NFL Mock Draft 1.0 Picks 1-10: Who Will Carolina Select?

Sam Tastad@@samtastadCorrespondent IIIMarch 30, 2011

Gabbert may be the first choice taken in April's draft.
Gabbert may be the first choice taken in April's draft.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The NFL season is over, and now teams can focus on building their teams through the NFL draft.

Although, you could say players and owners trying to reach a settlement and get out of the current lockout that is facing the league. However, there will still be a draft.

Here is a mock draft of every team for the first ten picks:

1. Carolina Panthers:  Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

Carolina's offense needs help. The Jimmy Clausen experiment didn't turn out very well this season, so they take Gabbert, who is the most pro-ready quarterback in this year's draft.

Gabbert declared as junior, and is leaving Missouri after 3,186 passing yards, 16 touchdowns to nine interceptions, a 127.03 quarterback rating, and completed 63.4% of his passes. He is 6'5" and 240 lbs. He is big, strong, but very mobile at the same time.

The team could also look at Patrick Peterson, CB, Cam Newton, QB, Nick Fairley, DT or Marcell Dareus, DT.

Team needs: DE, DT, WR, OL, CB, QB

2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

Marcel Dareus is high on the Broncos list, and if Carolina doesn't take him, expect Denver to take him or Patrick Peterson.

The Broncos defensive line wasn't very good last year, and Dareus is big, strong, and is speedy coming off his end or tackle position. This pick is down to Dareus and Fairley, but Dareus is a safer pick.

Dareus wrecked havoc in college while playing at Alabama, especially two years ago. He is powerful and can play off the run and pass. He has 11 sacks and 66 career tackles over the past two years, 

Nick Fairley is also an option if Carolina doesn't take him. 

Team needs: DE, DT, CB, SS, OT, RB

3. Buffalo Bills: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

The Bills take Cam Newton and develop him into their quarterback. I think the Bills choose Newton or Von Miller. Gailey was Miller's Senior Bowl coach, and has an inside on Miller, but the Bills need a quarterback.

There are questions about Newton's throwing ability. I think he's too much of can't-miss prospect for the Bills to pass on. Will Newton be a star or Vince Young or JaMarcus Russell in the NFL? Newton has too much hype and raw talent for the Bills to pass.

The team could also pick Gabbert if he falls, Von Miller or Quinn.

Team needs: QB, OT, TE, CB, SS, LB, DT, DE

4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

The Bengals receiving corps is getting older and Green could be a Larry Fitzgerald or Randy Moss-type receiver. Not to mention, he would give Carson Palmer an excellent vertical threat to stretch the field. Green is very good, and most likely the top receiver taken in the draft.

Also, if Palmer is traded, look for the Bengals to take a quarterback. Palmer says he will never take a step in Jim Brown Stadium, so who knows where the Bengals will go now. Right now, Green is safest pick.

The question is defense or offense for Bengals?

The team could also select Newton or Gabbert if still available, or Von Miller, or Da'Quan Bowers or Fairley.

Team needs: QB, RB, OT, OG, DE, S, ILB

5. Arizona Cardinals: Von Miller, LB,Texas A&M

Von Miller is a beast at linebacker. Miller is powerful and reminds of Clay Matthews. 

Also, don't be surprised if they take a quarterback if Gabbert or Newton falls. 

Team needs: QB, OL, CB, SS, LB

6. Cleveland Browns: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

Bowers has health questions and Fairley's stock has dropped, but he is still a top lineman. I don't  think he will fall out of the top ten.

I have him being selected here as the Browns take best player available, Fairley put the exclamation point on an excellent season in the BCS title game. He was named MVP of the game. On the season, he had 24 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, 36 total tackles, two forced and recovered fumbles and one interception. He proved to be a beast during the 2010-2011 season, wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks. He is 6'5" and 298 lbs., but is quick for a defensive lineman, as he ran a 4.83 in the 40 yard dash.

The Browns could take Amukamara, Dareus, or possibly Julio Jones, WR, Alabama. Jones could be taken to help Colt McCoy or whoever might be quarterback have a reliable passing target. I don't see a cornerback as the Browns took Joe Haden last year in first round. Although, a cornerback tandem of Haden and Peterson would be very good.

Team needs: WR, DE, DT, LB, CB

7. San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

Peterson is very capable of being chosen number one. He is a excellent cornerback that is fast (ran a 4.34 at the draft), has great hands and great range. Peterson has been compared to Charles Woodson. Peterson can tackle very well, intercept passes, force fumbles, attack the quarterback and block kicks. The 49ers have a good defense and Peterson would only make them better. He will start right away. 

He shut down Alabama receiver Julio Jones earlier this season, and teams always need good cornerbacks to shut down receivers.

Team needs: CB, QB, WR, DT, OLB, C

8. Tennessee Titans: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

This is a tough pick. Bowers has some health questions, but can still be dominant.

Bowers had a great year as a defensive end. Bowers was consistent last year, and in just the first six games, he had nine sacks and 15.5 tackles for a loss. He finished the year with 15.5 sacks and 26.0 tackles for a loss.

Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina could also be considered.

Team need: QB, CB, DE

9. Dallas Cowboys: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

Amukamara proved to be a shut down corner while at Nebraska. Just ask Landry Jones, or even Blaine Gabbert about throwing on him. Amukamara is physical, not big, speedy and an excellant defender. The Cowboys were terrible against the pass last year, and Amukamara is NFL-ready and will immediately step right in.

Offensive lineman, or defensive lineman could also be targeted here.

Team needs: OL, RB, CB, DE, S, ILB

10. Washington Redskins: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

The Redskins take Solder, who is climbling up draft boards. Solder is big and strong. The Cowboys could take him a pick ahead if they see something they really like, but I think they take Solder and booster the offensive line.

The Redskins may have taken Trent Williams last year in the first round, but taking Solder is a good move because their offensive line is getting older.

Solder may not be the pick, as the Redskins took Trent Williams in the first round last year. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama, a very athletic receiver, could be targeted as well.

Team need: OT, QB, DE, OG, WR

Here's my top ten for my first mock draft! Stay tuned for picks 11-20 coming soon! Feel free to comment!


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