Xtra Point Football is your source for all things related to the 2011 NFL Draft. The NFL Scouting Combine is scheduled for February 23 through March 1 and we'll have the results as they're posted to keep you up to date with the latest as we move closer and closer to the first round of this year's draft on April 28. Also be sure to check out our 2011 NFL Draft Player Profiles and get to know the players available so you can formulate your own opinions of who your favorite team should pick. We are adding new profiles every day.
NFL Scout Jayson Braddock along with our College Football Editor Danny Hobrock will be conducting a series of Mock Draft's up until draft day. Be sure to check back with us each week as we'll be releasing new Mock Drafts every Monday until the big day. Here's how our experts see things shaking out if the draft were to be held today:
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Xtra Point Football 2011 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (UPDATE)
Following the Senior Bowl and the week of practice that preceded it, we got to see a lot of several players many of whom could be selected in the first round of this year's draft. As you'll see, we don’t like this year's group of quarterbacks as much as some, and although there's a very strong possibility that a team or two will reach for a signal caller in the first round when perhaps they should wait it out until the second or third rounds, our latest first round mock is one of the skimpiest you'll find in terms of quarterbacks selected. Our Mock Draft 2.0 will be out next Monday, so be sure to check that out next week.
There was some movement within our first round view this week including some dropping out of the 1st round....
Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri Tigers
Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina Tar Heels
Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas Razorbacks
Derek Sherrod, OT Mississippi State Bulldogs
Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State Beavers
and some pushing their way in to the first round....
Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State Buckeyes
James Carpenter, OT, Alabama Crimson Tide
Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada Wolf Pack
Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois Fighting Illini
Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois Fighting Illini
Here's how we see the NFL First Round landscape as of January 31st.
1. Carolina Panthers - Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn Tigers: Fairley cemented himself as the top defensive player in this season's draft in the BCS Championship Game. He gives the Panthers a key defensive piece to build around as they look to rebuild their team.
- Previous Pick: Nick Fairley, DT/DE, Auburn
- Other possibilities: AJ Green, WR, Georgia; DaQuan Bowers, DE, Clemson
2. Denver Broncos - Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU Tigers: Picking second, the Broncos have the luxury of taking one of the top two players in this year's draft while also filling a potential need at cornerback. Champ Bailey will be a free agent and securing another lockdown corner will be a priority whether Bailey returns or not.
- Previous Pick: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
- Other possibilities: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson; Nick Fairley, DT/DE, Auburn
3. Buffalo Bills - A.J. Green, WR, Georgia Bulldogs: Probably the best wide receiver to come out of college since Calvin Johnson in 2007. Green gives the Bills another offensive weapon to play alongside Lee Evans and C.J. Spiller.
- Previous Pick: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
- Other possibilities: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson; Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
4. Cincinnat Bengals - Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson Tigers: Bowers would be a steal at the fourth pick, but if the Panthers take Fairley and Denver decides to lock up another corner and the Bills look to add another playmaker on offense, there's a good possibility that Bowers falls in the Bengals laps.
- Previous Pick: Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
- Other possibilities: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia; Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
5. Arizona Cardinals - Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M Aggies 1: The Cardinals definitely need to find their franchise quarterback. Unfortunately, we don't like any quarterback enough to be drafted this high. Their defense lost a lot of key contributors after the 2009 season. They'll have to start upgrading those positions that wasn't improved after last season. Miller was by all accounts one of the most impressive prospects at the Senior Bowl. We already had Miller ranked high but after his display this past week, we believe that he's a top five caliber player. Arizona will have to take the best player available, which is Miller.
- Previous Pick: Robert Quinn, DE/OLB, North Carolina
- Other possibilities: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU; Jake Locker, QB, Washington
6. Cleveland Browns - Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina 1: As Cleveland transitions back to a 4-3 defense, Quinn would be an ideal fit as a 4-3 defensive end. There's the chance the Browns look to add a playmaker on offense, but with A.J. Green likely gone at this point, Cleveland will look to add talent to fit their new defense and rely on the later rounds for playmakers.
- Previous Pick: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
- Other possibilities: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M; Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
7. San Francisco 49ers - Akeem Ayers, OLB/DE, UCLA Bruins 9: There are many teams that need to find a franchise quarterback in this year's draft. This could be the most cluttered quarterback prospect group ever. With that being said, several of those teams could wait until the second round or trade back in the first to find a quarterback. So, if the 49ers don't go after their major need of a quarterback here, they could add another playmaker to play alongside of Patrick Willis. An Ayers plus Willis combo could wreck havoc on defenses for years to come.
- Jake Locker, QB, Washington
- Other possibilities: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M; Marcell Dareus, DT/DE, Alabama
8. Tennessee Titans - Marcell Dareus, DT/DE, Alabama Crimson Tide: This is more of a value pick here. Dareus is a beast in the middle of a defensive line. The Titans have been looking for a replacement for Albert Haynesworth since he left and Tennessee will have a new D-line coach and defensive coordinator this year. Getting him a playmaker to stuff the run against divisional rivals Arian Foster and Maurice Jones-Drew could help out a lot.
- Previous Pick: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
- Other possibilities: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska; Jake Locker, QB, Washington
9. Dallas Cowboys - Cameron Jordan, DE/OLB: California Golden Bears 9: We have Jordan making a huge jump up the board to the Cowboys. Cameron impressed everyone at Senior Bowl practices and the game itself this past week. He made it crystal clear that he's built for the five technique, which means he'll play the 3-4 Defensive End position. The Cowboys could still use offensive line help, but could find Jordan as the more valuable pick.
- Previous Pick: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
- Other possibilities: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska; Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
10. Washington Redskins - Jake Locker, QB, Washington Huskies 3: At the tenth pick, Locker is just the second offensive player chosen in our latest mock draft. The Redskins need to look to the future under center and could look at Locker as the top quarterback in this year's draft even if we're not so sure any quarterback warrants a first round pick this year.
- Previous Pick: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
- Other possibilities: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri; Cameron Jordan, DE, California
11. Houston Texans - Ryan Kerrigan, OLB/DE, Purdue Boilermakers 10: The Texans really need secondary help, but having the youngest group of cornerbacks, they could go with a veteran unless they can figure out a way to get Patrick Peterson. The switch to the 3-4 scheme has Houston making sure they have the right personnel of linebackers and Kerrigan could play opposite of Conner Barwin, allowing Cushing to move inside next to Demeco Ryans.
- Previous Pick: Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
- Other possibilities: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska; Cameron Jordan, DE, Californiaa
12. Minnesota Vikings - Nate Solder, OT, Colorado Buffaloes 3: Bryant McKinnie is still there, but the Vikes could use another tackle to protect whoever ends up under center next season and into the future.
- Previous Pick: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
- Other possibilities: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska; Jake Locker, QB, Washington
13. Detroit Lions - Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska Cornhuskers: The Lions need to draft an elite cornerback and at pick 13, Amukamara could be too tempting to pass up. While a lot of attention has gone to the offense with Matthew Stafford under center, the defense, which includes last year's second overall pick Ndamukong Suh, is becoming the strength of this team.
- Previous Pick: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
- Other possibilities: Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA; Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
14. St. Louis Rams - Julio Jones, WR, Alabama Crimson Tide: This is a pretty simple pick. Even with Donnie Avery coming back from injury this year, the Rams have to get Sam Bradford a true #1 receiving threat. Jones alongside Avery would give Bradford an explosive arsenal in the new Josh McDaniels offense. Stephen Jackson is getting long in the tooth and they may look to find his compliment/replacement, too.
- Previous Pick: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
- Other possibilities: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama; Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
15. Miami Dolphins - Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama Crimson Tide: Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams could both be gone by the time next season starts, but even if they are able to keep one of the backs (Williams seems more likely), the Dolphins could target a running back early. Quarterback is a need with Chad Henne certainly not looking like the answer, but Ingram is a safer pick than any quarterback still on the board and gives the Dolphins a tough, talented back.
- Previous Pick: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
- Other possibilities: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas; Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
16. Jacksonville Jaguars - Bruce Carter, LB, North Carolina Tar Heels 3: Wide receiver and safety are needs, but Julio Jones if off the board in our mock and with no Eric Berry in this year's draft, we don't see the Jaguars taking another safety in the first round in the wake of the Reggie Nelson disappointment. Carter is a pretty safe pick even if most don't have him this highly in the draft. He's a hard-hitting linebacker who has performed consistently throughout his career.
- Previous Pick: Akeem Ayers, OLB/DE, UCLA
- Other possibilities: Rahim Moore, S, UCLA; Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
17. New England Patriots - Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa Hawkeyes 3: This seems like a Patriots type pick. New England has an aging defensive line and Belichek likes to stay one step ahead of where he's suppose to be. If he makes his youth moment here this year, Clayborn can benefit from learning under the veterans. The Patriots have said that they would like to go after an offensive lineman here, which means there's a 100% chance they won't.
- Previous Pick: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
- Other possibilities: James Carpenter, OT, Alabama; Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois
18. San Diego Chargers - Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State Buckeyes NA: The league's top offense and top defense in 2010 has plenty of talent, allowing them to add depth in the first round. Heyward has been inconsistent at Ohio State, but San Diego is in position to take Heyward to coach up the 6'6, 287-pound lineman.
- Previous Pick: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
- Other possibilities: Rahim Moore, S, UCLA; Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
19. New York Giants - James Carpenter, OT, Alabama Crimson Tide NA: The Giants need offensive line help. Eli looked below average during the 2010 season, but if they can get better protection for him, then he should be back to his old ways. Clearly, we have Carpenter a lot higher than most "media experts". Carpenter stopped every All Star that they threw at him at the Senior Bowl. He paved a rushing lane and protected the blindside better than any other offensive tackle at the Senior Bowl. He showed great feet and strength and by the time the combine is and pro days are over, Carpenter will be sitting as the #1 or 2 offensive tackle.
- Previous Pick: Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina
- Other possibilities: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami; Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri Tigers 7: Tampa Bay continues the run on defensive ends by taking Smith, who will fit nicely as a 4-3 end in the Tampa defense. The Bucs added defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price in last year's draft and could look to add more young talent to what could turn into a feared defensive front.
- Previous Pick: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
- Other possibilities: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami; Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
21. Kansas City Chiefs - Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia Bulldogs 8: The Chiefs have quietly built a young, talented defense. They could look to add another pass rushing outside linebacker opposite of Tamba Hali and Houston could come in and fill that role. The Chiefs could also look to add another receiving threat to relieve the pressure off of Bowe and Cassel.
- Previous Pick: Ryan Kerrigan, DE/OLB, Purdue
- Other possibilities: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama; Allen Bailey, DT, Miami
22. Indianapolis Colts - Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College Eagles 5: The Colts could look to inject a little youth into their offensive line by taking Castonzo here. As Peyton Manning gets older, protecting him will become more and more important.
- Previous Pick: Derrek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
- Other possibilities: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State; DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma
23. Philadelphia Eagles - Rahim Moore, S, UCLA Bruins: The Eagles need help in the secondary and could add a ball hawk of a safety in Moore, even if he saw a significant drop off in his interceptions last season. Moore came away with 10 interceptions in 2009, but fell off tremendously in 2010 with just one.
- Previous Pick: Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
- Other possibilities: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin; Tyron Smith, OT, USC
24. New Orleans Saints - Allen Bailey, DE/DT, Miami Hurricanes: Bailey would fit as a defensive tackle in the Saints defense. He's played some end as well, but the tackle position appears to be the best fit for the Miami product. Offensive line is also a possibility with their first pick.
- Previous Pick: Allen Bailey, DT, Miami
- Other possibilities: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida; Bruce Carter, LB, North Carolina
25. Seattle Seahawks - Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada Wolf Pack NA: We can already here the complaints about having Kaepernick this high. To be honest, it was hard to not put Colin as the #1 quarterback prospect. He has a lot of the same strengths as the other quarterbacks without some of their weaknesses. Kaepernick can make all of the throws, a threat to run, and looks comfortable in the pocket. He appeared as the best quarterback at the Senior Bowl and Seattle needs to find Hasselbeck's replacement.
- Previous Pick: DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma
- Other possibilities: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami; DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma
26. Baltimore Ravens - Brandon Harris, CB, Miami Hurricanes: The Ravens have had some success taking Miami Hurricanes in the past (see Ray Lewis, Ed Reed) and could look at add Harris to shore up the cornerback position, which they did not address in last year's draft.
- Previous Pick: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
- Other possibilities: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin; Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
27. Atlanta Falcons - Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois Fighting Illinis NA: The Falcons keep trying to find a future stud at defensive tackle, but come up short each time. Peria Jerry has been injured or not playing up to his expectations. Liuget can disrupt things and make it easier for the aging John Abraham to prolong his career by only having to face one-on-one battles.
- Previous Pick: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
- Other possibilities: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri; Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
28. New England Patriots - Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida Gators 2: The Patriots took three Gators in last year's draft and could look at Pouncey as a way to upgrade the interior of their offensive line. Pouncey is the twin brother of Steelers' pro bowl rookie center Maurkice Pouncey and played alongside him at Florida.
- Previous Pick: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
- Other possibilities: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin; Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois
29. New York Jets - J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin Badgers 2: The Jets could look to replace the veteran Trevor Pryce. Watt could learn the system and start in some situations. After he's up to par he could be the long term stalwart for the Rex Ryan defense up front. Ryan also mentioned thinking about benching Sanchez this season and could take a chance on one of the quarterbacks that slide this far.
- Previous Pick: Justin Houston, DE, Georgia
- Other possibilities: Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas; DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson
30. Chicago Bears - Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami Hurricanes: Despite the emergence of some of the Bears' wide receivers, they still lack a true number one threat. Hankerson had a very good senior season and has looked good in Senior Bowl practice. Before long, he should be on everybody's first round mock.
- Previous Pick: Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
- Other possibilities: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame; Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
31. Green Bay Packers - Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois Fighting Illini NA: Green Bay is in the Super Bowl despite several injuries to key players. They were so close to missing out on the playoffs all together, in large part to the lack of a running game after Ryan Grant went down. They found a season saver in James Starks, but they shouldn't be comfortable going into 2011 with the duo of Starks/Grant. Another injury could come up or they could struggle. If your team is good enough to go to the Super Bowl, you probably have the luxury of doing whatever you want with your first draft pick. Leshoure could end up being the best option at running back when it's all said and done anyway.
- Previous Pick: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
- Other possibilities: DeAndre McDaniel, S, Clemson; Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
32. Pittsburgh Steelers - Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado Buffaloes: Smith is a very good coverage cornerback, but his ability to help against the run is a bit suspect. Offensive line is another possibility, especially if Mike Pouncey is still on the board.
- Previous Pick: Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
- Other possibilities: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin; Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
Danny Hobrock, a sports journalist covering NCAA Football and MLB is the editor of our college football content. His work for Xtra Point Football has garnered national attention and is critically acclaimed. You may email Danny directly @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ DannyHobrock
Jayson Braddock appears on Sports Radio 790 AM in Houston, TX, every Thursday morning at 11:19 am CST as the football insider on the Dylan Gwinn show. He's a graduate of the Sports Management World Wide Football GM & Scouting Course and has been mentored by former NFL player / executive John Wooten and Sporting News.com NFL Draft Expert Russ Lande. His work is mostly appreciated by die-hard fans interested in every little detail about their team and not just watered down mainstream talk. - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports7910.com. You may email Jayson directly @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ JaysonBraddock
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