2011 NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine Edition: Round 1
Bob's 2011 NFL Mock Draft
This Round 1 mock draft is my best prediction. I have included some trades in this mock and a trade right out of the gates. The offensive tackle class this year is not the greatest, but the opposite is true about the defensive line which is deep.
Comments are appreciated.
Pick 1: Oakland Raiders (Trade with Carolina Panthers): Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
The Raiders would have to part with a few picks including their 2012 first-round pick to make this pick happen. Last year proved that the Raiders would not make draft picks like they had in previous years as they had one of the better drafts in 2010.
The Raiders are a good quarterback away from being an excellent team. Jason Campbell is not the long-term answer, but with Campbell in place, the Raiders could allow Newton to sit for a year before he would start.
If the Raiders don't trade with Carolina, another team just might, especially if there is a rookie pay scale in the new CBA.
Pick 2: Denver Broncos: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Da'Quan Bowers is a popular pick in most mocks, but he does not make sense for Denver.
The Broncos already have Elvis Dumervil who was the 2009 NFL sack leader. They also had spent a first-round pick on Robert Ayers in 2009 who they could move to DE in the new 4-3 defense. Nick Fairley would give the Broncos a pass rush presence and dynamic player in the middle of their line.
With Champ Bailey possibly leaving, Patrick Peterson might also be an option, but if you have an excellent pass rush, it makes your cornerbacks look better.
Pick 3: Buffalo Bills: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
The Bills recently released Marcus Stroud and will likely be looking for a DE/DT early in the draft. With Fairley gone, the Bills go after Marcell Dareus whom would play DE in the Bills 3-4 defense. Plus look at that stiff arm.
Pick 4: Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
If Carson Palmer is back in a Bengal uniform in 2011, this pick will be A.J. Green. Green has the talent level to be an excellent wide receiver in the NFL.
Pick 5: Arizona Cardinals: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
The Cardinals need a young pass rusher at outside linebacker. Von Miller is a little small for a traditional outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense, but his production and overall capability are hard to ignore.
Pick 6: Cleveland Browns: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
If there is a rookie payscale and Patrick Peterson is available at this point, then I could see the Browns going with that pick. However, it's rare that a team in the NFL would pay two players at the same position alot of money.
The Browns need some talent in their 4-3 alignment, and Bowers falling this far would be a good pick up.
Pick 7: San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
It's hard to see Peterson lasting this far in the draft. If he somehow makes it this far, this would be the 49ers pick.
I don't think the 49ers will draft a quarterback in the first round. If they really liked someone this early then Harbaugh wouldn't be courting Alex Smith.
Other possibilities are Prince Amukamara, Marcell Dareus, Von Miller and Robert Quinn.
Pick 8: Minnesota Vikings (Trade with Tennessee): Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
If Gabbert falls to No. 8, then a team might try to move up to obtain him unless Tennesse likes him. The Vikings make sense as they are a good quarterback away from being competitive again in their division. Plus, I could see a team moving up to No. 8 before Washington picks at 10 because if he is there at 10, Washington would likely pick him up.
Gabbert has all the physical tools that the scouts love. If he interviews well at the Combine, he could even go as high as the Bills at No. 3.
Pick 9: Dallas Cowboys: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
The Cowboys might look for a young cornerback to replace Terence Newman. Amukamara is a top-10 talent and would be hard to pass up at this point.
Pick 10: Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
With Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert off the board, the Redskins will have a hard choice. The Redskins lack a No. 1 receiver.
Julio lacks elite speed but is tough and is a playmaker similar to Michael Crabtree. Jones is a No. 1 receiver and would be hard to pass up at this point.
Pick 11: Houston Texans: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
Their isn't a cornerback worth picking at this point of the draft with Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara gone.
The Texans are moving to a 3-4 scheme and will look to add some size and strength at defensive end. Jordan was impressive at the Senior Bowl and has improved his stock.
Pick 12:Tennessee Titans (Trade with Minnesota):Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
The Titans could look for another pass rusher opposite Derrick Morgan. There isn't a quarterback worth this pick at this point.
Quinn is a top-five talent who, because of his NCAA suspension, lost out on an opportunity to prove so. With Quinn across from Derrick Morgan, the Titans would once again have a great line.
Pick 13: Detroit Lions: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
It is imperative the Lions add some offensive line talent to keep Matt Stafford healthy.
Solder has the size and athleticism to play either right or left tackle.
Pick 14: St. Louis Rams: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
Julio Jones is the obvious pick in this situation as the Rams need more offensive weapons for Sam Bradford. In this mock draft though, Julio Jones is gone. It's hard to see another receiver who would be worthy of this pick. Maybe Jonathan Baldwin from Pitt but his stock has fallen recently.
The Rams recently released O.J. Atogwe who might end up resigning with the Rams, but that is not a given. The Rams need to become younger in the secondary as they are solid on the defensive line. Harris has playmaking ability. Harris's skills could help in a division where each team has a big physical No. 1 receiver.
Pick 15: Miami Dolphins: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are free agents. Ronnie Brown is often injured. The Dolphins are a running team, and Ingram would give them a reliable back.
Pick 16: Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
Aaron Kampman is coming off his second ACL tear in two years. The Jaguars might look for a defensive lineman to eventually replace Kampman.
Pick 17: New England Patriots: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
J.J. Watt is similar to Justin Smith of the 49ers. He is big and does not take a play off. He would be a welcomed addition to a older defensive line.
Pick 18: San Diego Chargers: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
The Chargers are solid at every position except outside linebacker where Shawne Merriman was released and Larry English hasn't lived up to his potential.
Pick 19: New York Giants: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
The Giants have a solid offensive line but need to get younger. Smith would be an excellent pick because he wouldn't have to start from day one.
Smith has the athletic ability to play left tackle but will require some coaching.
Pick 20: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
Ronde Barber won't last forever. Smith is rising draft boards and could be gone by this pick. If that is the case then the Bucs could add a defensive end.
Pick 21: Kansas City Chiefs: Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida
The Chiefs had better tackle play from Brandon Albert and Ryan O'Callaghan but need to add additional talent along the offensive line. Mike could play center or guard along the offensive line. He could eventually replace Casey Wiegmann who is 37 and could start right away as a guard.
Mike, the twin brother of Maurkice Pouncy, is the best interior lineman in this draft. He could also have a similar affect as his brother did with the Steelers.
Pick 22: Indianapolis Colts: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
The Colts run defense is horrible. They could also look at the offensive line. I'd expect the Colts to go for a defensive lineman in Round 1 and offensive upgrades in the next two.
Pick 23: Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
The Eagles offensive line surrendered 52 sacks last year. The Eagles could use an upgrade along the offensive line.
Pick 24: New Orleans Saints: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
At this point of the draft, Clayborn would be too good to pass up.
Pick 25: Seattle Seahawks: Gabe Carimi, OT/OG, Wisconsin
The Seahawks desperately need to upgrade their offensive line. Carimi could start at right tackle or left guard.
Pick 26: Baltimore Ravens: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
The Ravens need to add some speed and youth to their wide receiving corp. Smith could fill that role.
Pick 27: Atlanta Falcons: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
Williams is big and fast. He is also a good pick up at this point of the draft. He would also match up against bigger receivers and be a nice addition across from Dunta Robinson.
Pick 28: New England Patriots: Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois
LeShoure is 6'1" and 230 lbs with excellent speed. With the Patriots having three picks in the top-33 picks of the draft, they can go after a running back here.
Pick 29: Chicago Bears: Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
Jay Cutler needs a big, playmaking receiver like he had in Denver with Brandon Marshall. If Baldwin is here at this point, then the Bears could pick him. If not, they might look to add depth on the offensive line.
Pick 30: New York Jets: Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor
Kris Jenkins has only played in seven games the last two seasons. It's time to find his replacement.
Pick 31: Pittsburgh Steelers: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
Aaron Smith has had season-ending injuries the last two years. Ziggy Hood has stepped up. Although, Heyward at this point of the draft is too good to pass up.
Pick 32: Green Bay Packers: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
It wouldn't hurt if the Packers added an offensive tackle who could be the eventual successor to Chad Clifton or take Bulaga's spot if Bulaga moved to left tackle.