2011 NFL Mock Draft: Re-Drafting the First Round with NBA Players

Allen KimSenior Analyst IApril 29, 2011

2011 NFL Mock Draft: Re-Drafting the First Round with NBA Players

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    The first round of the 2011 NFL draft took place last night, and it was an intriguing night with most picks going as expected and a few head-scratchers here and there.

    Hypothetically, if the NBA had a lockout and the NFLPA successfully got all the recruits to boycott the draft, what would the 2011 NFL draft look like with NBA players being selected instead of college prospects?

    Who would be the top pick? LeBron James? Would Kobe Bryant even make the cut?

No. 1 Pick, Carolina Panthers, Deron Williams, QB

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    The Carolina Panthers may have Jimmy Clausen on their roster already, but it's not clear if he'll pan out quite like they initially anticipated.

    Deron Williams happens to be one of the premier playmakers in the NBA, and that would make his transition to quarterback that much easier.

    To help his case, standing at 6’3”, 209 lbs., of all the potential prospects, he happens to have the ideal build for an NFL quarterback.

    With his thick, muscular frame, Williams can hang in the pocket and take hits from defensive lineman and linebackers looking to tear his head off.

    If he needs to scramble around, Williams is quick and elusive enough to make plays on his feet.

No. 2 Pick, Denver Broncos, Dwight Howard, DE/DT

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    The Denver Broncos have several holes to fill, but more than anything else, they need to shore up their defensive line.

    As the reigning three-time Defensive Player of the Year, Dwight Howard already has all the defensive instincts necessary to be an impact player.

    With his intimidating size, he can swat passes from the opposing signal-caller with ease.

    Howard also has incredible agility and athleticism, and he could have a field day with slower offensive linemen.

No. 3 Pick, Buffalo Bills, Glen Davis, DE/DT

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    The Buffalo Bills need a lot of pieces to complete their roster, but they really need to shore up their defense if they hope to stand a chance in their division.

    Glen Davis is just too enticing to pass up on, and he would provide the Bills with a nightmare to guard in the trenches.

    Davis actually said that he wanted to play football, and he certainly has the body to play in the NFL.

    With his wide frame and low center of gravity, he could use his surprising quickness and agility to get by offensive lineman to tear into opposing quarterbacks.

No. 4 Pick, Cincinnati Bengals, LeBron James, WR/TE

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    The Cincinnati Bengals seem intent on bringing Carson Palmer back despite his demands to get traded. Drafting a quarterback would immediately jeopardize any chance the team has of convincing Palmer to stay.

    However, drafting an absolute freak of nature like LeBron James could change Palmer's mind.

    James would be a near unstoppable force on the offensive side of the ball whether he's playing tight end or wide receiver.

    His combination of speed, size and strength would make him a nightmare to guard.

    With his vertical, he would win every single jump ball with ease.

    Plus, with the new West Coast offensive style set to be put in place this upcoming season, James' value could be maximized in the short-to-intermediate passing game.

No. 5 Pick, Arizona Cardinals, Rajon Rondo, CB

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    The Arizona Cardinals could certainly draft a quarterback here, but it seems they're looking to get one through trade with Kevin Kolb at the top of that list.

    The Cardinals could use some help in their secondary after allowing 268 yards per game through the air, and Rajon Rondo should be able to step in as a game-changer on the defensive side of the ball.

    Rondo has the making of the perfect cornerback. He's a tenacious defender, he's incredibly quick, he has a great vertical and each of his hands are the size of a baseball glove.

    Opposing quarterbacks would fear throwing the ball anywhere near him. Rondo would be an interception machine.

No. 6 Pick, Cleveland Browns, Dwyane Wade, WR

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    Colt McCoy has proven himself worthy as the Cleveland Browns potential starter of the future.

    If the Browns hope to see him develop further as a quarterback, they need to get him a playmaker to throw the ball to.

    Dwyane Wade could be the one to fill that void.

    With Wade's vertical, track speed, amazing hands and body control, he would make for a fantastic wide receiver.

    Also, with his elusiveness and amazing footwork, he would be great in the open field with the ball, which separates him from other more athletically gifted athletes.

No. 7 Pick, San Francisco 49ers, Chris Paul, QB

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    While the San Francisco 49ers seem intent on bringing back Alex Smith as their starter, they can't pass up on drafting a quarterback if there is a worthy prospect on the board.

    While Chris Paul doesn't have the ideal size for a quarterback, his vision and playmaking abilities more than make up for it.

    Plus, with his quickness and agility, he could make for a Michael Vick-like signal-caller, able to get out of the pocket and run when called upon.

No. 8 Pick, Tennessee Titans, Jason Kidd, QB

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    The Tennessee Titans are set on moving forward without Vince Young, and they'll need to bring in a quarterback to fill the void.

    Since Deron Williams and Chris Paul are already off the board, they'll have to settle for an older veteran in Jason Kidd.

    Kidd isn't as quick as he used to be, but he could be just as dangerous from inside the pocket.

    Kidd's decision making and vision are still on par with the very best the league has to offer, and he could be a solid quarterback for a team in dire need of one.

No. 9 Pick, Dallas Cowboys, Kevin Love, OT

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    The Dallas Cowboys need help on several fronts, but protecting Tony Romo and affording him more time to do his damage behind the line can do wonders for the team's offense.

    While Kevin Love could certainly afford to bulk up a bit, his wide frame and keen instincts could make up for that.

    Love has a relentless motor, as evidenced by his absurd rebounding rate, and that obstinate-type of attitude is pivotal to the success of an offensive linemen.

No. 10 Pick, Washington Redskins, Steve Nash, QB

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    While the Washington Redskins have a number of positions to fill, with Donovan McNabb on his way out and Rex Grossman headed to free agency, that leaves a glaring void at quarterback—something the Redskins will have to address immediately.

    Steve Nash is an elite playmaker, and despite his less-than-ideal size, his incredible awareness and agility would allow him to move around and make plays on his feet.

    His durability and age are obviously going to be concerns, but the Redskins need a signal-caller and he's the best available.

No. 11 Pick, Houston Texans, Russell Westbrook, CB

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    The Houston Texans porous secondary was easily the worst in the NFL last season.

    After losing Dunta Robinson to the Atlanta Falcons, it was clear how badly they needed to upgrade at cornerback.

    They allowed a league leading 268 yards per game through the air and an average quarterback rating of 100.5.

    Drafting Russell Westbrook could solve their woes.

    Westbrook is a freak athlete with an incredible combination of size, speed and hops.

    He would be able to hound receivers and pick passes off effortlessly using his keen defensive instincts.

No. 12 Pick, Raymond Felton, Minnesota Vikings, QB

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    The Minnesota Vikings are built to win now, and they can ill afford to bring in an inexperienced quarterback, but Raymond Felton would be a great fit for the team.

    Since the Vikings are installing a West Coast style, they need a quarterback who can move around for rollouts and bootlegs.

    With Felton's speed, he should have no problem getting out of the pocket and stretching the field.

    Even though Felton has less than ideal height for the position, his ability to scramble and make plays on his feet would make up for it.

No. 13 Pick, Detroit Lions, Eric Bledsoe, CB/S

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    The Detroit Lions have made strides this past season, and they'll look to continue that momentum going forward.

    If they hope to compete in their division, they'll need to shore up their secondary.

    Eric Bledsoe would make for a fantastic cornerback or safety in the NFL.

    He is extremely quick, and he has great hands. Not to mention, he has the vertical to snatch balls out of the air.

No. 14 Pick, St. Louis Rams, Shannon Brown, WR

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    Shannon Brown would be a near unstoppable force as a wide receiver.

    Standing at 6’4”, 210 lbs., Brown has a size advantage over most corners and a solid build capable of taking hits in traffic. To make things even worse for opposing defenders, he has a reported vertical of 44”.

    Brown should have no trouble leaping over defenders and winning jump balls with ease. He has great hands and body control and would feast on defensive backs.

No. 15 Pick, Miami Dolphins, Derrick Rose, RB

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    Both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are free agents, and the Miami Dolphins don't seem intent on bringing back both of them, if any at all.

    They could use some help in a few other areas, but running back is a priority with the offensive system they have in place.

    Simply put, Derrick Rose is a freak of an athlete, and the Dolphins should be ecstatic to land a player of his caliber with the No. 15 pick.

    Standing at 6’3”, 190 lbs., Rose has an unparalleled combination of speed, size and agility.

    He doesn’t have the ideal build to handle the type of workload expected of tailbacks, but with his agility, vision and elusiveness, defenders would have to be able to get their hands on him first before they can do any damage.

No. 16 Pick, Jacksonville Jaguars, Nene Hilario, DE

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    The Jacksonville Jaguars have a number of pressing needs on defense, and Nene Hilario would be a great fit for the team.

    The Jaguars need someone able to generate pressure, especially when they have to face off against Peyton Manning at least two times a year.

    Hilario is as tough as they come, and his intimidating size would make him tough to guard.

No. 17 Pick, New England Patriots, DeJuan Blair, OT

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    The New England Patriots need to protect their pretty boy quarterback, Tom Brady, and drafting an offensive tackle will be vital to the team's success moving forward.

    DeJuan Blair, with his stocky build and wide frame, would make for an ideal offensive tackle.

    He’s already used to battling in the trenches and fending off players. His skills and rebounding prowess would make a seamless transition to the offensive line.

    Blair can match up with quick and athletic defensive ends and make life difficult for them.

No. 18 Pick, San Diego Chargers, DeAndre Jordan, DE

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    Defensive end is arguably the biggest hole on the San Diego Chargers roster, and they need to fill that gap here in the draft.

    Taking the monstrous DeAndre Jordan with the No. 18 pick would shore up their front seven considerably.

    Jordan stands at 6'11", 265 lbs. and would make for a nightmare to guard along the trenches.

No. 19 Pick, New York Giants, Ron Artest, LB

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    The New York Giants need to fill a glaring void in the middle of their defense at linebacker.

    Grabbing Ron Artest with the No. 19 pick seems like a no brainer as he would give the team a tenacious defender with a mean edge.

    Also, Artest is a born leader on defense, and he could give the Giants direction and some stability.

    Artest would be good in coverage with his solid vertical, and he would be a nightmare for quarterbacks to throw over.

    Not to mention, he certainly has the physicality to play in the trenches and the strength to knock the living day lights out of opposing players.

No. 20 Pick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Serge Ibaka, DE

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    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers No. 1 priority in the draft was defensive end.

    With their Cover 2 defense, they need to have a strong front four to pressure the quarterback and grabbing a pass rusher along the edge could do wonders in helping their offense.

    The Buccaneers had a lot of trouble generating sacks and pressure, and they neared the very bottom of the league in those departments.

    Serge Ibaka would give the team a vicious defender with level of athleticism not regularly seen in players of his size.

No. 21 Pick, Kansas City Chiefs, Derrick Caracter, OT

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    The Kansas City Chiefs could use some help along their front five and grabbing Derrick Caracter would fill a need for the team.

    Caracter isn't that well known in the NBA—aside from assaulting a woman at a restaurant the other day—but he has the body type made to play in the NFL.

    Although he could afford to bulk up a bit to play on the offensive line, physically, he's one of the best suited players to play the position.

    If the Chiefs hope to continue their dominance on the ground, they'll need some help opening up holes for Jamaal Charles to run through.

No. 22 Pick, Indianapolis Colts, Zach Randolph, OL

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    The Indianapolis Colts most precious commodity is none other than Peyton Manning.

    The organization is clearly vested in his protection and best interests and grabbing Zach Randolph to help on those fronts is necessary to the team's success and future.

    Randolph may not be the smartest of the bunch, which is practically a requisite to play alongside Manning, but physically, he's the best available at this position.

    A strong rebounder, Randolph's experience boxing out would make the shift seamless.

No. 23 Pick, Philadelphia Eagles, Marc Gasol

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    The Philadelphia Eagles had one glaring hole on their roster that was exploited late in the season—their offensive line.

    With the Eagles' explosive offense, getting a player to shore up their front five is pivotal to their success, particularly in the tough NFC East.

    Marc Gasol is a big guy and pushing him around is no easy feat.

    He could be moved to the right side to guard Michael Vick's blindside.

No. 24 Pick, New Orleans Saints, Gerald Wallace, LB

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    The New Orleans Saints prolific offense is still intact, so they must upgrade on the other side of the ball.

    With defense being an area of concern, they could not ask for a better candidate to help in that department than Gerald Wallace.

    Wallace's non-stop motor and stout defensive instincts would shore up the team's defense considerably.

    Also, with his size and physical ability, he could do everything from covering receivers to rushing the quarterback.

No. 25 Pick, Seattle Seahawks, Kendrick Perkins, OT

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    The Seattle Seahawks offensive line was without question the team's biggest need.

    Grabbing Kendrick Perkins with the No. 25 pick would help to stabilize the position considerably.

    Perkins is as tough as they come, and he would give the Seahawks a mean edge along their front five. Something that is needed when they're going up against players like Patrick Willis a number of times throughout the season.

No. 26 Pick, Baltimore Ravens, Jerryd Bayless, CB

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    Overall, the Baltimore Ravens have a well-balanced roster.

    However, they could use some help in their secondary, especially with a number of key players becoming free agents.

    Grabbing a defensive back is without question the team's biggest need, and Jerryd Bayless would make for a terrific one.

    Bayless is quick with good size and has an impressive vertical. He should make for a tough defensive back, especially if he can hone his defensive instincts.

No. 27 Pick, Atlanta Falcons, Blake Griffin, TE

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    The Atlanta Falcons may be losing Tony Gonzalez this upcoming season or soon after.

    To ensure that Matt Ryan has plenty of weapons to throw to, drafting Blake Griffin would give the Falcons a freak of nature and an unstoppable force on offense.

    Griffin’s jaw-dropping athleticism, amazing hands and powerful frame would put him nearly on par with LeBron James in terms of sheer dominance at the position.

No. 28 Pick, New England Patriots, Josh Smith, DE/OLB

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    The New England Patriots young defensive squad could always use some more help, and Josh Smith, while still young in his own right, would add a veteran presence to balance the roster.

    Grabbing a freak of nature like Josh Smith upgrades their front seven considerably. He brings a level of athleticism that boosts the effectiveness of their defensive line to another level.

    Smith is a defensive stalwart, and his elite shot-blocking would make him an opposing quarterback's nightmare.

No. 29 Pick, Chicago Bears, Paul Millsap, OT

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    The Chicago Bears need help in protecting Jay "I can't play under pressure" Cutler, and they have to grab an offensive lineman in the draft.

    Paul Millsap has a compact frame measuring up at 6'8", 250 lbs—something that would undoubtedly help, particularly if he bulks up for the position.

    His rebounding prowess would make for an easy conversion to offensive lineman.

No. 30 Pick, New York Jets, Kenyon Martin, DE

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    The New York Jets thrive off of their defense, so it should come as no surprise that a defensive player would be at the top of their list.

    The Jets need to retool their pass rush and grabbing a volatile player of Kenyon Martin's caliber could pay huge dividends.

    Standing at 6'9", 240 lbs., Martin doesn't have the same level of athleticism that made him a great player in his prime, but he would still make for a fearsome edge rusher.

No. 31 Pick, Pittsburgh Steelrs, Joey Graham, DE

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    The Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line is still dominant, but they're aging and injuries are becoming a concern.

    The Steelers needed to add an edge pass rusher and grabbing a beast of an athlete like Joey Dorsey could be a quick fix and inject some youth into their defensive line.

    This 6'8", 268 lb monstrosity would be difficult for anyone to contain and a luxury Mike Tomlin would love to have for his blitz packages.

No. 32 Pick, Green Bay Packers, Kris Humphries, OT

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    The Green Bay Packers biggest area of need was upgrading their offensive line.

    Aaron Rodgers is the team's most precious commodity, and the abuse he took last year was obvious.

    If the Packers hope to stand a chance of going for a second Super Bowl, they'll need to bring in some extra help to keep Rodgers on his feet.

    The pickings are pretty slim here, so they'll have to make do with Kris Humphries.

    Humphries isn't exactly the ideal size for the position, but his high motor and strong instincts should make the shift an easy one.