NFL Draft 2011: The 10 Latest Pieces of News and Rumors

Joey HnathCorrespondent IFebruary 15, 2011

NFL Draft 2011: The 10 Latest Pieces Of News and Rumors

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    Though the NFL Draft is still more than two months away, there is already a lot of buzz about the three-day spectacle.

    Between now and April 28th, there will be many changes to the mock draft order, with many players' stocks rising and falling.

    Here are the 10 latest stories surrounding the 2011 NFL Draft.

10. Where Will The First Offensive Lineman Be Taken?

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    The 2011 NFL Draft has an unusually weak group of offensive lineman.

    According to many mock drafts such as Sports Illustrated and Walter Football, there will not be an offensive lineman taken in the top 10.

    Whenever the first one is taken, it is a toss-up as to who it will be. 

    Tyron Smith, Derrick Sherrod and Nate Solder could all be the first offensive lineman off the board.

9. How Far Will Julio Jones Fall?

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    With the consensus being that A.J. Green will be the first receiver taken, it begs the question: How far will Julio Jones fall?

    Jones is an elite talent, but many teams may opt to address other needs before wide receiver.

    As of now, Jones looks like he will be taken by the Rams at pick 14, as shown at  This would really help quarterback Sam Bradford under new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

8. Blaine Gabbert's Draft Stock

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    There are many questions surrounding Gabbert's draft stock, most notably how will he perform at the combine and will he be the first quarterback taken.

    These two factors are tied together. Gabbert is training hard and is ready to show his athleticism at the combine, as written at Yahoo! Sports.

    A 4.5 40-yard-dash could lock up his place as the first quarterback chosen.

7. Is Prince Amukamara a Top-10 Pick?

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    Amukamara was an All-American in 2010 while playing for Nebraska, and is projected as a first-round pick.

    Where he is taken in the first round is still up for debate.

    A borderline top-10 pick, CBS Sports reports that Amukamara has been training in Tempe, preparing for the NFL combine. 

    A good showing could secure a place in the top 10 for Amukamara.

6. Mark Ingram Is The Top Running Back

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    Despite other good running backs like Mikel Leshoure and Ryan Williams in the draft, Alabama's Mark Ingram looks as though he has pulled ahead and will be the first running back taken in the draft, according to Mel Kiper and Todd McShay.

    It is still debated whether or not he has the highest ceiling off all the runningbacks, which could ultimately hurt him come draft day, but it is generally agreed upon that Ingram is the safest pick at running back.

5. A.J. Green Moving On Up

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    Originally project to be taken by the Bengals at number four, Green may now be taken as high as number two, according to

    With Demaryius Thomas' injury, it has been speculated that the Broncos may target the Georgia wide receiver with their No. 2 pick in the draft.

4. Marcel Dareus' Weight Concerns

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    Marcel Dareus' weight has been a big factor in many mock drafts.

    In some projections, Dareus has slipped out of the top 10 due to weight concerns, while in others, including Sporting News, have him as high as No. 1.

3. Da'Quan Bowers and The Combine

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    Bowers, potentially the number one overall selection in the draft, is still preparing for the NFL Scouting Combine despite having surgery this offseason for a partially torn miniscus.

    At first, it looked like Bowers wouldn't participate in the NFL combine at all. It now looks like he will be there, but possibly in a limited capacity, according to Pro Football Talk.

    How many drills Bowers is able to participate in could hurt his draft stock to the point where he will not be the No. 1 overall selection.

2. Weslye Saunders Is Now Draft Eligible

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    After initially ruling that Saunders was ineligible, the NFL has changed its verdict, allowing the South Carolina tight end to be part of the draft, as reported by Business Insider.

    The NFL had originally said Saunders had not completed all of the necessary paperwork to be eligible, but changed their stance.

    It is yet to be determined how this snafu will affect Saunders' draft stock, if at all.

1. Cam Newton's Stock Is Rising

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    Newton's workout had Trent Dilfer, ESPN, and the rest of the media talking about how great of a quarterback he is.

    Originally slated as a top 15 pick, this workout has boosted Newton's draft stock immensely.

    Teams my now trade up into the top five or the top three, just to select the Heisman winner.