NFL

2011 NFL Mock Draft, Final Edition

I did a for-fun NFL mock draft in September. Then I did one in January after Auburn beat Oregon. I did a third NFL Mock draft after the Super Bowl when the order was set. My 4th NFL mock draft came after the Combine. Here’s my 5th and final effort. I only got six picks right last year, but I expect to double that this year.

Same strategy as last year: Look at who needs what, read the beat writers, try and see who worked out for whom, attempt to decipher who may be bullshitting and why, mix in some history and hunches and McShay and Kiper, and then read the beat writers some more.

1 Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

2 Denver Broncos
– Marcel Dareus, DL, Alabama

3 Buffalo Bills
– Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M

4 Cincinnati Bengals
– AJ Green, WR, Georgia

5 Arizona Cardinals
– Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU [What the Cards' will do is supposed to be the first real question mark. I don't like Gabbert enough to take him in the Top 10.]

6 Cleveland Browns
– Julio Jones, WR, Alabama [Remember in the earlier mocks when he was being pegged to the Rams to help Sam Bradford? Stock, skyrocketing.]

7 San Francisco 49ers
– Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri [Certainly not what I'd do, but 95% of what I read about the 49ers seems to indicate they're taking him. A big pick to start off the Jim Harbaugh regime.]

8 Tennessee Titans
- Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

9 Dallas Cowboys
– Tyron Smith, OL, USC [I thought for weeks Smith was a smokescreen to protect the DB they really want, but a friend keeps sending me this photo as evidence. My gut still tells me they grab Amukamara.]

10 Washington Redskins
– Cameron Jordan, DE, California [My first true, 'huh?' selection. This pick is purely a hunch, based on these two tweets. They took a DE last year and it worked out. My backup pick here would be Jake Locker.]

11 Houston Texans
– Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska [Yes, I have seen all the Aldon Smith chatter. Not buying it. The worst secondary in the league gets more help from a CB than a DE.]

12 Minnesota Vikings
– Jake Locker, QB, Washington [This is a gut > beat writer picks I'm certain will be wrong. I'd take him here, though.]

13 Detroit Lions
– Anthony Costanzo, OL, Boston College

14 St. Louis Rams
– Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois [Everyone has him going here; I still think they need to protect Bradford more, or at least get him a skill player.]

15 Miami Dolphins
– Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas [Go ahead, laugh. I hope it doesn't happen - I wouldn't want a talent like this going to a Jets' rival.]

16 Jacksonville Jaguars
– Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

17 New England Patriots
– Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina [Everyone has him going higher, and some have even speculated the Patriots trade up for him.]

18 San Diego Chargers
– JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin

19 New York Giants
– Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida [If I were doing alternative picks in each spot, I'd have Alabama's Mark Ingram here.]

20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
– Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri [About 10 spots lower than anyone else has him.]

21 Kansas City Chiefs
– Gabe Carimi, OL, Wisconsin.

22 Indianapolis Colts
– Nate Solder, OL, Colorado

23 Philadelphia Eagles
– Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado [He is said to be Andy's Reid's guy, but if the coach gets overruled, I'd guess they get offensive line help to protect Vick.]

24 New Orleans Saints
– Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor [I'd say one of the only certainties in the draft is that the Saints will go DL but you know how those predictions work ...]

25 Seattle Seahawks
– Derek Sherrod, OL, Mississippi State

26 Baltimore Ravens
– Muhammad Wilkerson, DL, Temple [Everyone's saying if Jimmy Smith is gone, the Ravens will trade the pick, but I think they fortify the DL.]

27 Atlanta Falcons
- Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh. [Before you say I was following SI's Don Banks ... I predicted this pick in February.]

28 New England Patriots
- Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama [The Pats will probably trade this pick or take Danny Watkins, OL, Baylor. But I felt like I had to put at least one RB in the first round.]

29 Chicago Bears – Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina

30 New York Jets
– Akeem Ayers, LB [Gosh I hope they don't take him. He ran slow at the Combine, and at 6-3, 255, I don't think he can be the impact pass rusher they need in the 3-4. But they can't take another OSU DE if Cameron Heyward is around, right? I really hope Wilkerson is available, and I'd even take Baylor's Phil Taylor.]

31 Pittsburgh Steelers -
Aaron Williams, CB, Texas [The secondary needs work. Ike Taylor is so overrated.]

32 Green Bay Packers
– Danny Watkins, OL, Baylor

Breakdown:
4 QBs in the first round (Newton, Gabbert, Locker, Mallett)
11 DL in the first round
7 OL in the first round
3 WR in the first round

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