NFL Mock Draft 2011: Patrick Peterson Goes First, Cameron Heyward Climbs
This mock draft shows what I think SHOULD happen and not what I think will happen. If I was each teams' GM the draft would look like this.
1. Carolina Panthers: CB Patrick Peterson, LSU
In my opinion this is a terrible QB class. If the Panthers are looking for a franchise QB they better trade for one or pick one up in later rounds. With the first pick of the draft they can't miss. They need somebody who will be starting for them for the next 10 years. Patrick Peterson is the best corner prospect to come around in a long time. A corner is never picked first overall but this gives them arguably the best player in the draft at a position of need, which is nearly every position.
2. Denver Broncos: DE DaQuan Bowers, Clemson
The 3-4 experiment is coming to an end. John Fox will bring in his system and he will need a new Julius Peppers. Bowers' size, speed, and strength make him a potential game changer vs the run and pass.
3. Buffalo Bills: OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M
The Bills 3-4 defense was terrible because of their lack of personnel for it. This year they will be running a hybrid but they still need help. Von Miller is one of the best 3-4 OLB prospects ever. He can also play end in a 4-3. He is the player the Bills need to build their defense around.
Who SHOULD be the first pick of the draft?
4. Cincinnati Bengals: WR A.J. Green, Georgia
Carson Palmer is unhappy. How do you fix that? Get rid of the problem (85 and 81) and give him a present. A.J. Green is a ridiculously talented receiver. Any QB would love to throw to him.
5. Arizona Cardinals: DE/OLB Robert Quinn, North Carolina
With Von Miller off the board, Arizona needs to find the next best player they can use. Robert Quinn can move to rush linebacker for them. I considered Marcell Dareus but their line is not as big of a need.
6. Cleveland Browns: DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama
I really wanted to give them Julio Jones but Dareus is too good to pass up. With the departure of Shaun Rodgers and the switch to a 4-3 they will need a quality interior lineman.
7. San Francisco 49ers: CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
The 49ers have had arguably the worst secondary in the league for several years now. Amukamara would become their best corner the day he sets foot on their field.
8. Tennessee Titans: DT Nick Fairley, Auburn
I don't like Nick Fairley nearly as much as the rest of the world seems to. His talent combined with his work ethic and motor makes him a boom or bust player. Unfortunately there is no one better that fits their needs so the Titans take him eighth overall.
9. Dallas Cowboys: OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
This is a reach but Dallas must improve their offensive line. Carimi fits their power blocking scheme while giving them an upgrade at left tackle.
10. Washington Redskins: WR Julio Jones, Alabama
No QB worth taking here so Washington takes Jones. Whoever plays QB there will have a great target.
11. Houston Texans: DE Cameron Jordan, California
Houston needs pieces for their new 3-4 defense. The best piece available is Jordan who can play 5-tech across from Mario Williams.
12. Minnesota Vikings: DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State
A motivated Cameron Heyward can take over a football game (see Sugar Bowl). With no QB worth taking the Vikes should draft Heyward and hope his motor becomes more consistent.
13. Detroit Lions: OT Tyron Smith, USC
The Lions have all the pieces to be a powerful offense with the exception of a left tackle. Smith can keep Matt Stafford upright so this point scoring machine can run at full speed.
14. St. Louis Rams: WR Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh
Sam Bradford has bookend tackles for protection. Now its time to give him a weapon. Baldwin makes for a matchup that give defensive coordinators headaches.
15. Miami Dolphins: RB Mark Ingram, Alabama
Usually I don't like taking a running back in round one but Miami is a special case. Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are free agents. Even if they come back that is a backfield with a ton of mileage. Mark Ingram is young, talented, durable, and has experience running wildcat. Since Miami is so reliant on good running backs I will make an exception here.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
Jacksonville was 28th in pass yards allowed and 30th in sacks last year. They need to upgrade their pass rush desperately.
17. New England Patriots(from Oakland Raiders): DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
Watt gives New England a 5-tech who can get to the quarterback. This is a great value pick and it fills a need.
18. San Diego Chargers: OLB Aldon Smith, Missouri
Smith gives San Diego an option if Larry English is a bust. Even if English plays well it gives them a rotation at rush linebackers with Shaun Phillips. Last year their offense was first in yards and second in scoring. At this point the Chargers just need to make it so other offenses can't keep up. A great pass rush helps.
19. New York Giants: OLB Akeem Ayers, UCLA
Keith Bullock is old. The Giants need a strong side backer in the worst way. Luckily there is a very good one available.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
A Tampa 2 defense must have a great defensive line that can make plays in the back field. The Bucs interior line can do that. Now they need help from the edge.
21. Kansas City Chiefs: NT Phil Taylor, Baylor
The Chiefs run a 3-4 defense with no good nose tackles. That's a problem. Phil Taylor is huge and moves like hes small. This is one talented nose they can't pass up.
22. Indianapolis Colts: OT Derrek Sherrod, Mississippi State
Indy needs to protect Peyton Manning at all costs. Derek Sherrod is the best pass blocker in the draft.
23. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado
Philly needs help in the secondary and at linebacker. The best player available at those positions is Jimmy Smith.
24. New Orleans Saints: DE Justin Houston
Justin Houston can play 4-3 end for the Saints who need to help their pass rush.
25. Seattle Seahawks: G Rodney Hudson, Florida State
With Tom Cable and Pat Ruel coaching their line, Seattle is a zone blocking team all the way. Rodney Hudson fits the scheme better than any guard in this class. He also fills one of their biggest needs.
26. Baltimore Ravens: CB Brandon Harris, Miami
The Ravens are one of the leagues best defenses year in and year out. They also have had terrible corners for a long time. With talent at the corner position, the biggest problem for the Ravens will become offensive conditioning. They will spend a lot of time on the field every Sunday.
27. Atlanta Falcons: TE Kyle Rudolph. Notre Dame
Tony Gonzales considered retirement this year. Having another quality tight end on the team can't hurt and he can take over when Gonzo he hangs it up.
28. New England Patriots: C/G Stefan Wisniewski, Penn State
Wisniewski can play all three interior line positions. I also like him better than Pouncey. The Pats are aging at center and guard. Wisniewski provides depth and a potential starter as a rookie.
29. Chicago Bears: OT Nate Solder, Colorado
Pretty good value pick here at a position of need. The Bears must keep Jay Cutler upright.
30. New York Jets: S Rahim Moore, UCLA
Due to free agency the Jets have a need for a safety. Rahim Moore is the best available. With his secondary patched up, Rex Ryan can continue to stunt, blitz, and play all kinds of games with his front seven.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Aaron Williams, Texas
Pittsburgh is another team that has gotten the job done with terrible corners. Williams gives them an instant upgrade over Ike Taylor.
32. Green Bay Packers: G/C Mike Pouncey, Florida
The Packers continue to upgrade their offensive line with Pouncey who can play guard and center.
That's right. No QBs in the first round. This is a terrible class. Let the Andrew Luck sweepstakes begin.
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