2011 NFL Mock Draft Top Ten: Cam Newton Goes Number One A.J. Green Slides
I usually don't get into doing overall mock drafts as it's all up to the team's perception of players anyways. However, with a little extra time on my hands I decided I'd throw in my two cents for whatever it's worth.
Hopefully this mock will stray away from the norm a little and offer some alternative ways of looking at this year's draft. This is how I see things playing out on April the 28th. Good luck to your team and on your future mock's.
1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton QB Auburn
The Carolina Panthers must do something big here to make up for a non-existent offense. Although some Jimmy Clausen fans don't seem to be ready to throw in the towel on him, it's pretty clear to others that he's not the answer at quarterback.
If the Panthers want to be competitive in the tough NFC South, then more production will have to come out of the most important position on the field. Cam Newton will provide them with just that and will find ways to move the ball (either conventional or non-conventional) down the field.
2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus DT Alabama
This pick is pretty obvious. The Broncos desperately need help in the middle of the line and Dareus is the best defensive tackle in the draft.
3. Buffalo Bills: Von Miller LB Texas A&M
Many drafts have Buffalo taking a quarterback here but I don't see the logic. Ryan Fitzpatrick might not be the answer for the long-term at quarterback but he's good enough to play for another year while improving the team in other areas.
Von Miller is my favorite player in the drat and will add a much needed pass-rush to the Bills defense. There's no way you can pass up a dominant player like Von Miller when he's needed this badly.
Another quarterback option can be picked up in later rounds if needed and the future quarterback can be found in the draft next year if neither Fitzpatrick nor this year's pick performs to standards.
4. Cincinatti Bengals: Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri
The Bengals seem to be in a bit of a bind with Carson Palmer demanding a trade and both Terrel Owens and Chad Johnson (or Ocho-whatever) possibly being lost to free-agency.
It seems this might be the beginning of a new era for the Bengals and that will start with a quarterback. Blaine Gabbert is ranked as the best quarterback in the draft and the Bengals can't pass on him here.
5. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson CB LSU
It's been reported by some that Larry Fitzgerald has been outspoken about bringing in a veteran quarterback to throw him the ball, so Arizona will try to make that a reality through free-agency or a trade after the draft.
This also allows them to take a huge play-maker on defense in Patrick Peterson. With an improved secondary and a veteran quarterback, Arizona again becomes a threat in the NFC West.
6. Cleveland Browns: Robert Quinn DE North Carolina
This pick should shock a lot of people as A.J. Green is the most popular pick here. There is no question Colt McCoy would love another weapon to throw to but this year offers a pretty deep receiver class.
With Cleveland switching to a 4-3 defense they would love to land either Patrick Peterson or Quinn with this pick. Since Arizona took Peterson off the board at pick five it leaves Cleveland with no decision to make.
Quinn will solidify his position at defensive end this year and become a dominant defensive player within three years.
7. San Fransisco 49er's: A.J. Green WR Georgia
In a flip of the consensus thought, A.J. Green slips by Cleveland and lands in San Fransisco. There is no doubt that they also need some help in their secondary but with a receiver like A.J. Green falling to them here and Michael Crabtree failing to make an impact, they can't resist his talents here.
Cam Newton and Gabbert would have also been worth considering here but they're off the board. San Fransisco gets a much needed upgrade at wide receiver and addresses the quarterback and secondary positions later in the draft and through free-agency.
8. Tennessee Titans: Nick Fairley DT Auburn
The Titans are yet another team with quarterback concerns but none are worth taking in this spot. Nick Fairley is a dominant player in much the same mold as previous Tennessee Titan, Albert Haynesworth.
Although Fairley is much lighter than Haynesworth, he plays with the same intensity and aggression. This pick also re-unites Fairley with his college defensive line coach, Tracy Rocker.
9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith OT USC
The Cowboys ultimately have two options here. Corner and Offensive Tackle. I think the decision will be made based on where they think the most depth is. If they think they can grab a good offensive tackle in the second then they could go with Prince Amukamara here.
Considering Ras-I Dowling has been creating a little bit of a buzz lately they could be targeting him in the second.
That leaves them taking Tyron Smith here to upgrade the offensive line in order to keep Tony Romo healthy for the entire season instead of six games.
10. Washington Redskins: Aldon Smith DE/OLB Missouri
Although wide receiver could easily be the choice here, I doubt Mike Shanahan takes a receiver this high. Julio Jones would be the perfect fit for his West-Coast offense but so would Randall Cobb, Titus Young, and Jerrel Jernigan, among many others.
There's simply too many receivers that could thrive in his offense to take one here. Aldon Smith could move to outside line backer and would add a pass-rush to a Redskins defense that only tallied 29 sacks last year. J.J. Watt of Wisconsin could also be considered here.