed up to his pro day at 310 pounds, putting all doubt to rest.

10. Washington Redskins- Robert Quinn, Hybrid Linebacker, North Carolina

Washington’s top four targets (A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker) are all of the board. Still, the Redskins have several options to go for here.

The Skins could look to trade up or down from this pick. If they want Locker bad enough, they could swap with the Browns or 49’ers. If they want a quarterback in the first round, they could trade down and select Ryan Mallett.

When all is said and done, Robert Quinn will be the Redskins’ pick if Washington’s top four targets are gone. His brain tumor is a slight concern, but it won’t cause him to slide.

11. Houston Texans- Aldon Smith, Hybrid Linebacker, Missouri

Houston will take a defensive player with this pick, but it could be at virtually any position. The Texans do need to improve their front seven if they want to contend in the AFC South, though.

With the Texans switching to the 3-4 defense, pass-rushing linebackers are a must. Aldon Smith is the best player available that can get to the quarterback in a hurry.

12. Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota)- Prince Amukamara, Cornerback, Nebraska

Minnesota receives:

– Philadelphia’s first-round pick (23rd overall)

– Philadelphia’s third-round pick (85th overall)

Philadelphia receives:

– Minnesota’s first-round pick (12th overall)

The Eagles clearly want a cornerback on the opposite side of Asante Samuel. They could easily make a run at Nnamdi Asomugha, but who knows when free agency will even transpire?

The Vikings should trade down if Jake Locker is off the board. Minnesota wants a quarterback but they won’t reach for Ryan Mallett or Christian Ponder with the 12th pick.

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

Detroit would have loved to have gotten their hands on Prince Amukamara, but the Eagles beat them to it. Now the Lions will switch their focus to the defensive line.

The Lions’ pass rush was much better last year with Ndamukong Suh and Kyle Vanden Bosch, but they still need another defensive end that can get to the quarterback. Jordan isn’t a great pass-rusher, but he’s a solid tackler.

14. St. Louis Rams- Corey Liuget, Defensive Lineman, Illinois

It was reported a few weeks ago that the Rams will likely take Corey Liuget in the first round if Julio Jones is off the board. Julio will be gone by this pick, which means Liuget should be the choice.

St. Louis’ defensive line isn’t awful, but Chris Long can’t be the only one putting up 8+ sacks next year. Liuget will be a huge upgrade over the undersized Gary Gibson.

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Miami)- J.J. Watt, Defensive End, Wisconsin

Miami receives:

– Tampa Bay’s first-round pick (20th overall)

– Tampa Bay’s fourth-round pick (116th overall)

– Tampa Bay’s sixth-round pick (2012)

Tampa Bay receives:

– Miami’s first-round pick (15th overall)

Members close to the Buccaneers have stated that the Buccaneers will consider trading up to take either Robert Quinn, J.J. Watt, Cameron Jordan or Ryan Kerrigan.

J.J. Watt is better suited for the 3-4 defense, but he’s not unable to play in a 4-3. Tampa Bay’s defensive line situation for next year looks great with Gerald McCoy and J.J. Watt leading the group.

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

There’s a good chance that a team like the Jets or Bears might try to move up for Nick Fairley, but the Jaguars should stay where they are. If they do, Ryan Kerrigan will likely be the pick.

Jacksonville has had a terrible pass rush for several years now, which finally can be cured with a solid pick or two here in the draft. Kerrigan is a very intelligent player that knows how to rush the passer.

17. New England Patriots- Nick Fairley, Defensive Lineman, Auburn

I remember the good old days when Nick Fairley was going to be the first overall pick to the Panthers. Oh, wait, that was about two months ago.

New England will take Fairley if he’s on the board. Bill Belechick likes looking like a genius with his draft picks, and if Fairley is a success, it furthers Bill’s intelligent ego.

18. San Diego Chargers- Muhammad Wilkerson, Defensive Lineman, Temple

Several days ago it was reported that the Chargers are looking to move on from Jacques Cesaire, who is a free agent. San Diego will look for a 3-4 defensive end in the first round.

Muhammad Wilkerson’s stock is constantly rising and falling, but he’s a great fit for the Chargers’ defense. Cameron Heyward is also a possibility.

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

Many people forget how talented Castonzo is because Tyron Smith is so talented, but I’m not sure if Smith will have the better career when all is said and done.

The Giants need pass protection. If Eli Manning stays on his feet long enough, he makes plays. Castonzo could instantly start over William Beatty, who struggled often last year.

20. Miami Dolphins- Mike Pouncey, Guard, Florida

It’ll probably be a nice little treat for Pouncey if he can stay right where he played college football. To be honest, it doesn’t look like that’s too far-fetched of a possibility.

If Chad Henne can stay on his feet longer next season, he’ll be able to make the throws. Mike Pouncey will be an instant starter like his brother, Maurkice, was for Pittsburgh.

21. Kansas City Chiefs- Phil Taylor, Nose Tackle, Baylor

Phil Taylor was recently diagnosed with an inoperable foot condition, which may cause his stock to fall quite a ways. That being said, Kansas City should take the risk.

Since joining the Kansas City Chiefs’ organization a couple years back, Scott Pioli has been looking for his verison of Vince Wilfork. This is his best chance to do so.

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

Charlie Johnson, the Colts’ left tackle, will be a free agent when we have football again, and there’s a strong chance that Indianapolis lets him walk.

The Colts will definitely be targeting an offensive tackle in the first round, but the only question is who. Nate Solder and Derek Sherrod are the most likely candidates here, with Gabe Carimi as the underdog.

23. Minnesota Vikings- Ryan Mallett, Quarterback, Arkansas

Ryan Mallett has a ton of concerns as far as attitude and maturity goes, but with the right guidance, he can shake all of these problems once he’s in the NFL.

Minnesota has Jake Locker on the top of their draft board, but unless they trade up in front of the Titans, it won;t happen. Mallett is a great fall-back option here.

24. New Orleans Saints- Justin Houston, Defensive End, Georgia

Even with Da’Quan Bowers still on the board, New Orleans will go with the safer pick in Justin Houston. Bowers’ knee concerns will cause him to slide on draft day.

Justin Houston isn’t as solid of a pass-rusher as Bowers, but the Saints don’t want to be the team that regrets taking Bowers because his knee issues actually came to fruition.

25. Seattle Seahawks- Jimmy Smith, Cornerback, Colorado

Even with his obvious character issues, Jimmy Smith is a tremendous cornerback. There are many teams that will be willing to take the risk on him, and Seattle is one of them.

Kelly Jennings is a free agent this offseason, and the Seahawks could let him walk. If they plan on doing so, they’ll go cornerback in the first round.

26. Baltimore Ravens- Cameron Heyward, Defensive Lineman, Ohio State

Brian Baldinger said on Path to the Draft that he knows for a fact that if Cameron Heyward is available with the 26th pick, the Ravens will take him. I believe the man.

The only thing consistent about Cameron Heyward’s stock is that it isn’t consistent. Still, he has first round potential.

27. Atlanta Falcons- Brooks Reed, Defensive End, Arizona

I’ve seen a lot of report that Brooks Reed is going to be a stud in the NFL, and I’ve also seen some that think he’s overrated, will be overdrafted and is a third-rounder at best.

I, personally, am a big fan of Brooks’ game. The Falcons need a defensive end to replace Jamaal Anderson, who is one of the biggest busts in Atlanta Falcons history.

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (from New England)- Andy Dalton, Quarterback, TCU

New England receives:

– Jacksonville’s third-round pick (80th overall)

– Jacksonville’s first-round pick (2012)

Jacksonville receives:

– New England’s first-round pick (28th overall)

The Jaguars are very high on Andy Dalton at the moment, which leads me to believe they’re seriously considering him in the first or second round.

Jacksonville should look to trade up with New England, who wants to move down from the 28th selection anyways. David Garrard isn’t a terrible quarterback, but the Jags certainly know by now that they won’t be serious contenders with him as their quarterback.

29. Chicago Bears- Marvin Austin, Defensive Tackle, North Carolina

Chicago might go for Derek Sherrod or Gabe Carimi here, but the Bears usually focus more on defense the way it is. I see that trend continuing this year as well.

Marvin Austin, despite missing all of last season for the Tar Heels, will be a first-round selection. With Tommie Harris gone from Chicago, Austin could start from the get-go.

30. New York Jets- Akeem Ayers, Outside Linebacker, UCLA

With the top 3-4 defensive end’s off the board, New York will switch its focus to outside linebacker, where they could certainly use some help.

Jason Taylor had a good game or two for the Jets this past season, but they released him earlier this year. Akeem Ayers will likely be the pick for the Jets if he’s on the board.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers- Derek Sherrod, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi State

The Steelers are going to keep Flozell Adams around for another year, but who will take over for him when he finally hangs up the cleats for good?

Pittsburgh’s plan should be to take Sherrod in the first round, have him learn from Adams for a year and then have him start in 2012, if he’s ready.

32. Green Bay Packers- Da’Quan Bowers, Outside Linebacker, Clemson

Just when you thought the Packers defense couldn’t get any better, it does. Green Bay fans will jump for joy if Bowers falls to them, and I don’t know why it couldn’t happen.

Green Bay usually goes for the best player available, and in this case its Da’Quan Bowers. If he gets the correct training and playing time, Bowers could soon line up across from Clay Matthews.

Follow Tanner on Twitter:


Follow us on twitter @NFLmocks