2011 NFL Mock Draft: Which Picks Were Affected by the Combine?
With the NFL Scouting Combine in the books, many players have seen their stock rise or fall. While some may see the Combine as only a physical test, performing well will only help them on their road to the NFL Draft.
This mock will use new player rankings, my personal big board, and results from the Combine to determine where players will fit and with which team(s).
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride though mock draft version 5.0
No. 1 Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton, Quarterback, Auburn
I've had A.J. Green here for the past few months, but with the sudden skyrocket in Newton's stock and Carolina's need for a quarterback, it simply makes sense. Now, if Ron Rivera brings in a veteran, this pick may change back to Green.
So far, Jimmy Clausen and Matt Moore have been nothing other than disappointments for the Panthers. On the other hand, Newton has shown that he has a big arm, great legs, and the ability to be a true leader of a football team.
Marcell Dareus, Da'Quan Bowers, and Nick Fairley are options as well, but are any of them really worth being picked first overall?
No. 2 Denver Broncos
Da'Quan Bowers, Defensive End, Clemson
Numerous reports have come out in recent weeks stating that John Fox and the Broncos hierarchy are leaning towards Bowers with the second overall pick in the draft. While I am not personally high on Bowers, he does have tremendous upside. Whether he can translate his skills to the pro game have yet to be seen, but his versatility will help the Broncos in their switch from to the 4-3 base scheme.
Patrick Peterson remains a great option, but with the big bucks now tied up in Champ Bailey over the next four years, I doubt the Broncos would take a corner.
No. 3 Buffalo Bills
Patrick Peterson, Cornerback, LSU
This guy is the complete package. Peterson just ran an unofficial 4.32 at the Combine and looked great carrying almost 220 lbs. The Bills have other needs without a doubt, but Buddy Nix has reiterated himself numerous times saying that the team will take the best talent available when they pick.
Guys like Von Miller and Marcell Dareus are options here too, but Peterson is a phenom like no other.
No. 4 Cincinnati Bengals
A.J. Green, Wide Receiver, Georgia
Green is a lot like Peterson in many ways—a phenom. A total stud that didn't show his true talents at the Combine, look for Green to put on a show at his pro day.
Depending on what happens with Carson Palmer, the Bengals could look to take Blaine Gabbert here, while they wouldn't be opposed to Nick Fairley's "character concerns" here either.
No. 5 Arizona Cardinals
Von Miller, 3-4 Outside Linebacker, Texas A&M
The Cardinals desperately need help at rush linebacker, seeing as how the Joey Porter experiment was a total bust. Von Miller has gotten nothing but praise over the past few months, and has showed that he is a true beast, both at the Combine and at the Senior Bowl.
Both Blaine Gabbet and Prince Amukamara are options here, but Miller is just too good to pass on.
No. 6 Cleveland Browns
Nick Fairley, Defense End/Tackle, Auburn
I have Fairley jumping Dareus here because of his pass rush ability. He is a monster on the defensive line, both dominating running backs and quarterbacks. This fits well for the Browns, who need a new tackle to fill the void left by the big Shaun Rogers, as well as an upgrade in the pass-rushing department.
Julio Jones is an option here too, but Fairley fits a bigger need.
No. 7 San Francisco 49'ers
Blaine Gabbert, Quarterback, Missouri
Simply, the 49'ers need a signal caller and Blaine Gabbert seems to be making a great case for himself.
John Harbaugh will like Gabbert too—he is intelligent, has a big arm, and supposedly has great character; everything you'd look for in a franchise quarterback.
Marcell Dareus and Prince Amukamara are options here as well.
No. 8 Tennessee Titans
Marcell Dareus, Defensive Tackel, Alabama
Potentially the winner of the Combine (not including Julio Jones). Dareus looked incredible on Sunday, running a great 40 yard dash and looking solid in every drill he ran. While he might not have Fairley's pass-rush skills, Dareus is a stud run-stuffer and will help take pressure off of the developing defensive end Derrick Morgan.
No. 9 Dallas Cowboys
Prince Amukamara, Cornerback, Nebraska
I had Cam Jordan slated here, but Prince Amukamara is the better talent and fills a bigger need. Terrance Newman is garbage and Mike Jenkins hasn't shown that he is worthy of covering top talent—enter Prince Amukamara.
With an upgraded secondary, the Cowgirls can focus on their offensive and defensive lines throughout the rest of the draft.
No. 10 Washington Redskins
Julio Jones, Wide Receiver, Alabama
The Redskins desperately need an upgrade over their pedestrian receiving corps. Julio Jones has the chance to be a real superstar in this league, he'll be a guy worth talking about for the next decade, assuming the Redskins can find a quarterback "worthy" of running Mike Shanahan's offense.