2011 NFL Draft

NFL Draft 2011: 10 Bold, Last-Minute Predictions

Michael AkelsonCorrespondent IApril 28, 2011

NFL Draft 2011: 10 Bold, Last-Minute Predictions

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Cam Newton passes the ball during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Cam Newton to go first overall in 2011 NFL Draft Last Minute Bold Predictions.

    The 2011 NFL Draft should be one of the most interesting drafts to watch play out that we've ever seen.

    It is one of the few drafts we've ever seen where not one pick is set in stone, anything can happen.

    No two Mock Drafts are alike, and neither are no two prospect rankings.

    So in a year that's so unpredictable, I will attempt to deliver 10 last minute bold predictions on the day of the draft.

1. Cam Newton Will Go First Overall

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27:  Cam Newton looks on during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Plenty of people have predicted that Cam Newton will go first overall, but as we all know he is by no means a lock.

    Patrick Peterson, Nick Fairley, Marcell Dareus, Blaine Gabbert, Von Miller, and A.J Green are among the other prospects who have a shot to be the number one overall pick.

    But I predict that it will be Newton.

    While he may not be the top prospect on anybody's board, most people agree that Newton's upside is by far better than any other quarterback in this draft.

2. The Titans Will Trade Down in the First Round and Draft Jake Locker

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    SEATTLE - OCTOBER 30:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies scrambles against the Stanford Cardinal on October 30, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. Stanford won 41-0. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Most people have Nick Fairley going to the Titans at eight, but I can't imagine them picking anything but a quarterback in the first round.

    They've made it perfectly clear that they're done with Vince Young, and they know that they need a quarterback to come in and lead a team that has talent all over the field.

    This is a team with playoff aspirations, and by the time the Titans are up to pick Jake Locker will be the best quarterback left, but they should be able to trade down somewhere in the 10-20 range and get their man, Jake Locker.

3. The Bengals Will Pass on Blaine Gabbert and Select A.J Green

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Wide receiver A.J. Green of Georgia runs with the ball during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Carson Palmer has been saying that he would retire before he would come back to play for the Bengals all off-season.

    He's demanded a trade, yet the Bengals have refused to trade him.

    So my question to anybody who thinks the Bengals will select Blaine Gabbert is, do you really think they're about to throw Palmer a bone?

    They've made it clear they want Palmer back, and in the end it's up to them, not him if he returns, so why would they waste the fourth overall pick on Gabbert?

4. The Seattle Seahawks Will Draft Ryan Mallett

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04:  Quarterback Ryan Mallett #15 of the Arkansas Razorbacks looks to pass against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Matthew
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    People can talk up Christian Ponder and Andy Dalton until they're red in the face, but the fact is, Ryan Mallett has more talent and potential than both of them and every scout knows it.

    The biggest problem with Mallett comes off the field, with questions about drug use and maturity.

    Many teams don't want to take a chance on a kid who has bust written all over him, but he has also has future pro-bowler written all over him as well.

    In the end, I think Seattle will go ahead and take the risk.

5. Fans Will Boo Roger Goodell Before Every Pick

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 21:  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addresses the media during the NFL Annual Meetings at the Roosevelt Hotel on March 21, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite a NFL owners imposed lockout in effect since March 12 the league is
    Sean Gardner/Getty Images

    It's been an eventful off-season for Roger Goodell.

    He claims to be doing all he can to make sure there will still be an NFL season, but the draft is in New York, so do you really think they care?

    He'll hear the boo birds before every pick just like Reggie Miller and Michael Jordan before him.

6. Patrick Peterson Will Fall to the 49ers at Seven Overall

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 1: Defensive back Patrick Peterson of LSU works out during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Let's get one thing straight, Patrick Peterson is the best player in this draft.

    The man has been compared to the likes of Deion Sanders and Charles Woodson, and that's unbelievable company.

    With that being said, corner back is not really a huge need for any of the teams picking in the top six so it's likely that Peterson could fall right on to the 49ers laps at seventh overall.

    I remember a few years back their was another Peterson who fell to seventh overall in the draft, and his first name was Adrian.

    This could be the second coming.

7. The Houston Texans Will Pick Prince Amukamara

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    LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 26: Prince Amukamara #21 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers misses a chance at an interception from Scotty McKnight #21 of the Colorado Buffaloes during the second half of their game at Memorial Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Lincoln, Neb
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    In nearly every mock draft I see the Texans are picking a defensive end. I understand the thinking there, but what people forget is that this team had one of the worst secondaries in NFL history.

    How can they not go with a corner back prospect as good as Prince Amukamara if he falls to them?

    I know a good pass-defense starts with a pass-rush, but they have Mario Williams, what they don't have is a respectable corner.

8. Akeem Ayers Will Be a First Round Pick

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    PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Linebacker Akeem Ayers #10 of the UCLA Bruins in the game with the Houston Cougars at the Rose Bowl on September 18, 2010 in Pasadena, California.  UCLA won 31-13.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Two months ago, Akeem Ayers was a lock for the first round. Now he's far from it.

    Following a poor combine performance he's been taking a free-fall down draft boards, and many people are starting to predict that he'll fall out of the first round.

    I just can't see that.

    Expect somebody to take a chance on him between picks 20 and 32, my best guess would be Kansas City.

9. The Miami Dolphins Will Select Mark Ingram

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Running back Mark Ingram of Alabama looks on during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    I've seen former Heisman Trophy winning running back Mark Ingram nearly everywhere in mock drafts from Miami to Green Bay.

    But I predict he'll be snatched up by Miami at 15 overall.

    The Dolphins are more reliant on their running backs than any other team in the NFL, and with Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown both becoming free agents this off-season I can't see them letting Ingram go.

    If they don't get Ingram, they won't score.

10. The Detroit Lions Will Select Da'Quan Bowers

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Defensive lineman Da'Quan Bowers of Clemson looks on during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    One man who's draft stock has been trending way down is Da'Quan Bowers.

    He's went from consensus no. one overall pick to not even being a guaranteed first-round pick.

    Luckily for Bowers, I think he'll go to the Lions at no. 13.

    The Lions biggest need is corner back, but if Amukamara and Peterson are both off the board when they pick (as they should be) then there won't be a corner worth picking. There's also no offensive tackle really worth this pick unless they reach for Anthony Castonzo, but I don't see that happening.

    So then where do the Lions go with this pick? Why not defensive end.

    They could give themselves the most feared front four in all of football for the next 10 years if they do.

    Ndamukong Suh is dominant, Cliff Avril is good and only getting better, Corey Williams has a few more good years left in him, but Kyle Vanden Bosch seems to be done.

    If they can replace him with Da'Quan Bowers they'd be taking a huge chance, but it might just be the best thing that ever happened to them.

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