So you remember how when you’re a kid and your mom always said things like “just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you have to do it” and “if Johnny jumped off a bridge, would you?” Well, that’s kind of how I feel about mock drafts. Everyone is doing them. So I don’t really have to. But I think I kind of want to. And so, after looking over a bunch of other mock drafts and my own notes and observations, I have compiled my…
***UPDATE: I should make it clear that many of us think/want the Fins to trade their 15th draft pick, but for the purposes of this mock draft, I just left all of the teams in the positions that they are currently slotted.***
2011 Mock Draft 1.0
#1) Carolina: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri: I’m not a big Gabbert fan but I think that the new regime in Carolina wants to take a QB and I think they think that Gabbert is safer than Newton. Make sense?
#2) Denver: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama: A perfect fit in John Fox’s 4-3 defense and a guy that will help solidify their d-line.
#3) Buffalo: AJ Green, WR, Georgia: Everyone assumes the Bills will go with a QB here, but I think that Chan Gailey is somewhat comfortable with Ryan Fitzpatrick and will look to get him a big-time weapon on the outside.
#4) Cincinnati: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn: With Carson Palmer threatening to retire if he isn’t traded and his little (and far less talented) brother sitting as their back-up plan, the Bengals have to take a QB. Plus Newton will excite a tough-to-excite fan base.
#5) Arizona: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU: With Gabbert and Newton both gone, the Cards go with the best player on the board.
#6) Cleveland: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina: Despite missing the entire 2010 season, Quinn is a great anchor for the new 4-3 defense in the CLE.
#7) San Francisco: Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M: Some say he’s undersized, but I think Miller is an absolute stud linebacker. A team with many, many needs may be able to pick up the leader of their defense for years to come.
#8) Tennessee: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn: A guy that’s seen his draft stock go down considerably in recent weeks, Fairley gets his at #8.
#9) Dallas: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska: A major weakness for the Cowboys and a major talent available–go for it, Jerry.
#10) Washington: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: Well, well, well. With everyone thinking Ingram will end up in Miami, how about Mike Shanahan looking to the former Heisman Trophy winner? Worth a shot…
#11) Houston: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri: The second of like 40 defensive ends to be taken in this round, Smith will team up with Mario Williams and try and slow down opposing passing games–something they did not do last year.
#12) Minnesota: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson: With poor workout numbers and injury concerns surrounding him, the guy some people thought would be the #1 overall pick falls all the way to 12 and will team up with Jared Allen to reinvigorate the Vikings defense.
#13) Detroit: Tyron Smith, OT, USC: With things really starting to come together in Detroit, time to try and keep Matthew Stafford’s jersey a little cleaner. Smith should be able to help do that.
#14) St. Louis: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama: After a superlative rookie season last year, QB Sam Bradford gets his first real toy, Combine freak Julio Jones.
#15) DOLPHINS: Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland: I’m thinking this guy is the vertical speed threat that will open things up on offense for Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess and also the guy that can add a spark to the Fins’ return game.
#16) Jacksonville: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue: Jack Del Rio. Stud defensive lineman. Sure, makes sense.
#17) New England: JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin: The Pats have to be looking for help on “D” after finishing 25th in total defense last year.
#18) San Diego: Cameron Jordan, DE, Cal: Noticing a pattern? I say we call 2011 the year of the defensive end.
#19) NY Giants: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College: About as logical a fit as I’ve ever seen. Big offensive lineman from Boston College + Tom Coughlin + Giants having issues on the OL last year = no brainer.
#20) Tampa Bay: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa: The Bucs had a tough time getting to the passer last year and with DT looking good, they can make their front line even more stout with one of the many solid defensive ends in this year’s draft.
#21) Kansas City: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi St.: The Bulldogs love to run and so do the Chiefs. Seems like a good fit.
#22) Indianapolis: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado: Caren in our live chat will be happy about this one. The knock on Solder is that he’s a much better pass protecter than run blocker. Perfect for Peyton and friends.
#23) Philadelphia: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado: A nice fit on a team with major issues at CB.
#24) New Orleans: Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA: A borderline first round pick, Ayers ends up with Gregg Williams in New Orleans–a coordinator who recognizes his ability and knows how to use it.
#25) Seattle: Jake Locker, QB, Washington: This is a reach pick for Pete Carroll, who is looking to groom his QB of the future. I think he keeps it local and takes Locker about 24 spots lower than he would have gone in 2010.
#26) Baltimore: Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame: I had trouble figuring out what Baltimore would do, but with things looking pretty good at WR, perhaps they want to bring in the guy who will eventually take over for the aging Todd Heap.
#27) Atlanta: Titus Young, WR, Boise St.: I’ve seen Young go as high as the top 15 in some mock drafts and as low as the third round. I think the Falcons take a shot on him and that he adds yet another deep threat for Matt Ryan.
#28) New England: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami: The Canes are back in the first round as the Pats use their second pick of the round to help their secondary.
#29) Chicago: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin: Big offensive lineman from the Big 10 ending up in Chicago? Sounds good to me.
#30) NY Jets: Justin Houston, DE, Georgia: Projected to be an outside linebacker in Rex’s 3-4 defense, Houston is a good pass rusher who will be unleashed in this scheme.
#31) Pittsburgh: Mike Pouncey, OL, Florida: The Steelers and their ailing offensive line try and re-create Urban Meyer magic by bringing Mike in to play next to his brother Maurkice. Cute, right?
#32) Green Bay: Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois: The defending champs take a hard-nosed LB that can play in multiple places, something coordinator Dom Capers loves.
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