NFL Mock Draft 2011 – here is KB’s mock draft of the first round for the 2011 NFL Draft.
NFL Mock Draft 2011 Round 1
1. CAROLINA PANTHERS – CAM NEWTON QB – AUBURN
The Panthers have numerous needs but QB is a HUGE one. In 10 starts, rookie Jimmy Clausen only threw 3 TD’s and led the Panthers to an NFL low 12.2 pts per game. Now even though I thoroughly believe that LSU CB Patrick Peterson is THE BEST PLAYER in this year’s draft, a shutdown corner won’t bring that explosion to your offense that Carolina NEEDS.
2. DENVER BRONCOS – MARCELL DAREUS DT – ALABAMA
Dareus could go #1 overall if Carolina didn’t have such a big need for QB. Denver gets an instant starter in Dareus for new coach John Fox’s 4-3 defense. Denver also has two early 2nd Rd picks, don’t be surprised if Denver takes a DE or DL with their next pick as well.
3. BUFFALO BILLS – PATRICK PETERSON CB – LSU
A lot of experts have Von Miller going here, which makes sense, but Patrick Peterson or as I call him Nnamdi “Primetime” Revis is TOO GOOD to pass up. Peterson has all the makings of a premiere CB at the next level. With Great speed, fluid hips, great feet, return ability, ball awareness, and physicality, Peterson is a STEAL for any team outside of the top 5 but I don’t see him getting past the Bills. I mean, if you played Tom Brady twice a year wouldn’t you want a shutdown corner to help the cause?
4. CINCINNATI BENGALS – BLAINE GABBERT QB – MISSOURI
With Carson Palmer adamant about never taking another snap as a Bengal, Cinci has to find a replacement even though they say a trade for Carson is out of the question. And let’s face it the “OTHER” Palmer is far from a QB answer.
5. ARIZONA CARDINALS – VON MILLER OLB – TEXAS A&M
Since Kurt Warner’s departure, the AZ offense has struggled. However, I don’t think AZ believes that Newton or Gabbert is the answer they need, I think they go veteran via free agency (Kevin Kolb). Von Miller is an instant contributor in AZ’s 3-4 defense, adding that pass rush off the edge that the aging vets can’t provide.
6. CLEVELAND BROWNS – A.J. GREEN WR – GEORGIA
Even though a pass rushing DE is a definite need for the Browns, you just can’t pass up a talent like A.J. Green. Another instant contributor and playmaker, Green is the #1 WR in this draft, and also provides a weapon for young McCoy.
7. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – ROBERT QUINN DE – NORTH CAR.
There are glaring needs for a QB and DB’s but to be fair, SF’s DB’s were left hanging by a lackluster edge pass rush. Manny Lawson has been nothing short of average and adding (6’5 264 lb) Quinn, who ran a 4.58 40 yd dash at his pro day, will only BOOST this defenses pass pressure.
8. TENNESSEE TITANS – NICK FAIRLEY DT – AUBURN
Named MVP of the National Title game against Oregon, Fairley has been called “Unblockable”. The Titans haven’t had that disruptive force in the middle since Haynesworth (pre $100 million). A Boom or Bust prospect, I think Tennessee takes this risk.
9. DALLAS COWBOYS – PRINCE AMUKAMARA CB – NEBRASKA
Have you seen the Cowboys pass defense? Prince is an instant contributor, even if he is moved to FS, he will give Dallas a much needed upgrade in the secondary. A good pass rushing DE or OT are also good options for the Cowboys at pick 9. Lets be honest, NOBODY knows what Jerry Jones will do come draft day.
10. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – JULIO JONES WR – ALABAMA
Even though the QB situation in Washington is probably the worst in the conference, the Redskins can’t pass on a threat like Julio Jones. Jones 6’4 220lbs ran a 4.39 40 yd dash and had a 38.5 vert. jump making an argument for #1 WR in the draft. Redskins get a quality pick with a big play WR like Jones at #10. In virtually every NFL mock draft for 2011, A.J. Green and Julio Jones are the first wide receivers to be taken off the board.
11. HOUSTON TEXANS – DA’QUAN BOWERS DE – CLEMSON
Formerly slated as a #1 draft pick (until injury concerns) Bowers brings the combination of power and speed pass rushing that the Texans have been looking for opposite former #1 pick Mario Williams. Bowers will fit in well with new Def Coor. Wade Phillips’, defense. Peyton Manning, watch out.
12. MINNESOTA VIKINGS – CAMERON JORDAN DE – CALIFORNIA
One of MANY NEEDS (QB, OL, S, WR) for the Vikes’ is on the DL. Since the 2 top QB’s are gone, Minn. addresses the fact that Pat Williams and Ray Edwards are leaving glaring holes on the d-line. Using the “Best player available” draft method Cam Jordan fits a need and also is a good enough player to play inside and outside techniques.
13. DETROIT LIONS – TYRON SMITH OT – SOUTHERN CAL
The Lions had THE BEST pick in the draft last year and not because he was Detroit’s top pick. Ndamukong Suh has Hall of Fame written all over him. Now its time to build the defense behind him, However, there are no Lb’s or Db’s that hold a top 15 grade so the Lions address O-Line needs to protect a somewhat fragile QB in Stafford. Tyron Smith is currently the top rated OT.
14. ST.LOUIS RAMS – ALDON SMITH DE – MISSOURI
Many mocks had Julio Jones going at this spot UNTIL his combine performance which boosted him up draft boards. After Jones and Green come off the board, WR’s drop off into the early 2nd rd, so St. Louis addresses the next big need; a DE/OLB to get after opposing QBs. With a pretty good offense already in tact behind Bradford and S. Jackson, Aldon Smith brings the Rams good athletic edge rusher to chase down the top spot in the conference.
15. MIAMI DOLPHINS – MIKE POUNCEY C/G – FLORIDA
The first thought after seeing the so-called run game last year would be to get a RB, but I don’t see the top RB prospect Mark Ingram worthy of this spot. Besides the RB class in this years draft is actually deeper then most think. Even though Miami doesn’t own a 2nd Rd pick, RB’s like Demarco Murray from Oklahoma or Shane Vereen from California will be around in the 3rd. Mike Pouncey helped bulldozer opponents for an explosive offense in 2008 that led to an undefeated season and National Championship at Florida. Pouncey is a 2-time All-SEC first teamer that will definitely help boost an average offense.
16. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – RYAN KERRIGAN DE – PURDUE
The Jags take Kerrigan to add to that young and rising defense. He fits the “TWEENER” definition to the T. He can play standing up or with his hand in the dirt. A good pass rusher with a motor, Kerrigan plays with a reckless abandon and is able to provide pressure on QBs whether it be by bull rush or finesse move. The 2010 Big Ten Defensive Player of Year will be in Jacksonville’s defensive rotation early and often.
17. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – AKEEM AYERS OLB – UCLA
The rich get richer. The Patriots acquired this pick from the Raiders leaving Oak without a first rd pick. Way to go Al. Anyways, after Von Miller, Akeem Ayers from UCLA is the next best OLB option, which NE needs. We all know that Bill Belichick has always liked defensive players with experience rushing the passer with their hand on the ground and an ability to play in coverage and Ayers is the best option at this pick.
18. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – J.J. WATT DE – WISCONSIN
San Diego needs a good five-technique DE to contribute to the run defense. Watt brings a “Blue Collar” “Lunch Pail” swag to the defense and is known for his work ethic. Along with that work ethic and toughness is also the athleticism as Watt ran a 4.76 40 yd dash and finished top 5 in every DL test at the combine. The Chargers get a FOOTBALL PLAYER in Watt.
19. NEW YORK GIANTS – ANTHONY CASTONZO OL – BC
The Giants go OL with their 1st rd pick. Anthony Castonzo (6-7 311lbs) adds youth and starter ability to an aging offensive line. With good young receivers in Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham, Eli just needs time to get the ball to them. Castonzo helps that cause.
20. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – ADRIAN CLAYBORN DE – IOWA
Tampa Bay had one the best quality drafts last year, getting 52 starts from the teams’ rookies combined. One need that the Bucs have is a good pass rushing DE. Despite suffering from Erbs Palsy in his upper arm, Clayborn finished his Iowa career as an All-Amercian and All-Big Ten selection with 30 consecutive starts, 192 total tackles and 19 sacks. As a strong pass rusher off the corner with good closing speed, the Bucs get the DE they’ve been looking for.
21. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – PHIL TAYLOR DL – BAYLOR
Taylor is a big strong two-gap player who moves well for his size (6-3 334lbs). When he keeps his pad level down he is a disruptive force in the middle. Kansas City gets the anchor for their defense at pick #21.
22. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – NATE SOLDER OT – COLORADO
Two words…. PROTECT MANNING! All-American Nate Solder is the prototype left tackle, at 6’9 315 lbs, he can be a premier tackle for the Colts. They also may be looking for an heir to an aging Jeff Saturday at center, but I don’t see a center worthy of the 22nd pick. I think Indy is sold on SOLDer.
23. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES- JIMMY SMITH CB-COLORADO
A big, fast, strong, skilled cornerback with an attitude. That’s Jimmy Smith in a nutshell. The Eagles revamped offense needs to be matched by their defense and a big hole is a CB opposite Asante Samuel in the secondary. Jimmy Smith has all the tools to be a premier corner at the next level. Maybe with some mentoring by Mike Vick, Smith can live up to his potential. If Smith doesn’t go to Philly at this spot, look for the Baltimore Ravens to pull the trigger on the Colorado CB at 26.
24. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – JUSTIN HOUSTON OLB – GEORGIA
LB is the biggest need for the Saints in this draft, I would also go DT but the signing of Shaun Rogers from Cleveland filled that void for now. Houston is a converted DE to OLB with a good upfield burst off the ball that also plays decently in space. He can come in and replace Danny Clark or Scott Shanle instantly. Houston is a good injection of talented youth in this defense.
25. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – GABE CARIMI OL – WISCONSIN
The QB situation in Seattle is suspect but a “Franchise” QB is not available here. With Russell Okung being drafted last year, look for the Seahawks to add another top OL prospect to boost the offense. Carimi was First-Team All-Big ten and The Outland Trophy winner has faced Adrian Clayborn (Missouri), Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue) and Cameron Heyward (Ohio State) – pass rushers who are all projected as potential first-round picks this year by many analysts. He also went against teammate J.J. Watt, another first round talent, in practice on a daily basis. That’s a resume.
26. BALTIMORE RAVENS – BROOKS REED OLB/DE-ARIZONA
With the top CBs and WRs off the board, The Ravens address another need, a pass rusher to play opposite Terrell Suggs. Last years pass rushing rookie Sergio Kindle is still a toss up whether he’ll play or not, suffering a fractured skull before he could ever take his first NFL snap, so a pass rusher is definitely a need. Brooks Reed is compared to pass-rushing phenom Clay Matthews, and not just because of the long blonde hair or Pac-10 (12) ties. Reed also possesses ridiculous first step quickness and upfield explosion off the line that allows him to cause chaos in the opposing backfield. The first Team All-Pac 10 selection had a great showing at the senior bowl and NFL combine (ran a 4.65 40, top 10 for all LBs and a 1.54 10yd split, fastest of all DEs) moving him from a 2nd rd projection to a 1st rd selection. When you play QBs like Ben Rothliswhatever twice a year, pressure is a must and T-Sizzle can’t do it alone. The Ravens bring down “Big” Ben more often, they win that rivalry… they win that rivalry, they are in the SUPERBOWL. Called it.
27. ATLANTA FALCONS – MUHAMMAD WILKERSON DE – TEMPLE
The Falcons get a good DE to play opposite John Abraham and eventually take his spot once he is done. As a first-team All-MAC pick in 2010 (70 tackles, 13 TFL, 9.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles) Wilkerson is a big, strong, athletic DE who can come in and be an instant player for the Falcons.
28. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – MARVIN AUSTIN DL – UNC
Even though Austin was suspended for the 2010 season, he still warrants a first round grade. Austin impressed scouts at the East/West Shrine Game and NFL combine. A big man that can move, Austin (6’3 305 lbs) ran a 4.8 40 and vertical jumped over 30 inches. The Patriots need another big man to anchor the DL, and Austin is it.
29. CHICAGO BEARS – DEREK SHERROD OL – MISS. STATE
The Bears gave up a league-leading 56 sacks last season, what else would you draft? Sherrod started at left tackle for Miss. State for 3 seasons. Sherrod has very good athleticism to go with prototypical size and the wingspan. He runs well, and redirects to get to defenders in the second level. His experience (50 games) and ability allow him to be able to play immediately at the NFL level. Keep Cutler on his feet and the Bears make the post season again.
30. NEW YORK JETS – RAHIM MOORE S – UCLA
Without a 2nd rd pick the Jets reach at the 30th pick. With all the injuries to the safeties last year, New York takes the best safety in shallow safety draft. Moore has all the tools to turn into a ball hawking centerfielder in the NFL, especially under the tutelage of defensive guru Rex Ryan.
31. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – DANNY WATKINS OL – BAYLOR
Pittsburgh still made it to the superbowl with a depleted offensive line, but you have to think they look to add some quality depth here.
32. GREEN BAY PACKERS – AARON WILLIAMS CB-TEXAS
Charles Woodson will be 35 next year and coming off of a broken collarbone. Williams is a big physical corner that’s gives a Green Bay team, with no glaring holes, depth at CB in case Woodson doesn’t come back playing like the defensive player of the year. They can also look for a pass rusher opposite Clay “Bloodline” Matthews, but first round is a stretch given that the best pass rushers are off the board.