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Gary Gramling

2011 NFL Mock Draft 28

  • Gridiron Guru
  • Posted by: Gary Gramling
  • April 27, 2011, 11:13 AM


The NFL Draft is just a day away, and so many picks are still up in the air. We know Cam Newton is going Number 1. Or do we? Carolina has said they won't announce their decision until they're on the clock. Here's my best guess at how the first round will play out on Thursday night (although I think there will be a lot of trades)...

1Carolina Panthers
Panthers
CAM NEWTON, QB, Auburn
He might be the most dynamic player to ever come into the NFL. Newton has a lot of risk—he ran a simplified offense at Auburn and won’t be able to run like against NFL defenses like he did in college. But his ability to simply shed would-be tacklers and make plays is absolutely special.
 
2Denver Broncos
Broncos
PATRICK PETERSON, CB, LSU
They could go with run-stuffing defensive tackle Marcell Dareus here, but new team president John Elway knows the NFL is a pass-first league right now. There are few true shutdown corners in the NFL, but with his size and amazing speed and athleticism, Peterson has a chance to be one of them.
 
 
3Buffalo Bills
Bills
VON MILLER, OLB, Texas A&M
The Bills got up close and personal with Miller when their coaching staff worked with him for a week at the Senior Bowl. He’s not only incredibly fast as a pass-rusher coming around the corner, but he has amazing balance and flexibility. That allows him to make moves without having to slow down. He’ll give the Bills D the top-notch pass rusher they’ve needed since Aaron Schobel retired.
 
 
4Cincinnati Bengals
Bengals
A.J. GREEN, WR, Georgia
The Bengals need a quarterback since Carson Palmer swears he won’t play for them again. But I don’t see another QB worthy of a top five pick. I expect them to either wait until the second round, or trade up into the late first-round to get their next signal-caller. Meanwhile, picking up Green would be a definite upgrade for the passing game. He’s not only big and fast, but he has that special ability to come up with the tough catches downfield.
 
5Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals
MARCELL DAREUS, DT, Alabama
Dareus is one of the safest picks in this draft; he can play either defensive tackle spot, or (as he would in Arizona) line up as a 3-4 defensive end. He could go higher than this. But because his strength is stuffing the run, rather than rushing the passer, I don’t think he has elite value in the pass-happy modern day NFL.
 
6Cleveland Browns
Browns
NICK FAIRLEY, DT, Auburn
The Browns are transitioning from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense, meaning they need defensive linemen. I know a lot of people love Dareus, but I think Fairley is the best d-lineman available in this draft. He was absolutely unblockable for Auburn last season. He has a ton of value because of his ability to disrupt opposing quarterbacks.
 
7San Francisco 49ers
49ers
ROBERT QUINN, DE/OLB, North Carolina
A quarterback is a possibility here, but new head coach Jim Harbaugh would be better off trying to trade down, or trade later picks to move into the late first-round for a guy like Christian Ponder. Quinn fills a major need as a pass rusher, and he has the athleticism to play outside linebacker in San Fran’s 3-4 defense.
 
8Tennessee Titans
Titans
BLAINE GABBERT, QB, Missouri
The Titans are in need of a franchise quarterback now that they’ve given up on draft bust Vince Young. Gabbert might be the most naturally gifted passer in this draft class, and he has the size and athleticism to succeed. Like Newton though, he comes from a simplified college offense that didn’t take a lot of chances. On top of that, I think he panics under pressure too often.
 
9Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys
TYRON SMITH, OT, USC
Smith has the incredible athleticism, at 300 lbs., to be a franchise left tackle. He only played the right side at USC, and it’s not always easy to make the switch to the other side of the line. But even as a right tackle, he’d provide some much-needed protection for Tony Romo.
 
10Washington Redskins
Redskins
JULIO JONES, WR, Alabama
The ‘Skins will take a long, hard look at the quarterbacks left on the board, but I’m not sure any of them will be what Washington coach Mike Shanahan is looking for. Because of his great size and ability to run after the catch, Jones would be a perfect fit in Shanahan’s West Coast offense. And man, can this guy run block!
 
11Houston Texans
Texans
PRINCE AMUKAMARA, CB, Nebraska
The Texans desperately need help in the secondary. After Patrick Peterson, Amukamara is the best cornerback on the board.
 
12Minnesota Vikings
Vikings
JAKE LOCKER, QB, Washington
Locker could go anywhere from top 10 to second-round, but I think he’d be a great fit in Minnesota. His accuracy issues have been overblown (he didn’t have a great supporting cast at Washington, which is a big reason why his completion percentage was so low). There’s no doubting that Locker has a strong arm and great athleticism. Plus, he’s an outstanding leader and true winner. Sounds like a pretty good pick to lead a franchise.
 
13Detroit Lions
Lions
DA’QUAN BOWERS, DE, Clemson
They won’t be able to get the defensive back they’re looking for this late in the first round, but Detroit can help out their struggling secondary by upgrading their pass rush. Bowers has some risk because of a bum knee, but he also has the rare size and athleticism to be a double-digit sack guy.
 
14St. Louis Rams
Rams
COREY LIUGET, DT, Illinois
I think Liuget is one of the most overlooked players in this draft, a guy capable of being a force breaking into opposing backfields. He’d be a great fit next to Chris Long on the Rams’ defensive line.
 
15Miami Dolphins
Dolphins
MIKE POUNCEY, G/C, Florida
The Dolphins have some issues on the interior of their offensive line. Pouncey’s brother, Maurkice, was the best offensive rookie in football last year, starring as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ center. Mike could make a similar impact for Miami.
 
16Jacksonville Jaguars
Jaguars
CHRISTIAN PONDER, QB, Florida State
The Jags have wanted to replace David Garrard with more of a pure passer under center. Ponder would be a top 10 pick if he hadn’t been injured so often the past two years. He’s the kind of smart, accurate QB Jacksonville has been searching for.
 
17New England Patriots
Patriots
ANTHONY CASTONZO, OT, Boston College
I’m not sure if Castonzo will last this long, but the Pats would love it if he did. He could spend a year as Matt Light’s understudy, then take over as one of Tom Brady’s key pass protectors in another year or two.
 
18San Diego Chargers
Chargers
CAMERON JORDAN, DE, California
The Chargers could use some help on their injury-plagued defensive line, and Jordan is a perfect fit. He’s the best 3-4 defensive end available in this draft, and that’s the formation the Chargers play.
 
19New York Giants
Giants
GABE CARIMI, OT, Wisconsin
Carimi is an absolute crushing run blocker who can hold his own in pass protection. With the Giants’ offensive line struggling with injuries as they get older, Carimi is the kind of young talent they need.
 
20Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs
ALDON SMITH, DE, Missouri
The Bucs’ biggest weakness is their pass rush, but Smith could fix that. He’s a quick, athletic defensive end who could make a big difference getting to the quarterback.
 
21Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs
PHIL TAYLOR, NT, Baylor
Finding a nose tackle for a 3-4 defense is tough. They play have to have the size and athleticism to eat up blockers and stuff the entire middle of the opposing offensive line. Taylor can do just that. There are concerns over a foot injury, but as the best pure nose tackle available, he’s worth the risk for K.C.
 
22Indianapolis Colts
Colts
J.J. WATT, DT/DE, Wisconsin
Watt would play mostly defensive tackle in Indy. He has the kind of football smarts and non-stop motor that would fit right in with the Colts, not to mention help their hapless run defense.
 
23Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles
JIMMY SMITH, CB, Colorado
There are some concerns about his attitude, but no one doubts Smith’s talent. He has great size, speed, and athleticism, as well as that supreme confidence that cornerbacks need. If he teamed up with Asante Samuel in Philly, the Eagles will be awfully tough to throw against.
 
24New Orleans Saints
Saints
RYAN KERRIGAN, DE, Purdue
New Orleans is looking to upgrade their front seven, and Kerrigan would fit nicely. He could play across from Will Smith on the defensive line and really upgrade the Saints’ pass rush and run defense.
 
25Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks
AARON WILLIAMS, CB, Texas
The Seahawks’ pass defense was terrible last year, but Williams could help. He’s better playing against slot receivers rather than on the outside, and Williams might eventually move to safety. But really, Seattle’s secondary could use help just about everywhere.
 
26Baltimore Ravens
Ravens
MUHAMMAD WILKERSON, DT/DE, Temple
The rich get richer here. The Ravens already have one of the best defensive linemen in football in Haloti Ngata. Wilkerson could make that line even better. He’s a 300-pounder with the kind of versatility that the Ravens love.
 
27Atlanta Falcons
Falcons
TORREY SMITH, WR, Maryland
The Falcons desperately need another receiving option to go with Roddy White. Smith has the size, rare speed, and playmaking ability that will make teams think twice about double-teaming White.
 
28New England Patriots
Patriots
CAMERON HEYWARD, DT/DE, Ohio State
With no elite pass rushers left on the board, the Pats get the next best thing in Heyward. He’d be a big help for Vince Wilfork on New England’s injury-prone defensive line. Wilfork could go back to playing nose tackle fulltime while Heyward takes over at defensive end.
 
29Chicago Bears
Bears
NATE SOLDER, OT, Colorado
Solder is a rare athlete. He’s 6’ 8”, 300 pounds and runs as well as a lot of tight ends. The Bears need help across the offensive line, especially when it comes to protecting Jay Cutler. And pass protection is Solder’s specialty.
 
30New York Jets
Jets
ADRIAN CLAYBORN, DE/DT, Iowa
The Jets need to get younger on the defensive line, and Clayborn would be a great fit. He’s better as a run-stopper, but he also has the ability to beat blockers and get to the quarterback every once in awhile.
 
31Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers
DANNY WATKINS, OT/G, Baylor
The Steelers need to add some youth and talent to the offensive line. Watkins could play a number of spots on the front five. He can protect the passer, and he has the kind of vicious, run-blocking attitude that the Steelers love.
 
32Green Bay Packers
Packers
AKEEM AYERS, LB, UCLA
Ayers has phenomenal athleticism; the question is whether he has the instincts to be a playmaker in the NFL. The defending Super Bowl champs can afford to take a chance on him. Ayers could end up being a nice upgrade for their linebacking corps.
Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (31 votes)

28 Comments

detroit got the best picks this draft, no doubt about it. our D-Line is stacked with Suh and Fairly. Watch out QB's, fans, and sports writers everywhere... here comes detroit!

Thinking about how bad the first pick was? Yeah me too, Cam is an inexpirienced, 1 year starter who is also a west coast qb. The panthers dont run westcoast offense because exactly how fast is jimmy clausen, oh right. The falcons, browns, lions. and the saints all had good picks. FALCONS: Julio jones, BROWNS: Owen Marecic, LIONS: Titus Young, SAINTS: Mark Ingram.; Look even andy dalton,(no offense) is a better fit for the panthers who could have gotten Patrick Peterson cornerback out of LSU and then drafted andy dalton before the bengals would have. AND THE STEELERS?!?!?! WE NEEDED A WR! But no worries Ward has a few years left. And to adress cornerbaks we can sign Aqib Talib out of free agency when/if the lockout ends. P.S. the colts couldhave gotten mark ingram. GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think the Panthers will draft Cam Newton, but that's not a good idea. Cam isn't developed enough in the passing aspect of things.
The Broncos should draft Von Miller. He just has all the things Denver is looking for.
The Bills should take Marcell Dareus. (still not as good as Nick Fairley)
The Bengals need to replace Ochocinco with Green. Their wide receivers are aging.
The Card's need a quaterback, but at this point, Patrick Peterson will still be there, and they need to advance in everything, including defense. Plus, if all else fails, they could get Kevin Kolb in Free Agency.

Mark Ingram SHOULD'VE gone to the Pat's, but they took Nate Solder instead. I bet that later on in the season The Patriots will regret that...

I have 1 question wheres MARK INGRAM i really want him to go for Miami even know i live in buffalo i want Miami to have a chance !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

COOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

CAM NEWTON is AWESOME$$!!$$!!

cam newton can't spell his own name! the only reason he went to auburn is cause his dad is a criminal

Cam Newton 1st pick of draft. Good choice wiz.

Cam Newton 1st pick of draft. Good choice wiz.

Cam Newton is awesome! WAR EAGLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where is M. Ingram Wiz???

The Pats sooooooooo should have drafted Ingram. No offense to BenJarvis Green-Ellis.

COLTS!!!!!! NO WE DONT NEED A (DT OR DE) WE NEED A (RB) MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES INDY!!!!!!

I know right!!!!!

I agree the colts need a new HB that can get to the outside

I disagree exponentially with this draft of mocks.

Guess what WebZinger, I also did a mock draft of mock drafts, in which I have this mock draft going #1!

As a Bills fan, I want Von Miller a lot. Even if the Bills go 4-3, they can move Miller to DE.

THE SAINTS R TITE DAWG

I've said it before and I'll say it again- the Panthers will regret picking Newton number one. The pick makes no sense, except for the fact that he'll put butts in seats and give the team some attention. But it is just not the best football decision. You have so many can't-miss defensive players up there- Peterson, Dareus, Fairley, Miller, etc. A three year project QB is the guy you want? Really? No, you know its the wrong move Carolina. As for pick three, Von Miller is not a fit with the Bills. Buffalo needs front four help more than linebackers, and in this draft they're there for the taking. They can even trade down and still get a player that fills a need and is pro-bowl quality from day one. And Dareus to the Cardinals at pick five? Ever heard of Darnell Dockett? He's kinda got that market covered. And with the picket fence o-lines Arizona plays in the NFC West, they don't really need an all-star defensive line to be successful.

I don't agree Newton is a good QB and did you watch the Jon Gruden Camp.

Next super bowl the si kids hedline will be cam the bestQB in world.

Playing Wildcat offense didn't help Newtons case much either.

patrick peterson

For the record, I'd take Nick Fairley or Patrick Peterson if I were Carolina. But the Bills have been wanting to go 3-4 fulltime--they tried it last year, but abandoned it because they couldn't develop a pass rush with their OLBs. Miller would change that. As for Dareus to Arizona, just a case of best player available for them. They want to trade down bad. But Dareus could play nose or end in their scheme, and as a GM once told me, there's no such thing as having too many good linemen.

wow, AthleteArtist, that comment you made is really eye-opening. i never thought of it like that. i am a somewhat-panthers fan (more pats, but carolina isnt doing good) but now i do not want newton. he will cause alot of drama when they take away his heisman or put him in jail or whatever, i dont know. panthers neeeeeed some defense, and if they can catch an o-guy later, that would be fine too. but yeah, i do NOT want newton. maybe that is why the panthers arent telling if they are picking him or not.....

i dont even think the Panthers will be the right choice for Newton, he could do a lot better than that. but it is not the players that choose what team they are on. so it should be intresting. i am gonna watch it.:)

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