2011 NFL Mock Draft: The First and Only Version

Zach McClellandContributor IIIApril 23, 2011

2011 NFL Mock Draft: The First and Only Version

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    Who is your team taking?Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    I have to be honest. I've been following football for about 12 years now, and never have I seen a draft with this much coverage. It's been nice to hear a little something other than lockout talks, so here we go!

    I've done a little research here and there, and I've created my only little mock draft. Want to see who your favorite team will be taking on Thursday and Friday? Well, check this puppy out!

With The First Pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers Select....

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    A little piece of Roll Tide coming to CarolinaAl Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    1. Marcell Dareus, Defensive Tackle, Alabama

    Carolina needs a lot of things to get better than last year's 2-14 record, and it's hard to say what they need the most, but I believe they'll go with Marcell Dareus, the versatile defensive lineman out of Alabama.

    Looking up a lot online, a lot of people believe Carolina's No. 1 overall need is at quarterback. I don't think so. I think they'll stick it out with Jimmy Clausen as long as possible. The NFL has become a pass-happy league, and Carolina needs a guy who can get after Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman. For that reason, I believe the Panthers will go Roll Tide over War Eagle and pick Dareus at No. 1 overall.

With the Second Pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos Select.....

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    Champ Bailey on one side,Patrick Peterson on the other....Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    2. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

    Again, the Broncos need a lot, but Patrick Peterson is a talented corner that will be too hard to pass up. There is a ton of talent in this year's draft on the defensive line, so they can wait for the second round or longer to pick up some quality players for the defensive front. Patrick Peterson is arguably the most talented player in this year's draft, and the thought of him and Champ Bailey on opposite sides of the field from each other should make opposing wide receiver coaches and offensive coordinators sick.

With the Third Pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills Select...

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    Bills could really use a weapon at WRKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    3. A.J. Green, Wide Receiver, Georgia

    The Bills are another team that are in need of almost everything. From the way it sounds in Buffalo, they believe in Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, and they want to give him a year or two to develop. But in order to help him develop, they'll need someone to catch the rock and make some plays down the field.

    That man is A.J. Green out of Georgia. They drafted C.J. Spiller. He seems like he'll be Reggie Bush-esque.They need a deep threat. Green would be almost perfect for Buffalo. He'll have to get used to playing in the snow, but he'll be a good pickup for the Bills. I also think he'll help sell jerseys. Now, he can sell his own without getting into trouble.

With the Fourth Pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals Select....

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    Cam Newton headed to CinncyChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    4. Cameron Newton, Quarterback, Auburn

    If there's one team that can look past all of Cam Newton's past troubles without hesitation, it is the Cincinnati Bengals. Drafting Cam Newton could make the Carson Palmer episode a little easier to handle for Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis.

    I am not a buyer in Cam Newton and I believe he'll be a bust based on his off-the-field antics, but on the field, he is incredibly gifted. I can promise you that is all that the Cincinnati Bengals care about.

WIth the Fifth Pick In the 2011 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals Select...

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    I love this guy to death, but others may disagreeChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    5. Blaine Gabbert, Quarterback, Missouri

    Gabbert is the best quarterback in the draft, in my opinion. He's got great upside. He's very mechanically sound. I've had the opportunity to see him playing on television and in person.

    He's the real deal....to an extent. He makes some GREAT throws, but the two interceptions he threw in the 2010 Insight Bowl vs. Iowa were two bonehead throws. Nevertheless, he is going to be special and he will probably start earlier than people would expect in Arizona.

The Cleveland Browns Select.....

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    Jones is a future star in the NFLChris Graythen/Getty Images

    6. Julio Jones, Wide Receiver, Alabama

    Second Roll Tide member voted in the first round. Colt McCoy could use a few targets to throw to in Cleveland, and Mike Holmgren will get him one, or more. Julio Jones is incredible He reminds me of Terrell Owens or maybe even Calvin Johnson. He's a tall wide receiver with freakish athletic ability and can catch anything. He has gone through some injuries during his time at Alabama, but for the most part, he has fought though them and helped 'Bama to winning a national title during his sophomore year. He'll be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL.

The San Francisco 49ers Select....

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    Von Miller headed San FranChris Graythen/Getty Images

    7. Von Miller

    Most people I have seen have him going higher, but I have him ending up as a member of the 49ers. The 49ers need a quarterback, but I don't think Jake Locker or Ryan Mallett are worthy of being drafted as the seventh pick overall in the draft. Hopefully, if the NFL gets everything cleared up, they'll be able to get Kevin Kolb or Donovan McNabb in the maroon and gold. But the 49ers also need a pass rusher, and Von Miller is just that.

The Tennessee Titans Select...

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    2nd Auburn Tiger taken in the Top 10. War Eagle.Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    8. Nick Fairley, Defensive Tackle, Auburn

    Fairley didn't have a fantastic combine, which made me drop him down to No. 8. I previously had him going to Carolina, but Marcell Dareus has out-performed him thus far, preparing for the draft. That being said, the Titans are another team in need of a quarterback, but I don't see Tennessee taking a so-so quarterback this early. That being said, they do not some help on the defensive side of the ball. I see Fairley heading north to be a Titan.

The Dallas Cowboys Select...

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    Not who I would take, but it's th sexy name that Dallas wants.Eric Francis/Getty Images

    9. Prince Amukarama, Cornerback, Nebraska

    If I was the Dallas Cowboys, I would take Ryan Kerrigan or Corey Liuget on the defensive line, but those aren't very sexy names for most Cowboy fans.

    Enter the Prince. Prince Amukarama will follow into the footsteps of a 32-year-old Terrance Newman. He'll ease his way into a starting role in a year or two.

The Washington Redskins Select....

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    Liuget could be the solution to the Albert Haynesworth problem

    10. Corey Liuget, Defensive Lineman, Illinois

    At 6'2 and weighing 298 pounds, he may be a little small to play the nose guard position, but he could still definitely help on that Redskin defensive line. He's got decent size and is pretty athletic for a big guy down in the trenches. The Redskins also need a quarterback and a wide receiver, but I don't see any quarterbacks or wide receivers getting drafted this high.

The Houston Texans Select...

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    Quinn could be of use for new Texans DC, Wade PhillipsStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

    11. Robert Quinn, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, North Carolina

    The 3-4 defense is entering Houston with the hiring of Wade Phillips as the new defensive coordinator. Robert Quinn is a perfect pass rusher for Phillips' scheme and would be a great fit in Houston. I don't see any other needs that would be acceptable draft picks at the No. 11 overall spot. Corey Liuget would be a great pick if he's still on the board, but according to this mock draft, the Texans will make due with Robert Quinn.

The Minnesota Vikings Select...

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    Locker: The Next Brett Favre?Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    12. Jake Locker, Quarterback, Washington

    Generally, I would say that Jake Locker is a late first to early second round pick, but the Minnesota Vikings are desperate for a quarterback. Brett Favre is gone, and the Vikings are left with Joe Webb. While Webb may have lead Minnesota to a win over Philadelphia last year, he is still very young and needs to prove he is worthy of being their full time starting quarterback.

    But until then, Locker will be heading to Minneapolis to try and take over that starting spot as soon as possible. He needs to learn how to a) slide or b) get out of bounds when escaping the pocket, because trying to truck stick full sized NFL linebackers and safeties just isn't going to fly.

The Detroit Lions Select...

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    Suh needs help. Kerrigan could be the answer.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    13. Ryan Kerrigan, Defensive End, Purdue

    Ndamukong Suh needs some youthful help on that defensive front. The offense is almost there, if they can stay healthy. The defense could use some work. Kerrigan would be a nice fit in Detroit alongside Suh. With gunslingers like Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers to compete against, the Lions are going to need to add some more pressure on their defensive front.

The St. Louis Rams Select...

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    Smith is a freak athleteEric Francis/Getty Images

    14. Aldon Smith, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Missouri

    Smith may have missed some time at Missouri last year, but that still does not change the fact that he is a future sack machine in the NFL. Smith is a freakishly gifted athlete playing at defensive end or even a little stand-up outside blitzer. He could be a good fit, staying right in the state of Missouri for the Rams.

The Miami Dolphins Select...

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    Ingram has potential to be a pro-bowlerKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    15. Mark Ingram, Running Back, Alabama

    I wasn't all that high on Mark Ingram during his sophomore year when he won the Heisman, but after a few games during his junior year, I am a believer. This guy has all of the tools to be a phenomenal running back in the NFL. He's got good speed, he's not afraid to lower his shoulder and he has incredible vision and patience when following his blockers. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams will be free agents this offseason, so getting some fresh blood in that Dolphin backfield wouldn't be a bad idea.

The Jacksonville Jaguars Select...

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    J.J. WattJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    16. J.J. Watt, Defensive End, Wisconsin

    Watt is a pure defensive end and had a tremendous senior year at Wisconsin. Jacksonville could use an overall defensive end like him. The Jags could also use help at wide receiver and safety, but Watt is the safest pick at No. 16 overall.

The New England Patriots Select...

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    Smith will help defend the reigning MVP, Tom Brady

    17. Tyron Smith, Offensive Tackle, USC

    While the Patriots offensive line played fantastic last year, they are getting a little old. We all know what the Patriots do with their old vets; they let them go. Tyron Smith would be an athletic, young lineman that could help the Patriots protect their gem under center Tom Brady

The San Diego Chargers Select...

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    Cameron Jordan has had a fantastic offseasonSean Gardner/Getty Images

    18. Cameron Jordan, Defensive End, Cal

    The San Diego Chargers don't need to go far with their first round pick. Cameron Jordan had a good last season at Cal and has been even more incredible in offseason workouts. I've read that Cameron Jordan was almost unblockable at the Senior Bowl and he had a fantastic combine workout.

The New York Giants Select...

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    Carimi can play guard or tackle for the GiantsAl Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    19. Gabe Carimi, Offensive Lineman, Wisconsin

    Gabe Carimi, the winner of the Outland trophy last year in college football, will definitely help out the Giants in protecting Eli Manning. Carimi is a huge offensive lineman, coming out of a college that is known for producing good offensive linemen.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Select...

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    Cameron HeywardJamie Sabau/Getty Images

    20. Cameron Heyward, Defensive End, Ohio State

    Could go plenty of ways with this pick, but the pick will almost undoubtedly be at defensive end. If not Heyward, Iowa defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn or Georgia D-End Justin Houston will certainly be heading to Tama. But Heyward was a key component to Ohio State winning the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas; the biggest knock on him is that his motor has been inconsistent in his time in Columbus.

The Kansas City Chiefs Select...

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    Sherrod (79) could help out the Chiefs in their protectionKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    21. Derek Sherrod, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi State

    The Chiefs need help on the offensive line. They have for quite some time now. Derek Sherrod could give the Chiefs some potential down in the trenches, although he needs to bulk up a little bit and become a better run-blocker. Other than that, he's tall enough and he has the tools to help Kansas City's offense.

The Indianapolis Colts Select...

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    Nate Soldier could be protecting Peyton Manning right off the bat

    22. Nate Soldier, Offensive Tackle, Colorado

    Nate Soldier could be protecting Peyton Manning right off the bat if this pick happens. Scary thought if you ask me, having a rookie left tackle protecting your entire franchise. But anyway, Soldier is very raw and could work on some of his technique, but he has physicality going his way.

The Philadelphia Eagles Select...

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    Bowers has dropped down the board, but not far enough to escape the first roundKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    23. DeQuan Bowers, Defensive End, Clemson

    I initially had Bowers as the No. 2 overall pick in the previous draft, but he showed up to his pro-day out of shape and he has been struggling with knee problems as of late. I don't think that will be enough to scare teams away from him for 32 picks. I see Philadelphia running the risk and taking him here at No. 23 overall. He still has potential.

The New Orleans Saints Select...

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    Rudolph will replace ShockeyJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    24. Kyle Rudolph, Tight End, Notre Dame

    With the releasing of Jeremy Shockey, the Saints will need a tight end to replace him. That tight end is Kyle Rudolph out of Notre Dame. Rudolph could use a little work on his blocking but is already a tremendous receiving tight end.

The Seattle Seahawks Select...

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    Williams will join former teammate Earl Thomas in SeattleRonald Martinez/Getty Images

    25. Aaron Williams, Cornerback, Texas

    The Seattle Seahawks still need some improvement in their secondary, even with having Earl Thomas. Aaron Williams will contribute right away in Seattle to help shut down the upcoming rival quarterback, Sam Bradford.

The Baltimore Ravens Select...

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    Jimmy Smith will help continue the legacy of great defenders in BaltimoreBrian Bahr/Getty Images

    26. Jimmy Smith, Cornerback, Colorado

    Hard to believe two players off of a mediocre football team would be going in the first round, but I see Jimmy Smith heading to Baltimore to help out that old and somewhat depleted secondary.

The Atlanta Falcons Select...

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    Brooks Reed is a good pass rusher as seen hereChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    27. Brooks Reed, Defensive End, Arizona

    The Falcons don't need too much help on the offensive side of the football, but a few kinks could be necessary on defense. Brooks Reed will help the Falcons' pass rush in upcoming seasons.

The New England Patriots Select...

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    Clayborn is a versatile d-lineman out of IowaChristian Petersen/Getty Images

    28. Adrian Clayborn, Defensive End, Iowa

    Clayborn struggled during his senior year at Iowa, and that has somewhat effected his draft status in my opinion. Clayborn didn't seem to be in tremendous shape during the Hawkeyes 2010 football season, and he didn't put up the numbers many expected him to put up.

    Nevertheless, the guy has the size and the talent to start in future years in the NFL. He's a perfect defensive end for a 3-4 scheme, which is what the Patriots run.

The Chicago Bears Select...

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    Castonzo could help a below mediocre offensive lineElsa/Getty Images

    29. Anthony Castonzo, Offensive Tackle, Boston College

    The Chicago Bears' offensive line was terrible last season, and it needs some serious work. The Bears defense played pretty well last season, and Jay Cutler looked like he was coming around until the NFC Championship game. Castonzo will have the oppurtunity to start right away in Chicago.

The New York Jets Select...

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    Houston could help the Jets pass rusKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    30. Justin Houston, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Georgia

    Justin Houston could help out that Jets pash rush against opponents such as Tom Brady. That will be the key in the future if Rex Ryan wants to permanently defeat Bill Belichick in the division. Guys like Justin Houston will certainly help down the road.

The Pittsburgh Steelers Select..

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    Mike Pouncey teamming up with his brother?Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

    31. Mike Pouncey, Guard, Florida

    Now, realistically, he'll probably be gone before this pick, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was drafted here to team up with his brother in the black and yellow on Sundays.

The Green Bay Packers Select...

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    Phil Taylor would be a great fit for Dom Capers' 3-4 schemeJamie Squire/Getty Images

    32. Phil Taylor, Defensive Tackle, Baylor

    He's listed as a nose guard, but in Dom Capers' 3-4 scheme, Phil Taylor would be great in a 3 technique. Picture him and B.J. Raji playing side by side. That would be one big tandem...