2011 NFL mock drafts get serious now that the NFL regular season is over. The draft order is set for the non-playoff teams—lowest winning percentage picks first, with strength of schedule as the tiebreaker and a coin-flip to break ties after that.
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We are still waiting to see how many of the premier prospects play in their bowls, and we've already seen some impressive and not-so-impressive performances. Many coaches don't get a chance to watch prospects during the regular season, so a great bowl can go a long way if you want to impress someone in the top 20.
This is a two round mock draft. It will give you an idea of who the top NFL draft prospects are as well as what some of the major team needs are.
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1. Carolina Panthers—Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
January 18th is when Luck has to decide if he wants to be a Panther.
2. Denver Broncos—Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Big need meets BPA. Peterson is a dream pick for Denver's next coach.
3. Buffalo Bills—Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
A better passer than getting credit for, he's a guy you want under center in close games.
4. Cincinnati Bengals—Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
Moving Carson Palmer could be tricky but if the rumors are true then Mallett should be the pick.
5. Arizona Cardinals—A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
I think Zona has the best shot of landing Donovan McNabb. If they do, Green could have a Randy Moss-like rookie season opposite of Larry Fitzgerald.
6. Cleveland Browns—Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Don't call reach too soon. Nobody could stop Blackmon this year, he's not just a product of the system
7. San Francisco 49ers—Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
May be a bit shocking to see Bowers this low, a real steal for the Niners defense no matter what scheme they use moving forward.
8. Tennessee Titans—Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
D-line is one of the Titans many needs and Fairley is the top prospect on the board.
9. Dallas Cowboys—Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Looked NFL-ready against MSU. Can play all-over the line in Dallas' 3-4 scheme.
10. Washington Redskins—Jake Locker, QB, Washington
The rumor is Mike Shanahan has been eyeing Locker for a while. Doubt he hopes he falls to the second round.
11. Houston Texans—Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
Supreme talent, Houston is in a position to take a high-ceiling prospect.
12. Minnesota Vikings—Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
Will depend on Pat Williams, Paea is a super-strong run stuffer.
13. Detroit Lions—Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
There is a chance Amukamara will slide. Overall a great prospect but doesn't take games over.
14. St. Louis Rams—Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Receivers might have been the only thing keeping the Rams out of the playoffs, Jones can solve that problem.
15. Miami Dolphins—Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
Played his bowl like he wanted to get paid. Miami's interior OL is in shambles.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars—Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
A complete safety, Moore will be an instant upgrade for the Jags secondary.
17. New England Patriots—Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
Pats defense has been playing well in the second half of the year but they still need to do a better job of taking down the QB. Kerrigan's a sack-master.
18. San Diego Chargers—Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
Big, strong lineman will be a great addition to SD's front.
19. New York Giants—Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
Great size for a LB, makes plays all-over the field too.
20. Tampa Bay Bucs—J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
Got beat on a QB keeper against TCU but overall looked like a violent machine.
21. Seattle Seahawks—Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
Hawks biggest needs are in the OL and secondary. Carimi is ready to start and a stand-out run blocker.
22. Indianapolis Colts—Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
Smart, athletic tackle can keep Peyton Manning healthy in to his 40's/
23. Green Bay Packers—Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Packers need to continue to add depth at tackle, and Castonzo will only be one play away.
24. Kansas City Chiefs—Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Thomas Jones is coming to the end of the road and Ingram is the prefect back to mix in with Jamaal Charles.
25. Philadelphia Eagles—Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida
Injuries have had Philly thin at DB this season, Jenkins gives them depth and a potential starter.
26. New York Jets—Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
Time to get some new blood coming off the edge, Miller would be a steal here.
27. New Orleans Saints—Bruce Carter, LB, North Carolina
Saints need to help their front seven. Free agency could leave them thin at LB, Carter is ready to start—very experienced.
28. Baltimore Ravens—Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
The biggest question mark on Baltimore's D is at corner, Harris gives them one answer moving forward.
29. Chicago Bears—Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
Bears will feel lucky to get any of the top-four tackles.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers—Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
Nevis his hard to project due to lack of size but his production warrants a first round pick.
31. Atlanta Falcons—Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
Falcons need to take pressure off Roddy White. Baldwin stretches the field.
32. New England Patriots—Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
I don't see the Pats reaching on an OT, Heyward hasn't killed this season but he is still a fringe first round prospect.
1. New England Patriots—Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
Pats have never shied away from character issues, Austin has been a potential first rounder for the last two seasons.
2. Buffalo Bills—DeMarcus Love, OT, Arkansas
Small reach but the Bills will need someone to protect their rookie QB.
3. Cincinnati Bengals—Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Looks like TOcho will be gone, and if Cinci is starting a rookie QB, this big target will be a great addition.
4. Denver Broncos—Cameron Jordan, DE, California
Jordan will help Denver attempt to stop the run in 2011.
5. Cleveland Browns—Justin Houston, LB, Georgia
Browns need a 3-4 rusher and Houston is the top prospect on the board at the position.
6. Arizona Cardinals—Orlando Franklin, OG, Miami
Massive guard will protect whoever is playing QB and give their running game some extra push.
7. Tennessee Titans—Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
Titans tap the Texas pipeline, Williams has premier size and makes plays.
8. Dallas Cowboys—Robert Sands, S, West Virginia
Super-sized safety catches your eye. Dallas has several free-agents at the position.
9. Washington Redskins—Greg Jones, LB, Michigan State
Great sideline-to-sideline defender, ready to start if Washington loses one or both, inside backers.
10. Houston Texans—Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
Houston needs a new go to tight end, Rudolph is a great fit for their system.
11. Minnesota Vikings—Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
Could be Vikings first round pick or could stay in school. Scouts can't seem to agree on him as a prospect.
12. Detroit Lions—Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
Going BPA, Liuget can be a disruptive force against considering he will face one man on most downs.
13. San Francisco 49ers—Jeremy Beal, LB, Oklahoma
Like Bowers, Beal is a solid pass rushing option for SF in any scheme although he would be best in their 3-4.
14. Denver Broncos—Quinton Carter, S, Oklahoma
Defense should be the theme of the draft for Denver, Carter is a complete safety.
15. Seattle Seahawks—Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
Seattle bled passing touchdowns this season, Brown might be good enough to start from day one.
16. St. Louis Rams—Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma
One receiver isn't enough for Bradford, re-connecting him with Broyles seems like a no-brainer.
17. Oakland Raiders—Allen Bailey, DE, Miami
Raiders will love Bailey's physical tools.
18. Jacksonville Jaguars—Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama
The Bama backer has lost much of the hype he had last year but the stand-out player remains.
19. San Diego Chargers—Tyron Smith, OT, USC
SD got their left tackle back but the right side is still in question and depth is needed too.
20. Kansas City Chiefs—Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College
Herzlich should start moving up draft boards soon, two years ago he was a first round lock.
21. New York Giants—Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
Great size, something the Giants love.
22. Indianapolis Colts—Jurrell Casey, DT, USC
Eventually the Colts have to quit ignoring their need for a DT. Casey is a very good pick late in the second round.
23. Tampa Bay Bucs—Travis Lewis, LB, Oklahoma
There will be several good backers on the board for Tampa here including Lewis. Corner help would be nice too.
24. Philadelphia Eagles—Benjamin Ijalana, OL, Villanova
If anyone knows whether Ijalana can make it in the NFL it's Philly. Most suspect he will play guard though he can fill-in at tackle.
25. Green Bay Packers—Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State
Very big and very talented back. If he runs a competitive 40 Packers may not have a shot late in the second round.
26. New Orleans Saints—Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
Played tackle for UNC this season but has prototypical end size in a 4-3 front.
27. Chicago Bears—Stefen Wisniewski, G/C, Penn State
Nothing will help the Bears' rushing or passing attack more than offensive lineman.
28. New York Jets—Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Rex Ryan will like the way Barron lays wood, Jets could use his physical play.
29. Baltimore Ravens—Rodney Hudson, G/C, Florida State
Some question his size but Hudson is one of the most productive players in Florida St. history.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers—Marcus Cannon, OL, TCU
Cannon played tackle at TCU but he looks like a road grader guard in the NFL.
31. Atlanta Falcons—Greg Romeus, DE, Pittsburgh
Would be getting first round buzz if he didn't get hurt. Could be a long-term steal for Atlanta.
32. New England Patriots—Clint Boling, OG, Georgia
At some point in the draft expect the Pats to add several offensive linemen. Boling can start in 2011 if needed.
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