NFL Mock Draft 2011: Will the Cowboys Take Andrew Luck at No. 1?
It's 2011 NFL Mock Draft Time as we near the halfway point of the 2010 NFL season.
Now that Tony Romo has broken his shoulder, and it looks like another year goes down the drain, the Cowboys may be drafting in the top five. That means they could be in the market for a quarterback.
But there's more to the draft than just a quarterback, so let's look at how things break down in the last week of October.
Draft order is based on my own Power Ranking from this week along with projections by Bleacher Report Staff and CBSSports.com.
You can find my Power Rankings here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/500841-nfl-power-rankings-week-8-titans-chiefs-challenge-steelers-for-no-1
No. 32, Tennessee Titans, Von Miller, DE/OLB Texas A&M
Why Miller Is Special: Miller is quick, and speed is the name of the game in the NFL right now.
Why Miller Goes Here: Injuries and getting Miller to work in a system drop him to this point.
How Miller Fits: The Titans have a good line, but it's one area of the team that needs tinkering, and Miller represents an upgrade.
No. 31, New York Giants, Bruce Carter, OLB North Carolina
Why Carter is special: Carter has the athleticism all GMs are looking for.
Why Carter Goes Here: A lot of good linebackers in the draft drop Carter to this point.
How Carter Fits: Carter gives a youthful punch to an older unit in transition.
No. 30, Pittsburgh Steelers, OG Mike Pouncey, Florida
Why Pouncey Is Special: Mike Pouncey is the twin brother of Maurkice Pouncey, drafted by Pittsburgh last year. Mike has a lot of the same attributes that got his brother drafted in the first round.
Why Pouncey Goes Here: With Tim Tebow gone, Mike isn't getting the attention he and his brother got last year, and he slips off the radar.
How Pouncey Fits: The Steelers still are very thin on the offensive line, and by drafting both Pounceys, they get two players accustomed to playing together, and capable of playing multiple positions.
No. 29, New England Patriots, DeMarcus Love, OT Arkansas
Why Love is Special: He's played both sides of the line, and Bill Belichick clearly values versatility.
Why Love Goes Here: New England needs offensive linemen, and with two picks in the first round, you have to believe one of them will be a guy like Love.
How Love Fits : Tom Brady is the franchise quarterback, and Belichick has a keen interest in keeping Brady from being blindsided for the next few years.
No. 28, Atlanta Falcons, Anthony Costanzo, OT Boston College
Why Costanzo Is Special: Costanzo is big, burly, and hasn't been injured—you want that guy on your team.
Why Costanzo Goes Here: Costanzo will be one of those guys who could go higher, but won't for whatever reason. The Falcons, especially Matt Ryan, will be glad to have him.
How Costanzo Fits: Have you ever heard of a star quarterback who didn't have enough depth on his offensive line? Costanzo would have a place on any team.
No. 27, Indianapolis Colts, OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin
Why Carimi is Special: A large, gifted offensive lineman, Carimi has the size and strength scouts love to see, and he's played four years at Wisconsin.
Why Carimi Goes Here: Carimi is another in a long string of offensive lineman who are going to come off the board in the lower half of the first round.
How Carimi Fits: The Colts are going to need to start rebuilding their line, and Carimi is described as "ready."
No. 26, Philadelphia Eagles, Allen Bailey, DE Miami
Why Bailey is Special: Bailey is just the kind of defensive end prospect you want to be available when your turn comes up. At 288 lbs and quick off the line, Bailey has all the tools to make it in the NFL.
Why Bailey Goes Here: The Eagles need another pass rusher. Ellis Hobbs is not getting the job done.
How Bailey Fits: Bailey can step right in and make an impact where Hobbs hasn't.
No. 25, Houston Texans, DeAndre McDaniel, SS Clemson
Why McDaniel is Special: McDaniel had a breakout year his junior season and still looks like a playmaker this year.
Why McDaniel Goes Here: Take one look at the Texans' pass defense, and this question answers itself.
How McDaniel Fits: Anything is an upgrade over what the Texans are featuring right now.
No. 24, Baltimore Ravens, Akeem Ayers, DE/OLB UCLA
Why Ayers is Special: Ayers made his presence felt as a sophomore. As a junior his presence on the field is growing.
Why Ayers Goes Here: The Ravens have to take another pass rusher, and if Ayers declares as a junior, he won't go any higher than this.
How Ayers Fits In: The Ravens defense historically has been one of the best, and Ayers fits the mold GM Ozzie Newsome looks for.
No. 23, New York Jets, Ryan Kerrigan, DE Purdue
Why Kerrigan is Special: Kerrigan has been impressing scouts for more than a year now, and consistency raises his stock even more.
Why Kerrigan Goes Here: While Revis Island captures wide receivers, Kerrigan can keep the quarterback from ever thinking about Revis.
How Kerrigan Fits: The Jets pass rush probably isn't where Rex Ryan wants it to be, and Kerrigan can change that.
No. 22, Green Bay Packers, Mark Ingram, RB Alabama
Why Ingram is Special: Ingram is a versatile running back with a great instinct for finding holes.
Why Ingram Goes Here: The Packers have had a hard time keeping their running backs healthy, and Ingram provides insurance.
How Ingram Fits: If Ingram doesn't get bitten by the injury bug, he'll be the Packers starting running back by Week 2.
No. 21, Kansas City Chiefs, Julio Jones, WR Alabama
Why Jones is Special: Jones is a good pro prospect with size and speed.
Why Jones Goes Here: Jones has had some drops, which will keep him out of the Top 20.
How Jones Fits: Matt Cassel needs better receivers.
No. 20, Miami Dolphins, Ryan Williams, RB Virginia
Why Williams is Special: Williams has shown it all on the field—size, speed, strength, and heart.
Why Williams Goes Here: The Dolphins could lose both running backs on their roster, so they are going to need a fresh face who's ready to go now.
How Williams Fits: If the Dolphins lose both Ricky Williams and Ronny Brown, there will be a lot of room for Ryan Williams.
No. 19, New Orleans Saints, Stephen Paea, DT Oregon State
Why Paea is Special: Stephen Paea is just a big guy who takes up a lot of room and knocks people down.
Why Paea Goes Here: Paea probably is too slow to go any higher than this, but he's still talented enough to be a first round pick.
How Paea Fits: The Saints rush defense isn't keeping up with the pass defense, so Paea will help solidify the line.
No. 18, Seattle Seahawks, Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa
Why Clayborn is Special: Clayborn has been a dominant defensive end and has shown a knack for finding the quarterback.
Why Clayborn Goes Here: His production has slipped a little this year, which could knock him out of the Top 10.
How Clayborn Fits: The Seahawks need one more pass rusher to balance their defensive attack.
No.17, San Diego Chargers, Cameron Heyward, DE Ohio State
Why Heyward is Special: Heyward shows exceptional anticipation and uses his long arms to bring the ball carrier down.
Why Heyward Goes Here: The Chargers are bad at the end of their line.
How Heyward Fits: The Chargers are in the middle of re-assessing all aspects of the team because, despite their No. 1 ranking in many areas of the game, they have very little to show for it.
No, 16, Washington Redskins, Nick Foles, QB Arizona
Why Foles is Special: Foles has shown a high completion percentage in his college career .
Why Foles Goes Here: With the "Top 3" quarterbacks off the board, the Redskins will settle for Foles to groom behind an aging Donovan McNabb.
How Foles Fits: Foles will redshirt under McNabb, who really hasn't looked good this season.
No. 15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Nick Fairley, DT Auburn
Why Fairley is Special: Nick Fairley is a beast who makes plays, and makes it look easy.
Why Fairley Goes Here: The Bucs need guys who can improve their run defense, currently ranked 31st.
How Fairley Fits: Fairley gives the Bucs defensive unit a boost as they try to put the finishing touches on their current rebuild.
No. 14, Arizona Cardinals, Aaron Williams, CB Texas
Why Williams is Special: He' a big guy who has shown he can get the job done.
Why Williams Goes Here: The Cardinals are giving up a lot of points, and doing something about their secondary will be a top priority in the off-season.
How Williams Fits: The Cardinals will be doing a lot of tinkering with the defense in the off-season.
No. 13, Cincinnati Bengals, Robert Quinn, DE North Carolina
Why Quinn is Special: His speed and power allow him to be inside the play before it develops.
Why Quinn Goes Here: While Carson Palmer and the offense finally appear to be clicking, the defense has few playmakers at the moment.
How Quinn Fits: His size and athleticism will be a welcome addition to the team.
No. 12, New England Patriots, Jonathan Baldwin, WR Pittsburgh
Why Baldwin is Special: Baldwin is a great physical specimen who doesn't drop passes.
Why Baldwin Goes Here: The Patriots are learning this year that even Tom Brady can't be his usual self if he doesn't have anyone to throw to.
How Baldwin Fits: If Baldwin can prove to Bill Belichick he can run NFL routes and not drop the ball, he'll be a starter very soon.
No. 11, Chicago Bears, Da'Quan Bowers, DE Clemson
Why Bowers is Special: Bowers is already showing NFL skills in spades.
Why Bowers Goes Here: The Bears have a lot of needs, but at this slot, Bowers is the best choice.
How Bowers Fits: Bowers will act as a counterbalance to Julius Peppers and give the Bears a much more powerful passing attack.
No. 10, Cleveland Browns, Brandon Harris, CB Miami
Why Harris is Special: Harris is showing all the hallmarks of a "shutdown" corner.
Why Harris Goes Here: The Browns have many needs, but a shutdown corner is near the top. If A.J. Green is off the board here, the Browns go with best player available.
How Harris Fits: Harris will pair up with Joe Haden nicely to finally give the Browns two respectable corners, something they haven't had since the 1980s.
No. 9, Minnesota Vikings, Ryan Mallet, QB, Arkansas
Why Mallett is Special: At 6' 7", Mallett can see the whole field with no trouble, has a great arm and good accuracy.
Why Mallett Goes Here: With Andrew Luck and Jake Locker off the board, Mallet is the best quarterback available. If the Vikings thought Tarvaris Jackson was the quarterback of the future, they wouldn't have begged an obviously aging Brett Favre to come back.
How Mallett Fits: If Mallett isn't starting Week 1, he'll be the starter by Week 3. Jackson has never shown the Vikings he's "the man."
No. 8, Denver Broncos, Marcell Dareus, DT Alabama
Why Dareus is Special: At 6' 4", 302 lbs, linemen his size who succeed like he does make an impact.
Why Dareus Goes Here: The Broncos can't stop the run, as evidenced by Darren McFadden.
How Dareus Fits: Dareus will become one of the main components of the Broncos defensive line for the next 10 years.
No. 7, St. Louis Rams, A.J. Green, WR Georgia
Why Green is Special: Green has been dominating the college ranks and he doesn't drop balls.
Why Green Goes Here: The Rams drafted a franchise quarterback last year, now he needs more targets.
How Green Fits: Green will be a featured receiver his rookie year.
No. 6, Detroit Lions, Prince Amukamara, CB Nebraska
Why Amukamara is Special: Amukamara has great speed and technique that will translate well into the NFL.
Why Amukamara Goes Here: The Lions have most of the young offensive talent in place, now they need to start seriously rebuilding the defense.
How Amukamara Fits: Amukamara is going to be a starter in Week 1.
No. 5, Jacksonville Jaguars, Patrick Peterson, CB LSU
Why Peterson is Special: Peterson has shown he can cover a huge area and opposing quarterbacks will have to respect him.
Why Peterson Goes Here: The Jaguars are getting lit up through the air and Patrick Peterson is the best cornerback in the draft.
How Peterson Fits: Peterson will be a lock at corner from the moment he enters training camp.
No. 4, Dallas Cowboys, Derek Sherrod, OT Mississippi State
Why Sherrod is Special: Sherrod has size, speed, and most importantly, range.
Why Sherrod Goes Here: The 'Boys lost Tony Romo for 6-8 weeks because the defender blew right through the line untouched.
How Sherrod Fits: Jerry Jones believes in Tony Romo and Jones will mandate the team make Sherrod's primary goal keeping Romo upright.
No. 3, Carolina Panthers, Joseph Barksdale, OT LSU
Why Barksdale is Special: Barksdale quietly gets the job done, and the scouts will see that by draft day.
Why Barksdale Goes Here: This high in the draft, you don't pass up a talent like Barksdale, who won't be there in the second round.
How Barksdale Fits: Whether the Panthers stick with Matt Moore, or develop Jimmy Clausen, Barksdale will give his quarterback time to throw the ball.
No. 2, San Francisco 49ers, Jake Locker, QB Washington
Why Locker is Special: Locker performs well under pressure and has all the skills teams look for in a first-round draft pick.
Why Locker Goes Here: Because Andrew Luck already is gone and the 49ers are out of patience with Alex Smith.
How Locker Fits: Locker will be starting Week 1 for the 49ers unless they decide he needs "time to develop," in which case he'll be starting by Week 3.
No. 1, Buffalo Bills, Andrew Luck, QB Stanford
Why Luck is Special: Luck is accurate, mobile, and has shown good decision-making skills.
Why Luck Goes Here: The Bills have no star quarterback, and you can't win a Super Bowl in the modern NFL without one.
How Luck Fits: Unless the Bills have a death wish, or don't want to sell tickets, Luck starts Week 1.