NFL Mock Draft 2011: Where Mike Mayock Goes Wrong in the Top 15 Picks

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NFL Mock Draft 2011:  Where Mike Mayock Goes Wrong in the Top 15 Picks
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Here are Mike Mayock's final top-15 mock draft choices. Many may believe Mayock has this draft locked up, but I have outlined where I believe he went with the wrong picks.  I will mark them as a "hit" or a "miss" to be a little gentler.


Mayock: Carolina Panthers take QB Cam Newton


The Panthers may want to because Clausen has not lived up to expectations.  However, they see that the real problem is their offensive and defensive lines.  He has no one to support him.  Why bring in another QB when you still don't have anyone for him to get the ball to or to protect him?

The Panthers stick with their original plan and take DT Marcell Dareus


Mayock: Denver Broncos take LB Von Miller


Mayock believes that because the DT class is so good this year, the Broncos will take a chance on getting the guy they need in the second round.  Why would they let all of the best guys go if this is the position they are most interested in?  They do so because they are more afraid of missing out on Von Miller.


Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Cam Newton
Mayock: Buffalo Bills take DT Marcell Dareus


Dareus is already gone.  The Bills also need a QB and don't want to miss out on another player of need being taken off the board.  They take Cam Newton.


Mayock: Cincinnati Bengals pick WR A.J. Green


A.J. Green has become the new trendy pick to go above Julio Jones in the draft.  It may not ultimately matter now that free agency could very well be back on the table.  This means that the Bengals can get their WR and either look at QB options later in the draft or through free agency.


Mayock: Arizona Cardinals choose CB Patrick Peterson

Maybe HIT

I believe this is a hit only because he is the best player on the board.  This is a possible trade down situation for the Cardinals if they can find another team who is willing.


Mayock: Cleveland Browns go with WR Julio Jones

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Julio Jones

Mayock is right that a pass-rusher is needed but Pat Shurmur is more confident in picking offensive players first and will really want to add Jones to his arsenal.


Mayock: San Francisco 49ers take QB Blaine Gabbert


San Francisco considers their options of QBs in later rounds or through free agency, but ultimately want a guy who can become their franchise QB.   Blaine Gabbert becomes the new face of the 49ers.


Mayock: Tennessee Titans take DT Nick Fairley


The Titans desperately need a QB who will be with them for the long haul.  They have shown a lot of interest in Jake Locker and that is who they choose, even if it seems a little high to take him here.  The one caveat would be that they trade down to get a better value on Locker.


Mayock: Dallas Cowboys take OT Tyron Smith


Eric Francis/Getty Images
Prince Amukamara
Here's the bottom line.  Everyone seems to think that T. Smith is a lock for the Cowboys, but they forgot that Jerry Jones likes money.  Tyron Smith would be a great fit here but do you really think they will pass on a player like Prince Amukamara? 

I see Amukamara being too hard for Jones to pass up on.  People will pay to see Prince play because he has become a household name.  That's not a knock on Smith, it's just that the media loves Prince.


Mayock: Washington Redskins pick CB Prince Amukamara


Washington would have to pry him out of Jerry Jones' hands.  The player chosen by Washington, if they haven't tried to trade up or down yet, will be DE J.J. Watt.


Mayock: Houston Texans select DE Robert Quinn


I'll give this one to Mayock because it is a very likely scenario.


Mayock: Minnesota Vikings take DE Aldon Smith

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Robert Quinn

The Vikings might like Aldon Smith but they like a name more familiar to Minnesota and take DE Cameron Jordan.  The Vikings fans need a youthful player they can cheer for other than Adrian Peterson.  Cameron Jordan's father, Steve Jordan, played for the Vikings and was well-liked.  Bringing Cameron in could set a positive tone and he's a heck of a player to add to their roster.


Mayock: Detroit Lions pick OT Anthony Castonzo


Again, another trendy pick for Detroit.  The Lions have to address the OLB position but will do so later in the draft.  When it comes to getting a tackle who can replace Jeff Backus or help Gosder Cherilus out after his micro-fracture surgery, that is not going to happen in the first round. 

There are more immediate concerns for Detroit.  OG/C is one of them but they will address this too either through free agency or later in the draft.  What falls high on the Lions radar is the need to strengthen their secondary. 

Chris Houston could be gone when free agency starts.  They have a few other corners who could step it up this year but the Lions will see more immediate value in getting CB Jimmy Smith in this round. 

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Jimmy Smith
Whoever they get to eventually replace Backus would not be a starter this year anyway so it doesn't make any sense to waste that pick on the first round.


Mayock: St. Louis Rams select DT Corey Liuget


The Rams get their WR needs taken care of through free agency and take the best player on the board, DT Corey Liuget.


Mayock: Miami Dolphins take G Mike Pouncey


The Dolphins might need someone at guard but the best player at 15, given their needs, has to be RB Mark Ingram.  If they make any noise about taking Pouncey, the Steelers would immediately offer a trade.  The Dolphins should still be able to get Ingram, but at a better value if they took the Steelers' offer.

In a few short hours we will find out what the outcome will be for the first 15 picks.  Until then, may this serve as more food for thought. 

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