It's incredible to me that we're at the end of the 2011 season. It was a year of many surprises, which includes both the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings failing to make the playoffs.
There were also teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs that basically came out of nowhere, both reaching ten wins on the year.
With only 2 1/2 months to go until the 2011 NFL draft, many mock-drafters are putting out their work for the public eye on a weekly basis.
While I try to stay consistent with when I put my mocks out, I can rarely ever stay on track. However, I'm going to do the best I can to make quicker updates.
As we all should know by now, the Carolina Panthers are picking first in the draft. Obviously, they have many options to choose from.
Without further ado, let's see exactly who that man is that will be the first pick come April.
With the first pick in the 2011 NFL draft, the Carolina Panthers select...
Nick Fairley may not be the best player available in the draft, but he clearly fills the biggest need for the Carolina Panthers.
They could opt to take a pass-rushing defensive end like Da'Quan Bowers, but it's slightly lower on the list of needs.
Fairley not only dominated during the regular season for the Auburn Tigers, but also had a tremendous performance in the National Championship game against the Oregon Ducks.
A.J. Green also has a slight chance to go to the Panthers, but Carolina doesn't need a wide receiver that desperately. They will likely look to sign one through free agency.
Despite Champ Bailey being highly unlikely to return to the Broncos in 2011, Denver should look to add another pass-rusher along with Elvis Dumervil, who missed the entire 2010 season.
Da'Quan Bowers was an absolute monster with the Clemson Tigers in 2010, totaling 15.5 sacks on the year.
Bowers would likely become an instant starter on the Broncos weak defensive line. Look for him to make a big impact from the get-go.
With the top two defensive players off the board, the Buffalo Bills will go with the best cornerback prospect to come along in years—Patrick Peterson.
Buffalo doesn't have the worst secondary around, but they definitely won't pass on Peterson's undeniable talent.
Terrence McGee looks like a player of the past for the Bills, so they will turn their attention to future star cornerback, Patrick Peterson.
It's obvious that Terrell Owens will be on a different team in 2011, but Chad Johnson still looks like he'll be returning for at least another year to the Bengals.
That being said, the Bengals must take A.J. Green if he's available. Pairing Green and Johnson would make the Bengals a little more feared on offense.
Green is the best wide receiver prospect to come along since Randy Moss, and he will be a big part of the Bengals' offense for years to come.
Von Miller was a relatively well-known name a month ago, but after his stellar performances during the Senior Bowl practices, Miller is now a top-five prospect.
Miller drew constant comparisons to Packers linebacker, Clay Matthews, which couldn't be a better sign for this young man's future.
With the Cardinals needing all the pass-rushers they can get, Von Miller is the perfect fit for Arizona.
With A.J. Green off the board, the Cleveland Browns should look to boost their extremely lackluster defensive line.
With only Matt Roth as the only notable defensive end on Cleveland's roster, the Browns need to find pass-rushing talent early on in the draft.
Robert Quinn, despite missing all of the 2010 season for the Tar Heels, is still one of the best defensive prospects eligible.
The 49ers are in a tough position here. They could choose to draft a young quarterback like Blaine Gabbert, draft a defensive lineman like Marcell Dareus, or fix their secondary.
Prince Amukamara is without a doubt the second-best cornerback behind Patrick Peterson, and it's closer than most think.
Nate Clements has very few good years left in him, and with his ridiculous contract, he could find himself on another team within a year or two's time.
With Jeff Fisher out of Tennessee, the Titans can now focus on taking a young quarterback to try and turn around the franchise.
Vince Young is as good as gone from the Titans, thus making quarterback their biggest need.
Blaine Gabbert has great size and strength, which is key for a quarterback to have. If Gabbert were two inches shorter, he would be a seventh-rounder.
The Dallas Cowboys are another team in a tough spot, but the Cowboys rarely ever make a bad pick in the first round.
Dallas should either take an offensive tackle like Nate Solder from Colorado or draft a 3-4 defensive end like Marcell Dareus.
With the Cowboys not having the greatest defensive line in the world, they must upgrade. Marcell Dareus could be an instant replacement over Igor Olshansky.
A month ago it looked like the Washington Redskins would be taking a quarterback in the first round, but now it seems as though Donovan McNabb will be staying in D.C. for a while longer.
Also, Mike Shahanan will likely be on the hot seat all season long next year, which will lead to him relying on a veteran in McNabb.
Aldon Smith would be a great choice for Washington. He would fill the need across from Brian Orakpo in the Redskins' linebackers core.
With the hiring of Wade Phillips to be the new defensive coordinator for the Texans, Houston will be switching to the 3-4 defense.
This means that Connor Barwin would be the only solid pass-rushing linebacker on the team. They need to add new pieces to the puzzle.
Brian Cushing and Demeco Ryans will both play inside linebacker, while Ryan Kerrigan and Barwin will obtain the outside linebacker spots.
I've heard it a thousand times that the Vikings will take a quarterback in the first round, simply because Leslie Frazier made a comment that suggested he wanted to find the next Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco.
There's no doubt that Minnesota will take a quarterback in the draft, but it doesn't absolutely have to be in the first round.
Nate Solder is a huge offensive lineman that looked very good during Senior Bowl practices. Mike Mayock compared the 6'8" phenom to Tony Boselli.
The Detroit Lions, believe it or not, don't have many needs that they need to fill this off season. They would be wise to take the best player available at this point.
Julian Peterson, who often struggled for the Lions last year, was informed that he would be released by Detroit in the neat future.
Akeem Ayers could become a day one starter for the Lions if all goes well. Detroit could seen become a top ten defense if they keep adding young talent.
Sam Bradford, the 2010 Offensive Rookie of the Year, went through all of the 2010 season without a consistent target to throw to.
In 2011, Bradford will likely have at least one reliable receiver that he can make into a star. I'm just not sure what to expect out of Danario Alexander.
Julio Jones, the second best receiver prospect to A.J. Green, would become Bradford's favorite target from the start.
Trust me, I'm not the biggest Cam Newton fan in the world, but I think he's extremely talented. Oh, and he has a Heisman trophy to prove it.
The Miami Dolphins seem intent that they haven't given up on Chad Henne, but it might be time to. Henne just simply isn't starting quality in the NFL.
With the Dolphins already being known to run the wildcat, Newton makes the most sense out of all of the quarterback prospects. Despite Pat White failing to succeed with Miami, Cam Newton actually has the desire it takes to win in the NFL.
Cameron Jordan had a solid season with California in 2010, totaling 12.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks to go along.
The Jaguars need help on the defensive line, which is likely the main reason why they couldn't beat Peyton Manning and the Colts late in the season.
Cameron Jordan's stock has risen quickly as of late. Some even consider him to be a top ten prospect. He should pair nicely with Tyson Alualu on the Jaguars defensive line.
New England may trade down with this pick, but I won't be projecting any trades for quite some time. That said, they should look to take a defensive lineman with their first choice.
Corey Liuget's name has been brought up quite often lately. In my opinion, he seems like a Bill Belichick type of player.
Since the Patriots are great at getting most out of their young talent, Liuget shouldn't have a tough time being successful in New England.
Cameron Heyward is the epitome of inconsistency. His stock was beginning to slip into the third round before his great performance against the Arkansas Razorbacks a month back.
Jacques Cesaire will be a free agent this off season, and it's highly unlikely that the Chargers decide to bring him back.
Heyward should be an instant starter, but with his inconsistency issues, don't expect it.
The Giants are fortunate that they don't have many needs to fill, so they can look for depth in the places that need it most.
New York's offensive line is one of the best in the NFC, but they need another offensive tackle to start on the line.
William Beatty has looked unimpressive in his opportunities, which means he could be on the roster bubble for 2011.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers shocked the football world last year by recording ten wins. If they can get a great defensive end to add to their line, they may be a force to be reckoned with next year.
The Buccaneers are set at defensive tackle for years to come with Gerald McCoy and Brian Price, but they still need a great pass-rushing defensive end.
Adrian Clayborn really struggled with the Iowa Hawkeyes last year, but the kid is still talented. He'll be a tremendous fit with the Buccaneers.
The Chiefs are improving on both sides of the ball, but they still need to add a pass-rusher along with Tamba Hali.
If Kansas City can get more pressure on the quarterback it will allow their secondary to relax a little bit more.
Justin Houston had a great season with the Bulldogs this past year, wracking up 19.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks.
The Indianapolis Colts' problems late in the season are due to the fact that they could rarely keep Peyton Manning on his feet.
With Charlie Johnson set to become a free agent in March, the Colts need an offensive tackle more than ever.
Derek Sherrod is arguably the second best offensive tackle behind Nate Solder. He will fit in well with Indianapolis.
The Eagles are another team that would be a lot more successful if they could keep their quarterback upright more often than not.
While Michael Vick has the ability to scramble, you can't always escape the defenders. The Eagles need to add more protection for their investment.
Gabe Carimi drew many comparisons to Jon Runyan, a former Philadelphia Eagle, over the Senior Bowl week practices.
The Saints are fortunate to not have many needs here as well, so they can go for the best player available with the 24th pick.
New Orleans' defensive line could use some improvement. They should look for a defensive end to play on the opposite side of Will Smith.
Once J.J. Watt declared for the NFL draft, his stock immediately rose up to the first round. Let's hope he can live up to that potential.
Okay, I get that Jake Locker didn't have the greatest senior season, but he's still a first round prospect, in my mind.
The Seahawks are looking to retain Matt Hasselbeck for at least one more, which could end up being his last.
Seattle should look to take Locker, who plays in the same city as the Seahawks do. I just don't believe Charlie Whitehurst has what it takes to lead an NFL franchise.
With Chris Carr, Fabian Washington and Josh Wilson scheduled to become free agents this off season, the Ravens need cornerback help.
The Ravens are usually great on defense, but they won't be able to stop anybody through the air with the cornerback's they have now.
Brandon Harris, who is the third best cornerback behind Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara, should be a great fit with Baltimore.
The Atlanta Falcons should be looking for defensive help after the beating they took to the Packers in the playoffs, but wide receiver is a big need.
Roddy White simply can't do it alone. While Michael Jenkins isn't terrible by any means, he will be forgotten in a second if the Falcons can bring somebody better in.
Torrey Smith is one of the more intelligent, hard-working players in history. He could become Matt Ryan's favorite target within three years.
With no great rush-linebackers left, New England should look to improve their offensive line, which could be without Logan Mankins next year.
In addition, Stephen Neal is nearing the end of his career. If New England is without these two next year, Tom Brady may struggle.
I haven't seen Stefen Wisniewski is many first round mock drafts lately, but the Patriots will definitely be willing to make the slight reach.
Finally, the terrible line of the Chicago Bears caught up to them. Chicago wasn't able to keep Jay Cutler upright, so he went down.
Cutler suffered an MCL injury early against Green Bay, which eventually led to no-name, Caleb Hanie, coming into the ball game.
Mike Pouncey, the younger brother of Maurkice, will fill a big need at left guard for the Chicago Bears.
I considered giving the Jets a wide receiver like Titus Young, but I believe they will bring back Santonio Holmes for a few years.
New York is always centered around their smash-mouth defense, so they should look for some help on the defensive line.
Muhammad Wilkerson can play an either a 3-4 or 4-3 defense, but he will be a defensive end in the Jets' 3-4 system.
I get that the Steelers have their problems on the offensive line, but they were suffering from injuries all year long in 2010.
Casey Hampton will be 34 years old when the 2011 season hopefully starts. His snaps were down this year, and there's a good chance he'll be gone within a year or two.
Phil Taylor had a great week during the Senior Bowl, which caused his stock to move into the late first round.
Green Bay, the 2010 NFL champions, will obviously be picking last in the first round. Thankfully, there are still a number of great players left.
The Packers drafted Bryan Bulaga out of Iowa this past April, but they still need help on the other end. Chad Clifton could soon be on his way out of Lambeau.
Anthony Castonzo could go much earlier than this, but he's just not as good as Nate Solder or Tyron Smith. That said, he'll still have a great time in Green Bay.