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2011 NFL Draft: Diagnosing Each Team's Most Pressing Draft Needs

Chris FaigCorrespondent IMay 29, 2016

2011 NFL Draft: Diagnosing Each Team's Most Pressing Draft Needs

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Unfortunately a few teams, such as the Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers, are already knocked out of the playoff race beginning to ponder certain draft possibilities for 2011.

    Some of the elite college players that will be in this year's draft are Cam Newton, Mark Ingram, Prince Amukamara, Julio Jones, Patrick Peterson and A.J. Green.  

    In what is expected to be an extremely talented 2011 NFL Draft class, the struggling teams of this season will have the opportunity to improve their franchise dramatically.  

    The following slides show which players each team should select with their first pick according to their positional needs.

Philadelphia Eagles (7-4)

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    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    LB, OL

     

    The only real improvements the Philadelphia Eagles need on offense is on the offensive line. Derek Sherrod would be a great pickup for the the Eagles, showing a lot of potential.  

    If they decide to draft on the defensive side in the first round, expect them to pick either a linebacker or defensive end, full with speed, like a Jeremy Beal.  

     

    Possible Selections:

    OLB/DE Jeremy Beal, Oklahoma

    OT Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State

New York Giants (7-4)

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    CB,DT

     

    With a late first-round pick, there's a chance the New York Giants will draft on the defensive side, grabbing a cornerback to help an already impressive secondary.  

    If the Giants don't select a cornerback, then a defensive tackle such as Marvin Austin or Jurrell Casey is someone they are favorable to pick.

     

    Possible Selections:
    CB Janoris Jenkins, Florida

    DT Marvin Austin, UNC

Washington Redskins (5-6)

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    WR, OT

     

    The Redskins need help at numerous positions, but wide receiver and the offensive line are two places in particular they will most likely improve on in the 2011 NFL Draft.  With a better lineman or two and another weapon at wide receiver, along side Santana Moss, the Redskins offense will be a nightmare for opponents.  Don't forget, they also have Chris Cooley at tight-end.

     

    Possible Selections:
    WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh

    OT Nate Solder, Colorado

Dallas Cowboys (3-8)

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    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Position to Improve:

    OL, CB

     

    If the Cowboys have the chance to add a guy like Prince Amukamara to their defense, you can bet they are going to do it.  With a disappointing season, the Cowboys will receive a high selection and may even be able to run away with Patrick Peterson, the shut-down corner out of LSU, in the 2011 NFL Draft.

     

    Possible Selections:

    CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska

    OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College

    CB Patrick Peterson, LSU

Chicago Bears (8-3)

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    OL

     

    The Chicago Bears will be drafting an offensive lineman with their first pick, after allowing Jay Cutler to be sacked 37 times throughout 11 games.  

     

    Possible Selections:
    OT Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State

    OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College

Green Bay Packers (7-4)

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    DE, CB, RB

     

    At 7-4, the Green Bay Packers will finish off the season as one of the top NFL teams, receiving a low pick in the upcoming draft.  If they do not choose to improve their rushing attack, which is 23rd overall in the NFL, then expect the Packers to add some power to their defense.

     

    Possible Selections:
    DE Cameron Jordan, California

    CB Ras-I Dowling

Minnesota Vikings (4-7)

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    QB, CB

     

    With Favre likely to retire, it doesn't seem like the Vikings have too much faith in Tarvaris Jackson, so expect them to select a QB such as Jake Locker.

     

    Possible Selections:
    QB Jake Locker, Washington

    CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska

Detroit Lions (2-9)

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Position to Improve:

    CB, WR

     

    The Lions offense could be lethal if they add another dangerous wide receiver to the mix such as Julio Jones.  Matthew Stafford had shown a ton of promise before getting injured.  With another weapon alongside Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew, the Detroit Lions could have one of the most productive offenses in the National Football League.  

     

    Possible Selections:

    CB Prince Amukamera, Nebraska

    WR, Julio Jones, Alabama

Atlanta Falcons (9-2)

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    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Position to Improve:

    WR

     

    The Atlanta Falcons are one of the best teams in the NFL at 9-2, not showing many flaws so far this season.  With a late first-round pick, Michael Floyd or DeVier Posey are two talented receivers who would complement Matt Ryan very nicely.

     

    Possible Selections:

    WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame

    WR DeVier Posey, Ohio State

New Orleans Saints (8-3)

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    DT, WR

     

    On the defensive side, the Saints will probably choose a defensive tackle, while on offense, they'll most likely select another electrifying receiver to put alongside Marques Colston.

     

    Possible Selections:

    WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma

    DT Drake Nevis, LSU

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4)

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    David Purdy/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    WR

     

    Not having a ton of talent to work with at the wide receiver position, the Buccaneers will help out Josh Freeman with their first-round pick.

     

    Possible Selections:

    WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh

    WR Leonard Hankerson, Miami

Carolina Panthers (1-10)

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    DE

     

    With the worst record in football, 1-10, the Panthers will probably remain in last place and receive the first overall pick.  Carolina will let Jimmy Clausen develop and try to add some fear to their defense by selecting Da'Quan Bowers.

     

    Possible Selections:

    DE Da'Quan Bowers Clemson

St. Louis Rams (5-6)

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    WR, OL

     

    With no real receiving threat, expect the St. Louis Rams to select a playmaker like Julio Jones with their early first-round selection.  If not a receiver, then an offensive lineman to help support their sensational young quarterback Sam Bradford.

     

    Possible Selections:

    OL Nate Solder, Colorado

    WR, Julio Jones

Seattle Seahawks (5-6)

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    OL

    The Seattle Seahawks have the worst rushing attack in the NFL, and it's mainly due to the lack of performance by their offensive line.  Expect the Seahawks to draft a player to create some holes for their rushing game.

     

    Possible Selections:

    OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College

    OT Nate Solder, Colorado

    OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin

San Francisco 49ers (4-7)

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    WR, QB

     

    If the 49ers continue to play well with Troy Smith as their quarterback, then Smith just might be San Francisco's quarterback of the future.  So to help support Smith in the 2011-12 NFL season, the 49ers will select a wide receiver.  With a high pick in this year's draft, the Niners could probably select A.J. Green. Troy Smith and A.J. Green would make a very interesting duo.

    However, if they decide to go with a fresh start at quarterback once again, then San Francisco will select a QB like Ryan Mallet or Jake Locker.

     

    Possible Selections:

    QB Jake Locker, Washington

    QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas

    WR A.J. Green, Georgia

Arizona Cardinals (3-8)

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    QB, LB

     

    The Arizona Cardinals will probably finish this season with one of the worst records in the entire league. They desperately need help at the quarterback position.  Don't be surprised if they take a defensive player in the first round and select Cameron Newton with their second-round draft pick.

     

    Possible Selections:

    LB Akeem Ayers, UCLA

    QB Jake Locker, Washington

    QB Cameron Newton, Auburn

New York Jets (9-2)

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    FS, OLB

     

    The Jets don't seem to need much help, but expect Rex Ryan and staff to add some more firepower to this already stunning defense.  

     

    Possible Selections:

    FS Rahim Moore, UCLA

    OLB Greg Jones, Michigan State

New England Patriots (9-2)

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    S, OL, WR

     

    With three selections in the first 33 picks of the draft, the New England Patriots will be able to patch any holes they may want to fix.  

    Expect them to add an electrifying receiver with one of their first three picks.

     

    Possible Selections:

    OL Rodney Hudson, Florida State

    WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma

    FS Deunta Williams, UNC

Miami Dolphins (6-5)

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    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    LB, DE, RB

     

    At some point in the draft, the Dolphins will be selecting a running back to be their starter for the future. Mark Ingram would be perfect for Miami the first few years, taking some rushes behind Ronnie Brown and eventually being the leading back for their franchise.  

    If they decide to go on the defensive side of the ball, expect the Dolphins to draft a defensive end or linebacker. 

     

    Possible Selections:

    RB Mark Ingram, Alabama

    DE Allen Bailey, Miami

    LB Justin Houston, Georgia

Buffalo Bills (2-9)

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    QB, OT, CB

     

    Likely to draft a quarterback, the Buffalo Bills will select Ryan Mallet with their first pick or Cam Newton in the second round.  If they didn't draft a quarterback with their first two picks, I would be shocked.  

     

    Possible Selections:

    QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas

    QB Cam Newton, Auburn

    OT Demarcus Love, Arkansas

    CB Ras-I Dowling, Virginia

Baltimore Ravens (8-3)

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    WR, OL

     

    The Baltimore Ravens could use some extra help for Joe Flacco, with an already amazing defense.  So, the Ravens should look at drafting a either a wider receiver like Jonathan Baldwin or an offensive lineman such as Matt Reynolds.

     

    Possible Selections:

    WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh

    OL Matt Reynolds, BYU

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3)

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    OL, CB

     

    The Steelers could use some more talented blocking for Ben Roethlisberger by selecting an offensive lineman with their first pick this season.  But, it's more likely for Pittsburgh to improve its secondary by adding a cornerback.

     

     

    Possible Selections:

    OL Rodney Hudson, Florida State

    CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado

    CB Brandon Harris, Miami

Cleveland Browns (4-7)

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    Dave Martin/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    OL, WR

     

    With Colt McCoy looking like the future for Cleveland at the quarterback position, expect them to saddle up some young talent around the Texas Longhorn.  Throughout the 2011-12 NFL draft, the Browns should select a few lineman and wide receivers.

     

    Possible Selections:

    OL Anthony Castonzo, Boston College

    WR A.J. Green, Georgia

    OL Nate Solder, Colorado

    WR Julio Jones, Alabama

Cincinnati Bengals (2-9)

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    David Purdy/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    DE, RB

     

    The Bengals need help all over their roster, but defensive end and running back would be good places to start.  The Cincinnati Bengals currently have the 25th overall rushing offense, gaining an average of 92.0 YPG.

     

    Possible Selections:

    DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa

    RB Mark Ingram, Alabama

    DE Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue

Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5)

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    DE, LB

     

    At 6-5, the Jacksonville Jaguars are tied for first with the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South division.  The Jag's have an excellent rushing attack, earning 141.8 YPG, but their defense has continuously struggled throughout the season.  

    A defensive end will likely be Jacksonville's first priority, so they can begin to put more pressure on the opposing quarterbacks.

     

    Possible Selections:

    DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa

    LB Akeem Ayers, UCLA

    DE Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue

Indianapolis Colts (6-5)

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    DT, OL

     

    With an aging front line, the Colts will add some younger talent to protect quarterback Peyton Manning. Defensive Tackle is also a need that Indianapolis will have to touch upon at some point in this draft.

    At 6-5 the Colts are in jeopardy of missing the postseason for the first time in nine years.

     

    Possible Selections:

    DT Drake Nevis, LSU

    OL Stefen Wisniewski, Penn State

Houston Texans (5-6)

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    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    DT

     

     

     

    Possible Selections:

    DT Nick Fairley, Auburn

    DL Cameron Jordan

Tennessee Titans (5-6)

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    LB ,QB

     

    With Vince Young's future uncertain in Tennessee, selecting a quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft is not farfetched.  If they do in fact select a quarterback with their first pick, Cameron Newton would be a solid fit for Tennessee.

    A linebacker is also high on the list of demands for this offseason.  Von Miller and Ayers would be likely selections for the Titans if they picked a linebacker in the first round.

     

    Possible Selections:

    QB Cameron Newton, Auburn

    LB Von Miller, Texas A & M

    LB Akeem Ayers, UCLA

Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    WR, OL, CB

     

    With Matt Cassel and Dwayne Bowe having impressive seasons this year, it seems as if the Chiefs will now build their offense around them.  Kansas City's main focuses should be to get another reliable receiver, strengthen their offensive line and add some assistance to the secondary.

     

    Possible Selections:

    OT Nate Solder, Colorado

    OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College

    WR Julio Jones, Alabama 

    CB Brandon Harris, Miami

San Diego Chargers (6-5)

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    DE, WR

     

    At 6-5, the San Diego Chargers are second in the AFC West.  The Chargers will most likely concentrate on adding some youth to their defensive line, with Jacques Cesaire and Travis Johnson possibly having new destinations next season.  

    The Chargers may go after a wide receiver to add another target for Philip Rivers.  San Diego's most consistent receiver is their tight-end, Antonio Gates.  They need a wide-receiver who can be a playmaker and should go after one in the draft.

     

    Possible Selections:

    DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa

    DE Jeremy Beal, Oklahoma

    WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame

Oakland Raiders (5-6)

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    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    QB, OL

     

    The Oakland Raiders need to redevelop their offense.  They can start doing this by selecting a quarterback with their second round draft pick.  Jason Campbell doesn't seem like he's going to fit in Oakland, and Gradkowski hasn't been too hot when he gets the chance.  Cameron Newton is a great possibility.  

    But, the Raiders must be sure to draft a receiver or two, lacking a consistent target on offense.

     

    Possible Selections:

    OL Demarcus Love, Arkansas

    OL Joseph Barksdale, LSU

    QB Cameron Newton, Auburn

Denver Broncos (3-8)

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Positions to Improve:

    RB, CB, DL

     

    With the 30th overall rushing attack in the NFL this season, the Broncos are likely to draft a running back with their first-round selection.  Mark Ingram seems like he would be a good fit for this offense, although the Broncos also need some assistance on the defensive side of the ball.

     

    Possible Selections:

    DL Allen Bailey, Miami

    DE Robert Quinn, UNC

    CB Janoris Jenkins, Florida

    RB Mark Ingram, Alabama

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