2011 NFL Mock Draft: First-Round Predictions For Every Team
With the college football season wrapping up, it's time to take a look at the 2011 NFL Draft.
Many of us already have a good idea who the No.1 overall pick will be, but where will everyone else go? Is Cam Newton a future Titan? Will Mark Ingram get a super bowl ring before Andrew Luck? Are the Vikings going to draft a quarterback now that Brett Favre is done?
Nobody really knows the answer to those questions, but this mock draft might give you a better glance at the possibilities.
32. New England Patriots: Jeremy Beal, OLB, Oklahoma
What they need: An assistant for Tom Brady and a linebacker, if there’s enough money left over.
Why him? Beal is one of the top pass rushers in the league and he has the speed to get to the backfield as well as adjust and make the open field tackle. His hand-eye coordination and work ethic is exactly what Brady has been asking for.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
What they need: Depending on whether or not they like change, the Falcons might go with someone with a much whiter sounding name to take the place of Tony Gonzalez.
Why him? Rudolph is the best tight end entering the draft, so he is an obvious choice for the Falcons, who might be in desperation mode if Gonzalez does decide to hang up his spikes.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
What they need: The Steelers are about as solid as you can get on both sides of the ball, and about as cocky as Roethlisberger on a night off, but they can always add depth to their defense.
Why him? Don’t let Longhorns season fool you; this kid is a true talent at cornerback. Thanks to Garret Gilbert, Williams saw a lot of action this year.
29. Philadelphia Eagles: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
What they need: An offensive lineman who can protect the leagues MVP. Yeah, I said it.
Why him? Standing at 6’9”, there are not many people who can measure up to this ogre. Even though he is a brute force, he can run the forty-yard dash in under five seconds, which is roughly two seconds faster than Rich Eisen, so you know he’s good.
28. New Orleans Saints: Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
What they need: A strong player to compliment Sedrick Ellis on the defensive line.
Why him? The Saints will basically grab the best available player when their time finally comes, so Nevis makes sense for them. He is quick to the ball and one of the strongest guys out there, but he also is intelligent and can learn from those around him, said Les Miles to somebody.
27. Baltimore Ravens: Travis Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma
What they need: Since Ray Lewis is busy starring in Old Spice commercials, the Ravens will likely draft his replacement with this pick.
Why him? Travis will fit right in with the Ravens defense and his consistent tackling and powerful hits will be a huge asset when Ray Lewis finally decides to become a full-time actor.
26. New York Jets: Cameron Jordan, DE/DT, California
What they need: Somebody who can tolerate Rex Ryan and his press conference shenanigans.
Why him? Despite having a slow start in college, I expect Jordan to be a quick learner when he enters the NFL. As long as he brushes up on his four-letter swear words, then he should find a starting position right away.
25. New York Giants: Mike Pouncey, G, Florida
What they need: The Giants have a powerful offense, but they need to prevent Eli from making his infamous Manning Face during every drive.
Why him? The big man from the swamp is a versatile athlete and gives Giants fans the best hope of keeping Eli happy.
24. Chicago Bears: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
What they need: Somebody to protect their most prized possession- and no I am not talking about Devin Hester.
Why him? If Sherrod can just stand on two feet for more than three seconds, then he will already be an improvement for the Bears. Luckily for them, Sherrod has great balance and also brings stability and quickness, so he should be a great fit in the Windy City.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
What they need: A wide receiver who isn’t named Dwayne Bowe.
Why him? Standing at an impressive 6’5”, this kid can grab anything thrown his way and he has the soft hands to make sure he completes the catch. His speed isn’t overwhelming, but he is a receiver, so the Chiefs should be pleased with this selection.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars: Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
What they need: The Jags offense seems to be clicking lately, so they will likely go with a defensive player to supplement their coverage and quarterback pressure.
Why him? Besides having one of the coolest names out there, Ayers is also an all-around play maker and a pure athlete, which means he will probably go unnoticed while playing in Jacksonville.
21. St. Louis Rams: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
What they need: Sam Bradford just wants to throw to somebody. Anybody with two arms will do just fine.
Why him? Floyd and Bradford are a match made in football heaven, if football heaven qualifies the Rams as a football team, that is. Floyd can run with the best of them and catch anything thrown his way, so he will likely be the top target until Bradford gets hurt.
20. Green Bay Packers: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
What they need: Plagued with injuries, the fellas up at Green Bay have all the necessary tools to make a championship run next year, so they will most likely draft someone who looks good in green.
Why him? Harris is a versatile cornerback with the springs to do a Lambeau leap with ease.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
What they need: Since Josh Freeman isn’t as crappy as we all thought, the concentration for this draft pick now shifts to their rush defense.
Why him? Despite spending some time on the IR this year, Miller has the goods to be an immediate success on the field. His military training at A&M will have no impact on the next level, but it is a nice icebreaker.
18. Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
What they need: With Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams both ending this season as free agents, the Dolphins will be looking to draft a running back with their first pick.
Why him? Ingram has a good head on his shoulders and a strong support system, so the chances of him becoming the next Ricky Williams are slim. He does have a Heisman trophy, though, so you never know.
17. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
What they need: Peyton Manning has more sponsors than he does time in the pocket, so the Colts need to get him some protection.
Why him? The Colts cannot afford to pass on Castonzo, when all of their success relies on the health of Manning and whether or not he can call an audible. Castonzo is also a big white guy, so he'll fight right in with the Colts lineman.
16. San Diego Chargers: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
What they need: Someone who can play every position on special teams. Unfortunately, those people are hard to come by, so they have to settle for somebody else.
Why him? Clayborn has had an impressive senior year, so if he can work on his ball holding skills during extra points, then he may just be the Chargers next team captain.
15. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue
What they need: Better jerseys and possibly some sort of defenseman.
Why him? Kerrigan is having a breakout year for the Boilermakers and leads the nation in TFL. As far as I know, he is not related to Nancy Kerrigan, so he should remain a first-round pick.
14. New England Patriots: Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida
What they need: With their Brady issues taken care of, the Patriots can now focus on the smaller things in life, like getting a cornerback.
Why him? Jenkins is a shutdown corner with great quickness and will be a nice addition to a team that prides itself on long locks.
13. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
What they need: Somebody who can take the load off of Peyton Hillis and also chat with Colt McCoy when he feels homesick.
Why him? Blackmon is an explosive receiver with great hands and an even better field vision. If he can stay out of jail, then he will more than likely become Colt’s top receiver.
12. Minnesota Vikings: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
What they need: A great motivational speech and a replacement for Favre. We’ve seen glimpses of what Joe Webb is capable of, so the Vikings will probably go with a quarterback with this pick.
Why him? Even though Locker has seen his stock plummet faster than Albert Haynesworth after a blitz, he does have the potential to be the next Ryan Leaf. Unfortunately the Vikings don’t have time to wait for someone better to come around because we’ve already seen what one bad season can do to them.
11. Houston Texans: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
What they need: The Texans offense (Arian Foster) is fine, but he’s never on the field because their defense gives the opposing quarterback enough time to have a picnic every down.
Why him? The Texans will take the best DE/DT on the board, and Paea will likely be that person. He can stop the run, but more importantly he can get to the quarterback and give Schaub enough time to fire an incomplete pass.
10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
What they need: A coach who spends more time studying film than he does getting a tan. I guess they could also use a wide receiver and a better quarterback as well.
Why him? Jones is the perfect supplement to Santana Moss and he has the hand strength and breakaway speed to become the star of the team. That is, of course, if they can find someone better than Rex Grossman.
9. Tennessee Titans: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
What they need: The Titans could easily go for a quarterback with this pick, considering that Vince Young and Jeff Fischer are no longer BFF’s, but I doubt they're willing to draft one instead going for a standout defender.
Why him? Widely considered the next great pass rusher out of UNC since Julius Peppers, Quinn has the size and speed to be just that. The Titans have one of the worst pass rushing defenses in the league, so Quinn will probably ask for a lot of money.
8. San Francisco 49ers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
What they need: A new coach and a new quarterback. As long as they don’t draft someone with the last name 'Smith', then we'll consider it a success.
Why him? Let’s face it; the team needs a spark on their offense and Cam Newton's smile is capable of lighting up the entire stadium. He can single-handedly take over a game and his dual-threat qualities make him a top pick for fantasy football owners.
7. Dallas Cowboys: Marcell Dareus, DE/DT, Alabama
What they need: A team retreat.
Why him? Dareus is a beast, who can get to the quarterback in any defensive scheme. Plus, if Jerry Jones is still delivering Papa Johns pizza like he did a couple years ago, then Marcell might just find himself right at home.
6. Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
What they need: Larry Fitzgerald has made it clear that he would like some help opposite him, so the Cardinals are probably going to draft a quarterback instead.
Why him? This gun-slinger is already used to wearing red and white, so his transition to Arizona will be a simple one.
5. Buffalo Bills: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
What they need: When Stevie Johnson isn’t busy tweeting God, he is actually quite good, so now the Bills need to focus on their secondary with this pick.
Why him? Even though he is not a member of the royal family, Amukamura adds a much-needed presence in the Bills defense and he has the shut down speed and quickness to become an instant success.
4. Detroit Lions: Nick Fairley, DE/DT, Auburn
What they need: Better trainers? A new coach? A witch doctor?
Why him? The Lions need a lot of help, but they need someone who can work opposite Suh when he starts getting double-teamed next year. As a bumper sticker and several shirts once said, '"the best offense is a good defense", and the Lions have probably read that several times.
3. Denver Broncos: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
What they need: D-E-F-E-N-S-E. Tebow might be a great motivator, but his prayers must only be heard in the offensive huddle because my grandma could complete a pass against their secondary… with her left hand.
Why him? Peterson answers prayers on defense; it’s that simple.
2. Cincinnati Bengals: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
What they need: A team player who is not interested in getting their own VH1 show.
Why him? He has the ability to get to the quarterback and make the tackle, which seems to be a difficult task for most of the Bengals, so he is an obvious choice for them.
1. Carolina Panthers: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
What they need: A facelift and a leader. Carolina made the mistake of drafting Clausen last year and they're going to make up for it by drafting someone much better. With their best receiver and team captain picking daisies (Steve Smith), the Panthers need to draft a new leader in their locker room.
Why him? Look at it this way: Even if he ends up throwing like Clausen, he can still double as a linebacker or a fullback. The Panthers can’t go wrong with drafting Luck.