2011 NFL Mock Draft: If Every Player Is Eligible, Would Brees, Rivers Go No. 1?
OK so we have seen plenty of mock drafts the last few weeks.
Yeah there have been slight differences, and major changes after certain player declared while other didn't.
But for now everything seems settled in, so let's have some fun with a mock draft.
Here are the rules:
1. College players are ineligible. Only NFL players can be drafted.
2. Every NFL player is available. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Michael Vick are all up for grabs.
3. The order used will be the projected order for the 2011 draft.
4. Teams will still draft according to their biggest need. That way this isn't a boring list of the league's best quarterbacks and running backs.
5. Once a player is drafted, he cannot be drafted by another team. So if the Panthers steal Brady from the Patriots, the Tennessee Titans couldn't draft Brady from the Panthers.
6. A team CAN use their pick to draft their own player in order to avoid losing that player to a later team.
7. This draft will only last one round.
Let's try this out. A forewarning, I thought this would be a lot easier than it turned out to be, so try to just have some fun with it.
1. Carolina Panthers- Drew Brees
The Panthers decide to make the first pick of the draft Drew Brees.
Brees is one year removed from a Super Bowl victory in which he was named MVP, and he has recorded five straight seasons of 4,300-plus passing yards.
2. Denver Broncos- Jared Allen
The Broncos really need a defensive end who will be a force as a pass rusher.
Enter Jared Allen.
Allen is young at 28, and has proven himself to be one of the league's best at getting to the quarterback. His age makes him a slightly better option than Dwight Freeney.
His lowest sack total of his career was 7.5 in 2006, and he has played in every game the last three seasons. In 2010 he has 11 sacks and incredibly two interceptions and a touchdown.
3. Buffalo Bills- Jake Long
The Bills decide to stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick and draft protection for him.
Long is one of the left tackles in the league and only 25-years-old.
This pick is a win-win situation for the Bills as it benefits them and it hurts their division opponent the Miami Dolphins.
4. Cincinnati Bengals- Dwight Freeney
The Bengals aren't worried about Freeney's age and decided to take him to fulfill their need at defensive end.
Freeney has had seven seasons of 10 sacks or more, including 2010 which was his third straight. He also forced five fumbles to show that he is will continue to be a factor well after his 30th birthday.
5. Arizona Cardinals- Philip Rivers
Rivers is one of the best combinations of age and talent, despite his lack of playoff success.
He seems to be consistently going over 4,000 yards a season and on his career he has 136 touchdowns to 58 interceptions.
6. Cleveland Browns- Andre Johnson
The Browns' quarterbacks need someone to throw to.
Johnson is the league's best receiver. He has had at least eight touchdowns in the last four season, and in the last two seasons he played all his games he went over 1,500 yards receiving.
7. San Francisco 49ers- Tom Brady
Somehow Brady slips to No. 7. Were his past injuries a concern?
Tom Brady may be 33, but he has seemingly gotten better as he has gotten older.
Brady has won three Super Bowls and been named Super Bowl MVP twice.
A healthy Brady has been good for nearly 4,000 yards and a ton of touchdowns compared with few interception. His 36 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 2010 will likely net him his second MVP award.
8. Tennessee Titans- Chris Johnson
The Titans decide to hold onto their star running back with their pick.
Johnson is just 25 and has already posted three consecutive 1,000 yard rushing campaigns in a row.
In his sophomore campaign he went over 2,000 yards. The guy is a stud athlete.
9. Dallas Cowboys- Joe Thomas
First of all, look at that incredible vertical for an offensive tackle.
The Cowboys' offensive line needs major work, and Joe Thomas would provide a key piece to improving.
He is just 26-years-old and has yet to miss a game in his NFL career.
10. Washington Redskins- Peyton Manning
The Redskins are shocked that no one took Manning yet.
But that's what happens when you're 34 and have one of the worst seasons of your career.
Manning's yards per attempt dropped under seven yards for the first time since his rookie campaign and his 17 interceptions were the most since the 2002 season.
11. Houston Texans- Troy Polamalu
The Texans need a strong safety badly. Actually they need an entire secondary.
Polamalu would be a key piece to improvement.
In 2010 he recorded seven interceptions which matched his career best from 2008.
He also has averaged over 60 tackles a year when healthy since his rookie campaign.
12. Minnesota Vikings- Adrian Peterson
The Vikings decide to protect their best player, Adrian Peterson.
Peterson has been an elite running back ever since he entered the NFL.
Last year he fell just two yards short of 1,300 yards, a mark he had previously eclipsed in every one of his NFL seasons.
13. Detroit Lions- Matthew Stafford
The Lions have a tough decision to make.
Matthew Stafford or Ndamukong Suh?
They go with their quarterback who has shown flashes of brilliance and leave Suh on the table.
14. St. Louis Rams- Sam Bradford
Bradford almost took the Rams to the playoffs in his rookie campaign.
He has at least 10 good years left in the league and they decide to make sure they get to keep him.
15. Miami Dolphins- Michael Vick
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross decides he is into second chances and wants Vick.
Vick may be 30, but due to his "time off," which many teams avoided him for, his body hasn't taken the beating of the usual 30-year-old quarterback.
In 2010 Vick made himself a MVP candidate by throwing for over 3,000 yards, 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He also rushed for 676 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Dolphins need a passing game and a run game. Vick provides both.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars- Vernon Davis
The Jaguars need a great tight end to help their offense.
Davis provides a tight end who can block, and is also great in the receiving game.
In the last two seasons he has gone over 900 yards both times and has a combined 20 touchdowns.
17. New England- Aaron Rodgers
The Patriots have a need at quarterback after losing Tom Brady.
Aaron Rodgers has been snubbed yet again up until this point, but the Patriots quickly correct that.
Rodgers just narrowly missed his third consecutive season of 4,000-plus passing yards in 2010.
At 27, Rodgers has plenty of good years ahead of him and his career touchdown total is 86 compared to just 32 interceptions. He will likely lead the Patriots to some more Super Bowls.
18. San Diego Chargers- Matt Ryan
The Chargers now need to replace Philip Rivers.
Matt Ryan gives them a young accomplished quarterback. 2010 was Ryan's best year when he threw for 3,705 yards, 28 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
19. New York Giants-Ryan Clady
The Giants decide to risk losing Eli Manning and draft to improve their offensive line.
Many people have ranked Clady as the league's best offensive tackle, and the numbers support it.
Clady only allowed half a sack in his first 20 games in the NFL and holds the record for games to start a career without allowing a sack. Clady is also young at 24-years-old.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Justin Tuck
The Buccaneers have a lot of needs, one of them is defensive end.
Tuck is only 27, and is one of the best at getting sacks.
In three of the last four seasons he has recorded 10 or more sacks, and he has recorded at least 59 tackles in the last four seasons. He also has played in every game since the 2006 season.
21. Kansas City Chiefs- Ndamukong Suh
The Chiefs need a defensive tackle and Suh is already one of the league's best after just one season.
In his rookie campaign he recorded ten sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and a touchdown. He also missed an extra point off the upright, but that isn't really relevant unless they're looking for a backup kicker.
This move is particularly appealing to the Chiefs because of Suh's built in fan base from nearby Nebraska.
22. Indianapolis Colts- Joe Flacco
The Colts have to take a replacement for Manning.
They decide on Flacco because he's young but has playoff experience. Flacco hasn't missed a game in his NFL career and has thrown for over 3,600 yards the last two seasons while having a great touchdown to interception ratio.
23. Philadelphia Eagles- Darrelle Revis
The Eagles have few weaknesses, but they could use another corner to complement Asante Samuel.
Revis could do just that.
Revis is one of the few shutdown corners in the league and would help any team he joined.
The Eagles are lucky to have Kevin Kolb as they don't need to replace Vick.
24. New Orleans Saints- Ben Roethlisberger
The Saints have a lot of problems on defense, but they need to replace Drew Brees.
While other teams passed on Ben Roethlisberger for his transgressions, the Chargers see an opportunity here.
25. Seattle Seahawks- Matt Schaub
For being a playoff team the Seahawks have a lot of room for improvement.
Yeah, Charlie Whitehurst looked good against the Rams, but it was the Rams. Matt Hasselbeck needs a solid replacement.
They draft Schaub who has thrown for more than 4,000 yards for two seasons in a row and has thrown 26 more touchdowns than interception in those two seasons.
26. Green Bay Packers- DeMarcus Ware
The Packers decide to give Matt Flynn a chance to be their starting quarterback and take Ware.
Ware will fit well as an outside linebacker in the Packers 3-4 defense.
in 2010 he recorded an incredible 15.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a touchdown.
27. Chicago Bears- Roddy White
The Chicago Bears need a stud wide receiver.
Roddy White would give them a young guy who has had four straight seasons of 1,000-plus receiving yards in a row.
In 2010 he had 115 receptions for 1,389 yards and 10 touchdowns.
28. New York Jets- Julius Peppers
Shaun Ellis needs to be replaced.
Julius Peppers would be the perfect replacement as he has had seven or more sacks in all but one of his NFL seasons.
Last season he totaled eight sacks and two interceptions.
29. Baltimore Ravens- Tony Romo
Tony Romo is the best option left.
Romo should have a few good seasons left in him after returning from injury in 2010.
They need a replacement for Flacco and they get a decent quarterback here.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers- Kyle Orton
Pittsburgh sees their quarterback leave them just picks away from saving him.
They take Kyle Orton to replace him.
Orton has looked good ever since being traded to the Broncos where he has had consecutive 20 touchdowns seasons while only throwing for a combined 20 interceptions.
31. Atlanta Falcons- Eli Manning
The Falcons need a replacement for Ryan and decide to take Eli Manning.
Manning threw 25 interceptions in 2010, but the Falcons hope that was just a bump in the road for him.
He did win a Super Bowl after all.
32. New England Patriots- Cameron Wake
The Patriots could use an outside linebacker.
This pick hurts their division rival the Dolphins and gets them a guy who had 14 sacks in 2010.
Players Who Got Snubbed
Like I said, this piece got impossibly harder as it went on.
Guys I thought for sure I'd find a place for ended up not fitting into the first round. This was mainly because more quarterbacks got taken than I anticipated because of teams replacing their quarterbacks.
Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, Jamaal Charles, Mario Williams, D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Arian Foster were among the guys left on my prospective list of first rounders who ended up not getting taken.
In some cases in came down to the flip of a coin, like in the Roddy White vs. Fitzgerald decision. Other times I just felt one player was better than another, which is why Williams and Ferguson weren't taken.
In any case I hope you enjoyed. I'm sure many of you will disagree with certain choices, but obviously so do a lot of general managers for football teams.