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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Comparing Mock Drafts From Around the Web

BrendanContributor IJanuary 9, 2017

2011 NFL Mock Draft: Comparing Mock Drafts From Around the Web

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    The 2011 NFL Draft hype is officially underway. All over the web there are articles trying to predict where players will be selected based on team needs and ability.

    At times all of these projections can be a lot of information to handle. Experts from all over have mock drafts with extreme variations from pick to pick.

    Mel Kiper and Todd McShay recently released a mock draft for ESPN. Meanwhile Don Banks did the same for Sports Illustrated, and Nolan Nawrocki for Pro Football Weekly.

    Here is a look at what these four experts predict for the upcoming draft with a final verdict for each pick.

1. Carolina Panthers

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    Kiper: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

    McShay: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

    Banks: Fairley, DT, Auburn

    Nawrocki Bowers, DE, Clemson

    Verdict: Fairley, DT, Auburn

    Fairley seems to be the current clear cut top pick. The Panthers have needs at several positions but a defensive lineman with the ability to disrupt the run and attack the quarterback can be a franchise player on a defense.

2. Denver Broncos

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    Kiper: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

    McShay: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

    Banks: Bowers, DE, Clemson

    Nawrocki: Marcell Dareus, DE, Alabama

    Verdict: Bowers, DE, Clemson

    Bowers is a candidate to go in the top overall spot, but if not the Broncos would be happy to select him. He is a versatile pass rusher, who could also provide insurance if Elvis Dumervil is not able to return to form.

3. Buffalo Bills

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    Kiper: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

    McShay: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

    Banks: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    Nawrocki: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

    Verdict: Newton, QB, Auburn

    Two of the experts had the Bills selecting a quarterback, and for good reason. The Bills are in dire need of a franchise quarterback who can provide stability at the position and a buzz in the city. Nobody fits that description better than the Heisman Trophy winner. The Bills have also been rumored to be considering Newton with their pick.

4. Cincinnati Bengals

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    Kiper: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

    McShay: Green, WR, Georgia

    Banks: Green, WR, Georgia

    Nawrocki: Green, WR, Georgia

    Verdict: Green, WR, Georgia

    The Bengals are in need at wide receiver following the departure of Terrell Owens. There is also doubt surrounding the return of Chad Ochocinco. Whether the Bengals have Carson Palmer back or not, they will still need weapons in the passing game to be successful. Green has been likened to Calvin Johnson by McShay.

5. Arizona Cardinals

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    Kiper: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

    McShay: Blain Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    Banks: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

    Nawrocki: Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

    Verdict: Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

    Miller might have one of the fastest rising draft stocks out there right now. McShay has him going even higher to the Bills. Many people might think that the Cardinals would look for a quarterback, but if they are not happy with the options they could look to trade for players like Kevin Kolb. Miller would bring a much needed boost to the Arizona linebacker core.

6. Cleveland Browns

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    Kiper: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    McShay: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

    Banks: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

    Nawrocki: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

    Verdict: Dareus, DT, Alabama

    Clearly everybody agrees that the Browns need to address the holes along their defensive line. With the recent release of Shaun Rogers it may be more likely that they select a defensive tackle. Dareus is polished and would be ready to help the Browns from day one.

7. San Francisco 49ers

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    Kiper: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

    McShay: Peterson, CB, LSU

    Banks: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    Nawrocki: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

    Verdict: Peterson, CB, LSU

    Clearly the 49ers need to address their secondary in this draft, and if Peterson is still available then he is the pick. Everybody knows how well Peterson plays as a cornerback. However, he also offers the 49ers a viable option in the return game.

8. Tennessee Titans

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    Kiper: Marcell Dareus, DE, Alabama

    McShay: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    Banks: Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri

    Nawrocki: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    Verdict: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    The Titans could look quarterback here after the end of the Vince Young era in Tennessee. However, there are many problems to fix on the defensive side of the ball. Watt would bring a boost to a pass rush that was lacking in 2010.

9. Dallas Cowboys

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    Kiper: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    McShay: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    Banks: Marcell Dareus, DE/DT, Alabama

    Nawrocki: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    Verdict: Prince Amukamara, CB, Wisconsin

    The Cowboys need to address the secondary issues and the top of this years draft is a great place to do just that. Patrick Peterson will likely be the top corner off the board so the Cowboys will have to settle for Amukamara. Some question his ability as a man to man corner, but the Cowboys could see him as a potential impact player against he great wide receivers in the NFC East.

10. Washington Redskins

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    Kiper: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    McShay: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

    Banks: Newton, QB, Alabama

    Nawrocki: Newton, QB, Alabama

    Verdict: Gabbert, QB, Missouri

    Clearly the Redskins are going to look for a quarterback of the future with this upcoming pick. Newton will likely already be off the board so Gabbert will have to be Shanahan's guy. In the ideal situation he would learn for a year under the tutelage of Rex Grossman before becoming the full time starter.

11. Houston Texans

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    Kiper: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

    McShay: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

    Banks: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

    Nawrocki: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

    Verdict: Smith, CB, Colorado

    The Texans pass defense was historically bad in 2010, so for the second straight year they could select a corner in the first round. While a wide receiver, such as Jones, would be another weapon it does not have the immediate need. Look for the Texans to try and get a play-making wideout in later rounds.

12. Minnesota Vikings

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    Kiper: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

    McShay: Quinn, DE, North Carolina

    Banks: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

    Nawrocki: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

    Verdict: Quinn, DE, North Carolina

    Three out of the four experts have the Vikings selecting a defensive end to bring some youth to the line. With Ray Edwards set to hit free agency after next season, the Vikings could use an end as his replacement. For the upcoming season Quinn could learn from the more experienced Edwards and Jared Allen.

13. Detroit Lions

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    Kiper: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

    McShay: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

    Banks: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

    Nawrocki: Castonzo, OT, Boston College

    Verdict: Solder, OT, Colorado

    The number one priority for the Detroit Lion in 2011 will be to protect Matthew Stafford. They already are set at skill positions with Calvin Johnson and Jahvid Best. However, if they want to take the next step then they will need to keep Stafford on the field. The best way of doing that is by taking the top offensive lineman in this years draft.

14. St. Louis Rams

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    Kiper: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

    McShay: Julio, Jones, WR, Alabama

    Banks: Jones, WR, Alabama

    Nawrocki: Jones, WR, Alabama

    Verdict: Jones, WR, Alabama

    The Rams will be thrilled if Jones lasts all the way to their pick. The selection of a potential number one wide receiver will only aid in the development of Sam Bradford. Look for the Rams to try and strengthen the defensive line in the rounds to follow.

15. Miami Dolphins

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    Kiper: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

    McShay: Ingram, RB, Alabama

    Banks: Ingram, RB, Alabama

    Nawrocki: Ryan Mallet, QB, Arkansas

    Verdict: Ingram, RB, Alabama

    With the likely departure of both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams the Dolphins will be in the market for a running back. Ingram is a consistent runner who could step in and play immediately in Miami. If he is available look for Miami to make Ingram the first running back off the board.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Kiper: Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri

    McShay: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

    Banks: Jake Locker, QB, Washington

    Nawrocki: Allen Bailey, DE, Miami

    Verdict: Aldon Smith, Missouri

    Three of the experts see the Jaguars using the draft to upgrade their pass rush. Smith is raw and is leaving college after his junior season. However once he starts to learn the nuances of the game he could be a potential steal at pick sixteen.

17. New England Patriots (from Oakland)

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    Kiper: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

    McShay: Jordan, DE, California

    Banks: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

    Nawrocki: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

    Verdict: Jordan, DE, California

    Some people will call for the Patriots to select a running back to balance their already lethal passing attack. However last season they had to mix and match a number of players to create a formidable pass rush. Jordan is a versatile pass rusher that Bill Belichick longs for in his system.

18. San Diego Chargers

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    Kiper: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

    McShay: Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri

    Banks: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

    Nawrocki: Ryan Kerrigan, OLB, Purdue

    Verdict: Kerrigan, OLB, Purdue

    The Chargers lost Shawn Merriman this past season and could really use some help attacking the quarterback. Last seasons first round pick Larry English has not shown the skill set that made him a first round pick. Kerrigan's motor should help him get after opposing signal callers.

19. New York Giants

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    Kiper: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

    McShay: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

    Banks: Smith, OT, USC

    Nawrocki: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida

    Verdict: Smith, OT, USC

    Every expert draft has the Giants taking an offensive lineman to help keep Eli Manning standing in the pocket. Assuming Solder is off the board Smith would be the perfect fit in New York. As an offensive tackle he brings more to the table than an interior lineman such as Pouncey.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Kiper: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

    McShay: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

    Banks: Clayborn, DE, Iowa,

    Nawrocki: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

    Verdict: Clayborn, DE, Iowa

    The Buccaneers are a team on the rise and that is in large part due to the improved play of the defensive line. Clayborn could provide a pass rush to pair with run stuffer Gerald McCoy for years to come.

21. Kansas City Chiefs

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    Kiper: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

    McShay: Ayers, OLB, UCLA

    Banks: Ayers, OLB, UCLA

    Nawrocki: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

    Verdict: Ayers, OLB, UCLA

    The Chiefs have a serious need at outside linebacker and that will almost certainly be the position they choose to address with their first round pick. Ayers is an athletic freak who will impress at the combine, and could learn for several years under years under veteran linebackers.

22. Indianapolis Colts

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    Kiper: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

    McShay: Castonzo, OT, Boston College

    Banks: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

    Nawrocki: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

    Verdict: Castonzo, OT, Boston College

    Castonzo would provide help on an offensive line that needs to protect its quarterback.  If Manning signs a long term deal with the Colts this off-season then Indianapolis will pay even more attention to protecting its investment.

23. Philadelphia Eagles

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    Kiper: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

    McShay: Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

    Banks: Mike Puncey, G/C, Florida

    Nawrocki: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

    Verdict: Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

    The Eagles will almost surely take an offensive tackle in this draft because of Michael Vick. As a scrambler Vick puts himself at constant risk, so the Eagles need to protect him as much as possible. There is also need to upgrade the secondary but that may be possible through free agency or later in the draft.

24. New Orleans Saints

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    Kiper: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

    McShay: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

    Banks: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

    Nawrocki: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri

    Verdict: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

    The Saints need to improve their pass rush if they want to return to their Super Bowl form. Houston is extremely fast for his size and could be an ideal blitz option for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

25. Seattle Seahawks

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    Kiper: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida

    McShay: Jake Locker, QB, Washington

    Banks: Ryan Mallet, QB, Arkansas

    Nawrocki: Locker, QB, Washington

    Verdict: Locker, QB, Washington

    The Seahawks have said their number one off-season priority is to bring back quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Whether or not he is retained really should have no bearing on this pick. Pete Carrol needs a quarterback of the future and he has seen Locker's ability on display in the Pac-10.

26. Baltimore Ravens

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    Kiper: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

    McShay: Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky

    Banks: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

    Nawrocki: Williams, CB, Texas

    Verdict: Williams, CB, Texas

    The Ravens need to do something to improve their secondary from a year ago. In order to compete with Pittsburgh and New England, both elite teams that can go four wide, they could use Williams' speed on elite wide receivers.

27. Atlanta Falcons

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    Kiper: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

    McShay: Mike Pouncey, C/G, Florida

    Banks: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

    Nawrocki: Danny Watkins, G, Baylor

    Verdict Pouncey, G/C, Florida

    Puncey is a versatile lineman that could fill needs at several positions for the Falcons. They also need to address the defensive line, and complement Roddy White with a second receiver, but both of those additions could come later in the draft.

28. New England Patriots

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    Kiper: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

    McShay: Dan Watkins, G, Baylor

    Banks: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia

    Nawrocki: Clint Boling, G, Georgia

    Verdict: Watkins, G, Baylor

    The Patriots have franchised Logan Mankins but his future with the team is still in doubt. They also will be seeking a replacement for Matt Light. The Patritos could try and get a receiver or running back, but Belichick will likely wait until later rounds.

29. Chicago Bears

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    Kiper: Ben Ijalana, OT, Villanova

    McShay: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

    Banks: Derrick Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

    Nawrocki: Liuget, DT, Illinois

    Verdict: Liuget, DT, Illinois

    Drafting Liuget will simply turn the defensive line into a major strength for the Bears. The offensive line actually came together nicely as the season progressed so the need there is not nearly as significant.

30. New York Jets

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    Kiper: Rahim Moore, S, UCLA

    McShay: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor

    Banks: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

    Nawrocki: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

    Verdict: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

    If Hewyard is available then the Jets will be forced to consider him with this pick. The pass rush will need to be revamped in the near future as Trevor Pryce and Jason Taylor move on from the game. Heyward is an over-sized end who could play sparingly in the short term.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Kiper: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

    McShay: Benjamin Ijalana, OT, Villanova

    Banks: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

    Nawrocki: Derrick Sherrod, OT, Misssissippi

    Verdict: Ijalana, OT, Villanova

    The Steelers were decimated by injuries to the offensive line in 2010 so a selection for that position is expected. Ijalana is a polished player who could play immediately and help protect Ben Roethlisberger.

32. Green Bay Packers

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    Kiper: Justin Houston, OLB, Houston

    McShay: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple

    Banks: Benjamin Ijalana, OT, Villanova

    Nawrocki: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State

    Verdict: Wilkerson, DE, Temple

    The Packers could use some help in their front seven defense and Wilkerson could be just the fit. He is athletic, though somewhat raw, and could help attack the quarterback. There is still some development to be made as a pass rusher, but the likes of Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji could speed up this process.

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