Other than the kickoff for the regular season games, the draft is the most exciting time of the year for NFL fans.
This year proves to be no different.
The analysts have been all over the place in the past few months trying to get into the heads of each GM and match the team needs with the best players available in the first round.
This has not been an easy task without free agency to help pave the way and with the initially thought of top players not producing well at the Combines.
Team interviews have also had an impact on who is projected to go in the first round. Some players have character issues that needed to be explored by head coaches and GMs before deciding if the players possess the maturity to lead a team. Other players were concerns based on last season's injuries.
It hasn't been an easy task to project which way teams will go this year, but there are some players that are a given to be first-rounders.
Here are the first-round picks for all 32 teams.
The Carolina Panthers lost themselves right into a No. 1 draft pick. They get to choose from all of the players and will start this draft off by throwing a curve ball.
The overwhelming mock draft pick for the Panthers has been QB Cam Newton. Whether this was intended to be a ruse or just the pick all analysts believed made the most sense, it will not be what the Panthers do.
Not this year.
When your team is struggling on both sides of the ball and you believe in giving your rookie QB, Jimmy Clausen, one more year to prove himself, it only makes sense to bring pressure to opposing team's QBs.
The Panthers have to look at ways to improve the offensive line and give Clausen more to work with, but their first pick will be an immediate upgrade and threat on the defensive side of the ball.
Marcell Dareus will bring that immediate impact and not be as much of a risk to take at No. 1.
Look at what Ndamukong Suh did for the Detroit Lions defense last year. I'm not willing to say that Dareus is as good as Suh, but he provides an excellent example of how much of an impact a solid DT can make.
The Denver Broncos will be very unhappy with Carolina's selection as they were hoping to get Marcell Dareus with their first round pick.
They won't be taken aback too far, however, because they have seriously considered another DT to become the next Bronco.
With the second pick of the first round, the Denver Broncos select DT Nick Fairley.
The Buffalo Bills will be feel as if they have been blessed by the draft gods and will take who they believe will be their next franchise QB.
With the third pick in the first round, Buffalo chooses QB Cam Newton.
Most analysts have the Bills taking Von Miller, DE/OLB or Blaine Gabbert, QB. Since Miller is a potential risky pick this high up in the draft, the Bills will feel some relief that they can get their QB instead. Ryan Fitzpatrick, their current QB, performed well enough, but he is not the franchise player they need.
There is no predicting whether Newton will turn out to be the top performing QB out of this year's draft either. Like Von Miller, Newton comes with some concerns about how effective he will be in the NFL. His upside has and will continue to sway teams to draft him early on.
The Bills will take their chances on Newton and hope that he dismisses any concerns the moment he hits the big stage.
Here is where the draft analysts are back on track. The Bengals may have thought about Nick Fairley or Cam Newton, but they are already off the board.
With the fourth pick in the first round, the Bengals select QB Blaine Gabbert.
This was not an easy decision for the Bengals as they are not sure what will ultimately happen with their current QB, Carson Palmer. If Palmer wants out, they just may find a replacement for him in the early rounds.
The Arizona Cardinals, like many teams, have more than one significant hole to fill this offseason. They will be ecstatic with the way the draft is going so far, because there are two primary players they want and both will still be on the board.
The Cardinals want Von Miller, LB, but thought he would be gone so they have been projected to take the top CB, Patrick Peterson, instead. Miller fits a definite need for the Cardinals, but now they have to decide who is likely to make a bigger immediate impact between Miller and Peterson.
With the fifth pick of the first round, the Cardinals go with Miller.
Miller will be chosen because the defensive line needs the guys who can stop the secondary from having to work as hard. They are literally the first line of defense and Miller will be viewed as the player who helps the Cardinals.
With Nick Fairley off the board the Cleveland Browns could stick with their plan to upgrade their defensive line. If they did this they would likely take DE, Robert Quinn but he is considered too much of a reach at this spot.
With the sixth pick of the first round: The Browns choose WR Julio Jones.
San Francisco had a tough decision to make also. Do they take a QB at this pick or do they address the secondary?
This class of QBs are not very strong and present a high risk in the first round. As much as the 49ers would like to get a QB, they resist the temptation to get Blaine Gabbert.
If Patrick Peterson falls in your lap, you take him. He is a way better bet in the first round than a questionable QB.
With the seventh pick of the first round: The 49ers take CB Patrick Peterson.
When your team's primary need rests on the shoulders of a QB, sometimes you have to take the chance that a guy some may have concerns about will be able to step it up in the NFL.
The Tennessee Titans are not happy with Vince Young and take a chance to upgrade the QB position without the help of free agency. This could be one of the bigger reaches in the draft.
Not many believe that Jake Locker is worthy of a top 10 or even top 15 pick, but he may just surprise everyone.
That is what the Titans choose to believe and with the eighth pick in the first round, the Tennessee Titans take QB Jake Locker.
With some good coaching from Mike Munchak and his crew and solid protection from his offensive line, Locker could be a great addition to the Titans offense.
The draft has been playing perfectly into the hands of the Dallas Cowboys. No team has even flinched toward the guy they have been targeting all along.
The Cowboys wanted Tyron Smith and with the ninth pick of the first round, get OT Tyron Smith.
Here is where DE Robert Quinn gets picked. The Houston Texans like him and were hoping he would still be there at No. 11. They get their wish.
With the 11th pick of the first round, the Houston Texans select DE Robert Quinn.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, the Texans beat them to Robert Quinn. Now they are looking to trade down for a QB.
This could easily become the first trade-down scenario in the draft unless the Vikings feel they can come up with the cash to trade up to the No. 1 spot.
The Panthers are rumored to be waiting for someone to offer a trade-down scenario to them. The Vikings would put themselves in a much better position to get the guy they want if they trade up.
I don't think Minnesota likes the position in at this point and offers to trade down.
However, if they choose to give Joe Webb another year and don't trade, then with the 12th pick in the first round, the Vikings choose on-the-draftboard-rise-again, DE Da'Quan Bowers.
The Detroit Lions have had a lot of success in the past two drafts. They know high caliber talent when they see it.
Though many have OT Anthony Castonzo being taken by the Lions, I believe they wait on getting an OT and focus on a position that is very difficult to find truly talented players at.
With the 13th pick of the first round, the Detroit Lions select CB Prince Amukamara.
The St. Louis Rams are known to be looking to fill a positional need at DT. The Rams want a guy they can count on to make an immediate impact in the first round.
They find their impact player with the 14th pick of the first round and the Rams take DT Corey Liuget out of Illinois.
The Miami Dolphins have a few positions of need that they are looking at having to fill during the draft. I doubt they reach for a QB in this round. Mike Pouncey, OG, is a trendy pick but still a reach by many accounts.
The thing about scouting draft picks is that you will only get part of the story. Historically, scouting has its hits and its misses.
You always have to take into account the culture and history of the team selecting the player. That is why this pick, for the Miami Dolphins, makes the most sense.
With the 15th pick of the first round, the Miami Dolphins address their need at RB and select Mark Ingram.
The Jacksonville Jaguars need help at the DE position to strengthen the core of their defensive line. They are in a very good position in the first round to get that quality DE they want.
The Jaguars are no different than any other team looking for versatility, so with their 16th pick in the first round, they take DE/OLB Aldon Smith.
Anthony Castonzo #74
The New England Patriots are known for their draft savvy. This year, since they aren't completely in love with anyone left at this point in the round, they take a guy who several teams will want to trade for.
With the 17th pick of the first round, the Patriots select OT, Anthony Castonzo.
Castonzo can intimidate players because he isn't afraid to play mean. Mean does not equate to "dirty" in Castonzo's case. He just brings a good solid "punch."
Defensive ends have been flying off the board so far in the first round of the draft. It speaks to how much this position is needed, but also to where teams see the strongest players of this draft class. The strength in this 2011 class is on defense.
The San Diego Chargers know where they have to go to bolster their defensive line, and with so many prospects already taken, with the 18th pick in the first round, the Chargers take DE Cameron Jordan.
Jordan is a great fit here, as he is already used to playing in a 3-4 scheme.
The New York Giants seemed to have already planned for this day with some knowledge of how the draft may go.
No one has touched their primary prospect, which makes it an easy pick for them.
With the 19th pick of the first round, the Giants take OT Gabe Carimi.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the clock, and both Da'Quan Bowers and Cameron Jordan are off the board. Tampa isn't too worried about this, because they had to prepare for all possible scenarios.
With the 20th pick of the first round, the Bucs take DE/OLB Ryan Kerrigan.
Kerrigan is more than just a great consolation prize, he may just turn out to be better than Aldon Smith.
Kerrigan is another hybrid player, like Smith, but he has a tremendous non-stop motor, which could place him at the top of DE/OLB picks as soon as he bulks up in the offseason.
I know. The Kansas City Chiefs desperately need to upgrade their defensive line and get a steal with a player who can offer them versatility.
The Chiefs, with the 21st pick in the first round, go with DE Brooks Reed.
The Indianapolis Colts need an upgrade at the OT position and don't want to take on the risk of Nate Solder.
With the 22nd pick of the first round, the Colts take OT Derek Sherrod.
The Philadelphia Eagles were hoping for either an OT or a CB in the first round. They don't like the OT's left here so they get their other wish and take a CB.
With the 23rd pick in the first round, the Eagles land on CB Jimmy Smith.
Smith started out the off-season with NFL coaches and scouts expressing their concern over character issues. The concerns seem to stem from a drug past that many feel he won't repeat.
He could be a very good player at this round, and the Eagles are happy to give him the chance.
Once again, the defensive side of the draft shows its strength, and the New Orleans Saints choose the best DT left on the board.
With the 24th pick of the first round, the New Orleans Saints take DT Muhammad Wilkerson.
This pick might surprise some, but ultimately, it shouldn't. The Seattle Seahawks need a QB. They also need a CB and a DE, but both are too much of a reach at this point.
The Seahawks see the potential in their next pick and choose QB Andy Dalton.
Andy Dalton is considered to be the best fit for the Seahawks at the QB position. The front office knows this, and they will target him in the first round.
The Baltimore Ravens are not in the best position to get a high-caliber WR, as this is a very weak receiving draft class and the best two are off the board.
They may want to look at defensive ends since that seems to be the way every team is rolling so far, however, with the 26th pick of the first round, the Ravens select CB Brandon Harris.
Harris is the best player left on the board who fits a positional need.
The Ravens, like all teams, need to be ready if the lockout ends and their CBs end up in free agency.
Harris will give them security at this position, and then they can look at the DE and WR positions to fill later in the draft.
No surprises here with the Atlanta Falcons landing the DE they wanted. The Ravens could have taken this guy, but he fits better with the Falcons' defensive scheme.
With the 27th pick of the first round, the Atlanta Falcons choose DE Adrian Clayborn.
Yes, this may be a surprise take for New England, but they know how to build running backs.
They would have given Mark Ingram a chance if he was still on the board, but instead take the No. 2 back in the draft.
With the 28th pick of the first round, the Patriots select RB Mikel Leshoure.
It doesn't really matter what the doctors say about Phil Taylor's foot. He is the highest-ranking NT left on the board and certainly has shown that he is not afraid to play through pain.
That is a quality that the Jets like and so his foot status won't be an issue for them.
They may or may not like that he has character concerns, that include getting into fights off of the field, but they haven't shied away from questionable character before and I don't see them starting now.
With the 30th pick in the first round, the Jets take NT Phil Taylor.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off of a disappointing Super Bowl loss. They will address their needs in the secondary right away in the draft.
With the 31st pick of the draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select CB Aaron Williams.
Williams may very well be the surprise corner of the 2011 draft.
The reigning Super Bowl Champions realize they need some additional help at defensive end. They thought about getting an OLB here but saw better value for that in second round.
With the 32nd pick of the first round, the Green Bay Packers select DE Cameron Heyward.
With all of the defensive positions being taken in the first round, the second round should turn out to be very interesting.