2011 NFL Draft: 5 Teams That Can't Take a Risk in the First Round

Eli Nachmany@EliNachmanyCorrespondent IIIApril 12, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: 5 Teams That Can't Take a Risk in the First Round

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    NEW YORK - APRIL 22:  C.J. Spiller from the Clemson Tigers holds up a Buffalo Bills jersey after he was selected #9 overall by the Bills during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by J
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    Every year, high-risk/high-reward players emerge as potential first round picks. Moreover, every year, a team falls for the hype of one of these players, and when the player doesn't pan out, the team is set back a good number of years.

    This year, a handful of teams can't afford to take a leap of faith in the first round with an over-decorated prospect. For a number of reasons ranging from state of franchise and past draft performance, these teams need to take the safe prospect over the more talented guy this year.

Buffalo Bills

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    ORCHARD PARK, NY - MAY 01: Aaron Maybin #58, 2009 first round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills waits in between plays during Buffalo Bills minicamp at the Buffalo Bills Fieldhouse on May 1, 2009 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Imag
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    After a number of other first round risks are now burned into Bills fans' minds, namely CJ Spiller and Aaron Maybin, it's time for the Bills brass to stay conservative and take a safe player with their first round selection.

    The Bills need a young player to tab as the face of the franchise, and another bust would only cement the Bills in misery.

    With the third pick in the draft, the Bills need to avoid glamour and pick conservatively.

    If the Bills strike out with this pick, not only will it have tremendous consequences on the team, but it will raise serious questions about Buddy Nix's drafting ability.

Denver Broncos

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    DENVER - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos looks on against the San Diego Chargers at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Last April, the Broncos and Josh McDaniels took two huge risks by drafting Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas.

    With a newly minted head coach in John Fox, Denver isn't committed to either player and needs to make a safe pick to start the roster rebuild.

    The Broncos have taken too many risks with their past few drafts, and both Tebow and Thomas didn't produce much in their first year with the club.

    On top of all of their drafting failures, the Broncos are making the switch to a 4-3 front and can't fall for the hype of someone who might not produce.

Oakland Raiders

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    OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 03:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders in action  against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 3, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Surprise, surprise; the Oakland Raiders can't take a risk in the first round.

    After drafting well last year and getting a safe pick in Rolando McClain to lead the defense, the Raiders need to continue drafting well and bring in another talented young player who won't flop.

    The Raiders are a young team on the brink of a playoff berth with a good number of positions settled.

    The new era Raiders are making their mark with sound personnel decisions and can't afford to have a hyped-up player come in and flop.

Washington Redskins

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    LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 13:  Albert Haynesworth #92 of the Washington Redskins warms up before the preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at FedEx Field on August 13, 2010 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    The Redskins have a ton of money tied up in players that haven't contributed to the franchise, and with an aging roster, their first-round pick this year will be a face of the future.

    After another disappointing season in Washington, the Redskins need to capitalize on their high draft pick and not fall for a player who will be a bust.

    The NFC East is a very competitive division, and the Redskins need to avoid falling by the wayside as the Eagles, Giants and even the Cowboys improve.

    The jury is still out on the Redskins first-round pick last year, Trent Williams, and the team needs to stay conservative this year with the 10th pick.

Tennessee Titans

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    NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 21:  Quarterback Vince Young #11 of the Tennessee Titans talks with a member of the training staff after leaving a game against the Washington Redskins at LP Field on November 21, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Redskins won 19-
    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    The Titans have a lot of problems and don't need another one in the form of a first round bust.

    Mike Munchak, who hasn't inspired much confidence yet, needs to prove himself by drafting the right guy to lead the Titans into a transitional period.

    After a past first-round pick became a coach-killing move, the Titans need to draft cautiously in the first round this year.

    The franchise is in a state of turmoil and needs a conservative pick in the first round to help lead the team into the new era.