2011 NFL Mock Draft: Trades That Could Shake Up the Top 10
Just over a week until the 2011 NFL Draft and news keeps rolling in stating that teams are looking to trade up or down on draft day. Recently, Denver has expressed interest in trading out of the two spot with a team interested in snagging Blaine Gabbert before the Buffalo Bills at three.
But what trades can we see in the Top 10 on draft day? This mock will take a look at how some trades could play out and why they make sense.
Note: This is purely hypothetical.
No. 1: Carolina Panthers
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Cam Newton, Auburn, Quarterback
I still firmly believe that Newton will be the pick for Carolina. The Panthers have a new staff, which has no loyalty to Jimmy Clausen. They have a team that needs a face and a leader—Newton is that figure. Argue his intelligence and ability to read coverages, but the man is a playmaker that wants to be the face of a franchise.
The only pick I could imagine other than Newton is Blaine Gabbert. He had a great pro day, but he is not the icon that Newton is.
No. 2: Denver Broncos
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Marcell Dareus, Alabama, Defensive Tackle
Denver has such a big hole at defensive tackle that I don't think they can pass on Dareus. He has experience playing just about every position on the line, which is good for Denver since they're transitioning back to the 4-3 defense.
No. 3: Buffalo Bills
Von Miller, Texas A&M, 3-4 Outside Linebacker
I hang on Adam Shefter's every word, and he states that the Bills will likely take the best defensive player available with the third pick.
It's been speculated that the Bills could trade out of the third spot, but both Chan Gailey and Buddy Nix have stated multiple times, "You aren't in this position very often." It's true, and the Bills need a playmaker, whether it's Blaine Gabbert, Patrick Peterson or Von Miller.
No. 4: San Francisco 49ers (Trade with Cincinnati)
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Patrick Peterson, LSU, Cornerback
Supposedly Alex Smith will be signed to a one-year deal to have one last shot at the starting job. Personally, I like Alex Smith, the poor guy has had a different offensive system just about every year. How can you get acclimated to a new system each year and be expected to produce?
No. 5: Arizona Cardinals
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A.J. Green, Georgia, Wide Receiver
I had a conversation with a fellow Bleacher Report writer recently, and he all but convinced me that the Cardinals will take A.J. Green if he is available. With Patrick Peterson in San Francisco, the Cardinals need all the weapons they can get.
The Cardinals offense was ineffective last year due to quarterback problems, as well as the lack of consistency behind Larry Fitzgerald. The team obviously misses the presence of Anquan Boldin, but A.J. Green can fill the void in a big way.
Don't forget Early Doucet and Steve Breaston are both free agents.
No. 6: Cleveland Browns
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Robert Quinn, N. Carolina, Defensive End
With Dick Jauron in charge of the defense in Cleveland, the unit will convert to the 4-3 and want a playmaker on the end.
Robert Quinn was suspended for the 2010 season, but he remains a Top 10 pick by all accounts. He is a dynamic pass-rusher and has the ability to be one of the best in the game.
Julio Jones is an option here as well, but the Browns defense is struggling mightily.
No. 7: Cincinnati Bengals (from San Francisco)
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Blaine Gabbert, Missouri, Quarterback
With Carson Palmer holding out until he is traded, the Bengals need a replacement. Blaine Gabbert seems like a "hate him or love him" guy, but he has every analyst I have seen going gaga. After a great pro day he won't get past the pick No. 7—whether it's San Francisco, Buffalo or Cincinnati.
No. 8: Tennessee Titans
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Nick Fairley, Auburn, Defensive Tackle
This is a perfect fit for Tennessee, they would have Derrick Morgan and Jason Babin (for now) holding down the defensive end position, while Fairley would wreak havoc up the middle.
The only problems with Fairley remain his "character concerns" on the field, and his one-year wonder status from his days at Auburn.
No. 9: St. Louis Rams (Trade with Dallas)
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Julio Jones, Alabama, Wide Receiver
The NFC West is still up for grabs, and the Rams are a couple players away from holding it down.
No. 10: Washington Redskins
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J.J. Watt, Wisconsin, 3-4 Defensive End
I've had Washington taking Julio Jones for months, but he is off the board.
J.J. Watt is not a bad alternative, though. His stock has skyrocketed in recent months due to his strength with the five-technique. He is a prototype 3-4 defensive end for a team struggling to make the transition—no thanks to Albert Haynesworth.