The 2011 NFL Mock Draft is less than three weeks away.
I usually get my mock draft expanded to three rounds earlier in the draft season, but this is the first of the season for 2011.
It is apparent that free agency is not going to happen before the draft this season, pushing some teams to draft for needs early on more than they usually would. With so many teams in need of a Quarterback, they are put in an interesting situation. There are no guarantees that they land who they want in free agency, and some may be better with a rookie on the field than who they have on roster.
1. Carolina | Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
Marcell Dareus would be the safe pick here, and would help fill a need for the Panthers.
I have previously had Blaine Gabbert going here—the one whom many think is the safe pick at Quarterback.
My current thinking is that if the Panthers wanted to play it safe, they would go Dareus. If they want to take a risk on a QB, Newton is the guy to do it on. If he pans out, do you want to be the team that didn’t take him?
Not that it matters much, but Ron Rivera is calling him worthy of the first pick. This pick could come down to who will sign first.
2. Denver | Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Denver is trying to make people believe they are interested in a QB with this selection.
With another QB class, maybe. They need help all over the defense as they switch back to a 4-3. Dareus can help them from day one and for years to come in the middle of the line.
Other defensive needs can be addressed in later rounds.
3. Buffalo | Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
I have had the Bills going with Cam Newton for a while, moving Von Miller here in the last update.
I’m just getting the feeling that defense is the way to go for the Bills, and maybe looking at a QB at the top of the second round if they really want to address it.
Von Miller makes an immediate impact as a pass rusher and the best true linebacker available.
4. Cincinnati | Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
5. Arizona | Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
6. Cleveland | A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
7. San Francisco | Robert Quinn, OLB, North Carolina
8. Tennessee | Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
9. Dallas | Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
10. Washington | Jake Locker, QB, Washington
11. Houston | J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
12. Minnesota | Tyron Smith, OT, USC
13. Detroit | Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
14. St. Louis | Cory Liuget, DT, Illinois
15. Miami | Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
16. Jacksonville | Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
17. New England (From Oak) | Cameron Jordan, DE, California
18. San Diego | Aldon Smith, OLB, Missouri
19. NY Giants | Mike Pouncey, OG/C, Florida
20. Tampa Bay | Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
21. Kansas City | Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
22. Indianapolis | Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
23. Philadelphia | Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
24. New Orleans | Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
25. Seattle | Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi St.
26. Baltimore | Aaron Williams, CB/FS, Texas
27. Atlanta | Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
28. New England | Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
29. Chicago | Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
30. NY Jets | Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia
31. Pittsburgh | Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor
32. Green Bay | Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa