Yesterday, we discussed the always troublesome first five picks of the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft. More than anything else, those selections took into account team needs, public perception and what each respective squad in the top five should be looking to accomplish next year.
Picking the next five players in the draft becomes that much more difficult because of the unpredictability of the first five picks. Considering how much time is remaining before the draft, players are all but guaranteed to slide up and down the board before the magic day comes.
With that in mind, here is the continuation to yesterday’s list of draft pick projections stating with the No. 6 overall pick.
6. Cleveland Browns – Marcell Dareus, DT/DE, Alabama. The top of this draft is very defense-heavy. This bodes extremely well for the confused Browns who seem to have a hole at just about every position on both sides of the ball. Nevertheless, it all starts with the defense – and Dareus is a talented young stud who can do some serious damage for a unit in desperate need of a star.
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7. San Francisco 49ers – Jake Locker, QB, Washington. Some experts consider Locker to be the best available passer in the draft. By now, everyone knows this guy’s story. He was on the all-hype team this time last year, came back to school and this year his stock has cooled off. Locker needs to work on his accuracy, but he can get the ball down the field, read coverages and appears to have more of a “natural QB” flair than some of his passing counterparts in this draft.
8. Tennessee Titans – Ryan Mallet, QB, Arkansas. Things get very dicey with this pick because the Titans are in desperate need of a quarterback. The Vince Young experiment has officially failed, and this squad now needs to start anew. The problem is, though, that a lot of the teams at the top of this draft need a quarterback. As such, the only first-round worthy player remaining (maybe) is Mallet. There have been some attitude concerns with this guy, something that the Titans will no doubt be wary of given what happened with Young. However, in the end talent usually wins out.
9. Dallas Cowboys – Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska. It’s not that the Cowboys need another cornerback, it’s more of a situation where they end up taking the best player available. Look, everyone knows that Dallas looked great on paper to start the year. They still look great on paper. Getting a pick this high up in the draft is just a cherry on top.
10. Washington Redskins – A.J. Green, WR, Georgia. The Redskins need a quarterback, but it’s very likely that the draft won’t be the way they get him. At this point, Washington desperately needs to improve the offensive attack. They’ll find a passer somehow, someway, but for now, they’ll settle for the best offensive talent available. Green has the skill to be the No. 1 overall pick, but with team needs and all Auburn players raising their stock in the championship game, he’s just the victim of bad timing.