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2011 NFL First Round: Carolina is on the Clock (with some Draft Game suggestions)

The First Round of the 2011 NFL Draft is here, so you can put away your mocks, because they will soon be destroyed by pick #4. The Carolina Panthers officially go on the clock at 8:04 p.m. eastern time, with picks with a 10 minute time limit per pick thereafter. We will find out the answer to many questions, like will Cam Newton go first overall or will the Panthers draft someone else, and will the Redskins trade up and trade away more future picks in the process.

Of course, the draft is a social event, and moving it to a primetime event only makes it more so. So here are a couple of options if you are a degenerate and want to turn the next few hours into “the Best Round Ever”.

  • Play “He’s going to be the next . . .” Bingo. Create a cards for everyone in your group using names of Hall of Fame players from the last 30 years and current star players. If an analyst makes a reference that a current draftee is going to be the next somebody on your list, you get to cover that spot and make everyone else drink. If you get Bingo, by the end of the first round, then . . . well, then your group should call a cab.
  • Drink every time someone compares a player to another player based solely on race. So if Cam Newton and JaMarcus Russell are mentioned in the same sentence, or if J.J. Watt draws that Joe Klecko comparison, drink up. Obviously can be used separately or in conjunction with the previous option.
  • Have your own fantasy draft of the 25 attendees at this year’s draft and whenever the camera shows one of them, or they interview one of them, or they run a feature on one of them, or the analysts specifically discuss your player, you drink. I’m not sure I want to get stuck with Mark Herzlich in this game, and Blaine Gabbert has major downside (or depending on your view, upside) potential early on if he is still in the green room past pick #5.
  • Any announcement of a trade commences a social.

Other interesting topics during tonight’s first round:

How many quarterbacks will go during the first round? I don’t think it goes to four unless there are some trade-ups into the latter half of the first round by teams that don’t want to wait until the start of the 2nd, or that want to jump around some teams at the top of the 2nd.

When will the first trade-up occur? The first hot spot that could occur is between picks 8-12, when some guys might slip that teams want, and when the consensus top 5 are probably gone. I could see some teams jumping up for either Julio Jones (if he were to get past Cleveland at #6) or Prince Amukamara, or to get into position to draft a quarterback.

Where will the runs on positions come? Defensive Ends, Offensive Linemen, and Quarterbacks are all positions that could see runs that induce teams to make trades at various points in the first round.

Will a Running Back be drafted in the first round? The most likely candidate is 2010 Heisman Winner Mark Ingram, but there are some that think none will be taken. If that happened, it would be the first draft since 1963 that had no running backs in the first round (the first round had 14 picks in 1963), and every draft since then has had at least two taken in the first round.

[photo via Getty]

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