April 28, 2011

Final 2011 NFL Mock Draft: With Projected Trades

2011 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1
(April 28, 2011)

Updated a few hours prior to the 2011 NFL Draft.

Listed below are team-by-team picks with analysis for each.

1. Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn

Ht: 6-5 Wt: 248 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: With the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select... Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn. For weeks we have heard that the Panthers are leaning towards Cam Newton. It is time to rebuild, and General Manager Marty Hurney has had nothing but praise for the Auburn quarterback. The talent and upside are there, but Newton will have to sit out at least one year before he can make an impact.

2. Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

Ht: 6-3 Wt: 246 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: Hopefully, the Broncos come to their senses and take Marcell Dareus, but consensus is that Miller is their guy.

3. Marcell Dareus, DL, Alabama

Ht: 6-3 Wt: 319 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Buffalo will take either Dareus or Miller, no problem.

4. A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

Ht: 6-4 Wt: 211 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: The Bengals will not take Blaine Gabbert here. Instead, they will draft A.J. Green, an elite wide receiver prospect that would replace Chad Ochocinco. Then they will target Andy Dalton in the second, or trade back into the first round to get him.

5. Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 219 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: N/A

6. Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

Ht: 6-3 Wt: 220 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Robert Quinn is falling in terms of his draft stock right now, but Julio Jones may make more sense anyway. He has drawn comparisons to Terrell Owens, and Colt McCoy needs a number one go to guy.

7. Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

Ht: 6-4 Wt: 234 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: I'm sure the 49ers would like to take one of the second tier quarterbacks in round two, but they are sure to be off the board by the time they pick. In this case, they have to pull the trigger on Blaine Gabbert.

8. Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

Ht: 6-4 Wt: 297 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Nick Fairley is the most dominant defensive lineman in the draft, and would fill a need for the Titans. If they don't (or can't) trade back and draft a quarterback, they can upgrade the interior of their defensive line.

9. Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina

Ht: 6-4 Wt: 263 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: N/A

10. Cameron Jordan, DE, California

Ht: 6-4 Wt: 286 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: New England is trying to trade up for Cameron Jordan, a scheme versatile defenser who would finally replace Richard Seymour.

11. Aldon Smith, DE/OLB, Missouri

Ht: 6-4 Wt: 263 lbs. | Class: Sophomore

Analysis: Aldon Smith will be the guy if he is available. He should easily make the transition to 3-4 outside linebacker, and he is the most talented pass rusher in this draft.

12. Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

Ht: 6-0 Wt: 206 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: The Vikings should take the best player on the board, Prince Amukamara.

13. Tyron Smith, OT, USC

Ht: 6-5 Wt: 310 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Tyron Smith is the most talented tackle prospect in the draft. The Lions must protect Matthew Stafford if they want to compete. Anthony Castonzo is a more complete tackle as of now, but Smith's upside is just too much to pass on.

14. Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 298 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: The Rams like Corey Liuget a lot, and defensive tackle is their biggest need. Put the two together.

15. Mike Pouncey, OG/C, Florida

Ht: 6-5 Wt: 303 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: The Steelers are trying hard to get Mike Pouncey to team with his brother.

16. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

Ht: 6-4 Wt: 267 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: Aaron Kampman is the only true pass rusher on the roster, but he is coming off of a torn ACL. Ryan Kerrigan is the ideal prospect for Jacksonville, and would fill their need for a pass rushing end. He reminds me of the Rams' Chris Long.

17. Jake Locker, QB, Washington

Ht: 6-3 Wt: 227 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: Trading down for Jake Locker is the ideal situation for Washington.

18. J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

Ht: 6-5 Wt: 290 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: No-brainer pick. Watt is arguably the best five technique in the draft.

19. Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

Ht: 6-7 Wt: 311 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: Mike Pouncey will be considered if he is available. Since he's not, they can take Anthony Castonzo as the franchise left tackle. Castonzo is the most experienced and the most consistent tackles on the board, and with Tom Coughlin's ties wit Boston College, Castonzo could be a popular pick.

20. Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

Ht: 6-3 Wt: 276 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Da'Quan Bowers was once considered the number one overall pick. Now, he could fall out of the first round. Tampa Bay probably won't pass on him if his knee checks out well. He has the talent, and would help bolster up a defensive line with an interior wall consisting of Gerald McCoy and Brian Price.

21. Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

Ht: 6-8 Wt: 307 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: Tamba Hali is the only true pass rusher the Chiefs have coming off the edge. Therefore, adding a pass rusher opposite of him would be logical. Akeem Ayers is back in the mid first round mix, and is the top linebacker available. An offensive tackle should strongly be considered, but they may not be able to get a pass rushing linebacker later in the draft.

22. Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

Ht: 6-7 Wt: 314 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: Protect Peyton Manning, that is the Colts' number one priority. Forget all of the buzz about them taking a quarterback in round one, it won't happen. Gabe Carimi is being labeled as a right tackle only, but I believe he is capable of protecting Manning's blindside if necessary.

23. Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 211 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: The Eagles will consider trading up for Patrick Peterson of Prince Amukamara. If they stay at pick 23, Jimmy Smith will be their guy. Andy Reid has taken a chance on players with "character concerns" and "red flags" before. Plus Smith is not far behind the top two corners in terms of talent. He and Asante Samuel could form a solid corner tandem.

24. Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

Ht: 6-4 Wt: 315 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: Wilkerson is a tackle in a 4-3 scheme, a position of need for the Saints.

25. Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 309 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: At some point, the Seahawks will have to find a quarterback to compete against Charlie Whitehurst for the starting job. For now, they can look to replace Brandon Membane and draft Marvin Austin. Austin has seen his stock rise as of late, and he could come of the board here.

26. Cameron Heyward, DE, OhioState

Ht: 6-5 Wt: 294 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: Heyward is the ideal five technique, and the Ravens may not pass on him.

27. Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona

Ht: 6-3 Wt: 263 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: There is a lot of buzz surrounding the Falcons in terms of trading up. Assuming they stay put, this pick will be spent on defense again.

28. Andy Dalton, QB, TCU

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 213 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: The Bengals may have to trade back into round one to get Mr. Dalton.

29. Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

Ht: 6-6 Wt: 312 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: Protecting Jay Cutler is the top priority, and Derek Sherrod is a player the Bears really like.

30. Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA

Ht: 6-3 Wt: 254 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: In need of a pass rushing linebacker, the Jets could target Akeem Ayers.

31. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

Ht: 5-9 Wt: 215 lbs. | Class: Junior

Analysis: I doubt Ingram falls this far, but Miami should not complain.

32. Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 229 lbs. | Class: Senior

Analysis: Look for the Bills to ensure that they get their guy by trading back into the first round.