NFL Draft 2011: The 10 Biggest Skill Position Players Going First Round

Alex MonacoContributor IIFebruary 21, 2011

NFL Draft 2011: The 10 Biggest Skilled Position Players Going First Round

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    The 2011 NFL Draft is less than two months away.  With a possible lockout looming, the draft may be the most action us NFL fans get for a while.

    Sure every team has different needs to address, but let's stay with the flashy and the glamour.  Skilled positions is the topic of today. 

    Here's a look at the top ten skilled position players entering this year's NFL Draft.  

10. Julio Jones (Alabama)

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    There's a lot of speculation around whether Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones will be effective or not in the NFL.  His size, strength, and resume, all speak volumes about the potential he has at the next level. I'm a bit confused as to where the questions come from.

    Jones caught 179 passes in Alabama for over 2,600 total yards.  He's not the flashiest wide receiver, but he hangs on to the football and makes clutch catches when called upon. 

    If he goes to a team like the Rams, he could immediately become a 1,000 yard receiver by first seasons end. 

9. DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma)

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    Why more people aren't talking about DeMarco Murray I simply do not know.  If he doesn't go drafted in the first round, it's an absolute outrage. 

    Murray's been the go to guy in Oklahoma when a play needs to be made.  Four seasons, 3,685 yards and 50 touchdowns later, his services are needed at a higher level. 

    Murray's a McFadden style runner.  Downhill, hard hitting, and agile for his height at 6'1.  You put a DeMarco Murray on a team like the Bears to run alongside a Matt Forte and you can call me the matchmaker.  

8. Von Miller (Texas A&M)

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    I know arguing that a defensive end isn't a skilled position is valid, but I encourage you to take that up with Michael Strahan.  He made the position look like an art form, and I expect the former Texas A&M Aggie Von Miller to do the same. 

    Von is 6'3, 243 pounds but with the speed of a DB.  He gets around the corner as fast as any of them and for that reason alone, he has high draft status. 

    The Texas bred twenty-one year old is ready to make a name for himself in the NFL. 

    The question is: What team will he be reeking havoc for?

7. Prince Amukamara (Nebraska)

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    We all know the NFL is about matchups.  Who can stick who is the simplest way to put it.  At Nebraska, no one stuck Prince Amukamara. 

    He's a 6'1 205 pound physical, hands on type of cornerback. A wide receivers worst nightmare.  He's got Cromartie capability, with an an Ed Reed mentality. 

    Totalling 155 tackles as a Cornhusker, he's now ready for the league.  If he goes to a team like the Cowboys, they could be riding his physical demeanor all the way to the ship.  

6. Ryan Mallett (Arkansas)

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    Mallett's young, but so is a lot of premiere talent in this world.  What a year Ryan had, recording a quarterback rating of 163.65, throwing for 3,869 yards, and passing for 32 touchdowns. 

    He's 6'6, 238 pounds and an arm like a darn rocket!  He's got the Joe Flacco size, but seemingly the pocket presence of someone who's been doing it for years. 

    Mallett is certainly a high risk high reward kind of gamble, but I say roll the dice.  

5. Mark Ingram (Alabama)

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    No running back coming into this year's draft has a more impressive resume than that of Mark Ingram. (Except maybe DeMarco Murray).  The man put up over 3,000 yards, and 42 total touchdowns to compliment Alabama. 

    He takes a bulldog like approach to his craft and you can see it in his diligence on the field.  He knows how to take a hit, lay a hit, and be a teammate that contributes in either a major or minor way.

    Look for Ingram to go to an NFL team and make an immediate impact.  First stop: the NFL combine.  

4. Blaine Gabbert (Missouri)

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    I thought it was going to be extremely difficult to replace the play of Chase Daniel at Missouri.  Boy was I wrong.  Out with the old, and in with the new. 

    A couple years later and the Missouri Tigers have bred yet another NFL bound quarterback.  Only this time, he's the talk of the elite when mentioning quarterbacks. 

    Gabbert at 6'5, 235 pounds is a force.  At Missouri he threw for over 6,800 yards and exactly 40 touchdowns.  When you watch his highlight tape, it's not just him throwing the ball around. He makes plays with his feet and at his size, that's a rarity. 

    Blaine could be a nice fit in either Buffalo, Tennessee, or Washington.  We'll see where he goes folks.  

3. A.J. Green (Georgia)

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    When you look at a wide receiver, you immediately break down his style of play.  Is he a possession receiver, is he a speed guy, does he have big play ability? 

    When you look at A.J. Green, you mark the letter D on your scan-tron: All of the above. 

    Green at the University of Georgia was a sensation to watch.  A total of 23 touchdowns to go with 2,619 receiving yards in a three year career that is NFL worthy. 

    Green displayed everything you look for in a receiver and at 6'4 with his speed, look out Charlie.  The next Plaxico Burress is among us.  

2. Patrick Peterson (LSU)

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    It's rare you see a premier corner being discussed as a top ten pick leading up to an NFL draft.  In this year's draft class, we have two.  Prince, and your boy Patrick Peterson. 

    Peterson is the number one corner on the board and rightfully so.  He went up against A.J. Green and Julio Jones on a weekly basis in the SEC and did so impressively. 

    On paper he's extremely versatile: 6'1, 222 pounds, and leaping ability like Shannon Brown.  You could easily flip this guy around and make him a wide receiver but he's simply too physical. 

    This guy needs to hit and hit he will for whatever team that drafts him in the first round.

1. Cam Newton (Auburn)

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    He's 6'6, 250 pounds, and has a ton of athleticism.  I met Cam a week or two ago at my old high school in San Diego at his workout for ESPN and NFL Network. 

    His conditioning coach Rahn Sheffield told me that the true character of an individual is when they're at their weakest.  He called Cam a "blue collar" worker, and after getting to know Newton at his camp, he sure seems more business than people would presume. 

    After the Heisman trophy winner hit me on a twenty-five yard post pattern, I knew he was the real deal. 

    I believe Cam will be the one to revolutionize the game of the NFL.  Playing alongside another quarterback in the same shotgun formation...(Check my article titled: Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, and the Denver Broncos have something for you, if you care to dabble). 

    However, if he's not operating from my revolutionary offense, his ability to run, pass, catch, and block makes him a multi-dimensional offensive weapon. 

    This guy's the LeBron James of the NFL.  Just watch.