2011 NFL Draft: Mel Kiper Jr.'s Latest Mock Draft

Jim McCarthy, Jr.@@JimMcCarthyJrCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Mel Kiper Jr.'s Latest Mock Draft

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    With all the chatter surrounding the NFL lockout, it seems as though this year's NFL draft is taking a backseat.

    Although the NFLPA is discouraging draft prospects from attending the 2011 NFL draft, the good news is, lockout or not, the draft must go on!

    Mel Kiper, Jr. is at it again, recently releasing his latest mock draft for the first round. You may love him or hate him, but you can't argue that the guy doesn't know the ins and outs of every NFL prospect each year. He surely does his homework.

    Let's have a look at Kiper's picks for the first 10 selections of the upcoming NFL draft.

1. Carolina Panthers: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

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    Even though Kiper still thinks Jimmy Clausen, given his youth, can find success in the NFL, he thinks Carolina will still select Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert first overall.

2. Denver Broncos: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

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    Because of Denver's lack of depth at the at the DL position, plus their inability to stop the run in 2010, Kiper has them picking Nick Fairley to go at No. 2

3. Buffalo Bills: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

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    With great quickness for his size, Kiper thinks Dareus is a safe pick for the Bills at No.3

4. Cincinatti Bengals: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    With Carson Palmer on his way out, Mel Kiper has the Bengals going with Cam Newton, although he does admit Cincinnati could opt to trade their selection as well.

5. Arizona Cardinals: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

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    The Cardinals desperately need a pass rusher, and Mel thinks the Cards will go with Miller at No. 5.

6. Cleveland Browns: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    A.J. Green looked great at the combine and is exactly what the doctor ordered for Mike Holmgren and the Browns.

7. San Fransisco 49ers: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

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    Although Mel Kiper has Peterson at No.1 on his "Big Board" he thinks the CB from LSU will drop to No. 7—luckily for the 49ers.

8. Tennesee Titans: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Kiper thinks that Bowers will fall to the Titans at No. 8 only because there are still some questions about a knee injury.

9. Dallas Cowboys: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

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    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Kiper does think that the Cowboys are currently looking to trade down to possibly add an offensive lineman, but if they do select at No. 9, he likes Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara.

10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Although Mel thinks the Redskins have multiple needs on offense, his advice would be to select WR Julio Jones out of Alabama.

What Does Your Top 10 Look Like?

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    If you don't agree with Mel Kiper's expertise, let me know what you would change. Have your own top 10? Let me know.