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2011 NFL Draft: Comparing Who I Would Draft and What Will Happen in the Top 10

Taylor StarrContributor IIApril 25, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Comparing Who I Would Draft and What Will Happen in the Top 10

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The 2011 NFL Draft is in four days! I'm excited for it!

    Who isn't though?

    The Jets fans at Radio City Music Hall will boo the first overall pick, they'll boo whoever the Giants/Patriots select and maybe their own first-round pick.

    The long-awaited question as to who the Panthers will select first overall will be answered, we'll know whether or not Andre Reed accidentally leaked the Bills' draft plans and if the fat lady will sing for—or get drafted by—the Oakland Raiders.

    Here are the top 10 picks according to my NFL mock draft and also who I would draft if I were that team's GM.


First Overall: Carolina Panthers

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Who I Would Draft: DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama.

    I think Cam Newton is way too much of a risk to go in the top 10. Not saying he won't be good, but he's not my type of QB.

    I would give Clausen another chance. Or if there's no season next year, the Panthers would select first overall again and could take a QB I think will be excellent in the NFL, Andrew Luck.


    Projected: QB Cam Newton, Auburn.

    Looks like the Panthers don't want to wait another year to draft Luck or give Clausen a chance.

    Sorry, Jimmy!

Second Overall: Denver Broncos

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Who I Would Draft: DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama.

    Let's say the person before does get drafted, so Newton is no longer available.

    The Broncos' defensive line was less than stellar, especially at the defensive tackle position. Dareus is a great player who is talented enough to be the first overall pick. 


    Projected: DT Marcell Dareus, Alabama.

    Looks like my favorite team's getting it right! 

Third Overall: Buffalo Bills

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Who I Would Draft: OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M.

    Von Miller is an outstanding pass-rusher. The Bills' pass-rush wasn't too great last season, getting only 27 sacks. I'm shocked at how well their pass-defense played though.

    Miller would be a great fit for the 3-4 defense.


    Projected: OLB Von Miller, Texas A&M.


Fourth Overall: Cincinnati Bengals

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Who I Would Draft: WR A.J. Green, Georgia.

    With Ochocinco (or Johnson, I can't believe he's changing his name again) potentially leaving, and T.O likely being gone too, the Bengals will need another WR.

    Green is a great playmaker who would really help out an offense and make a QB look good.


    Projected: WR A.J. Green, Georgia.

    You could also argue that with Palmer likely retiring or forcing a trade, the Bengals will need a new QB. They do, but right now. I believe Mike Brown thinks he'll be able to keep Palmer and will focus on other needs.

Fifth Overall: Arizona Cardinals

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Who I Would Draft: CB Patrick Peterson, LSU.

    The dude's a flat-out beast and would give Arizona another talented playmaker in the secondary. I think they'll more likely trade for a veteran QB than take one fifth overall; they could also take one in the second round. 

    Projected: CB Patrick Peterson, LSU.

Sixth Overall: Cleveland Browns

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Who I Would Draft: WR Julio Jones, Alabama.

    The Browns' leading WR caught 36 passes in 2010. 

    Mohamed Massaquoi would be a No. 3 or No. 4 receiver on most other depth charts. It's obvious they need a WR (or three), and I would take Jones in a heartbeat.


    Projected: WR Julio Jones, Alabama.

Seventh Overall: San Francisco 49ers

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    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Who I Would Draft: CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska.

    The 49ers' pass-defense was garbage last season, and Nate Clements is a big free-agent bust.

    They would love to take Patrick Peterson, but in this mock, he went to Arizona fifth overall.  

    Prince Amukamara is their guy. I think they'll probably wait until Round 2 to get a QB, and I think Andy Dalton would be a great fit for their offense in a West Coast scheme.


    Projected: CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska.

Eighth Overall: Tennessee Titans

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Who I Would Draft: DT Nick Fairley, Auburn.

    Characteristics aside, Nick Fairley dominated in college. He was a big reason why Auburn won the National Championship, shutting down Heisman finalist LaMichael James.

    Fairley was once a top three pick, but his draft stock has fallen a lot in recent months. Still, if the Titans are looking for a QB, I would wait until Round 2.

    If I were the Tennessee, I would take FSU QB Christian Ponder in the second round. I believe he would be a great fit for this offense because a very accurate QB would excel here, arm strength aside. 


    Projected: QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri.

    The Titans might not agree with me if Gabbert is available here. 

Ninth Overall: Dallas Cowboys

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    Jeff Golden/Getty Images

    Who I Would Draft: OT Tyron Smith, USC.

    I would love to get Amukamara here, but the 49ers took him at No. 7, so I'll take another area of need instead of reaching for Jimmy Smith.

    By drafting Tyron Smith, the Cowboys keep Romo healthy, and he could lead them back to the playoffs.


    Projected: OT Tyron Smith, USC.

    Although, you never know with Jerry Jones.

10th Overall: Washington Redskins

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Who I Would Draft: DE/OLB Robert Quinn, North Carolina.

    Quinn may have been suspended for the 2010 season, but that aside, he's very dominant, and paired with Orakpo, they would be a very good pass-rushing duo.


    Projected: QB Jake Locker, Washington.

    The Redskins really like Locker, and with Minnesota possibly taking him at No. 10, the Skins might reach for him so they can get their guy.

    Now Redskin fans, before you bark at me for saying that, I LOVE Locker. I believe he's the best QB in this year's draft class.

    He reminds me of Jay Cutler, if I had to pick a current NFL player. He's also a lot tougher and more of a leader than Cutler though. 

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