2011 NFL Mock Draft: Could Cam Newton Replace Brett Favre in 2011?
It has been about a month since my last draft update. Coaches have been fired, and players have been benched. All of these actions will shake up this mock, and the Draft itself in April of 2011. In a year with many talented quarterbacks, receivers, and cornerbacks, many teams will look to add these position players to try to help build themselves to Super Bowl greatness.
1. Carolina Panthers: WR AJ Green, Georgia
With the Bills winning two in a row, they seem in position not to have the first pick in April. Instead Carolina should finish with the worse record.
That being said they really have two ways to go. Either build their offense around last year's Second Round pick Jimmy Clausen or try to replace Julius Peppers. So the decision really comes down to AJ Green v. Marcell Dareus.
Either player would be a great selection to help breathe life back to the Panthers organization.
2. Detroit Lions: CB Patrick Peterson, LSU
The Bad News: The Lions are under acheiving this season. They should not be 2-8, but when the future of your franchise is knocked out every couple weeks it is hard to win.
The Good News: It appears that they will no longer be the punchline of the NFL if Stafford stays healthy and if they can build to their defense.
There is not Top-10 caliber Offensive Lineman in this year's draft, so the Lions should look to the Second and Third Round to build to the S.P.A. (Stafford Protection Agency).
In the First Round they should look at either Patrick Peterson or Nebraska's Prince Amukamara to help Louis Delmas and Alphonso Smith build an elite secondary from the League's once worse.
3. Cincinnati Bengals: QB Andrew Luck, Stanford
This is probably the first mock in months that didn't see Andrew Luck first overall to Buffalo. Instead, a struggling Bengals team should look to rebuild around the top quarterback of this years class.
Some readers will disagree and say that Cincy does not need to rebuild, but with a 2-8 record, not much does appear to be going right. Aside from Terrell Owens and Leon Hall, no player (especially Carson Palmer) is playing at the level they should. I am not implying that the Bengals need to clean house, but it is time for some changes.
4. Arizona Cardinals: QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
The Cardinals are playing awful this season. They have a great receiving core, but with the terrible quarterbacks on their roster, they look like Cleveland's core.
Insert Ryan Mallett and you have a potent offense again right? This is much easier said then done, but it could prove to be this simple if they can execute a successful draft throughout all seven rounds.
5. Buffalo Bills: DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama
The Bills are in a tough spot here because the top two quarterback prospects are off the board, and there are not any top five Offensive Tackle prospects in this years class as stated before.
That being said the Bills will look to bolster up their run defense and pass-rush attack. Dareus is pro-ready and should be able to step in and make an impact.
If Luck and Mallett are off the board when the Bills have their selection, a trade back could be very possible.
6. Denver Broncos: DT Nick Fairley, Auburn
The Broncos are playing very inconsistently, and their defense is falling apart.
Nick Fairley or Prince Amukamara would be the pick in this scenario because they are the two best defensive player on the board. Either would make an immediate for Denver and could help bolster the future of the Broncos.
7. San Francisco 49ers: CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
The 49ers seem lost. Head Coach Mike Singletary will be out concluding this season, and from there the Niners direction will be uncertain.
For the most part they have the talent to be a playoff team, especially in a division as weak as the NFC West. With the addition of young talent through the draft and the growth of past draft picks, San Francisco may be able to reach the expectations they received for this season.
8. Minnesota Vikings: QB Jake Locker, Washington
To answer the question of the article, no Cam Newton will most likely not replace Brett Favre.
Jake Locker whose stock has dropped between the last year will still likely be selected over Newton following his pro day workout.
Favre has held back the Vikings this entire season, and part of the problem, Brad Childress, is gone. Now it will be the waiting game for Favre to once again retire, and perhaps next year the Vikings can return to playoff form behind Jake Locker.
9. Cleveland Browns: DE/OLB Robert Quinn, UNC
The Browns have been up and down this year. They will be hoping during draft day that AJ Green drops to them, but it will most likely not happen.
That being said they will take the best player available. Quinn was once the top defensive prospect, but suspension has hurt his stock.
He falls to Cleveland at ninth overall, and he will help give this defense an identity.
10. Dallas Cowboys: DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
The Cowboys have become competitors again following the firing of Wade Phillips.
Offensive Tackle is the biggest need, but Boston College's Anthony Castonzo or Mississippi State's Derek Sherrod would still be reaches here. Both could be an option, but there are still needs and pass-rush is one.
Demarcus Ware is a stud, and Marcus Spears is okay, but outside of the two players there aren't many defenders getting to the QB for Dallas. Clayborn could change this from day one.
11. Houston Texans: DE Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson
The Texans defense has been garbage this year. DeMeco Ryans has missed a lot of time, but they should not be playing at the level they are.
Bowers is greatly athletic, and across from Super Mario, he can really make an impact for this Houston defense. Getting to the Quarterback will help the young struggling secondary.
12. St. Louis Rams: WR Julio Jones, Alabama
Sam Bradford has been phenomenal in his rookie season for St. Louis. He has made Mark Clayton and Danny Amendola look like number one receivers. Imagine how good he can make an actual No.1 look.
Injuries to his offense has held back Bradford, but he can still get the job done. The team is young and progressing, and when Donnie Avery and Clayton return from injury next season the Rams offense will look potent for the first time since the greatest show on turf.
13. Miami Dolphins: RB Mark Ingram, Alabama
A head coaching change may be coming in Miami. Perhaps Jon Gruden will bring his talents to South Beach.
The Dolphins are another team that is underachieving, and Chad Henne is not progressing into the player most thought he would. It is already being speculated that Miami may give up on him, but they would likely give him at least one more year at it.
Mark Ingram has been phenomenal in college, and should be able to continue his success in the NFL. It has been speculated that Miami will let Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown go in free agency.
14. Washington Redskins: CB Brandon Harris, Miami (FL)
The Redskins are ranked 29th in pass defense, and this may come as a surprise to some because of the level DeAngelo Hall and LaRon Landry have been playing at.
However Washington is still averaging 280.1 YPG passing and this has to change.
The pick may be Cam Newton if the Redskins decide to move on from Donovan McNabb, but since they gave up a 2nd Round pick to get him this does not seem likely.
15. Tennessee Titans: OLB Akeem Ayers, UCLA
The Titans have received a lot of attention recently because of the Vince Young v. Jeff Fisher standoff, and with how unpredictable the NFL is, a quarterback could be drafted to Tennessee.
However, the pick will more likely be an OLB, and Akeem Ayers or Oklahoma's Travis Lewis will likely be the pick to help restore the once dominating Titans defense.
16. New England Patriots Via Oakland: DE Allen Bailey, Miami (FL)
The Patriots are thankful for Al Davis this Thanksgiving. They unloaded the contract of aging Richard Seymour and received a First Round pick for him.
It only appears right to draft Seymour's replacement with the pick they got for him. Adding Bailey makes New England's young defense have the potential of being elite led by Jerod Mayo and Brandon Meriweather.
17. San Diego Chargers: OLB Travis Lewis, Oklahoma
The Chargers cut Shawne Merriman and need to address the hole at OLB.
Travis Lewis will fill this hole and has the potential to be the next great Linebacker in this league amongst the likes of Ray Lewis, Patrick Willis and Jon Beason.
18. New York Giants: CB Janoris Jenkins, Florida
The Giants secondary has not been impressive this season even with all the pressure the line has put onto the opposing Quarterbacks.
Janoris Jenkins would be a steal here, and would help out the defense from day one.
19. Chicago Bears: OT Derek Sherrod, Miss. St.
The Bears line has been awful in protecting Jay Cutler.
Cutler has been far from perfect, but he has not had much protection so the turnovers are not entirely his fault.
If Chicago can protect Cutler they will be true contenders again, and would make the NFC North have the potential to be the League's best division (Once Favre retires).
20. New Orlean Saints: DE Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
The Saints could be snubbed from the playoffs this year. The Bucs have been a pleasant surprise in the NFC South, and have emerged as serious contenders even though the Saints already embarrassed Tampa Bay at home.
Ryan Kerrigan would be a good for New Orleans across from Will Smith. Pressure on QB is always a priority, but in a division with Matt Ryan and emerging Josh Freeman, they will have to get a lot of pressure.
21. Seattle Seahawks: DE Justin Houston, Georgia
A potential reach pick, but the Seahawks pass-rush is weak.
Houston would be a great addition to the linebacker core of Aaron Curry and Lofa Tatupu. This could rival San Francisco and Pittsburgh's.
22. Indianapolis Colts: G Mike Pouncey, Florida
Anyone who knows football knows Peyton Manning has been the most valuable player to his team.
Throughout his career he has played without an elite offensive line, but as he begins to age the Colts need to build a stronger line to protect his health.
Mike Pouncey's brother, Maurkice, is a stud for the Steelers. Despite a rough season in Florida, Pouncey's stock should not drop too far if they slide him back to Guard.
23. Jacksonville Jaguars: CB Aaron Williams, Texas
The Jaguars have consistency issues, but have been getting it done recently.
The pick will likely be a pass-rusher or a corner. In a class with multiple first round pass-rushers it is likely one will slip and be available on the Jaguars board.
If not, Aaron Williams is still a great pick and is the best player available.
24. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Jonathon Baldwin, Pittsburgh
Dwayne Bowe has returned to his rookie season form and currently leads the league in receiving touchdowns with eleven.
The Chiefs have invested a lot in Matt Cassell so they will probably be dedicated to filling the depth chart with weapons for him.
Baldwin is arguably the best player available, and Chris Chambers is more like a number three.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M
The Bucs look good.
The run defense hasn't improved immediately, but Gerald McCoy has finally came to life and Brian Price has missed most of the season.
Barrett Ruud and Geno Hayes are good young players, but Tampa lacks a pass-rushing threat and Von Miller is the best player available.
26. Green Bay Packers: CB Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
The Packers have been plagued with injury all season, but they are still contenders which shows the bright future for Green Bay if they can stay healthy.
Ras-I Dowling will replace Al Harris after being cut, and will eventually go on to replace all-time great Charles Woodson.
27. Pittsburgh Steelers: G Stefen Wisniewski, Penn St.
The Steelers took an offensive lineman last year in Maurkice Pouncey.
In their ideal draft his brother Mike is still available. Right now he is not available so Pittsburgh takes Wisniewski to play guard.
28. Philadelphia Eagles: DT Cameron Jordan, Cal
Brodrick Bunkley is out for the season, and Mike Patterson has faced injury too.
A need is the right guard, but the second and third round is filled with them, so the Eagles will look to add an anchor for Trent Cole and Brandon Graham to benefit from.
29. New York Jets: DT Muhammad Wilkerson, Temple
Muhammad Wilkerson is a beast. If he declares after his Junior season he should be a first round pick.
Kris Jenkins is great for the Jets when he plays, but injury has plagued the last two seasons. Wilkerson could replace Jenkins, and if he can stay healthy the Jets would establish themselves as the leagues best defense.
30. Baltimore Ravens: CB Brandon Burton, Utah
The Ravens pass defense hasn't been anything special this year even after Ed Reed returned from the PUP list.
Burton is the best corner on the board, and will contribute to Baltimore as soon as he gets on the field.
31. New England Patriots: WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
This pick was tough because the pass-rush need is already addressed, and its not Bill Belichick's style to draft running backs in the First Round.
Randy Moss was traded, and the rest of the team has stepped up, but the Patriots need a number one to return to their 16-0 regular season form.
32. Atlanta Falcons: TE Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame
The Falcons have Tony Gonzalez who is the best to play the position other then maybe Kellen Winslow Sr.
Rudolph will replace Gonzalez nicely, and will help Matt Ryan like Alge Crumpler did with Michael Vick during their time in Atlanta.