2011 NFL Draft Grades: Which Late-Round Gems Will Make Immediate Impact in NFL?
2011 NFL Draft Projections for Steals of Day Three
The third day of the 2011 NFL Draft is underway and there are still a lot solid players available. While the later rounds do not represent as much flash as the first two days of the draft, players like Tom Brady, James Starks and Donald Driver have all been selected on day three.
Here are some players who have the capability to become quality players in the NFL that will hear their name called on day three:
Greg McElroy (QB, Alabama)
Greg McElroy scored one of the highest Wonderlic scores of all-time at the combine, where he checked in with a near-perfect score. McElroy scored a 48 out of 50 on the test, and proved during his time at Alabama that he is one of the smartest QBs.
He won a national championship and only threw nine interceptions in his two years as a starting QB, while adding 37 touchdown passes. In his final season as a QB in Tuscaloosa, he had a 70.9 percent completion percentage.
McElroy does not have the big arm that a lot of teams like, but he can make nearly every throw and has incredible accuracy. There is a good chance that McElroy could be a very solid NFL starter at some point during his career.
Jacquizz Rodgers (RB, Oregon State)
Rodgers will likely never become an elite NFL running back, however, he could be a great return man and change of pace back. He needs to add a bit more strength but could make an impact like Darren Sproles does in San Diego.
A lot of analysts have questioned the durability that Rodgers will have in the NFL, but he carried the ball more than 250 carries all three seasons and also caught more 140 passes during his career.
Rodgers can come in and make an impact on third downs right away, and may be able to contribute out of the slot position, even though he is a bit undersized.
Edmond Gates (WR, Abilene Christian)
Miami was one of the teams that was definitely in the market to add some speed to their team. Gates was one of the fastest WRs in this draft and should be able to come in and stretch the field. The Dolphins selected Gates with the 111th overall selection, and should come in and play the slot right away.
Gates will also provide the Dolphins with a lot of help on special teams as a gunner and as a return man. He has the speed and elusiveness to become one of the premier return men in the NFL.
NFL Draft Grades For The Entire AFC South
The AFC South draft grades will likely be very mixed among the experts, as Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker both ended up in the same division. Heading into the NFL Draft no one would have thought that both these players would have ended up in the same division.
Enough of the QBs, here are the draft grades for the AFC South:
Houston Texans: A
The Houston Texans were one of the teams who addressed all of their needs, while also not reaching for players.
They acquired the best five-technique player to help in their conversion to a 3-4 scheme, while also adding a premier pass rusher to play OLB in Brooks Reed.
The Texans pass defense was horrid last year, thus they went out and selected three secondary players from Round Two to Round Five.
The selection of T.J. Yates is also notable, as he could eventually develop into a solid backup QB.
Indianapolis Colts: B+
The Indianapolis Colts needed to focus on building up the trenches in this year's draft, and they executed that plan to perfection.
They selected the most NFL-ready OT Anthony Castonzo in the first round of the draft, and added project OT and possibly OG Ben Ijalana in the second round.
They then brought in run-stuffing DT Drake Nevis in the third round. The Colts run defense has struggled for years and Nevis should help to change the trend.
Adding RB Delone Carter was another solid move, as he should be the premier goal line option for the Colts next seaosn.
Jacksonville Jaguars: C
The Jacksonville Jaguars should not be awarded with style points for selecting QB Blaine Gabbert in the first round. Gabbert will eventually take over as the franchise QB, but for a team that was on the fringe of the playoffs, they needed to address their other needs later in the draft, which they failed to do.
The Jaguars inability to address their pass rush was one of the biggest failures of this draft. The Jaguars could not get any pressure whatsoever on the QB last year, and if not for the addition of William Rackley in the second round their draft grade could have been even worse.
Tennessee Titans: B
Selecting Jake Locker with the No. 8 pick will be considered one of the biggest reaches of the draft. Locker has first round talent, but had fourth round production last season at Washington.
If Locker pans out this draft will eventually be ranked much higher than a B as the Titans did a solid job with their next three picks.
Akeem Ayers is one of the most natural OLBs in this draft and was once projected to be a first round selection. Jurrell Casey represented excellent value for the Titans as well, as they selected him in the third round of the draft.
2011 NFL Draft Grades for Every Team In The AFC East
Draft Grades for the AFC east teams are beginning to roll in slowly, and some fans will be happy with the draft of their favorite team, while others will be extremely disappointed.
Here are the draft grades for the AFC East:
Buffalo Bills: B
The Buffalo Bills opted not to address their need at the QB position in this year's NFL draft, which could be an indication that the Bills feel Ryan Fitzpatrick can take their team to the promise land.
Marcell Dareus was an easy selection for the Bills, as he fills a major need for them. They needed a defensive lineman who can both stop the run and rush the passer, and he certainly fills that need.
Aaron Williams was a quality selection for the Bills' defense as well, as will Kelvin Sheppard. One of the biggest steals of the draft may also be RB Johnny White, who was selected in the fifth round by Buffalo.
Miami Dolphins: C-
Mike Pouncey was an easy selection for the Dolphins as they have a need on the interior of the offensive line. He should anchor the line for years, but the rest of the draft did not go as well as the Dolphins had hoped.
They selected Edmund Gates in the fourth round of the draft, Gates has a lot of upside but does not fill a significant need for the Dolphins.
They also traded up for a RB in the draft by selecting Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas. The Dolphins appeared to panic when Mikel Leshoure came off the board and opted to jump up to acquire Thomas. Thomas has a lot of potential but I do not see him carrying the load for the Dolphins.
Miami failed to address their need at safety or quarterback, and did not address their need for a TE until late in the draft. For a team that has a lot of need, they only added two players who will contribute immediately.
New England Patriots: B-
It is tough for the Patriots to have a bad draft, as they always have tons of draft picks. This year was no exception, but their draft was mediocre at best. Their first round selection was OT Nate Solder, who should help out their offensive line immediately.
They also added two excellent value picks in Ryan Mallett and Marcus Cannon with late round selections. However, many of their other mid-round selections were shaky at best.
Adding Shane Vereen in the second round was one of the biggest head scratchers of the draft. Mikel Leshoure was still available at the time, and the Patriots already have one of the best third-down RBs in the NFL in Danny Woodhead.
Selecting Steven Ridley right after Vereen was an even bigger shock, Ridley is a talented back, but why would the Patriots use back to back picks on a RB when they could have had Leshoure?
New York Jets: B-
The New York Jets did not make the flashy pick we are accustomed to seeing, however, they had a solid draft overall.
Adding Muhammad Wilkerson with their first round pick was a no-brainer, as he will be an excellent five-technique for the Jets. The Jets may have reached a bit for NT Kenrick Ellis, but he fills a major need for the Jets, therefore, it makes sense.
Adding QB Greg McElroy late in the draft makes a lot of sense, as he should be a premier backup QB in the NFL. Jeremy Kerley also has the talent to contribute in the return game and as a slot WR for the Jets.
However, the Jets needed to add a LB and some OL help at some point and they failed to do that.
2011 NFL Draft Grades for the Entire NFC South
The Draft Grades for the NFC South are beginning to trickle out and there will likely be mixed reviews for a few of the teams in the division.
The Saints and Bucs led the charge for the NFC South, but here are your draft grades for all four teams:
Atlanta Falcons: B
The Atlanta Falcons put all of their eggs in Julio Jones' basket. They traded five picks total, three in this year's draft, to acquire the Alabama product.
The biggest problem with the Falcons draft was their inability to address their needs on the defensive line, so they should look to do that in free agency.
Their best value pick was likely RB Jacquizz Rodgers who can be the change of pace back they expected Jerius Norwood to become.
Carolina Panthers: C-
The Carolina Panthers started the draft off by taking the biggest gamble of any team by selecting Cam Newton. He is an elite prospect, but he is also the furthest away of any first round QB from being ready to lead an NFL team.
The selection of Newton was understandable, however, the rest of the Panthers draft was mediocre at best.
The only player they selected outside of Newton who will likely make an impact early in his career is South Florida DL Terrell McClain.
Their worst pick was DL Sione Fua, who had no right being selected on Day Two.
New Orleans Saints: A
The New Orleans Saints had a tremendous day on Thursday, as they brought in RB Mark Ingram and DL Cameron Jordan.
Both of those players will be contributors from day one and should make a huge impact with their new team.
They also made some great value picks later in the draft by selecting ILB Martez Wilson and CB Johnny Patrick, while also bringing in a player who may be a steal in DE Greg Romeus.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: A
Tampa has again had another excellent draft. They may have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL next season, as they added Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers.
Bowers could be the steal of the draft if his knee can hold up, as he would be easily have been a top ten pick if completely healthy.
Tampa also made some quality value picks later in the draft as Mason Foster has been one of the best LBs in the Pac-10 for the past few seasons. They also addes SS Ahmad Black who was a very productive college player, but may not be athletic enough to be successful in the NFL.
2011 NFL Draft Results Show Cam Newton Is Riskiest Selection In This Year's Draft
Cam Newton is easily the riskiest selection in this year's draft. Newton certainly has the upside and ceiling that teams are looking for when they select a QB in the first round.
However, Newton is nowhere near NFL-ready. He does not know what it is like to call plays in an NFL huddle, and has no idea what an NFL playbook looks like.
He comes out of a one-read, spread offense where he looked at one-read and if that was not there, he took off running. He does not have the speed or strength to be as effective on the ground as he was at Auburn.
Newton only has one year of college under his belt, and while he may have dominated, he could easily be a one-hit wonder (Akili Smith anyone?).
Newton's biggest strength outside of his legs is his arm strength. He has a huge arm and can really throw the ball, the problem is that his accuracy is nowhere near what it needs to be, if he wants to be successful.
Cam will have a lot of work to do, and will have to spend a lot of time in the film room if he wants to be successful. The hardest part about adapting from the college game to the NFL game is being able to read defenses, which is not as easy as it sounds.
Selecting a player this far from being NFL-ready with the No. 1 overall pick is definitely the biggest gamble a team can take, but the Carolina Panthers felt it was worth the risk.
2011 NFL Draft Recap of the Best Value Picks from Day Three
There were still some solid players available entering Day 3 of the NFL Draft, however, some of them found themselves in a free-fall that found fans wondering when it was going to end.
Some players represented excellent value, and here are the three best value picks from Day 3:
1. Marcus Cannon (OT, New England Patriots)
Marcus Cannon was a tremendous player for TCU this past season, but due to medical concerns found himself falling on draft day even though he was graded out as a second round talent.
The Patriots swooped in to end his free-fall as they selected him with the 138th overall pick. If Cannon can pass his medical checks, he will end up as the biggest steal of this year's draft and could find himself starting early in the season next year.
2. Greg McElroy
As one of the smartest QBs in this year's draft, his free-fall to the seventh round was a bit shocking, especially considering that T.J. Yates and Tyrod Taylor were selected ahead of him.
McElroy only threw nine interceptions in his last two years as a starting QB for the Crimson Tide, and led them to a National Championship.
McElroy might not have the most talent at the QB position, but he is smart and a winner and represents incredible value in the seventh round.
3. Virgil Green (TE, Denver Broncos)
Green is a very talented, pass-catching TE out of the University of Nevada. He is a former basketball player that has made a solid transition to the TE position.
He is still a bit raw, but is one of the most athletic TEs in this draft, and possesses similar qualities to D.J. Williams who went two rounds earlier.
2011 NFL Draft Results Recap the Worst Picks From This Year's NFL Draft
With all three days of the NFL Draft in the books, it is time to recap some things that happened during this year's draft.
Here are the three worst picks of this year's draft:
1. James Carpenter (OT, Seattle Seahawks)
Carpenter definitely has the potential to be a LT in the NFL, but he certainly has a lot of work to do to get there. He does not have the foot speed to keep up with the elite pass rushers in the NFL at this point.
He is one of the best run blocking OTs in this draft, however, he should not have been selected ahead of Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi or Mississippi State OT Derek Sherrod.
2. Sione Fua (DL, Carolina Panthers)
Fua represents no value as a pass rusher, but does an good job of stopping the run. However, he does not have much agility and will not be able to contribute on a regular basis.
He also does not have the ability to run anybody down as he is one of the slowest lineman in this draft. With a player like Christian Ballard on the board, there is no excuse for the Panthers selecting Fua.
3. Kris Durham (WR, Seattle Seahawks)
Unfortunately for Seahawks fans, they have two players on this list. Kris Durham is a solid WR, but again, they stretched for a player.
The Seahawks reached for Durham with players like Edmund Gates, Greg Salas, and Tandon Doss still on the board.
Had Seattle selected Gabe Carimi and Edmund Gates or Greg Salas, their draft would be much better.
2011 NFL Draft Results Recap Top Players That Went Undrafted
The 2011 NFL Draft is now officially over and there are still some quality players that will be available once the lockout is over.
Here are some players who will draw a lot of interest from NFL teams once the lockout is lifted and the league year begins:
1. Mark Herzlich (LB, Boston College)
There was not a fan anywhere that wanted to see Mark Herzlich go undrafted this weekend. At one point, before being diagnosed with cancer, he would have been considered a first round talent.
He recovered from cancer and found his way back onto the football field, but was left on the outside looking in after Day Three of the NFL Draft.
Herzlich will be signed once the lockout is lifted, there is no question about that. He has a lot of upside and if he can regain all of his strength he has the potential to be a solid NFL player.
2. Kendrick Burney (CB, North Carolina)
Why Kendrick Burney went undrafted is beyond me. Burney was a solid player at North Carolina, and is the definition of a playmaker at the CB position.
He has the potential to be a very efficient corner in a zone scheme, but still has some work to do on his cover skills. Burney was projected by most to be a third or fourth round pick but somehow fell all the way out of the draft.
He should be a solid nickel to dime corner in the NFL and will find a home quickly once the lockout is lifted.
3. Darren Evans (RB, Virginia Tech)
Evans opted not to return to Virginia Tech for his senior season and instead followed Ryan Williams into the draft. Evans ran for over 1200 yards in his freshman season and followed that up with over 800 yards in his junior year.
He missed his sophomore season with a knee injury, but out-rushed Ryan Williams in 2010. Most RBs take two years to recover from a knee injury, making next year the breakout year for Evans. Teams like the Washington Redskins may be interested in his services next season.
2011 NFL Draft Results Recap The Best Value Picks of the NFL Draft
The 2011 NFL Draft is just about complete and teams are doing their final evaluations of their draft choices. Fans will begin dissecting their teams draft and will be looking forward to seeing their new stars on the football field next year.
Here are some players that fell down draft boards and represented excellent value at thier draft position:
1. Ryan Mallett (QB, New England Patriots)
Ryan Mallett was the most talked about player coming into this draft, and that carried over into much of Day Two. The Patriots eventually traded up and ended Ryan Mallett's free-fall.
In the third round, Mallett provides first round talent, but does come with some character concerns. However, at No. 74 overall, Mallett was an excellent selection. Mallett instantly becomes the heir-apparent to Tom Brady, as he gets to develop behind one of the best QBs of all-time.
2. Da'Quan Bowers (DE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Bowers slide was well noted as he slid out of the first round and all the way to No. 51. Bowers will be the biggest steal of the draft if his knee is able to hold up, as he was once projected to go No. 1 overall.
Bowers is an all-around DE that can both rush the passer and provide excellent run support. He will fit in well on a very young defensive line for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that could become one of the best lines in the NFL.
3. Leonard Hankerson (WR, Washington Redskins)
The Washington Redskins selected Leonard Hankerson with the 79th overall selection in this year's draft. The Redskins desperately needed to add a potential No. 1 WR and somehow found that in the third round.
Hankerson is a physical WR with excellent hands and will likely have no problem fitting in as Santana Moss's replacement with the Redskins.
4. Marcus Cannon (OT, New England Patriots)
The New England Patriots selected a first to second round talent in the fifth round of the draft. There are medical concerns associated with selecting Cannon, however, the value he represents in the fifth round goes unmatched.
If he eventually checks out, he will be an absolute steal that has the ability to play both tackle and guard.
2011 NFL Draft Grades for the 5 Biggest Losers
The 2011 NFL Draft is nearly completed and draft grades are being composed throughout the sports world. There are always winners and losers in every draft as not everyone can win. Here are the teams that choked on draft day:
1. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks had a dreadful draft. They looked to address their needs on the offensive line with their first two picks in the draft by selecting OT James Carpenter and OG John Moffitt. Carpenter at No. 25 was likely one of the biggest reaches in the draft, and they could have addressed their need at QB with Andy Dalton instead.
They also could have traded down and easily landed Carpenter ten to 15 picks lower. The Seahawks also reached for a WR as they selected Georgia WR Kris Durham.
The Seahawks were able to land only one to two player that will make an immediate impact at the NFL level.
2. Oakland Raiders
It is unfortunate that the Raiders are on this list, as they had a great draft last year. However, they only had a few picks in this year's draft and were unable to really add the players that they needed.
The Raiders went back to what they were known for and drafted players that are fast, but lack polish and technique. They drafted two of the fastest CBs in the draft in DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa. Both have a lot of athleticism, but neither are known for their cover skills.
Stefen Wisniewski is a talented offensive lineman, but he was certainly a reach at No. 48.
3. Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers drafted one player that will make an immediate impact, Cam Newton. Terrell McClain was a pretty good value pick in the third round, and will likely see a lot of playing time with the team. However, outside of those two players, they likely did not bring in another player who will be a consistent contributor.
Brandon Hogan has some potential, but he also has a lot of character concerns, as he was in trouble quite often at West Virginia. The Panthers also overdrafted DL Sione Fua with the last pick of Day Two.
The Panthers have a lot of holes and really failed to bring in any OL to help protect Newton.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
I know the Jaguars brought in Blaine Gabbert, the top rated QB in this year's draft, but the failed to address bigger needs.
This team was on the fringe of the playoffs last season, however, they just missed out, in part due to their pass rush. This draft was very deep with pass rushers, and they did not add a DL or an OLB.
The Jaguars will struggle again next year at rushing the passer unless they acquire a player in free agency. Don't look for the Jaguars to make the playoffs next year either as they did not address their biggest needs on the DL, or at the WR position assuming Mike Sims-Walker leaves town.
5. Miami Dolphins
The addition of Mike Pouncey in the first round was an excellent pick for the Dolphins. The reason they make this list as a loser is due to the fact that they were unable to acquire one of the top three running backs in this years draft, or one of the elite QBs.
The Dolphins found themselves trading up for Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas, who should be an effective RB, but is definitely not as well-rounded as Mark Ingram, Ryan Williams, or Mikel Leshoure.
Thomas will find it difficult carrying the load for the Dolphins, who should have looked for a change of pace back later in the draft. They could have looked for a back like Noel Devine or Jacquizz Rodgers, but were unable to.
Edmond Gates was a solid selection for the Dolphins, but he doesn't fill a major need and will likely take some time to develop.
Are the Detroit Lions the Biggest Winners of the 2011 NFL Draft?
The 2011 NFL Draft Grades are quickly rolling in as the NFL Draft is nearly completed. There have been a lot of head scratching picks in this year's draft, while there have also been a lot of great picks.
With the draft nearly completed, let's take the time to review the 5 teams that will come out as the biggest winners of this draft.
1. Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions had a phenomenal draft. They come out of this draft as the biggest winners, without a doubt. They have a lethal backfield now, combining big-play RB Jahvid Best, with every down back Mikel Leshoure.
The Lions desperately needed to bring in a No. 2 WR to complement Calvin Johnson and were able to do that in the second round with Boise State WR Titus Young.
The biggest steal of the draft may also go to the Detroit Lions, as Nick Fairley fell down the board to them,
2. New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints started their first round off with a bang by selecting versatile DL Cameron Jordan and RB Mark Ingram Jr. Ingram should greatly improve the running game for the Saints, and Jordan should be able to stop the run and rush the passer.
The Saints continued to make quality selections later in the draft by bringing in CB Johnny Patrick in the third round, as well as OLB Martez Wilson.
The Saints have the players they need on the offensive side of the ball and needed to address the defense in this year's draft. They did that, while still being able to add the top-rated RB.
3. Houston Texans
The Houston Texans had a dynamite offense last season, but their defense let them down early and often. They used their first five picks on the defensive side of the ball in an attempt to get the players in place for Wade Phillips 3-4 scheme.
J.J. Watt was easily the best five-technique in the draft, and Brooks Reed is one of the elite pass rushers, who should fit in well at OLB.
They followed that up by addressing their biggest need, getting Miami, FL CB Brandon Harris with their third pick. Shiloh Keo and Rashard Carmichael were also selected later in the draft, who should also help improve the Texans secondary.
4. Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts had a gameplan coming into this draft and executed it perfectly. They needed to bring in help on the offensive line as they struggled to protect Peyton Manning last season.
Anthony Castanzo can come in and start from Day One, Ben Ijalana may be able to come in and start at the guard position, or even the right tackle position.
They also needed to bring in a DT and they brought in a stout DT in LSU star Drake Nevis. He is a great run-stopper and should really improve a defensive line that has struggled to stop the run. They also added a goal line back in Delone Carter, who should be able to plunge in a few TDs for the Colts next season.
5. Denver Broncos
John Elway's first draft appears to be a success. He landed the best OLB in the draft in Von Miller with the first pick, and was still able to address some of the other needs for the Broncos.
Their secondary struggled last season so they brought in safety Rahim Moore with their second round pick. The Broncos OL also struggled last season, so they addressed that need with OL Orlando Franklin who is very versatile.
All three of these players will significantly improve this team and should contribute next season. The Broncos also got a great value player in the seventh round as they selected TE Virgin Green. If not for medical concerns, Green would have been a third or fourth round pick.
2011 NFL Draft Grades For The Entire NFL North
The NFL Draft is nearly in the books, and the draft grades aCre slowing rolling in for every team. The NFC North represents the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers, along with three other teams on the rise that are attempting to run them down.
Here are the NFC North draft grades for the 2011 NFL Draft:
Chicago Bears: B-
The Chicago Bears entered this year's draft with glaring holes in the trenches and at the WR position. The Bears addressed their offensive line in the first round with Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi, and then their defensive line in the second round with Oregon State DT Stephen Paea.
However, after the first two picks for the Bears, they seemed to fall off quite a bit. The Bears went DB, QB, and LB with their next three picks and did not address the WR position at any point in the draft.
Detroit Lions: A+
The Detroit Lions have had the best draft of any team this year. They brought in stud DT Nick Fairley in the first round and now have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.
In the second round, the Lions addressed the skill positions by bringing in the second best RB Mikel Leshoure and Boise State WR Titus Young.
The Lions now have the tools in place to become a premier team in the NFL within the next couple of seasons.
Green Bay Packers: B
The only problem with the Packers draft is that they did not address the defensive line, which may need some help with Cullen Jenkins set to hit free agency.
However, they boosted their offensive line with Derek Sherrod in the first round, and added even more weapons at the skill positions.
Randall Cobb is a very versatile weapon who should contribute all over the field. D.J. Williams is one of the best pass catching TEs in the draft, and should be a viable option behind Jermichael Finley.
Minnesota Vikings: C+
The Minnesota Vikings draft has been full of reaching and not drafting for need. They obviously had a significant need at QB, but Christian Ponder was a huge reach at No. 12.
In the second round they addressed the TE position with Kyle Rudolph. TE was not a significant need for the Vikings, and they should have addressed their DL or secondary.
CB Brandon Burton and DL Christian Ballard represented great value later in the draft, however, they did not maximize their value early in the draft.
2011 NFL Draft Results Recap Which Rookies Will Make Biggest Impact on the Defensive Side of the Ball
The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft had a record number of defensive lineman selected in the first round, many of which should be able to make an immediate impact with their team.
Defensive players like Justin Houston and Da'Quan Bowers slipped down draft boards and neither went nearly as high as expected.
Which of these players will make the biggest impact with their new team this Fall?
1. Von Miller (LB, Denver Broncos)
There is no question that Von Miller was the best OLB in this draft, and one of the premier pass rushers. However, he is also solid in pass coverage and in run support.
Miller should instantly improve the Denver Broncos pass rush, which was one of the worst in the NFL last season.
2. Nick Fairley (DT, Detroit Lions)
Nick Fairley slid out of the top ten but landed in a perfect situation with the Detroit Lions. He will be lining up next to Suh, Vanden Bosch, and possibly Cliff Avril.
The Lions will have one of the most dominant defensive lines in the NFL next season, and Fairley will make their pass rush ferocious. Not only will he be able to rush the passer, but will open up lanes for Suh.
3. Patrick Peterson
The Arizona Cardinals needed some help at the CB position, and they drafted the best defensive player in the draft. He is an excellent cover corner and is very capable of making the big play.
The Cardinals could also use him as a punt return man, as he was absolutely lethal from that spot with LSU.
Patrick Peterson was one of the safest picks in this year's draft and was an easy selection for the Cardinals.
4. Marcell Dareus
The Buffalo Bills selected the best overall DT in this year's draft. He is a solid pass rusher, and does an excellent job in run support as well.
The Bills run defense struggled last season, and Dareus should help the defensive line to instantly improve. Dareus will also make the secondary look better, as he should improve their pass rush.
2011 NFL Draft Results Recaps Which Offensive Players Will Make Biggest Impact
With the NFL Draft coming to a close and entering the seventh round, there are a lot of players who will be expected to make a huge impact in their rookie season.
Cam Newton as the No. 1 overall pick will be expected to come in and be their franchise QB and will likely start from Day One.
Here are four players on the offensive side of the ball who will make an impact from Day One:
1. A.J. Green (WR, Cincinnati Bengals)
A.J. Green will be expected to come in and be the biggest weapon for Andy Dalton immediately. He could have been the best overall player in this draft and has the talent to explode in his rookie season.
He has solid hands, excellent strength and size, and the speed needed to be successful. He is a superb route runner that gets excellent separation from CBs.
2. Mark Ingram (RB, New Orleans Saints)
The Saints run game really struggled after injuries to Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, so adding a RB was one of their top priorities. Mark Ingram won the Heisman Trophy at Alabama, and is an explosive runner.
He hits the hole very quickly and is a strong, powerful runner. Ingram should be able to help make the Saints offense much more balanced next season.
3. Julio Jones (WR, Atlanta Falcons)
Julio Jones is set to become the starting WR opposite of Roddy White next season, and the Falcons will be expecting him to open up the passing game.
They traded five picks total to trade up and secure Jones who has the speed and strength needed from a WR in the NFL. Julio Jones should help take the Falcons offense from an above average offense to one of the premier offenses in the NFL.
4. Cam Newton (QB, Carolina Panthers)
Cam Newton is a project at the QB position, however, he will likely make a huge impact with the Carolina Panthers. He is a very elusive runner, and is extremely powerful.
He will need some time to develop but should be able to buy time and open things up for his receivers downfield. The Panthers are putting their future on Newton's shoulders and they will need him to make an immediate impact.
2011 NFL Draft Results For The Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals
The AFC North is one of the divisions that has had a tremendous draft to this point as a whole. Each team has done things differently, but all of them have done a solid job addressing their needs.
Here are draft grades for the AFC North:
Baltimore Ravens: B
The Baltimore Ravens addressed two of their biggest needs in the first two rounds of the draft. They selected CB Jimmy Smith, a top ten talent with character concerns, and explosive WR Torrey Smith.
Smith should step in and add a deep threat from the slot position, a role they expected Donte Stallworth to fill last season, and Jimmy Smith should immediately improve a struggling secondary.
Baltimore also added WR Tandon Doss from Indiana who should also help to jolt the Ravens passing game.
Cincinnati Bengals: B+
The Bengals got their man in both the first round and the second round of the draft. It was no secret that they wanted A.J. Green as an eventual replacement WR for Chad Ochocinco. Green is a tremendous talent, who will quickly become Andy Dalton's favorite target.
The Bengals continued their draft by addressing their needs in the trenches with DL Dontay Mach and OG Clint Boling. Both players could come in and be contributors early in their careers.
Cleveland Browns: A-
The Browns traded down early in the draft with the Atlanta Falcons to pick up additional picks and have done a great job with those additional picks. Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard should immediately improve the Browns defensive line. Taylor is an excellent run stopper and Sheard does a tremendous job of getting to the QB.
Following that the Browns provided some receiving targets for Colt McCoy, adding red-zone threat WR Greg Little, and project TE Jordan Cameron.
The Browns also picked up an additional first round pick for next year that should help him to continue developing and adding young talent.
Pittsburgh Steelers: C+
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had the worst draft of any team in the AFC North. They selected Cameron Heyward with their first round pick, who is an exceptional talent but appeared to take a lot of plays off at Ohio State.
In the second round they selected OT Marcus Gilbert, who is a big of a project and may not be ready to step in to Flozell Adams' role just yet.
The Steelers finally addressed their needs in the secondary with CB Curtis Brown, who is another player that doesn't appear to be an instant contributor. He could find a role with the team in dime situations, but the Steelers failed to land many players that will contribute early in their career.
2011 NFL Draft Results Recap Which QB Will Have Best NFL Career
There were four quarterbacks selected in the top 12 picks, and two more that were selected in the second round of the draft. However, the biggest selection may have been Ryan Mallett to the New England Patriots in the fourth round of the draft.
Which of these QBs will have the best career in the NFL? Bleacher Report is here to figure that out for you.
1. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars traded up with the Washington Redskins to select Blaine Gabbert with the No. 10 overall pick in this year's draft.
Gabbert landed in the best situation, as he has the ability to sit and learn from David Garrard for a year or two. Gabbert was the top-rated QB in this draft and was considered the most NFL-ready. Sitting and learning an NFL system though will be a huge advantage for Gabbert, as he comes out of a spread offense.
2. Ryan Mallett, New England Patriots
Ryan Mallett landed in the best possible situation possible. He heads to a Patriots locker room that will not put up with any off the field or drug issues.
He gets to learn behind future Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady before finally taking control of the offense himself upon Brady's retirement. He heads to a system that was able to make Pro Bowlers out of two NFL QBs, Brady and Chiefs QB Matt Cassel.
3. Christian Ponder
Christian Ponder has a well-rounded game and could become one of the best QBs drafted in this year's draft. However, that depends on what the Vikings do after the draft. Ponder in not NFL-ready, and the Vikings need to bring in a veteran to groom him.
They should look to bring in Donovan McNabb, who can groom Ponder to become his successor upon his retirement.
One huge advantage that Ponder has is that he has one of the best RBs in the NFL to hand off to, in Adrian Peterson.
4. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton lands in a solid situation with the Bengals. They used their first selection on A.J. Green who should quickly become Dalton's favorite target. He also has a solid RB behind him in Cedric Benson who should help with the play action plays.
Dalton is NFL-ready, and has the weapons and talent around him to be a successful QB.