Here is my final mock draft of the 2011 NFL draft season. Some picks should surprise you here, but I've spent a lot of time researching what teams and experts are saying and wading through the BS to find the truth!
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1. Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
He will help the Panthers get over the hump in close games. A real winner.
2. Denver Broncos: Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
A late move for Miller, who is a better overall prospect than Marcell Dareus. Can still have double-digit sacks in 4-3.
3. Buffalo Bills: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
If the Bills don't address their QB situation soon, they will be stuck in mediocrity for the next five years.
4. Cincinnati Bengals: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Perfect fit for Bengals. Still surprised how many are sleeping on this match.
5. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Similar pick to the one they made with Antrel Rolle, who eventually moved to safety, made Pro Bowls and played in the Super Bowl.
6. Cleveland Browns: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
The top offensive prospect to most, Green will feast on the PA attention Madden cover boy Peyton Hillis creates.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Considered a slide for some, to me this is where Dareus' value really is, especially if he's in the 3-4.
8. Tennessee Titans: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
Reach pick for sure. Wouldn't be surprised if the Titans trade down and make this selection, but they can't be sure Washington and Minnesota will pass.
9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC
The Goose says it's Smith, and I believe him. Extremely talented tackle.
10. Washington Redskins: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
I'm still not sure teams are this high on Quinn after a year off, but then again, he could go to Cleveland at No. 6. Washington loves talent, and pairing with Brian Orakpo is impressive.
11. Houston Texans: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
The Texans need help in the secondary, but Wade Phillips likes to help his DBs with added pressure up front.
12. Minnesota Vikings: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
I firmly believe this is the QB Minnesota wants. The team has indicated it wants to draft a QB, and Bill Musgrave coached with Bobby Petrino in Atlanta. Team could trade down and make the same selection.
13. Detroit Lions: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
I would love to see the Lions get a DE like Ryan Kerrigan to pair with Ndamukong Suh, but Amukamara is considered a top-10 talent and has size, and it's a need position.
14. St. Louis Rams: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Looks like a slide for Jones. I'm not convinced teams want to take WRs high after recent trends. Dream situation.
15. Miami Dolphins: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
Has become a consensus pick, which scares me, but I was the first mocker I saw with this pick (Jan. 3) and am sticking with it.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
Another overly mocked pick, but if Kerrigan is still on the board, it makes too much sense. Recent Purdue DEs have strong NFL bloodlines.
17. New England Patriots: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Considered the top defensive prospect at times in the past six months. The Pats have the balls to gamble on his knees, especially in win-now mode.
18. San Diego Chargers: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
Several strong 5-tech options, but the Chargers have always seemed to side with the biggest, strongest prospects, which Watt is.
19. New York Giants: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple
DE/DT hybrid has amazing upside and can get to the passer from the interior, which is what the Giants are looking for. Almost picked Mark Ingram here.
20. Tampa Bay Bucs: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
A slide for Jordan, a prospect I really like, but there are some concerns about his overall sack production even with the great Senior Bowl.
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
I think OT needs are overstated here. Ayers will pick up where Mike Vrabel is leaving off and offers extreme versatility.
22. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Smart, aggressive, and dedicated. Can be a plug and play guy for the Colts. I like Gabe Carimi more, but Castonzo looks like a better fit, and Nate Solder has too low of a floor.
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
Jimmy Smith is getting a lot of love here, but that's with Carimi off the board. Gabe will bring some nasty to the city of brotherly love.
24. New Orleans Saints: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
The Saints had serious RB questions at times last year, and with the OL Ingram can be a 1,000-yard rookie.
25. Seattle Seahawks: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
Seattle wants to address its O and D lines this draft, but talent like Smith will take Kelly Jennings off the field and help its weakest position group on D.
26. San Diego Chargers (Trade Prediction): Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
Baldwin is the ideal Chargers receiver, and although the pick will come at a cost, this reduces the need to go all-in with Vincent Jackson. Baltimore is a prime candidate to trade down, and Atlanta might go for Baldwin at No. 27.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
The Falcons have done a good job of adding to their defense in recent drafts, and that trend will continue.
28. New England Patriots: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
The Pats need to start insuring their OL this draft. Solder could start next year but might get to learn from a great line group, which will help him mature in leaps and bounds.
29. Chicago Bears: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
Considered a big slide for Liuget. He doesn't have freakish size or combine numbers and wasn't overly productive though.
30. Cincinnati Bengals (Trade Prediction): Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
From everything I've seen this offseason the Bengals love Dalton, and with it being so apparent they will need to trade up to grab him because he might not make it to them in the second.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
He might be a corner, he might be a safety. He can cover, blitz and has impressive ball skills. Value and need meet for Pitt.
32. Green Bay Packers: Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
I have no clue which direction Green Bay will go, but you can guarantee Clay Matthews will see more attention this year, so another pass rusher will help defuse the situation.
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