2011 NFL Mock Draft: My Top 10 Picks of the Draft
This is the day most of us have been waiting for: the 2011 NFL draft. Players will be picked and I am here to predict those picks.
I am not Mel Kiper or Todd McShay, but I do like to think I have a very high football IQ.
Let's get started with the No. 1 pick, shall we?
With the 1st Overall Pick the Carolina Panthers Select...
Cam Newton, quarterback out of Auburn University.
I hate the fact that the Panthers will be choosing another quarterback after one year with their second-round pick.
Yes, Jimmy Clausen struggled, but what rookie thrown into the worst situation possible doesn't?
I think the Carolina Panthers are mistakenly convinced that Clausen is not the answer and will draft Newton.
If Newton was drafted later in the first round to a team that will give him the time to develop instead of throwing him into the fire early, then Newton would be a great pick. But the fact is that Newton will be the first player selected and put on a team that desperately needs receiver and O-line help.
I think that the Panthers will fall in love with Newton's upside and take him.
Trade Alert: The Denver Broncos Have Traded Their Pick to the Cleveland Browns
BOOM! I know nobody saw that coming!
I predict that the first trade of the night will be the Broncos swapping picks with Browns.
With the 2nd Overall Pick the Cleveland Browns Select...
A.J. Green, wide receiver out of the University of Georgia.
He is the best wideout in the draft and that is arguably the biggest need for the Browns.
Colt McCoy stepped in last season and played well, but he only had one real target and that was his tight end, Benjamin Watson.
They could settle for Julio Jones, but I think the durability issues are going to scare them too much, and Green might go to the Bengals if they wait too long.
With the 3rd Overall Pick the Bills Select...
Nick Fairley, defensive tackle out of Auburn University.
There is no question that the Bills need help on the defensive end of the ball. From what I've seen from the Buffalo Bills so far, I think it will be a tough choice between Marcell Dareus and Fairley and I think that they will take the one they think has the most potential.
The problem people might have with Fairley is questions of his work ethic; if he can fix that, then this would be a great pick.
With the 4th Overall Pick the Cincinatti Bengals Select...
Julio Jones, out of the University of Alabama.
The Bengals are trying to get younger at the wide receiver position and since Green is gone, the Bengals would have to go with Julio Jones.
I am worried about the durability of Jones. But if he stays healthy, he can be ridiculously good. He sort of reminds me of Larry Fitzgerald, and for some of you who don't know, Larry Fitzgerald is a pretty good wide receiver.
If the Bengals aren't scared of arrest records, I seriously doubt that the Bengals would be scared of a injury histories.
With the 5th Overall Pick the Arizona Cardinals Select...
Tyron Smith, offensive tackle out of the University of Southern California.
It would make sense to draft Blaine Gabbert, but drafting an offensive tackle isn't such a bad idea for the Cardinals.
From what I've seen, they are going to need some extra protection for whoever plays quarterback and believe it or not, I think it makes more sense to get somebody to protect your quarterback than to get your quarterback.
With the 6th Overall Pick the Denver Broncos Select...
Marcell Dareus, defensive tackle out of the University of Alabama.
OK, I'll just say that I am not 100 percent sure that these guys will be picked this way and in this order, but if the Broncos are able to get Dareus with this pick, then John Elway should temporarily get the label as a draft expert.
The Broncos need some major help on the defensive line and Dareus would be a perfect fit for the Broncos. Dareus has a high motor and he can probably contribute right away.
With the 7th Overall Pick the San Francisco 49ers Select...
Patrick Peterson, defensive back out of LSU.
Peterson might just be the best overall athlete in the NFL draft. He has hands of a Pro Bowl wideout and can immediately be one of the best kickoff returners in the NFL.
He has drawn many comparisons to Deion Sanders (who was also a 49er) and if you look at the tape, you might agree.
The 49ers will need a lockdown corner, and Peterson is that and more.
Trade Alert: The Tennessee Titans Trade Their Pick to the New England Patriots
You had to figure that Belichick was going to do something with his draft picks.
I think that he will package his two first-round picks and trade into the top 10.
With the 8th Overall Pick the New England Patriots Select...
Blaine Gabbert, quarterback out of the University of Missouri.
The Patriots are going to have to prepare for Tom Brady sometime or another; might as well do it now. Gabbert is smart, mobile, has a way better arm than some give him credit for and he is accurate.
Does Gabbert need some work? Yes, but what rookie doesn't?
With Belichick as his coach and Tom Brady as his mentor, this might be a great pick for the Patriots, and I mean all-time great.
With the 9th Overall Pick the Dallas Cowboys Select...
Prince Amukamara, defensive back out of the University of Nebraska.
The Cowboys are going to be looking for some help in the defensive backfield and Amukamara could be a good fit for the Cowboys.
To say Amukamara was a product of the system and talent around him is ridiculous; you can say the same thing about everybody in the draft and currently playing in the NFL.
To succeed in the NFL, you need to be in the right system and have the right amount of talent around you.
With the 10th Overall Pick in the Draft the Washington Redskins Select...
Jake Locker, quarterback out of the University of Washington.
Jake Locker would have been the No. 1 pick in the draft last year, but he stayed in school and dropped nine spots.
I wouldn't know what to make of this pick. If the Redskins do the smart thing and sit him for a year or two, then this would be a great pick. But if they throw him into the fire, he could be a bust.
Jake Locker is a Mike Shanahan-like quarterback and if Shanahan's history of quarterbacks (not named Donovan McNabb) prove anything, then Jake Locker will be an excellent quarterback.