2011 NFL Mock Draft: Andrew Luck's Return Shakes Up Draft
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2011 NFL Mock Drafts have been rocked with Andrew Luck returning to Stanford for another season. Whether you believed the Carolina Panthers were going to take Luck or pass, the trickle-down has shifted the entire draft board.
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1. Carolina Panthers—Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Without Andrew Luck in the mix, the Panthers can focus on fixing their defensive line. Their ends are better than their tackles and Fairley is worth the top pick, even if he isn't Suh-caliber.
2. Denver Broncos—Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
It looks like Denver will need some corner help next year and Peterson can be "the man" for 10-plus seasons. Great returner, too.
3. Buffalo Bills—Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
The Bills might be content with the play of Ryan Fitzpatrick, but four wins is four wins. Newton is a perfect fit for Chan Gailey's offense.
4. Cincinnati Bengals—Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
With Marvin Lewis back it looks like Carson Palmer may stick around, too—he did have a strong finish after all. Antwan Odom is never healthy and Bowers is the top defensive player on the board.
5. Arizona Cardinals—Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
The most recent rumor is that Arizona doesn't expect to get Donovan McNabb. Blaine "Yo Gabba" Gabbert wouldn't have been so quick to leave school unless he knew he would be a top-10 pick.
6. Cleveland Browns—A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
The Browns have a lot to figure out moving forward. Regardless of coach or scheme you can't go wrong with Green. WR is a top need too.
7. San Francisco 49ers—Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
New coaches mean rookie QBs a lot of the time. Scouts have been dogging Mallett some but he looks like a lock for the top 11.
8. Tennessee Titans—Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
If the Titans were hoping to land a QB here their luck might be running thin. Their defense struggled this season and Paea can help them get back to where they were with Albert Haynesworth.
9. Dallas Cowboys—Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Dareus is a perfect fit for Dallas' 3-4 scheme. Safety is a bigger need than corner in their secondary and good defense start with the D-line.
10. Washington Redskins—Jake Locker, QB, Washington
The strongest going rumor is that the Shanahans love Locker. Sitting behind Rex Grossman might not be great for development, but it will be better than starting from day one.
11. Houston Texans—Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
Quinn could sneak in the top 10, but the Texans would be happy to have him at 11. Highest ceiling in the draft.
12. Minnesota Vikings—Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
Secondary hasn't been a stregnth recently for Minnesota. Amukamara's talent warrants the pick, he has erased many receivers during his time at Nebraska.
13. Detroit Lions—Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
If the Lions want to go BPA to the max here they will take a WR. I think they will go BPA for their defense though, giving them the versatile Ayers. Any of the DEs could be in play here, too.
14. St. Louis Rams—Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
STL would be happy to land any of the top three WRs. Blackmon is a guy you can target more than Jones and his production speaks for itself.
15. Miami Dolphins—Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
Miami's interior OL is hurting big time. Pouncey isn't the same prospect as his brother but he carries a first round grade and a very high floor.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars—Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
I'm having flashbacks of the Jags' terrible secondary play right now. Moore might be all they need to make the playoffs this year.
17. New England Patriots—Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
If the Pats have their eye on a OT they can take their pick but it's hard to pass on the best pure 3-4 OLB prospect in the draft. NE needs sacks, Miller has them.
18. San Diego Chargers—Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Chargers love big, tall receivers. V-Jax's and injuries screwed the team this year, Jones can be an instant star when teamed with Rivers. A slide for Jones, but SD doesn't mind.
19. New York Giants—Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
I think the Giants have their eyes on Ayers. They could always go DL or OL here but their secondary needs depth too and Williams should crack the 6'0" mark at the Combine.
20. Tampa Bay Bucs—J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
Some feel Watt isn't a good DE fit for the 3-4 but if you look at the Bears DL I think he is perfect. Good athlete for a man his size and he plays with fire.
21. Seattle Seahawks—Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
Seattle needs secondary help and line help. Pete Carroll is a fan of athletic linemen, Sherrod fits that profile and carries a first-round grade.
22. Indianapolis Colts—Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
Big, smart and athletic. Solder will help Indy's defense do everything better.
23. Green Bay Packers—Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
Could start the season at guard, but with Bryan Bulaga, Carimi gives GB bookends for the next decade.
24. Kansas City Chiefs—Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
KC wants to run the ball around 550 times during the year and Thomas Jones looks carried-out. Ingram will thrive in a shared backfield.
25. Philadelphia Eagles—Janoris Jenkins, CB, Florida
This should be an interesting draft for Philly. Jenkins fits for BPA and he will add depth in a place where they need it.
26. New York Jets—Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
I expect the Jets to add a five-tech or edge rusher in the first round. Kerrigan could go 10 slots higher.
27. New Orleans Saints—Quan Sturdivant, LB, North Carolina
NO has backers hitting free-agency. Sturdivant can play inside or outside and comes with a lot of experience.
28. Baltimore Ravens—Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
Pretty big slide for Clayborn considering where most have him ranked, but his position is stacked this draft. Ravens get a big body who can play three downs.
29. Chicago Bears—Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
If any of the top 4-5 tackles are on the board here I expect one to come off very quickly.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers—Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
Pitt would like to get Pouncey but I don't see it happening. Nevis attacks upfield and his stoutness makes him tough to block.
31. Atlanta Falcons—Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
Atlanta needs to add a receiving option at the end of the first round. Baldwin has size, there are a few smaller guys here too, and the giants from Notre Dame.
32. New England Patriots—Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
This pick could just as easily be Cameron Jordan—or both could be gone. Heyward showed his impact against the run and pass in the Sugar Bowl.
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