2011 NFL Mock Draft: Looking at the Top 10 Picks With the 2010 Season Over

Daniel WolfSenior Writer IJanuary 4, 2011

2011 NFL Mock Draft: Looking at the Top 10 Picks With The 2010 Season Over

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    The 2010 NFL regular season has come to a close and that means it is time to start mocking the 2011 NFL Draft!

    With the season over the top 10 draft slots are locked up and are as follows right now:

    1. Carolina Panthers

    2. Denver Broncos

    3. Buffalo Bills

    4. Cincinnati Bengals

    5. Arizona Cardinals

    6. Cleveland Browns

    7. San Francisco 49ers

    8. Tennessee Titans

    9. Dallas Cowboys

    10. Washington Redskins

    Please note that this is not reflecting any future roster moves and takes the rosters as they are right now. Once roster moves happen, then this top 10 will change and until juniors officially declare their return to college, they are included in this mock too.

     

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10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

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    With receiver Santana Moss getting older and young receiver Anthony Armstrong breaking out in 2010, the Redskins need to upgrade on the outside and Jones brings Washington a big and physical presence on the edge to open up defenses for the running game.

    Speaking of the running game, do not doubt that Mike Shanahan could also pick a different Alabama player here in running back Mark Ingram.

    Many options for the 'Skins at No. 10 and many holes to fill too.

    Other pressing needs: OL, QB, RB

9. Dallas Cowboys: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

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    The Cowboys may think about going with an offensive lineman in order to better protect quarterback Tony Romo, but let's face the facts and owner Jerry Jones loves picking skill position players in the first round and in 2011 it will be no different.

    With a big need to fill in their secondary at cornerback, Jones gets his teams one of the top two rated defensive backs in the class with Amukamara.

    Other pressing needs: OT, LB

8. Tennessee Titans: Patrick Peterson, DB, LSU

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    Looks like Titans owner Bud Adams is ignoring all advice to move on without quarterback Vince Young in order to keep head coach Jeff Fisher on board and that means no Fisher in 2011 and no need for a quarterback either with Young staying.

    Dumb move to let Fisher go if this really plays out.

    Titans go with the best player on the board and grab the top rated defensive back in this draft class.

    Other pressing needs: DE, DT

7. San Francisco 49ers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

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    With both Luck and Mallett off the board, there is no bigger need for the Niners than at the quarterback position.

    With a new head coach and general manager coming into the fray, they will look to pick the 6'6 250-pound Newton to become the new future of the team.

    Many will argue this point saying that Newton is no better than a bigger Troy Smith, but who would you rather have? Newton or T. Smith?

    If you say T. Smith, then you are lying.

    Other pressing needs: DE, RB, CB

6. Cleveland Browns: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

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    The Cleveland Browns have many pressing needs on their roster especially with a new coaching staff coming on board for the 2011 season.

    Even though many fans and NFL experts say that quarterback Colt McCoy is not the answer, president Mike Holmgren will stick with the kid for another year as his starter and get him some weapons too.

    No weapon is needed more than a true No. 1 receiver on the outside and if Green comes out early and it sitting at No. 6 (which is highly possible), then the Browns will have a go-to guy to open up the offense.

    There is still a high possibility that general manger Tom Heckert could pick a top-tier cornerback in the first round for the second year in a row too since there will be several receiver prospects available at the top of the second round as well. When Heckert was in Philadelphia, he told the media multiple times that he looks shut down corners on defense to free up the safeties to make plays. 

    With Joe Haden in place as one of the Browns' starting corners for 2011, do not doubt that Patrick Peterson or Prince Amukamara could be on the radar too.

    Other pressing needs: OT, DE, LB, CB

5. Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

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    Rumblings online are that Mallett is moving up the draft boards and if he comes out early, then the Cardinals will be very tempted in picking him as their hopefully savior at quarterback.

    No longer will head coach Ken Whisenhunt want to have a quarterback carousel and he picks who he hopes will bring Arizona back to the playoffs in a very easy division to win in 2011.

    Other pressing needs: LB, OL

4. Cincinnati Bengals: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

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    Many will fight that the Bengals will pick top wide receiver on the board A.J. Green, but with the emergence of their younger receivers in the last few weeks of the 2010 season, the Bengals will look to improve their pass rush in the first with the top 4-3 defensive end in this class.

    Bowers will help the Bengals get to fellow AFC North quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco and Colt McCoy.

    The Bengals will be able to find a good receiver at the top of the second round if they still think they need to add one, but they cannot pass up on Bowers to help their defensive pressure in the pocket.

    Other pressing needs: CB, RB

3. Buffalo Bills: Marcell Dareus, DL, Alabama

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    Dareus' stock has been rising and even though the Bills could be tempted at taking a quarterback at this spot, head coach Chan Gailey seems to have faith in Ryan Fitzpatrick.

    The Bills need to stock opposing offenses up front and bringing on Dareus will help the Bills get more of a push and he will help in stopping the running game too.

    Bills could still surprise at this spot but defensive line seems more logical as of right now and Bills fans may call for Da'Quan Bowers, but he really does not fit the Bills' 3-4 scheme.

    Other pressing need: LB, WR, QB, OT

2. Denver Broncos: Nick Fairley, DL, Auburn

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    Many Broncos fans will say that Denver will pick one of the top two defensive backs in this draft at the No. 2 spot, but truth be told—there has only been a defensive back picked No. 2 or higher twice in the draft back in 1963 and in 1991.

    Odds are the Broncos will not pick a DB this high and they will address their need to bulk up their defensive line and Fairley is a big and aggressive lineman that will help the Broncos put more pressure on opposing offenses.

    Other pressing needs: CB

1. Carolina Panthers: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

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    The debate will continue up until draft day if the Panthers will really pick a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in April's draft, but it is hard to pass up a talented quarterback like Luck and as the St. Louis Rams showed in 2010, a solid quarterback can really change the franchise around in one year's time.

    Sorry Matt Moore, Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike, but you guys should have shown more in 2010 to stake your claim on the starter spot and since you didn't, Luck could very well be the future now.

    Other pressing needs: D-Line, WR

     

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