Just when you thought it was safe to finalize your 2011 NFL mock drafts, Judge Susan Nelson ruled in favor of the former NFL Players Association and effectively lifted the NFL lockout (though owners will still reportedly seek an appeal, so the saga isn't over yet.)
How does this affect your mock drafts?
Well, if no stay is granted for the owners as they file their appeal and see it expedited to the U.S. Court of Appeals, then—by popular understanding—it will be open season for NFL free agency as soon as the end of this week.
If a stay is granted? Hold off on that contract literature. No NFL free agency until a ruling is made on the owners' appeal.
Let's assume, for the sake of this mock draft, that no stay is granted and free agency is enacted by the week's end.
How does that affect the 2011 NFL draft class?
Short answer: in more ways than you might immediately think.
Let's break down some of the positions and trends of the 2011 NFL draft and analyze them with the fresh knowledge of the pending free-agent situation and perhaps formulate some new team big boards based on these developments.