2011 NFL mock drafts are starting to shape-up with the end of the pro season close. The picks will continue to shuffle and now that we're Bowling plenty of talent will have the stage to improve their stock.
(Click For My Most Recent 2011 NFL Mock Draft)
This is also the time of the year when NFL Draft related rumors start to populate. There are two big names quarterbacks potentially on the trade block or in the free-agent pool, and the teams involved in the rumors are drafting accordingly in this mock draft.
Rumors are very important for mocking. Last year Chan Gailey said they were looking to add a "waterbug" type back in the off-season and Buffalo drafted C.J. Spiller. Scott Pioli went the route of bluffing, saying that he isn't a fan of drafting safeties that high before taking Eric Berry.
Aside from the typical trade-talk and rumors, this year's NFL Draft could be especially interesting for several reasons.
There are five quarterbacks with first round aspirations (Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett, Jake Locker, and Blaine Gabbert).
If all five go in the first round it would be the first time since 1999 it has happened, when we had five in the first 12 picks. The last time four QBs were taken was 2004.
So we've seen a high volume of picks lead to mixed results. Three of 1999's group were straight busts while the 2004 class has multiple Super and Pro Bowls.
The 2011 NFL draft could also be the first time an offensive tackle isn't selected in the top 10 since 2005. It's a scenario that seems to happen every five or six years. There are anywhere from two to five tackles projected to go in the second half of the first round this year though so the position group isn't bankrupt.
For the second straight year there could be two Heisman Trophy winners selected in the first round. Cam Newton and Mark Ingram would follow Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford. Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush were the first to do it back in 2006.
Enough NFL Draft history though, on to the picks.
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