NFL Draft 2011 Results: The 5 Worst Mistakes of Day 1

Austin BrinesContributor IIApril 29, 2011

NFL Draft 2011 Results: The 5 Worst Mistakes of Day 1

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers is brought down by John Boyett #20 of the Oregon Ducks during the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    In the NFL draft, you never know what your favorite team will do. There are always tons of surprises. Nobody knows who will have a successful career or who will bust.

    However, picking a player likely to bust or selecting a player at bad value are mistakes. Many teams made mistakes on this day.

    In this slideshow I will show the top five mistakes of Day 1 in the draft.


Honorable Mention: Ravens Running out of Time

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    BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 07:  Wide receiver Jeff Fuller #8 of the Texas A&M Aggies makes a reception against the defense of Jimmy Smith #3 of the Colorado Buffaloes during NCAA college football action at Folsom Field on November 7, 2009 in Boulder, Colorado
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Although it did not cost them anything, the Ravens made a big mistake.

    They did not select a player within 10 minutes, so they had their pick passed.

    Now, had the team after them chosen the player they wanted, it would have been a big mistake. They got away with it, though, as they got their guy. A large bullet was dodged and fans should be grateful.

    That is the only reason it just fell short of being on the list.

5. The Seahawks Reaching for James Carpenter

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 16:  Marcell Dareus #57 and James Carpenter #77 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Ole Miss Rebels at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Carpenter is a solid player with solid upside. Don't get me wrong, he will be alright in the NFL.

    However, I don't understand the logic drafting a late second-round prospect in Round 1. Especially with two clearly better OT prospects in Gabe Carimi and Derek Sherrod available.

    A trade back or drafting him in the next round would have both worked.

    But for goodness sake, don't reach: it's a big mistake.

4. 26 Teams Passing on Jimmy Smith

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    LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 26: Cody Green #17 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers slips past Jimmy Smith #3 of the Colorado Buffaloes during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 26, 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Colorado 45-17 (Photo by Eric Fran
    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Smith is a top-10 talent at CB. I have heard people say he is a better corner than Patrick Peterson.

    Yes, he is character concerns, but in the right locker room, he could be a huge steal.

    At least five teams could have used a corner and passed on him. In my opinion, they made a big mistake.

    Smith will prove himself to be the best corner in this draft and become a perennial All-Pro.

3. Vikings Drafting Christian Ponder with the 12th Pick

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    TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Christian Ponder #7 of the Florida State Seminoles throws for a first down during a game against the Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    It's never good to make a pick because you are scared.

    That's what the Vikings did.

    They were targeting Jake Locker, but when he was taken eighth, they freaked out. They tried to desperately trade out of the pick, but had no luck.

    So, instead of grabbing the BPA or a great talent, they drafted an average quarterback that will need a lot of work.

    Ponder might be a good quarterback in a few years, but they might have been able to draft him in the early second.

    The early first is a huge reach.

2. Atlanta Falcons Trading Up for Julio Jones

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) poses for a photo with Julio Jones, #6 overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons, holds up a jersey on stage during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Ph
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Two first-round picks, a second-round pick and two fourth-round picks for the second-best receiver in the draft. 

    This huge package might be acceptable for a proven Pro Bowler or maybe a solid NFL player or even A.J. Green.

    But for Julio Jones? Big mistake.

    Jones is a freak of an athlete, but he has big-time drop issues. While he could improve the Falcons, I think all those draft picks would be much more valuable. Jonathon Baldwin at No. 27 would be similar to getting Jones.

    Bad value there for the Falcons.

1. Carolina Panthers Selecting Cam Newton

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    GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers scrambles against the Oregon Ducks during the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Peters
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    While I see the logic by the Panthers here, the selection is just a mistake.

    Newton is an ultra-talented player with questionable character. He is a good player, but is he the right pick for a franchise that needs a leader?

    I don't think so.

    Newton has huge bust potential and will be paid an extremely large amount of money. In a few years, the Panthers will realize how big of a mistake they made by taking the second- or third-best quarterback in the draft and not taking the best player, Von Miller.