NFL Draft 2011: What I Would Do with My First Round Picks If I Were an All-Time GM

Song FlaglerContributor IApril 13, 2011

Will the lockout possibility mar the spectacle that is the NFL Draft?
Will the lockout possibility mar the spectacle that is the NFL Draft?Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Remember when you were young and played flag football with your buddies?  Sometimes you’d have one person who played quarterback for both teams.  We called him (or her) an all-time quarterback. With the draft approaching I thought about who I would draft if I were GM for each of these teams.  Over the next few days, I hope to provide you with the answers to my ponderings.  This is not a mock draft.  It’s just my opinion and assessment.

1.  With the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers pick Marcel Dareus, Alabama.  Now, I know everyone else is picking a QB here, but I just don’t think any of these quarterbacks is worth a number one overall pick.  I think the Panthers have holes everywhere, and Ron Rivera is a defensive guy.  I think he wants a guy who has his mentality here.  Dareus learned a lot from Saban and the SEC. 

2.  The Broncos should draft the best player, who may just happen to fit their needs, too.  Patrick Peterson from LSU will fit nicely into the Broncos system, and I think Elway (or should I say me?) will simply not pass on a chance to take him.  Champ’s not getting any younger, and the Broncos defense is their weakness. Elway will address that issue on the first two days.

3.  Here’s a surprise pick here, simply because I know Mike Brown falls for the ticket seller, not necessarily the best player.  His mentality may explain why Carson Palmer wants out.  Brown is going to trade up to get Cam Newton, despite what I tell him. And he will give up one pick in the third round to get Newton.  I think this may be the only draft day trade, since teams can’t trade players.  There may be some trading on the other days, but this is the only trade for the first day.  Newton goes to the Bengals at three.

4.  The Bills should take Von Miller here.  They have a decent offense, with plenty of position players, and they have a QB who can do more than manage games.  They address the defensive issues with the hottest guy not on a Tigers team.

5.  The Cards are thrilled Blaine Gabbert is still available at five and pick him up quickly.  They won’t even use the full 15 minutes.  Gabbert is their guy.

6.  The Browns need a little help everywhere, and I think I’d play it conservatively here.  I’m taking Bowers from Clemson.  He should fit nicely into the team’s defensive scheme.

7.  The 49ers are a team that desperately needs a quarterback.  But Jim Harbaugh has tasted success with a pro-style quarterback already.  I don’t think he wants to reach for a quarterback here.  I think the Niners take AJ Green from Georgia.  He and Crabtree may become a great duo, and Crabtree may see some first-round production with Green drawing double coverage.

8.  The Tennessee Titans are a mess.  Now, it seems that everyone is picking Fairley to go here.  It’s certainly a possibility.  I will go with the consensus here.  The Titans debated on taking Jake Locker, but he’s just not worth too much of a stretch.

9.  The Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t even be this high in the draft.  They are so stacked at position players I think they have to go with offensive line.  Tyron Smith is built just right for what the Cowboys need to do offensively. And Garrett needs to slap Dez Bryant on the back of the head with one of those rings he bought (hey, I’m the one playing GM here).

10.  The Washington Redskins have watched the three most “promising” quarterbacks come off the board.  Snyder got stars in his eyes after watching Julio Jones at the combine.  Snyder takes him at this spot.

11.  The most disappointing team for the last couple of years is the Houston Texans.  It seems like every year they’re going to turn the corner.  This year may be different.  Offensively, this team is set.  Kubiak does a great job offensively, but I don’t think the defense even practices.  They were putrid in all major categories, especially the pass.  I think Prince Amukamara goes here.  They need to shore up their defensive backfield. 

So that’s my assessment as all-time GM for the first NFL picks.  Think they’ll let me manage the mediations this week?

Next on the clock, picks 12-22.