NFL Mock Draft 4.0
Really shaking up things in the fourth edition of my 2011 NFL Mock Draft. I thought I had the top of the Draft pretty well predicted until I saw others move in the same direction, therefore I am going with a version that doesn’t have Cam Newton going #1. Previous version.
1. Carolina Panthers (2-14): Nick Fairley
- After having Cam going #1 for weeks, I’ve decided to change that. Not only because everyone is saying it, but because it would make a lot more sense for them to draft defensively (never a Clausen fan). Frankly, injuries and QB slowed them down in 2010 but they don’t have a ton of needs like 2-14 team would. Rivera needs to start with D and Fairley fits the scheme well. I could see Rivera getting a vet to play QB, even Billy Volek who was on the Chargers last year.
2. Denver Broncos (4-12): Marcell Dareus
- Dareus impressed me throughout his career in the rugged SEC. He is a safer pick than Fairley in the opinion of many and the Broncos needs another threat on the D as they were torched without Dumervil last year. Great burst of the line to go with strength. Improves the Broncos defense.
3. Buffalo Bills (4-12): Cam Newton
- Draft Cam, let him develop this year and compete next year. Newton is loaded with potential and risk. Had one of the great seasons in college football history. Compares to Donovan McNabb. Gives the Bills a franchise QB to develop behind Fitzpatrick.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (4-12): Blaine Gabbert
- With Carson out the door in Cincy, it is time to reload. Sure the Bengals could go WR and try to pair up OchoCinco again, but I think it’s time to start over.
5. Arizona Cardinals (5-11): Patrick Peterson
- The safest player in the draft, compares to Rod Woodson. Excellent speed and plays press coverage very well. I would have no problems if he went #1. I think Arizona would be foolish to pass on pairing Peterson up with Rodgers-Cromartie and/or let him learn from Wilson.
6. Cleveland Browns (5-11): A.J. Green
- Cleveland is desperately in the need of a WR and they will have their choice of Green or Jones. Green makes the most sense to me as he is a solid route runner who should combine nicely with Colt McCoy.
7. San Francisco 49ers (6-10): Von Miller
- Hard to believe he falls out of the Top 5 but it’s possible. Von Miller and Patrick Peterson are the two of the safest picks in the Draft. Von was clearly the best player at the Senior Bowl and has done everything right to be a top 10 pick.
8. Tennessee Titans (6-10): Robert Quinn
- It’s really difficult to predict how the Titans will go about building their roster since very little about their coach is known. Quinn would be the best player available.
9. Dallas Cowboys (6-10): Tyron Smith
- This is the direction the Cowboys should go in because their offensive line a glaring weakness last season. Extremely gifted athletically, has a chance to become an elite tackle. Played RT in college and looks the part for the position in the pros, also.
10. Washington Redskins (6-10): Julio Jones
- The Redskins sorely needed another receiving option last year. Jones makes sense from a personnel and personality standpoint for the Redskins.
11. Houston Texans (6-10): Aldon Smith
- Wade Phillips is probably very intrigued with Smith’s talents who has great quickness and could learn to be a hybrid force in the new 3-4 D.
12. Minnesota Vikings (6-10): Prince Amukamara
- Minnesota could go a number of ways with their pick, but CB always a need.
13. Detroit Lions (6-10): Anthony Constanzo
- Constanzo is a solid, fundamental football player. While he isn’t the most gifted, he is very solid and I could see him starting a LT for 10 years for a team. A dream selection for the Lions.
14. St. Louis Rams(7-9): Corey Liuget
- Liuget is a load inside, would like to see the Rams trade up for Julio. Liuget would solidify a strong front 7.
15. Miami Dolphins (7-9): Mike Pouncey
- Jaguars always seem to suffer a ton of injuries to their offensive line, especially on the interior. Keeping the former Gator in Florida would be a wise move for the run first squad.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8): Da’Quan Bowers
- Another DE for Jax seems to be the consensus, Pouncey makes sense to me.
17. New England (Raiders 8-8): Cameron Jordan
- One of the biggest risers in the pre-draft process. Jordan is a great athlete who has a knack for getting to the QB. Nimble for such a big man.
18. San Diego Chargers (9-7): JJ Watt
- Chargers in need of pass rush since Merriman was busted for steroids. Seems like the perfect 3-4 end. Impressive speed at the combine for a man of his size. Mayock compared him to Keisel
19. New York Giants (10-6): Derrek Sherrod
- Sherrod started four years in the SEC and is close to ready at LT.
20. Tampa Bay Bucs (10-6): Ryan Kerrigan
- Would be an immediate upgrade over the team’s returning sack leader, Stylez G. White. Might be the safest of all the DL prospects and because of this he could go higher. Buccaneers need to improve their pass rush after Stylez G. White led them with 4.5 sacks. Kerrigan is a high motor guy that Rahim Morris might fall for.
21. Kansas City Chiefs (10-6): Gabe Carimi
- KC needs to get younger on the OL and Carimi makes tons of sense for them because he is a masher.
22. Indianapolis Colts(10-6): Mark Ingram
- I put him here because he is a first round talent in my opinion. Some “buzz” that there could be 0 RBs in round one. Colts need to re-amp the run game and play-action passing game.
23. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6): Jimmy Smith
- Perhaps the best press corner in the Draft over the long haul. Fills a need opposite Asante Samuel.
24. New Orleans Saints (11-5): Adrian Clayborn
- Slipping a bit due to a less than productive senior season among other issues. Still one heck of a football players who can rush the passer with a variety of moves and play the run effectively.
25. Seattle Seahawks (7-9): Jake Locker
- One of those picks that kind of make too much sense to actually happen. Nevertheless, I could see a team, or two, trading into the first round, with NE probably, to draft a QB.
26. Baltimore Ravens (12-4): Titus Young
- Ravens need to add speed to the outside, and Young can burn. Could be an intriguing play next season as a slot as he develops and eventually plays opposite of Boldin.
27. Atlanta Falcons (13-3): Cameron Heyward
- Versatile defensive linemen who could be the next piece on the most underrated DL in football
28. New England Patriots (14-2): Danny Watkins
- 75% chance the Patriots trade this pick at the end of the night. If they keep it, they could draft an OL. There will be a late round run on linemen.
29. Chicago Bears (11-5): Nate Soldier
- The perfect project for offensive line coach Mike Tice. Don’t think Solider is ready from day one.
30. New York Jets (11-5): Phil Taylor
- Biggest needs are NT and OLB, NT is 32, so investing a first round pick makes sense. Taylor has tons of talent, not many can move like him weighing 337.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4): Benjamin Ijalana
- Steelers need OL help and Ijalana might be versatile enough to handle T/G.
32. Green Bay Packers (10-6): Akeem Ayers
- As Aaron Nagler told me the other day “With Ted Thompson I wouldn’t be surprised with any player or any position”.
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