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NFL 2011 Mock Draft – Round One Draft Picks

2011 NFL Draft Coverage – NFL 2011 Mock Draft

Hey folks — Looking for Online 2011 NFL draft prospects, positional analysis, draft order, sample 2011 NFL mock drafts and more? Keep checking out CappersPicks.com NFL draft pages as we’ll keep you posted on draft activity and the fantasy impact these rookies will have.

The NFL draft moves to primetime for the first time in 2011. The first round will be in PRIMETIME, and takes place on Thursday April 28th at 7:30 p.m. ET. The NFL Draft second and third rounds are on Friday April 29 at 6 p.m. ET. Rounds Four thru Seven will be held on Saturday April 30th at 10 a.m. ET.

With all that said the 2011 NFL Draft is rapidly coming up on us and our College football handicapping expert Shea Matthews weighs in with his NFL 2011 Mock Draft.

The NFL Draft is just days away. Regardless of how many players attend, the picks still count, right? And it looks more and more like the 2011 season will happen after all.

So it’s worth it to ponder the first round. Here’s my stab in the dark, er, prediction of how things will turn out.

1. CAROLINA PANTHERS: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

As much as scouts have questioned Cam Newton’s character or compared him to busts like Akili Smith, there’s no denying his upside. The Carolina Panthers are feeling the pressure to take a quarterback with the top pick after Jimmy Clausen gave little reason for optimism last year. I think they’ll take the plunge.

2. DENVER BRONCOS: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

John Elway hinted at taking a quarterback to push Tim Tebow – but not in the first round. Marcell Dareus is a rock-solid prospect who projects to be a stalwart on any team’s defensive line and the Broncos certainly need help there.

3. BUFFALO BILLS: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

At least half the mock drafts I’ve read have the Bills taking Von Miller instead but I think the pressure to draft a new quarterback after years of missing the playoffs (and drafting running backs) may overwhelm the Bills. But does Chan Gailey need a signalcaller right now after the work he did with Ryan Fitzpatrick?

4. CINCINNATI BENGALS: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

The Bengals would love it if one of the top two quarterbacks slipped to them given how ugly things have gotten with Carson Palmer. But maybe Palmer’s attitude would change if the Bengals tempted him with arguably the best receiver in the draft?

5. ARIZONA CARDINALS: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M

An amazing athlete and pass rusher from the linebacker position, Miller is the best talent in the draft according to many scouts. If he falls this far, Arizona would have to take him. He could fill the void Karlos Dansby left when he went to Miami.

6. CLEVELAND BROWNS: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

I was very tempted to put Julio Jones’ name down here, as the Browns would love to give Colt McCoy a more talented downfield target, but Peterson is simply too good for any team to pass up here. Best DB in the draft and a nice building block to go with Joe Haden.

7. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

He didn’t exactly face world beaters every in college like an SEC player would but Robert Quinn excelled in the ACC and would look great among the 49ers’ emerging front seven.

8. TENNESSEE TITANS: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

Pretty much every mock draft out there has the Titans taking Fairley. Sorry, Albert Haynesworth. Your old buddies have moved on. Fairley and Derrick Morgan could form a deadly one-two punch on the line for years to come.

9. DALLAS COWBOYS: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College

The Dallas Cowboys have to protect Tony Romo better if they want him to bounce back from his broken collarbone. Adding to their offensive line would be a nice start and a smart lineman like Castonzo could help in both pass protection and improving the run.

10. WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Jake Locker, QB, Washington

The Donovan McNabb experiment isn’t working out. He could well be traded by start of the 2011 season. Some scouts believe Locker’s athleticism and a better supporting cast will negate his disappointing senior season at Washington.

11. HOUSTON TEXANS: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska

I would argue that no team in the league has a greater need at a specific position than Houston does. These guys are absolutely begging for help in the secondary. With Peterson gone, Amukamara is the next best thing.

12. MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Cameron Jordan, DE, California

Some of the Vikings’ key defensive commodities on the interior are aging. They need a versatile, athletic guy who can improve the pass rush and Jordan fits the bill.

13. DETROIT LIONS: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado

I’m reaching on Smith but it’s not like the Lions have never done something surprising on draft day. I think they’ll extend to get Smith assuming their mind is set on a defensive back – and have a feeling it is.

14. ST. LOUIS RAMS: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

Is this just wishful thinking on my part? Jones was so impressive playing through injuries at Alabama and in the combine that he could easily climb higher. But I’m drooling over the thought of Josh McDaniels turning Jones and Sam Bradford into his new Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall.

15. MIAMI DOLPHINS: Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida

Should it be Tyron Smith here instead? Maybe, but the Dolphins are pretty set with Jake Long. Pouncey, twin brother of the Steelers’ Maurkice, has good size and athleticism.

16. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin

The other guy Jacksonville could take here, Ryan Kerrigan, has been compared to Aaron Kampmann. So why would Jacksonville need two high-hustle, low-speed Kampmanns? Maybe they’ll take a shot on J.J. Watt, who had a great combine and can play a DE/DT tweener role.

17. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Tyron Smith, OT, Southern California

Smith is raw, just 20 years old and still growing, but he has long arms and a high ceiling, The Patriots braintrust could mould Smith into a stud tackle.

18. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue

We’ve seen athletes like Shawne Merriman playing the primary pass rusher role in San Diego in recent years. Maybe it’s time for them to switch things up and get a high-motor, relentless team guy like Kerrigan.

19. NEW YORK GIANTS: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

Though his height could cause trouble against some speed rushers, Solder is a smart, solid all-around lineman and the Giants are always looking to buy Eli Manning extra time to make his (sometimes questionable) throws.

20. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois

Liuget seems a bit unproven to me but I think the Bucs, with their emerging young defense of studs, have earned the right to take on a project.


The Chiefs keep adding talented athletes to their defense and Ayers would fit the bill. Sooner or later, everything should click and turn this defense into something special, right?

22. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin

Peyton Manning took only 16 sacks last season but that was six more than he took the year before. With injuries often striking the Indy line as well, the Colts can never have too many O-linemen.

23. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State

I rate Sherrod as the best offensive lineman left on the board and the Eagles need to protect Michael Vick as best they can.

24. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Aidon Smith, DT, Illinois

Smith had 14.5 sacks in 18 games, flashing a major upside. The Saints need all the pass rush help they can get in the pass-heavy NFC and against division rivals like Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman.

25. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

Say what you want about his smarts – but Mallett is an impressive pocket presence. Enough with this Matt Hasselbeck charade, Seattle.

26. BALTIMORE RAVENS: Muhammad Wilkerson, DT, Temple

This pick is more based on hearsay. You wouldn’t think that defensive tackle would be an immediate concern when they have possibly the NFL’s best in Haloti Ngata but I keep hearing the Ravens are looking at defensive tackles anyway.

27. ATLANTA FALCONS: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

The Falcons’ subpar pass rush was partially responsible for their weak overall pass defense. Clayborn has some health concerns but is considered an intelligent and strong player nonetheless.

28. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

Why not? Bill Belichick just might be cocky enough to take a chance on Bowers, who was once projected as high as first overall but has tumbled because of serious knee concerns. The upside remains.

29. CHICAGO BEARS: Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor

It doesn’t matter the position or who supposedly has a starting job; every Chicago Bears O-lineman should be looking over his shoulder and Watkins is the best available.

30. NEW YORK JETS: Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh

The Jets have a truckload of impending free agents, including Shaun Ellis and Trevor Pryce at defensive end, so they’d be foolish not to protect themselves by picking someone like Sheard.

31. PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Aaron Williams, CB, Texas

Texas has produced some quality corners in the past and we all know how Pittsburgh struggled to stop elite quarterbacks last season.

32. GREEN BAY PACKERS: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

In today’s running-back-by-committee era, listing Ingram as the final first-rounder may seem silly. But the Pack are the defending champs and stacked everywhere (even at corner now that Tramon Williams and Sam Shields have emerged). Their only weakness last season was their running game. Why not let the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Ingram push James Starks for PT?



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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.